My husband and I recently reconciled after a separation that lasted about two months. We have been going to marriage counseling the whole time. I found out last night that he has been looking at Craigslist personal ads, including one night stands, did a search for prostitutes in our area and also wrote to a few of the personal ads on Craigslist. This has all happened AFTER I found out he had signed up for match.com during our separation. He deleted that account, told me he was so sorry, he didn't know why he did it, etc. Then he subsequently surfed Craiglist and looked up where to find hookers around here. He "promises" me he has not been with anyone else. But in my mind, he has been more than unfaithful to me on an emotional level. What is funny is he was doing all this on-line stuff and at the same time searching up places to take me for my birthday.... I am absolutely completed devastated. I do not know where to go from here or if I will EVER be able to trust him again. I just feel sick inside. I told him the ONLY way I would even consider continuing our relationship is if he gets serious therapy on his own. He told me he loves me and wants a life together with me and that he doesn't understand why he continues to do these things. Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated. I am very close to just telling him I want a divorce. I cannot continue on like this.
So what was your response, when you told him one of your conditions was individual counseling for him? What about marriage/joint counseling? Both of these things seem like reasonable requirements for reconciling to me.
My H did this after we reconciled, but it was every kind of hook up you can imagine. He thought he had cleared his phone out when I went to sell it... Low and behold I found the most disgusting ads that he would look at. So you are not alone. I was mortified and that was it... I was done again. I don't have any answers for you. My H suddenly became completely transparent in every aspect... I have complete access to everything and he has stopped everything. He had told the counselor that he did it for attention.
If I were you, I would tell him that you want a divorce and start to follow through with it. And continue following through with it until he starts to become transparent to you and is willing to prove to you that he is no longer doing that. I think it's the only way to stop him. Good luck to you.
He said he would go to individual counseling but he said he didn't know if it would work because he doesn't think I will ever trust him again.
And I don't know if I can trust him. This has devastated me. Prostitutes?? Seriously??? It makes me ill. He did all this on his laptop computer while we were separated and I saw the history when he moved home (he is clueless about history, etc).
Now he is acting like he is torn up over what he has done and in my mind all I can feel is that this was just a big game to him and his way of making sure we ended up splitting. He says he wants to always be with me and wants more than anything to fix our marriage. But he has a real funny way of showing it and I find that very hard to believe.
Funny also that the week he was looking up hookers and one night stands on the internet was the week the counselor told us to take a break from each other and reflect on our feelings for one another. Well, now I see what his true feelings were - "I'm going out to find a one night stand". That is after he went to a pick up dance club with his buddies and found out that 21 year olds are not interested in 40 year old men.
I just am so torn, we have been doing this counseling and all along I thought things were going well for us. How naive I have been. Should I just let him go? Is it always going to be like this?
Should I just let him go? Is it always going to be like this?
Only you can ultimately answer these questions. I can only tell you what I would do, because I was in a similar situation many years ago with my ex (and now deceased) husband. He made an attempt at "reconciliation" five months after I moved out.
Several weeks into our so-called reconciliation, I was at his house working on his computer on a paper I needed to submit for a class. It didn't even enter my head that he was out on the net joining every dating site he could find. I want to add that dating sites were fairly new back in 2000, so there were quite a few that are now-defunct. I pulled down the "favorites" menu and there were all these sites. And, upon going to them, I found his big mug plastered on every single one, saying he was looking for his "soul mate - I'll know her when I meet her." Oh, please, somebody hand me a barf bag!
That was the end of it for me. Our reconciliation was terminated very shortly thereafter. Within a month or so, he moved a gal in he met from one of those sites. Did I believe my husband would change? Initially, yes. But that was before I found out what he was doing. At that point, I saw him as a low-life opportunistic slimeball.
The only advice I can give you in your particular circumstance is you will let him go when the pain of staying exceeds the pain of leaving.
My husband has done this repeatedly throughout our dating life and marriage. The last time was about a year ago (that I can prove b/c I just quit looking), after he had an affair with my best friend (which is what finally ended our marriage - when I found out about it 2 weeks ago). He claims now that he feels (and felt) horribly guilty about the affair and that it should have never happened and he spent the next year making it up to me... but that didn't stop him from looking for casual sex on Craigslist.
I have no doubts that he will continue to do that if we reconcile. So I'm done. He wants attention from those type of girls, they can have him, as far as I'm concerned.
I'm tired of fighting for him with girls on the internet. Can't tell you what to do - but just relate with what you are going through. It took me 14 years together and 2 kids before I finally said enough is enough.
I love him very much and want so much to believe in him, and in us. I just do not know if I can do that anymore. All I see right now in my mind are the titles of the "ads" he looked at on Craigslist and the few emails he sent to women on the site (who never responded). It just sickens me and I do not know if I will ever, ever get over it. This morning when I woke up, I looked at him in a whole different light, in fact there was little feeling there. I have always loved the sight of my husband and this morning I really could have cared less. Not sure if I will ever get it back.
Willow--I know you want to believ ehi but he's showed you er and over again he's not committed to your marriage. If he were truly into reconciliation and into the MC, he would not be soliciting or looking for sex and one night stands and hookers and dating sites on the internet.
I know it sucks but, this situation, coupled with his past on other dating sites tells you everything you need to know.
Sometimes we want to believe someone is someone they are not.
Ignorance is not bliss in cases like these. Ignorance puts you at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, emotional pain, being gaslighted, and naively wanting to believe something htat is not true, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
All I see right now in my mind are the titles of the "ads" he looked at on Craigslist and the few emails he sent to women on the site (who never responded). It just sickens me and I do not know if I will ever, ever get over it.
You won't. And I can still quote from my exH's dating site profile looking for sex, word for word, verbatim. And that was years ago, about two months after we just bought our first home together. Yeaaaah...
We have been going to counseling while all this has been going on. Lots of good that has done. Here I naively believed he really wanted to work on our marriage, all the while he is out looking for sex from someone else, checking out all the personal ads on Craigslist, etc. And believe me he should have nothing to complain about at home on that front, so it isn't like he can use no sex as an excuse, like that is even a justifiable reason.... I told him the only way I would consider trying to work things out is if we continued to go to joint counseling and he goes to therapy on his own. Is that even going to work or is this just an inherent behavior in some men? This "grass is greener" syndrome. I just don't even know at this point if I even want to stay with him, he has just shattered my soul.
And I wonder, will I ever be able to look at my husband again in the same way? Will I ever, ever get that back?
Speaking from experience...it will always be in the back of your mind and you will always be looking for little red flags and changes in his behavior. You will always be in spy mode. It sucks. I had a similar experience and after trying to forgive, forget and move on...found out I just didn't have it in me to live with the distrust. It ate at me. I found out after leaving him that he had been unfaithful to me even before we had our first anniversary...I was married to him for 28 years. Talk about a shock. Will you ever look at him the same way...no, never.
Wow....painful to read because it IS of what I am dealing with right now. My H and I struggled awhile back---no guidebook to tell you who's doing to much or too little when it comes to sex. This led to him attempting to cheat and me hurt and feeling like a crazy person for reading his emails, then me forgiving him. I thought we had problems with sex before...but it became worse. The slight improvement I could muster up on my part to make things better was barely recognized and became a problem since I felt worse and it showed. We had other probs as well and ended up in couseling. Skip over dramatically failed counseling, separation & near divorce, his failed attempt at finding a hot young girlfriend, his 2x encounter divorcee, his proclamation of clean bill of health. He asks for another chance because 'he realized he has problems and would do anything he can to fix them to make our 7 years of marriage worth it'. I explained the physical aspect of our relationship is shot and we would need time and counseling to get that back. 1 month & he's had 1 counseling session, reduced drinking (when things are good) and begging to move in. I can't even bring myself to show affection right now b/c of unsettled issues/trust we hadn't even touched upon yet (quitting drinking & having uncomfortable discussions is too much for him at once apparently). Moving in is recipe for disaster. I had another 'crazy person' spell when I accidently grabbed his credit card statement thinking it was mine (he forgot we have same bank and statement goes to my house). The week 'trying again' he pays for a dating website. Takes me minutes to figure out he had also joined match.com, and responded to an ad on craigslist (a week ago) for a female that looks good, is successful but is lonely and can't understand why her last boyfriend thought her being too sexual was a problem....and she's just looking for someone who understands. Just as someone else said..I'll never forget the ad. Also (probably for the best), I didn't get a glimpse of flirtyandsexy007's profile, the recipient of a one sentence email from my H. Worst part is I end up feeling like a jerk that I pulled the email reading again! I never used to be like that and feel some good quality of myself was taken! His reaction upon confrontation was anger and crying...resulting in something like "I want this to work and thought I could deal with no affection or sex for now....but I feel like I'm going crazy and that you don't really want me back b/c you don't even respond when I hold you. I did those emails when I was upset and drinking one night but I never would've actually met anyone. I'm sorry I keep hurting you, it's all my fault and I deserve to lose you. I just want you to know that if you can forgive me I'm going to keep working at this." Aside from the obvious risky behavior he is attempting to involve himself in (which I have now refused to stand for and have halted our relationship).....I'm still left to question my actions to solve the problems. How can I take the time to work toward getting back even the simple urge to hug or kiss someone, when a man needs affection and sex regularly to function (as I hear from most sources). I just feel like I either handled this go-round all wrong or that there just isn't an answer and I'm too far gone for repairing this. Everything about our marriage was wonderful except our sex life, which has escalated into so many other problems. I told him it may just be that we're not sexually compatible and he has refused to acknowledge that possibilty. As for now, there is an element of digust I don't know I'll ever get over. I'm getting myself to counseling....b/c I expect I am once again waiting for the calm before the storm--when he is again faced with the reality of his situation. Sorry this was long, but I read the initial post and felt hurt that others are in the same place I am, but at ease that I'm not the only one unsure of what I should be feeling. Hopefully these postings will help others feel comfortable with their feelings and decisions.