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Madhatter-husband and sister

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Unreallife2020 posted 12/17/2020 17:03 PM

Looking for thoughts and advice as my mind is blown. Some back story is that I had an A 11 years ago; physical, emotional, the whole bit for months. I ended up ending the A and telling my husband about it. (To this day I regret that decision 100%) We stayed married although he feels I never really gave him the appropriate remorse. He was abusive to me in the aftermath, which was out of character for him, and he says now he suffered a "nervous breakdown" at the time which is the reason he acted that way. He had thrown things at me, spat on me, interrogated me for hours on end, days at a time in a small room, and even dragged me by my hair across our front lawn. He also went and told every single person we knew. It was all very brutal: for him, for me, for those that were enmeshed in the situation. Well, we have slowly gotten back to a state of normalcy.

Fast forward to this past Sept...my younger sister (by 8 years) confided in me she was having some marital problems. I tried to warn her off of anything resembling an affair, reminded her of the consequences of what I did, how it hurt so many people. She then said she was triggered, because she remembers my husband dragging me through the mud in front of my whole family after my A.

She revealed to me, through tears and a heaving chest, an incident that happened 20 years ago which would have made it 9 years before my A. She had been staying at our house as she often did, and I was in bed. Apparently my husband came downstairs with no pants on and they had a very erotically charged and inappropriate conversation where according to my sister he expressed feeling sexually frustrated and she said "well she (meaning me) just had a baby so why don't you take care of yourself". Then my husband proceeded to lay on the floor and masturbate in front of her. He was 31 at the time and she was in high school. They apparently, unbeknownst to me, had some type of "emotional affair" and "Crush" as he now puts it. He says it wasn't about being physically attracted to her, but it was more about how she made him feel. According to him she laughed at all his jokes, knew all the words to all of his music that he wrote, and genuinely seemed to like spending time with him. We were newly married and I had just had our son. I had NO idea he was unhappy at that time, and I look back at that time of our life as a relatively happy one. He told me he was very immature at the time, and felt more like an 18 y.o. My parents say he was very immature as well. I dont think that's an excuse but apparently it is for some!

Then my sister said there was a second incident- where my husband came downstairs where she was sitting in the family room(we were all staying at my parents house while our home was being rehabbed), and he had no pants on. Just a sweatshirt. She swears nothing happened and they just had normal conversation and he was covered the whole time.
I also just recently found out they had smoked pot together a handful of times during that period and he had asked her not to tell me. Not that I care about anyone smoking pot, but it's yet another secret between him and MY BABY SISTER. So now he has done something sexually inappropriate in front of my underaged (at the time) sister AND done illegal (at the time) drugs with her, but then 9 years later acted like a goddamned saint when he was treating me like a criminal for having a plain old affair, with an adult male. I also found out through some TT that this EA went on for quite some time and there were nights of "night swims" where the 2 of them would have hours long conversations...he didnt feel judged and like he could say anything to her. Whatever that means.

To make matters even more insane...when my A came out 11 years ago, and my husband was being abusive to me and our life was hell, my sister told my mother and our other sister about what my husband had done years before because she knew she had something that could really ruin him if it came out, and she apparently was thinking could stop him from treating me so poorly. She thought he was a hypocrite for treating me that way when she knew what HE did with her years earlier. NO ONE TOLD ME! Their excuses now for not telling me run from "I thought you knew" to "we didnt want to make a bad situation worse and cause the kids to be affected" to "I cant remember".

I am sick over this. Sick that he did that in front of my sister. Sick that no one told me. And sick that he could treat me that way after my A when he had already done something that in my mind was not just immoral but also criminal. She was in high school for godssakes!

Fast forward to now, and he took the opportunity to move out for 3 mos to another state for work. Totally out of character for him. Normally he is up my behind and doesnt ever want to be away from me. He for years after the A monitored my every move and even up until recently I would send him pics when I went out so he wouldnt think I was with the AP.

He SWEARS he never did anything else outside of our marriage and one day just realized what he had to lose so he stopped the situation with my sister when I was pregnant with our second child.

I am struggling to believe him. This behavior of his was a total shock to me and to the few people I have shared it with who know him. He is usually shy and has never flirted with any of my friends. No one has ever told me anything inappropriate about him.

Also, I had bought him a dashcam for christmas last year because both my kids have them and they have proven invaluable to have proof of reckless driving etc in case of an accident. So being that my husband is an on the road salesman, I thought it was a great idea. He never installed it. Both times I asked him, before I knew any of this, why he didnt and he blamed it on not knowing how. But I call bullshit because he does LOTs of wiring of electrical, music equipment, etc. WOuld you be paranoid about that?

There's so much more to process, but this is the gist. We are both in IC and I'm trying to take it day by day. I have finally found a MC that we will start in Jan. I have already told him I am not sure I can continue in this marriage but I want the opportunity for us to discuss everything with a professional.

My sister and I and my whole family, we are all very close. We do meals several times a month, vacations every year, every birthday and holiday. I feel like a fool for this having gone on and I had no clue for all these years.

Of course I understand so much of why he may have done it, but I just wish he could have had an affair with a grown woman I didnt know. LIke that I could wrap my head around.
I welcome any thoughts or suggestions.

HellFire posted 12/17/2020 17:35 PM

He had no right to treat you the way he did. A lot of waywatds come here,saying they're being abused,when really what they're experiencing is the normal reaction of a BS.

You were abused. Horribly so. He had no right to treat you that way no matter what you had done.

And his affair with an underage girl? That puts him in a whole other category. He's dangerous. You have kids. I would be worried about them. And I would be very much in the alert when they bring their friends home, for an overnight visit. If you have daughters, their friends aren't safe around him. If you have sons, their girlfriends aren't safe around him.

He's an abusive pedophile. I know some people will say a pedophile is when the child is under a certain age. Fuck that noise. An underage girl is an underage girl.

I'm so sorry your sister didn't tell you earlier. Yes, she takes some of the blame for her actions. But he was in his 30's, and she was a teenager. He knew damn well what he was doing.

That your family kept it a secret is horrible. How dare they??

Not all marriages should be reconciled. This is one of them. Girl, run. Now.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 08:18 AM

Thanks for your response. I have had 3 months to stew on this information at this point, and he has been away for 2 months of it so far. My initial response was shock, disgust, anger, and fear. I worried is he a pedophile? could he have done something to someone else etc? We have 4 nieces and none of my siblings or his have reported anything. Also, my kids are 19 and 20. Also, no one has ever reported anythign and he has never spent time alone with any of their friends, that I am aware of. I know that isn't solid proof he hasnt. He has been talking to me about his work in IC. MANY FOO issues with a mother who had no boundaries and nothing was sacred as far as what she discussed with him. He was not physically or sexually assaulted, but definitely emotionally abused. I dont want to sound like I am making excuses for him. I am appalled and disgusted and horrified at what he did. But its not easy to just run from a 21 yr marriage, especially when our kids have barely ever even seen us fight, and the rest of the marriage is actually very good. As usual, because of my kids, I want to minimize the damage,take things slowly. I already told him if you asked me today, I don't want to stay married. How can I ever have sex with him again. It disgusts me. I cant stop picturing him laying on the floor in front of my SISTER doing that. So freaking gross and weird!

I have been experiencing what I imagine he did when he was a BS to my A. All the mind movies, going down rabbit holes of wondering and searching for evidence, not sleeping, not eating, feeling angry and sick, the ups and downs of mood, suicidal thoughts, etc.

And in my eyes my family has betrayed me too. They should have told me AS SOON as they knew what he did. The fact they could keep looking at him, inviting him, treating him as a family member year in and year out, and even now....I dont know what to do with that. They have pretty much all but come out and said, "it was 20 years ago, he's a great husband, we all make mistakes". My sister is appalled at our parents' reaction too and says she is and has been more mad at them then at my husband. This is nuts and I have no idea what to do. I feel like Im in limbo, while being scorched with the truth of a revelation I NEVER could have imagined.

jb3199 posted 12/18/2020 10:30 AM

What a messy situation. I know that everybody's definition of 'inappropriate' will vary, but I doubt anyone here will disagree how wrong your husband was. No matter how close he and your sister were.

From the little that you posted, I am also questioning your sister's morals/boundaries. Stayed there while he masturbated? Night swims with long conversations? And she did these night swims AFTER she was 'maddened' by telling her parents what your husband did....and not getting the response that she expected?

I understand your feeling of multiple betrayals. Your partner/parents/siblings would be the first people you would expect to have your back. It turns out that none of them did during these episodes. Very sad.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 11:05 AM

Yeah JB, my sister admits to loving male attention, but she was in high school at the time of all of this, including the night swims. Sorry if that was miscommunicated. They have always had what I considered a great relationship for in-laws all these years, which has been 20 years since the time all that went down. Lots of laughing and jokes, etc. She asked him to be in her wedding for crying out loud! I don't want to minimize the damage to her that was done, but she even said she "forgot about it" for 10 years, until my A happened and my husband treated me so abusively. And to this day says she isnt angry at him, she's now very upset with herself for telling me, now seeing the fallout that is happening. Thanksgiving was awful and my father actually went up to her and asked her to do what she could to "clean this up". Really?? Meanwhile my husband is in another state by himself not dealing with all teh family shit I am. Also my mother not having the back of either of her daughters but calling my husbad to check on him etc? I feel like IM in the twilight zone. He will be home in less than a week and I dont know what to do or how to act.

nekonamida posted 12/18/2020 11:38 AM

JB, there is research into why a victim would act like that.

1. Unreal's husband was a trusted adult and an authority figure. It's easy to say as an adult yourself that you would have never stayed while a 30+ year old masturbated in front of you because you're far removed from seeing other adults unilaterally as trusted authority figures and how uncomfortable it would feel in the moment to question that. Unreal's sister likely felt shocked, confused, and completely unsure of what to do. Going to her sister could get the husband in trouble and as logical that seems like to us as adults, kids often can't just turn off their positive feelings towards an adult in these kinds of situations and are quick to blame themselves when things go wrong even if it's not their fault. She also may have been experiencing what is known as "freeze" from the adrenaline response set "fight, flight, or freeze" in which a person feel paralyzed and stunned by adrenaline instead of compelled to react. It's a relatively new phenomenon with good research to back it up as an explanation as to why victims of crimes don't always flee or fight back. Point is, there's nothing suspicious about her sister's response because if she did want to be a willing participant, she could have joined him. Not that that would have changed her victim status and implying that any child victim deserves it because they respond positively is disgusting. But I do think her sister's response does make it believable that she too was uncomfortable, confused, and unsure of what to do rather than a romantic response.

2. The night swims after the masturbation incidence was revealed actually make perfect sense because Unreal's parents reinforced the idea that Unreal's husband was a trusted adult who wouldn't hurt her again. They made her sister feel like she was overreacting to what happened and that what he did wasn't that big of a deal. If what he did wasn't a problem according to everyone else, why wouldn't she accept invites out? Why wouldn't she continue to act like things were normal when everyone around her was telling her it was normal? It makes sense that the sister is more angry at the parents because the parent's attitude and refusal to protect her is a deeper betrayal than Unreal's husband being a creep because technically he's not a parent and is not beholden to the same social contract of love and protection.

Unreal, I don't think your husband is a pedophile in the medical sense. I don't think he's exclusively attracted to minors and I don't think your kids or other family members are necessarily at risk but I also probably wouldn't feel comfortable taking those chances in your shoes either. But what does concern me is his response to the revelation of what he did - that he was immature and that perhaps your sister has some responsibility for his feelings by what he perceived as flirting or green lights from her to make him comfortable to show up multiple times without his pants on in front of her. Because that's the excuse and justification of a pedophile and really that mindset is toxic to any R.

Would he had progressed further if she had responded positively? I don't see why not given I've never chosen to take my pants off for someone else I didn't plan on taking things further with outside of a doctor's office. He may not have slept with or touched her but let's not kid ourselves that the intent wasn't there given he was already exposing himself to her. His responses to you about the situation sound less like an adult man who did something illegal to a minor that she didn't consent to and clearly didn't react positively to and MORE like the regular responses of a man who had an affair with a willing participant. That's a huge problem and it needs to be worked out for you to feel safe with him.

I highly suggest you check out the podcast called "LA Confidential" and their episodes about pedophilia because the hosts are psychologists who work with convicted sex offenders and will explain more about the excuses and justifications I've pointed out above and why they are damaging and often delusional. It sounds like on some level your husband still believes that there was an element of consent involved with what he did or that your sister reciprocated romantically in some way when it's clear to an outsider like myself that his interpretation likely wasn't true. But this is very common amongst pedophiles to describe normal or even dismissive behavior from children and minors as "flirting".

It's normal for family members who get along well to have long, hours long conversations. For your sister, it was probably normal to know all the words to all sorts of musical artists she admired many of which without a hint of romantic or sexual attraction. It's normal for siblings, best friends, and platonic relationships in general to have this level of contact especially during childhood before adult responsibilities eat up your free time. I know you didn't post her age while this was happening aside from her being underage so I will give the benefit of the doubt that she was somewhere between 13 and 17 which means she at least had some experience and understanding of a romantic relationship vs a platonic one enough to know that she did not want that with your husband which says a lot about where his mind is at and how there's still an element of denial and minimizing happening from his side.

Personally, I wouldn't be able to R with what you have shared but since you're still contemplating it, in your shoes I would focus the most on him stopping the minimization and justification of his actions and getting him to admit that it did not matter how immature he was or what your sister did. It was wrong FULL STOP. She could have thrown herself at him and it still would have been wrong FULL STOP. And for him to also admit and apologize for his abuse of you which includes an explanation of why he thought he was justified to retaliate for something he too was guilty of. If he can cut the crap and start finding some remorse for this, R has a chance if you want it. But I don't see how you could possibly move forward with him while he still believed on some level that he was justified in trying to get sexual with your baby sister and that he's justified in abusing you while also having broke his marriage vows and deeply betrayed you, your sister, and your whole family. Nor would I even entertain the idea of MC with someone who thinks they have a leg to stand on with regards to either of those issues. Any talk of him not testing her boundaries and looking to go further after hr knowingly twice exposed himself to her is a downright lie that you do not need to tolerate.

You deserve better and you deserve to see some real remorse before you invest anymore time or money into him.

nekonamida posted 12/18/2020 12:05 PM

I don't want to minimize the damage to her that was done, but she even said she "forgot about it" for 10 years, until my A happened and my husband treated me so abusively.

This is a normal and common response to child abuse. Since what happened wasn't "as bad" as many common stories of abuse and assault she has heard, it was easy to brush off and not think about. That is, until she was forced to confront it by your husband's hypocrisy.

And to this day says she isnt angry at him, she's now very upset with herself for telling me, now seeing the fallout that is happening.

People often don't get angry at others they don't feel safe being angry at even when those people hurt them. Your sister knew that revealing this information would have explosive results and if she had felt more safe with your parent's, she probably would have felt comfortable telling then much sooner. But your parents don't think it's a problem AND they sound like they blame her for what happened so she has had 11 years to grapple with the idea that your husband is a good man who made a mistake as opposed to a very serious and illegal offense that could have landed him in jail, on a list, and facing lifelong consequences for his actions. How would she have looked being angry at your husband for something she shared blame in? How could she have not been scared to tell you when she thinks she's at fault for what happened? And why wouldn't she want to go back to a reality in which your marriage wasn't potentially ending being her fault and being reminded of it by your parents?

Thanksgiving was awful and my father actually went up to her and asked her to do what she could to "clean this up". Really?? Meanwhile my husband is in another state by himself not dealing with all teh family shit I am. Also my mother not having the back of either of her daughters but calling my husbad to check on him etc? I feel like IM in the twilight zone.

Welcome to your sister's world and that's why she decided to keep quiet and not rock the boat in order to keep her family together. Even though it's not her fault in the slightest, it doesn't change the fact that your parents have sent the message loud and clear that she shares blame and needs to be the one to put things right even though your husband was the aggressor and the adult in the situation.

It's clear that your parents basically taught your sister to be okay with what happened even though it's also clear that on some level she also knows what happened was wrong and that your parents' responses to it are worthy of anger which means she'll likely be at odds with herself over this for a very long time. I'm sure you too are odds with yourself given the situation with your husband and know exactly how awful this feels. I know that you question your sister's motives and if she did the right thing. Who wouldn't especially when even though you know how your husband is to blame, you have a chorus from your parents about how innocent he is and how she's at fault being reinforced by every word and action about it? But I can tell you with full certainty that your sister didn't do one damn thing wrong or worthy of your anger. She didn't flirt, participate, or was deserving of what happened to her. She did exactly what most teenagers do including trying to forget about it and telling no one especially teenagers who know that their parents will find fault in them for someone else's bad behavior. Be kind and compassionate to her because even if she seems detached, mainly because she's had a hell of a lot longer to process it and deal with it, she too was experiencing pain and betrayal over this for a long time and no one was there to support her. You're the only one who can support her by thanking her for telling you and being the one voice of reason to let her know that it's not her fault. It's his fault.

I truly hope you read this over, research more about victims of abuse and sex offenders, and reconsider how she is behaving and why if and when you have the time and energy to do so because it would be yet another tragedy if your relationship with your sister is ruined too because of your husband's atrocious actions.

BluerThanBlue posted 12/18/2020 12:05 PM

The fact that none of your relatives or your kids’ friends means nothing... as you now know, your family has a code of silence. Maybe other people’s families do, too.

But even if he was only (sarcasm) this way with your sister, that’s a betrayal of many levels... her age, her relationship with you, and his abuse of influence and access. Decent people don’t wake up out of the blue thinking, “I think I’ll put a move on my teenage sister-in-law today!”

I also don’t think you have the full story of everything that transpired between them. I don’t think you will until you’re divorced and your sister no longer has to worry about the truth blowing up your marriage or having to sit across from him at the Thanksgiving table for years to come.

Sorry to be so blunt, but your husband is an all-around sick fuck plus a domestic abuser to boot. He needs to be out of your life as soon as possible. You’ll be able to deal with the rest of your family and their role in maintaining secrecy and condoning his abuse when you have a clear head and he’s gone.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 12:06 PM, December 18th (Friday)]

nekonamida posted 12/18/2020 12:19 PM

One more thing - this has already damaged your sister in ways I don't think you're aware of. Her trust in your parents is forever damaged. She may look okay to have a civil meal with them but I doubt she will ever feel comfortable turning to them for help especially if she was or ever is victimized again. She probably doesn't feel comfortable sharing parts of her life with them for fear of harsh judgement and being told she is to blame for something outside of her control. There will always be a wall between them and her and that's not something you will be able to see on her face during family gatherings. It's something that is earned but easily hidden with years of practice after your parents choose your abuser over you. And since your parents chose to worry more about your husband than they do their own two daughters who have BOTH been abused by him, you will soon know exactly how deep and long that damage runs and how easily you can put on a mask in the future when he continues to be included in the family at your expense assuming you make the same choices that your sister does.

I hope I'm not making you too uncomfortable by calling it as I see it but you need to know that what happened with your sister and your parents is exactly what they're already starting to do to you and this will be especially apparent if you divorce. They have made it very clear that they are not team sister. They are not team you. They are team husband and that's not going to change just because you separate. They are fully aware of everything that has happened and aware of your current separation and yet they go out of their way to support him in front of you. Why can't they call him when you're not around? Why can't they support their own child even for ONE dinner together by not bringing your husband into it? Because unfortunately they don't respect you and they likely don't believe that your relationship will change even if they act disrespectfully towards you because they did it to her and all that happened is that she's a little mad at them sometimes.

No matter what happens, no matter what choices you make, think VERY carefully about how involved you want your parents to be going forward. Would you be okay with them telling your daughter the things they told your sister after an adult man creeps on her and makes her uncomfortable?

EllieKMAS posted 12/18/2020 12:43 PM

I am so very sorry URL2020. Oh my god, so sorry. This is horrifying.

Your husband sexually abused your sister when she was a minor. He physically and mentally and emotionally abused you. He is an abuser. I really don't care that you had an A - nothing justifies his appalling behavior.

Your parents... Wow. Not only do they not have their children's backs, but they also are fine with the fact that this abusive dickhole has traumatized both of their daughters in unimaginable ways and AND have the unmitigated gall to blame you and your sister for it! What the actual fuckety fuck. That is flat-out awful.

I get not wanting to contemplate divorce, but what on earth do you have to work with here?

crazyblindsided posted 12/18/2020 13:05 PM

(((Unreallife2020))) wow what a doozy. I don't think you should try to work things out with your H. He is an abuser and what he did to your sister is unimaginable and I feel so sorry for her Also your parents not being supportive of her is further trauma.

I am a childhood sexual abuse survivor and when I came out to my parents about my half-brother they 100% supported me. It was my dad's family that turned their backs on me and it severely traumatized me. I also had an incident similar to your sisters, although I was an adult at the time 18. I was woken up to my friend's boyfriend masturbating below me (I was sleeping on the couch) while he was touching me. I froze hoping it would stop. I kept moving my position to get him to stop and he finally did. I told my friend what happened that next morning.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 15:06 PM

Nekonamida—I really appreciate your taking the time. I feel like I am in hell.
I do not think he is a pedophile either at this point, but the behavior he exhibited 21 yrs ago would be considered so. I will absolutely check out that podcast, thank you!
From the very start, I told him the consequences of his actions if they had been found out. I did lots of research and I also work in the field of mental health. I am unfortunately very aware of many of the ins and outs of all forms of abuse, from the perspective of having been a victim prior to my marriage (DV in a bf/gf relationship at 19, rape by co-worker at age 18), as well as what I have learned in the field and from my own education. When I learned of what happened, I read and reread everything I could get my hands on. Partially in disbelief, but also for my own knowledge moving forward. At first he was minimizing and downplaying. I had to hit him with the facts over and over for him to finally get it. That was very upsetting to me. Like what is wrong with you that you don’t understand this? I warned him that jail, being on Megan’s list, etc could have happened. Well guess what? According to the lawyer he spoke with, all of that could still happen if this were to get out. So to add insult to injury, he has not been completely honest with his IC about my sister’s age, and I have not with my IC either. I have said she’s “in high school” which is true, but she was in fact under the age of consent at the time of the initial incident. I feel like I am the only one holding his feet to the fire in that aspect, of getting him to fully realize the ramifications of what he had done. He has come around to seeming at this point to get it, but we will see in MC if that still holds true. He has expressed remorse and disgust with himself, and very recently formally apologized to my sister. He has expressed all of the things that happen when…well either someone gets caught, or they are truly upset by what they did. Sometimes its hard to tell. He has stopped the minimization and justification, and has never blamed her.
As for my parents….well dad had an A on Mom in 2005. Mom herself was abused by a priest as a child. There’s lots of family dysfunction here obviously. Mom stayed with Dad, but has made his life hell. She’s a very angry person now. I think in her eyes she stayed so why wouldn’t I? It’s not rational thinking. She’s a whole other mess. Dad says “men are funny” and that he cant very well throw stones at my husband when he’s made plenty of his own mistakes. Dad has never been super deep, very hard to get Dad to touch on emotional stuff, yet at family dinner when he prays he often gets tearful when he talks about being grateful for what we have. What a strange bird. My husband has gently asked him to stay out of it at this point, after I said how his involvement with my husband has upset my sister.
Finally, the most important piece of all, my sister. From the moment she told me I believed her and sided with her. I don’t hold her in any way responsible, and I totally understand why she didn’t tell. To make all of this even more horrific, she was already a victim of sexual abuse around age 8 by her same age/different sex cousin. She is a wild child, and was as a teenager, but that doesn’t excuse my husband’s behavior. I said to him “I don’t care if she shoved her WAP in your face, you had NO RIGHT to do anything or say anything sexual around her”, etc. She actually said to me “you believe me? Because I have been questioning if it really happened, if I made it up in my head”, because of how my parents and other sister basically rugswept her confession 11 years ago. I never once, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND, doubted her. Her and I are okay, we have cried and talked, but mostly she wants to put this all behind her. She says she has dealt with it for 21 years now. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt because if I never married him, he wouldn’t have been in our lives.
I appreciate any further thoughts. Thank you again.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 15:14 PM

BluerthanBlue—“your husband is an all-around sick fuck plus a domestic abuser to boot. He needs to be out of your life as soon as possible”—here’s the thing, on the surface with the info you have here that sounds true, but what about the fact that outside of these two parts (My A and his thing with my sister) of our 23 years together, he has been a very good husband, father, provider, family member, etc? It’s so hard for me because it’s like he is 2 different people. The one is the sick fuck abusive creep who jerked off in from of my sister and was abusive to me after my A, but the other is someone who has been kind, helpful, thoughtful, caring, warm, funny, considerate, great father, etc for the very large majority of our marriage. How do I make sense of this? How does one wrap their mind around this? He is not a narcissist or someone that has been faking all of those good things. My mind and the rational part of me tells me to get gone, fast. But my heart and the mother in me wants to protect my children from a divorce, and also the broken part of me just wants everything to be “normal” again, even if that means I suffer and stuff it down.

oldtruck posted 12/18/2020 15:17 PM

there have been many a WS that went crazy when their BS
went and then had their own affair. no one wants their
spouse to have sex with an AP, even WS's.

the WS when having an affair is able to ignore all negative
thoughts in their mind. so they can have their affair without
guilt and ignore the question of what if the shoe was on the
other foot.

this not to justify how your WH/BH treated you after your
affair came to light.

you should avail yourself of IC before making life changing

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 15:19 PM

EllieKMAS-thank you for validating the facts. You have no idea how much it helps to hear that. Because of how he made me feel after my A, I have doubted myself when that was the only area of my life I ever been deceitful or hurtful. It was very out of character for me.

crazyblindsided-I'm sorry for what you experienced. Yes, my sister is more traumatized she says by my parents reaction and not protecting her than by my husband's actions, or so she says.

I really appreciate everyone's thoughts and taking the time. I know it's not easy to relive one's own traumas to help someone else.

jb3199 posted 12/18/2020 17:01 PM


Has your sister mentioned anything about your husband making any sexual advances on her during those swim nights? It just adds another layer of confusion to this whole mess, and your future decisions, if he did NOT try to do so. If he had ample opportunities, and his behavior was deviant(then), why didn't he? It would seem like there was something telling him that this would be way over the line....and not to cross it. Or perhaps he was fishing, and your sister rebuffed his fishing attempts.

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 18:22 PM

JB, so apparently the swim nights were what started this all up. They had all these long and wonderful conversations starting at that time, according to him. So they had developed what I think is like an EA at that point, on his side at least. It wasn’t until a few months later that the masturbation thing happened. She says there have been no other incidents of him being inappropriate other than what I have mentioned. Not so much as a strange or inappropriate comment or suggestion even. He never attempted anything else. I really don’t think she would be keeping anything from me.
He says that he thought stopping things at the masturbation incident, was stopping before he crossed a line. He says that his therapist explained that the masturbation thing for him is emotional and more about acceptance and/or him trying to subconsciously fix a trauma (from childhood) by gaining acceptance from people he feels close to, or cares about, particularly women (Mom traumatized him in childhood). He has actually been to 2 ICs at this point and both feel he does not have some deviant disorder or that he is an exhibitionist or anything like that. (Not that I have confirmed that with either therapist). It’s all so confusing to me. How can you be capable of doing something like that but not be deviant? I haven’t seen any deviant sexual behavior in our marriage though.
I don’t fully believe him when he says nothing further would have happened. I think that if my sister had wanted to, they would have had sex. I don’t feel she was interested in him like that at all. She in fact doesn’t even remember these swim nights that he recalled. She said they could have happened, but they didn’t hold any significance at all for her.

HellFire posted 12/18/2020 18:32 PM

I think his therapist is reaching. Or he is trying to excuse it away as something it wasn't. Not every sexual act has some deep meaning.

He was horny. He was attracted to her. He probably had a fantasy of being watched. He went to her, and did it because he wanted to out of physical desire and attraction.

[This message edited by HellFire at 6:32 PM, December 18th (Friday)]

Unreallife2020 posted 12/18/2020 19:33 PM

Hellfire, I am inclined to agree with you. He also says he had a bottle of wine that night. I'm sorry but I have never been so drunk that I would walk around with no pants on or god forbid touch myself in front of a nonconsenting person, especially a teenager who was my spouse's sibling. And I have had to love with not knowing this information all these years. Almost half of my life this has been hidden from me, something this serious. He cant understand why I dont put more weight these days on all the good and great times we have had and how wonderful of a husband he has been. It makes me want to scream!!

EllieKMAS posted 12/18/2020 20:29 PM

This thread has stuck with me. Just sending you so many hugs URL. This is a mind-fuck of epic proportions to have to deal with. Please just know that none of this is or was your fault, no matter whether you had an A or not.

I always thought infidelity was a deal-breaker. It is for me and I know it 1000% having lived through it. But when it first happened to me I floundered. I chose to stay and tried to work it out. It happened just the way it was supposed to, but I wish now with the benefit of hindsight, that I'd been done on dday1. Lesson hard-learned.

My sister is 11 years younger than me, and is a CSA survivor. She disclosed to my mom and I when she was 4. Not for one second EVER in the last almost 25 years have mom or I ever questioned her or blamed her. The last night she saw her abuser in 1997, my mom promised her she would never see him again. It cost my mom a lot, but that promise stands today - my sister never spent one more second with him. My mom got her into therapy when she was quite young. My sis is almost 30 and she's overcome a lot of it, but she'll carry the scars from that forever and in some ways it still affects her, even though I would say she's fairly well-adjusted all things considered.

If my sister had come to me with a memory like your sister and told me my husband did such a thing to her, I absolutely know in that case I'd not hesitate on getting him gone toot fuckin sweet. I might not protect myself the best, but fuck with my family at your peril. I am very protective of them.

Now back to your case. I can't imagine how you're feeling right now. This is a huge thing to deal with and it's understandable that you're all over the place. But staying married to him forces your sister to maintain a relationship with her abuser. Knowing that she's also a CSA survivor, her reactions to him back then make a lot of sense. Her saying she's fine with him now makes a lot of sense too. But imho, unless she's had some major therapy to overcome the csa, then she's not okay with it. It's pretty common sadly for families to rugsweep it. But you can break that cycle.

You are also a victim of abuse. That changes things in the abuse victim's brain at a fundamental level. I'm not surprised that you're wanting to stay because that happens a lot. I implore you to work with an IC to reframe here, both for your sake and your sister's. As far as him being 'nice'? Yeah, abusers are often charming. But it doesn't mean they aren't still doing harm. I get the 'stay for the kids' thing too, but kids are very intuitive little creatures. Even if they don't know the particulars, you can bet they've picked up on the tension you're surely feeling. There have been plenty of studies, and kids are not nearly as scarred by divorce as they are from staying in a dysfunctional family unit. Just saying, don't stay stuck in a bad spot with the thought that leaving said bad spot would be more harmful to them.

One last thought. Your wh's therapist said he's not a sexual deviant. I'm not saying one way or another if he is, but if she's not aware that this incident took place with a minor and that he was engaging in grooming behaviors, then she doesn't have a very key piece of info with which to make that determination. Just my 0.02.

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