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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All. I'm new here and just about to start a trial separation with my husband. We've been married for just over 3 1/2 years and are having some serious issues. I apologize in advance for the long post ahead....
My husband has been a serial cheater. I feel like every form a logic should tell me to just be done with it, but there are underlying factors that I feel need to be considered. Plus all the emotions that go along with the fact that I'm just still in love with him.
We were married in April 2010 and he deployed to Afghanistan for 1 year that August. He then finished his contract with the Marine Corps in December 2011. During that time and the years we dated up until our wedding, as much as the distance sucked, I feel we had a very strong relationship. The communication was the best that it could be and love and emotion fueled our relationship.
After he got out of the Marines, we had a period of 6 months where I was finishing my degree and he was unemployed before we moved away from California (couldn't afford to live there anymore). We moved back to our home state of Utah. During those 6 months, I found out that he had been randomly hooking up with women from dating sites and craigslist. He admitted it to me shortly after we moved home. He explained that there was no emotion tied to these women and it was all just random hook ups. Not that that makes it okay - but still.
I was, obviously, devastated. We decided to try counseling (although it was a limited number of sessions since it was through a Veterans assistance program). They diagnosed him with PTSD and explained to me that, while it's not an excuse for his behavior, it explains it to an extent.
Overall we get along great, don't fight more than any other couple, and have fun together. However, his PTSD has left him emotionless and quite angry with the world. I should also mention that we also left the LDS church during those 6 months that he was unemployed. He tends to blame being brought up in that strict of a religion as to why he felt the need to "get things out of his system".
Over the last year and a half since I initially found out about the cheating, we've gone through that same revelation 2 more times. He'd been hooking up with random women - some he couldn't even tell me their names.
Now we've tried counseling again and he has also been diagnosed with an impulsive disorder, as well as bipolar, both in conjunction with his PTSD that has not been resolved.
We have decided together (though mostly my idea) that we will be doing a trial separation starting January 2. He says he wants to be able to figure out why exactly he's doing it and find a way to stop. He says he would only want a divorce if he can't stop himself from hurting me because I don't deserve it.
I love him, and I want us to work out. I don't know if it's just the comfort of having someone that's keeping me though, or if it really is that I think we have a chance. I'm hoping this separation will give me some clarity - but my head is all over the place right now.
I need him to treat me the way I deserve, and I need him to get back some form of emotion other than anger. He is just a mean person (mostly to others, occasionally to me). Whenever he gets mean with me, he's quick to notice and apologize, but I still don't deserve it in the first place.
I guess I just need advice on how to deal with the separation. What things should I be focusing on for myself and for our relationship? Should I be preparing myself for divorce or keep my thoughts positive? Any advice is welcome. Please keep in mind though, that I love my husband, and though he's made mistakes - I want to see if forgiveness is possible. His diagnoses does not give him an excuse, but it does give me a reason to try...
 

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How long did you date before you got married? How old are you two?

I think you should be focusing on you. What you need in a relationship. What makes you happy. What you need in a partner. Then, if you feel he's done the work on his end, see if he fits your needs. Start by dating, all over again.

Do you know that he didn't cheat on you before being deployed? While you were dating, or as newlyweds?

C
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We dated for about 2 years before we got married. I was only 20 when we got married (part of the LDS culture is getting married young, especially in Utah). He was 21 at the time. So now we are almost 24 and 25. No kids. If we were to get divorced, now is really the time.
As far as cheating before his deployment or while we were dating. I don't think so.
 

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Sorry you are here. 3 and half being married is a fairly short time to be experiencing this but that's life I guess. The word serial cheater scares/worries me though; can you truly keep forgetting your H for the same mistake? My H cheated on me once, although I forgave him pretty much straight away so I could move forward without any bitterness/hatred the pain however lasted a longer time. Use the time of separation looking after yourself; figuring out what you want out of life, where do you see you life going, less time thinking about your H, doing things for yourself. This way you will be ready for whatever the out-comes. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
can you truly keep forgetting your H for the same mistake? My H cheated on me once, although I forgave him pretty much straight away so I could move forward without any bitterness/hatred the pain however lasted a longer time.
That's a very good question. No idea. I mean, I think the forgiving comes easy, but the forgetting is really hard. I don't know if I ever will and that's something I need to figure out during this separation.

What friends tell me during my separation is, "You do you." We can't control our husbands, we can't tell them how to fix it or when to fix it, we just have to kind of let it go. Let them do what they need to do and YOU do what YOU need to do. Focus on other things, like job or school or hobby or family. Anything you feel is important. I feel lost without my husband right now, but it made me realize he is a PART of my life, he is not MY life. I still have to have other things in my life besides a husband. I love him and he is my world, but I have grown a lot more independent from the separation and feel it has made me a better person... so that is always a good place to start!
I love pretty much your whole post. Thank you to all those who replied. I know I need to focus on myself and work on the whole "you do you" thing. That was definitely something I needed to hear. I am feeling really lost right now and scared.
Thank you again.
 

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Hello,

I also think you need to focus on yourself and leave him behind, especially since you're still so young and have no kids. My H wants a separation and with the things that he's said to me during this period, if I didn't have a baby with him, then I would've been long gone. Do I love him? Yes. Do I deserve to be treated that way? No. It's just different for me because we have a baby and I'm sticking around because of my family as a whole. You don't have kids so that's a whole different story. I know your H has been through a lot being in the military and being deployed but that doesn't give any excuse for multiple cheatings. You deserve someone who will treat you with dignity, respect, love, honor, kindness, and faithfully. Don't waste anymore time with this guy who doesn't want to give any of that to you. You deserve more!
 
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