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“In so much pain and shrouded by confusion”

To start, I will apologize for the lengthy post, as this dates back several years. My wife and I have been married for almost seven years, but our relationship has been in deep, deep water for over five. Before our first child was born, we had what I refer to as typical married couple problems. The honeymoon stage faded and we (so I thought) were getting comfortable with one another. I was mistaken on the we part, I suppose. She was overly demanding about us going back into the honeymoon stage, which is fine, I understood. It was shortly after everything became unhinged. We fought a lot. I was convinced I had done a great wrong to her, and I was trying to atone for it. Things steadily went downhill.

She started going out with friends. No problem there, I trusted her and I am by no means controlling. However, she didn't come home. I would stay up all night, calling and texting and calling some more (she had a daughter from a previous relationship of whom we solely took care of, so I couldn't just go off looking for her). I would spend the whole night, and morning, pacing, worried to death until I had to start worrying about what to do with our daughter so I could go to work. She would show up sometime about 30 minutes before I had to leave. Usually by means of someone dropping her off at the corner up the road and her walking home. Big red flag right? She said nothing happened she got too drunk and stayed at (insert name here)'s house. I fought my gut and trusted her. It happened more times than I can count. Until we finally decided to take some time apart and work on ourselves. The agreement, initiated by her, that we were not seeing other people, was verbal. I do my best to cope and just try to take care of myself and my daughter (stepdaughter, who I consider my own).

She started coming around more, which was showing me that we are trying to make this work again. Then I started hearing things from people I interact with at my job. Started seeing things as well. For instance, I seen my wife walk out of a random house at 7 am, in her pajamas, walking home. I confronted her about it and bluntly asked if she was seeing other guys. Denial is all I ever got from her. At this point nothing was adding up, nothing at all.

However right or wrong it was, I needed answers, and I had a huge gut feeling that she wasn't being honest, so I abducted her phone and I found all the answers I needed. She had slept with a guy named T, of course deleted most of the messages, but there was enough there to tell me. I confront her, again. The argument ended in the "don't do it again" category. That was guy #1.

We were "back together" now. At least that was what we had said to one another. Things started getting fishy again very quickly. She was going to the movies with a friend, who is much younger than my wife, that she never hung out with, and much more suspicious activity. The staying out all night thing happened some more too. So again, right or wrong, I looked to her phone again, and sat crying for over three hours after. Not only was she sleeping with someone else again, but she was starting a relationship with him. Going on dates, kissing, holding hands, etc. Which I found that she had lied about who she went to the movies with, no surprise. That was guy #3 (yes 3, I didn't skip 2, I just didn't know about him, yet). STILL, I took her back. I know probably my biggest mistake, but no doubt I love this woman. Very much.

I was very conflicted at this point. Very. My confliction was put to the side, we were about to have my first daughter.

Almost a couple of years pass. Some of the shady stuff didn't stop, and I was at the point of where I couldn't trust her anymore. I expressed over and over what I needed for this relationship to work. She was still going out, sometimes not coming home until 3 am. STILL, I stayed. I was not who I was before, I was depressed and anxiety was taking over most of the time, but I made the best out of what family I had.

After almost two years go by, I found out about guy #2, in a pretty bad way. I didn't abduct her phone this time, instead I seen a message from a J, saying "so she may be mine?" You probably already know by now that the conversation was about my recently born daughter and her telling him that she could be his. Stake to the heart, twist a bit, get the splinters in there realllllll good. It wasn't the fact that she slept with him, or even the nature of the conversation that hurt the most. It was the why. Why, after all this time? Why when I was starting to have a bit more faith in our relationship? (the fact that she could not be mine, hurt, but it matters not, DNA match or not, she is my daughter. I still don't know the answer to that question). It's as if all those years ago she took a knife and cut me, very deeply. Over the years she just kept slicing at the same wound, so it never healed.

I shut down. Emotionally. I was cold as ice, I lost complete control. To put this in perspective, my wife was on her knees crying and begging me to not go, even mentioned suicide a few times in that moment, I walked away without a word. If anyone knew me, that is not me at all. I STILL didn't go anywhere. I just slept in a different room for while.

I'll flash forward a bit and sum this part up. We had another daughter who is going on 3 now. (so three daughters; 3, 4 and 12). Some shady stuff happened still. I was out of town for work for a week, and I happened to see a dude leaving my house at 3 am on my cameras at home. (I had them set for motion trigger from 8 pm to 8 am). I finally go get help, from a shrink. After a few sessions, I had some breakthroughs. I cried again, for the first time in a couple years. That day, that very day, that I felt like I could be myself again. She told me she was dating another man. For how long? I don't know.

Back to devastation. I was completely broken all over again. The whole separation was nasty. I wasn't very nice, I was angry. Time went by. I started talking to and eventually dating someone new. I wasn't happy, but it was worth a shot. My wife started coming around more, being overly nice to me and eventually begged me to try again. I told her no the first time. However, I was not happy with where I was, so I ended the other relationship, and yep, like a fool, I tried again. This was sometime last year.

The guy she was with kept coming back one way or another, even after I expressed that I needed her to cut ties with him. Selfish? Maybe. That's what I needed though, and she didn't. She met him at a hotel and ignored me all night. I told her I loved her that night and never got a response. We went to the movies together, drove separate cars. After the movie, I thought I would stop by her place for a bit. She's not there. So I thought I would check where she worked at, because she will go there to hang out sometime. Nope. My house. Nope. His house. Yep. There's her car. I called her immediately, over and over and over, until she finally answered. This was almost two hours later. I asked her if she was at his house, and she lied to me, again and again. Even after I told her I seen her car (which is very distinguishable), she lied. I kept at it until she finally admitted it. But I was wrong for "following" her. She swears that she didn't even go inside. Right.

I went through her phone a few times and never liked what I found. *ick pics, sexual conversations between her and multiple guys. One was the guy that I had seen walking out of my house on camera at 3 am. Which is funny to me, because the date he was in my house, is about the same time my youngest daughter was conceived.

So all caught up, mostly. Here I am, now, emotionally a wreck and so conflicted about, well, everything. Do I have any biological kids? Why am I still doing this to myself? I love this woman, obviously, more than I could ever describe, but I'm hanging really closely on the side of this is done. She is still talking to other guys. One was just last week. He messaged her showing interest in her, and she just messaged back. There was nothing sexual or whatnot. However, he wanted her to call him and she did. The thing that bothers me, is that she did not decline, maybe she didn't accept either, but the fact she didn't say no I'm trying to work things out with my husband really really bothers me.

I'm just really stuck in a rut and I have no idea what to do. I'm so back and forth, one day to the next.

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