I guess it's time to finally become an active member of this amazingly helpful site. I have been coming here for almost 2 months. Sad that i had to find this site, but as a BS, i needed to find some kind of relief, help, support, and acknowledgement that i'm indeed not going crazy and that its normal to feel like my world just shattered along with the bazillion of emotions that hit me all at once. I'll do my best to summarize my story. My WH and I have been together for 14 years, married almost 7 years. We have 2 amazing children. My biggest supporters and encouragers to keeping it together. 2012, WH found a new job. Thought it was going to be such a great turn around for us, more money, more movement for advancement for him and easier to be a SAHM. Little did i know this was going to be the start of my nightmare. WH is a very friendly and his personality just draws anyone towards him. This although great, has also been a source of a lot of our discussions as his approach on things just sends the wrong message to women. Hes very attentive and just a very approachable guy. As a woman, I know how desirable this trait is in a guy. Seems like he was not feeling all that checked into our marriage, unhappy, stressed, depressed, pressured, unwanted, all to which i had no idea about until a couple of months later, which i addressed and worked on as soon as i was informed. I know we were having a bit of a hard time, but I blew it off to the stresses of parenthood and having just had a new baby. In Jan 2013, he became close friends with a COW. WH started coming home, a little too excited when he would talk about her. This behavior started putting up my red flags. I told him how it made me feel, etc. He decided to take the approach of just hiding it all from me. For the entire time. until DDay Jan 2014, we had SO many issues about this topic. So many red flags were waving with flames on them. I tried numerous times, telling him to stop. How disrespectful it all felt for me, you name it, i told him. I think it was over 8 times that i told him he had to stop any form of communication with her. He would either tell me that he told her to not talk to him, but then it would restart, or that he hadnt heard from her, that he had only gone once to lunch with her but that didnt do it again because he knew how i felt about it,(turned into TT. Truth was that it happened numerous times) but overall she was just a really good friend. I even tried meeting her since she was supposedly such a good friend, but he shut that down very quickly. I can give a book full of examples of red flags and excuses that were given. I heard it all as im sure SI has too. During that year, he completely changed, he felt distant, he was meaner to me, he had a short fuse with the kids. He just wasnt the man i married but for fear of losing him, i blamed myself and with his help, I felt like i was the one causing all of our problems for my "unjust" insecurity. I became very good at being in denial. My gut screamed otherwise but i would usually muffle it with thoughts that he would never cheat on me. It had to be the extra stress of it all. That he knew better, as he saw his parents go thru the same thing. During that time, i kept trying to play it cool, I put in 200% of the work to address his issues, lack of intimacy, feeling loved, etc, I made sure his needs were met despite how i felt, emotionally, mentally and physically, plus the duties and sleep exhaustion of being a SAHM and being the only one doing night duty. I tried the best way i could, by talking to him and telling him how he might be leading her on and he just kept denying saying he wasnt doing anything like that and she wasnt that type of person. So many times, he worried more about how it was going to make OW feel then how it made me feel. Again, i was very much in denial. Deleted texts, emails, phone calls, just friends, locked phone, change of passwords, all ways to protect himself, or rather how he stated, to avoid any conflicts with me, yet i was the crazy one, the one causing all of our problems, that my insecurity and lack of trust for him was making him feel trapped. He told me the "ive changed, i need space, i feel trapped, life is a rountine" speech. During this time as well, as a way to help us out, more for myself since i couldnt shake of this feeling of something not being right, *SMH* (i knew better, but kept denying) we went to MC. We said what we had to say, and he kept his story of it being just a friend. Even convincing the MC that he hadnt done anything and how i had to realize that he was a good guy just going down a slippery slope. Little did i know, that he had already betrayed me by then. We came out of it with the conclusion that he was starting to enter an EA. He said he would step away because he didnt want to break us up for something that he has no intentions with and how he wants to become a better spouse and partner. ETC.
DDay came almost 2 months ago. Almost a year to the day that they started. I found a text where he told her he loved her. That was it for me. I confronted and he claims it was just 2 kisses and both times felt awkward. Once before MC and the other one after. I demanded access to our phone account since that too he kept away from me with no access. I had demanded this before but he never gave me the info. Said i didnt need it, and that it was all his privacy and that he wasnt going to allow his privacy to be invaded. Joint account by the way. I settled for it, because i had no solid evidence or proof, just speculation and gut feeling but just not enough. After a few days of him going around the bush with this topic about wanting access and telling him this was my deal breaker. He finally gave in and gave it to me. He spoke to OW numerous times a day, for hours at a time. To work, from work, during lunch, during the day, etc. On our special days, saw how he would call me first for a minute or two, would hang up and then call OW immediately and talk until he pulled up into the driveway. WH works an hour away with traffic taking up to 2 hours to get home. Every day, minus most weekends, he would speak to OW. Nothing you havent heard on SI. Even ignoring my calls, or hanging up with OW, picking up my call, saying he was driving and just had a headache, needed to focus, listening to music, talking to his mother, etc. Excuses excuses.
Fast forward, obviously after it was brought to light and i also called OW to which i told her never to talk to him again, I found out about a month later that he had sent her an email a day or so after DD. I wasnt able to see it all, but just it starting out as , "i know i shouldnt be doing this but i want to apologize...". I had asked during that time frame if there was anything else or any form of contact. All answered with a no. She even left the job earlier then her last day because it made her feel uncomfortable. Boohoo. Upon this relevation, he said i was never meant to find it because once he sent it, he deleted it. It was a long time ago, (barely 3 weeks from DD) so he didnt remember what was on it plus it wasnt like OW answered back. ETC. From the few snippets he can barely remember, it certainly wasnt a NC letter but more of a sorry and good luck with your life, crap load i think. During that time, I began reading, "after the affair". I even got him to read a little. I thought we had made progress. Then this email came to light and it was DD#2. I was back to square 1.
To this day, we havent gone to MC or IC, because its expensive and not feasible right now. I figured the more i can read and we communicate, "its better then nothing". He also said he didnt want to do MC again because its a waste of time and they will tell us everything he already knows we should be doing. I kinda agree, since he was so good at lying thru it the first time. WH has been telling me things, has mentioned if anyone said or done anything strange, when he sees i'm having a hard time, for the most part he will give me a hug and try to comfort me. He says he understands that I will be needing time to regain his trust and to heal. For the most part he has tried to answer my questions, but not without it becoming a TT at first. Recently when i bring it up again about any triggers ive had or thoughts or questions, he sort of shuts down. He'll listen, respond but then tells me how he doesnt want to talk about it and how he cant understand why I cant just move forward. To him this "talking about it" just sets us back. He tells me he has done a good job not thinking about OW or the situation but every time i bring it up, he is reminded about OW. I obviously dont want to do that as i would rather OW fall off the edge of the world, so i try not to bring it up. I have been reading SI for weeks now, trying different approaches, and ways to heal together. We have had more good days then bad over all, but the thoughts havent stopped crossing thru my mind during the day, every day.
Last night, after seeing a suggestion on a previous post, while he was on the phone, i said, "lets go thru it together". I figured it was something we could do together, so i wouldnt have to feel like im sneaking into his phone whenever hes not around. Its no surprise to him that i will check his phone when theres an opportunity, although ive done good at not doing it for a couple of days. He immediately got all weird and said, no, theres no reason for you to go thru my phone. I said, are you serious? And hes like yeah, it's my phone, you dont have to go thru it, theres no reason, hes not doing anything.....he turns it off and puts it on his side.
So here I am, baffled. Here I thought he truly understood the reasons, to which i have been an open book about, to why i do the things i do and what i require from him. After his EA/PA, this wasnt the reaction I expected, again, as i thought he understood. I have tried not bringing up the topic as much just to not make it uncomfortable and now hes has a problem accepting that i dont trust him and how I just cant take his word for it and why im still dwelling on it all. I dont think that there has been communication again, but then again, ive became a pro at being in denial and hes pretty good at lying. I want to say that this was suddenly, but realistically it's not. I just thought we were making progress. Is there any way to help him understand that it's all a part of me feeling better? He said to me this morning, after i brought it up again and told him i felt about what happened, that he doesnt have anything to hide and that i could use him phone whenever i needed it, but i shouldnt be snooping thru it. *Mind blown* How does he not get that, his word isnt that reliable right now for me? Tomorrow will be 2 months, but it seems for him that its been enough time to trust him and stop going thru his things. Am i missing something? Should i stop telling him my thoughts, my triggers, my questions? Should I not be confiding in him? Is that too much for him to handle? I have no idea.
These stupid triggers come when i least expect or want them too. And its unfortunate that OW has the same name as the month my daughter was born. Shes excited for her birthday and mentions it all the time. Not to mention tv, radio etc says this month all the time. How can i make that stop too from being a trigger?
To answer your question, are you still in denial? Perhaps. And the fact is, there really is nothing you can do to keep him from swimming in the toilet, if he wants to, he will find a way. The only thing you can control right now is you. I know this is not so easy, I failed at it miserably many times and was hurt to the depths of my soul, depths I never even knew I had.
So I would stop telling him how I feel, stop talking about the M. Lay out your line in the sand and your demands, along with the consequences of violations. And you might remind him that those who have nothing to hide hide nothing.
For starters, I would tell him that you will not tolerate 3 in your marriage. Is COW married? If so, I would let her husband know what she has been up to, do not tell your husband ahead of time, just do it. I would also assume that there has been more contact than "just kissing." This was also true in my situation, sadly.
I suggest you look up the 180 and implement it like yesterday. If he wants to stay married to you, he must meet your demands, i.e., give you access to the phone records (!!), no contact with COW, all passwords and access to all electronic devices and records.
As part of the 180, he should be sleeping on the couch or spare room, you no longer cook or clean for him, do not do his laundry, any small niceties you usually perform on his behalf should stop. You do not engage in conversation (only about kids and finances). You are disinterested in him, his comings or goings, whether he speaks with COW or anyone for that matter. You simply appear not to care. You get all dressed up and leave the house as soon as he gets home. If he asks where you are going, you say "out..." When will you return? "I don't know..." Be vague, and fall apart once you leave, if you have to. Even if you just go and sit in your car someplace or wander around the mall, just remove yourself from his presence.
It is so difficult, I know. And if you fall off the horse, you can still get right back on. Sending you big hugs, and hang in there, be strong. You can do this. Take care.
Hon, you cannot repair the marriage alone. You cannot make him change. He is not taking any initiative. You are trying to do all the work for both of you.
He has absolutely no respect for you. he probably thinks you would never in a million years leave him. He is never going to respect you and give you the marriage and treatment you deserve unless you kick him out, meet with a lawyer, tell him youre tried of being treated like this and cheated on, and tell him there's better out there FOR YOU.
I know you want your marriage, I know you want your husband. Well, he's already left. He doesn't even comprehend the pain you are in. He wants to just RUGSWEEP!!! He isn't listening to your feelings and your pain. God, what an enourmous ARSE he is hon.
I don't believe for one second he is not still in contact with the OW (or perhaps a new or 2nd OW). He's hiding something - either a secret phone, communicating thru apps, secret email, etc.
You should put a VAR in his car. Its clear he does most communicating while in the car during his 1-2 hour commute.
Im so sorry hon, but this is not over and your marriage is not going ANYWHERE with him acting like this. I can FEEL your pain in your writing and it makes me so very sad, you deserve so much better than this.
Edith, I'm sorry to hear that you too have been thru similar scenario. It sucks to be in this position and only wish it never had to come to this. :(
It's definitely difficult beyond comprehension how hard it is to step back and just watch him possibly rethrow our M into the garbage for his selfish needs. I'm aware, from what I have gathered thru SI that it was all a recipe for disaster. I keep trying to convince myself that she wasn't anything special, although he sure did protect her enough. But if it wasn't her it could've been anyone willing to show him some attention and a different world from ours. She isn't married but has a bf. I have thought about bringing it to his attention and WH said if that's what I wanted to do then I could but that it just scared him a bit that if he was anything like how OW described and that he's a cop, it makes him nervous what the guy can do to him. Personally he shouldn't have gotten involved in trying to be her shining knight and it might serve him right to be scared though he should be more scared of me, on top that this woman was probably blowing smoke to make herself look more , oh poor me! I decided against contacting him for the sake of our family and kids. What if this guy is a psycho? Do I really want to put us in that kind of situation for the sake of a bf/gf relationship?
He has also given me access to the phone account few days after dd1. Her number was blocked as well but yes, if there's a will, there's a way. Especially from his work since there's no way control or access that. The fear is always there that he has remained in communication thru his job and work email or like it's been mentioned, a secret phone. I have found it weird but for the sake of sanity hope that the no activity on his phone most mornings and evenings is sincerely a phone less ride home/work. I hope that there isn't more behind the scenes.
I know he's genuinely a nice guy but has allowed himself to be sweep up by nonsense. He just keeps saying he saw her as just a really good friend and that they had a lot in common.
He has shown moments of when he looks like he is remorseful but then some of his behavior or promises just takes me back to the entire year where he was able to lie to my face without making me think twice of his actions.:(
It's been excruciating dealing with the fact that our marriage as I knew it was destroyed. That blissful, naive, happily invincible, not going to happen to us, world, is no longer there. Im trying to grieve for what that was and trying to make mends with our "new" M.
I completely agree with you saying that I'm doing all the work. I feel it too. I have been the one to initiate. I have been the one reading and looking into literature that can be helpful to our situation. I have been the one to tell him what I need for him to do for xyz situations. Like show me affection when you see I'm struggling. I have sent him emails with links as well as telling him what chapters of the book I think he should read. He never finished reading what I sent him. He says he's just exhausted from work and is not a book person. I've offered to read it to him. I've asked him how he's doing, feeling, etc. trying to let him vent to me but this is probably the multitasker in me doing more then I can handle or should handle.
A while ago someone posted about coming to a realization that if roles were reversed how they would still prefer to be a bs than a ws. Frankly, given that opportunity I would rather be a WS then a BS. No way do I want to experience this again. I'm more of a pleaser so probably reconciling as a ws would be easier for me. Plus I got to be selfish :/
I'm just hurt to having been thrown into this mess despite all the warnings I gave him. Obviously he didn't listen :(
You're very right. He definitely lost respect for me.
WH is a very friendly and his personality just draws anyone towards him. This although great, has also been a source of a lot of our discussions as his approach on things just sends the wrong message to women. Hes very attentive and just a very approachable guy. As a woman, I know how desirable this trait is in a guy.
Honestly, I kinda quit reading right there.
As you explained, you've been making excuses and enabling the behavior as not being within his control. If you can't bring yourself to demand boundaries, accountability and passwords, then get used to being the second choice,... or pack his bags and leave them on the porch.
God bless you. I know your pain
I would have to say 'yes, you could be in denial'. This guy is doing his utmost to manipulate you, constantly, and you're playing into his hands. As Edith said, you NEED to implement the 180 if you want to save your marriage. Take charge, take control and make him work his fingers to the bone to earn your trust, respect and love.
Marriage = no more privacy
Infidelity = no more privacy x1000 (no iffs buts or maybes)
A softly softly approach is never going to work with him. He will do enough to appease you and nothing more so you need to raise the bar. Show him that you're not prepared to be his doormat.
[This message edited by Credence at 5:35 PM, March 14th (Friday)]
I'm so very sorry. My stbx is charismatic too---short-term. Most people figure him out quickly; I am a special brand of stupid, and did not. Or, really, did not want to, and tried very hard to make excuses.
It's hard to face the truth, that a man exploits others, including yourself, until people figure him out or he no longer finds them usefu (whichever comes first). Let me tell you something: it took over THIRTY years for my utility to expire. That's a lot of time lost to a marriage that was never (in retrospect) one in which I was valued.
PLEASE be honest with yourself. If there is a relationship to reconcile, certainly do your best, if that's your desire. But if you have a remorseless man for whom excuses are still being made long after d-day, consider that you might be better off---despite whatever obstacles you might face (financial, etc)---without him in your life.
You say that counseling is expensive and not feasible. I am NOT a proponent of early MC with remorseless WSs; I think it is soul-crushing for the BS and can cause enormous harm. BUT, IC is really helpful. Really, the only person whose thoughts, feelings, and behavior you can impact is yourself--and finding new coping strategies and learning new ways to look at things (in IC) can be really helpful. In your shoes, I'd try to find a way to make that happen. (And of course, I'd continue to post here.)
ETA: That his OW no longer works in the same place is immaterial. If he's refusing to let you see his phone, he's still in his affair with her. Guaranteed.
[This message edited by solus sto at 7:35 AM, March 15th (Saturday)]
I need to find the strength to be demanding of the respect I deserve
This ^^^^ is your answer, in your own words. You need to stick up for yourself, tell him the "friendship" ends and he becomes transparent or show him the door. You are his wife, for whom he should forsake all others. Be strong!
If your WH won't let you see the phone and you still think it's over? Yeah, you're in denial.
He is not remorseful. He is definitely still cheating on you even if only emotionally at this point.
And guess what, he's not a nice guy anymore. Stop making excuses for him and figure out what your boundaries are and what the consequences will be to him for breaking them.
You cannot 'nice' him into being with you. And you have to be willing to lose the M to save it.
Stop believing that he is trying, because he's not. He's just continuing to lie and gaslight you.
I'm SO sorry. You don't deserve this.