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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So glad to have stumbled across this place. I feel like I'm dying here.

My husband had what might be called an emotional affair nearly two years ago now with some woman he met on twitter. I discovered it for the first time when our phones got mixed up accidentally and I saw a troubling email message that sent me looking for more. I discovered that though he had not met her yet in person, they had talked by phone a few times and even exchanged gifts (books) via the mail. he was planning to meet up with her at a conference he was attending not too far from where she lives.

I confronted him, there was a huge blowup-- he was incredibly angry with me for violating his privacy, etc. We started therapy, and things seemed to be improving somewhat... but then a few months in as he was preparing to attend another conference in the same location, I was feeling something was off and snooped. I discovered he was plotting to meet up with her yet again. It's this second betrayal that hurts the most-- knowing how much I was hurt by this first betrayal, he continued having a relationship with her via twitter and email, then plotted yet again to see her. We haven't been to therapy since that-- he's too embarrassed to go back and is convinced a therapist would just "take my side."

He's explained Betrayal 2 in multiple ways over the years-- that he was trying to punish me for my initial invading of his privacy, or he did it because he was having an identity crisis following the death of his father, or he did it just to prove to himself that nothing was going to happen (though another time he did confess that he might have kissed her or even slept with her had he actually gone and met her). I'm still confused and exhausted by the whole thing.

We've had issues in our marriage almost since the beginning. We've been married 10 years now and have two young children. If it weren't for the kids, I would have surely just divorced him by now. Over these years, he has withdrawn from me significantly. Sex is incredibly rare (a few times a year-- countable on one hand. Once we went a year and a half with nothing-- his choice, not mine). I crave other forms of physical affection-- hugs, kissing, anything-- and this has mostly disappeared too. I have brought up the issue several times over the years, and while things might change for a little while, eventually they go back to how they've been.

He is somewhat addicted to twitter, has become ,very popular there-- with thousands of followers. He's started writing longer things, too, and has had some success getting them published. He loves the attention. But I'm dying here.

I feel like he has this entire life online that I know very little about, and because of the nature of previous betrayals, I just can't help but still be concerned that these things can happen again. It has killed my self esteem and self worth, left me nearly suicidal even for while.

I stay because of my kids, but I still have a hard time getting past this. 2 years later, I feel like I still can't trust him. This frustrates him because it was so long ago now, but I keep ruminating on it and it's killing me.

I could use some insight. I don't know what to do. I love my children more than anything and would hate to bring any pain into their lives, but I feel a huge need for nurturing and love that just isn't being met in my marriage.

Thanks for listening.
 

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So glad to have stumbled across this place. I feel like I'm dying here.

My husband had what might be called an emotional affair nearly two years ago now with some woman he met on twitter. I discovered it for the first time when our phones got mixed up accidentally and I saw a troubling email message that sent me looking for more. I discovered that though he had not met her yet in person, they had talked by phone a few times and even exchanged gifts (books) via the mail. he was planning to meet up with her at a conference he was attending not too far from where she lives.

I confronted him, there was a huge blowup-- he was incredibly angry with me for violating his privacy, etc. We started therapy, and things seemed to be improving somewhat... but then a few months in as he was preparing to attend another conference in the same location, I was feeling something was off and snooped. I discovered he was plotting to meet up with her yet again. It's this second betrayal that hurts the most-- knowing how much I was hurt by this first betrayal, he continued having a relationship with her via twitter and email, then plotted yet again to see her. We haven't been to therapy since that-- he's too embarrassed to go back and is convinced a therapist would just "take my side."

He's explained Betrayal 2 in multiple ways over the years-- that he was trying to punish me for my initial invading of his privacy, or he did it because he was having an identity crisis following the death of his father, or he did it just to prove to himself that nothing was going to happen (though another time he did confess that he might have kissed her or even slept with her had he actually gone and met her). I'm still confused and exhausted by the whole thing.

We've had issues in our marriage almost since the beginning. We've been married 10 years now and have two young children. If it weren't for the kids, I would have surely just divorced him by now. Over these years, he has withdrawn from me significantly. Sex is incredibly rare (a few times a year-- countable on one hand. Once we went a year and a half with nothing-- his choice, not mine). I crave other forms of physical affection-- hugs, kissing, anything-- and this has mostly disappeared too. I have brought up the issue several times over the years, and while things might change for a little while, eventually they go back to how they've been.

He is somewhat addicted to twitter, has become ,very popular there-- with thousands of followers. He's started writing longer things, too, and has had some success getting them published. He loves the attention. But I'm dying here.

I feel like he has this entire life online that I know very little about, and because of the nature of previous betrayals, I just can't help but still be concerned that these things can happen again. It has killed my self esteem and self worth, left me nearly suicidal even for while.

I stay because of my kids, but I still have a hard time getting past this. 2 years later, I feel like I still can't trust him. This frustrates him because it was so long ago now, but I keep ruminating on it and it's killing me.

I could use some insight. I don't know what to do. I love my children more than anything and would hate to bring any pain into their lives, but I feel a huge need for nurturing and love that just isn't being met in my marriage.

Thanks for listening.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This relationship with the other woman is over now-- I feel pretty sure about it. He told her he wasn't going to meet up with her at the conference and she got very angry, started saying nasty things about him over twitter, etc. He hates her now. But my fear is that it could happen again. He spends a huge amount of his time these days online and loves all the "fans" and attention. I can't compete with that, you know?

Thanks for responding Matt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bee,
I just want to be able to feel like I can breathe. I want to feel safe. And I don't have that any more. The only reason for saving the marriage is for the kids. He seems to want to stay together, says he's remorseful. He says he loves me but I just have an awfully hard time believing or trusting him. I think I'm scared to let my guard down enough to trust him again for fear the rug might be yanked out from under me again... but since the kids are involved, I can't just give up. So I'm stuck.
 

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Bee,
I just want to be able to feel like I can breathe. I want to feel safe. And I don't have that any more. The only reason for saving the marriage is for the kids. He seems to want to stay together, says he's remorseful. He says he loves me but I just have an awfully hard time believing or trusting him. I think I'm scared to let my guard down enough to trust him again for fear the rug might be yanked out from under me again... but since the kids are involved, I can't just give up. So I'm stuck.
So sorry... I am going through the same thing. I have a 6 year old and a 4 year old. We have a house together and it will be hard to make do if we split up. It's nice to vent here though.
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You' MARRIED!
Ask him why he's lost affection for you and seeks it online.

When he denies - ask about the lack of intimacy. Ask him to tell you if he remembers the last time he made love with you, the day he last kissed you with passion, the last date night.

Get an honest conversation started.
 

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Anonamy...as walkon suggested, you guys need to get to the bottom of this seeking of attention. Trust me, I've been through the wringer the past 9 months after finding out the extent of my wife's need for attention went. I'll just tell you - it was a 5 year long affair.

When I first confronted her, she said it was because our intimacy was lost. Literally hours later, she retracted that when I told her all of the things I had been doing to show her my love.

She came out of her fog. She stopped re-writing our marital history (something that they ALL do). She was basically slammed in the face with reality that night.

I can say that I'm happy to be on of the lucky ones with a very remorseful spouse. For your husband to say that he doesn't wanna go to counseling cuz "she'll take your side" is nothing but a candy a$$ cop out. Sorry. That's the truth.

I hate to see another new person here who is hurting. I can only hope that you find peace within yourself and listen to what a lot of posters here say. It might hurt at times...but it's necessary.
 

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You've already divorced your husband. You just don't have paper. He chatted up another woman. It was wrong but it wasn't adultery and it wasn't sufficient reason to dangle him from a cross for two years. I wonder if you stay "for the kids" as you say or to punish him without end, preventing him from finding a scrap of happiness. You won't love your dog but you won't put him to sleep, either. How does having two unloving parents do anything but damage a kid?
 

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You've already divorced your husband. You just don't have paper. He chatted up another woman. It was wrong but it wasn't adultery and it wasn't sufficient reason to dangle him from a cross for two years. I wonder if you stay "for the kids" as you say or to punish him without end, preventing him from finding a scrap of happiness. You won't love your dog but you won't put him to sleep, either. How does having two unloving parents do anything but damage a kid?
Sorry, but it was adultery. Just cuz they didn't have intercourse does NOT mean it wasn't adultery. What if your significant other was enjoying fantasy with someone besides you? I would almost bet that you'd feel as if they had broken a marital vow. The idea that she "dangled him from a cross for two years" is ludicrous at best. Simply put...she and he never got over the initial crap of an EMOTIONAL AFFAIR. They never got to the root of the issue, hence she "Can't Get Over It". While I agree that one never "stay for the kids", I don't buy your initial few sentences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You've already divorced your husband. You just don't have paper. He chatted up another woman. It was wrong but it wasn't adultery and it wasn't sufficient reason to dangle him from a cross for two years. I wonder if you stay "for the kids" as you say or to punish him without end, preventing him from finding a scrap of happiness. You won't love your dog but you won't put him to sleep, either. How does having two unloving parents do anything but damage a kid?

Unbelievable,
Believe me, this isn't about me trying to punish him or "dangle him from a cross"-- why would I do that if it only continues to make me miserable? if I could put things behind me, I swear I would. I have been trying... some of the problem seems to be that we just have different ideas of what a marriage should be-- his idea of marriage is of two strong individuals who have their own lives and yet live together... mine is more of two people who are more interdependent. I know maybe that makes me weak. But I can't help it.

Sometimes I think maybe if we had continued therapy things would have been different. But who knows? Believe me-- this isn't about stringing him along-- for a little bit after the discovery I honestly felt things were getting better because we were being honest with each other, communicating better... but now I feel like I'm losing him again, that he's fading into this other world.

He seems to exhibit a lot of narcissistic tendancies... thinks very highly of himself, feels entitled to a lot more than he's getting in life. But somehow I don't figure into that vision. I have no idea why he's still even with me unless it's also just for the kids.

I'm hurt, confused, and just trying honestly to figure out what to do next. I want the marriage to work, but yes, there comes a time where staying together can't be good for the kids either. He says things are "fine," but there's little sex or intimacy, I'm anxious being around him, and I just don't know what to do next.

If you can give some honest advice on how to build trust again, or on what I can to do to maybe get beyond this, I'm all ears. Really.

Somedaydig,
so much of what you say resonates with me. Thanks for saying it. I think you're right-- that not getting to the root of things two years ago is partly to blame for the state I am in now. And since the whole EA happened online, when he spends still so much time on twitter, etc., I still feel anxious. I wish it wasn't like this, but it is.

Amazing to have so many responses to this in just a day. This place is amazing. Thank you everyone.
 

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You've already divorced your husband. You just don't have paper. He chatted up another woman. It was wrong but it wasn't adultery and it wasn't sufficient reason to dangle him from a cross for two years. I wonder if you stay "for the kids" as you say or to punish him without end, preventing him from finding a scrap of happiness. You won't love your dog but you won't put him to sleep, either. How does having two unloving parents do anything but damage a kid?
It was an affair. He disrespected his wife and the mother of his children.
 

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You need to sit him down, tonight, and tell him how you are feeling. Tell him about the anxiety you still feel, the inability to feel safe in your own home, and a few of the other things you mention here about intimacy. Ask him if he still loves you, (ask yourself if you still love him first) and if he answers yes, then tell him you want to return to counseling immediately. Your insecurity is a direct result of his selfish and inappropriate behavior, and instead of getting to the root of the issue, he got to sweep the whole thing under the rug.

Is he making money with his on-line social life? If the answer is no, tell him it has to be put on hold while you two are figuring things out in counseling. If he spent half as much time on your marriage as he does on his twits (twitter) you would not be posting here.

If you are no longer in love with him, and you do not ever see yourself getting over the emotional affair that he had, please go see an attorney to figure out what your rights and responsibilities would be in a divorce. Your kids will suffer much worse in a home where there is no love between the parents, than if you were to split and find happiness elsewhere.
 
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