Let me start by saying that I appreciate your honesty and bluntness. It's strange, but hardships always seem to make me less defensive than I normally am. I guess I have come to not have any issues with asking for help over the years.
Next, let me say that I haven't been read so wrong in a very long time....it isn't your fault though. I totally realize how what I have been writing have came off that way. I have excellent ways of dealing with my anger. I am a weight lifter, so that is my normal. THIS...sitting around the house...being too depressed to move...is not normal for me. I KNOW how to release anger in a healthy way...but I am not doing it.
Next. Let me say that the "real man" rhetoric was my way of trying to give myself a pep-talk of sorts. I am the first to admit that I am a very emotionally intense individual. I am in pain...I don't have any problems showing my pain. I am comfortable with my sexuality, I am comfortable with who I am....USUALLY. THIS has rocked me to the core. I have displayed behaviors that I had never before displayed in my entire life. Example being the "real man" BS...something that has never come out of my mouth in my entire life up until this point. I had nothing to prove. I was balanced, in touch with my emotions, comfortable with my appearance, and in my own skin.
I dont feel like that at the moment. At the time that I wrote that "real man" thing...I had just snapped out of a VERY beggy, whiny, crying, pathetic display of behavior. It was like I snapped out of it, and then needed to tell myself that I don't need to be threatened by the other men, because I already know that I have more to offer my wife than they do. I am respectful towards women (and men!) and I care about others. Best of all, I know my wife better than they do. I know she loves me. I know how to make her laugh...
My goal was just to try to convince myself that I an okay dude. I'm sorry if I came off the way I did...I promise you that isn't the kind of guy I am, nor is it the kind of man I am around my wife (when I said I am starting to display that behavior...all I meant was that I am trying to gain my confidence back). My masculinity and manliness has not been given any sort of blow. My self esteem is a different story. If you only knew the amount of compassion and empathy I have shown towards my wife through this ordeal...you would laugh at yourself for saying that. I believe that I have been giving her more empathy, understanding, and compassion than the normal joe would.
My "rhetoric" is highly charged on this message board, where I can speak to other people who have gone through the same experience, and I thought that they understood where I was coming from.
My highly charged rhetoric is saved for the message boards. I don't fuck around and put on a mask for my wife. I dont play games with her. When I am sad, I am sad. When I am happy, I am happy. When I am angry, I am angry. When I am feeling insecure, I am insecure. THIS is one of the reasons I have a problem with the "180" that EVERYONE keeps pushing on me (and they are all probably right...my experience with addiction tells me that when more than one person is telling you to do something....its time to listen).
My feelings are my responsibility? Yes. Of course. I'm not sure where I put off the sort of vibe that my wife is in charge of fixing my feelings. What she is in charge of is figuring out what she needs to do to deal with the issues that made cheating look like an attractive option to begin with. I constantly tell my wife that she is doing everything she can in this marriage for the time being. RIght now, my feelings are my own. It is MY responsibility to learn, accept, and move past what has happened. What kind of betrayed spouse are you? haha. Do you honestly think that your husband and my wife's actions are completely independent from our feelings? I think it goes without saying that their responsibility is not to not FIX my feelings, but to pick up the slack for what i cannot do for us at the moment to foster a healthy environment (which means getting help for herself) where mutual respect, openness, honesty, and living for the other person can thrive. I need buddy aid. Right now, yes, she is going to be picking up the slack. I'm damn well sure we will get to my part in the fucked up marriage sometime soon....but right now I need a friend right now. I need to see that she understands her actions and the impact they had on her loved ones. I need to see the shame in her eyes. I need to know that she knows she is so much better than that. I need her to NEVER. EVER. think that any action she took during that time period was reasonable. I need to see certain actions out of my wife so I can see that she is still in this. Right now she isnt trustworthy. I cant just take her word for it that she is committed again. She needs to take the majority of the action if she would like prove her remorse and commitment to her husband, and not to random dudes in a bar. I guess maybe we differ in that realm, because I guess I am kinda saying that...yeah. She needs to win me back.
You dont really think that I put her on "probation" do you? I really hope that you have more hope in the human race than to think that I would actually say that to my wife. My partner. She isnt my child. I have zero authority over her. In fact, I encourage her to look within and ask herself if she has any sort of doubt in her heart that I am the right man. If not, I highly encourage a split...the use of the word probation was more for me. I need to see actions out of my wife so I can be assured that she is still in this. I told her from the start...when she attempted to cook me dinner, and do all of these nice things for me...that she is NOT my slave. Just because she made a mistake...doesnt mean I get a slave for the next however long. I dont want that. I want trust. I want love. I want EQUALITY.
I DONT WANT TO HAVE TO SPY ON HER. I HATE IT. It is not fun for me in any sort of way. I am not that kind of guy. So trust me..."probation" is not the vibe around here.
Codependency, love addiction, and counseling for what I have put her through during my addiction are all things that I have discussed with her and she starts counseling this weekend. Man, you could not be more right on with that one. When I left for treatment, she slept for 15 hours straight. After that...she didnt talk to anybody, didnt write down her feelings, did absolutely ZERO self care and reflection. Pushing down those emotions, and simply trying to let the past be the past without dealing with it was a huge contributing factor in clouding her judgement.
Again, I truly do thank you for your candor. I dont know if any of that made any sense...but I wanted to make a few things clear. I think if my wife could speak in this board to all of you, she would tell you that she doesnt understand how anybody could be as empathetic and kind as I am to her right now.
All too often, people try to build the hurt person's ego. I got upset last night because I read some texts between my wife and one of her friends. She told one of her friends what happened, and instead of the friend being honest with her and saying "Wow, yeah you really messed up. You need to be doing ______" the friend said "Aw. Well...we are human and we make mistakes. He put you through a lot so......"
Is that some kind of sick joke? So what...I deserved this? First of all, I found out recently that her unfaithful behavior has been going on before I even had a relapse in my addiction. Before our marriage had suffered the blow of that horrible time. SO....how am I to blame for this? I dont get people.
JB, Nora, Susan, Nikki, and Victory.
Thank you so much for your words. and THANK YOU for agreeing with me on the MC. That blew my mind. Really? Just let it go? Stop wondering who I am married to? Oh. Okay. Here's your $200.00. Thank you for your counseling. Although I thought it was shitty advice....I kinda realized last night that she is sorta right. I should save the money for a P.I. sometime a little bit down the road when she isnt suspecting it and maybe im suspicious. It is officially the worst it could be for me. There really isnt anything that she couldve done that is worse than what I already know that would make me leave her. So whats the point. I know our marriage is full of lies. At this point I guess it is time for me to end the snooping into the past phase, and start working on the dealing with the present phase.
I will end this with a little update and I also have a couple of questions maybe you guys can answer. First of all, she still has been doing excellent. She is showing remorse, and I truly believe she is ashamed of herself. Which is what I wanted...I wanted her to feel some of the pain I was feeling....but now that I see it, I just feel bad. I dont want her to be in pain. I love her. So pretty much we are at the point where theres nothing she can do besides do what she's doing.
My first questions is about STDs. I am wondering if any of you experience this type of feeling. First of all....I am still very very upset that she put me at risk like that. We had sex during the time she was having unprotected sex with a stranger. At any point she couldve stopped me from going down on her....or stopped me right before we had sex and said 'wait...i cant put you in danger like this. I have something to tell you...." But she put her own desires for pleasure over my health. She got tested....once while they were having sex (stupid...the incubation period hadnt even passed). and then once, five months later their last encounter when I found out about it. My issue is that I feel very uncomfortable having unprotected sex with her. Even though both tests came back clean...i have this irrational fear that she is dirty still.
I feel like It's important to say that my wife and I have NEVER used a condom. She was on birth control for the majority of our marriage, I was always very....disciplined in knowing when things were happening, and we knew our sexual histories before our first date (we were 18). In fact, I was the only man she had ever had unprotected sex with on the norm. I was definitely the only man until recently that had ever..............finished...........inside. Which is a huge blow to the purity of our sex life. STD's were just never something that I had to worry about, and it was awesome. We used to talk about how cool it was that we didnt have to worry about being single and getting nasty sex diseases. I feel like she for sure spoiled it.
So anyway, I bought condoms today which is really sad to both of us...first of all, she thinks it is completely irrational because she tested neg on all of her screens...second of all, i just think its sad that I even have to think of it. Also, STD panels dont test for EVERYTHING. and somethings dont even manifest until 6 months after exposure. Am I right to be worried? Am I right to want to protect myself? She seems to think it's silly. She says if its about symbolism and something I need to do to make myself feel better, she is totally okay with it...but if I am truly worried that I am going to catch something from her, she thinks it is silly. Something that was a HUGE turn off for me for a while was that she contracted Bacterial Vaginosis. BV isn't an STD, but it is sexually facilitated. It can show up because of a sudden change in sexual partners, or multiples. Basically, the normal flora is used to getting the same thing...then when some random dick comes rears its ugly *head* it disrupts the environment and things go haywire. Needless to say....it wasnt a very.....pleasant....experience. Another factor that was thrown in the mix is that she left a tampon in for like 4 days straight (completely by accident...first time its ever happened to her). She had double stacked the tampons and shoved one really far up there, and had no idea about it until I........."found" it.....up there. (haha....you could imagine my reaction when I felt something foreign in there....she didn't even believe me at first). So....it vary well couldve been one, or it couldve been the other, or it couldve been both that caused the BV. But my point is....that whole thing definitely didnt help the situation for me. It definitely didnt help with the whole me feeling like our sex impure thought.
My second question is probably way TMI. But....I am having a very very difficult time reaching orgasm. I have to admit...and I understand the whole HB thing...and im kinda loving that part of this whole thing. Sex is the best it's ever been. But...I just cannot reach orgasm. I feel like I am going to, but then....I don't know...the anxiety takes over....or a thought creeps in....or I feel judged or rushed....or something...i know it is ALL in my head, but I just cannot orgasm. Which sounds awesome to some people...i mean it is very very pleasurable still...it's not like it doesnt feel good enough. But everybody knows that at a certain point..it starts to get to that "okay...I am ready to kinda be done" moment. It's nothing to do with libido, or desire or whatever...it's just that sex for TOO long starts to get raw and tiring. It's the weirdest thing. Anybody else relate? I am sorry....that was a huge long post, and I'm not even going back to edit it....so a lot is probably ridiculous.
and I realize there was TMI....but It's not like I know, or will ever meet you people. haha.
Thank you everybody.