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I'm not really sure how to start. There is a such a stigma i

I'm not really sure how to start. There is a such a stigma in admitting that your spouse has betrayed you and your relationship. We've been together for 26 years, married for 24 years with a 24 year old daughter and 17 year old son. We met very young (I was 18 and he was 21) and he has some PTSD from being in the Marine Corps and getting wounded over in Saudi. Over the years, there have been 5 occasions where he has developed inappropriate relationships with other women, he has an addiction problem and relapsed 2 years ago after 13 years of sobriety. I discovered in November he was sharing photos with another woman but he claims that's as far as it went.

This time feels different in that we are both now in therapy, he's going to meetings every week and he's making a sincere effort to connect emotionally. However, this time is also different because I think I may have run out of my ability to put this **** behind me and love him around these awful things he has done to me. He is my soul mate, we grew up together and made this amazing life. We've finally got our financial situation under control, we're traveling and enjoying our soon to be empty nest. And yet...every time things seem to be going really well he's got to throw a grenade into our relationship. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the idea of hurting him this way makes me physically sick. How is it that he can do these things and still claim he loves me?

How do I know if I can climb this mountain one more time? When is enough enough and you realize it's time to grieve for the relationship and walk away? It's a terrifying concept, but so is the idea that I might have to go through another relapse or another affair.

Is there anyone out there going through a similar situation?

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Henrietta606's picture
[15600]
Apr 9

Sometimes "when things are going great" it scares the c*** out of people. They may feel like the shoe is going to drop. In a way they create their own drama because it is familiar. I don't understand it either, how someone can claim to love you then hurt you. But sometimes they don't feel worthy of that love or know how to behave when someone loves them unconditionally. (And that doesn't mean they get to walk all over you, it just means your love is not based on any condition. Your boundaries are set by your own moral compass and only you know when you have had enough to walk away. You can still love them even if you're not with them.) If it were me, since he is making the effort to change, I'd give him that one last chance. Maybe it will make you both stronger, and he will see that you won't abandon him when he needs you, because if he doesn't feel worthy to be loved he may act out to self fulfill his own belief. Maybe.... it all depends on if he is sincere enough and tired of his own c***.

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[125]
Apr 16

I must say, I am very proud of you for sticking by your husband. He fought for his country, which is something no one who hasn’t done it can appreciate or respect enough. You know what he’s been through like no other, even if he doesn’t talk about it. I admire you woman! You took your vows seriously- til death do us part, and for better and for worse. It always seems darkest right before the dawn. Maybe even ask him about that- they say it is darkest right before dawn, is it really like that out there? But keep up the good fight- His battles were away from home, yours is getting him back home. He is truly worth fighting for. You may stumble, but you get up. Your relationship may change, but press through anyways because that’s what love does. Hurt people hurt people. In many ways, it is like a disease. When my Dad has advanced altheimerz, mom grieved the man she married but fell in love with the man she cared for. And that repeated a couple times. When Dad does, we were all grieved out. In the same way, it’s okay to grieve for your loss but stay in your Marriage. It’s okay to feel the way you do, but don’t stay there, because the truth is, he really really needs you right now. He’s lost and confused and hurting. Look deeper. You know the backdoors to his heart. You know how to help him like no other, just don’t give up and don’t back down. He’s a puzzle. I believe you have the strength and the heart to fight for him. Just remember, he is not the problem, how he’s coping is the problem. So, help him solve his real problems. And that doesn’t always mean talking about what happened. What feelings did he bring home? Fear? Powerlessness? Guilt? Shame?How can you help him face and overcome the emotions?

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scrappylady's picture
[4170]
Apr 16

@Lost yes I can say I know exactly what you are going through. My H served for 33 years with several deployments and postings away from the family. Two years ago he retired and came home for good. At that time we knew our marriage was having problems. We also knew that he was suffering but we didn't know how bad things were until last June when he raped me. Something he would never ever do. For me it was my holy crap moment and I insisted that he start getting help. Three days later was our 25th wedding anniversary which he wanted nothing to do with. He fought me on the help but eventually he went for his mental assessment and was diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety. He started with one therapist but didn't connect so I suggested he ask for a new one. This time the connection was made. In between all this he moved out in Aug 2017 saying he needed space and that while he loved me he wasn't in love with me. I will admit that hurt like nothing I have ever felt before. But I knew he was going through a lot in his head. I gave him his space but still kept in contact with him every few days.

After he moved out things were strained and a few things began to happen. We met to renew our base gym membership in Sept and I noticed he wasn't wearing his wedding ring. When I confronted him he had some BS excuse but I let it go. In Oct I had to double check our cell bill for a screw up and noticed he was calling this one number over 300 times a month. I went back to older bills and it was always there. When I confronted him he said it was a military buddy in another city he talked with. Again I let it slide but the warning bells were starting to go off.

Nov 1 a friend from my former work told me she had seen H with another woman at a local grocery store acting all loving. Holding hands, kissing etc. I was stunned. I confronted H and he told me it was a neighbour he had met shortly after he moved in. Since I knew there was a small chance when he moved out he might not come home I was upset but not as much as I would get. At this point I asked if we could try to reconnect. He agreed. so for Nov, Dec, and Jan we spent a lot of time together. Talking and re-learning who we were. At the end of Dec H said he wanted to do marriage counselling. He was also seeing his own therapist. I said yes. Our first appointment was for Jan 24th.
The weekend before our appointment he was twitchy as hell, anxious you name it. I finally got the entire story out of him the day before our first session. He had met a woman shortly after he retired and they had been having an affair for 2.5yrs. When he moved out he had moved in with her and thats who my friend had seen. I LOST it. Told him I wanted a divorce, to never see him again, etc.

But he argued with me, told me he loved me again (as I did as well) and he wanted to come home. He had not even told his therapist about the OW. Now that its all out in the open and we are in therapy together and apart we are slowly working towards forgiveness and being together. Its not easy. He also has his PTSD issues but with the truth it seemed to lessen some of the triggers.

I hope that our marriage works out. I pray that it does. But H knows he has done a lot of damage and some of that may never be repaired,

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