Shocked123 ( member #63617) posted at 2:24 PM on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
I think I’m pretty close to being an official member of the spouses of SA forum.
His assessment is next week but the therapist I saw feels it’s a classic case. Assuming he is honest in the assessment we will be facing a lot of work ahead.
He may deny and lie and if this is the case, I will suggest a trial separation. I will not live with an addict who is white knuckling though our golden years.
It’s time for him to face his truth and hopefully find peace in sobriety. I know we can be happy again if we both face this head on.
I’ll jkeep you posted.
Atacompleteloss ( new member #60688) posted at 11:35 PM on Tuesday, January 15th, 2019
Shocked123 - yes it sounds as if we are living parallel lives! I try not to question all the motives of my WS- but that is challenging - so challenging! I want to reconcile - as does my WS - so I have to just continue to process through everything and know that we will have a new normal. It won't ever be the same, but it could be better - different but better. I have to have hope for this if we continue on the reconciliation road or else why even try and reconcile?? I have seen an enormous change in him - all for the better. I hope the end of your story of reconciliation will be one of happiness, trust and love as you get through all that has happened. Its a choice we must make. We still need to answer for ourselves and our behavior - IMO - and I don't want to end up being a bitter angry person. I want to be a happy, peaceful person despite the hardships of infidelity and betrayal - and that means being patient with the roller coaster ride and keep healing. :)
Falling ( new member #66285) posted at 6:10 PM on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
Forgive me as I don't know all the lingo you all use here, but I could really do with talking to some people who have been through similar as I feel so alone and unable to tell friends & family.
So I'll give my story as briefly as possible. With my H for 15 years, married 7. We have 2 small children. Shortly before our 7th wedding anniversary last september I found a suspicious photo of him and a bikini-clad girl. He did TT for the next month, I dug and dug until I had him cornered. Supposedly he's told me everything he can remember which is minimum 10 prostitutes (2 times they were brought to our home when I was away visiting family whilst pregnant and he had mates round), about 20 other ONS and basically just kissing and grinding with girls whenever he went out.
When he was with me, he was a wonderful husband. I always felt completely adored, like I was the only one in the world for him. We were happy. Even now, he says that and that there were no problems that led to this. But when he was away, apparently I was easy to forget. He would take his wedding ring off. It wouldn't have stopped if I hadn't found out. He says plenty of his friends behave the same, married or otherwise, and also that its commonplace in his industry too where he would travel a lot.
He lost his virginity to a hooker at 17 too. I can't help wondering if he was always destined for a messed up sexual life because of this and the people around him. It's a shame I wasn't special enough to make him reevaluate his behaviour, at any point.
I'm so sorry this is so long. I have been in hell since I found out, swinging between needing to leave and longing for him to give me reasons to stay. My heart breaks at the thought of taking our children away from him, because we live in south america where he's from, but all my family is in europe and I would go there. He's a good dad to them.
I've been doing IC this whole time but I can't feel any real progress from it. Im so so tired of going round in circles, going over the same things in my head. I see you all talk about it taking years, and I just don't have the energy to do this for years. I want joy back in my life again. I don't understand what happened to my boundaries and why I haven't left.
Why do people stay with people who do this to them?? We find out someone has walked all over us and we what, forgive them? Stay with them even though we know the love we feel for them can never be what it was before? I don't know if I love him, knowing what I know, i'm so confused. And I'm so sorry there are so many of you who have been through this too. Thank you for reading.
marji ( member #49356) posted at 11:06 PM on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019
Falling Please feel free to write as long and as much as you wish; there is no need to apologize for talking here; that's what SI is for.
Thank you for sharing your story here with us. Please make use of whatever any of us here on SI can offer.
You've asked interesting questions--how come any of us stay with those who so disrespected us and the relationship? The answers are as varied as the people involved but each of us must find our own answer--or just live each day as best we can, make the best of each day and stop asking the question. Whatever feels most right.
Falling, it can take many years to come to a place of normalcy again; it can take years to process the trauma. But that does not mean a life without joy. Surely in the very beginning it seems almost impossible; even getting a decent night's sleep can be a challenge. But there are many things we can do to regain a sense of balance and to regain our abiility to feel joy. A good counselor can make a huge difference. If the IC you are working with doesn't seem to be helping then find another. If you can find an IRL support group that can be very helpful too. Try to believe, even if it does't seem possible, that you are going to be alright; you will figure out in time the best way to go forward.
And you will find joy again,
SeeJaneHurt ( new member #57813) posted at 5:32 PM on Thursday, January 17th, 2019
👋 I’ve been reading postings on here for over two years and it has helped me so much. Thank you for sharing your personal stories. I think I’ve never been able to write about my own heartbreak because writing it down hurts and makes it more real. I would like to pretend this is not my life now. Married 25 yes this Aug. WS spent 5 years on Sugar Daddy type dating sites and meeting girls for coffee and dinner and then meeting at a hotel or their house to pay for sex. DD 2 years ago after feeling suspicious and looking on his computer. I still am struggling with PTSD/mind movies/difficulty passing certain places etc...it’s exhausting...
I thought it would be much better by now. We have received tons of counseling and in so many ways are so much closer yet I can’t shake the pain and haunting thoughts. I have triggers still that shut me down firva few days at a time. I think a lot of why I don’t feel safe enough to let go of those thoughts/feelings is because I am unsure if he still has a problem. A lot of our issues stem from Shame surrounding sex from how we were raised so I try to be open and not shame him. Here is my dilemma: He has Pinterest boards online where he sorts by category and collects thousands of beautiful pictures of naked or partially naked woman that he says is just art and relaxes him. To me, It feels a bit like a teenager objectifying woman by categorizing if they are hot or gritty or sensual etc... I feel the searching and swiping and choosing who makes him feel turned on and who he likes best is very similar to what he did before on the other sites that landed us where we are. I dint feel safe with him doing that. It doesn’t feel the same as porn we might watch together or that he might watch something if I was not available etc... it feels like he still prefers it over me for a place to put his sexual energy. I’m not ugly I am fairly attractive but when I know he does this I feel shame about my body and very low self esteem. Does he continue to do this because he can’t feel safe with me since I trigger and change suddenly at any given moment? Is it an addiction or a hobby? Does anyone have any opinion on this? Should I care if he spends so much time on this? He doesn’t like me talking about it or asking him to quit...How long until the pain from the infidelity starts to fade??
SeeJaneHurt ( new member #57813) posted at 5:53 PM on Thursday, January 17th, 2019
I learned that men are especially good at “compartmentalizing”.
They can put their life and situations in little sections very separate from each other. It’s so hard for a woman to understand this as we don’t do it as much. I think this explains how they can totally shut out thoughts of their wife while they do these things. Doesn’t make it any easier but it did help me understand how it is possible as my mind was blown that he could forget all about me, our children and our life together while he was with a girl next door prostitute. I’m so so sorry for your heartache. It hurts so bad and is so destructive. I wish he could have felt how I feel for one second each time he cheated because if he did he would have stopped immediately and come home. They have no idea what it feels like to have this type of pain. It’s worse because you are hurt by the person who was supposed to have your back.
marji ( member #49356) posted at 2:05 AM on Friday, January 18th, 2019
If for whatever reason you are uncomfortable with your H staring at other women then he should stop. Your H should be bending over backwards to avoid doing things that make you unhappy; he should be bending over backwards to please you.
You ask when the pain from infidelity starts to fade; it takes a long long time but they have to at least stop being unfaithful and your H hasn't stopped.
I think it may be your time to establish boundaries. You say you've received tons of counseling but if your H is still engaging in this kind of behavior, if he is not honoring your wishes but simply and coldly satisfying his and if you are still wondering why you are in such pain then perhaps you should be working with a different counselor.
Your H sounds like a very selfish and thoughtless person. I think if you establish boundaries-make clear what you need to feel safe and loved, cared for and respected, cherished and honored and make clear the consequences if he is unable to respect those boundaries you will start to feel better about yourself. '
Shocked123 ( member #63617) posted at 12:45 AM on Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Your husband needs to look at thousands of beautiful picrures of naked and paritally clad women to relax? Thats his excuse, relax?
I am on many facebook pages that feature puppies, baskets ful of puppies, puppies with babies, funny dog pics and yes, I am even on a site that features tropical vacation destinations. Imagine that....
These things are relaxing to me. They are also not disrespectful towards my H or my marriage. I do not fantasize about these images and I do not pick and choose and filter which images I like most.
Gawking at naked women is disrepecful, inappropriate and in you H's case, excessive (thousands of pictures???).
Jane, this issue must be address in counselling. His habit does nothing to deepn your relationship or improve your marriage.
How can he actually believe that you would find this acceptable? I agree with Marji; very poor boundaries.
Time to put your foot down. You should not be sujected to such humiliation any longer.
The only picture he should be look at is yours.
rebplay ( member #59205) posted at 1:08 AM on Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Falling- yes, it takes many years to feel more “normal”. Even now at four years for me, it’s better but I still remain suspicious and it’s still “different.” There’s more good moments than bad overall but things will always remain changed for me. I just recently was able to actually look at my h during sex. The road is long and not easy. It’s doable but difficult.
Seejanehurt- oh my, your h is not really giving you a safe environment after DDay. That’s the LEAST he can do for you. I think it was Marji who suggested boundaries. You should be able to let your h know your limits and he should respect that. That at least can START the healing process. I’m so sorry. He’s being insensitive to you after his crushing actions.
rebplay ( member #59205) posted at 1:17 AM on Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Falling- your overwhelmed, tired, not sure if it’s worth it, back and forth feelings, circling around in your head are all normal feelings. It’s traumatic. There’s no answers or understanding that will ever make you feel completely better. We (this group) just wouldn’t do these behaviors and can’t completely “get” those that do engage in these behaviors. Why stay? You don’t have to. Or you can. Stay on the fence deciding as long as you need. There was more than once I almost ended things. Heck at the beginning I technically did but changed my mind. Kids play into it for some of us, hanging on to the good parts of the relationship matters to others of us. Lots play into it. Only you can decide what’s right for you. The decision isn’t easy or straight forward. Take all the time you need to to decide.
rebplay ( member #59205) posted at 1:18 AM on Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Shocked- yes keep us posted
Falling ( new member #66285) posted at 2:55 PM on Saturday, January 19th, 2019
Thank you ladies, I really appreciate your comments. It's good to have a space where I can read other people's thoughts and really empathise, sad as it is.
I think the hardest thing is that in staying, I'm giving up on that "pure love" I always believed in, and believed I had, and I know that I'll be dragging this cloud around for the rest of my life. And in leaving, I'm breaking my children's hearts, perhaps causing them some lasting emotional damage, and losing my best friend.
The jealousy I feel towards other couples is insane. Anyone holding hands, looking loved up, kissing etc I just feel so outrageously jealous and sorry for myself. Like it's just not fair. Of course there will be many in our position or similar that are unaware, but I do still believe in true, faithful love. Acceptance of what's happened and that you can't change it is so very hard isn't it.
I'm learning that I have the power over my emotions though. I'm the only one who can choose to be happy or choose to dwell on things. And I know I will be ok. I just wish I knew what was the right decision. I'd like that decision to become crystal clear to me so I can start moving forward.
My therapist advised not discussing it with anyone besides her so that I wouldn't feel pressure or swayed by other people's opinions. My family knows that we are having problems but not the full extent of it. Often I feel like I'm just having to hide it. Has anyone here regretted confiding in friends or family?
seejanehurt that doesn't sound right at all. I'm sorry he continues to be so disrespectful.
Shocked123 ( member #63617) posted at 6:42 PM on Saturday, January 19th, 2019
I shared my situation with 3 friends. All of them live out of town and are not part of my life as a married person.
None of the 3 have any contact with my H.
I also told a close friend of mine iwho is in our friend circle but I minimized and told her it was only a few times (not 12 years).
This way I get to talk to her about it a little. I would never reveal the full extent of his problem to her because she is very protective of me and would probably confront him.
In addition, she left her H for cyber sexing, phone lines etc and I know she would encourage me to do the same after 100's of physical encounters with prostitutes at massage parlours.
Sometimes I feel guilty that I am not honest with her but crossing that line will change our friendship somehow. My H has become friends with her new man and I don't want to him to lose any more restpect he has already lost in their eyes.
I want to keep my social life intact and don't want to admit my H has a problem. It's humiliating and I know we will both be judged.
I have not told anyone in my family, including my very best friend who is my cousin. Just can't go there...
Perdita1 ( member #67654) posted at 12:53 PM on Sunday, January 20th, 2019
Falling, I could have written your last post. It’s so hard isn’t it? To stay and fell like you’re giving up on love and dragging this horrendous load around is something I really struggle with. I am also ridiculously jealous of other couples who seem so happy.
I have fully confided in two friends. Two other friends know that there are issues, but don’t know what they are. I really value the support, but i’m careful who I tell. All these friends are more ‘my’ friends, people who knew me first or who knew me before I was married. Weirdly in the family my mother-in-law knows we are facing challenges and knows he has messed up in some way but doesn’t know exactly how. I think she suspects but would rather not know. I haven’t told my family as i’m not sure that they would be able to ‘forgive’ him and I want to work out what I feel first. It’s a very isolating experience.
rebplay ( member #59205) posted at 2:23 PM on Monday, January 21st, 2019
I didn’t tell my family or his and I’m glad I didn’t. Since we’re trying to work things out and stay together. I know my parents would never have been able to completely forgive him and it would change things when together. But that’s just a personal decision. Lots of people do tell. We shouldn’t be ashamed but it’s easy to feel that way. I only told me bf and not the full details. I just can’t tell that to anyone, don’t want to. Thankfully I can share on here. Once again just a personal choice. We shouldn’t be shamed by what someone else does but it’s hard not to be embarrassed.
I too feel sappy over love movies or people out in public. BUT it’s not always what it seems. I girl at work seemed so smitten with her h after twenty plus years and I was a little jealous. As I’ve gotten to know her, their life is imperfect and they’ve had issues. I don’t know what all the issues are, just some and I’m no longer jealous at all. I think we miss our innocent pure love for our spouse. The complete trust and safety. There’s no getting that completely back and honestly I think it would be hard to find. I think there’s some truly relationship trustworthy people out there but I think there’s less than more. Very sad but true of our world. You’ll are in mourning of what you lost (innocence, pure love, safety). It’s gut wrenching and will never completely go away.
We give up a lot to stay. But then what we stay for has to have benefits. You’ll weigh each side over and over again. Eventually you’ll know what’s right for you.
Falling ( new member #66285) posted at 7:47 PM on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
I am really struggling. I feel like I have gone backwards. WH is trying so hard, being patient with me, always apologising and begging me to tell him what he can do but I don't know!
I can't help thinking, if only he had just had 1 ONS. Or 5 ONS. Wouldn't it be so much easier to forgive. If only he had stopped if his own accord. Or admitted it to me years ago. Or been eaten up by guilt. Or if only it had started during a sexually dry patch in our marriage so that I could see some lame reason, rather than for our entire 15 year relationship. Or if only there weren't prostitutes.
I have no idea what the healing stages are that someone goes through but I feel like I'm stuck at the beginning again, when it's 5 months since D-Day. Most days I just don't want to get up, because at least when I'm asleep I am no longer thinking about it or pretending to anyone.
I'm exhausted. I'm not sure why I'm writing this really. I don't know how much more of this I can endure before I give up. I'm already pushing him away.
NotHisDoormat ( member #59560) posted at 2:32 AM on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
Hello everyone. After R and calmness for several years, I busted my WH attempting to hook up on CL again. I say attempted because as of now I don’t have concrete proof. He confessed to “trying” to hook up which is just as terrible.
I feel like a fool. I don’t understand why he’d throw away a good marriage and life for detached sexual encounters.
Is this an illness? What is wrong with him?!
I’m so tired of this.
Me: 37 F BS
Him: 41 M WH
Trying to R from prostitutes and sex addiction.
Perdita1 ( member #67654) posted at 12:31 PM on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
Falling, it's going to be ok. You're only 5 months out. That is not that long, really it's not. I'm 11 months out and I'm still struggling. I still have times which I just want to sleep to escape reality. You are still on the emotional rollercoaster and healing is not linear, it loops and goes backwards as well as forwards and there are times it feels like you are at the beginning again, but you're not because you are that much further away from D-Day. Time is really important.
I was reading back over some of your earlier posts and your WS sounds similar to my WH with him saying it is commonplace in the industry and that he has friends who behave / think the same. It's sickening but apparently true. I no longer want to associate with people from his industry. I also think my WS has FOO issues around the acceptability of this behaviour. I can't believe I didn't see that before.
I am also living away from my home country with small children and know how isolating this is. Do you have good friends that you can lean on? At least one person who you can take fully into your confidence?
You say your WS is asking what he can do. Is he in IC? Has he broken off contact with his friends that think this is ok? Are you both in MC? Is moving back to your home country an option (you might feel more supported there, even if your family and friends don't know the full extent of your issues)? Are you confident that this behaviour is in the past (if not, what can he do to help you become confident)?
Remember that all his encounters were emotionally meaningless. His emotions were always with you.
Take your time Falling, but get your ducks in a row too, in case you get to a point where you can't endure anymore. Make sure you have seen a lawyer about custody of your children. These things are horrible, but they give you back the control and the choice.
Boundaries are an interesting one, and something I have been musing over recently. I've been wondering how I can stay with someone who has done this to me. Before this happened, I assumed it was a dealbreaker. If it didn't have children, it would be - I know that I would not have bothered to put in the effort to attempt to reconcile if I didn't have children. But since I have children with this person, and cannot cut him out of my life, I am putting in effort to see whether reconciliation is possible. This does not mean that I do not have boundaries. My boundaries are currently that I might stay, but for me to continue to consider staying certain things have to happen, for example:
- therapy attendance
- WS building up my confidence that this behaviour is over
- WS taking complete responsibility for the behaviour
- WS truly realising that this behaviour is not healthy, however 'common' it might be in certain circles
- WS signing a intra-nuptial agreement
- WS being able to emotionally support me through healing.
You are not weak for attempting to reconcile. It takes an immense amount of strength and effort to go through the reconciliation process. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I really feel for you.
Perdita1 ( member #67654) posted at 12:37 PM on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
NotHisDoormat - I didn't want to read and run. I'm so sorry that you found that out.
NotHisDoormat ( member #59560) posted at 3:08 PM on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019
Are there any good books, articles or support resources for those of us with wayward spouse and emotionless infidelity? It seems like the majority of resources are for those having "standard" affairs. Although all are awful, I feel like we are dealing with a different pile of crap.
Me: 37 F BS
Him: 41 M WH
Trying to R from prostitutes and sex addiction.