Dear Ms. Vicki,
After years of my husband accusing me of cheating, I found out two days ago that he has been cheating on me throughout our five-year marriage.
At this point, I can guess that he was probably cheating on me even before we were married, but I was in denial. I have been reading your columns since we first got married. I always believed you when you said that couples can survive cheating scandals, but I don't know about this one because it just hurts so badly.
You see, my husband didn't sign off of his Facebook and email account. I wasn't snooping, which is also something that you said couples shouldn't do, but the direct message was right there in my face on his Facebook account.
He has even taken vacations with this woman when I thought he was away for military training. This is the woman who he has obviously been involved with throughout our marriage.
On his email accounts, I also found emails from women he has randomly hooked up with during the past few months. I am shocked and amazed at his deceit and the fact that I have so blindly trusted him.
He knew that I had discovered his mess because he started acting very nervous and asked me, "What's wrong with you?" I told him what I had found.
Long story short, he blamed me for his cheating. I have gained weight since having our two children, and he said I'm not sexy enough, I don't do this and I don't do that. He said he's bored and that I need to step up my game.
I asked "Or else what?" but he wouldn't answer. Now I don't know what to do. I almost regret that I discovered the truth. I've been blindsided by it, and now I don't know what to do.
I would say that your marriage is at a very critical point and may be near ending. You discovered that your husband has been having numerous affairs, even casual hookups, and now you say that you regret discovering that he's been cheating on you.
This is very interesting, but I bet I know why you feel this way: You probably feel that things would be different if you were thinner, if you were prettier, if you were more available. If, if, if ...
However, this is not true. In my opinion, you married a cheater and a jerk. It's one thing to cheat, but not accepting responsibility for his actions says something totally different about your husband's character.
Cheating is not good, but many people do get caught up in affairs. I have witnessed numerous marriages survive cheating scandals, hookups, etc. and emerge stronger. This happens when the cheater accepts responsibility, and when they are truthful about their actions and don't blame their partner.
I greatly recommend counseling for couples in crisis because of infidelity, and I do think both partners should explore the role they have played in the affair. However, blaming you totally is irresponsible on his part.
I'm glad you discovered his behavior. You have decisions to make, but you can't go back to pretending like this never happened. My quick suggestion is marriage therapy. You can check on base for services. If none are available, then I would contact Military OneSource and they will connect you with a therapist in your local community.
If your husband refuses therapy, I would still suggest that you attend alone because you can gain insight and use the support. You may not be able to make a decision now, but you will be able to with the help of a therapist. Keep in touch with me, and let me know what you decide to do.
-- Ms. Vicki