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Where Do I Go From Here?

So I guess this is where I start.
My husband and I have been together for 7 1/2 years and married for 5 of those years. When we met we were both in the military and doing well in our careers. Our entire relationship started off as a lie, but I found out about most of it later. I discovered when we started dating that he was actually in a relationship with someone else. The next time she came up to visit (about a month after we started fooling around) he broke up with her. I knew nothing about her until she came to visit. I broke it off there, and a few months later he came back asking if we could start over, and we did. Through many deployments (mine and his) we built a long distance relationship and friendship. I found out during my second deployment, 8 months after we got married, that we were expecting a baby....and that he had cheated on me while I was out of the country (all of 3wks). I found out while at a doctor's appointment because he had given me a "special gift" that she had given him. Devastated, completely destroyed, and pregnant, I didn't know what to do. He asked me to forgive him and give him the opportunity to change his ways and be the husband and father that our family deserved. With the promise of a new life and a fresh start, we worked through it. A year later he confessed to me that there was more than one affair during my deployment. I don't know why I stayed after that. Throughout the rest of our marriage I found naked pictures of other women, naked pictures of himself to other women, questionable conversations between him and other women on text messages, e-mails, and facebook on a regular and consistent basis. And yet I stayed, every time, believing every lie and every excuse he threw at me. However, I turned into an angry b*tch when every time I found something new that was questionable. He blamed his cheating on me because I didn't trust him to do anything, yet I felt everything he did revolved around the attention he could get from any other woman but me. Every conversation with a woman, I got suspicious. Every time he went out and didn't want me to come, I got suspicious. I finally started going to counseling and we went together, but that did nothing for us...mainly because he didn't believe in it.
I got out of the military for our family, perhaps this would help lessen the stress. No luck, things seemed to get worse with my career change.
December 2012 he woke up one morning and told me he wasn't happy and something had to change. This has led to our separation. He moved out and now we split custody of our child 50/50.
I am an intelligent, prosperous, attractive and strong woman. I have been on the front lines of battlefields and have survived so much more than this should be. However, I am finding myself devastated. I don't know how to reach out and talk to anyone about what I am going through anymore, because the friends I have are all mutual friends. I feel like when I do talk about it they all really don't care, or don't understand the pain I am going through. To everyone it's simple - he cheated, and continued to cheat, I am better off without him. And in my rational mind, I know this. My heart is completely and utterly broken and all I want to do is find the courage to move on and leave him behind. I don't know how to start.
SteppingFwd SteppingFwd 26-30, F 3 Responses Feb 18, 2013

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I am going through the same thing. My husband has just deployed and I just found out he has been living a double life. I am devastated. I don't even know where to start to heal or whom I can talk with. I am sorry for what you are going through. We can talk to each other if you would like. I feel helpless at the moment. I have not spoken with him. He will not communicate with me.

That sounds like it's a really hard situation to be in. My husband is in the military as well. We aren't separated but we do sleep in separate beds often. I found out after we were married that he had a long standing addiction to morn that stemmed from before the 5 years that we dated. I didn't have the financial stability or support system required to leave. No one takes **** seriously so I wouldn't have had anyone to turn to. It's good that you have the money there. We can always find excuses to stay, can't we, though? Do you think possibly your husband has a sex addiction? If so you can find support from people who actually understand at http://www.slaafws.org/ Also even though I am not a part of a sexless marriage I have found the relationship incites on the board "I live in a sexless marriage" astounding. It seems like we all share a lack of intimacy that all these things are just symptoms of.

Two kids and years later I am still unhappy with the marriage. But I am seeing small improvements now and feel like I'm on to a better path. See the trick is believing in yourself. What he's done to you has surely affected your self esteem. How could it not? But you can spend time on yourself and making yourself happier. Sometimes people think that what you don't know can't hurt you. But all the time he is out there with other people he is not building up your relationships, your assets, your self esteem, or even his own happiness. And repeatedly finding out how you've been betrayed can actually leave you with a form of post traumatic stress disorder which makes it even harder to hurdle out. What he's doing is damaging to your mental health.

Separating yourself emotionally is really hard. But you need to focus on making yourself happy, because lord knows he's not going to do it. Take the focus off of him and put it where it is truly needed. What do you want to make you happy now? Have you asked for it? Have you expressed yourself to the fullest? Lord knows bottling up all the pain you've been feeling is going to make things worse. I've been telling my husband in detail about how I feel. Being brutally honest is good therapy. Plus I'm continually surprised by what he doesn't understand hurts me, even though he went through something similar too. Really it seems his whole problem stems from his own sense of insecurity. That is a depth I hope I never fall too. I want to be better than that. At the end of the day it is my actions not his that will matter to me. Maybe it is the same for you too? I guess it all boils down to what you can live with. If you make threats you can't follow through with you will lose him. But he needs to know YOU matter. You both do. Good luck.

I'm newly separated too and what really helped me was getting into activities I had always wanted to try but put off. I started taking yoga classes, and meditation classes, going to contra dancing events etc. You will go through many emotions and I'm sure you want to be free from these painful emotions. The best way to be free from these emotions, and in turn not be affected by a mean man is to forgive him. Then you will have truly moved on and he will have no power over you. Make a list of all the things you forgive him for, to get it all out. Don't bother to send it to him because he most likely won't care. Remember this is not for him, this is for you. You will probably get emotional while doing this exercise but when it's done, you will be a changed woman. You will be bigger person than him. You will be free.