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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The addict slips in

Not only did Husband go to "the Hooters of mens' hair salons" to quote Margaux Mead, he also took $170 in cash out in small amounts over the weekend, most disguised as cash back on debit card purchases.

I found out about all this when I went to do some online banking in our joint account last night.

So I asked.

Is THAT where you went to get your hair cut?
Yes. But it's not like that.
(Yeah, whatever.)
And why did you take out $170 in cash over the last 2 days?
I did? Are you sure? I don't know, blah, blah, blah, lies, blah, blah, blah...I didn't do anything wrong. (RED FLAG!)
So what did you do...then. Because that's what you told me before, those exact same words. So now I don't know what to believe.

I asked to see the cash, and he was unable to produce it. (He told me it was in the car, but after "searching" (buying time) he came back empty handed.)

It's at work. I left it at work.

I've learned not to accept anything that doesn't make taking out $170 and then forgetting it at work.

Long story short, he finally confessed that he left the $$ at work because he was secretly taking out money to buy himself something.

Like WHAT?

Well, actually I was going to buy you an iPod. (sounds fishy)

If you're going to take out money to buy me a surprise, TELL ME! Don't SNEAK and LIE about taking out money! So you were sneaking around to buy me an iPod? Why?

Because I resented that you didn't get one.

Then it came out that he's under all sorts of stress at work, also in pain from a medical condition for which he's about to have a minor operation, which is also causing stress, and feeling resentful when I told him I was feeling upset about him working late when he used to give me such a hard time about not prioritizing my family when I used to work late. So lots of stress, building up resentment, and not talking to anybody about it.

Hello Addict!

So I still couldn't figure out the bit about the iPod.

I resented you for not getting one, because I felt like you weren't valuing my input. (He think I need it for work and he's right, but we're also on thin financial ice.)

So now I'm all confused about what to ask, what boundaries to draw (my own bank account?), what is codependency and what is healthy. My instinct is to protect myself by cutting him out of things (like my income) but that feels like a form of trying to control what he does, which I don't want to do (because...I can't.)

I'm going to call my sponsor, and thank god we have couples therapy Saturday.

I've wondered what a slip might look like, so now I know. At least he didn't go to a strip club or fuck someone.

But I really hate the lies. They scare me, and...does he think I'm stupid?


super lady said...

How long can you put up with it? I know the answer, you never know. I sure didnt. You dont sound crazy to me, but of course, my ex told me he was in the mall buying me an anniversary present when I called him when he was late, turned out he was with a hooker scoring drugs. The lies were so complex I was actually kind of impressed sometimes.

Willow said...

I would feel annoyed if my husband went to that salon. I checked the website and uh, yah come on, the sexy (cheesy) glamor photo galleries of the girls? What their hobbies are, etc!? We don't have that particular salon in our region but similar ones. If your husband went to strip clubs then this would be his addiction trying to find a more "respectable" substitute by way of wacky addict reasoning. He is fooling himself if he can't see this.

The money thing sounds weird to me. The thing for you to connect with is what is going to be the best way for you to take care of yourself. Keep the focus on what you need for yourself and you won't have to worry about trying to control him. It won't be the source of your decision.

Stay strong. You have great spunk and heart.

Stephanie said...

I apologize if I am overstepping but if he has never shown you the money, how do you know that he didn't use it or was planning to use it on another hooker? I ask this because the first times my husband did this and I noticed amounts of money less than this missing, he gave an excuse that made no sense. I didn't even think it could be escorts but now I know it was. I will never forget the nagging feeling that $100 and the $130 left me with. That money was gone for over a year and it still nagged at me and does til this day that I didn't honor my gut and force the truth out of him.

If I remember from your story your husband was using more expensive agency girls. I can tell you that is what my husband used to do as well. Until we married and I took over the money. Then he had to settle for the cheaper craigslist girls when his addict reappeared. Also be aware that many of the girls are feeling the financial crisis and have cut their rates. So what was $400 is now $250. A $200/hour girl will do $125 half hour.

I am praying for you that this winds up being much ado about nothing. I am praying you have the strength and courage to do what is best for you if you find out otherwise.

And yes, you have the right to draw the line on your money. You have a son to raise with or without him. At least that is my view. Don't fool yourself and think that controlling the money is controlling him. I controlled the money and he got some girls to give him freebies in exchange for reviews anyway. An addict will find a way to not be controlled if he wants to do so. I know before he met me he blew $25,000-$50,000 on this "hobby". I can only imagine what he would have wasted had I not controlled the money. Although my therapist has been working on the co-dependency and mothering issues, she is clear that my husband should not have access to the money. My husband is not allowed to have a debit card or atm card. He is allowed to carry a Visa card and he knows that every transaction is reconciled by both of us at the end of the month. No surprises. Doesn't mean he isn't cheating on me. But it does mean that he is not depriving my children of food and shelter.

Anonymous said...

I'm a former escort, currently a pro domme. I know your husband (not personally, just men like him). He doesn't respect you. The only women he likes are young, big-boobied, fun-fun, no-opinion playmates who will never expect any effort from him. From you he gets stability and social status (cooking, maid service, etc.) and he resents that he should have to respect you in exchange for your sacrifices.

DUMP HIM. Run, I tell you. You are NOT trying to control him. You are only making a very reasonable demand for some fucking RESPECT, which you deserve, which he, and men like him, these sex addicts, will never, EVER, give you. Men are totally excused for this behavior.

Find a wholesome man. And good luck.

Willow said...

Peridot Ash,

I respect that you have your own personal opinion.

I have mine and want to state it. The view you are painting is a very black and white scenario. How could you possibly know what is going on in her husband's head or how much he respects or does not respect her? How can you compare him to all your clients?

You are only hearing what your clients want YOU to hear. Do you think they are telling you the truth? That you are a trusted confidante? I'm not sure but, I would say the odds are slim. Going to a hooker or escort or whatever you want to call it is about their addiction and as one blogger said, it will steal, sell or destroy anything to have what it wants when active. It is active when they are with you. Nothing is the truth other than their addiction in the moment.

Amy said...

I agree with Peridot Ash, but I have a hard time understanding how a man who cheats on his wife (and very probably is putting her at risk for STD's, if he is still having unprotected sex with her - which would be a mistake on her part...) respects her.

Jenn said...

I agree with Peridot Ash, with the added caveat that she probably knows far better than those who aren't touched directly by the sex industry, like me.

I really feel for you. I was involved in an abusive relationship for a while, and I kept telling myself that it would get better, and that he wasn't really like that, or that I did something to set him off, and by questioning him I was making it worse. It never got better, and the day I left was the hardest thing I ever did, but it was probably also the smartest.

Maybe you don't have that kind of option. I am young, unmarried, childless, and don't have many bills to pay. I got out before I my life was tied too much into his. Whatever you choose to do, may you find the inner strength to do it. Just know that it's not worth it to put yourself at risk. If he really is going to escorts, he's putting you at risk financially and health-wise too. You don't deserve that, and it sucks, really it does, that you have to clean up the mess that someone else made.

Please, though, stay safe. There's far too many people out there with their lives destroyed by an industry that cares for no one and nothing. If your husband insists on lying and taking your choice away from you, take it back, by any means necessary.

Stay strong, stay positive, and good luck.

mkr said...

Oh this breaks my heart. All I can speak of is my experience with an addict - my father. An alcoholic, a drug user, a cheat and the world's biggest con and liar. Staying with him "for the sake of the kids" was probably the worst thing my mom could have done. We heard the fights, we sensed the tension. That was no kind of life for us and I hope that's not the life your son is living. I know you don't just casually toss your marriage away. But judging from the addicts I know, there was only one who truly rehabbed and changed his ways. The others clean up for a while but always end up doing the same thing over and over, hurting over and over and dragging the family through hell repeatedly. My wish for you is that you wake up one day with the clarity that you and your son deserve to live in peace, away from someone who keeps you off balance every day. Life is too short sweetie - please go live for yourself and not at the mercy of this loser. Any lie was not acceptable and he knew this. But he lied again. Doesn't this make it pretty clear to you? He has not changed nor will he. I want better for you.