How do I tell my husband what I’ve done and how do I deal with my overwhelming emotions?

Long story short, I have two best friends that are married. She’s pregnant/nauseous and can’t stand being touched right now so he was lonely. My husband has been emotionally distant/neglectful. For example: one day I told him I wanted to lay down and cuddle on the couch and he got upset and yelled at me that nothing he does is ever enough and he’s tired from work blah blah blah (he works nights and weekends so our time together is somewhat limited).

Well my guy best friend and I started hanging out and talking more and he showed me these erotic hypnosis audios, and eventually we discovered we had similar kinks, and at some point we started sending inappropriate audios back and forth to each other to make each other feel, I don’t know, wanted? Sexy? (Just audio messages, nothing physical ever happened). Now, here’s the thing. We chose audios because we could close our eyes and imagine it was our significant other or whoever else. He is very much in love with his wife and even though I find him attractive I love my husband and I just hated how unwanted/unsexy he was making me feel. Anyway she found out and thinks we took it further and has banned me from contacting her/anyone in her family (we were very close over the last ten years). He told me we can’t talk anymore at all if he has any hopes of getting her back. So I just lost my two best friends, and have no idea how to process that kind of loneliness (I have a few other friends but I’m not super close with any of them). I also have no clue how to come to terms with what a horrible person I am, or how much pain I’ve caused her and her family. I’m also having a very difficult time processing my feelings of shame, guilt, self-loathing, anger, emptiness, and loneliness..

On top of this, I’ve been freaking out because I don’t know how to tell my husband what’s happened, and I’m running out of time (you don’t go from hanging out at your best friends house 3-4 nights a week to being home every day without a reason). I don’t want to hurt my husband’s feelings, I love him and I know he loves me. I just wasn’t feeling the love and my guy best friend helped me with that, and I did the same for him. But aside from not wanting to hurt my husband’s feelings, he’s quick to anger. He’s never laid a hand on me before, he just has a terrifying habit of breaking things around him when he’s angry, and it sets my anxiety through the roof and I just cry in frustration.

A few random notes that may/may not help make our wierd friendship make more sense: 1) I lived with them for 3-4 years. 2) I’ve had 2 back surgeries so my back always hurts, he’s been giving me back massages (with her knowledge/blessing) for almost 10 years, so there was never really a “normal” friendship in terms of physical contact as long as it wasn’t inappropriate.
Asked by Dimass Fool
Answered
12/05/2021

Hi!  Thank you for reaching out and giving a detailed account of what's currently going on for you.  It sounds like you have been going through a lot and need an outlet to process all of your complex emotions you're experiencing.  

I think the first place to focus on is starting to unpack those emotions you're feeling around shame, guilt, self-loathing, loneliness, anger and emptiness.  And what I mean by that is how can you separate the best you can, the feelings around the loss of friendship from that around navigating your feelings as it pertains to your husband.  A question to ask yourself is - how are you coping with all of this?  Do you find that the ways you cope are more positive or negative? 

Your statement around having no clue in how to come to terms with what a horrible person you are is a heavy thing to say.  It appears that your actions are a cumulation of many factors, ultimately leading you in trying to get your needs met.  As much as our brain wants to label our actions as either all good or all bad, there is so much grey area for us to sift through.  I know it's hard to hear right now, but you were not in this alone and by putting all the blame on yourself for causing your friend and her family pain will just continue to eat away at you.  We are all human and we sometimes make ill-advised decisions, but that also doesn't soley define who we are.  That doesn't make us less worthy of feeling loved or getting our needs met.  

I do understand that having the conversation with your husband is top of mind and can be very scary since there is no way of knowing how he will react or what the outcome will be, especially since it does sound like your husband has issues with expressing his anger.  In knowing this, one of the things to think about is how you want to deliver your message.  I know it will be one of the most challenging conversations to have, but I also hear how much this is eating at you.  Some things to think about - How can you set the stage for the most optimal response?  Would he be open to couples counseling and having an impartial ear guide the conversation?  In knowing that he sometimes breaks things in anger, maybe also having a safety plan of calling 911 if things get out of hand and you feel in danger.  I know you don't want to think about that, but we want to make sure that you remain safe (while this is the worst case scenario, I do think it's important to discuss). 

Ultimately, you are grieving the loss of your friends as well as the potential loss of your marriage and I think the question to keep going back to is this - how can you forgive yourself?  Finding forgiveness within yourself will be the first step in this healing journey for you. 

(LMHC, LPC)