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#269751 - 01/03/09 04:24 AM Feeling Lost & Confused...Any help welcomed
wifetryingtoheal Offline

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12
I am very thankful for this site. (I've noticed others give warning that their post could be a trigger...mine may be also for some) When our world turned upside down a little over a year ago (Nov.6, 2007 at 9am to be exact)I was grabbing at any straws of support I could find. It was devastating. On that date I found a text message from a woman on my husbands cell phone. Prior to that moment in time I would have never doubted my husbands love, attraction to me, loyalty, devotion to me and our kids, or his committment to our marriage. I will never forget shaking so bad I had to sit down. I didn't even bother to look at all his other messages as I never considered that he could be having an affair with more than one person. But he was. The first six months were the worst hell as at the same time that many shocking truths came out but there was one devastating lie after another. I feel like the lies have caused more damage than any of the truths. What we know today is that my husband had repressed memories of being raped at age 11 by a 16 year old boy. He was raped twice and it was terrifying for him. Prior to that he had experienced physical and emotional abuse within his home by his father and brothers which he had repressed also and the family never talked about. Within two months of his rape one of his brothers was killed in a car accident to which he received little support and his parents took to drinking and fighting on a regular basis and basically ignored his needs. He was later molested at age 15 by a woman over twice his age who was very experienced and promiscuous which he repressed also and has a lot of shame around too. Within a year of this he met his first wife who was a very wounded person and was emotionally unstable and promiscuous. She wanted to role play rape as a way of having sex most of the time. He describes that relationship as very degrading. He went right from that marriage to a relationship and marriage with a second woman who was very controlling and emotionally off but she seemed healthier to him in the beginning. That marriage ended very bitter within a couple years and he recently found out that she was molested as a kid most of her younger years and never received help. He was very depressed after two failed marriages and poor relationships with those children from those marriages. He remembers the first time he acted out with a very promiscuous friend of his first wifes where he fantasized about sex with a man while having sex with her. He describes something about being with someone who was so sexually degrading allowed him to freely fantasize about sex with a man. He felt confused at that time as he did not remember any of his abuses and could not imagine why he was having such thoughts and so began to feel turmoil about his sexuality. He was attracted to girls before the rape, felt disgust with the woman that molested him, felt disgust with his first wife and frustration with his second wifes coldness, expressed confusion with feeling he had somehow allowed the boy to rape him... a lot of confusion. He said he began to fear that he would act out with a man and later his fantasies or thoughts went from sex with men to rough sex with men to sex with a boy that reminded him of the teenager that raped hims skin and other features. He was terrified that this meant that he would act out with a boy so he began feeling compelled to act out with degrading women that he could easily pick up in a bar scene. The acting out with women was usually one night sometimes he would use a woman by meeting them more than once if the situation somehow made the fantasies better he describes. He describes the acting out and the fantasies as painful and agonizing and that he hated them and yet felt a strong compulsion to do so over and over again. He felt depressed and as if he was a monster and didn't want to be that person in the worst way. He describes them now as masks that he would wear as he would hide all of these thoughts from everyone and was homophobic, was very "macho" in that he liked his male hobbies etc. but he felt a need also to prove he wasn't gay to himself and others. He said he always felt he was going to be "discovered" as gay. He was thought highly of by most everyone as he was a hard working family man type. Eight years ago we met by chance and both felt an immediate attraction to each other. We both felt extremely happy, and married a year later. Shortly after that we were expecting our daughter. We were both about 36 at the time. He describes being in seventh heaven having met me but at the same time scared to death as he knew there were so many things that he felt I could never know. He hid the fact that he had been married twice and only told me about one marriage and those two children. He said he felt that the thoughts had gone away and because he was in love and with a woman that didn't seem injured in any way and returned the love he felt for me that he no longer felt the need for the fantasies. But he describes the thoughts as coming back and he went into a serious depression as he felt they controlled him and he couldn't understand why. He describes again feeling like the reason he was having these thoughts of men and boys must mean he was going to act out on a boy if he didn't act out his fantasies with women first. He didn't want to have these thoughts when we made love so he felt compelled to seek out the same type of woman and a few months prior to our daughter being born he acted out with a promiscuous woman locally. He tells me it was never about him not being attracted to me and he felt a sense of healing and comfort whenever we made love as there was nothing degrading about our lovemaking. There was a pregancy scare with her but after that he acted out with about 4 women within the next year all around the birth of our daughter which hurts so much to think of. Each woman fit the MO of being heavy drinkers, met in a bar, would easily sleep with him, and he said came across as "injured" in that they would easily go along with sexual requests he asked of them. The preferred scenario was for them to act passed out (he was knocked out the second time he was raped and came to with a bloody nose from what he can remember) and others were to pretend to be raped. He describes beginning the sex act seeing them as degrading women and then once he began then he would imagine being with a man or a boy like his rapist and then he would mentally come back to the present and finish feeling he'd proven he wasn't gay with a woman. He acted out with women locally and women from further away but all were very degrading and there didn't seem to be emotions involved. The few months right before I found out all this, he had considered and come close to acting out with a man who he knew to be gay but it didn't happen and then he considered a prostitute as being married he didn't want to spend a lot of time in the bars, but he was also a police officer and chose not to do that because it was illegal. He had a handful of women that he had either had sex with or was text messaging about sex and he thought that if he lined up all 3-5 of them in one day for an ultimate sexually degrading experience with one after the other that he could wipe the thoughts out of his head. He also considered suicide twice that summer but was afraid one of the women might show up at his funeral and that that would kill me to find that out and he didn't want that nor did he really want to die so he opted not to go through with both instances. The one woman met his needs in many ways and he had met with her 15 times over the course of a year and a half. Met her in a bar, used beer to numb himself, always tried to get her really drunk so she'd almost pass out, almost every time he met with her they role played that she was a stripper, a prostitute or something degrading and she went along with every degrading role play and only meeting for a couple of hours in a bar and then a motel room ...never any emotions, gifts, not even a meal together...then I found one of her text messages and one encounter after another became a reality to me. But the problem is in the beginning my husband tried desparately to hide as much as he could from me as he says he felt his world was falling apart and he was trying desperately to keep the truths from me. After I found out about one degrading woman and sexual experience after another I knew something wasn't right. He eventually told me about his thoughts of men and boys. Very early on we had separated and were in extreme pain and having a memorable discussion I asked him the question "what is this your cousin tells me you were abused as a child" (meaning the physical abuse by his father)...he got this distant look in his eyes and somewhere in there dropped to his knees and cried like I've never seen anyone cry and described watching his dad kill two puppies he loved in front of him(this had been a memory he had repressed)...for some reason during that discussion he mentioned an incident with a boy in a tent but at that time he was adament that nothing happened. I was a sexual abuse advocate at the time and knew in my heart that something else happened in that tent but did not push it. Over the next few weeks his memories flooded out and little by little over the next many months he has pieced many things together. He still has a sense that other things have happened to him but he doesn't remember anything else so we are not sure.

As his wife, I am overwhelmed at times thinking and trying to understand what he has experienced as a male survivor and with what I didn't know within his family. A couple months before this discovery we had made a huge change in that I quit my job as an advocate to go back to school full time for my masters in mental health counseling and to work part time as a sexual abuse prevention presenter in our counties schools. This was a big step for us as he was a full time sergeant with our local police department. Then all of this came out and I'm trying to understand and at the same time I am DEVASTATED trying to understand what he has been doing with other women and the worst was how everything he tried to lie about and cover up especially in the beginning. I would say it only feels like I've gotten honesty within the last six months as it seems all of his secrets are out...but I cannot be for sure as my trust guage is all out of whack now. For many months we had to deal with a scandal with the city he worked for as he was fired due to the chief of police taking our families pain and twisting it into something it wasn't. The city eventually came back and paid our family a settlement for slander but the damage had already been done to his reputation and the pain our family endured. It was almost too much to bear. Struggling with coming to terms with the unknown abuse and repressed memories and the family abuse and then all the affairs...PLUS public scrutiny due to him being a public official...was very difficult. Life has settled down a little bit. DCI is also investigating the chief now for his unscrupulous agendas and we have moved on from that overall but it still hurts. Family and friends have stuck by us for the most part and the media turned around and told the true story of the cities inappropriate actions and wrote a front page article about his story for awareness to male survivors but it is still exhausting. I have been able to pour my heart into my schooling and papers or homework I have I can do a lot of research into male survivor and healing issues which has been a great parallel thing to be doing for healing. We entered into counseling within weeks of our world hitting the fan last year. It was a struggle at first as we lost our insurance due to him losing his job, but unfortunately my husband became so distraught twice that he checked himself into a local VA hospital as he felt suicidal which again was devastating, but it allowed us to become connected to excellent individual one for my husband and one marital counselor for us both. We couldn't have done this this far without good counselors. I was able to connect with a counselor through a local sexual abuse resource center for free for myself.
But I am still struggling. I put a lot of pressure on myself as I can I not support him as he has been through so much and since I am planning on being a counselor...don't I need to "understand"? In the beginning I asked him to leave and we separated for the first month or a little longer. During that time we talked and often fought especially since he was still trying to hide so much.
Where I am at today is with huge fluctuations between feeling I want to learn to trust him and understand what he has been through and stand by him and support him....and then there are my dark moments and days where I feel I hate him and could never trust him and will never get past the images of him doing such degrading things with so many women and breaking the trust and vows of our marriage. Nothing about our marriage now feels special or sacred. I beat myself up feeling this way as for as far as I can see or tell he has busted his butt to build trust and has given me no indication that he has acted out in anyway and adamantaly states that a year later that he is firm on not having any compulsion to act out that it is too shameful and degrading for him to ever want to feel that again. Prior to him remembering his repressed memories and when he wasn't living at home he did admit to going out to the bars twice with the intention of acting out but it did not happen then since he has gotten into counseling, moved back home, and as he describes as most importantly remembered what happened he has no desire to act out.
But I don't know what to believe for sure. His behavior seems sincere and for over a half a year I have not detected lies and he remains the same loving respectful and seemingly devoted husband.
Another thing that hurts me is that he did act out with me during our sex as he said that he would fantasize somewhat about men and boys during sex with me in the two years prior to me finding out. He describes it as being much different than what he did with the other women. I had NO idea as I saw our sex life as very healthy and loving, fun and passionate and romantic. I detected nothing wrong. Today it is very difficult to make love as I worry about where his mind is. He said earlier on with us his mind would try to wander and he would catch himself and make it stop and now we don't do anything that would trigger any thoughts or memories, we've made sure it is very tender and loving with eye contact and loving touch to keep us both present in the moment as it is very easy for my mind to wander to very painful thoughts also.
I have anger with the women as they wanted to tear my family apart with their degrading sex and with him for allowing all this degradation to be exposed to our family. I know that sounds blaming of him for his own abuse, but I don't know what to do with these angry feelings. I am not angry that he was abused as I have all out empathy for that and I feel a passion for bringing about awareness to what male survivors unique experiences are that people don't realize, but I'm really pissed at why he had to act out with women and lie to me for all these years and now I don't know how to trust after I'd given him my complete trust. I've never been a woman that wanted to be with a man who I couldn't give my whole heart and trust to...and here I sit. I doubt everything he does even though he is the poster boy for a male survivor who's acted out and trying to regain his wifes trust. I've been diagnosed with PTSD which has gotten better I think. I often feel guilty that I'm not more focused or completely focused on him and his healing as he is so often focused on mending our marriage and families pain. It is such ambivalent feelings that I have...I love him and believe the core of the man that I married is there and who he really is and I'm so proud of how he is trying to heal and speaking out and putting himself out there and telling his story...but then I also look at him and think..."who are you and you must still be lying to me and how do I know you are not having very homosexual thoughts and I'm just a decoy wife and you are acting otu with men...or how do I know that he is not still trying to catch the eye of every promiscuous woman he bumps into...hell...I don't even know who to be jealous or worried women?!! He insists that he is absolutely heterosexual and attracted to women and that he can look at men now and recognize that they are good looking maybe but he has no problem stopping there. I can't wrap my brain around how someone does something so compulsively for most of their life and doesn't have a more difficult time stopping it. I feel lost on what to believe. Has anyone else experienced this?? I feel I obsess about thinking about the one woman in particular...the one I found the text message and he met 15 times. She tried to be particularly hurtful and insinuate there was something special with all of their degrading role playing and so forth. She also had a protective order out on her for obsessing about another man and his wife...all of these things help...but I still feel like it is eating me alive that he did so many sexual things with so many other women. I'm having a hard time with the lack of loyalty to our marriage even though I can intellectually understand the "good reasons" for such acting out. He befriended each of the women as I've talked to them and even though I can detect their lies and cover ups it is also clear and he has stated that they were more willing to go along with the sexual suggestions of the degrading sexual things if they thought he was a basically nice guy to them. That pisses me off and I want to scream at all of them that they are whores that he used. It is messy, painful, and most often overwhelming stuff. I'm feeling worn down by it all. Doesn't help that there is a lot more painful details to think through that I can't all get in this letter, but these are the main points. Anyone experienced anything similar to this or have any insight into any of this pain? Your insights would be appreciated.

#269932 - 01/05/09 10:30 AM Re: Feeling Lost & Confused...Any help welcomed [Re: wifetryingtoheal]
Rachael Offline
New Here

Registered: 08/27/07
Posts: 11
Loc: Qld Australia
Hi wifetryingtoheal,

Your post was very triggering for me. I can feel the pain and confusion you are experiencing and am exactly where you are. Although my partner cheated on me with one woman, the almost overwhelming feeling of betrayal is something I still, a few months later, have a hard time coming to terms with.

He was abused by an older male cousin when he was a child. It went on for 5 years and got worse as it progressed. He blames himself for not telling anyone and is constantly tormented by nightmares of it. He has been seeing a therapist once a week for over a year now and I have been seeing the same shrink for issues surround my insecurity due to a childhood of rather painful neglect that has been bought to the surface since our relationship started over 2 years ago.

His affair started during a rough patch we were going through. Both our therapy sessions were leaving us raw and shaken and we took it out on each other saying some horrible things to each other at times. And here I go making excuses for it hmmm.

A girl he was working with started flirting with him, she invited him away with her family for a weekend and he said yes.He neglected to tell her he had a fiancee.

He loved the attention from her older sister and went with it. He told me that he had to go away to a mine far up north and I believed it. You see his first and second wife had both cheated on him and I believed him when he told me that he would never do that to me. Hell we didn't have to cheat on each other we were regularly visiting swingers clubs and had more than enough sex (with men mostly) to satisfy both of us..or so I thought.

He and I have both posted about it and he has posted his reasons for it under his username SEAN88. I have since found out the whole truth surrounding it after my last post about it and it was uglier than I thought at the time.

He didn't confess to the affair, I busted him. He was so sorry for lying and betraying me that he promised never to see her or do that again and I trusted his sincerity. We went away for a weekend getaway and talked and started rebuilding our tattered relationship. I was so totally devastated and our therapist was shocked that he had done it and realised he had not been being truthful with her either and she was finally realising what a good liar he had been and how much more work she was in for.

Anyway we came back from that weekend and I found a website called and spent my sessions with our therapist crying and raging and hating that he had abuse to blame for his behaviour and how easy a cop out it was and wanting to go out and find a man and get revenge ( funnily enough it was during the time he was having the affair that a supervisor of mine at work started hitting on me and I was asking Sean for help stopping it and he was telling me how all the time screwing this other woman)

So a few weeks after the dust had settled, I told Sean one afternoon that I was not going to work the next day and he didnt smile, wasnt happy and soon ran off to another room. My gut screamed something was up and he just told me I was being overly paranoid and making up drama. The night came and we had been to couples therapy (with a different shrink) and came home and an argument started.

He locked himself in a room and something compelled me to get in my car and go and visit this other woman. I knew where she lived from the first time I busted him there, and I showed up and asked to see her and asked if she had had any contact with
Sean since he ended it and she said yes he had been there this morning. It was like a knife through my heart. I just stood on her doorstep and started crying. He had kissed me goodbye and I had gone off to work and he had gone to fuck her. I am sure you can imagine the betrayal I felt.

He called while I was standing there and I put the phone on to her and she started asking him what the hell kind of game he was playing and what kind of person does this. He hung up I guess and she invited me inside and started telling me what had been going on. He had lied to her and said he had been locked in rehab and thats why he couldnt see her so often. He denies they ever had sex but she went on and on with how wonderful the sex was and they never used protection. I couldnt hate this woman, we were sitting there comparing his text messages to us and he kept ringing and I couldnt answer the phone.I could barely breath it was so shocking. It was very surreal.

I eventually came home and he cried and begged for forgiveness and blamed his abuse and her attention and again promised it was never going to happen again. I just felt dead inside. I felt stupid. I felt gullible. I felt he had been laughing inside all the time I was swallowing his lies. Like you I thought we were devoted to each other and totally committed to building a life together.

Its been almost 3 months since I knocked on her door. I have done so much crying and talking and raging and have been totally 'on guard' for him to do it again. My abandonment issues have been triggered thought the roof and I hate how horrible it feels. I am fighting every day to ignore that little voice that says I can't trust him. I sneak looks at his phone and ask to see his email every now and then. Our couples therapist says everything I am feeling is normal and will pass in time with his continued proving to me that he is genuine and being open and totally honest with me and answering every question I have about it fully no matter how much the truth will hurt to hear.

If he hadnt have been abused and I hadn't been here to see how deeply it has affected him our relationship would have been over. Being cheated on while being lied to your face and told how much you are loved really really effing hurts. I am so sorry for what you have gone through and I know that there are others here who's partners have done the same. It sucks. It hurts so bad you don't ever think you could ever get to a place where you can look at them and not see what they have done to you behind their smiles.

Our therapist told me every day I have to choose. Choose to dwell and be angry and resentful and hate him. Or choose to believe that what he did was not about me and I AM a good person and he does mean it when he says it will never happen again and he is going where he says he is and he has not had contact with her and will tell me straight away if he does.

I have made it clear there will be no forgiving if it happens again and that is my boundary. I have wasted so much of my time inside my head wondering what she had that I havent. She had a good career long blond hair big boobs and in my mind with my issues of course he would want to be with someone like her and who was I kidding to think I was worth being with. God I am tearing up again thinking about the nights I couldnt sleep and just wanted to die because I hurt so much.

I am not kidding myself in thinking this is all behind us. I need reassurance from him a lot more these days and I know my sometimes neediness frustrates him but he did this and has to help me through it. I am still angry at times and can't believe I stayed. Sometimes I struggle to make love with him and not imagine him touching her.

I don't know what to say to make you feel better. Knowing you are not the only one to be in this situation and feeling this torn to pieces doesnt make you feel better at all, just sad. I read your post 12 hours ago, this morning, and you have been in my thoughts all day. I couldnt not post and let you know that I know how you feel. My therapist keeps telling me that time is all it will take. Choose to forgive him because he is screwed up from the abuse and was in a bad place and not himself and trust that in time the pain and betrayal will fade away and when it gets hard, just breathe.
I am sorry this ended up so long.

#269949 - 01/05/09 05:59 PM Re: Feeling Lost & Confused...Any help welcomed [Re: Rachael]
wes-b Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada
I am nervous as I reply to this thread... wifetryingtoheal I was struck by your stating the time your life changed... I do not recall the exact time but do know that on the evening of January 24th 2007 I tipped over my families world... I disclosed some of my aberrant behaviours to my wife and will never forget the look in her eyes. What I did cut her to the core and hurt her more deeply than I can ever understand. I am replying to thank you for sharing yourself in your post, it blessed me to hear you saying some of what I have heard my wife say in our counseling sessions.

In my heart I feel blessed and more connected to my own wife's pain and struggles after reading these posts. I pray for your healing and the healing of your partners.

With Love and Thankfulness, Wes

Edited by wes-b (01/05/09 06:00 PM)
Edit Reason: still learning to type :-\
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

#269974 - 01/05/09 10:17 PM Re: Feeling Lost & Confused...Any help welcomed [Re: Rachael]
wifetryingtoheal Offline

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12

I am very sorry to hear of your pain and struggles. Hearing your pain or others who have posted or even watching something similar on TV...takes me right back to the trauma and shock that I felt. That is why I am so very sorry for your pain also. I am glad that you both were able to enter into counseling. With this amount of pain and confusion, having an objective, trained and professional third party is certainly helpful. Counseling for myself aside from the marital counseling feels important also because as you mentioned also having healthy boundaries is important especially in times like these. Thank you for responding and sharing your story also. I find great comfort in hearing others stories that have been there done that. I remember our marital counselor asking both me and my husband once what did we both feel we needed and to really think about that. Often I have found it helpful to be just that concrete in our thinking as it is so easy to get lost in all the pain and confusion. I am very thankful for sites such as this and posts such as yours so we don't have to feel so alone. Thank you for sharing your story Racheal, you are in my thoughts and prayers also.

#269978 - 01/05/09 10:32 PM Re: Feeling Lost & Confused...Any help welcomed [Re: wes-b]
wifetryingtoheal Offline

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 12

I became choked up first reading Racheals post as a partner in pain and then reading yours as a survivor who feels the added pain of a loved ones. I am glad that you are able to draw strength from finding that you and your wife are not alone in your feelings and struggles. I know how important this is. It gave me comfort also to hear from you,another husband who also expresses the same grief at having caused hurt to his wife. Not that I want you or my husband to feel anymore grief, that is not it as I would never wish for you as survivors to ever experience more pain and confusion than you have already. But to know that another husband also struggles with not just his own pain but has the care and concern for his loved ones as you do. My husband is a good man, I believe this overall and that is why this has all been that much more painful. That is why when I slowly learned of all these painful things I found it hard to wrap my brain around it as I just couldn't imagine it...not from him. Just knowing there is another couple out there with a similar situation is comforting...hate to say it..because I am sad also that anyone else has to feel this way. You and your wife are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I admire your care and concern for connecting with your wife in your struggles together. God bless you both.


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