Thanks for the messages everyone, I really appreciate it.
February was so sucky and I'm glad it's over.
Rewinding, I might not have explicitly said that I found out WH had been going to sex clubs - this is on top of the sex workers and the longer term OW that called themselves "girlfriends"! The box I found in the basement with the men's lingerie and straps and dildos and lube was very likely his stash of fetish-ware for his sex club trips. So we can add that on to the pile of grossness I'll never get out of my mind! Thanks, WH! Based on my detective work after finding the business cards in his sex stash, I also now feel very strongly he was with men as well as women.
Meanwhile WH spent February writing me these LONG emails that were I think supposed to be love letters, filled with memories and nostalgia about our marriage and compliments to me and alleged transcriptions of his personal journal entries over the years about what a great wife I was and how much he loved me! He also wrote me two original songs and recorded himself playing and singing them and texted the videos to me.
I actually had to explain to him that I actually never doubted that I was a good wife or that he loved being married to me, HE was the shitty HUSBAND! I don't need reassurance that he thought I was a good person, HE was not a good person! My character does not need rehabilitating here! Even in his attempts to woo me back, it's like he still thinks that I need to hear that he loved me, or that I was a good wife instead of the reality, which is that he loved me/had a great wife while also actively spending our money on sex workers and sex harnesses and sex clubs and girlfriends and that was the part of the marriage that was not working.
He will never, ever understand that every protestation that his life was objectively good while he did those things is another nail in the coffin of our marriage. He was not reacting to stress, he wasn't showing poor coping mechanisms when times were hard. He was demonstrating who he was under the best possible circumstances. How can he not see this?? Someone explain how he can think this puts him in a better light! I actually don't want to know.
In other news WH moved to a new rental house March 1st, and he said he picked it for ME. Because our separation agreement included language about WH getting the right to live in our marital home if we should divorce, something I eagerly conceded (he doesn't know how eager I was, my attorney used it as a bargaining chip), WH I guess expected me to swap homes with him 'in the event of divorce' and in his reckoning I would therefore move into the rental home he chose. So he generously chose the home 'for me'. And of course besides that being a completely weird thing to do, his rental home is nothing like anything I would ever choose for myself!
And this highlights the patterns that have existed forever between us. WH does things 'for me' that are clearly for himself, based on his needs and not mine, and just uses the words 'for you' to make it seem like he's being generous. Even his valentines gift to me left on the front stairs this year was a bouquet of roses (his favorite, not mine) and chocolates (also his favorite, not mine).
But meanwhile he's telling everyone including my family about all of this work he's doing to win me back. Agreeing to move out, picking a house for me, love letters, original songs, chocolate and roses.
None of which I want! None of which any person who knows me would think that I wanted.
All I wanted was my husband to not be living a secret life. Absent that wish, that he would have admitted to me what he was doing 15 years ago. Talked to me about his urge to have sex with the entire world. Told me when he knew he wasn't a monogamous person. Respected me enough to give me the choice to stay in our actual marriage rather than a fantasy. Respected my body. Respected my pregnant body especially. Respected our marital money. Responded to my pain with compassion and honesty. Written a time line! Itemized his sex work spending. Told me he was sorry. Accepted responsibility for his actions.
What a shitty wish list that is! My marriage was so trashed that 'how about not going to a group sex dungeon!' would have been an appropriate Anniversary gift to me. Unbelievable.
On the positive side, I am going away on a solo vacation to see the Northern Lights! I've never seen them before and have always wanted to spend the night in one of those glass domes where you can lay in bed and look straight up at the sky so that's what I'm doing! I'm really excited!! I need time alone pretty badly right now, but more than that I need something to look forward to, something that is just for me, something that makes me feel like I still have a place in the universe, that I can still feel anticipation and hope and awe. And if the lights don't shine upon me, I bet the stars and sky will still be phenomenal. I need this so very badly.
Also I told my therapist that when I get back, I want to move forward with the divorce. I want to feel ready right now, and in some ways I do, but the day to day pain of living in my house and the insanity of the neverending revelations make me feel sick and stuck in amber. I need to feel like I have momentum and that there's some part of me, the person I am other than a wife, that is worth liberating. As brave as my words to my WH were about how I know I was a good wife and that he was the problem, the reality is that inside I struggle with feelings of worthlessness and a lot of shame. I know I didn't do anything that warrants what he did, but feelings aren't always rational. I want to do something that reminds me of who I am inside. So - I want to be cuddled up and warm and safe and ponder the universe, hopefully with some magical lights and if not that then gorgeous sunsets and beautiful stars.