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infidelity after 10 years

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dixans posted 12/10/2019 11:19 AM

Short version:

On November 4, my husband of 10 years woke me up in the middle of the night to come clean that he had cheated on me.

Sorry for how long this is going to be. I have so many emotions and Iím trying to provide as much context and insight as possible.

(Very) long version:

I married my husband when I was 19 and he had just turned 25. He was in the military, I was a college student, and I (foolishly) gave everything up to marry him. Dropped out of college, moved to the middle of nowhere, etc. He hasnít been in the military since 2011 and has become very successful in his career. Relationship-wise, things have always been kind of rocky from MY perspective. We have good periods, but he has a quick temper and is prone to name calling, insults, and generally denigrating me. He comments on my lack of education, has accused me of marrying him for money (never mind the fact that he was utterly broke at the time we got married), and generally attacks my character. He has always been EXTREMELY jealous. I dismissed this as insecurity despite knowing that it can be a red flag. However, he did have a difficult childhood with an alcoholic (sober for 30 years now) father and lots of turmoil. I have given him a lot of grace regarding his ďflawsĒ based on the unhealthy examples he saw growing up and acknowledging that he doesnít have healthy coping mechanisms, etc, as a result.

I am from the southeast, he is from the West coast. After he got out of the military, we lived near his family for 7-8 years, rarely visiting my family. However, we decided in early 2018 to move to my hometown for lower COL. We did so in summer 2018. Spring 2019, he was contacted with an offer for his dream job back where we had lived previously. After lots of soul-searching from both of us, we decided together that he should accept because itís something he could parlay into a similar position locally based upon the prestige of the company, etc. I considered so many factors while we were making this decision, most notably that he is an AMAZING, super-involved, genuinely excellent father to our daughters, now 5 and 7. However, I never, ever considered that he would be unfaithful. He has a very strong sense of duty, family is extremely important to him, and despite other behaviors, he has always seemed to be very loyal. He accepted the job and began April 2019.

It has been an adjustment, but we were all doing pretty well with the change. He has been able to make regular visits here, and on a few occasions has been able to work from home for several weeks at a time. The kids and I have also made trips to visit him when school schedule allows.

I went back to school starting this fall. It has been going really well so far, and Iím so relieved to finally be a full-time university student. Over the past 10 years, I have taken classes here and there but never been able to see it through due to lack of support, i.e, him being unwilling to pay for childcare but also being unwilling to ďallowĒ me to attend evening classes when he could watch the kids for more than one semester. There have been times that I donít know whether I would have continued the marriage if Iíd had a way to support myself and the kids. I DO love him, a lot, but he hasnít always been very nice to me, and he seems to think that he can buy me presents and that itís okay to treat me poorly.

In July, the 2 of us took our first trip without the kids, a long weekend away. It was great and I felt really close to him.

However, the next few months were really difficult, because he would CONSTANTLY accuse me of cheating on him. My reassurances meant nothing, and it was really, really bad. Incessant communication, accusations multiple times a day, sometimes an hour. If I didnít expressly deny the accusations, ďNo, I donít have a boyfriend,Ē etc, he would take it as admission of guilt. He has always been jealous, but it did get a lot worse, coming to a head one weekend in September when I went out for dinner with 3 female friends that he knows well and he wouldnít stop contacting me, accusing me of cheating, etc, to the point that my friends noticed something was going on. On that weekend I truly thought our relationship was over. However, he ended up being apologetic and I forgave him again.

In October, we took our second trip, another long weekend, to attend the wedding of his best friend. This trip coincided with our 10 year anniversary. The trip was fun. Following, he worked from home here for 2 weeks. It was nice to have him around. In the middle of the night the morning before he left, he woke me up and said, ďwe need to talk.Ē So many things went through my mind, like, maybe heíd lost his job and hadnít told me, maybe he was ill, etc, but never that he had cheated on me. So when he told me, I thought I was dreaming.

Apparently in May, he contacted someone through an app called Wish. This woman had posted something and he replied about meeting her at a hotel room, she agreed, and they met and had sex. I donít know much about the app, I did download and look at it after he told me but I donít know if this is a common use of the app.
He claims he was never unhappy at all. He thinks Iím amazing and beautiful and I didnít deserve this, etc. He has been EXTREMELY apologetic. He told me the guilt was killing him. I kept getting the feeling that I didnít have the whole story, and a couple days later, with a lot of prodding, he told me that he has downloaded dating apps and similar for basically our whole marriage, and checked them out whenever we had fought or something, but that was the first time he actually reached out to someone. I have no way of knowing whether or not this is true, but I (probably stupidly) have taken it at face value.

I feel like Iím drowning. Some days I feel like I can move past it, but other days it keeps me up at night and I donít know how Iím supposed to get over it.

Our insurance is in flux but as of January 1 we will have a new insurance provider at which point Iíll make an appointment for therapy, but I havenít been able to find a provider who takes my insurance that is accepting new patients. I do have longstanding anxiety and right not I feel like Iím in a tailspin.I have always had anxiety but never depression, so I don't want to label it that way prematurely, but it's hard to even get out of bed in the morning, I'm not excited about Christmas and I usually look forward to it all year. I only put up a tree for my kids' sake and even then it was a huge undertaking despite doing the bare minimum. I have still been doing well in school with the exception of one exam I had a week after finding out on which I got a C because I just couldn't focus long enough to study.

Things between us seem fine as long as I pretend nothing happened and that Iím happy and have forgiven him and moved on. He doesnít like the way sometimes things seems the way they were before, and then unexpectedly I become very upset again. There was an issue regarding whose family we would be with for Christmas and when I started pretty much crying uncontrollably because home is my comfort zone and I donít feel like leaving my comfort zone right now, he said, ďWow, I didnít think youíd react this way.Ē

I just donít know if I can move past it, but I also donít want to give up my education AGAIN.

Again, sorry for the length. I will answer any questions in the unlikely event (haha, just kidding) I left something out.

ChamomileTea posted 12/10/2019 13:02 PM

Things between us seem fine as long as I pretend nothing happened and that Iím happy and have forgiven him and moved on. He doesnít like the way sometimes things seems the way they were before, and then unexpectedly I become very upset again. There was an issue regarding whose family we would be with for Christmas and when I started pretty much crying uncontrollably because home is my comfort zone and I donít feel like leaving my comfort zone right now, he said, ďWow, I didnít think youíd react this way.Ē

I just donít know if I can move past it, but I also donít want to give up my education AGAIN.

I'll be honest with you... I'd divorce this guy. It's bad enough that he cheated on you and now wants to act like nothing happened, but from what you've posted, he has always treated you badly. He's got a WS mindset and he's had it all along. That's why he's always projected accusations of cheating onto you. He's got a short temper. He's kept you from your education goals for 10 years, even while he accuses you of using him for money. And he's been cheating on you for the entirety of the marriage, maybe not with his body, but certainly with his mind as he continued to search through dating apps.

I've been married for over three and a half decades and time goes by quicker than you think. People can change, that's true. But most don't, and not without tremendous internal effort. This guy is already on a major rugsweeping campaign and nothing you've posted here would indicate he's even capable of the kind of soul-searching that would be required for true change. I read your post and what stands out the most is that he sounds like a chore, a constant chore. Life's just too short for that, particularly when he's already cheated on you.

If you're inclined to divorce and move on, you're not wrong. No cheater is owed a second chance. If you're not sure yet, that's okay too. Just remember that cheating isn't a marital problem. It's a character problem. So, your WH is going to have to dig deep, find out what is inside him that allows cheating to be a choice, and fix it... all that, without blaming you for his own shortcomings.

Certainly, you shouldn't drop out of school. But frankly, if you can minimize other cost of living expenses, your education can be funded in your divorce settlement. Speak with an attorney. And get STD testing. Remember that you don't have to agree to R unless you're truly inclined to continue the marriage.

skeetermooch posted 12/10/2019 13:13 PM

This guy is poison.

Waking you up in the middle of the night? It's like he designed his big reveal for maximum disorientation and upset. It's pretty sadistic.

I can't help but think all of this is just a ploy to get you so messed up that you have to drop out of school.

Cheating is abuse. Lying is abuse. Not allowing you to grieve is abuse.

If you have to drop out of school - know that's it's to get yourself to a place where you can actually have a life. Yes, it will set you back by a semester or even a few semesters but you will finish.

If you stay he's going to sabotage every single thing you do that looks like independence.

Iwantmyglasses posted 12/10/2019 13:25 PM

My spouse was extremely similar to yours.

Extremely selfish.

Please purchase. ďWhy does he act this wayĒ. I cannot begin to tell you how much insight you will gain.

Itís not because of his childhood. Itís because he can and wants to.

Because you currently live in separate states, a divorce will come easy.

I highly recommend you learn and how to implement boundaries.

I too always put myself last. Now that I do not. I do not let my husband cross my boundaries. I am very happy. We were able to work through his asshole personality. My husband had changed a great deal.

I donít want to give you hopium. With this kind of man you cannot back down. Itís going to take a very firm personality to get what you need. The first few times you will shake when being firm.

Tell me if you can see this happening in your house.... this is my first time implementing a boundary.

It was 6 months after DD and ironically Christmas as well. My MIL knew about the affair yet never discussed it with her son.

She decided to bring my dementia FIL to my house for Christmas. I was not ready to entertain. Yet I didnít say no. Because I STILL had not mastered boundaries

So, my FIL needs an oxygen take. I did my best to pull myself together for the kids. I was room mother for two kids and had to do the Christmas parties the day before in-laws came.

In then midst of the classroom parties I get a text from husbands aunt asking me if I can be home to sign for oxygen tanks. (I had already attempted to coordinate tank delivery. The company I picked needed a prescription. MIL didnít like that so she enlisted her Sisters help)

I text the Aunt back. No. I cannot change my plans at the last minute. I am doing things for my children.

I texted my husband. Coordinate with your aunt. I am unavailable.

Later I was finished with my day and my husband calls. Chastising me because the oxygen tank is important.

I said please let me interject. If the oxygen tank was important. People would have coordinated with me in advance. Or you could have taken a vacation day to handle your own fathers oxygen tank.

He said. You are right. I should have.

I felt so empowered. So strong. Before the affair I would have dropped everything to make EVERYONE a happy. I would have spent the party asking my friends to be at my house to sign for it.

There is more....

His Aunt ordered the wrong oxygen tank. MIL had to hold the air tube to the tank all night. The next day she asked me to handle getting the correct one.

I looked at her in the eye. I said no. I am not able to do this. Your son or your sister can handle it.

See...learning to say no. Keeping my boundary drawn...so valuable. .

I bet you are the person people count on. The one people will ask for anything. I prided myself on getting things done

Now I pride myself with having boundaries.

I do not know what your further holds. Reconciliation is possible as long as your husband respects your needs and goals. He has a great deal of changing to become a man you want and deserve.

Do not back down.

He is a man who had no problems having intercourse with a stranger as you took care of the children and home.

nekonamida posted 12/10/2019 13:43 PM

Dixans, this is an abusive marriage.

We have good periods, but he has a quick temper and is prone to name calling, insults, and generally denigrating me. He comments on my lack of education, has accused me of marrying him for money (never mind the fact that he was utterly broke at the time we got married), and generally attacks my character.

Verbal Abuse.

Over the past 10 years, I have taken classes here and there but never been able to see it through due to lack of support, i.e, him being unwilling to pay for childcare but also being unwilling to ďallowĒ me to attend evening classes when he could watch the kids for more than one semester.

Controlling abuse. He's keeping you dependent on him AND giving him a reason to keep accusing you of being uneducated and reliant on his money.

However, the next few months were really difficult, because he would CONSTANTLY accuse me of cheating on him. My reassurances meant nothing, and it was really, really bad. Incessant communication, accusations multiple times a day, sometimes an hour.

More controlling abuse.

I kept getting the feeling that I didnít have the whole story, and a couple days later, with a lot of prodding, he told me that he has downloaded dating apps and similar for basically our whole marriage, and checked them out whenever we had fought or something, but that was the first time he actually reached out to someone.

Infidelity is also abuse.

Just so you know - it's impossible to be an amazing father while abusing your children's mother. An abusive relationship between parents is actually MORE likely to lead to your children being abusive themselves than abusing the kids and having a solid relationship. If your children ever witness or overhear ANY of his abuse, he is setting them up to need years of therapy to properly deal with the harm he is doing so that they don't date someone like him or become him.

You have a BIG choice to make for your kids because you MUST change their environment. Either he gets healthy with you and stop the abuse or you leave him and show them an example of what a healthy marriage looks like because the example they have now is downright toxic.

For you, get IC preferably with someone who has experience with trauma, abuse, and infidelity.
Pick up a copy of the following books: "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft, "Codependent No More" by Meoldie Beattie, "How to Help You Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald. See a lawyer and find out your rights. You don't have to be ready to file but you need to know what D would look like if it comes to that so that you can make good decisions for yourself from a place of KNOWLEDGE and not make bad decisions from a place of FEAR.

IF your WH has any chance of staying in this marriage and becoming the healthy partner you deserve, he must do the following:

- IC preferably with someone experiences with anger, abusive men, and/or infidelity

- Give you a timeline of the A, the full truth about any other As, and be willing to pass a polygraph to prove he is telling the truth. Sorry, but he's probably lying about who else he's seen in person from those dating apps. Signing up alone is infidelity though.

- Give you full transparency to his phone, email, and social media including: allowing his phone to track his location (Find My Friends, turning on Google location) and giving you any and all financial transparency you may not already have (access to bank accounts, credit cards, etc.)

- Be willing to do anything and everything to help you heal from this including answering questions without anger and defensiveness and being patient and understanding of your triggers. It takes 2 - 5 years to heal from infidelity so he can't just tap out and tell you to get over it in a few months.

- End all verbal and emotional abuse IMMEDIATELY and be willing to support you through school by taking care of the kids or working out and paying for their childcare

IF he does all of the above, you MIGHT be able to R with him but if he will not do even ONE single part of ANY of the items above, R will not happen and you will D eventually either because you can't take the abuse anymore, because he isn't having fun being married to a beaten down, hurting BS of his own creating, or because you get served a new DDay. D rates are VERY high with WS like him between the serial cheating and the additional abuse so it is important that you weigh your options carefully when thinking about offering R.

And remember- What's best for you is best for your kids. It is SO much better to have one healthy, happy parent, even if they're single, than it is to have one abusive but involved parent and one miserable, victimized parent. It's better to be from a broken home than living in one. Right now your home is broken and it has been for a long time unfortunately. That changes now.

ohsospecial posted 12/10/2019 13:49 PM

Dixan, Iím so sorry youíre having to go through this, especially during the holidays. I will second what others have said: he has treated you badly for years, and even without the infidelity, that would be reason to leave.

Please, whatever else you must do, donít give up your education! If you do, he gets to maintain control, because he knows you are less likely to get a great job.

Iíve been married 35 years and am 62. I gave up what could have been a very lucrative career path so I could be a SAHM and later volunteer. Iím still trying to discover what my husband is up to....but I do know I have blown my chance for financial / career options.

Hereís a big hug ((()))))

Cooley2here posted 12/10/2019 14:09 PM

You and your husband have had 10 years to make your marriage. It is now what it is. He has all the power and you have none. Itís time to take your power back. The first thing you do is make him toe the line. Start using the word ďnoĒ. If he cannot be a loving spouse then heís a rotten father. You do not treat the mother of your children the way he has treated you and be a good father. Donít let him off the hook on that one. If you can stand being married to him long enough to finish your education then do it. Once you have your own income you will not believe how much power you feel. You will get validation from your coworkers and you will feel like a new person. Ask me how I know.

dixans posted 12/10/2019 14:15 PM

Thank you all for the feedback. First thing, he has had an STD test. It was the first thing I demanded and I have seen the results.

Some of it isn't easy to read :(. I think I know that it isn't a healthy relationship on some level, but it's easy to look the other way because he is (by all appearances) a good dad and can be very loving and generous toward me.

I neglected to mention (not on purpose, it was just so long already) that he has mentioned wanting/deserving to die in the wake of all of this. He has also developed an ailment that I think is probably stress related (has been to the doctor, had full work-up including imaging) and he told me today that he kind of hopes something is wrong because he think I wouldn't leave him if he's sick. He brings up the pain/other symptoms any time I seem upset. I am already so stressed between the revelation of infidelity, the solo parenting (I realize I'm not a single parent because I still have financial support, but I am doing the daily stuff on my own), and school, as I'm taking a heavy load to finish as quickly as possible, and he just disregards that and piles on the stress even more by unloading his own issues onto me. I told him I can't be his therapist and that he needs to seek professional mental health, but he has yet to do so.

I truly understand that it's sometimes better for kids to have divorced parents than it is to have unhappily married parents. My own parents' marriage ended in divorce when I was 11 and it made the remainder of my childhood much happier. But I was never close to my dad. My kids adore my husband. For them, the sun rises and sets on daddy. I would feel so much guilt to deprive them of that.

Edit: He also keeps expressing that he thinks I'll cheat on him in retaliation, which really hurts because it's SO antithetical to my personality. I don't think I've done anything out of spite in my entire life. It's also stupid. As a nearly 30-year-old, I'm hardly falling over myself to hook up with a 20-year-old undergrad in my biology class, and vice versa, I don't think they'll be lining up to get with me. But per him, I'm a "MILF" (ugh) and he's convinced I'll find a fling at school.

It's just so frustrating that after a relationship of accusing me of cheating, HE cheats, and then continues to accuse me of cheating/impending cheating.

[This message edited by dixans at 2:19 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

NotSureAboutIt posted 12/10/2019 14:18 PM

I am sorry that you find yourself here. You have real issues in your marriage before his A that need to be addressed. IC for both of you would be a good start.
You have a couple of things going for you; Your husband told you of his A before you found out. He had a single ONS (poly to make sure). He is not emotionally attached to his AP. If you can work through the other issues in your marriage, you have a good chance at R.

CatsNTats posted 12/10/2019 14:31 PM

it's easy to look the other way because he is (by all appearances) a good dad and can be very loving and generous toward me.

He sounds like a narcissist. A lot of what you have said about him makes me believe that. That outside appearance.

He needs intense IC to figure out why he's so fucked up that he could continue to hurt you like this. You need IC to help you heal. Stop putting him on a pedestal. That's what narcissists do - they can be nice when they want to. He's shown his true colors now. A good dad wouldn't cheat on his children's mother.

Also - when he was accusing you of cheating - it's because he was already cheating. That's what cheaters do. As if to justify their behavior. You need to start seeing him for what he really is.

If he actually wants to keep a relationship with you - he needs to start doing serious work before you even consider offering R to this man. Don't offer R until you see changes that are acceptable to you. You should probably go ahead and start the D process - it can be stopped at any time. But I would take the evidence of the infidelities with you to help support you in the event that you do continue with D.

nekonamida posted 12/10/2019 14:48 PM

I neglected to mention (not on purpose, it was just so long already) that he has mentioned wanting/deserving to die in the wake of all of this. He has also developed an ailment that I think is probably stress related (has been to the doctor, had full work-up including imaging) and he told me today that he kind of hopes something is wrong because he think I wouldn't leave him if he's sick. He brings up the pain/other symptoms any time I seem upset.

This is manipulation. He is trying to make you feel guilty for being hurt after he stabbed you in the back. Do not entertain this. Do not accept it as a pass for abusive behavior.

Go to the Healing Library and check out the 180. Follow it. No more talk of R. No more talk of anything other than kids and finances. If he starts berating you or accusing you of cheating, you say nothing and leave the room. If he won't stop or escalates, you call the police. This sends a clear message to him that continued abuse and manipulation will not work for him. He either needs to get on board with R or he needs to work on leaving.

I truly understand that it's sometimes better for kids to have divorced parents than it is to have unhappily married parents. My own parents' marriage ended in divorce when I was 11 and it made the remainder of my childhood much happier. But I was never close to my dad. My kids adore my husband. For them, the sun rises and sets on daddy. I would feel so much guilt to deprive them of that.

Do you think he will abandon your kids if your divorce him? No way, right?

Just because he's not your husband anymore does not mean he's not their father. Given he does treat them well, you can share them 50/50 with him. He can still see them and be a good father to them. But it is so harmful for them to witness him being a terrible husband to you and that needs to change.

Dixans, you NEED IC. You NEED to read some of the books I've recommended. If you can't manage all three, AT LEAST read "Codependent No More". You are listening to that codependent little voice in your head that calls you selfish and terrible for simply protecting yourself. Divorcing an abusive man is protecting yourself. Divorcing so that you can have a shot at a career is protecting yourself. Divorcing a man who creates a toxic and harmful environment for your kids while married to you is protecting yourself and your kids. Protection is not selfish. It is necessary.

dixans posted 12/10/2019 14:58 PM

Dixans, you NEED IC. You NEED to read some of the books I've recommended. If you can't manage all three, AT LEAST read "Codependent No More". You are listening to that codependent little voice in your head that calls you selfish and terrible for simply protecting yourself. Divorcing an abusive man is protecting yourself. Divorcing so that you can have a shot at a career is protecting yourself. Divorcing a man who creates a toxic and harmful environment for your kids while married to you is protecting yourself and your kids. Protection is not selfish. It is necessary.

Thank you. I have begun to look at the resources in the Healing Library and I will get those books. I will also be getting IC as soon as my insurance allows (less than a month).

I definitely need help overcoming the guilt, and frankly, fear associated with possible divorce.

nekonamida posted 12/10/2019 15:01 PM

I definitely need help overcoming the guilt, and frankly, fear associated with possible divorce.

Trust me. I have been there. Maybe not divorce but fear of separation from someone who was abusive to me. I know how difficult it is and how things seem "not that bad" any time he treats you with a little kindness. But they are that bad and they will always be that bad, or worse, until you're ready to demand better for yourself and make better for yourself if he won't give it to you.

Take good care of yourself in the mean time and keep reading.

BigMammaJamma posted 12/10/2019 15:22 PM

My WH has accused me of cheating and it does not frustrate me, IT FUCKING INFURIATES ME. I have never had so much as an inappropriate conversation with another man and this mother fucker wants to put MY character on trial after all his bullshit? Don't project your lack of boundaries and morality on me, buddy.

***Deep Breath***

Dixans, I am sorry. I definitely think that he sees you getting more independent and feels threatened. Its because he knows that you are a prize and would have no problem replacing him in a heartbeat. Threatening suicide (explicitly or implied) is manipulation. He seems sadder about how his shitty choices are affecting him rather than how it has impacted you. I am not saying that y'all can't grow old together but there is where he currently is and where he needs to be and the grand fucking canyon between. The thing is, YOU cannot bridge that gap. He has to.

Time is such a precious thing and he has robbed you of it and he continues to rob you of it by using guilt and pity to keep you rather than changing into a husband that is worthy of such an amazing wife. Keep reading and posting, as you sort through your thoughts and feelings. We are rooting for you.

Also, please keep this site to yourself. If he can read your private thoughts, it will be another tool for his manipulation.

<3

The1stWife posted 12/10/2019 15:54 PM

You want to get some control in your life?

Next time he accuses you of cheating or he worries about you having a revenge affair, just laugh and walk away. Donít discuss it. Donít engage in his anxiety or drama. Donít try to deny it or ease his worries. Let. Him. Worry.

Give him a taste of his own medicine.

And he most likely was accusing YOU of cheating based on his own behavior.

Let him see how it feels to lied to and manipulated.

I can tell you from experience the moment I stood or up to my H on dday2 things changed. He expected me to continue to be a doormat. To give in and say ďyesĒ and allow him to rule the roost.

Until I told him I was D him due to his continued cheating.

He no longer controls me. He no longer is #1 in this house.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 3:55 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

dixans posted 12/10/2019 16:15 PM

My WH has accused me of cheating and it does not frustrate me, IT FUCKING INFURIATES ME. I have never had so much as an inappropriate conversation with another man and this mother fucker wants to put MY character on trial after all his bullshit? Don't project your lack of boundaries and morality on me, buddy.

Thank you! I've been holding back because honestly I was kind of unclear on the rules regarding language and as a rule follower, I didn't want to break any rules. With that said...

I'm fucking pissed. I haven't been sleeping. I'm anxious about going to bed at night because I know I'll just wake up in a couple of hours and stare at the ceiling while I replay him saying, "I cheated on you," or picturing him with another woman. I expressed that to him this morning and this motherfucker says, "I understand, I can't sleep because I'm picturing you with another man," or some shit like that. Like??? What???? How DARE you commiserate with me? I have literally never even been with another man because I was so young when I got married. I am so fucking angry, and sad, and betrayed, and devastated, and everything. What did I do to deserve having my hand forced in this way? I won't pretend to be perfect, but even when I was struggling, I tried very hard to keep him happy, give in to whatever he wanted no matter how I felt, and this is where it got me. I gave him 10 years of my youth for him to do this to me? What's the point?

*sigh*

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

thatbpguy posted 12/10/2019 16:55 PM

The encouraging issue is that he told you out of a sense of guilt and wants to R and do better.

Then, there's this...

Things between us seem fine as long as I pretend nothing happened and that Iím happy and have forgiven him and moved on.

This, is idiotic. You are a human being and his wife. You have feelings and emotions. You have been intentionally betrayed [by the fact he got the app and went hunting] and now he just wants everything to be happy happy.

Bullshit.

He needs to understand how badly he has harmed you. Both emotionally and physically. And you probably will never fully recover.

Here is my strong suggestion.

Separate from him. A trial 30-90 separation. Tell him in person and in writing what this has done to you and what is he going to do to fix himself and heal you. Ask him what he intends to do about proving his love for you and how he will make you feel safe again with him. And words are NOT the answer.

Tell him you are going to consider a divorce. Let both families know what is happening and ask they respect your privacy in this matter.

Then take some time alone and work thru it. Slowly process it and see if R (reconciliation) is where you want to go. What is he going to do to prove himself?

Don't rug sweep or make this easy for him. That enables him to continue. He needs to get it- you are deeply hurt and scarred and he needs to make it right.

[This message edited by thatbpguy at 4:57 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

nekonamida posted 12/10/2019 17:11 PM

What did I do to deserve having my hand forced in this way? I won't pretend to be perfect, but even when I was struggling, I tried very hard to keep him happy, give in to whatever he wanted no matter how I felt, and this is where it got me. I gave him 10 years of my youth for him to do this to me? What's the point?

You did nothing to deserve this. Not one single thing. It's not your fault in the slightest that your WH has chosen to misuse your love for him and abuse you. It says far more about him than it does about you.

There is one part of how your sitting here today that is worth reflecting on and it's that your WH has always been mean, belittling, and jealous. He's been that way before kids and before the As. His behavior has always been a big, neon flashing sign for you to beware and to stay away. The reason I point this out is that it's possible you may find yourself in a similar situation with someone else in the future and I hope you are healthy enough to break up with anyone who treats you this way before you entangle your lives. Being in this situation is not your fault but managing it, preventing it, and getting out of it are now your responsibility to yourself and your kids.

ChamomileTea posted 12/10/2019 17:30 PM

Firstly, even if your WH went out for STD testing and came back clean, you still need to get tested yourself if you've had sex with him. Infections manifest in men and women differently and it's possible that something can be missed.


...he has mentioned wanting/deserving to die in the wake of all of this. He has also developed an ailment that I think is probably stress related (has been to the doctor, had full work-up including imaging) and he told me today that he kind of hopes something is wrong because he think I wouldn't leave him if he's sick. He brings up the pain/other symptoms any time I seem upset.

I agree with everyone else... this is raw manipulation. It's the kind of manipulation which colors YOU as insensitive if you don't capitulate utterly to his centrality. HIS health and mental comfort are the priority and you're unkind and intransigent if you take issue with him while he's down and in such pain, right?

But let me tell you how that is going to progress over the next ten to twenty years if he's allowed to manipulate you through somatic complaint. It's going to be back pain, stomach upset, headaches, panic attacks, and you-name-it to redirect your attention any time he begins to feel like there might be some unpleasantness. And he'll buy into what he's selling too, you betcha. You'll be the meanie who doesn't care if he is sick or if he is {gasp}.. dying (cue Scarlet O'Hara and her feinting couch). He'll keep telling himself that story too, about how cruel you are and how he's just a paycheck to you, how you're only married in name only for the kids etc, etc. ad nauseum... until once more, he's justified in his mind that HE is the victim here, not you. And he's certain that you don't care how many dating apps he downloads or who he's meeting on them.

My point is, that if you allow him to manipulate you through somatic complaint, there's no end to it and it's a game that you'll never win. In the end, he's the victim and you're a mustache-twirling bad guy. Never tolerate it.

He also keeps expressing that he thinks I'll cheat on him in retaliation, which really hurts because it's SO antithetical to my personality.

How do you handle that? It's not like he just met you last week. He KNOWS that cheating is antithetical to your personality... but he keeps on accusing you anyway. What does that tell you? Because it ought to be telling you that it's just another attempt to blame-shift, so that HIS feelings are paramount and yours don't get addressed at all. Next time he pulls that shit on you, instead of reassuring him, why not let him have a full earful on which one of you is the cheater who has not only done the deed, but has PLANNED that deed throughout your entire marriage by virtue of maintaining an online presence in the dating arena.

Most of the time, it's unwise to ramp up an argument, and I wouldn't "argue" on this either. But every now and then it's good to slap an overreaching hand. I'd just let go full throttle on exactly what I thought of his behavior and his penchant for blame-shifting accusations, and then I'd leave the room. The interchange should be unpleasant enough that he doesn't want to repeat it.


ETA: Take a look at The Karpman Drama Triangle. You'll find information online. Notice how your WH moves into the "victim" role, forcing you to either act as "rescuer" or "persecutor". What you want in an adult relationship though... is to be out of that triangle altogether.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 5:41 PM, December 10th (Tuesday)]

dixans posted 12/10/2019 19:49 PM

I really appreciate everyone's advice, so much. It helps to get the points of view of outsiders, because it's hard to be introspective. It's easier to recognize issues in other relationships than my own. The denial is real, I guess.

I will get an STD panel. I know they can manifest differently. I have been very passive. I know I need to take more deliberate actions.

ChamomileTea, everything you said in particular hits very close to home. I have already seen that cycle begin to unfold. I'll look into the Karpman Drama Triangle, which sounds like it could be a great working title for a soap opera. Haha. An attempt at levity.

Thanks again, even if I didn't reply directly. Everyone has such helpful advice, and the camaraderie makes me feel less alone.

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