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Old 05-19-2010, 03:43 AM   #1
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Unhappy Marriage/Life advice desperately needed

I've been with my husband for over 5 years, married to him for a little over 2. And in my opinion, it's always been a good relationship. We've had our ups and downs, laughs and tears. He's always made me want to be the best person I could be, and has always inspired me. I've always looked up to him. He's been my best friend. I'm going to try to explain this as best I can....

We moved in together after we got married. I went away on a business trip for 2 weeks and came back to find a really nasty internet history on his computer. (porn) I was shocked and hurt and appalled. It was our first fight. I explained to him how it made me feel (those women are thin and 'perfect' and i had body image issues to begin with without him looking at that etc.) and he explained to me that he used it as a stress relief and looking at that was just what he needed to 'get off.' I asked him to stop and he said he wouldn't. He did cut back on the amount he watched it, but never completely stopped. Once I found that internet history, I became sort of hooked on 'spying' on his internet history. Through a bit of digging I found a hidden file on his computer where he kept a collection of porn. This file actually required a certain code to be typed out on the terminal of the computer so he definitely wanted it hidden. This just obsessed me even more....why would he hide it? More confrontation....he was mad I was invading his privacy, he didn't see anything wrong with looking at porn. Looking back, I just led a sheltered life and was never really exposed to that sort of thing until then so that's why I was so shocked....it REALLY isn't a big deal to look at porn. I struggled to stop looking at his history, and occasionally looking at the hidden file to see if there were any additions. One day I found an addition. It was a real life picture of a woman, she was sitting on a bathroom sink in lingerie in the mirror using her cellphone as the camera. I completely freaked...I confronted him when he came home and found out it was a co-worker that he had worked with right before we got married and moved. They had been keeping in touch through phone calls (while I was at work and he never saw the need to mention it to me) and he had asked for a picture (not specifying what kind of pic he says) and that's the one she sent. I asked him how I was supposed to trust him when not only did he get a picture form another woman, but he never said 'hey i'm married and you shouldn't be sending me these kinds of pictures' but he SAVED it in a HIDDEN FILE. He apologized, agreed that he was being stupid and promised he wouldn't do it anymore...

Months passed, I was finally moving on...not heartbroken about it anymore...I was finaly coming to terms with the whole porn issue. I was understanding that he wasn't wishing I looked like that and that he was just using it as stress relief and what not. I had weened myself from looking at his computer and his internet history.

I started my weightloss journey in August. Things were going great, I was completely focused on my goal. I had such tunnel vision, that I didn't see or realize i was neglecting him. I was going to bed really early (345am) so I could work out before work and he was staying up late wanting companionship and I was in bed sleeping. One day....something....told me to look at his computer. I just had a feeling that I needed to look....

I found him looking at craigslist personal ads (woman seeking man sorta thing.) He went on a site called chatroulette where you click a button and it connects you to someone else randomly with a webcam. He had actually responded to an ad on craigslist that was basically a girl saying she would flash whoever wanted it. She sent him pictures (which he saved on the hidden file) and they had used aol instant messenger webcam chat a few times and had emailed back and forth a bit. One of the emails was him saying 'those pics you sent me...damn why are you not involved with someone?'

I completely broke down. To me, this is at the very least emotional cheating. I was so hurt, heartbroken....I confronted him about it he didn't deny it I ended up spending the night at a friends house. It was a few days later that we talked and he told me that he felt neglected and had tried to reach out to get my attention but I never realised because I was so focused on my weightloss. I've read some marriage books that explain that a woman's job is to take care of her man and not turn him down for sex because it hurts them and etc. So I understand why he did it...I mean, we had a lot of conversations afterwards. I thought we were doing okay, I thought we were making progress.

Then tonight happened. I'm not even sure how it started, but we ended up talking about our relationship again. He was saying how he wanted me to experiment with other guys because he would like to see that, and I asked him if he wanted to experiment with other women. It basically went that he is depressed, and hates his life right now and he doesn't know who he is or what he wants. He hates himself and he doesn't want to 'hold me back' (his words) from finding someone else or from anything else in life. Because he doesn't know what he wants or 'who he is' he doesn't know if it will entail dating or being with someone else and he doesn't want to hurt me anymore etc etc. I explained to him how I feel about him: I love him with all my heart and with him I feel COMPLETE. I can handle anything with him beside me. I don't want to share him with anyone else.

He said he loves me, I'm a wonderful person, and he wants me in his life.............but he doesn't feel the way that I described. He still feels like something is missing.

My whole world fell apart around my head.....I started crying....we talked some more....I've told him that he's a wonderful person and he's not holding me back from anything. He started crying too (the most/hardest i've ever seen him cry) I can feel his pain....I know what it's like to be depressed and not know yourself. I want to help him, but I don't know what to do. I love him with all that I am and I am so crushed that he doesn't love me the same. Kinda like I love you but i'm not in love with you sort of thing. He wants time to find himself, and since he doesn't know if it might include being with someone else and he doesn't want to hurt me, he wants to try it alone. But he has stressed he still wants me in his life. I tried explaining to him that I've loved him for 5 years of my life and i can't just go to being friends. I would have to cut off communication with him in order for me to be able to heal and move on without the heartbrake. He started absolutely bawling at this. "I DON'T WANNA LOSE YOU. I WANT YOU IN MY LIFE" I mean, my heart broke all over again at seeing the man I love completely break down in tears.

GOD I just don't know what to do! I can't keep getting hurt. Life just seems dark and dreary and MEANINGLESS without him in it. I can barely see straight enough to type I can't stop crying. He's my LIFE my best friend my source of comfort...What am I going to do?

It's almost 2 in the morning and I have to get up at 5 am for stupid work...I doubt I'm going to get any sleep.

thanks for reading
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:46 AM   #2
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Oh sweetie, Iīm really really sorry youīre going through all this. But trust me when I tell you that life is not meaningless without him, the meaning of your life is not defined by someone else, itīs defined by you and what you do. I donīt want in any way diminish the importance of him or your pain, I know it hurts, a lot. But in the long run it would hurt a lot more if you didnīt respect and love yourself.

Now itīs time to take care of you, time to make the best decision for you in the long run ... whatever that decision might be. And while youīre in the process, ask yourself, what do you need to do to be happier a year from now? In terms of weight loss, in terms of your relationship, in terms of your job... for me it helps if I design a real plan for each, when Iīm sad itīs hard to do anything but I can actually make myself do it if I have a schedule.

He is being selfish, to seek something outside your marrige was his choice, not yours. So do now, whatīs best for YOU. Do the same thing he is doing, rebuild your life, help yourself.

Iīm here for you, we are here for you!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:38 AM   #3
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Porn is corruptive and destructive to a relationship. What he is doing is emotional cheating, and something needs to change. I do believe both of you need some marital counseling, to see if you can salvage what is left.

Good luck. It is so obvious you're in love with him , so let's hope he is willing to make some changes!
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:01 AM   #4
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Personally I don't have a problem with porn provided that it isn't being used instead of me. My OH and I sometimes watch porn together.

However, I would definitely have a problem with himj having nude pics of women that he knows and with him MSNing other women - that is crossing the line.

As for the rest - he has to choose. He either wants you in his life, or not. He can't play around outside the marriage but still have you whenever he wants you - that's not fair on you at all.

I would spell it out to him plainly and simply. It's 100% you, or nothing. Don't settle for anything less or he will walk all over you. Oh, and you HAVE to mean it, and be prepared to carry it out also.

Easy for me to say I know - I'm not living your life. But you have to set boundaries and be prepared to stick to them.

Good luck hun!!
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Old 05-19-2010, 07:23 AM   #5
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I have to agree with everyone else. Also, I think it's unfair for him to ask you to compromise your own integrity by asking you to have relations with other men, and to give him permission to do so with other women. Whatever you decide, I believe that you should seek some counseling on your own. I hope you come to understand that you lived a long time without him in your life, so your very breath does not depend on his presence in your life. I had to leave a bad relationship before, and felt pretty strongly about the guy, and remembering that I survived without him before made me realize I could do it again. If you do decide to remain married, I hope you and your husband will consider marriage counseling. It really does help to bounce things off a neutral third party. Good luck to you and keep working hard for your goals!

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Old 05-19-2010, 07:44 AM   #6
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I feel like a train ran over me...and then backed up and did it again. I'm really curious to see how today at work is going to go. I work at Subway and I'm going to do my hardest to not cry around all our customers!

Thank you all for your advice and your kind words. I want to just curl up in a ball and be alone so I know I must do the opposite and have people around to talk to!

I agree that porn is addictive to certain people. He didn't always have those 'fantasies' of wife swapping and the like. I feel his expectations have been warped.

Carol, I do understand that my life isn't meaningless without him. I'm in such a dark place right now, but I'm trying to fight off the negative thoughts. He's just been my best friend/lover for so long, it just doesn't seem right not having him there anymore. But you are right, I need to do what is best for me, and take care of myself. I am hoping that I can be strong enough to do that for myself.

I am going to be making an appointment for marriage counseling. He has stated that he doesn't feel like it will help, but I'm not ready to just throw away those 5 years. I am willing to fight, but only if he is. I'm not going to fight to hold on to something that is just going to burn me again.

Robsia, I agree it's 100% unfair to me for him to want it both ways like that. We are going to talk this afternoon when we both get off work and I'm laying it all out.

winning, the scary part is I found myself considering trying it just to see if it would help us. I know now that no amount of crazy sex like that would help us and that I would probably end up hating myself for doing something like that. Thank you for the advice of realizing I lived before him. It's truth.

Thank you all again for the advice. I"m going to be staying as busy as I can today and doing some thinking. When he's not around me I can think clearer and I hope that when it comes down to it I can be strong and make the right choice for me nomatter how much it hurts. I just feel so sad, heartbroken, betrayed, alone....when I finally fell asleep last night, I kept waking up and instantly remembering what went on and my heart would race and it took me forever to fall back asleep again and the process repeated until it was time to wake for work. I woke up this morning hoping it was all a nightmare....I couldn't be so lucky.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:04 AM   #7
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If he is depressed, and acting out in all these inappropriate ways, he needs counseling. I'm not all that sure he really is depressed, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt.

And you have some soul searching. Do you want to stick by him while he goes through treatment? Or is it more than you can take? What if he doesn't want to get treatment? What then?

You have to do what is best for YOU... even if it means not being with him.

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Old 05-19-2010, 11:58 AM   #8
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Could he have a sex addiction? A lot of men don't feel anything emotional about sex, it's just a biological function, etc. etc. How could my wife be hurt by me wanting to practice biology on other women? Counseling might help if he's open to it.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I pray for you to have the strength to make the right decision, whatever that is for you.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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I'm so sorry to hear this. I would suggest going to counseling. One, while many people don't realize it, porn is addictive. I have a friend whose husband was addicted to porn and it almost ruined their marriage. I won't go into the details of all he was doing, but it sounds like your husband. Once he got counseling for it, their marriage completely changed. Also, if he is feeling so lost, counseling can help him to find himself. And counseling session for you two together could help strengthen your marriage. I know similar feelings to what you are having, I've gone through it myself.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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I'm really sorry you're going through this It's very tough - I went over that this past year and I'm at the end of that chapter.

I agree with pretty much all the comments above, you have to focus on yourself. What he's doing, whatever his reason is (depression, upbringing, etc), you cannot let anybody hurt you like that. He may not be doing anything with someone else "in real life" (and that would be many guys defense), but he's emotionally abusing you. Yes, it's considered abuse, just like physical or verbal. It's really hard to move on from this, because there's really no physical scar and we tend to forget - until they do it again. But it can be done.

I hope counseling will help you both, remember that we have to work on ourselves as individuals first, only then you'll be able to figure out how to work things as a couple - so don't get discouraged if you don't see any "progress" fast.

Don't give up on yourself. You're worth more than you can think of right now. Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:04 PM   #11
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To be quite bluntly honest, since you do not have children, I would suggest that you leave him and seek a divorce. His issues have nothing to do with you; his feelings of being worthless and so on are nothing that you can cure for him. His logic that he wants to "find himself" without you tagging along, IMO, that is complete bullcrap. He feels like crap, he's rationalizing, he's making his relationship with you into the problem. But that's not the truth of the situation...your relationship is suffering because he's not getting off his a$$ to fix himself, not the other way around.

I see nothing but years and years of grief if you stay with him, and worse, if you have children together. You're worth so much more than staying with a man who, fundamentally, doesn't find you valuable enough to do the hard labor of making himself and the marriage work.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:15 PM   #12
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Ok, so I've sort of been in the same situation as you. I never cared if my significant other looked at porn, so that never bothered me. One day, I walked in on my ex getting off to a picture of a girl he knew from the gym. I freaked! I told him, I don't care if he jerks off or what have you, but to do it to someone that either of us know in person is crossing a line! So as far as I knew he had stopped. I didn't trust him much after that, and I went through his computer stuff only to find pictures that girls he knew had sent him saved into folders within folders within folders. I looked at his email and found out he had slept with a girl when we had broke up for a few weeks, and this was a girl he continued to talk to when we were back together...it was all down hill from there.

Once we argued about this we tried to get past it but the trust was unrepairable. He only found other ways to hide things (putting girls #'s under guy friends names in his phone and what not).

Personally, from my experience, this is a habit for him that if he is not willing to break, he will just continue to do behind your back in some way or another. And if it's forgiven, he may think it's ok to do or go even further...

I think you guys definitly need to talk this out and try to get him to explain to you why he's doing this and ask him how he expects you to trust him when he is doing everything that an unfaithful man does behind his wifes back.

I've been there, done that...I'd say it's not something that is an easy fix. But you know what's best for your relationship.

Overall, do not take it personal. To say that because you go to bed early that you were not showing affection or giving him enough attention is silly! People can show affection any time of day, and it was happening before...

Just take care of yourself. If you ever need anyone to talk to, feel free to PM me and vent!
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:22 PM   #13
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This is such a difficult situation for you, I'm sure. As a young woman who has been with her DH for 5 years and married for 3 of the five I can sort of try and imagine what I would be doing in your situation.

I suggest that you try and treat yourself with kindness. I hate to tell you to ditch him, but possibly he wasn't mature enough to be married to begin with. What would you tell a friend that was going through this? I would certainly suggest a separation, and you sticking to your guns. Make sure he understands that while he's out "finding himself" there's no you to pick up the pieces.

What really bothers me about your posts is that he continually blames his actions on you. "if only you had done ___" Each person is responsible for their own actions/reactions. I understand that loosing weight and exercising takes a time committment, but asking for more attention is the loving reaction, not seeking attention outside of your marriage.

I also personally do not have any feelings against pornography, but at the moment you told him you were uncomfortable with it, he should have stopped it because it hurts your feelings.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:46 PM   #14
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Well....whew. First of all, I am so sorry that you are going through so much right now. I have never been through anything like that myself (mostly because I've never really been in a serious, long term relationship), but I can just imagine how hurt you feel right now.

Okay, so here's the deal from my perspective:

Do you want to be with him? If your answer is yes or even just a weak maybe, ask yourself: will you ever really, truly, really, really, really be able to get over this? Or will it replay in your mind? Do you see yourself punishing him over and over again for this or being unable to fully trust him? If so, it's best to exit stage left on this one. I've seen couples try to move on from infidelity or deception and it will ONLY work if BOTH people are able to bury the issue and really move on. It can't come up in arguments, you can't hold it against him, you can't maintain your right to be bitter. If you're going to stick around, you must forgive...just as much for your sanity as anything else.


Honestly, honey, I think you need to start preparing for at least a seperation. I personally think pornography is fine...great even. I don't mind if someone I'm dating looks at it, but I would mind if I asked them to stop and they refused. You guys are supposed to be committed to making each other happy, whatever that means, and he should put every effort into respecting that it just bothers you. He doesn't have to understand why, but he shouldn't even be able to enjoy doing something that hurts you so much. I also suspect, as another poster suggestive, that he might have some degree of sexual addiction or compulsion. The fact that he had such an inappropriate picture of someone he knows is just so far over the line...geez, I wish I could get a hold of him! I would definitely consider what he has done as a form of cheating. He has destroyed your trust and your confidence...all for some cheap thrills? Shameful.

Don't let him make you feel bad about taking care of yourself. Don't let him make you feel inadequate or as if you have failed. The only thing you should consider letting him do is take FULL responsibility for his OWN actions, fix them, apologize sincerely and make every effort, every day, to restore your faith.

Good luck
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Old 05-19-2010, 02:18 PM   #15
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This is saef's admittedly cynical translation of what I've just read him telling you:

"It's not you. It's me .... Well, it is sort of you .... But it really is me. And I think it could be fixed if I could look at a lot of porn. Or if I watched you have sex with someone else. Or if you cheated on me, which would be tantamount to your giving me permission to cheat on you. Because having sex with another woman entirely would instantly fix EVERYTHING that is wrong with me. Sex is the answer to my finding myself & feeling better about myself. And of course, I would also like to keep you around, too, while having the sex with other women which is supposed to fix everything for me."

He needs to come up with some better solutions.

It's very hard to stay with someone going through this kind of inner conflict. And if we love him & start thinking it's our duty to provide solace & to help him & to fix him, we sacrifice part of ourselves. I'm not a believer in this form of self-sacrifice. (Unlike that book on marriage you quoted.) Again, **** yeah, this guy needs counseling. At the very least.

But if I were you, I'd start trying to picture my life without him. You don't need to make a move yet. Just start picturing that alternative reality & seeing what it would be like. I think you are a capable woman & that you would be able to cope. That you'd be grieving hard, at something dying, but that you could get by & do well in time. But again, I'd begin by at least picturing what a remade life would be like.
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