Deception and Affair
My wife and I have been married for over three years now. Early in our marriage, she was so loving towards me, and always talking about how no one has ever cared for her like I have. She also would say she didn't feel she deserved it. I would always tell her she did and all the things I loved about her.
All our friends thought we were this perfect couple. But about a year ago, she started to pull away. It was very slow at first, and she was just starting a new career, and I had been advancing in mine, so I chalked it up to new stress and branching out.
She is a make up artist, so she really needed to network and get her name out there, so she was going to a lot of parties. At first, I was always invited, but little by little, I started not hearing about them, or just getting a text saying "going out tonight".
She met a male photographer and the two of them started working together a ton. He was really plugged into the fashion scene, and she had been doing mostly bridal work and really wanted to get into that side of the business.
On her birthday, (4 months ago) we went out with some friends. Most of them were her new fashion friends, but there were several regular friends of both of our too. She normally really goes crazy for her birthday, so it was no surprise that she got really drunk. But as the night went on, I noticed her dirty dancing with the photographer.
The next day I confronted her about it, and let her know it really made me uncomfortable, as well as embarrassed. She said she was just trying to include him and I was over reacting.
Over the next many weeks, they were working together more and more, and always texting and talking on facebook. I was getting really suspicious, but I still trusted her. I explained to her how I was feeling, and told her I felt we were drifting apart and I was afraid she was starting an emotional affair with him. She assured me it was just in my head and they just work a lot together.
More weeks went by, and things between us were becoming horrible. She was never home, hardly spoke to me, and never showed any affection. We talked about it countless times and she always said we just needed to get away and have some time to ourselves. So we planned a trip to another city for mid September.
The weeks leading up to the trip continued to be strained. And I began spying on her facebook and texts. I could tell texts were being deleted, as she would be having a conversation, but when I looked later that night there would be no recent text history. My suspicions grew, and again I confronted her. She again, denied anything, but my trust was fading.
The night before our trip was very bad. She was super distant and we argued about something stupid (don't remember now). I went to bed and she stayed up late. I couldn't actually sleep, and I was lying awake, so I set up her facebook on my phone. She was talking to the photographer. They were talking about a diet she was trying to get him to do and just normal stuff, but I kept reading their conversation.
And then, about 3 am, it happened. He messaged her "Are you alone... Can you touch yourself?" I lost it. I had been right all this time. I stormed into the other room and confronted her. She told me that a few weeks ago after a party she was drunk and they kissed, and that they had been flirting ever since, but she hadn't slept with him. I nearly left that night. Sometimes I still think I should have.
We talked all night, and I somehow ended up counseling her for hours. She had been abused as a child, sexually, and she had been seeing our therapist by herself for a little while. She said she hates herself, and that she knew no one could love her like me, but that she didn't deserve love.
Eventually, we decided to go on the trip still. It was emotionally taxing. Some great moments, and some very dark ones.
When we got back, she had decided to move out to "get some space and find herself". We had gotten home late, and I told her not to go, that things would only fade between us and escalate with the photographer, but she said she didn't want that, she just needed to clear her head. She was packing her bags when my first kidney stone ever struck me, and she took me to the hospital, and home the next morning, but still left.
I was in severe pain from the kidney stone for about five days. I barely heard from her. During that time, I met with the photographer, and told him she was vulnerable and confused (which he knew, she had been confiding everything in him for months), and I told him to respect her and our marriage. If she wanted to be with him, she could divorce me and do so, but she needed to make a committed decision. He agreed to stay away from her.
A few days after that (still in kidney stone pain) I found out from the friend she was staying with (a friend of both of ours) that she was hanging out with the photographer that day. I managed to track them down and confronted them together at a pub. She claimed he was being respectful and trying to help. I didn't believe it, but she said she would run if I kept hounding her.
Over the next month, we barely spoke. Occasionally she would call and say she loved me, and she wanted us to work, but then I wouldn't here from her again. She left the friend she was staying with over some sort of fight, and moved in with her sister, but I heard from her sister she was staying out all night and rarely coming home. I knew she was sleeping with him. Several time that we spoke, I asked her to be honest, that I deserved it. She always said nothing was happening.
Then one night I was hanging out with some friends and ran into a friend of hers. We talked about my wife, and I could tell her friend had something to say, but was conflicted. I asked straight out if she was sleeping with him, and the friend told me yes.
I tried to call my wife, but she didn't answer. I tried to call him, and he wouldn't. I sent him some hateful and threatening texts. Then I went home, drunk off my ass, and stared at a bottle of pills for hours, debating whether to kill myself or not. I finally decided if the douche bag photographer got to live, I should too.
The next morning she called but I didn't pick up. She called a friend of mine who told her I knew. She raced over to the house and confessed. She cried and begged and apologized. She said she had wanted to prove to me how bad and ugly inside she was. She wanted to make me not love her. I told her I couldn't trust her, that she had broken me, and awoken a rage in me I thought I had moved past years ago, but that I still loved her. I told her she deserved better that the darkness she had created around herself.
She agreed to go to my counseling appointment with me the next day, and there, we agreed that she should move back home and we would try and work it out. My two conditions were that she never speak to him again, and that she had to make actionable effort to try and rebuild trust.
It has only been a few days since she moved back in. She has been sleeping in another room, which doesn't bug me too much. But every day she is finding something to do that will keep her out so we only have a hour or two in the evening together. Whenever we talk, we just talk about how broken we are, as individuals and a couple. She has lied to me at every turn, and now that she is back, she seems like she doesn't want to be here. Beyond that, she gets upset over everything I do. She was mad that I told my three closest friends about what was going on, even though she had told people she has known less than a year. She was downright pissed when I asked her to get an STI test. Tonight, I raced off work to try and have dinner with her and a friend, and she seemed upset I was there the whole time. When we got home, the only time she talked to me was to ask me to chase off the bums digging through our trash.
I feel completely alone in this. I don't think she is trying. I feel like she has no affection or empathy for me, but I know she still does for the photographer.
I feel sick everyday, and I can't stop picturing them together in my head. I can barely look at her most of the time. But still I hold her and tell her she is worth while. I tell her she deserves to be happy, and I still want to be with her.
I do love her. I will always love her. But I don't know if I can survive this. I don't know how to live anymore.
If you read all of this, thank you. I would welcome any advise or insight.