Vomiting thoughts

Sammyjo

Member
Dear @Sammyjo , I reread your whole thread again. I knew it would be painful. I am not out of solutions for you but obviously your husband has to pick up the baton. Only he can do this. Tell him you KNOW it works. It is amazing. I feel different and I am different and your husband can be there too. @Sammyjo this may be your big chance, I am envious if so.
He does need to to better and more. He's a tough nut though. As I've said, he is reluctant to go for help with this...he is a very strong minded person who has overcome many battles on his own and believes this is what works best for him. I am not confident he will succeed on this one without help (which of course doesn't help with my trust issues). I am (sort of) mentally prepared for a relapse. If this happens ultimatums will be placed in front of him - or not - depending on if he is truthful or deceitful. If truthful it will be ultimatums, if he hides stuff again I will most likely walk. Time will tell and we will see. 😐
 

Gracie

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My husband and I went through similar things. I was talking to him in a restaurant at a hotel and he was not responding. I looked his gaze was fixed. A young woman 20s was walking away from her group. It was a getaway for us. We blew up once in the room and I layer it out. No more of that. He watched butts. All the time. Long hair mine is short. He had to quit looking. I was sooo hyper vigilant. At 60, I was no match and these were the ages of porn people. He did stop eventually. I told him every time I saw. It was a deal breaker for me. BTW I am now 70. But look 50. No wrinkles. But not 20 either. As a result of the looking though, there are still times I do not trust his compliments.
 

Sammyjo

Member
My husband and I went through similar things. I was talking to him in a restaurant at a hotel and he was not responding. I looked his gaze was fixed. A young woman 20s was walking away from her group. It was a getaway for us. We blew up once in the room and I layer it out. No more of that. He watched butts. All the time. Long hair mine is short. He had to quit looking. I was sooo hyper vigilant. At 60, I was no match and these were the ages of porn people. He did stop eventually. I told him every time I saw. It was a deal breaker for me. BTW I am now 70. But look 50. No wrinkles. But not 20 either. As a result of the looking though, there are still times I do not trust his compliments.
Well now you have to share how you made it to 70 without wrinkles!

My husband is (was?) a watcher as well. He is making a huge effort to stop. It should mean something to me but all I can think is "why is it such an effort???". It's literally absurd to me that not looking or checking someone out can be hard to control. But I also get that I'm not quite like the other kids on the playground. I stopped looking when we got married. Don't get me wrong, I'm not praising myself for it, I just stopped looking - didn't have to try, rather it was just a natural thing that happened to me. That's why it's SO foreign that it would be hard to stop.

As for compliments.....sigh. I need to hear them - if he doesn't compliment me I worry more, but when he does I don't believe him. No win situation either of us. For now I'm TRYING to remember that he is putting effort in. For now that means something to me - but if there are more lies or omissions...well...you know.

Ya know what pisses me off the most? As I read what I've written I sound so pathetic an needy! WTF happened to me?! I DON'T WANT TO BE THIS PERSON!

Is there some option I am missing between being needy and walking out the door?
 

Gracie

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Well 70 no wrinkles is all genes! I am lucky. I was same as you. Once married no looking around. It takes time. But when I held him responsible for looking I felt better. I told him it was disrespectful to me and our marriage. I also told him he was a good liar and all this he brought in was done sneakily. I was never going to be ambushed again. My blind 100% trust was gone. And no matter how long we would be together, it would never be that again. I trust him now, but I always watch. Because now I know it could happen.
 

Sammyjo

Member
HI Gracie, thanks for checking in. One day at a time. He still says he's done with P, and I am less frequently a shit show. I go from believing him to not believing, forgiving to having some memory trigger anger.

Still having trouble getting dressed every day. I can't seem to find anything I feel good in anymore. I only see every flaw I have...and truthfully for my age I look great. ("For my age" Man I Hate That!) I weigh the same as when we got married but my knees...well...He has always said he loves my legs, and I loved rockin' a mini dress or skirt for him and now I feel like I need to hide my legs because of the crepey knees.

We have a special event this weekend and I went out a bought a new dress that I feel ok in...hides the flaws...but I don't feel sexy in it, and I really miss looking sexy.😒 Maybe one of the men here could chime in on this....Rock the mini or hide the skin?

In other news...For the last 10 years I have not fully believed him because of a combination of gut feeling (which is 99.9% accurate) and his inability or lack of desire in the bedroom. He convinced me my gut was wrong. I remember being on a trip and hearing the Elvis song "Suspicious Minds" and he made a comment about that's how my mind works...I heard the song last night and got SO PISSED because I was right on with my suspicions and he had the gall to make me feel bad about it while he was hiding stuff.

I also am now struggling with the fact that he has a photographic memory....don't think I need to explain that one, and not a damn thing he or I can do about that. I mean he can choose to not picture things, but how would I ever know?

Overall, I would say I and we are doing better. His patience with my triggers is helpful. Historically he would have a huge problem with me not letting things go, so it says a lot to me that he is being so patient.

We had a talk the other day and he said "it's different this time because I understand how you feel, last time I didn't and I just slid back into it, this time it would have to be a conscious choice". I thought about that for a while and then told him the fact that it would have to be a "conscious choice" somehow made me feel better. (Maybe because if he makes that conscious choice it makes my choice that follows easier.)

Guess I probably gave you more than you bargained for there!

How are you doing?
 
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GBS

Active Member
I am going to weigh in on the wardrobe thing. The answer is wear the mini. Never has an answer been clearer. You say you won’t feel sexy in it. I am going to guess your husband will think you look sexy in it. There’s the issue right there. Very tough for you, but clear as day to we men. Good luck.
 

Gracie

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I am doing well. On vacation. So here is how the past shows up. It is hot and humid where we are. Sweat down your back hot. When we first went through this whole thing, I had surgery the year before and literally did not have the strength to put on make up for work then had frozen shoulder. Upon discovery and subsequent talks he said he wished I would wear make up more often. Well by god, I wore make up even when doing yard work! It has calmed for me a lot. But we got ready to go somewhere and I asked “is it okay to go without make up today?” Anywho. If you feel uncomfortable in mini, perhaps wear nylons or sheer footless tights. That will smooth the crepe. I wear patterned hose all the time. With shorter skirts! And his memory, if you are intimate, what I did was we had eyes 👀 open for a long time. It worked.
 

Sammyjo

Member
Thank you for your sharing your opinion @GBS

Gracie- I'm not sure why I didn't think about the eyes open and the memory connection - we are doing eyes open so I THINK I can take the photographic memory thing off my stress list! And I will give the sheer nylons a shot - been a LONG time since I bothered with those uncomfortable things!

Funny about the make-up, I used to put it on almost everyday, then for quite a while after finding out I was in a bit of a F-U mood and would go without makeup frequently, as if to say Yup THIS IS what it looks like to be my age! Now I'm kinda half and half. I've been using a self tanner on my face to even out skin tone with reduces the need for foundation. So I usually just do up my eyes a bit, but if we are going out I do the full deal.

I also want to take a minute to clear something up and extend an apology - when I wrote my opening post I didn't want to be too identifiable to my husband if he were to end up on the forum and read it. In that post I said I am 50ish, truth is I'm halfway to 57, and we have been married almost 33 years, not 29. I was doing what I needed to do at the time. I know it may seem like just a small detail, but I really hate dishonesty and it's been nagging at me ever since so it was important to me to fix it. My sincere apology for not being 100%.

I hope you have a great vacation! And thank you AGAIN for the ear and advice!
 

Gracie

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Your welcome! And no apology needed for changing details. But I understand about being truthful. That is why some of my posts about my experiences going through this are difficult for some to read. I wanted to write the raw emotion I felt. Because I felt it was common and so surprisingly overwhelming.
 

Sammyjo

Member
That moment when you finally find an outfit you feel great in.......

I put on a cute short-ish sundress, looked in the mirror and was like "WOW! I'd do me!" Husband came down from work (preoccupied with work as usual - not a commentary, just a fact). Eat dinner, chat for a bit, quick run to the store, sit down to watch tv...zero acknowledgement of how I look, not even a lingering look or sideways glance, but I was maintaining confidence. Then there was a woman on the show we were watching and he says "she looks familiar", so of course we went to IMDB to see what else we may have seen her in...nothing. So I googled her and where is she from? Pornhub. "CLASSIC" were my only words. Then I curled up and covered my legs with my sundress feeling completely defeated. Zero conversation about it. Headed up to bed and he said "by the way, you look cute in that dress" - at that point the words were barely appreciated, but appreciated a bit.

On a positive note, at least his photographic memory didn't recognize her right off the bat.

On another positive note we talked about it this morning. He had asked me if I was still mad from last night. I said I wasn't mad, just frustrated. Re-explained how getting dressed and feeling good about myself is a challenge and then related it to what happened last night.

He RARELY make advances towards me since my finding out - he says it's because he can't tell where I am with it. So during our conversation this morning I added I miss being "intimate" but that I can't make advances because I need to know that HE is the one that wants me.

Then he just stared at me and I at him. He said "are we having a staring contest now?" I said "It's your turn to talk. I say what I have to say and you leave me wondering what is going on in your head".

I get very frustrated that it's like pulling teeth talking with him. He let's me talk and then I have to practically badger him to get his thoughts.

Anyway, he finally explained that he did notice how I looked as soon as he came down, but work this and work that (all the stuff he has to get done - which I understand) that he didn't think to say anything until bed time. Then he said "maybe I should just say it when I see it and then grab my computer and do my work". I said that's a good plan. And it is a good plan. A better plan would be to wrap me up in his arms, kiss my neck and say "Here's my beautiful wife!" Maybe a quick kiss and then add "I'm sorry, I have to work in front of the TV again tonight". (Just want to be clear, he brings his computer down and works on it in front of the tv with me, he's not sneaking off and replacing me with the computer like he used to.)
 

Sammyjo

Member
Well! We were heading out for a walk at lunch. I asked him something (can't recall what) but his reply was "I don't know, I was too busy looking at your butt"

May sound silly but it made my day!
 

Gracie

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Woo hoo! Good progress! I felt the same way, he needed to start things because I needed to know and hear he wanted me. Hopefully this continues!
 

Sammyjo

Member
Good conversation over on @GBS journal prompting me to write here. Sorry, this got really long, I hope you can read it all...

In reference to partners not getting back to "normal" quickly enough (paraphrasing here) @joepanic said
Would that be the "price" you are paying or is it punishment. Yes you have hurt her or frustrated her or whatever but now I guess it's your turn. I just never figured 2 wrongs will make a right,
My partial response was
I would guess this is how my husband feels. He has told me that he "understands" how I feel about it but he doesn't see it as cheating. (I'm going to write more about this on my thread so as not to hijack GBS's journal)
A couple weeks ago my husband was running low on patience and I asked one too many questions prompting him to say what he really feels...it was something like "I've been thinking about it, and if you told your friends your were leaving me because I was looking at porn they would laugh at you" (by the way, me leaving had NOT been part of the conversation.)

He's probably right. It definitely made him feel better to say this to me, and he had an "I Win" look on his face. It crushed me. I felt as though "him being right" was the goal rather then fixing the damage. It made me question his sincerity regarding all of this. I didn't respond, but a very large check mark ended up in the "Don't Trust Him" column and all the "Trust Him" check marks he has accumulated are barely visible and at high risk of being erased. (And boy, if he put half the thought into fixing us rather than being right...just wow!)

Back to his comment - I would have to explain to my friends about the addiction and the deep dark turns it often leads to. I would have to delve into our private life and tell them all the things I did to keep him interested in us (I would venture to say that any man not addicted to porn would have felt extremely lucky to have a wife as attentive as I was). I would have to explain what a fool I felt like for putting on sexy lingerie and dancing in the kitchen, and for sending pics when he traveled etc. - how ridiculous I must've looked to him compared to the 19 y.o's he was looking at for hours on end on a daily basis, that he would view P up in his office before coming down to be intimate with me🤮.....OR I could just say He's been lying to me for most of our marriage - possibly our entire marriage and now I can't trust anything he says or does.

I am back on full alert, mentally questioning everything. But he got his win!

So, I guess I would answer JP's question with a question - aren't we both paying the price and being punished for his choices? As I said on the other thread, the fear that remains now causes me to need consistent reassurance. It is not a punishment, but rather the situation has left me ridiculously needy (and I HATE that! In my mind needy is ugly and frankly the last thing I need right now is to feel uglier.)

@Gracie said
I think something else that holds us back as partners when trying to recover our marriage is the mind comparison we have. We women are taught if we do everything right: Stay slim, stay young, give our man whatever he wants in bed, take care of the kids he won’t watch porn or cheat. Ie be the perfect wife. And then this surprise hits us or we realize the watching has affected our intimacy with our husband. Either way the head thought is we failed. Then it sinks in who was chosen over us. Young ones. We are not young any longer. Society teaches women we should be a 19 yr old “10” our entire life. Using make up, plastic surgery or whatever. And men are taught they should have that “10” in bed with them there entire life. However it is not possible for women to be that. So we think that was what you chose so that is what you want us to be. And we know we can’t. So we feel second choice to pictures. Pixels. You weren’t choosing us before, why now? Yes sex gets shoved at men in ads movies and shows every day. But why are we not chosen?
Well said, and so true, and a truth we can not change.

Prior to finding out I was flipping through channels and saw a quick clip of (I think it was) Calvin Klein speaking about how sex sells. How he knowingly used a young Brooke Shields because sex sells. I wish I could find it to post. He was so "flip" about it. It angered me so I changed the channel.

I guess it's normal that people want to look - but isn't also normal for people to want to feel safe, secure, love and respected by their spouse? Does the addicted spouse realize that the result of their choices was that they completely removed all of our sense of safety, security respect and love? Can they truly understand that the deceit and lies make us wonder if we ever really knew them at all? Can they take a step back and truly FEEL what it would be like to have all of that yanked out of your life?

I can tell you my husband can't. He says he understands that I feel like it is cheating, but he does not see it that way. If he can't see it than he certainly can't feel it. Honestly, I believe if he read this he would be angered by the picture it paints of him rather than be concerned about any pain I feel.

One last thing - And maybe the most important (to me) - This is what my husband is doing to fix us, he is (supposedly) not looking at P and he is trying hard to be patient with me - OH - he did read Love You Hate the Porn, but felt like what he had engaged in was less extreme than the examples in the book so it didn't really apply to him (I'll save the commentary:rolleyes:)

No counseling (he thinks it's all a crock and for weak people, not to mention too busy), no forums (he's too private), he is tired of talking about it and us, and he doesn't go out of his way to make me feel like he really loves me (he says that it's because he's not sure where I'm at and I tell him I need that from him). The only thing I have gotten from him as far as being more attentive is a bouquet of flowers (early on, so I was way too pissed to enjoy them) and a "nice butt". In his mind, (supposedly) not looking at P and being patient should be enough. (To be fair, patience is not an easy thing for him.)

I think if someone else wrote this and I was reading it I would believe their marriage doesn't stand a chance and the husband has checked out, and is probably still using P. I hope I am wrong.
 
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I may not be qualified to say anything here so forgive me if I am speaking out of turn.

@Sammyjo I would like to take a moment and agree with you about P usage being a form of cheating. In my opinion, it is. Cheating is when one partner in a relationship breaks the agreement, implied or explicit, that each person in the relationship will only find their sexual gratification in the other. Your husband seems to have sequestered cheating to a specific set of acts that does not include P. But I don't feel like I need to tell you that.

I think we all know intuitively that P is a form of cheating. The thought that I had about this is that his unwillingness to call P usage cheating may be linked to a vision he has of himself: he is not a cheater. Cheaters sleep around. He is not a cheater. Cheaters find relational value in another human while they are sleeping with them. That is why the response in Hollywood depictions of cheating by the cheater is so often: "But they didn't mean anything to me!" That character has a sequestered view of the nature of cheating. Or at the very least, is trying to create one to defuse the situation.

But if your husband was able to admit that he was, in fact, a cheater, if only in a certain way, he would have to acknowledge something about himself that would change his vision of who he thinks he is.

Protecting our own vision of ourselves is a natural response to the world around us. Having a durable sense of who you are as a person is a healthy trait... Most of the time. But in cases like this, this natural and useful tendency might be preventing healing or progress.

Again, take this with a grain of salt and forgive me if I am out of line in saying this.

I wish you the best in this hard time.
 

Sammyjo

Member
The thought that I had about this is that his unwillingness to call P usage cheating may be linked to a vision he has of himself: he is not a cheater. Cheaters sleep around. He is not a cheater.

But if your husband was able to admit that he was, in fact, a cheater, if only in a certain way, he would have to acknowledge something about himself that would change his vision of who he thinks he is.

Protecting our own vision of ourselves is a natural response to the world around us. Having a durable sense of who you are as a person is a healthy trait... Most of the time. But in cases like this, this natural and useful tendency might be preventing healing or progress.
You hit the nail on the head! He has worked hard his entire life to maintain a reputation of integrity.

He has been saying he "owns what he did", he's listened to me cry and answered many questions...But when I ask a question that challenges "who he is", that is when he fires back. One day it was "I'm NOT A BAD PERSON! I didn't put our finances at risk, I didn't put your health at risk, I didn't cheat on you! I didn't kill anyone! I'M NOT A BAD PERSON!"

I never have called him a bad person, or anything else derogatory for that matter (well, not where he could hear me anyway😉), I have actually never labeled the situation other than saying it felt like he had been cheating on me for all these years.

So THANK YOU for your input! And, I do believe his inability to truly "own" what he did is preventing healing for both of us.
 

Sammyjo

Member
That moment when your husband returns from a 4 day trip, you've been sucking face and having sex, he get's covid and then you find dick pics on his phone. Literally can't leave because I am contagious. (At least it isn't monkey pox)

So here's the deal...several weeks after he "stopped" P, I told him he seemed "girthier". Fast forward to this morning - he SWEARS he was on the phone with me (early am chat) and had woken up with morning wood. Because I had said he was girthier he decided to take pics. Funny thing, we didn't talk on the phone that morning, and I had texted him 10 minutes after the pics were taken, and we ONLY texted that morning. He said something like "I associate talking with you and morning wood, I must just be remembering it wrong" He was adamant that he was telling the truth. I walked away shaking. Haven't spoken for the rest of the day other than to make sure he's still breathing. Brought him some mucinex, advil and a jug of water, offered to cook.

After reading Love You Hate the Porn I had thought it best that we keep this issue between ourselves. I need to bawl my eyes out. I need to talk to a friend and get a hug. I want to send my best friend a note that says "that moment when you are stuck in the house with your husband for 10 days and you find..." and send the dick pic.

Best part is he said he would never use his work computer/phone for porn for fear of getting caught (at work)...but he'd take a dick pic???!!! Was this his botty call calling card???

I know him all too well and all too little. There's a part of me that believes what he's saying, and the part that says don't be stupid AGAIN.

He will say "I told you you couldn't let this go...I'm telling the truth" (implying that my not letting "it" go is the cause of the demise of the marriage)

My mind is so blown. On all fronts (except our marriage) he is THE MOST trustworthy person I know.

It would be great if he would be a man and tell me what I actually did to deserve this. (Because he actually can't tell me I did anything to deserve this and this is ALL on him and he needs to face that.) He is funny - at work he will do anything to solve a problem, but when it comes to us he is a defeatist. (Once again, I re-read and know what advice I'd give to a person in a similar situation.)

So here I sit, heart smashed again, and I literally can't leave.

Jesus take the wheel!!!
 
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Sammyjo

Member
So he just came downstairs and asked if I was coming to bed. (HUGE deal after not talking all day - I always have to be the ice breaker and at this point I don't have it in me anymore) I said no. He asked if I was afraid of getting covid and I said no. He looked at me cluelessly. I said you really don't know why? He said no (playing clueless and cute) and I looked back at the computer screen.

Finally he said "I get it". (That's another HUGE deal for him) He went on to say he understands why this is a set back for me. He said he knows how bad he messed up and how this looks, and once again swore the dick pic wasn't what it looked like. I asked him what he thought was going through my head about it. He said he didn't know. I looked away in disbelief and then he said "you think I sent it to someone". I said yes, that or it was a booty call pic.

Then I talked quite a bit. Unloaded (pretty calmly) how YEARS ago when he got Facetime requests from whore looking women and he said he had NO IDEA why, and all the things that happened YEARS ago that were so bad I thought he was (not sure how to distinguish this at this point, but) "literally" cheating, that he's lied for X years (apparently X is in constant flux) - I told him there's a part of me that believes him and my brain tells me not to be stupid again. Told him the pertinent parts of the above post. He listened and as usual had no response (although seemed like he was really taking it all in). It would be helpful if he would do more talking.

I asked about taking dick pics on a work device and he said it was ok because he deleted them immediately. I said "if I can find it they can find it" and he said "I'm not the brightest bulb". (Also, what else has he deleted?)

Actually, he is brilliant. (No sarcasm, he is brilliant)

Heading to the couch. I so badly want to go to the covid bed, but I really feel I am being jerked around and I simply can't/won't take it anymore.

HEY! I have 10 days to get him to watch the video's Gracie posted! Maybe this covid thing is not so bad after all!

EDIT: As I re-read this I see why he would think I can't let things go. The reality is because I can't, and the reason I can't is that I don't have the truth. So many questions in the past were answered with "I don't know" or "it wasn't like that" etc.

He has turned from a trustworthy man I knew inside and out into a complete puzzle. I am one that needs to put the puzzle pieces together so I can clearly see what is/was going on.
 
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