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My Story So Far

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Joanna1013 posted 1/13/2020 21:38 PM

I posted this yesterday in the wrong forum since I'm a newb. Sorry for the obnoxious length Ė I had a lot to get off of my chest.

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I guess it all started when my husband (of almost eight years now and who has been my partner for 14) got a DUI while I was out of state visiting my family Labor Day weekend. I was, of course, upset and disappointed about the DUI (itís expensive, after all), but never yelled or got mad at him. Driving when youíve had too much is a very human mistake, and itís one that I have made more than Iíd like to admit. So I get it, and I just tried to be as supportive as I could be.

My husband has never gotten in trouble before and felt terrible about himself. And for the first time in his adult life, he couldnít drink or smoke pot, which made it hard for him to stay home and relax. So he started going out almost every night.

My husband is a musician in two bands, and he works for a nonprofit here in town that is centered around music. Heís always gone to shows and always been busy with music. But this was a new level, and to make matters worse, when he was home, he wasnít really there.

The one night a week heíd grace me with his presence, he wouldnít talk to me. Heíd look at his phone silently from the other end of the couch, as I pointlessly tried to get him to talk to me about anything at all. At one point during this phase, I broke down and told him I was lonely. I asked him if he could just be home a couple more nights a week.

He got irritated and basically told me that he needed to be out because he couldnít stay home. He felt too anxious without being able to smoke, and being out was the only time he felt OK.

Also during this time, he stopped touching me. Weíre not every-night kind of folks, but our sex life was fairly consistent over the past few years. And even if we werenít having sex, heís always been an affectionate person. That all changed though; he didnít even want to have sex on our anniversary. And thatís the main reason I started believing that he was likely having an affair.

This goes on for most of October, and then the 18th or 19th, I go to a show with him, and I met this woman (Iíll call her Other Woman from here on out). I knew right away something was weird. Heís always been friends with women, but at shows, he generally says a quick hi to his friends and then watches the band with me. This woman stuck around and hung out with us, and then her husband came and hung out, too. My husband acted like it was nothing, so I tried to brush off my doubts.

I tried to quell my suspicions and told myself that sheís married, itís OK, but the doubts still lingered. Sheís blond and kind of petite, like me, which is his type. And they openly flirted in front of both me and her husband, but we were having fun, so who cares about a little flirting, right? We then proceeded to hang out with Other Woman and her husband a few more times.

Then comes Halloween. We watched Hocus Pocus and handed out candy, and I thought we were having a good night. I also thought that maybe weíd have sex later...finally.

We didnít. He saw that I was getting sleepy and said, ďDo you mind if I go out if youíll be asleep anyway? This is the last show at this venue in town, and I really, really would love to go.Ē I said OK and tried not to show him how disappointed I was.

The next morning, he casually mentioned that he hung out with Other Woman. He said he was picking her up to go to the show but that they ended up getting drinks (he canít drink, remember?) with her coworkers instead (something he would only reluctantly do for me even when he was able to drink). I point-blank asked him what was going on and why he didnít tell me heíd be picking her up. He said he didnít even think about it and wasnít trying to hide it, but that heíd never cheat on me.

I then proceeded to tell him that I believed him, but that if he feels himself falling for someone else to please take a step back and think of me. He said OK but was dismissive and a little defensive.

The next evening (Nov 1), we hung out with Other Woman and her husband again. We spent the entire night drinking. After weíve had a few, the boys start talking and the girls start talking.

She and her husband had also been together for a long time ó 13 years (which is fairly unique considering weíre all in our early 30s), and she starts telling me about how she wishes she had been with more people and asking me if I felt the same way. I say no, and that I think it would take a long time for it to even be good with someone else.

Later on, she starts telling me that she thinks sheís polyamorous and has the ďcapacity to love more than just one person.Ē I tell her that thatís cool but not for me.

Then we meet our other friends at the bar, who know both my husband and Other Woman (he taught drums to both of them). She (the drum teacherís wife) buys me a shot and then starts to talk to me while everyone else was in the other room watching the band. She tells me how f-ed up she thinks my husbandís relationship with Other Woman is (I blacked out so I only know because she told me later), and then I get super upset about my suspicions being validated in such a way that I start to run home from the bar crying (suuuper drunk mind you). I guess Other Woman ran after me for a second, and I told her to f-off, among other things.

My husband eventually collects me a of couple of miles down the road, and we Uber home. I only remember patches of that evening, but it comes out somehow that heís also polyamorous, or thinks he is or something.

The next morning, he makes me feel terrible about how I treated Other Woman and about the things I said to him. I guess I told him I hated that he needed to be ďbest friendsĒ with so many other women, that I was leaving and that I wanted to kill myself multiple times that night, but I donít remember.

The next morning, I am so hungover that I feel like I might actually die, and I send Other Woman a message over Instagram, apologizing profusely for my behavior and feeling terrible for what I donít remember saying. We were supposed to have her and her husband over that night to play Risk, and I begged them to please still come.

She accepts my apology, and then she and her husband come to our house. Everyone is drinking except me (since Iím deathly hungover), and I have a terrible night. Sheís wearing yoga pants, and my husband clearly checks her out multiple times in front of both me and her husband ó not great. Also, by this point, Iím all but certain thereís something going on but still trying to tell myself that itís nothing.

The next day, my husband and I really start to talk about the polyamory thing, and it comes out that heís ďalways wantedĒ to be with other people throughout our entire relationship, making me question every minute weíve ever had together. I spend most of the day crying about how Iím not enough. He tells me thatís not it, that he loves me, but that he just feels like he has ďtoo much love to give.Ē He tells me that heís going to be brutally honest with me about it, even if it hurts me, because he believes honesty is the most important thing. He also staunchly denies that thereís anything going on with Other Woman.

I do some research and learn more about polyamory, trying to accept it but knowing that I really will never be able to live like that. And then I ask Other Woman to meet with me, so she could tell me a little more about her experience exploring polyamory and her husbandís take on it (who is a monogamist, like me, and was upset about it, too).

I meet with her and cry to her about how my husband wants to be in love with someone else. She tells me that itís upsetting to hear that youíre not compatible this late in the game, but that it just might be the reality of the situation. She also tells me that theyíre just friends and that sheís not a threat to my relationship but will stop being friends with him if I want her to. I stupidly tell her that Iím glad he has such a good friend during this tough time and that I would never presume to tell anyone who they could be friends with.

The week was terrible. I missed a couple of days of work and thought my relationship was over. My husband wavered between feeling bad that he hurt me, asking me not to leave him and acting like I was totally overreacting and that I needed to get over it. We get through the week and find a shaky peace that weekend.

Then, on Sunday 11/9, my husband gets a call from Other Woman (who is traveling out of town for work or something). He sees itís her, and then immediately runs outside to the front yard to take the call. I ask him why he need privacy if nothing was going on with them, and he says he doesnít know.

Then he tells me that she got a text from her husband that said, ďI know what you did with ___.Ē He tells me they didnít do anything, so he doesnít know what heís talking about.

We then go about our day running errands around town, all the while, my husband is constantly checking his phone waiting to hear back from Other Woman about what her husband thinks they did.

Finally, he gets the call while weíre at Barnes and Noble. I give him his space while he talks to her for probably 30 minutes. He then gets in the car crying and tells me they canít be friends or even talk anymore.

After probing him for several minutes about why, he admits that her husband found her diary, detailing the fact that they were in love with each other.

I start crying on the way home, almost wrecking the car, and then we get home and he begs me not to leave him. He tells me heís sorry and that he loves me, has always loved me and has never stopped loving me, even through this. He tells me that nothing physical ever happened between them, not even a kiss, and that they tried to just be friends by making it a point to hang out with their spouses.

I try to be level-headed about the whole thing, but the reality is that Iím just in denial. And then, a few days later, I really start to feel it, and the crisis begins.

Now, a little more than two months later, weíre in marriage counseling and trying to work through it, and itís a day to day thing. Iíve gotten to the point where I have moments of happiness, but I spend a lot of my time hurt and angry.

After finally admitting to himself that he had an emotional affair (at first, he very much believed that he did absolutely nothing wrong because he didnít have sex with her), he now feels terrible and is questioning everything about his life and who he is. Heís thinking about quitting his bands, leaving his job and even moving to a new city if I would go with him. He says heís depressed and that he hates himself for what he did and just wants to be the person I need him to be.

He also says that he loves me and wants to be with me, but now I feel like the consolation prize. Iím now that crazy, jealous, paranoid wife who disregards her husbandís privacy in an attempt to ease her own insecurity, and I found a message he sent to his friend a couple of weeks into recovery.

He said that he feels bad about everything, but on top of everything else, he misses Other Woman, and that it was nice to have someone love him for who he really is for once. Ouch, and that certainly didnít help with the consolation prize feeling.

I want to be with him, I really do, but after everything, how do I trust anything he says? How do I believe that he wants to be with me ó and just me, which is what I really need out of a relationship? How do I stop comparing myself to her and hating the way look and talk and act, and that Iím not this cool, bisexual, polyamorous girl who plays the drums and wants to have threesomes?

I canít even get to the bottom of what they talked about, the timeline of all of it or if they were actually in love, because he says he doesnít remember. How can he not remember if he was really in love?

While I hate the fact that he had feelings for someone else, Iíve also had feelings during our relationship, but the difference is that I never shared them with the other person or had a secret relationship with them behind my husbandís back. What I really hate is that he lied so often, even after telling me that he was being honest. I hate that he could so easily disregard my feelings. I hate that he forced me to hang out with this woman because he just couldnít stand not having her in his life, even though, at that point, he knew his relationship was over the line. I hate that he told that he was in love with her. How can you love someone youíve never even seen without makeup on or had an argument with? His cavalier use of the word makes me feel like love doesnít matter to him.

I sort of hate the fact that they didnít have sex. I guess Iím glad that he at least had the foresight to draw the line, but in my opinion, the fact that he allowed himself to get so far in that relationship that he was able to fall in love with her is so much worse than a purely physical relationship. And if they had been physical, at least there would be no question as to whether or not he had an actual affair from him or any of the other people who know.

I also hate the fact that I tried to open up to Other Woman. Iím an introvert and have always only had a few close friends with a lot of friendly acquaintances, and itís never been easy for me to really reach out to people. I was really trying to tell myself that I was crazy about my suspicions, and I genuinely thought we could be friends. The fact that it was so easy for her to lie to me hurts, too.

I donít want to give up our life together. I love my husband, and I know he loves me. Heís the person I send funny memes to, and when anything at all happens, heís the first person I want to tell. I hate the fact that he hurt me, but heís been my best friend for almost 15 years; I canít just give up on that, can I?

But I feel like, at this point, weíve said everything there is to say on the matter to each other and that weíre stuck with no way to move forward. I guess I just want to know, will it ever get better?

confused2007 posted 1/13/2020 22:32 PM

I'm so very sorry that you are here but want you to know that you will have support. All of your emotions are part of the grief/trauma process dealing with the aftermath of the bad decisions the Wayward Spouse has made. Make sure to visit the healing library, visit a therapist as often as possible to take care of YOU. Marriage counseling is great but in order to work on the marriage it is important that we (betrayed spouse) focus on our own healing.

As for does it get better...if you mean the depression, sadness, anxiousness....I guess for me I just learned different coping mechanism. I have sadly been through this more times than ever one should and I can't say it gets easier. But as time passes you will develop different coping mechanisms.

Hugs to you. I know this is probably the worse pain you have felt but know you have lots of support here.

Buffer posted 1/13/2020 23:11 PM

Joanna,
Never compromise your morals or beliefs. Please you are you and are unique.
Hubby was in a EA at least. He has to start the hard yards now.
NC period, get his booze and MJ looked at. Both depress the boundaries when taken. If he canít stay at home without being drunk or stoned. There is a issue.
Does he need medical checks, yes! Unfortunately cheaters lie, there is more to this. Both were putting out feelers to you to get into a relationship together with your blessings. Nah bull shit!
Have you sought out legal advice? Please do as you need to know your rights.
Take it one day at a time. So sorry you are here.

Take care

Buffer

The1stWife posted 1/14/2020 04:09 AM

Iím sorry you are in this position. It literally stinks to have been betrayed like you were.

He has displayed typical cheater behavior. The cheater acts like a 2 year old with a temper tantrum. Will do whatever it takes to get their own way. Lie, cry, manipulate, etc. SMH!

G t yourself a good counselor to support you. It will help you deal with this trauma. It will help save your sanity too.

Recovery is a slow process unfortunately. It doesnít happen overnight. You will change, your marriage will change and hopefully he will change.

Gently I think you both need the lay off the booze for awhile. You black out, heís getting DUIs, those are some warning signs right there. Stay focused on your healing.

steadychevy posted 1/14/2020 05:08 AM

Fellow introverted betrayed spouse here, Joanna.

As Buffer said, don't compromise your morals, beliefs and integrity.

You've said that you are in MC. I think that is probably not a good thing. In MC the marriage is the patient and too often the betrayed is urged to accept and put it behind them. It is revictimization.

What I do suggest is IC for him. He has a lot of issues. But especially IC for you. I believe you need a counsellor well trained and experienced in severe trauma and probably PTSD. About 70% of betrayeds have PTSD.

How sure are you that they never had sex? Liars lie. You hadn't been having sex for a while. Why do you believe he wasn't having sex with someone? And didn't even kiss?

Some STDs transfer in saliva, apparently. I don't know much about the STDs but think that your WH needs to get checked and give you the written results. You should get checked, too.

Whether they had sex or not you've been betrayed. It's trauma. You're feeling the results of it. The usually suggested timeline for healing is 2 to 5 years. Any TT (trickle truth) or new information resets the calendar.

Consider a polygraph to determine if your WH had any intimate behaviour with the OW or anyone else during your marriage.

tushnurse posted 1/14/2020 08:03 AM

Welcome to the best club you never wanted to join.

Joanna - I want to reinforce to you what you probably already know on some level. You do not have the truth, and your H is not remorseful yet.

It is time for you to take control over this situation. He will give just as much as you are willing to accept, meaning he won't go above and beyond or ever be fully truthful unless he knows you will not accept it.

1. See an attorney, learn your rights, understand your situation, know what his obligations are. We get that you don't want to D, but you hae to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.

2. Get yourself into IC with a therapist that specializes in infidelity and trauma. You are certainly suffering from the unique abuse that is infidelity. It takes someone who knows and understands it to help you through it.

3. Get yourself full STD testing. This will help you take back some control. Also demand that he get STD testing, and that you get to see the results directly from the Dr. This means blood work and other testing. If he truly didn't have sex w/ her he will jump at the opportunity to prove it.

4. Consider asking him to take a polygraph. This also shows him that you are taking back control over the situation and demanding more from him that he has offered so far. It will help you to find center again, and know that it is ok to ask for more than he is willing to give you.

Lastly understand that he did this because he is broken person and his choices are just that HIS Choices..... Not yours, and he certainly did not make them because of anything you did or did not do. He made them because he is a broken person w/ serious issues that he needs to work through.

Keep reading and posting here. Check out the healing library upper left side of your screen. There are tons of good resources and info at your finertips there.

((((And Strength))))

sorryforeverythi posted 1/14/2020 08:34 AM

Hi, I am sorry for what you are going through. I found out a few weeks ago and found this forum last week. I don't agree with some of what people tell me but in the end they ended up being right.

We all bring our own perspectives into things and as outsiders we can see through the love haze that you have for him.

He cheated on you, repeated, men don't go from consistent sex to no sex, if he isn't getting it from you he is getting it from her.

This isn't your fault. There are a lot of good resources out there use them. I can't name them but look and find them.

Reconcilation is a joke. It doesn't work. Betrayal is in the seventh ring of Dante's Inferno because it is the worst of all sins. It cuts you to the core. You can try and sugar coat it and say I am special and I am unique but you aren't, none of us are.

He choose to do it to you, he chose to betray you and cheat on you.

Dump him, pick up the pieces and move on. It won't work out because you will never be able to trust him.

I am sorry to be the bearer of blunt news, but you deserve someone that is willing to fight for you.

I just watch an episode of Last Man Standing, you might not like it or never heard of it but watch the very end. He says, I am willing to die for my wife, the rest of the stuff is pretty easy once you feel that way.

Find someone willing to stand in the midst of the storm with you by your side. Not some drunk loser that dreams of being a rock and roll star.

You deserve better, know that you do.

Joanna1013 posted 1/14/2020 09:12 AM

Thank you all for the responses and supports, I very much appreciate it.

There are a few things that I feel I need to set the record straight about though.

1. I know they didn't have a physical affair because I asked her husband about it ó who read her very detailed and up to date diary. He wouldn't go into details about what the diary said (he didn't want to relive it) but gave me the overview, which matched my husband's story by the way:

They had an emotional affair, thought that they were in love with each other and then tried to just be friends and bring their spouses into the relationship because they did not want to ruin their marriages.

2. The drinking, ah yes. I can't deny that it contributed to the situation I find myself in now, but the reality of the situation is that my husband and I are casual drinkers who very occasionally (i.e. maybe twice a year) go too far.

I didn't blackout because I drank way more than everyone else that night; I did drink a lot but it's just how my body processes the alcohol ó some people will never have that problem. And this was my husband's first-ever DUI, which happened because he misjudged the strength of the beer and the amount of food he consumed that day ó a mistake that, frankly, could happen to anyone.

(I hope this doesn't come across as defensive, I really do appreciate the concern and just want everyone to understand the real situation.)

#3. I feel that he is truly remorseful. He's been home almost every night since D-day, texts me all day long when we're at work, and has been incredibly attentive.

He's also deeply hurt by what he did to me and to our marriage as well, and he hates himself for it ó so much so that it breaks my heart to see.

#4. I know all of you will tell me that it's too early to make these kinds of decisions, but I don't want to get a divorce. I appreciate all of the wisdom and guidance, but we've had an incredible relationship. We're not going to let this defeat it.

We would still love each other if we weren't together. What's the point of living without someone you love and who loves you? I know he's lied and cheated and been an all-around piece of shit, but he's a human who made a mistake, one that I could see myself easily making if the right circumstances fell into place.

I'm hurt and can't imagine trusting him again. But I'm not ready to give up.


tushnurse posted 1/14/2020 18:17 PM

I'm not telling you to give up but I am telling you that this whole polyamory thing is BS. It is an excuse and until he does the real work to figure out his whys and fix his shit he is a very unsafe partner.
You would be foolish to refuse to get STD testing done. Men who stop having sex with their partners that always have had sex do so for two reasons, one they are unable to or two they are getting it from someone else.

I would also strongly encourage you to get the advice of an attorney. While you are not ready to walk away you cannot make a decision to stay and have it be a good one if you dont fully understand all of your options. I made a lot of stupid mistakes early on but the 2 things I did right were to see an attorney and demand he get STD tested. If it wasn't physical then he will jump at the chance to say I told you so. But it also changes the dynamic and shows him even in your heartbreak you demand more from him.
Not a single one of us that saved our M and were able to reconcile did it because we moved them back. No we did it because we demanded the respect we deserved and set boundaries and were ready to enforce consequences if they failed to meet our expectations.
I guarantee you that there is more here that you dont know. If you choose to ignore it and move forward with out making him make changes and doing some work on himself you find yourself being cheated on again.

He needs to cut the crap get into IC and start figuring things out. Period.

heartbroken_kk posted 1/15/2020 00:40 AM

Hi Joanna1013, I'm sorry you are here. I hope you are able to make use of these forums to think through your situation and get some good advice.

You sound like me in my first marriage (not my second, which is the one that brought me here).

Please listen carefully, because I made the same excuses for the same behavior. Nothing was real, nothing got better, and it all imploded later. And then in my second marriage I made the same exact mistakes. Wash, rinse, repeat. I learned NOTHING. That failure to learn kinda ruined my life.

I write as if I know exactly what is going on. Maybe I'm wrong. But maybe I'm right. Look at the date I joined these forums and know I've read a lot of stories here about what people discovered, and then later found out to be lies. The truth comes out a little at a time. I've seen it over and over, as have others on this forum.

Saying that, please go read up on co-dependency. What you are doing, getting wasted when your WH gets wasted, making all kinds of excuses for his behavior and the consequences of his behavior, believing his lies and fabrications (we see them for what they are even if you can't right now) because they sort of make sense and make you feel better..... it's all very consistent with being codependent to someone who is at a minimum passive aggressive and potentially is also narcissistic. Codependency is about you. You should try to figure this out, because growing out of codependency is your ticket to future happiness, even if it's after divorce.

Now, about your WH, with him withdrawing from sex with his wife (you) -- this almost always coincides with having sex with someone else. Start with the assumption that when he started withdrawing from you is AFTER he started having sex with OW. So, Before labor day is when they started being intimate.

The affair is old history. It's physical and it goes back before you even had a clue.

If you start there, the DUI was because he was engaging in behavior that was immoral and out of control, and driving drunk is part and parcel of that. Drunk enough to get pulled over, not just a little buzzed, but wasted drunk. Going out almost every night after the DUI was so that he could see the OW, not because he couldn't stay home and relax. He couldn't stay home and relax because he was not with OW, he was with his wife. Do you follow me here?

What her husband read and reported to your WH, by the time it got to you, it left out some details, shall we say.

I'm not going to break down the rest of your post point by point, but that's my assessment.

Here's what you do:

1. Buy the book Codependent No More. The whole controlling thing in that book will not make sense and will piss you off but read it anyway.

2. Stop going to marriage counseling. This is not a marriage you want to fix. Your WH needs to fix himself FIRST. If he starts working on fixing himself then maybe you'll have something to work with. Meanwhile MC with this guy is a mindfuck and you should STOP.

3. Stop drinking. Just stop. You don't need it. Start walking, running, or going to the gym. Get some physical activity to help you cope. Put your health as your primary concern. YOU, and YOUR BODY need to be your focus. Not your WH, not your M. Get a water bottle and keep it beside you at all times. Drink WATER.

4. Stop talking to OW and her OBS. Their relationship is not your concern. So what if she wants to be polyamorous, that's his problem, not yours.

5. Get STD tests, talk to your doctor. Find out what diseases you might be at risk for. Get the whole panel, including HIV. You don't know where your WH has put his dick and how many other men he's shared that space with.

6. Put a 3 month moratorium on having sex with your WH. Don't let him put your health at risk right now. He can't be trusted and you need to protect yourself. Remember step 3, put your health first.

7. See a lawyer. Find out what divorce looks like in your situation in your state. Find out your rights and what the process looks like.

8. Since you've cancelled MC, research individual counselors for those specializing in codependency, infidelity, and divorce. Go see a therapist just for you.

I turned my life around through therapy. It was really hard work. I got a divorce in the middle of it all, but I kept my focus on ME and the changes I needed to make to protect myself and find happiness in my future.

10. Your WH is lying. Stop believing anything that comes out of his mouth.


SaddestDad posted 1/15/2020 00:58 AM

We would still love each other if we weren't together. What's the point of living without someone you love and who loves you?

In that same vein of thought, Joanna, the following that you said should be more troublesome than the surface-platitude

They had an emotional affair, thought that they were in love with each other and then tried to just be friends and bring their spouses into the relationship because they did not want to ruin their marriages.

As someone who also believed that his WS wasn't physical, I implore you to listen to the advice that others are screaming (for your sake, not theirs).
Go for STD testing.
Have him take a polygraph.
Her husband is trying to maintain his masculinity and save face. It's the only reason he's so adamantly refusing to admit to you nor himself that it was "just" emotional.
For god sake, he wouldn't have sex with you on your anniversary & he even admitted he went out with her... why, so they could discuss music theory?

If you don't get your head out of the sand soon, you'll end up eating that sand much later on when you think you've healed. It'll crash back down on you with every new revelation... again, this is coming from me - someone whose head was firmly in the sand.

The1stWife posted 1/15/2020 09:37 AM

Reconcilation is a joke. It doesn't work

This is just not true. Reconciliation can and does happen. I am one of the lucky ones.

If your H is committed to you and your marriage and making changes and addressing his issues- you can survive an affair.

Regarding the drinking issues b/c I raised it, thank you for clarifying a few points. Based on your initial post, one could infer you led a partying lifestyle and that could add some additional factors to your marriage (given that heís in a band or two as well). Itís interesting you said you blacked out one night that you drank. I donít drink b/c I donít get drunk from alcohol I just black out after 1 small glass of wine. Itís odd but I just cannot process alcohol. I go from sober to blackout in 30 minutes or so.

And yes your H made an error in judgement and drove that night. Glad to see he recognizes the risks and acknowledges his mistake. Too many donít.

I hope things continue to improve for you. Just know that recovery is a slow process.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 9:41 AM, January 15th (Wednesday)]

Bladerunner2054 posted 1/15/2020 18:02 PM

Calling BeyondRage!

Joanna1013 posted 1/16/2020 16:01 PM

@tushnurse
I also think the polyamory thing is a bs excuse. Even if he was truly poly ó which I donít think he is ó it wouldnít have made it ok for him to have this secret relationship behind my back. He as admitted in counseling though that he thought at the time that lifestyle could get him everything he wanted.

I appreciate your concern about a potential physical relationship and I will get tested for STDs just in case, but I believe him (but more so Other Womanís husband) that it wasnít physical. Being in love is not better in my book though. Itís worse.

@hearbroken_kk
I very much appreciate the concern and the feedback, but with all due respect, youíre way off base here.

Iím not co-dependent, and I donít think going out for drinks with my husband and two people I thought were our friends makes me so. I also donít believe Iím making excuses for his behavior. He fucked up. Iím not denying that. If I were, I wouldnít be here.

He also didnít even know Other Woman before Labor Day, and the DUI had nothing to do with her. As Iíve said before, he misjudged the strength of the beer and how much he has in his stomach. It also just got downgraded to a DWAI btw. Again, not an excuse. He did fuck up, but this is something that can and has happened to a lot of people who otherwise donít use alcohol problematically.

Every poster here has told me that the lack of sex in our marriage means that they absolutely had a physical relationship, but itís important to note that my husband was super anxious about sentencing for the DUI at the time (which also sounds like an excuse but isnít). I also highly doubt Other Womanís husband would lie to me about a physical relationship. Before she cheated on him when they had their own discussions about polyamory, he eventually (he was staunchly against any kind of open arrangement at first) told her heíd be open to her having a physical relationship with someone else but not an emotional one, so I donít think this is the threat to his masculinity that you think it is.

I havenít talked to Other Woman since that day at Starbucks (a week before Dday), and I havenít talked to her husband since a few days after when I talked to him to confirm my husbandís story. I wasnít talking to them about polyamory because I care whether or not they are polyamorous. I talked to her because I was lost and looking for someone to talk to about my own relationship and how polyamory might affect it. At the time, I was trying to be open to the possibility because I loved my husband and didnít want to lose him. I also thought we were friends, remember?

@The1stWife
Thank you! I want to reconcile with my husband, so itís a relief to hear someone here say that itís possible. Iíve read that most couples actually reconcile after something like this, but I know it will take a lot of time and work to get there. And I also know that the kind of relationship we have will not be what it was ever again.

I think I did a bad job of explaining the situation properly regarding the drinking thing. I can totally see how it could be read like weíre avid partyers.

Thank you both for your responses and support!

[This message edited by Joanna1013 at 4:28 PM, January 16th (Thursday)]

HalfTime2017 posted 1/16/2020 23:28 PM

Joanna, from reading your post it seems you lack self confidence. Lightly, please do not take this in any harsh way. You are way too forgiving and constantly questioning yourself while you husband gaslights you.

Your Husband had at the very least an EA. That is the very least. How you react to that will set you up going forward. You've spent many yrs allowing your husband to do as he please. Its time for you to set some boundaries for him, and to see an IC for yourself about why you allow him to treat you the way he does. He's dismissive of you, and selfish. Out 6 days a week and home for 1, probably b'c he doesn't want to quit his band nonsense is fine if you're into it as much as him, but if you're out and he's out, you might as well not be married. Whats the point of seeing each other 1 day a week.

Also, the I have lots of love for multiple people is horseshit. He either commits to having love for just you, or he can go. That should be your first boundary. Thats not up for discussion. If he can't do that, than you should D.

ShutterHappy posted 1/17/2020 01:07 AM

Joanna1013,

Iím glad to see you in JFO where you will get more responses

Most people here, when DDay is recent, want to jump to R right away. A natural reaction is to try to go back the way it was.

True R is possible under certain conditions. You can view this as "the your old marriage is dead and a new one must be built from scratch."

The first step is to get the truth. Build your new marriage on the foundation of truth. Without the whole truth, thereís no trust. No trust, no marriage.

Maybe you think that with the diary and what your H said, you have enough. However, the experience of thousands of posters and thousands of stories says you most likely don†Ďt have the whole story yet. If those two were in love, even if the OW didnít write anything in her diary, itís very likely that something physical happened. It might be less important for you that it went physical, but donít build a new marriage on partial truth.

Did they ever kissed? Do you know?

Why donít you ask your WH a written detailed limeline? Itís a good starting point.

He also need to have stronger boundaries. Most adults get hit on during their life. It probably happened to you, it happened to me, and everyone else. So if some other woman hit on your H in the future, is he going to fall for it? What changed? what has he changed to make himself a safe partner for you?


Is he still going out with his band?

[This message edited by ShutterHappy at 1:08 AM, January 17th (Friday)]

Joanna1013 posted 1/17/2020 06:09 AM

HalfTime2017,

You're right, I do lack confidence (particularly now) and have questioned myself throughout the lying and the gaslighting. I've also spent a lot of our relationship being OK with coming second to his passion for music, which I guess you could say is letting him "do whatever he wants."

However, where you're wrong is in his typical treatment of me. Yes, throughout October, he was dismissive and selfish and out almost every night, but that wasn't his typical behavior. Prior to that, he had always been caring and affectionate. And now that he's woken up from the fog, he is that way again ó even more so because he realizes how much he hurt me and wants to make it right.

He's also been home more, has cleared his schedule, and has told me on multiple occasions that he's seriously considering quitting his band and even his job (which keeps him firmly in that scene even professionally).

If how he treated me in October was typical for him, I wouldn't still be here. I couldn't even take it for more than a week or two before I confronted him about it even then.

I agree that the too much love thing is utter BS, and I've told him as much on multiple occasions. He now says that's not what he wants or needs, and has admitted that, at the time, the fact that he thought he was poly made it OK in his mind to have feelings for someone else. Now, he realizes what BS that is and that what he did was cheating not polyamory, seeing as how I never gave consent to be in that kind of relationship.

ShutterHappy,

Thanks again for the advice on moving this topic! :)

I would be lying if I said I never thought about leaving, especially within the first month of finding out, but I'm not there anymore. However, I do know that our old marriage is gone, and honestly, I don't want that kind of relationship again Ė it led us here. We were never really honest with each other when we had crushes and attraction before ó which is stupid, seeing as how attraction is a natural part of being human. And when those things are left secret, they become more powerful.

I do feel that his affair has brought a whole lot more honesty into the relationship (from both of us). And I'm hoping it's that honesty that will help to safeguard against this kind of thing in the future.

I also feel that, now, I'm finally getting the whole truth. I know that everyone here is positive their affair was also physical and that he's still lying to me, but not every situation is the same. I will absolutely get tested for STDs just in case, but I don't believe he's lying to me about that part of it.

In my opinion, what's changed is that he now knows what's at stake if he acts on being hit on. He also now has a clearer understanding of what I perceive to be cheating. As I said before, he really thought that what he was doing maybe wasn't completely on the up and up but he never thought he was cheating on me. But now, thanks to this newer level of honesty in our relationship, he knows that secrecy and lies, combined with having feelings for another woman that she knows about but I don't, is cheating is my book ó regardless of what they have or have not done physically.

He isn't still going out anymore. I've actually pushed him to try to get back to some semblance of normalcy (I just need things to feel normal again), but he won't go out without me now. And even when he does, he's constantly checking in to make sure I'm OK.

[This message edited by Joanna1013 at 7:02 AM, January 17th (Friday)]

HalfTime2017 posted 1/17/2020 11:19 AM

J- those are great first steps. Keep going and set hard boundaries for him. Remember, you're the adult in this situation. He may be coming out of his fog, but it doesn't mean that he's fully out of it or has learned a hard lesson.

Keep putting up those boundaries, set him straight and ask him to go to an IC. Again, it wouldn't be bad for you to go individually as well.

Good luck

tushnurse posted 1/17/2020 11:38 AM

I will absolutely get tested for STDs just in case, but I don't believe he's lying to me about that part of it.

Great. Glad you understand how important this is.
Additionally what about demanding yes demanding he be tested as well? Why? Well because for several reasons, one - cheaters lie, and two- it shows that you are strong enough to set boundaries, and expect things from him.
I understand you have zero intention of D'ing or ending your M, but sister you are going to find yourself here again if you don't start demanding more from him.

The whole OW's diary being a source of truth is a bit misleading as well. Don't you think that if she was trying to hide an A, that would be the last place she would put down any words or confessions of an intimate relationship? What is the the OW's H is so anxious to R that he is willing to believe lies, and unknowingly believing those shared them w/ you as the truth. Just food for thought.

Additionally I would set some serious expectations of him.
1. A timeline - and have it done by X date. Make sure that you are ready to enforce consequences should he not meet this expectation. Like kicking him out of the marital bedroom for a week.

2. Consider a polygraph after you get the timeline. Again we understand your situation is unique, however we also as a collective group KNOW that cheaters follow very specific predictable behaviors. One of those being lying, minimizing, and gaslighting all in the effort to protect themselves, under the guise of "not wanting to hurt their BS".

These 2 things getting done, and gives you a zero starting point on rebuilding. If you don't get the full truth and try to rebuild on a false truth, or don't start from absolute zero it really creates a false starting point, and then later when the full truth is discovered it puts you at having to start completely over with any attempt at R, and destroys trust permanently.

I know you are anxious for things to get "back to normal" but "normal" as you knew it no longer exists. Now you have to get to the bottom to start to rebuild on a solid foundation of absolute truth.

Keep reading and keep posting.... we are here to support you through this in a way that will make you the priority and protect yourself first and foremost.

MickeyBill2016 posted 1/17/2020 12:25 PM

Maybe I live under a rock but I wonder how much of this "we are a poly couple" is true, and if both spouses are aware that they are in a poly relationship.

To be fair, I knew a couple who had a "hotwife" situation which seems half poly...she had multi partners but he didn't. I guess whatever works. Į\_(ツ_/Į

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