My WS has joined here at my request. He was reading posts to me here in attempts to show he was trying to take steps to be a better person. I told him he needs to do more than just read -- he needs to take action to prove it. So I told him to join here and post. He did. And it seems to be providing him some information/support that he needs. He thinks it would be a good idea for me to seek information/support of people that have had issues such as ours as well. Maybe it will be helpful?
Right now I am feeling numb emotionally. I've been like this for the most part. I've never really been a person to really express emotion. I've always had to be a strong person growing up. Right now I believe that I should still be feeling hurt and betrayed right now. I feel like I should be disgusted by my husband and not want to talk to him anymore. But I don't feel anything. And I do want to talk to him. And I want to make our marriage work.
But I'm afraid. This is the second time he has cheated on me.
Maybe my WH will read this and see things the way I see it, unfiltered. This is just going to be a mind dump for me. Hopefully it helps. I never really talked to anyone about this before. Maybe I can figure something out while I type this. Maybe I just dump out what happened to have it out there.
The first time was an EA about a year and two months ago. We hadn't been communicating like we had when we first met/got married in a long time. WH thought I didn't care about him anymore. He wouldn't listen to me when I would try to talk to him. It was always at the "wrong time" or he just didn't really want to hear my rambles. So he somehow started talking to one of my then friends. He says it began by her asking for help with some computer issues. And they just kept talking. She asked to meet; and he went. They never had sex, but they did make it to at least making out. He says he would have gotten to the point of a PA if I didn't catch on.
I knew something was wrong for a bit, but I couldn't place my finger on it. I really worried when I was sure I smelled perfume on his clothing and he wouldn't let me go shopping with him one Saturday evening. I cried that Saturday. I knew something was wrong. Thankfully my baby(10) was upstairs playing his games or whatever. I just laid in bed and cried.
I don't know how I did it, but I got the nerve to ask my WH point blank if he was cheating on me. He actually admitted it! He wouldn't tell me who it was at first, but I got it out of him. He was prepared to leave me for OW right then. He spent most of the evening on the phone messaging her and trying to comfort her. She was married and had at least 4-5 kids. (All under the age of 7.) She was afraid I was going to tell her husband. I listened to my husband and realized he was feeling lost and alone. He thought I didn't care anymore. And I understood that as I had felt like that at one point. I felt like I couldn't be mad at him. I had an unintentional EA about 7 years ago. I too had felt ignored by my WH. I didn't seek someone to talk to, but someone found me online that lived over 1000 miles away. I cut it off when I realized what was going on and why I did what I did. I gave all my attention to my husband and son at that point. But my WH never realized I was now there for him to help be his support again in any way I could.
I had never told him about my EA. So I took this chance to come clean and told him. I told him I understood feeling lonely. And I understood how it could feel to talk to someone about all those little things and feel special. I couldn't be angry at him for that. I had been there. I didn't mean to go there, but I had been there. I was so afraid though at that point. WH did not want me at that point. He wanted the OW. He gave his attention for the all of that night to her on the phone through messages. It hurt. My WH's wanting the OW over me at that point is what hurt me the most. They didn't want anyone else to know. And they wanted to be able to talk to each other still. She was to leave on a cruise within a day or two with her husband. They wanted that week off to see how they felt about each other when they couldn't talk for seven days. They wanted me to be quiet while they figured this out.
The second morning I decided that no, I was not going to wait around at their mercy. He was MY husband. I would fight for him. And yes, he did cheat on me. He had met her more than a few times. And if I didn't confront him about it and get this out of him, then they would have done more than just spend time making out. I decided to take things in my own hands by going to the OW's husband. I told them what my WH and his wife had been doing. And then I went to the bank and took most of our savings and put it into another account in my name only.
I remember crying in the bank. The lady at the bank was so kind to me. She said she has had to deal with stuff like this before. And I could have things paperless so my WH wouldn't see the account information. I told her that I wanted the statements mailed to my house so my WH could see that I was not going to touch a single dime of that money. I wanted him to be able to trust me. I WANTED us to work. But I had prepared myself in case he really did decide to leave me for the OW. I remember WH talking to the OW on the phone after the her husband confronted her. She said that she wasn't going to leave her husband for my WH and she was to have no more contact with him ever. He cried in the car. He didn't want me. He wanted her. I told my WH he was mine and I wasn't letting him go that easy. I don't think he understood everything at that point, but he didn't go.
It all went to tell seven days later when she got back from her cruise. She started to text my husband again. Asking why he wouldn't reply. She texted him a photo of herself. She emailed him. He stuck to his NC agreement though as I had insisted on that. As I tried to trust him again and make things work, I spied on his messages and his phone. I would be paranoid when I had to go to school. (He went to her house once when I was out one day.) It was all brought up again months later when she emailed him yet again to say she saw him around.
*whew* That was a lot. And that was only the first time. The rest of this story will be the second time. This is a very complicated story and a lot of it I don't know how to put to words. So this is the best I can do.
When I found out about the first EA, we had just met another couple. My WH and I had never had any friends our entire time of being married, so this was a nice change. My WH found a real friend. He spilled his guts to these people when the EA was brought to light. They were kind to me and kind to him. We became great friends. We started spending every weekend together. We went on vacations together with our families. We did basically everything together! My husband said he assumed everything was good as he thought we were happy and working! The WH and the guy would drink basically every weekend though. The OW and I would generally not and play responsible for the kids that were playing games upstairs together. Eventually I let my guard down about being responsible after I started a new job. The hours in a professional kitchen can be super long and super stressful sometime. The OW and I would drink started to drink too much along with the guys. We would be "responsible" and not drive home on those nights. And it was on those nights that my WH would find his way to the OW in his drunken haze. He says she started it by providing him favors. And it just progressed at that point. In one "drunken session" the OW invited my WH over for a "sober session" and he went. And they did it.
I was always afraid of this happening. I always had my insecurities because my my WH's previous EA. I asked him a few times if they had did anything and he denied it. I started to not drink as much anymore as I felt like I was being fed alcohol by all. Usually we would only drink beer, but after a few beers the OW would bring out shots of hard liquor without my even asking. My husband would encourage me to drink a little more. Or he would grab a bottle of hard liquor and hand it off to me knowing it was my favorite flavor. After a few beers, my favorite flavored vodka sounded amazing!
Skip to this week...
Well, I figured it out April 13th when they were sleeping over at my house. That night I "had" a lot of beers. That means I had a lot of beers placed in front of me. I had one sip from each of them and then passed my beers off to the guys saying I didn't like how it tasted. (They always do craft beers and always had a huge selection.) I would spill my other drinks so I didn't have to drink them. And my personality is similar enough when I drink a little and drink a lot. (Probably especially so to those that are drinking a lot...) Well, that night my WH crawled onto me and was whispering the OW's name into my ears in his drunken state. I knew for fact then he had done it before. I just knew it.
I got upset. I got so upset that I went to sleep in the closet and took off my wedding ring. The next morning I woke to the OW standing over me looking at me. I was irritable and yelled "WHAT?" then apologized as I didn't mean to be snippy. They left and I confronted my WH. He said he wasn't sure if he had did anything before because all his memories were hazy from the alcohol. He said maybe, but he wasn't sure because he couldn't remember anything.
Monday: He sent me flowers the next day at work. I cried three times that day at work. I cried in the morning because I knew he had PA. I cried because he "couldn't remember." And I cried when I saw those flowers delivered to my work. I knew why he sent them. And it hurt so bad. My husband was cheating on me and he couldn't admit it. My boss noticed I wasn't good that day. He asked me my problem and I kind just unloaded. I told him that my WH had said the OW's name in bed. I don't remember much else then.
I don't remember Tuesday of this week either.
Wednesday: I started to talk to my WH again, and he kept insisting that he doesn't remember and didn't think he did anything. I put on my wedding ring. I wanted to believe him. I didn't want to think he could actually do that to me.
Thursday: Early in the morning at work, I decided to give my WH an ultimatum of sorts. I told him he had to basically come clean of EVERYTHING right then. If he didn't come clean today, and I learned something later, he would be done. Completely done and he would be a part of my history, not my future. He came clean. Or started to come clean.
Friday: My boss had known I have been distracted the past few days. I told my boss that my WH actually did have a PA with my best friend. He and the other person above me were so supportive! They have been in this situation before. They actually took me aside at one point in another room to talk to me. They kept pointing out that this is the second time my WH has done this. And "once a cheater, always a cheater" -- and the second time proved it. They said a lot of pointed and true thing to me which left me in tears -- AT WORK in front of them. I wish I could remember that conversation. It left me determined to leave my husband. They were right. So I went home and basically told my WH we were over. He did this to me twice. TWICE! How can I ever trust him again. How could he lie to me so many times, especially when I know I asked at least three times. I told him we were done. He got up right then and was physically ill for the next 10 minutes. It felt satisfying that he finally realizing what he had done to our family.
Saturday: I was happier at work. I talked a lot about what had happened to my coworker. I kept with the attitude that I was done. I had messaged my mom early in the morning and told her what my WH had done and asked for her divorce lawyers information. Work was a breeding ground of hate and disgust. And fear. =(
Sunday: I don't remember much of yesterday except for probably crying off and on. I did some laundry. I made sure the guest bedroom sheets were washed because the OW had slept in them. I curled up on the couch in some warm covers and tried to sleep everything away.
Today: Numb. Just numb all day. And today my WH tells me that the OW had asked for a second "sober session" to be scheduled for today... He says he couldn't decide if he wanted to go or not.
Yes, I feel numb. I thought typing this would help me feel something. I can't even remember what I felt during Thursday - today... I made my WH leave me be while I type this. I have no idea how long it took me to type this up. I just know that I have told him to leave me alone. He doesn't know I have actually typed this out or that I am going to post this. I wonder if he would find it if I don't tell him about this post.
I had told my WH with the first EA that if something like this ever happened again, I would leave him. And I want to. But I don't. I truly fear he will do this again. But I want to make this work. I don't want to go. I don't want to break up our family. But I do know that I cannot do this again. If he ever did this again, a;lskdfj...
And now I want to cry all over again. I believed him last time. I still believe he was being true when he said he wanted this to work. And I feel like I believe him now. But my heart hurts. And I'm afraid he is just saying all the same thing he said last time. It sounds exactly the same as before. I want to hope that this time can be different. =(
This time we are actually going to see a MC. And I am going to encourage him to see an IC too. He says he has some issues with porn. I think that could lead maybe into unrealistic expectations and the desire to have many women? I don't know. =( I am just reaching for anything right now. I want hope that this can work. And I want to make it work. I want to have what we had before. And I want him to give me attention like he used to sooo many years ago.
If I'm misunderstanding that, I'm not misunderstanding that your WS has cheated 2x that you know of. It seems like the first time you may have rug swept. MC and IC are definitely steps in the right direction. Have you read the 180 in the healing library? I think you need to pull back and start thinking about yourself and what do you want.
What do you want? Do you want to be married to someone you can't trust? The more you will "forgive" this type of behaviour the more you will suffer for it. Anxiety, mistrust and panic will become your norm.
Has your WS gone NC? Has he disclosed everything about this A to you ? Have you disclosed the A to the BS of the OW?
In the nicest possible way, this doesn't really sound like a healthy relationship.
He also sounds like a grade-A hawkshite. He openly tells you is thinking of leaving for someone else?!?!
Something that really stuck out at me and I need clarification on... Your WS told you that the OW wanted a "sober session" with him and he wasn't sure he should go ???? If that's the case then pack his sh!t and send him on his way. Maybe I'm misunderstanding that. But if I'm not he needs to go pronto. Get a lawyer and protect yourself.
Yes, this. ^^^^^^^^^^
You need to decide whether or not you are ok with sharing your husband, and whether it's ok for him to be out offering up free samples of "the goods". The notion of him actually considering OW's meeting request sends up a red flag of circus-tent-proportions. And the fact that he told you of this plan and his indecision? Disgusting.
Please get yourself into IC. Focus on your needs. Read up on the 180.
Sending hugs and strength your way.
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
I am not sure how my initial post about the second sober session read to others, so let me clarify a little. My WH informed me yesterday that the OW had previously scheduled a sober session for yesterday when all BSs would be at work. He says that in the weeks before discovery he wasn't sure he was going to go or not. He said he had no intention of gong after discovery.
I think right now it's important for you to focus on YOURSELF. For your own good, and for your sons. Read up on the 180. Read up on codependency. Read up on emotional detachment. Do all the reading here under The Healing Library.
And most importantly, HE needs to be the one making the effort. He should be the one fighting for you. You don't need to decide on D or R right now. Just focus on you. If he wants you and your M, then he will not only tell you, but show you. And he has a lot of proving to do.
IC and MC sounds like a good path. Just remember to take care of yourself. Don't become obsessed with him and what he did; let him worry about that. You do you.
EA DDay: 31 Jan, I moved to in-laws
PA DDAY: 23 Feb
DDay 3: 13 May. Back in A.
9 Mar: I moved back. A went underground.
9 Apr: He moved into parents.
14 Apr: Me NC with WH.
I don't believe in once a cheater, always a cheater, but I do believe if there are no consequences and they see they can get away with it, subconsciously they'll file you under "D" for "Doormat" and eventually they'll do it again.
Ask me how I know this.
You have to be ready to lose your marriage before you can save it. I do believe from your husband's posts that he is remorseful and doesn't want to be this person, and that's good. But I think the best thing you can do is pull back from the situation and work on getting yourself healthy. For my H and me, marriage counseling didn't do much. When we both got in individual counseling, that helped a lot. Best of luck to you, and I'm sorry you're in this situation.
This time around your WH got caught AGAIN, and he is coming to terms that he might lose you. A consequence of his actions, and the reality is setting in at record speed.
Only you can decide if your marriage is worth it. Dealing with one A is emotionally devastating, a second one could be a deal breaker.
If he is truly remorseful, he will do everything you need him to do, although having gone through this hell, IMO there's nothing that could ever make up for the pain....but some couples do pull through. He has to be in this 200%, not for a week or a month or a year, but for a lifetime. A lifetime.
You have every right to be afraid, but right now you are putting yourself in the driver's seat, and that is a step in the right direction. Take time to decide what YOU want. Your husband's actions will speak volumes, but that doesn't mean he won't travel down this path again in the future. He needs IC to figure out why he chose the easiest path to destruction. What waywards need to understand is that the BS is in a living nightmare, 24/7.
My WH had an almost 3-year long distance EA and a one afternoon PA. I found out, and I put my bitch boots on immediately. Either my way or the highway. Don't allow yourself to be a doormat. You set the path forward. You set the boundaries. IC will help you, a GOOD IC who is trained in infidelity.
I am not going to tell you to go or stay because I am in the same place. Has he gone NO CONTACT with the OW? Does her BH know? Does your WS have an issue with alcohol?
Your WS needs to be in IC. It shouldn't be an option. He cannot be in contact with the OW in any way. Also not an option. What other things are deal breakers for you right now?
I will start by saying that in the case of a second offense, I always advocate for D. Always. I think that someone who has put their spouse through a Dday and who has seen what that's like and could do it AGAIN......well, I think it either means that they don't love you or are just incapable of loving you properly.
Having said that, I feel differently in your case. I am not sure that he really saw the pain/atrocity of the situation the first time. This is not your fault, in fact I admire the way you handled the first situation. I think you responded with incredibly empathy and honesty. But I think your understanding approach (which was entirely correct in my view), kept him from seeing the true atrocity of the situation. Kept him from understanding the depth of your pain.
I typically think that a second occurrence shows a willful desire to inflict pain. But I don't think that's accurate in your case bc I don't really think he "got it" the first time around.
So. In your case I think that attempting R is a reasonable choice. But be careful. Whether he got it the first time or not, this IS the second time. He apparently does not learn his lessons easily. Watch his actions. Call him on EVERYTHING. Do not put up with defensiveness or evasiveness. No more Mrs. Nice Guy. Make it clear to him that while you want this marriage, you have no problems with walking away if you have to.
Strap on your bitch boots and march forward. We will be here to support you.
I have to ask. Does your WH "get it" now? Is he able to handle your pain, outrage, fear, etc in a way that takes full responsibility for what he did to make you feel that way while giving you the loving, caring support that you need when dealing with such tough emotions? Is he making you and your healing his top priority?
Reconciliation doesn't only happen when you are having a good day or moment. The real work of reconciliation happens during the worst. Reconciliation isn't for the faint of heart. As I told my WH, he's going to have to put on his big boy pants to repair the damage from the nightmare that he dumped into my life.
Each time I had a hard time dealing with something was an opportunity for him to prove to me that he had changed. That he would be there for me and only me instead of running into the arms of OW at the drop of a hat. That he could handle life when it wasn't easy. That he wasn't the same selfish jerk who didn't care about me like before. It was his chance to sincerely apologize for what he had done and to reassure me that of what he was doing differently to make sure that he would never do that again and to make me feel like he loves me and cares about how he made me feel.
When WH tried to skip any of those things, it was like pouring salt on an open wound for me. It made me feel like the risk of being hurt again was way too high. When he handled my emotions poorly, it only made those emotions even stronger. It helps knowing that WH isn't trying to avoid anything anymore. If he sees a funny look on my face or a flicker of sadness in my eyes, he stops everything and asks me what he can do to help and if I want to talk about it. If I don't, he lets me know that he will listen when I am ready to talk about it, he apologizes for what he put me through, and then he thanks me for letting him be there for me. It really helps.
If you aren't in IC, I hope that you will consider starting it. It has helped me tremendously. I am aware that your WH posts here as well. Hopefully he will learn what he can do to help your healing. I hope MC goes as well as it can for you.
I do think he "gets it" this time. I really do.
Someone also asked if my WH has issues with alcohol. He does not. He only started to drink a lot on the weekends with his new buddy. His buddy had issues with alcohol though. My WH just lacks self control and always felt like he couldn't say no when his ex-buddy was pouring him beer after beer before he was even finished one...
@ heforgotme - And I feel the same way. I agree, we didn't really address the first time. I thought that we were on the same page and understood each other at that point.
For everyone that is mentioning this 180. I can't seem to find anything on it right now. But then I am not too familiar with this site. (I am trying to find it and will continue to do so!) The impression I am getting from you guys is that I need to focus on me more.
I think that is almost how this problem started the first time. I started to focus on me. My WH has a lot of self esteem issues like me. And I guess he felt like he was losing me and didn't know how to talk to me or something.
For the first almost 11 years of our marriage, I didn't focus on me at all. I did everything I could for my husband and son. I didn't work. I took care of my family. I might have been a horrible housekeeper, but I still tried. I battled with depression which took me forever to really understand. I had to deal with issues from my past and my WH devoting all of his time (9-9) to work and then having no time or interest in me. (That is when I had my unintentional EA. I had to vent to someone as I had no one else and someone was willing to listen to me online...)
When I figured myself all out on why I was doing what I was doing and why I was depressed. I ended it all and my WH and I moved to try to seek a happier life for all. We continued with my attempting to take care of the family and home. But again, I'm not the best of housekeepers and I get bored entirely too easily. At this time my son was in school so I would have absolutely nothing to do with a lot of my time.
In the months before his first EA, I finally started to discover myself and live for ME instead of my family. I began cooking school and fell in love with it. Cooking is a passion of mine which I think I have always had, but never really thought I could do anything with it. After I started school, his EA began. I guess he forgot he could have found comfort in me and tell me all his little things.
The PA of my WH started after I decided to start working. He was not pleased with my choice. But I needed to do this for me. Working in a kitchen is horrible pay, but I love it!
Anyway, I guess the point of that is that I am trying to focus on me now. And I hope that is not making my WH think I don't need/want him anymore. I would tell him all the time that my dream was to open up my own place where I would work evenings. He could work/open up his own taekwondo studio and work evenings. And we would have the mornings together. We would be happy, together, and be able to support our retirement by doing something we enjoy.
I do have to think about what I want now. And I am. Today was a super rough day at work. I am trying not to let this affect my job, but it's so hard to not be distracted by my thoughts. I was numb for a good bit of the morning, but then questions started to run through my head. I started to throw them at my WH through text messages as fast I could think about them. It only made me angrier and angrier with each question I had and answer I got. He seems to be trying to be nothing but honest and give me every answer that I ask for. But I feel like he should have given me some of these sooner. He thought that some of these "little things" didn't matter. Well they do to me. I hope he realizes that.
I asked my WH to write a paper of every little thing he could remember from the time we ever met the OW. I want EVERYTHING. I told him to print two pages. I never got around to telling him who those pages are for though. I got distracted at work. I read one of his posts from earlier in the afternoon after I told him I wanted two printed pages. He is afraid that I want one for a lawyer. All I wanted is one for me and one for him to keep for himself. So he has in his hands what he did to me. So he can reread it every day.
I was so angry earlier today. But when I got into my car I cried. I felt hurt again. And I feel hurt now. I need to decide what I want. I have always been fast to know what I want about anything and generally have never regretted it. And for this I want to try. I want what we have to work right now. But my fear and anger are still gnawing at my heart.
And I'm hungry. I guess I should eat. I only had the breakfast I forced my WH to make me. I was angry this morning and told him he was my slave and to make me breakfast. I was being vicious and reminded him that he said he would do anything he had to for me so I told him "So I'm making you be my slave and make me breakfast." Or something like that.
I don't want to be mean, but sometimes the hurt comes out of me in anger. I still don't know what to do.
We are seeing a MC in a few hours. I want him to see a IC too. I don't know if one would be helpful for me. I've always had issues with talking to therapists. I usually fare better on my own as I (would like to think that I) am very good at analyzing and understanding just about almost anything when I really face the truth.
Maybe I will ramble more later. But I think I am done for now.
I am sorry you find yourself here at all, though. I recommend that you both read "Not Just Friends" and he read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" and hopefully the MC can help. I am not of the school that you need IC first and then MC. MC has helped us very, very well.
Your H does sound a little overwrought in his posts, so hopefully you guys can try to get sleep, some exercise, eat well, and take care of that boy. Breathe. I promise that eventually, everything will be ok again, no matter what happens.
Peace to you two.
[This message edited by bionicgal at 9:33 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday)]
I edit, therefore I am.
We saw the MC tonight. First session so just most basic of details and a general overview. I got teary at times. And was able to say why I hurt a little bit. We did a little background about how it happened twice.
And I was able to laugh when we talked about other memories that she asked us about, such as how we met, and how he proposed. And how I never technically said yes. =)
I generally have issues talking to therapists due to some poor experiences with them growing up. But I liked this lady. And she said a lot of things I had been saying about simple things like how electronic use could be distracting from bonding moments, etc.
I felt hopeful at the end of the session. She even talked to my son a little bit and gave us word of warning to make sure to leave him out of this as much as possible. Our answer to him when he asks about what we are doing should be "We are going to make everything better" -- even if we don't stay together. We are going to make our lives better for ourselves as individuals whether or not we are together as a couple.
And I felt normal on the way home. I felt normal in the house too. Though, I did have my WH log onto his phone account online so I could check his incoming/outgoing text log. He was truthful enough about not texting here. It was purely in person it seems and just physical... (Unless he always communicated in FB and deleted those messages...)
But for the most part I felt normal. Then I felt bad for feeling normal and thinking that things could get better. It has only been a six days since I've really known the truth of them actually having a PA. It's too early to feel normal.
I don't know what to do. I don't want to brush this aside, but how do you feel hurt if you don't feel anything?
That last statement said a lot to me. How do you feel hurt if you don't feel anything? Was not feeling anything my norm? I miss when I used to feel. It has been so long since I've felt like he cared and that my caring mattered. I hope I didn't give up a long time ago. I've always been a professional at ignoring how I feel.
I really do need to focus on me and what makes me happy. Maybe the MC will help my WH and I learn to communicate better by helping us understand those little things we left by the wayside. Maybe my WH will learn to love me for me being me again. Maybe not. I do need to make me happy though. I am tired of being sad when I think about all of this. I just want to be happy again.
It's only been 6 days. You are still in shock. Regardless of how you feel (normal or not), you have every right to feel that way. I know that I swung wildly between every emotion under the sun for a while. When I was emotionally exhausted, I felt like things were normal too. Counseling can be very emotionally exhausting especially if you were nervous about it before going in.
I understand about wanting to be happy. I am fully determined to be happy in my life. That may or may not include my WH, but my happiness is not an option.
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
Every time I think of this, I am so torn! I want my marriage to work. My WH finally really seems to realize what he had done and how he has hurt me. The day after discovery I told him I was flat out done and we were over. But when I really think about everything, I don't want us to be over. I want to believe that he really understands what he has done this time. (He never understood how it hurt me last time as we really did brush it aside way too fast.) But how could he do this! I understood and forgave that first EA. But how can I get over this? I don't understand how he could do what he did. The only reason I had gotten before was "because I could." And that hurt.