What was I fighting for?
Anyone who knows me would say that I’m a bit of a spitfire.
In the summer of 2009 holding my two year old son and one year old daughter, I fought.
My handsome perfect husband was having sex with one of my friends while her husband was deployed (xwh was in the military at the time and had left me stateside more than once while deployed).
I got a new hairstyle and lost the last few pounds of baby weight and became more interesting and fun and I fought.
And I won
And he kept doing it for all of these years
We brought two more sons into it and I believed he loved me and our family.
When he betrayed all of us in September 2022 and I completely shattered, I really learned the 180.
And now on Thanksgiving when he all of a sudden loves me after all, but needs me to spend more time with my friends so he feels better about his weekends away
And that I need to gain some weight like what I looked like when we were first dating in 1999.
I’m no longer fighting. I’m not angry or arguing.
I let our kids know that I love them and their dad loves them.
I’m kind to their dad.
And I KNOW
That he is beyond batshit if he thinks he will ever be in a relationship with me again.
I wish I hadn’t been such a spitfire. I may have found a healthy and happy partner many years ago.
But I’m super great on my own too and have these beautiful kids.
Thanks for letting me put this out there. I’m growing every day.
3 comments posted: Saturday, November 25th, 2023
I don't know what the title is
I'm stuggling. That's an understatement. Life has run me over like an 18 wheeler.
I wrote my story out from the beginning of this mess in July 2009. Any feedback, advice, 2 x 4s etc., are always appreciated and welcommed.
BW 46, 4 children
Original DD July 14, 2009
My love and I have been together since June 1999. We married in 2005, 4 months following his combat PTSD diagnosis and rather impactful mental health challenges. We become parents in Jan 2007 and again in Feb 2008.
Following my accidental discovery of MOW, someone I thought to be a friend, and another military wife, H immediately attempted to rebuild. I truly felt he was sorry but was concerned about the way he spoke of the physical affair-that it made him feel alive and that he couldn’t stop.
He didn’t do IC but was transparent and remorseful.He seemed to be happy and committed to our marriage and family.
We became parents again in 2012 and 2014.
He changed jobs a few times and we moved. He was slipping into depression and acting critical toward me following his father’s death in 2013.
Full blown mid life crisis by 2018 and his 40th birthday. Excessive drinking and secretive phone behavior. Familiar toxic patterns followed and when I had a sleepover with our younger two in their room H barred me from the master with verbal and physical aggression. This was 3 years ago.
A month later I took off my engagement and wedding rings to wash them. He took the diamond ring and I haven’t seen it since. He said I didn’t deserve it.
I focused on our kids and my career. My mom got sick and was hospitalized for months followed by rehab and disability. She lived next door to us with my dad and younger sister and I helped care for her.
This was 2019
His mom moved in with us when her second husband left her.Her and H have a challenging relationship.
Things between H and I got harder.
Mother in law found love again and moved 20 miles away. H and I seemed to be doing a bit better.
His mental health plummeted (what was left of it).
In 2021 my older sister, her husband and 4 kids were in a devastating car accident. Our family rallied again with round the clock care. Dozens of surgeries later, they are all continuing to heal.
My younger sister was diagnosed with terminal end stage cancer of the appendix during the crash crisis. She was told she had maybe weeks to live. She was 41.
H went deeper into his rabbit hole and got meaner which I didn’t think possible. More secretive and new trips to see an old military buddy 30 miles away with no cell reception. Every weekend and sometimes on weeknights too.
Wardrobe shift, Musical tastes shifted, New interests, More tattoos
Weight gain for him since 2019 is over 100 pounds now (from an athletic 175 to 280 at six feet tall).
September 2022.....Nuclear bomb drop
He doesn’t love me and has never loved me. He isn’t seeing anyone (yeah right) but thinks I should find someone else who will love me because he never will.
His plan: continue living in our master while I continue to sleep on the floor in the boys room until our youngest turns 18 (I make more than twice what he does and own the house).
We can still have sex when he wants to because he doesn’t have to love someone to have sex with them.
I went along
I was a mess....my sister was dying next door, I have a demanding job and four kids whose dad has totally checked out
I was sick to my stomach and couldn’t eat. I lost 30 pounds in a few weeks (I’m 5’7" and went from 140 to 110…..:lose skin and everything)I cried all of the time
He told me he had started IC on zoom on Thursdays
In December, our then 15 yr old son walked by his father’s closed door during one of these counseling sessions and he heard his father yelling at someone that if they couldn’t see him at work the next day he would break up with them.He was at work until 9 pm the next day (his shift ends at 2:30 pm)
I asked him about it and he physically assaulted our son and I.I asked him to leave and he did.He told me he is suicidal.
He came back for Christmas and our sons 16th birthday in Jan
He said he was hunting with my cousin but then left a credit card statement on our table showing a charge for an expensive hotel 200 miles from my cousins place the same night
Fast forward to June
He went to a music concert the night before Father’s Day.In 24 years he has never been to a music concert particularly one of the genre of music that is his new favorite (and one he knows I hate so so much).
I told our kids he would likely not be home that night but that I was needed next door.I told my little sister we would have a sleepover and my dad that I would take over the night meds.
I slept on her floor until I heard the death rattle.I turned the lights on and told her how much she was loved.I saw the life leave her at 1:27 am. She was 43.
H showed up the next day. I had told our kids and took my first day of work off in a 25 yr career. It was the last week of school and I’m the principal but I wanted to be with my family.
H asked why I hadn’t called him when she passed in the middle of the night and I said well, you were at a concert.
He served as a pallbearer in her funeral the following week and cried inconsolably. He hugged me for the one and only time in over a year.
We are cordial to one another now. He adopted a dog who was a stray and has some challenging behavior problems (bit me….broke the skin and left a scar and chipped one of my teeth).After trying for over 3 months (we are experienced dog owners), some challenging behaviors persist. H has been gone even more frequently with several summer and fall trips with friends I don’t know.
I found a place for the dog to board and train for the next month.
H talks about buying a bigger house with me. I can’t help but think…..why, so I can sleep on a different floor?
I had decided to file for divorce in March 2024 but I am considering moving that date up.He doesn’t have any interest in being with me or our family.I don’t even want him to be any more.He acts miserable around us.
I weigh 100 pounds now and still can’t eat more than a few bites for dinner (nothing but black coffee and water during the day).I bike, swim, practice yoga an run all of the time.
I cry very often (except when my mask is on at work and around our beautiful kids).
H still attempts to have sex with me a couple of times per week.
I don’t say anything but won’t. I don’t know why he tries.
What a mess we have made of things for our kids.
I’ll be 47 in November.
17 comments posted: Thursday, October 12th, 2023
I was strong and I am strong. Loving, kind, attentive, respectful.
A loving mother. Someone who takes pride in her work as a long time educator.
Devoted member of my family of origin.
Great with dogs, including our newly adopted troubled pip.
In great physical condition. I take care of my physical and mental health.
I am a strong and kind communicator. I listen.
WH is clearly in crisis. I knew he/we had rug swept in 2009.
It was just sex after all. A way to escape his PTSD. A way to cope.
This time he won’t admit to anything but it is so much worse.
The anger and mean spirit.
He literally kicked me out of our bed three years ago.
Took my diamond engagement ring.
Last September announced to me he doesn’t love me and will never love me.
He won’t divorce me or move out because he wants access to the kids.
He still wants sex.
He acts like a devotee husband in front of friends and family.
He is on his phone or on a "business trip" all of the time.
I asked him in September and he said I am full of myself, to believe there must be someone else for him to be honest about how much he hates me.
And has always hated me
And will always hate me
So I look back to find where I went wrong? What could I have done better?
How could I be this blind? I loved him and believed him when he said he loves me.
I want him out of my life.
I need to find the strength.
12 comments posted: Thursday, July 13th, 2023
I’m wrestling with my next steps.
WH’s first affair was accidentally discovered in July 2009. He has combat PTSD and a tendency to engage in addictive behaviors to cope with his symptoms rather than address them.
He seemed to get to the origin of his "why" and we were engaged in R.
There have been bumps along the way but mostly happy times.
He seems to have chosen a mid life crisis affair which made him realize he never loved me these past 24 years and let me know in September 2022. This was very different than the "just sex" admission from 2009. He loves someone new and doesn’t love me.
He hasn’t moved out of the house. He stays in the master and I sleep in a different bedroom. WH enjoys the kids and the comfortable home and income I provide but doesn’t love or want me.
My parents and younger sister lived next door. For the past 2 years, my sister has been battling terminal cancer with no curative treatment options. I have helped with her care. She passed on June 20.
I am beyond sad. She was only 43. My kids are devastated too as they were super close with her.
I feel like it’s time to kick WH out. Since he informed me he doesn’t love me and never has/will I have worked to be the best parent to our kids. I take care of everything and I’m cordial to WH. He attempts to have sex with me a few times per week. I gently let him know I need to be loved to want to do that so it’s off the table. He still tries.
WH is demonstrating chronic cheating behaviors. It is because he never discovered his why?
Why haven’t I done anything about this? I don’t want to be with anyone else but I also don’t want to be with this version of him.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. I feel like this summer is a time of rebirth and change and I should take action.
9 comments posted: Wednesday, July 5th, 2023
Update on my soft 180
DD 1 was in July 2009
DD 2 in September 2022
Lots of happy times in between even while WH has been dealing with unresolved childhood trauma/abandonment and adult combat trauma.
The DDs were so different for us. The first one, I accidentally found out about when he was no longer involved with his AP.
The second one was more of a mid life crisis bomb drop as he suddenly let me know he didn’t love me, has never loved me (in over 23 years) and will never love me. He wanted a divorce but wouldn’t be moving out or filing because he wanted full access to our kids.
I asked him if there was someone else and he said there was not.
It was a confusing time and I inadvertently played the "pick me dance". That ended in December when our son heard him on the phone threatening to break up with someone.
It wasn’t me.
I detached from him and our relationship ended. I’ve discovered pathways to my own healing and a deep understanding of the trauma his 2007 affair caused and the secondary trauma of combat post traumatic stress we have been living with since 2005.
He still initiates conversation with me and attempts sexual intimacy a few times per week.
I feel better and am I sticking to my path
The 180 has helped me do that
Stick with it and it all will get better
3 comments posted: Tuesday, February 21st, 2023
13 years later DDay #2
It has been a long time since I last logged in. You all helped me heal last time and eventually, WH husband and I reconciled and had two additional children (total of 4).
We have been together for 23 years, married for 17 years and are parents to two teenagers and two in elementary school. We married following his second combat deployment and soon thereafter he started down the rabbit hole. Depression, addiction, anger and relational challenges took center stage. We had a two year old son and one year old daughter in 2009 when I found out he had been having sex with someone I knew while her husband was away in combat.
He projected all of his reasons onto our "failed marriage" and his narrative of our life together didn’t come close to anything I had experienced. All from the wayward playbook.
We figured out a path through with counseling and renewal and after a few years of work, we were the strongest we had ever been.
From there his untreated PTSD increasingly caused problems and we have had difficulty communicating. His depression is complex and remains untreated.
Fast forward to this past Friday night. He let me know he loves me as a friend or family member but isn’t in love with me and never will be again.
He wants a divorce but is worried about the kids so his solution is that nothing changes:
he lives in the master (I sleep in another room and have been for a few years although I’d prefer not to….he said I snore and keep him up but the kids say I don’t snore)
We still have sex
We are nice to each other (no arguing)
I continue to shop cook clean laundry (all chores)
Our money stays intertwined (I make three times what he does)
But he doesn’t want to be married to me anymore
He gave me permission to have sex with other people because I like sex so much
But he won’t have sex he just knows I can’t be alone
And he is trying to figure himself out and knows he is messed up
He said this is all about him and he doesn’t love himself so he can’t love me
But he loves the kids
I am beyond devastated
For several months he has been spending lots of overnights and late nights away "hunting" or with friends. He is always on his phone.
All the signs….even our kids have asked me if he has a girlfriend
I can’t eat or sleep and continue to cry uncontrollably when I am alone
What do I do?
16 comments posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2022