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Madhatter dilemma

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Metallicrainbow posted 9/22/2020 13:23 PM

Married 16 years, known since high school. Three school aged kids.
6 years ago I had an affair and confessed a short while after. Before my affair, I had an issue with wh porn habit and would find a few suspicious things like condom wrapper to which he said was used to masturbate and not make a mess. Then a text in his clipboard talking about meeting someone for sex, he said he put that there on purpose for me to find because he thought I was cheating. Shortly after my affair I caught him having an emotional affair with a mom in our sons Scout troop. Only talking as far as I know. Non stop talking.

I had the affair with a co worker and as stated, confessed and did the work to make myself safe.

Wh is a great person aside from thinking he has a sex addiction. We get along great, he's a very hard worker, no drinking smoking etc. Best father you could ask for, great family man. Treats me great always complimenting me, very attracted to me and so on. No complaints in that department. He is very high sex drive, mine is lacking. He said I'm wrong for withholding (twice week or maybe once a week).

Over the last two years I've caught him sexting numerous times online..once with a lady double his age. Called in him out on it, he lied to my face until I shoved pics at him.

October of last year I found a pic of his genital in someone else's hand. Confronted and he minimized until I pushed then said that it was a random on Craigslist he sought out and got a hand job but that he felt guilty and left, nothing further happened. In the middle of that we had left on our anniversary trip to another state I let it go. He begged and pleaded etc Come November, I still felt uneasy so I downloaded a spy app on his phone while he was sleeping. It screen shot every 30 seconds that he used his phone. I was horrified at what I found again. He had a hidden email account and was back on Craigslist messaging people about meeting up for a gloryhole. What really caught me off guard was two of the people were males. He always acts very homophobic as far as his idea if same sex etc.

I confronted him and again he lied and minimized until I showed him the screenshots. When asked about the man, he said he didn't realize it was a male and never met up. But, the title of the ad he responded too and the signature line both stated that it was a man. He said he was only looking for attention because I never give him any and store that he never actually met up with any of them. There were multiple. But I had no confirmation that he did or didn't go through with it. Why answer so many and not go? He said he liked the attention and thrill of it. I was talking to a counsellor who is my friend kind of but we never had formal sessions. I know this is my fault for not making him do the work.
I kicked him out of our room for about 2-3 wks. In house separation of sorts. Lots of talks. He owns a painting company so he is all over town at different places and has every opportunity to cheat and me not know.

When I asked for a polygraph be very quickly agreed and was willing to do what I needed etc. But I believe that's only because he's calling my bluff. I never did go through with it. I did tell him my boundaries as in no Craigslist, no talking with females, no sexual groups etc

Fast forward to now. In July I happened to see on his phone that at one time there was the kik app downloaded. Life was busy and I forgot to further investigate until a few days ago. I looked through his Google history and found he was downloadingand uninstalling the kik app several times in July and August. I believe it stopped in August because I had brought up the past and acted suspicious. Kik app isn't traceable. I have no idea what or who he was talking up on there, it's full of cheating groups. You can make calls and it won't show on the bill. I also no longer have the spy app on his phone. So that's all the dirt I could uncover.

My problem is this. I'm still in love with him. He's obviously got a serious problem and isn't going to stop any time soon. However when I bring up what he did in the past...He fights it with what I did saying my affair is ten times worse than what he did. He didn't fully cheat because he didn't have sex. He's underplaying his actions and making mine more significant. Cheating is cheating on my book and shouldn't be a compilation of who's was worse. He lies until I shove proof in his face so he can't be trusted. He's put in some work but not what is truly needed. I don't feel I have the st strength to leave. I don't want to hurt him. I don't want to put my kids through this. I work out of our home. We have all these years together and otherwise are great. Only we aren't. And I can't live always looking through this things like a child. He only gets better at hiding it. I don't want to end up with him bringing me home an std either. I need to fix this but I don't have the strength.

Im planning on confronting tomorrow. How should I go about this? I don't want to tell him what I know or how I found out but he will deny until I show proof. It hurts me to see him hurt. I'm at the point I feel numb and it won't hurt me as it should. Part of the reason being by affair. I still carry guilt..like I deserve this. Like what I did was worse.


Metallicrainbow posted 9/22/2020 13:24 PM

Admins please remove stop sign, forgot to click the button! Would like to hear both sides

hikingout posted 9/22/2020 13:43 PM

Part of the reason being by affair. I still carry guilt..like I deserve this. Like what I did was worse.

This is the crux of your issue.

You say you did the work to make yourself safe, but I think the underlying issue then is the same as it is now. Self-worth/self-love/self-resepect.

Often times when WS have an affair I believe it's because the lack of those things create a void. The void gets bigger over time because we don't love/respect ourselves to put boundaries around our time and energy and make our happiness a priority. We can only be responsible for our own happiness.

You have then gone on to settle for less than what you deserve in your marriage and it's perpetuating the problem even further. You said it yourself - he has deep problems and he is not going to change them any time soon. The only thing you can do is change how you react to them. That means that you need to put boundaries into place and stick by them. What does this man really give you? There is no foundation here whatsoever.

I think you need to do the 180 (read the healing library for details) and contemplate what it is you want from life. I have a feeling he isn't it. And, he is not going to change his level of respect for you if you haven't done that yourself.

I don't mean it to sound harsh, and I know I do not know your obstacles or how plausible it is to leave, but you are being perpetually abused here. And, no, you DO NOT DESERVE IT.

Metallicrainbow posted 9/22/2020 14:42 PM

You are correct hikingout. I lack self respect/love. I always feel a void, I've just yet to figure it out.
During a counselling session for my son, the therapist asked my WH if he respected me and he flat out said no. I believe he don't respect me due to my A. And again, justifies his actions from what I did. I confessed to him on my own. I was not caught. He however, can not say the same.

I have a lot to think about. I am the worlds worst decision maker and I also did not like change, nor hurting him. These thoughts are holding me back. I almost feel like I can just suck it up and hopefully he'll change this time, because I've became numb to it. I did not shed a tear. My fully also makes me feel I'm not allowed and that he's correct in the fact that what I did was worse.

My opinion is..Cheating is cheating whether us be physical or only online. He does not agree

hikingout posted 9/22/2020 14:53 PM

I also think it sounds like he is a world class liar. So, I do not believe there hasn't been more sexual activity than what he is saying, and you don't believe that either. It's confusing because he is gaslighting you.

crazyblindsided posted 9/22/2020 15:49 PM

Well I think there is a HUGE difference between the A's. One confessed on their own and did the work and did not repeat the behavior (You). The other lied and kept repeating the behavior (Him). The whole point of getting out of infidelity is to stop having A's Emotional or Physical.

My opinion is..Cheating is cheating whether us be physical or only online. He does not agree

He may not agree but you found a photo of his d*ck in someone's hand THAT IS PHYSICAL.

I agree that you are being abused through gaslighting and possible exposure to STD's. Who knows if he's had intercourse with another person he could be lying about that too. I would definitely schedule a polygraph and start doing the 180. He has no ground to stand on at the moment. He has not done the work or be accountable for his transgressions.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 3:51 PM, September 22nd (Tuesday)]

Darkness Falls posted 9/22/2020 16:38 PM

First of all, I donít think thereís one single person on this website who would agree that getting a handjob from someone other than oneís spouse does not constitute a physical affair. Second of all, you canít reconcile with someone who justifies his (physical!) affair because you did it first and then refuses to stop the unfaithful behavior.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 4:38 PM, September 22nd (Tuesday)]

Lostallalone posted 9/22/2020 23:31 PM

Maybe a revenge affair or exit affair. IDK. You need counseling. Not from us. Figure out what you want. I'm a madhatter. I just want you to know what you want.

Metallicrainbow posted 9/23/2020 08:38 AM

Lostallalone, are you saying he is trying to have an exit A? I don't believe so. I know how confronting him will go tonight. He will panic and beg and deny, the whole none yards.

I plan on asking him to tell me the truth without me telling him what I know this time. If he don't give it to me, I'm going to make him leave. He will not return without a timeline with 100% honesty.

Lalagirl posted 9/23/2020 09:09 AM

I plan on asking him to tell me the truth without me telling him what I know this time. If he don't give it to me, I'm going to make him leave. He will not return without a timeline with 100% honesty.

This is a great first step!

I would recommend stopping the MC and both of you start IC. When one person in the M is not in R mode 100%, MC is futile, frustrating and a waste of time and money.

You need counseling. Not from us. Figure out what you want

Lostallalone, that why she joined SI - for help figuring out what she wants.

Metallicraninbow, I encourage you to continue posting. Even though we are not professionals we have walked the walk in one way or another and I think that advice and support from those who have had first-hand experience is helpful.

Sending hugs...

gmc94 posted 9/23/2020 12:47 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ agree 100% with LalaGirl

tushnurse posted 9/23/2020 14:03 PM

Oh honey.... this man has cheated on you multiple times, and continues to do so w/o any consequence.

Let go of your guilt about your prior actions, and please demand the respect that you not only deserve, but should be given to any person. Please please please read the library, and read up on the 180.
See an attorney and learn your rights, and his obligations.
See your Dr and get full STD testing ASAP.

You deserve better regardless of your past. He is not going to stop until you demand he do, or he faces some consequences of his actions, if at all.

Metallicrainbow posted 9/23/2020 15:12 PM

Thank you all..I really appreciate the insight. I have gained a confidence that I don't deserve this and will be confronting tonight with demands that he leave.

I know he will deny and downplay what he's done but I will still demand timeline and not reveal to him what all I know. He has history of only owning up to what I tell him I know.

I just fear this will hurt my children in the process as they are very close. I thought about just saying he's out of town for work.

I do not expect him to do the timeline, and if he does, I doubt it'll be accurate.

Lalagirl posted 9/23/2020 19:10 PM

OK, to start with...no more lies! (I'm referring to you telling the kids he's out of town for work)...lies just get bigger and bigger and the kids will lose respect for you for lying to them. They probably know more than you think.

How old are the kids? There are ways to tell them in an age appropriate manner.

Regarding the timeline and such, be prepared to follow through on the consequences should he not comply.

Metallicrainbow posted 9/23/2020 20:56 PM

So I just confronted. I gave him opportunity to explain and come clean but he just sat staring at the tv and said what's the point, that I would just twist everything he said anyways. I told him I don't need to twist anything, I had iron clad proof. He has two choices, come clean with all of it or leave.

So he's not coming home tomorrow after work. I told him I will not allow him home without a timeline of all of it.

I told him to call his mom and go stay there and that he fill her in or I would myself. That he has done zero work to make himself a safe partner and I refuse to be subjected to it any further. Our marriage is in his hands. It's timeline or divorce.

We had a trip planned for our 16yr anniversary next month too..

So far he's not budged from his chair downstairs even after telling him to pack a bag. Should I pack it for him? I don't want to be woke up tomorrow

HellFire posted 9/23/2020 21:23 PM

Since you are married, I assume the house is in your name,as well as his. Therefore, you can not legally make him leave. You can tell him to leave, but if he doesn't want to leave, you can't force him to. If you lock him out, all he will need to do is return with the police, who will tell you he has just as much right to be there as you do.

Metallicrainbow posted 9/23/2020 23:07 PM

There is no fighting or aggression between us. It was a quick quiet talk and he agreed to just leave verses tell me the truth or give a timeline. He said there was no point in a timeline because I would just twist his words, and he can't remember dates etc. He does not grasp what Blame shifting is. He keeps saying he has an addiction and I chose not to fill it for him...

He's far far off from remorse. At this point he's in self pity mode. I didn't even get an I'm sorry..no begging to stay. Just, he gives up and will leave cause it's no use that I won't believe him anyways.
I don't know how to feel at this moment. I guess time will tell if he wakes up, or gives up.

Lalagirl posted 9/24/2020 06:09 AM

I'm so sorry. (((HUGS)))

He keeps saying he has an addiction and I chose not to fill it for him...

He means you won't enable him? Wow.

I guess he's right on that front.

You have taken a huge step and it shows healthy, non-codependent behavior on your part...good job!

I know it hurts, but as many on SI say, you have to be willing to lose the M in order to save it. If he is not willing to do what must be done, it is best to part ways so you can get out of infidelity.

Hang in there and keep posting; we are here for you.



tushnurse posted 9/24/2020 10:13 AM

He keeps saying he has an addiction and I chose not to fill it for him...

So that makes it acceptable.
What a pile of horseshit that is.

Please understand that you are being abused.
See an attorney to figure out how to legally get him out of the home.

Metallicrainbow posted 9/24/2020 15:13 PM

So I stood firm on him not staying here. He's supposed to come get some things after work and then leave.

He is no where near understanding what remorse is or that he continues to blame shift. He says he's sorry but he communicated his needs and I ignored them blah blah blah.

I've given him a few books to read from the healing library. I've demanded he go get checked for stds. As well as my timeline which he still insist he can't remember everything. I did not reveal what I knew and told him what he tells me better match up to what proof I have. So far it's went from masturbating in a parking lot to web cam, to "just two bjs"'

I'm sure there will be more.

What other sources can i point him to? I've seen that he's downloaded not just friends. And he's searched sex addicts anonymous. But going to the actual classes..I'm not holding my breath.

His mom won't let him stay there and just suggested marriage counseling...I told him absolutely not. He needs IC, not marriage counselling. I made him call his mom and fill her in. Not sure how much he actually told. My mother knows as well

He says when he asked his friends what they'd do if they wasn't getting enough at home, that they said they'd do the same! Time for new friends.

I wish I could post screen shots on here...it would be pretty eye opening for other WS to see just how they act when caught.

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