In 2011, I heard him talking on the phone with someone while he was in the bathroom. It turned out I had caught him masturbating on Skype with another woman he met online. At the time he told me he was watching live porn, but wouldn't do it anymore. The very next night I caught him at it again by going through his phone after he went to sleep. It turned out he was also doing this with a long time friend of 10+ years who lived out of town. She had visited family in town a couple of times and he had met up with her without me. He says they were never alone together and they were never physical... I was never sure how far things went or how many women he had done this with, but knew I was hurt and betrayed. I had a very hard time letting go of the unknowns and trying to work through everything with him.
Trust was never fully restored, but I felt like we were on the right track and things were getting better.
I was 7 months pregnant when he came back from his birthday night out at the bar this year. He was completely trashed and muttering something about him and his boss talking about why I didn't like her, then he passed out on the couch. I looked at his texts and found messages to her talking about him rubbing on her thighs, how sexy he thought she was, wanting to eat her out, and asking her about having sex. She didn't reply except once telling him to calm down and behave. They were at the bar together with other coworkers while he was texting her.
I didn't tell him what I had found for a couple of days. He knew I was angry, but I didn't know what to do, so just told him I was upset but not ready to talk about it.
I finally let him know what I had found and he claimed to not remember doing anything like that and that he had never texted anything to his boss before that wasn't strictly work related. I dropped it with telling him I didn't believe him and wasn't going to argue with him. There was nothing he could say that I would believe. I told him I had set up a counseling appointment for myself and I had to decide how I wanted to work through everything for me this time.
He handled the situation completely different this time. He's set up marriage counseling, stopped going out without me, started planning outings with the kids, and stopped drinking so much. I told him what he's doing means a lot. It's bringing us closer as a family, but I don't feel like it's helping with our relationship.
I told him I wasn't going to play detective like I did the last time. I needed to feel like he was being honest because he could be, not because I had caught him and he had to be. He told me he had sexted with a nurse he works with about a year ago, but had only done it once and put a stop to it because he felt guilty. He still says he doesn't remember his birthday night. The problem I have with his lack of details is he had been regularly deleting his texts for a long time before I found the ones to his boss. It doesn't add up to a one time sexting session that happened that long ago.
I went on a 4 day trip after that to get away and try to decide what I should do. I wound up deciding to hold off on making a decision. I was fixing to have a new baby and wasn't ready to turn my world upside down.
When I got home I checked our phone history and saw he had called the nurse he sexted with while I was away...
We've gotten to a point where he's still trying to make things better, but I'm stuck not being able to move forward. I really hope we can make it through this, but I'm not ok with the idea of rebuilding anything with him the way things are. I don't want to trust him. I don't want to forget that someone who cared about me would never make me feel this way, twice!
I had been trying to talk things out with him when I was having a hard time with my emotions, but I've reached a stand still with everything and don't have the words to make him understand.
There's still contact since he's their coworker. He was lucky to get the job he has with his record so changing jobs will be difficult. He's talked about goals to get him working somewhere else, but it'll take school and training. I don't see how I can work on trust in a situation where he still has contact with them.
Then there's all the secrecy that's still unexplained. I don't feel like I can just drop all the unknowns this time. I need to feel like there's nothing missing, nothing left for me to find out.
I still check out phone record and his Facebook and I kinda hijacked his apple account so his iMessages get forwarded to my phone. Anybody he texts that has an iPhone will have the conversation sent to me too. His boss and the nurse both have iPhones.
For now I'm just waiting, but I think it makes it harder that he's trying more this time. I don't know how to talk to him about what I'm feeling and the problems I'm still having. I want to, then I get a defeated, "what's the point" feeling and nothing comes out. I really wish I could just not care. It's been a little over 2 months since D day number 2, but I feel like my hearts been broken for years.
Sorry you are here, but you will pull through!
Read from The Healing Library. Did the two of you start MC? Not all counselors are great - so change counselors if you find one is not a good fit. It is helpful to have someone help you both sort through this and open the lines of communication.
I don't know much about sex addiction (my WH has OTHER issues), but maybe your WH has an problem with this? Whether he does or not, perhaps IC would help him figure out his issues.
Don't "rug sweep" his actions. It's important to talk this through - calmly - even when you are filled with rage. Our MC had us schedule times to talk, so we could take "breaks" from the pain and anger.
Others will be along with more advice. Keep posting!
I do need to point out that every time you go looking for something, you find it.
I can't imagine how many times you didn't go looking for something and didn't know you should have been. I'm sure he'd love for you to believe that the ONLY time he's ever acted sleazy are amazingly enough all the times you've caught him.
Dr. Phil says (and he's dead on) that for every rat you DO see, there are 50 you don't. Unfortunately, I think you're in for a lot more ugly truths to come seeping out of the woodwork as you make your way down this path.
So stop, ok?
Take all that energy and effort and direct it toward you and your healing.
Think about it. If you had cheated and saw your pain reflected in him, what would you not do to comfort him and make him feel safe?
He's not doing that. At all! = no remorse.
Right now, his greatest efforts seem to be concealing his secret life & lies.
I'm sorry you're here dear one. Keep posting. It helps!
I've been going to my own sessions once a week, except for the break I'm on now while I'm recouperating from having the baby. I plan on restarting my sessions in a couple of weeks.
I was worried about having to battle post partum depression from dealing with everything on top of having a new life to care for. I seem to be handling my emotions ok though. I'm still eating right & just using most of my energy to bond. Although I still have some tough bouts to battle through here and there.
He can lie to a counselor as easily as he could lie to me, and I don't want to let myself be tricked into thinking things are getting better.
^^ Yes, he can. My WH surely did. And I didn't know or see the difference between regret and remorse.
Sorry you are here. Keep posting and we'll do our best to help you out.
My suggestion would be to have him evaluated by a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) for sex addiction. I'm not saying he is SA, only a CSAT can make that determination, but the behavior your WS is exhibiting points to SA as a possibility. If I was you, I'd make it an absolute requirement.
I am so sorry. Make sure you continue to take care of you and your kiddos and the new baby. You and the children come first. You do not deserve this!
When I found out what was going on in 2011, I did A LOT of reading and research about what we were in for and what we could do to fix things, what to watch out for and what I could do to make things better. This time I feel like I handled it all wrong the first time around. It should have been him doing all those things. I told him, if you had a problem that was destroying what you really wanted for your relationship, wouldn't you want to find out why it was happening and how to avoid repeating the problem? He hasn't done any of the self evaluating I feel like needs to be done for him to even begin to know how to fix things.
I've had friends and my counselor ask if I thought SA might be a problem for him. I know he has an addictive personality, but again, he would need to do his own research and take an honest look at himself to decide if there was an issue. He's told me he thought his porn use was a factor, but I don't have a way to track his use of it. He said he was looking at it all through the day and would look at it just to look at it, not always for sexual pleasure. I don't watch porn, but it's not offensive to me that he uses it, and it wasn't something I ever felt like he was using to replace me. He deleted 2 of the 3 apps he was using for porn to limit his use.
I need to do some more writing on what still needs to be worked on. Mostly at this point, I don't feel like he's been completely, lay it all out honest with me, I don't think I'll be able to relax and give him any trust while he's working the same job, and I don't feel like he has any real urgency to fix the underlying problems that led him to cheat in the first place.
He's stopped going out to the bar, but I don't see that as fixing anything and it's unrealistic to think he can never go out without me. He's made some changes, but a lot of it seems like he's trying to take the easy way out without having to really take a good look at himself. The only friend he's talked to has been a man that's seperated from his wife and is sleeping around while still claiming to want to work things out with his wife.
I'm so angry that this has happened again. I have all this mental torment and torture going on trying to piece together what I know. I've told him how I feel, and he's just let me stay in this state to figure it out instead of doing anything to give me the closure I need to move past it.
I'm wondering if I should text the OW he sexted with to try for more answers, and see if her story matches his? It's messed up that he knows what happened and she knows what happened, but I don't know or have any way to know the truth. His work holds a lot of functions for their employees and their families, so as long as he works there, chances are I'll have to deal with her again. I don't want to see her and pretend I don't know what happened.
I had bad feelings about her before he told me what he did. There's a few others I get bad vibes about, too. He had brought up the issue of me not wanting to be friends with her the same way he did with his boss when he came home drunk on his birthday. Now I'm worried about everyone he's asked about me meeting and getting to know. Were these all women that he was attracted to or had an inappropriate relationship with?
He told me it felt good to be able to leave his phone without having to worry about what was on there or me finding something, so I asked him why he felt like that just lately if he had only had the one time sexting a year ago. He said he was texting with people from work and would delete it because I might interpret it wrong. I think I would've interpreted it wrong because what he was doing was probably wrong.
I wish he would just wake up because what he's doing now isn't working for me and I'm scared it'll be too late before he finally figures it out. He's giving me little pieces of this puzzle and saying, "here, see what you can make of this", and it's not enough to build our foundation. I need him to bring me the finished puzzle and say, "here's what we're dealing with, but let's make it better."
I have not read much about SA, but the behavior you describe sounds very much like an addiction.
I wish had something else to say besides start 180, stop MC, continue IC for you, and tell him what you need from him to consider not divorcing. Give those needs a lot of thought. At the very least it needs to involve getting screened for SA and then starting treatment for that.
I feel like all my emotions and fears have been put on hold while I wait for him be honest with himself. I'd really like to know how I can start making things better for me without having to wait on him. At this point I still have a lot of unanswered questions, but feel like there's nothing left to say to him.
How do I start the 180 and work on myself, while still letting him know I'm not rug sweeping? I'm pretty confident he'll ignore what I've asked of him if I don't make a firm stand on what I expect from him before we can consider R.
I feel like all my emotions and fears have been put on hold while I wait for him be honest with himself. I'd really like to know how I can start making things better for me without having to wait on him.
That's exactly what the 180 is for - take all your energy and focus on you and your healing.
It's time. He is not in charge of your healing, or the arbiter of when it begins. You decide that.
How do I start the 180 and work on myself, while still letting him know I'm not rug sweeping?
All questions about the marriage (or whether or not you're rugsweeping in this instance) should be put on hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it (which may not be for quite a while). Initiate no such conversation!
Taken together, the spirit of the 180 is not about him - at all! It's all about you. Period.
You cannot 'get him to see, do, or think' - anything! The 180 is not for doing that. It is not a manipulative tool.
It helps you take your mind away from trying to fix him...
Sending strength to you!
I'm noticing how lop sided our compromises have been and how manipulative and controlling my H has been over the last few years. My support system is important to me, and I've been reaching out, pushing myself to spend more time going out to see friends, but a reason always comes up that I can't go. I'll make plans. Then when the time to go out comes, all of a sudden we don't have the gas money for it, but there's enough for him to put beer in the fridge.
One of the things I read about the 180 said not to go to his family for help, but I could use some feed back here. His dad has been very supportive indirectly. My husband's mom passed away about 1 1/2 years ago and since then my FIL has remarried to a close family friend that I've been talking to a lot. She's been giving me little boosts to help me take back my independence; giving me money here and there to put up for anything I need, urging me to call her if I need help with the kids.
We've been struggling with catching up on some bills and my last outing with a friend almost fell through because my H didn't think the gas would last till pay day. I had worked it out with my friend to meet halfway, she was going to treat me to dinner, and she had even said she could give me gas money. Just as I was fixing to head out, he remembers he's on call and needs the car at home in case he has to go in. I cancelled my plans at that point.
I told my MIL about it later. She said she didn't want to start trouble, but told me to call her if he keeps pulling stuff like that. She said her & his dad could've come over and hung out while I was gone in case he got called in.
Anyway, I say all that just to show how supportive she's been, but after reading the 180 tips, I'm wondering if I need to back off a little on how much I share with her. I'd hate to lose her advice because she's so blunt about what she thinks and won't let me bull shit myself, but she's already told me she doesn't keep secrets from my FIL, so I'm sure he gets kept up to date. It's something I need to keep in mind I guess.
As far as taking care of myself goes, the kids make it easier. I'm breast feeding so I make sure I'm eating right and taking my vitamins. I walk to take my younger son to and from school, so I've been getting a little exercise everyday. It should cool off soon so hopefully I can do more with the baby outside. I've been looking into planning for some online classes, and talking with my son's troop leader about getting more involved with the cub scouts. I haven't started anything yet, but I'm looking into stuff the get the wheels in motion.
I found out how to gps my H's phone and caught him going out after work. I had told him it was one of the things I was worried about when he said he wouldn't go out to the bar without me. I said I knew sooner or later he would want to go out and I was worried that he would hide it since I don't know when he gets off. That's exactly what he did. He texted that he was done and I looked on the gps and saw him leaving the bar by work. He got home and put a mint in his mouth and cologne on before he kissed me. I gave him 4 or 5 hours and he never mentioned going out. He told me about it after I asked him if he went out after work, but completely denied trying to hide it. Says he had the mint for the drive home and the cologne because he didn't want to stink. Said he never texted that he was done with work, just that he was done.
I think that's when I decided I was done too. I can't rebuild trust with someone who is untrustworthy. He's so used to getting his way all the time that he can't deal with consequences. He just lies and does what he wants, even about little things that don't matter. He went to the store for beer & asked me about getting a six pack or tall boys. I said get what's cheaper because we still didn't have much money. He said he got 2 tall boys & he had 2 in the fridge already so he should be good with the 4. I looked at him and asked if he just bought 4 from the store & he knew he was busted. He didn't need to lie about that.
I've stopped asking about work and who he's texting. I don't bring up talking about us anymore. He keeps talking about us getting a house together, and I don't even know how to respond to that... He had said he found a counselor he was going to see, but has yet to make an appointment. For now, I'm just pulling myself back from the mess & trying to make decisions for me. I don't want to keep track of and babysit a liar.
[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:12 AM, September 9th (Tuesday)]
I've been so tired of holding on to such a hurtful relationship, and I've been finding it feels better to loosen my grip on it. I don't want to be with someone I have to cling to. I feel like I've done what I can to fight for our M, but I don't want a relationship where I'm doing all the heavy lifting to keep us together.
I was reading through the thread and I'm beginning to accept that the way I described our relationship was what I wanted but not what we have. I want a healthy M, but for at least the last five years, it hasn't been. It's been lies and secrecy and selfishness. I've given my heart without any defenses, and it's been hurt by the person meant to protect it.
I've given my power and let myself be controlled for the idea of how good things can be and what we could have together. I still want that and have it in me to fight for it, but I'm showing up on the battle field alone.
I've been asked for patience and I give it readily for actions that aren't taken. I can keep waiting. I have more patients than I ever knew, and just when I think it's gone, I find that I have more, an endless supply. I can wait days, weeks, months, years now, for things to get better, but I can't make someone choose different. If I keep waiting... It'll change. Things always change, but I don't think it'll be for the better.
I need to take my power back and I need to do it today, right now.