I Feel Like My Husband Is Playing Me

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
I Feel Like My Husband Is Playing Me
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 2:40pm

Hoping to get some sound advice and opinions.  I feel like a complete idiot.  I am just shy of my 1 year wedding anniversary.  I had been single for close to 15 years, dated a bit and was in a relationship or 2, but never thought I would remarry.  Then I met my husband.  He absolutely swept me off my feet and I fell totally in love.  My teenage daughter loved him and viewed him as her father (she doesn't see her real dad).  I had never felt this way before.  He came with a pretty interesting past - 4 ex-wives, 3 children he doesn't see and a couple of other things.  He was very upfront with me about his past, admitting he married for the wrong reasons, made mistakes and always took full blame.  His family corroborated his story in total detail and said they just wished he would find true love and be appreciated for the kind man he is.  He also told me that he had an affair while married to his 3rd wife.  For the first time in my life, I decided not to be judgemental.  We all have baggage and have made mistakes, etc. and he had done nothing but be kind and loving to me and my daughter.  I wanted to base my decision on MY relationship with him and not his past.

Fast forward to today.  I feel like he totally mis-represented himself to me.  He doesn't work.  He's an ex-contractor and "entrapenuer" who is always trying new business ventures.  Other than our mortgage I pay for EVERYTHING.  Yet, he finds the money to spend on himself.  Sex has completely changed -- he hasn't gone down on me in almost a year (he used to all the time!!), and sex lasts only 5 minutes, never involves any kissing or looking into my eyes and is always from behind.  KY Jelly is my only foreplay.

But, the most hurtful thing happened about 2 months ago.  I felt an overwhelming urge to check his email.  I discovered that he answered 2 personal ads on Craigslist (1 was a "Casual Encounters" ad and the other a "Strictly Platonic" ad).  Neither was sexual in content, but I think someone was looking for a contractor to "help her" around the house.  Could he be that naive?  When I confronted him, he said he had no intention of doing anything and was just curious.  He said he was looking to "network" and even showed me a business networking ad he also placed on Craigslist.  He had a lunch meeting lined up with a guy who responded to that ad.  It all looked legit and I heard him on the phone with the guy.  The next day I checked Craigslist again and I discovered that he also placed an ad in the "Strictly Platonic" section basically looking for a woman to help him pass the time during the day - coffee, lunch, dog park, etc.  Again, nothing sexual, but not at all business-like or referencing the desire to business network.  That was it for me.  I viewed his lunch meeting with that guy to be the "decoy" meeting - so I wouldn't question when he planned other lunch meetings with women responding to his other ad.  I packed my bags and left for a couple of days.  My daughter was devastated and moved out for 6 weeks.  :( 

He spent those days apologizing and telling me that he had no intention of doing anything to jeopardize our marriage.  In the course of talking things out, he not only admitted to having an affair when married to his 3rd wife, but also when married to his 4th wife and while living with the girlfriend before me.  So he cheated on 3 different women!  Again, he took responsibility and said it was no excuse, but he just didn't love them.  He claims to be totally in love with me, btw.  I decided to give him one more chance since there was no evidence of cheating.  I've had days where it's really hard for me to trust him.  But, instead of doing everything in his power to reassure me, he changed his email password and I don't know his Facebook password.  He says I can look at them anytime I want, just to ask him to pull it up.  He knows all of my passwords, my bank account info, etc.  I think it makes me accountable to him and our marriage.  He doesn't agree.

I feel so stupid and I feel like I'm being taken advantage of.  With the exception of the awful sex and no deep kisses, he is loving and affectionate and tells me he loves me all the time.  I'm just heartbroken that I waited so long to re-marry and that I'm unhappy when it should still feel new and exciting.  Just wanted some honest opinions...

Sorry this is so long.   



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 4:35pm

I feel so sorry for you :(    I have a question..only now you have found out that he doesn't work?Why did you think that he worked before?You know I don't know you but you deserve SO much better!! I know that you love him BUT you have giving him enough chances and you need to move on.File for divorce because I hate to tell you this and it's not judging BUT someone who has been married more then 2 times...there are serious issues going on.He did tell you all these things and yet you still went ahead with the relationship....Life is way too short for all that drama.You need to try to pick up the pieces and forge ahead...slowly but surely.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 5:15pm
He was working for a company and making good money and was creating his own business when we met. He worked out of state a bit after I moved in (and before we married) but we both decided that the separation was too difficult on both of us so he let that business fall to the waist side. He is trying to find work but hates the idea of working for someone else. He always tells me how much he loves me and he has finally found true love, but I am having a hard time believing that.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 08-23-2013 - 7:30pm

I can appreciate your open mindedness to his past transgressions.  Sounds like it is not just one thing, but the culmination of it all.  This may sound funny, but he may be addicted to being married.  And as crazy as it sounds, I do think people can love and be kind of screwed up at the same time. 

I think all I can really say from here is to follow your gut on this one.  You may not run out and file for D tomorrow, but I would make a plan.  And you may need more proof of his poor decision making skills before making a decision yourself.  Who knows, maybe our worst scenario is wrong, and he really doesn't "get" what appropriate is, and isn't.  I don't know.  Just throwing some stuff out to consider. 

I am kind of struggling with this one, as he seems like a nice enough guy, which makes it tough.  And all marriages have their ups and downs.  I really kind of wonder if he just doesn't "get it." 

But again, follow your gut.  Seriously consider a divorce plan while you discern what you should, or shouldn't do.  Keep us posted! 

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sat, 08-24-2013 - 9:52am

Wow. There are so many dealbreakers here, and they all combine into one big nightmare.  Only taking you from behind? This is not tender lovemaking. It's like a dog humping you. You pay his mortgage and all the bills because Mr. High and Mighty doesn't want to work for anyone? He only cares about himself. A decent man takes care of his finanaces and doesn't sponge off of other people. Decent men who are in a committed relationship don't seek out "female friends" to spend time with. If they don't know this is inappropriate, they are mentally screwed up. Decent men spend time with their children and support them, no matter how old they are. Decent men don't cheat. Past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior. As Maya Angelou says, "When a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time."

Being judgemental is not the same as spotting red flags and doing what's best for yourself. His treatment of you while he courted you clouded your vision. We are all human and make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes so you don't find yourself in this situation ever again. You're lucky you're in his house and not yours, so you can make an easy exit. Get out of his house and out of his life ASAP. Make sure his name is not on your bank accounts. Keep checking your finances to make sure his hasn't opened any credit cards that will be charged to you. Get an annulment or a divorce. If he contacts you after that change your number and e-mail address. It sickens me to read about this toxic man. I can't imagine even living with him. It's better to be alone than with this parasite. Good luck. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 08-24-2013 - 5:00pm

Well the guy admits that he's a serial cheater.  Isn't it a poor excuse that "he didn't love them?"  I mean he married 2 of these women and was living w/ another one.  Did he think he loved them when he got married?  He is obviously a very poor judge of relationships at the least.  And is that what he thinks makes it ok or is that what he thinks happens if you find out you married the wrong person?  Instead of breaking things off, that it's ok to just cheat.  He can say that he's sorry but it doesn't really seem like he learned from his mistakes because by placing that ad for a woman to "spend time with," he's basically putting himself in the situation where it would be pretty easy to cheat again.  Is he saying in this ad that he's a married man?  I bet not.  How many women do you think would like to spend their time hanging around with a married man while his wife works?  Most normal women would think that would be kind of strange, don't you think?  Oh and the fact that he changed his passwords is very suspicious--why would he need to do that if he had nothing to hide?  I just don't know if this guy is trustworthy, leaving aside the money issue.  Someone can be saying they love you constantly--to me the actions are what's important because the actions have to back up the words.

I know that it's horrible to think about divorce when you just got married.  When I married my 2nd DH we were having problems the 1st year.  Of course I didn't want to get divorced that soon, but I probably should have if I could have figured out how to do it.  We ended up lasting 5 yrs but it sure wasn't 5 good years.  Sometimes you have to admit to yourself that you made a mistake and cut your losses.

I do wonder if his family members who just wanted him to be happy know that he cheated on the past wives.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 2:22pm

Being non-judgemental is one thing......when someone has made a mistake or two in the past.  But, when there is nothing but continual lying and cheating, and the more you dig, the more lies you find......it's time to start judging!  Past behavior is a pretty accurate prediction of present and future!  No one wants to go thru a divorce, not even the first time and for sure the second time.  Unfortunately, unless you want to continue to support a man who "can't work for someone else" for the rest of your life, and not TRUST the person who looks on line for "companionship".....then it's time for a divorce before you waste all your life and your money on a cheating mooch!  Maybe the "cheating" is innocent at this point, but again, given his past behavior, it won't be long before it's NOT innocent.  As someone else mentioned, maybe the family that was happy he found a good woman was MORE happy that someone else would be taking care of a lazy moocher.    As you now know, once the "honeymoon" is over, the real person shows themself, and what you see is what you're stuck with.......unless you get yourself out of the mess ASAP!  Do not think that your love and understanding will change him.  It's not going to get better, it's going to get worse.  Get a lawyer, and get out.  He'll find a new unsuspecting woman to support him......don't worry! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2009
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 8:49pm

My sympathy for your situation, but it appears that the right answer is painfully obvious. Be strong. 

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 08-25-2013 - 8:53pm


You're about to be Ex. No. 4.

Go get legal advice. Find another place to live. Set up your own bank account in your name only. Close any joint credit cards and get his name off anything you might have like life insurance, etc.

A leopard doesn't change his spots. He should have a job in sales he really knows how to snow someone. Unfortunately, you bought his story. However, it doesn't mean your stuck with him.

Get busy and get him out of your life. You married a liar, leech, and a serial cheater. Don't try to fix him or forgive him. Just pack his things and point to the door.

Good luck.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Tue, 08-27-2013 - 1:34am

  This is a lot more than him having other lovers.  It is the fact he is unhappy and has a problem with being married and sexual.  Many people do have a problem with what they have internalized as "married" behavior.   From your description he is one who has a program running that wives are not to be sexual.   Also he may not have the strength to do what is in his own best interest.  True love to him and true love to you are incompatible definitions.  Best prepare to leave i can see nothing in this with a good ending.


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2013
Tue, 08-27-2013 - 6:54pm

Thank you everyone for you responses.  I had a feeling I would get these kinds of opinions, but just wanted to see them.  I do want to add more background information on him just to see if it changes anyone’s opinions.  Again, he openly offered this information while we dated and his family has told me the same thing, essentially word for word.  Again, sorry so long, but I’m hoping to get some insight without having to spend money in counseling.  Thank you in advance!

Childhood – Didn’t receive much love or attention from parents.  Mom was disciplinarian.  His older sister did much of his upbringing and he is very close to her.  Said he never saw love or affection between his parents.


1st Wife – Married young.  Wife only made decisions that her parents approved of.  They lived 2 houses away from parents.  He had hard time with her inability to break free from her parents.  They separated after a year or so.  While separated they had sex and she got pregnant. (She went off the pill without his knowledge.)  He tried to make it work, but they divorced.  He was a very active father in his child’s life after divorce.  Supposedly, no cheating in this relationship.


2nd Wife – At their wedding, her father told my husband that his daughter was his to deal with now.  My husband paid off all of her credit cards after they married.  She then opened up credit cards in his name and charged them up high.  They had 1 child.  They worked together and she had an affair with a co-worker.  They divorced, his credit was ruined but he again paid off her debt, she married the guy she had the affair with and he was very active in his child’s life after the divorce.  Supposedly, he did not cheat on her. 


3rd Wife – She was exact opposite of previous 2 – very independent, successful, etc.  However, she was very manipulative and controlling.  She got along well with his 2 children, so he agreed to marry her when she asked him, because he thought she would provide stability for his children.  He said he never loved her.  He built her a house and when she said she wanted a child, he agreed.  It was a process because he had developed fertility issues.  Once their child was born, she wanted nothing to do with him.  They slept in separate bedrooms for 18 months before he had an affair.  He admitted the affair to her and apologized, but she filed for divorce.  During the divorce proceedings, she accused him of molesting their daughter.  She rallied up the other wives and told them to keep the kids away, etc.  The other wives also took him back to court, at the same time, to increase child support, etc.  He was dealing with the molestation accusation and 2 other court battles at once.  This woman finally admitted in court (and I’ve seen the documents) that she lied and made up the entire accusation.  They agreed on visitation, but she kept moving farther and farther away in an effort to keep him away.  He took her back to court, but decided that it would be best for his child if he gave up legal custody.  He said he was completely broken by this point.  He continued to pay child support for the other 2 children, but the ex-wives did not allow them to see him. 


4th Wife – He said he married her “too soon” after his 3rd divorce.  He said he had nothing bad to say about her.  She helped him recover from what he had just been through.  Shortly after he married her, his 3rd wife moved across the country.  Wanting to be closer to his child, he wanted to move but his current wife refused.  They separated after 8 months of marriage and he moved.  I think they might have been separated when he cheated on her, but I’m not sure.


Girlfriend before me – She may be the one he cheated on his 4th wife with.  I’m not sure.  They lived together for about a year and broke up.  He allowed her to move back in when her home went into foreclosure, but they weren’t technically “back together”.  He got involved with someone supposedly during this “break up” period.  I’m not sure about that.  They eventually got back together and he trained her to help run his business.  She then broke up with him and started the exact same business of her own.  Supposedly, she partnered with someone behind his back and after she knew how to operate the business, they established their own biz.  He said he didn’t see it coming.


Me – I thought things were great (even though sex was not too satisfying) until he placed that ad on Craigslist.  Shortly before he placed the ad, I told him I wanted to get a breast lift and small augmentation because nursing my child ruined my boobs.  He was very much against it and was worried that I was doing it to get attention from other men.  (The furthest thing from the truth.  I’m small busted and like it that way – just didn’t like the tube socks hanging from my chest!)  At the same time, we had also just got a German Shepherd puppy.  He was with that dog 24/7 and it was hard work and I know he was going nuts. I’m not making excuses, but I know men think in weird ways.  Could these issues have caused him to want to seek other “friendships”?  He said he initially placed the ad in the M4M section, but only got responses from gay men, so he switched it to M4W (strictly platonic).

Could he have severe intimacy issues?  Should I confide in his sister?