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It Just Keeps Getting Worse

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MotherofBoys posted 8/9/2017 17:03 PM

My story is exactly like so many others that I have read here, and yet it is also unique to me. I'm guessing that most of you can probably relate to that.

It is a very long story, but it is time for me to get it out of my system. So here goes . . .

The first D-Day occurred back in March. My husband was out of town and while cleaning I found his old cell phone with the cracked screen. I opened it out of curiosity and made the worst possible discovery. Selfies that another woman had taken in various states of undress. The farther down I scrolled, the worse they got. At the end was a video. She was using a vibrator on herself and she called out his name. That was when I knew he wasn't just looking at porn or exchanging pictures; he was cheating. When I confronted him he immediately admitted that he had cheated on me with the woman (did I mention that her face does not appear in any of the pictures or video, so I have to take his word on who she is?). He had met her through work, but she lives in a completely different town. They don't work together, but they are in the same kind of business. Anyway . . . he told me that they met five years ago, immediately started flirting and before long she was sending him racy text messages. The next time he saw her (three months later) they had sex in his hotel room while he was at a conference. He said the texts and pictures continued for awhile, but a few months later they got together at the next conference and decided that it had been a mistake and to just be friends and colleagues. Obviously, I was devastated. No marriage is perfect, but I was in no way prepared to discover that he was capable of such a thing. I cried a thousand tears, asked a million questions, and made an endless stream of demands. He seemed genuinely remorseful and even made me start to feel sorry for him when he revealed that he had been sexually abused for several years by a family member. We immediately started couples therapy and he started seeing a therapist by himself, as well. He answered most of my questions although I was constantly frustrated by the "I don't know" and "I don't remember" answers. He stopped drinking completely and even though we decided not to tell anyone in our family or friend group what had happened, he did call my sister and brother-in-law and personally apologize for some of his past behavior towards them. All steps in the right direction. I was still struggling every single day to make sense of this, but at least I had hope that we could get through it.

And then there was D-Day #2. After 3 months of some progress I still had the need to ask questions and piece together the whole story. My intuition told me that he wasn't telling me everything, so I started to snoop around. I wish I had done it sooner because I'm sure I would have found more, but as it was, I found something pretty damning. It was a receipt for $250 diamond earrings purchased by him in February -- just three weeks before D-Day #1. I do not, and never have worn earrings. When presented with the evidence he had the nerve to lie right to my face and tell me he knew nothing about it, even though it was an online receipt with his name and his work address on it. I cannot even describe the depths of my anger and humiliation. And now I got Story #2. It started four years ago, not five. The whole thing marinated for about a year, not just a few months, before it got physical. And it hadn't been a one-night thing. It had lasted well over a year. They had sex multiple times, whenever they were at a conference together. She had ended it after a year, but occasionally he would contact her and try to initiate another meeting because he was interested in continuing. For the sex. Only sex. He assured me that it was never more than that. She was also married with children and neither of them was interested in ruining their home lives; they both just happened to enjoy kinky sex that they weren't getting at home with their spouses. The diamond earrings were just another attempt at getting her to meet him again, but it hadn't worked and he hadn't seen or talked to her in over a year. This time he swore he had finally told me everything. It was all on the table, and he actually felt relieved that he no longer had to hide it.

And so, after several months of getting used to one story and starting to feel like I was making healthy progress, I had to start all over again. I knew from everything I had read that it is very common for cheaters to not admit to everything the first time around, but it doesn't make it any easier to learn that the person you love most in the whole world is an even bigger liar and deceiver than you thought. There were so many days I just wanted to get in the car and drive away. Or dig a hole and jump in it. I hated him and I hated her and to a certain extent I hated myself. How could I be so stupid? So gullible? So nave? How could he do this to me after so much time together? How could he betray me when all I had ever done was love and support him? I'm not saying I'm a perfect wife, but I did not deserve this. And no matter what I did, I just could not wrap my brain around any of this.

Did I mention that we have four kids? Ages 8 through 15, and I'm going to freely admit at this point that they were truly the only reason I was still with him. I love him and I want my marriage to work, but in the end, it was my kids that were keeping me with him. He's a good father and I knew that leaving him would be very damaging for them. For their sake, I wanted to see if we could figure things out. So for the next two months or so we continued to work on things. There were more bad days than good for me, but I kept plugging away. Trying to be strong. Trying to fix what was broken. Trying to accept and move on.

Now let me add here that in the middle of this we also sold our house, moved into our camper for two months, and then moved to a new town in a new state. This has been stress heaped on top of stress for me. Originally I saw the move as a good thing -- a new start, far away from the OW, and closer to my family and friends. But now I am in a new town with no friends and no job. And just yesterday . . . .

D-Day #3. I went to his new office because I was going to use his computer to apply for a new job. He wasn't in his office, so I sat down at his desk to wait. And because my suspicions and paranoia have not gone away for even a second, I started poking around his desk drawers. It took me all of 20 seconds to find what I feared the most. A phone that I had never seen before and a Valentines Day Card that said "With All My Love". Do I even need to say any more? I wasn't surprised at all, but definitely angry. After all his words of love and remorse, all his promises and all the so-called progress we had been making. He had been lying to entire time. So now I can't even be sure that the new story is the truth because I've been fed so many lies. Lies wrapped in more lies and covered with more lies. A mountain of lies. An endless sea of lies and betrayal that stretches as far as I can see. And I can't see past it and I don't know what to do.

The new version of the story is that the affair never really ended. She bought him the phone because he was scared of getting caught with his regular phone (apparently he had accidentally sent a text to me that was meant for her and although he was able to cover it up they both decided he needed a separate phone). He's had it for over a year and even after I found those pictures and he admitted to the affair, he just couldn't give up that phone. And so this whole time they've continued to text and talk and while he claims that they haven't been together in over a year, it doesn't really matter because that phone is all the proof I need that he wasn't fully invested in reconciliation or the truth. He's been feeding me all kinds of bullshit, like she threatened to expose him to his friends and coworkers or get him in trouble at work, but that doesn't explain keeping a Valentines Day card hidden in his desk at work. It certainly doesn't explain not cutting off all contact as soon as we had moved out of state and there was very little threat to his career. And it doesn't explain physically tearing the phone out of my hands and then smashing it to bits so that I would have no chance of ever seeing what was on it. It must have been pretty bad is all I can say. He says that he didn't want me to see the texts where he tells her he loves her (but only because it was what she wanted to hear) or where she declares that she can't live without him. And I'll never know if that was it or if there was more. I will truly never know the truth because he's lied so often that I can't ever believe a single word he says ever again.

So here I am. Emotionally drained. Tired of seeing him cry, with no remorse left for his sob story of childhood pain and abuse. Angry and sad, but in a very muted way because I've been down this road so many times before and I am SO over it. I need to protect my kids and that is my one and only priority at this moment, but I don't know the best way to do it. I've already moved them away from their home and friends. Tearing them away from their dad would be devastating. And we're the new people in a super tiny town. Everyone would know in a second and the scandal would be horrendous. Those are excuses, I know. I should leave or kick him out. I should file for divorce this very second. But I am emotionally and physically drained. I barely have the energy to get out of bed let alone make life altering decisions. I really wish someone would come and take over my decision-making. Actually, I wish someone would wake me up and tell me it was all a horrible nightmare. This just cannot be my life. How did I get here?

Forks027 posted 8/9/2017 17:13 PM

Right now, focus on you and the kids only. You can practice the 180, which is found in the Healing Library, for yourself. I'm sorry you've had to join this club.

marji posted 8/9/2017 17:27 PM

MOB So, so sorry you are here but good that you have found SI. It has been a blessing for me and so many, many others.

But you also need IRL people. I would advise you speak to a good family attorney about your rights and the laws in your state. Find a good IC, preferably one experienced with betrayal trauma but definitely one who puts you at your ease and who you think can help you sort through all this.

Know that you do not have to make any fast and hard decisions right now about D, S, R, but you can make a good decision to focus on yourself and what you have to do to stay healthy and relatively sane. Of course we think of our children--mine is an adult and a parent and I think about how my decisions can effect him. It would be harder if he was a young child. But their well being is a reflection of yours. Their happiness and health is not independent of yours so your being "selfishly" focused on your health and well being means doing best by them.

You seem to have already decided there would be a "scandal" and your children "devastated." Maybe you have to think in less dramatic terms right now paying attention to your needs--are you getting proper rest and nutrition. Are you learning as much as possible about your financial situation and legal rights. Are you giving yourself time to relax, to heal. Are you doing all you can so you can decide boundaries and consequences? It's a huge task their violations impose on us. But MotherofBoys Im sure you are a strong person and you will find yourself up to this enormous challenge.

Brisee posted 8/9/2017 17:30 PM

I understand all too well how you are feeling. You know that should leave him (i know I should) but you are so exhausted that it seems like a huge mountain to climb. We are in the same place so I can't even give you advice . I just want you to know that you are not alone and please continue posing because some people here are really helpful ! So sorry you had to join our club.

smilethrupain posted 8/9/2017 17:31 PM

Sorry to find you here. It's the worst situation ever, but you'll find a great amount of support here. So many thing you wrote could have come from me. It's incredible how many of our situations follow the same direction, only veering ever so slightly.

As far as the phone thing. You are safe to assume your worst nightmares were in the texts, call log, and pictures if it was a camera phone. He would not have smashed it to pieces only to tell you exactly what he didn't want you to see. The I love yous would be the tip of the iceberg.

Stay strong. Consult with a lawyer (even if you have to drive to a nearby town) and find out what your options are. You husband is not only in "the fog" he's been leading a double life. All he wants to do is trick you into thinking it's done, once more, and carry on his merry way with his girlfriend. If I were you, I'd try your hardest to find out who this is so you can tell her spouse. He needs to know. And as you'll see a lot around here, affairs rarely survive the light of day. Expose his ass, stay strong and be there for your kids.


minusone posted 8/9/2017 18:05 PM

Please go to the top of this forum and start to read the Tactical Primer... .and then the yellow box and read the Healing Library.

Right now take care of YOU.

Get screened for STDS (tell your doctor why) make sure you eat, stay hydrated and get as much sleep as possible. Please seek counseling for yourself. Your WH (wayward husband) has to do the same and you need to see the report... because cheater's lie.

Be patient with yourself. It takes a long time to process and then about 2 to 5 years to heal from this. It's an emotional rollercoaster please make sure you take one day at a time and you don't have to make any decisions now.

However, you can't reconcile by yourself. You can't build a new foundation of your marriage by yourself.

I am so sorry that you are dealing with a man who can't tell you the truth... who doesn't have the strength of character or moral code to take ownership of his choices. Who keeps showing you that he has no respect for himself, his marriage and for you.

And please understand that YOU did nothing to deserve this and you certainly deserve more than he is capable of giving you. You keep offering him the gift of reconciliation and he keeps cheating and lying.

He has personal insecurities and a lack of boundaries that have to be faced and dealt with. He needs IC (individual counseling) His choices are his alone to own.... and there are no excuses for cheating.

You can't change him only your reaction to him.

You need to know the name of this OW and then find out if she has a life partner and expose the affair. Do not tell your husband.

(((Mother Of Boys))) take advantage of this site... keep reading and keep posting. You need to explore what you want to do, find the strength to deal and face that the man you married, the man you love keeps cheating. You have to learn how to set boundaries that you will keep. Remember when you deserve more and accept less you have to deal with the consequences. You have to find your power... through counseling, by reading this site, by seeing an attorney to know your rights....because Knowledge is Power.

You want to protect your kids... very understandable... but please realize that children raised in a household that is in constant turmoil, that has the undercurrents of fear and sadness and anger can be very destructive.

It takes a long time to process and a very long road to travel and if you have a spouse that refuses to work his ass off to make you feel safe, who refuses to go NC (no contact) with the OW (other women), who refuses to be transparent and honest the chances of rebuilding a new foundation for your marriage are very slim.

Please keep reading and keep posting.

Hopeful30 posted 8/9/2017 19:11 PM


I am so sorry you have had to join this group.

Your husband has been gaslighting you and continuing the affair. He is emotionally abusive to the mother of his children.

Have you been able to find out who the AP is yet?
Whatever you do, do not threaten him with telling the OBS of the AP.
But you need to blow up her world. You have enough Information, if she is really married, to make sure that she is too busy trying to save her own marriage, children and possibly her job.

Isn't it telling that he was able to get you to feel sorry for him, while he continued his affair.
That just means that you are a better person than him.

And care of you and the kids first. Read up on the 180 and implement to protect yourself.
You do not have to make any decisions quickly.

Keep posting and reading. See about getting an IC, if you haven't already. MC is a waste with a liar.

Craztcat829 posted 8/10/2017 14:01 PM

I am so very sorry for all that you are going through. Right now you and those precious children are the priority. I would see a lawyer, get trsted and make sure you eat, drink and rest. He needs to know you are serious and are taking control.

MotherofBoys posted 8/10/2017 21:13 PM

Crazy thought . . . has anyone else ever felt so tired of the whole mess that they've considered just giving up the fight and forgiving their cheating spouse? I am so exhausted, so utterly weary that I've actually had the thought that I should forget about all of this so we can just go on with our lives. This forum is proof that he's far from the only husband who has ever broken his vows -- maybe I should stop being so dramatic and just get over it already. Nobody's perfect, right? I'm just so tired!! Tired of being sad. Tired of being angry. Tired of obsessing over what they might have said or done to each other. Tired of everything that goes along with this. I don't even have to name them all because those of you reading this know what I'm talking about. And the great irony is that I've never been this tired and yet I barely sleep at night. My mind will not shut up and the quiet moments in the middle of the night are when my imagination really ramps up. And with all that time to think you would have thought I would have been able to sort all of this out and have all the answers. Unfortunately, I am no closer to any answers than I was four months ago.

Iwantmyglasses posted 8/10/2017 21:19 PM

Please see an attorney. Find out what your move radius will be. You do not need to stay in a tiny town. And do NOT get a job right now.

You will need to dig down and pull up all your strength. He needs to be hit hard with what real life will be as a divorced man.

I know it seems counterintuitive to start divorce proceedings...however at this moment. Your husband has no interest in you. He has had zero consequences that matter to him.

Where you able to get her phone number? It will be on your phone records. Do a reverse number search. Her husband needs to be told.

Iwantmyglasses posted 8/10/2017 21:21 PM

You cannot rugsweep a 4 year affair.

Can you go to your sisters? Please call her and have her come to you.

Find out who she is. Box his stuff up and deliver to her doorstep.

There are ways to figure out the truth.

MotherofBoys posted 8/10/2017 21:33 PM

Here is the problem with knowing who she is and telling her husband . . . when I initially confronted my husband about the affair he told me right away who she was. I know her name and where she works. I've seen pictures of her on Facebook and know about her family. However, in four months of searching phone records, text messages, emails and everything else I can think of, there is not one single link from him to her. Not one. Her phone number never appears in our records, I've never seen one text message or email with her name on it. The pictures that I found on his old phone? Saved by him on one device and resent to himself. Her name is not on them. No one else's is either. I ran a recovery operation on his old phone. Nothing. And because he had a secret phone that was pay-as-you-go and he destroyed it, I don't think there's any way to retrieve what was on it. So you see, I only have her name because it's the one he gave to me. But he has lied so many times that I cannot be sure he's telling the truth about who she is. What if his mistress is someone else and he's protecting her by giving me the name of someone unrelated? It's totally possible, so I cannot tell her husband and possibly ruin her life if I'm not absolutely positive. I can't and I won't.

nekonamida posted 8/10/2017 23:38 PM

MOB, if you rugsweep this, one of two things will happen. Either you will wake one day and be completely done with him. I have seen it happen over and over again even with someone who rugswept for 20 years and then decided to D over it. Maybe you will D but maybe not.

The other option, which is likely the longer the A continues, is that your WH will D you. Neither road leads where you want to. The only situation in which there is no D is when both you and WH live as roommates, quietly seething with resentment, indefinitely. None of it is good or healthy for anyone including your kids who will model their future M after yours. You can only change this by demanding change from him or walking if he won't give you what you need. If you don't care about the likely chance of D, go ahead and rugsweep. It does not work in the long run.

MotherofBoys posted 8/11/2017 00:02 AM

I am not rugsweeping anything. Apparently the tone I was taking was missed by some. I am not seriously considering ignoring what he has done, I was simply trying to point out how extremely exhausting this all is. Every single part of my body is tired. I really wish I could be done with it and just move on. I also wish I could win the lottery, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. I was just asking if anyone out there could relate to being as bone-weary as I am. Can anyone else relate to wishing that you could just forget and move on?

refuz2bavictim posted 8/11/2017 02:03 AM

Yes I relate to that feeling of pure exhaustion and just wanting to curl up in a ball and do nothing, feel nothing and just disappear long enough for everything to go back to normal. Especially since you didn't ask for all of this to be dumped in your world. A hellish mess that needs cleaning up, and you simply don't have the energy to do it?
I let all my plants die after Dday, spent 3 full days in bed, I completely left the care of my children in the hands of my husband. I did manage to sift through computer files on the laptop while in my room. And for a while I considered that maybe I could just not get angry, let it go and even keep my friendship with the MOW who was my former friend.
But that didn't last. Once the anger kicked into gear, I was reenergized by the anger and had a one track mind on discovering the truth. Subsequent TT lies left me exhausted the following year. I didn't have the same fired up energy to rely on anymore.

I think you have been hit with another round of lies and the anger doesn't quite kick into gear to renergize you. I think there comes a point t from the continued lies that you discover, that make you want to raise the white flag and cry "I give up".

I will say this regarding the possible AP. It's better to expose someone with proof and as you have nothing it would be best to wait. Couple that with the possibility that your liar in residence is throwing an innocent person under the bus to protect his real AP.

I do want to address the past childhood trauma. Im curious if you see some similarities in what I'm about to describe.

I see (more often than not) both on here and with a few real life friends, this cycle where a wayward who was traumatized as a child uses that as a way to avoid discussing their current CHOSEN behaviors. Then when caught they want to discuss and justify using the crutch of childhood abuse and fully avoid giving the spouse what they want and need, which is full disclosure. But they can't and won't give that disclosure. They continue to protect their coping mechanism, maybe get a little counseling and show a token of progress by doing so, but then you find some new evidence and the cycle repeats?

If any of that sounds familiar, of course you are utterly drained. The person you are married to is no longer the victim in that scenario. You are.

[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 2:06 AM, August 11th (Friday)]

cannotforgive posted 8/11/2017 03:43 AM

MotherofBoys, I totally relate to feeling tired and wanting to give up.

You are tired of his lies and deceit, you are traumatized of what he did and is probably still doing.

I do not know how old your boys are, but can you ask him to leave? Sometimes this helps you as his constant presence might be the factor you feel like this.

Can you find a councilor ASAP? it will help speaking to someone professional. Maybe see your doctor? Get checked in case you are falling in depression?

I think the trauma is so great that your body and mind are responding in this way.

I was a zombie after D-day. Not only I had to deal with my trauma, but also with the guilt of my son who gave me my WH's swipe password for his phone. This poor boy said to his sister that he wanted to commit suicide blaming himself for the break up of the family.
I asked WH to leave as I could not look at him or bear to be with him. He had a LTA with a co-worker who dumped him and left, but they were still texting each other.
After a year of R, I discovered he lied about the length of the affair even though his IC told him to tell the truth on D-day. More trauma....
I know exactly how you feel, you must ask family and friends for help. You must get out of the house, go for walks, see friends, go to the gym. All these small steps lead to the end of the tunnel where the light is there, but seems dark at the moment.
Your kids must be a priority, ignore the cheater for now and implement the 180 since he is not remorseful and he is not proving he is NC.
After D-day I asked for her name and details and WH gave me everything I needed. I contacted her family and husband and let them know how she destroyed 2 marriages. They were shocked.

Please look after yourself and the kids and post here. Small steps.....

DarkHoleHeart posted 8/11/2017 03:48 AM

MOB, this feeling of exhaustion is familiar to all of us, almost everybody experienced it to some degree.

And I think that you should really give up. Give up on your marriage.
Do you have remains of his phone? If you take it to specialist, it might be possible to recover information from it. Not that it really matters - you know everything that is needed to plan your actions, right?

PopIt posted 8/11/2017 11:56 AM

The pictures that I found on his old phone? Saved by him on one device and resent to himself.

If you have the pictures and especially the video then you can put them on a USB and send to the OBS. Include a letter saying that your WS gave you her name. If it is her then her husband would be able to tell pretty quickly, especially from the video if she talks in it.

If it really isn't her then I can't see how this would cause any harm to their marriage. You can apologise to them for your husband bringing them into it and then you've got your answer to call him out on more lies.

Another option on how to deliver the photos / video could be to upload them to Vimeo - then you can tell if they've been viewed, and obviously because of content you can make the videos private and password protected.

Iwantmyglasses posted 8/11/2017 12:40 PM

Please know each of us does indeed know how tired and exhausted you are. We know. It's a hurt that will make you shutter the rest of your life even with the textbook remorseful spouse.

Allow yourself to feel exhausted. Your different cycles will come.

I do think if you felt you are doing something to show your would help you.

This feeling right's horrible. I don't have the words.

I do know after my own situation and reading story after story...we know what works.

So do you have a picture? Can you do an image google with her picture?

Have you googled her name with her state attached to it? Have you looked up her name on linked in (if you do anything on linked in...make up a fake name. Same for Facebook.

She may have blocked you. I know OW did in my case because "how dare I invade her privacy".

I was thinking about this last night.

---do you have access to all financials? Passwords, statements. The first thing I would do. Run a credit check on your husband. See if he has any accounts you do not know about.

Print out every single statement over the past 5 years. Get your highlighter out. (If you don't have access--get it. Go to your bank. Tell a clerk to help you. Tell your husband you need passwords. Don't let him print for you. You can save these files and manipulate numbers.

Go through every single statement with a highlighter. Highlight his cash withdrawals. His hotels rooms. His dinner amounts. Get out your calendar. Mark all of these things down on a calendar. Go to your own Facebook/ Instagram account. Mark on this calendar what you were doing. You can scroll all the way back on Facebook. You can look at your pictures on your phone to refresh your memory.

Every dollar your husband spent on this affair is owed back to you. Either through divorce. And also through reconciliation.

If he used company funds to pay for affair hotel rooms, this is an IRS violation. Can't expense those type of activities. Don't tell him this. Just remember it.

Also please go and purchased a voice activated recorder in cash. Plant it under his seat. I actually taped mine to the underside of our child's booster seat.

I know you are tired. But you need to know. Especially since he has lied so much.

hpv50 posted 8/11/2017 12:42 PM

I agree with Popit. Any husband would recognize their spouses body. Explain to the other BS that your WS admitted to an affair with her and identified her in the pictures.

If it's not her, and he lied, then who cares? The only downside is some mild embarrassment.

But consider the upside: Telling her husband is the best thing you could ever do to shut down the affair. Also he may find evidence that you don't have to stop your husbands gaslighting. It wouldn't be the first time that someone on these boards got more evidence from the other spouse.

Your husband has acted like he has all the power and is trying very hard to maintain all the control. He won't behave differently until he thinks otherwise. Talking to the other BS could help you with that power imbalance.

Yeah, I definitely get the exhaustion. You deserve much much better than this.

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