I discovered something was amiss near the end of September. We were traveling and I had to use WH's laptop and saw a suspicious email. At that time, I thought it was an EA, as I thought the OW lived in another state. That was easily the most painful moment in my life...reading my hubby tell another woman he loved her. WH assured me no PA had occurred. At that time, a false R started...complete with blame shifting and major defensiveness. I demanded NC and transparency. Apparently the first was easier than the second, which kept my guard up. WH did finally begrudgingly give me passwords, and I would keep finding odd things--but when I'd ask, I'd get more defensiveness. Finally, on D-Day, I demanded he hand over his cell. I was looking for clarification on a weird hotel survey, but instead found a text convo with his best friend...where they were joking about how messed up it was that his wife's friend who he'd screwed was babysitting our kids overnight while we went out for our anniversary. That is easily the most horrifying moment in my life.
Even then, he denied...told me I was crazy. It was a joke. I had email confirmation from my friend in less than 5 mins tho--she was so sorry, it was only once. He'd told her we had an open marriage.
I kicked him out that day. We texted later, and I told him he owed me full truth. At that time, he admitted to having sex with my friend, another ONS on a work trip, and a LTA with a girl he met off the Internet.
We spent a few days apart, then agreed to talk more and consider trying to R. I insisted on NC, which he agreed to and has honored. But during the false R, there was a bit of minimal contact (not really with LTA OW, but with a fourth woman he was texting constantly, and another woman he tried to have sex with on a trip but it fell through.)
I also asked for transparency again, and at that time, he agreed and gave me passwords to all of his active accounts. He also installed spyware on his phone, and started IC. Started MC in Nov.
But still, the TT. Not about sex partners, but just about everything else--like his AM and other dating accounts, the email account he used for them (and tried to delete when I found the account), whether or not he ever met anyone else on AM (he did--3 different girls for coffee), the extent on the LTA, specific outings with the LTA OW, etc, etc.
I *think* this finally came to an end the weekend before Christmas. I lost it when yet another new thing came to light. At that time, he did more research, read how damaging TT is, and finally came clean on the details.
Right around that time, I realized what a messed up person the OW is. She commented on hubby's FB off and on for the entire year--noting the shirt he wore in one photo (it came from a race they did together), commenting on photos of our kids. She also left a really nasty review on a book I wrote...months before it debuted. I always thought it felt personal and weird...turns out, I was right in thinking that. If this experience has taught me anything, it's always trust your gut. That was also one of the most painful betrayals, for some weird reason--knowing that WH had allowed her to friend him and basically try to humiliate me right under my nose. That seems almost more disrespectful and cruel than the rest to me. Isn't that bizarre?
Despite how painful the truth was (the LTA was more extensive than I thought), it's also a huge relief. The pervasive sinking feeling in my gut has dissipated so much, and all of his defensiveness is gone. No more telling me that my digging is what's keeping us from moving forward. No more angry outbursts. Only patience and remorse.
It doesn't make any of this easy, but it definitely makes it a little less crazy-making.
Still hurting, still having anxiety issues and occasional panic attack. My self-esteem has taken a huge beating, and I no longer feel safe. Many days, it's a challenge just to get out of bed. I had no idea something like this could be so utterly devastating.
If you'd asked me before if I'd ever stay with my husband under these circumstances, I would have laughed. I love him, we have kids, and I think we have the potential to have a much better, even amazing marriage, if we can live through this. Some moments, it's just so incredibly hard.
Sorry for the babble-a-thon---thanks for reading.
Welcome. I'm sorry you're here. I don't feel well versed enough to give you any advice yet, as I don't have my own stuff sorted out, but I wanted you to know that you've been heard.
Some more experienced board members will come along, I'm sure.
Remember to take care of yourself and drink enough water! That's something I still struggle to remember to do.
I edit, therefore I am.
You know i have a little beanie type hat that says "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." I bought it recently. Haven't seen the movie but know the theme. It's a cult film for a reason indeed!
I actually have a very unremorseful WS so my reaction to your note was at first how lucky she is that her husband is coming clean, no more TT, remorse, etc. And yet I don't want to minimize your pain, because even WITH a remorseful spouse this stuff is wicked!!!!
I've heard from folks who have had remorseful spouses and talk of it being very, very hard even while they feel that they are slowly getting to a truly better part of their marriage.
I hope the same happens for you!
I don't have advice really since my situation is quite different; only that i hope you and your husband are receiving some sort of outside counsel to help you navigate this terrain and hopefully find a way back to eachother in a way in which You are able to feel safe and without anxiety.
Is there anything else he can do to help you feel safe?
hugs to you!
Agony, I'm so very sorry to hear that your spouse is not yet remorseful. I had that feeling off and on for the 3 months before WS came clean, so I know what a terrible feeling it is. Wishing you lots of strength and love to get through this.
I do feel more positive now, overall, but it's still so hard sometimes. I feel brutalized when I look back at how he treated me this past year---lots of angry outbursts, telling me what a terrible wife I was. Telling me what a sacrificing husband he was. Trying to con me into an open marriage, saying he was just offering it up to me to kick start my libido, and he didn't expect the same arrangement (yeah, right)--then retracting the offer when he thought it over and decided, oh crap--me having sex with others didn't really fit into his plan. The manipulation is horrifying.
He likes to argue via email, so I've gone back and re-read, trying to piece together my real life over the past year. I was dealing with a son with school issues and a very sick mom with Stage 3 cancer (the entire family leaned on me, since I worked in health care field for awhile). My career was also stressful this past year, so during the summer, I really devoted myself to my family and marriage, bc I felt guilty for not having as much time. It makes me sick to think about it now. I included the friend my WS had sex with (in our bed) on several group dates. He texted her and others constantly...even during solo date nights...like our anniversary.
I feel like there is no safe place for him to go. He cheated from work ("working late"). He cheated or met women on every work travel trip. He met a woman when visiting his family this summer (a trip we all were supposed to go on, but didn't bc he decided it was too expensive). He talked inappropriately to countless women he use to know via Facebook. One of them is the one he met while visiting family this past summer ( they had lunch, then he rented a hotel room a few days later, but it fell through.). We actually just flew back to visit his family last night. Not looking forward to the triggers.
I know I am lucky, but the TT is hard to recover from. He lied to my face, time and time again these past few months. During the first 3 week false R, I busted my butt to work on the relationship, while he texted girls and hopped back on AM.
I don't even know how to trust him again. Right now, I'm trusting his actions (not his words, bc I know how reliable those are)-- but I feel like I'm tiptoeing around, just waiting for the next bombto drop.
As far as feeling safe--one thing he offered up was a marriage settlement agreement, that he would pre-sign, giving me the majority of our assets. I haven't agreed to it, but I appreciate his thought.
Another thing I think I might do is write up my own contract, spelling out exactly which behaviors are deal breakers going forward and the consequences if the contract is breached. Has anyone tried this? Is it a good/bad idea? He is agreeable to signing.
I should probably also mention that WS most likely has raging ADHD. He has attempted to self medicate for years--so one of the stipulations is an eval and appropriate treatment. He engaged in other risky behaviors this past year (reckless driving, prescription drugs, financial f*** ups), so I do think it's relavant to us moving forward. It's like he completely went off the rails.
Thanks so much for your empathy with my situation. I'm actually doing reasonable okay (at least today) and it's been absolute hell getting here!
You've been through a lot!!! Sorry about your sick mom!!! Really sorry, and also for the challenges with your son. You've spelled out a lot of things about your husband....
having to piece togehter real life
texting OW during anniversary
cheating at work, travel, family trips
repeated lying to face
living in fear of next bomb
risky behaviors - reckless driving, prescription drugs, financial irresponsiblity
I could make a similar list. And I was willing to forgive and move forward even before he started to show remorse, which he never did so I stopped wanting to be with him. But what i realize now is that ... sometimes too much is too much. We want soooo much for our marriages to work that we make TOO many compromises, compromising ourselves, our own boundaries, our own values... we sort of disappear. I know I did. I let my wants and needs and values fade into the background, all for the sake of a man who basically treated me poorly . And now 14 years later, i'm like OMG, why oh why did I do that? Boundaries, self-esteem, wantng the relationship so badly, love, home, all that.
Aside from the bad things, what are the really really good things about him and you and your marriage?
As far as the marriage settlement and assets, that is a very nice gesture and it would be in your interest to explore it with your IC and an attorney. I would say that despite his remorse you are still dealing with a person who has a very (very) great deal of work to do on himself to get to be a husband that you deserve. What if he can't do that? Many try, but just can't. Why they can't, it depends, but it's happens more often than actually being able to do the work and do the healing. And if he can't be a good husband, and you cannot tolerate more brutality, where will you be? It's not about the money, but it can't hurt either to be solvent. You are probably generous to a fault (?) like I am (was?). Start looking after your own interests. I would follow up with this because everything is in up in the air, even if he's showing remorse.
I don't want to scare you. I just want you to be smart and take whatever steps you need to take to PROTECT yourself while you are living in uncertainty, which is exactly where you are no matter the remorse shown. Remorse is essential and it's only the first step. Protect yourself in case he can't!