I have posted before about my husband’s secret friendships, secret e-mails, and years of lying, which I’ve only discovered the extent of in the last two years. Our marriage has also included years of what I consider verbal and emotional abuse, and emotional blackmail, in that he was taking our disagreements to all his friends and co-workers and coming back to tell me how horrible they and all his family think I am, to the point I was afraid to object to anything he did, or have an opinion about anything.
So… that’s the extremely short version. Up until two years ago, I did a lot of praying for my marriage, novena after novena, weekly fasting, perpetual adoration, the works. Two years ago, I exploded, quit praying for a year, and started digging and found out things were even worse than I knew. (That’s when I started discovering the secret friendships.) I kicked up a huge stink, and it’s been two years of on again-off again fighting.
Over the last year, he has ‘progressed’ to admitting that he has ‘screwed up’ – but never admits to anything specific. On any individual issue, he really admits nothing more than a vague, “It was inappropriate,” which is eventually followed by asking, “What have I actually DONE?” I tell him specifically, and he shrugs it all off (the verbal abuse? “I didn’t do it every day, did I?” He has a reason why none of it is really that big a deal, or else he just doesn’t answer.)
The current situation is, he now treats me like a queen, making me breakfast, making me ice cream drinks, helping around the house, taking the kids out so I can pursue my hobbies, buying me little gifts. He says he’s cut off contact with all these women, but I have no proof and know only too well he’s capable of lying about it, and even convincing himself it’s harmless. He says his behavior is his way of apologizing and showing he cares about my feelings.
And yet he as often as not denies he actually did anything that should upset me. He refuses to address the lying or any other issue in our marriage without just explaining how I’m mistaken about it all. I have told him I want the friendly e-mails one of these women got, and it’s become painfully obvious he won’t take the time to send me e-mails from work as he did her. We’ve been to Retrouvaille (he walked out on me at a post-session because I felt hopeless in a marriage that at the time still included two other women) and we’ve seen two marriage counselors, both of whom refused to deal with his lying and pressed me to simply ignore the lies and ‘choose to trust.’ (I’ve done that repeatedly and been shown to be a gullible fool each time.) His complaint is that he feels he’s under suspicion all the time and doesn’t seem to GET why lying to me about serious issues for most of our marriage should make me so darn suspicious! :eek: He really can’t tell me why he wants to stay married, leading me to feel this is all a big act to save himself the trouble of divorce, rather than any real concern for me.
All these gifts and the queen treatment-- I am torn between thinking they are the best he can do, that perhaps he DOES recognize how poorly he’s behaved, and is too ashamed to admit it, versus thinking he’s just snowing me again so I don’t ask questions. He’s been kind and thoughtful at other times, and it turns out during those times he was having secret e-mails with one of these women, running me down.
Any thoughts of advice from those who can perhaps see it more objectively?