The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Delayed response to disclosure

Starting last night I began to feel more sadness and loss about what I found out in disclosure. I'd been holding on to the time in my marriage when I thought we had no secrets between us. Now that is gone.

I'd been holding on to that precious time when I was pregnant, and those 5 months we had afer Son was born as a time when we were so blissfully happy at the experience of having a child together, and I wasn't sharing my husband with other women. Now that's gone.

To know I've never had a marriage without lies. To know that my husband has been having sex with other women (even if it wasn't intercourse) since I was pregnant...just invalidates for me so much more of my experience of life. Or at least confuses it. What was real? What does anything mean? What was valid?

I don't know.

I took off my wedding ring today. I just don't know what it means anymore, and wearing it while that's so undefined in my head is painful. I want it to stand for something, and until I know it does I don't want to wear it. I don't want to devalue the meaning of that ring any more than it has been devalued already.


Stefanie said...

I have been thinking about you non-stop since your disclosure post. I cannot imagine what I would do in this case. For some stupid reason, I can possibly "excuse" and "forgive" a short-term, affair with what I'm told (ha) was only a one-time sex (intercourse) incident, but not obviously without alot of therapy, anger, hard work, etc. If I found out what you just found out, I think I would do more than take off my wedding ring, but I don't know what. My God - I would now wonder if it's worth it. Even I, in my situation, wonder sometimes. I don't mean to sound negative, but holy crap! I'm sending you lots of compassionate energy right now.

Crystal said...

I am so sorry to hear this and have concern for your sake.

What are you going to base building up trust with him now? From what you say, he has never been honest and he has never been faithful. It seems likely that even if he is attempting to act correctly now, this is not a normal state for him. He actually has spent more time being dishonest and unfaithful. Often, husbands such as this act well for a short "honeymoon" period of time and then fall back into old habits which are, unfortunately in their cases, truer to their nature.

Crystal said...

I would be feeling that my husband was not at all who I thought he was, and I would be terrified at the prospect of giving him another chance and then finding out five or ten years later that he had only "played the game" of changing and doing better. I would be so worried to lose more precious time in my life and to give up the hope of perhaps finding someone else who I could really trust and who would treat me and my child with the respect and adoration we deserved.

Stefanie said...

Although I don't feel like I'm in any position to be giving advise at all, I have to agree with Crystal - I worry about your son and wonder what legacy is being left to him. Every case of infidelity is heinous, in my opinion, but this is severly, and seemingly irreparably heinous.

Crystal said...

I just want to say that I was not trying to give advice, and I'm sorry if it seemed that way. I was stating that I would honestly feel that way myself, not what anyone else should do.

Stefanie said...

I didn't read your post as giving advise - only that that's how you would feel and I agree. I would feel the same way (I think). Being in the "infidelity boat" myself, the biggest lesson that I've learned is that one never knows what they'll do until they're in the boat too. I would have bet my retirement that if my husband ever cheated on me, I would leave him in a heartbeat. Turns out not to be true and therein lies a struggle in itself - where are my boundaries now?!

woman.anonymous7 said...

I feel exactly as you describe, Crystal. And I also feel like Husband, despite what he's done, loves me, has always loved me, and is the one for me. However, I've drawn strict boundaries regarding what I will not tolerate (although I'm keeping them to myself because to tell Husband would be an act of trying to control, which I know is not really possible anyway.) I've seen people trying to stay in relationships with partners who are actively acting out sexually, and I will not take that path, although I have compassion for it now. I'm relying on our brigade of therapists and support groups to help us learn how to rebuild trust. Without that, I really don't know what I'd do. I feel so grateful that the option of therapy is available to us. If I were trying to do this without professional help I imagine I'd be mired in despair right now. I'm in a lot of pain, but because of the support we're getting, I still have hope.

Crystal said...

I don't know how you feel about this, but I'm wondering if you have any way of checking on whether he is being truthful now. I've had therapists recommend private detectives and/or tracking devices so that the betrayed spouse can protect herself/himself and find out if there really is any honest change.