Topic is Sleeping.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 3:33 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
I've been reading everyone's stories and am a bit hesitant to share mine, as it doesn't feel as 'severe'. Please forgive me if this isn't the right forum, but I'm hoping to get any feedback/advice on what I am dealing with.
I have been with my husband for 13 years, married almost 12, no kids. We had what I considered to be a beautiful marriage and bond with complete trust.
This summer, while traveling abroad together, my husband went on a lone side trip to surf. We travel every summer and he does these side surf trips every summer. He returned from this surf trip and we were together for 1 week before he confessed to me that he had gotten a happy ending the week before at a massage parlor in the surf town. We had tried to have sex a few times after he had gotten back, and each time he completely lost his erection, which was never a problem before. He then confessed what he had done, and felt that his guilty conscience was manifesting itself physically by not allowing him to have sex with me.
There were many lies/omissions that came out the week after he confessed in trickle truth fashion:
- He said the masseuse was a "short, squat, middle-aged woman" to convey that she was unattractive, which wasn't truthful. He didn’t find her unattractive/nor really attractive, and conveyed that her looks were not part of his thinking in getting the happy ending.
- He actually signalled that he wanted the happy ending by pulling down his underwear. He initially said the masseuse offered it and he was hesitant to accept.
- He paid for the happy ending but initially told me that he didn’t pay anything extra.
- He initially said there was no touching, then told me several days later that he tried touching the masseuse to strengthen his erection, but she swatted his hand away immediately after he lifted it off the table.
- He says he felt guilty during the happy ending, or was aware that he was doing something wrong because he was justifying it being okay and not telling me. But he then admitted that, in the immediate aftermath of it, he planned to do it again on his annual surf trip. He has since said his intense feelings of guilt when he reunited with me led him to confess to the episode and make him not want to do it again.
We have been communicating about this for endless hours daily for the past 6+ weeks. He has expressed deep remorse, regret, wishes he hadn’t done it, etc. I believe this is the only act of infidelity he has done in our 13 years together, and I believe he will not do anything in this realm again. We are going to start counselling soon, and have shared what he did with our family and friends, who are mostly shocked that he did this at all, because they know his character and see how we are as a couple.
I feel like our marriage and bond are now tarnished, and I see him differently, even though I feel like he’s doing everything in the aftermath to make things better.
Any thoughts/advice are appreciated.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 5:28 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
The title of your post tells me you have a good sense of humor.
I am sorry you are here, no betrayal is minor.
A remorseful WH is a rarity if you read the posts here. It’s good he is putting in the effort. I highly recommend IC for both of you rather than starting with MC first. He needs to understand the why and you need to work on strengthening and healing.
Are you sure it’s a one off thing ? It is possible but I would verify. What prompted this if it was a one off cheating is also the biggest question here. Is there a possibility of an addiction? My WH was someone I thought of being very much in control in most aspects , it was a shock when I realized he could be a SA.
What does this mean for him going on any more of these solo surf trips from now on ? You need to come up with your expectations and boundaries from now on. And again this isn’t minor in any way. Things could have escalated to him moving to the next level.
I would have him and you test for STD’s if you haven’t already.. Not to scare you, but I know most stories are rarely the complete truth. Let this be a bit of a jolt to him about how cheating has such dangerous consequences.
Please take care.
leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:53 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
Welcome to SI and sorry you had to find us. There are some pinned posts at the top of the forum that you may find helpful. Also, the Healing Library has a bunch of information, including the list of acronyms we use. There's a thread in the ICR (I Can Relate) forum for emotionless infidelity.
There were many lies/omissions that came out the week after he confessed in trickle truth fashion
As you have found out, cheaters lie...and then lie some more.
How to Help Your Spouse Heal After Your Affair by Linda MacDonald is a fairly short read, and provides a starting point for your WH (wayward husband). Why did he think it was ok to break his marriage vows to you? He's not going to fix any problems with his genitals.
Once there's been enough healing in IC (individual counseling), then MC (marriage counseling) is advised. Unless you get a really good MC, they have a tendency to shift the blame to you. The A was entirely on him and his terrible decisions. (Not a mistake.) While you may be responsible for part of the state of the M, you are not responsible for him going outside the M.
BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21
HardKnocks ( member #70957) posted at 6:57 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
You're definitely in the right place!
annb ( member #22386) posted at 7:35 PM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
Hi, welcome to SI. So sorry you find yourself here.
As another poster asked,
Are you sure it’s a one off thing ? It is possible but I would verify. What prompted this if it was a one off cheating is also the biggest question here. Is there a possibility of an addiction?
Cheaters, rarely, if ever confess. IMO there's some motivation behind his confession, was he possibly seeing someone on these trips and that person threatened to inform you? I'd definitely be vigilant and ask him for access to social media, email accounts, his phone, voicemails, and anywhere else he might be able to communicate. I hope that's not the case for your sake.
In any event, your marriage isn't broken, he is. He needs counseling to figure out why he cheated. You need individual counseling to process his betrayal.
Please check out the Healing Library, chock full of great articles.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 3:10 AM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023
Thank you all for your thoughtful responses, for validating that I'm in the right place, and for validating that no betrayal is small.
After his confession, my husband returned to our home in New York, and I'm still abroad, staying at my parents house in India. We have now been apart for almost 7 weeks. My dad is going through cancer treatment, so I have been splitting my time between New York and India for the past 2 years. We have had several conversations checking in with each other to see if the time apart is straining our marriage. He reassured me that he's okay with it, because he knows it's important to me to be with my dad right now.
However, I think this time apart has had more of a negative affect than we've realized. He actually asked me multiple times to join him for a few days on the surf trip (during which he had the happy ending on the last day), but I didn't go because of logistical reasons and it felt like too much of an effort, especially because he was going to be returning to me after a couple weeks anyway. He has told me multiple times that this is not the reason/cause for getting the happy ending, and that he takes full accountability for his actions and for hurting me and damaging our bond. He did say that he felt distance between us during this trip, and that there's an element of living parallel lives that he thinks has developed since we are spending so much time apart.
I talked to him about the suggestions here, to have STD tests and for him to share all of his account passwords. He said he is happy to do all of that and wants to do anything to give me peace of mind. He has promised me complete honesty going forward (which I was assuming we already had, but I was apparently mistaken) and promises that he would never do anything in the cheating realm ever again. I trust that this is the case, but I'm having trouble digesting what he has already done, and the fact that our marriage and bond are different now.
I've read that once infidelity is introduced into a relationship, if both partners want to continue, then you essentially have to accept that the old marriage is over, and you must start a new marriage. I'm stuck though because I want my old marriage and my old bond. He is hoping that we can move forward, rebuild, and hopefully have a stronger marriage. I feel resentful though because, although we have issues - our marriage wasn't perfect, we didn't need him getting a handjob to initiate working on our marriage.
Thank you for listening/reading. I so appreciate your support. I'm sorry that any of us are here though!!
Odonna ( member #38401) posted at 7:19 AM on Monday, September 18th, 2023
In good news, you have a WH who spontaneously confessed, is remorseful, is willing to engage in lengthy discussions, and professes his commitment to you and the M. Few WSs do this. But that does not change the fact of your betrayal and loss of trust.
I highly recommend "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" because it is essentially a recipe book for what to DO as a WS to help your BS. In other words, it is for HIM to read and implement. In my case, I read it first and marked it up and then gave it to my WH, who was trying to rug-sweep and just pretend it was all behind us. I gave him two or three days to read it (it is short) and insisted this was not negotiable. It made a huge difference, particularly as we did not have the advantages mentioned above, which you do have. It will help you also, because you will become attuned to what to look for in his behavior to make you feel safe again.
I do understand that you would prefer your old marriage back, but this will always, always be there between you now; rug-sweeping is never a good option. But eventually it will become compartmentalized and be a life-lesson that neither of you want to repeat.
All the best to you, my dear.
Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 3:04 PM on Monday, September 18th, 2023
I am sorry you have had to experience this and you should never feel badly (though of course thats normal) that the pain you experienced might be less than someone else’s. Even in a setting of folks who might have experienced « worse ». None of us here watched our entire families killed or raped in a war zone, etc. There is always something worse and more horrific. Sometimes it helps to think of those sorts of comparison to remind ourselves of the fact that pain is part of the human experience but it doesn’t change what you’ve gone through. Anyway, I’m gonna shut up on that because it sounds pedantic.
I am really responding because I wanted to offer an anecdote that may or may not be helpful. It is a shared but different experience if you will.
I was on vacation and went with my husband to a massage place. It was endorsed by the resort but was small and seemed very sort of culturally authentic, not westernized or modernized. We sat in a little room and the couple that owned it gave us little cups of tea. Was it weird tea? I started to wonder this later but then I wonder if I just asked myself that as some sort of excuse. They split us up. The man did my massage and in an adjoining room the lady did my husband’s. At some point it seemed weird, somehow sexualized. I was enjoying the massage but started to feel confused. I was getting excited. I think maybe? I don’t know. I’ve sort of blocked it out so every piece of the story feels unreal and i dont know what is what. At some point I thought of going along with it. I felt scared too and eventually I ran out of the room and down to a beachside bar and sat there and waited until my husband finished and came down to join me at the bar. I’m pretty sure I told him right away.
I understand what your husband did sounds much more volitional. So I don’t think you are going to feel better that he didn’t intend this. But, I am supporting that massages really cross some messed up boundaries in some places and can get totally weird. I look back on this event with real horror. I am sure there were several minutes in there where I was sort of going along. I don’t know for sure where that moment crossed. The guy was completely and totally unattractive and I can see why your husband would want to clarify that. Even though he « asked for it » by putting down the towel I would be pretty convinced he looks back on this episode with disgust.
If this had never happened to me and my husband came home and told me the story you were told I would be furious. He violated your trust. The only potential blessing here is that it forced you guys to discuss boundaries and trust on a deep level — thanks to his confession partially — and that discussion will definitely be a potential deterrent to ever getting in a situation like this again. Most couples never have that discussion.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 3:57 PM on Friday, September 29th, 2023
Thank you Odonna and StillConfused. I ordered How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair and my WH is currently reading it and finding it helpful. He continues to apologize everyday, express remorse, regret, says he is committed to me, loves me, is in love with me. He is saying and doing all of the right things. After being so angry and hurt the past 2 months since D day, I'm currently feeling numb. I'm feeling like I don't care about him or our marriage. I'm not sure if that's a coping mechanism? Before this happened, I never questioned that I loved him. I was deeply in love with him. When he walked in the door I would run to hug and squeeze him and actively felt my love for him. I'm finding that I don't feel much of anything. I think logically that I must still love him, but I worry that I won't regain my feelings of love. I'm praying that this is temporary and part of the healing process, because I really want to stay in this marriage. He has been a wonderful husband and partner for 13 years, until this happened. I don't think this is worth divorcing over.
StillConfused, thank you for sharing your experience with the massage. I continue to ask my husband every detail of every minute of the massage to understand what happened and why he made the decisions that he did. I know these happy ending massages are commonplace in certain countries, but I never thought my husband would partake and then lie to me about it. The thought of him asking another woman to touch him feels so disgusting to me. I thought I would be in a more accepting/understanding place with this now that it's been 2 months since he confessed.
Thank you so much for your thoughts and your support. It's really helpful and I appreciate it.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 5:19 PM on Friday, September 29th, 2023
You have a new marriage and a new husband, one that is capable of doing what he did. We don’t expect strangers to be faithful to us but hold our dear ones to the highest standards.
Your WH is remorseful, so that’s half the battle won. Work on a building a new marriage with a new flawed but remorseful husband. This should be your baseline now, not the marriage from earlier.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 5:23 PM on Friday, September 29th, 2023
Thank you, Abalone. Yes, I know the marriage I had and loved is over, and I need to work on building marriage #2. I guess I'm still grieving marriage #1 and the husband I knew, respected and admired. I want to snap out of the grieving and start moving forward. I'm struggling though.
HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 6:15 PM on Friday, September 29th, 2023
You're only a few months out. It's too soon to think about rebuilding. Right now,you need to take care of yourself. Stop listening to his words, and watch his actions to see if he is doing the work to become a safe partner. The real work, not love bombing.
I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 7:44 PM on Friday, September 29th, 2023
Thank you, HellFire (love your screen name :)). Yes, I want to see that his behaviors are consistent and stay the course long term. In the past 2 months he has taken the actions in addition to the verbal love bombs. My heart and spirit feel blocked, so I know this will be a long process to get back to a peaceful place where we can truly start rebuilding.
CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 2:51 AM on Sunday, October 1st, 2023
Infidelity is infidelity whether it was a masseuse happy ending or a one night stand or a 5 year affair. The betrayal is still the same and it is painful to work through and it damages trust. The rebuild is possible but will take lots of work and commitment and honesty. Counseling hopefully will help. I could never get my ex to go to counseling and he kept cheating. Hope your marriage works for the best.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 1:05 PM on Sunday, October 1st, 2023
Thank you, CoderMom. Yes, this is infidelity and a betrayal. We have talked many times throughout our marriage that cheating was a dealbreaker, for each of us. We started MC last week and I started IC. He initially said several times that he would do IC, but he hasn't taken steps to do that yet, which bothers me. He has taken action in other ways which shows me he is committed, so far anyway, to doing the work to R. I told him I need this to continue and he says he says he wants to do the work. He keeps saying that he wants to rebuild and that hopefully our marriage will be stronger after this. I hope so but I also want to yell at him saying I'd rather have our marriage BEFORE he did this. We are making effort to spend more time together and we've been having more sex, so everything seems like a work in progress, and we are moving in the right direction.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 4:43 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
I'm curious if others have felt the desire for revenge against their WS? I think that will cause more damage if I engage in anything sexually outside of my marriage, and honestly I have no desire to do so, but the reason would be to hurt my WH as he has hurt me. I haven't read any posts in this realm, but want to know if others have the thought of doing something in revenge. To be clear, I think this would be the wrong and immature way to handle things, but I'm noticing the thought does creep up.
sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:57 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
You are not the only person to consider revenge against WS. My guess is that the thought occurs to most BSes. It certainly occurred to me, and I spent lots of energy trying to figure out a way to hurt my WS without adding to my own hurt.
There's a term 'revenge affair'. IMO, a revenge A is just another garden variety A. I understand the desire to make the WS hurt the way the BS does, but that's impossible - both partners know that betrayal has already occurred, and that changes the equation dramatically. Many WSes tell their BSes they can have an A....
Healing is different for BSes and WSes. If you have your own A, you'll add to your own healing tasks and to your WS's - you'll both have to heal as BSes and WSes.
Thinking about an A as a response to WS's A is pretty normal. Doing it seems pretty unhealthy to me.
fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.
ForgiveOrAccept (original poster new member #83866) posted at 3:30 PM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
Thank you, sisoon. I think I'll continue to think about it and not act on it. I know it would make things worse and it would make me feel bad about myself, so I know it's not worth it.
D day was July 29th and I still feel stuck and a bit numb. I miss the feeling of being deeply in love with my husband. I know I love him, but I feel numb and I'm wondering if this is permanent, that I'll never feel the way I used to. And if so, that doesn't seem fair to either of us for me to stay in the marriage. It feels like the punishment wouldn't fit the crime if I decided to D, but I just don't know if/when I'll feel truly in love with my husband and just happy in the marriage again.
Sincity ( new member #83901) posted at 3:49 PM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
I am so sorry you are here. Our stories sound very much alike, except my husband started our with happy endings and then it progressed to sex. I too want my old marriage back and I am suffering so much. My WH also appears to be doing the same things as yours, he shows his remorse every day and talks to me and answers my questions and he is also in IC. But I don't know if it will ever be enough. There is a hole in my heart and I can barely make it through the day. You are not alone and I just wanted you to know that. I wish you peace.
Taking it one day at a time
leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:08 PM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
The feeling numb part is part of a trauma response by your body. You won't always be like that, but it could be that your feelings for your UH change.
I gave myself 6-month increments to evaluate whether or not my XWH was doing the work or not. (Spoiler Alert: He didn't.) Anyway, his infidelity stamped the last of the love I had for him out of me. There are other SI members whose love has come back, but differently. You choose what you need to do that is healthy for your situation.
BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21
Topic is Sleeping.