See the lawyer and if you can, see an IC. You're pregnant and you need to take care of yourself. If you can't eat drink ensure and/or make smoothies. After DDay I couldn't eat solids so my IC suggested I make smoothies and it really helped.
The birthday party has me worried. How old will your daughter be -2? She isn't old enough to know if she doesn't have one now. I think the wounds are too fresh and it will be hard for you to put on a front. You and her can have cupcakes, but I don't think you need the extra stress of entertaining and putting on a face. Just my two cents.
My FWH (we're now in R) sees a CSAT and I met with her recently. We talked about how the porn available today is animalistic and desensitizes people. He also has uncovered a bunch of childhood abuse and FOO issues. He used it as a way to manage stress. He also had an LTA that lasted two years.
I drew my line in the sand with him and he threw her under the bus and snapped out of the "fog". After a few trickle truth sessions he started to come clean. This involved him offering me info I didn't know - exact places, etc. Then one night my Mom took the kids and he and I sat down on the couch and I said "you're going to tell me everything. You're going to rack your brain for every little detail. EVERY. LITTLE. DETAIL. And if I find out anything more even a year from now we are done for good." he did. Some people don't need to know, I needed to know. The stuff he told me was so embarrassing I knew he was telling the truth.
Anyhow, just thought I'd share how it worked for us. He still sees the CSAT once a week. She has been very helpful in our reconciliation.
Hugs and strength to you. Maybe your Mom can take the baby and you can get a pedicure? Anything like that can help...
I just want to retaliate and do the same thing to him. There have been times in my relationship where things were really shitty and I didn't think we were going to last. I had opportunities to cheat, and had even daydreamed about what it would be like to be with someone I was actually happy with. I never even came CLOSE to acting on any of it. Part of me wishes I would have, but at the same time at least now I'm the one that still has my pride and self worth.
I'm curious how dating sites play into SA. All the sexual stuff obviously makes sense, but what would the point of dating sites be? I saw with my own eyes he hadn't messaged anyone, so I'm pretty sure he never met up with anyone (at least from those sites). So what would be the point... Just to look at random pictures of women's faces? Facebook could accomplish the same thing, I really don't get it. Unless it was beyond just sexual fantasy and he was actually looking to see what else was out there or enjoyed imagining dating someone else.
Anyhow, if this is a deal breaker for you then it's good to figure that out sooner rather than later. But do not leave your home. HE caused this and you and your daughter need some sort of stability right now.
Go see that lawyer and find out your rights. He's a big boy and can find a place to live. You take care of you, your daughter and your unborn child. We're all here to support you.
I totally understand what you're saying here:
What's to save if there was never a honest and real relationship to begin with? I feel like I was tricked into marrying someone I don't know.
That's exactly how I felt with mine. My WH's activities pre-dated our relationship by years. That he was "faithful" to them more than he was committed to me has been one of the major stumbling blocks I've dealt with. I'll be honest; there are days six months after DD#2 that I still think about it intensely.
For me, I had to measure HARD how much what I knew of WH was real, if any of it was real. It looked like a wash for a long time. It was only when WH started fighting - ACTIVELY fighting, not token gestures - to be in this reality did I truly consider there may be something to salvage. Prior to that, I was only trying to plan how to extricate me and the kids the least additionally painful and most efficient way.
Only you can measure that real versus fake relationship. Pick what works for you and don't feel badly about it. To be way too blunt, R is HARD. R with people who have issues like both our WH(s) entails uncovering layer after layer of ugliness. If your WH isn't making that be a winning proposition for you, then you're completely right - there isn't much point.
And in the meantime, you and your babies safety and comfort are paramount. Get some comfortable distance. It's easier to see the lay of the land that way anyway.
[This message edited by Reality at 10:24 AM, October 18th (Friday)]
What's to save if there was never a honest and real relationship to begin with? I feel like I was tricked into marrying someone I don't know.
As for the talk of SA -- stop focusing so much on the 'sex' component and look at the 'addiction' portion. The 'sex' doesn't necessarily mean needs/urges for physical sex. My understanding is that it is an addiction -- that is 'fed' by some type of 'need' for sexually-related attention/material. It's more about the compulsivity of the behavior and the inability to 'not' do it (look,masturbate,havesex) even though it (1) goes against what the person believes that s/he 'stands' for; and/or (2) is going to destroy their world (and they know it and do it anyway).
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
I saw with my own eyes he hadn't messaged anyone, so I'm pretty sure he never met up with anyone (at least from those sites). So what would be the point... Just to look at random pictures of women's faces?
Are you sure he didn't just delete the messaging history?
When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
OC born 2001 (I didn't know)
Remarried 2008 (Happy!)
I had told him to search for a counselor with a sliding scale so we can afford it, and so he has an appointment Monday with a general family counselor. Now I'm thinking that's not enough, and I've found a CSAT counselor as recommended above. I just don't know if we can afford it... But I want him to get well to be a good father to our daughter, so I may have to make changes to how we're living so he can afford to get help. Just add it to the list of ways his problems are going to have lasting negative consequences on me.
I just don't know if I have it in me to be in this for the long haul. I know it's going to be hard and painful, and I don't know if there's any redeeming quality in our relationship to make it worth it. I STILL feel bad for him though, the way he was begging me last night was just so pathetic. He was beyond desperate, telling me all the things I had always wanted to hear. But hearing it now under these circumstances just hurt and made me feel too icky to comfort or reassure him. He's somehow managed to make ME feel dirty, and I didn't do anything. But he dragged me into this and used me to engage in this behavior. I can't imagine ever having a normal healthy sex life again, with him or someone new.
I can't figure out if he's sorry he did it or sorry he got caught. And after our conversation last night I think he was trying to say he didn't think about it being wrong or disrespectful. And I'd imagine an addict to clearly know that it's wrong and feel terrible about doing it but still not be able to resist. He said it just seemed normal to him that he's been doing it for so long, and that he didn't consider my feelings. But if it was so "normal", why the elaborate measures to hide it? He clearly had the foresight to make sure he was secretive about it, which tells me he did think about me and how I would react if I found it. He didn't make it easy to catch him, I'd been suspicious for a long time before installing the key logger. And if someone is still not telling the whole truth, does that mean they're not fully remorseful? He said he was trying to minimize because it's all so stupid.
I remember early in my discovery process. My XH only admitted to using porn and going to a "few strip clubs" with the guys.
He too swore up and down and on the lives of everyone he could think of that he had never and would never cheat on me. The woman who had called me claiming to have been having an affair with him was just some jealous lunatic who he had rejected and she was envious of our love and our marriage. He cried and begged and said all the right things. I remember feeling so sorry for him and thinking, "He must be telling the truth. Men don't cry like this."
I was so wrong.
The porn and the strip clubs were only the surface. He had had numerous affairs, one night stands, etc, the entire time we were married. He even had one proven OC and one suspected OC with two different OW's. It was insane.
And like you, I had received an innocent email (hi, how are you type) from an old boyfriend that I shared with him. But he flipped out over it and made me feel like crap for years over it.
Sick, sick, sick. The person he presented to me and the person I married was completely different from this predator sex freak. It was one thing to cheat, and it's another to lie, but the scheming and plotting and the double life threw a whole other layer into the mix that was something I could not reconcile.
But if it was so "normal", why the elaborate measures to hide it? He clearly had the foresight to make sure he was secretive about it, which tells me he did think about me and how I would react if I found it.
Exactly and almost verbatim the conversation I had with my WH multiple times. No matter how accustomed they swear they were to what they were actually doing, that they thought to hide it proves on some level they knew it was wrong.
My observations from my situation are that claiming the WHs weren't thinking about how it would affect others, or feeling that it was "normal" or "no big deal" or "they didn't mean it that way" are all just hidey holes they have used with themselves for self-justification. In other words, more lies they've told to excuse what they were doing. In this specific case, they were lying actively internally versus externally to us, but yeah, still all a lie.
Yep, I get that dirty feeling, too. I think it's standard for infidelity all around. I think it's also why in the initial list of "What To Do Now" lists, getting tested for STDs is in the upper three suggestions. Infidelity is a terrible violation - physically, emotionally, psychologically, and usually financially, too.
((DOmomma)) You're going to feel bad for him because he was/is important to you. In very real ways, you are mourning who you thought he was. That's normal, too.
Nice how he says one thing and does another.
The background of this is, on the day of the memorial he started a fight with me because I asked him to pick up books our daughter got out so that I could shower and get ready. He got mad at me for telling him what to do and felt like since they weren't his books they weren't his responsibility. I was obviously upset and told him it was really shitty of him to not be supportive on a day like that, he said just because I was crying didn't mean I was right. I told him if he couldn't be supportive then he shouldn't bother coming, so he didn't come. This was the last big fight we had before I found out about the cheating, and was already questioning my marriage at that point.
My mom of course told me what he said afterwards, and was really surprised by it. I hope it means he truly sees his wrongs and plans to do something about it.
He got mad at me for telling him what to do and felt like since they weren't his books they weren't his responsibility.
No, you didn't misunderstand him. He is continuing to lie to you. And telling you that "you misunderstood" is just another way to delay you from filing and locking him into anything legal so he can get into his bachelor pad.
You need to realize that his words mean nothing. And the truth is in his actions.
Seriously?? How old is he?? FIVE?? This sounds like an argument you would have with one of your children.
"Why should I pick them up? They're not mine!!!"
And then he he doesn't come along with you to the memorial? What did he do instead? Watch porn?
I don't believe for one minute that he plans on "working on his issues". Heh as shown by his behavior time and time again that he is incredibly selfish and only cares about himself.
If he was really comitted to working on himself and the marriage, he would go stay with his parents for help and support and get into therapy. Not go and rent an apartment where he will have to sign a lease. Also where he will have all the privacy he needs to continue watching porn and other bad behavior.
These are not the actions of a man who is remorseful of his behavior and wants to do better. These are the actions of a man who wants to continue this bad behavior.
You need to protect yourself and your children. Please see an attorney ASAP.
As for the kids, you certainly can take care of them. As a matter of fact, my daughter and a new baby puppy kept me sane. I swear, if I had not had to get up and take care of that little dog I would have laid in bed for weeks unmoving.
Please talk to a lawyer DO NOT TELL YOUR HUSBAND! so you will know what to do! You will not be able to make any decisions right now. Just eat or drink protein shakes, get some sunshine every day, and love those babies. It might be great if you moved back with your parents for a few months. DO NOT BEG HIM TO COME BACK. HE HAS TO KNOW YOU MEAN BUSINESS IF YOU PLAN ON BEING MARRIED TO HIM FOR 20+ YEARS.
HE was the spouse who went crazy with his behavior..
Have your separation agreement include exclusive use of the apt for you and kiddos..
HE can be the one to move from place to place to stay with friends and family, YMCA, etc,etc, since there is only ONE of him for these places/people to accommodate...
[This message edited by doggiediva at 1:29 PM, October 21st (Monday)]
As far as his reaction to the books, yes that was incredibly childish and selfish behavior. Apparently he wanted praise for cleaning for an hour, when two days before I spent 12 hours organizing our whole house. So when I asked him to get the books, he felt like he was doing everything and I was bossing him around. Even though that was literally the only thing I had asked him to do that day. I brought this up during our talk, and he agreed with me that it's an ego issue that he needs to work on. He even admitted that he has a hard time seeing things from other people's perspectives, and that he gets way too focused on himself. He also said he's terrible at reading me and needs to ask me how I'm doing or what I need. These were all great things to hear him admit... until later that night I found out I was getting trickle truths about the extent of his online cheating.
I am glad he took the time to apologize to my family though, they were hurt and offended that he wasn't at the memorial. Whether or not we reconcile, it needed to be done. Of course my mom's reaction is that it showed how much he loves me and how hard he's trying to make things right. She doesn't understand that his words mean very little to me right now. She did say he looked like he was going to either pass out or cry, so I do secretly take a little bit of pleasure in imagining how uncomfortable that must have been for him
I did make an appointment with lawyer through my university because they often offer help pro bono or on a sliding scale fee. But the wait was pretty long and I couldn't get in immediately, so now I'm wondering if I need to go somewhere else. Between the counseling and lawyers for both of us, we're hardly even going to be able to afford to divorce.
He has his first counseling appointment today, so we'll see how that goes. He knows that for now I just don't have it in me to try and work on things, but that I can't file for divorce while pregnant anyway. So if in time I see him making real progress, if he's completely transparent, takes a parenting class, and keeps up with counseling- only THEN will I consider marriage counseling. He is also very aware if he EVER EVER does any of that a single time more, including watching porn, it's immediately over 100% for good. So right now I'm just gonna focus on me and the babies, while keeping a distant eye on how he progresses.
[This message edited by DOmomma09 at 1:44 PM, October 21st (Monday)]
Although not an expert on SA (unless living with one for 22 years makes me an expert), I can tell you that your husband DOES sound like a candidate. That does NOT excuse his behavior, but in some strange way--for me, at least--it helps to explain it. Trying to wrap my mind around him, his disease, his behavior, and how it all affects me and our children is important. And it's key to our possible reconciliation.
In S-Anon, a common saying is, "You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it." After 8 years of hearing it, I finally "get" what my husband means when he says his "acting out" isn't about me. He's not choosing someone else because he isn't satisfied with me, because he doesn't love me, because he's bored with me. He acts out because he's an addict, because he's broken, because he doesn't have healthy coping behaviors. And each time he acts out, he feeds the cycle of shame--which compounds all his issues.
Whether you leave your husband or not is ultimately your decision. You might want to postpone a permanent decision, though, until you see if he can get himself into recovery. Ultimately, recovery is for him, but it affects you and your two children, too. He WILL be a part of your life forever because of them and you do want him as unbroken as possible. That seems unfair, but it's true. SA is a progressive disease. It starts with porn/fantasies and progresses in all sorts of directions.
My husband is NOT a deviant. He's never done anything weird--just soul-shattering to me. The dirtiest I ever felt was when he confessed (the confessions when they're in recovery are incredibly painful) that when he was in an active addiction phase, he would (TMI warning) "masturbate inside me." What a winner! What a way to make me feel special! I tell you that, though, so that you'll understand why your husband can make love to you--even twice in a day--and still be acting out. The beast inside is still not tamed. What seems intimate for you is only fulfilling a base need for him. And it's never enough.
The good news is that there IS hope and help for sex addicts. The road is long and hard. If your WH is intent and focused, though, he can do it. If not, then he can't. But it involves a CSAT, a 12-step group, a sponsor, reading. The I Can Relate link is a great place to go and to educate yourself about the reading materials for sex addicts and spouses of sex addicts.
Another truth you'll find in the Spouses of Sex Addicts thread is that--especially in early recovery--you'll NOT find out the whole truth. They aren't lying like serial cheaters--to get away with more; they're lying like addicts--to save you and themselves from the horrible shame and toxicity of their behavior. They're NOT proud of themselves. There's a saying for an addict who's not in recovery: "If his lips are moving, he's lying." So you have to read his actions--if he gets to that point. Here are the actions you'd look for and could trust:
Is he going to a CSAT? If so, there'll be a disclosure statement after a few months that will give you MUCH (supposedly all but often not) of the truth. You can get permission from your WH to meet with the CSAT and ask your own questions. To verify.
Is he going to a 12-step group? Does he have a sponsor? Does he meet with him often?
Has he given you ALL his passwords? Has he put a GPS track on his car (mine just did that for me) so you'll know where he is and where's he's been? Is he open with his computer viewing? In a place where you or your children could see what he's up to?
Every situation is different, so you have to tailor your boundaries and your needs to your husband's particular weaknesses. As for his living situation, I get the no money thing. We have none. We couldn't live separately. That doesn't mean we have to be in the same bed/room, though, or to be intimate. Even if we ended up divorcing, I'm not sure we'd be in two different houses. Our joint income is only enough for one family--and not even that.
Bottom line, protect yourself and your children, love them, continue--however possible--to get that teaching credential, do NICE things for yourself that empower you (even if it's educating yourself about SA), check out S-Anon for yourself (so, even if you divorce your WH, you don't end up with another addict), improve yourself somehow (fix ONE thing that bothers you about yourself--just for the self-esteem boost it gives and for the distraction/goal it creates).
I spoke with my ecclesiastical leader yesterday about some of the issues I've been facing recently. He was floored and is in awe of my strength. I am, too, quite frankly. Do I break down and cry? Absolutely. Do I give up sometimes? Momentarily. Do I love my husband? Yes. Still. Is that enough? Maybe not. Am I resolved that I will make it through this trial, as unscathed as possible? Of course. I will be a better person. I didn't seek this out, but I believe that challenges build character (I'm gonna need to rent a U-Haul after this!!!).
Prayers and well wishes for you as you navigate this journey. It sucks. It's not fair. It's excruciating. But you will survive, short term, and thrive, long term. Hugs!
I really want to know if he's sorry because he knows how wrong it was, or if he's just sorry it hurt me. That does make a difference to me, if he thinks this would be a problem for him even if we weren't together. I want to give him a chance to tell me the truth and not what he thinks I want to hear, and ask him if he's doing this for himself or for me. Because I know an addict can't change if they're doing it for someone else. I'm considering telling him that if he's otherwise okay with this behavior, he's more than welcome to do as he pleases and we can continue to live together, just not be together, until I graduate. I don't know that I really mean that, but I figure if he wants to have his cake and eat it too this may be a good way to find out.
There are "gateway" behaviors for most addicts--things that are normal in the general population: a drink with dinner, several at a tailgater; oogling a hot woman; masturbating; gambling when on a cruise ship or when in Las Vegas every 5 years; overeating at a delicious restaurant. It helps addicts explain that they're doing nothing wrong.
I have a 15-year-old son and our faith teaches that masturbation is unacceptable. As the wife of a SA, though, when my son came to me, in tears, because he felt horrible that he'd been masturbating, I assured him that the actions were normal for a healthy teenage boy. I then went on to explain, though, that it wasn't ideal and why. I also discussed the dangers of it escalating. It evolved to including a discussion about pornography and how it demeans women. I am DETERMINED that he will not start that shame cycle.
Does that make sense? It's all so devastating.