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So Sick Of This Lying Crap He Puts On Me

Question:

My husband had an affair on me for three years with my so called best friend. He claims the affair has stopped, and she lives 3 hours away now. However, I have a hard time trusting him as he still acts sneaky. He is in therapy and has been for 3 months now. His problem is masturbation. I came home from work one night only to find him trying to cover up the fact that he masturbated while looking at porn on the computer. This is something he is extremely ashamed of as he always says "I don’t do that" when in fact now he says he has a severe problem with it. This past summer, we were at my brothers house when he had excused himself to go into the bathroom…come to find out he was looking at porn…I caught him, he lied about it, but after "nailing the issue" he admitted 2 days later. After yelling and screaming. The fact is I hate nailing him or anybody on that matter but he does not tell me the truth. I have tried to keep this marriage together for the past three years, Yes, he has made changes in the fact that he now is working and trying to complete school, and does not seem so emotionally numb to me anymore. However, I am getting so sick of this lying crap he puts on me. The only time he ever lies in when I nail him for days, put myself through a living hell and then after the emotional roller coaster, he admits it, says he’s sorry and will "never do it again". I am beginning to think that I am working only to get out of this relationship of 10 years because of all the lies and pain he has put me and our 8 year old boy through. I never imagined my marriage to be like this. He did not tell me the kind of person he was and hid it very well from me 3 years prior to our marriage. I can’t just walk away though, and if i did now, at least i have tried. The thing is…every possession is in his parents name and we have a child with severe MR. Thanks for your input

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Answer:

The foundation of healthy marriages, and indeed of any successful partnership, has to be trust between the partners. In your case, that trust is very damaged by multiple actions your husband has taken. He has cheated on you, and he lies to you. He continues to lie to you well after you know he is lying, and it takes you getting in his face for an extended period of time, something that is very costly for you in terms of energy and respect, before he will relent and admit he is lying. This is an objectively bad situation, and one that it is quite understandably troubling.

Your husband sounds troubled and stuck in his destructive ways, but it does sound like some of the crises you’ve been through together have penetrated; that he’s not a complete sociopath; that he’s trying to come around. You report that he is acting more responsibly lately (is working, is pursuing his education, is slightly more emotionally open than he has been), and we should give credit where credit is due. He’s trying. Not all husbands are capable of this movement, limited though it is. The question is, however, is this movement too little too late? Could it be enough?

The question of whether you want to continue in this marriage has gotten tangled up with the question of whether you can make it on your own independently of your husband. I think these questions will not be solvable until you consider them independently of one another. It is not the case that the simple matter of not being able to support yourself independently right now needs to stop you from leaving a bad marriage in the future. It does not sound like your life is in jeopardy from domestic violence; you can hang out for a while. If you really need to leave, you can take some time to figure out how you will support yourself, work towards that goal, and then leave when you are able to make that work for you and your child. You may wish to consult with a divorce attorney who can advise you on matters of child support (if there is any income your husband is producing that would apply), and with a social worker or similar professional who can advise you on what resources are available in the community to help you provide for yourself and your special needs son. As the property is in your husband’s family name, you can’t expect to take much of it with you. Making your way on your own with what resources you can find for yourself will be part of the price of your freedom to make a new life. Your willingness to be less comfortable than you are now will be part of the way you can measure your true desire to leave.

It can be extremely difficult to make a decision to leave a marriage or committed relationship. It is especially so when there is a special needs child who will be impacted by the separation. While there is a part of me that wishes to see a person in your situation find happiness, I also want to acknowledge that it can be an honorable choice to make to stay in the marriage, flawed though it is, and try to make it work as best you can. If you do that, however, do it with your eyes open as a choice you are making after considering the options available to you. Don’t make that decision simply because you are afraid of the unknown.

Counseling would help, I think. Someone for you to talk these issues through with. It sounds like it would be a very good idea to see if you and your husband would benefit from marriage counseling as well. Troubled though he is, it does sound like he values the marriage. He may continue to improve as a partner and human being even if he will never be prince charming. If your resources are limited, I would recommend starting with marriage counseling, as how such counseling goes may change your attitude about the marriage going forward.

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