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Newest Member: Watermelonhigh

Just Found Out :
Online infidelity

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 Hurtingwife15 (original poster new member #84968) posted at 9:55 PM on Thursday, June 20th, 2024

Hi, sadly brand new here.

Just found out a 5 days ago my husband/partner(32) for 14 years (married 2) was having an online affair with a 23 year old ex-cam girl from a Latin American country.

I told him to move forward he needed to break it off and he technically did but I keep finding him lying about small details. I also know because I sleuthed and (not my proudest moment) found all the hidden pictures and videos and screen shots on his phone and deleted them, as well as found access to the chat app he used and read messages/looked at private videos and pictures. We told each other we would be completely honest but I know information he doesn't know I know and I don't know when or if I should be fully honest and tell him what I've seen.

He has reiterated that he never wanted to hurt me or for me to find out, which is why he gaslit and lied to me for 8 months. But says he ultimately came clean because he knew I knew something and he could see it deeply hurting me.

One positive is they never met in person as she can't get into the country and his passport was expired up until recently so I know he didn't meet her anywhere. So they never were physically together but emotionally together in all ways.

Finding more details about the affair makes me sick to my stomach but I also need to know the extent for my own piece of mind and self. For instance, he told me he "married" her online in a ceremony where they exchanged vows under god. Granted this was after a concussion but he realized it happened after and didn't know how to turn back because they were obsessed with each other. She was brand
new to camgirl stuff when they met, had been legitimately doing it for a week. She stopped camming after 2 months for him. I know he spent around $1500 total, but she apparently never asked him for more. I genuinely think he made this girl fall in love With him. And I know him and he's a hopeless romantic and believe he fell in love with her. He broke up with her 46 times throughout the situation due to guilt & to try and work on us because I would start giving him the things he needed.

She keeps emailing him and reaching out and he shows me everything when he opens it (or so I thought). And I guide him to not respond and let the addiction die. He has been coorperate and lets me know how much easier this addiction is to manage when i'm with him. I know he is in denial and ashamed, which is why he gives these half truths. I know he feels really dumb that he gaslit himself for 8 months and let his insane need for love/attention/validation spiral into an addiction that could destroy our lives.

I'm gutted because I have loved this man since I was 17 years old and have never been unfaithful, once. I do admit there were times when life and stress would get the best of me and I probably wasn't the best girlfriend or wife intimately. But he still somewhat blames me for the affair. I did and do have a lot of self-healing to do. But he also made this decision and kept it up for so long with no intention of telling me. I'm gutting because he doesn't feel like this was "real" cheating and if I'm going to punish him for it I either have to go back 14 years and treat him better & do more or he should go meet her and "finish the deed". He is so angry. But I do believe he had told me all the big, hard stuff. It's the small details that he thinks I will obsess over that he's ashamed of, singing to her like he does me. But I know he did.

He has been trying alot more to answer my questions and express himself and be open but I need constant reassurance and validation from him. I'm just terrified he will give up on me again like the first time and stop putting in effort.

I keep catching him trying to "spare" my feelings with half truths. Like I asked if he ever shared love songs I dedicated to him, he said no but I know for a fact he did. But I can't bring myself to tell him how much I know. Plus we are trying to be as honest with our emotions and he tells me how much he struggles with still wanted to meet up with her in Mexico. I can't decide if I'm torturing myself or it if makes me feel better to know. I just wished he'd fully come clean and lay EVERYTHING on the table.

Also, this whole thing started as him going on a cam site and finding someone that somewhat looked like me and seeing if he could charm her because he felt he needed to prove he still had it. Like I know she was always on outlet for him to fantasize about the things he wanted in our relationship and she was a surrogate for me but it's painful because like...I was here the whole time. We had times over these last 6 months after I got a handle of my job where we were great. We were finally working on us and our relationship in all the romantic and intimate ways he had been begging for and it feels like the biggest betrayal that this was going on in the background. And it feels like a massive betrayal that this was only happening because I trusted him and that all my internal warning signs I've been having since October were right but I trusted him when he told there was nothing to worry about.

All of this is crazy but I do feel we were always meant to be together. And we are currently pregnant (found out literally 2 days after finding everything else out). We have been so happy together moving forward but I find myself severely depressed, untrusting, and anxious when we are apart. But also he is the love of my life and I know he's a severely hurting husband who felt out of control in his life and needed to prove something to himself/ feel the love&lust he thinks he deserves.

I'm so lost and constantly confused and I have no one I can/want to talk to about this. The peanut gallery will just judge. I just want things to go back to before the hurt with all the closeness we have when we are together now.

I feel dumb.

[This message edited by Hurtingwife15 at 1:44 PM, Friday, June 21st]

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2024
id 8840241
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Sick2Death ( member #24681) posted at 1:56 AM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

Hello Hurting,

I am sorry you are here. First thing… DO NOT come clean about what you know. Once you reveal this to him he will go further underground and make it harder to find things. I have personally been where you are and you need to prepare yourself that this is not the only person he has emotionally "been with".

This betrayal is no different than a physical one and honestly if they were able to see each other they would have. This hurt is real and will take years to recover from.

You need to look fully at his phone and computer as he likely has separate email accounts and dating sites set up. He is still in a fog and can’t be honest with you. Make copies of everything and save it somewhere safe. These are all things I wish I had done the first time my WH did this to me. I learned the hard way. He did it again to me only much more sneaky the next time. But I collected and snooped and tested truths. Your WH is in a fantasy and can only think about himself.

You need to first take care of yourself and you need to confide in someone you trust to have some support. More people will come along with advice. Read the different articles in library. There is also a thread specifically about EA.

Sending hugs,,
S2D

BS Me 53 WH 55 Married 29 years

posts: 57   ·   registered: Jul. 4th, 2009
id 8840259
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fsk071823 ( new member #83792) posted at 2:18 AM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

Please stay strong. Stay vigilant. It hurts especially when it's not physical. The emotional affair in my opinion is worse. Your connection is vital in a marriage. Once trust is lost, it's extremely hard to get it back. I know it can be done, but you and your spouse need to be 100% committed to a new marriage. If there is any doubt, maybe looking at MC oand IC if you haven't already. Take care of yourself. It's nothing you did. Be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up. I did that but ultimately, decisions made by your spouse are done under their own will.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8840263
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:44 AM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

Welcome to SI and sorry you're here. There are some pinned posts at the top of the forum that we encourage newbies to read. There are also some posts with bull's eye icons that are very helpful, too. I'll check to make sure they're on this first page and will bump them for you if not. The Healing Library has a lot of great information and includes the list of acronyms that we use.

First, none of this is your fault. This is 100% on him and his crappy boundaries. I'm sure that part of your marriage vows included the phrase "forsaking all others" in it, and he hasn't.

Next, IC (individual counseling) for each of you. If you can, a betrayal trauma specialist can be very helpful. Bonus points if they also have infidelity experience listed. He also needs IC to dig on his whys and to become a safe partner. After you have had time to recover and heal, then you may decide to do MC (marriage counseling). I don't recommend doing MC right away because MCs work on the relationship and not on the issues that led to his cheating and to help you heal from betrayal trauma. MCs have a tendency to shift some of the blame to you or go by the "unmet needs" falacy.

R (reconciliation) is a long, hard process and not every WS (wayward spouse) has it in them to do the work. Both partners need to be in it 100%. He needs to read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald. It's about 100 pages and provides a nice starting point for what he needs to do.

He needs to block webcam girl so he doesn't receive anything from her. NC (no contact) means no new hurts. He's giving you half truths because he's covering his a$$. You may want to go looking to see how much money he has spent on webcam girls. (The money is considered a marital asset.) I'm guessing that there's more that you don't know about. He's full of excuses so that he doesn't have to assume any blame, but it really is his fault.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3584   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8840274
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 4:58 AM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

So sorry you're here Hurtingwife. Congratulations on the pregnancy! Come what may this baby deserves a healthy mother with minimal distractions. You deserve a calm, safe pregnancy AND a husband who's serious about rebuilding the marriage. He should be doing whatever he can to be sure you're cared for, emotionally and physically. He should be doing whatever you need to heal (telling the truth about what you want to know is a good start!), especially at this crucial time. Especially IF he's serious about "moving forward." It is heartbreaking that the pregnancy coincided with his betrayal. What should be one of the happiest phases of your life (and marriage!) are now forever marred by his selfish behavior.

Maybe it wasn't physical between them, but you're experiencing trauma none the less. So don't minimize what happened because it wasn't physical - self care for yourself pronto dear lady. You need help to get through this. Nothing you did or didn't do caused him to cheat, lie and continue to lie. Lies of omission are still lies! Please protect yourself emotionally by seeking IC and delaying MC. MC often treats the marriage as the client. The marriage didn't cheat and lie - he did! Is there a friend or family member you can reach out to? You need support from people who know and love you in real life as well as professional IC support IRL. SI is here for you online, but we can't take the place of a real life support system.

And PLEASE dig into the financials. Bet he spent significant $$ on porn - yes webcam gals are a variety of porn, so let's honestly call it what it is. Is there other porn use? Has he used (or abused) porn historically? And her "obsession" with him may be all about what she can get out of him. 1/2 that money he spent is yours! Know you're struggling with a lot right now. Wrapping your brain around this new reality is challenging enough. But part of the new reality is taking care of yourself AND the child on the way. Taking care of yourself MUST include financial self-care. In addition to digging into the financials with a skeptical eye, suggest you run a credit check on him and any joint credit info to be sure there's no hidden credit cards or other debt. Yes you want to reconcile, but if reconciliation is seriously on the table it's important to do so with complete transparency about financial spend and porn use. You must know exactly what you're dealing with.

AND - He should block her on EVERYTHING - if he's serious about attempting to salvage the marriage. WHY is he still receiving emails and communications from her? He renewed his passport "recently"? Doesn't bode well. Sorry to say, SIck2Death is correct - if he could have made it physical he would have. Blaming you for the affair, blaming his "out of control life" are EXCUSES. HIs excuses are all about avoiding responsibility for his actions. Remember, his actions were his CHOICES to make. Finally, pay attention to his actions, not his words - that is key to protecting yourself. Words are easy. Change/action is hard.

Please take care of yourself and turn your focus onto what you need to take care of YOU right now. YOU are the prize here. Hugs.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:01 AM, Friday, June 21st]

Married 34 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW
HIM: 13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 219   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8840280
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:18 PM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

On the positive side then I am guessing he was catfished.
The OW has no emotional connection to your husband, only his credit-card and/or revenue she get’s for advertising clicks on her site or whatever. She’s like anyone else that makes a living by selling time – she moves on to the next, and the next, and the next...
I’m guessing a typical catfisher might throw out 1000 lines. 950 are totally ignored. 45 might get a single nibble. 5 might get more. 1 every 5000 might give her what your husband bit on. Once there it becomes a game of keeping the catch/victim active. Give him a bit more... and more... and more...
Get him to share. More... and more... and more.
Eventually they might talk about him visiting. Only he needs to send his credit card number so she can get the best rate for a hotel... or some money so she can get to the airport... Or she will come over, only she needs money for the passport, for the visa, to bribe the correct person...
Occasionally they might be looking for the entry-ticket to the USA.
Sometimes they get the victim to overshare. All of a sudden the threat of distributing dick-pics he shared, the threat of telling his wife, the threat of telling his boss... whatever. All can be "solved" with some cash. Only once you pay they want more.

A big issue tends to be that the victim doesn’t consider himself "caught". This is "real": Claudia really is a medical student that is working online to help pay for her mom’s medical bills and to save old dogs or whatever. Its only me and her...

I think a key factor for recovery might be that he realizes fully how shallow the relationship was. That he understands the "economics" of catfishing, and that even if he ignores her then one day you two might get that threatening e-mail where personal info will be exposed if he doesn’t "buy" 100 worth of whatever. A key factor in that risk analysis is that he comes totally 100% clean on any transaction – ranging from charges to cards to direct transactions. That he fesses up on anything personal shared. Including pics...
As precautions then maybe cancel whatever credit-card he used.

I think this can help him realize what immense risk he was taking for a very little and useless "gain".

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12484   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8840293
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 Hurtingwife15 (original poster new member #84968) posted at 1:57 PM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

Unfortunately bigger, I've seen her license. She is who she says she is. She never asked him for money. All money instances were simply him staying in the chat paying to talk to her. And 1 time he set up an OF for her so he could give her 500 dollars so she could move out of the cam site house.

As for everyone's comments, thank you very much for the insight. I know there's small lies to cover his butt, but overall I don't think there's anything else big I'm missing. I know how he thinks he felt, money, the extent of the relationship. I know about they're constant fighting and how their relation was just a mirror of ours, apparently there would be days were we would have a fight then they'd have the exact same one. She was literally so similar to me. And even looks like the essence of me. And that kills me because he was always just looking for me. :(

We had a big fight last night because he doesn't think this was "comparable" to the 14 years of emotional neglect and rejection and I should think I got off early because he never actually met with her. Also angry because he says he kept warning me that this would happen and i never changed.That's the hardest part knwoing that if I would have just done a little bit more, this might
ot have happened and I keep beating myself up.

We honestly both want to move forward, but he's still angry with me. He believes we should just forget everything and move on and I want to talk about it and process to move on. He threatens divorce when he gets frustrated because he has a tendency of running from his problems but also that's a therapy issue he needs to work through. I really don't want that and I've known him for so long, that I know he doesn't really either. He just doesn't like hurt and bad feelings.

Again I feel so dumb throughout this because all I want to do is protect him and comfort him but I too am hurting.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2024
id 8840307
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 2:19 PM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

So he’s claiming that your emotional neglect made him do this. That is bullshit, even if you were the worst spouse in the world, he chose to cheat. He could have insisted that you go to therapy or that you both attend marital counseling or that even you separate or divorce. But instead, he chose to cheat. You did not cause this; you did not make him do this. Do not accept any of the blame, all marriages have issues and you can take responsibility for any shortcomings you may have. But there Is no way that you caused or forced him to do what he did.

Please focus on your hurting and your pain right now. All the emotions take a mental and physical toll on your body and right now you need to be focusing on you and your pregnancy. If he’s too busy worrying about his pain at this stage, that doesn’t bode well.

Please go to your doctor immediately and tell them everything. Make sure that you get tested for everything to protect you and your future child. Also discuss ways to minimize the toll on your body. Please eat healthy drink lots of water avoid drugs and alcohol, get some exercise every single day, And try to sleep as much as you need if you have trouble eating or trouble sleeping please talk to your doctor .

You mentioned that his passport was expired until recently. Why did he renew his passport recently? And what’s with these online vows, is he a polygamist now? He’s gonna be married to more than one person? How can That not be cheating?

I know this is all very fresh and very raw and very very painful. And right now just focus on getting through the day and taking care of yourself. I highly recommend IC To help you process everything you’re going through.

Keep posting, keep reading, and know that you’re going to get through this. Sending you virtual strength.

[This message edited by BearlyBreathing at 2:20 PM, Friday, June 21st]

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

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

posts: 6069   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8840312
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 2:24 PM on Friday, June 21st, 2024

If anything then paying for access on the cam-site and then a OF deposit confirm the catfishing suspicion.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12484   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8840315
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 12:12 AM on Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

I am sorry you had to find us. My W was catfished in one of her most passionate EA's

Unfortunately bigger, I've seen her license. She is who she says she is.

Big red flag here, a catfish scammer always will show fake id or passport to keep him on the hook. If you can do a reverse lookup on that ID you will probably find it has been used multiple times.

It does not any less hurtful, but when the money dries up, they will move on.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3474   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8840460
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 5:09 AM on Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

My H and our son were talking about this stuff today. We all keep getting these "Hi, I’m Michelle/Alice/Serena etc etc etc." They show up on our phones. They hope a man will be interested enough to respond and away we’ll go. Somehow your ws heard about cam girls, or some "soft" porn sites because the internet is full of them. School teachers moonlight because their jobs don’t pay enough. Lots of women seem to think this is the only way to make enough money to live and because of inflation I believe it might be true. So he gets hooked on it then hooked on her because the fantasy becomes his reality.

Do.not.take.on.responsibility.of.his.cheating. There might be things you do, or don’t do, in your marriage that drove a wedge through it but so does he. People are not perfect. You need IC to figure out your stuff and he needs it as well. He does NOT need a cam girl. She is probably married with kids and her husband is sitting off camera watching the whole thing. He needs to figure out why he thinks sending money to a stranger makes sense.

I have no suggestion other than to make sure the money stays in the bank and he stays in the country. With a new passport you might want to keep an eye on that.

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

posts: 4277   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8840496
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 11:24 PM on Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

.....if I'm going to punish him for it I either have to go back 14 years and treat him better & do more or he should go meet her and "finish the deed". He is so angry.

Also angry because he says he kept warning me that this would happen and i never changed.

....needed to prove something to himself/ feel the love&lust he thinks he deserves.

He threatens divorce when he gets frustrated

.....want to move forward, but he's still angry with me.

.....he doesn't think this was "comparable" to the 14 years of emotional neglect and rejection and I should think I got off easy because he never actually met with her

Dear Hurtingwife, been thinking about your posts. Here are some observations from a stranger on the internet - which you're welcome to take or leave. Remember, the goal here isn't to make you feel bad, or to help you beat up on yourself. The goal is to help you get out of infidelity. And you are very much in the thick of infidelity (EA or PA, catfish or "real", whatever - it's infidelity)--with an unremorseful, rug-sweeping entitled partner.

Read the excerpts above. One would think you had the affair! His comments say he felt entitled to the affair, and he feels entitled to his anger.

A reasonable question = Where is this level of anger coming from?

A guess - he’s angry because he doesn't like CONSEQUENCES. You were emotionally destroyed by his choices and want him to process WHY- to remediate his poor behavior - so it won't happen again. Logical consequences. HE expects you to minimize and rug sweep the affair and move on already, and if you don't he's willing to rage, blame shift, re-write marital history (14 years of emotional neglect!), and bully (threaten to "finish the deed", threaten divorce, blame you) until he gets what he wants. He DOESN'T want to examine his unrealistic expectation that you unconditionally support him no matter how cruel his behavior. That his "needs" outweigh your needs. Examining his unrealistic expectations (entitlement) would involve confronting "bad feelings" - would force a close look at his self-absorbed view of the world, and his lack of regard or empathy for how his choices impact others (you). BTW, a need for a lot of admiration "his insane need for love/attention/validation" is a common characteristic of people with a sense of entitlement.

Sooooo, in a nutshell = his expectation that you rug sweep is based in entitlement (IMO). Entitled people are above suffering the consequences of their poor choices = a variation on the old saying "rules for thee but not for me."

Hurtingwife, he's got a lot of work to do to become a safe partner. So far it appears he's not willing to do any hard work or deep introspection required to become a better man. He hasn't even taken the no-brainer basic step of BLOCKING her. Please protect yourself by turning your focus onto YOU. IC to support you during this nightmare is highly recommended, and will help to sort through next steps. IC could help process whether or not the marriage status quo is something you can live with - IF he refuses to address his entitlement, if he refuses to remediate his selfish behavior. Yes, you want to "protect him and comfort him" but he must untangle himself. Ultimately, he must want to change his selfish worldview - become a better person - for HIMSELF. You can't nice him into it.

ETA

- "He threatens divorce when he gets frustrated" comment indicates that bullying (using threats and anger to get what he wants) is not unusual in your marriage. Which is concerning. Also concerning = "I'm just terrified he will give up on me again like the first time and stop putting in effort." Was there infidelity in your marriage before?

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 11:08 PM, Sunday, June 23rd]

Married 34 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW
HIM: 13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 219   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8840572
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Brittn ( new member #84766) posted at 11:46 PM on Saturday, June 22nd, 2024

Agree very much with Bigger. To be sure, your husband was the sucker here, but he believed that he was carrying on an emotional and online affair, no matter if she ran the same scam on 50 guys a week. He is still a guilty guy and you are truth testing him now but knowing all the stuff that he thinks he has as a secret. If he fails this test, and worse, blames you, it may be time to consider that reconciliation may not work. Who know, maybe he'll be struck by insight in counseling. We can hope. Good luck!

posts: 33   ·   registered: Apr. 22nd, 2024   ·   location: USA
id 8840574
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