Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm new here - 31yo female from NYC, been married for 11 months, been with my husband for nearly 6 years, no children.

I'm a serial cheater - not that it's any kind of excuse, but I was tragically sexually abused by multiple (3) men in my family and was severely neglected by both my parents growing up... I bounced from family member to family member from school to school from state to state... I have a history of major drug abuse and even prostitution in my late teens, early 20s. it's safe to say, I had a pretty F'ed up childhood with a lot of abuse - emotional, sexual, even physical. I've been in therapy off and on for years.

As strange as this sounds, my husband has always attracted abused women - all of his past girlfriends have had some form of abuse in their lives, and I'm no different. He's a very stable and deeply "good" person - very rational and loving. He's done amazing things for me - since being with him, I've gone back to school to pursue a career I've always been interested in, I've enjoyed amazing health (we're both health nuts - very into nutrition and exercise), I've done incredible things with him in my life, stuff I never dreamed I'd do. He makes the pain go away, he makes me love myself.

I've cheated on almost every man I've been with. He does not know this and I'm not sure whether or not he needs to. I've always sought sexual attention from men - it's a very unhealthy coping mechanism - much like cutting myself, which I also used to do as a teen. During the year and a half we were engaged, I cheated on him several times through Craigslist ads. I don't know why I did this - I truly don't. Boredom? Fear? Attention seeking?

After we got married, I vowed to myself to never do this again - I didn't want to destroy the marriage. When I began to get urges to cheat, I sought therapy which I've been in weekly since April 2012.

He has recently found out about my past affairs through some old emails he came across and he is utterly destroyed. The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions - from us crying in each others arms and saying we'll move on from this and it will make us stronger, to us seriously talking about considering divorce. I want to stay together and so does he, but at times he feels the pain is too great to recover from and at this point, I honestly just feel numb, not knowing what his mood will be like from one minute to the next. I know I deserve this and it's a normal range of emotions.

I've been as attentive and available to his needs as possible... I am trying to be patient, I've sought couples therapy and am waiting for a call back to schedule an initial appointment, hopefully this week. The thing that kills me is he feels he's partly responsible for this - he feels he didn't give me what I needed and I sought it elsewhere... I'm trying to explain that it's more complicated than that and it was just me acting out, but I was otherwise very happy with the relationship. He thinks that there were issues with the relationship and questions if I truly love him or do I just love the effect he has on me? I don't even know how to answer this question - isn't it one in the same? don't you love someone because they make you feel good and want you to be a better person?

I guess I'm just posting all of this for advice on what else I can do to help him through this pain. I want to help him heal, even if it means we break up - his happiness is all I care about right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,603 Posts
Own your sh!t
Be accountable
Don't blame him for your cheating
Do listen to him
Go to marriage counselling
Don't cheat
Get the book His Needs, Her Needs.

Be honest. Don't lie.

And be honest, really honest about another thing: If you feel you are going to cheat again, just let him go. It's not fair to him.

Oh and your past abuse, while that sucks, isn't the reason wy you cheated so don't even try to claim that as an excuse. You chose to cheat that all on your own. It was a decision YOU made to betray your husband.



********************** | ***************************************** | ***************************************
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
The simple truth is that you might not be able to help him through this. As a BS we often need to know what we might have done wrong to lead you down this path. It gives us hope that if we change just one small thing, that it will prevent you from doing it again.

If you are in MC, you need to come clean about all of your past including your cheating in previous relationships. Give him the chance to decide what is best for his future.

You should like my FWH's MOW. Your past is no excuse. The great part of being human, is that we are meant to overcome hardships and learn from our mistakes. You have yet to do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Read the article in my signature.
read that somewhere else on the internet - yes, very good points, thank you.

Own your sh!t
Be accountable
Don't blame him for your cheating
Do listen to him
Go to marriage counselling
Don't cheat
Get the book His Needs, Her Needs.

Be honest. Don't lie.

And be honest, really honest about another thing: If you feel you are going to cheat again, just let him go. It's not fair to him.

Oh and your past abuse, while that sucks, isn't the reason wy you cheated so don't even try to claim that as an excuse. You chose to cheat that all on your own. It was a decision YOU made to betray your husband.
guess you missed the part where I said that I wasn't claiming my past as an excuse, but your other points are well taken. I don't think I'll ever have the urge to cheat again - like I said, it's been over a year and I've been in therapy for the last 6mos just to deal with the guilt of it and help curb urges... but after this, I feel it won't be an issue - whether or not we can overcome it, I will never cheat again, no matter who I'm with.

The simple truth is that you might not be able to help him through this. As a BS we often need to know what we might have done wrong to lead you down this path. It gives us hope that if we change just one small thing, that it will prevent you from doing it again.

If you are in MC, you need to come clean about all of your past including your cheating in previous relationships. Give him the chance to decide what is best for his future.

You should like my FWH's MOW. Your past is no excuse. The great part of being human, is that we are meant to overcome hardships and learn from our mistakes. You have yet to do that.
very helpful, thank you - I'm terrified of marriage therapy since I know it will mean me opening up and being honest about every little thing, but I think that's what's needed, even if it drives him away. you're right that I haven't healed from my past issues, I can hardly say some of this stuff out loud, much less talk about them in detail, but that's probably what needs to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
634 Posts
Please do not be afraid of MC. Even if it does not work for this relationship, it will help you in future relationships. Also, I am glad to hear that your are in IC. Dig yourself out of this rut. You will be stronger in the long run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I think IC for both of you is key. I really wouldn't rush into MC without doing some IC for each of you first. I tried to MC right away with my H, it was too much for him. You really need to give him some time and some space. It's only been 2 weeks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,984 Posts
Have you considered that you may not be relationship material ?

Have you got yourself tested for STDs ?

If you are not sure about not relapsing, then maybe the only way is to leave him and be in open relationships. (Even though cheating can occur in these too )

Why did you feel the need to get married with all these issues ? how was it fair that you dragged your H into this ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I think IC for both of you is key. I really wouldn't rush into MC without doing some IC for each of you first. I tried to MC right away with my H, it was too much for him. You really need to give him some time and some space. It's only been 2 weeks.
interesting... I keep asking him if MC is something he wants to try and he says yes, but is sort of indifferent to it as well - sort of shrugs like "what's the point?"... I am in IC myself, but never thought of suggesting he go to IC as well. he's never been to therapy before, whereas I've been in it nearly my whole life. he might not be ready for it or know what to expect.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,984 Posts
How did you justify it to yourself when you were cheating on him with men from craigslist ? Was getting raped never a concern considering how unsafe the whole thing is? How did you rationalize it to yourself ?

What was going on in your mind ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,281 Posts
It takes a while for some betrayed spouses to get over the betrayal since more than a few guys and I suppose" women who have gone through it to stop looking for ways to blame themselves. This is especially true of guys who were cheated on for decades rather than years.
It appears you haven't been able to fix yourself, so it's doubtful that you are the answer to his problems, either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Have you considered that you may not be relationship material ?

Have you got yourself tested for STDs ?

If you are not sure about not relapsing, then maybe the only way is to leave him and be in open relationships. (Even though cheating can occur in these too )

Why did you feel the need to get married with all these issues ? how was it fair that you dragged your H into this ?
I have considered that, yes. I guess it's very selfish of me. On one hand, I want to be "normal" and on the other hand, I want to be extremely destructive and damaged.

I have no STDs - I'm pretty on top of my health and always practiced safe sex - I get tested every year with my annual PAP, including HIV and have always been negative.

I guess that's the big question - why did I want to get married still after having these issues... I wonder if my duality was functional at that time and I could clearly separate my "good" self with my husband from my "bad" self with other men but I wanted to keep both? I guess in some kind of F'ed up way, I figured that as long as I stopped before we actually got married, it would be okay. It's not fair at all, I'm not claiming it is. What I did was wrong, and I've beaten myself up over it considerably (that's a whole 'nother topic), but I'm just trying to figure out things I can do to help him heal - whether we stay together or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
How did you justify it to yourself when you were cheating on him with men from craigslist ? Was getting raped never a concern considering how unsafe the whole thing is? How did you rationalize it to yourself ?

What was going on in your mind ?
I don't think it was a thought process that included justification. It was an impulse and I acted on it. Perhaps the risk is exactly what attracted me to it? I'm not saying it's healthy but just that I was obviously not thinking rationally.

What was going on in my mind? Probably "I have a history of this and I want it to stop once I am officially married so I might as well get it out of my system now"... that's one... another might have been "I can't believe this great guy is marrying a pathetic piece of trash like me, let me live up to my own expectations and sabotage this"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Please do not be afraid of MC. Even if it does not work for this relationship, it will help you in future relationships. Also, I am glad to hear that your are in IC. Dig yourself out of this rut. You will be stronger in the long run.
thank you, I hope you are right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I'll make one suggestion.

Ask him to read what you've posted, and the replies, etc on here.
Yes, I know that is going to really open up lots of issues, but it shows him that you really, really want to get to a better place.

Just a thought, even if you don't use it now, keep it in mind.

A lot of us are able to open up here in ways that it's very difficult to do with loved ones, friends, etc.
I suppose because it is anonymous. We know that we can be judged, sometimes heavily criticised. But we also know that a lot of the people replying will try to give good advice, to be fair. That even if the replies will be painful, they will not balk at it, but will say what they see.

Whatever you do, or decide to do, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Are you a "In the moment person?"
I take it, that you have BPD?
I agree with the above comment to have your husband read your comments here on TAM. The only way you two are going to work this out is if you TALK it thru. Good Luck David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,750 Posts
I don't think I'll ever have the urge to cheat again - like I said, it's been over a year and I've been in therapy for the last 6mos just to deal with the guilt of it and help curb urges... but after this, I feel it won't be an issue - whether or not we can overcome it, I will never cheat again, no matter who I'm with.
While optimistic, this could be a very dangerous mindset to fall into.

Like you, my wife was sexually abused in her teens. And also as appears to be your case, she quickly learned to act out sexually as a means of reasserting her own control over her sexuality and conversely because that's how she saw herself...as nothing more than a sexual tool for others. She too became a serial cheater.

Long story short, while she said the same thing when we got together (she felt she'd never cheat on me), she entered into not one but two long-term EA's. And, less than a week after telling one of those EA partners she didn't want to cheat on me, she was bent over a park bench for a third person who she'd known for less than a month.

So, as you can see, that, "I'll never do it again!" mindset, while admirable, can fall by the wayside.

The turning point for her in how to control her impulses was when she found that her lifelong behaviors fit the criteria for sex & love addiction and began attending a sex/love addicts anonymous group. While her psychiatrist thinks it's (direct quote) "a bunch of hooey," her behavior does fit the patterns of the addiction we've read about, and, whether or not she truly is an "addict," applying the principles of the program has helped her. She's currently at about 1.5 years "sober."

Might be something worth looking into, even if only as a method of keeping yourself to that promise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
593 Posts
I didn't read anywhere that you are in individual counseling.

That is your first step.

You need to heal yourself before you start on the marriage.

Secondly, your husband sounds like he is indifferent.
Emotion means divorce or reconciliation. Depends on which emotion is dominating. But any emotion, anger, sadness, is good.
Indifference is bad. It means divorce.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top