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Struggling with my situation

(10 Posts)
Strugglepuss Fri 02-Apr-21 02:54:31

Hello everybody. I am new here, but so tormented I had to find somewhere where I can let it all out and hopefully get some good advice. I apologize if this post is a little long.
My husband and I have been together for 49 years and married for 47. When we had been married for just over 30 years, I was heading deep into the menopause with depression, insomnia, the works. I also had other underlying and undiagnosed health issues all contributing to the way I felt. Suddenly I felt worthless, past my use by date, no libido, felt that any good career opportunities had passed me by and I basically felt like a failure with no future. Then I got a computer. My husband and I slept apart because of my sleeping problems and the computer was in my bedroom. I absolutely loved chatting to people all over the world, but unfortunately I met up with a guy who started chatting me up. In my depressed state, this felt like just the boost I needed and I became infatuated with him. He asked me to write to him which I did. It seemed all very exciting, until my husband found the unposted letter. I stopped the relationship and stopped looking for trouble and went back to work. I can't even remember if we had a discussion about this, but I'm sure I must have said that I had ended it all. A while later because of the menopause, I could no longer be intimate with MH. I tried everything, but reacted badly so one day I simply had to tell him I could no longer sleep with him. He didn't seem too upset about it.
We carried on together, I thought in a good relationship, but without the sex. At one time I suggested we could just cuddle, but he said no, that would give him feelings. I felt rejected, but didn't push it. I can remember nights when I would cry my eyes out in my room, feeling so lonely for him, but I didn't say anything to him for fear of more rejection, although we seemed to have the same closeness that we had before, but without intimacy. I thought everything was fine.
Fast forward 15 years and MH is in a rest home with dementia. Sorting through his things, to my horror, I found a page of my email addresses he had copied down. I had these written on paper beside my computer. He must have done this all that time ago. Most of them I stopped using years ago. There was only one address that was suspect which related to the fling I had, but I never used it again after that and probably only used it a few times anyway. MH never understood computers and clearly assumed all of these aliases I had were to do with cheating. They were all perfectly innocent. I have always been a very private person and whenever I joined a new group or forum, I would create a new ID and email address. One was simply an address used to set up Skype so my best GF in Australia and I could talk for free. There was a man's name jotted down, again completely innocent, but instead of coming to me, he must have assumed I was cheating, because in amongst it all, was the name of a sex worker and her phone number.
Now I am so distraught, not only dealing with the grief of losing my husband to dementia, and with being alone without him, that I now have to struggle with this new information and the fact he was having physical contact with another woman. I love him to pieces, but my own health was so bad from other conditions these past 10 years, I still felt adrift, fatigued and depressed. Then these past few years I had the strain of his developing dementia and caring for him when I didn't feel so crash hot either. In some ways, I can forgive him if he was connecting with a prostitute, but if the reason was to get even with me, I feel so gutted that he got it all so wrong. What is perhaps even worse is that I have no chance of explaining it to him. He still recognizes me and tells me he loves me and misses me, and I say the same to him, and it's true, but otherwise he is a very confused old man, 10 years older than I am. I can barely live without him but I am left with this dreadful emotional pain which I don't know how to resolve. Perhaps over the years he forgot about it all anyway, with dementia taking a hold, but that doesn't really help me with the knowledge he felt he could no longer trust me. After that episode, I never got snared online at all again, and when I look back now, I am horrified that I could have done it, but I am in a way better state of health now than I was then and if I'd felt alright back then, it would never have happened in the first place.
I also feel pain over what I feel as lost years, but I don't expect anybody would ever understand my situation, dealing with the menopause and a B12 deficiency combined. It has taken me 8 years to work out what the best treatment for me is, but now that I'm fine, I have lost the opportunity to get closer to MH ever again.
Thank you for reading this, if you got this far.

Ohmother Fri 02-Apr-21 06:12:54

I’ve read every single word and I feel so sad for both of you and the miscommunications.

IMHO Life is too short to tread water ( I’ve had a similar experience re sexless marriage and just found someone later in life. I feel alive and ‘found’ again).

You can’t change what is done so get back on line and look for whatever relationship you need.


Esspee Fri 02-Apr-21 08:00:44

What’s done is done and nothing you can do will alter that.
You simply need to put all that behind you and get on with living.
Counselling might be of help.

Polarbear2 Fri 02-Apr-21 08:05:56

That’s very sad. I feel for you. I think possibly you’re grieving for the loss of intimacy, and now the loss of your DH to dementia. I think counselling would help you greatly. Allow you to say all your inner thoughts with no judgement. I don’t think the sex thing is worth dwelling on. It might have been a one off and even if not he was dealing with his need for sex in the best way he knew. I agree with Ohmother. Life is too short. Allow yourself to grieve, counselling to clear your head, then look to your future. It’s a big world out there. Good luck.

silverlining48 Fri 02-Apr-21 11:12:56

Strugglepuss A name and number of a sex worker on its own doesn't necessarily mean there was a meeting. Maybe there was, maybe not.
I am sorry and hope writing this all down has helped you a bit. Talking with a trusted friend or family member also helps or perhaps a councillor.
Wishing you peace of mind and a happier future. flowers

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 02-Apr-21 13:59:00

You say that the email addresses of yours weren’t important, maybe the tel.number of the sex worker wasn’t important either, just a number he jotted down but never called?
I’m so sorry that it’s too late to sort your problems out with him, but remember that he is living in the moment, so if he knows that you care about him when you see him, then that is the memory he will be left with.
Time to move on and forget past indiscretions, unfortunately we can’t change the last, just learn from it.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 02-Apr-21 13:59:32

Past not last......

Shandy57 Fri 02-Apr-21 14:15:13

You need to forgive yourself, and forget about the possible sexual encounters your husband may have had.

We are all critical of ourselves at times like this, but what you did comforted you, and served its purpose during your dark times. Perhaps without this on-line friendship your marriage wouldn't have survived. As it is, you are still there for your husband in his time of need, and he is comforted by you.

Parcel up your 'appropriate guilt' and put it down to experience, write it down on paper and burn it if that helps.
Live for today, and forget the past.

sodapop Fri 02-Apr-21 17:22:00

Shandy57 put it very well Strugglepuss forgive yourself, its all in the past now, we all mistakes at some point.
Care for your husband and move forward now.

welbeck Fri 02-Apr-21 18:48:33

you need to live in the here and now.
that is what your husband's reality is, the immediacy of the moment.
just carry on as you are, trying to make the best of each moment with him.
you are making a lot of assumptions about the past, what he did, what he thought, what motivated him. all may be wrong.
don't torture yourself over it. just be the best and do the best you can now.
good luck.