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Discussion Starter #1
I just don't know where else to go for help. My husband and I have been together for 7 years, but only married 6 months. He has always had a thing for porn which never really bothered me until the last year or so. It was beginning to take over our sex life, so i offered him a compromise, instead of watching other women i would let him take videos and pictures of me, and it seemed to work great, problem solved, or so i thought.

Then a few weeks ago i went to check my email and somehow ended up in his instead (an email address i never knew about) and found messages from an affairs site and also responses he had sent to craigs list ads. It completely broke me,and he told the worst possible lies (even a child would see through them) about it. But all he says is that i shouldn't be so upset because he never actually cheated,but that he knows he hurt me. I don't know what to do. Hes making me feel like i am over reacting, especially since i have found another site on top of the first (he had signed up a week before i found out about the first). I try talking to him and get told i'm throwing it in his face and not making things better, but neither is ignoring it right? I don't know what to do to make this better, to stop hurting and start trying to mend the trust issues. Help?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh trust me I had the exact same thought, which was what started the whole I'm throwing it in his face thing. I just wish i knew how to make him see how bad this was, and how it has basically destroyed things
 

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The first site I can't be sure, it deletes the messages after a week. The second site he hadn't even checked the messages, but as i said it was opened just before i found out about all of this, so i'm assuming he didn't get the chance to check. And i'm still unsure if he got responses back to his responses on craiglist.

Thank you though MM, having someone agree with me that it is a form of an affair, makes me feel a little better. I know its not physical but still hurts.
 

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The first site I can't be sure, it deletes the messages after a week. The second site he hadn't even checked the messages, but as i said it was opened just before i found out about all of this, so i'm assuming he didn't get the chance to check. And i'm still unsure if he got responses back to his responses on craiglist.

Thank you though MM, having someone agree with me that it is a form of an affair, makes me feel a little better. I know its not physical but still hurts.
Oh my God. I somehow missed the craigs list thing. Sorry. I was in the middle of a kissing session. (With our parrot!:D)

Many people would consider advertising or replying to that kind of "Help Wanted" (yuk!) adverts on Craigs list as a deal breaker. I think I am one of those people.

He is as near as name it a cheater as you can get without physically getting it on with one of those craigs list cut price paramours. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Many people would consider advertising or replying to that kind of "Help Wanted" (yuk!) adverts on Craigs list as a deal breaker.

Which is part of what is making this soo confusing. I want to make this marriage work, but to stoop THAT low? i just don't know
 

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Unfortunately, Craigslist is the lowest of the low. When he says to you, I didn't cheat, so you should be happy, I'd say, you responded to "sex wanted ads" of our modern local newspaper. Only people who are contemplating meeting someone in person do that. And, the only people who have sex with strangers for free via ads are people who engage in the riskiest behavior. That's your business if it only affects you, but STDs put MY life at risk. So you are perfectly willing to play russian roulette with my life. Sorry, I'm not going to forget about this.

So gumby, you go get tested for STDs. Right now you just have his word that he's never slept with someone outside the marriage--while you have hard evidence that he was perfectly willing to try. So don't YOU go and play russian roulette with your health too--find out for certain.

Next, tell him he must also get tested because you have no way of trusting that he didn't expose himself to something. Don't say this in an angry, belittling tone; just be VERY CALM and extremely non-emotional during these conversations. You are playing "detective" and you must be in observer mode. Carefully measure and gauge his reaction. Then tell him that until you get proof postive that he's clean--no unprotected sex for him.

This type of behavior that he's engaging in puts him in the 'serial cheater' box. That's because he used several different methods and showed a purposeful willingness to betray the marriage--there is no ambiguity to his behavior. The fact that a physical line (maybe) wasn't crossed is of no matter--his extremely poor marital boundaries are all that count right now.

People who do this--to paint a very broad brush--are not healthy people. They typically are one of two types (generalizing here):

type one--they feel unloveable. These people may have suffered from abuse at some point in their lives. They practically hate themselves and are sure no one else could truly love them if they knew them to their core. So, they don't believe you really love them either--it's not possible. This produces a lack of respect for you; you must have a problem by marrying someone so undeserving. Also, since they're unloveable, they're sure you'll eventually leave them. So they often 'act out' and do self-destructive things that they believe (often subconsciously) will cause you to reject them. When you do--self-fulfilling prophecy.

type two--very self-centered and entitled. At one extreme, they suffer from narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). They believe the world revolves around them. Because the universe bends to their will, they take what they want when they want it. You're a pawn in their larger scheme. You feed their narcissism, but ultimately you are a possession. As a possession, you don't really have a right to tell them what to do. They'll manipulate you and say what you want to hear so you won't leave, but those are just lies to keep you revolving around their sun. If you are strong enough to reject them, they will suddenly drop everything and work overtime to keep you. Narcissist have a terrible time handling rejection. When the crisis has passed, they will revert to their previous modes of interaction.

any thoughts on whether he fits either of these two descriptions, more or less?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
type one--they feel unloveable. These people may have suffered from abuse at some point in their lives. They practically hate themselves and are sure no one else could truly love them if they knew them to their core. So, they don't believe you really love them either--it's not possible. This produces a lack of respect for you; you must have a problem by marrying someone so undeserving. Also, since they're unloveable, they're sure you'll eventually leave them. So they often 'act out' and do self-destructive things that they believe (often subconsciously) will cause you to reject them. When you do--self-fulfilling prophecy.
Definitely this one! and I have already demanded testing as well as made an appointment for myself to get it done. I have said exactly those things to him about STDs.
 

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Definitely this one! and I have already demanded testing as well as made an appointment for myself to get it done. I have said exactly those things to him about STDs.
Someone like this needs individual counseling. He's going to do this again, to compensate for his self-image. Building his self-esteem is not about ego-stroking--that is what he's trying to do by reaching out to people over the Internet. It's a lot more challenging and frankly, in the beginning, unpleasant than that.

Another question for you--does he attribute any of this to dissatisfaction with the marriage (not that it's true--just what does HE say about that)?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
No, he says he's never been happier and that he doesn't know why he did it because I am the only person who has loved him knowing him to the core and he doesn't understand why he would risk the best thing that has ever happened to him. And admits that , although he doesn't think he cheated, that he did do something wrong and understands that i'm hurting.

Now my first reaction to this was of course to think that he was just saying what i would want to hear. But he has also said this to his best friend. When i caught him his first response was that he did need help and counselling because he just "doesn't know" why he did it.
 

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I am a big fan of saving marriages but this seems to be an on going problem and if there are not kids involved I would consider throwing in the towl.

What every you do know that he has lied so what else has he lied about. I would take the advice and get checked for STD's also do not have sex with him until he is checked.

lets go back to what else has he lied about. Is he posting your pictures and videos to the internet. I would worry it seems to be part of his make up.

If you are going to try to work on things he needs to acknowledge that anything he did behind your back is cheating.

Then get into MC for the two of you, he has issues and needs IC.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's part of why i do want to try to R. We have 2 kids (one ours and one of mine from a previous relationship he has raised since she was 2).

No the pictures and such have not been posted, and my first response when i found all of this was to destroy them. If they weren't enough he has no reason to have them. and before you ask YES i have checked every possible place he could have more copies.
 

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No, he says he's never been happier and that he doesn't know why he did it because I am the only person who has loved him knowing him to the core and he doesn't understand why he would risk the best thing that has ever happened to him. And admits that , although he doesn't think he cheated, that he did do something wrong and understands that i'm hurting.

Now my first reaction to this was of course to think that he was just saying what i would want to hear. But he has also said this to his best friend. When i caught him his first response was that he did need help and counselling because he just "doesn't know" why he did it.
This is a CLASSIC reaction for this "type." I detest lumping people into boxes but having seen this over and over and over using nearly exactly the same words I can't help it any more. The first time this category of cheater jumped out at me was listening to a call in radio show. The guy was contacting women over facebook--strangers--and striking up 'relationships' with them that were basically just friendly / emotional but were obviously time-consuming and he knew they were wrong and a betrayal of the marriage. He said all the same things, how he just didn't know why he did it.

The therapist told him that in childhood his parents did not instill a sense of self-love in him. I need to caution you and anyone reading this--this is NOT about self-esteem. As I outlined above, narcissists, who are basically sociopaths, are brimming with self-esteem. Thinking highly of one's self and truly LOVING yourself are not the same thing. The first one tramples on everyone around you because you're the center of the universe. The second recognizes your own personal strengths and flaws and recognizes the humanity in others and has compassion--forgiveness--for one's self and others. Through this we learn SELF CONTROL because we understand that while it's important to 'self-actualize' (i.e., carry out what we want and need to do to survive but also enjoy life) it's equally important to do that without harming others.

He's measuring his need for counseling by whether or not he's "happy." That is NOT what this type of counseling is for. He needs counseling to understand WHY he thinks it's okay to do something profoundly hurtful to the one person he's supposed to love and protect for life. The fact that he's "happy" while doing it is very disturbing, and he should see it that way too enough to get some excellent counseling.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Not quite, by happy i meant his satisfaction in our relationship, basically he didn't do this because of some imagined or real deficiency of mine or in our relationship. No I do not believe that there is no reason for the behavior, i do feel that it may have been an unconscious pushing me away. But i still deserve better.

I can definitely see the whole parental deficit thing here. There are and have been issues with his mother from almost the beginning of our relationship, and i do think some of her narcissistic tendencies have rubbed off on not only my WH but his siblings as well. This just shows me that no matter how much we thought we had dealt with those issues, they are not fully gone.

i also want to add he did not state he wanted help because he was unhappy, he stated he needed it because he didn't understand why he did something this wrong to hurt me. He has always from D-Day admitted he was in the wrong, he just never saw it as cheating until I explained my views on it to him.

He does now admit that it IS cheating. and at the very least has realized that he almost threw away 7 years for as he put it "a dumb *** trick on the side, 1 night with some random is not worth the 7 years we have and the life i promised you". So i guess this is some progress, and am hoping for more with some pro help. Its a starting off point and i hope through some hard work our R will be a success.
 

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gumby, you sound very on the ball.

In one sense, it's good to hear that he's happy in the marriage. He feels there isn't something that needs improving, that it doesn't have anything to do with that.

However, there is a flip side to that coin--which is that he's saying there is nothing YOU can do that's within your control to improve the marriage as a preventative measure. It's not as if, say, you could have sex more often or give him more hugs or cook him meals or tell him he's handsome. He's basically saying you're fine in that department. Unfortunately, whether that's true, or not, he's stating that this problem is out of your reach.

For some people, they get a "high" out of the risk-taking behavior of trolling craigslist. That is a big, fat, red flag that they want / need something more in their lives because they don't know how to channel that desire for risk-taking into a healthier form that doesn't hurt the people he's supposed to love. Have you discussed that?

Another possibility is that he does wish you were different, some way, somehow, perhaps sexually, not because there's anything wrong with you sexually but because of his own sexual tastes. But if he's down on himself (you're too good for him, you're perfect) he can't admit it and he's not comfortable telling you. Some people have fetishes or other things going on that they won't even admit to themselves. Do you have sex fairly often, do you think you have a healthy sex life?


But these are just two of many, many angles that a qualified therapist would explore.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you, i wasn't this on the ball a couple of days ago, but after reading not only the posts on this thread but others on the site I have gotten my head mostly together.

I do agree with what you are saying, and have asked all those sticky (mind the pun) sex questions. I have always tried to keep our lines of communication in that respect open so that if there was something either of us wanted to try it was a safe place to bring it up and go from there. I may only be 28 but I'm not naive enough to think that any sexual relationship can stay satisfying forever with the same old same old.

We have planned to go out tonight just the two of us to hash some things out and i will definitely bring this topic up to him and see what happens. Will keep you posted.

Thank you again ihl, you have been very informative and helped my train of thought.
 

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He's scalating, from some porn use, to too much porn which interferes intimacy and marginalize marriage to trolling online... next step?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Help so there is no next step.

Belief that help will work so we can fix this problem and have a better marriage. If i can't believe in it there's no point in even trying.
 

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You can fix it, but HE has to do the hard work.

I posted this in reply to you in another thread, don't know if you read it.

If he isn't willing to admit what he did was wrong, kick him out. It's what he deserves. My husband hadn't actually done anything physical on D day but he'd sure tried, and the best thing I did was kick him out that very day. He even admitted finally that what he did was cheating, but I didn't care - I was DONE. I didn't believe him anyway.

And today we're happier than we have been since our wedding day. Go figure.

Oh, and the part about it not being as devastating as a PA? Not true.
I see he's now admitted it at least. What else has he done to prove he really wants to make it work.
 
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