submission twenty-seven (27)

Your Age: 41-50

Length of Relationship : 11 - 20 years

How long ago did the betrayal occur?: Recently - less than 30 days

How did you learn about it?: 

This is going to be a long story. So if you read this, please feel free to comment with your thoughts or suggestions. 

We have been married for 5 years but have known each other for 13. When we met we were both at the end of really bad marriages. We became really close friends first even though we are completely opposite people and he is 17 years older than me. I never intended to be more than friends with him and never imagined that I would love him like I've never loved before. 
We have been through alot together and it made us stronger and closer. I couldn't ask for a better relationship. We never fight, we go everywhere together, and we tell each other everything (or so I thought). 
I have never been a jealous or prying person. If I thought someone was crossing the line I would tell him and let him handle it. 
My husband is a local truck driver. This allows us to talk on the phone all day which is nice. I used to drive a truck as well until some medical problems disabled me. 
One week ago, my husband came to me with his cell phone wanting to know how to send a picture to his buddy through text message (he's not real good at operating technology). He had the phone facing me so I touched the little plus button and his pictures came up to select. As they came up, he moved the phone so fast that I only caught a glimpse of what was there. I thought to myself, did I just see what I think I saw?. I didn't say anything to him about it but as we went to bed I decided that I would just look while he was in the shower the next morning. 
I was shocked and in disbelief. I wish now that I would have slowed myself down and just investigated more before saying anything. I found 2 pictures that he had taken recently. To anyone else they would look innocent but I know what my husband likes and is attracted to. The pictures didn't have her face in them. The camera was focused on the body parts he likes and she was wearing something that is a big turn on for him. 
While my stomach was turning and my whole body was shaking, I confronted him. He said it was innocent and they were just friends. He refused to tell me who she was. While I was seething with anger, he left to go to work. I didn't talk to him that day. 
While he was gone, I figured out who she was. I didn't know her name but I had seen her before. She works at the truck wash that he goes to once a week. He also parks his truck next door to it every night. 
I packed a bag to leave for at least the weekend. Later that night, I decided that it wasn't fair for me to have to leave. I have done nothing wrong. So I returned home. 
He said I was making a big deal out of nothing. They were just friends and he even called me a drama queen. I asked how long it's been going on and he said that he has been talking to her on the phone for the past 6 months. They never talked long, most conversations only lasted for less than 5 minutes but there are times that they talked for 45 minutes or so. What he didn't say was that he was calling her almost every day (even when he was at home). He would also call her several times a day. When I told him that I was going to go down there and let everyone know what was going on he got really angry and defensive. As his face turned red he told me that if I did that he would divorce me and "drag me through the mud" and take everything I have. I was stunned by his reaction. It turns out that she is the girlfriend of the owner of the truck wash.
I asked him alot of questions over the weekend. I told him that you don't have to have sex with someone to cheat. He used to tell me everything, who he talked to and what they said. I never asked, he would just tell me but he never told me about her. He maintained that they were just friends and he was sorry. He said he would stop calling her but he still has to go in there to get his truck washed. After all, it is where his company sends him. When I asked him why, he just said that he "got a kick" out of talking to her. He said there was nothing wrong with our relationship and that he was happy. 
During this whole situation he has been calm, distant, and unemotional. Even as I sat across from him crying my eyes out, he just ignored me. I have never felt so alone in my life. The only time he showed any emotion was when I said that I was going to go confront her. 
I still have the feeling that something more is going on. He lied about how long he has been talking to her. I haven't found the exact date that it started but I know it's been for more than a year. He's tried to downplay her saying that she is dingy and has had drug problems. If that's really the case then why would he be talking to her and keeping it a secret on top of that?
We've gotten to the point that he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. He is carrying on like nothing has happened. I can't stop thinking about it because I can't shake the feeling that there is more to it.
Don't get me wrong, I never had a problem with him being friends with the opposite sex. I know about a couple of girls he is friends with and I have no problem or question about it. This is different. He never said a word about her and even hid it. He knew what he was doing was wrong.

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

I am still sad and it hurts because he violated our relationship. I'm angry that I gave all of me and invested everything in a relationship that I didn't intend to happen and told myself not to get into in the first place. I'm confused because I don't have real answers and I don't know what to do from here.

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

I'm not eating or sleeping much. My stomach is in knots.

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

At this point I don't know what to do. I feel stuck. I can't really focus and my head feels like it's going to explode.

What are your next steps?: 

Right now all I can do is sit back and watch. I'm aware now. Anything else that he has done will come out. I'm trying to put a plan in place in case I have to leave but it's difficult. I have a limited income and don't have any real friends or family that could help.

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

What emotions are missing from the list?: Hopelessness and frustration

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

Don't ever let someone think that just because they say nothing physically happened that it's not cheating. The connection and bond is being built. The attraction and intentions are clear to me.

What else would you like to share?: