Just an update on what has transpired since my unfortunate (or, fortunate) discovery. Unfortunate because it has shaken me down to my very core, and fortunate because I can finally explain various things throughout our marriage that didn't seem quite right.
I've been managing my fury in the most positive way that I can by turning that intense energy towards my work. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what my spouse's deceptions have meant with regard to our relationship. The implications are far-reaching and I am still behaving as if I intend to follow through with a divorce. Whether or not I file and go through with this depends entirely upon him and his own healing processes. I do not own his issues, nor will I. I didn't enter into this marriage with the knowledge that he had these addictions, and it would have been quite a different matter had I chosen to do this. As an example, if I agreed to marry someone that I knew was a recovering addict, I would be accepting the possibilities that this person might backslide and be prepared to work with their issues, as a unit. Being blindsided by my husband's addictions compounded my fury because I never agreed to accept them as a part of our relationship.
So far, he has submitted to STD testing, without argument, and has begun his own individual counseling. He asserts that he is beginning to grasp the scope of what his addiction(s) have caused and has asked for an opportunity to make things right. I'm not sure that he clearly understands my feelings, and that will have to wait until we both meet with his therapist. I am keeping a private journal of my rantings and ravings, and it is helpful.
In the meantime, I'm putting my energies into my work and to rebuild strict boundaries that must apply to all people. My errors in the past have been with regard to people that I care about - I routinely (without fail) lowered those boundaries so that loved ones or friends would be required to try so hard to earn my trust, etc. This, for me, is an emotionally fatal flaw that I really have to address with intensity. It's not that I'm being "mean" or excluding people for any reason other than that I've finally gotten the message: boundaries should remain the same for everyone, including spouses or people whom I believe to be good friends.
At the moment, I don't believe in the concept of romantic love where I am concerned. My past (and, current) experiences with romantic love have been disasters. I have no interest in seeking a "happy ending" to my current situation. What I'm interested in is learning the lesson and moving forward towards a whole-self change, spritually, physically, and emotionally.
Finally, for those who feel that they are experiencing issues similar to mine in their own relationships, I would like to point out that we only have control over ourselves - we may be able to manipulate or coerce someone into going along with the program, but we are utlimately only responsible for our own choices. If someone tells us that we are the cause of their issues, it's time to back way, way off and take stock of the relationship - I am not responsible for my husband's addictions, nor will I accept any ownership of them. He is entirely responsible for his own choices and actions, and the blame can be be placed squarely on his shoulders.
Blessings to all.
Thank you, very much, Blue Rose. This has been a true "eye-opener," as They say...whomever "They" are.
Four people in Real Life are aware of what's transpired, and they are not involved in my everyday life. My son has no idea, and I don't intend to inform him unless I take action.
At this time, my fury, hatred, and meanness have simmered down into this soup of hyper-watchfulness. I'm watching my spouse to see if he truly intends to make changes for himself. And, I'm taking it one moment at a time - I'm not looking towards the future, but focusing on the here-and-now. I am still setting an exit strategy in place, though I need to talk to an attorney at some point, soon.
Where my own behavior is concerned, I have noticed that I'm fighting the desire to settle into denial: to actively believe that my spouse will continue his therapy and that our "relationship" will heal. I really have to work on this because statistics with regard to successful outcomes from porn addiction aren't very promising. And, the type of porn that he was interested in is of the worst kind. This is his addiction, not mine, and I refuse to accept any part of it as acceptable or something to be "understood." It takes a long, long time to manage any addiction, but pornography presents its own, unique complications, especially for men.
This is going to be a long, nasty process whichever way it goes.
Thanks, again, for your encouragement - I am living in a space where genuine friendship and support is more valuable than Life, itself, and I truly appreciate your help.
Since the original post, I discovered email evidence that clearly indicated that my husband had been involved with someone else as a BDSM playmate. He even addressed her by her dominatrix name in the email, and asked to "resched" their planned get-together. To say that I was finally emotionally eviscerated would be an understatement. I finally accepted that I had loved someone for 13 years that had been leading a double life and violating one of the most serious taboos for my stability in a relationship: porn. Not only was it porn, but it was of the most despicable, depraved, and violent sort. Worse, I have no idea how many people he has been acting out with. STD testing for me, next week. Yippee.
Worse still, I attacked him in a violent rage when he defended this email as "mind games." The woman with whom he was communicating lives nearby and his precise words in his email clearly requested that they could meet for another type of activity, like "hike, etc." There was no "mind games" involved.
He has filed for an order of protection - I have not attempted to contact him since the attack, and I have been hysterical ever since. This is not who I am - I am not a batterer, and there was never any history of violence during our 13 year "relationship." Quite the opposite - I can count on 2 hands the number of very heated arguments that we had, and he always seemed so stable and reasonable, even if he was distant and emotionally unavailable.
I am in a severe state of grief, anxiety, and mourning - my rage has been replaced with 100% shame and guilt for my actions. The day after the incident, I contacted the Domestic Violence Hotline to beg for a counselor so that I could understand why I behaved the way that I did and it took them 5 days to respond. In the meantime, I saw our family physician (incoherently hysterical, of course) who asked why I believed that my spouse had been with someone else. I refered to the contents of the bag and gave him a copy of the email that my spouse had sent. The doctor was literally struck dumb - my husband had gone to his office, declared that he was "addicted to technology," and said that I had "accused" him of having an affair. Another lie.
I have since found a counselor who has tried to tell me that I am not an abuser - this wasn't about him leaving the cap off of the toothpaste or leaving dirty underwear in the living room. Still, and yet, I feel like the most horrible creature on earth for what I've done. If I could take it back, I would, but I can't and I am responsible for what I did, regardless of the reason.
I am having the most difficult time just going through the motions of living. I feel as if I am a dead person walking, and I don't know how to forgive myself or forgive him for his diseases. I honestly feel as if I have died.
Soulful! I can only imagine what must be going through inside of you at this point. You feel betrayed to the hilt, you feel helpless, unprepared, violated, raped, mocked, direspected, ripped apart, etc., etc., etc.
Try as I might, I would like to think that in a similar situation I would hold myself together, but I suspect I would go ballistic a lot sooner than you have.
All that being said - DON'T YOU DARE COME DOWN ON YOURSELF FOR HAVING REACTED OUT OF YOUR PAIN AND SHOCK!!!!! COME OUT OF THAT SELF-DESTRUCTION. -- )))NOW((( !!
You didn't cause this, you didn't deserve it, and a crazy emotional reaction is not helpful, but completely understandable. So don't allow the accusations to grab a hold of your soul. It's making me want to shout out to you so that you can hear me wherever in the nation you are.
PLEASE woman - there is nothing wrong with you, how dare guilt come into this picture. You can and will heal from this, but having unwarranted, self-defeating guilts will only slow the process and increase the pain and confusion. So grieve for as long as you need to, you have been the victim of a violent death, and you are reacting with what is left of you. Peace be still.
Now, my own conscience will not be clear if I don't say this, so I'll say it. When we run out of rope, and we can no longer keep afloat, there is One, and only One, who can do the seemingly impossible. You may have heard it all before and think to yourself that this is the answer for people with a weak intellect or whatever else, I get it, really I do.-- But you have nothing to lose, and belive it or not, everything to gain.-- Call out to Him out of whatever is left of you. Your circumstances may not change back to what you would have wanted, but you'll be the whole person you are meant to be, Jesus Christ IS the solution.
Beauty for Ashes
The spath has determined to proceed with the charges of domestic violence. This could ruin the rest of my life as far as getting employed. He's doing it because his mommy (THE target of his deviances) is urging him to do so. Oh, well .... it is what it is and I'll just have to get through all of this, somehow.
I still don't have computer access, so I am only online so infrequently, but if anyone out there has read past posts (WAY past), and the most recent ones in an attempt to define their own situation of abuse, please take this to heart: no matter how angry we get, we have to just walk away instead of taking the course of action that I did. If it's too much to bear, leave or have THEM removed - do not make my mistake!
The horrific discoveries were bad enough. Ending this seemingly idyllic relationship is worse. Realizing that this person that I loved so dearly and trusted so completely is a 100% fraud was worse, still. But, facing charges of Domestic Violence only compounds the situation by zillions, and the Law is static - it does not recognize depth of betrayal, abuse of joint finances, dishonesty, or shattered trust. The Law only says that any attack is wrong, and I will have to stand accountable for that, in Court.
I'll make it through this, whichever way it goes. I thank CureZone Members for their support and encouragement. And, I thank Great Creator that this discovery happened now, instead of later.
My very brightest blessings to all who are in despair and lost.
To a degree, I agree with your explanation of choosing partners - I believed my spouse to be "safe," loving, and worthy of trust. I was chosen by him to represent a cloak of respectability, as a nurturing mother figure, and as a cash cow.
I am addressing my own issues through counseling, and I have never claimed that I am "innocent," nor am I blameless for my situation. There were red flags, all along, and I chose to ignore them or excuse them.
Although he didn't deserve a physical attack, I did not deserve to be bilked out of nearly 250K, being placed at risk for STD's, and to discover that the spouse was not only having an affair, but engaging in a violence-related activity that included paying a large sum of money to attend gatherings of such like-minded people.
To clarify, what two consenting adults do is none of my business. When a person who is bound by a contract of marriage makes the conscious choice to deceive their spouse and conduct a double life that is dangerous and entertains femicide, torture, and genital mutilation, it's morally, ethically, and in all ways WRONG.