I feel like a slut for sleeping with my husband.

Weird statement, huh? Yeah, I think so, too. But my situation isn't exactly normal.

See, my husband and I have been married for 8 years now, since our daughter was 8 months old. Really, I wasn't going to marry him. I'd decided to do the single mom thing. But we were both active duty military, and he finally convinced me to marry him, mainly because otherwise we could have been transferred to posts at opposite ends of the continent (or even world) and he might never have seen his daughter again. After all, I was in love with him - I just had my doubts about things working out in the long term.

Well, that was my mistake. And we all pay for our mistakes, some sooner, some later. I paid by having a husband who acted like he was neither a husband or a father, but a guy with some inconvenient roommates, one of whom he had sex with. Plus, my husband is obsessive-compulsive, so the mess and disorder associated with having a baby (plus I'm not the neatest of people) drove him up a tree. He also doesn't have the knack of getting along with people, so everywhere he goes he's convinced that everyone is out to get him, and he took it out on me through constant verbal abuse and borderline physical abuse, too.

I tried to work things out through counseling, for myself (for the deep depression I was in) and marital counseling for both of us, but he saw that as an opportunity for two people, me and the therapist, to gang up on him (since the therapist told him he was wrong for abusing me). I held on, and held on, but everytime he cursed me or threatened me or just did something totally loveless, he killed a little bit of the love I had for him.

Two years ago, just after my son's third birthday, he was transferred to Washington State from Kentucky, where we lived. He said it would only be for a year, so I decided to stay here with the kids, since my daughter had just started school and I had just started going back to college. After he left, we heard from him about every six weeks. No letters, no cards, no birthday or christmas presents for the kids, no money to help support his kids (well, he did pay my car payment and insurance..). This went on for about 21 months, until he suddenly started calling daily and professing his love for me. He wasn't too interested in hearing about the kids, although he did say he loved them. His parents and brother had died in the past year, so I guess he felt lonely.

The problem is that in the meantime (actually just before he started calling all the time) I had found the guy who is right for me (see my scratch pad for details). I fought it for a long time, because I happen to believe in wedding vows, but I just couldn't. So when my husband decided to drop in for a visit, I was understandably less than thrilled. For the kids' sake I was happy, but...

Anyway, he showed up in the middle of the night two days ago.. the kids were thrilled! (at least my daughter - I don't think my son recognized him...). I had told him that I still basically loved him, but that I was not in love with him - loved him as the father of my children and basically a good person. He cried and swore that he had changed, that things would be different, but I've lost my trust in him, and how can you love someone you don't trust? I felt really guilty about that (yes, I know I'm stupid and a sucker for a guilt trip), so I thought that since I couldn't give him what he wanted (for me to love him), I'd give him the next best thing (letting him make love to me). I thought "I've had sex with him before without wanting to, I can do it again..". I didn't take into account the effect it would have on my self-esteem, which I had painfully built back up during the time he was away, and I didn't take into account that there was someone else in the equation now - someone who would get hurt. I'm sorry, Tony, I never meant to hurt you, I was trying to do right but I did really, really wrong.

When I stopped by your house to get hugs and encouragement for the rest of his visit and confessed to you, that was when I finally realized how much having even loveless sex with him would hurt you. When you got up and went inside, that was one of the worst moments of my life. I thought I'd lost you. I didn't know what I would do if that was true. My world fell apart in front of my eyes. And I realized it was all my fault, that you'd be perfectly justified in not wanting to see me anymore. When you came back, sat down again, and told me you still loved me I couldn't believe it for a minute. I knew I loved you, but I didn't realize how much until I thought I lost you.

Tony, you mean SO much to me. I love you. I'm sorry, and I'll do my best never to hurt you again. I know I can't promise that, because I'm really stupid sometimes, but I'll do my best.

August 2, 2002 October 29, 2002 April 11, 2003