Here is my story:
I used to blame H's "issues" on his childhood (dad physically abused his mom, cheated on her, then left the family when H was around 9. Mom showed no affection towards the kids, only emotion she ever showed was anger. he got into LOTS of trouble)
The first months of our relationship was great. He did things with me, we laughed together, it was all perfect (granted, I never had a "real" boyfriend before him, so I had nothing to compare it to). Then the little things started to happen. We were both on hot or not.com but I was dumb and signed up for the membership which allowed members to message you. He saw this and freaked. Told me to come over to his house, called me a slut and a whore my whole way over there. He constantly was breaking up with me, and usually on the weekends...probably so he could go party and not feel guilty about whatever he was doing.
I ended up getting pregnant about a year after we had been together. I had our DD when I was 20. He had became friends with a girl he met while riding his motorcycle. She had a motorcycle as well. He spent lots of time riding bikes together. I should have put my foot down then but of course I was so infatuated with him and so "in love". She ended up moving to a different state and that was the end of that. (now that I think about it, that was probably his first EA, and quite possibly a PA, and the start of him realizing he can get away with anything). Let me also add that during my pregnancy he was extremely distant. He had a daughter with another woman when he was 18 (he's 4 yrs older than me) and when I got pregnant he said "my life is over in 9 months". Of course he didn't give a shit how MY life was going to be affected. He wasn't very present the first couple of months and then he realized he couldn't live without me and decided to start supporting me. I think he was ashamed to be seen in public with me though. There was a specific instance where he took his DD to the pool and I was shocked that he didn't invite me to go along because I had the day off that day.
We ended up getting engaged when our DD was 1 1/2 yrs old. We had built a house together and I thought things were great (aside from our constant fighting and his dr Jekyll/mr hide personality). Until one day I looked at his phone and saw that he had been texting a girl. I confronted him and he felt bad about it, and said that he talks to her because "she worships the ground I walk on" (exact words, and of course he denies ever saying that). That would obviously be the 2nd EA he had. Aaaaaand another red flag that I should have kicked him to the curb and called off the wedding.
We went on our honeymoon to Maui. Got into a fight because he thought we were spending too much money. Then got into another fight because I was being a pansy. Not sure if you've ever heard of the Road to Hana...but it is a very scary one lane road. On our way back down this road all I saw to my right was a cliff dropping to the ocean. I was scared shitless. You'd think that your new husband would say "its ok babe, you're safe" but noo....instead I was told how much of a wuss I am and how he'd rather be there with his friends because they'd be having a blast driving on that road.
The years went on and I knew in my heart that something was right. I knew that our relationship wasn't what it should be but for some reason I kept having hope. I of course thought that I was the problem. I kept trying to please him....having more sex, cleaning better, not going out with friends in case he wanted to spend time with me (which he never did). I basically started to form my life around him. And of course we still fought like crazy. His anger never ceased to shock me. I just couldn't believe how someone could be so damn angry!! And everything was about him. He wanted to buy this and he wanted to buy that and if I tried to tell him we couldn't afford it, he threw a fit. I was supposedly the one who caused the fights. It was because I was constantly looking through his phone or accusing him of doing something. He could never quite understand that his constant verbal and mental abuse had dwindled my self esteem. I figured he'd want someone who was better than me, so I was constantly on the lookout to see if he had found her.
I did everything by myself. I was raising a child with an absent father who happened to live in the same house as us. I took her to all her doctor appointments, I gave her baths, I put her to bed, I took her to school, I took her to dance, I punished her, I praised her, I did this, I did that. I was even expected to watch his DD if he had something to do (like go out with his friends or go on his boat every friggin weekend).
I felt very alone. I felt like he didn't give a shit about me. The only person he cared about was himself, yet he constantly told me how selfish I was. Along came a man at work who started to make me feel like I was something. He told me how smart I was, how beautiful I was, listened to my stories and acted attentive when I was talking. This blossomed into an EA. Little did I know that this guy was a serial cheater and only had one goal and that was to get me in bed. He did NOT succeed. A few months after I ended my EA, I noticed that my H was acting weird. He would sit across the room, with one leg up on the couch and would hide that he was texting. He started watching tv in the basement and when I came downstairs he'd very quickly close the computer screen. So I decided to hack into his facebook and found that he had started an EA with a woman in another state. I called him immediately at work and he felt so guilty. Said he was sorry, said he never meant for it to turn out like this, blah blah blah. We talked that night and he ended up turning it around and putting the focus on ME. He got into my facebook account and saw that I had messaged a guy I used to work with (not my AP) and took a very innocent conversation and turned it into me cheating on him. He ended up punching a hole in the wall because he was so upset. The focus was now off of him and on me. The next day he called me crying, saying that he feels horrible but he also felt like there was something I wasn't telling him. So I confessed to my EA. Oh shit hit the fan.
I'm sure he LOVED this. Yes, he was hurt, but boy oh boy the entire spotlight was off him and on me. He took the next two years to completely cut loose. He hadn't drank since he was 17 (having his first DD made him wake up and "grow up"). So he started drinking (it had been 14 years since his last drink). He started going out every single weekend. He was staying out till 3 or 4 in the morning. He was hanging out with girls. He told me he wasn't "married man material". He had his phone locked. He even started keeping it in the garage so that I wouldn't hear if he got a text. At the end of this 2 year shitfest, I had to take our DD to Chicago for a week of dance nationals. He went on a $500 shopping spree, went out a few nights and on the last night of me being in Chicago he decided to come home at 9am. I thought that that was what made him decide to "settle down". He said he wanted to start MC. He stopped going out, he re-friended me on facebook. He was a different person. (I do have to add that he did hang out with his EA bitch a few times. He had went with his friend skiing in the city she lived in and she ended up having dinner with him and his friends..unfortunately his friends were also friends with her back in elementary school, which made it easy for him to hang out with her. She also went to a college football game with him and a few friends when she was back in our town. What a slap in the face considering he hardly ever does things with me) Aaaaannnd during those two years he constantly threw my EA in my face. I think it made him feel better about what he was doing. And honestly, I wanted to leave him SO bad during those 2 years. Even contacted a lawyer, but never met for that initial consultation. I felt like it was my punishment for what I had done. Even if I tried to bring up his latest EA, he downplayed it quick and said that it wasn't anything and remember what I had done.
The next 3 years after that I thought were amazing. We communicated more. We did things together. We fought way less (and if we did fight, I ended it quick. I think his 2 years of being shitty had made me stronger and I wasn't putting up with his bullshit anymore). I thought to myself "I'm so glad we are past that crap. There's no way we'd ever hurt each other like that again". And the crazy thing was...for once in our entire relationship I actually trusted him!! In those 3 years I went through his phone once. Just once and that was when him and I had went out, he got shitfaced, passed out on the bathroom floor and I thought I'll just check, just to be sure. I never questioned where he was at. When he went out with his friends, I didn't get that sick feeling in my stomach wondering if he's talking to girls. He actually built up my self esteem again. I felt like I was everything to him. Yes we still had our moments once in a while and he of course still made everything about him but I just felt different. But...of course I was wrong. On (Friday) July 11 of this year he was taking a nap on the couch. I was doing dishes and his phone went off a few times. I tell you, I had the weirdest hunch. Like I said, I hadn't gone through his phone or even felt the need to peek at all. But for some really odd reason I felt like I needed to see who had just texted him. The text was from a girl that I had met when him and I had first started dating. Seriously thought nothing of this chick because she was ugly. I did have some uneasiness during those shitty 2 years because he had friended her on facebook and had sent her a message that said something about hanging out. So anyways, the text from her said "hhmm...it'll have to be Saturday or Sunday because I'm leaving for vacation on Monday. Unless you want to do it somewhere else." Holy shit, my heart sank. I just couldn't wrap my head around it. I kept telling myself "he's doing a side job for her" or "she sent that to the wrong person". I told myself "there's no way he would ever do this to me again because we have been through so much hurt". He went to bed that night and I made myself stay awake until he was fast asleep. I got his phone and started scouring everything. Nothing in facebook, no emails, he had deleted her text, but there it was. A picture of his "member" that was hard and oozing with semen. A picture that he had taken just 2 days before. A picture that I never received. So I sent her a facebook message and she said that they had sex about 3 or 4 years prior. She said she never wanted to do that again because she felt so bad about it. She said they haven't seen each other since then. She said they've been talking off and on ever since. She didn't seem to think that sexting him was a big deal (ha). I woke up him and said WTF. He didn't act like he gave a shit. He immediately got mad at me and threw a "we're even now" comment (he thinks I slept with my coworker). His whole demeanor was completely what I wouldn't expect. He just acted like he didn't give a rat's ass about what he had done. I was broken. Completely broken. We didn't talk much for the next couple days. On Monday night he had a softball game and should have been home around 8:30 or 9:00. He wasn't home as of 10:30 so I texted him and said "are you keeping your girlfriend company?" He came home about 20 minutes later and started accusing me of cheating. Took my phone from me, was going through my texts. He didn't believe that I am 100% innocent. He said that the last time he got caught I lied to him and said I wasn't doing anything and then the truth came out the next day. He thinks history replays itself. So he thinks that because he was up to no good that so was I and I am just refusing to tell him anything this time. I got fed up with his shit so I decided to sleep on the couch in the basement. He followed me because he just LOVES to fight. He was being a complete ass, told me to get the fuck out of the house. Said I had 10 minutes to get my shit and leave or else he'd beat my ass. I thought yep, I'm done. So I didn't get anything together, just left. He told me I wasnt allowed to take our new car and I thought to myself fuck you. So I got in it. Psycho that he is, decided he needed to rush out of house and proceeded to punch the car window. I started driving down the street and he jumped on the hood and was punching the windshield saying he's going to beat me. I called the police, he ended up getting arrested for domestic assault. We had a no contact put in order for a few weeks.
So....after he got the no contact lifted we had a huge talk. He explained to me that had sex with her once and felt absolutely guilty from the moment they started. I didn't want details of their fling. He said that yes him and I have been amazing the past couple years but our sex life has been lacking. And I do agree with him. I never want to have sex, and when we do, there is no foreplay, basically just wham bam thank you ma'am. He said that he was just keeping her around "just in case". Um...just in case what?? That part I still don't understand. So basically she was giving him the attention that I wasn't.
The past month has been a huge rollercoaster. One minute I want to be with him and reconcile and the next minute I just want to say fuck it and be done. I look back at everything that has happened the past 14 years and know that it should have been different. I have no idea if my H is remorseful for what he did. The night we talked after the no contact was lifted, he spilled his heart out. Said that he knows he hasn't been a good H to me, said I deserve so much better, said he'd do whatever it takes to make this work. But he hasn't proven it since then. We are starting MC next week. He said that we have deeper issues that we finally need to address (um..I think HE has the issues but whatever). He is still showing signs of only thinking of himself. There have been a few times where I tell him I'm having a bad day or I'm feeling sad. He tells me that if I cant move forward then this isn't going to work. So he's basically telling me that I cant talk about the past at all. For once in my life I feel that I have done nothing wrong. All these years I have thought that I wasn't enough, that I wasn't good enough, that I needed to change. But I FINALLY realize that it is HIM. He is the problem. Yes, I can try more on the sex part but everything else is HIM. My IC said that she obviously cannot diagnose him without him being evaluated but she said everything I tell her points to NPD. It saddens me to think that if he does have NPD that there's nothing that can be done. I guess my decision will have to come through IC and MC. Maybe I already know my decision and I've known it since the day I met him? Maybe I'm just needing validation through IC and MC? Who knows. Only time will tell.