Dear God, I am sorry.
I have let years of my WH's pity party run the show.
Please consider a timeline as to how long you'll let him keep it about HIM--and not see you. (Your pain). A cursory nod toward your feelings isn't remorse.
Thinking of you.
I think the answers vary by person. Some of us are dangerously codependent. Some of us are still trying to grasp that this has really happened and the shock hasn't set in yet. Some of us love our spouses. Some of us feel as though we cannot find a way out.
I'm not reconciling with my SAWH but I tried to do so for years. I was very naive about his prognosis as a sex addict and I was so invested in what our relationship was supposed to be that I ignored what it was. Since I had my son the scales have begun to fall from my eyes but everyone has their different timing and reasons.
6 years of TT, hidden STD and false R.
Physically separated 4 mos+, emotionally divorced.
Detaching, recovering. Proud single mom.
Why would any of you (me) stay with a WS in this situation? I have suspected and now know my WS has had a few anonymous/prostitute encounters, and two emotional A's. Why on earth would I stay, and continue to wonder? WS has been very smooth - I can't often tell when he's lying, usually only when I find evidence.
That is a very good question. In your sitch, I would not stay. But I would not stay or R with anyone that continued to lie, betray, be unfaithful, and was not remorseful and had no intention of changing, irrespective of whether prostitutes/anonymous encounters were involved. The fact that he is so smooth about lying only makes me more concerned for your health and safety.
Why would anybody else stay is an entirely different question. Usually we are completely blindsided, and discovery is extremely traumatic. It is difficult to tell which way is up, much less make effective decisions about your life when this happens. But these are my candid observations about whether anyone should stay:
If you are not already married, DON'T get married. You do not want legal entanglements or legal/financial liability for someone capable of this. If this is non-negotiable for you, then you really need to consider moving on so you can have a spouse that is worth of such commitment. The recovery of WS brokeness and the repair of your relationship will take at least 2-5 years, maybe longer before you should even consider M. Most people capable of this kind of infidelity are not worth waiting that long for. If M is important to you, you really need to consider moving on and pursuing that with someone more worthy of that commitment.
If you do not already have kids together, DON'T have any. If you do, DON'T have any more. The sheer impacts of a parent selfish enough to do this on children is profound. If they continue, they are putting the whole family's lives at risk. If they do accept R and do everything needed to heal themselves and your M, they will be in therapy and support groups/12 step so much they will be a burden as a co-parent anyway. If you divorce, the custody battles will likely be difficult, and the WS is much more likely to do all the horrific examples in the S&D forum of expensively stalling legal procedures, not paying CS, sabotaging visitation, neglect or abuse of children in their care, and alienating you as the sane parent. If having kids is important to you, you should really consider moving on and having them with someone else or adopting/having them as a single parent.
That being said, take things one day at a time. Because D can be nasty, you do want to make a good exit plan with most benefits and least damage to you (even if you don't know yet if you want to stay or D). Get your ducks in a row and see a L right away to learn your options.
I currently have chosen to stay, but that is a a daily decision for me. In my case, it was much more legally advantageous to pursue a post-nup while WS was still professing guilt and saying he was willing to do anything to save the M. I made the post-nup a condition of considering R, and I used the time to get my ducks in a row as SAHM with no recent employment history recently moved 1000 miles from family and friends.
I used that time to get the therapy *I* needed to heal, to get the STD and other medical issues addressed, to take the most advantage of every legal option available. I changed a lot of our financial issues to take my name off the majority of our debt and get me back into the workforce. I had boundaries set for him to pursue his healing, which he minimally met for about a year. Even though there was no infidelity post-DD, there was not much progress and certainly not the level of commitment needed for R on his part.
By the time I had my ducks in a row, and WS saw I could really do well if not better without him at all, that he could lose everything...that was when he finally committed to healing, R, and recovery in earnest. THAT's when he stepped up and started doing everything he should have done from the beginning. If I had not needed the time to get my ducks in a row, I would have been long gone.
But I could only do this because he was not continuing the behavior and putting us all at risk and is doing the work for R and self-healing. If at any time I found out otherwise, he would be gone and he knows it. He white-knuckled a long time before committing to getting real help.
I continue to decide whether to stay on a daily basis, because I have the luxury I can and I want my kids to have two reasonably parents available to them as long as possible. But I can't say I would even consider it if kids weren't in the picture, because I wouldn't have gotten this far if I didn't have kids to consider in arranging my exit plan. To be honest I was never convinced he'd ever be able to step up and that I would have stayed this long. But full disclosure, it would always be this way - a daily decision - because I will never have the luxury of knowing he can be trusted for life. For many that is enough to leave right there.
I don't want to say there is no hope for R for those in this sitch, it is possible and there are people here who have achieved it. But please know it comes with a heavy price tag. It is absolutely ok if it is a deal-breaker for you.
also, not sure if this is the place to ask, but how do you search this forum?
It is really hard to see right now when you JFO and are in such pain. But if you have a WS that is not doing anything and everything to heal and R, then the sooner you can 180, the sooner you will be able to truly help yourself and figure out what YOU need to make yourself happy.
I am still trying to sort out all the how, why's and what ifs. I thought doing the 180 would make him see what he has done, make him feel left out, suffer. That was my mind set.
Thanks to you and to the others, who have further explained the 180 and are helping me see that my efforts need to be geared towards my healing. And it's okay to focus on my DD and myself. I hope others find a way, it's not easy, I am learning to go a day at a time and that's a start.