D-Day, June 10, 2012
[This message edited by doggiediva at 3:15 PM, April 10th (Thursday)]
April 16. I decided to be willing to be forgiving....told him I wanted a future together, but that forgiveness may take some time. He moved back in, and we have been going to counselling, and have been in what can only be described as a "honeymoon" phase...interspersed with my "reality checks" or "triggered interrogations".
He genuinely acts remorseful and has done everything I have asked of him so far. He has cried more in the past few months than ever in his life. He had confided some disturbing abuse that happened to him as a young boy, and the effects of feeling inadequate that followed it. I know he loves me. I can feel it. I can see it in his eyes. I really want to be able to move on...but questions keep coming up for me, and my own feelings of hurt, betrayal and not being good enough re-surface.
The problem I have is that the answers he gives to my questions are never quite the same. I do understand that the truth is a concept that has many sides to it. His truth today maybe slightly different to his truth tomorrow...(assuming he is being honest). I don't think he is trying to be difficult. Sometimes I even accept that he struggles to know or understand things himself. But when a new or different twist or turn comes up, I find myself asking more questions and finding it difficult to know what to believe and what to accept.
For example, he says that he began looking at the porn to get an idea of what other men were doing, and what they "had" (size) more than to look at the women. This he said, was because of the abuse he suffered as a child by a male family friend who was "well endowed", which caused him to question his own body and its value. He now admits that "it got out of hand" - referring to the profile on the dating site and the cybersex. My questions then were - "So what did you tell yourself as you were putting up a profile on an x-rated dating site?" "What were you looking for?" "What were you hoping to gain?" "Did you feel there was a need or desire that wasn't being fulfilled?"
But his answers only confuse me. "I wasn't looking for anything in particular...only at them." "I don't know what I wanted to gain...I was just filling in time." "No, I don't think it had anything to do with us, or that anything was missing from us."
I guess my fear is that perhaps as we have only ever had each other as partners, does he have a feeling of "missing out on variety"?
I still find it amazing that he can say "I didn't think what I was doing was hurtful." I cannot accept that. Why hide it? Why lie about it? If not for a sense of shame? Previously he has said he knew it was wrong...but kept doing it for over a year. What does that mean?
The latest question from me "You love me. You tell me I'm the only one for you - always have been, always will be the only one you ever want to touch and love and be with...so can you tell me what prompted the porn in the first place or what was the reason or why the need to look at it?"
The answer nearly made me sick. "I don't know. Isn't it something all men do?" My reply to that was "If porn is something all men do, and it leads to cybersex and/or physical sexual encounters with others, then what hope do women have for a lasting monogamous relationship with a man?...We'd better tell our daugthers and granddaughters never to trust any man, because no man deserves their trust!"...all I get from that is "no, no, no"
Previously he has used the word "curious" a lot. My question to that is "Why do you think you are curious?" I get no answer.
My gut feeling is that he does truly love me, but he lost his sense of "being a man" along the way. Not to make an excuses - (because there are none)...only me trying to get some level of understanding.. that somehow the loss of his business, the resulting bankruptcy, loss of jobs, loss of our house, living with the "secret" of childhood sexual abuse etc....built up in his mind but instead of coming to me, (the woman who has loved him throughout these life experiences, been there for him, never doubted him) he used the cheapest, most convenient way possible to stroke his own ego. He says he felt he had let me down, and needed to "make himself feel good". He says this was all about him, not me.
The result is that although I remain willing to forgive, I'm not sure it's really possible. I do love him but I see him differently and worry that he is damaged goods, and in his attempt to feel better about himself, he has damaged me and us. How can I ever trust him again? There is always a doubt, a feeling about whether he feels like he missed out on "sowing his wild oats". I feel so old, ugly and unattractive. I cannot possibly compete with all those perfect body images which are now in both our heads. Is there enough love and counselling in the world to fix my broken heart?
Sorry very long post...
The extent of it was shocking. There was clearly a lot of fantasy - the lies she told men were outrageous. But make no mistake, it was infidelity and after a time she came accept it as such.
When my WS and I met with counselors, or even when we spoke alone about his why's for A, anonymous encounters, my WH was hostile, angry and blamed me for his behavior.
My WH has never found his way out of the fog, he denies that anything is wrong with his behavior and states that he did it to survive living with me..
The problem is , if we decide to live with our WH's we have to worry about their behavior escalating to something that destroys life as we know it and in a way that makes it difficult to recover..
I have made multiple attempts to kick my WH out but he refuses to leave..I can't afford to leave for the moment, I am a retiree who isn't healthy enough to work full time...I retired after 30 years of service at work so I live off of my pension..Bare bones budget....I am determined to find a careful way to leave this marriage, hopefully without destroying my livelihood in the process..My WH has NO pension..
But I feel like I am working against the clock..
Anonymous encounters, especially those that stem from porn and cyber sex usage can result in a bad very evil outcome for anybody who indulges, especially those who indulge frequently... I hope this doesn't happen with our WH's especially before we have had the chance to dodge the line of fire..
An arrest for contact with a minor, or an arrest for contact with the anonymous person who claims that the WH forcefully touched her, raped her etc... are a couple of the worries that come to my mind..
Please be careful if you have taken him back into your home/life
[This message edited by doggiediva at 3:22 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)]
My H has the same issue, it's all been "virtual" and never a hookup (that I know of). The problem is that even if it's only virtual, how do I know it will not one day be physical? Not to mention, it's still VERY demeaning and humiliating! It's still breaking a vow! I've focused a lot on that, the vow. His vow was to keep himself only unto me...that doesn't say keep your PHYSICAL self, itself yourself. A virtual betrayal is still a betrayal of that vow.
After 4 times being caught, I'm done. My WS also know that it is wrong, and the only answer I get is "I don't know why I did it..." in 10 years that is the only answer I've ever got.
I can tell you through conversations with male friends over the years that this is NOT something all men do. I had a male friend drop his jaw when I told him about this, because he genuinely viewed it as cheating...even before I did. "All guys do it" is a cop out.
Ultimately, there is a trust issue for me. I can't trust him. And if I can't trust him online, what makes me think I can trust him in real life. That has been my deciding factor. Oh, that and he doesn't see anything wrong with it!
As you said Gotmegood April 10 How do you combat those unacceptable impulses if you don't know where they are coming from ?
It seems that a WS can use all sorts of dismissive comments like "I don't know why" and "All men want to look at women"...and even "I didn't realise it was so hurtful" and then "I knew it was wrong". Also the "I was so thoughtless". So what really goes on in their brains? Can they really believe what they are saying? Thoughtless? Really? I would say thoughtless is not offering any help around the home or forgetting a special occasion. This
is waaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy more than thoughtless.
This is infidelity, betrayal, deceit, demeaning, disrespectful and hurtful behaviour. It reveals a weak-minded, lazy, sneaky, self-centred "all about me" attitude. My experience of my darling husband was the total opposite for 38 years. The person I lived with and loved was kind, caring, loving, giving, strong, smart, sexy....my rock, my hero...(that's what I told him). We had no falling out, no sudden marital problems that I knew of, and that makes me feel like a fool for not seeing anything.
So the real pain is the stranger that I have discovered and the loss of the future I thought I would have with the man I thought I knew. I still love the original version of him but I am terrified of this other one. He tells me that one has gone for good. But where did he come from and how did he allow him to nearly destroy the only person he says he has ever or could love????
Do we ever really know our significant other? Or is there always a stranger looming?
[This message edited by doggiediva at 9:04 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)]
With 26 years of sobriety from alcohol and drugs, I tend to agree.
Addicts lie, compartmentalize, deny, fabricate, and live in a fantasy land...for a variety of reasons.
And reality is a hard pill to swallow for most addicts.
I don't know if my chicken will ever become an eagle. But rest assured, I'm going to be a phoenix. Nevermind that I am still in the ashes stage of the process.
[This message edited by bent44 at 11:21 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)]
I understand there's truth in what you say that it's not about me, it's about him. But I find myself feeling ugly, fat, old, and just not good enough. I can't compete with these gorgeous young bodies he interacted with and I shouldn't have to. I feel so ashamed that I was unable to hold his interest.
I'm furious that when the going got tough, he took care of No 1. I'm so hurt that he turned away from me to "fix his problems" (he said).
He tells me every day how much he loves me and wants a future with me. This is not a bad thing to say, it's a good thing, and yet I find I get annoyed at it. Throughout the 2 year period of porn and cybersex deceit and betrayal he told me how much he loved me. He told me how beautiful I was. So what that tells me is that he compartmentalised me in his "love" box and gave himself permission to play around with his fantasy girls having "harmless fun". So I kind of feel like a puppet on a string - when he wants me I'm supposed to be there for him. But when he wants to go off and do play, I'm supposed to be forgiving.
I find it so hard to understand how he could believe that playing around with fantasy girls on the internet was going to solve the problems in his head. He tells me he knew it was wrong, and felt ashamed of it, but obviously not enough to stop.
It is my belief that although he always told me he loved me, the love had faded somehow and he convinced himself that although it was wrong, it wasn't TOO wrong. He told me that he thought I would never find out. Does that mean it would have gone on and on? We will never know. He says it became a habit. But this is more than just a bad habit.
If he truly loved me and respected me as the love of his life, then how could he continue to do this when he knew it was wrong? The sting in this story for me was when he told me that he got nothing out of it. Really? Then why continue? Denial!!! He must have got something out of it to keep the activity and the secret going.
I've never known him to be a deceitful person. I've only ever known him to be a gentle loving caring family man. So this side of him is truly shocking.
I have been trying to be forgiving, but 4 months later and I'm feeling so sad and stuck every day. He doesn't have the answers that make sense for me and I don't know if he ever will. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. I wonder if I am strong enough to continue. I love him, but at times I look at him and feel such hurt and shame. He did a shameful thing. It hurt me terribly. It can't be undone. How do I ever get over the bitter disappointment of seeing this "stranger" in the only man I have ever loved? I feel like my faith and innocence in a happily ever after has been completely smashed. It's like I just found out Santa Claus doesn't exist and life will never be the same again.
[This message edited by 38yearstogether at 3:38 AM, July 28th (Monday)]
Unfortunately, mine never came clean. I found more and more, and he never did get 100% honest with me. He didn't admit to anything I didn't find, and even then, he lied. "Curiosity, I don't know, harmless fun, just looking at the pictures" those are not the reasons why. Those are surface admissions. They don't come anywhere near the real reason for his brokenness. Mine said the same things and he expected me to be satisfied with those for answers.
I don't think he has been 100% honest with you. I think there is more digging to do. With the type of behavior your guy has been showing, there are some really deep underlying issues going on, and they will be very difficult to get to without counseling. He has shown entitlement, self-interest, the ability to lie and deceive, a lack of compassion.....and you need to know why. Why did he feel entitled to this behavior, knowing it would hurt you (and if he says he thought it was harmless and it wouldn't hurt you, he is STILL heavy into his lies because he hid it, didn't he?)
he is saying that he did it all with the intention of improving his own performance with me
You will know if he has real remorse or not, because you will FEEL it. There is a huge difference between fake remorse and real remorse. I left my original WS because he wouldn't do counseling and wouldn't stop lying. Years later, I am with a new guy who had an EA. He has real remorse. He is digging deep into his issues and getting counseling. He is PATIENTLY ANSWERING EVERY SINGLE QUESTION I HAVE, OVER AND OVER AND OVER, AS MANY TIMES AS I NEED TO ASK.
He has not once tried to put the blame anywhere than where it belongs. He has reassured me that it had nothing to do with me or my attractiveness. He is working hard on his FOO issues and his self-esteem and his need for ego kibbles. He has put boundaries in place, without me even asking, in order to help me feel safe in this relationship again.
HUGE difference, between a remorseful WS and one that is trying to just do the minimum in order to rug-sweep and cake-eat.