I've been a member of SI for 5 years and although I've wanted to post numerous times I always hesitated. I had issues with the OBS (now ex-husband of the AP) stalking me physically and on social media - even here on SI. Thankfully that situation has been resolved and so I finally feel safe to share. I apologize in advance for the long post...
It's been 5 years since my world blew up when I found out my WH had been involved in a PA for nearly 2 years. It was the OBS who contacted me after he discovered the cheating. My WH has never voluntarily confessed to any of his behaviors, only coming clean when confronted with irrefutable evidence and even then it's been years of trickle truth. What I believed to be one PA and another EA with a co-worker turned into a long history of visits to strip clubs and lap dances when he traveled on business, sexting with women he met during his business trips, as well as EAs with multiple co-workers/"friends" over the years. And these are only the incidents I was able to discover and confront him with. I don't believe he has had another PA since 2017, and he's been in IC for 5 years. He believes he's completely changed and is nothing like the man he used to be - swears he'd never have another affair. But other hurtful behaviors have continued. We've done MC off and on over the years, generally after another bit of trickle truth comes out or he gets drunk and does something selfish and hurtful. He promises again he gets it, that he never intends to hurt me, and that he loves me. WH always puts on a great performance of being remorseful when we're with the marriage counselor and I'm always told I need to forgive him, move on, and choose the marriage.
Alcohol fuels a lot of WH's bad choices and we've argued about his drinking for years. His therapist doesn't think WH has a drinking problem but an "unhealthy relationship with alcohol related to his anxiety"; meaning he gets anxious in a social situation and needs the alcohol to be the fun, confident, outgoing guy all his friends think he is. Although he has cut back quite a bit since his peak during the PA, he continues to get together with his buddies and drink at least once a month. In February, he got drunk at a party we were attending and groped one of the waitresses as well as a recently divorced female "friend" - all of it right in front of me. It was completely humiliating! He claims he doesn't remember doing any of that because he was drunk but apologized and said he wouldn't do it again. I've caught him driving drunk on several occasions and the last time was 2 years ago and I told him if he did it again, I was done with him. Of course, he did it again a month ago. He denies he was "really drunk" but agreed if he had been pulled over, he would have "probably" been over the legal limit. To him, it wasn't a big deal and he didn't think he'd done anything wrong. I was so angry I packed his bag, told him to get out, and called him an Uber. He cried and begged me not to throw him out, but I told him again to get out. He out of the house for the rest of that weekend but constantly called and texted and begged me to let him come home. I let him back in the house late that Sunday. He told me he finally gets it and he'll never do it again. I don't believe him at all.
I'm just so broken, but mostly angry. Angry at myself for letting him hurt me again. Angry at myself for putting up with his crap all these years. I don't trust him and I'm disgusted with myself for rolling over yet again. After 34 years of marriage, I feel hopeless, alone, and desperately unhappy, but also fearful of starting over again. WH acts like everything is great between us and has become incredibly clingy and emotionally needy since I kicked him out. I can hardly breathe without him standing over me telling me how much he loves me. WH can be very sweet and charming when he wants to be but at his core he is incredibly selfish and self-centered. Yeah, he loves me so much he had multiple affairs and breaks every promise and vow he's ever made to me.
Initially, I stayed in the marriage because I didn't want his greedy AP to get her hands on our money and we still had our youngest 2 kids in college. WH is very successful in his career and I stayed home to raise our 4 kids because he was constantly traveling for his job. For several years he lived on the West coast during the week and came home every other weekend. The perfect set up to keep his affair and other inappropriate activities hidden. He no longer travels as much, because of Covid he now manages most of his work from the local office. I'm finally back working, just part-time, but I'm happy with my job and the people I work with are great. I have a therapist I see once a month and I think even he is frustrated with me and my inability to move forward one way or another. It feel like my only options are to leave him or I move forward and commit to being an active part of the marriage.
I just feel adrift with no direction. Can I really ask for a divorce 5 years later? I'm so pissed I just didn't bite the bullet and divorce him five years ago. I'm stuck and would appreciate any perspective others may have. Thanks for listening.