I am new to these forums, and this is my first post. I am here because I really do not know where to turn.
My husband and I have been married for less than a year, and I am currently pregnant. We got married a year after meeting, which I know is quick, but I am in my late 30s and have had several long-term relationships, so I felt pretty confident about my judgment. I now realize that that was a mistake.
Basically, a couple of weeks ago, I discovered that my husband had started up some kind of a flirtation with a co-worker. It hadn't progressed very far yet, thankfully, but I discovered some sexually-tinged texts and found out they'd been talking on the phone and even met up once outside of work. In the course of discovering this, I began asking a lot of questions, and then his answers would lead to more questions, and eventually things from the past began to come up as well. I guess there's no need to get into how each new thing came out, but in the past few weeks, besides this work flirtation, he has now admitted to so many lies that my head is spinning. A sampling:
- Had extensive text and phone conversations with an ex while I was out of town for work last year and tried to contact her again the next time I left town
- Had a couple of sexual experiences with men just before we met (he told me when we were dating that he thought he might be bi-sexual but had never acted on it)
- Had a minor drug conviction from a decade ago
- And the weirdest one of all - MADE UP an entire past relationship, including a rejected proposal, getting cheated on, the woman having miscarriages, etc. The woman he talked about as his "ex," was literally a figment of his imagination. He told me that he both made stuff up completely and then, for other stories, took things that had happened with a different ex (the one he talked to while I was away) and pretended they were with this imaginary one. He said he did the latter because he was so embarrassed about having been strung along by the same girl for so many years when they hadn't really dated (I call her an "ex," because they slept together for several years, but, technically, they did not date as she was officially with someone else as well as sleeping around with many others while they were "friends.")
- There are more things - like lies about his salary, etc - but this list seems like enough to give you all the jist.
I now feel completely devastated. Finding the work flirtation was bad enough - who knew all of this other insane crap would unravel as well? He says that he thinks he is messed up, and he wants to get therapy, and he decided to confess all of these past lies to me now because he's ready to move on, grow up, and learn to "be the man I deserve." He does not want to separate, claims that he is madly in love with me, says that he began lying out of insecurity and then let it get out of hand, and it kept snowballing as we got to know each other more, and I would ask more questions. He has agreed to switch to a different work location to avoid the current girl, get a new joint phone account, a new joint email, and let me have the password to his phone. And he's willing to do both individual and marriage counseling. In other words, he's said and done just about everything one could hope for if one wanted to move past all of this and save the marriage.
Nonetheless, I do not know if I CAN move past it and whether it's even worth it. Given that we weren't together that long before we married and there have been so many lies, I feel almost like I married a stranger. I feel like he tricked me or something - told me what he thought I wanted to here, swept me off my feet, pushed for a quick marriage and a quick pregnancy, and now that I have gotten myself in really deep, all of this insane crap is coming out. If it were not for the fact that I have a baby on the way, I'm not sure I would even be considering staying - but this is my first child, I have little social support in my location and no family support, and I'm really worried about trying to raise a child on my own with no experience or help.
So, basically, I do not know what to do. A part of me says that I ought to cut my losses, be thankful I found out now rather than ten years from now, leave, and do my best with my child on my own. The other part of me feels like I did not wait this long to get married only to get divorced less than a year later. Does anyone see any hope here? Or do I seem like I am deluding myself out of fear?
Thanks for your message. I know this must be extremely frustrating, not to mention a little heartbreaking as well. He's definitely playing with your emotions and to be completely blunt with you, the behaviour is not acceptable.
The male mind is a very interesting one. Guys want freedom. Guys hate to feel tied down. Guys hate drama and they hate feeling criticised.
Guys are also extremely insecure and hence they will make up lots of stories to ensure they feel significant or can pass the blame onto someone else. I've seen it time and time again and sadly for a lot of people, it makes absolutely no sense. Beneath the tough exterior, there is a little boy that want's to feel worthy and sometimes that comes in the form of needing to get lots of attention and making up silly stories that, for a short time, cover up the feelings of inferiority.
Now i'm not saying that's what's happening here. There could be a number of things but I would hazard a guess that it's a combination of what I've stated above.
To add to this, we can sit here and speculate all we like but the truth is that, the real decision that needs to be made here is - what standards and values am I prepared to live by and is he treating me in a way that I wish to be treated?
It's clear he is not so it's really important that he knows that in no uncertain terms, he needs to step up here. He needs to know that you are one hell of a woman and he is lucky to even spend some time with you and because of that, he needs to raise his game. If he's not going to - well, you know what to do.
I know that the mixed signals can play with your mind and as a result, cause you to fluctuate between frustration/sadness/anger all the way to joy and elation at times. But what you need to be on the lookout for here is consistency of action.
If he demonstrates this on a regular basis, then it's worth pursuing. if not, then you will need to part ways.
You are well within your right to want to walk away and that would be totally justifiable. However, I tend to view things from a compassionate place and sometimes an experience like this can lead to dramatic change within the partner who is acting poorly.
I hope this makes sense and gives you some food for thought.
Any questions, please let me know.