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Difficult Things You Discover about your Deceased Spouse

Well,  I am not much of a writer,  but I need to find out if anyone can relate to my situation.

My husband of 10 years died suddenly this past January.  It was a fairly traumatic week in ICU, then the start of grieving for me.

A few days later I was searching through his papers to find out if he had a will that I hadn't known about.  No will.  However,  I did find some nude photos of his employee 'Amber'.  Now this struck me as odd.  WHy would he have these?  My only explanation was that there was some kind of 'thing' going on between them.  An affair?  Who knows,  and how could I ever know,  as Amber is now moved away.

Then, on going through finances and his business bills,  I discovered he owed about $50,000 to various people and the goverment for taxes etc., and that his assets were very minimal.   I had had no idea.  You see, I am the principle wage earner and was paying most of the bills in the household.  I knew he didn't have much from his business, but had not known it was so bad for him.

Then a couple months later when I was going through some of his boxes at home,  I discovered a large box full of porn DVD's.   And my nephew, the computer guru,  found that most of the content on his computer is porn.  Once, early in the marriage, I had found him looking at porn on the web,  was upset, and he promised to never do it again.

Anyway,  you must be thinking,  what a crappy marriage we had, that I knew so little about him or that he was so uncommitted to telling me the truth!  However, honestly, I thought we were fine.....spent all of our non-work hours together talking intimately, watching movies, going for walks,  making love, etc.

Since all these discoveries, I am so mixed up emotionally.  I am grieving the loss of him and everything we had together.  But I also feel betrayed, angry, used, lied-to, and mistrustful of everyone now.  I am dealing with the legal problems of all the debts and his estate.

I read all of your posts and see how much everyone else is grieving the loss of a true and dear love,  and I can't totally relate as I feel now that my love must have been a sham. You are all so sweet, but I do not feel the same.  So  I am grieving,  I am a widow,  so I do belong here,  yet  I wonder if anyone else can understand what I am going through.

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Comment by Sheila on November 13, 2014 at 6:02am

thanks for your thoughts, missmyhunny.

Comment by missmyhunny on November 12, 2014 at 10:41pm

Hi Sheila, My heartfelt sympathy on the loss of your partner. I am sorry on top of that you have found out things that have come as a surprise and shock to you as well. I think the most difficult thing in it is that your partner is no longer here so that you could confront him about it all. So that means all you can do is second guess what was going on with him. It is not unusual for a man to view porn on the internet or from other scources, a lot of guys do it because it is so readily available and they are only human, and the fact that wherever we look sex is in our face, we live in a very different world where sex sells, and we are bombarded with it. How can anyone not help but not notice all of that, especially the guys.

There are many couples that have been in committed relationships long term that think they know the person they are committed to only to find out down the track that they really didn't fully know that person as well as they thought they did. It is heartbreaking when that happens for sure, and it can happen after very many years of being with someone.

I think in your heart you know what you really meant to each other, and you are only a few months out with grieving, and in time you will probably accept him for who he was. It doesn't matter how many relationships we have in our lives, every time we enter into a new relationship with someone we have to learn to trust someone again, and there is never any guarantee about that, it always has an element of risk attached, just like there are no guarantees in life either as to how it all works out.

And to love "unconditionally", which is really what love is, we can't force another person to be who they are not, so we either love them just as they are or end it and be okay with it either way.

Peace to your heart, xo.

Comment by Sheila on November 2, 2014 at 6:29am

Thanks, BergenJC for sharing some of the painful aspects of your marriage.  I agree, no marriage is is good to know it is not just me who has been through some of this.   I believe that alot, or even most, men are into porn.  I don't know the truth.  However, I will never understand it, or feel good about it in a relationship I have....

Comment by Sheila on November 2, 2014 at 6:21am

My Roses,

Thankyou so much for your post.  I feel for your pain as well...  It is good to know you can relate as well.  So happy you found the love of your life now!

Comment by NoLongerInBergenJC on November 1, 2014 at 7:12am

Sheila, the discovery of porn is always upsetting.  I guess I was "lucky" in that I discovered my husband's enjoyment of "dominant women/submissive men" porn years ago, along with phone numbers of dominatrixes.  At first, like you, I was devastated, but then I read that this is a fairly common fetish.  Men like porn.  There's no getting around that.  They are able to compartmentalize their lives so that porn operates in a space separate from the marriage.  I don't think you need to take the porn as a reflection on your marriage, though sometimes it can become an obsession...but still compartmentalized.

My husband had a level of self-loathing that I'd never really been aware of.  He was a ridiculously handsome man, and he never saw in the mirror what I saw when I looked at him and what others saw.  It wasn't until he got sick that I knew how bad it was.  He self-medicated with pot for his entire adult life and managed to function.

My husband never had nude photos of a colleague that I know of, but he had what's called an emotional affair with one while I was working full time and going to grad school and did not have as much time for him as usual.  He was always susceptible to women's attention at times when he felt I was not payinig enough attention to him...and yet he was never able to articulate what he needed.

It is easy on this site to somehow feel "second-best" if your marriage was more complex (not lesser, just more complex) than the moonlight and roses that some people like to paint their marriages.  I even had someone on this site tell me that my marriage was not like the moonlight and roses crowd who have "soulmate" marriages.  (Ouch.)  I am slightly skeptical of this, as NO marriage is 100% perfect all the time.  What does happen over time is that the bad stuff starts to fall away and what we remember are the good times.  This is kind of healing, but it makes us feel the loss more as time goes on rather than less.

Yes, you belong here.  You may sometimes feel like you don't, but you do.  I felt the same as you in the beginning, and started a thread asking if anyone else's marriage wasn't always moonlight and roses all the time.  And I got a TON of responses from grateful people who thought THEY were the only one.

I'm sure that there do exist the moonlight and roses marriages.  Those are the lucky ones.  For most of us, it's more complicated, but that doesn't mean we were loved -- or that we loved -- any less.

Comment by my roses on November 1, 2014 at 6:48am

My roses

Dear Sheila  I know something of the pain you have .. as  I was married for 25 yrs to a husband who I later found out was going to prostitutes for a number of years.  I was so shocked.  Also on one business trip he got involved with an Asian woman. He came back totally different from normal.  Apparently, he was given something in his drink and he lost all  discernment.  Came back imagining he was in love, totally unlike himself. I have since gathered that these drugs are used a lot to get money, sex, gifts etc from men.  Soon after I found a phone no. and  rang it.. and talked to  Miss Wong as I will call her.  I said are you going to marry  my husband? and some other full on questions.  She then muttered and was taken aback that I actually had found her name etc and confronted her.  I found myself thinking  it was like a nest of worms,  I could see it in my mind's eye. All these hidden things slithering about which shocked me so much. He had bought her various items, clothing etc. Also I think there was discussion about bringing her over for a holiday.   I remember crying and weeping as I drove my car  and somehow I felt something had totally shut down in my self.  I cried and sobbed so much I could not breathe properly.  I lost a lot of confidence as according to him I did not have the figure he wanted etc.   Some years later I met the love of my life and we had a wonderful relationship and he restored me completely with his love.  I fell in love with him within 3 days of meeting.

Hope this helps you a little bit... as cheating is a terrible act to do to any partner.

Comment by Sheila on October 30, 2014 at 5:30am

Thanks, H20polo, for your kind words.  Hugs back.

Comment by h20polo on October 28, 2014 at 6:40am


 First off let me say -I am so sorry that you are having to go through a double loss - first your Love passing away unexpectantly and then the loss of the life you thought you had.  I am sure you are not alone - it takes a lot of courage to put that in writing and is a step in the right direction.  I have never been in that situation so I can't even begin to know what that pain feels like - I will say my heart goes out to you and hope you can work through this terrible time to help find peace and try and keep moving forward during this nightmare.  Even though you may feel betrayed and confused there is a saying that your perception is your reality -  If you felt the love and intimacy all those 10 years then it was there and those feelings were true.  Hang in there - it's a long journey but continuing to try and move forward is the only way to get to the finish line- and part of the moving forward is falling down and breaking down - but getting back up and slowly start to move forward again - min by min -  Hugs

Comment by Sheila on October 26, 2014 at 9:58am

Thanks Diane!  I appreciate it.

Comment by Patience on October 26, 2014 at 9:12am
Sheila - you certainly belong here. We widows might not always admit it- but none of our loved ones were prefect... Hugs to you and we are here for you...


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