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Can he really change...And do I even care?

(34 Posts)
Awomanscorned Thu 01-Aug-13 03:18:41

So here I am for the fourth consecutive night completely unable to sleep, my head just won't stop spinning, and I'm hoping off-loading on here and any subsequent advice might help a little. There is a ton of backstory, so apologies if this is a bit convoluted - I will keep it as brief as I can.

For the past couple of months I've had an awful gut feeling that something was "off" in my relationship with H, I have tried to talk to him on several occasions but he has just brushed me off and attributed my concerns to paranoia on my part. I'd delved a bit and hadn't found any evidence of wrong-doing on his part, even my closest friends assured me he adored me and I was imagining things but I was unable to shake the feeling off. I ultimately found myself on MN and reading AmIJustParanoid's thread, the more I read the louder the alarm bells were ringing and I was convinced something was up.

How right I was. I managed to remotely access H's internet search history and am utterly devastated by what I discovered. Porn, chat rooms, but most sickeningly web searches for "one night stands" in a city he's travelled to recently on a business trip. I confronted him, and so the drip-feeding began; he was "just looking" and then "it only happened once", yada yada...

Fast forward a few days and it transpires that not only has he cheated on me but that he paid for the pleasure of doing so, oh, and just as a bit of a random aside he has a major addiction to porn, and lesserly chat rooms and dating sites. Gutted, wretched, disgusted - none of them even come close.

He has admitted he has "a problem" (no real getting away from that one!) and is already seeking professional help. On the surface he appears to be incredibly remorseful, he claims he will never forgive himself but that he can change and is pleading with me to try and work things out. But he is obviously a total stranger to me! I mean I was aware he wasn't averse to a bit of porn and don't have a problem with it per se, but I just can't believe I was so oblivious to the extent of his problem. Now that the blinkers are off I'm pretty sure that him shagging a hooker is just the tip of a Titanic sized iceberg, I also have suspicions of a past EA...I have no idea if there is the slightest possibility of us ever coming out the other side of this or whether I even want to.

Awomanscorned Thu 01-Aug-13 17:24:28

Thanks again ladies for your kind words, lots of food for thought here. We have been in pretty constant contact since I found out and I am just exhausted by the circles we seem to be going round and round in. I think I need to go cold turkey in order for me to at least begin to get my head together and decide what to do in the best interests of me and the DCs.

Twinkelstein I do genuinely believe that he has been adversely affected by his dad's death, his dad became ill when he was in his teens and so for several years he helped his mum care for him through some pretty gruesome times and essentially had to supress his own grief and distress to step up and be the man of the house and be strong for his mum. He has never spoken to me or anyone else about it and never acknowledged the depth of his feelings and consequently, imo, is quite emotionally detached. He also claims to feel like "a ticking time-bomb" and says this is what has led him to dislpay such reckless disregard for us. I am in no way making excuses for what he has done, clearly it is inexcusable and indeed maybe he really is trying to "medicalise philandering" - he's played me for such a fool I am loathe to trust my own judgement.

Alpha I have ordered the book you recommended and read through your thread, you're right, the pain is indeed horrific and the not knowing is worst of all, hugs to you too.

Twinklestein Thu 01-Aug-13 18:11:35

I don't doubt that was deeply affected by his father's death, some terminal illnesses can be traumatising for the people left behind. However, I've never heard of it as an excuse for cheating before. I don't think the two things are related, I think that's just his sympathy card.

The experience could have worked the other way - that he is more cherishing & grateful for his family to be alive & healthy.

The fact is he has given precious little respect for your sexual health, and some curable stds have awful long term consequences if untreated.
He has prioritised sexual pleasure over his family.

alphacourse Thu 01-Aug-13 18:46:19

OP - I posted when I first found out that he was a fully paid up member of a married affair site, but under a different user name. I took the thread to the secret place, so it got deleted after 30 days. How much poking around in his affairs have you done? Do you know which sites he used? He may have used the same user name on more than one site? How honest do you think he is being with you?

Awomanscorned Thu 01-Aug-13 19:54:33

Ahhh, I see, I read the "Can I forgive this much deceit?" one, and am sad to say it completely resonated with me, but still, ridiculously, I don't feel ready to LTB. Am I really such a mug?!

I haven't been able to poke around as much as I'd like (well, not like, obviously, but you know what I mean...) due to logistics, I can only see the search terms he's used and not specific websites so no idea of his user name or passwords. I don't think he's being honest with me. But then of course I wouldn't.

I feel like absolute shit.

Mosman Fri 02-Aug-13 00:23:03

Try put his email address in CBD see what comes up. You'll be amazed at what is right under your nose.

alphacourse Fri 02-Aug-13 07:24:15

Have you managed to sleep? I didn't ltb straight away either - the shock is too great. Do you know what you want/how you feel about it? My DP started psychotherapy straight away, and seems to be getting a lot out of it. He has bought the book I recommended, but hasn't started reading it yet. He doesn't think he is an addict - but I think he was def addicted to the ego kibbles of people fancying him online - the thrill of the chase. Can your DH explain why? What he got out of it?

Awomanscorned Fri 02-Aug-13 08:57:57

Mosman I'm not familiar with either of those sites but have just Googled Spokeo and will have a look. What's CBD? I'm really not sure how much more detective work I can stomach tbh, I mean how much worse can it get?! I'm also pretty sure he has at least one secret email address and an alternate sim card for his phone so I'm not sure how much I will be able to discover. I can't believe he's even putting me through this now he knows I know, why can't he just fess up?! Betrayal is betrayal at the end of the day, and so whether it's one woman or several is largely immaterial, I can't feel any worse. I just want the lying to stop.

I did sleep a little Alpha, I think it's helping to go no contact and just take some time to try to process what's happened. Quite frankly the things he was saying were just making me more and more irate. I'm beginning to wonder whether he's delusional, he said yesterday that he has "demonstrated his devotion to change" - WTAF? So in his warped mind making an appointment to see a counsellor equates to wiping out what he's done?! Clearly this does not bode well.

I have (of course) asked him why, he says he felt we were drifting apart, that I didn't love him and was just with him for the sake of the kids and a comfortable lifestyle. He felt "old" and "lonely" and "insecure" and wanted to see if anyone else was interested in him, hence the chatrooms and dating sites...I have yet to ascertain quite how this escalated to fucking a hooker, apart from the fact that he said he didn't want any emotional involvement...A lot of what he's told me is so completely contradictory I just can't get it straight in my mind at all.

Of course, now he's been rumbled he is telling me that he compartmentalised everything and just didn't consider the consequences and that he loves me and wants to start over. I'm finding it increasingly hard to believe that someone who had even the tiniest modicum of residual affection for me could do what he has done, never mind someone who loved me as fiercely as he claims to. I think he just feels ashamed and is scared of looking like "the bad guy" (both of our families think the sun shines out of his arse) or is scared of being on his own rather than genuinely wanting to be with me. He denies this. Well he would, wouldn't he?

I am going to have to talk to the kids today, I am still not sure how this is going to pan out long term but although I've absolutely avoided discussing what's happening when they're around they have obviously picked up on the vibe that something is amiss, and I know from personal experience what a sickening feeling that is...Have no idea what to say to them :~(

Boosterseat Fri 02-Aug-13 09:31:18

I have (of course) asked him why, he says he felt we were drifting apart, that I didn't love him and was just with him for the sake of the kids and a comfortable lifestyle. He felt "old" and "lonely" and "insecure" and wanted to see if anyone else was interested in him, hence the chatrooms and dating sites...

Don’t let him make this about you and your relationship, if he really was compartmentalising surely the above statement is contradictory?

Kids are intuitive, depending on their ages they don’t need specifics but you might just put their minds at rest by explaining they haven’t done anything wrong and Mum is mad at Dad because he told a lie and lies make Mum sad etc.

alphacourse Fri 02-Aug-13 09:52:09

It isn't about you. It is about him. He will get nowhere fast by trying to blame any problems in your relationship for his choices. I have said exactly the same to my DP about 2 or 20 women - it makes no difference - the truth is what could save us. But they are embarrassed. They know it is bad, so they try and minimise the damage. I DO believe they can love you, and still do it by compartmentalising. They think they won't get caught, so it won't hurt you I think. It is shit. So so shit.

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