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Discussion Starter #1
I see that 429 people are viewing this forum this very minute, so hopefully a handful of you will offer some advice. I'm going to apologize in advance for being long-winded and possibly incoherent (I'm a night shift nurse and have been awake for 62 hours straight...and I've had 2 beers...)

Loooonnnggg story short: Married 6 years. Three kiddos (ages 8, 5, and 9 months). Discovered his A with coworker in March '10. At that point, confessed my own A with mutual friend that had occurred for 3 months in 2007.

Fast forward a couple years, and we're still struggling A LOT. He rarely brings up my A and says that he's "over it." That may be true, but I tend to believe that he just doesn't want to talk about it. Fine. Whatever. To each his own. I've been more than willing to discuss it, and immediately after telling him about it, I handed over all my email passwords, etc. Total transparency (well, kind of...I'll get to that).

After finding out about his A, I kindly found him a new job, wrote his resume/cover letter, and went shopping for his interview outfit. Needless to say, continuing to work at the *****s-R-Us was not an option, and he played along. Since then, we've been running into issues over his friendships with current female coworkers. He doesn't seem to discriminate between female and male friendships, while I, on the other hand, have made it quite clear that opposite gender friends are off-limits. Likewise, I have absolutely zero male friends. In fact, i don't even work with a single male.

A couple weeks ago he received an email from a single female coworker who literally sits on the other side of the cubical wall that said something like, "You were so charming when you brought your kids to work the other day." This was not the first personal email he had exchanged with this woman, and I called him out on it. I told him that while I realized SHE had sent the email, I was uncomfortable with him having anything other than professional relationships with women. Sorry, but when another woman sends my husband an email calling him "charming," it raises red flags for me. His response to my feelings of discomfort? He immediately changed his password.

Now last night while I was at work, he went out drinking with a group of coworkers, including his female boss. This morning the two of them exchanged 10+ text messages. I asked him about it (he was pissed that I was "still stalking him"); he showed me his phone, and the messages were benign. However, having read some past emails exchanged between him and yet another female coworker, I know that this manager has a reputation for screwing her subordinates (literally) when the employees travel for business. Her history, combined with my husband's history, a night on the town, and the string of texts....well, it made me uncomfortable, and I told him as much this evening.

He gave me his usual blank stare, accused me of stalking him, and told me I need to "get over it." The argument progressed through the night, and I told him YET AGAIN that I need him to be transparent with me. In my eyes, keeping all his passwords secret and carrying his phone everywhere are potentially suspicious. That's exactly what he did when he was involved in his affair, and he assured me back then that I had "nothing to worry about." Obviously those words mean nothing nowadays.

I've posted previously about his emotional/verbal abuse, and when I basically gave him an ultimatum (not a good move, I know, but I'm not in possession of all my faculties today) of keeping his privacy/passwords or keeping me, he chose the privacy. When I started to cry (again, lack of sleep=emotional wife), he screamed at me, called me a "stupid *****," and told me that he's divorcing me (he says this EVERY SINGLE TIME we argue).

I know I'm guilty of paranoia and hypervigilance, and maybe considering my own poor choices in the past I'm not entitled to those feelings.

If you've read this far, God bless you for your patience. Here are my questions:

1. Does the paranoia ever get better? Will I ever stop seeing every female friend/coworker as The Enemy?

2. Will my self esteem ever return? I used to have some degree of confidence, and now I measure myself against these women that are emailing/texting/drinking with my husband, and I feel like I always come up short.

3. Is his complete refusal to offer transparency pretty much the end of us? If he choose his "privacy" over our marriage and family, am I just grasping at straws?

Here's the kicker (and please be kind--I've had enough abuse for one day)....I actually know ALL of his passwords anyhow. I became a bit of a super sleuth after his A. Aside from the slightly-crossing-the-professional-boundaries emails at work, I have not found anything fishy in 2 years. He obviously does NOT know this. Yeah, I know, I'm a hypocrite.

I'll eagerly await your replies as I sit here at a local hotel. Yep, I finally left tonight after the "stupid *****" screaming episode. He doesn't know where I am, and sadly, I don't think he cares.
 

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Other people will answer your 3 Qs but here are my two cents,

I sense he might've found out about your affair long before you admitted it but kept it to himself. I feel throughout those years he slowly checked out of the marriage and started cheating himself. After he was caught he might of seen it as "wiping the slate clean" hence why he hasn't cheated again. However his love for you and commitment to the marriage never returned consequently his drastic change of attitude.

He might bear a lot of resentment towards you and he isn't really "over it" especially as you cheated only 1 year into the marriage. He might be sticking around because he has 3 infant children.
 

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1. Does the paranoia ever get better? Will I ever stop seeing every female friend/coworker as The Enemy?

If he has proper boundaries, this paranoia for you will get better. Otherwise, no. From your post in this thread, he has blurred boundaries. I also tend to believe you are a bit more possessive on him. Is this the result of your A some years ago? Or were you the same even before A?

2. Will my self esteem ever return? I used to have some degree of confidence, and now I measure myself against these women that are emailing/texting/drinking with my husband, and I feel like I always come up short.

It will be good for you to consult a therapist for your well being. Why should you compare yourself with other women? I know all women do this. In a marriage, this comparison ought not to be existing. Such should be the trust, respect and love. How will it come about? It takes two hands to clap; so you and your husband should work on this. What if all your fears are unfounded? On the contrary, if he has some real issues, then the relationship is not what it should be.

3. Is his complete refusal to offer transparency pretty much the end of us? If he choose his "privacy" over our marriage and family, am I just grasping at straws?

I dont agree with his complaints about "your stalking", "please get over it". He should remain completely transparent. And you too. Not only in terms of passwords, but also how you feel about him, what makes you uncomfortable etc.

Good lucks, dear.
 

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1. Does the paranoia ever get better? Will I ever stop seeing every female friend/coworker as The Enemy?

If he has proper boundaries, this paranoia for you will get better. Otherwise, no. From your post in this thread, he has blurred boundaries. I also tend to believe you are a bit more possessive on him. Is this the result of your A some years ago? Or were you the same even before A?

2. Will my self esteem ever return? I used to have some degree of confidence, and now I measure myself against these women that are emailing/texting/drinking with my husband, and I feel like I always come up short.

It will be good for you to consult a therapist for your well being. Why should you compare yourself with other women? I know all women do this. In a marriage, this comparison ought not to be existing. Such should be the trust, respect and love. How will it come about? It takes two hands to clap; so you and your husband should work on this. What if all your fears are unfounded? On the contrary, if he has some real issues, then the relationship is not what it should be.

3. Is his complete refusal to offer transparency pretty much the end of us? If he choose his "privacy" over our marriage and family, am I just grasping at straws?

I dont agree with his complaints about "your stalking", "please get over it". He should remain completely transparent. And you too. Not only in terms of passwords, but also how you feel about him, what makes you uncomfortable etc.

Good lucks, dear.
This is pretty much what I was about to write.
Total transparency is exactly that. Nothing hidden. Boundaries are to be respected.
My wife and I both cheated, too.
Read our stories below and see what we did to reconcile.
 

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Look up extraordinary precautions .

One of these for your husband is he should only be in dialog with women if it is strictly business related.
He should not be exchanging text messages with any woman other than you.
He should not be going out for work drinks without you.

This above sounds controlling, it is not . He signs up to this as he has shown he is easily led into an affair and cannot be trusted. If he follows and adheres to the agreed extraordinary precaution you will not be looking over your shoulder to see what he is up to . His job is to give you no reason to not trust him.

Due to his previous history receiving text messages from other women is a red flag , why has he given out his number . He is either a fool or pushing the boundaries to see how far he can go. I suspect the latter.

A very quick way to fix the text messages is for you to respond to the senders with a short message: something like "you may not be aware but XXX has previously had an affair with a coworker, please do not text him again as he may misconstrue the message" , or something similar . It is sure to provoke a reaction , but hey , he is a big boy and should be defending his marriage.
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Alls fair and love and war, he will cheat to gain his sense of self and respect back and to balance what u did
What did she do????? She is the betrayed spouse and from what she writes her husband is not exactly protecting the marriage. Far from it he is enabling opportunities for a future affair.

Jayman : looking at some of your other posts I suspect your causing mischief and not offering any advice .
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Next time he threatens divorce smile, and file. Why does he do this? Because you are desperate to keep him .
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He is fighting back against your control. As far as you can really tell he is being completely honest - yet you continue to freak out.

He sees nothing wrong with having friends at work female and male, and he's no doubt talked to others about how out of control you've been with controlling him.

Question - you cheated 5 years ago - what consequences did he impose on you for your cheating? What has he continued to do to check up on you?

If you two want to stay together you need to seek out some therapy together to find a new balance in your marriage - how to trust and love again.

You don't trust him. Now he may not be trustworthy - I don't know him - but you did monitor him for the last 2 years and found nothing.

btw - hyper vigilance with passwords simply means that he knows you're watching there and he wouldn't do any bad stuff there.
 

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What did she do????? She is the betrayed spouse and from what she writes her husband is not exactly protecting the marriage. Far from it he is enabling opportunities for a future affair.

Jayman : looking at some of your other posts I suspect your causing mischief and not offering any advice .
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She also cheated in her own affair - in fact she only admitted it to him after he was having his own.
 

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Two wrongs don't make a right , the boundaries of marriage apply to both of them . If her husband is out to get his own back they had best seperate.
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I agree with the other posters here. He threatens divorce because he knows it will get you to back off. If you haven't read "His Needs, Her Needs" and "Love Busters" you should do so because what he is doing is discussed heavily in those books. Do not let him threaten you with divorce. While you did have an affair of your own that just makes the transparency issue that much more important on both sides. It also seems like you are very codependent on him. You should get yourself into IC so you can deal with this.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Shaggy, thanks for your response. To answer your question, he hasn't really imposed any consequences for my affair. In fact, I believe that he has swept it completely under the rug. In the very beginning, he sent me an email wanting to know all the details of what I had done, and I replied with 100% honesty. Other than that, it doesn't get brought up unless I raise the issue or he screams about it during one of his verbal abuse episodes. I believe that he holds a LOT of latent anger about my affair that he refuses to recognize or work on.

He says that he sees no need to check up on me (although he has Googled phone numbers that I've called, and he has read some of my emails), and if that's how he feels, fine. My life is an open book--he can choose whether he wants to read it or not.

I have read His Needs, Her Needs and thought it was good. We both completed the questionnaires that went with it, but he refused to read the book.

There are so many issues here. The affairs, the verbal/emotional abuse, my own codependency. It's hard to know where to begin.

As for the transparency issue, I haven't found anything bad in 2 years, and I do not believe he's cheating now or even thinking about it. What troubles me is that his last affair wasn't premeditated either--it "just happened" (don't they all?). I guess for now I'll back down on the issue (as usual) and continue to monitor things as needed to reassure myself. I guess I just wish that he'd be willing to offer some real reassurance.

He refuses to attend any counseling, whether independent or as a couple.

And I agree with your point that his giving me all of his passwords doesn't prevent him from opening up a new account that I don't know about. In fact, when the affairs were fresh and I asked for his passwords, he gave them to me and created a new account the next day so he could continue emailing the OW. I think for me it's a matter of his willingness to reassure me with his actions instead of just his words, but when I ask him to do so, he becomes defensive and abusive.

Sigh. I need a nap. Or maybe a new life.
 

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he hasn't really imposed any consequences for my affair. In fact, I believe that he has swept it completely under the rug. In the very beginning, he sent me an email wanting to know all the details of what I had done, and I replied with 100% honesty. Other than that, it doesn't get brought up unless I raise the issue or he screams about it during one of his verbal abuse episodes. I believe that he holds a LOT of latent anger about my affair that he refuses to recognize or work on.

Yes, he has a lot of inherent anger on you for the affair. Probably that is why he went on the look out of others....
You need to convince him not only in words, but in his deeper levels, that you repented. This is likely to turn him around, based on a clearer understanding or his own revenge affair.

He says that he sees no need to check up on me (although he has Googled phone numbers that I've called, and he has read some of my emails), and if that's how he feels, fine. My life is an open book--he can choose whether he wants to read it or not.

He still lacks complete trust. You have to put up with this until he starts trusting you...

There are so many issues here. The affairs, the verbal/emotional abuse, my own codependency. It's hard to know where to begin.

Verbal / emotional abuse are the bad part of it. If you can endure them, then there is some scope for rebuilding. This is because of relative power in the relationship, since you said about codepdency.
Begin with patience. A lot of them. No retaliation.

I get the feeling that he loves you, thrown out of gear on hearing your affair, pained, and not able to recover. Since he is not willing to get counseling, you need to demonstrate your patience, if you are desire to remain in the relationship.
 
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