Hello. I post here with a bit of hesitation, I've been seeking some level of understanding, but every forum I've looked at (or posted on), didn't seem to be the right fit. Perhaps this one will be different?
Our story: Married 12 years, 4 children. D-day was Feb 11th. On Feb 9th, after going out to have a few drinks with an old friend while out of town for work, my DH had a one night stand with his waitress who he had just met. His friend had "surprised" him by taking him to a scantily clad restaurant, and lust ruled him. Like many betrayed, I saw a strange message cross his phone. We were at church that Sunday (so, went out on the 9th, slept with her early AM of the 10th, came home after the work event on the 10th, and at church on the 11th.) He had asked me to hold his phone as he was doing some things for the church service, and it went off. An odd (not revealing, thank goodness) photo, and an "off" remark about her hair being tangle free...
I asked him about the message after church. He crumbled. He sobbed. He immediately called our Pastor, and confessed. We sat there, on opposite couches, crying and trying to begin to discuss. What a mess. As the weeks progressed, he continued to take full responsibility. He hasn't blame-shifted or refused to talk. He's cried more times these past few months than I've ever seen him -- so have I. I'm devastated, heartbroken, and disgusted.
He's confessed his deep struggles with lust - more hidden than he ever let on. Seeking women out with his eyes to lust after, mind-fantasy, his twisted "rules" about his lust -- thinking he'd never go too far.
But, here we are. We've worked hard to establish boundaries, have open communication, seek counseling, read books together, so on. Anything I've requested has been implemented - most things he's implemented without being asked (such as, installing friend finder on phones, canceling some work meetings that were out of town, etc.)
Most days, I feel we're doing well. He has listened to me, made noticeable changes, is an open book, and more. He's cut out relationships that led him into further temptation (such as friends who encouraged lustful behavior)
Yet, Im heartbroken. I have waves of sadness and anxiousness that creep up on me each day. I'm generally able to tell him, or my support system (a wonderful group of people, but none of which have gone through this)...and it eases. But, this reality is sad. Unexpected. And threatens to derail me each day if I'm not on top of it. I've grieved deeply, cried freely, and expressed myself openly.
I struggle with comparison. She was 9 years younger than me, and kid-free. Just crushing to my self esteem. I've never "let myself go", but how can I compete with that image? I've begged God to make the details of his ONS fuzzy. I've always felt incredibly beautiful to my DH, but in many ways I feel used, disgusting, and worthless now. I fear him noticing my small stretch marks on my hips, the wrinkles beginning to appear around my eyes, or whatever imperfection I now see.
Anyway. Thats my story. I'm working hard, he's working hard, but it's hard. We tend to say we've had "good-hard" and "hard-hard" days in recovery - none of them have been bad (no yelling, exploding, etc.) I'm just hoping we can heal. Be stronger. Be thankful for one another. Be committed and healed.