Hello, I am new to this site and wanted to get some input from others. Just a brief intro, we've been married 13 years and have 2 boys. ages 11 and 10. I have a 20 year old son from my first marriage. Hubby was also married before but has no children from prior marriage. He just turned 45 and I am 44. A few months ago, my husband went to a strip club a few times. The last time he went, he traded phone numbers with a 22 year old stripper. Over the course of about 5 to 6 weeks, he proceeded to call this woman (who by the way was FIVE when we met) and text her multiple times a day, with her returning or answering very few calls and texts. On 3 different occasions, he met her at a hardware store parking lot (well, once was at a Barnes & Noble parking lot) and sat with her, drinking vodka or beer and "talking". She dropped out of high school to become a stripper, she was abused as a child, he told her about our kids, if they got into trouble at school. She was "just a friend". He said occasionally she would get upset talking of her past and she would cry and he would wipe her tears from her face. He said they hugged and he kissed her neck. Aside from these things, "nothing happened". I "busted him" when he came home one night, completely drunk and talking on the phone in his van. I could tell it wasn't about work after a minute because he was animated, laughing. I thought he might be talking to his mom, so I went outside to say "tell her I said hi", and he suddenly says "ok, well I gotta go...talk to ya later, bye", hangs up, looks guilty. Long story short, I grabbed his phone and dialed the number back, and get a voice mail that "Holly" cannot take my call. I call the same number from MY cell phone and "Holly" answers, says my husband is supposed to do work for him "this Thursday". Realizing this is complete bunk, I hang up, confront husband. Husband says "you don't need to KNOW who she is...she's a friend, a good friend, she is MY friend..leave her alone". Over the course of the night, I pretty much think the worst because I don't know the facts yet. I decide to go to work (without any sleep), and tell my boss I need to leave to find a divorce attorney. Husband ends up coming home, telling me how sorry he is, telling me the truth about "everything" (of course, how am I supposed to really believe his "truth"). I ask lots of questions, some of them very hard for him to answer, but he answered them, I *think* honestly. I never contacted an attorney; I don't think in my heart I ever intended to. Our 10 year old son is autistic; it would shatter his world in so many ways for us to split. Also, I LOVE this man. He says he loves me. But, while I feel like since he lied, over and over, and met this woman, shared intimate details of our lives with her, hugged her and KISSED HER NECK, that this was an AFFAIR. Maybe not a sexual affair, but given her line of work, I'd say it's pretty flipping close. He says it was a "friendship" and at the most, a "relationship". We are active in our church and we both have spoken to our preacher. For awhile, husband seemed to agree with me that this is a stripper, a "skank ho" (the name I gave her for a long time), but then again, from time to time, he will retract that and say again that it was just a friendship and she isn't the stripping wh*re) I say she is. One week after I busted him on the phone with her, she moved to another state (or this is what I have been told). I don't know if I believe this or not, but extensive looks at cell phone records to date show no more contact with her...at least not from his phone.
It's been almost 2 months since I caught him. We slowly have done some healing, but I am still haunted by the thought of him in a strip bar, looking at another woman's breasts who is half my age, getting close enough to her private area to know that she shaves "most if not all". While he says he wants our marriage to work, he really doesn't seem that remorseful, even telling me just yesterday that he is "tired of being accused". My feelings are that he should have thought about that before he traded phone numbers with another woman, a GIRL practically....literally young enough to be his daughter. I do not look close to my age, but husband does. Several times, I've been mistaken for his daughter. People think my 20 year old son and I are brother/sister sometimes. It is hard for me to understand why he needed to go to someone else. It is REALLY hard for me to accept that he won't call this an affair, an infidelity. I realize he didn't have sex with her (and OMG I can't imagine if he had...I may have killed him). But, to ME, I still feel horribly wronged.
OK, so am I just being overly whiny? I know others here have been through SO much worse from reading through the forums....I can't imagine how you worked it out. Our poor children have seen fights they shouldn't have seen. I've been enraged a couple of times to the point of not being able to control myself. That is somewhat better now. For the first two days after I found out, I literally was on the floor, shaking, crying, sobbing, scratched my arms and face up with my fingernails (don't remember doing it). I have buried both of my parents and didn't know I could hurt like this. Didn't know I could BE hurt like this. Husband knows me pretty well and knows I "dwell" very much on things, so none of my actions should really come as much surprise to him.
I think I've written enough for now. I just spoke to hubby on the phone and asked him to remember to pray for us (all of us...entire family) today, he said he would. If anyone has any information, advice, slap in the head...please say something...
I feel really bad for you. I understand that you're going through alot. I know that it can be really hard to gauge if they are sincere or not. It seems like he wants it to work out having spoken with your pastor. The real question that I think needs to be answered is why he did it.
I'm sure that you asked him that and he probably didn't have a very good answer. He may need to go to counseling to figure it out, or he may just not be comfortable telling you just yet. He may be bored with the relationship, maybe feels like you don't need him anymore, or it could be sexual.
I find it interesting that he said that he was her shoulder to cry on. This could point to him having feelings like he isn't needed in your relationship. It may even be that you guys are facing some issues that are extremely difficult to deal with and he cannot fix them. Having an autistic child can be tough.
He may have felt like he was able to fix issues that this girl had. Men are fixers. Now on the other hand, it could have been a complete lie.
He seems to want to minimalize it to downgrade his guilt level, and you want him to see the extent of the damage. So meet in the middle and it is most definately an Emotional Affair. That does exist and you can look it up online. If you sit down and read about that, then you have more knowledge to share with your H about what happened and you two can figure this out together. My H and I have an autistic son as well and he cheated ( full on PA and EA) about two years ago. It was short lived, but all the bloody gory details are on this site. Simple things that you would think would be easy, weren't so easy. Knowing each others needs, not so easy if you aren't LOOKING for them.
I hope you two can get on some common ground and start working towards fixing things, and it is a very good sign that he is wanting to try. Definately post here about anything, everyone is so helpful, really!
So sorry for your situation and I know how you're feeling all too well. The most damaging aspect, as I am sure you'll agree, is the lack of remorse on his part & the fact he would defend her in your presence. Honestly, that demonstrates a high level of selfisness. He is more concerned with his ego, than with your broken heart. I truly believe that he needs to wake up to reality and the only way to make that happen is to let him feel what life would be like without you. Everyone longs for youth and returning to that carefree thrill you used to get - meeting someone new is a dangerous way to rekindle those feelings. He chose a dangerous and damaging path when he exchanged numbers with this young woman and you have every right to feel betrayed. An emotional affair is just as damaging as a physical affair. His defensive behavior & downplaying of that says he has convinced himself that the affair rule is only broken with intercourse. If you two have never spoken about bounderies then make it vital that you do if you make up.
Secondly, Im not convinced your heart can move on until you get a true heart-felt apology from him without the defensive following comments. If it were me I would make arrangements to stay elsewhere for a few weeks so he can feel life without you. Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they learn the depth of their risky selfish behavior.
Weigh his positives and negatives - as he hurt you selfishly before? has he given you a chance to know his needs so you can fulfill them and he doesn't have to look elsewhere? Has he cheated in the past with other partners? dont get swept under the rug - fight for your marriage but only if he finds a way to show you genuine remorse through actions or genuine words. A true apology doesn't have exceptions. Posted via Mobile Device
Lovelies.......you wrote "...fight for your marriage but only if he finds a way to show you genuine remorse through actions or genuine words...."
Not sure I agree with that - that is sort of like saying 'don't fight the war until the other side surrenders...' Determine if you want to work on your marriage - and then BEGIN. Efforts to save a damaged relationship are usually the primary cause for reconciliation, not the result! If you wait until the Disloyal Spouse ends their affair before starting the fight for your marriage - you will end up losing your marriage. That's an almost certainty.
Scarlett - your husband is having an Emotional Affair (which is most often simply the first step toward a Physical Affair) and as such is using all the customary actions to justify and continue his actions. Pay no attention to his denials, instead, determine if you want to save your marriage - and then begin acting accordingly. Do not wait for some sign from him. You won't get it. Until you make the affair a less desirable option than being married to you, he will continue it. It is more important to him. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to change that. There are deliberate steps (and reasons for why to take them - and why they work) that you can begin. First and foremost - learn all you can about affairs and the 'fog' that the Disloyal Spouse drifts about in.
After that, we have some things you can do that are quite effective.
Amorous, Dawn, Love, and..Pete?....thank you all for your responses. A quick response to you all...Amorous, his "reason" (yes, I asked why...very many times, very bitterly and I didn't stop until I got answers, and not just "I dunno..I's just stupid"...which yeah, he did try first). He said his "reason" was that he was "flattered". OK, I can understand this to an extent. At the time, we had been going through a very bad ordeal for us both. It was towards the end of the ordeal (it had to do with drugs and I'd rather not get into it all right now...we are VERY aware how stupid we both were there), was when he went to the strip club. At the time, I was barely paying attention to him. (let me say here I do NOT believe this in any way excuses his behavior). He went 4 times and the last time he went was when he traded numbers with the stripper. Apparently, stopping our drug behavior was harder for him than me and after he had met her, he was "flattered" by her attention and it made the "withdrawal" easier. That is why it STARTED. It continued because he liked having a "friend" that he could talk to that didn't judge him. Apparently, during this "friendship", stripper girl was offered a job in another state and she was excited to begin a new life not having to remove her clothes for a living. She was to move to another state one week after I busted him. My belief is that he was going to continue talking to her until she left town, then cut ties. At the time also, he was having a lot of nausea problems and I kept being very worried, begging him to let me get him a doctor's appointment. He would later tell me after I caught him that the nausea was from guilt (which I do believe, because the nausea has subsided). Since the day I caught him, there has been no contact and he swears he hasn't gone to a pay phone or contacted her any other way. I would REALLY like verification that she is indeed in another state, but does it really matter? Isn't there a "Holly" in every strip bar? As far as him trying to "fix" her, I believe he was really just enjoying her company, and I believe she was enjoying someone buying her booze. I think in some way he was trying to make me feel sorry for HER when he told me about her abuse, because he stopped that when I said "good, I'm GLAD she was abused...I wish her t*ts she shoved in your face could be SANDED OFF!!" (yes, I have some anger issues there...but it's getting better). Dawn, I agree with you that meeting in the middle and calling it an emotional affair would be good, EXCEPT...he SAW her breasts and kissed her neck...that's a tad more than "emotion" in my opinion. However, I'll take that middle of the road for now. I think he will too. Only time will tell. Lovelieswithin, honestly, if I had somewhere to go, I might have. But, I don't. My parent's are gone, and besides, *I* don't want to be away from my husband, even if he has done wrong. Also, the damage it would do to our autistic son would far overshadow any healing our marriage might get. We also have an 11 year old son that is TERRIFIED one of us will be gone the next day whenever he hears one of us raise our voices because they have witnessed so much ugliness because of this. I am having to find a way to reel in my rage enough that my children don't see it. Prayer, prayer, and a little more prayer. I've had to walk from the room and go count to 10 (about 10 times!) more than once. But, it's better than making my boys cry by raging in front of them. Pete? (is Pete correct?), I decided the day after I found out about his infidelity that I didn't want a divorce. I had to ask myself if it was JUST because of the kids, or if it was because I love him...I love him. With all my heart. I have for 17, almost 18 years now. I could kick his tail right now, but I love him. And, I want and need our marriage to work. He willingly ended it the moment I caught him. He told me he was relieved when she told him she was moving off. The day that she was to leave came and went and he was RELIEVED he didn't hear from her again. I sent her this horrible e-mail to her cell phone calling her a wh*re, a "skank ho"....things a Christian woman shouldn't call anyone, even if it is a woman that knowingly gave her number to a married man. He was mad about it and very anxious for her "leave day" to come and go because he was afraid she would contact him after I sent the awful e-mail. She didn't. I have combed the cell phone records. Yes, I want my marriage to work. I am frustrated beyond words that he goes from "sorry" to "it wasn't that big a deal". It's like it's been awhile now ("d-day" - the day I busted him, was May 25). We are supposed to start a counseling program with a church (not the one we attend) sometime soon. It's a recovery program for the "cheater" and the "cheated". Pete, I DO understand what you are saying about making the affair less desirable. This means I can't go around screaming and raging every time he doesn't answer his phone and accusing him of things I really KNOW he isn't doing. It doesn't mean for me to be a doormat, but if I'm not being someone he WANTS to come home to, what hope do I have for healing?
Wow, I said a "short response". Sorry, my 100 wpm gets ahead of me. I appreciate the responses and I will be back. This site is really good and a positive place for married people. I may even show it to my husband tonight. For those of you that pray, please keep us in your prayers. And, may all of you going through this pain have peace and contentment, and healing as well.
I feel your pain about him kissing her neck, but honestly she is a stripper, the better question is who HASN"T seen her breasts lol. The kissing thing, yes that was physical. And he was bordering a physical affair. It got stopped before it was full on, but you are right that he dipped his toes into that side of the pool.
I think its great you are going into a counseling program through the church and I hope it can help you guys sort some things out. I get that you are struggling, I did too. Its a hard place to be and trust is shattered. If you want a few small steps, I will put them here and hope that you can get back in one day to peek.
Talk about what happened, and set boundaries for what is acceptable for you in this marriage. No more strip clubs, have all the passwords to his facebook, email, cell phone, cell phone records. He has to be completely open with you to regain your trust. ( I was looking five times a day at first, now I might look once a week)
Talk about what you can do to make your marriage stronger. Date nights, learn more about each other. Talk about each others needs. I am sure there are things you both need from each other that you aren't getting. The Five Love Languages is always good. I just googled it and we picked out what our order was. And guess what, neither of us knew what the others top pick was going to be. It helps tremendously.
Think about doing things for yourself. I know you won't see how it will help, but if you are happy with yourself it is easier and more likely to be happy with those around you. Sincerely, I wish you the best of luck. Both of you.