When did this become what you wanted in a marriage? This moment when you're hoarding secret info about your sex life from your wife so that you can feel powerful? Is that who you ever thought you would be as a husband?
I can tell you what I learned, as it seems our WH's share some mother issues, personality traits and operating systems. First, when you asked those questions you probably made him overload with panic, fear, negative emotions, excuses and scenarios he may have only had static in his head. Or at least static is what mine called the overload he experienced when I was tenacious or had him cornered. I'm not sure it's about power, but an inability to accept that he was caught, an uncomfortable glimpse at what his actions have wrought, and an aversion to shame. I kept thinking I was talking to my logical, dependable, honest husband and he had clearly left the building, but it took me a while to see he was someone entirely unpredictable and unknown to me.
My WH actually called his MOW GF arrangement a win/win for everyone. Really? So much winning for them, not so much for their spouses or their integrity. He sees it through a very different lens. Any damning info I had on him that further upset me or worse made me nag at him or rub his nose in what he'd done, made him feel bad because the truth is ugly and he did not want me to know, therefore lying or saying nothing was the right call in his warped logic. He didn't want to hurt me, he was protecting me, he actually tried to spin it that way. He STILL can't understand how he hurt me so much more, plus disrespected me by lying and manipulating me, or how I could feel humiliated, or why I won't just toughen up, stop being so upset, let it go, move forward, water under the bridge, in the past, etc.. He does not get it. He's smart in so many ways but not so self aware or people smart after all. Also he is more selfish than I ever imagined, but I wasn't looking and I never asked much from him. He is not an emotional guy and has admitted he doesn't have feelings. I corrected him. He has them, they are just as compartmentalized as his secret naked friend was, but for different reasons. I think my WH really enjoyed the bad boy program and I spoiled his fun and his dumb gf blew it by giving him the evidence I found. Also Affairs happen, I'm just upset because I can't accept that fact. You will likely add to our stupid things wayward say threads with gems of your own.
I never got through to mine, we had no epiphanies, he has never gotten it in a way visible to me. He will also argue that he is a good person, he's not like those other people. He doesn't like this site, or the advice and support I get here. I thought it would help him and have tried to share it with him. He has come around to thinking it's good I'm trying to help others talking here, but never asks if I'm getting better. If I had a broken bone, he'd be the best nurse, but tending an injury he caused makes him feel bad about himself, so he avoids it and any and all A related issues. All of this is a long way to say there may be reasons your H is incapable of comforting you, and incapable of helping you, himself or the marriage because he is so far gone with his fantasy life, or because it is who he is or has decided to become, or he doesn't have those tools in his belt. He's probably got lots of ego, tons of pride and maybe a chip on his shoulder since childhood. He probably resents you for petty reasons and feels he deserves whatever he has done and wishes you'd stop making him feel like shit right now. Often the audacity and tone deafness of most of what he did say to me still floors me. He is a piece of work and I had no idea.
It's really icky, peeling back layers from someone you thought you knew, and realizing how much of what we believe about them is what we wished them to be. Some of the clues were there all along, some have been a surprise. Also a surprise has been watching the winding path I have walked and my many ways of becoming on this journey. I'm OK saying I still don't know what I want or where I want to be, and I am letting life unfold right now while I regroup. No judgement. I hope you can offer yourself that. Let yourself feel what you need to feel, stay strong in yourself and your core values, focus on the love in your life you know to be real, or untainted. Your WH may tell you he always loved you, or you are the love of his life and he never wanted to end his M, and on and on - I even got a fake affair end date allegedly because he fell back in love with me and the guilt was too much.... such painful lies. All that one really covered for him was a six year vs nine year A, and what difference is more years after the first one? Why put me through that? His answer, I wasn't thinking. I took a shot. They don't love like we do, or think like we do, and maybe aren't capable. I understand about as much as anyone else here about the big why questions, and even if you can get them, the damage is done, and you will still be left with what now. I'm sorry this happened to you too. I know you will continue to make wise choices moving forward and hopefully avoid as many of the ugly pitfalls on this journey as you can with the help of our stories and your strength.
You may fall into the what's wrong with me, why wasn't I good enough for him, why didn't he love me enough traps, especially if you ever had issues with self esteem, but I promise you, you will realize what a prize you are, what a strong and smart and beautiful person inside and out, and if nothing else good comes from this, you can stand on firm, high ground and be proud of how you have lived your life and the person you have been to all those you have loved. Nothing about your side of the equation was ever false, only his. The real question is what's wrong with him? How did he let himself get so broken? You may be cracked but you're not broken and those cracks become proud battle scars. Under duress we show who we truly are. He should be ashamed and you should hold your head high. You're doing great. Hang in there. Breathe.