The “Why” He Did It

I mean, I guess The Player (cheater, asshole, husband, liar) still isn’t completely sure “why” he did it, although I’m fairly sure it’s because he feels like shit as a person. To me and everyone else he’s a confident man with a great sense of humor, who loves his family and the work his does. He’s successful in business and people think he’s competent and capable. I guess he didn’t believe it though and that’s where it counts, right? It doesn’t mean shit if everyone else thinks you’re terrific, it first is important if YOU think you’re terrific.

It’s strange though, the cycle.

  1. You don’t feel like a good person.
  2. You set aside your morals and values and do things that fight against you being a good person.
  3. You feel really good doing things that you find to be wrong.
  4. It makes you feel bad.
  5. The cycle continues. Repeats.

The things The Player has told me and I’ve observed could be or are reasons to the “Why?”:

  1. The thing they all had in common is that they adore me.
  2. He couldn’t say no, or felt they wouldn’t like anymore if he did. (Sounds like a fucking copout, eh?).
  3. He groomed some of them for years. I mean YEARS, 10 or 15 years before he made a move to fuck them.
  4. It wasn’t about the sex because the sex wasn’t great. Nothing passionate, kinky, different, etc. that would make him want to drop his pants.
  5. He might have fucked them to just prove he could.
  6. He might have gotten ego kibbles from being able to keep them as friends even after he fucked them even though there weren’t any ending discussions between them. This is with the exception of one of the married ones, as she wanted to end it because she felt guilty. After trying to fuck my husband three times (I think it was just one time she couldn’t get it up.)
  7. He wanted to see what he could get away with and felt entitled because he had a stressful life. He was taking care of me, his kids and felt he deserved the extra attention. After all, I would never find out about the affairs, so it made it easy.

He also never tried to stop, which makes me think the mutherfucker has no conscience. What an asshole.

That’s a whole other post.

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Let’s talk about sex, baby

We still have a lot of it.

While there is something called “Hysterical Bonding” after the discovery of an affair, I’d have to argue we were always in a state of hysterical bonding, maybe not as much as prior to the last five years when I declared myself wanting to have a marriage with more sex and I took that situation into my own hands (so to speak) and rectified it.

I don’t have any shame in telling you as a couple, even one that has a 20 year betrayal story as part of their marriage, had and still has amazing sex. It’s been good sex and frequent sex for a long time. Luckily my ability to separate the household struggles, personal irritants or being too tired out of my mind in order to fuck. I’m lucky that way. My player cheating husband is lucky that way (for the record I would have more sex and The Player would have less, so we meet in the middle).

We have a healthy sex life with imagination and fun and a lot of orgasms. When I first found out about him fucking other women some of my first conversations with him included, “What the fuck? We have sex? We have great sex! I give you blow jobs and very nearly everything else! I put out regularly and like it! I’m enthusiastic about fucking! What the hell? We’re fucking good at fucking!”

He pursued friendships with other women and encouraged the back and forth flirting because they made him feel good. Desired, adored. For him, it wasn’t even about the sex (in my humble opinion). If you saw them, none of them (besides the stripper I guess, who looked a little bit transgendered because she had a large jaw, possible adams apple and a lot of cosmetic work done) was all that attractive and it isn’t like they fucked like rabbits each time they saw each other. Sometimes they would go months seeing each other through business but not fuck, even though they had opportunity. In fact, on several occasions, he couldn’t even get it up. It was about the idea that he could put his penis inside a vagina if he wanted to, in my opinion. He told me he didn’t try to move forward with any of these “friends” whores unless he was sure they would fuck him and maybe that’s why he pursued the more homely women he knew. When you think about a player, this one doesn’t sound like a man of confidence, does it?

He’s not. He’s broken. For years and years, he’s needed women to laugh at his jokes, to adore him, to desire him in order to feel good about himself. That means that being a good husband, provider, a good father and friend didn’t mean shit to him. How pathetic is that?

Last night I asked him now that he doesn’t have the women making him feel good where is he getting this from? He said he’s just staying focused on what he wants; me and our marriage and family intact. He said he wasn’t sure that’s why he did it in the first place.

Okay Player, say what you will.

Unwilling or Incapable

In those early days after I found out about the first affair when he was saying one thing and doing another I had a feeling. Just a gut feeling when he wasn’t doing everything he could to heal me. He was sort of going through the motions because he was confused but he sure wasn’t letting the Ground Zero Whore go, as I found out. I remember telling him several times during that period that it appeared to me like he was unwilling or incapable to doing things I needed.

I had that same feeling on a recent business trip of his. This trip was a huge trigger, because there was a cornucopia of pussy there, old “friends” and new ones to conquer and time on his hands. He knew what I would need because we talked about it in therapy a few days before he left.

Again, I’d argue, this list wasn’t complicated.

– I’d need more contact. I’d reasoned that with Ground Zero Whore he spent a lot of time juggling working and staying in contact with her day and night. I needed him to check-in with me often. It didn’t have to be a phone conversation but it did need to be frequent.

– I needed to know he was thinking of me during those points of contact.

– I’d need to confirm his whereabouts every once in a while. We have technology to see each other easily via video calls and GPS.

– He would let me know if he got into any situations that were considered “dangerous” or “triggers” for acting out behaviors.

That’s pretty much it. Honestly, just that when he was thinking about me and more contact than in the past on his trips. Not complicated. I honestly think any Neanderthal could do what I’m asking. Looking back I can see that he got off the hook a lot with me and contact at home. I had a very “hands-off” approach, always with complete and utter trust.

What a fool.

The New Rules

When your spouse desperately wants to work it out, they will promise you the world. It’s their way to show you that they want you, they want their life back, they want to save what they fucked up, they want to right the wrongs and help release them from the shame of you knowing their dirty little secrets and knowing of their nasty women with willing vaginas.

It’s been my experience that my cheating husband wants to do the things I required and we agreed upon (being me, him and his therapist). I recently reminded my “husband” (Shit, I don’t know what the fuck to call him now.) of the things he promised and how he seems to be changing what he agreed to without renegotiation. That shit isn’t going to fly with this betrayed spouse.

A day after “full disclosure” we went back to meet with his therapist as a check in. By then I’d had a list of things I wanted if my “husband” to do. Remember, I’d had a little warning it was coming, plus instinctively I know there was more, even with no proof.

The things I required weren’t uncomplicated, actually. The therapist thought the list was reasonable. Last week I realized my very savvy salesperson liar husband had morphed this list into something he wanted and not what he agreed to. I’m mature enough and been in enough therapy to know that things change; one thing might be working better than another. The problem is the man who played me was playing me again by changing the rules without me really realizing. Fuck, he’s good at it.

The Trio Agreed On:

– The Player would attend a weekly men’s group for which the therapist ran and thought the liar would be perfect for.

– The Player would attend and work a “Sex Addict” 12-Step program, for which the therapist thought the liar would fit right in, classic “sex addict.”

– The Player had some behavior rules. He would confess any incidents of “acting out” described as his “inner circle” to avoid and the behaviors that led to them including but not limited to: no alone time with females, no drinking in bars alone, no flirting, no innuendos of a sexual or relationship nature with females, no obsessing about sex or objectifying women, obviously no fucking any women, and no “sexual contact” with anyone – we’re going to cover men here, although that is not a problem for my “sex addict.”

– He would attend individual counseling, if needed and determined by The Player and the therapist.

– He would sign a post-nuptial agreement to avoid me filing for divorce in the meantime to make sure I’m protected.

– He would work on himself and understood he needed to be changed before we would be able to reconcile.

– No matter what I decided to do with our relationship, it was explained by him that he would continue to work on himself so he could be an example to our children.

The things I would do.

– I would consider reconciling.

– For the short-term I wouldn’t make him leave the home (at least for three months).

– I would try for a year of him living in the home to fix himself. I would try my best.

Something we added without ever acknowledging was therapy together which was started about a month and a half after disclosure.

What he’s changed, ever so subtly. 

– He is attending a 12-step program, but to my fairly good knowledge about 12-step programs, he wouldn’t be considered to be “working it.” 

– He tried to talk me out of consulting a lawyer for the post-nup and just go with what I want, signed by both of us and notarized.

– Last week he started hinting that some things were off-limits to discuss, but reconsidered when I had that look on my face like, “ARE YOU FUCKNG CRAZY?”

I am not okay with these changes. I am not saying we shouldn’t consider and maybe do them, but fucking renegotiate with me, asshole. I think the biggest problem I have is that I feel a loss of control, which I find important to note, because I have been so much someone who has had horrific things done to them over two decades without my knowledge. I want some mutherfucking control back. Plus, he doesn’t get to dictate what I need in order to heal. I get to do that. That much I know. He sure isn’t going to take away what little control I have in my life and in this process.

If he can’t deal with that, oh well. He knows where the door is.

Letting go.

I am in a strange place right now. At least three times or more a day I think, “Girl, he is not worth this.” I also swing to the other side and I think we can do this, that for sure we will do this. There’s a lot of love (but is it real if he cheated on me for the entire marriage?) between us and we’ve endured a lot of heartache and triumphs during the life of our marriage and we did that together, even if he was out fucking other people in some goddamn double life.

Does the cheating negate the rest of the good stuff? The way we supported each other? The way we dealt with the bad times? The way we loved each other? The Player will tell you he was 90-95% in (our marriage) if you add up everything good and right about us and our relationship. I reply, “But you cheated 85% of the marriage.” He then started trying to sell me on the number of days he cheated and the number of actual hours trying to prove how little time he was unfaithful. I had to stop him because, after all, he was in relationships with several women, even if they weren’t having sex the entire time, for years and years. Twenty year friendships in some cases, ten others and five others and some not at all. For those years he was “friends” with some of them they were feeding something in him that wasn’t being addressed in himself.

There’s a lot of literature out there that talks about ‘detaching” from someone in recovery for “addiction” – especially in the early days – and I’m starting to see the appeal. I’m realizing that I need to pull back and do some me-saving acts because what he is doing isn’t cutting it for me.

Do you hear me? His recovery isn’t being done the way that I need in order to feel completely safe, but I know I can’t chart his course for him, that’s his job. It just means what he is doing isn’t working for me. It doesn’t mean it isn’t working. It just means I need to pull back for my safety, which isn’t bad.  A couple of instances recently let me to this revelation. Honestly, it’s something I was looking at earlier in this process after full disclosure but I’m only in a few months.

That recent trip of The Player’s triggered me so much was one thing. We’d talked and talked and agreed on what I would need and so I know I wasn’t asking him to read my mind, but he badly missed the mark. He recently had a moment of checking out the ass of a woman in front of me (something he’d done hundreds of times but never bothered me) and I caught it, he did too and for him it stopped and didn’t lead anywhere to a “slip” of behavior at all. I know that and believe it. But those two things still caused me pain. If I don’t put myself in the situation to expect that type of connection (on trips) or disconnection (ass-looking) then it will be less painful for me.

This pulling back doesn’t mean there aren’t rules against “acting out,” which includes sexual and flirtatious innuendoes, fucking other people (obviously), sexual contact of any kind (duh), and the behaviors that helped him in those instances such as being alone with women, friendly banter not business related with women, hanging in bars on the road, drinking mixed drinks at events he must attend and any communication of any kind with any of the whores.

This will be hard for me to untangle from him in the short-term but good for me in the long-term. I think it’s the way to go. The Player is very concerned because he feels I am letting go of him somewhat and that is a dangerous slope he doesn’t want to be teetering on.

He wouldn’t be wrong in this thinking.

This particular thing however, isn’t about him. It’s about me (there’s a novel idea!) as I don’t feel completely safe (against his issues/behavior/non-action causing me pain) because of just the two aforementioned examples.

While it is still my desire to get through this with our marriage intact, even without this distance/pulling back, our reconciliation was still in question. I’m hopeful – for me –  this is the way to go. For now.

I have no idea what pulling back looks like in totality, but I’m ready to find out.

Step One: Tell him.

On the road again.

Most of the affairs happened when my liar cheating husband traveled for work. Business trips, sales calls and conventions. He’d end up in bars with women whores he knew, or alone and strike up conversations. The rest, as they say, is literal fucking history. There were a few that he didn’t know before and the rest he knew. They’d met working on projects together, becoming fast and flirty friends. Years and years of sexual innuendos. Years and years of cute comments back and forth about how each of them is so wonderful. I’ve read correspondence and could glean from the written banter that my husband spent a lot of time making them feel good about themselves and in turn, they returned the favor. They would respond to his advances and he has since realized he is completely the one who wooed and pursued. He always made the first move but not until he was pretty sure they’d respond in the way he “wanted them to.” He is traveling again largely to the same cities and sometimes the same conferences. Sometimes the same fucking hotels he fucked them in (or tried too, as he couldn’t get it up every time) so it’s pretty uncomfortable for me when he is gone. It sucks because he did a good job of covering up his other side and how would I know now if he cheats? Well, he said he’d call me if he feels like he’s getting into dangerous territory with obsessing or objectifying someone he sees. He said no drinking alone at bars and if he does go out its a business meeting. He video calls me to prove he eats dinner in his room. He send photo proof of where he is at. I have a GPS tracker on his phone with a history function. Still, all of that, and I of course don’t trust him. So I’m depending on polygraphs for a while. The liar said he will take them quarterly or whenever I want him too. Since he took one they have a baseline of what happens when he lies (classic test result for a “generally honest” person) I feel good I have that way to double check. I don’t know if I will ever not have him take them, even annually. It feels even better when I make him write the mutherfucking check for the guy. He was pretty good at separating his good life and cheating life and the worlds didn’t collide (we met and had dinner with one whore before she fucked my husband, notwithstanding) until they did collide. Both his and my therapist say that now it’s in the open he’s no longer dissociating from bad behavior and it’s harder for him to do it now, knowing the pain he’s caused and because the two worlds collided. He reasons that he knows how he tried to feel better and it didn’t work. So, he says he’s done with that. He knows the consequences now. But if he cheats? Relapses as history proves is probable (90-97% relapse rate) It will not be hard for me to kick him out. Not hard at all.

The Things I Know

I know my husband loves me

I know I love my husband

I know I resent my husband

I don’t know if we can make it

I know I don’t want a broken home for my kids

I know I will be happy, whatever happens

I know I don’t trust my husband

I know the depth of my husband’s lies

I know the length of my husband’s lies

I know I’m glad about telling friends and family

I know it’s his shame, not mine

I know our marriage won’t ever feel unsoiled and perfect again

I don’t know if I want to deal with a “sex addict” and their almost guaranteed relapses.

I don’t know if I will ever heal

The Big Reveal

Fucking “full disclosure.”

I hate those two goddamn words. I will never hear even the word disclosure and not think about sitting on the comfortable couch in the pleasant room with the genuinely nice and capable therapist. Spread strategically were boxes of tissue, for waiting spouses whose lives were about to change in ways they don’t even fucking realize. Like sitting ducks, knowing shit is getting real, but unable to move out of the way of the blasted shotgun.

I’d only been in the room a couple of times before this day. It’d been over a year since he was busted by me on cheating with Ground Zero Whore and admitting to a one night stand some years earlier. Yeah. No condom. Fucking brilliant, the one I married, no?

In a flash of doing something positive and right my cheating liar, asshole husband called my therapist to ask for a recommendation to a male (Male, obviously, duh. He even figured that out all by himself!) counselor for him. He told me he wanted to maybe just find someone to talk to and so if things got stressful, he’d already know someone to whom he could see.

It is a complete fluke that he ended up with this guy. I know my cheating ass liar husband is doing some hard work, but the therapist might be the reason it was possible to survive this, if we do survive this. He’s really that good. I don’t know that my liar husband knew he was entering into a relationship with a therapist that would help him become wide open to the shame and pain, but that is what happened.

It was only after a month or so of seeing this guy that my husband wanted to do full disclosure. Granted, I’d found a little more evidence, so my liar husband knew I knew there was more – mostly because I was saying “Listen, I KNOW there’s more – but I believe his therapist helped him see that in order for us to have complete balance with each other and a true and honest reconciliation, he had to tell me everything. Every little, nasty pussy, whore, shameful detail.

That he did.

He started with some bullshit about how he loved me and knew all I wanted was honesty, but he couldn’t give it to me the past year, because he even couldn’t admit and face the shitty things he’d done. He mentioned something about how he wanted to do this because he wanted to come clean so we could eventually reconcile long term and if that wasn’t possible he wanted to have a good relationship with me to co-parent our kids. He wanted to change, he wanted to become the man I thought he was.

Then he started. He was reading off of a list in a black leather portfolio, well planned from first to last. He named them. I even knew some of them, lucky me. Date ranges, the where and how. The therapist checked in with me to make sure I’d have support later in the day and encouraged me to stop and catch my breath. He’d seen this before, but maybe not two decades’ worth to witness. I honestly think he was horrified for me. I took two or three breaks to step outside and I felt nauseous, threw up once and gagged once. It was a grueling 1 hour and 45 fucking horrific minutes.

But it was done.

And I never fucking want to hear the words “Full” and “Disclosure” ever again.

The Things I Know

Early on after the discovery of the first affair (and alleged one night stand) I started writing. I wrote everyday in those first weeks. The writing was all over the damn place, but several pages were dedicated to the things I knew at the time because I needed one fucking thing to feel like it was true and I was desperately searching. Since my cheating husband made just about everything that was important to me seem like a lie or tainted, I needed to remember what was fucking real. It was a quick way to take my own relationship “temperature” too and I’m grateful for being able to refer back to the lists over the years and months and even today.

I titled each page with The Things I Know. Then I would quickly list what I knew either good or bad. Here’s an example of an early one:

I know my husband loves me

I know he cheated on me

I know my friends and family will support me and never leave me

I know he’s confused

I know I will survive

I know I’m not sure if I want to stay

I know he is showing her too much consideration

I know I’m married to a liar

I know he’s still in contact with her

I know my life will never be the same

And the list continued. Several were like that, sometimes restating the same obvious things and sometimes I didn’t pick up on something until it kept popping up, day after day. I have dozens of The Things I Know lists.

The great thing about having these lists during those first few horrific months is that I can look back and compare The Things I Know lists from THEN and NOW. It is both good and bad to compare. Sometimes I realize how much progress is being made and sometimes I realize my situation is changing, but in a disheartening way. Which, I guess is good in its own way.

For example, because my cheating husband decided to withhold information for over a year (multiple years of multiple affairs) and because he also decided to stay in contact with one of the whores when he said he wasn’t, my lists go from hopeful to despair in just a day. They go from calm and controlled to angry and bitter. They move from numb to feeling and sometimes all of these feelings in the same week.

A Demoralizing Walk

The morning started out like thousands of others. I go through the routine of waking and telling various children to take showers and eat breakfast. Check your backpack. Here’s money for lunch or snacks or for the walk to the store after school with friends. I drive them in at various drop off times and head back home. It’s just like any other morning. Very nearly like any other morning.

I am drinking coffee on this morning. I needed to help myself wake up because I spent some time, like I do every night, crying myself to sleep. Last night it was a “good” crying night, I only cried for an hour before my body and my mind gave out. The husband left for a trip the day before this morning and I didn’t mind it this time. I’m tired of talking about “it” and “us” and needed a break from looking at his face and wanting him in that moment to die a horrible death.

I pull back into the driveway to get ready for my day. I clean the kitchen, start some laundry, pick up towels from the bathroom floor. Feed the cat. Pour some more coffee. I am feeling more like normal this morning, not my normal but the new normal I am now because my life is so very fucked up. This is my Fucked Up Normal I declare to myself.

I leave on time because I’m like that, I like to be on time. I don’t want to cause problems for anyone else, or upset the apple cart for the day. I park my car, check my phone for messages. There are none. I realize I don’t have any because no one knows I’m here. I’ve told no one I’m here.

In fact. I’m a number. I absentmindedly forgot the piece of paper I printed out before I left this morning that had my number printed at the top. Luckily I have an email on my phone with my number. It’s the same number I will use today, two days from now and a week from now. I will not say may name to the the people I see today or speak to over the next week. I will only use a number.

Last night before I cried myself to sleep I ordered a complete STD panel for myself to the cost of over $200 and ordered it with the confidential protection of being referred to as a number throughout their process. I ordered it as my children slept upstairs and after a phone call from my cheating husband. He’s trying to call more, he’s being a “good boy” and he promises. He says he knows I won’t trust him for a very long time, but he’ll wait.  I don’t tell him about the STD tests I’m going to have. I want to find out and deal with the results and then deal with the fallout with him.

There is no way I haven’t acquired a disease from one of the whores and my muther-whore-fucking husband. I already know what the tests are going to say. I’m prepared. I want to call my mom and talk with her about this, but this conversation might even be above her pay grade as a mother. What mother wants to get a call like that? I don’t want any of my kids to ever call me with this news.

I walk through the door of the facility near my home. I am in the waiting room with people there for job drug testing. I go to the window and say I have orders but not a copy, I signed up to come to this particular lab. She looks at me with what I considered a brief look of pity. She knew why I was there. She knew I had ordered my tests off the internet. “I have it right here, honey.”

The woman who prepared the vials didn’t know it was two decades worth of exposure to the vaginas (and dicks those vagina owners sucked or fucked) of countless men and women. My fucking cheater husband never used a condom. Not once.

The vial preparer didn’t know that my years before last would have never hinted that I would be walking through a door like theirs with a number to identify me. She tries to make me feel at ease. She draws my blood and sends me to the bathroom with a cup. She apologizes for their being no running water but they can’t have that in there because of drug tests.

So I pee in a cup, screw the lid on tight, hand over the container to the tech and wash my hands. I see her finishing up the paperwork with my ID number. I leave the building much with the same attitude that I arrived with and that is pure and utter disbelief. I can’t believe this is my life.

I get an email that some of my tests are in and I can call. I am alone in the house when I call. I provide my ID number and am put on hold by the nice receptionist. I am as surprised as anyone the husband and the whores didn’t pass anything on to me. After all, it’s been two decades of chances to give me something. If the whores are fucking my husband a few times here and there at conferences and business trips, there’s a good chance they are fucking other dicks. Like I said, stunned.

Worse than walking into the building from the Internet STD panel testing is the fact that I have to, but honestly, I’m still so crushed that my husband put my life at risk. He put my kids’ mom’s life in danger, “How could you put me at that kind of risk? What made you think you could do that to me?” and without a second thought really, he admits, “I really didn’t think about you at all.”

No matter what happens to us in the future – work it out or not – there is some pain I won’t ever be able to let go and him risking my life without a second thought is at the top of the list.