This last Monday, I was lurking on babycenter's Marriage and Relationships board (also how I found this site,) before work... I had about ten minutes before I had to leave and just thought I'd see what was happening over there, as I do about once a week. Well, I saw a post about craigslist cheaters and it just hit me in my gut. Something felt off after reading it. I looked into my husband's email and sure enough, there were responses to 19 different personal ads, soliciting sexual encounters, from back in April of this year. I am devastated.
Husband has had a history of lying to me, minor lies, usually about money. What is really bothersome about his lying is that I've caught him red handed and he'll still continue lying... even making up elaborate stories to go along with the lie.
I confronted him immediately and he swears up and down that he stopped himself before he took it to a physical point. I don't believe him, how can I? I want to more than anything, but I just can't.
Since then, he's been willing to do whatever he can to get us back on track. He installed an app on his phone and the computer that notifies me when he's visited a questionable site (unsure whether CL personals will show up on that.) He's gotten rid of all the porn and not visiting those sites anymore. He's allowing me to have access to his emails and facebook. He's been seeing a therapist for a few months to handle a lot of his own issues that stem from being a child of an alcoholic (FIL went into voluntary rehab for the first time in his life about two months ago and my husband attended a three day intensive family counseling weekend. When he got home, he had come to many realizations about his issues, his family and how they all affect our marriage... so this happened after he had been soliciting sex.) Last night, we attended his therapy session together. His therapist wants to see me individually next week and then we'll have a joint session immediately following. I'm also looking for my own therapist.
I want to work through this. I love my husband and the life we've created. I do not want to break up my family. I just don't know how to move forward right now. I am on the rollercoaster... up and down, up and down. My mind is a mess, I'm so confused, angry, sad, sad, sad. I feel like I'm not enough, like I will never be enough.
I believe my husband has NPD, but that's something we'll have to discuss further in therapy. My FIL has been divorced three times and is on his 7th engagement. Our marriage has survived longer than any of his relationships from start to finish. I know that his life has had a profoundly negative affect on my husband and the way he views women and marriage.
He seems willing to do whatever it takes, but right now, I'm just a mess. I feel stupid for staying. Stupid for not leaving and showing our son how strong his mommy is and that she has more self respect than this. I don't even know what else to say. I want to trust him, but I don't. I want to get back there, but I don't know if I can or how long it will take. I worry that I'll start to trust again and he'll betray me once more.
I guess I just need some support. Not just someone telling me to run away. I don't want to do that, but I'm afraid I should be. :(
It is a punch in the gut...that's a very good description. I'm actually fairly new here as well, but wanted to respond to your post.
My husband also solicited anonymous sex via websites. He deleted everything before I was able to recover anything, so I will probably never know the extent of his infidelity. He has admitted to one ONS (one night stand).
We have three girls together. That means I'm raising daughters...I don't want them to think this is acceptable...I don't want to set an example for them that marriage should hurt like this...I don't want them to see their mother accepting such disgraceful behavior from their father.
No. I don't want those things...but...
I do want to show them that love and commitment are more than just words.
I do want to set an example of hard work and dedication.
I do want them to know how deeply I love their father.
I do want them to see that marriage is not perfect, and it is possible to get through the rough patches.
I do want them to understand that forgiveness is possible, even when it's hard.
It's okay that you want to see your marriage survive. It's okay that you love your husband, despite his betrayal.
Be gentle with yourself. Make sure your eating and getting some sleep...even if it means you need to talk to your doctor about a prescription to help.
Wonder if your H might be a pathological liar? Knowing this will help in knowing how to handle things going forward and your counselors can help with strategies. I researched the different types of lying quite a bit due to my fWH's cheating. He also responded to Craigslist ads and met one whore who gave us herpes and hpv and turned out to he a stalker.
My fWH used a secret email account. I didn 't find out until it was over. She was blackmailing him and he finally told her things were thru and deleted his email account. She reacted by sending me emails and texts with pics. We have successfully worked our way thru this but it was and is extremely difficult.
This type of lying can be associated with various mental disorders.
Get yourself checked for STDs. Make sure you get tested for herpes and hpv (both can be caught even when condoms are used). Many of these cheaters don't use condoms evidently. Side note: This risk of STDs cheaters expose faithful spouse to is just one reason why I believe adultery should be considered a crime (assault, physical abuse).
Can you tell from his responses whether he met any of them? Also check text history and call history if you can.
[This message edited by whattheh at 12:18 PM, August 17th (Saturday)]
Yes, I think he's a pathological liar and I've read up on sociopathic tendencies and he fits many of them. I know he knows he's a pathological liar also and is trying to fix it. I think he came to this realization when he was in the rehab sessions with his father.
He went in for STD testing a few days ago. I almost don't even want to know the results, because stupidly, we have never had him tested, so we really won't know if it's from now or before we were together, although, I was tested when I had our son and was clean, and we regularly have unprotected sex.
I'm disgusted. I close my eyes and can only see the emails. There were never any phone numbers exchanged or meetups discussed, although those emails/texts/conversations could have been deleted, so I really don't know.
In the one email he said he was in a "semi open relationship" and that I "didn't want to hear about it." In another, he wrote in detail what he would do to the recipient. In another, he had a very long conversation with someone, who then directed him to a pay site that he declined, however, he tried to contact her again the next day.
I'm just so disgusted. Heartbroken. Just broken.
I read every email over the next few hours. Not once did I see anything that discussed an encounter that had happened, and the only mention of being with anyone was when he told his ex that he had a woman he used to see just for sex, he claimed she was married as well and it was just an arrangement for them to get what they lacked in their marriages.
Fast forward to end of the day on DDay, he confessed to having slept with 3 different women that he met on CL. The woman he told the ex about existed, but it was just a one time thing, not a long term thing like he led her to believe. Why? Because he wanted her to think she was special and he'd only been with one other person during our marriage (because just one makes it ok to fool around?). Anyway, fast forward another 5 months and I find out there was a 4th woman, and he did in fact see this woman 4-5 times over the course of 18 months. However, she wasn't married, and even according to her they only had sex 1 time, the rest were just to pleasure him.
Also, H confessed that the reason I couldn't find any info about his hookups is because after he would actually meet one of them, he would delete every email to and from them, and empty his trash. It was like his way of compartmentalizing it, erasing it from existence so even HE forgot that it ever happened. Out of sight, out of mind. So just because the emails don't indicate any hookups, that really means nothing.
I'm so sorry you find yourself here. Don't wait for your WH to be tested, you need to be tested as well asap! You need to specifically ask for Herpes (thanks to Craigslist, I now have that as well as H) because they don't test for that unless you ask specifically, you also need to be tested for HPV. HPV causes cervical cancer in women, and throat and oral cancer in men. It can take YEARS after exposure to test positive for it, so you MUST stay on top of your pap's from now on no matter what. I had to have a biopsy to have my test for it, and unfortunately there is no test for men... none!
Eat, drink fluids, get as much rest as you can. And be prepared for wild highs and crazy lows for the next few years of your life. This is a marathon, not a sprint. (((Barni)))
Also, thank you for bumping that thread. I appreciate it. And I appreciate all of the replies and comraderie. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.
And yes, I do think he could be a sex addict, but he wouldn't admit to it.
I will say that he said something the other night that made a lot of sense to me.
BG: about 8 months into our relationship, he became very lazy, unmotivated, not going to work, etc, and I gave him the ultimatum to change or I was leaving. I wasn't playing games with yet another man who wasn't ready to grow up. During that time, I started talking to an XBF. He wanted to give it another try, and I seriously contemplated it. A friend kept telling me to meet up with him for coffee or something, but I never did. I decided that I loved my FH and I wanted to see where it would go. I cut ties immediately and we moved forward. A few months later, my friend told my FH about this... for her own selfish reasons. I happened to be out of town for my grandfathers heart surgery and ended up having to fly out within hours of him being moved to recovery. I was terrified of losing him over something that never happened. It never went further than emails... and not even racy emails.
WH reminded me of that a few days ago and told me, "You made the right decision, in the end. You chose me. I fucked up and made a huge mistake, but I made the right decision in the end. I chose you."
It makes sense to me... it made me understand exactly where he's coming from, but I still don't believe him. I honestly completely forgot about that moment in time, because it was so long ago. But, he's right. I DID make the right choice... I'm hoping he did, too.
I also don't believe what I did was the same thing my WH is doing now. I wasn't considering being with another man, I was considering ending my relationship with my boyfriend altogether and starting over with an ex. However, after my boyfriend (Future Husband) decided to step it up to keep me, I wanted to stay to see if we could make it work, to see if our future could be as bright as I'd hoped, because I loved him.
I'm not excusing my behavior one bit, it was wrong. But, I wasn't soliciting sex, I wasn't trying to cheat on anyone. I would have never taken it that far unless I had split up with my FH first.
I so badly hope that my WH isn't manipulating me. I miss him. I miss the closeness. I miss my friend. Things had been getting better with us, we seemed to be pretty in sync over the past few months, then this happened. I just want to feel something again, because I'm just so numb.
He had asked WH how he was doing and if he was back to work. WH said yes, that things were mellowing out. FIL said he must have done a lot of "fast talking" and WH responded that he did a little compare and contrast about how I almost "ran out on him" years ago. He told FIL that he went in for an STD test to solidify his innocence and FIL responded back with "Well, did you make her go get a stick shoved up her ding ding? lol" That really bothered me. I let WH know it bothered me (at this point in time, we were actually cuddling on the couch while our son played on the floor with his transformers.)
WH lost all control of his temper, took his phone and smashed it over and over and over on the corner of the table that was sitting between us and our son. He screamed at me. Told me he wouldn't talk to his dad ever again.
I feel like I shouldn't have come home last night. This is all just one big mistake. This marriage feels like a total sham.
I hate to see anyone having to deal with this. CL is ugly. And that our husband's were there?
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
I'd make NC with his dad, and anyone else who talks about you like that, a requirement of R.
So to share my story.... a few days before my 1year anniversary I began to have a nagging feeling inside. Something seemed odd about my husband when he left for one of his many business trips. (He travels a lot, which I don't like, but not much I can do about that.)
Anyway, I know he spends a lot of time on CL looking for old cars and parts so I figured he probably swayed from automotive to the personal ads at some point. We all have out of curiosity....But I just didn't know how far he had taken it.
So that odd gut feeling gnawed at me all day that something was up and I decided to trust my intuition and I placed an ad on CL in the city he was in. I used a fake picture and made up a silly story about wanting to meet a man at the bar in my hotel that night.
Eight minutes after I hung up the phone with him saying our good nights and I love you's, (and only 45mins after I placed that ad) he responded to it.
I've never been so crushed in all my life. Once I could breathe again, I called him and explained to him that he just replied to his own wife.
I'm sure you can imagine how the rest of that call went.
Since then he has admitted to doing it in numerous cities all over the US. Although he claims he's only had 2 women actually reply back and he's never met up with any of them. He said he only wanted validation that he was still desirable because he didn't feel like he was anymore.
Not sure if I believe him or not. I keep trying to believe him but it's still too fresh in my mind.
It's been a few months since this happened and he has started going to counseling. He is also doing everything he can think of to prove to me he is being faithful. He claims he will never seek attention from another woman, but I honestly don't believe that. I think he has to have it to feel good about himself. Even though I treat him wonderfully, and pour the attention on him, it's just not enough.
I only wish my pain could stop as easily as his has. He seems ok going on with daily life where I'm still struggling to eat and sleep even after 4 mos. Some days I'm okay, but others my entire world just shatters around me and I can't function at all. All I can see in my mind is his response to that ad and his pic attached. It still makes me sick to my stomach.
The worst part of all of this though is what it has done to my brain. I can't stop myself from looking on CL in every city he travels to now. I continue to post ads just to see if he will respond again. It's become a sick addiction that consumes me. I get my kids off to school and I spend the rest of my days searching. And I know I need to stop, but I just can't seem to make myself.
I probably get close to 100+ replies an hour whenever I do post an ad. Most (nearly 85%) are married men looking for a NSA hookup. It's disgusting and has really turned me off from men and marriage as a whole. Makes me wonder why I even want to try and make it work with him. I question if it's possible for men to be faithful at all????
Part of me gets so angry that I want to take all the pics these guys have sent me and post them on the web for the world to see. Maybe that will stop the madness!
But.... I won't. It's not my job to fix their marriages.
For now I just need to find some peace for myself and try to fix my broken heart before I completely go off the deep end.
I would suggest to you that you protect yourself legally, so that it will be safer to stay in that respect..Separate all joint finances..
If your state allows, even though you are interested in R , get a separation agreement or post nup, that protects you in the event a D becomes your path..
Had I been able to have a post nup done in my state,it may have made the difference in my decision to R..As it was, my WH told me I was crazy for broaching such a topic and said "Hell no" that he would not agree..After that conversation, I decided and told him in due time that R was off of the table..
Protecting yourself legally and financially can give you the luxury of time ( with less worry about your physical/ financial wellbeing anyway ) to see how things unfold in regards to your WH's honesty and commitment to rebuilding the marriage..
Ohh, edited to add..... IMHO, FIL needs to be NC with you guys and not a confidante of your WH for R to happen...The advice and conversation FIL makes in regards to women is blatantly disrespectful to women and marriages..No wonder it doesn't seem that FIL can stay in a long term marriage..I think the women in his life get tired of the abuse/disrespect and move on..
The reaction your WH had with banging the phone and yelling at you seems manipulative to me...
I would suggest you read up and learn the 180, this will help you take a step back and get more clarity on the situation..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:31 AM, September 30th (Tuesday)]