My husband and I were married in 2003. We also had our first child that year. We had a really good relationship and were very supportive of each other, my husband decided to get a college education when our daughter was a about 6 months old. I did everything I could to support him and make life easier for him and things were great for the first 3 years of our marriage. Our second child was born right as he was finished school. We were looking forward to a happy bright future. Then 4 days after our son was born my husband's mother passed away. When his mom passed, his two youngest sisters came to live with us. It was a hard time for all of us, so much change and pain, but I thought we were doing ok. Then about six months later I caught my husband sexting. We had a big fight then he apologized and texted her that "his wife knows and the texting had to stop". We talked a little and both agreed we hadn't been spending enough time together and promised to make each other a priority. The sexting and how it made me feel ended up getting sweep under the rug and we moved on. I wasn't as hard on him as I would have liked to have been because I knew everything he had been through lately.The following year we bought our first house.Things seemed good. We were happy for awhile.
In 2010 he started acting really distant and short tempered. I would ask him what was wrong and he would tell me nothing. In March of that year he got up that morning before I woke up and left me a note saying he was going to be at a friends house for a bit. ( a male friend) I texted him later and he said he was helping a friend with somethings and it was taking longer than expected. We only had one vehicle so I was stuck home all day with the kids so finally about 8 that night I was fed up and called him and told him to bring the car home and if he wanted to leave again whoever he was with could pick him up. He came home pissed off we had a horrible fight with many hateful things said. Mostly from him. I broke down and I guess he felt guilty so he decided to stay home. Things were really tense for the next 7 months. I took all the hateful things he said to heart and tried to fix everything he said was "wrong" with me, but things just kept getting worse. In October of that year I found out my husband was having an affair. I confronted him and he admitted it. It had been going on for almost 2 years but the first 6 months or so they were "just" friends. This time I didn't get angry I was heartbroken. He promised to stop seeing her but he thought he might love her but he loved me more. It took him a couple of weeks to end it, but he did and he started trying to help me heal. We never went to counseling but did do some online courses. There was a lot of ups and downs and at times I felt like he wasn't trying hard enough. I felt like I had to do the majority of the work to fix our relationship. He would do whatever I asked him to do, but I had to find the books to read and the tool to use. Eventually I forgave him and quit pushing him to do the things I thought he should do and just accepted he was loving me the best way he knew how. One thing I really thought he needed to figure out was why he had the affair, but I kept being told by other people that it didn't really matter so I let that go too. After about two years we were almost back to normal and we were both happy. I quit feeling the need to check up on him and started to trust him again.
We have been doing really well for the last couple of years. He has been at his current job for almost 4 years and loves it. He is on day shift and it's been great for our family. Then this month I got a new phone so I was making some changes to our plan and noticed he had a lot more text this month than I did and it was only 9 days into the billing cycle. So I looked at the history and saw they were all to the same number. I tried calling the number but got the generic voice mail message. Since I didn't know whose number it was I checked his phone when he came home from work. There were no text to that number in his phone and the number wasn't saved. I didn't say anything to him for a couple of days but finally I asked him who the number belonged to and he told me a women from work. I asked him if there was anything going on and he said yes, they had been flirting and texting and had sex twice. He said he didn't care about her and it was just sex.
He took the next day off work and we talked a lot. He loves me and wants to fix this. He is sorry and said he should have come to me the first time he talked to her. That was what he had said he would do if he was ever tempted again, but he didn't know how to tell me and he thought it would be ok. He also told me there was another woman he is attracted to but he has seen how flirty she is so he stays away from her and nothing has ever happened. He says he doesn't know why he didn't do the same with this woman. He hasn't tried any blame sifting this time and says its 100% on him and that I have been great and the best thing that ever happened to him. He loves me and doesn't want to lose me but he doesn't know why he does this. He promised to do whatever he needs to do to fix it. I've told him he has to do the work this time. I can't do it for him and that I think we should see a counselor. The last 2 weeks at work have been really hectic with them being short handed so I haven't seen much follow through. I did call a few counselors even though I said he had to and haven't had much luck.
I'm so hurt and don't really know what to do this time. I love my husband and kids and our want to keep our family together but I don't know what to do this time.
I don't know your situation. I do know how a WS covers their tracks though. I'm gonna layout an opinion, and I'm sure it won't be popular, but it will be logical.
Your husband has shown no remorse. He is saying the words that you want to hear, but his actions are NOT backing them up.
Straight up? The first red flag... The sexting. He said "The wife knows therefore we have to stop." NOT "I love my wife and what we are doing is wrong."
Big huge difference.
Second... He took a while to leave his second partner, and was ambivalent about it. You needed to lead him by the nose to get the work done, find the books, and you all didn't even get to marriage counselling.
Huge red flag.
He never looked at why he did it. He never did the work. People told you it didn't matter, but deep down you knew it did.
Then, you find out that things aren't matching up with the texts and the numbers on this phone from work. This means that he has deleted all texts and call logs. Yes, it can be done simply.
Which means he has been hiding it from you, and only when he got caught, gee shucks... I would have told you but you know... (I didn't think I would get caught.)
Amazingly, it happened after you let up on him, and when he was in a position to gain your trust.
He covers his tracks, lies by omission, doesn't do the necessary work except what you tell him to do, and hasn't even looked to see what he is doing to find himself in the situation again and again. There are a few situations where he hasn't even broken contact with the affair partner.
Let me show you what my work and remorse looks like:
I gave up the AP, blocked her and ceased contact with her
When she contacted me again the last time, I literally told her that I LOVE MY WIFE AND I WANT TO MAKE IT WORK WITH HER. Don't contact me again.
I tall about everything to my wife (too much)
I seek to understand how I came to the point where I had the affair. I was not prompted, I am doing this myself so I NEVER cheat on my wife again. If I get in the position where I don't think I can be with her, then I will do the right thing next time.
I insisted on marriage counselling. I go.
I do as much work to fix as my wife does 100%/100% (in fact in light of people calling me out today on the forums I even had a heart to heart with her to check in and see if the people are right... Turns out they are partially.)
I seek to understand. I feel the pain I inflicted on my wife and hold high shame.
I also try to tell my story a bit because it not only helps me to share because someone may get some insight from it, but I can get a perspective that my wife may not be able to convey.
Look, I'm not saying I'm perfect, but actions speak volumes here.
Your WS isn't doing anything, just going through the motions, in essence telling you what you need to hear. I mean, hey... It's too busy at work right now.. You see. Plus.. This way I do t have to do anything.
If it's important to him, screw it. Change jobs then. If I want to really work on something NOTHING will stop me from it. I will do the damn work, and get ER done.
I can't link from my phone very well, but look for the post about boundaries. You need to read that and lay down the law. You are too good to be strung along, and the signs are there..
Even just given the latest/current situation. From the perspective of someone who was the wayward spouse.... The rule is, if you have to delete a text, or the log of the text or call, well... You're already there... You're cheating.