I am so happy I found this site. I am having a horrible time coping with the very recent developments in my marriage, and I have absolutely no one to talk to. Not even my own husband.
A little back story about us.
We were both married to other people once before. I divorced my first husband after the revelation that he was a porn/sex addict, and was soliciting sex online on Craigslist. He refused counseling, refused that he had a problem, so after five years, I finally got the strength to leave him. I took our young daughter with me, and never looked back. I have full physical custody, and he gets visitation during the summer and Christmas break.
My husband divorced his first wife after discovering that she had multiple physical affairs while he was deployed to Iraq. Thankfully they have no children together.
I have known my husband for almost 15 years. We went to high school together, and were great friends. Once we were both divorced from our first spouses, we told each other about how we had a crush on each other in high school. We considered the idea of dating each other, but first we went through the typical preliminary screenings. Are you religious? What opinions do you have on pornography? How many people have you slept with, etc. After just getting out of bad marriages, neither of us were willing to risk our time or our hearts on someone that did not meet the criteria of the ideal partner.
We BOTH MUTUALLY agreed, that pornography IS CHEATING. Being that we both come from a Christian background, we were on the same page about porn, friends of the opposite sex, etc. It sounded like we were perfect for each other. Both traditional, conservative, southern people with good Christian values and morals.
We began dating, and things went perfectly. We eventually married down the road, and just celebrated our two year anniversary on Sept. 10th. He has been a wonderful man, husband, provider, and stepfather to my daughter. We shared with each other how we both felt that we had finally found the one person who could heal the wounds caused by our ex spouses. How we finally had a new lease on life. How we felt that we were meant to be together from the very beginning.
Now, fast forward to February of this year. My husband and I discussed an opportunity that was presented to him- to take a welding contract overseas in Afghanistan, for one year, for a hefty sum of money. I, of course, had my reservations about this, but he persisted. He was adamant that it would be the answer to our financial needs. We would finally be able to pay off our debt, have a substantial amount of money in savings, and finally be able to buy a home together. I reluctantly agreed. I knew it would be hard with him gone for a year, but I am a strong woman, and would be able to hold down the homefront and take care of business with him gone. I tried to minimize my fears by rationalizing that during THIS deployment, he wouldn't be on the front lines of the war. He would be on base, as a contractor, working seven days a week, 12 hour days, and much safer than his other deployments. Not to mention that we would be able to talk to each other every day by phone, email, skype, etc.
Before he left, we had "the talk". The one about porn being so prevalent over there, and my fears of him physically cheating and looking at porn, and his fears of me being lonely and finding comfort in another man like his ex wife did. We assured each other that neither of us had anything to worry about. Things will be fine, and he will be home soon.
He deployed on Feb 10th, 2013. I still remember the night before I drove him to the airport. We made love and I cried and begged him not to leave. It cut me to the quick.
A few weeks after he made it to Afghanistan, we had finally gotten into a routine. I knew when to expect a phone call from him. I kept myself busy with my daughter, got a gym membership, and began the journey of self-improvement. I told myself that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life for him and myself when he got home.
Then one day, he told me that he was getting frustrated with the phone system there. That he wanted me to send him a cell phone so that he could buy a local SIM card and phone card so that he could call me whenever he wanted and wouldn't have to walk all the way to the USO office and wait in line behind all the soldiers to use the phone. I understood, and thus began my mission to find a better way for us to keep in touch. We decided that the best way, was an iPod touch. It has all the capabilities of an iPhone, without the calling features. That was fine, because it had WiFi connectivity. He would be able to sit in his bunk in his tent, and talk to me via facebook, email, skype, and make VoIP calls to me using apps like Viber and Tango. It was great...until the calls started coming at more sporadic times. And he would wait until just before he was going to bed to call me, and ended up cutting the conversation short because he was tired and falling asleep...then I started noticing facebook notifications after we were off the phone when he said he would be sleeping. Eventually this wore on me, and I told him how I felt that calling home was becoming less and less of a priority since he got the iPod. He of course denied this.
Needless to say, it was rough having him gone, but they cut the contract early, and he came home on June 22nd. I picked him up from the airport, and it was like we were meeting for the first time. The excitement, butterflies, anticipation. It was a wonderful feeling.
And, I WAS in the best shape of my life. I lost 20 lbs. of fat, gained 10 lbs. of lean muscle, was completely toned everywhere, and I looked smokin hot. I was excited for myself, and excited to share my accomplishments with him. My self esteem was through the roof.
Once he was home, I shared with him the fact that I looked at porn ONE TIME out of curiosity, and was completely disgusted. Now that I look back, I can't believe I even subjected myself to it. I was open and completely honest with him, and I asked him to do the same. If he looked at porn, to just tell me, and I would not be upset. He said he didn't, and got very angry with me, and told me how disappointed with me he was. He yelled at me, and made me feel like a complete piece of crap for two whole days. I apologized profusely, and promised it would never happen again. It was one time, and I never had an intent to continue to look at it. I didn't enjoy it when I saw it, and had no need/desire to see it ever again. Eventually he calmed down, and we began to move forward with our lives.
He spent the next week or so getting reintegrated at home. We went on a trip to the mountains, and visited the location where we said our vows. It was heaven. Upon our return, we began the search for a new cell phone for him. He wanted an iPhone (while he was gone I cancelled our Verizon plan and got net10 with an unlocked iPhone for myself. Much cheaper that way!) so we ordered an iPhone for him off eBay. When it came in the mail, he asked me to set it up for him. So, I did, and I backed up the new phone from the iCloud account that he was using while in Afghanistan.
What he didn't realize, is that iCloud stores EVERYTHING. I opened the web browser, and I couldn't believe what I saw. My literally felt my heart in my throat. My chest tightened up, and I became nauseated at the sight of pornography on his phone. I checked the backup date, and it was from April of this year. Basically, the day after I sent him the iPod in Afghanistan, he started surfing the net for porn.
I was livid. He cried, and said he was sorry, and gave all the typical excuses that he could give. "I didn't actually have sex with anyone. I was bored. I was lonely, etc." Now that I look back, I wasn't so mad at the porn, it was the LYING and SNEAKINESS. The fact that I opened my heart and told him that I watched it once while he was gone, and he ripped me a new one...all the while knowing in the back of his mind that he watched it every single day for four months straight.
I tried to get over it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I looked at the messages between us on Facebook, dated the day that the backup took place in April when he started watching porn over there. I then realized that April 21st, the same day he was googling images of "girls fingering themselves", I had sent him a video of myself masturbating. He told me that day that he just got done watching my video and he loves it so much...little did I know, he went online and googled girls masturbating to get some more.
I also noticed our conversations in the days and weeks after April 21st. That was about the time that I told him how I felt that him calling home was becoming less and less of a priority. Then it finally all clicked. He was calling less, and calling late, or not calling at all, because he wanted to look at porn instead of talking to his wife on the phone.
In the weeks after D-Day, more things started coming out. The fact that he looked at LESBIAN porn while he was gone. Porn is bad enough, but to watch porn that engages two women, which is an abomination, is far beyond anything I thought he was capable of doing. According to him, lesbians are gross, and against God's law, etc.
A few days later, I brought up an old subject- why he withdrew cash from our bank account for lunch one day, two years ago, instead of just swiping the card. When I saw that two years ago, I also saw that Hooters, the restaurant was searched for in his GPS. (Some might not think it's a big deal, but Hooters is a huge trigger from the infidelities in my first marriage, and my husband said he would never go there). He said that YES, two years ago, he withdrew cash from the bank account so that he could eat at Hooters without me knowing...but he drove there and parked, and decided not to eat there, and instead just went inside to use the restroom. Now that is a lie, and we both know it, but his ego and pride is too big to tell me the truth. WHAT DECEPTION! SNAKE IN THE GRASS!
A few days later, his dad invited us up to visit in Massachusetts. He said he got the pool up and running, and my husband was excited to go. Something did NOT feel right to me, for some reason. I then asked him if he had ever had sex in his dad's pool (BTW I now know to NEVER ask questions you really don't want to know the answer to). He said no, with a grin on his face (he's a horrible liar) and I called him to the carpet and confessed that yes he did. He wouldn't tell me with who, which upset me even more. According to him, when we first me, he said that he had only slept with four women including me. His ex wife was his first lover, followed by two girls he seriously dated before we got together.
Lo and behold, his number is way higher than that, and his past is peppered with one night stands- including the girl who lives across the street from his dad's house. He had sex with her in his dad's pool, and then knowing that, went to hang out with her a few years later on a trip we made up there together to visit his dad!!!
At this point, the man I thought I married, is NOT that man anymore. My reality that I was living in, was false. When I look at him now, I don't know who he is. Everything he said he was, was a lie. It's not as if I am holding him to some sort of unrealistic expectation. I am holding him to the bar that he created for HIMSELF.
If he were honest with me from the beginning, about how many women he's been with, and the Hooter's incident, and even the porn he watched overseas, I might not feel the way I do about him now. At least it would have been who he is, and the truth, and I would have loved him still the same from the very beginning. Instead, I was never given the opportunity to love him for HIM. I was tricked into loving someone that he ISN'T.
Suffice it to say, I now have ZERO trust in him. I question everything he says. Where he's going. Who he's with. If he can betray me and lie to me about something as stupid as Hooters, then WHO KNOWS what else he's hiding and lying to me about.
We have been working hard to get past this, or so I thought. After finding this site, I have come to realize that the only one working on getting past this is me.
I trigger all over the place, often, and I can't help it. And when I try to talk to him about it, he gets upset, yells at me, tells me to just "get over it", and asks why we can't just have a good day together.
Any time I hear about Afghanistan, whether on the news, or him talking about his trip there, I get upset. Any time I see a member of the armed forces, or hear the word "military", I trigger. iPhones make me trigger (which sucks because we BOTH have one) and I can't even eat a freaking MUFFIN now without wanting to puke! (one of the websites he frequented was called buttermymuffin.com...what a retarded name for a porn site!) Pools make me trigger, anything provocative on TV makes me trigger, the mention of porn, blonde haired women, blue eyed women, short women, and lesbians...all make me trigger. (For what it's worth, I'm very tall, brown haired, and brown eyed.)
I just don't know what to do. I am in a severe depression. I stopped working out because he kept giving me back-handed comments about me going to the gym (implying that I'm going there to find another man, etc.) The house is a wreck, I'm a wreck, my marriage is a wreck, and I don't see any hope for the future if HE WON'T LET ME TALK TO HIM about it without biting my head off, or blaming me. I've gained back the weight I lost, I'm tired all the time, I've been eating like crap, and I'm just generally in a foul mood and completely miserable with what he has done to us.
Also I will add that he is a very hardened individual. He always has been, since before we even got together. The military made him that way. He does not know how to express his emotions. He does not know how to be romantic, or tell me any deep thoughts he may have (if he even has any).
The other night, while laying in bed, I asked him to tell me something nice. I expected way too much of him I guess, because what I got was "Your a pretty lady, and I love you...and you have nice eyebrows"...EYEBROWS!!! WTF dude thanks for the compliment on my fecking EYEBROWS!
I told him last night that I have some things (from this site) that I want him to read, and it will help him understand exactly what's going on in my head, why I feel the way I feel, what triggers are, etc. The response I got from him: "You know I don't read, it makes me tired and I will probably fall asleep. But okay fine, I'll read it but I can't guarantee I will be able to pay attention".
ZERO LACK OF EFFORT OR CARING ON HIS PART.
The more I type right now, the more I feel that he is a selfish, LAZY asshole that cares about nothing but himself. He has spent the last few weeks on the couch after work, watching TV or picking up that damned iPhone and looking online about survival/prepping (yes, he's one of THOSE outdoorsmen). He's doing everything he can to remove himself/ignore the situation, and it's making everything worse.
I read last night on here about the difference between guilt and remorse. It couldn't be more right, and the more I think about it, the more I realize he's not sorry he did what he did, he's sorry he got caught.
IS THERE HOPE FOR US??? IS THERE HOPE FOR ME???
Where do I even begin to fix this?