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Just Found Out :
Cheated early in the relationship

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 TheDeadGreen (original poster new member #80357) posted at 3:48 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2022

I just found out my husband cheated early in the relationship.

Over the last 13 years, I suspected infidelity. I was never able to prove it because we were long distance for the first 6 years. During those 6 years, I would visit him and vice versa. I snooped one day and found that he was searching sex workers. He claims he never used their services. He probably did. After that, we moved in together for 2 years. In those 2 years, he flirted with a very distant cousin he barely got to know. It was really weird and clearly a product of his addiction. That ended quickly. And he was faithful.

Then we got married and he was still faithful. He earned my trust.

And then this all came out into the open because I found messages to another woman online who he never met. He said he saw it as a way to boost his ego and like a conquest. He claims he wasn't going to get physical - only sext. I believe this because he doesn't have the means to travel to her. He admitted that he thinks he's a sex addict and that it has a lot to do with the fact that he was sexually abused at a very young age for years.

This event was a catalyst that reminded me of past events. I brought them all back up but one in particular stood out to me as he was very nervous when talking about this other woman he was friends with 2 years into our relationship. I had to pry it out of him and little by little he added more to the story and it ended with him fucking her.

I'm heartbroken. The only family I have is my little sister. I'm her guardian. We were both brutally abused by family, and I saved her. As a result, we were outcasted from our entire extended family. My husband of 13 years knows this and helped to save her. So you can see how difficult this has been for us.

He says he wants to go to therapy but he was saying that even before being completely honest about how far he cheated early in our relationship. (Like I said, I had to pry and stand by ground.) So he's not completely forthcoming when it comes to telling the truth. But he will go to therapy...

I'm lost. I need help, advice, resources... Anything...

posts: 1   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2022   ·   location: CA
id 8737799
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:54 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2022

If he thinks he’s a sex addict then he probably is. There are therapists who are specialized in this and that’s what he needs. He also needs group therapy because they will help keep in check his behavior.

I am so sorry your family has treated you and your sister this way. Sometimes we just have to deal with the reality of life and that is yours. Good for you for being such a good sister. I tell people they have stars in their crown when they go beyond what people expect.

You have to deal with his addiction the way you would any addiction. There are groups like alcoholics anon only they are for the spouses of sex addicts. Try to find one in your area. It’s nice for support system. Take your sister along with you because she is involved in his life as well.

Look on I Can Relate. You need support from all of us but particularly spouses of sex addicts.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3343   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8737801
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 4:55 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2022

By the way, because this is a holiday in the States you might not get enough responses today but you will once people come back home.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3343   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8737805
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 6:08 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2022

Hey Green, sorry you had to find us. Best group of folks you never wanted to have anything in common with.

I think therapy is in order for all of you.
He absolutely needs IC (individual counseling) and with a certified sex addiction (CSAT) therapist. You and maybe your sister because infidelity is a TRAUMA to you and with your history, it is possible it will be magnified by your past.

For you:
See a doctor and get full STD/STI panel. He has proven he can lie. Cheaters lie, whether from SA or not, and you can’t prove he didn’t have sex with anyone else more recently. And they rarely use protection. You need to protect your health. Do not have unprotected sex with him until he has also had a full panel and shown you the results.

Take good care of yourself physically. Eat well, drink lots of water, avoid alcohol, get sleep and exercise. These help body and mind and will help you face the aftermath of his As.

Get in to IC to help you process all this. Do you have anyone else IRL to talk to? Pastor? Bestie? Sister? It helps to have a few outlets (and post here as much as you need to.)

Journal. Get the thoughts and fears out. It helps to process this.

Talk to a divorce lawyer (or a few). Not to D— you don’t have to make any decisions about D or R now at all. But knowledge is power and understanding what D would look like in your state and your situation will help you make decisions rationally instead of purely emotionally. You don’t need to tell him about this.. it is for you to educate yourself.

Read in the healing library and find the posts in the JFO forum with the bullseyes (page through a few pages). They have really good information to help you where you are at.

Whether he is a SA or not, this is 100% on him. And he needs to fix himself. It is a long hard road, but he needs to fix himself and you need to take care to heal yourself. This is a big painful trauma. Be kind to yourself, and know that you WILL get through this.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4788   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8737814
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 6:49 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2022

So sorry you had to find us. Infidelity is the worst pain I've ever been through. Please practice lots of self-care. At the top of the forum are some pinned posts that contain some great information. Also, one of the main dropdowns is The Healing Library, another great resource.

One book that is a good resource for your WH (wayward husband) is the book How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald. It's a short read and his a great blueprint. I recommend you read it, too.

You'll receive lots of advice. Take what you need and leave the rest. SI is here to help get you out of infidelity, whether you R (reconcile) or D (divorce).

His As (affairs) are all on him. It was nothing you did or didn't do, said or didn't say, how you looked or didn't look. He chose to cheat.


ETA: fixed typo in book title.

[This message edited by leafields at 8:17 PM, Monday, May 30th]

BW M 34years, Dday 1: 2/18, Dday 2: 8/19, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1174   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8737816
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:58 PM on Monday, May 30th, 2022

If he is a sex addict, there may be more to this cheating than what you have uncovered.

Please don’t be surprised if there is more to the story. But his statement that he may be a sex addict is a bit telling.

He’s basically broadcasting he doesn’t think he can stop. I hope that’s not true.

Also the book to look up is How To Help Your Spouse…. The original poster had the word "now" instead of "how".

[This message edited by The1stWife at 10:00 PM, Tuesday, May 31st]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12120   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8737824
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 3:44 AM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

It's hotly debated whether sex addiction is a real thing. Either way, your husband is a serial cheater, and those have a very poor prognosis in terms of ever being faithful in the future.

You need individual counseling to deal with this traumatic situation as well as your unresolved childhood trauma. Your self-esteem is obviously low, because you've known he hasn't been faithful one way or another before and throughout your marriage, but have quietly accepted it until now. That isn't your fault, because child abuse usually leads to low self-esteem. However, your low self-esteem is still a major problem nonetheless. Your actions have shown him and are showing him that he can keep doing this, and that you're going to stay with him regardless, because you don't feel that you can live without him. He knows this implicitly and that's contributing to his behavior. This will contribute to him cheating on you again in the future.

That is NOT saying that the cheating is your fault. It is 100% his responsibility, and you must kick to the curb any therapist who claims his cheating is due to you not communicating or not meeting some other of his "needs". Unfortunately, many marriage counselors are awful and don't understand infidelity, and typically blame the victimized partner rather than putting full responsibility where it belongs, on the perpetrator. Do not ever allow your husband to talk to you in this way, either. It's a common cheater dodge for them to talk about their "unhappiness" or "dissatisfaction" after they're caught, to try to make you feel guilty and/or inadequate, to take the heat off themselves and get you to try to be the mythical perfect spouse & convince them never to cheat again. Trying to be so perfect that he won't cheat is called "pick-me dancing" and does not work.

Honestly, since he's a serial cheater who has cheated from the very beginning, I recommend leaving him. I know you won't do so, however. I was also with an abusive serial cheater & wouldn't leave due to my isolation and low self-esteem, so I understand where you're coming from. I am telling you that staying is a bad idea. He's going to keep cheating at different points in your marriage, and eventually might simply leave you, because with this level of infidelity from early on, and his claim of "sex addiction" which is his way of saying he can't or won't control himself, it's clear he isn't going to stop. It's unlikely he's really in love with you, to have been so involved with other women the whole time. I'm sorry to be blunt but imo it's best to be prepared for the worst that will likely happen.

Even if you can't leave him and decide to rugsweep this (it's very unlikely this guy is motivated for and capable of the hard work of true reconciliation), please start making some plans on what you'll do just in case it doesn't work out in the future. Start squirreling away money, consult with an attorney for free just to get info, build friendships outside of your marriage so that you won't feel so alone if your marriage ends. Stop leaning so much on him and work to become more independent. Use birth control to avoid bringing children into this mess. And get STD tested, too.

I'm sorry you're going through this and I know how painful it is. You don't deserve it. You deserve better, but you're probably never going to get "better" from him.

[This message edited by morningglory at 4:04 AM, Tuesday, May 31st]

posts: 358   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8737863
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mommabear1010 ( member #79915) posted at 6:05 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

I'm so so sorry. It's a massive punch to the gut when we find out the cheating was going on from the very beginning.

A few thoughts...as other's have send get into IC so that you get freely share and discuss without the listening ear of your WH.

Also, regardless of his history no matter what trauma he may have gone through it is not your burden or responsibility to stay with him or help him. He cheated, for a long time...that's a black and white statement. No one's history excuses this. You are allowed to hold your line in the sand on cheating regardless of his experiences.

Dday- 1/19/22
Trickle truth
Dday2- 2/8/22
Dday3- 3/10/22
Divorcing

posts: 60   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2022
id 8737940
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 10:28 PM on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Welcome
Know that none of this is because of anything you did or did not do.

He is a broken man, and chose to do what he did because of that. Doesn't justify it, doesn't make it ok, by any means, but I want you to understand since you have a history of abuse that NOTHING you did or did NOT do, caused this.

You are a good person. Please make sure you see an attorney, get a good understanding of what your rights are and his obligations are. Please know that you are by no means bound to this person, and you should not tolerate any abuse of any kind ever again. You have every right to walk away. You also need to understand how this could impact your sibling. Please please please talk to her and make sure that he is has not been grooming her in any way. He sounds manipulative, and if he is already throwing out sex addiction then you need to protect her.

See your Dr if you aren't sleeping or able to eat let your Dr know, and ask for a referral for a therapist that specializes in trauma. Also get full STD testing. If he is using Sex addiction as an excuse this quickly then there may be a lot more you don't know and you need to keep yourself healthy.

Check out the healing library here there is a ton of good information. Also know that there are a lot of great people here that have walked a similar path and while each of our stories are unique, cheaters tend to follow the same playbook, it's just human nature.

Keep reading, keep posting. Remember that you will make it through this and be a stronger woman on the other side.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19326   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8737982
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devotedman ( member #45441) posted at 5:22 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Victims/survivors of CSA have some special factors at play. In the I Can Relate forum there's a Sexual Abuse Survivors/ Spouses thread. In the 2nd post I listed a lot of resources available.

I'd recommend checking it out.

Me: 2xBS b 1962 xWW after 2 decades, xWGF after almost 1.
Amelia Pond: Who are you?
The Doctor: I don't know yet. I'm still cooking.
ENFP-A. Huh.

posts: 5135   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2014   ·   location: Central USA
id 8738075
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Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 1:01 AM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

I'm just at the beginning of your story.

This event was a catalyst that reminded me of past events. I brought them all back up but one in particular stood out to me as he was very nervous when talking about this other woman he was friends with 2 years into our relationship. I had to pry it out of him and little by little he added more to the story and it ended with him fucking her.

This is what happened to me too. But the truth came to light after mine passed away over 2 years ago. It was the weirdest thing to come out of denial the way I did.

Everything came to the surface. All of his lies, gaslighting, denials, who he cheated with. I realized most of the stories he told me about others cheating actually pertained to him! He referred to himself in the second person. But I would always get a gut feeling what he was doing and I used to ask him, are you sure you aren't cheating on me? Yeah.

It is truly heartbreaking to realize the one we gave our hearts to, kept our promises of fidelity with, the one we were genuine with and honest to, loved unconditionally... turned out to be such cheaters and liars full of lies and deception.

I am sorry that you also are having to go down this path but there is hope. This journey doesn't last forever. It's just an awful chapter in our lives that I wish we all could have skipped. But unfortunately there is only one way to deal with this and that is head on. Feel what you need to feel. You will go through lots of emotional ups and downs. It sucks but it is absolutely normal.

In time your emotions will settle and make even more sense. But it is going to take some time to get there. And it is so unfair to have to suffer from something we didn't even cause.

And for me, on top of dealing with the pain he caused to me, I am still grieving his death. It has been brutal but will say at this far out, I am having some pretty good days, today isn't one of them though because my therapist really wants me to let him go.

I am especially making good days happen for my kids sake because I feel this far out I want my kids to see that I also can go on with life dispite what mine did to me. And in time, you will too have better days, it just takes time though.

There are lots of good people here on SI that can offer excellent advice if you so choose to accept it. Just hang in there the best way you can; one day at a time.

Now I am going to continue reading the rest of your story.

posts: 845   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8738157
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BellaLee ( member #58324) posted at 7:09 PM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

Hi @TheDeadGreen I'm so sorry you're having to deal with the pain of betrayal and my heart goes out to you. I'm not sure if you already have but if not, I would suggest you should also consider IC for yourself and your sister to help you process what has happened in the past and recently in your marriage.
Try and take one day at a time and be gentle with yourself. Also ty not to rush to make any major decisions but focus on your emotional well being for now.

It's good that your H has admitted to the addiction he's struggling with and looking to go for therapy and my hope is that he keeps his word to you. Time will tell and his actions will also prove whether he is genuinely sincere in seeking the help he need without you having to police him.
I know from my own experience that people are capable of changing for the better but it takes hard work, commitment and usually professional help especially when there is addiction involved.

I can understand how difficult it must be for you right now after finding out all these things. Are you able to communicate to your H what you need and expect from him in order for him to begin to rebuild the broken trust.
I remember having to do this with my H when we were walking that really difficult journey of R after his infidelity and for me it did help our relationship.

Praying the near future brings you strength, emotional healing and wisdom for your decisions.

posts: 206   ·   registered: Apr. 18th, 2017
id 8738246
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 4:55 AM on Friday, June 17th, 2022

Dead Garden - how are you holding up?

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: 3809   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8740554
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