Hi Chump Lady,
I stumbled across your site a while ago. I wonder what your thoughts are on a situation I find myself in. While I have no positive proof my husband cheated, apart from dubious websites in the cookies on the computer (yeah I know, not terribly reliable right?) and some sites in the history. I can’t help but have a gut feeling that something has happened.
About 3-4 years ago he moved himself into the spare room, supposedly because the mattress on our bed was uncomfortable. I should say that we had moved previously back to my home town and he had to remain in his previous job, 8 hours away. He was getting a redundancy worth about $100,000. That was a bit stressful to say the least and looking back we would have done things differently.
Anyway, my belief is that he may have been participating in live webcamming (I think that’s the term). We went to counselling as I had a bit of a mini breakdown I suppose. Other things of course contributed. I did a soft confront, I’m learning all the lingo, and got a commitment but no real answers. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been physically unfaithful, but to be honest I’m having doubts about that. I am a pretty conflict avoidant and don’t rock the boat sort of person.
I don’t know what to do. I have two kids, one with special needs and I had treatment for cancer two years ago. At the moment my priority is my kids future should it return. I know I didn’t have it as bad as others, but I am feeling very paranoid at the moment. You have that great talent of dishing out the right advise and I would appreciate a response from someone removed from us.
I’m going to cut right to the chase. I don’t know if your husband has been physically unfaithful or not. And I doubt he’s going to tell you unless you catch him at it. So ask yourself, right now — is this relationship acceptable to me?
A guy who sleeps in the spare room for three years, has prostitution sites on his computer history, and from what you write, won’t answer any questions and expresses zero remorse about the way things stand. (Dodgy sites, the way he’s withholds from you). Do you want to be married to this guy? Forget the cheating, he seems like he’s checked out.
You seem to keep your needs very small. Other people have it worse. You’re not a rock the boat kind of person. Hey, who are you to complain?
Uh, Anna — you’re YOU. Do you like this marriage? If not — SPEAK UP. Complain! You MATTER. You only get one shot at life and this is yours. Do you want to spend it with this dickweed? You went to counseling, you did a soft confront — perhaps you could confront harder. Try that. But I suspect you’re going to get the same answer you got when you did a soft confront — nothing. Nada. Crickets.
And you know what? No answer IS an answer. It’s a loud and clear message that he doesn’t give a fuck.
Is he trying to save his crappy marriage? Did he book those counseling appointments? Did he respond with love and compassion when you had a break down about all of this?
I don’t care how far he has to commute, or what his buyout package is — loving spouses don’t treat you like this. When you raise a SERIOUS issue like “hey, I couldn’t help but notice you spend a lot of time on sex-for-sale sites” a concerned spouse responds with EMPATHY. “What can I do? How can I assuage your fears? Let me be accountable. Let me demonstrate how I can assure you.” Why doesn’t he do that? Two possible reasons a) You’re not the boss of him. That makes him a passive aggressive freak who would like all the control and none of the responsibility. Ergo, he’s not marriage material. Or b) He’s got something to hide because he’s cheating. Ergo, he’s not marriage material.
Having a special needs kid or a history of cancer is NO REASON not to assert yourself. I’m sorry, Anna — people on this site have had both those challenges and left cheaters. It can be done. Sure, it makes things harder, I won’t lie. But so does having small infants, or being pregnant, or being stranded in a foreign country. It’s time to start being a boat rocker.
You’re in your home town, so I hope you have support there. You don’t mention it, but I hope you’re not dependent on him financially. If you are, start figuring out your employment options and see an attorney about what you’d be entitled to in support. Here’s another thing — people who cheat on you will financially fuck you over as well. Start watching the accounts. Consider a forensic accountant. This shit has been going on for years — and last I heard those sex webcam sites are not free. So, money is being diverted for this. Find it — ask for it back in a divorce.
Divorce?! In your mind you don’t think you have enough evidence to go on. If you need that, okay, be the marriage police. Keylog his computer, put a voice activated recorder and GPS in his car. Polygraph him. Ask him for a credit report. (Watch him balk.) To me, when you’ve gone there? The thing is already dead. You don’t trust him. But if you need that — do that. I think you have enough evidence that he doesn’t give a shit. And to me, that’s a non-starter. YOU need to bust a move. You can’t control what he does, you only control you. So vote with your feet, Anna. Talk to a lawyer and get your own shrink to help you enforce your boundaries.
You can do this, Chump Nation has your back.