Lies and Infidelity

For the past six years, I have been dealing with an ADHD spouse who cannot stay faithful to me.  The women I have found out about are all people he works with.  Honestly, I don't know how he latches onto these people (and how he hasn't been fired for sexual harassment).  The first time I found out because we got slammed by a massive phone bill due to excessive texting.  I saw that there was one number in particular he texted between 60-80 times a day, and sometimes at all hours of the night.  He was horrified when I confronted him, left work immediately to come home and talk to me, apologized up and down, swore he would stop immediately, etc.  I bluffed and said I saw the texts and he swore to me he was just teasing her about another coworker who was harassing her.  I believed him.  I was so naive.  

Since then, the same scenario has played out several times.  A different woman each time.  God knows how many women there have actually been, but I can count 6 different instances when I've caught him.  I am so embarrassed to admit this.  The things I have seen...the messages, the dirty pictures women have sent him, the lies upon lies upon lies...why have I stayed?  I was actually starting to feel better about our relationship lately.  Then I got into his car and found a birthday card he received from his latest affair.  

This card seemed different.  This card talked about true love.  It was not just a slutty 20-something sending dirty pictures.  He has said in the past--and continues to say--that he has never had sex with any of these women.  And I always clung to that and believed him.  Naive, I know.  But now I realize I can't believe a word he says.  Literally.  I cannot...believe...a word.

The pain was/is intense but after a few hours of private grief I realized that I could finally have the upper hand.  I was going to give him an ultimatum, the classic "her or me."  I felt a sense of relief, like, either way, there would be some movement this time and not this endless cycle of him latching onto some other woman, me finding out, him cutting her out, only to have me find out months later that he just picked up with someone else.

I confronted him with it last night.  I didn't even rage at him.   I told him that if he wants to be with her, then to just go and be with her.  But that if he wants to stay and commit to me then he has to cut off all contact with her.  

Then, the final blow:  he switched jobs 6 months ago, and he just hired this women to work in his new office.  I had actually talked to him a few weeks back about the hiring of this "new person."  He gave me a fake name and a fake background in describing her.  I moved from feeling that I had at least a tiny amount of power (forcing him to choose, once and for all), to feeling utterly hopeless and powerless all over again.  Even if I check up on all his electronic trails (and really, I'm nuts to think he can't find ways to conceal his indiscretions), he's still with her all day, every work day.  And then there's the massive problem that I can't believe anything he tells me.  Anything.

Ultimately, he told me that he loves me and our family but that we need help.  Of course we do.  I told him to find a therapist, make the appointment, and I'll go.  This is the first time either one of us has brought up counseling.  (If he actually follows through and makes an appointment that will be the first sign that he may be serious about this, since I have never been able to rely on him to handle these details.)  

I also told him that I hate myself for wanting him to choose me.  Why do I want him to choose me at all? When we have good times, it's really, really good.  And we have two amazing kids and I love our little family.  But I feel physically ill right now rereading my post.  And I've only provided the most basic details of this huge, sordid mess.  He has made a fool of me and mocked our marriage vows time and time and time again.

It looks like we'll do marriage counseling (if he makes the appointment).  But for one who lies so easily, how can I ever expect anything to change?  He admits that he has "issues."  And he says that we can fix these things and he knows we can be great again.  He seems willing to try.  He seems remorseful.  But he just left for work.  And she's there.

And I hate myself for staying.  For wanting to believe him.  For feeling like there may be hope for us after all.  

I am such a fool.