submission seven (7)

Your Age: 51 +

Length of Relationship : 21 years or more

How long ago did the betrayal occur?: It's been a while - over a year ago

How did you learn about it?: 

The first time was just shy of two years ago. My husband had been in the incognito screen on on our computer and left the window open. I sat down at the computer to do something and there it was a picture of a nude woman and an emails in a gmail account that he had set up to correspond with women he met online. We mishandled this incident and he said he was sorry and deleted everything. Unfortunately the worst was yet to come, about 5 months ago I found out he was involved with no fewer than 7 women. Most emotional online, at least 1 sexual, and who knows how many were what he calls "met for drinks".

Describe how you are feeling now, or how you felt when you found out.: 

Right now I'm feeling mad, sad, depressed and anxiety most days. My self esteem and confidence are at an all time low. I believe he may be going through a midlife crisis so he was very distant and had distanced himself from me and our marriage. We have been married for 33 year, he turned 60 in December and I will be 60 next month. I knew for quite awhile that something was going on with him and finally when confronted he only confessed to some of the affairs. A few weeks later, I was snooping on his laptop and discovered emails and pictures that he had lied to me about.

How have your normal habits changed (eating, sleeping, etc)?: 

I've lost 12 pounds. I have trouble sleeping and concentrating. Don't have much interest in doing things that I use to enjoy doing.

What are you using to cope with your emotions? Is it working for you?: 

I have had a few therapy sessions. We are in marrisge counseling right now. I'm a runner and find that keeping up with my regular schedule helps with the anxiety. I get more out of the marriage counseling sessions, my husband remains very defiant.

What are your next steps?: 

Try to rebuild the marriage and regain the trust. Right now, not sure this is going to happen, every thing I read says it will take time. I need to focus on myself, self care is really something that I need to work on.

What emotions have come up for you as you've been going through this? (select all that apply): Shock/Disbelif, Anger, Sadness, Alone, Betrayed, Devalued, Shame/Ashamed

What emotions are missing from the list?: 

Depressed, anxious, hopelessness.

What advice would you give to others in this situation?: 

Be nice to yourself, don't fault yourself. Infidelity is a choice my husband made, I acknowledge my role in our marriage problems, but he made the decision to have affairs.

What else would you like to share?: 

This has been the most painful and traumatic thing that I have ever been through. I've made some sense of it in counseling, but there is along way still to go. I struggle with the thoughts of divorce, but know that in the end it may be the only way to find a path to healing.