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 Post subject: Lisaup's Healing Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:22 pm
Posts: 1
Lesson One-My Story

I discovered ongoing first affair 9 years into my marriage in 1997 quit by accident. My husband is a doctor and I was a nurse, but a stay at home mom at that time. It lasted a year or more, and I was clueless. I thought when someone you loved looked you in the eye and said there was nothing going on, there wasn't. I had 3 young children and was 5 months pregnant with our fourth daughter when I finally had enough of the evidence and the stalling and kicked him out. He was gone 3 days and he figured out it was us or her. So he came back and we got some unhelpful counseling that didn’t last very long. Back in 1998, there wasn't the plethora of self-help books like there is today, and the internet was still in its infancy. I don’t remember having any resources. I was too humiliated and confused to tell anyone, so I suffered in silence. He continued to deny that they slept together and even got the OW to lie for him. He even swore on his dear father’s grave. I knew otherwise, but he wouldn't admit it. I didn’t even know about gaslighting back then.
Then in 2005 he came home a week after we got back from a big family trip to Disney, to tell me he was being blackmailed by affair partner number 3, and while he was confessing, told me about number 2 whom I didn't know about. At that point it he finally admitted to screwing number 1. We got a new therapist. It came out while we were talking one night that he had been sexually abused when he was young. That is all I knew. I read everything I could find about affairs at that point, which is how I figured out the abuse. After a year or so of the therapy, I gave up because it wasn't helping me. He continued, and after a year or so, I asked about the abuse. He told me it was between him and his therapist and he didn't have to tell me. I was furious and felt betrayed all over again. I told him I couldn't believe after screwing up our lives so horribly, that he wasn’t ever going to tell me how this person had hurt him, how old he was at the time and for how long it went on. I didn't need or want details about the actual abuse. He was steadfast that he wasn't going to tell me.
That was the night my heart truly broke. I stayed with him through unimaginable pain, multiple infidelities, humiliation, self-hate, doubt and marital therapy-all to be told he was shutting the door in my face. I even let him keep his job and didn’t relocate us which at the time was the advice. Even though I knew two of them were still at the hospital, I let him stay. I protected his image with his daughters and hid everything to this day from them. I took a bullet for the team-but I was the only team member. A switch just seemed to turn off that night. I felt total despair, because I realized things were never going to get better than they were, and I knew they weren’t better enough. So I did the same thing, I shut the door in his face and withdrew from him emotionally and physically. I put up a wall. We went on being married with no physical intimacy. I realize looking back that I was walking dead. I felt so lifeless and unhappy. I felt trapped. Over the next 10 years we raised 3 of our 4 daughters and sent them off to college. The youngest is still at home.
Then in January I picked up his old cell phone that he replaced about 16 months prior. It has literally been sitting on the laundry room counter all that time, stuffed in the corner. I swiped it on after charging it, password was the same one he has always used. I was looking for graduation photos I had asked him to look for a week or so before this. So I opened it and found the photos alright. Photos of his dick. That scared the hell out of me, so I started reading his messages. Found a respiratory therapist who had been sending him naked pictures of her breasts. Then I found where in many of his messages to different nurses and staff, he sexualized everything. He had asked several others for naked picture as "compensation" when they wanted something. He brought up sex where there wasn’t any. Most of them responded with lol’s or just ignored him. One was his "friend" who was married, but his messages bordered on lust and he frequently inserted sexual jokes in his messages to her. I was shaking with terror at that point. My worst fears were actualized.
I confronted him that night. He admitted to it all, and added there was another clerk at the hospital that he had been sexting. When I looked at our phone records, I saw they had texted as much as 100 times a month. They texted very graphic sexual messages to each other and she left him sexual voice messages. The phone records show she sent pictures, but he denies they were naked. I also saw that he and the friend had texted that as many as a hundred times a month also. I asked if there was anyone else. NO. I naturally started digging, since I then knew the level of deceit he was capable of. Then, two weeks later while in his office, he left his jump drive plugged into his computer. Of course at this point, snooping was in full force. He had opened that door. I look at it and discover naked pictures of a woman. They turn out to be much to my horror, affair partner number 2. She had texted him a naked picture from behind bent over, and one from the front of her from the waist up naked. I absolutely came unglued. They had been back in contact. She had continued to work with him after their affair in 2004. I asked questions about her all the time-especially the first few years. He had always denied contact. He says they didn't start texting until she had left the hospital in 2015. At some point she sent the pictures or he requested them. He doesn't "remember". He told me he just wanted them to like him, he wanted to be popular and to be needed. He hadn’t had that in high school and it was just about fitting in. I realized I am married to an 11 year old in a mans body.
Our youngest is about to graduate high school. I wanted to kick him out and truly I want to leave him. I can't do either until my last girl leaves the house. I just can't do it to her. We have found a great therapist this time and I feel he can help us if anyone can. My husband is also getting help individually with him and has joined (at the therapist and my request) a 12 step group called Celebrate Recovery. We live in a small town and are about 1 hour from a major city, so our resources are limited. My husband also is a work addict, which has been as much of our problems as his sex addiction. It is his other drug. Where he is powerful and in charge, and he says do something and it gets done. He feeds off the adoration the nurses give him and it makes him feel wanted and needed.
Where am I culpable in this? One, being naïve and not realizing your husband can look you square in the face and lie their head off. Two, for not trusting my gut. When he said he never saw her at work, I should have checked it out. I should have been monitoring phone records. At the very least, I should have been at least downloading and saving them. Three, for not getting more help. If the therapist didn't work, I should have found another therapist instead of giving up. Four, for putting up the emotional wall. I should have fought harder, given him an ultimatum, or just left and hoped that he would fight for us. Five, I shouldn’t have settled for a loveless marriage. My daughters deserved better than that. I thought I was doing them a favor by staying, but now I realize, it probably left them with more scares. Six, I should have been more conscious of the fact he was protecting his phone. I knew he was, but honestly at that point, I don't think part of me cared enough to look. He obviously wasn't that worried about getting caught, because he left it in full access all the time, and never changed his password. Seven, if it smell like a duck, walks like a duck and shits like a duck, it’s a frigging duck!
We have been in therapy together since mid-February and we started individual therapy a few weeks ago. He just joined a Celebrate Recovery group. I don’t think he has really bought into the group thing or the fact that he has an addiction. He is doing it because he knows if he doesn’t get help, I will leave this time. I told him I would give it 6 months and we are entering month number 4. At the same time, I am fighting his work addiction, which I suspect he is using to mask the pain from losing the sex addiction. It is an uphill battle. The most difficult thing is the “letting go”. I have to have my journey for now, and he has to have his. If he buys into it and does the hard work, I think we can succeed in rebuilding our marriage. But for my emotional health and survival, I do have a deadline.

Lesson Two-My Relationship Vision

I see a more spiritual side to myself. Attending church more often, even if alone.

I see me praying more often and blessing my meals.

I see me continuing to work on myself for the rest of my life so I don't get complacent and backslide.

I see me being a mother that is more connected to my daughters and spending more time with them one on one.

I see myself as interesting and not afraid to voice my opinion. I will protect my opinion as my own personal view of the situation.

I view my spouse as a separate individual who is on his own journey and not as something I can fix.

I will trust my intuition and if something doesn't seem right I will check it out for myself. I won't bury my fear.

I see me not trusting answers from my spouse that don't make sense to me and I will check them for myself.

I see my spouse finally getting the help he needs for his work and sex addiction and it will be at his own pace.

I see me spending more quality time together with my spouse because we are working less hours and making time for each other.

I see us traveling more and seeing the sites we have always talked about.

I see me spending more time with our daughters.

I see me not being afraid to be myself and not putting up emotional walls for fear if getting hurt.

I see me having in depth conversations with my spouse on personal subjects like we have over work topics.

I see me pursuing my hobbies like knitting, spinning yarn and sewing.

I see a partner that is engaged in our lives and helps with errands and chores.

I see me being Ok if I end up alone.

I see me being able to survive and protect myself, even if I am a single person.

I see me enjoying living alone and not having to wait on anyone else besides myself.

I see me being able to travel and take in different cultures, even as a single person.

I see me with clear boundary's and not tolerating any violations that I have detailed to my spouse.

I see me releasing the pain that has been holding me prisoner for the last 20 years.

I see my bitterness turn into compassion as I seek to learn more about my spouses world.

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