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Newest Member: BallofAnxiety

New Beginnings :
he wants to start over

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 xcook (original poster new member #81207) posted at 6:03 PM on Sunday, October 30th, 2022

Now I'm 71 and married for 52 years. I recently found out the extent of my husband's cheating after he suffered a COVID related psychosis and blurted out his past infidelities. He started cheating when I was pregnant with our second child almost 50 years ago and continued cheating off and on for 27 years. I knew about one affair in 1990 after which I put my foot down and made it clear I would not tolerate any more. He had sex with this woman on business trips to California multiple times although he had led me to believe it was a one-night stand. He even bought her a gold necklace for Christmas that year and had sex with her again in January of 1991 (I had found the receipt for the necklace on Christmas Eve). She wanted him to leave me and move to California and I really don't know why he didn't; it certainly wasn't because he loved me. After her, he admitted having sex with a coworker in 2000 when I thought things were finally good between us; I was totally devasted. He swears that was the last time and he has been completely faithful for the past 32 years; he swore on his mother's grave. He said he had only had sexual intercourse with two other women before her and it was just one time. One of these women happened to be a nude dancer and the other was a barmaid. He had unprotected sex with all of these women which further shows his lack of concern for me. He said he had only kissed or fingered a dozen or so other women, and it wasn't like he went out every night. He said there were only about ten other occasions when he was with these other women. He frequented nude bars every week for years even though he knew how much I disliked it. His best friend started all of this in 1972 as he was unhappy in his marriage and wanted to cheat. Of course, he did not force my husband to cheat but I cannot stand to look at this friend now. He is the one who introduced us! I'm sorry I ever met him. This past winter he had been sexting with multiple women on Facebook which is when this all came out. I looked at his phone and saw disgusting messages. He had asked for nude pictures of these women and told them to be sure to include their pussy and nipples in the pictures. I was devasted all over again. I contemplated divorce again. I made a list of pros and cons, and my pros outweighed the cons to stay. It's mostly to do with my age and financial concerns. I am still quite attractive with a decent body. After these confessions, he has become the husband I had always wanted; however, I can't make myself feel anything for him. I wish he had made the change 50 years ago when he treated me like a doormat. He had no respect for me then, but I do believe he wants to make our marriage work. He says he just wants me to be happy again. I told him that I do not even know what happy is now and I will feel this hurt the rest of my life. I told him he killed the girl he married back in 1970; he ripped out her heart and cut it up in a million pieces. He will never be more than a legal companion with benefits to me. Now, I feel trapped in a loveless marriage. I do enjoy his company and we have many common interests. We have two wonderful sons and two wonderful grandchildren. I just take it day by day and try not to dwell on the hurt. He is finally able to talk about "are we back to this again?" I stressed to him that he had 50 years to deal with things and I have had only a few months; I need time and I need to express my feelings. He seems to think that the past can be swept under the carpet like it never happened. I realize he cannot go back and change the past; he said he would love to do that quoting Cher's song "If I could turn back time" and I quoted Willie Nelson's "You were always on my mind" which is why I never cheated although I had multiple invitations.

floored

posts: 20   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8762891
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 9:37 PM on Sunday, October 30th, 2022

What work is he doing to change his behavior and be a safe partner? He's a serial cheater, and their track record for change isn't the best. He should be trying to move mountains to win you back.

What do you want out of your M?

You're right - this is new to you and healing takes 3-5 years. R is hard work.

In the Just Found Out (JFO) forum, there are some pinned posts that you might find helpful, especially the Before you say Reconcile - Recover.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1689   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8762910
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 7:53 AM on Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

xcook,

I'm so sorry for the devastation you are facing.

I'm a little confused about the timeline:

he admitted having sex with a coworker in 2000 when I thought things were finally good between us;

Did he confess in 2000, but it happened earlier, or did the sex with the coworker happen in 2000?

He swears that was the last time and he has been completely faithful for the past 32 years

Either way, you seem to understand that he has not been "completely faithful" for the past 32 years.

This past winter he had been sexting with multiple women on Facebook which is when this all came out....He had asked for nude pictures of these women and told them to be sure to include their pussy and nipples in the pictures.

This is in no way "completely faithful" behavior.

You have said elsewhere, I believe, that he only counts penis in vagina sex as "cheating"...but it doesn't matter how he has chosen to lie to himself to justify his betrayals.

You know, like we all know, that sexting is cheating. Finger/hand/mouth play on genitals is cheating. Kissing is cheating. Emotional affairs are cheating.

If the tables were turned and you were treating another man...or men...like boyfriends (online or in person) your husband would feel cheated on.

Your husband hiding behind "this doesn't count as cheating" only makes him more unsafe to you and to any healing.

He says he just wants me to be happy again.... He is finally able to talk about "are we back to this again?"

Gently, is he really concerned about your happiness or his own?

For many, many years--clear up to this past winter--he has done whatever makes him happy and relied on you to be the loyal, supportive wife while he cheated. Now that you know and have withdrawn to "legal companion" status, he wants you to "be happy again"?? He was a cake eater for much of your marriage; it seems like he is pining for his own happiness--that state where he kept real-life girlfriends or one night stands or online girlfriends, while also having a wife who thought we was great. Now that's over, and he's mourning it. It seems he wants to rush you into just getting over it already.

You've made your pro/con list, and I don't blame you for staying. If you do stay, stay on your terms. Redefine what happiness means to you. Find joy and happiness outside of him. Care for yourself.

He has redefined your marriage for years; you just weren't always aware of it.

Now you get to define your own happiness and safety. Don't feel guilty about that at all.

Support to you!

[This message edited by BreakingBad at 7:54 AM, Tuesday, November 1st]

"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 3+ yrs.Both in IC & MC.Married 32 yrs now 2 kids-both in HS.Attempting R

posts: 338   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8763079
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 xcook (original poster new member #81207) posted at 8:06 PM on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022

I apologize for my timeline error. He had sex in in 2000 with a coworker in a parking lot (he fingered her, and she gave him a blow job). I didn't find out about this until this past winter when he blurted out his infidelities. He says he has been completely faithful for the past 22 years (not 32). He didn't consider the sexting as cheating, but he now finally realizes it is considered a form of cheating. I do believe he truly wants to make amends for the past. In so many other ways, he was a good husband and father to our sons over the past years when he actually did the cheating. Yes, he wants to feel better by clearing his conscious, but I believe he wants me to heal. I told him it took me years to get past the affair from 1990 and his confessions reopened the old wounds. At this point in my life (and the past), I chose to stay. If I had known about the other cheating before 1990 and his sex with the other woman after he bought the gold necklace, I most certainly would have divorced him. Maybe my life would be better now and maybe not. We would appear to be the perfect Barbie and Ken marriage to anyone on the outside, but no one knows what really goes on behind closed doors. I am very angry that he had his cake and ate it too for most of our marriage. Now, it's all about me and what I want. His choices are irrelevant to me now. I have told him that he will walk out empty handed if the marriage does not survive. He is so guilt ridden that he accepts that condition. I'm hoping I can go forth with him as he has been wonderful the past few months. Thanks for your kind words and support. This website has been a comfort to me.

floored

posts: 20   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8763302
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:12 AM on Sunday, November 13th, 2022

I am really sorry that you have experienced this devastation. My ex’s good friend introduced him to massage parlours which was the beginning of his cheating decade. I have never spoken to this friend again. If I do I have no idea what will come out of my mouth.

X cook, there is no wrong answer here. You can stay or you can go. Either choice is acceptable. You should however do what to takes to have happiness and to live well.

I understand the disgust, I went through it too.

Your husband treated you incredibly poorly. That is on him. All of it. Not you.

My ex is quite happy now. He has moved across the country to escape his guilt and has a new girlfriend who probably knows whatever version of the story he told her. He has compartmentalized the last 15 yrs.

Your husband clearly compartmentalized his cheating too. he has had years of practice and is good at it. While He can absolutely never take it back or take away your pain, he may be able to be a good man.

once you process this more, you will be able to answer the question, do you like him enough to live out your life with him?

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 2033   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8764952
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 10:45 PM on Sunday, November 13th, 2022

If I understood you are sexually intimate with your wh..

I made that mistake before I left for the last time.

I recommended immediate full panel std testing from a very competent provider who can explain the risks and testing to you.

I am only willing in the future to be sexually intimate with a man who has the character, commitment and emotional skill set to honor the sexual agreement he makes with me.

I learned the hard way also that not only did my wh not care about my sexual health. He was also very financially untrustworthy. I regret not taking better care of myself financially in the divorce and marriage as well.

My advice to betrayed spouses in here is consistently to take exquisite care of yourself.

Eat well. Exercise. Medical care from infidelity informed practitioners. Trustworthy competent financial advice.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1163   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   ·   location: VA
id 8765040
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cancuncrushed ( member #28156) posted at 4:45 PM on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

My experience was very similiar. Married 36 years to a serial cheater. That’s still hard to say. No I didn’t know. I suspected many times. With his career travel I could never know. Different states constantly. This was his playground.

He has never admitted a single thing. I’ve had to accept my guessing. This is what disturb d me greatly. We had so many years invested. Financially invested kids. I couldn’t leave without knowing.

He knew me well enough to see this. It worked for him. It gave me ptsd. It was one big gaslighting marriage. But I hung on Incase I was possibly wrong.

Each time I seriously suspected , it damaged our marriage more. Then I would try again. And again Finally I realized my love for him wasn’t the same. I realized he never loved me. And the path became about graduating our two kids I was determined not to let his sex addiction destroy my kids life and future life.

What happened? After the constant roller coaster of our marriage crumbling then repairing a bit then repeat, one day he walked out for the other woman. Kids graduated. He was clear to go. The wait however , included his alcoholism. Happening then growing to brain damage.

He had lots of time to move money , hide money. Get an apartment with new furniture. They traveled. He already had been living a new life. Before he left.

While I was trying again. My point. This man used me for 36 years. I thought we had a marriage. His actions never changed. They were better hidden. I kept hoping or believing for improvement. I held on for kids and finances. I was a fool. He felt as trapped as I was. He never used protection either

Waiting for proof is underrated. It’s gaslighting at its best. I feel like it was all fake. He married me for some crazy reason of his own. I’ve had to own this.

His condition is worse. He can’t keep a woman for very long at all. He’s starting to stalk me a bit. I’m guessing again. But it seems he would like to be taken care of again. There’s no way. But I see now how he works. I guess I was a good slave.

Had I had proof at anytime I still would have waited for my kids to graduate. It was not far away. I feel duped. My life had some great times. I enjoyed my kids always. We lived comfortably. As a wife. I can’t believe how he really treated me. So low.

That’s what i know for sure . He is Npd alcoholic and he never loved me.
Now I’m 64. He left 4.5 years ago. Of course covid happened, but the future looks pretty stark. My kids live far away. I was the only one trying

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 4:58 PM, Wednesday, December 14th]

a trigger yesterday

posts: 4775   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2010   ·   location: athome
id 8769462
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StillLivin ( member #40229) posted at 6:52 AM on Sunday, January 29th, 2023

I'm so sorry. FWIW being single is actually pretty amazing and peaceful. If you can detach and live separate lives, great. Some people can do that with no problem. Just know that you always have options.
Wishing you the best, whatever that looks like for you.

"Bitch please a good man can't be stolen." ROFLMAO - SBB
D: 7/2/2014

posts: 5990   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2013   ·   location: AZ
id 8775219
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