Newest Member: Loyalandbetrayed

Just Found Out :
First post. Long. But you need to hear it all.

Topic is Sleeping.

 NoStreetlights (original poster New Member #75940) posted at 10:58 PM on Monday, November 30th, 2020

This is my first post - so if I do anything that's not cool here - please let me know!

DH and I have been married for 16 yrs. Together for 20. Our journey has never really been an easy one. We've worked our way through an early bankruptcy (mine), substance abuse/rehab twice (his), infertility (ours) and now infidelity. In a lot of ways, we are opposites, but we have always had mutual respect for each other's differences, as they challenge us individually in many ways. He's the outgoing, full-throttle, passionate about life adventure-seeker, and I am the introverted, doesn't-leave-my-comfort-zone, compassionate and articulate cerebral one. It might be hard to imagine, but we balance each other out most days (and other days, it's really difficult, lol).

About a year ago, I found texts from a former girlfriend of his on his phone. Lovey-dovey texts about "being together" with words like "soulmate" and "safe harbor", etc. I confronted him, and he admitted to having an affair. It was a one-night stand, followed by email communication (she lives in another state). This hit me like a ton of bricks. In all our years together, I hadn't had to deal with this. Addiction, yes. Financial issues, yes. Infertility, yes. But not infidelity. If I'm really being honest though, I can't 100% say I'd never imagined it - because addiction is a slippery slope, and over the course of his two rehabs and subsequent family work, I always figured it could have been a possibility. It came with the territory for so many of his rehab friends. I never really pursued it. Probably because there was a part of me that almost couldn't handle it/didn't want to handle it, but also because I knew that there were SO MANY things that addiction does that were destructive to our family while he was using. I kind of drew a line in the sand, and after he got sober/clean, I looked at things as a fresh start. We're not looking back, we're looking forward kind of thing.

Back to the affair. He agreed to be open and transparent, to communicate with me about needing to feel connected to me, to work with a counselor and we started right away. Our counselor is wonderful. (She's also very expensive.) We tackled the chasm that had brought us to this place in our marriage. The biggest revelation that came out of our work with her, is tantamount to the idea of our "love languages". His love language is affection and physical touch (those are my least important ones, by the way). My love language is acts of service and quality time. She helped us find a way to explore these needs in a way that felt good. We dug deep and put in the work for a year, ultimately, focusing on trust and honesty and rebuilding our life together. I thought things were good and safe and comfortable. After all, we had worked through much harder things in the past, so I made an effort to dig deep into that well, and honor my own needs while also trying to honor his.

Fast forward to 6 weeks ago, our 13-year old daughter discovered pictures/texts on DH's iPad that she randomly had to use for school when her computer wasn't working. She told me about it right away (called me at work, crying). Come to find out, he was exchanging them with someone who had been a friend of ours - in fact, she was in my bridal party 16 years ago (!). I confronted him right away, he didn't deny it or excuse it. I asked him how long it had been going on. He said "off and on since I got sober (8 yrs ago)". She too, lives in another state. I read through the FB messenger thread, and discovered that for the past 8 years, they only exchanged texts/pictures. But they had been physical with each other before we were married - or rather - while we were getting married. (This was when he was actively using, btw). He apologized to me and to her. Things have never been the same in my family ever since. My daughter was essentially traumatized. She is not really speaking to him - 6 weeks later. I've got her working with a therapist weekly to help her process this. This has been the most devastating part of this entire journey. It's one thing for him and I to process our marriage challenges ourselves, it's another thing entirely for a child to have to be pulled into it.

Okay, so now fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I can't explain it, but once again, I (women's intuition is REAL ya'll) felt the need to dig into his devices. And this time, sure enough, I found an email thread with woman #1 (former girlfriend) about how they "were meant to be together" and how they were "soulmates" and blah blah blah. This time when I confronted him, I told him to move out. I was done. I was shaking I was so mad. He begged me - BEGGED ME - to give him one last chance. Like, literally, sobbing, crying, on his knees, saying he was sick and he didn't know why he does this, and to please, please, please not make him go. He said that those emails were all just a fantasy. It was an escape.He was never going to leave me, or our family, or our life. He was just getting the validation/affirmation that his ego is seeking. (I think this is definitely some kind of sickness). That was 2 weeks ago. We haven't even told our counselor about this yet - we meet every 2 weeks (this happened the day AFTER our last session).

SO. Here I am. I told him that for all intents and purposes, nothing he says matters to me. I don't believe anything he says. I don't have high hopes this will work out. I have so many questions. Is this just another addiction? Did he just trade one for the other? Is there any hope if that's the case? He and my daughter tiptoe around each other and I feel absolutely stuck and depressed and trapped. I still have to muddle through my daily life. We are in the middle of a basement renovation. We are a month from Christmas. My daughter is a typical, moody teenager who is suffering greatly in this climate of virtual learning. I am working from home (or trying to). Some days, I can barely get out of bed. It's all pretty soul-sucking. I have no idea how to move forward. He knows I don't trust him, and he knows his daughter doesn't trust him. But I'm just not sure that's enough.

I think my biggest struggle is the fact that we have an audience. Knowing that my daughter got unwillingly pulled into this makes me sick to my stomach. I am so worried about her future - as a woman, as a wife someday. On the one hand, my wish is that maybe she can see that marriage is not easy, that adults are not perfect, that people make grave mistakes and work through them, and the small religious side of me wants her to believe that forgiveness and grace are a good thing. On the other hand, my other wish is that as a female, she doesn't see a mother who consistently has low standards for herself and her family, and that she does not accept crumbs from her own future male partners, friends, etc. I am so overwhelmed with the idea that we have stolen her innocence, and that she is doomed to have dysfunctional relationships going forward because of all this.

I vacillate so much, on a daily basis. This has been such a storm of a marriage. From the beginning. And yet, after 20 years of this crazy journey, we HAVE built a life together. We HAVE had good times. We DO love and challenge each other. We both have major imperfections. I am so torn. I don't necessarily want to throw away everything, but I also don't feel particularly happy right now (understandably). I know that all marriages have their issues. Sometimes, I say to myself that other husbands would have other problems. And then I say to myself, that I deserve better.

Not sure what exactly I'm looking for here. I guess this was part-introduction, and part-plea-for-insight/support/advice/guidance. It would be so helpful to hear other people's perspectives on this. Thank you so much.

posts: 1   ·   registered: Nov. 30th, 2020
id 8613231

newlife03 ( Member #56527) posted at 11:36 PM on Monday, November 30th, 2020

I'm so sorry you're here, but you will find that everyone here is very helpful in their words and advice. I don't have any experience with addictions so I can't help there. I think the counseling definitely needs to continue; perhaps this is also an addiction. I'm glad he's remorseful but actions always speak louder than words.

As for your daughter, she will see you working through your marriage and that you are strong no matter what the outcome. She will learn to be strong by watching you; I'm sure she already has.

Me - 50
Kids 25, 22, 18
1st DDay in 2006, 2nd in 2007
D in 2009
Happily Committed to SO since 2011

posts: 657   ·   registered: Dec. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: ID
id 8613244

Cooley2here ( Member #62939) posted at 11:37 PM on Monday, November 30th, 2020

Many people have more than one addiction. There is an alcoholic in my family who started smoking when he gave up booze. Your husband sounds like he is addicted to attention. Unless he has been “playing” closer to home I think these conversations are enough to get him high. If I were you I would send each woman the other’s texts. Then they would know they are nothing special to him. Just the fantasy of an addict.

He is always going to be an addict. He will have to deal with it every day. He needs IC and to be given a diagnosis one way or the other.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 5:39 PM, November 30th (Monday)]

To thine own self be true. Shakespeare

posts: 2902   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8613245

BigNoob ( Member #75807) posted at 1:23 AM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

I worked in the casino business for roughly 5 years. We had this regular who turned out to be an gambling addict he gambled all his money, after that he gambled his wife's money, after that he even had the audacity to ask his parents for a "loan for a business" they gave him their retirement money and he gambled it all away. He finally realized when he had NO money left that he fucked up. For a very weeks he turned into an alcoholic because reality hit him and he was basically in "court" with everybody that he took money from that was the very last time we saw that regular in the casino.

His wife (later on divorced) took control of ALL finances that were left. His family told EVERYBODY not to lend him money. They made him WORK like a dog to try and pay off his debts, the poor bastard worked three jobs with no days off until he payed back some of his debts. This is a chinese family and they are very CLOSE knit if he does not pay them back they will disown him and alienate him from the entire family that is what our addict had to lose and he worked most of his debts off.

If you can take anything from the story above is that you need to confront and let him realize what he is LOSING stop rugsweeping bad behaviour.

About a year ago, I found texts from a former girlfriend of his on his phone. Lovey-dovey texts about "being together" with words like "soulmate" and "safe harbor", etc. I confronted him, and he admitted to having an affair.

After his first affair did he suffer any any consequence? Did you kick him out of your home for a few days/in house separation?

I never really pursued it. Probably because there was a part of me that almost couldn't handle it/didn't want to handle it, but also because I knew that there were SO MANY things that addiction does that were destructive to our family

This is rugsweeping your also trying to justify his 1st affair.

I honestly view rugsweeping as a slap on the wrist yeah he got a little slap but nothing too really wake him up and realize his wrong. Imagine your a little kid and reach out and take a cookie from the cookie jar when your parents said NO. They find out, and you only get a scolding (rugsweeping) from your parents. In my mind I think the risk of getting another cookie is worth it if all im getting punished with is a scolding (rugsweeping).

What consequence has your husband had after recent DDay?

In house separation/separation?

You doing the 180?

Poly test?

Have you made him write a timeline of all his affairs?

Made him take an STD test?

No contact letters?

Informed other betrayed spouse?

What kind of IRL support do you yourself have around you Family?Friends?

Do you have money set up for yourself in case you have to pull the plug on the M? Always have a backup plan.

I would also consider him getting individual counseling to figure out his issues as well as the MC you have (you cant fix the marriage if he does not fix his issues). You should also look into IC yourself.

[This message edited by BigNoob at 1:56 AM, December 1st (Tuesday)]

posts: 207   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2020
id 8613272

gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 2:10 AM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

^^^^^^^^^^^ everything that BIg Noob said.

And my WH also had a ONS on the eve of our M. I fully forgave.... then look what happened :(

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8613281

nekonamida ( Member #42956) posted at 3:45 AM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

I agree with BigNoob and I have some tough love to add.

There's 3 big things that need to happen right this minute.

1. Fire your MC. Clearly they did nothing to stop him from cheating. Read around and you will learn that his cheating had NOTHING to do with what you were doing or the state of the marriage. The proof is that you improved, the marriage improved, and the cheating continued. He cheated during the good times and the bad times because the cheating filled a hole within himself that he originally filled by being intoxicated. Your MC is not equipped to properly treat him and will actively damage your marriage further by insisting you have any responsibility for his cheating. You wouldn't allow him to say you were the cause of his addiction, would you? AA wouldn't allow it. No sobriety counselor worth a damn would either. This is the exact same thing.

2. He needs to turn over all devices, accounts, and passwords for you to go through with a fine toothed comb to confirm the information he's given you and to make sure he's not still hiding additional OW under your nose for you to discover later. He must do this immediately so that he cannot delete everything incriminating. If he refuses, he is lying and you should not move forward in the marriage with him.

3. Ask him to take a polygraph test. You can't move forward without the truth and because it seems almost guaranteed that he's a serial cheater who has been at it for years, you have no idea how far down the rabbit hole this goes. What if he has a child with an OW? What if he's been banging prostitutes? What if he has a STD that you've luckily never had or do but are asymptomatic? Get tested regardless of what you think might be true because the only thing you know for certain right now is that he is a lying liar who lies.

The right message to send your DD is to do what is absolutely best for you. That either means a marriage in which you and your WH move forward with complete honesty, he gets the help he needs through IC, and you R OR you file for D and show her what a good relationship looks like with your next partner. It does not look like giving him another dozen chances and you continuing to do this dysfunctional dance of rugsweeping like you have been. It does not look like a dad who is trying and a mom who would much rather be somewhere else. Not in the long term at least. There is still time but it is quickly moving so if he will not agree to some basic boundaries and trust building exercises as well as getting counseling and exploring this side of his addiction, your best bet is to move on solo. Even if you end things, there's still time and opportunity for him to turn it around. You won't be able to get a speedy D. He will have months, possibly a year or two, to get it together, tell the truth, and start his recovery. You have the power here so don't be afraid to use it.

posts: 4957   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8613304

tushnurse ( Member #21101) posted at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Welcome - You will find that most of us here have walked your path, and made mistakes, so please accept the collective knowledge of how to get through this. While your story is unique, the actions of a cheater, addict or not are very much the same.

You my dear need to dig in and find your inner strength and anger, and you need to hang onto it. Right now like others have said, you are allowing him to control the outcome and the narrative. That needs to change. You need to figure out if you have any real boundaries, lines in the sand so to speak, and what they are. Then you need to be ready to carry through with some real consequences when he crosses them.

Your MC is doing more damage than good. Really excusing his cheating based on a "love language" and not that he is a selfish addict, that needs to dig deep to figure out why he needs/craves the attention of others. You both would benefit from individual counseling, not MC. Until his cheating behaviors are stopped and he is working on himself, you are left with a false foundation to build on.

3 Things I tell every newbie. See a lawyer, learn your rights, understand his obligations, and get a really good feel for what a D looks like, you can't stay or leave, without this knowledge.

Second see your dr, get full STD testing, and demand the same of your H. This is you taking back some control and also showing him you mean business. It's also setting up a more solid open/honest foundation to move forward from. If he balks he is out of the bedroom, and don't have unprotected sex with him until you see the results yourself.

Third talk to your dr about a therapist that deals in trauma for yourself. See if you can get a referral. Let your dr know exactly what you are going through and if you are too stressed discuss it. Make sure your blood pressure is good, and that you aren't stuck in some fight/flight mode that is incredibly unhealthy.

Stop expecting that you will come through this like you have everything else, this man cheated on you from day one. Why would he stop now? Why are you willing to accept someone that would blatantly do this to you, and cause you this pain for the entire relationship.

Check out the healing library, upper left side of your screen, learn what the 180 is and how it can help you. It may feel counter intuitive, but you can't rebuild on the foundation of lies you are dealing with.

Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 18921   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8613369

BrokenheartedUK ( Member #43520) posted at 4:01 PM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Please read and internalise everything that Tushnurse has said to you. Every single word.

I will add that my middle DD discovered my Ex's A before I did but fortunately for her I also picked up his phone soon after she did. By the end of Dday, all my kids were aware of what happened. I'm not going to sugar coat it and tell you it didn't suck and it wasn't traumatic AF. Because it was. For all of us. But that also helped the children and I to process and to do it together. At the time my kids were 11, 14 and 16. Now they're 18, 20 and 23. At various points they have all had therapy and some have gone back to it when they felt that they needed it. While it's not our instincts as mothers to disclose this information to our children, I actually think in the long run it helped them to understand what was going on during a tumultuous stretch during R and a subsequent D. And it helped them see their father in a clearer light. They went through various phases of not talking to him or expressing their anger very loudly.

FWIW, now my kids have a "relationship" with their dad. It's not a close one but they try and take the good parts of him and not become bogged down by the bad.

Definitely seek IC for yourself. MC is a complete waste of time. You need to determine how to set boundaries and why you aren't and your WS needs to figure his substantial crazy out.

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3337   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8613398

Charity411 ( Member #41033) posted at 8:29 PM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

You've gotten great advice here from people who have all been there. Of course, there are no two situations exactly alike, but you can take what is useful to your circumstances.

I think you are dealing with an added dynamic, that is unique to people who have a loved one with addiction issues. We think we can save them from themselves. I hear it in a lot of what you say. It's almost like you see this infidelity as a new project to work on and overcome. That somehow, you will have been a failure if you can't fix this new problem too.

I have an adult daughter who has been sober for several years. She almost died. Up until that time, I was always coming to the rescue. Like McNoob wisely put it, until there are consequences there is no motivation for recovery. I had to stop what I was doing, even if I was doing it out of love for her, my son-in-law and my grandkids.

I'm sure lurking in your mind is a fear that if you leave he'll go back to using and it will be all your fault. It will not. But as long as you think so, he can get away with a world of transgressions because he knows you're going to take all the responsibility on yourself.

What does NoStreetlights want? What do you want for you? Leave him and your daughter out of it. That's not selfish, it's smart. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't care about the trauma to your daughter, but you can't erase that either. It's like what they tell you on planes. In the event of an emergency put your oxygen mask on first and then help your child. There is a reason for that.

I needed help to get there with my relationship with my daughter. I think what you are dealing with is the same thing I see in her. She may be sober, but she still uses the same manipulative tactics to try and get a free pass on things. She still thinks like addicts do. Met with any honest criticism of any kind, it must be someone else's fault. In her case, mine. And it worked for her, until it didn't anymore. That's when she had to get better or lose everything.

You got a glimpse of the same when you told him to get out, hence the sobbing, begging and getting on his knees. His reaction proves that he's well aware of the fact that you fix everything. I personally think it would serve you well to trust yourself enough to stand your ground. Stop sticking around for infidelity because he needs you to fix him. You are keeping him broken by doing that.

posts: 1530   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8613479

Notmine ( Member #57221) posted at 10:04 PM on Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

I am an alcoholic with almost 23 years sober. I say that to let you know that I have some knowledge of addiction and addicts. I hope what I have to say is helpful and know that it is meant in a loving and supportive way.

My FWH was clean and sober from alcohol/drugs for 20 years. He stopped doing the things he needed to do stay sober and to maintain a healthy spiritual condition: stopped going to 12-step meetings and stopped working a program. It took a few years, but he began an addictive relationship with pornography. I caught him a few times and finally began to see that it was becoming a problem for him and for our relationship. Sadly, I swept this under the rug and, like all addictions, it progressed... into a physical affair. When my husband was caught, he was actively planning a second affair. Looking back, I should have set some strong boundaries with the pornography, but I didn't and I paid dearly for that decision.

It is very typical for and addict to replace addictions if they are not actively participating in a program of recovery consistently and for the long term. Sobriety from addiction is a LIFETIME process. If your husband is not actively working on the emotional and behavioral dysfunction that enables the disease, then this is almost a guaranteed path to relapse. He needs to learn the tools necessary to sustain long term sobriety and he can only learn those tools through work with sober addicts. In my experience, sustained sobriety is only possible with active participation in a 12-step program. Period. Not for a week, not a year, FOREVER. The crying and begging are typical addict bullshit. Words are meaningless. Addicts are constitutionally incapable of honesty. ACTIONS will tell you if your husband is serious about being safe for you and for himself. If your husband will not do whatever it takes to get and stay clean, then he is not serious about recovery. He is likely waiting for the commotion to die down so he can continue to use. I have been working with addicts for many years. They, like cheaters, follow certain patterns of behavior. Your husband is acting like most other addicts when they are asked to face a consequence. If you have allowed him any sort of free pass (by rug sweeping, for example) then he will count on this and will manipulate the situation so that he can continue to comfortably do what he wants to do.

If your husband refuses to make meaningful changes, you will be a hostage to his active addiction (behaviorally, if not physically). As you know, life with an active addict is guaranteed to bring chaos and misery to your life. If he does not want to take the steps necessary to get and stay clean, it is up to you to set the boundaries and expectations with what you can or cannot tolerate and to follow through with consequences. Addicts do not find sobriety until they hit their "bottom". If he is able to stay in the house and married to you without making any significant changes, why would he? He will not get better until he is ready and this is completely up to him.

This would be my list of non-negotiables:

1. 12-step meetings multiple times per week. They are online, so no excuses.

2. Work with a sponsor.

3. Ongoing therapy with a CSAT. MC is not what he needs right now. The marriage is not the problem. HE is.

4. Taking the suggestions of his therapist and his sponsor and ACTING on those suggestions willingly.

5. Complete honesty at all times.

6. All electronics are open to your review whenever you need to see them and his whereabouts are verifiable. This is ACCOUNTABILITY. If he is misbehaving online, then I would consider computer use only when you are present when he is not at work.

I am an outspoken gal, and I will tell you that without honesty, there is no hope. If your husband does not get willing and honest, he will almost certainly continue some sort of addictive behavior and you will bear the brunt of that. Addicts will take advantage of kindness, which they see as weakness, to manipulate in order to continue to do what they want. Yes, addiction is a disease, but the only way for him to be willing to get the help that he needs is for the lifestyle that is assisting his using to go away. Yes, addiction is a disease, but do not let him manipulate you with his sickness. Addiction explains the behavior, but in no way excuses it. He and only he can decide to get better. You need to take care of yourself first. If you have kids, they need to be far away from active addiction. It is counterintuitive that kindness, mercy and compassion will enable an addict, but that is the truth of the disease.

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 684   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8613517

ibonnie ( Member #62673) posted at 3:31 AM on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

I think my biggest struggle is the fact that we have an audience. Knowing that my daughter got unwillingly pulled into this makes me sick to my stomach. I am so worried about her future - as a woman, as a wife someday. On the one hand, my wish is that maybe she can see that marriage is not easy, that adults are not perfect, that people make grave mistakes and work through them, and the small religious side of me wants her to believe that forgiveness and grace are a good thing. On the other hand, my other wish is that as a female, she doesn't see a mother who consistently has low standards for herself and her family, and that she does not accept crumbs from her own future male partners, friends, etc. I am so overwhelmed with the idea that we have stolen her innocence, and that she is doomed to have dysfunctional relationships going forward because of all this.

Honestly, I usually don't give this advice, but given the fact that your teenage daughter also has to deal with your WH (wayward husband)'s super selfish, shitty choices, I would ask him to move out temporarily, just to give her a break from having to deal with him while she processes her own feelings of hurt and betrayal.

You can make it clear that you haven't decided what you're going to do yet, but that you just need a break from having him around so you (and she!) can have a break from constant triggers/reminders.

Then I would recommend:

-therapy for both you and her.

-protein shakes if you (or she) have no appetite/trouble eating.

-meeting with at least 3 lawyers to get information about your options, so you can at least know what to expect, regardless of the outcome.

Let your WH know that you don't know what you're doing right now, other than working on yourself and healing fron yet another betrayal. You can suggest that he work on himself, as well, but then I would highly suggest you go as no/limited contact as possible for awhile (maybe three months?) while you just work on gaining your bearings again.

You can set up a temporary visitation schedule for your DD, and let him take it from there.

"I will survive, hey, hey!"

posts: 1986   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2018
id 8613574
Topic is Sleeping.
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