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Fixing years of letting it go on


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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  • 2 Post By Arieswoman
  • 2 Post By Finding my way
  • 3 Post By elaine567
  • 3 Post By MJJean
  • 1 Post By inthecathouse
  • 3 Post By Dreamwalker17
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Old 31st December 2017, 4:13 AM   #1
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Fixing years of letting it go on

My partner has several times been caught sending and receiving explicit photos and sending sexualized or a little too flirty messages.

I often allowed him to reoffend, even knowing it was happening and not saying anything. The two of us have both been through some pretty harsh **** the couple years before meeting and the first few years being together. For my part I was too stressed or tired or distracted with what I was already dealing with outside my relationship that I didnít want to deal with anything inside it. I figured I would deal with it later when I had more mental capacity and emotional space.

I guess thatís now because I reached my breaking point the most recent time and my trust finally broke.

For his part he always has wanted to stop and itís not a sex or an addiction thing. Itís about his confidence and his anxiety. Itís a compulsion to feel better about himself and he only does it when heís having a rough time emotionally. After being caught he stops, deletes people, is committed to making things right but eventually something pulls him back.

So this last time, when my trust broke, I approached things differently. It wasnít on purpose, I think it was just because I was broken and I felt like I was having to start planning a breakup I really didnít want to have. My emotions were different, resolute would be a good way to describe how I felt. I guess I said a few things that hit him in the heart because this time things are different.

This tie he has talked to me and not yelled or become defensive, not even once. He was totally ok with me doing random spot checks, he understood that itís not to police but rather to restore trust...he seems to understands that itís different this time and it has to stop. And thank goodness because I donít trust him at all. For the first time I just donít trust his words at all and I assume heís lying and hiding stuff. I canít talk myself into thinking he has stopped despite all the positive signs because this time I donít have any lingering trust to grab onto and pull me back. Logically if I assess his actions it does seem like heís stopped. But I still feel like Iím doing these spot checks to get proof heís still doing it. And I am scared everything I do one because Iím convinced Iím going to see something I do t want to see and then I will have to take action. Iím not scared of him doing it, Iím scared of having to take action because I donít want to fight. I love him and I just want the lying and emotional unfaithfulness to stop. And so i have a full on heart pounding legs shaking reaction whenever I do one of these checks.

I know that is the first step, to get past thinking Iím going to catch him and instead having the checks be to reassure myself, be more to confirm things are as they should be. I feel like once I get there it will be the start of regrowing my trust. I told him this could be a long process, some websites I was reading said 1-2 years and he understood and has been trying his best to be comfortable. When I talk about looking at his phone I get panicky and weird and he has been calming for me ó we are working to normalize his phone so that it is no longer a trigger but simply a phone.

Iím not interested in us breaking up, he hasnít cheated in the normal sense, there have been no emotional relationships where he shared about himself and because of that I donít feel wronged ina way that makes me want to breakup. But fact is I know that I can not be with someone who lies to me forever and so if canít stop lying we have to be done. Which is why I feel more resolute than angry or passionate about the situation. I know doing these checks is what needs to happen to restore my trust even if they make me panic. We are both working towards making things right. I have been pretending not to know more times than not and now being in the open can be tough.

Has anyone been through anything like this? Do you have any tips on dealing with emotions or any stories to share?
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Old 31st December 2017, 4:34 AM   #2
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inthgecathouse,

Quote:
I’m not interested in us breaking up, he hasn’t cheated in the normal sense,
as long as you have this viewpoint then he'll keep on doing what he's dong because there are no consequences to his behaviour.

Quote:
For the first time I just don’t trust his words at all and I assume he’s lying and hiding stuff.
And you want to be with a liar you can't trust because ...........??

Quote:
I love him and I just want the lying and emotional unfaithfulness to stop. And so i have a full on heart pounding legs shaking reaction whenever I do one of these checks.
And you think that loving this man means you have to put yourself through all this angst on a daily basis?

Do you have a bad case of emotional masochism? Seriously, do you?

Ask yourself if any relationship is worth this cost to your emotional and psychological health and well being? and go from there.

I hope you make the right choice x
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Old 31st December 2017, 4:25 PM   #3
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Don't let it go any further

My xH started early on in our 23+ year marriage having frequent "conversations" through internet chat rooms related to one of his hobbies. Most of those in this hobby were men, but there were a few women and over time those conversations with women became all consuming to him. I was able to access some of those conversations because the chat room wasn't "locked down" back then and although not blatantly sexual they were inappropriate for a married man. I let it go thinking he wasn't actually cheating, and because I was too scared to confront him and rock the boat. I was too weak to confront him.

Those early internet chats were the beginning of a very slippery slope that without intervention and honest confrontation by me eventually led to more inappropriate marital activity and eventually to full blown physical and emotional infidelity. Ignoring it and just hoping it would go away led me to shutting down emotionally and feeling numb and kind of dead inside for many, many years until one day I decided I couldn't/wouldn't live like that anymore.

It's unhealthy for both of you. Don't bury your head in the sand, it's not going to go away by itself and will likely escalate to other behavior. He needs counseling, he doesn't get a pass because of anxiety or confidence problems, or hard life experiences. Stop pretending you don't know. I know from personal experience it's hard, but you have to openly face him with EVERYTHING. Otherwise he's going to take the easy way out and do nothing to stop.
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Old 31st December 2017, 5:23 PM   #4
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inthgecathouse,

as long as you have this viewpoint then he'll keep on doing what he's dong because there are no consequences to his behaviour.
If you read my entire message you would see that I did say if it happens again it will be a breakup, that is the point I have reached and why things are different this time. I am not wanting to breakup because I donít feel wronged in a cheating sense but I can not be with someone that lies to me so I will be forced to breakup even though I do not want to.
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Old 31st December 2017, 6:21 PM   #5
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I guess as this time he is perfectly OK with you doing random spot checks and it is not is first rodeo, he has found a way of continuing to do this without you being aware of it, secret apps or email, burner phone, spare laptop, work computer... etc. etc.
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Old 31st December 2017, 6:35 PM   #6
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If you read my entire message you would see that I did say if it happens again it will be a breakup, that is the point I have reached and why things are different this time. I am not wanting to breakup because I don’t feel wronged in a cheating sense but I can not be with someone that lies to me so I will be forced to breakup even though I do not want to.
If he's not doing something you consider to be cheating then why can't he just chat with these women as he's been doing? Why do you feel a need to check up on him at all, if what he's doing isn't cheating?
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Old 31st December 2017, 6:47 PM   #7
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It's unhealthy for both of you. Don't bury your head in the sand, it's not going to go away by itself and will likely escalate to other behavior. He needs counseling, he doesn't get a pass because of anxiety or confidence problems, or hard life experiences. Stop pretending you don't know. I know from personal experience it's hard, but you have to openly face him with EVERYTHING. Otherwise he's going to take the easy way out and do nothing to stop.
Thank you for sharing your story! I feel like I did not explain things or maybe the message was too long and people didnít read all of it because both of your comments seem to have missed that this time we are doing things right. We are both being totally honest with each other, I have access to everything, he knows this time it has to stop and I am not allowing it anymore. Before itís exactly like you described... I was scared to confront him, scared to deal with it while I was dealing with other stuff. Now our life is stable and there is no longer room for this.

Mostly I was posting for support for myself from people that have reconciled successfully and gone through this long journey we are just entering. It IS scary to check his phone and accounts. I shake and have a panic response. He has been supportive, telling me that I donít need to be scared, that we can talk about it, that heís ready to address it. But I am still scared because I am afraid I will see something and have to deal with it in a final way (ending the relationship). He understands and Iím logged into all of his accounts on a tablet so that I can check when heís not around so that I donít think thoughts like ďoh he just deleted stuff before coming homeĒ.

I should add I also believe that if I had put my foot down years ago it also would have stopped but I have allowed it to continue when I knew it was happening. Early on I even told him I didnít care as long as it didnt affect our relationship. So I definitely have some responsibility here for how long it has gone on for and for how it has cycled back up over and over. Interestingly it has deescalated over time. It was all sexual messages at first but the last ones were just calling an aquaintance sexy in regular conversation like ďhey sexy, howís it going today?Ē.

Now is our time to heal and a big part of that is healing my trust and we are working together. I am interested though in hearing from people who have gone through this. How they dealt with the fear of doing the random checks, how long it took them and the emotional path they went through in healing and rebuilding their trust. Some websites Iíve seen have said it can take up to 2 years and I told him that and we are respecting the time I need to heal. Luckily our relationship is very strong and committed and close so it has not been fractured and the healing is mostly revolving around supporting me.
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Old 31st December 2017, 7:04 PM   #8
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If he's not doing something you consider to be cheating then why can't he just chat with these women as he's been doing? Why do you feel a need to check up on him at all, if what he's doing isn't cheating?

This is a great question and actually I have an answer. The first couple times I caught him it was all sex messages and photos. I told him that if thatís his porn Iím ok with it. But he said no he wanted to stop, it was unhealthy and only happened when he was feeling bad about himself. He chose to stop. And he did. But then at some point he started again and hid it from me because he was embarrassed...lying when messages came in that they were wrong numbers or old messages etc. So over the years I enabled this behaviour that he wanted to stop and allowed it to continue even when I knew he was lying because I didnít have the emotional energy to deal with it until recently. Itís the lying and sneaking around hiding the messages that is he problem because I canít stay with someone forever that isnít honest with me. Because if I know heís not honest that meand I donít trust what he says and trust is the foundation of a relationship (for me anyway).
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Old 31st December 2017, 7:11 PM   #9
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I guess as this time he is perfectly OK with you doing random spot checks and it is not is first rodeo, he has found a way of continuing to do this without you being aware of it, secret apps or email, burner phone, spare laptop, work computer... etc. etc.
No thatís not it at all, he is not very tech savvy and never has worked hard to hide stuff, Iíve always known.

Wow this forum is awful. I came here lookin for some support, helpful advice about the healing journey we are now taking with each other and all Iíve had are replies telling me Iím wrong, we need to break up, and heís obviously still doing it. Why can no one read my words and see that I am not asking for your asinine critical replies. Iím sorry if you all have not been able to heal successfully or your relationship ended but not everyoneís experience is like that and itís important to support each other, not throw people under the bus who are trying to heal.
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Old 31st December 2017, 9:37 PM   #10
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I am a little confused about what's going on, so let me get it straight - so you're ok with him sending explicit pics, sexting etc? He said he doesn't want to do it, it's a compulsion that he uses as a way to feel better about himself, and wants to stop.

He tries to stop, and fails, but lies to you about it. Is this the issue? Not him sexting, but lying about it?

If I got it right, let me ask you - Why exactly are you checking if sexting doesn't really mean anything to you? Tell him to keep doing it if it works for both of you and don't check anymore.

If he is embarrassed about it and wants to stop, he may need to seek therapy that would help him to find healthier ways of coping. He may be depressed or have anxiety issues.

Best wishes.
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Old 31st December 2017, 9:38 PM   #11
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No thatís not it at all, he is not very tech savvy and never has worked hard to hide stuff, Iíve always known.

Wow this forum is awful. I came here lookin for some support, helpful advice about the healing journey we are now taking with each other and all Iíve had are replies telling me Iím wrong, we need to break up, and heís obviously still doing it.
He doesn't to be tech savvy to own a burner phone or have a spare laptop, surely?
You are the one who says he is sneaky and you not trust him an inch yet you refuse to accept he may still be lying to you.
People who lie and cheat, tend to get sneakier whenever you call them out on it, they usually respond by just covering their tracks better.

You did not care before so he didn't really need to get sneakier, now you have put your foot down, he needs to find other ways to do what he wants to do without you finding out.
I get you want to reconcile but you need a level playing field first.
It will be a complete waste of your time reconciling if you do not dot the i's and cross the t's now, and then 5 years down the line you actually find his burner phone...
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