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November 23, 2019 8:17 pm  #1


My Wife's Invisible Friends

Hello. Lovely to meet you all and sorry it is under such challenging circumstances. Here's my (very long!) story...

My wife and I are high school sweethearts. We feel in love and got married at the hopeful age of 21. We've now been together over twenty five years.

Sex has always been a sticking point. She imagined she would love it, but we waited until marriage, and when our wedding day came she was confused. It was painful, made her self-conscious (she has eating disorders), and worse...she simply didn't like it. For a few years she blamed herself and was growing increasingly angry. Sex eventually becomes only to assist me, which arrives infrequently, as quick as possible, and under much frustration.

She could never show intimacy for me, either physical (cuddling or hugs) or sexual. I was not allowed to sexually touch her with my hands and she didn't want me near her privates. She cringed at the idea. She claimed she never watched porn or masturbated. She hated any sexual contact or even to talk about sex. Even watching a movie that had sex or nudity was enough to get her to leave the room instantly.

In the mid-2000's she cheated on me emotionally with another man. She was looking for an answer to her "female sexual dysfunction" online and started calling and chatting with him often around then. It sounds like she hoped that I was the problem and replacing me was a solution. They had a virtual relationship and I found out, so I began recording every website and search for a year.

I noticed something I didn't expect in her search history: she was watching tons of explicit amateur porn of young women masturbating or lesbian sex. Nearly every few days. This clicked with some other conversations we'd had, how her college computer at home was filled with lesbian porn because of "her dad", how she had a playboy taken away by her mom, or how she had an incident happen at college with a lesbian at a party which she wouldn't share. I discussed this with her and she ignored it, saying it was too embarrassing to speak about.

Around this time I floated to her that she might be asexual or even lesbian if she had these feelings. She hated sex, but loved romance. She initially bristled at the idea but learned to embrace the asexual term openly with me.

Time passed. Twelve years ago, she found new ways to test her sexuality and romantic needs in secret. I believe she recorded a cam video and uploaded it online, which I found and showed her. The room matched ours and did her body. She said "I feel like I'm being watched", "I feel dirty", and "If I say that is me you'll leave me". She half apologized, half blamed me for finding it, demanding to know who sent it to me it. I took this to mean she was sorry and we moved on.

Time passed. Ten years ago, she was now meeting with male friends secretly and I (just this week) learned had a profile on an adult dating site which she checked often. She wanted to be wanted, going from one target to the next for at the least conversations. I clarified our boundaries and she agreed to them. No meeting people at their houses. No male friendships without telling me. No meeting friends who have a crush or say they love you. We moved on.

Time passed. Eight years ago, she was now telling men (via conversations I found this month) she thought they were the male version of perfection, saying she was conflicted with our marriage, and that she wanted to meet them for coffee to give them a hug in person. I just found this out and it sickens me. She was seemingly addicted to the attention but professes she has never cheated and hates the thought of sex, especially with this person.

Six years ago we had a baby. Being anorexic she was on tons of estrogen via shots for the first time in years. She hadn't had a period in a decade and there she was on this unique high. And something in her changed. She has the baby, gets very social, and things start to feel...strange.

I found a diary from this time period recently where she notes that she basically doesn't need to "follow her contractual obligation" in marriage if it leads her to sadness. That she needs to focus on food and "touch", as she hasn't been "very human" and wants to "play in the dirt". And that the baby will be the perfect time to implement this plan to tell others "take care of themselves".

After the birth of our son she is very social, going so far as to barely be seen on the weekends. She's working, always working. Weekdays are simply transactional, always surface deep. One day while at work I receive a voicemail that is two people making love, one is moaning my wife's name clearly. The other responds and it is the sexual sounds of wife. After I review this audio I realize it is two women, with the sound only our house makes in the background.

I ask her about the audio. She blames me for bringing this up, saying she'd never cheat and that women disgust her sexually. This irks me because I know that she finds women sexually arousing. But I begin collecting evidence. She is hiding her phone. She is constantly texting. She is meeting other people. She is not being honest to me, making up lies constantly about small things.

One day I find her phone left behind. I unlock it and go to her texts, to the around the date of the audio file. And I'm blown away. She is talking to multiple women very flirty. These messages are emotionally initimate, filled with innuendo, and they are requesting secret meetings with each other with "no one around".

*Emojis in our relationship mean sexual acts, so to see her use them so freely with women is off-putting. But I get that my context for these may be unique.

My real concern is that who I knew as small acquaintances dominate her life. She had been keeping them a secret, never talking about them at all for over all these years. But she was meeting them weekly, talking with them 30 minutes a day, and sharing big, private details I never knew (such as she was suicidal, which she hid from me until I found these texts). They were her obsessions, and she fawned over them with a puppy love.

As I looked further I found more women, one who writes in a romantic text of "carrying her baby in my uterus" and having cancer. Eventually they move to email because this is not "private"...but you just shared the two most intimate things ever?! It makes no sense. I later find a physical card this women gives her that my wife keeps in her momento box that calls them "confidants" and "soul sisters". When confronted about this she says she was saying she would be her surrogate, but this was when my wife was 4 months pregnant. Why wouldn't her soul sister be kept in the dark?

There are endless more small signs. Messy underwear when they meet from body fluids. Their clothes in her hamper when I'm out of town. The looks they give in picture she has on her phone. Her dressing up for them only. Her writing a story about how a rainbow stopped a heavy storm and thinking "My husband would never believe the adventures I had today, with a smile". Sexual preferences that changed in our bedroom when her friends appeared (banning my preferences, need to use condoms for sex even no period, sex can only happen when she wears a blindfold). Or reading multiple "women who are married come out as lesbian" books in the past six months.

I have no doubt she is dishonest and in emotional relationships with women that have destroyed our own. I'm divorcing her now.

But I'm just caught in this limbo of not knowing or understanding the truth of whether she is gay, bi, questioning, or simply abandoning me to her friends this time and leaving me to theorize. Was this a twenty year quest to find herself? Was any of this love for me real at all?

She will not admit that these were anything but friendships, but why hide them if innocent? I feel like I've been forced to be her beard for years now without my knowledge, while she fulfills her needs.

I want to be more mad than I am...but instead I'm devastated. How could someone I supported in spite of 25 years of disorders have these secret lives to someone they say they love? How could they do this to our family?

And finally, I mentioned her past lesbian and cam girl porn search history to her this week and this was the first time I saw her genuinely cry over this situation. She said defeatedly "some things are private". To me, this is an admission that her sexuality is none of my business, and so gives motivation as to why she wants to hide this her sexuality, as she feels shame in it.

HEAVY SIGH

Last edited by Upside (December 3, 2019 4:35 pm)

 

November 24, 2019 7:06 am  #2


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

Hi Upside,

"she could never show intimacy for me, either physical (cuddling or hugs) or sexual."

sigh.  I so relate when I read that I wish I could go back to my younger self and give her those hugs and cuddles she yearned for and missed out on.

tbh, after I finished reading your post I just thought she sounds like your typical lesbian with husband.  There are lots of them round here, they never admit they're lesbians but they are so brazen and having affairs with each other and going on holidays and the husbands are sitting there hurting and feeling alone and they are laughing at them.  Hate it.

"was any of this love for real" you ask.  Does a cat love a mouse?  yes of course, it's not a love you want to be subjected to though, is it.  Romantic love - no.  Sexual attraction - no.  Friendship love - no, refer back to cat analogy - it is not a real friend who does not put themselves out to care about you.  what you need.

These women I was talking about earlier - bit older than you are and they look at their husbands like they are scientific experiments.  It makes me angry to see it.

so I am glad to hear you are divorcing her, it will be happier for both of you in human terms.  I hope that round the corner you find the right woman, who can love you back and not mess with your head.  And I wish you the best in getting through this next part of your life which is so tough to go through.  all the best, look after yourself at all times, and welcome to this forum, Lily

 

November 24, 2019 10:27 am  #3


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

Whatever she is, it seems committed to you or the marriage is not one of the descriptors. It can be hard to understand "why?" in so many of these situations. You deserve better treatment than this and shouldn't feel the need to play spy to find the truth. Good luck as you make your way forward.

 

November 24, 2019 11:36 am  #4


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

My ex used that "some things are private" line on me, too.  It's a way to turn the tables and to make your reaction to her behavior the problem, rather than her behavior.
 There's a distinction to be made between "private" and "secret."  Keeping secrets is different than protecting your privacy.  I liked to bathe in private, but I didn't keep my bathing a secret from my ex.  Secrets are corrosive, and they are indicative that you are withholding information from the other person that the other person needs to have to be able to make decisions about their own life.  
   As long as you didn't know all these things--as long as they were secret--you couldn't act on your knowledge.  Now you know her secrets, and you have to decide if living with a person who does these things and keeps them secret from you is acceptable to you.  She's certainly made it clear that she's not sorry and she's not going to change, just go further underground, as she has done before.  You certainly can't trust her. 
   We tend to let the question of their sexuality muddy the waters.  If you felt this weren't a question of her sexuality (is she bi? gay?), but just garden variety cheating on a massive scale, what would be your reaction?  And what would you choose to do?  

 

November 25, 2019 4:51 pm  #5


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

Thank you Lily, Daryl, and OutofHisCloset.

I'm at my wit's end here. So very grateful for your thoughts and encouragement.

lily wrote:

"was any of this love for real" you ask.  Does a cat love a mouse?  yes of course, it's not a love you want to be subjected to though, is it.  Romantic love - no.  Sexual attraction - no.  Friendship love - no, refer back to cat analogy - it is not a real friend who does not put themselves out to care about you.  what you need.

These women I was talking about earlier - bit older than you are and they look at their husbands like they are scientific experiments.  It makes me angry to see it.

I never thought of it like this, yet it sure seems to be the case.

Now that she knows we're divorcing she is trying new experiments. She tried convincing me I was insane to believe this (which I'd honestly prefer). She tried lashing out violently. Then faking threats against her. Blaming me for everything and saying divorce would destroy my little one. Now she's trying to lure me back, touching and flirting. I'm scared to see what is up ahead when this doesn't work.

Daryl wrote:

Whatever she is, it seems committed to you or the marriage is not one of the descriptors. It can be hard to understand "why?" in so many of these situations. You deserve better treatment than this and shouldn't feel the need to play spy to find the truth. Good luck as you make your way forward.

Thank you.

A relationship where I could trust my spouse fully...sounds so nice.

OutofHisCloset wrote:

My ex used that "some things are private" line on me, too.  It's a way to turn the tables and to make your reaction to her behavior the problem, rather than her behavior.

 There's a distinction to be made between "private" and "secret."  Keeping secrets is different than protecting your privacy.  I liked to bathe in private, but I didn't keep my bathing a secret from my ex.  Secrets are corrosive, and they are indicative that you are withholding information from the other person that the other person needs to have to be able to make decisions about their own life.  

My mind is blown. Thank you.

OutofHisCloset wrote:

   As long as you didn't know all these things--as long as they were secret--you couldn't act on your knowledge.  Now you know her secrets, and you have to decide if living with a person who does these things and keeps them secret from you is acceptable to you.  She's certainly made it clear that she's not sorry and she's not going to change, just go further underground, as she has done before.  You certainly can't trust her.   

Well said.

This is about control. Hers domination over me, in both controlling my behavior while flagrantly disregarding my requests.

She is doing this because this is a way to regulate her own chaotic emotional state. Just like her eating disorder, she is regulating feelings and anxieties externally by using others as release valves. I just have front row seats.

OutofHisCloset wrote:

 We tend to let the question of their sexuality muddy the waters.  If you felt this weren't a question of her sexuality (is she bi? gay?), but just garden variety cheating on a massive scale, what would be your reaction?  And what would you choose to do?     

I'd run. Run fast and hard. Hmm...I think that helps reframe it well.

Thank you all.

     Thread Starter
 

November 25, 2019 6:25 pm  #6


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

good to hear how you are going - processing fast and well!  we know how much this hurts.  But to be able to see she is playing you is really good and will stand you in good stead.

We often find we have quite a reluctance to talking about this, but then it just feels a lot better when you do.  But you can also get adverse reactions so my suggestion is that first you look around amongst family and friends for who you think might be supportive, someone that you can trust to have your back, and talk with them.  

it's just one step at a time and post as much as you like here.

wishing you lots of good luck, Lily

 

November 25, 2019 8:10 pm  #7


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

If you haven't had a chance, you might also find the Chump Lady website helpful. It's not specific to a straight spouse experience but many of us find it useful.

 

November 26, 2019 1:31 am  #8


Re: My Wife's Invisible Friends

Thank you so much, Lily!

Appreciate the kind recommendation Whirligig. I picked Chump Lady's book today and hope to explore soon. Thank you!

I found this SSN discussion of a recent Chump Lady article enlightening. It outlined many ideas I've been struggling to articulate since learning (as close as I'm coming to) the truth.
https://straightspouse.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1682 

     Thread Starter
 

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