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I've been away. Here's my story and updates. I hurt.

Trivial posted 12/23/2019 11:05 AM

From my First post in 2014:
Dday was in August, over the span of a week. I came home from work and saw my husband leaving the house with his ex-girlfriend. They were together for a year or so back in 1990, before he and I were together. He has kept in touch with her over the years. I see her occasionally at parties. They were walking out of the house, and WH told me that she was taking him out for Thai food as a thank you for him fixing her computer. He off-handedly told me the kids hadn't had dinner yet, and then they left.

I walked in the house feeling hurt, and very confused, and then my mind went “click.” Then it was like a flash montage in a movie:
My husband, ignoring me at parties we had gone to recently.
My husband, constantly on Facebook.
My husband, who goes to movies by himself.
My husband going out on weeknights and weekends this past year to hang out with new friends I had not met.
My husband being so withdrawn from the family. Impatient. Short-tempered. Yelling at the kids over stupid things. Coming home and parking himself in front of the TV, watching what he wanted to watch and getting mad if the kids got loud or ran around the living room. Totally ignoring housework.
My husband suddenly deciding we should have smart phones.
My husband who forgets his wedding ring all the time.
More than anything else, though, was the way he had been looking at me and talking to me. There was veiled contempt towards me. Smug. He was rude, walked ahead of me and rolled his eyes when I struggled to catch up. And his anger would just lash out of him sometimes if I contradicted him or questioned his ideas. I was like a smelly dog that he was responsible for taking care of but didn't want to touch or be seen in public with.

And I thought, "oh my god. This is really happening."

First confrontation: “Don't be absurd. Nothing is going on. It is so strange that you are jealous, that's not like you. I'm not even attracted to her anymore.”

Second confrontation: “I am not interested in my ex-girlfriend. I may have flirted with some other women, but it was only because you have been pushing me away, and not meeting my needs and making me a low priority. You are acting crazy. This has to stop.”

Then I found a journal of his, and read it. Not much in it about ex-girlfriend. However: My husband spent six months obsessed over a young and gorgeous new co-worker. He spent time thinking about ways that he could form an emotional bond with her, get her to talk to him about her feelings and insecurities. He pushed it too far by sending her an e-mail (which I haven't read) and she got freaked and kept him at arms length. After this, he began exchanging e-mails with an on-line stranger. Secret e-mail account. Husband says he backed out of it before it got serious. Just “flirting.” Not “sexting.”
After that he was, as he wrote in his journal, “on the lookout for an affair.” He had joined a new community that was forming in our area for atheists and agnostics, and he was really enthusiastic about it. There were a lot of attractive single women, as well as couples who practice “open” marriage and polyamorous relationships. He told me that yes, he had flirted, yes he had been looking, but that when it came close, when he could have made a move, he found that he didn't want to, as he put it, “make the effort.”
He tells me that he nothing physical had happened, and that there was no sexting or virtual sex.
I believe him, and I also don't believe him.
I don't think he understands how shattering this was to me.
Part of me thinks, “All of these different crushes and flirtations, lasting almost a year, and your man never did anything physical or any sexting?”
Part of me wants to ask to see the secret e-mail account and read what he wrote to the on-line woman.
Part of me doesn't want to rip off that scab and have to bleed all over again.
Part of me thinks I am making a huge thing out of nothing.
Part of me wants to know that he did have a physical affair, because then my feelings would be thoroughly justified.
Part of me thinks, “Would it matter if he had been physical? Would it hurt any more?”
Part of me is just so tired, I feel like another confrontation would wreck me.

Moving on.
I came up positive for high-risk HPV, I can't even remember the date. I had to get a "punch" biopsy (think of a hole-puncher, but on your cervix.) It came back benign. I had one long-term relationship with a boyfriend that ended in 1992. My WH and I started dating for real around 1993. I have been monogamous with only him since then. 25 years. Never had a positive pap. But the thing with HPV is it has this little disclaimer which says it can lay dormant in the body for an indeterminate time. It can. It is very, very unlikely, but not impossible. He found that out through a web search and hung onto it. My HPV was clearly one of those dormant ones. It was the HPV fairy, not him.

I clung on. Maybe it never got physical. Maybe the virus was a fluke. Maybe he's lying, maybe I'm crazy. I wanted to be validated, because dammit I knew he wasn't telling me everything. I wanted to be wrong. I wanted to believe him. I wanted him to be the person I always thought he was.

He bought a sex-toy at some point in 2013 without telling me about it or using it with me. It was for porn, he said, and he was embarrassed about it so he didn't tell me.

I found underwear, basic bikini haines, grey, but they were way too small for me. They looked new. Now, they could have been mine. Maybe I had them 3 or 4 years back when I was skinnier, and I kicked them under the bed, and they stayed there without being noticed. We're pretty sloppy. Maybe I picked them up randomly one day and stuck them in the wash. But even at skinnier, I would not have bought that size. There were a couple of times David brought me a pack of underwear from target, and I remember one time laughing at how small a size he'd gotten. Only I remember those small ones being workable. Some were black, some white. Still they could have been mine, just ones I never wore because I wore them once and then they got kicked under the bed.

Once I came home and found him changing the sheets. He freaking NEVER changes the sheets. I don't remember him ever doing that. I was like "Oh, thanks, thats so nice of you." He gave me a kind of half-smile, half-grimace. Said something like, "That's just the great kind of guy I am." I asked him why he changed them. We are very slobby, and can go a long time before I feel like changing sheets. He said they had (pardon the crudity) gotten too 'crusty' on his side. Semen gets on sheets. But again, we are not tidy people. Crustiness had never been an issue before. I don't remember when that happened. The memory just popped up one day after dday. Out of the blue.

After many, many painful, frustrating months of You Don't Get It, I said to him, gently, without anger, "You know, you don't have to be here. You are not obligated to be married to be. There's nothing keeping you from leaving if that's what you want. The door is open, no locks. We don't have any assets to speak of besides the house. There wouldn't even be child support if we have equal custody. The process would suck, but it would be over in time. I don't want you to leave. But like I said, the door is open. You can stay or you can leave." Somehow that punched through. He was not forced to put up with a crying, angry wife who was keeping him from having fun. If he was staying it was his choice.

It's not like everything was wonderful after that. But the grudging resentment that often radiated off of him went away. He started to realize that he had done serious damage.

It was never full R. He has never admitted to sex with anyone, despite the HPV. Rugsweeping. And sadly, a slow drain of my respect. All I wanted was the truth. Telling the truth was too hard and he didn't want to face the consequences. I get that. A full confession would require courage, effort, soul searching. I always thought he was brave. I was wrong. I always thought he was honest. I was wrong. I always saw him as a protector, like he'd take a bullet for me. Not this bullet, hell no. He cheated on me, lied to me, deceived me. It damned near killed me. I thought he loved me. I thought we were an Us. Something unbreakable, something priceless. Who knows. If it ever did exist Its smashed to bits now. And all he wants is for it to go away, back to status quo. I thought he would fight to keep me with him. I was wrong.

I stopped posting on SI in 2016 because my WH had a kidney biopsy. He has nephropathy, which is a long-term breakdown in kidney functioning. He had it for years without symptoms. The biopsy had him at 29% kidney function, with sclerosis of almost half of the little filters that the blood goes through. Prognosis, without intervention he'll die from renal failure. So a kidney transplant and probably dialysis is in his future. He hit 15% this last month August 2018, which is officially end-stage renal disease. He will be starting dialysis soon, and get tested to see if he is a suitable candidate for a transplant. Live donors have offered to be checked for a match.
One of them who absolutely insists on donating her kidney if she is a match? Ex-girlfriend.

I mean, just, what can you say?

I realized at the diagnosis that I cannot honorably leave a dying husband to fend for himself. My health insurance covers him, for one thing. My kids are going to being dealing with parent who has a terminal illness. A person can survive on dialysis alone for an average of 5 years. Transplants can prolong life for 10-15 years, but eventually the new kidney will fail. So yeah, Trivial, how about bailing out of the marriage? Not happening.

In my head, it was like a heavy garage door slammed down on all things infidelity related. Cut it off. The new emergency took precedent. And I would have been FINE with that, if I had been able to keep that door shut and that pain and suspicion locked away. But the head never does cooperate. As months went by the door edged up and bits escaped. And one piece of it, the HPV and his denial of doing anything that might have given me the virus, that was what would not, could not be shut up.

So here we are. He's dying. I need the truth. And just like at the beginning, my need is petty. Trivial, in fact.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/23/2019 11:25 AM

First - Ugh - I am SO very sorry you are here. I could write a novel about this one point, and so could everyone else on here.

Second - You know he cheated. I can simply tell from your words that in your heart of hearts you "know" that he has. While you don't have affirmative "lock him up and throw away the key" proof or a confession, you know it. If you want to stick around and prove it, I suggest spending money to get your computer and his phone forensically analyzed. It's expensive (very very very) and you won't get everything, but you will get what you need most likely. And if the secret email account still exists and hasn't been wiped clean (which it likely has) then what would you do if it was filled with messages that affirmed he cheated physically and/or emotionally more than you already know? What would you do with that information in light of what is happening in your and his life now?

My WH is sloppy as well and he changed the sheets a week after I did and the day I got home from being out of town for a week (something he would simply never do). He said he wanted the bed to be clean for me - like he was doing me a favor. It was an absolute lie - I knew it at the time - and something he admitted lying about after d-day1. Magical HPV can happen - but after 25 years?!?! Magical sheet changing can happen too - but its so unlikely that's I think you may as well buy a powerball lottery ticket.

You know he has cheated. You already know.

Third, what could you find that would allow you to leave him right now? Or, what could you find that would allow you to treat him differently right now? What I'm getting from your post is that you feel you cannot leave due to your kids and his medical issues, so what do you want from knowing? If you found out he's been having a LTA or sex with random strangers for the past year or 20 years, what would that do for your current situation? Would it allow you to walk away? Would it allow you to basically ignore him and stay married so he could have your health benefits?

What do you want to happen that actually can happen and how can "knowing" help you achieve it?

I ask all these questions not because I'm advocating for rugsweeping it all - not in the least. I'm asking because I think it's important to understand why we seek what we do and determine how it will help YOU because that is what you need to do right now.

If finding out will help you leave then do it - spend the money if you can, dig, get nasty and let him know if he wants your help/health insurance/care while he is dealing with a terminal illness he is going to have to take a poly or come clean or let you have access to everything now. You have leverage and you have the ability to make things incredibly ugly. Is it worth it to you?

If it's not, or even if you know the worst of the worst, that you will stay - then I think you need to work through the not knowing and how you can get happy going forward for you.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:26 AM, December 23rd (Monday)]

Trivial posted 12/23/2019 11:30 AM

As "I've told you everything!" was the end of several awful conversations where I got trickle truthed, it is obviously no longer convincing. Let's see. Had a drunken make-out session with a woman when we were dating but before we were living together. Made a pass at one of my close friends, mutual close friend, who is married. He was sober. He was not under the influence of a hot receptionist. My friend reacted like he was nuts. It was in a playground, when we were all herding our kids back to my friend's parents house. All of our kids were little. I was holding my toddler girl, who had tripped on the sidewalk and was crying.
The sexting that was just flirting was with at least 3 anonymous women using Hushmail.
The babysitter he hired for the summer of 2014, was not, as I was led to believe, the "friend of a friend." She knew him in his 20's when they worked at a pizza place together. They hung out a few times, got high, you know. Nothing else. She asked me that fall if my WH had told me she worked as an exotic dancer in her 20's to pay for school. My WH swore he wasn't into her at all. Later he said, "I may have thought about it. I was in a really weird place then."
I have since found out that what I thought was the temporary insanity of a year acually spanned, from what I could find on the computer, back to at least 2010. It was all flirting. You know, just the thrill of the chase. Nothing happened with anybody. Except the drunken making out that one time when we were dating. The HPV was obviously one of those dormant ones.
At the end of November I discovered a phone number connected to his name. The phone number opened up a slightly different Facebook messaging account. He was baffled, simply baffled. What was I talking about? What would he use if for? Okay, he and a coworker may have been messing around with spoof phone numbers a long time ago. He kind of remembers.
So, zoom down the rabbit hole we go again.

Trivial posted 12/23/2019 11:45 AM

ThisisSoLonely,
I don't know why I need this confessional. I don't know. I know he's not having sex right now, because the medical condition has pretty much zeroed out his libido. I know he could still be texting, but why should I care?
I lost my job in the summer, and we are on COBRA. His insurance is separate from mine now. We are living on disability, our savings and charity from our parents.
Something in me grinds, itches, for a full confession. Or discovery that reveals all, like a detective story.
I'm so sick of these insulting, "what phone number? I don't know what you are talking about. Why would I use that? Ok maybe, I did experiment with something involving spoof phone numbers a way long time ago I can barely remember."
WHY do I care anymore? Why am I wasting my time with this shit?? I know he would dump me on my ass in the blink of an eye if he didn't need me right now.

StuckinBetween posted 12/23/2019 18:21 PM

Trivial - I understand the urge to have the real story. It’s like finally a clear line has been crossed and you have a right to do anything you need for yourself (ie leave, strict conditions etc), and then finally he can no longer feed you his bullshit.

I still have this urge after 3 d-days and other smaller (depends who you ask I guess) boundary violations. Unfortunately it doesn’t do for you what you hope it will. You’re still stuck in between (pun intended see my name), the trauma of splitting up your family (because you would have to be the one to do it) or the slow bleed of staying.

Not to end on a completely pessimistic note: some people on here truly recover and reconcile. And maybe as your WH approaches the reality of his death, he may come around and confess and attempt to make amends with you because he finally realizes what truly matters in life.

I wish you luck.

StuckinBetween posted 12/23/2019 18:21 PM

Trivial - I understand the urge to have the real story. It’s like finally a clear line has been crossed and you have a right to do anything you need for yourself (ie leave, strict conditions etc), and then finally he can no longer feed you his bullshit.

I still have this urge after 3 d-days and other smaller (depends who you ask I guess) boundary violations. Unfortunately it doesn’t do for you what you hope it will. You’re still stuck in between (pun intended see my name), the trauma of splitting up your family (because you would have to be the one to do it) or the slow bleed of staying.

Not to end on a completely pessimistic note: some people on here truly recover and reconcile. And maybe as your WH approaches the reality of his death, he may come around and confess and attempt to make amends with you because he finally realizes what truly matters in life.

I wish you luck.

Marie2792 posted 12/23/2019 19:13 PM

Your story is among the saddest I’ve seen here. It doesn’t seem fair that you will do the noble thing and be there for him through his illness and possibly last days of his life. However, think of your children instead and the example they are seeing and the support they will need. Your WH may not be appreciative but in time the kids will.

Regarding HPV, my husband transmitted that to me 10 years after we had been dating and I hadn’t been with anyone in 11 years but him. It doesn’t stay as dormant as they think it does and definitely not 25 years. Just keep an eye on it because I had biopsies first two years and in the third year I was almost stage 4 dysplasia. I had 33% of my cervix removed. Don’t neglect your health while looking after him.

I don’t know that I could handle the ex girlfriend being a match for him. That means they are in contact still? He doesn’t deserve you.

cancuncrushed posted 12/23/2019 19:31 PM

I was in a similiar situation. I will cut it very short. It did not end like I thought it would.

Xwh I learned not only cheated but was serial cheater. I learned this slowly and painfully. He never admitted or cooperated. And continued to cheat and deny. Which kept me insane. I stayed for the last child to graduate. Many cruel affairs

Just before son graduated. xwh started drinking uncontrollable I learned he was alcoholic. He started having dementia symptoms. It took several years to get a diagnosis. xwh would not cooperate. He has brain damage.

Like you. I felt I could not abandon my husband of 36 years in this condition. No matter what he has done. He sobered up. Took seizure meds and Ads. He recovered about 90 percent.
He relapsed 4 times. and cheated again.

He discarded me for Ow We are now divorced. I know logically he did me a favor. I wonder if that was his motive? He is in bad shape. Been drinking uncontrollably for 2.5 yrs now. His symptoms worsen Now he’s been abandoned by everyone. Even Ow. Even alone and Ill, He hates me. He attacked me. Lots legal battles. Court.

I tried. I was the doormat. Apparently for no reason. I was confused. I felt afraid. Guilty. I stood by him. I helped him. Made all appointments and attended. Sometimes they can’t be helped.
Don’t over extend yourself. You can only do so much.

I still struggle with mixed emotions. He needs help. Nobody lives near us. Physically attacking me ,is the deciding point. I just can’t. I won’t. He’s on his own

Cheating seems so far away. One affair seemed huge. It kept growing. Somehow I only focus on his health. We are no contact. Restraining orders. It might all come back if I saw him. I never want to see him again. He’s basically impotent.
But he continues to find women. He continues to try.

I find myself in a surreal place. New life. New house. New area. Alone in this city. I can’t believe what had happened. How much had happened. Who he is now. What in the hell did he do to our life? His health? I can’t accept this. It’s bizarre.

Then I realize and Drs verify that most of his behavior stems from the brain damage. It’s frontal and temporal lobe. It affects all decisions. Impulse. Right and wrong. Even sex. This is so confusing.

The truth came in waves thru the years. I hated him many times. It’s lonely. It’s hard. We all discuss his on coming demise. Nobody can stop it.

I can’t tell you my point. Which is my point. I’m not sure what I should do. What I should have done after the first affair. Or anytime after. It doesn’t always go like you think. Protect yourself. You matter. Always

The not knowing is forever. No closure is forever. Not reaching him. Or him getting it , is forever. There will be no moment of feeling like now , I have the answers

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 8:25 PM, December 23rd (Monday)]

Thanksgiving2016 posted 12/23/2019 20:07 PM

If she’s so determined to care for him I would let her. Match or not. You’ve already sacrificed most of your life for him. Caring for a sick person even one who dearly loves you is soul crushing. I can’t imagine the level of resentment and how soul crushing it would be with an unremorseful cheater with nothing to lose. I think those deathbed confessions full of forgiveness only happen in the movies. Choose you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

sisoon posted 12/24/2019 12:51 PM

I'm sorry you're in this situation. I understand not wanting to dump him right now, but know that no one here will blame you if you do it.

Very gently, your H is unremorseful. He is not a candidate for R. If he weren't in end stage renal failure, I think you'd receive lots of thoughtful, empathic advice to D.

I was taught, after d-day, that I heal me. My W heals herself. Together, if we want, we heal our M. The main lesson was that I can heal without my W, even though I can't R without her.

IMO, iou can heal yourself, even though your H is still lying.

Does that make sense to you?

And you can take the name 'Trivial',' but you're as important as the rest of us. As a human being, you are not trivial at all.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:53 PM, December 24th (Tuesday)]

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