I've been through what you currently are going through. And although I also had my doubts about my WH faithfulness, I believed him when he told me that he would NEVER cheat on me. And that he loved me so much! Okay?? Riiight!!!
After I realized the truth of who he was, I still stayed with him because I felt I had no other options to be able to leave and live on my own without his support. I depended on him and he knew this.
He never gave his double life up. He kept his behaviors going until just days before his passing, around a year and a half ago. Flirted with nurses on his deathbed. Didn't matter to him that it hurt me. Interesting that he even told my daughter that he didn't want to hurt me. And yet, he did it right under our noses and right in front of me. He didn't care. He also couldn't hold back anymore his truth. Felt he deserved it.
In his mind he was able to justify to himself that this was normal behavior, or whatever he decided the reasons were. And I remember him telling me that he loved me but it also felt good to have sex with another women. He was drunk one time when he told me this. And another time during a discussion, he felt it was no big deal when a married man had sex with other women. I thought what the heck? Crazy.
I knew that I would never be able to trust him again. My trust in him was long gone. Feeling in love with him was long gone. Intimacy was pretty much non existent because I no longer had the desire to be vulnerable or intimate with him after I began to find out how unworthy he was.
What else was left once he destroyed the marriage with his infidelities? I loved him but I can also look back and see how confused I was because what he was doing was nowhere near what I would have considered to be loving.
You can heal from this but I don't believe that you will as long as you are with him. He does not honor your marriage vows. And I can not see that changing anytime soon or in fact at all. I believe that this is ingrained behavior, probably dating back to his upbringing.
You have to understand that he lied to you for I'm pretty sure throughout the marriage. I believe it was. He snuck around while at work behind my back chasing after other women. How embarrassing to now know this about him. I bet his coworkers knew what was going on. He probably said terrible things about you to justify his actions to others. My deceased WH did.
I can also guarantee that although you were in denial all of these years, his deceptive behavior affected you in so many ways. Caused you trust issues, low self esteem. Always caused you to second guess yourself. Made you feel unsafe in your marriage.
And I'm sure as you think back and reflect, I'm sure that you will begin to question everything! Completely normal because you have lived a lie throughout your marriage. I get it because I did too! I get it! It sucks! It really does. Caused my world as I knew it to turn completely up side down.
I am healing. Still have my bad days but I am also having good days and so much more clarity. I don't have to live with and deal with his lies and deceptions anymore. And there were many. Broke my heart a million times. I could barely move or breath for the longest time. I am much better now.
I am beginning a new chapter in my life. I have peace. I don't have to deal with his lies or hurtful behavior anymore. I don't have to sleep next to this person anymore who didn't see value in me. It's sad. But on the other hand how he treated me was sad. I didn't deserve any of it, just like you don't either.
One thing you will find yourself doing is trying to figure out how you could love someone who could do this to you. You will reflect on this often.
What gave me clarity was to realize my deceased WH actions were two-faced. And also his own issues. Plus he enjoyed having multiple women. Cake eater. He liked his stable homelife; loving, faithful, kind, trusting wife, kid's, dog. The perfect family he could show to the world while he hid the truth of his dirty little secrets from me and the world.
When he was in front of me he mainly was sweet, kind, generous, loving. And behind my back he was a cheating, lying, deceptive pos ***hole.
Good men don't behave this way. And that right there is the truth. And good men don't do this to their kid's either.
You can heal from this but my advice if you can is to leave him. He has already stole so much time from you. He broke your heart! And I have a hard time believing that it only started the second half of your marriage. I'm sure if you keep digging, he will somehow remember that there were more other women, he just forgot to tell you.
I am deeply sorry that you have found yourself here. Take this time to learn, read as much as you can. Definitely seek support from others who you can trust to comfort you. You will need it.
Expose. Please don't allow him to guilt you into not saying anything to others. Do it for yourself. What he thinks and feels no longer matters. You are in the fight for your life right now and really need the support to get through this. But you know what, as you work your way to the other side of this trauma, you will find that you are so worthy of so much more in life. Not that you are looking but there are lots of men out in this world who would never do anything like this to you. Just shows you how sick that your WH is. Hang in there and keep us posted.