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Unknowingly cheated on for over 15 years

(358 Posts)
iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:10:08

I'm so confused and I'd like to know what others think. Be easy on me though please, this is my first time posting a thread

I'd been away with the children between Christmas and New Year as my husband was having to work and didn't want us to miss out on seeing family. I'd gone away at Christmas thinking I was happily married, but my husband had changed when we got back.

I left it a couple of days - partly to see if I was imagining things but largely as he went out with work friends after work so I hardly saw him. After a couple of days I asked him what was wrong and he said he was fed up of trying to change me - he was/is into really kinky stuff that I just didn't want to be involved in. After a week he told me he'd need to go away for a few days every month to "get things out of his system" so he could be a good husband and father the rest of the time - the trouble was he was a pretty rubbish husband at the best of times, and I wasn't willing to share him with God knew who so I said no.

A day or so later the truth came out - he'd been having sex with other women from three days after we first got together right up to the present day. He'd had sex with someone who liked similar stuff to him after Christmas while I was away with the children, as she'd said it would make our marriage stronger if he shagged her behind my back.

I've had my doubts about things throughout the 15+ years but every time I asked him about anything he'd make me feel stupid and manipulative. He made me doubt my own mind.

We'd stayed together for over 15 years (10 married) as I thought we loved each other deeply. I coped with the bad things that kept coming our way as I thought I could deal with anything while we had each other. I now realise that our whole relationship was built on lies.

It turns out that the other woman is pregnant - allegedly by my husband - and now she wants nothing to do with him. He keeps telling me how much he misses her and how thinking of life with/without her makes him feel sick, while also hoping to get back together with me (telling me he's started the process of "changing" his ways).

Basically I think he's a sex addict. He's got a very addictive nature and I think he's addicted to this other woman too, rather than being in love with her. I moved out of the family home with the children pretty much straightaway but said I'd support him if he got help for his addiction. Am I wrong to do this? My family want me to keep him at arms' length. They're concerned as he's at my new house a lot, phones and texts a lot - I see more of him now than I did when we were together!

I hope this makes sense... I'm just getting bits out of my head while typing...

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:12:38

Oh you poor love flowers

I have no idea what to suggest but I am so, so sorry that this has happened to you.

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:18:01

Thank you Sophie. I don't know you but it means a lot to me smile

For some bizarre reason I don't want people thinking badly of him so I don't feel I can talk to anyone about it all really

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:21:51

That's alright, I think it's a pretty normal reaction. You're still processing it anyway and so anything you feel right now is alright.

Things will settle down gradually.

It must have been a huge shock. Fwiw I think the way he is behaving at the moment, talking about missing her and feeling sad, is really, really bloody not on.

What about you?

Have you got anyone in real life who you are just maybe thinking about telling? Anyone who would support you?

sofato5miles Sat 20-Feb-16 14:21:59

The problem is not sex addiction, it is the deception.

I can understand trying to hold on but I suspect he is a cake and eat it kind of man. I would leave properly, break partnership ties and start your new life. That is unless you are willing to put up with his poor behaviour and infidelity. If you are, put some very strict boundaries in place but I suspect you would only be staying out of fear not strength.

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:24:25

Oh I see, sorry, I misread - your family know already?

Are they very angry on your behalf?

This is your relationship and your decision. They can't make it for you.

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:29:07

I've moved out and I have no intention of being more than friends with him from now on. We have to see each other because of the children but I think he's using them as an excuse to spend more time at mine than at his (he didn't spend much time with them pre-breakup).

I hate seeing him sad and I'm worried about what he might do to himself. But i don't know how to remove myself from the situation. It sounds weak, but I just don't like people being unhappy even if it is of their own making.

Having said that, I can't put myself in harms way and he did try to smash the car up while I was in it last week... But he went straight to get help after that I'm glad to say.

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:30:29

Hold on - reverse please - he did what to the car?

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:31:41

My family know we've separated but they don't know the ins and outs of it - they don't know he's been unfaithful at all, never mind for 15+ years. I've tried talking to my mum but she changes the subject quickly. They've been very supportive even without knowing the full story, and I think if they knew they'd probably be more keen for me to reduce contact with him

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:33:33

He kicked a side panel and tried to smash a couple of windows. Luckily they didn't give way. He'd let the children down and I asked him (politely) to try not to in future and he lost his temper. Calmed down straight after thankfully

Spandexpants007 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:33:56

He's deceived you for years. Will you ever be able to trust him again? It's great your family are looking out for you and I think you should be totally honest with them.

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:34:19

Gosh that is really hard on you, not to be able to talk to anyone.

I'm so sorry.

Has he got form for violence against you? That would be my prime concern wrt what steps I took next.

I think you sound like you're working through this, but maybe it is time to reach out. What about maybe seeing your GP and asking for a referral for some counselling? Do you think that might be useful?

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:35:06

tbh OP he does sound unhinged and more than a little bit dangerous.

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:38:14

He's being honest with me know and he knows I can't and won't go back. It doesn't stop him from hoping (I got a "been thinking of you" text earlier today).

I don't think he realises how hurtful it is to say he hopes we can have a future together once he's had counselling while still pining after the other woman! I'm not hurt for the person I am now (I don't want him), but I am for the loving and trusting person who supported him all those years

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sat 20-Feb-16 14:38:40

He is a cheat. He is also an abusive cheat. Walk away and don't look back.
And fuck protecting him, he made his bed and now he needs to lie in it.

ImperialBlether Sat 20-Feb-16 14:39:10

I think one of the main problems in your situation is that the past you think you experienced isn't the past that actually existed, IYSWIM.

You will feel tremors over the next few years as you realise that something you thought happened, didn't, and that something else entirely happened. You will realise he's been more open with others than with you. He's had a whole life going on that you were ignorant of.

I'm really glad you made the decision to leave him, though I'm not sure why you left the house and why you didn't kick him out.

You know he's trying to creep back in. You need to limit the time he spends with the children and you shouldn't be there when he's seeing them. He shouldn't be seeing you in your house.

This man has no sense of boundaries whatsoever and you should separate yourself from him emotionally as well as in person.

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:39:45

That's a good idea Sophie, thank you. Do you know I've been so full of him getting counselling for his problems that is not thought of getting some for me?! Typical me...

iamnotwhat Sat 20-Feb-16 14:43:15

I am so glad I posted on here, thank you. It's good to be told things I'd thought myself, but after being browbeaten for so long I doubted myself.

I left the family home as I hated it there and it was filled with bad memories - good ones always happened elsewhere. I was glad to be free of it and start afresh.

TaliZorahVasNormandy Sat 20-Feb-16 14:47:49

He aint a sex addict. He's a selfish prick who thought more about himself than he does about his family. Also if she's pregnant, its likely that he's been having unprotected sex, so, you should get checked out.

You need to push him back and tell him, it is over for good, no going back.

Sophie38 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:47:50

I absolutely second not having him in your home. Firm boundaries are allowed. No one can force you to have him in your home, and he would be most nreasonable to insist on it, so just say no. It's your space and he no longer belongs in it.

Spandexpants007 Sat 20-Feb-16 14:57:00

Op look after yourself. What can you do to take care of your needs? Don't worry about his needs.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 20-Feb-16 15:04:12

He seems to treat you like an understanding mother figure who forgives all, I get the impression he finds it comforting to talk this over with you. Sexually you like different things so he appears to dismiss you as a partner in an intimate sense while remaining confident of your loyalty.

Whether you decide to give him more time to turn over a new leaf is your decision to make, not your family's. He is still your children's father and much as his efforts to stay in touch irk them, your supporters will have to lump it if he is maintaining contact with the children. But if he is busy trying to keep you sweet and impressing on you that after the bombshell, hey you're still friends, don't confuse that with willingness to drop extra marital sex and becoming a good husband.

You hope he genuinely wants to change. The addict label is probably something he seized gladly, "Poor me, I can't help myself". Some MNers will say they came through deceit and betrayal and their marriages survived. What is he doing to fix this?

When you've invested so much it's tough to walk away but it's not your job to fix him.

Ohfourfoxache Sat 20-Feb-16 15:07:41

Oh sweet Jesus shock

OP please look after you and the DC. His needs and wants are not important. And as for supporting him - please, please don't even think about it. Don't spend your time and energy, he needs to sort himself out. You can't do that for him xx

Twinklefuck Sat 20-Feb-16 15:23:14

The others have given some good advice but I really think you need to put yourself first, he lied to you from the start, over 15 years and put you and potentially your children in danger. I know it's not been mentioned but you should look to get an std test just in case, and I really don't want to upset you by saying that but you need to find your anger and realise you were and are worth much more than what he's ever put your way. I'm so sorry this happened to you thanks

alphacourse Sat 20-Feb-16 15:38:51

Something very similar happened to me. His abuse escalated rapidly once I found out what he had been doing. Please please phone the Police every single time he behaves badly and support a prosecution if need be.

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