I’ve been reading your site for some time and have found it extremely helpful. I love how you don’t “beat around the shrubbery”, and that kind of directness is what I need now.
I discovered last year, within a weeks time, that my husband was having an emotional affair (EA) with a co-worker for 5 years (they both are government) and a serious porn addiction, of which I had zero knowledge. Boy, I was full of not knowing, wasn’t I? We have been married for 17 years and have known each other for over 20.
After I discovered the EA, I asked him to send a no contact letter and he did. Well, I found out 5 days later that they had set up secret email accounts. I gathered this info and sent it to her husband and that pretty much curtailed the EA.
The porn addiction is a result of PTSD during war time. It still doesn’t stop the blow to your self esteem when your husband is turning you down for sex constantly. I started keeping a calendar and we would generally have sex, if I was lucky, every 60 to 90 days. I had NO idea he was using porn for self gratification and therefore that is why he wouldn’t touch me. Didn’t help when I found out though as my self esteem was way in the sh*tter by now.
Not only did I not have any intimacy in my marriage due to his EA, I also had no intimacy in my marriage due the porn use. Both of these things I had NO IDEA of until I discovered them myself.
Fast forward. We went to marriage counseling which was a flop. I became resentful because I felt like I was doing all the work to “fix” something I didn’t do. He let me do it and that made me even more resentful. After reading your site I lost it one evening and told him I was tired of the trickle truth, the no effort, and the fact that not one fact he has come forward with on his own. I’ve found out EVERYTHING on my own and he won’t own up to it unless I have him dead to rights.
I let him know the other day that I couldn’t stand not being able to trust him. When I ask him a question about the affair, most likely I already have the answer, and I’m just looking for a hint of truthfulness from him.
Let us fast forward again to this evening. I asked him, point blank, WHO set up the secret email accounts? Was it YOU or was it HER. Now this is not a tough question but he still answered with his coined “I don’t remember”. This does not fly with me anymore so I said, “Well did you log in to the website and use YOUR fingers to create both accounts? If the answer is NO, then she created the account. If the answer is YES then it was you.” Now let us take in to mind that this was last year so the “I don’t remember” is not flying.
My question to you is, Why does he continue to not answer a direct question, even when he knows I know the answer? Again part of the healing comes from not the details but the knowledge that the truth is being told. It is not like I don’t know that he had an affair and the porn addiction. I’m the one who found out for crimminy sake.
He is in counseling now and so am I. I am in it more for my sanity and I hope he gets the help he needs to battle his demons. I don’t think I can stay in this marriage anymore but I keep taking puffs off the hopium pipe. I need someone to tell me, in laymans terms, how I can explain to him why it is I’m really leaving. I’ve told him that I can’t handle anymore trickletruth and I can’t keep digging as I always find something. I need him to come forward with some information of his own before I find it. I know that won’t happen but I’m so sad and frustrated. Please kick some sense in to me.
Thank you and buffering up my backside for the kicking I need.
You wanted direct, so here it is — your husband is still in his affair.
You can stick your finger in the dyke all you want to — intercepting his latest secret email addresses, monitoring his porn, calling the OW’s husband — but so long as your husband is doing the You’re Not the Boss of Me tango of entitlement, this “reconciliation” is a non-starter.
He’s going to therapy as the price of admission to eat cake. And he’s sullen and resentful about it, happy to let you do all the heavy lifting on this save the marriage shit.
He’s not having sex with you, most likely, because he’s been getting it somewhere else — the OW. I’m sorry, but people don’t have EAs for FIVE YEARS when they have direct access to one another daily. And continue to have access. They still work together, correct? I didn’t see anything in your letter where he’s found a new job or she left hers. Grown-ups don’t flirt for five years — they have sex. Sex is the preferred form of kibbles.
Look, even in the highly unlikely event that this is “just” an EA, your marriage sucks. Ask yourself if this relationship is acceptable to YOU. It sure doesn’t sound like it, Angi. You’re begging for scraps of dignity from a guy who is clearly checked out emotionally and physically. What’s left to be married to? His military pension? You can get that in the divorce.
My question to you is, Why does he continue to not answer a direct question, even when he knows I know the answer?
Simple. Because he prefers to keep you in the dark.
You know that, it just frustrates the hell out of you and you’d prefer to not listen to his ACTIONS.
His actions are communicating a very clear message — CAKE.
He makes a weak reconciliation gesture and immediately undoes it each and every time, Angi.
Send a NC letter? Okay, and the next day he sets up new secret email accounts.
Go to marriage counseling? Okay, but he won’t do any of the work.
Go to individual counseling? Hey, you don’t get to monitor that and he could be anywhere that afternoon. (“I was at therapy!”) Anyway, whatever he’s doing, he’s still an asshole who “doesn’t remember.” Perhaps he should try past life regression therapy, where he can recall the details of his various double lives under hypnosis. WTFever.
I need someone to tell me, in laymans terms, how I can explain to him why it is I’m really leaving.
You don’t explain it to him. You just DO. You leave. You see a lawyer and don’t tell him boo about that. You line up your ducks and you divorce his ass.
Time to trot out the old Dr. Simon axiom — it’s not that he doesn’t see, he disagrees. He doesn’t need insight that you’re unhappy — HE DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT. His actions clearly demonstrate that. So you need to wake up and act accordingly. No marriage here to save, he’s not in it, time to lawyer up.
Do NOT lawyer up to make him “come to his senses” and do the pick me dance for you. He might well do that — to maintain cake. No, divorce him. If he wants to reconcile after you’ve been awarded a settlement and half his military pension, he can demonstrate his sorry then. I could recommend a post-nup to you, but the guy is having a work place affair in a government job. He may well be fired for it, or subject to a lawsuit. You need to get out and secure that settlement before the worst happens, and if he gets uppity about it, your lawyer deposes his workplace. Get out NOW before the OW’s husband complains to her boss or human resources. Save yourself, Angi!
Why doesn’t he tell you the truth? I can’t keep digging as I always find something.
You answered yourself. The truth is worse than you know, and he’s going to be goddamned if he tells you that. He’d prefer to avoid the consequences and continue to eat cake at your expense.
Fuck that, Angi. Take back your power today. Call a lawyer.
This column ran previously.