Me - BW (37)
Him - WH (38)
DD1 - 8/7/22
How Do You Protect the Children's Hearts?
This is a lot longer than I intended it to be, I'm sorry. I just needed to get it out.
I have been lurking for some time now (Since DDay 1 back in August) and this site has helped me not feel so alone. Thank you to everyone on both sides of this for sharing your thoughts, hopes, trials, failures and successes. I fell in love with a boy in high school and we ended up getting pregnant (Despite birth control, plan B pills, and using protection). His family pushed SO hard for me to give the baby up for adoption but I couldn't do it. She is my miracle and saved my life at the time because I did not want to exist (Very long story - my father was extremely abusive and I was a primary target). I kept my baby and he disappeared for about 12 years. When my daughter turned 12 she wanted to get to know her father so I started putting out feelers to find him. Very very long story short we also fell in love again (I'm not sure I ever stopped loving him) and ended up getting married. We've been together 8 years, married for 6 and he is a touring musician. I trusted him so completely that if I had even so much as bothered to look I'd have caught him sooner. I've never been big on social media. I got a random friend request on Instagram and I even forget why I was on it at all (Last post before this was in 2019 if that tells you anything) but saw the follow request. Went to the person's profile to see if I knew them and I noticed her pictures were beyond risque and then noticed he'd like one of them. Then I saw he liked two, and eventually I realized he'd liked every single one going back to 2017. I don't think he liked them in 2017 just that he'd gone that far back to like them. I asked him about them and he gave the most illogical excuse ever - "her husband ASKED me to so she could win a tattoo competition". Sure. His response was so ridiculous that I went looking for the first time. That was D Day 1 - "just exchanged inappropriate messages I'm making a mountain out of a molehill".
Every day after that (he's on tour at this time) I found another one. I tell him come home no more tours no more music or I won't even try reconciliation. Had to be firm there because he still wanted to stay. When he did come back he was a model of a remorseful spouse - therapy, quit music, stepped up to contribute to the home (not financially - he's never had money), answered most of my questions without attacking me. Trickle truth, as it turns out, never stopped. He ended up admitting to 3 physical affairs without protection but it was more than affairs... the way he did it was cruel, who he cheated with was cruel. IE - I flew his family to Vegas to celebrate his birthday (he didn't know they were going to be there). Next day he went to a friend's wedding where he'd planned for a groupie to meet him and they slept together multiple times - the details of which she gladly shared with me. I asked her to contribute to my STD testing. Her response? File a restraining order against me which cost me thousands to fight but was dismissed. Her justification? My instagram message to her husband letting him know that he should get tested (It was a very nice caring message I was not crazy or mean in any way to him). He never responded to me. Eventually he admitted to 3 in total and I figured that was the best in terms of truth I was ever going to get. For the first couple of months things were ok but he started implying I was being neglectful of the kids. I admit that I hard a hard time getting out of bed for the first couple of weeks but our youngest is a teenager so they were not neglected. I still spent time with them but less than I usually did - I just couldn't bear to watch him be loving and happy while I was dying inside and he was always there. I admit that was a failure on my part. I also work two jobs to keep us in a good place financially as even when he made money it went to other things (I was even paying his "ubers" which, as it turned out, were not ubers but his women - there were over 100 messages so I don't believe he limited himself to 3 women he got physical with. I later found out that he had planned to spend days in Europe "sightseeing" with a Polish girl. I found emails from 2016 where he'd begged her to spend the night with him when she was in Sacramento - this was after we were engaged.
Then I uncovered his drinking. A LOT of it. Drunk every night basically. Had to take care of him in the hospital for withdrawals. Sitting here, 6 months in I finally officially - in no uncertain terms this time - told him I am done. Our children are devastated. My youngest's dad has/had severe PTSD and literally could not take care of himself so he disappeared. It is still brutal for my youngest after all these years. My daughter was obviously abandoned by my husband before and felt she had a dad finally and now this. I watch their hearts break and I hate myself. I never would have married him if I had the slightest clue that he would do this to us. We're at the point now where I'm constantly the problem. Little tic tac comments, tons of sarcasm, etc. Or he does the opposite - walking around like a wounded dog. Last night broke me - not only are the kids devastated he told me he's going to dump my dog (who does not like him at all). Later he took it back and said he misspoke but I don't believe him.
How do I protect my kids? How do I find the strength to stay with a man who causes me so much pain? I don't think the kids can take losing a dad again. My decisions in life have cost them so much. How do I help them find happiness? I feel like I have just destroyed their entire lives. How do I cope with what he did so they can be happy?
7 comments posted: Monday, January 9th, 2023