I am new to this site, but this mess has been around for a while. I have told one person irl about what is going on, and she was an amazing help at first to vent and cry and just let the anger and betrayal out...but it's been it's been over a year and I don't feel any better.
I guess I should lay out all the nitty details, as hard as it is going to be, so whoever reads it can understand. It's gonna be long. Sorry.
Ive been married for 16 years. Meet and feel in love online, before that was a thing people did. As soon as I graduated high school I moved across the country to be with him. But married and had my beautiful daughter in the first year. Everything was great. We had our squabbles but we were happy. He worked and i stayed home with our daughter. We had ups and downs like every other relationship but nothing major. In my mind we had as close to a perfect marriage as possible.
3 years ago something shifted. I don't know what is was or why it happened. Everything seemed fine on the surface but in my heart I knew something was wrong. I stated feeling distant from him. I told him as much and he always just brushed it off and told me I was crazy and he loved me more every day.
I have had insecurity problems my entire life don I figured it was depression making me feel crappy for not reason like it did a million times before. So I ignored it. And kept ignoring it. Even when I probably shouldn't have. It was my mind being crazy, nothing more.
I finally decided I was ready to get a job and went in for an interview. They hired me on the spot and I was on cloud nine. I called him and told him the good news then hurried to the store to buy some new clothes so I could start work asap. I text him a few timed while I was gone, but never got a reply. I assumed he fell asleep so when I got home and found him drunk and passed out on the floor I was irritated but still in too good of a mood to let it bother me too much and woke him up, I teased him, asking why he was ignoring me and he said he lost his phone. Sadly that isnt the first time so i look for it while he moves to the bed. When I find it I opened it, wanting to continue giving him a hard time about ignoring me...but it was open on a picture. I nude woman from behind. I rolled my eyes and laughed, saying I wasn't expecting porn as soon as I picked it up. That's when he went white and tried to snatch the phone away from me.
My stomach fell. That was not like him. Luckily, or unluckily, he was too far away to actually touch me or the phone. I backed out of the photo...to a conversation between him and this woman. It wasn't porn. It was hangouts, with multiple nudes from her and a whole lot of sexting between them. I take the phone outside (he was in his underwear so I knew he wouldn't follow) and read the whole thing. It was devastating. So I go in to get my daughter and leave, throwing my ring and shoving him away when he tried to stop me.
I don't know how long I was gone. But my daughter started complaining about wanting to go home so we do. And I find him again, on the floor, sleeping. This is where his memory of the day starts.
I freak out. Furious that while my life is falling apart he is peacefully asleep. So I pour ice cold water over him and tell him his daughter is home but I'm not staying so he needs to wake up. I leave again, but he keeps calling me. I stay away all night, only coming home at 4am because I have no where else to go.
He promises it meant nothing and it was just him messing with her and he didn't mean any of the things he had said to her. I don't believe it but I stay. My daughter needs me and I can't tear her away from him. But we are done.
Over the next few weeks he is the loving sweet husband I married. He is trying everything he can to win me back. Showering me with attention and being patient and understanding. He even roped to me...finally after being married so long he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
Living in the same house, sleeping in the same bed..it didn't take long to fall into our same routine. I was hurt and guarded but I was starting to feel ok. I still loved him and knew eventually I'd forgive him.
Then it happened again. New app, new person, but same messages. I'm livid at this point. It wasn't a one time thing like he promised. This girl is from an app that he has secretly downloaded and deleated for years. I checked his phone. And discovered he had a secret email address that was connected to the app. Digging more I figured out the password....and I wish I never did. He was a member of dozens of dating sites and hookup apps. I went through every single site, looking at every one of his profiles and each woman he had...i looked at everything. "Not looking for anything serious, just want to have fun"
So many profiles but the one that hurt the worst...has a daughter but is separated.
Even now, a year later, that breaks my already shattered heart.
But, I'm freaking stupid and let him convince me he was done and we would work on us and he would get better. He'll never do it again, but he doesn't want to talk about it. He feels guilty. He starts heavily drinking. Getting drunk almost every night. I stay. Again. But I can't forgive him. I can't even pretend to. I have no emotions left. I'm completely closed off. Any time I start trying to feel all that comes out is anger. We get abusive. Me first but after getting black and blue so many times he starts hitting back. It's bad. Really bad. My breaking point came when he blamed me for everything and when I was slinging all sorts of mean and horrible things at him...he slapped me across the face. I snapped. I could feel myself punching and pushing him and could tell he was fighting back but I couldn't stop. I kept punching and slapping, pushing... Thankfully I heard my daughter coming down the stairs and that snapped me back into sanity long enough for me to grab the keys and get out of there or I know one of us would have ended up in the hospital or dead. I stayed away for the rest of the night, but went home again. Same promises. Same groveling. Same sweet words.
Since then I don't feel. I don't let myself feel. Stupid little things, sure. Getting frustrated at work or being annoyed by a customer...but those are superficial and don't count. I don't have love for him. I don't hate him. I don't feel sorry or feel excited or happy. I'm dead inside because I CAN'T let the flood gates open again.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I find out he has been using Twitter to message women. Sending nudes as well as getting them (something he always swore he never did) this time it barely stings. I'm mad, but he can't hurt me when I have no heart left to break. He deletes Twitter, promises he's done and realizes how close he came to losing me and won't risk it again....
I'm still here. Living in the same house, sleeping in the same bed, going about our routine but he has already lost me. I've already lost me. His wife is never coming back because she has been dead since she found out her husband was a figment of her imagination.
How can anyone heal from being dead?