Hi Miss Trust
I so feel for your pain and the difficult situation you are in and I so relate to your story. My story is similar to yours. What I read in your post, is me 5 years ago. Only help I can offer you is listening to you and tell you what I have learned in the last 5 years in the hope that it might help you not to feel alone. I recognize in my self, the need to get answers, to understand. It was really strong for me and sound like it is important for you too.
First of all, you are reached out early on and this site can be a great help to find potential answers - and more importantly understanding. I did not. I am new to the site and I could have avoided much of the uncertainty and pain than have been in my life the last five years. I could maybe have helped H. by better understanding what might go on in H.'s head (or doesn't) and separate out the impact on me. I did search and search the internet for answers from day one. I found understanding for the "gay-issue" on Dr. Joe Korts website straightguise.com. Found lots of helpful info there but I had no support network and it took me in a less optimal direction. So, keep coming back here, vent when angry, cry when sad, reach out when lonely with your pain, ask the questions your H is not answering for YOU.
Remember though, that no one is a professional here, but still there is so much experience here, words of wisdom - and most of all - honesty and freedom to express yourself. I missed that at the time.
I have only now learned that all of my H's issues is HIS, not mine. My issues (like how this situation impacted me) are mine, not his. I cannot do the work for him, but I can control the impact on me. I am responsible for how I react to the situation. By keeping the focus on him, I set aside my own pain, my own needs, and my own boundaries - and I just enabled him not to deal with his issues and impact on the relationship. I felt my H. was transferring his pain to be my pain and it made me angry and resentful - and make me not trust him. Focusing on you, have nothing to do with the desire to support the H., work on the relationship, or maintaining hope for the relationship. Don't get me wrong. It is the opposite in my experience.
Well let me go back 5 years.
You write you uncovered (the betrayals). I did too. My H. only told me about his abuse when cornered because I uncovered his hook-ups with men, chatting, emailing, phone calls to prostitutes and flings. I was desperate for answers and to reestablish trust, but had to uncover most of his deceits myself. He mostly also said "I don't recall" when confronted with his lies and if I could not prove it, it did not happen in his mind. I so needed answers to understand, not to prosecute him. I so wanted to understand, wanted him to tell me - to have the emotional connection - the trust. As long as he did not volunteer/fully disclose, I would not trust that he was not continuing to deceit me. I now know that he could not disclose because he did NOT understand himself. I only added to his (potential) guilt. Gay, not gay, acting out with men, faking himself as heterosexual, enjoying prostitutes. He did not have the answers. HE HAD NO CLUE. "Why do you feel you have the right to deceit me? " I often asked . I focused on the deceit, rather than the intimacy I expected in a relationship. All I understand now it that he felt entitled to deceit me. All I know now is that it was HIS responsibility to find out why he felt entitled. I could not and cannot. All I know is that he felt entitled and it comes from some pain inside of him that was/is more important to ease. I now know, that all a supporter-spouse can control is her own boundaries. You are entitled not to have YOUR boundaries wiped out.
When my H. and I went through the initial disclose of affairs, CSA (child sexual assult), SSA (same sex attraction), and hook-ups, a honeymoon stage did follow. He said he did not feel he was gay, loved me, wanted to be married, was not interested in romantic relations with men. All he could say about doing all these things was that he didn't feel the emotional obligation when he had casual sex with others and that it was easier with men than even a female prostitute. About flirting and affairs, he felt that as long as I didn't know, he wasn't hurting me. No use arguing about it. In my case, it had broken the emotional intimacy long before I found out. He COULD NOT empathize with my pain. He could not see it. The honeymoon stage clouded both of our judgement. I was just happy not to be deceived. He thought that we now were okay. I now know that he does not have a natural sense of intimacy or integrity. That he confuse sex and emotional intimacy and he felt sex was love. Emotional intimacy was scary because he is not in control and fear not being in control (like when he was abused).
I said we could work through all this infidelity. I would accept any outcome and continue to be his friend whether gay or not. That we would come up with a plan for making our future live better. I would accept his path in life and would support him - whether gay, straight, or ?. I just needed honesty and integrity. I thought intimacy would come naturally. I had to have a choice to in the relationship. I rationalized that it was sexual addiction and I forced this on him. I see now that his issues were deeper. My issues was needing to prove that I was lovable.
He did not want to consider therapy. I insisted. The compromise was a unlicensed sex addiction therapist by phone. The T. concentrated on moving forward in the relationship - that there had to be integrity in the relationship. I understand now that H. could in no way do this as he had to remove the root of the pain - that the pain originated in the past. That is cannot be ignored. Anything else was denial and setting him up to failure.
H. did agree to full openness (forward)- no hidden computers, access to phones. - He just wanted TO MOVE FORWARD and pretend we started a new life. He thought he could control his entitlement. Two big problems arose. We just moved on on the surface. First problem, I allowed myself to settle for being happy that I was not being deceived any more. I thought that was my biggest hurt. I thought that since I had access to his whereabout I could check I was not being deceived. I settled for not being deceived instead of being loved and cared for. I hated being the policeman though and gave it up (mostly). The policing made it my issue and my burden of proof. It just reminded me that I didn't trust him not to hurt me. I was still hyper sensitive about indications of possible deceit - and that hurt. It hurt both HIM and me. We didn't realize that it brought no trust, no intimacy, no bond. We both couldn't deal with it. We settled - for the kids sake and because we couldn't see the forest for the trees. This is where therapy can help. Second problem, I did not understand and could only wait for him to want to understand his issues. We were in no-mans land for a couple of years. Both hurting from lack of emotional intimacy, leading to deeper mistrust. Both getting more and more frustrated. I because I didn't get my needs met, no care about me and spending all my time proving that I was there for him - that I was lovable. My issue made my co-dependent. I waited for him to be able to love me/care about me. I handled everything - house, business, him. Waiting for him to deal with his CSA. Feeling that he again and again chose to "feel good himself" over me - also in the daily life. He feeling frustrated because why was everything not okay, why did he not feel loved and admired by me when he did sacrifice his entitlement for feel good through his acting out. He did not connect the effects of CSA with his adult behavior. It reflected is every little thing in our life. It just made us miserable.
It culminated of course. Lots of pain through these years and no answers, no healing.
All I can say is that in my experience, your hurt and your fears can not be healed or disappear by waiting for him to deal with his issues. By ignoring the wound. By concentrating on the infections (like whether gay or not). You will never be able to answer your questions or heal the wound. ONLY HE CAN. Listen to you self, go to therapy for YOU. Set boundaries and don't wait. He does not have the knowledge of natural boundaries for a healthy relationship. Try not to blame him for that. But show him your boundaries, and he might learn. Each person is a relationship is more important than the relationship itself. Support him as such as you have to give. Don't give yourself. At this site you can get lots of understanding for why he cannot be there for you. He is not hurting you on purpose. He is simple trying to survive himself using the tool he has. It is up to HIM to learn and use the tools to live, not just survive.
same for you. You will not live, just survive if you try to do the work for him. Take care of your self!! There is no logical answers. You can only gain understanding. Understanding can lead to acceptance and healing for you. He is not dealing from logic as long as he is in denial of the impact he causes. You can learn here to have compassion for him, get answers to satisfy YOU, not for him.
I wish you and your husband the best of luck with healing. There is lots of hope!