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Ashley Madison hack ruined my life

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DM213 posted 8/23/2015 17:31 PM

I've been married to my high school sweetheart for 18 years, we've been together a total of 25. We have 4 children, including a small baby. We survived infidelity in 2001, separated for 9 months and decided to give it another try. We reconciled, had 4 beautiful babies together and I thought we had never been better. I had even gone so far as to say his affair was the best thing that ever happened to our relationship. I was so happy, I felt so loved and secure and was so grateful that my children had such a loving relationship modeled for them. We laughed together, were so affectionate and I felt our sex life was pretty good considering we have 4 young children. He was my very best friend, and definitely the love of my life. This Ashley Madison data dump had me curious so I plugged in my husband's email address. Big mistake. He showed up as having been registered on the site. This prompted me to start searching through his email, something I had never done before. In his sent file was a photo upload to a website flirtlocal.com. I tried to access the site with every password I could think of but couldn't get on. I decided to go through his junk folder, and there was a mail with subject "private message from Hooterzgirl" so I clicked it, thinking it just had to be spam. The site xcheaters.com pulled right up with his profile, complete with pic, birthdate and his description "just an average guy who loves to enjoy the beauty of women". I check the profile stats and the photo of him was uploaded 2 days before I gave birth to his son. I confronted him of course and at first it was all deny deny deny, then it was he was on porn sites and it automatically signed him up, then he was curiously looking to see if he could find me on these sites. Bullshit. I can't get over the fact that he was soliciting sex from strangers on the Internet, much less while I was pregnant. He swears he never met up with anyone, and he swears he never reciprocated any messages he received. I just can't believe him. I feel so disgusted, betrayed and horribly blindsided. I feel like I could excuse him meeting someone and having an attraction that led into an affair, but soliciting sex from strangers on a hookup website, a hookup website specifically for cheating? Do I stay? Do I take my kids and leave? Will I ever be able to look at him again? This is the third incidence of infidelity since we got married. He had sex with my best friend three months into our marriage, and carried on a long affair with the woman he moved in with when we separated. I'm beside myself.

angiec posted 8/23/2015 17:39 PM

Very gently...AM didn't ruin your life. This was entirely your WH choice.

I hate these websites out there as well. They should all be taken down. However, they didn't force your husband.

4everfaithful83 posted 8/23/2015 17:52 PM

DM123 - I just wanted to reach out and say you've been heard. My heart breaks for you, and all our new (and veteran) members.

I am so glad you have found SI, for this website has been a great source of strength for me, and many others. I hope it will help you as well.

Please take note of the healing library on the left hand side, in yellow. There is a lot of great reading in there.

This is the third incidence of infidelity since we got married. He had sex with my best friend three months into our marriage, and carried on a long affair with the woman he moved in with when we separated.

I am no expert, and I will admit that I have not been in a relationship that suffered from more than one affair...but this is heartbreaking. Your WH has issues that no one can fix but himself. To break your spirit and trust once is bad enough...but to do it a 2nd and 3rd time is criminal.

I'm sorry you are in pain. I hope you stay and read, and post. We are all here for you.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 8/23/2015 17:56 PM

This is the third incidence of infidelity since we got married

First, I am so sorry you find yourself here. But more than that, I'm sorry you didn't find us after his first A. No one should have to endure one affair, but living with a serial cheater is even more destroying. And gently, my guess is you know of *only* 3 affairs. There is always more than they are willing to admit to without proof from the BS.

Don't believe a word of what he tells you now. Cheaters lie. Read articles in the Healing Library (yellow box on the left of your screen).They will help you gain some perspective.

Your WH is terribly broken and trying to fill a void within himself with OW. He needs to get help for himself before your M can even begin to recover. And like the poster above said - AM did not ruin your life - your WH did that all by himself.

superchump posted 8/23/2015 18:09 PM

Hi DM,

So sorry you are here. This sucks mightily, especially since you've been down this road before.

This sticks out to me in your post:

We survived infidelity in 2001, separated for 9 months and decided to give it another try.

Sadly, the vast majority of cheaters do not reform. Some can, but I think most don't. Because it isn't the cheating specifically, it has to do with their lack of self control, lack of coping skills and often times their own lack of self confidence. They repeat offend because they are lacking something within THEM, so no spouse, AP or Ashley Madison chicks are going to fix this. They are screwed up and nothing can fix them except a HUGE amount of introspective work which I think most of them just aren't willing to do.

Only you can decide what's best but if it were me I wouldn't put myself through this anymore. It's not worth it. The statistical likelihood of him doing this again is astronomical.

Please don't think this has ANYTHING to do with you. It doesn't. He's messed up.

If I were you I"d see a lawyer and formulate a plan. Protect yourself and those babies. You can't count on him at all.

Big Hugs.

NeverAgain2013 posted 8/23/2015 21:08 PM

I feel like I could excuse him meeting someone and having an attraction that led into an affair, but soliciting sex from strangers on a hookup website, a hookup website specifically for cheating?

Well see, this kind of thinking is what's given him the green light to cheat over and over and over. Because he keeps doing it and to a certain extent, you accept it, forgive it, and go on - until he does it again. And again.

He's a serial cheater. They don't change.

And lastly, it wasn't Ashely Madison that ruined your life. Unfortunately, your husband has been doing a phenomenal job of that all by himself.

If you forgive him again, he will cheat on you again, DM213. I'm sorry you find yourself here.

DM213 posted 8/24/2015 07:39 AM

These are all harsh truths that I cannot deny. I appreciate the forum to express my feelings. I haven't been able to talk to anyone about this. I have no family, just my husband, children and a couple family members of his. I've been a stay at home mom through the week for many years now, I only work on weekends when he's home. I don't have anyone I consider a good enough friend that I could talk to about this. I have wonderful co workers but no one I would ever discuss something so personal with. I'm humiliated. I'm humiliated for him too. We have been together since I was 16. I came from a highly dysfunctional family, my father was an alcoholic who never let me live down the fact that I was born and ruined his life. Maybe that's why I cling to a broken relationship. Don't get me wrong, when it's good, it's so very, very good and I couldn't ask for better. He is an amazing father, I can't deny that. I see him with our children and thank god every day that they have something that I never did. I am so broken, I don't know what to do. Do I leave and ruine my children for life? Do I stay for them, and just hope for the best? I found this out Friday night, and spent the weekend going between despondency and anger. He carried on as if nothing had happened, he would try to have casual conversations with me and just going about his every day as if nothing had changed. When we tried to have a conversation about this, he essentially turned the tide to my faults and indiscretions from 15-20 years ago. I admit I was not the best girlfriend/young wife. I had never had love, nor had I ever seen a healthy relationship so yes, I messed up a lot when we were kids. I did have an affair when we separated in 2001, but it was never anything more than seeking affection and emotion that I was lacking in my own marriage. He was also carrying on with another woman, and they had an actual relationship, he moved in with her when we split. during that 9 months apart 15 years ago, I realized that there was nothing more precious to me than him, and I was only looking for what I really wanted from him, but wasn't getting. Since the time we reconciled I have been an open book. No more chatting online, no more going out drinking with my friends, no more porn, no more privacy. All of my social media passwords are saved and book marked so he can go look whenever he feels the need. I make sure he has a hot meal every night when he comes home from work, I make sure the kids are taken care of. I don't spend money frivolously, I don't deny him sex when he wants it. I don't know what I did wrong. I also don't know why I keep going back to asking myself what did I do, or what could I have done differently? I know that this is not my fault, not this time. There is no semblance of blame that can be put on me. This is all him, I know that, but it doesn't help me feel better. I don't know that I will ever feel good again. Sorry to ramble, but I have no one to turn to, and I am a broken woman all alone.

Trying2LoveAgain posted 8/24/2015 08:27 AM

Hi DM...I am so very sorry you have the need to be here, but since you do, I'm glad you found us here at SI. You may sometimes feel that posters are being a little harsh, but believe me, it's because they've /we've been there, done that, and we all care & want to help! I learned this early on, when I joined SI...a poster said "take what you need, and leave the rest".

I was very concerned when I read that your WH had cheated on you, only a few months into your M, but then read you yourself did the same, so obviously there were some serious problems very early! And they continued on...I'm not always a huge fan of councilling, but think in your case, maybe you both could benefit from IC, and perhaps MC later on.

I'm afraid you may have some issues in Rugsweeping, as you seem to have forgiven so quickly & easily in the past with no consequences for him. So...this gave him the OK to keep doing it!

As for staying for the children...I'm sorry, but I don't agree with this! A lot of people will tell you that they'd rather COME from a broken home, than to have GROWN UP in one. I really tend to agree with this! You said you came from a dysfunctional family....Honey, sometimes WE have to be the one to break that cycle! I know it's not easy, but do you really want your children carrying this cycle on for more generations?

Its a scary thing when you've not worked outside the home in years & have several small children, but...MANY have done it & are SO much happier. I also get that you love your WH, and we dont just UNLOVE someone overnight, if ever. I think we have to learn how to love them differently & away from them.

Even if you D, it's not even a final thing. Some people end up remarrying if the WS does the work to fix themselves. Just something to keep in mind!

My thoughts & prayers are with you & I pray it works out for you both!

DM213 posted 8/24/2015 08:36 AM

I agree, we had serious issues. I attributed it to being so young and naive, we were just kids. No matter what happened, we always found our way back to each other. Before we had children, I had no problem walking away. When we reconciled in 2001, I changed my ways severely. I am not proud to admit that I had a problem too, but I learned a hard lesson and grew from it and changed for the better. I agree that we need counseling. In truth, I think everyone wants to hear what they want to hear. Truth is harsh, but I know it cannot be denied. I appreciate any and all input. I need him to assess himself from deep within, and truly search for what he really wants from life. I know that deep down inside he is disturbed, he is messed up from deep within. He too has gone through serious traumas in his life, as we all have. I think something within him is broken, and we both need help that we can't offer each other. Has anyone ever gone to counseling and had it be helpful?

HenryIIX posted 8/24/2015 08:48 AM

((DM213))

You have a lot of crap running through your mind right now, we have all been there. You don't have to make major decisions right away. 100% read the Healing Library, it will help you in so many ways.

You both had problems and the marriage wasn't perfect - so what. He continued to lie and cheat throughout the marriage instead of honoring his vows and his family.

I am glad you found SI but I sure wish you would have found it sooner! It does appear you have rugswept the past infidelities instead of dealing with them head on. No more 'getting over it' for you - tackle it head on.

You need to take care of yourself and your children. Do not worry about your WH - he is no good for you right now. He has moved into the enemy camp at this moment and should be treated with caution.

In my opinion, you need to get the full truth. Keep digging. He is still hiding things, he is in full damage control mode and will lie even more to cover up his shit. Set a plan on how you are going to find the truth. If you aren't sure how, just ask and we can guide you. Until you know the extent of his betrayals you will make what I call 'uneducated decisions'. You can't make decisions about you or your children's lives in the dark. Knowledge is power.

He does not cheat on you because you aren't good enough. He cheats because he isn't good enough.

Oh - and get STD testing immediately and no unprotected sex with him until you know the full truth and you have both been tested. You are now in full protection mode - of your mind and body!!

Lucky2HaveMe posted 8/24/2015 12:02 PM

He is an amazing father, I can't deny that.

Gently, he is not. Amazing father's don't hurt the one they profess to love beyond all others. Amazing father's don't bring a 3rd adult into their children's home. And amazing dad protects his family at all costs. Yours did not. He is selfish beyond measure.

You want him to be an amazing father. You want him to be an amazing husband. He is neither of these.

Individual counseling for him is a MUST, IMO. My H dove into counseling and figured out his demons and ocntinues to work, 8 years later, being cognizant of his issues and putting into practice the things he learned. It is the rare WS that can get to the core of themselves to figure things out on their own.

IC for you would be helpful so you can figure out why you put up with such disrespectful treatment from the guy that chose to spend his life with you and only you. Sound like FOO (family of origin) issues are at the core. Get a good IC to help you reconcile your past with your present.

He does not cheat on you because you aren't good enough. He cheats because he isn't good enough

Another good quote to post on your mirror:
He didn't stray because of what he wasn't getting at home. He strays because of what he isn't giving.

Do not let him blame you/your marriage/your foo/etc for HIS actions. Walking around like nothing happened - nope, he doesn't get it. And he needs to *get it* before he can fix it.

Think of what consequences you are willing to put forth. Think of what MUST be done in order for you to consider (like IC for him). Think of the life you want & deserve and how you can get it - with our without him. He needs to know you are serious - otherwise I fear you will again rugsweeep this whole thing... until it happens again.

Actions to take now:
*STD testing (don't believe him - he didn't use a condom)

*See a lawyer - if only to determine what your rights are should divorce be your final course of action. Getting info does not mean you have to file of D. And filing for D doesn't mean you have to go through with the final steps.

*Take care of YOU and your kids. Close the bakery. He cannot have his cake and eat it too. Push him off that fence.

You can do this! Scary as it is, you can. And you don't need to do it all today or even tomorrow. What you do need to do is start taking inventory of your life.

Western posted 8/24/2015 12:46 PM

a couple of things stood out to me about what you said.

Affairs, like the old one from years ago, don't make a marriage better. The work both sides put in to recovering things make it possibly better in the long run. or maybe not.

Next, while this is clearly on him, I do in part blame Ashley Madison. It is a scummy site and apparatus for cheaters.

I am sorry he did this to you. Noone deserves to be cheated on.

As you said, you had problems too but worked hard to recover and make yourself better. What did he do ?

It sounds like he's a serial cheater. Not a good situation with 4 kids. Not a good situation even if you had none.

Were any of his efforts successful this time to hook up ?

What are your thoughts at this time ? How old are the kids ? How has he reacted since you found out ?

One last thing. you said this : "I feel like I could excuse him meeting someone and having an attraction that led into an affair, but soliciting sex from strangers on a hookup website, a hookup website specifically for cheating? "

So I ask you this. Why is that better ?? I don't think it is. To many, an affair is worse than an anonymous hookup. Both are disgusting

sandylee posted 8/24/2015 13:03 PM

He cheated 3 months into your marriage. At the time you had no kids and all the time to give each other. With your best friend as well. You had an affair when seperated and he was also with someone in that time to the point of living with her.

Depending on the terms of your seperation I don't think you cheated. Often times, there's no actual agreement during a seperation.

If he cheated so early and carried on cheating,he won't stop. He's a serial cheater and the thought of loosing you once before didn't really phase him. It sounds like you were the one who wanted to reconcile and he was happy to move on.

I don't see him stopping at all and his tales of not actually meeting anyone are not true.
AM isn't the problem, it's your H. You can see he went from one hook up site to another looking for sex.

The 180 would serve you good while you consider your options. How many chances will you give him.
If nothing else, think about a seperation (with specified conditions of no dating), while you decide if you want to act like the FBI for the rest of your marriage with him.

SI Staff posted 8/24/2015 15:57 PM

   Moving to General

SisterMilkshake posted 8/24/2015 16:24 PM

Well see, this kind of thinking is what's given him the green light to cheat over and over and over.
DM213, this isn't your fault no matter what anyone says. (((DM213)))

I am so sorry you had to find us, but I am glad that you finally did.

I feel the AM hack didn't ruin your life it actually saved it. Who knows what kind of disease your WH could have (did) bring home to you. You get to make choices now based on truth and knowledge. To me, that is a lifesaver.

Most everyone else gave you very good advice, I have nothing to add, except to remember, your WH's cheating isn't your fault.

eta: correct a word

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 4:25 PM, August 24th (Monday)]

Lovedyoumore posted 8/24/2015 16:33 PM

I agree with SisterM here. The one who hacked your life is your H. After my H's affair became known to me, I became a truth freak. Knowledge is strength, not weakness. Now you have an informed life to act on, not a shadowed shell of duck and cover. Use truth to empower yourself to make informed decisions. Stay married, but work like hell to have an open, truthful marriage. I will never say the A improved my marriage, but my eyes are open and I will insist on truth. That, is an improvement for me.

mustard508 posted 8/24/2015 23:59 PM

Sorry to hear this story. In a strange way, your story has helped me. I am a husband that never cheated and always provided. My wife opened her Ashley Madison account two days before I got a great out of state offer. She told me to take it and she would follow after the house sold. Now, one year later, we're in a bitter custody battle, she has failed three drug tests and I'm paying her $4000 a month so she can keep my kids 10 hours away and not let me talk to them. I could give up all respect for women and then I read a story like yours. You have sacrificed so much for your family and put up way too much bullshit. Our stories aren't equal but I know from hearing yours that there are better women out there and I hope that hearing mine you know there are better men out there as well.

newlysingle posted 8/25/2015 00:45 AM

I'm sorry that you are here. I'm sure that this was devastating for you. I will say however, that your husband showed you who he was from the get go. Cheating on your right at the beginning of your marriage isn't a red flag, it's the fourth of july fireworks.

I too, overlooked a lot of bad behavior on my XH's part. There was no infidelity (that I know of) at the beginning, but a lot of other red flag behavior about his character, lack of honesty, etc. It's easy to put the blinders on and just focus on the good stuff.

I don't know what will happen for you, that is your decision. I do like to always say though, that divorce is not the end of the world. I also discovered my XH's infidelity right after giving birth to our second child. He had no remorse at all and moved out immediately to be with her. It was horrific and so painful at the time, but I now realize it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I seriously think about sending OW a fruit basket at times to thank her for taking him off of my hands. She is now dealing with his constant sneaking around and lying.

You will survive this, even if you have to do it on your own. I'm telling you that the single life isn't so bad.

Ostrich80 posted 8/25/2015 01:21 AM

Dm213 I'm sorry for the reason you had to find your way here but thankful you found SI. I know its hard to hear this but I'm thankful you found out what you did because your WS is risking your health. I don't believe that he's never hooked up with these women. It's customary for a busted WS to only admit to what they know you have proof of and some will even deny what you have as evidence in your hand. Please get into ic ASAP. You desperately need help to sort out all of this crap that fell on you. He's going to be trying to claim he needs help, please stay with me and help me change my evil ways bla blah blah. Focus on you and the kids only. You've most likely just found the tip of the iceberg, the entire truth rarely gets spilled immediately even though he will say he's coming clean. Again I'm really sorry.

Africanmom posted 8/25/2015 04:58 AM

I haven't been on this forum for a while but this AM hack has brought all the pain back and I thought I would pop on and see if I can lend support. I am so sorry you are going through this horrific ordeal. I have come out the other end but am forever changed. I will say this: you will be more than okay if you just take it day to day. Don't be too hard on yourself and do whatever it is you feel you must do to be able to say you have done everything. If you feel you need counselling then do it but it rarely works if you are both not 100% invested in changing and then you may find yourself (as I did) in counselling all alone. Do what you need to do. Protect yourself and your kids and know you will be okay and you will get through this devastation. Sending lots of love, my thoughts are with you as useless as that may be - know I am thinking of your pain from across the world.

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