I just joined this site, because right now I am desperate and lost... I apologize for the length that this is going to be but I'm having a major major problem.
I've been married for 5 years, been together for 10 years total, known one another for roughly 12 years total.
I thought things had been going well, we've had our issues, I was grouchier than normal in the last several months, but I felt that she wasn't talking to me, and seemed very sad at times, I would ask and she would just say "nothing was wrong". I wasn't perfect, I had been going to bed later and later because it felt awkward in bed, I didn't feel fulfilled, and was looking at porn, along with my grouchy behavior. But she was not communicating with me about anything meaningful, despite my constant attempts to work with her to tell me if something was wrong. I honestly believed that, as long as she loved me, we could get through our problems. Then at the beginning of this month a few bad things happened in a row, a sort of 'perfect storm' of occurences, and I came home one day to my wife saying "I don't know if I love you" and wanting to go to counseling.
I was hesitant, because my parents had a very bad experience in which my father was held accountable for a lot of bad things that my mother was actually (and easily noted) responsible for. But in the end I decided to go because friends told me I could get to the bottom of what was going on with her, I could address my own issues, and it would help us both save our marriage.
Over the next week, a lot of stuff came out that I didn't know. I found out finally because I suspected something was up and I snooped in her emails. There I found a message to a friend stating "I am out of here, but my parents are insisting on counseling first" because her parents thought it was necessary, basically just stating that she was leaving me regardless. Utter devastation.
Looking through the same emails, then I find one about a trip my wife took across the country to see family last month, and while there made contact with a man supposedly on a business trip that she had slept with before we were together, call him "Jerod" (not his real name). Years ago, "Jerod" had used her, basically, but apparently she has always continued to love him and hold onto him, and unknown to me, save everything he ever said and every email or text message along with long messages where she analyzes her feelings about him, etc. They met at his hotel, and talked for 6 hours, she did not sleep with him, I believe that, but there was shoulder rubbing and long talks. Basically an emotional affair she has been having with this person.
At this point a bunch of stuff clicked about her behavior, I confronted her, and she broke down and cried, told me that she was so depressed she had considered killing herself, and that she was 'so sorry' she went to see "Jerod". She denied that the message meant she was leaving me, but I know exactly what I read. I left that alone though because I knew she was extremely emotionally unstable. At this point I knew we had really major issues to deal with. Yes, I had my grouchy behavior and porn, but she had gone outside of the marriage for an emotional affair, was torn to pieces by this, and was projecting and blaming my behavior all the way up till I finally found out she had seen another man. But I felt hopeful because I believed my wife was finally being honest with me and had opened up about her real feelings for the first time in a long time, which was a huge step.
So, now, the counselor, let's just call her "Ruth" (Not her real name). She seemed nice enough, but she immediately jumped on me "You don't respect your wife" because I walked in the door before my wife did. That was the only thing she drew that conclusion from. My wife has always been timid, she tells me it was a very bad boyfriend years ago, with social anxiety, along with the depression she brought into the marriage, so I've always taken lead, "Walking in front makes me uncomfortable" she would say.
The first session wasn't exactly bad but "Ruth" didn't address my wife's lying to me nor the visit to the man across the country. The first thing she said was that "You don't respect your wife" because I walked in the door in front of her. That was a slap in the face. My wife began to choke up once and "Ruth" handed her some tissues (more on that later). My wife did not say anything about either her first boyfriend or why she walks behind me to the counselor, she let me just get drilled. She addressed my wife's inability to talk to me but blamed that on my grouchy behavior, and also that I shouldn't EVER look at porn because it upset my wife. I agreed I needed to work on my grouchyness, and I was willing to stay away from porn to save my marriage, I was willing to do that, but I was rather upset that we didn't get to any of what was making me unhappy.
I believed we would get to the other issues of my wife's later in counseling at a later time. But a few days later my 4 year old daughter was playing on the computer and inadvertantly found a private blog my wife was keeping, in which she went more into detail about what happened on the trip, that she had lied to me about several things, but worse than that something like "I can't believe I had to tell HIM about my special visit, the last person I would ever want to know about it, it makes me sick to think he knows about that, that he knows how bad my depression got..." and again, like I was punched in the stomach. A meaningful moment where I believed my wife was finally honest, ruined by A) she wasn't being honest STILL and B) she regretted even telling me anything
She also went on to say she had been reading MY emails for some time and made some silly emotional projections about my completely innocent interactions with an old friend from college I had never dated, a friend I told her about 2 days BEFORE she went to see "Jerod".
I gave my wife several days to come clean, I even disclosed a painful memory to her about something that had happened to me in my teenage years. Still, nothing, she would not tell the whole truth about the trip. I was emotionally spent and unable to sleep, finally I broke down, I told her I had seen everything, and she went into "Oh god, oh god, how could you, those were my private thoughts". I apologized, and I was sorry for having seen it, I hadn't even searched for that, but I had, and she was extremely angry with me, not willing to talk about lying to me, etc. We moved the counseling up several days and went in immediately.
Did not go at all as I suspected. "Ruth" attacked me non stop. Rather than address the dishonesty she told me I was "childish" for having looked at the journal and that I was the dishonest one for ever having tried to get my wife to tell me the truth. WHAT???? I tried asking what I should have done? I addressed the "emotional affair" and the counselor attacked me again, saying that what my wife did was only because I was "looking at porn" as though the visit with this man was completely acceptable. "Ruth" went on to say that I was making excuses, that her behavior was all a direct reaction to things I had done, and that I refused to accept responsibility for my own "actions", yelled "YOU ARE A BULLY" several times at me, until I broke down in stunned silence. This time, as I cried, the counselor just sat there and stared at me, didn't offer me any tissues or support. I sobbed and asked what I was doing wrong, "Ruth" stated "What do you think you are doing wrong?" sternly, I even mentioned a book I had bought to read and try to figure things out, a relationship help book, and she snidely replied "Well, I hope that helps you".
My wife, again, did nothing to support me. The entire counseling session was an attack on me, my status as a man, and my behavior, and ignored everything she had done other than to basically say it was my fault for not being "open" enough.
It was a really "stunned" ride home, I was basically in a fog, my wife was elated, which actually was the only good thing for me, until we were almost home and she said "I'm really glad I went to see Jerod" at which point the wind was knocked out of my sails completely, again, and worse yet because she has affirmation from a counselor now that her visit to this man was all my fault. She also still wishes I didn't know about the visit.
So that brings me to now. I feel hopeless and that I'm irrevocably damaged now. Aren't married couples supposed to be sharing information with one another??? I was first to admit that I shouldn't have seen her 'private blog' but when information within that blog directly contridicts what she is saying to me in real life, what was I to do? It was an accident that I saw that anyway. I've NEVER (and I mean NEVER) looked through my wife's private things before, now I regret ever having done so.
"Ruth" didn't ever ask why I was looking at porn, didn't ask WHY I was grouchy, made tremendous leaps of assumptions, and in the meantime my wife allowed me to be attacked the entire hour, including some absolutely ludicrious assertions by the counselor about my parents.
I asked my wife later that night why she didn't come to my aid at all during the session, about her abusive boyfriend, about her suicidal thoughts, and my wife basically told me to shut up, that she "agreed" with everything the counselor had said. I told her to please never mention her feelings about "Jerod" ever again to me, and she just got grouchy and rolled over and went to sleep. Now I've been up since 4 am writing this post.
I know you are getting only my side, but I'm trying to be up front about my issues too. I'm getting no help at all and I'm severely spiraling and I fear I'm goign to lose my marriage.
Am I really the one who is all wrong here????????