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Hope is a Dangerous Thing

am452 posted 4/14/2020 13:46 PM

Hi everyone, new here really need some advice; I just keep wondering if this will ever get better.
A little background:
I had a long distance EA with the same OP twice, there was a year gap between times we talked.
BH found out January 1 when I lost my phone. I trickle truthed thinking it would spare feelings. I ended up showing BH my conversation with OP the second time we talked including the pictures OP sent me. As far as our first conversation goes, I cannot retrieve it but there is a hacker friend of his from elementary school that has offered to retrieve it, plus give him complete access to all of OP's social media and accounts.
I ended things with OP immediately and BH and I decided to tell OP's BS about the A as well. It turns out OP had multiple A's and my telling the truth opened Pandora's box for them.
BH ended up finding an OP out of "fairness" but as of this point they did far more than I did including some physical stuff, but no sex. His OP contacted him on Facebook after he changed his status to single; they weren't friends and she admitted she was waiting for him to change his status.
BH has said many times that it's gone beyond fair and that he wants to end it and I can see that his OP has said some things that has genuinely made him think, but he keeps it open. BH admitted that he told his OP once that it was over, but picked things back up after we had a bad fight. The morning I found out about BH's A, he slapped me and threw food at me. He took a video of me crying on the floor, asking OP if I was attractive to him then and said he was going to send it to him. He never did, and instead ended up deleting the video.
BH also sent a long text to my OP as well as a mutual friend of mine and OP who encouraged the A, ending it saying that we would survive and thrive.
We went to therapy twice and it helped a lot, but after two sessions it got shut down because of COVID. They converted it to telehealth sessions but BH doesn't want to go anymore.
BH is always flip flopping about wanting to stay together, but deep down inside I feel like he still loves me.
He knows everything now, and I am fully commited to fixing this and I have been open and honest any time he wanted to talk or ask questions, I even offered to take multiple poly tests. About once a week BH just gives up and says he is done but a few hours later we are back to fixing things. I just want to make this right, more than anything; it's hard for me to take care of myself and our family because it's all I focus on.
A lot of the stuff BH says when we argue is hurtful but I am starting to wonder if it's true. BH lost his job in February because he took too much time off trying to talk things out with me and/or just because the pain of what I did was too much. I feel so bad that what I did has cost so much, it's become almost all consuming to me to fix this. I walk on egg shells and try to be the person that I was when we first met because this EA made me realize that I love my BH more than anything in this world. Its just so hard for me to ride this roller coaster of him wanting to fix things one day and then wanting to seperate the next.
We are both kind of stuck in this apartment together with our five year old son.
To top it all off, we found out last week that I am about 2.5 months pregnant (thanks hysterical bonding) and there's so much mixed emotions that it adds to the situation (we both agreed we want to keep him or her) we talk about it a lot and BH says we will be ok.
The best way he sums it up (after a particularly long and bad night) is like a person with dementia, he has episodes where he just wants to give up but he will eventually come back to me.
I find myself suppressing my feelings about his OP because it just brings up more excuses for him to point fingers. I'm not allowed to have these feelings about his OP because what I did was so much worse, but it feels to me, oftentimes, the same way I'm sure BH feels about my A.
The crippling doubt about whether or not I am good enough to make BH want to stay along with the guilt and shame that I feel over what I did to the love of my life and my family just consumes me daily, I've given up everything that used to make me happy because I just don't care about anything else.
I'm just so lost on where to go from here.

[This message edited by am452 at 7:31 PM, April 14th (Tuesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 4/14/2020 17:32 PM

First, I'm sorry that you're here. Second, are you safe? Not as in a safe partner, but physically safe? Your bh had a revenge PA and has gotten physically violent with you. He then taped you crying on the floor after he hit you. None of what you did gives him the right to put his hands on you. Did he do that before he knew you were pregnant?

am452 posted 4/14/2020 17:42 PM

Hi LifeDestroyer,

Yes, I am physically safe. Let me clarify, he did that before I was pregnant.
He talked to the therapist about it and we talked about it and it was determined that it was just a one time thing. He was very angry and lashing out. That was around mid January and he has only shown remorse and even tears about it since then.
When we argue and I flinch because he moves suddenly he makes it a point to stop and make sure I know he isn't going to hit me.

LifeDestroyer posted 4/14/2020 17:48 PM

I'm glad it was only the one time, even though it should have never happened. You shouldn't have to flinch, but I understand it.

I also understand the suppressing of your feelings regarding his ongoing A, but you are allowed to have those feelings. He is still talking to his OP. He is in an active affair. You have every right to be upset about that.

am452 posted 4/14/2020 18:15 PM

It's really hard for me to express those feelings to him because he always ends up turning the tables on me. I can't change what I did to him, as much as we both wish I could so talking about my feelings about his A is a battle I guess I can't fight right now. He doesn't see it as an active A, he always says I had my fun with my EA, now he is having his and he hopes it was worth it for me.
Sometimes I wonder if we've gone about this all backwards; it's almost like we are stuck in hysterical bonding. I feel like the only way we are going to get out is if we stop being intimate but it worries me that he will go to OP for his needs.
I'm supposed to be going to get my first ultrasound tomorrow then the genetic testing and finding put the gender Thursday and I'm so conflicted because I'm excited for this baby but it's almost like he doesn't care when he's angry and it's so hard for me to stay strong when he's having an "episode" but I always tell myself that this is what I get for doing what I did to us and our family.

Justsomelady posted 4/14/2020 20:32 PM

I’m so sorry you’re here and going through this. Have you read in the healing library and the SI recommended books: “not just friends” and “how to help your spouse heal”? Maybe start with those. Also, you should consider opening this thread to all posters including betrayed spouses - because you are also a betrayed spouse. You are both mad hatters and sadly your H is the one not fully taking responsibility and continuing his A. I am glad to read above you are safe. I feel any man who hits a woman should be sent packing, personally. He’s no longer worth it. But you know your situation... Next time he does something like that you call the cops so you have a record of it. Wishing you much strength.

Can you tell us more about how your A happened and who the OP is? And your H’s OP - has her spouse or SO been notified?

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:34 PM, April 14th (Tuesday)]

am452 posted 4/14/2020 20:54 PM

Not sure about his OP's OBS, I know she told BH that they are in the process of seperating even though they still live together. I don't know much about her beyond what BH tells me.
I met my OP in a video game stream that my son enjoyed watching. It started as conversation and then I started talking about life and he told me his story, he sent me private messages and we ended up taking things off the chat, sexting turned to sending pictures and a video.
The second time around he was more pushy about me coming out to see him and tried to use all the emotional stops to get me to go there but I drew the line at a PA and no nudes.
BH's OP is a friend from his childhood, one of those first people you mess around with physically just to try it. I don't even know her full name, but BH has told me about the different things she's sent him and the things that she's told him to try to sell herself to him, she wants a relationship with him and she has no problem stepping on me to get it because of my A. She has even offered a place for him to stay when he feels like he needs to get away from me, as long as he wants.
BH has made it clear he doesn't want that with her multiple times. That this is just a fun, RA for him. It started out as something to distract himself, on my D day with him he has given up entirely on fixing things and truly wanted to end it. It was over to him.
He bought me a promise ring and gave it to me twice, a promise of his commitment to us, and I lied to him both times telling him he knew all the details of my A but didnt tell him about the video I sent, or how long it was.
He gave it to me a third time, and he truly knows everything now (but he's heard that before and doesn't believe me, can't say that I blame him.)

Justsomelady posted 4/15/2020 01:57 AM

An RA is wrong just as a regular A is wrong. It is abusive behavior. You’ve both made selfish, hurtful choices and you’ve been working on the right path and still have work to do. He’s lashing out and while I empathize his RA is not just a fun distraction- and if that is how he heals himself from discomfort he has much more in common with all of us run of the mill waywards here. We are (if in Wayward mode) always looking over at supposedly “greener” grass and looking for how things can be made to best tend to our various “needs” (me, me, me)- without giving full truth and transparency and care to our SOs. And his has the added layer of knowing full well how much pain he felt and meting it out on you in response.

What are you both modeling for your kid and future kid? There is a bit of an urgency here for you each to clean up your side of the street. You started it, keep working on it. If he gives you nothing to work with you may need to see a lawyer. Maybe consider doing that regardless so you can assuage the anxiety of the unknown.

Get in touch with OBS. He deserves to know. Also - read, read, read.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 2:02 AM, April 15th (Wednesday)]

am452 posted 4/15/2020 02:42 AM

Agreed, but he doesn't see it as an A at all, he says he's been mentally checked out for a while which is very mixed signals for me because he still talked to his OP while we were trying to fix things and he commited himself to fixing things. He flip flops all the time and its like a drug, it kills me when hes angry but I'm so happy when things are good.
My stepmom talks about that all the time, a court battle would be messy. While we are a mom first state he insists that he would have me beat in court because of my A and lack of financial responsibility. I don't entertain it with him right now because I don't even know about how half of that works, but he does insist that he is going to tell them both everything so they know what kind of woman their mother really is.
It's funny, he says I'm selfish because of my A and my choices to let it happen not once but twice, or the fact that I wasn't going to tell him about it until I got caught.
He feels better about it because at least he's disclosed (almost) everything about it.
He gave me more details tonight about their messages and the videos she sent him and it made me physically sick, I never crossed the lines that she did with BH when I had my A.
The weird thing is I just want him to come home and hold me and tell me it's going to be ok and we will work on things, it's such a strange battle to face in my mind.
I wouldn't even know where to start with OBS, I don't know his OP's full name, just her first name, they aren't friends on Facebook and she uses multiple numbers to talk to BH. Definitely seems more like something BH would have to do.

[This message edited by am452 at 3:01 AM, April 15th (Wednesday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 4/15/2020 07:53 AM

You say that what you did was so much worse, but I'm not clear on why that's true, at least from the details you give here. This is a toxic complication of being a madhatter, the assignment of relative blame. Is the original A automatically worse than a revenge A, regardless of what you did? Is a PA worse than an EA? Or vice versa? Does the length of time matter? Does either spouse Get Out of Jail Free?

It really gets under my skin when someone claims that RAs aren't As because you're upfront that you're doing it. If you're dating without your spouse's consent, it's cheating (and I mean true consent, not "I'm so guilty and scared that I don't dare refuse"). I'm not denying that it's hypocrisy for the WS to object, but that doesn't mean they aren't being hurt and betrayed. It's still breaking vows.

I've seen it argued on SI that the marriage contract is voided by the first A, but I don't buy that at all. If you're no longer married, then both of you are free to date, and I doubt that's something he thinks you're authorized to do. Plus how can he say he's been completely upfront when you don't even know her last name? He exposed your AP to OBS, and he's talking about getting a hacker to infiltrate your AP's social media, but his AP gets to stay completely anonymous and face no consequences?

In short, I get that he's hurting terribly, and he has every right to leave you, but he does not not have the right to pull this crap of parading an active A around in front of his pregnant wife. He doesn't know what he wants yet, and that's understandable, but he has to go NC with her until he decides. You can't even begin to determine if this marriage is salvageable until she's out of the picture and you know everything about her.

Finally, no, he will not have you beat in court because of an A, especially an EA. The courts could care less about anything but the welfare of your children and an equitable distribution of assets. That's a topic of much pain for BS in these forums, and understandably so, but it's reality. You shouldn't let yourself be intimidated into tolerating his affair for fear of getting shafted in a divorce.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 8:00 AM, April 15th (Wednesday)]

Justsomelady posted 4/15/2020 08:16 AM

You shouldn't let yourself be intimidated into tolerating his affair for fear of getting shafted in a divorce.

I second everything BSR said. Also -adding to what she said above - this is why you really need to talk to a lawyer. Also - you need full truth from H if you are to R, that includes telling you full name of his OP.

Also - if you want to tel the kids, fine - but it should include his A too and it should wait until they are both old enough to handle this info. He is selfish to burden his five yo with this information. All he needs to know is that mommy and daddy aren’t getting along.

If he can’t do that, and doesn’t include you on no contact communication with her, AND he doesn’t ok you telling OBS (not by your H, you) then he isn’t R material.

He is giving you literally nothing to work with.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 10:13 AM, April 15th (Wednesday)]

leavingorbit posted 4/15/2020 09:10 AM

Hi, am452. I’m sorry you’re here. I’ll write a longer reply when I have more time.

An affair is an affair.
Hitting your spouse is hitting your spouse.

My husband and I are madhatters. Your story sounds so similar to ours and it breaks my heart. I chose to internalize my husband’s actions for a long time. It was toxic. It was spectacularly damaging. Affairs, addiction: they’re like loading a needle full of shame (sometimes literally). My husband was in a bunch of pain. So was I.

It was my choice to cheat.
It was his choice to cheat.
It was your choice to cheat.
It was and is his choice to cheat.

I know things are topsy-turvy right now in general. It may add to feeling overwhelmed. Are you in IC? I strongly suggest you seek IC. There are a lot of options out there, even with the current crisis. Flexible pricing, scheduling, etc. My IC just calls me on the phone and we talk.

Start loving yourself. Set boundaries and then focus on yourself. Read, eat good food, sleep, exercise. Don’t look to him for direction. Empower yourself. You are worthy and so is your baby.

leavingorbit posted 4/15/2020 09:11 AM

And yes, get a legal consultation stat. Knowledge is power.

Voorhees5 posted 4/17/2020 22:55 PM

We all have our opinions but it is hard to focus on anything other than a man putting his hands on you. I am a man and it kills me hearing this. Regardless of this Hope is a very dangerous thing. Going to therapy recently for the first time I have learned about self love positive energy and positive thoughts. You have to start loving yourself and appreciating yourself. A better you will help everything. Losing motivation for everything in life is something that happens myself when depressed which is often going through this so it is hard giving advice that is hard to follow myself but try when you get in those feelings and places to think your way out of it with good instead of more sad and hurtful thoughts that will only bring you lower. Put your energy on yourself and hopefully the rest will work out and follow.

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