I just wanted to express how relieved I was to find your site and read some of the stories on it. A lot of the characteristics and experiences of the spouses on the site mirror mine, especially right now at this moment in time. I really am in need of a support system right now and given my situation that makes it especially tricky..it seems like whatever I do or whichever way I turn, there are no clear answers…not that life is or should be clear, however I could use a little clarity right now. . And I feel like I can trust you, insofar as I can trust anyone right now. Ok…here goes…
I dated my husband for 3 years and we have been married for 6 years. Initially, we had an intense physical connection and a good communication flow. I trusted him completely and felt that that trust was reciprocated. He told me things about himself that I’m certain he’s never told anyone else and in the process revealed a pattern of emotional and physical abuse throughout his childhood, and also an extremely complicated relationship with his mother based on abandonment issues. So, I knew what I was getting into from the beginning. I knew he had serious psychological issues and that he drank a lot and could be very closed off at times and was just a really angry person. Despite all this I fell in love with him and we got engaged. He then joined the active duty military and proposed to me. I accepted and then to be with him to his first duty station.
We were very happy in the beginning even though he was deployed to Iraq three times during our marriage. I would say that the total amount of time we spent together in person throughout our whole relationship, due to these multiple deployments is considerably less than the amount of time being away from each other. I got pregnant when he came home on leave from a deployment and we now have a young child and one on the way.
So looking back now, I can see the signs. He stopped being interested in having sex with me. Eventually I had to always initiate it and it was invariably bad…so after a while I stopped initiating and our sexual encounters dwindled to almost nothing. When I talked to him about it he would be evasive and do the whole supposedly woman thing…”honey I’m tired.” And throughout all this he drank heavily…which is nothing new…he has always drank. But now it was getting to the point where he would pass out somewhere in the house and not even sleep in bed with me. So it went on like this for a couple of years…with me getting progressively unhappier and him withdrawing more and more from me, and us arguing about the same things over and over. Eventually, I think we just stopped engaging each other on a deeper level.
Fast forward to recent events. He has been at home a lot more but his job does still involve him taking trips away from us. After he got back from his last trip, he told asked me if I was happy and that he hadn’t been and he thought we should separate. He said he thought we both should work on ourselves and decide what we wanted in life. He proceeded to say that he was a bad, bad person who had done bad things and that I was better off without him and that we were better off without him and he didn’t want to drag us down with him. Then he expressed the wish that I date other guys while we were separated and see if I could find someone better. He also suggested have a separation agreement drawn up outlining all these points…child support etc.
I asked him how long he thought we needed to be apart and he said probably about two years but if we decided to get back together sooner, we always could. I brought up therapy and he nixed that idea emphatically. I said I would consider it but that I would need time to think.
He is again away on a trip and before he left I discovered while going through the cell phone bill suspicious call and text messages to and from a number based in the place he had just been for his trip. I asked him who it was because of the odd times and the frequency of the phone calls. He said it was just a friend. I initially believed him and then had to look in detail at the phone bill because there was a discrepancy and we went over minutes for some reason. In doing this, I realized not only was there texting back and forth, but that there were pictures sent and that the frequency with which he was contacting this person was extremely high….My suspicions were aroused.
I kept bringing it up and he said we would talk when he got back from his trip. The ideas kept going around and around my head and I couldn’t keep it in. I talked to him on the phone and demanded that he tell me what was going on. What was really going on. I brought up the baby and said that the stress of not knowing was taking away my appetite and I couldn’t sleep and that this wasn’t good for the baby and he owed me an explanation and I couldn’t wait until I saw him in person.
He finally caved. He confessed(again I could tell he’d been drinking) that he had several times done things he was ashamed of and that he didn’t think he could stop either. He also said he would never tell me the details but told me to read between the lines. I asked him if he could have given me STDs…He said that he had used protection. I was horrified…here I am pregnant and I brought up the baby again and I couldn’t stop thinking how this might have effected the little one.
Again he reiterated that this was not my fault and that he was messed up and it stemmed from his childhood upbringing. This didn’t reassure me. It just confirmed my suspicions that this person he was talking to so frequently was involved with him and that he was trying to throw me off the scent. I was hurt all over again. It is more that I feel he is withholding and not being completely honest with me that is tearing me up….the infidelity itself would not be so hurtful were he to come clean completely. Not to mention, I can’t stop thinking about the danger he put me in and our baby….I just can’t get it out of my head….how he he could do that to us.
It makes me feel so incredibly weak that I still care about this man…maybe even still love him, I don’t know..despite all this. And it bothers me that I am still hurt as well by what I consider his indifference towards this pregnancy. I feel affronted that he has been so distant with me and with the uninvolved with the progress of this pregnancy and our child. I know I should be more concerned with what this man has done to us…the great betrayal he has perpetrated on this family and me and my well being, both emotional and physical…but I can’t help myself…I find myself crying at odd moments and all I want to be is angry. And the fact that I still feel something for him makes me feel angry and helpless.
So as things stand now…I will stay until the baby is born and I am making plans to get credentials to start working again. I think that I am leaning towards going through with the separation…it’s just a matter of when it happens. I am not sure if I can make it through that first year, raising a newborn and a young child by myself while going back to school and then working.
My initial instinct is still to seek therapy. And I know, regardless of whether he admits it or not, that therapy is necessary for him. He obviously deep issues whether or not he is a sex addict. And it makes me uncomfortable and it did from the beginning, that he is refusing to go to therapy and says it will only hinder, not help him or us. I am also worried about my husband. I am truly afraid for his well being, emotional, physical and otherwise…if we all leave.
I don’t know if I could deal with the guilt if after I left, he spiraled farther and farther into deeper and darker places. That being said…I feel like I need to be concerned more about myself and my children and our well being. What makes it harder is that we are still not self-sufficient and our well being is intricately tied up with my husband’s. I have been a stay at home mom basically since my child was born and so am financially dependent on him…also he is wonderful dad and I would hate if something really bad happened that maybe would not have happened if we had stayed and supported him(well really me…I guess). But also I feel like his love for his children helps him connect and feel some sort of light in his life. I am in such a quandary right now….at this point in time I am fairly resolved on seeking therapy for myself even if he does not go. That is the only solid decision I’ve made so far.