Been forever since I posted on SI, much less in here. Quick background, I have caught WS twice cheating. Each time he had been having random hookups with strangers, sometimes only once each person and sometimes up to a handful of times each, never dating or relationships. Each time he’s been doing it for 5 full years before I caught him. Ugh! First time it was treated by all like infidelity, second time it was treated like an addiction. He did everything he should have done, had a CSAT, went to group meetings twice a week for SA, read books and did workbooks for his addiction daily for a couple of years, fostered more closeness with me, everything.
Last time I caught his was 4 years ago this coming Fourth of July. One year ago we moved out of the A state for many reasons, one being for fresh untainted scenery. Almost immediately when we moved our business started struggling a little bit, and his daily journaling changed from thoughts about our marriage, me, his actions for the day, and gratitude to worry and concern about the business, always, and any commentary about me and our M was an afterthought in his entry. I asked him about it from time to time, and he would try to get back on track but never did.
There was also an incident about 5 months ago where he did something in bed that I specifically don’t like, so I confronted him about it, and he just apologized. We’ve had more than a handful of conversations in the past 5 months about some of his behaviors that were A behaviors or addict behaviors and my concerns, and he would always say he’s good and he will try harder.
Fast forward to last Wednesday and I stumble upon a tablet that was somewhere it shouldn’t have been. I asked him about it, he froze and started shaking, and I knew. He confessed to emailing with people for the past 7 months, sending and receiving videos, and meeting one woman in person to see if they were compatible for sex (she declined). I am super proud of myself for sticking with it and trusting my gut and calling him out each time. I have missed all of the signs for so many years the past times. I’m super sad that with all of his recovery efforts the past few years that he didn’t take a single one of those conversations as an opportunity to come clean. He would even go to his meetings still, but sit in the parking lot and email people. Just shocking the level of planning and manipulation.
Anyway, now on to what to do. My consequences for him regarding a slip or relapse like this was a separation. I have no friends or family where we live, so I packed my car and left the state on Saturday morning. I’ve been two states away for 3 days, and I hurt so much! I left my kids there, my business, my entire family as I know it. I am sad being back to my home state because everything reminds me of my family and that I am completely alone here without them. I can’t do this, I am heading back this week. Not to reconcile with my husband, but to get rid of some of this sorrow. Honestly, I’m not that hurt by his emailing, his track record is that he hasn’t been faithful to me for more than 4 years ever, and this is no exception. So I was sort of waiting for it to happen.
I definitely have been unpleasant to live with the last four years, like a boxer with his dukes up all the time braces for impact. This didn’t make me the most receptive to his affection. So I definitely am aware that I helped foster a distance between us this time, that in no way excuses what he did but I understand how it was unpleasant to live with.
So now I am considering an in home separation instead. I need to keep my business up and running, I can’t lose that and if I leave him to deal with it alone it might end up failing quickly and I love this business. I also can’t handle being away from my kids for another minute. They are 18 and 19, but I’m not ready. We have the space that he can sleep in his own room and so can I.
But basically I am wondering if it’s foolish to try to work on this still? I view this as a relapse because of the length and that he never came clean about it. If he had confessed, I would have considered it a slip had it also been less time. I do appreciate that he kept some sort of boundaries and didn’t hookup with anyone this time, but it was definitely a possibility at anytime. What to do?