Unfaithful husband...I'm debating divorce

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I need help! I know this post is daunting; it's a list of everything my husband has done to me so if you want, you can skip to the end. I have been married for almost 5 years and we have two children, a 2 year old boy and a 6 month old girl. My husband has had a history of cheating on me and I have no trust in him, but for some reason I never go through with getting a divorce, even though I know it's what's best.

Here's the story: When I was pregnant with our son was when I first found sexual text messages on his phone (summer of 2011). He had been texting a girl the night before asking what a sexy girl like her does for fun, asking if she likes watching porn, etc. He said it was a girl from work (he's a general contractor) and that they've never hung out & that it was the first time they've spoken. There was also a different girl that he had met at work that he would always go running with and sometimes wouldn't even come home until 1 or so in the morning! He made me feel like I was crazy for not letting him have any friends that were girls and we always argued about it. I first found out about her when I saw text message conversations and he would totally flirt and say things like "anything for you". I thought all this would stop after we had our son. I was wrong! Soon after we had him, I kept finding more text messages, one time someone had even sent him a picture of herself topless. He claimed he didn't know who she was or why she sent it to him.

Things were going somewhat well a little after that, but than he had to go to AT (training for National Guard) for 5 months (summer of 2012). Soon after he left, my phone stopped working so i had to use his old one. I looked up the internet history on his phone and saw that he had looked up TONS of escorts in our city! They advertised for massages.. I looked up our cellphone history and saw that he had contacted tons of them via text and phone calls. I confronted him and he said he has never done anything with any of them, he usually just dials the number and than hangs up. By this time, I was considering being done with him, but he said he'll change, etc etc. Towards the end of him being in training, I saw a couple of charges for hotels and he said it was because they went swimming... When he came home, I thought everything would be okay, but I noticed him texting someone a lot and he said it was a friend from training. When I read some of the conversation, there was a lot of flirting going on and he once again got mad at me, saying he should be able to have friends that are girls. A couple of days later, I was looking through all his things from training literally hoping I'd find something and I sure did. I found a letter from this girl saying she'll never sleep with a married man again and that he's still a good person, etc. He didn't know I found the letter and when I confronted him, he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about! It wasn't until a couple days later, after I said we should separate, that he admitted to it and begged me to stay, that it wouldn't happen again etc etc. I decided to give him another chance.

Soon after, I got pregnant again and was excited because I thought this time he'd for sure change. Beginning of last year (Jan 2013) I saw some weird charges on our account and saw that he had joined a social network who's slogan is "Life is short, have an affair". I saw that he had yahoo chats with a girl on there talking about [moderator edit] etc, really bad stuff. I also downloaded an app on his phone that allows me to see all of his text conversations and internet history on his phone. This is how I found out he was basically dating a girl. He took her to dinner, they would go to the dog park together, etc. After their date to dinner, he text her and said "It was nice getting to know you with your clothes on". He was also still contacting escorts. This time, I was sure I was going to get a divorce. But after I confronted him, he claimed it's because he'd been out of work and had been having a hard time and he once again begged me to give him one last chance. I gave in.

We found out we were having a girl and once again, I thought he'd for sure change! Baby girl was born in July 2013 and things were going good until recently. He had been out late one night and said he hung out with his old friend from college, but I was suspicious. I still have that app on his phone that tracks his messages, but he is aware of that. I thought it was weird that I didn't see any conversations with this "college friend" about hanging. What my husband doesn't know, is that this app also tracks where he is. I saw that he had been in a city that's quite far from where we live. A couple of days later, I see some ATM withdrawals for around $100 plus $30 to the movies on our bank account. About a week later, my kids and I stop by our house that my husband is building to visit him and he's not there... I look on the tracker and he's in that same city as before... I call him and he says he has to go to the "Lowes" out there to get something. A couple of days later, there's a $30 charge to iHOP. After all this has been going on, I start wondering if he's gotten a second cell phone so another day, I randomly stop by our house he's building and while he was walking around with our son, I hurry and looked in his truck and guess what I found? A cheap Cricket phone! I hurry and looked and only had time to read one text and it said "I want your sexy body all over me". He was starting to walk towards the truck, so I hurried and put it back and acted like nothing happened, but I was pretty sure he knew i found it. Once again, i had decided i should get a divorce, but when I confronted him in October 2013, he said he's changed and begged me to wait until January 2014 to make my final decision. And here I am again, giving him another chance. I know have a tracker on his computer and I can see that he's still very addicted to porn and looking at models/actresses and he's still contacting escorts every so often. He's even tried getting an escort to come to our house! Not to long ago, I saw a text conversation that went on while he was home alone trying to coordinate a time for the escort to come over, but none of them were available so it didn't work out.

To this day, he claims he's only cheated on me the one time with the one girl. He's NEVER come to me about anything. Everything listed above are things I've discovered on my own. I have no trust in him. He went to the Bishop back in sept. 2012 after I found out about him sleeping with the girl in GA, but he hasn't told the Bishop about anything since and he says he's temple worthy. And we did do counseling for awhile. I feel like I've tried everything.

I've prayed about it, gone to the temple, talked to our Bishop, etc and I have felt "good" about getting a divorce, but for some reason I never go through with it. All day, every day, I just sit and think about it and I'm miserable. I need help :(

Edited by skippy740
Want to add more; moderator edited some content. - skippy740
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I don't think you will, or should, get advice from anyone here to leave your husband. It is not their business. Moreover, no one is truly going to understand the situation from a story in internet-land. But I would advise you to discuss this closely with your bishop and, above all, listen to the Spirit.

Divorce is a terrible thing, and a particular burden on children. But there are, obviously, times when it is necessary. The scriptures give teachings on this. Study them with prayer in your heart.

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I'm generally of the opinion that porn is a problem... but can be worked out within a marriage as long as there is no cheating or other emotional/sexual affairs going on with others outside of the marriage.

My next comment is that children reveal more of who a person really is, and doesn't necessarily make an addict a better person. In fact, with the way children behave, it can cause an addict to dive deeper into their addiction.

Another option to consider may be a period of separation, instead of going straight for the divorce. If you feel you've done everything... and he's done nothing... it's time for him to show initiative towards change. Speaking about human behavior, if you continue to reward someone for their behavior with your presence, then you need to remove your presence. You would need to see a real concerted effort on his part to show that he would value keeping you in his life. It would also give you a chance to live your life away from him to see if you might feel better just being away from him.

Just some thoughts.

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Sorry your going through this its rough I went through it but worked on my marriage and am still married albeit happily now. Your husband needs to want to change and get better if your willing to work on it even though it looks grim it is possible.

If you want the cheating to stop you need to get proof and you need to expose him to EVERYONE this is the only way it will stop. Surviving an Affair - Start Here First - Marriage Builders® Forums has a lot of info if you want to go this route.

Whatever you decide to do it will be difficult remember Heavenly father is with you and will help you get through it.

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Please go get a STD test.

The complete one (ask for herpes, if you don't ask they often skip it, and make sure your throat is swabbed for warts, as they grow there as well), and if you test HIV-, make sure you test again in 6 months.. As HIV has a window where the virus hasn't built up enough to test positive for.

If you do test positive, I'm sorry to say that you'll need to also get your babies tested, as it's fairly easy to transfer most STDs via accidental body fluid contact when you're living unaware of an infection. The good news, though, is that except for warts, herpes, and HIV, all the rest are treatable. But you HAVE to catch them early on, before they do life long damage to your reproductive & nervous system.

And STOP having (unprotected) sex with this man!!!

Been there, done that, and I'm sorry.

Doctors appt.

Don't put it off.


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I made the BIG mistake of not getting to know my wife well enough before we got married. I began noticing things almost right away and she really started treating me horribly and controlling me. She required that I give up friendships to really good people as well as not visiting or having contact with family members (most of us are returned missionaries and married in the temple).

One of the things I noticed was that her ex-husband and ex-boyfriend continued to contact her and she never asked them to stop. Both wanted to get back together with her and were merely waiting until she and I divorced, and they expressed as much. Still, she did not stop the communication with them until I asked her to stop it. It took her a couple of weeks but she did. After we separated she started seeing her ex-boyfriend again.

A couple of months before our son was born she told me that she needed to go to the doctor to check for an STD. She told me that she lived with one guy for about a year before he told her that he had one, and only when she was going to the doctor did she tell me that she probably had it, too. She later accused me of being the one with the STD. Well, let's just say that that was not possible, if you get my meaning, and she had been with over 100 people (people as in men and women) in her life. Again, something she kept from me.

Skip ahead, I divorced her.

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Do you feel trapped? Have you talked with any of your friends or family about what's been happening? First things first-you are not the keeper of his secrets. It doesn't help him either. It's called accountability. You need to talk to someone because you need support. Nothing helps fix a situation more than truth. You'll make yourself crazy searching his phones, reading his emails, verifying his whereabouts and charges. (Been there, done that) You'll spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder and checking up on him. And thts not your job. There's no amount of babysitting you can do to make him sorry and want to change. He has to choose that. And he has not chosen it. So talk to someone-maybe just a counselor at first, but I'd encourage you to Talk to a close friend or family member. Also, are you employed outside the home? It might be a good time to start working on getting an education if you don't already have one. I wish you the best and remember that the choices you make here are setting an example for your children to follow.

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Thanks deniallady!

Yes, I do feel trapped! I am so unhappy with the marriage and so worried about not setting a good example for my kids, but I'm still with him for some reason.

I have talked to my parents in the past about it, but not for awhile. I have also talked to 3 close friends at work. It does feel good to talk about it with others and everyone has been so kind and non-judgemental. I do think talking to a counselor would help; but I would go myself, not couples counseling at this point.

Luckily, I work full time from home and make great money. I know I have a place at my Dads where we could stay if we did get divorced and I have a car. We also have about $100,000 in equity in our home.

I really don't know what's holding me back. i think mostly it's because I just feel bad for him... I know that sounds crazy, but it's the only conclusion I can honestly come to as to why I'm still with him.

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So the cycle is:

1. You catch him cheating, looking at porn, etc.

- He denies it, or makes up an excuse.

2. You push further with the evidence

- He eventually give in and admits the truth

3. You say you are not sure if you want to go on, thinking about divorce, etc.

- He says he will change, this time will be different, etc.

4. You believe him, feel guilty, don't want to give up on your marriage, feel bad for him, etc.

5. You give him another chance

- He is good for a little bit, and maybe you even see some changes he is making.

6. You start to "relax" about wanting a divorce, or separating because you see he is doing a little better or

6a. You have a child, or some other big event and believe that this will change him.

- He feels like the marriage is stable again, and starts looking at porn, talking with other women, etc.

7. Rinse and Repeat

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  • 2 years later...

When you talk to your bishop, know that his doesn't have to be the last word. It is always good to talk to your bishop, but realize he is a person with opinions that may not be inspired. I have asked a bishop or two, if he feels inspired with the advice he is giving or if it is his opinion.  If it doesn't feel right, try the stake president. (I've talked to lots of women in my situation and have been surprised at some of the things their bishops have said or told them to do!) 

I've had many bishops during my 3 year separation, and now 6 months of divorce (5-6 bishops due to moves and ward splits etc.) and can say, not all bishops share the same opinion about how to handle situations or interpret church guidelines (even now pursuing a temple cancellation have been given conflicting information and direction).  During the process of separation, after my husband said we had to stay married because we had a temple marriage, I talked to a member of our temple presidency and found it extremely helpful and insightful.  My sex-addict husband was bishop for the last 5 years of our  marriage, and at one time confessed to me he has had a problem since he was a teenager, it just got worse as technology advanced. Think of the advice he gave people as a bishop. I've heard some was helpful and some was not. 

The great thing about the gospel is no mater what, we are all entitle to our own inspiration and if something doesn't feel right, we can keep searching until it does.  I had an answer to prayer that it was okay to divorce.  I relied on that answer heavily over the next three years as I was questioned and grilled by others and myself about my decision.  You have to have your own answer, not just the advice of someone else, to feel at peace with a decision to divorce. When you get fed up enough, and tired of the abuse and lying, you will be able to move forward with the divorce.  

It is a life changing decision, but I am happy I did.  I didn't realize how awful my marriage was until I got out of it.  It has been difficult in ways I hadn't realized it would be (losing the support of some friends and family, finances I thought I had worked out being turned upside down, being put in the box of the 'divorced lady in the ward' by some, etc.) But again, so glad I went through with it.  

I know people that have made their marriage work after dealing with similar situations to mine, but theirs included a repentant spouse committed to long term change during a time of marital separation. My husband tried for a month (with counselors), and couldn't beat his addiction (still found porn webcams up on his computer, night vision goggles in the car etc. and wouldn't move his basement office upstairs). I couldn't live with the dishonesty and distrust on top of the erratic behavior and the toll it was taking on our kids. 

He is still going to the temple and married a woman 5 months ago that is on her 4th marriage. She seems like a nice lady and they seem to do a lot of fun things together.  I'm sorry for him having to live with his addiction in hiding and I am so happy not to be with him.  I am working on getting myself mentally healthy and happy.  I know the righteous priesthood leader mentioned in my patriarchal blessing will be a wonderful man and I look forward to meeting him in the next life. 

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