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August 16, 2023 7:07 pm  #1

Journey of personal discovery leads to even bigger discovery

I turned 40 this summer and our 15 year wedding anniversary is in 3 days.  My husband and I met through mutual friends in our early 20s.  We didn't date for 3 years mostly because he was in the military and stationed out of state.  Hi brother married a friend of mine and i got to know his whole family while he was deployed in Iraq.  he would ask them to deliver sweet messages to me when he'd call his family.  He asked them about me constantly so when he got back to the states we started talking long distance.  We hit it off instantly.  He is so much fun to talk to, he was romantic and attentive.  I had never felt so loved.  He spent his leaves with me and I flew out to visit him for a couple weeks and the sex was great.  When he asked me to marry him I was excited to move and start our life together.

Once we were married, he got really jealous and controlling.  I was a very good looking woman during my youth so boyfriend jealousy was my normal, but I had never seen it this dramatic before.  I thought it was because of the military culture of Jodies stealing wives.  It had happened to one of our close friends, so he used that as an example.  I had no interest in cheating so I told him to hire a private eye and leave me alone, he'd just end up finding out his wife is boring.  Then he deployed again and this tour was particularly traumatizing.  There are documentaries and books about his unit during this deployment, it was that over the top violent.  he came back with severe PTSD which he sought treatment for but that still greatly impacted our lives.  Especially me who was the target for all his rage insecurities, fears, doubts and worries.  But he really was working on it and showing some improvement, so I stayed and worked on it with him.  

Once we had kids we started having trouble connecting sexually.  He told me he didn't want to do oral anymore because I was a mother now and he didn't want to think about the mother of his children acting like that.  He told me I thrust too much and it made him feel like he wasn't big enough for me.  He told me I was too aggressive and he didn't like "rough sex".  I didn't think I was rough, but I tried to be more submissive in bed.  It wasn't satisfying for either of us so our sex life dried up. One night he fell asleep in front of the computer and when I went to check on him I saw he was on Craigs List looking a an M4M ad.  I checked the history and he had started with regular straight porn then ventured to Craigs list where he looked at all woman except for this one ad.  There had not been any times when I wasn't sure of where he was and there was only one picture of a man, so when he told me he liked Craigs List pictured better than production porn because they had realistic bodies and that the mans ad was an accident, he didn't mean to click on that, I believed him. 
We had some great times, we were definitely best friends but I was growing more and more dissatisfied with the lack of intimacy and general lack of loving consideration I felt was automatic in loving relationships.  He wasn't always mean, but it was like it wouldn't occur to him to consider how I would feel about something at all.  And the jealousy continued, even though by this time I was so depressed I was severely overweight and not making any effort to dress up.  
I got a great job and finally started to flourish, I made professional connections, social circles, I was making good money and I lost all the weight.  He hated every single second of it and acted like every accomplishment of mine was a sacrifice of his.  I tried to rekindle our sex life but he couldnt perform.  ED is super common with combat vets so I wrote it off again.  He lost his job during this time and fell into deep depression. I supported him through that.  And when he pulled through and found a new job, it was in a completely different part of the state.  I was very torn about leaving my dream job but he convinced me it was best for his mental health and I have always been the supportive wife so why break character now.
We moved to a rural and isolated area and I have been miserable.  His new job takes him out of town a lot staying in hotels often.  I'm left alone to deal with the property maintenance, housework, full time job and kids. He tried to rekindle sex again with a new interest in butt stuff to "spice things up". I was depressed and resentful and I kept begging for help, consideration and emotional support, he kept acting like he didn't understand what I meant.  He kept calling it a mid life crisis and said I was the one causing problems.  So, I went to counseling for myself.  I began to learn about my pattern of relationships of clinging to men with bigger needs than mine as a way to minimize myself.  I began to learn about my tendency to self sabotage.  I began to journal about my resentment towards my husband and this brought up a lot of "old sh*t" as my husband called it.  I started pushing back more, questioning more.  I told him he had stolen my spirit and forced me into this stepford wife role that I had never wanted.  I told him that I was done investing in him, it was his turn to invest in me.  He told me if he was really that bad, why have I stayed so long.  Then we had an emotional (for me) conversation one night and I broke down and told him I didn't think I would be able to stay with him once I came out the other side of this personal journey.  He flatly replied, "I'll be alright".  Every other marriage crisis we've faced, he pleaded for me to stay.  Not this time.  This, I'm sure, was the first time I'd seen him look so confident.  He's typically a goofy, childish type.  
Soon after one of our kids picked up his phone and he yelled and said "NEVER touch my phone", in a tone that was just too harsh for the situation.  I searched his phone records and found he'd been texting random numbers on nights he was working out of town.  I googled the numbers and a couple came up with escort sites but not a particular ad just the home page that was full of women so I thought he was hiring female hookers.  When i confronted him he admitted to sexting female sex workers but claimed he never paid them.  I actually felt offended for the hookers who he was stealing time from. lol.  He also said he thought I needed to leave him.  And again he was totally absent of all emotion, like a robot.  It was so eerie.  So I kept digging even after we'd decided to separate.  I got a subscription to a reverse phone look up and found out that the numbers were all owned by men.  Then one night while he was working out of town i watched his text log as he reached out to a new number and I googled it.  An ad came up for an older overweight "daddy" searching for an encounter in the area my husband was staying. That hairy man's business from years ago came to my minds eye.  So much about the way targeted me throughout our marriage made so much sense, and the sexual dysfunction.  I wasn't even mad at first, i was relived that I finally understood what was going on. When he came home I confronted him with the screen shots and he said he was not attracted to men, it wasn't like that, its just a mental thing I wouldn't understand.  He claims he's never met up with anyone but some of the texts had gaps that support travel time followed by just one or two texts, I cant help but feel like that's them telling him they've arrived.  But I have no proof and he's not been forthcoming with anything I haven't had proof of. If I insinuate in any way that he is Queer, Gay, Bi or anything like that he flips out and shouts crazy. I made sure not to shame his sexuality.  I hugged him and told him I was so sorry he'd carried this self hatred for so many years, that he has no reason to feel ashamed.  I told him he is worthy of love and he is loved. He soaked it all in like it was meaningful that night.  The next day, he was completely absent of all emotions.  He wants out of the marriage as fast as possible and keeps telling me to "just move on".  Like I can flip a switch and be in a new life all a sudden.  He says I wouldn't understand any of it so he won't bother explaining, I'll just doubt him anyway.  He says I have my ideas about him being gay but he's not and he can't do anything to change my mind so he won't try.  
I do not want to be in this marriage any more than he does, but after 15 years of true friendship, I expected him to care enough about me to try an settle my mind, but he won't even try.  I went and got tested for STDs yesterday.  Every minute I spent in the waiting room, I grew more and more angry until I was enraged.  I blew up on him, but i was careful to distinguish that I wasn't mad that we was struggling with his sexuality, but I was pissed that he kept that secret from me and let it fill him with anger that he turned around and poured onto me for 15 years.  And now I had to bear his poisonous secret.  He told me to go ahead and out him, but know that he cannot exist on this planet if this gets out so his blood would be on my hands.  I told him there's no way I'd let him get his own personal rainbow parade I'll just pour all my anger back on him for the next 15 years till we're even.
I'll never out him, but I hate secrets.  This is something he knows, he watched me teach my kids about how toxic secrets are.  I never keep secrets, I told him my deepest shame when we were dating before we ever married.  I worry his secret will eat me alive.  My reality has been shattered and I can't explain to my family and friends exactly why I'm so shaken.  They keep saying things like, well it's been a long time coming and he never really made you happy anyway.   Those are true statements but they feel really dismissive when your keeping a secret like his.

Last edited by WitheredWildflower (August 16, 2023 7:22 pm)

"Wildflowers don't care where they grow." - Dolly Parton

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