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Husband and "Friend"

Belle618 posted 7/14/2020 18:13 PM

Itís long oneÖWeíre a young couple compared to a lot of you here but hopefully I can get some support. I apologize from now if my story gets a little hard to follow. Iíve been married 5 1/2 years and my WS (husband) and I have 2 children, a 3 year old and 2 month old baby. I found out 3 weeks ago (on an at home Ďdate nightí ironically) that he slept with another female (whom I know and infrequently attends our church). The sexual infidelity happened a year ago almost to the day. When it actually happened I confronted him after reading his texts (he was behaving differently and giving me odd excuses for the reason he was getting in so late (x3) so I checked his messages) but I didnít know the extent of the betrayal. His texts let me know that he had been meeting up with the OW to ďbe themselves togetherĒ. When I asked him at the time what this was about he admitted after my persistence, that they had been meeting to get high. A year ago he was working and in school at the time, going to night classes 2 days a week for a duration of 6 weeks during the summer. Apparently, there were 3 days in which he got out early or had a cancelled class and he arranged to meet up with his ďfriendĒ the OW who he supposedly had a ďgood friendshipĒ with.

Backstory: I did know the OW as his friend but she was never mine. He originally met us both around the same time through church activities but he met me and started to get to know me 3 months before meeting her. There was a gap in our dating phase (before we were exclusive) where he wanted me to be exclusive and I wanted some time to decide. During that 3-4 week gap he met and asked out the OW which he also didnít tell me about until after we were married (he didnít sleep with her then). Apparently, she was not interested in dating him due to her pining after someone else so they remained friends. Obviously, he and I eventually started dating more seriously and got married but sheís always been more interested in maintaining a friendship with him and not me, and I tried. She's always real flirty with any guy she talks to. A point to which we had more than one discussion about in the past. He gave no explanation as to why she seemingly ignored me and he always brushed their interactions off as her not having many friends and their personalities just ďclickedĒ. Right before we got married I even told him he needed to take a step back from talking to her and let her vent her problems to someone else, which he did seem to do. The OW eventually did date the guy she was pining for but hated it and the relationship wasnít what she had been hoping for all those years that she waited. Whenever she happen to be around (1-2x/month) she needed to complain to my WS about all the things she didnít like about the guy she had waited for. Whenever I brought up the frequency in which she seemed to need to talk to him he brushed it off and said that he was more her friend than she was his, that he only gave her a listening ear and never shared anything about his life. He made me feel like I was over-reacting for being suspicious of her. They talked mainly in person during some church activity or via text.

Back to a year ago when I confronted him I found out that the nature of their relationship was a lie and he had been emotionally cheating on me on and off ( I say since we were dating). I was angry and I expressed as much. I outright asked him if they were sleeping together which I naively thought would have been an insulting question but he said no at the time. When I confronted him at first he seemed like he just wanted to cover his tracks but about a month later ( end of August) at a church retreat he had a spiritual awakening (for lack of a better phrase) and he began to express remorse for what happened with the OW(although at the time he hadnít told me the whole truth).

After that I genuinely did see a change in him and in our relationship (although our marriage was never terrible). I had forgiven him and had nearly moved passed the hurt. Although trust was broken I was willing to work on rebuilding it. We moved forward with having another child and over the last 8-9 months our relationship has been better than it ever was.. until 3 weeks ago. We had been doing an activity in a marriage book and long story short our convo brought us back to the time when he lied to me and met up with this ďfriendĒ to get high. He confessed that he had lied and that in addition to getting high the first two nights she gave him a blowjob and the 3rd night they got high and had sex. They used a condom (which she provided). He was completely distraught during his confession which didnít move me but it took forever to get the details out. By the end of his narrative I thought my brain would explode and was physically exhausted. I couldnít process anything he was saying. He had no intentions of being with her and wanted to work on the marriage which he says he had been genuinely trying to do since the previous august even though I didnít know the whole ugly truth at the time. I was in an emotional storm for 4 days.. rage, physical pain, migraine, nausea. I couldnít pack up and go anywhere to get space with two small children and Covid running around. And I didnít want him to leave me alone to take care of 2 small children, that wasnít fair. I was already dealing with postpartum stuff and Iím still breastfeeding. I donít want my toddler to watch her mother literally lose her mind so Iíve been trying to do other things to challenge my emotions but itís hard. I didnít tell anyone. At this point Iíve told my sister in law but I donít think I really want to tell the rest of my family. Talking to my SIL only helped in part. I hate so much that it was with someone I know, who I can see in my head, who Iíve spoken to and has even held my daughter. Thatís the part that torments me the most and the lies. So much lying over the course of our relationship makes me not want to bother with him at all. I have no desire to work on our relationship right now, nor do I have the desire to start over with someone else. He completely fooled and blindsided me. He clearly has issues with lying that I wasnít aware of AND a problem with marijuana use that I wasnít aware of. He started counseling today. Heís terrified Iíll leave him and take the kids and has also had nights where heís emotionally distraught and frequently expresses his remorse and stupidity. Heís tried to give me space and has agreed to anything I ask him to do and desperately wants to reconcile. He said he didnít come 100% clean sooner because I was already stressed with other matters unrelated to our marriage (which is true) and I had a high risk pregnancy. I told him he should have told me when I first confronted him before the other stuff got in the way. I refused marriage counseling for now and told him he needed to sort out some of his own issues before Iíd even consider it. He admits to failing to communicate a lot of things and hiding parts of himself he should have shown me. I told him I needed to focus on healing before I make a decision. I need help.

Finding a counselor has been so overwhelming and no one in my area is doing in-person visits. Since the initial week, I fluctuated between having great days where I function fine to having migraines and fighting back tears all day. Itís terrible primarily because I donít want my children to be traumatized. I know my 3 year old has seen both of us in tears and wonders whatís going on. I have no space in my brain. Iíve meditated, read books on infidelity, prayed, painted, journaled, focused on the kids and itís all helped. But Iím still in so much pain. Iíve tried to dig deep for my children and all I find is pain, sadness, disbelief and ďhow could yousĒ. I know not much time has passed. Iím hoping venting everything on this forum will help. As much as I could see myself forgiving him. I donít know if I can ever trust him the way I used to. I know I have every right to leave. And it will take a lot of courage to do it. Iím prepared to do it if I decide that I have to but it will still be heartbreaking because my children are so small. They havenít even had a chance at the family life I dreamed of for them. Forget intimacy. All I can see is OW and WS together. The intrusive thoughts are too much. How could we ever possibly reconcile physically? Will I always have intrusive thoughts? Wondering if he held her how he held me. What position they had sex inÖ.just sends me right back to when he told me and I canít believe how easily he tossed our life away. I donít want to be on the verge of tears every day. But the thought of reconciling makes me nauseous.

Sofarsogood posted 7/14/2020 18:34 PM

So sorry that you find yourself here. Others will be along to give you solid, helpful advice. It sounds like your WS wants to reconcile. Has he gone totally no contact with the OW? Is he truly remorseful? You need to consider what you need in this relationship. It's a tough situation, but you will receive good advice and support on this site.

Belle618 posted 7/14/2020 20:57 PM

He does want to reconcile. He has gone totally no contact at this point. He ended it after I confronted him. About 4 months later she tried to talk to him and he claims he told her he couldn't talk to her any longer. After we had our baby (2 months ago) she text him congratulations and he responded. As of now he's deleted her number. He does genuinely seem remorseful ( but what do I know?) but I don't love the fact that he didn't delete her number until now. What I need is transparency and trust. Who knows how much I'll ever be able to trust him again. We've only been married 5 years. My concern is that he's remorseful now but I'll be in this position again in another 5 - 10 years.

Cooley2here posted 7/14/2020 23:17 PM

The part he needs to be honest about is what he felt when he first met her. You two were already involved but something about her interested him. This was a stupid ďfriendshipĒ from the first because he was sexually/romantically interested in her from the beginning. He needs to be totally honest with you. You are right. He has emotionally cheated from the beginning. Reconciliation means 100% dedication to you and your marriage. This is a stinky situation because your marriage started with a lie. Thatís why you are waffling. You donít trust him because he was never totally committed to you. He needs to grow up. He has a wife and two children.

Marie2792 posted 7/15/2020 01:02 AM

Are you still active in church? Perhaps you can speak to your pastor? Iím sure heíd like to speak to OW too.

Iím sorry youíre dealing with this at a time where resources are slim. Keep busy and just focus on your kids. He needs to help you with that and not expect anything other than for you to breathe, eat and sleep. Counseling will help you. He should seek therapy tomorrow once he is able.

No contact immediately with this person. She is not a friend of the marriage so she has to go. Block her everywhere and he must send her a NC message that you approve of. That is just the start of your reconciliation journey if thatís what you choose.

Mizzbak posted 7/15/2020 01:23 AM

Belle, I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. It sucks. And the fact that this is on top of the stresses of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation with a young baby and the current COVID situation must make this even more difficult.

Before we got engaged, my H admitted that he'd had an inappropriate friendship (i.e. emotional affair) with a woman he met online and in person a few times. 10 days after my first Mother's day and just a few weeks before his first Father's Day, I found emails between them. Their relationship had been far more physical then he had admitted, and he was still writing to her after we got married. He told her about my first pregnancy when I miscarried. And he last wrote to her on the day that we found out that I was pregnant again.

Ten years later, he cheated on me again with a friend (parent of one of our son's school friends). It was a short-lived relationship played out partly in front of both her H and I. Which was doubly humiliating. It was a big part in the ending of her marriage and almost ended ours. We are still together now because he worked at it. Until I could too. And he learned to be completely honest with me about almost everything.

It has now been 4 years since that second D-day and these are the things I know:
-> Anyone experiencing the pain of infidelity should take as much time and space as they need to regroup and breath - without any pressure to decide anything about their relationship. A WS who cannot appreciate this is not a safe partner for the future. This applies to intimacy as well.
-> Don't keep your situation a secret from your loved ones if you need their support. I battled a lot with shame. As though my H's actions and choices somehow reflected my own worth and character. I don't want anyone to know, so I told very few people after D-Day 1. But after D-Day 2 I talked to the people who loved me, as I needed to. For me. And it helped.
-> Exploring what leaving would be like, even planning for it, is not disloyal. You need to understand what that reality could be like. And so does your H. You don't have to make a decision now (and I'd suggest that you wait a good while before doing that). But I found that being able to reflect calmly on all possibilities played a big part in my decision to stay. Perhaps that seems cold, I know, but that is the truth.
-> There must be no doubt in you or your H's mind that any further contact with the OW will have extreme consequences for your marriage. Is there a way that you can ask for your church's help/counsel in this?
-> After D-Day 1, my husband had a lot of soul searching and maturing to do. He barely scratched the surface on that - which is why we had D-Day 2. This time he did far more work.
-> As did I. It takes time and energy to confront the reality that I married someone who could betray his vows and lie to me so often about where he was and what he was doing. Learning to see and accept that this person was part of who my husband is was hard. Learning how to forgive him and whether I could even consider reconciliation took a lot of time and tears. And several months.

Be kind to yourself. Do things for you as and when you can. Talk when you feel like it. Don't if you don't want to.

Well done on refusing marriage counseling until you feel ready. I am so glad that you are reaching out for help and looking for your own counselor. Don't give up until you find someone who helps.

Thinking of you Belle. My heart hurts for you.

[This message edited by Mizzbak at 1:23 AM, July 15th (Wednesday)]

Belle618 posted 7/15/2020 15:40 PM

This is a stinky situation because your marriage started with a lie.

@Cooley2here Yes. This is the hardest part to accept. I can't believe how easily I believed his deceptions. I don't even think he realized at the time how deceptive he was being. He thought I was making a mountain out of a molehill when I questioned their interactions

@Marie I'm still active in the church but social distancing has complicated all that. Not sure when I'd actually be back in the building with the kids due to guidelines but I may reach out to the pastor that counseled us when we were engaged. Current guy is new and I don't think he'd even know where to start with this.

@Mizzbak Thanks for sharing. Some things you said were really helpful. The shame is hard. I hate it. I definitely started trying to plan what life without him around would be like, not fun, but I realize it's necessary. It's so tempting to just say we can work on reconciliation now to try and get our life on track but I know that I'm not ready. I'm grateful for the encouragement to take my time. I don't know how you... or any of you here healed from such betrayals but I guess there's hope that I can too.

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