Gretta, I haven't been at this long at all. Everything came to a head when he confessed to cheating with four different women on May 22, 2011. I've known about the abuse since 2007 but he told me he was abused and wouldn't discuss it any further. He also promptly dropped out of the therapy for porn addiction--which ultimately led to the disclosure to the therapist of the abuse --the first person he EVER told. When he told me in 2007, I had just had our third child. I was overwhelmed with that and he made it seem like no big deal, for him the porn was the real issue. I told him then I didn't think that to be the case, but I didn't follow my normal MO of researching the crap out of whatever issue is presented. I feel like kicking myself looking back on it. If I had found out even half of what I've learned on this site since the end of May, I'd have made the exact same demand I made this time, last time--get help or I'm out of here.
Like your husband, my husband is a mess after therapy sessions. I'll take that any day over secrets, pretending and lies. I, too am angry at his perpetrators, but I'm pretty pissed at the hubby too for the cheating. I get it. I understand he didn't/doesn't feel like he can share his torment with me and in turn he acts out. But I can honestly say that finding out about his abuse didn't change how I see him one iota. Even finding out the meager but gruesome details I do know of what transpired with his primary abuser hasn't changed how I see him. I find his porn habits repellent, but it hasn't changed how I see him.
What has changed how I see him, and this frustrates him to no end and I understand completely why, is the cheating. His point, which I understand intellectually, is that it all stems from the abuse. So his abuser used porn throughout the abuse. Why do I not have a problem empathizing with the porn addiction, but not the cheating. The only thing I can come up with is that sleeping around has endangered me. I got tested for everything I could and came up clean (for now). Every time we have sex, I think about him with those other women. Every. Single. Time. He ruined what he knew was precious for me, even if it didn't mean the same to him.
My prayers are answered slowly but answered. God has softened my heart towards my husband so that I could stay. I prayed for the anger to go away and while it flares up, it isn't the homicidal rage that ravaged my stomach for weeks on ends.
I pray for my husband daily, but I work on me. His work is his work. I have an obligation to create an environment conducive to healing and I've fallen short a couple of times on that, but I'm human and I'm working my butt off every day to fulfill that requirement I made for myself.
It's painful, but if God allows me an upfront seat to see this man actually become what he appears to be to everyone in our community, that will be the biggest hallelujah gift EVER.
I appreciate that he is willing to work on it. If I left, he'd have another wife in no time, and he had a good run with me--took me 9 years to find out all this stuff, he could do it again with the new wife. But he said he wants me. He said he wants our children. He said he wants our family. And given what a sucky road this is for him, I'm choosing to believe him. If he keeps working, I'll keep working.
I cry almost every day. Right now, it's down to minutes. I hope it will dwindle to seconds and eventually it will evaporate before a tear even hits my face. The pain still feels like a kick in the gut, but now it's only once a day, maybe it will be once a week, once a month, once a year, once every two years, and so on.
The thing I have been focusing on is one day at a time. I try to do my best, one day at a time. It's all we get anyway.
Wife of a survivor