She cheated cuz I have an addiction...thoughts?
Ok, Ill try to be specific. Been married 2.5 years, dated for several before that. Generally had a good relationship this whole time, very much in love etc...Now, for the past ten years or so I've had a drug habit. I've struggled with weed, off and on, or sometimes more, sometimes less, for the past ten years. Im a smart enough guy, I get good greats, I play high-level soccer etc, but I have struggled to eliminate weed from my life. To that end, about a year ago I started getting into weed again on a more consistent basis. Over a three month period or so it developed into an unhealthy habit/addiction. In the process
over that 3 month period my wife and I started getting a bit distant. I would be out often with friends, smoking etc. and we began spending less time together (honey-moon phase over?) and growing a bit distant. She started feeling distant to me at least. Or I should say, felt I wasnt around as much as i should for her, wasnt pulling my weight in the marriage, both emotionally, and house chores etc...
Now at some point over that same 3 month period she began a new job and started a friendship with her co-worker(where she volunteered at and hopefully would eventually get a job at). He has so much in common with her. They both are extremely passionate about their work and work-related things (teaching, fitness etc). At some point during the initial 3 month phase she admitted to me that she was having an innappropriate relationship with this guy. It started out just that they got along very well,
was easy to talk to (from both ends, he to her, her to he) etc, but that it quickly developed into her sharing how she felt and opening up to him etc., things she normally would be sharing with her husband. They started getting closer in other words. That had started that but she admitted this to me then, knew it was wrong, said she didnt want to continue it anymore, said it was over etc., that they would only be strictly professional. I accepted it, gave her the benefit of the doubt, and felt that I could believe her when she said it was over. The only reason it happened she said then was because we were less close lately, which in turn was essentially my fault, due to smoking too much weed. So I guess I have my share of the blame.
Fast forward 9 months from then to today. I've still been struggling with my weed addiction. It goes up or down, but its been there. And our relationship hasn't been great over this past year. When she first told me about that guy, at the time we first started growing distant, I had tried to rein in the collateral damage of my habit. That is, I learned that weed can make me complacent, lazy etc, and so even if I havent conquered my addiction, I tried to conciously be a better husband nonetheless. I would make myself emotionally available as much as possible, listen to her, be there for her etc, or would try to pull my weight more around the house. Yes, it wasn't perfect, there was still shortcomings for sure, but I can honestly say it was better than the first 3 month period.
Now the past 2 months have been quite rocky. In terms of my weed, she had laid down the hammer, giving me an ultimatum about a month ago that if I didnt check into rehad kind of thing that she was going to seperate. She didn't want to enable me anymore etc, which I felt was fair. I felt like utter **** for this. I felt/feel extremely bad about how I'd become. Over the past 6 months she had begun to be more open with how she was being affected by my addicition, that she felt very hurt, distant, that I havent been a good husband etc. My response would be shame, guilt, a thousand sorrys and I love yous. I would try to rein it in, or be a better man for her, sometimes to great effect, sometimes to mediocre effect. Lord knows I am not perfect. But anyways, the past six months have been like that, with the past two being "hammer being laid down." She stopped sleeping with me altogether, and generally was emotionally dead to me, unresponsive to me, even if I tried everything to love her. If I would try to be nice, or loving etc, these past two months she's been cold, essentially. Meanwhile I started a NA program, during which it requires full honesty and accountability to your loved ones re: the damage you've caused. I started going through the steps these past 2 months, of admitting my mistakes, admitting I have a problem, aplogizing repeatedly for the hurt I caused, all the while receiving minimal response from my wife "cuz she has been so hurt" or "we are so distant" etc. To my mind I could accept this, and felt it was only part of the healing process. I had hurt her, she had the right to express her pain and remain distant until she could trust me again.
This week, by accident, I found out that her and co-worker made out, for quite awhile apparently, not just a kiss, one night two months ago when they were along together at his place. She admitted it to me, reluctently, but full of guilt. We were both crying alot etc...As I asked more questions and she became more forthright with me, it turns out that they had retained their friendship/relationship all along, or recontinued it after a short respite following the first time she admitted it to me. They would hang out at his place, go out to pubs together, go for coffee or walks together etc. Physically, they made out the one time, and also on various occassions have held hands, hug and cuddled, held each other close etc. Emotionally, she said their relationship is "complicated" since they "care about eachother alot" and developed "feelings for eachothers". They have shared this with eachother, know that they have feelings for eachother etc. She said this only really picked up in the last three months, but I know for a fact that she has remained friends with him from the get-go.
I feel hurt, very hurt. We were always extremely faithful to eachother and always spoke about how that's the last thing we'd ever do. I was serious about that. Not to come across as arrogant, but I'm a smart dude, good looks, and barring a weed addiction I'm trying to conquer, have my **** together. I'll be going to a top law school next year and dont find it difficult to talk to girls. And girls enjoy my company. Point is, there was lots of opportunity to cheat but I never would. I dont so much as even speak to girls, besides my sisters or old friends. If there is a situation where I feel a girl may be into me or me into her, I leave. I have my faults but I would never cheat, never wanted to, never wanted to be that guy. I swore to myself I would never, no matter what, cheat. That was the cardinal rule. And she's shared the same, and we've both agree how vital that is and how we'd leave eachother, how our awesome relationship would be broken, if that ever happened.
A few days have passed and we've talked. From her perspective she feels like crap about what happened. She says she cant believe she did that, that it was wrong etc etc...She also says the only reason it happened was because of the weed, that it was because we were distant for the past year. I can accept that to a degree. I am no angel and I know the weed has been a problem and that I've hurt her and that I need to change. I know that and accept that. But does that make her relationship ok? Obviously not, but does it justify it? Or excuse it? Or put another way, are we both equally wrong here? Or is it different, what we did? The way she puts it, she says its like I've been cheating on her with weed for the past year, that I choose weed over being there for her, and because of that, she started seeking fulfillment elsewhere. I can accept that, but then I also think about and wonder, that during the past year there has been lots of times that I've tried to be there for her, supported her, made nice evenings out with her, cuddled her, listened etc, only to recieve the cold shoulder. Or I think of the past two months since she has laid down the hammer, threatening to leave and withholding all physical and emotional intimacy until I get better. I've felt like crap and blamed myself for all that was wrong in our relationship, but I cant help but think alot of that was also because she had been carrying on this relationship with that guy. I mean, how did we even have a change at repairing our relationship when she had been carrying this one behind my back the whole time? And to what extent is it not her fault that this past year we had been distant? How could we not when she was getting fullfilment elsewhere?
I dont know what to do. She wants to get MCing and work this through. I do too but I cant help feel something is broken. I know she didnt sleep with him, but they did enough physically, and even more than enough emotionally, and for awhile. She's also been lying about it this whole time, and especially these past two months since the time they made out, she'd dramatically increased the distance and blame. I cant help feel angry about it. Here we are trying to fix our relationship via me fixing my addiction, a process which requires full honesty and responsibility by all parties involved, and she's carrying on this relationship? All the while increasing the blame for the fact that we are distant? All the while rejecting my attempts at intimacy, love, support, apology etc on the pretext that we are too broken and its my fault?
She wants to get MCing, move one, let by-gones be by-gones etc, and restart our marriage. We both ****ed up sort of deal, we deal with it and start afresh. I should add her tone changed the second I found out about it. The day I found out she was all "sorry, sorry, we both messed up, lets get MC and move past this etc," whereas the very day before, even a couple hours before I found out, she was talking about contemplating leaving me, talking about how she spoke with friends who had marriage problems, one stuck it out and is now happy, the other left and never has been happy, and that she doesnt know what she should do. This kind of talk had been going on for the past couple months before I found out. So she had been laying it all on me, had been threatening leaving, and the moment I find out everything changes? Now she just wants to work it out and move on? She says it was all a mistake and only happened because we developed problems. On a side note, she continues and continued to see that guy after they made out, but on a strictly professional level she says. Furthermore, she is about to start a job working under his authority. So she will see him everyday. This burns me inside so much. I feel like a jackass. This guy makes out and has an emotional relatioship with my wife, and now she is about to accept a job working with him?? She says she would be willing to change jobs etc but shes been trying to get this job literally for a year and only got it because of those connections. And I know how meaningful this work is to her. She'd spent the last 7 years in school, volunteering etc to get it. But now she'll be doing this work along-side this guy. I can't stand the thought of it, but I also can't stand the thought of asking her to not do the work she absolutely loves.
I dont know what to do. I know she didnt sleep with him, but this past year he's basically been her emotional partner, and I've been the guy who is to blame for becoming distant. I know I have my faults, and I know the weed thing is a problem which Im sincerely trying to fix, but I would never ever cheat on her. She says its essentailly like Ive been cheating on her with weed, but really? Is that the same? Yes I've been a ****ty husband at times, but I never ever tried to hurt her, even though I did, and I never went out to be with another woman, even during the times where we were emotionally and physically distant.
What do you guys think? We both equally at fault? Is it essentially the same what we did? Should I/Can I ever trust her again? Any thoughts or experiences or whatever would be greatly appreciated as I'm pretty lost here...
Last edited by brokenbloke; 02-21-2012 at 04:04 PM.