my tale of woe

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2013
my tale of woe
10
Wed, 01-30-2013 - 5:45pm

Thank you thank you! So far this forum has been more calming than my psychiatrist and the marriage counselor we saw. My psych has been treating me for years for an anxiety disorder, and since except for this, I was doing to well, he doesn't want to change my meds or the doses because he feels like what I'm going through is normal.

I'm in week 2. You are right, the pain is setting in. The first week was pain, rage, and a LOT of dumbfounded numbness. Now that numbness is wearing off and I just feel stuff again. I know it means I'm making progress, but Oh God, I want that numbness back.

I'm trying to decide if we should stay together or break up. He's doing everything he can to save the relationship. I have to give him that... he's trying. I have all his passwords, he put a phone tracker on his phone so I can look him up whenever I want, he took a week off work to be my punching bag- or to take care of the baby while I balled up having panic attacks or emotional breakdowns. Today is his first day back at work, and the baby is with his aunt so I have some time. I'm doing ok right now... but I think that's thanks to xanax more than anything.

I typed out my whole story, and the message board messed up and ate it. It hurt- to type it all out- so I'll do a reader's digest version...

My husband was (is maybe?) a good man. He helps stranded motorists, he mows the elderly neighbor's yard, he can't even fake a sick day to take off work. I didn't think he was capable of lieing. He has 3 kids by a previous marriage. Turns out, he was having an affair with his ex-wife.

I found a reciept in his pocket when I was doing laundry. Kitten food, thigh highs, extenze, and condoms. We don't have a kitten- I'm the mother of a special needs baby and haven't done "thigh highs" in years, never had "bedroom problems" that would need boner meds, and he's been fixed so we don't use condoms. However, I knew his ex- who always made me uncomfortable- had just gotten a new kitten.

He denied knowing anything about the receipt at first, but I knew he was lying. I searched the house and the car, and found the condoms in the car. He tells me they've been having an affair since October (I wasn't giving him enough attention excuse)... But I talked to her. She says there were having an affair for the last 2 years, off an on, while I was pregnant with our son. I'm essentially trying to find out the truth between two liars. She's made it clearly known she wants us to fail so she can get back with him. When they were married, she sat at home and played internet games and watched tv- never had to work and didn't cook or clean. He paid all the bills. She wants that back baaaad. But I can't trust him either. We're actually talking about using our tax return money for a polygraph test- so I can have peace of mind knowing I know everything,, or that he's STILL lying.

I want someone to tell me what to do. I know no one can.. it has to be my decision. But how do I figure out if I even love him anymore? I don't know. Like I said, my son is a special needs baby. He sees several specialists, and 5 therapists every week. I had to quit a job i LOVED to take care of him full time. Which has been great, but now I feel trapped. I don't have my own income, or a job. My oldest son is in one of the best magnet high school's in the country and some of my baby's therapists come to the house because they serve our zip code. Moving on is so complicated. But I'm not going to stay in a marriage just because I "have" to. How do I figure out if I still love him? Or if I'll ever be able to love him again? This was his kid's mom who still wants him back... we can't cut her out of our lives. Sure, I can babysit him now... but not forever. He's trying sooo hard to make things right... but I just don't know if it's possible. I'm married to a stranger. The man I married would have never done this. I was 32 when I got married. I dated a lot and had serious boyfriends but marriage scared me until I met Paul. I should mention... we've been together for 3 years, but married for LESS THAN A YEAR!!!! If he can betray me in the first year of marriage, how are we supposed to get through the next 50 or whatever? And according to her, they've been having an affair for 2 of those years.

He's being as great as can be expected by a cheating jerk. He's giving me my space, telling me over and over it's not my fault- it's all his fault, he's willing to do anything. I'm feeling a lot of things, but right now, love isn't one of them. But I guess I'm still in shock. I had THREE panic attacks yesterday. A couple times in my life I've had 2 in one day, but NEVER in my life have I had three. I'm a freaking mess. I'm exhausted. I need a vacation from myself... just for an hour. Just to get away from this for just a minute to be myself again.

Someone tell me what to do! Please!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2008
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 12:33pm

Apple -

You are correct in taking time to process everything before making, what could be, a life altering decision regarding your marriage.  While you are processing this, you need to always remember one thing.  Don't harbor any guilt for the way you feel. If you are unable to accept his affection (which is completely normaly by the way), do not feel any guilt over this.  If you are feeling rage, anger, vengence, sadness, bitterness - this is all part of the process for you.  Not everyone handles betrayal the same.

I will tell you this.  You have the luxury that some of us never had.  You had a DH that is desperate to stay with you, to try and rebuild the trust you once had and is doing everything he possibly can to make that happen.  You are luckier than most.  Right now, that may not seem like much but believe me, some of us were never given the chance to repair the marriage because we weren't chosen by our DH.  So I say take your time, allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel.  Ask the questions you need to, get the marriage counseling you guys need and if you can, be thankful that you have the opportunity to try and make your marriage better.  Your marriage will never be the same, but it doesn't have to be worse, it can be better if you're both willing to put in the effort to repair it.  I know right now you're not sure that you want to fix it or can fix it.  But my opinion is why not try?  Try and see if it can be repaired.  That way, you won't have any regrets if it doesn't work out because at least you tried.  The easiest thing to do is to walk away.  Walk away from the mess that he created, that you never asked for.  This is easiest.  But I would think that at some point, you might find yourself asking the question - could we have made it?

In the meantime, allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel.  None of what you're feeling is wrong, it's just what you need to do to get through this.  Focus on yourself, your DS and getting yourself back into a place where you are ready to start rebuilding.

As for the XW (OW), if you have family available, I would ask that they help during this difficult time in assisting with getting the kids from one parent to the other.  Have the XW drop the kids off at grandma's or a family member and have your DH pick them up there.  Eliminate the need for them to see one another and interact with each other.  This also takes you out of that position where you tag along and have to be there while they exchange the kids and you have to deal with the anxiety and stress it is likely causing you.  Have them only communiate via email except for emergencies.  If she calls, have him let it go to voivemail.  Then he can check the voicemail and determine whether or not it requires him calling her back or simply responding back via email.  Believe me, what the XW feels is an emergency may not be an emergency to you guys, especially that she's let her feelings known to you that she wants him back. I think this may help you get some reassurance if they have very limited contact. 

Good luck.  This is not an easy path you will walk.  Walking away from this marriage is always an option.  But I believe that you won't regret trying to repair things with your DH.  He told you himself he wasn't going to give up and I hope he was telling the truth.  If is doesn't work out, you can feel confident that at least you tried.  Many of us never got that chance.

~aprilmagic




iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 5:15pm

Thanks, but oh no, you do not want me for your counselor - I'm far too screwed up myself from my DH's behavior thru many, many years.  It's just that even though our stories can seem very different, it's always felt to me that we all go thru the very same crappola!  What I told my last counselor (who did not take our insurance so I eventually had to reluctantly let her go) was I never had a strong sense of self, I am a very tall woman who was skinny as a rail but didn't KNOW it, so I had body issues up the wazoo.  When I put on some weight (in a vain attempt to get a co-worker to leave me the heck alone), my poor DH just couldn't handle it, or let's say that's the excuse he cooked up in his head to torment me for so long I've wondered many times why the heck I did not just leave many years ago - being punished does a number on your head.  But in an appt. with my last therapist, Susan, out of my mouth one day flew the truth.  Whatever other damage my DH did to us or to me, the big one was I had a strong sense of myself as a WOMAN, my FEMININITY was in great shape.  Until....he finally wore me down even there, and I lost the one thing I felt I had left.  So I felt like nothing and him trying to get physical with two women thru the past 16 years just brought me to my knees, I lost ME.  Which is what I truly think happens to so many of us who come here - we lose ourselves to the infidelity, the deception, the cheating.  We stop seeing ourselves as we once did, we feel like we are "less" than the other woman, and obviously to our DHs, we ARE less - how else could they do it?  First time out it hit me differently, I was just shocked and scared to death.  Second time, no - the shock and fear were there and still are, but the anger came up BIG TIME this time around.  I remember clearly telling him "who the he!! do you think you are to do this to me again?"  DH once told me something like "she opened my eyes and I realized it was YOU I wanted", as though he really was not sorry "it" all had happened, and shortly after that he started treating me like a human being and has ever since.  And you know what?  It ticks me off sometimes!  All those years I was treated like dirt and NOW he treats me like a delicate rose?  I eat it up but at the same time I get really angry over it, too.  I deserved that all along.  I think many of us look back and if we can be honest, we go thru very similar crap as I have.  We're still together, I just recently started up with a new therapist who DOES take my insurance, and soon we'll start going together.  Now....re-read my blurb here and just see if you don't see some similarities with your OWN story.  I swear to God I hear that all the time here!  This crap just keeps messing with your head, so if you're doing the investigating/obsessing/checking stuff, SO WHAT?????  You gotta do what you need to do, and if constant monitoring is what helps now, then just do it guilt free.  If he behaves himself and does a 180, that need diminishes over time.  And if he doesn't, another story altogether.  Like Dr. Phil says, all you can do is let him know what's going to happen if he does it again....and then you just let him go off and do what he's going to do because you CANNOT watch him 24/7.  It's so true and soooooo hard to do!!!  Many days I would have loved to be a fly on the wall wherever my DH went, and had he NOT done a turnaround and now he actually spoils me senseless, I believe this time around I would have had the strength to just go - with support, of course.  Just keep posting here, it'll make you feel less alone, because that's how this crap makes us feel - alone.  I'm not in love with the guy anymore, although I love him down deep in my way, and I've told him this, no more secrets in this house.  They need to understand exactly how it all makes you feel.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-1999
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 11:17am
I agree Myra's,comments are awesome! I just wanted to add that you are doing really well for 2 weeks out. And I find it very promising that your H is working through books with you as you try to find a counselor. I would caution you against sending him to.another house. All being apart does it's train you for being apart. And if you think you may want to stay together then you don't want training in how to be apart. If you decide later that you don't want to then I think you will reach a point where you know you won't miss him. I am 2 years out from the big A. One year from a potential EA. And I.still check statuses of the whore. But, not near as often. I.find that it's like a train wreck. I know it's going to be hard to see, but just can't help myself from looking. Anyways good luck on the counselor end and just remember one day at a time. Hugs.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2013
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 10:54am

All very good points.  Believe me- I am not in a position where I believe ANYTHING he says.  I know he can still contact her if he wants to.  Hell he's got an office phone at work.  I know he doesn't have a seperate cell phone because I'm in charge of the finances, and he gets direct deposit.  So I see where every dollar goes (and there's not many of them so they are very easy to keep track of.)  And he could just leave his phone somewhere and go see her, or even turn it off and say it died.  So far that hasn't been a problem because every time I've randomly called him- he's answered.  I also have his work log-in so I can check what time he clocked in and what time he clocked out- and that info is entered by the manager so he can't smudge it.  He hasn't left the house without me except to go to work so far.  But I know that can't last forever. Plus I now check her damn facebook every day, and she doesn't post any personal info, but her last post was asking God to take her pain away... I have no way of knowing if that's because she lost my husband but I am in Assumption City right now.  Ending week 2 right now- and it's not really getting any better.  Just... different.  Still have panic attacks, a LOT of anxiety, and sometimes I just break down.  But I can fake a smile now if I have to leave the house.  I still have these manic periods where I find something to go through and relentlessly search everything.  Jacket pockets from last year, the hall closet where we randomly throw stuff, the top dresser drawer where sometimes reciepts fall into, under the car seats, old dead cell phones I charged up to read every single text.  I'm really looking forward to marriage counseling.  The lady we painstakenly chose online called yesterday and said she was going out of practice, so we're back to square one in finding the right person.  Every night when we go to bed we read from "Not just friends" together and talk about paragraphs that pertain to us.  I know he's trying... I just don't know if I can commit to doing whatever it takes to save the marriage.  The book says to wait a couple months for the shell shock to wear off before you make any permanent decisions... so right now I'm just trying to get through each day and not put too much pressure on myself to make things work yet.  But I am OVERLY vigilant.  I wonder about making him go stay with his mom for a little while so I can be by myself to see if I miss him or find relief in his abscense- but if we end up staying together I'm afraid I'll always wonder if he went over to the OW's house.  I don't *think* he would... but I didn't *think* he would do this in the first place, so i don't trust my own character judgement at the moment.  So at least he's here for me to babysit.  Are we ever going to be able to have happy moments that aren't tainted by this?

I also think he was shocked by how far reaching his indescretions reached.  Some members of his family aren't talking to him.  His mom cries all the time- and letting her down is a huge blow.  They all are supporting me, and have been GREAT to me.  I actually talk to them the most, because I can vent and i know they'll still love him afterwards.  I'm not telling many friends or my family because if we stay together- they will hate him.  And that would be hard for me to deal with.

Thanks for talking to me, everyone.  I've gone back through many posts and Myradorn, I always look forward to your responses.  I'm sorry you have so much insight into this betrayal, but your perspective is amazing.  I want to hire you as our marriage counselor!!!

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 12:53pm

>>The phone tracker he installed wasn't working well, so last night he installed spyphone on his phone.  He can't turn it off without my password.  I can look him up with GPS any time I want, and it tells me where he's been for the entire day.  It also logs every call and every text message his phone gets- even if he deletes it from his phone.  This was all his idea, so I know he's trying.<<

So, how does this app work if he decides to put the phone down and go off without it?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 9:50am

Hi there,  You have received great responses so far.  It is a good sign that your H is offering up transparency and saying he will do anything to help you.  I have one thing to add (not to add fuel to your fire) but it has happened before that the WS (wayward spouse) will get a track phone that the BS (betrayed spouse) knows nothing about.  I am not saying to not believe your H's 'keeping no secrets' at this point but know that a cheater who wants to cheat will find a way.  After dday some cheaters go further underground.

What can you do?  Since you are the only person you have contol of at this point.  I suggest you make a plan b for yourself and your child.  Open your own checking account/savings account in your name only and start socking away money--in case you might need it.  Can you work from home as well as care for your child?  Speak to an attorney, you do not have to choose to divorce but it will enlighten you to what you would expect financially. You do not have to make any immediate decisions.  You will know when the time is right.  Cut yourself some slack.  It won't hurt to have other options for your life in place.  After going through this I recommend it to all women!

You have not been married very long and your H is using the excuse that you did not give him enough attention?  I think he needs individual counseling to find out what is lacking inside himself to make such a choice.  If he does not find out why HE did this and learn to make better choices, in the future what happens when you encounter other stressful things?

Take one day at a time, take the best care of yourself that you can.  And remember believe nothing he speaks and only half of what he does.  Time will tell if he is truly remorseful and not sorry he got caught.

Hugs,

Ollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 3:26pm

It's good that he's trying to be transparent to you.  But the very FIRST thing this guy has to do is permanently end all contact with his ex that isn't about those kids, so you will always have her in your life.  The pros all say all contact has to end, period, no exceptions....but with his kids in the picture this guy has a choice to make - you or her.  If he was having an affair with her during the entire length of your marriage to him, what can we say here?  He knows good and well he's messed up about as badly as he possibly could, and his attempts to make things right at this point are to his credit.  BUT....you're hurting and that does not go away easily for any of us.  Everything you wrote makes sense, you seem to have a good understanding of all of it without any of us saying a word.  Thinking you might not love him anymore?  Frankly, I think that is very common.  I can't say I'm sure where that comes from, but deception and infidelity are bound to get all of your feelings and emotions totally screwed up.  So being unsure of him?  I think it's completely normal.  There's no magic bullet to any of this, it really is a day by day thing.  A good therapist can go a long way to help you get your head on straight when you've been this hurt and messed with.  Whether or not his actions are forgiveable is a totally personal thing.  I still struggle with it myself, although my DH caused things to start all over a couple of years ago, like my therapist said "he started the clock all over".  New info does that, damn.  I'd suggest you keep posting here if you think it's helping - lots of us find "aha moments" in responses, and it makes you feel less alone.  Hang in there, we all know what you're going thru and it ain't pretty.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2013
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 2:18pm

Thank you thank you so much for your advice.  We went online last night and I think we found a pretty good marriage counselor we're going to try out.  The first one was ridiculous.  His advice was "to be nice to eachother."  F you, buddy, my husband just had an affair- It's going to be a looong time before I'm "nice."  Plus he was a little old man who kept snuggling with his butt warmer.  A little electronic butt warmer with a long cord that he kept adjusting and snuggling down into. It was so ridiculously funny that we just couldn't tackle such a serious issue.  Plus he just sat there... in akward silences.  Not the right guy for us.

My husbands kids are 10, 9, and 7.  They don't know anything that we know of.  Kids are more perceptive than we give them credit for, so who knows.  I'm not comfortable with interaction between them.  He is so remorsefull now that I don't think anything would happen any time soon, but what about a few years down the line when the pain of this has settled?  As of now, he gets the kids from school on our days to have them, and I go with him when he drops them off, and he hugs them and says goodbye in the parking lot.  So he's never out of my sight.  But it's a pain.  And I'm humiliated that I have to babysit my husband.

Luckily, I have the full support of his family.  They are appauled at what he's done.  They also have offered to help with the kids if anything comes up where I can't be there.  I love his family so much.  I also have full control of almost everything.  I'm on his bank account and he gets direct deposit... so I see where every penny goes.  The phone tracker he installed wasn't working well, so last night he installed spyphone on his phone.  He can't turn it off without my password.  I can look him up with GPS any time I want, and it tells me where he's been for the entire day.  It also logs every call and every text message his phone gets- even if he deletes it from his phone.  This was all his idea, so I know he's trying.

I know it takes so much strength, but I've always believed people treat you the way you let them treat you.  I feel emotionally weak if I stay.  Like this guy can do whatever he wants to me and I'm his loyal dog that will take it.  I know in my head it's not this way, but that's how I feel.

I told him "I don't know if I love you anymore."  And he was so hurt he left the room.  And it felt GOOD.  I wasn't trying to hurt him for revenge, or trying to be mean.  I just hurt him.  I guess I'm waiting for the dust to settle a little bit before I can remember the love I used to have for him.  Is it still there?

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 12:38pm

Use the tax return money to shore up a financial nest egg for you in the event you decide that staying in your marriage isn't an option, instead of a polygraph. They can be thwarted if the person truly and honestly believes the lies they tell to be true, which is why they're not admissable in a court of law..

How old are the kids he has with this ex?   Can your nerves handle his interaction with their mother until they're adults?  Can you move on from this? No one will be best served if this wound is routinely re-opened. There will come a day when you will have to make the decision to let it go or keep embracing it.  Doing what ever you decide will be easy--it will be the deciding to do it that will be hard.

Avatar for ratherbeme
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 9:23am

It doesn't sound like you have a lot of choice unless you have outside help.

Take it one day at a time. Sooner or later you will decide you can not go any lower, or you will see improvement. Hopefully the latter.

Make the best of what you have to work with.

RBM

We only miss what could have been. I know I don't miss what it really was.