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Newest Member: Stillconfused2022

Just Found Out :
Husband has online affairs while I battle postpartum depression.

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 SRDagger (original poster new member #82355) posted at 9:57 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Other women may be fine with being single moms. I am not. If we d I have no means to prevent him remarrying and my children having a step mother, that right there is my worst nightmare, not him cheating on me again. We barely afford the life we have with both of us working full time living in one house with one car, I do not want my lifestyle and I change. I do not want to share my children. I do not want to have to work more, do all the house work, all the child rearing on my own, that is beyond my worse nightmare. So no, divorce is not an option unless I win the lotto and I can take my kids away from him, not because he’s a bad dad, he’s not, but because I will not share them. If you people think that means there’s so consequences then maybe this isn’t the platform for me. I was looking for support, help on how to forgive and move on. But none of you seem in favor of that.

SR Dagger

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8764361
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:06 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Many of us have reconciled. But there is no forgive and move on. True reconciliation is a process. Especially with a serial cheater. What it sounds like you want,is to rugsweep. We are all trying to explain why that's dangerous for you.

We've also said true reconciliation IS POSSIBLE. But that depends on your husband, and his actions, and the work he puts in.

posts: 4848   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8764363
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LegsWideShut ( member #80302) posted at 10:17 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

You will get plenty of support here. What you won't get is people creating rainbows and unicorns ie no one will blow smoke up your backside.

There have been people here who have been fed some massive shit sandwiches and, while you might not like what some have to say,and some may sound mean, though thats far from the manner in which anyone responds to you, you will get some unwanted and hard truths.

Many BS take offense when they first post here, mostly because they think there is a magical way to make this all better in a day, week or a month, and there isn't.

You've decided your course, and I dont think I have ever read a BS posting and saying how great it all became down the road when they took the same route. Or it really even getting better for that matter.

[This message edited by LegsWideShut at 10:31 PM, Wednesday, November 9th]

posts: 83   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2022   ·   location: New England
id 8764367
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 SRDagger (original poster new member #82355) posted at 10:17 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

I don’t want to rugsweep. It would always be there if we did. I have already done one therapy session with him. We have another one next week. Right now I can’t imagine ever believing anything he says. Like if he says "wow you look so hot" I won’t believe him. How can I if he thought those other women were hot? Like if you thought that was hot you have no taste.

SR Dagger

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8764368
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:26 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

How is the MC handling his cheating?

posts: 4848   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8764369
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 SRDagger (original poster new member #82355) posted at 10:40 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

MC?

SR Dagger

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8764370
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:43 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

MC = Marriage Counseling/Marriage Counselor

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 6167   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8764371
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:48 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

I am just having an impossible time believing him when he says he’s attracted to me, that he loves me.

This goes back to "what's the payoff?". If he's looking for external validation, it's not really about finding other women as attractive or lovable. They're literally just mirrors at that point reflecting back the flattery and adoration he's looking for. Garbage in, garbage out.

Our impulse when we're hurt like this is to internalize the injuries, and it's confusing when your WS is unloading rationalizations on you like what you mentioned in your opening post, because it makes it sound like it's about you. When you really step back and look at the transactional nature of the behavior though, "garbage in, garbage out" is a fairly apropos framework.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 6167   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8764372
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 11:01 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

So no, divorce is not an option unless I win the lotto and I can take my kids away from him, not because he’s a bad dad, he’s not, but because I will not share them. If you people think that means there’s so consequences then maybe this isn’t the platform for me. I was looking for support, help on how to forgive and move on. But none of you seem in favor of that.

I think you may be mistaking a critical view of your WS as pressure to divorce. Believe me, many of us here have reconciled with our WS's, and sometimes from truly heinous betrayals. So no, it's not about trying to push you toward divorce, it's about helping you see him clearly so that you know what needs to change. He can't fix his issues if he doesn't see them and you can't go forward feeling secure about the future if you believe that cheating is arbitrary. If it's arbitrary, it can happen again, right? But if it's about his character and how he relates to his espoused values system, if it's about integrity and boundaries, those things are measurable. You don't want to be his mommy. You don't want to be his accountability system. He needs to be someone who you can trust to manage his own phone again and to be out of your line of sight without cheating.

In my first post to you, I related a cheating incident much like what you've described, and I got buffaloed into believing we were recovered when we weren't... because we hadn't identified what was really wrong. Ten years later, he was having sex with the dregs of Craigslist while I'm thinking we're good. So, that's what we're concerned about. If he doesn't remediate what's gone off in his character, you're likely to have a repeat. Next time, he might flake out altogether and leave with an affair partner. We don't want that to happen to you. We want to see you strong and out in front of this thing so it doesn't steamroll you. That's all.

((hugs)) Hang in there. It's going to be alright.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 6167   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8764376
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 SRDagger (original poster new member #82355) posted at 12:40 AM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Ok, I get it. We haven’t been to therapy yet. I joined in on his personal therapy and kind of blind sided the therapist. I am set up to have my patient intake next week, then we’ll set up our sessions. My WS has a huge fear of becoming his father, his parents divorced when he was 6, and the fact he has stepped in that direction I think has really scared him. I understand mentally it’s not about me. Like, I have had confidence issues since having my daughter and turning 40 all in the same year, I wanted external validation too but stop at seeking it online. He did not. Him leaving his phone out, it almost seems like a he wanted to get caught.

SR Dagger

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8764392
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 10:15 AM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

SRD

I’m not going to give you advice on the reality if cheating. You made your position known that you want to Reconcile (R).

Okay let’s work on the theory that you are going to work on reconciliation and staying together.

Right now he’s in counseling. 👍🏻

Right now he’s committed to it. 👍🏻

All positive signs. I hope he has a good counselor and commits to making changes, stops cheating and becomes the guy you married.

Can it happen? Yes it can. My H had 2 affairs and has changed. He’s not the guy looking for validation from other women (OW) or needing that ego boost from flirty behavior with women (in person not online women) any more.

But you know what it took?

Me standing up to him and telling him to get out and I am D you. It was not a joke. I had $ behind me, an exit plan, a support team, a fabulous counselor and a mediator lined up.

I did the hard 180 for months. To this day I still don’t do his laundry and it’s been 9 years and yes, we are happily reconciled.

I stopped putting him first.

I stopped being a doormat.

I stopped letting him call the shots.

We recently had an incident where my H agreed to something and did not honor his word. He then tried to hide it and dismiss me. He then got angry with me for being angry with him.

That was the last straw. So I told him I was leaving him. I will not stay married to someone who tells me one thing and does another (it had nothing to do with cheating btw). This has been an issue in our marriage in the past and I REFUSE to accept it any longer.

He was blindsided. And again this was no joke. I was serious.

I’m not saying you need to threaten your H. I am saying you need to be a force to reckon with. And that means not backing down, not letting him call the shots and not allowing him to just continue his past behavior. He needs to know it is no longer tolerated.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12781   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8764420
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ggcamp1975 ( new member #78491) posted at 2:19 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

SR - My story and yours are a lot alike. My FWH also had an online / sexting affair, I know for a fact that it was never a PA but I cannot say had I not found out that it wouldn't have gone that way. It has been a little over 2yrs since Dday and while we are in R I will tell you that this has not been an easy path for a number or reasons. I so badly on Dday wanted to just wake up from the nightmare that was now my life and just move forward but I can tell you it is not that easy. We have both done some serious hard work to get where we are today. When the vets on here tell you it takes 2-5 years to fully R, take that to heart because at first I was like there is no way it takes that long but here I am 2yrs out and I will not say we are fully R but we are def on the right path. For every issue you think you have come to terms with another will pop up.

Now let's talk regrets, I do regret not finding this site sooner and implementing some of the wonderful advice you have received because while it may seem harsh right now it is absolutely needed! I can tell you that at 2yrs out I do love this marriage I have now way more than the one prior to the A. I have clear boundaries now, our communication is better than it has been in years but like the others have said you cannot accomplish any of this w/o both of you putting in the hard work. I watch my FWH actions, words no longer have as much meaning....it's the actions!!! Just know everyone here is just sharing with you what worked and didn't work for them, pick out what applies to your situation and take it from there ((((hugs)))

BS - 45
WS - 47
married in 1996 met in 1992

posts: 24   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Southeast US
id 8764430
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 SRDagger (original poster new member #82355) posted at 2:43 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Despite what many of you seem to believe, I am not a doormat, I am actually viewed as quite the bitch because I am so assertive. However, I know my reality, kicking my H out is not an option. We don’t have the money for a hotel, we have two small children. I cannot discuss this with anyone in my life because then R will not be possible at all. Anyone stupid enough to share these things with family and friends if they are even considering R good fucking luck. They will never view your WS the same, they most likely will have open hatred for them, I will not subject my children to that. What makes this so hard is that I am utterly alone in my struggle, I cannot talk to my sisters or mother about it, who I am extremely close with. My husband and I both work for the same company, remotely, we are completely entwined in each other’s lives, there are no his friends and my friends. We are together in the same house 16 plus hours a day. The only way he was able to commit these acts is because our offices are on two different floors. He made videos and took pictures while I was just downstairs, so he cheated on me with me in the same fucking house.

SR Dagger

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8764431
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 3:14 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Despite what many of you seem to believe, I am not a doormat...


The first and best thing you can do for yourself is to STOP internalizing other people's words and actions. No one here has suggested you're a door mat. The1stWife was speaking to her own experience and the changes she made in her own situation. You don't have to divorce. You don't have to throw him out. You don't have to 180 and otherwise cooperative WS. None of those actions are recommended or warranted.

But there are some things which can really trip you up. Like what you've said here, for example:

I cannot discuss this with anyone in my life because then R will not be possible at all. Anyone stupid enough to share these things with family and friends if they are even considering R good fucking luck. They will never view your WS the same, they most likely will have open hatred for them, I will not subject my children to that. What makes this so hard is that I am utterly alone in my struggle, I cannot talk to my sisters or mother about it, who I am extremely close with.

This is a choice and it's your choice to make. Let me tell you what happened to me when I made that choice though. First off, I did tell my siblings and my closest friends as well as my employer and my adult children. There were certain key people in my life that I was NOT going to be able to fool. I was broken. Like bug-meets-windshild "broken". I wasn't going to be able to hide that.

With my mother though, I just didn't want to hear it. She was a histrionic personality who tended toward emotional immaturity all her life. She was basically a sixteen year-old girl in a seventy year-old body. I just couldn't bear the thought of listening to her non-stop haranguing about what I "ought" to do. Here's what you don't know about trauma though until it happens to you... people tend to turn inwards on themselves, to kind of curl up around the hurt, to internalize everything around them. It becomes self-isolating as you become fully involved in dealing with the pain and confusion. Every day life becomes a little bit surreal and certainly not as immediate and obsessive. It's like our house is on fire and people just want to talk about the weather.

Anyway, I decided I didn't want my mother to know, and I was NOT able to hide the change in my personality and behavior. It came between us. I distanced her and she didn't live long enough for our relationship to recover.

You're only a few days out from this big, traumatic shock, and you're still reeling and trying to get your bearings. It takes TIME to take in all the information and to apply it in whatever way YOU see fit. Right now, it's better to let the information flow over you, like water off a duck's back, and then peck at the parts you want, the parts that make sense to you. Reconciliation can feel REALLY counterintuitive in places. For me, I'd been much more of a "doormat" than I ever realized. My fWH had walked all over me for DECADES. I was walking around believing I was a strong, independent woman, when in actuality, I was codependent as all hell, hustling for love in my primary relationship. The only good thing we could say about infidelity is that it shines a big ass spotlight on ALL the relational dysfunction, right?

Just keep breathing, reading, and posting. Your situation is NOT going to resolve itself in a day. It's going to take time to unearth the underlying issues and then to heal them. The healing the WS needs to do is pretty obvious, but in most cases, the BS finds that they have their own work to do as well. That work varies from person to person.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 6167   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8764437
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 3:15 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

I don't think you're a doormat. I think you've been traumatized and betrayed by your husband.

As to how family,or friends, will look at the WS? That depends on what he's doing. Is he working on himself? Is he earning trust back? Is he remorseful?

We have several amazing former waywards on this site,who have done the work. They are some of our most respected members.

T/j..to any new BS who are reading this thread..you are not "fucking stupid" for seeking support in real life. It's highly recommended by those of us who have been betrayed,and are years out,and by therapists. It's important to have someone you can lean on,as you go through the phases of grief,shock,and anger.

End t/j

What makes this so hard is that I am utterly alone in my struggle

You have a forum full of people who have been exactly where you are,and want to help you. Every one of us wants you to be able to reconcile. We are trying to help you do that successfully. We know what steps need to be taken to help you reach that goal.

[This message edited by HellFire at 3:20 PM, Thursday, November 10th]

posts: 4848   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8764438
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 5:12 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

In answer to your latest question: how do I trust him?

Right now, you don't. He's betrayed that trust in a major way so logic dictates: he is untrustworthy.

Right now.

The road back to trust is long. It's going to take repeated, consistent actions (not words) from him. Repeated.

His seeking IC is great and probably one of the most important things he can do. He needs to figure himself out so he can come to you as an authentic person able to commit.

IC for you is great too because you have been traumatized and you need support to heal that pain. Your self esteem has taken a major blow and at this low point, it will continue to tell you that you might not be good enough or he doesn't find you attractive. But that is pain and trauma talking.

His actions are a reflection on him, not you. You need to get your groove back. IC can help. Self care is super important too. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. With love and care and nurturing your spirit.

So healing first. If he manages to do the inner work he needs to do to get straight with himself and you manage to rebuild your self worth, then the new marriage can begin. That's something you build together.

The collective experience here tells us that waywards who think they have nothing to lose, often lack the motivation to change. It's selfish thinking of course but waywards are kind of inherently selfish. But if you believe that your husband is motivated by his own shame at betraying his values and family and is therefore committed to doing the work, then that is all that matters. I hope it's true and I hope you all are able to repair.

posts: 279   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8764464
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 SRDagger (original poster new member #82355) posted at 7:12 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

I am sorry if I sound harsh in regards to some advice. I just know myself very well. I also know my spouse. We went through something similar right before we got married, the only difference wAs he didn’t go looking for it that time, it just feel into his lap in the form of a 21 year twit who told slid into his twitter im’s telling him what he wanted to hear as we went through the stresses of planning a wedding. When I found out I gave him an ultimatum, break our engagement, pay back my parents and leave or tell me everything, give me unlimited access to your phone and all accounts and fully commit to us. He picked us. I admit we didn’t the proper work the first time, we didn’t have the money for counseling then, he didn’t even have insurance. The next 8 years went by with my never suspecting anything, I did check everything time to time but there was never an inkling. This time just like last time I knew something was up, I had confronted him a while back and he denied it, I even checked his phone then, but nothing. That is why I believe he wanted to get caught because it was so easy when I did finally find out. The very secretive app was open when I unlocked his phone. What he’s done is disgusting, I know that. And I know it’s not my fault but I do genuinely believe he wants to R. I know I also have to work on myself because even knowing it’s not my fault, I will think what I could’ve done differently, feel less attractive, doubt him and me. I need to learn to overcome my anger and hatred and disgust because we can’t R if I hold onto those things. So we’ll each do individual counseling as well as MC. But I am impatient and want to fast forward.

SR Dagger

posts: 13   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: North Carolina
id 8764486
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:44 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

It's completely normal to feel anger and disgust. It's healthy to feel it,and express that to him. It's like poison, in your body. Trying to stuff that down helps no one. Express it. Get it out. He NEEDS to hear it.

You're right. You rugswept the last time. And here it's happening again. We ALL get wanting to fast forward. This whole thing is awful. We just want to be done with it. Sadly, reconciliation is a process that takes years. You don't get it over with. You get through it. It takes 3 to 5 years to heal. That doesn't mean it will always feel like this. There are phases..shock,sadness,rage,ambivalence, happiness. Highs and lows. It's important that you allow yourself to feel what you feel,and work through it. R is not linear. It's a roller coaster. If he is willing to do the work, and is truly remorseful, then he needs to buckle up,and ride the roller coaster with you.

posts: 4848   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8764490
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:19 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

That is why I believe he wanted to get caught because it was so easy when I did finally find out. The very secretive app was open when I unlocked his phone.

I'll be honest with you.. I had this exact thought back when I caught mine and today, I think he was just complacent. Cheaters tend to compartmentalize so that the wife, kids, and real life are in one box and the APs, porn, cheater sites, etc. are in another. They switch back and forth, and a lot more than we would think throughout the day. He might be in full-on Husband/Dad mode when he gets a text from an OW, world's collide, the cheater drops one of the balls he's juggling, and dday ensues.

I wanted very badly to believe that my fWH wanted to be saved from himself, but that's because I wanted some control over what was happening. The reality was though that he wasn't some kind of damsel in distress who needed my rescue. He was a self-involved, middle-aged man getting his kibbles through adrenaline and dopamine, and I was mostly an obstacle to be circumnavigated.

It's not unusual for cheaters to claim they wanted to get caught or for BS's to wonder if that's the case, and certainly, there's bound to be outliers where it's true. But mostly, I think it's wishful thinking on our parts and that the WS's just go along because it sounds so much nicer than what actually happened. I think there's a kind of "no harm, no foul" aspect to it so long as you don't allow yourself to become overly sympathetic to the WS. As long as you're enforcing boundaries and expecting change, I don't think it matters too much.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 6167   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8764504
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HoldingonLou ( new member #79244) posted at 12:17 AM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

I completely understand how hurt you are. It will take time to heal. It's wonderful that he is attending his own therapy. That says alot about a person when they are willing to seek help for themselves and work at it. It's admirable that he is identifying things about himself to work on instead of putting the blame on you. I am glad you are seeing a therapist and it sounds like you have had some really good care and a positive outlook on things.

I don't know of a perfect marriage, but I definitely don't think every marriage needs to end if their are mistakes made along the way. Sounds like you are both willing to work at it and most people tell me it takes two to make a marriage work. Maybe in time the two of you will grow back together in a relationship. Praying for your family to stay together and grow strong.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Aug. 5th, 2021   ·   location: United States of America
id 8765334
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