I am the WS. This post may seem harsh if you are the BS so please be careful when reading. This gets explicit, and I talk about abuse. We have a really different story and I have dissociated from my feelings and many of these events. I am not currently having any affairs but there have been recent occurrences that I will explain.
So, to sum up our complex situation...my husband and I got together when I was 18 (he was divorced and 27), he essentially manipulated me into having multiple extramarital partners until I had had enough of the control and found myself a "boyfriend" with whom I would really just not hold anything back (I didn't care if I got emotionally attached). I didn't care who he was, but he was going to fulfill what needs I wasn't getting from my husband (but with his knowledge). By the way, I have told him that I didn't want to do all that, so there were times where we would stop talking about it but it wouldn't last long. I did get attached to the boyfriend, my husband made me stop, and I secretly met up with that boyfriend one last time. I kept that from him for 3 months. It's been a living hell since then. I actually wish I kept it to myself. That was in 2018.
Between then and now, there have been countless threats of divorce made by him, he has kicked me out of the house, leading me to sleep in my car for a few nights until I convinced him to let me come home, a ton of yelling and verbal abuse, suicide threats, and blaming and stonewalling coming from him. He slapped me once at the time of discovery but there hasn't been any other physical abuse other than an occasional finger jab in my chest. Our s** life has been nonexistent. Zero. He also has communicated that his self esteem would come back if I found a few women to "boost his ego", which means s**. Any time I tried to talk about my feelings and things that led to my affair, he wanted nothing to do with it and he was just okay with believing it was because he "wasn't man enough". He would also seem to get amnesia whenever I brought up his past s**ual addictions (the ones involving me). There have also been many weekend vacations, dates, family time, football Sundays at home that were actually good times. We have a daughter together and honestly she is probably why we're still hanging on to whatever hope is left.
In January 2020, BS wanted me to find a man to sleep with to "erase" the boyfriend from my mind and body. In fact it was demanded of me, or I'd be a single woman by the next morning. I found someone, did what was demanded of me and continued that "relationship", on and off for about a year. Meanwhile, because I felt manipulated and not cared for again, I rekindled the relationship with the original boyfriend from 2018. I never met with him, but frequently talked. I know, yikes. I also eventually came to enjoy the second guy. This guy (naming him SC) moved away in March 2021. BS always seemed to like this relationship I had. BS and I still didn't engage in s**, but BS expected a nightly BJ.
In May 2021, I got caught via Instagram message from original boyfriend. BS saw it, was hurt, got mad and demanded I hook up with as many guys as I could in one day. I managed 3. One of them really hurt. I felt like a POS and that I deserved it. 2021 sucked.
Moving on to October 2021. My relationship with SC eventually turned into BS wanting me to see him again, and frequently, until I got sick of him and dumped him. I thought maybe BS actually wanted me for himself for once? So I drove to meet SC again back in October 2021 with BS' consent. This actually means that I wanted to see him as well. However, I didn't message BS quickly enough while I was "busy" with SC and we got into a big fight. I didn't see SC again but we continued to talk, with BS knowing.
Fast forward to January 2022. BS wanted "action" from me so he could get over my affair. "Action" meant building his self esteem, finding women to help him s**ually, or me having s** with lots of different guys. One evening we were talking about the affair. He wanted me to help him get over my affair by taking action. I asked BS "I slept with those 3 guys in one day last May, so that did nothing?" He said "Well yeah it did something, but you can't just do it once, you have to keep doing it." I didn't really know that was the assignment, so I found a new guy the next day, and he even came over that night. My BS was there the whole time, but hiding out in the house (the guy didn't know about my husband knowing). Then a few days later I met up with him again, which was prompted by BS. It took another ugly turn when BS didn't get any texts from me for awhile (like 1.5hrs) because I was still with this guy (calling him AG). It rapidly escalated to BS frantically calling me in front of AG. I answered to hear from a screaming, fuming, vulgar husband, demanding I leave now and make sure AG knows that BS "found out". AG looked devastated and frightened. I told him I'd never see him again, and I left. BS said I better not come home because he doesn't know what will happen. So I slept on the floor in our cold vacant rental house that night.
For a week, I couldn't come home, so I slept on the floor for a week at our business, and he wouldn't allow me to see our daughter. He even went on vacation the next week and had his sister keep our daughter with her while he was gone, just to keep her away from me. He didn't tell anyone what was going on, he just acted like it was a fun week for it. And of course I went along with it so our skeletons weren't released from the closet. She ended up getting sick and I did get to go pick her up and stay at our home.
We came to a place where I was allowed back home and talking about things. One night a couple weeks ago we had a breakthrough or so I thought. He listened to me. I spilled my guts about our past, how I feel, my anxiety, and what I have needed from him in our marriage. He actually listened and promised to never yell at me again, and said he doesn't want me to be afraid of him.
Meanwhile, I started seeing a Christian counselor, virtually. I haven't told BS because he has always been afraid of counselors convincing me that he is a bad guy and I should leave him. I'm aware that counselors hear only my side of the story, so any advice is taken seriously but carefully. Just like in here. If BS was telling this story, you'd be hearing it very differently. However, she says she fears for me and my daughter and thinks I have been trafficked. Just so you all know, he absolutely 100% isn't a pedophile. But he is broken. Just like me. She wants me to read Attachments before making any decision to divorce. I'm halfway done with it.
These past 2 weeks have been nice, not getting screamed at or called names. He took great care of me while I was sick last weekend (cooked for me, drew me a bath with candles and music, let me sleep, brought me water, took our kid to school). He has been really nice and not angry. He has still been complaining daily about how I neglect him and his needs. He says every day, multiple times, that I don't care about him. He doesn't know why I can't figure out how to build him up. There is truth in this, I have forged strong walls, I have become withdrawn and independent. I don't feel like being vulnerable and open. I also feel really weird s**ually. So does he, obviously. He feels like he isn't good enough. We haven't had intercourse in so long. But deep down he wants to be romanced and seduced, and I feel uncomfortable and just weird. What the heck am I doing? I am the one who cheated! This is not fair to him. I still don't trust that his change will last. I don't think he loves me, but I think he thinks he does. I care a lot about him, but any loving, special, vulnerable, close, romantic feelings are long gone. Like, many years.
Lately he has also been complaining about the things I did with AG, and how I need to be doing those same things with him, only bigger and better. But before I even saw AG the 2nd time, BS said to do whatever I wanted, but check in with him every now and then (which I failed at doing). SMH.
For those of you who have divorced, what was the ultimate thing that made you go "Yep, there is no hope left, we have to call it"? Was it mutual or one-sided? For me, it seems it's like neither of us will let go of the past, and our traumas are too deep to ever be close again. I feel like we are awkward roommates who are desperately raising a kid together. For those that stayed together, did you get past those feelings that we're having?
I've been diagnosed with severe anxiety and moderate depression by the way. I'm sure my husband would be diagnosed similarly if he started therapy.
There are wayyyyyyy more details to our story, but what I've said is a pretty good summary. Thank you to anyone who read it to the end.
Me: Wayward F
Him: Betrayed M
We are: Still married, since 2012
D-Day: Some day in October 2018
My Attachment Style: Dismissive/Avoidant
BS Attachment Style: Anxious/Ambivalent
My Enneagram: 9
His Enneagram: 8