-met very young (17), married at 22
-H very mother enmeshed/covert/emotional incest; he always chose to placate his mother's feelings above my own and also allowed her to verbally abuse me for decades; could never, ever set up proper boundaries with her
-Me: left home at 15, absent father, single mother too busy trying to meet men to care about her kids; worked at a massage parlor for 2 years (it was licensed, but there were happy endings)-I worked there while we were still just dating as I was in dire need on stable housing and just had no support from any family in any way
-found H using porn a few too many times....dismissed it as "all men use porn"
-after 10 years of feeling like H was not emotionally investing in our marriage and him always putting her first, I started to detach from him emotionally.
-I met a man at my work (I was a personal trainer), and started what seemed like an innocent friendship for a few months. I have to admit that I did crave verbal validation from men throughout our entire marriage that I was attractive to feel better about myself...what a pathetic weakness it was. One night I went out with the man from work, as well as my friend, to a bar and I wound up having a drunk ONS. Needless to say, the fog lifted during the act...I dissociated during the act, quit my job within the week, shut down my facebook account and literally disappeared to all casual acquaintances. I knew I would never stoop so low again. I never told H, and I reinvested all of my energy into our marriage once again.
-In June 2013, my son found some pics that he said were "bad" on his tablet. He was 11. He brought the tablet to me, and my heart sank immediately. I knew exactly what those pics were of. I checked the watermark on those pics, and sure enough, they were pictures of prostitutes from a local website. I freaked the heck out and demanded a polygraph. I needed to know. He denied that he had ever cheated and that they were just pics he didn't even know he had downloaded because he was just just clicking pics on google image search randomly before getting to his porn (which he was embarrassed to admit).
-sure enough, the pics were downloaded during a business trip he was on in May 2013, where he was in a hotel room for 3 weeks just starting up a new job
-I made him take that poly, and he failed miserably. He then admitted to a ONS with a prostitute 7 years ago (the same time period I had emotionally vacated our relationship), he also admitted to going to a massage parlor during our first year of marriage as he wanted to see what I "was doing" when I worked there while we were dating. he kept his boxers on and nothing happened. He thought that because the incident had happened so long ago, that the poly would not "catch" him...he was wrong.
-I made him take 2 more polygraphs to confirm that a) he was only with 1 hooker a single time b) has had no sexual contact with anyone else ever, or since c) that he wore a condom d) that he hadn't been looking for agencies (therefore the pics were a random occurrence)
He did pass both of those polygraphs
Here is my issue....I keep thinking that what he did was waaaaayyyyyy worse than what I did because he was essentially neglecting me our entire marriage for his mother, which led to me emotionally separating from him 7 years ago leading to my affair (which I now know is inexcusable, and 100% my choice showing poor character). My emotional separation from him entailed me sexually rejecting him, and not spending time with him as I was focused about my new job and in a sense, having a midlife crisis of sorts, soaking in all of that "validation" and attention from men at the gym. He says he felt like shit for a year, and went to a prostitute to feel wanted or needed and not rejected.
He did not end up even "finishing" (neither did I for that matter). I hate that he was a "man on a mission" to cheat, and went looking for it and paid for it out of our own bank accounts. He fucked her in a seedy motel room on his lunch hour.
Why do I still look at him "buying vagina" as being worse than what I did? I cannot seem to get over his infidelity...it is not a ONS to me as I view it more as a "pay rape" scenario as she would not have fucked him unless he paid her. It disgusts me and sickens me. ESPECIALLY since I worked in that industry to a degree, and he saw how it screwed with my head with regards to trusting and respecting men in general, and the damage to my own self-worth (it also cycled through the child abuse I suffered when I was 5 years old...in retrospect, it was such a dark, sad situation for me to be in). It was the WORST thing he could have done to hurt me...
Give it to me straight....how unfair am I being?
BTW, I made him see a CSAT as I wondered about sexual addiction due to the porn issues, but doesn't fit the criteria. I am still scared he will do it again, as there are 12,000 hookers in my area alone....the only criteria that needed to be met was that she was reasonably attractive, had a hole and was willing to let him fuck her for a couple of hundred bucks. This freaks me out. I have since been diagnosed with PTSD.
If anyone has read this far I thank you. I just need some seriously unbiased opinions....
It just makes me so sad to think of what we could have been if I was his priority, as a wife should be, all along :(
[This message edited by datura222 at 12:50 AM, January 3rd (Friday)]
I told him my story then and there. I don't believe that "once a cheater always a cheater"...and I knew that someone could make the horrific choice to cheat, and feel such immense pain and regret that it would never happen again.
Stop comparing and start learning how to deal with your A and his A as 2 separate issues, because they are. You must heal the destruction you cause while coping with the destruction he caused. That is no easy feat but it is possible. You must also deal with your FOO (family of origin) issues and gently here with you abuse. Please see an IC that specializes in infidelity and/or sexual abuse. It can help immensely. Please continue to post.
Both had DDays and TT
Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.
Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.
When you start comparing you start minimizing your own actions, you start thinking you're reason was better and so he's a worse person
which I now know is inexcusable, and 100% my choice showing poor character
Really listen to Unagie.
She's put in the hard yards, traveled the incredibly difficult road your on and become wise beyond her years for it.
There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
Do you honestly think this would have solved something? You say the words buy I don't think you really believe them so I'm going to emphasize it: he is not at fault for the A or for you leaving emotionally. When did you talk to him? When did you tell him hey we need help? When did you confront your issues instead of running away? When did you draw your hard line in the sand and tell him either we fix it or we are going to separate? Or did you rather run away and hide the issues with detachment and when that didnt work anymore an A?
Do you know where I see this going if only you were his priority? Even worse then it has so far. He would have been an emotionally secure loving husband, attentive to all your needs and you still would have done something destructive because what is broken isn't your relationship with him its your relationship with you. Thats okay we specialize in brokenness here in wayward, but the first step is taking accountability and despite your words you have yet to do that.
Did your H know you did "Happy Endings" while working there? If not does he know now?
As the other posters already have stated you need to stop comparing.
If it helps you make it more "level" think about the "Happy Endings" you did. To your H that probarbly is cheating to...
Your husband paid for his ONS with a prostitute with $200.
Your 'john' paid for his ONS by feeding you ego kibbles.
The difference? None, aside from cash versus barter.
He has not yet really shown any anger or much sadness about my affair...he says it is because he feels guilty for putting his mother first above me for 20 years and hurting me so much...I do think that the "get out of jail free card" aspect has merit to it though (I thought this myself). So, H is not quite there yet...he keeps thinking that it was the horrible state of our marriage which can explain why we cheated...I keep telling him, it shouldn't have mattered how shitty things got, the decision to cheat just shows how broken we both are and how we need to prioritize working on our own personal boundaries and issues which enabled us to deceive each other in such horrible ways.
I hope that someday, he can access his emotions and go through the grieving process as I have...he just says he processes things internally in his own way.
Anyhow, I do appreciate all of the honest responses you have all given me...I will no longer sit on my high horse thinking that what I did was less damaging.
I wish he had seen the light 10 years ago
[This message edited by MissesJai at 4:34 PM, January 6th (Monday)]
A) Stay, and let his mother literally be his "wife" and remain a doormat
I did do what I had control over in terms of trying to make it work: state my concerns, tell him my feelings, tell him consequences....I guess I was too weak to follow through with separation.
He was not ready to change. My emotional disconnect happened after we were together for 13 years.
I know now, I should have left.
[This message edited by datura222 at 4:40 PM, January 6th (Monday)]
The one thing I forgot to add is that I DID tell him how sad/upset I was at how he was treating me well before the ONS, during my emotional disconnection and leading up to the ONS so many times...I told him I was miserable, and that we should consider separation; that men were flirting with me at work; that I need to be prioritized as his wife etc etc...He would change a little, and assert boundaries with her, then relax and things would go back to shit. I am so sad that he couldn't see what was going on and chose to live in denial regarding his maternal enmeshment (this is common with mother enmeshed men)....he sees the light now...I wish he had seen the light 10 years ago :(
I get and understand that you told him you had issues with his emotional detachment towards you.
But as you have discovered, there is no "point system" When it comes to infidelity. Where does all the "I did this and I did that" come into play when you are guilty of infidelity too?
I am glad that you have come to the realization of this
[This message edited by floridaredman at 5:26 PM, January 6th (Monday)]