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Just found out my husband committed financial infidelity

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Reading your threads as you work this out has been amazing. You have gone from all out panic to using your coping skills to try to work out solid solutions that may help control (solve?) the things that have gone so wrong. I'm really impressed by how attuned you are to what is right, what is wrong and what your plan for the future should look like
So, while this experience has been horrific and I still am in shock, my husband and I have done a lot of soul searching. He does not have PTSD, but he has had emotional abuse and he has written a letter to me (he is a writer) just to get his thoughts out. he explains that he is over generous to his whole family, but especially to me, because he thinks it will keep me by his side. He has very low self esteem and can have depression as a result of constantly having a feeling of low self worth. He is beating himself up in the letter. I wrote a letter back and am going to post it here, because i have gotten a lot of support here, and because, I don't know I am still thinking through this extremely life changing, devastating situation.

Here it is:
First of all you did not ruin your marriage. You have pain and codependency issues which are things that can be healed. What is saving this is that you are willing to do the hard work. You also just are not great at managing money, which is something that you just need to learn. Similar to learning how to cook, not being great and then just researching it and getting there. it is not exactly fun to learn, so you have to tolerate learning how to budget, managing money. You have to start to tolerate difficult feelings and not avoid or procrastinate. Just tolerate. Therapy will really help your extreme generosity. This weakness is what I love about you, but you hurt me greatly. I am happy that you can clearly see that. I hope you have come clean about everything.
You have very low self esteem. You have a wound inside of you that is causing your depression. You think you do not deserve girlfriends when you are actually very handsome. You think you are 'buying' love through generosity, when at the same time your personality and who you are is what makes a woman want to be with you. Genuinely generosity, healthy generosity, and care for others is good, but you don't have to keep doing it to win me over or to get me to stay. Just try saying no, try being just a little bit selfish for yourself sometimes, and see what happens. Do I go? Do I stay? I'd probably stay. Boundaries feel good and they feel secure. Your father rejected you over and over and your mother made you feel like you could never focus on your self. So your terrible self esteem-or the wound from your father not loving you combined with the selfless giving means that you are a selfless giver in order to secure love, but you are always pining, because you need to address the emotional abuse of your father not loving you. Your creativity and just who you are is enough. Your heart and soul. That is what I love. You are not a monster. You made a mistake, a very big mistake. Several big mistakes. But as Oprah says, "When you know better, you do better."
We both have trauma wounds inside, we were both rejected by our parents, and it is through looking at difficult emotions and being willing to sit with it and to sit with shame and depression and self hate that we can grow wise and even stronger in our marriage and we can be good parents to our beautiful children.
I know I wrote the above letter and I still stand by it.
I do know that there was almost sort of a desperation to forgive him a little and to understand.

I am not stable enough to be on my own. I am at the almost end of benzo withdrawal. That is getting better, but I could not just kick him to the curb as I need him. This may be abnormal and co dependent. But it is there.

I also genuinely love him and know with my wise mind I should stay. He is willing to work on himself and is owning everything and I think that is key.

It is hard though because his family is my family. So this is scary. But I cannot make decisions out of my PTSD out of the loss of security. As you saw he brought us a great amount of insecurity by mishandling our credit card to keep up the illusion everything is ok.

I have to use my wise mind to think about him and our marriage and real feelings of love.
And I do love him. There is a special place in my heart for him. We have issues such as he is a care taker taking care of a "broken girl". He makes everything better, or pretends to.

But outside of these issues, we are both creative, funny, we share the same values, we can talk about anything together and so on.
But I have been having waves of anger and disgust for him wash over me.

I long for his touch to feel like everything is better but when I get it I cringe. I just keep thinking that if I could understand it would be ok and I understand this but it moves beyond me and I am still in shock.

I don't know how to handle all of this. I am going to have to tell my therapist, but I feel shame. I am going to need to just bring cash to pay her with. I don't even know if I can still keep seeing her and get out of this debt. I have not ruled it out.

Right now, we only have a little bit of money. We had to borrow money from his parents which he has had to do before.
I believe learning how to manage money better and budget with realism will be the easy part of this.

It is the codependency and the lying that will be hard to tackle. And his issues with always saying yes. I used to think it was cute. That he was a nice guy. Now I just feel sick.

I also am in survivor mode and feel like I have to single handedly resolve this. I am very good with money and am already coming up with solutions. I suggested consolidating two of the loans. I lowered our grocery bill by 75 dollars. I am figuring out how to afford the items I need for mental health. I can't take drugs, so I use supplements that can add up.

I know that this is not good. For me to think he is an idiot and that I have to fix all of this.
But how do I not do this?

I just stopped doing the finances with him because of benzo withdrawal (which took yrs).
I am telling myself that I have to push myself and help with finances despite triggers and feeling overwhelmed. He got overwhelmed with two kids, his own issues, and a wife with protracted withdrawal syndrom and PTSD.

I keep having an out of body sensation and thinking I am going to wake up from this nightmare.

So, I don't know how to be in a partnership when he disgusts me. What if I am making a mistake by staying?

I do know I cannot be soooo dependent on him. I have always thought of him as my knight in shining armour. Or I was Cinderella being rescued from an abusive family.
But I realize that I can depend on myself. I cannot think that though. I have a hard time trusting myself or feeling strong because of trauma and because of disabling drug withdrawal. But I can depend on skills. The skills don't seem like me. I can do them and things will be ok. I just keep thinking about the girl who made DBT peer connections. She is studying to be a therapist, but she had once been homeless. She got to a point where she was in college and helping others because of DBT.
Even Marsha Linehan was once in an insane asylum, got herself out of it and then created DBT and also became a zen master.

But, the point is that I can depend on my choices, responses, and actions.
Sorry for all the rambling, just working through this.
I know that this is not good. For me to think he is an idiot and that I have to fix all of this.
But how do I not do this?
I don't have an answer for you. After watching the part of your thought processes you've shown us, I'm pretty sure you'll find an answer and it will be good. I just wanted to say that what you're talking about in that quote seems like a different version of what your husband did. Seeing a problem and thinking you need to handle it alone. You even mentioned you're feeling shame over this, like he did. Just an observation, I don't know that it means anything.

All of the feelings you describe seen pretty reasonable, under the circumstances. You sound like you aren't going to get stuck in them, but like you've got the ability to work your way through this. You can ALWAYS decide to quit on him and the marriage, any day, any time. You probably can only do that once though, so it makes total sense to give things time to see how it goes. (Whether you need him or not.) Kind of like not making any sort of life altering decision in the wake of a major loss?
Wow, thank you @scout86 Such good insights. The part about me "fixing this on my own" pretty much being what my husband did is quite right.
I am aware of this and trying to observe it mindfully.
There are some issues:
The answer is to work with him as a team. I am trying to and when we start therapy on codependcy it will help. I pretty hate him right now and feel disgust and anger. I grew up with men lying to my mother. Yep, a trigger. I also feel like I cannot trust literally ANYTHING he says. This is not fair to him to do it to the excessive degree that I am. I keep thinking, "my whole marriage is a lie." Its a hypervigilent survival PTSD reaction on top of a very normal reaction to being lied to. Even just writing this I again realized he lied for yrs and felt like vomitting. Can't wait for the radical acceptance to kick in.

The other thing is that I want to fix everything because of my PTSD survivor instinct. I am also very street smart in a way, full of grit person. I am good at problem solving and being proactive to an extreme. Within 2 hours of finding out I had an email sent out to a therapist who took EAP and insurance. I am very creative and resourceful but also very f*cked up, kind of a weird combo.
My husband is also this combo so I should focus on that. He has issues and did a crazy, f*cked up thing, but he also is good at problem solving.
It is just so hard to see that really. I cannot trust any body. I cannot trust the world.
My choices are to survive at all costs (which I am good at) or destroy myself (I'd call a hotline first.) That is a major cognitive distortion that is always there it seems out of my CPTSD.
I like what you said about major decisions. I really hope my therapist can help me with this. I feel so much shame going to her with this, afraid she will encourage divorce.
I hope she doesn't, because I think divorce is the wrong thing to suggest at this time.

Depending on how things go from here, maybe it will be advisable later, now with both you and your husband wanting to work this through. I don't see it as a good idea at all.
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