I never though this could happen to me..
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|Thu, 01-29-2009 - 5:30pm|
Wow... I don't even know where to begin. I am so overwhelmed with emotions right now and I just don't know how to pull it all together and make sense of it. I'm glad I found this support group, so hopefully you can help me get through this horrible event.
First- some background information. I met my husband back in college. We hit it off from the start, and after dating for 2 years we got engaged. When we graduated from college, we had to move away from each other. I was in the Air Force, and he was in the Army. We spent 3 1/2 of the first 7 years of our marriage apart (due to his 2 deployments to Iraq and my tour in Portugal). He left for his last tour in Iraq when I was 5 months pregnant with our first child, and didn't return until our son was 10 months old. We've lived together nonstop though for the last 2 years. Since his return from Iraq, we've been extremely active in the local community, we have great friends, and we even got pregnant again (our second son was born 8 weeks ago). We had a great marriage. At least I thought we did. But it turns out that he's been having an affair for almost a year...
One of the things I've taken great pride in regarding our relationship is that we had 100% trust. We had to in order to survive all of those years we were geographically separated. Our quote was, "being apart makes a good marriage stronger, and a bad marriage weaker". It also was a very special relationship for me, as I have a very difficult time trusting others due to lots of letdowns while growing up, (my mother abandoned me as an infant and I didn't meet her until I was a teenager; my stepmom was physically and verbally abusive; my father, who once was my rock, has little contact with me or my sons anymore, etc).
Since my husband has returned from Iraq, I have supported him 100% in his endeavors. Because we were new to the community, and we live in a small town, we were both anxious to get involved. This was a place where we could actually make a difference. He became active with American Legion, the Masons, the local historic high school restoration committee, etc. I got involved in the local community theater and Rotary club. On the surface... we were the perfect family. But, it turns out it wasn't so perfect after all. One of the groups that he participated in was a leadership program for up and coming future leaders of the county. There was a group of 20-30 hand-selected individuals who met once a month to learn about various issues surrounding our community. It is a great program and I was looking forward to participate in it as well sometime over the next couple of years. Well... unfortunately for me this is where he met the OW.
I don't know what exactly made me suspicious of another relationship and why I started digging. But, it didn't take long for me to find out. There was plenty of evidence in his phone, email, and bank records, but I still couldn't believe it. So, I looked in his journal. I feel awful about doing that, but I HAD to know. Well... it was all there in black and white. He wrote of a new and exciting thing in his life, how it was so destructive yet thrilling at the same time. All of his statements about me over the last year were derogatory. I couldn't believe that my husband was capable of thinking some of those things about me... let alone writing them down in his journal. After my reading, I was able to determine that the affair began last February and that it was with someone from his leadership program.
I called the frequent phone number from his cell phone records and found out my assumption was right. The OW was in his leadership program. She was also an acquaintance of mine as our children are in gymnastics together. She too is married, and has two kids. How could a mother make the decision to risk her family as well?????
I waited 3 days before I told my husband I knew. Of course, my first reaction was to grab my kids and leave. But I was scared. I have a 2 month old and a 3 year old and little support from my family. Where would I go? So, I spent all of my alone time crying and trying to understand how the man who used to cherish me and worship the ground I walked on was able to risk everything and hurt me so bad. Who IS this person?
When I confronted him I did so with a letter (though I was sitting beside him when he read it). I wanted to confront him as nonemotionally as I could. He read it, and then sat there for a few minutes. He then said he was sorry and he never wanted to hurt me. He said that he never intended to have this conversation with me because he never intended for me to find out. He expected to end the relationship and close that chapter in his life without me knowing. WTF?????? So it seems he's more sorry I found out about the affair. Not that the affair happened in the first place.
I asked him if he wanted me and the boys to leave. He said no. That we had too much history together, that we have two beautiful children who deserve a home where their parents are together, and that he still loves me. So again I have to ask, how could he risk all of that in the first place????? He saw the OW the next day and told her I knew, and that they had to end the affair.
I know I should be happy that he's willing to end the affair and work on our marriage. BUT... it makes me sick to see him grieving over her loss. My strong, capable, Army husband is crumbling apart. He is so despondant that it literally makes me ill. He says that it's hard because their break up was so "abrupt". That he planned on ending it (and they had tried several times with no luck), but he didn't expect it to end so swiftly. And then he also defends her to me!!!!!! He tells me how she's really a nice person and they spoke of not wanting to hurt their spouses (how noble...). They both felt so guilty about their relationship because their spouses didn't deserve the pain that we would feel if we found out. Somehow that doesn't make me feel better. HE also tried to make me feel better by saying that at least he fell for someone who was nice, decent, smart, good-looking, etc... not some trailer trash. WTF? I told him that made it worse because she was my replacement. She possesses all of the traits that first made my husband attracted to me.
My husband honestly felt that what I didn't know wouldn't hurt me. But it did hurt me. I was making decisions in my life based upon a false reality. We got pregnant!!!!!! Had I known that he was cheating on me, I would've never gotten pregnant again. Let me tell you how that thought makes me feel now! I have a beautiful little boy who would not exist if I knew of my husband's infidelity. I turned down a lucrative job offer in another city because my home is in our small town, etc. Also, his relationship with her stole time away from me. If he was disappointed in our marriage he should have come to me! Instead, he focused his attention on her. That same time and attention could have been spent on improving our marriage. It turns out that my husband was disappointed with our sex life. I'll admit that it did go downhill in 2007, but that was due to some of my issues. I spoke to my husband about it and sought counseling. I was able to overcome my depression and in 2008 our sex life was back in full swing. In fact, it was the best it had been in a long time. But, my husband was already emotionally attached to his lover by then to even realize how great we had it. He said that his false logic was that our sex life got better because he was no longer pushing for it (since he was getting it elsewhere).
Now, we are trying to find a marriage counselor. We went to one guy... and even I will admit he was really hard on my husband. He basically said my husband has no values at all. Certainly not what I would expect from a counselor, and my husband refuses to go back to him. I got a recommendation of another counselor in our area, but when my husband heard who it was he said we shouldn't go there. It turns out that the OW and her husband have been going to this counselor for some time (since before their affair started). Neither her husband nor their counselor knows about her affair. But this makes me mad! Why shouldn't we be able to see a good therapist because she is already going to him? Then again, do we want to go to him at all since his therapy hasn't kept her from sleeping around? What do you think? Also, should I tell her husband what I know? I'm aware that destroying her marriage won't help mine... but I want to turn her little safe world upside down like she did mine. Would that only push her and my husband closer together?
Lastly, I'm angry because my son can't continue going to gymnastics. I refuse to be around her and I will certainly not allow my husband to be near her, so that means one of us has to quit (either her children or my son). Unfortunately, my husband told her that we will quit gymnastics. Why should my son have to suffer?
OK... well, I know that was long, but that's my situation in a nutshell. I have so many emotions. I don't know if we can work it out or not. My husband is in love with her (at least he thinks he is), but he wants to work on our relationship still. I can't continue to watch him mope around because I made them break up. This whole thing makes me sick.