Hello. I am new to this site and have found the information here helpful thus far. I am in utter devastation and feel lost. I'm in so much pain, it's hard for me to focus on anything and I feel desperate to heal. I'm hoping you all can share some insight.
Six weeks ago, I noticed my husband's behavior was very cold and distant. He wouldn't say much more than he was stressed at work and at home. We have two boys, ages 7 and 4, and he did most of their drop off and pick up because of my work schedule. I earn the higher salary, work long hours and have a long commute.
I kept pushing him to talk to me and a week later he reiterated the stress he was feeling. He also told me he was feeling “empty and dark” and that he had felt that way for a long time. I was terrified for him. We had never had marital issues (so I thought) and he had never told me anything of this nature in the 10 years we've been married. I kept trying to talk to him more over the next week, but the coldness and distance got worse. One Friday night, about 26 days ago, I looked at his phone and discovered texts messages from one of his direct report employees. He is having an emotional affair which took off romantically in mid-march, though I think they were "friends" before that. He swears to me they have not had sex. I believe him - not because I'm naive, but because he has an STD which he says he has told her about. But they have kissed, held hands, etc.
I asked him to leave because I couldn’t emotionally handle living in the same house with him knowing he was cheating. He’s staying with friends, an invitation open to him for 6 months.
The woman he is cheating with has been married for 16 years, has two teenage sons and still lives at home with her husband and kids. I learned from her husband that this is the third time she has had an affair with a married man. I know that she was sexually abused as a child. When my husband talks about her, he touts "all that she has been through..." and how beautiful of a person she is. He says he is in love with her and cannot walk away. He says he doesn't love me anymore and no longer wants to be married. He claims that, even if she were not in the picture, he would still not want our marriage. He said he has not loved me for 2 or 3 years and now believes our marriage was built on physical intimacy.
I feel devastated. I never knew anything about this before now and I never got the chance to address it while there was a door still open. Now, I feel like I will never get that chance to try and work this out.
All of this is grossly out of character for my husband, who was raised with a strong religious upbringing and has always been morally sound. He turned 40 in March and I wondered if he wasn’t having a mid-life crisis. Both of our families and friends are in complete shock.
I desperately want him to come home and for us to get counseling. But he says he is not there because he is in love with her and doesn't want to reconcile with me. I feel like we can't even talk to each other about basic things, like the kids, money or the house. He and I both feel like we need help to figure out how to talk to each other – how to get past this huge wall of hurt we are experiencing, but he is clear he is not interested at this time in reconciling. He just wants us to be able to talk to each other about the kids, etc. How do we do this? It hurts to talk to him because he is cold and emotionless, saying he has “chosen” to internalize his feelings. Meanwhile I am falling apart and he looks at me like I’m unstable. His lack of emotion makes me feel like he doesn't care about the pain he has caused. I don't know what to do about the communication - do I keep talking as a step toward healing, or do I keep distant because things are still so raw?
I also get the feeling from him that he is conflicted. He still wears his wedding ring. I asked him why and he said “because we’re still married.” He wants us to be able to communicate, too. I feel like he is emotionally hurting and this woman is a distraction from his own pain. She is a light in a dark place.
Meanwhile, I feel like I am doing everything wrong. The emotional roller-coaster I am on is killing me. One minute I am prayerful, wanting peace and love to guide this process. The next, I am enraged and want to lash out at him. I try to avoid him as much as possible, but we have to cross paths because of the kids.
I am seeing a counselor and have a good foundation of emotional support. But I still can't shake this desire to try and manipulate the situation. I have spoken to his family, who, in turn, has called him to try and talk sense into him. I have investigated his phone and whereabouts at times, though I have stopped doing that. I still can’t seem to shake this need to try and fix it – though my rational mind understands that I can’t change his actions. And I know, when I do this, and when I lash out, I just push him further away.
Please…. Please help me. I love him so much and I desperately want him to come home.