New to this site and I appreciate the helpfulness of many responses I have read. I would like to share my story (I'll try to keep it brief) and appreciate your feedback.
I have been married for almost 14 years. My husband and I have two children- a boy who is 14 and a girl who is 8. Our marriage has had it's challenges but has improved a great deal over the years. Unfortunately, my husbands issues have damaged our relationship. When they surface they blindside me and I leave me wanting a divorce. Here's a little more info...
My husband wasn't ready for marriage. After months of not coming home EVER he tells me 10 months into it that he is unsure if he loves me and starts an affair. We separate for a year but then get back together.
Seven years ago I get the mail (husband was at work) and see a blank envelope to discover that inside was a card thanking him for his "business". He was into phone sex. When I caught him, he stopped.
Last year his internet addiction became too much. I confronted him and he admitted to looking at porn online, going to "live sites" to meet women to have online sex with (but only twice according to him), I would come home and catch him masturbating to online photos, he would miss our sons games for porn, and within hours of us having sex he would be back online. He stopped "cold turkey" when I told him I wanted a divorce (a little over a year ago) and our marriage has improved.
Two nights ago he left his email open and I find emails to another woman who he met on a plane two months ago who he "hit it off with". He wrote her saying that he has a crush on her, that he wants to write her every day but he holds himself back, that he thinks she's beautiful inside and out, that he smiles when he sees an email from her in his inbox and that he wants her to be on facebook or myspace so he can look at her smiling face everyday. He doesn't deny to me that he has a crush but that, in a nutshell, it should be ok. According to my morals and values and significantly considering his past, he crossed the flirting line in a big way and I told him I want a divorce.
His counselor told him this is not a marriage ending event and my husband says that he is completely 100% here for me and loves me tremendously. While this most recent event in itself may not be a marriage ending event, I'm comletely worn out, I know I've acted like a doormat, and I do not trust him. Last year I said that while he may not continue the same behavior, he will just find another way or form that allows him an outlet in our marriage. Unfortunately, that outlet damages my feelings towards him. I want this to be over and the only way I see that I can be true to myself is by ending the marriage. Of course, I'd lay down my life for my kids but I'm not the best person I can be in this marriage.
This was longer than I thought. I hope you stuck with me.
I don't blame you. After reading your post, he's a serial cheater. Writing all that , to another woman, was most certainly cheating, as is internet sex, and it sounds like he's got a pretty severe addiciton, if he's missing family events, to look at porn. If he is so addicted he's got to masturbate to it, immediately after sex with you... that's not normal.
I would want the same thing , out.... Unfortunately, if he can't fix this, or if you don't want to try anymore, then there's not much that can be done.
I don't blame you for feeling like you're done. I would too. Are you certain you want out?
That is a great question and one that I have asked myself, ohhh, about 50 times in two days. I want out for me because I have to sacrifice my morals and sense of wellbeing which ends up deeply affecting my psyche (depression, worthlessness, etc.) over and over. If it were him and I, I wouldn't have to think twice but I know that I have two wonderful children, whom I am concerned about, whom I love to the ends of the earth.
Oh yeah, and I didn't mention that I keep his behavior secret. Almost all friends and family don't know about his behavior. So, I enable him in that way.
First of all, I want to tell you my heart goes out to you as you've clearly been through a lot.
Your husband sounds like he has a serious sexual addiction problem. Addictions such as can often serve a number of purposes - to relieve a never-ceasing cycle of anxiety and avoid true intimacy. Whether it's affairs, phone sex, internet porn or a "crush" on a woman he barely knows from a plane trip - it's all behavior that is driving him in some way. It's obsessional and operates cyclically. Often times there's the build up of tension, an action to relieve the tension, guild and attempts to repair - only to have the cycle repeat itself.
It's compulsive behavior that can do major damage to the addict - and the people around them. This you clearly know from first-hand experience.
It's no wonder you don't have any trust left for this man! He continues to abuse it. You need to ask yourself if "enough is enough" and also consider any damage done to your children. If only his words and actions lined up together!
If you end up leaving - I would recommend family counseling for the three of you. Also, Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. has written a number of books on the topic. Look him up - one good one is "Out of the Shadows - Understanding Sexual Addiction."
Does he admit he's an addict? That would be the first step in the possibility of healing. If not - it doesn't look so good.
I can understand your side of the story. Having an abuse relationship is hard. Does he treat you badly? If he is abusive to you or the kids I would definately kick him to the curb.
I was wondering if he had or is going to therapy or seeing a counselor? Has he tried to change or has things changed so they are better in the last year? Sounds like he trying. I understand if you don't trust him. It is hard to go back if you have been burned, but if he is trying, should you do the same?
I know I don't know the whole story. It's hard to put everything in just a short sentence. Everyone has their boundary lines on how far they can go with a relationship. Trust is huge. He is definately not perfect, but at least he is trying.
I know it is hard. I've been there. The best of luck.
I understand after reading your story how difficult this must be for you. I understand full well what its like to deal with that situation. I agree with Suade, is he trying? I know people do change and get better if they activly seek councling. Addiction is a very difficult road for everyone. Only truly strong bonds hold together marriages that have been rocked by addiction. I understand how angry you must feel at this time but there is so much more involved in a divorce.I would hate for you to make a choice right away that you may regret later.
My advice would be to look at him as an indivdual and see if he really has been 100% committed to you (like you posted) and is making positive changes. Does he recognize his addiction? Like Lisa posted has his actions over the last year mached his words? Does he abuse you or your children verbaly or physically? Most of all do you still love him?
I have been in your shoes and I can tell you that people do change and things do get better. Not everyones perfect but if we all turned our backs on addicts who would really be left.
I wish the best for you!
Thank you for your responses. There is no form of physical or verbal abuse. He is actually quite good to me and recently told me that he feels like we're on our second honeymoon.
As for counseling, he did go for about six months but there was no action plan. He just stopped cold turkey and said he would never do that again. In his words "I've buried it and it is in the past." My confusion is that I thought that it was something that one always dealt with.
Him being nice on all other accounts makes the way I feel so difficult.
Keep me thinking! I get too muddled in my own thoughts to myself!
Our counsler told us that some people are just like that," cold turkey" kind of people. If he is good to you and your kids then there is hope to find that love and trust again. Did he admit to having a problem? I agree that he did cross the line in telling someone he had a crush on them. Did it say anything else that had to do with sex or leaving you. Not knowing what was said in the email I cant judge. I know this may come off as odd but I kinda agree with his counslor that this incident isnt marriage ending if it was just a fascination with someone. I think we all have had that. Much love to you!
He did admit last year that he had an addiction but doesn't bring it up now and doesn't like it if I mention it because (in his words) it is "in my past". His emails do not discuss leaving us, having physical intimacty, etc.
While I agree that in itself the emails are not marriage ending it's yet another thing to deal with and he crossed the line. And what would be said if I would have caught them 3, 6 or 12 months from now?
I was thinking that maybe more of the focus could be on how you and your husband could grow more together. Talk more on the boundrys and things that would help him talk more openly to you. It could be that he is afraid to say things that could hurt you. Men are dumb we all know that! But we love them anyway because they can do some wonderfull things for us. Its hard to speculate what could be, that can sometimes poision our minds to what really there. Its my opinion that if he didnt say anything about sex or leaving you in the two months that he met this person then he most likely would not have. You know him best not any of us.
Best wishes to you! Let love rule!