WH back in the hospital
Before DDay my WH was admitted to the hospital for a serious health condition. At the time I was feeling so concerned, in tears, anxious that I might lose him. Eleven months later, after discovering his years of betrayal, I remember thinking it would have been easier had he just died. I would have never had to know the truth, never experienced the pain infidelity. I could have been a respectable, grieving widow. I was ashamed of myself for even having such thoughts, but there it is. Instead, he got better, continued to indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle and, turns out, continued his philandering. Even that life-threatening event did not make him reevaluate his choices.
Fast forward to today, now 20 months past DDay. I'm over the head-reeling experience of discovery and into the slow burn of living with a known serial cheater. We are trying both to make recovery work. And now he's back in the hospital for a more serious version of the same health issue. Of course I am concerned for his health, but it's not the same. Part of me thinks I don't fear his passing, I fear his living, (and all signs say he will live, BTW). I signed up for sickness and health with a pure love that was reciprocated, forsaking all others, a love worth sacrificing for. Yes, I still care for him, but I did not agree be a nursemaid for the unworthy and ungrateful. How will I manage if he becomes incapacitated?
Again, I am ashamed of my thoughts. I know I'm tired and struggling to take care of home and work and go to the hospital everyday. Did I make a mistake by not leaving him on DDay? Why did I stay if I feel this way now? Mr. Cocky is an old man, flat on his back with monitors, probes and tubes going every which way and I'm wondering what he is thinking about his pretty nurses. I don't want this to be my life.
9 comments posted: Monday, November 6th, 2023
I find it chillingly cold if he can simply say "thanks and goodbye" to her and that it…..Seeing people as disposable is not a sign of a mentally healthy person.
This! The above was said by Bigger in response to EmptyGlass’s JFO post. This is exactly how I feel about my WH, a man who has been having one or two year-affairs with different women for over decade, having met them on EHarmony or such. These women were single and looking for a real relationship. They, too, were duped. They gave up a couple precious years hoping to foster a real relationship. How can anyone be so callous and selfish? If true, I have only compassion for these women.
Also, if true, how can I remain with some so callous, cold, and calculating? He gave them a fake name, said he was single, yada yada. But how could they have believed all this malarky? Wouldn’t they have checked him out, wanted to meet his friends and family, know where he worked, see his LinkedIn account? Yet, to me, he seems so genuine in his desire to stay married. He’s done with affairs, committed, blah, blah. He’s caring and concerned, he reading the books, he’s so sorry. While in his presence, I can’t really feel my own disbelief. But within an hour of being apart my head is swirling with the conflicting messages. There is a big disconnect here and I can’t put my finger on it.
It’s been six months since Dday. I am only becoming more confused, at his behavior, as well at my own. Why can’t I see his true being? Why would I stay with someone I know to be so cunning and manipulative? Why do I believe there is a good chance at reconciliation when I now know him for what he is? Why don’t I feel he is being cunning and manipulative towards me? It’s like looking at the old lady/young lady picture. Each version is true and compelling, shutting out the other, but at a second glance, the other version appears, just as true and real.
7 comments posted: Sunday, July 31st, 2022
Any Serial Survivors Out There?
WH and I are attempting recovery but I have my doubts. I read so many stories here on SI and wonder if there are any survivors of repetitive, serial infidelity lasting many years? Is it ever possible for a marriage to truly recover or heal from this type of betrayal? I would like to know how others have dealt with this.
26 comments posted: Thursday, June 16th, 2022
I have a post nup!(?)
I guess I should celebrate having signed and notarized our post nup. Even that took some time. It’s nothing fancy, not punitive, just a document stating we split everything and WH will pay me a lump sum as "alimony in solido" in case of divorce. Now we can work on staying together because we want to reconcile. It gives us both the security of knowing what will happen should we divorce, and it gives me a tangible sign of his willingness to reconcile. And maybe it gives him the tangible sign that I’m walking away without looking back if there is ever a repeat of Dday. I asked for it and got it done.
We did this a couple of weeks ago but I feel more like crying than celebrating.
Thanks for listening.
4 comments posted: Wednesday, May 25th, 2022
The Path to Old Age
It's been 2 months since D-Day, plus the extra time where I knew but refused to believe it. Lately I’m feeling strong and capable of getting though this hell and coming out fiercely determined to live a better life on the other side. I have money, I have a job, I have choices, and I have a plan - sort of.
Turns out my strong, determined, loyal, meticulous type-A husband of 36 years has been soliciting sex on dating sites, and having side affairs for 18 years. Why didn’t I see it? He’s the type: power hungry, a bit controlling, always needing the reflecting admiration of others. But, yet, I thought he's a good man, a man of integrity, he’d never betray his vows. How could I be this ridiculously foolish, blind woman? "It’s just sex," he says. But, "You weren’t that interested, you weren’t there for me when…, you were always busy with… , I made a mistake." I cringe at his pathetic response. I know he’s reaching, covering up that fragile ego, hiding his lack of what should be extreme shame and remorse. He says he’s sorry but his depth of feeling is not profound. I don’t expect him to feel the true contrition or remorse I would feel had I done the same. He has the emotional range of a teaspoon. Nobody who feels emotion keenly would do what he has done. He says he wants our marriage to last. He never wanted to leave me. He says he won’t ever stray again, all of that is over. I think perhaps this statement is possible. He is very determined type. He’s old! Maybe he speaks the truth and will change his ways. The psych PhD pundits on the internet say otherwise. They all seem to hint that there is no changing a serial cheater. That’s a thing - serial infidelity. Pathologies run deep and habits have solidified. Reform is questionable. And yet, I hope. He's been my life's partner for almost 40 years.
So here I find myself in a new dilemma which, I thought, only happens to others less fortunate - Should I stay or should I go? I am living the lyrics of a cheesy 80’s punk band! I must approach this logically. My swirling mind is of no help. Reconciliation must be the default, plan, right? One can’t go down the D path and recover easily. WS says he does not want to lose me. (or just half the assets???) We must try. Can I forgive? Yes, surprisingly. I acknowledge that I have put up road blocks to intimacy and connections in the past, and more importantly, have failed to educate my own husband about what I need for intimacy and connection.
Well, if sex with an old woman is what he wants, I got this. It feels good to be in his arms again. I can watch a football game, eat some junky meals, go to awards banquets, read his attaboy emails, watch a Tommy Lee Jones movie, etc. But where's the flip side? The re-education of WS is not proving easy. Shortly into the agreed upon R attempt I am back to defending my need to work, taking walks and weekend hikes alone, reading recovery books alone, learning about infidelity, alone. The week-long display of affection, gentle touching, etc., has quickly disappeared outside of a hopeful sexual encounter. Do I keep asking?
Old habits and patterns are entrenched on both sides. I wonder if the upcoming MC can really help. He made the appointment, he points out. But, is this really where I want to be? Do I have the stamina and fortitude to make this work and heal at the same time? He undermined my life's work, trampled my memories and crushed my heart, and now we just go on? I have a limited number of years on this planet left to me. Do I want to spend them with someone so calculating and callous? How do I suffer though this without even another soul knowing my pain other than the beloved perpetrator, (and now you, gentle reader)? Do I spend years keeping our secrets and hiding the pain? This is so very hard. Before D-Day I had accepted the distance between us. But D-Day has opened up the whole new possibility of being alone, but not being lonely. I could have peace. I could go. I got that, too.
21 comments posted: Monday, February 28th, 2022