Hello everyone. I am new to the forums, so I want to share my story.
My husband and I have been together for 15 years and married for 6. I thought things were going smoothly for us---we never argued, we helped each other out and we were talking about our plans for the future. One thing that wasn't so great was our sex life. I brought up the subject on more than one occasion, but he would shut down the conversation quickly. "I'm just tired." "I'm stressed from work." And I would accept his reason and drop it for a while. That was until we started having difficulties in the bedroom. This happened in January and again in February of this year. "I think it just needs to be more organic," He told me. So I stopped trying to initiate things.
Five months passed and this "organic" he spoke of never occurred. I grew insecure and checked his computer where I found porn. It wasn't so much that which upset me, it was the fact he was still interested in sex, just not with me. I then checked his old phone, one he kept charged and in his night stand. I found out he was talking to a woman who lived an ocean away. They exchanged messages of friendly, intimate and sexual nature, photos, etc. I was crushed. After speaking with my family, I wrote out a letter and confronted him. His first response was, "What other woman?"
When I mentioned her by name, he dropped the act. He told me it was only a way to express his insecurities in a way that allowed him to maintain his anonymity. Told me they both had an understanding and that it wasn't a relationship. That it was all role play and the things they talked about were supposed to "bleed into the real world", make our relationship stronger. I accepted his words and although I was ready to walk out the door, I stayed--albeit in in another room. When I spoke to him about her again, I asked, "Do you love her?" He immediately responded, "No," with so much conviction that I believed him again.
Although I chose to stay in the house, the weight in my chest didn't go away. I was barely eating and found it difficult to breathe, to settle in my own home. I decided I would stay with my parents for a bit, just until I could gain some clarity, feel less overwhelmed. On the day I planned to tell him this, I went through his old phone again while he was at work. I found some things I didn't see the first time. A voice message proclaiming his love for her, a pie chart that said the same, more photos. Now I knew that he not only loved her, but he was lying to my face about it.
I packed up some things that very moment ready to leave him again. When he came home, he was unsure why I was packing. I told him what I found, but once again, he claimed it was a part of the role play. That he was just about to "invite me back to the bedroom" and thought things were getting better. This told me we were in very different places. I yelled and cried like I had never done in our relationship before. I refused to be someone's second choice.
While staying with my parents, he wrote to me. He expressed his love for me and his desire to "win me back". While he now admitted that he "undoubtedly had love for" this other woman, it wasn't a romantic love and she wasn't my replacement. He still claimed that although boundaries were crossed, there were still some in place and he maintained anonymity to some degree with her. After much back and forth, I had agreed to give us some time. Time to think, time to talk. He assured me I was the only one for him and that she was never "a threat to me."
As much as I felt like I had every reason to walk away, I just couldn't. He agreed to continued transparency of his devices and accepted that I would look through his phone and computer. I found saved pictures of her in his email, but I deleted them since they were from months prior to the discovery. Although he gave up his devices willingly, he had already deleted the conversations with her and said that he erased her from his whatsapp so he could no longer get in contact with her.
I urged him to write her and end things for me to see, but he brushed it off, never giving me true closure in that regard. For all I knew he could continue his conversations with her and just delete them daily. He didn't see it that way. Didn't understand that there was nothing stopping her from reaching out again whenever she felt like it. Regardless of this, we started to talk more and had a "date."
One month after the initial discovery, I went on his computer once again and found the missing piece. It was a love letter written for her birthday of 25 things he loved about her. This letter revealed ever lie he told me after discovery and answered a lot of my questions. There was no anonymity between them, unless you count the fact they had never met in person--only for the fact that she lived an ocean away. In his own words he told her that she broke down every wall he ever had. That she meant everything to him. She was the first thing he thought about when he woke up in the morning. Never mind his wife sleeping in the bed next to him with a pillow wall of his own construction between us. He told her that he compartmentalized all his other relationships to the roles they play in his life, but he could never do that to her. He wanted her to know all of him.
I realized then that this woman knew my husband better than I did. That he shared more with her than he ever did me. I felt like the other woman. It was clear that no amount of talking and placating words would change the fact that he loved this woman more than it seemed he loved me. That if we stayed together I would be compared to her in our relationship--I would be the consolation prize.
I told him I'm done; it's over. But even saying the words, knowing it to be what I feel is best, it's still hard. He responded that while heartbroken, he understood. He still believes we could work through it, but will work with me for the divorce "if that is what I truly want." His words of subtle blame-shifting make me believe he doesn't really understand the weight of his actions. That although he says he is working on "taking accountability for his actions," he doesn't understand the complete betrayal. I wonder if things were opposite, would he still be feeling so sure that we could make it through this and be stronger for it? I understand now that we had some communications issues, but its not fair for him to focus on those alone, saying all the ways he would fix them to make the relationship stronger when the whole reason I am done trying is because he fell in love with another woman.
I want to yell at him more, try to make him understand, but I know that won't help. He has gone no contact since I told him I was done. He said he is hurting, which I understand, but it makes me feel like the villain of this story. Anyway, I just needed to get this off my chest; the weight of this whole thing is suffocating.