What a mess

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
What a mess
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 9:58pm

Not sure Im in the right place, please let me know if not.

5 years a go I had an affair that was discovered by my husband.  It had already ended and I wanted nothing to do with the person anymore, but he was understandbly very devestated.  Around this time I was also drinking alot, and just being pretty irresponsible.  I admit the drinking was out of control.

Whenever my husband has an argument with me he immediately says he wants a divorce.  I've gotten used to being his way of wanting me to stop fighting with him, because he knows I dont want a divorce.

Apparently recently he felt that I was acting like I had been drinking when I was not.  There were a couple of evenings that we had wine and I was much woozier than normal so i can understand his concern about that , as he doesnt want me to go back to drinking like I did.

This past week, Iphoned him from work as I usually do late at night (I work 24 hour shifts). No answer, tried numerous times and started to get really worried, as this is VERY unusual.  I had security from our development go over and check the house, no answer. By this time its 11 pm and i got someone to come in and cover for me so that I could find out whats wrong.  I was terrified thinking something had happened to him and I hadnt been there to help.

Surprise! His car is gone! No answer on his cell phone, which I called an left messages on numerous times. At this point, I realize that his tootbrush is gone, and his underware drawer looks picked through. I drank some wine to calm down and finally went to sleep at 3am.

At 5 am he finally comes home. Turns out he was at some womans house.  He claims she's just being friendly, but I dont buy that.  He admits he was there from about 6pm until 4am.  Also says he slept naked in her bed but nothing happened.

After many hours of crying and screaming and wondering WTF, I told him I wanted to continue to work things out, but any third person cant be a part of it.  He said, he doesnt have any plans to see her "right now".  Then basically telling me that I have to change in order for the marriage to work and he will not commit to not seeing this person unless there is some big change in my behavior involving seeming drunk.

I am devestated at this point.  I dont believe we can work anything out while I am under so much anxiety thinking he is going to run to this woman anytime.  He wont tell me who she is or how they met.  I at least think that I have a right to know how they met and how much has gone on, but he will not tell.  He is looking at this as me getting what I deserved for cheating on him.

I dont know what to do.  I am not in the financial position at this point to just leave. Stupidly enough, I still love him and there are many great things about him and our relationship. I cant beleive that he feels no remorse for doing this, especially when i have tortured myself for years over my major mistake.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for, but I really have no friends to talk to about this, and was hoping someone here might have some advice or experience.

Thank you.


Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 11:12pm

So far, nothing you have DONE proves that you love your husband and want to correct what went wrong.  You have never addressed the problems in your relationship.  You continue to fight with your husband.  You continue to make excuses.  You are an alcoholic, and are still drinking.  Since you are "... not in the financial position at this point to just leave...", you have done nothing to become self supporting.   So, all you have proved is that you don't want the paycheck to walk out the door.  .

YOU need to work on your relationship, unilaterally.  Saying you "...dont believe we can work anything out while I am under so much anxiety thinking he is going to run to this woman..." is an excuse.  You are NOT in any position to make demands.  And you had BETTER work things out, or he will divorce you whether you want it or not. 

Stop fighting with your husband.  Period.  About ANYTHING.  Fighting with him is not going to make him change, or change his mind about ANYTHING--even whose turn it is to take out the garbage.  The only person you can change, is yourself.  Get into a 12-step program, and make sure your husband knows about it.  Get rid of ALL the alcohol in the house.  Get counseling.  Consider changing your job, so you have more family friendly hours.  Do whatever it is you need to do, to become self supporting, because that is the ONLY way you can PROVE you are staying because you WANT TO, and not because you HAVE TO.  Realize CLEARLY, that if you get divorced, YOU LOSE.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
In reply to: sabrtooth
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 11:17pm
The only "demand" you can make, is to state clearly that while you still love your husband, you will NOT have sex with him while he is involved with other people. Once you BOTH have PROVED that you are no longer involved with anyone else, and have taken tests to show that you both are clean and healthy, then relations can resume.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Sun, 12-22-2013 - 11:56pm
Wow. Are you ever a judgmental and nasty human being. Just so you know, not every person who ever abused alcohol at one point is an alcoholic.I absolutely do not drink the way I did at the point many years ago when I got myself into trouble being a partier. And how you can pronounce someone an alcoholic without knowing them and their full story is truly bizarre. And BTW, I cant get rid of all alcohol even if I thought I should because HE drinks it and buys wine. Where you ever came up with the idea that I have done nothing to prove that I love my spouse is also a mystery. While I do not deny that I am not a perfect person, I could be a jerk and tell you stuff that my spouse has done in the relationship that would make your head spin! You obviously have some kind of agenda here, because I re -read what I wrote and all you did was make speculation, cast blame when you don't know the full story, and be a mean jerk. NOT A SINGLE HELPFUL STATEMENT. You are an idiot if you think marriages are good or bad unilaterally. I hope some poor sot isn't married to you. If you think you are helping people in any way, then think again. You consider never posting again and use the time for therapy sessions. I think YOU need major counseling for your obvious temper tantrum and anger issues. And as far as my job goes, I have a good job. And I gave up a better one to follow him across the country after we lost everything due to his unemployment. So keep your judgements to yourself until you have actual knowledge of a situation. Someone told me this site was full of nastiness and trolls, I should have believed them. Thanks for the proof.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
In reply to: fissatore
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 1:00am

If  you drink wine on a regular basis, and you get woozy, sometimes more that other times, then you're an alcoholic.  And don't blame it on him buying wine........he can buy anything he wants, unless he ties you down and pours it down your throat, you can just say NO!  But alcoholics can't say no, and they always blame other people for their drinking.  Alcohol doesn't fix "anxiety", either.

Sabretooth wasn't being judgemental........she was telling you what she thinks......and I agree with her.  If you're fighting all the time, then there's a problem......whether he resents you for your past behavior, or you two just aren't meant for each other.  Maybe he's just tired of fighting.  A new "friend" probably doesn't fight with him.  What they did, how it happened, details.......you don't need.  You need to sit down together and TALK about whatever problems you have......if you can fix them, or if it's better to just end it.  If you have a good job, then you shouldn't have financial problems. 

Giving an opinion isn't being a troll.  If he was a terrible husband, then you should have said so.  And if he's done such awful things over the years, then why do you love him so much and want to stay with him?   With half the information about a problem, how can anyone do anything BUT speculate.  Instead of attacking a person who took the time to offer an opinion, why not consider some of the advice that was offered, based on the story you told.  Better yet, get some professional help......that will fix the problem faster than wine will.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 9:18am

you have had 5 years to rebuild trust together it seems to me that did not happen, he did not see your regret or remorse enough to believe in you and trust you and now it seems you do not trust each other

counseling is a good idea as he is taking this into a revenge state and working things out as a couple has not worked for you so far

peace and strength to you

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 11:30am

When you say "I was much woozier than normal" and then "my husband doesn't want me to go back to drinking" and 
"I drank to calm down" and then that your DH wants a big change in your behavior including not seeming drunk that would led people to believe that you have a problem with alcohol and your DH is sick of it.  I would suggest counseling together and with someone who specializes in substance abuse problems--I am not familiar with this so maybe you also should consider going to an AA meeting with him.  When someone close to you is afraid that you have a drinking problem, maybe you should consider that possibility.  Maybe you don't drink as much as before but you still drink an amount that has your DH concerned about your behavior.  Normally people should be able to have a couple of glasses of wine at night with dinner without getting "woozy"--if you think about it yourself, are you able to stop at 1 glass of wine or do you have to have more?  And maybe your DH will have to learn that he can't buy wine and keep it in the house if you can't control your drinking.  The fact that you were so angry and defensive to Sabrtooth's post just makes me think that it hit home when she called you an alcoholic because you don't want to admit that you have a problem.

Now I don't agree that your DH's behavior is right either.  When you are married, he shouldn't be going over a woman's house w/o telling you and sleeping over there.  That is not right.  And he shouldn't be trying to take revenge on you for having an affair.  But if you want to save the marriage, you need to look at your behavior and see what you are willing to do to make things work out.  Since he has mentioned it to you, the first thing to do would be to stop drinking or at least cut things down a lot.  If you really love him, then go to a marriage counselor so you can both talk about what you need to do to make the marriage work out.  the anxiety about him leaving you should be enough to scare you into doing something positive to make changes in your life. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 11:47am

Thank you for your opinion.  I find it curious that not one of you has had the sense to ask questions, like how much I actually drink. One of the reasons it makes me woozy is because I dont drink much and when I do its easy to happen. Not because I drink such copious amounts. I think the night of the incident was the first time I drank in several weeks. May not have been the right thing to do and I wouldnt recommend it as a way to deal with anxiety but I was able to sleep for a couple of hours.  I wonder how many of you would be the picture of calmness when your husband just disappears?

Alcohol really is not the issue here. I do not drink much and refuse it plenty of times. I focus on my health and working out now. 

The fact is that he clobbers me on a regular basis (not literally). Everything I do is wrong, and I am incompetent. Then he turns around, and is so sweet to me.  I have put a lot of effort into showing him that I do love him, but its never enough. I've read the books, gone to counseling (alone, he refuses to go as its only me who has a problem) and used every trick in the book. He cannot move on from the affair because he chooses to keep opening the wound by reading and re-reading a computer file he has kept about it. I am not the only one he cannot forgive, there is a long list, which is one of the reasons he has no friends except for this new one.

Yes, it is hard to know what to say when you dont know the full story.  But jumping to conclusions instead of asking questions is not helpful at all.  No one is going to write the whole book of the relationship in one post. 

It might help you to know that he has left 2 other wives employing this same method- meeting a "friend".  They were both "bit**es" as well, everything was their fault, something I came to realize over 12 years is not exactly true.

You do both have a point regarding why stay married to an awful guy.  When I talked about finances, I got jumped on and basically told I am lazy. I am putting my 2 boys through college (and he does not pay for any of that) and working my butt off, so I am far from lazy. Maybe I am worried about how that will still be paid for when I will have to foot all of the bills by myself, and that is a legitimate concern.

Now that I am getting over my shock and horror about what happened the other night, I am starting to see that maybe this needs to just end.  There is no chance as long as someone else is in the picture, it just makes it easier for him to pick me apart and keep running to his idealized friend.

I stand by what I said to Sabretooth.  There is a difference between being honest and being mean.

When did I blame anybody but myself for my past behavior, including the partying?  But the fact is none of those things are happening at this point.

This is my husbands third marriage, and he has left his other wives by finding a "friend".  Truth is I dont think he can stay with someone long term.  As I said, there are many wonderful things about him, but one of the reasons he doesnt get over the affair is because he holds onto it , has made a file on his computer about it, and rehashes it in his head. I am not the only one he cannot forgive, he has a list a mile long. Yes, I did not help the situation by doing the things I did, but all of those have been done with for over 5 years now. There were problems before the affair, and I chose the cowards way of dealing it. He will not go to counseling because he says there is nothing wrong with him. We have 4 boys together, and I have been trying to not rip apart our family.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 11:55am

You are right, we do not trust each other at this point.  Not sure that can ever happen again.

It's a shame, and I accept my part of the blame. He refuses to let go of the past, and its not just with me.

I appreciate the thought about counseling but he won't go.  I can't act like there is nothing going on as long as he sees this woman. So, since those 2 things apparently arent going to change, I guess I had better make my plan to get out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2013
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 12:48pm

Thank you for your comments and questions. Please look at my other reply as regards the alcohol thing. 

The reason that I reacted the way I did to Sabrtooth is because of her (his?) harshness and premature judgement.  I looked very hard at my behavior 5 years ago, went to counseling and changed my ways.  As I said in my other reply, I concentrate on my health and can very much say no.  Also, the assertation that I should not stand up for myself with him is ludicrous.  I am not going to allow someone to beat me up verbally and tell me how awful I am without comment.  I have learned to just walk away from him, but its like he searches for things to pick on me for. Then he gets mad at me for "not listening", which means I should be doing everything exactly as he likes it. But I can never do enough.

I am coming to the conclusion that this really has no chance. No matter what I do, its never right. And unfortunately, history tends to repeat itself.  As far as why I stayed, well, I made a commitment to him and our family.  I did something incredibly stupid and paid and paid and paid.  Maybe I deserve that, but I think at this point that is all a red herring and the truth is he is just trying to move on to his next relationship and needs someone to blame.

As I said, I am far from perfect.  His behavior angers me, and in the past I dealt with it by drinking and having a very stupid affair. Not good.  But that is all a moot point.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 12-23-2013 - 8:38pm

Well now I think we can see more where you are coming from.  If he cheated on the 1st 2 wives instead of dealing with whatever their problems were (and he seems like a man who blames everything on the wives) then it seems like that behavior would continue.  I do think that for people who have affairs, the BS needs to decide whether he/she can forgive the person.  Of course that doesn't happen overnight but if you can't forgive someone, then why not get divorced?  It's not fair to hold it over their heads forever if the WS hasn't continued the affair and is sorry--the marriage will never be better if people just live in the past.  And it's ironic that he was so hard on you for the affair if he did the same thing to 2 women.

Are the 2 boys who are in college his children also or kids from the previous marriage?  If they are his, why wouldn't he have to help with the college?  Or if not, why isn't their father helping?  Yes it's hard to get divorced, but I got divorced in the middle of when my DD was in college from my 2nd DH--not her father.  Since the family income basically got cut in half, she also got increased financial aid.