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My head is messed up. Help?

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I tossed and turned for hours in bed tonight, and by a stroke of luck I found this site. It seems like the community you have here is very supportive, so I thought maybe posting was worth a shot. Here goes.


My wife and I were highschool sweethearts; together for 13 years, married for 7. Things started to get strained between us about 2 or so years ago. It was hard to pin down exactly what was wrong really. Finances were always a stressful point with us, and it eventually lead to her getting a second job to pay the bills while I took care of the housework. I saw less and less of her, yet our finances were always in the toilet and I was trying to keep the house together.


If I had to pinpoint it, I think things started to fall apart the day she told me that a customer at the store she worked at asked her out and she said yes. I know that sounds like a 'duh' statement, that of course would be an obvious place to pinpoint the problem, right? I'll admit, it shook our marraige pretty good, but she told me about the situation before doing anything about it so I decided not to flip out and instead tried to work on us. Nevertheless, my trust was shaken.


Well here's the long and the short of it. We've been separated since mid-october (her idea, 3 days before my 30th birthday, happy birthday to me...) and things have come to a head. I was totally willing to try and get our marraige on track again. I was very recently diagnosed as having a form of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) which always made me keep people at arms length, including her. Just realizing that I wasn't alone, with a disorder I had lived with for as long as I could remember, was a HUGE burden off of my shoulders. Being able to recognize it gave me a power over my life I didn't have before, and it made it so that I desperately wanted to be close to her.


It's a sick thing to truly love someone and be so conflicted inside that you can't bring yourself to show it. I did my best, but I fully admit I could have done more. Probably a lot more. At one point I even told her that I wasn't sure that I loved her; that wasn't me saying I want to call it quits, that was me trying to be honest and say something is wrong with the relationship, we gotta fix it. I told her that about 2-3 years ago, and since then I thought we had worked our way to a better place.


Well, I very recently discovered that she has been cheating on me for the last 2-3 years. I couldn't give her what she needed, so she says. She sobbed on the phone, "Why couldn't you have changed 3 years ago?" The answer was I have/had a mental problem all this time. I've been the same person she married on our wedding day, the same person she fell in love with. I didn't get diagnosed until a month before our separation, and by then she felt that it was too 'convenient' that I was willing to give her everything she wanted.


Wow, that was really long, wasn't it?


So here's my issue. I've decided it's time for a divorce- I could forgive almost anything, but cheating on me (she has confessed to multiple people over the last 3 years) is not one of them. I'm not looking for absolution or forgiveness, but am I out of line? I've always felt that when someone cheats it's not just the cheaters fault, it's also the fault of the other person. I know I've messed up, but I also tried to fix it on multiple occasions. We even went to therapy at my urging, to which she went to 4 sessions then called it quits. The clincher was that she said she wasn't sure if she was willing to give up the relationship she had right now to work on us.


All this time she has said she's been confused, that she didn't know what to do, that she was throwing up because her stomach bothered her so much. I didn't get why she was being afflicted like this, but with my 20/20 hindsight, I'd say it was guilt.


I've been finding it really hard to feel anything since this has happened. A few times I've felt like I was going to cry some of this pain out, but it won't happen. I know I can't really move on without releasing some of the hurt, and I know I can't try to find any kind of intimacy or love without somehow accepting the betrayal.


Oh man, I'm messed up in the head. Help?

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First of all, it is never your fault when you get cheated on. You seem very aware of how you have effected this relationship - you don't need to take responsibility for the cheating too!

I understand you are feeling responsible for the distance created and I agree - you were battling with a mental illness - but the damage has been done. I'm not sure this is salvageable.

That said, I don't think you're out of line at all. I don't think you have doubts there either - you sound quite sure and this time apart has helped you come to this decision.

Divorce takes time and effort - get started on your side of it and be prepared to move forward with legal business without her - she may take her time with it.

I know a guy who's been separated for the same amount of time and his wife won't get any of her legal stuff signed. He's living at his mom's house and keeps waiting for her to jump on board. Everything is in limbo.


Don't let this happen. Get started and she will follow.

As for the lack of feeling, the brain is simply protecting you from overload - it is an automatic response. It will fade with time.

This will take a long time to get over. The theory is, it takes the length of the relationship to get over it. So feeling so strange right now is normal.


Keep us updated and you are doing well taking your responsibilities for this divorce to heart. It will bring you peace of mind eventually, I promise.

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There are all kinds of ways to address problems in a marriage, and there is never an excuse for cheating as a way to deal with a problem... how does that help any tensions/situations/miscommunications between the partners? it doesn't, and is just a selfish way of running away from any feelings/issues/etc. and adds much more serious problems to the mix.


so don't blame yourself for her infidelities, it was her choice to NOT work on your marriage, rather to do things that were guaranteed to make it worse, not better.


and if she is choosing to be with someone else rather than work on the marriage, then you really have no alternative but to move on and NOT look backwards to her... she is making a hurtful and selfish choice, and you do not have to continue to try to hold onto this marriage, since she has broken her vows many times and has shown no real desire to work to improve the marriage.


so please continue therapy for yourself to treat your OCD and make yourself happier... regardless of any OCD problems you may have, there are lots of people out there who can and would love you and treat you with more respect than your wife has done. your wife is obviously not a person worthy of your trust or even concern at this point, and if she feels guilty, she should, and that's her problem.


Please work to move into your future rather than lingering on the past, and get out and find happy things to do, and new people in your life who are more trustworthy than your wife has shown herself to be...

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Thank you both for the kind words. I think I knew in my heart what you both said, but sometimes it helps to hear things from someone else so you know you're not delusional.


My other worry is I feel myself starting to sink into depression, and that's going to really affect my job. My boss isn't what you'd call considerate, and I'm scared that I could lose it. I want to be able to function, but how can you when you go through something like this?

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Zero I know exactly how you feel,my ex put all this bs on me to make what she was doing ok.You have to realize that yes you had your faults,but you were willing to work on yours to save your marriage,she on the other hand decided to not work and make the situation worse by cheating on you.If she would have concentrated more on her marriage and less on finding someone else when things got tough your marriage probably could have been saved.People that say they cheat because they were looking for something emotionally and it led to more is bs,they were looking for the easy way out and the people they cheat with are no more than a smoke screen.They take advantage of a bad situation and make themselves look good compared to the so.

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I want to be able to function, but how can you when you go through something like this?



You should tell your boss, co-workers in some sort of way what's going on.

You could ask them to mention to you if they see you "fading out" so you can get back on track.

Everyone you work with has probably had to work under a similar situation, so they aren't going to give you a hard time.

I had a friend who was going through a divorce and he talked to his boss almost daily since he was a doorman and had to look cheerful every day.


So just open up about it, find the right opportunity.


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I am so sorry - this is necessary though. If you can move through the pain, you will come out the other side feeling stronger and more grounded.

Your anxiety is at a fever-pitch when doing something you've been avoiding. Think of the courage it takes to do what your doing. The kind of person it takes to go through all this so they can go back to health and wellness.

That person is you now. And it will all work out.

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I feel for you. It is the dark night of the soul as they say. Try to get all the support you can (friends & family & church). This will really help you through all of this.


Try DIVORCE CARE (Church support group). I am currently going to this group and it has really helped. Keep in mind, divorce or separation can feel like Open Heart Surgery, and usually some degree of depression comes along for the ride. Cry, grieve, get in touch with your emotions (this sounds like something you had a hard time doing - as do I) and let the healing come. Blessings to you in your tough time.

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Today was not a good day. My wife and I are living in different cities during the separation, but I had to go to hers today for work. I decided that I at least owed telling her to her face that I wanted a divorce.


Well I had to sit in my car for a while before she was done with work, so I got to thinking about what I would say. I realized I had quite a few things I would need to say, and quite a few questions answered just so I had some closure. One of the chief ones, did she or did she not sleep with any of these people she had 'relationships' with. She originally told me she didn't have sex with any of them.


It took a fair amount of prying, she kept saying "Does it really matter?" I finally told her I needed to know if I should go to the hospital to get tested for STD's, a legit concern. That finally made her tell me the truth. She did. Upon further questioning she revealed that she had sex with the person she's been tutoring to read. For the last year she knew I was jealous of the time she spent with him, and I honestly asked her a couple of times if something was going on with the two of them and she denied it both times.


On top of that, there were at least two other guys she 'didn't have penetration with', so basically she gave (or received) oral sex from them. These were just the people I actually had met at one time, she didn't tell me about the ones I didn't know personally.


The absolute audacity to all of this is she asked me if I seriously wanted the divorce, that maybe I wanted to think about it first. I guess her having sex (of various kinds) with half a dozen guys behind my back for 2 years while lying to my face about it was something I was supposed to just pass off.


From my first post, I think i had said I suspected she was lying about not having sex with others. But now that I actually know for sure now...


What freaking planet does this woman live on? How could she lie to me, right to my face when she saw I was scared of what might be going on? How could she have sex with me for those two years while knowing she might be giving me a disease? Why would she EVER think I could forgive all that and want to go to therapy after she was the one who backed out of it the first time around?


I'm absolutely crushed, and I'm terrified of what's going to happen to me when all of this sinks in.

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Nothing will happen to you if you don't close yourself off and wallow in anger and resentment.

Those feelings, however, are justified RIGHT NOW. And I suggest you let yourself feel it fully.

If you are still feeling this angry in a month, I suggest counseling. It won't help you in a month. It will help you now.


How brave of you to have this conversation and get the truth. Your heart must've been pounding.

Feel confident that you did what many never do and got answers many never get. This is a turning point for you - you have changes to make now.

Remember it is never your fault, so don't start beating yourself up.

Also, do not compare yourself to this guy/guys she was with - they were easy targets - not "better" by any stretch of the imagination.


Your wife had a reason for cheating - although she did not have the courage or ethics to resist - the reason remains and understanding that reason, accepting it as her truth, will keep you from getting cheated on again. So pay attention to it - but do not feel pressured to sympathise. (Not like I think you will - but some do and end up getting back together.)


My heart goes out to you - be sure to stick with us here and give us news.

You might consider starting your online journal here, to make it through the next week. Journaling is an integral part of therapy - it really helps.


Bravo zero - I know it doesn't feel very victorious - but bravo, all the same.

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Thanks for the words, honey. I don't feel really brave at all, I just did what I felt that I needed. The consequence of that is I now know the depth of her indifference to our relationship which hurts so much more than just knowing she had outside 'relationships'. But, I had to know all the same.


Can you link me to the journal area? I didn't know the site had something like that, and I have been considering writing some of my feelings down about all of this.


She called me this morning and left a message. I guess she felt she needed to clarify things from our talk last night. I don't really know why she felt she needed to do that, maybe she felt she owed it to me. It doesn't matter either way. If anything, her message has only made things worse. She now confesses to have been going out and drinking and doing sexual acts (she still won't actually say sex probably because she's been having oral sex) with people at the restaurant she worked at. This was the second job she took to help pay bills while I managed the house.


In addition, she was the 'other woman' in many other husband's lives. Part of the reason she didn't want to give me names is because she was afraid I'd go tell the wives of these cheated men that she ruined their marraige's too. I feel sorry for all of those women, I really do. Their marraiges are now one step closer to failing because my wife was a selfish * * * *. Not that the other guys are blameless, but she certainly didn't help.


And she is now trying to rationalize her relationship with her student, saying that he's her best friend and that was separate from the sex. I said it before, but what planet does she live on? The best friend you have sex with is typically your spouse.


I almost think she wants me to get so low that I just kill myself over all of this. She knows that I've had problems with suicidal thoughts before. Laugh's on her though if that's the case. Her complete betrayal just makes me want to have a better life, not end it. Who knows, maybe she just wants to hurt me more, turn the dagger a bit. That flies in the face of what she told me over Christmas (she told me how much she -cared- about me while sobbing), but I'm thinking she just wants to hurt me.

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Sounds like your wife is looking for affection/love in all the wrong places. Sounds like she is a female "sex addict."


The truth you found out hurt, but in some other sense I know its freeing to finally find out what was really going on. And hey - I know this sounds trite - but really - a lot of this was not personally about you (I know it hurts like hell). It was her dysfunctional parade & you were along for the ride.


But somehow or other treat this now as a time for growth for you. Go outside of your zone and seek out help (counseling, church, friends, family) to grow through this - and believe me - it does get better.

Hang in there - my thoughts and prayers are with you brother.

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