Saturday night I told him that I thought I had reached a place where I could forgive and move on, but that if there was any other skeletons in his closet that now's the one and only chance to put them out there because if anything else comes up after that I'd be done. And so he confessed...to the physical side of things. I was shocked. To describe the different thoughts and emotions that are going through my mind up until this point would be useless. There isn't enough computer memory to put it all down. He says it was only once and that as soon as it was done he knew what a colossal mistake it was, and that he was coming clean because he knew that nothing we had past that point if I was going to forgive him would be real anyway because I wouldn't have all the details. It was unprotected and 5 months ago so I've got the testing for myself scheduled tonight and his is tomorrow. We have children so I'm trying to maintain some semblence of normal for them. I have not thrown him out, nor will I leave the children here with him. Our oldest is 10 and knew that something was off and asked yesterday what was going on so we, together, told her that daddy made a mistake that has hurt me very deeply and that it will take us some time how to figure out how to work our way out of this, if we even can. I was very up front with her that I don't know if I can, but that for now, nothing will change for her because I won't make a rash decision. I have started to reach out to counselors. He can't tell me why...only that it had nothing to do with me. He swears it wasn't even emotional, just getting his rocks off. We've got nearly 20 years together so the thought of starting over for me is hugely daunting. I never wanted my kids in the split household arrangement either, though now I don't know if it can be avoided.
I know that the other woman is out of the picture as it happened while he was out of the country visiting his parents, in said other country. She pursued him after the first visit and when he told her he was married she apparently said she didn't care so when he went back at the beginning of June it progressed from there to the one encounter. His family member was his transportation while he was there and is confirming the one encounter only, and added that he did warn my husband to think about what he was doing, but my husband did it anyway.
He swears he wants us to work and is willing to do anything. I have told him that the marriage we had is now dead and gone and I need time to grieve that and if we are to work out, it will need to be newly built foundations, etc. He is the one that suggested the counseling - anything that will help me get through it he said. Right now I am only 2 days into something I never ever in a million years thought I'd be dealing with (at least until August) which I supposed makes me a total idiot...
I always said this was the one thing that there was no going back from...and now I'm forced to re-evaluate that based on the fact that the kids are innocent bystanders in this. I feel trapped. If I stay - I'm teaching our daughters that this is an ok way to be treated? If I go, regardless of the fact that he did the deed, I will be the bad guy because he wants to work it out and I will be the one saying it is done. I cannot win. Staying feels completely wrong, and so does leaving. How is a person supposed to navigate this?
I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. I throw up when I think of what he has done. I have the shakes and my heart is racing and my head pounding. I know this is the stress. We've been through so much together - the loss of our first child, as well as a work related accident that resulted in amputation with him a few years ago. We'd finally landed on solid ground and the idiot that I am, felt like we were in one of the best places we'd ever been in in our marriage. I guess the joke is on me.
Emotionally I'm a wreck. I want to die, I want him to die, I want to go back and pretend it never happened. I want to un-ask the question of Saturday night. I want...anything but my current reality just about.
I am just spinning out of control right now but trying desperately to hold it together. He's called me from work probably 10x so far today and I vacillate between crying and yelling at him. Probably 7 of the conversations have just ended with me hanging up.
I know of people who have survived this both ways. By leaving and by staying - and I frankly cannot imagine either right now. I look at our girls and just hate to think of how drastically he may have changed the trajectory of their lives with this one act.
I am just lost...and I appreciate your letting me ramble.
Many many years ago, I was married to a skirt chaser who cheated for the thrill of it, for sport, and like your husband, 'to get his rocks off.'
I think sometimes we women think there HAS to be some deep psychological, traumatic 'reason' for their cheating, but sometimes, it just comes down to them thinking with their little heads. I now refer to my long ago ex-husband as a "sport f*cker." Because that's EXACTLY what he was.
I believe your husband when he says it had nothing to do with you. It didn't - it had everything to do with his genitals. Been there done that, got he t-shirt and waiting for the On-Demand release. Ugh.
I do want to warn you that in most cases, we never get the full truth the first time out the gate when we put these guys in the hot seat. Sometimes, they only cop to one bad thing because they're hoping that you'll stop digging for evidence if they finally 'confess their sins' to you. It's their hope that you'll feel statisfied that you 'know it all' now and will start working on reconciliation and stop digging to get more evidence. Unfortunately, many women find out months or years later that his confession didn't QUITE cover all he'd been up to. Sometimes they slip-up because they forgot the exact 'confession' they'd given you on D-Day and make a statement that contradicts that confession, or they admit to something else because you've worn them down through hours of interrogation, or you might find evidence or something hidden that he hadn't told you about back when you gave him a free pass to confess all.
Alot of women say it feels like another D-Day when they're confronte with more hurtful betrayal. This is called 'trickle truth,' when little bits of new information leak out randomly (much like a faucet) and you're left to deal with them when they do.
So guard your heart because you'll probably find out more ugly truths down the road. I don't want to see you get blindsided again.
Lastly, make him work his ass off to make this up to you, Butterfly. If he's truly remorseful, he'll be driven to try to erase the hurt he's visited on you. He'll be beyond patient as you scream at him for the 595th time how disappointed you are in him, and he'll do everything in his power to rebuild your faith and trust in him.
Forgiveness may not come for a long, long time. In the interim, I believe it's up to him to do the heavy lifting to get this marriage back on a good track.
Good luck to you, ButterflyJester.
It's very common here to read people saying they always thought they'd be "out the door" only to realize it's harder than it sounds when it is happening to you. I say this because you don't have to make a decision right now (some recommend at least 6 months to a year). During that time you will determine whether it's a deal breaker or not -- many choose reconciliation and are successful, for others it's the end of the road.
Most important thing right now is to recognize the trauma you are experiencing (which it is)...try to eat, sleep, drink water even though it's so difficult. Read up on the Healing Library (yellow box to the left)too. So sorry you're here.
So sorry you have found yourself here. I remember the first 2 days after I found out about the physical aspect and felt exactly like you did (both physically and emotionally). I always said this was a deal breaker. Now I have to look at my 3 kids and figure out what the hell I am doing.
Please take care of yourself. Drink plenty of water and try to eat. I know eating seems impossible, so at least make sure you are getting the water in.
Keep coming back here. Even if only to read. This site has kept me sane at 4 in the morning when I hadn't slept for 2 days.
Meanwhile my WH is calling and calling and answering all of my questions and swearing he loves me. I find that hard to believe as this sure as hell doesnt feel like love. With that said he seems sincere but I am also somehow waiting for the other shoe to drop so it is like waiting to exhale.
One minute I am like yes I can do this and the next I am yelling at him and the next I am bawling. I read about the 180 and I have to say I do not have any clue how to pull off those suggestions. I did ask him why he is telling me now. I mean there was nothing that would have gotten him caught. Short of finding out I really do have a disease down the the road there was nothing for me to find on the PA. Trust me I have been looking since August. He said that it has been weighing on him and he needed to make it right. Not that I don't value the honesty but there is nothing about this that feels even remotely right. He says we can do this and I told him I hope he has a ton of oatience because this is going to take months, maybe years. If he tells me one more time though that I have to try for the kids I told him I would kick his nuts out his nose because I didnt put us here and were it not for those kids he would have been out the moment he told me. The kids are the only thing keeping him around but they are not get out of jail free card, they have only bought him some time for now while I figure things out. I love him and hate him all at once. Ugh.
I explained to him, and I'm proud to say I was pretty calm, that I'm not going to make a rash decision because that's not fair to the kids. It has nothing to do with him, but the kids on that. I told him I can't guarantee that in 6 months I won't decide I can't do this. There are no promises now since he broke the big one and threw 16+ years of marriage away in 1 single day. I told him that if he can't handle that and is going to lose patience with my trying to work through this the best I can then there is the door. I told him if he thinks this is going away quick he's off his rocker, and there's the door. He mentioned how I'm digging into his phone records, etc and he has no insight to who I'm speaking to. I told him unlike him, I have always been an open book as I'm the one who is always at home with the girls waiting for him...so he's free to look and he'll see nothing out of the ordinary...but that he is the one that did this and he'd better be ready to give up some privacy while I do what I need to do to re-establish my own footing.
I also told him that the one non-negotiable item in all this is that he can NEVER EVER speak to that woman again. If she tries to contact him then I should hear about it and he DOES NOT respond to her at all. Not even to tell her he's not responding. NOTHING. If he saw her on the street I'd expect him to pass her by and pretend he doesn't know her at all. He said "you're not going to call and scream at her?" I told him that I've decided that she means nothing in this. He's the person that did this to me and she was just a means to an end, therefore she is nothing. Regardless of how angry I may feel at her and how much I'd like really confront her, I realize the futility of that at this time. If that changes, he'll be the first to know.
So now I'm going to try and fake it til I make it for a while. I'm determined not to yell. I like that line about learning to speak very quietly. I'm going to try very very very hard to go that route.
When I went to bed I told him that he should think hard about challenging me again because the sheer fact that he's still in this house should tell him I'm willing to at least try - no guarantees - but he's not out yet therefore I'm obviously trying to process this. Not for him...but for everyone else involved. Now, the goal today is to find some counseling - he doesn't even understand why he did this and I can't see where I'll get past this until we both know why this happened - otherwise how could he tell me it won't happen again?
For the first time in our marriage I think he looked at me like I was serious. The key has been consistency. We have good days and bad days. I just stay consistent. On good days it feels like he wants me to say "I'm so glad I decided to forgive and stay with you!" But I don't say it. Because I haven't decided to forgive him and stay with him. Sometimes he does ask me what our future is. I honestly tell him I have hope, but I also have doubts and that I am just taking it a day at a time. If he can't handle that, there's the door. There is a good possibility that I decide in 6 months that I can't do this anymore. If that isn't a risk he's willing to take, there's the door. On bad days he gets nervous that I will tell him to walk. But I am giving myself the 6 month time period to not make a rash decision. And it sounds harsh, but I don't center my life around him anymore. I did that before. Now I make us a family unit and invite him to things instead of asking him if we can do them. Everything used to be about him. Lately it has been what the family is doing and if he wants to be a part of that.
He is in IC, something your WH would benefit from. The fact that he's asking you how long you are going to be mad at him about this means he doesn't get it yet. My husband finally got it when he read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair. Unfortunately it took him 3 weeks of "how long...." before he finally got around to reading it.
[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:28 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)]