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.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Force fields up, phasers set to vaporize

I'm feeling more stable now that my walls are firmly in place.

I'm still connecting with my feelings, but I have decided to take off the wife and lover hats, as Sophie wrote to me explaining how she handles trust in her marriage to an addict.

I had to deliver something to a client today, and ended up parking right in front of the Oriental Massage place where Husband got his first taste of prostitution. Massage with happy ending.

We lived right around the corner from that place at the time he started visiting it. I always wondered when I passed it what kind of a place it was. I'd heard about "oriental massage" from a friend whose husband had experienced the happy ending at a posh hotel in Hong Kong.

I decided that it was time to face this head on. I'd been avoiding driving by the place, and getting anxious every time I knew I'd be near it. So I got out of the car, walked up and opened the door.

It opened right into a dingy, white space that was 3x8 with a counter running the length of it. A sign read "No one under 21 allowed." I glanced around the small space, wondering what Husband was thinking when he opened that same door for the first time. He knew why he was there...I'm sure of that now.

A bell had rung as I entered and Asian woman came out after a moment in response. She muttered something indecipherable.

"This is where my husband first got introduced to prostitution, so I just wanted to see it," I said. I glanced around, looked at her as she muttered something else, and then I shut the door.

My heart was pounding. I felt like I'd looked into the mouth of a beast. But I also felt strength, having faced something that had become such a symbol in my mind.

I continued to the next building to visit my client, heart still pounding as I rode the elevator up and waited in the lobby. Pounding as I talked to the cheerful woman who greeted me. But eventually my chest calmed, and my mind moved into the present moment.

When I returned to my car, a final glance at that door confirmed that I'd vanquished something. Although I could feel my heart pounding again. I took a deep breath, switched on NPR, and pulled into traffic repeating a favorite mantra under my breath. "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay..." In the present it's okay.

Our couples therapy session Tuesday night was good. I expressed a lot of the anger and pain I'd been keeping inside. Husband talked about what the experience of slipping was like for him, from the cigarette and shot to the stupid hair salon to the sneaking money. Our therapist suggested that he do whatever he can to demonstrate that he's trustworthy so I can begin to see over time again that he's actively in recovery and not lying about it.

I told her that I really had no idea what he was doing - going to meetings or lying about it, going to his therapist or lying about it. I had no idea any more about the validity of anything coming out of his mouth. She said that if he was lying on such a massive scale, if he was pulling away from the recovery community like that, he'd demonstrate in other areas of life behavior that would be clearly addict or narcissist behavior, and he'd be oblivious to it. In other words, I'd get some trustworthy flags. That made sense to me. That helped. I may not be able to tell when he's lying to my face, but I know I'd be able to pick up on other addict / narcissist behaviors.

So now, I'm giving it time. Time, time, time. Weeks? Months? Years? I don't know. My priority is me and my son. Right now Husband is my partner in raising our son, managing our finances and the logistics of life. I have the parent hat on. I don't know when the other hats will feel right. The friend, the wife, the lover...

I feel resentment about the fact that I feel alone in the world, without an intimate relationship to trust, without a partner I can feel safe to trust and love freely. I'm pissed about that. But I breathe. I read. I do step work. I work on my relationship with higher power. I try to remember not to do it alone, to reach out to others.

Something that's odd for me is that while I don't want to reach out to Husband, I don't want him to stop reaching out to me. I need to be able to remain detatched, but I also need to feel Husband's love for me. I feel like an animal that's been hit, craving touch but freezing in my tracks so I can detect whether it's going to be a blow or a caress and respond to save my life if I have to. So dramatic, huh?

I don't feel like a victim. But I am disappointed. Disappointed and sad. And angry. But I'm also stronger, more grounded, more in touch with myself, and grateful for the progress I've made with my own issues.

8 comments:

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

A few years ago, I went to the house where the woman my husband had hit his bottom with used to live. It was very powerful and healing for me to stand outside and confront that place and that experience, to see it and be part of it and let it go. So, that experience you had of going to the massage parlor really resonates with me. Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie said...

Woman.Anon

I am so f'ing proud of you. For me, healing has been facing this head on and facing it, means facing them, too. My therapist tells me to put it out of my head, but sorry, no, I need closure. That is what the hookers hope. They KNOW the husbands have a shameful sick little secret they can exploit, and they count on no one talking about it. I have read so many hooker blogs about the "contract" she provides sex, he provides money, and no one ever gives up the other's name. Whatever.

I faced the sad little conditions in which they lived. I faced the selfish addicted attitudes. I faced the sad reality that hooker sex is not as glamorous as the reviews lead you to believe. (I joined TER to read the reviews. They will be rejected if they are not glowing and they are not full of details. I finally coughed up the $50 bucks because I couldn't write something racy enough to be accepted.) I mean seriously, our husbands showed up somewhere, put money on a table and had a nameless stranger milk an orgasm out of them. That is pretty fucking pathetic. Their self esteem had to be pretty low to do that.

I faced every whore my husband slept with. He gave me the names, I looked them up on Craigslist, Backpage, TER, TNA etc. When I had my matches, I forced him to look at the photos and said is she the right Anna, Torey, Jasmine, DeeDee? Didn't take me long. Called each of them and once I made contact I mentioned my husband's online name and said remember him. Then I put my husband on the phone to say hello to his "girlfriends" took it back and proceeded to thank them for stealing my money, knowingly sleeping with a married man, knowingly scarring my preschoolers. Knowingly setting into motion a set of actions that have my children running into the street begging their father not to leave them. Than I tell them there is a special place in hell for selfish people like them. They then tell me they just want the money and how do I even know. I tell them I know who they are. I have proof and now I have closure. Click goodbye. I get the adrenaline flowing on the phone and then I cut them off with no relief and no idea if anything is coming next.

Some of them actually get on line and then rant on the boards that they got this call from the crazy wife who won't fuck her husband. Stupid little girls don't even get that I know who they are and that I am in the chat room with them. (I never respond) But it gives more proof that they have committed the crime. I actually have figured out the real identities of 2 of the 4. All of them have been reported to the police in all of the cities I know they do business. The 2 who have been uncovered have been reported to the county police, the landlords, the city property tax assessor, state attorney general, FBI, governor, IRS, amd state franchise tax boards. The way I see it, some legal entity will catch them eventually. One quickly changed her name - too bad the johns all talked about her name change on TNA. Another is leaving the city. She was dumb enough to register her website in her real name. That name matched a photo of her on her whore website standing in front of her Christmas tree with her stocking hanging in the background. Didn't say Anna on that stocking but did match the real identity. Another has a myspace page with her real name. My husband confirmed that is was the right girl. I know that one lives a couple of blocks from the a highly reguarded sex addict in-patient treatment center.

I say face it. I found it sooooo liberating and empowering. I can't control my addict husband, but I can certainly report illegal activity to the authorities and try to get it out of my city.

Misery Marketing said...

I relate to the feelings and situation. Ive built a wall that I cant unbuild and its pretty lonely being behind a wall.

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Those walls...

they feel so safe, don't they? But, it is so hard to resist the urge after a while to peek over them and see what our Husbands are doing.

You painted a very clear picture of your cathartic confrontation (and, Stephanie, you cracked me up). My heart warmed for your strength.

I went to one of the places where husband acted out. It wasn't good for me. He has to go there sometimes for work. It's one of his company's offices. Every time he goes there, I am nauseous until he comes home.

Trust is an elusive concept for me. Slippery.

I just have to keep telling myself that Love is a Verb. His actions are louder than my fears.

But, I always know where my walls are, just in case.

What was that definition of "codependent" again?

angry1 said...

stephanie

Wow I admire your courage. I've actually track down 3 rescort hookers my husband had been have sex with.

One I come cross her myspace who's now have twin babies. One I read something she wrote to teach other hookers how to be a pro. One I just know her id on the rescort board.

I didn't do nothing, but I told my husband what I've found out. I really have this urge to call all those hookers that my husband carried herpes.

I found out his addiction because I got herpes from him a year ago, which is make me exteremly angry. I only have 2 sexual partners at my 32 years of life and one of them is a virgin and like 8 years ago. I knew it's from my husband but he claimed it's from one of his exs. Until one night I checked his internet history and come across his web site where he wrote some private message to his Amber girl who he just fucked 4 days ago. Funny that he just broke his arm 1 week piror to that day and he still go f' that hooker with a broken arm. He lied to me he went see the doctor that afternoon he took a half day off to the hooker and told me his broken arm is so sore because of the doctor keep moving his arm. What a f'ing bastard.

I really think I should gather up my courage and give all those hookers a phone call and congrats them for the risk of gaining herpes because they all gave unprotected oral sex to my husband from the review he wrote.

Misery Marketing said...

I feel like I go there every time I visit wifeys myspace page and go straight to the shit that makes me nauseated. I also look for more stuff to feel kicked in the balls about. Sometime I find some. All it takes is a "Hi How are you?" Its not good for me and I should just refuse to visit her page.

Stephanie said...

Update on my crusade to rid my town of the women who engaged with my husband for free to shut him up.....Just got a call from the police officer. The one with the website and the stocking has been run out of town. The landlord was notified, she was evicted and instructed by the police to not do business here anymore. (Don't get me started on how hard it is to get them arrested.) Her current website states she is going one place (near you Woman A.) but I have found her new identity on the opposite side of the country. Time to notify the local authorities, FBI, and IRS again. Took me 2 minutes to find her and her new name. Did I mention that since she has to reestablish a new identity she has dropped her price from $400 to $150. hahahaha Fuck her!!!!!

Ladies, complain, complain, complain to the local authorities. As my husband correctly told the escorts he with whom he chatted on TNA, the squeeky nail gets the hammer. You can make a difference and get help get these whores out of your neighborhood. If you knew the name of the person selling your husband crack or heroine, wouldn't you give that name over to the police?

Cat said...

My husband was not a SA but a drink addict - and on one of the binges he had a fling and it went on for a couple of weeks - unfortuantely it happened on my birthday that I threw him out - and ever since then I had always wondered who she was, what she looked liked why he chose her - up until aabout a year ago - This happened about 5 years back now but the sting comes back every now and then and the letting go of that is so hard, even now that he is sober and has been faithful since.

Your going into that place took amazing courage and I really applaud your work on yourself.

Cat