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Just found out....canít sleep, canít eat, canít breath.

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Buster123 posted 8/4/2020 12:18 PM

Read Tushnurse post again, I hope you're doing better.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 12:21 PM, August 4th (Tuesday)]

HeartbrokenRN posted 8/4/2020 15:23 PM

I just realized that in 2 days it will be our 16 year wedding anniversary. In all this craziness I forgot. Thatís going to be one very tough day for did you all get through those ďfirstsĒ alone? Our wedding was one of the best days of my life. Now itís just a painful reminder of everything that Iíve lost.

Buster123 posted 8/4/2020 19:22 PM

There are different things you could try, however it's best to seek professional help with an IC who specializes in infidelity, have you exposed him with All family and close friends yet ? if not, you should and get their support but, this is just the beginning of a painful journey, if you read here long enough you will see the "rollercoaster of emotions" phrase come up a lot, it really is, if needed, you may also call your primary care doctor for a prescription and/or sleeping pills if you have trouble sleeping. I know it's hard, try to occupy your mind, hit the gym, drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated, some have tried yoga or picked up a hobby, etc., but again these are not substitutes for IC, those are things you could do between sessions. Others will suggest different things/activities.

annanew posted 8/6/2020 13:15 PM

I think you may need to admit to yourself you would have been devastated even if your rules had been followed.

This was my situation in one relationship. I indicated I didn't care, and I didn't think I would. Guess what, I DID.

It's ok. We don't have the ability to anticipate the impact of something like this.

But I'd focus less on the "he broke the rules" part and more on what comes next. I mean, other than prostitutes, how would a guy go about getting sex with strangers without even really talking to them? I don't think that happens very much or was a very realistic requirement. The only scenario where that happens is picking up drunk people in bars. And there are often ethical problems with that.

ZoeS posted 8/7/2020 13:25 PM

How are you doing HRN? Yesterday must have been a hard day for you. Are you able to take time for self care?

I also want to say that I'm truly sorry if my previous post was unsupportive. You've experienced a terrible trauma, and it's awful. Whether your H had permission or not, he was not supportive of you and your marriage. He let you down, big time. I'm sorry if the logistics of your situation (which is not at all the most important thing) made me forget that the actual most important thing is supporting you through the trauma you've experienced.

I think a lot of us come here from unhealthy situations, and it takes time to get emotionally healthy again. You can do it. Hope you are hanging in there. It does get better.

Cromer posted 8/7/2020 13:43 PM

I am sorry you are here and hope that you doing better. My first marriage was 30 years, the last 10 were sexless and was hell. I stuck it out for the kids, which in retrospect was a mistake. I never cheated, and never would cheat even if I had gotten a pass. I know you made the offer and you are beating yourself up over it, please don't.

HeartbrokenRN posted 8/7/2020 19:23 PM

Hi everyone. Thanks for checking in. Iím not going to lie, yesterday was TOUGH. My husband didnít even remember it was our 16 year wedding anniversary. Was I sad and upset? Yes. Was I surprised? No. Even though things are so messed up and confusing right now I still expected at least a text or email. But instead I got nothing. No acknowledgment of one of the happiest days of my life. A few days ago he was texting me how he was going to change and be the man I wanted him to be and be the best husband ever if I gave him another chance (heís now desperate to reconcile) but at the first chance of him doing that he lets me down. I donít know, Iím just so confused....

siracha posted 8/8/2020 12:27 PM

Please be easier on yourself . Its not your job to find a magical solution for the marriage and your sexual life . There just doesnt seem to be a path back to love here for you and him. You might think you cant live without him but you absolutely can just like he could have lived without sex if he truly cared about fixing the marriage
Seems like you are already overdue for the180 IC and divorce lawyer , dont live in self imposed hell any longer

Buffer posted 8/9/2020 06:52 AM

Gut offering cyber hugs. None of this is your doing.
Just try one day at a time.

The1stWife posted 8/9/2020 13:39 PM

You are NOT CONFUSED. You are disappointed. Big difference.

He did not acknowledge your anniversary. I wonder why.

It could be he thought bringing it up was a bad idea. In which case he didnít forget he just didnít acknowledge the special day to you. So thereís one reason for saying nothing.

It could be he just didnít want to do anything he thought would upset you. Again say nothing.

Other option heís an idiot and just did not remember. Again say nothing.

You wonít know until you ask him ďwhyĒ there was no acknowledgement.

I know it hurts. Know the pain you feel from not being recognized. Iím just saying there is an outside chance he has a reason. Not saying itís a good reason for doing nothing but in his mind it may be a good reason. People think differently. Donít jump to conclusions on this one.

I hope this helps you.

tushnurse posted 8/10/2020 07:44 AM

But instead I got nothing

Remember this. He is saying all the right things, but when he had the opportunity to show you in action, he failed miserably.

Actions are where remorseful people can really show their spouse that they mean they will do anything. He isn't there is he?

Now what are you doing for you?

Lalagirl posted 8/10/2020 08:31 AM

My husband didnít even remember it was our 16 year wedding anniversary.

Wow. I'm so sorry ((((HUGS))))

marriageredux959 posted 8/10/2020 12:51 PM

I know that i messed up by even offering him and ďoutĒ and a free pass to seek sex outside the marriage. I regret it with every part of my soul. I had envisioned a very different scenario in which there was a quick act of sex without emotion and i wouldnít find out so my heart would be protected but now i realize this wasnít possible. But I also think subconsciously it was a test. If i offered it now and he did it, he probably would have done it eventually and been even worse then. He made it clear he didnít think he could spend the next 10 years without sex. So i think i wanted to see just how far heíd be willing to go and I assumed that he would have done it eventually anyways.
So where do we go from here???? I honestly donít know. My WH is begging for me to give him another chance. He says he is willing to change all the things that led to me withholding sex and wonít abandon me and take me for granted again. But Iím just not sure our marriage is salavageable.

I haven't read the whole thread yet. Someone else may have already brought this point up.

This situation isn't about 'sex' at all, nor is it about love, or respect, or communication, or attention. This situation is about control. Power.

You two are locked in a power struggle.

You have each identified what the other person most values in the relationship, and you are each holding that thing hostage.

He withholds his attention, time, and affection from you, but still wants sex. Why? Why does he withhold? And yet he still demands sex? I agree, it sounds like he has entitlement issues. And I also agree, he's proven himself capable and willing to embark on seduction (of a stranger) to get it. So why will he not invest in you, in your marriage?

I'm not 'victim blaming' here. I'm not saying that it's your fault that he won't invest in you- I'm saying that you need to get to his 'whys' about that before you can even begin to understand what's happening here.

I was a neglected wife for many years as well, only I had the dead bedroom for those years to go with it. My husband's 'whys' were pretty obvious (thank God for small blessings) and had everything to do with workaholism largely due to early damage/imprinting, and little to nothing to do with me.

I am not saying in any way that I was perfect, but that the basics of his way of coping (OR NOT) had little to nothing to do with me.

We had a crisis two years ago, and a big huge (EPIC) Come to Jesus Moment, and then our marriage literally devolved/unraveled over the next year to year and a half. The past six to eight months for us have been spent on the road back, and I am happy to say, I feel certain that we are in recovery if not firmly in reconciliation. We are also much, much wiser, more aware of each our basic issues (and how the people around us contributed, etc.) and we are much, much less dysfunctional.

You want attention, affection, esteem, time. You want to be something of a priority. You feel dismissed and unimportant. So you withheld sex to express your resentment- and perhaps as a bargaining chip, or a 'carrot.'

For some reason, he refused to recognize the potential of sex with you as a privilege he earned every day by treating you as a cherished wife.

You upped the ante by going all in, giving him a pass, under strict conditions, but basically, giving him a pass.

Do you see how you are both using sex to tell the other person, "I don't care about you so much"? You are basically each, both, devaluing the other person and that person's place and commitment to the marriage, using sex as a means of communicating your disaffection. You are each saying to each other, "My ego is more important than yours."

You upped the ante with the ultimate, "I don't care if you fuck other women, I just don't want to know." That's, hugely devaluing and dismissive.

In a sane world where power and control aren't the ultimate prize, a declaration that you don't care if your spouse fucks other people, as long as it doesn't embarrass or inconvenience you, is essentially a declaration that the marriage is completely on the rocks.

In a marriage where power and control aren't the only things going, this declaration would have been met with an immediate trip to therapy or an immediate trip to a divorce attorney.

Instead, he called your bluff. And now you are butt hurt and screaming. And, based on your description up there, so is he.

Y'all took this game too far. You both did. And you're both screaming in pain.

I know it doesn't feel fair right now, that he got his 'sugar plum' (sex, with someone else no less) and *now* he's screaming in pain. I get it. We beat that aspect to death here on certain threads. It's an inequity that can never be resolved, even with a revenge affair.

Which brings me to this point: please don't pile a revenge affair on top of this mess. Please, don't.

But here's another perspective:
So your husband had sex with someone else. Now he's back, begging you for another chance. That's, something.

It's not like, as others have pointed out, he went out behind your back and carried on long before the offer of a *relatively* open marriage was on the table.

It's more like you upped the ante, he called your bluff, and now he's begging for a walk back, a do over.


He's not saying that, based on what you've typed here.

Yeah, this is a dumpster fire for sure, but I don't think it's beyond hope.

It sounds like, control and power issues aside, you two *do* want to be married.

The sex thing? Honestly, it's almost superfluous. Y'all are working out something else entirely.

One other thing strikes me:
Your forum name. HeartbrokenRN

Your professional identity is clearly on blast here. You identify strongly with your profession. Is it part of who you see yourself as, on an essential level? Is it part of what feeds your self-esteem?

I'm not finding fault here, I'm pointing something out.

Health care is an *extremely demanding* profession. I know, I spent decades in it myself.

I was in a niche position, highly specialized, so for privacy reasons I don't talk about it here. But I know first hand how being in these professions feeds into our definition of self, our self-esteem, our egos. And also, how these professions can eat a life and a marriage.

By the end of my tenure, my ego had been beaten out of me. I was tired and humble. I had no calamities in my professional arc, thank God, but just the possibility of calamity humbled me, and the demands of the profession itself beat every last shred of ego out of me. But yeah, I do remember the years when my profession and credentials were a big part of my identity- a part of my ego feed- and I needed that ego feed.

My husband also had a very demanding professional career loaded with the potential for ego kibbles- and those ego kibbles were like crack. Like me, his job eventually wore him down to where the ego kibbles weren't so tasty anymore, but he did hang in there on the kibble feed longer than I did, and our marriage bore the brunt of that.

You write earlier in the thread that your husband is a workaholic and a gym rat. Boy does that sound familiar. And that he doesn't pay any attention to trying to court you or seduce you. Boy, does that sound familiar. Where our stories diverge is here: Your husband is still young enough, and perhaps not yet so sucked dry by his job, that you avoided the Dead Bedroom Moment before the wheels flew off the car via a different crisis point.

Imagine if, instead of a Blow the World Up sexual encounter, you just slipped completely into a dead bedroom situation. Your husband pretty much ignored you, was totally sucked into work, didn't pay attention to you, was often gone, you were often completely alone, and when he was home he was working...

... and instead of pestering you for sex, he could not care less.


I'm not saying it's worse than what happened to you, I'm not- but I am saying that the sex here appears to be a symptom, not the major problem.

Both of you have demanding jobs (and kids, and a house, and all of that) and both of you I'm betting get a lot of your ego feed out of your jobs- so I'm betting that in addition to your own control/power struggles, your jobs are sucking your marriage dry. And you are both letting that happen, because in addition to needing the income, you each need those ego kibbles.

The answer to the question in your marriage is in IC, I think... why do you each need ego kibbles so much that you'll sacrifice the marriage, up the ante so high that 'all in' actually includes the marriage?

Ok, I've blathered on too long. Sorry.
I will say this: as much as the extramarital sex hurts like hell right now, if it's a one off, it will fade. It will become much, much smaller in the whole picture, once you two start working on the real issues and solving them.

I can say this because it happened for me.

In our case, our trajectory was (like you) early relationship, early marriage, demanding careers, family/house etc., more demanding careers, then crisis.

My husband's one off sexual indiscretion happened years and years earlier, in the first years of our marriage, at a particularly vulnerable time. I didn't find out the true nature of it, what really happened, and how he facilitated it and participated in it, until just over two years ago, after *years* of stress and then a dead bedroom. People will tell you and I affirm, the moment you find out about a sexual infidelity, I don't care if it was decades earlier, the moment you find out about it is the moment that it happened. =( That it was years earlier is irrelevant.

But here's my point:

For us, that discovery acted as a catalyst for us to address the real problems in our marriage.

At first the idea that he actually touched another woman in a sexually intimate way blew my fucking mind, and the fact that he minimized it at the time and essentially lied about it (he was terrified) swept the shards of my blown mind into the ether. I didn't think I'd *ever* get past that.

I can tell you that now, today, approximately 25.5 months after the true DDay? I really don't care about the sex. I just, don't. I'm not going to say that it was no big deal- it certainly was- and if it ever happens again, Game Over.

But it wasn't the crux of the problem. It was an early symptom.

The fact that we've worked on those issues and we continue to work on those issues is the real story. My husband genuinely wants to be here, moreover, he is *enjoying* 'being here,' and not being chased down the road by the devils that are ego kibbles...

... I think there is hope here, and I wish you the best. <3

[This message edited by marriageredux959 at 12:55 PM, August 10th (Monday)]

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