The problem has to be with me. He must be just reacting to what I'm doing wrong. I can't act like I'm innocent in all this. I just must not be an easy person to deal with...
This is a VERY natural way of thinking, dear Cogn (good morning and peace to you!). Unfortunately, it's usually the thinking of the victim, the one who is in the right. Because that one is TRYING to take some responsibility for what's going on. Which is the RIGHT thing to do. However, it does not excuse what the other party may be doing that's WRONG. And also very common among women - it's what keeps victims of domestic violence in their situations - their need to "take some responsibility" for what's "wrong" in the relationship ("It MUST be MY fault, else he wouldn't beat me!").
It comes from a place of love, first. It's the same "thing" that compels mothers to make excuses for their children - "It must be me; I'm the reason why he/she is/does/says..." It comes from a place of guilt, second. Guilt is an emotion that women feel SO much more than men. Much of it is due to the high level of responsibility society puts on us: to be "good" - "good" daughters, "good" wives, "good" mothers, "good" sisters, "good" friends. Heck, NOW we're even required to be "good" enemies! They call them "frenemies" (when I first heard that term I thought... WTFrick?! But knowing the woman who said it to me, I quickly thought, "Yeah, I can see how that would work for you.").
Third, beyond love and guilt... it comes from a place of co-dependency... which is another thing that society creates is us, especially women: the (very false) perception that we are nothing... unless we "belong" to someone. In this world, that means a husband. So, we CLING to marriage... because of what it "makes" us... because society has taught us to perceive ourselves as nothing and of no value without one. As you get older, you will get past THAT lie (if you have the fortune of a long marriage, it's either because you and he have grown together and accept one another as equals... or one of you has simply resigned to yourself to your relegated "place" in the relationship and have no desire to fight for any other "place" in it.).
Even so, how you're feeling about this... responsible... is OKAY. It's RATIONAL. What is NOT rational, though, is for you to take on ALL of the responsibility, to the point of excusing HIS bad behavior because of perhaps your own. Indeed, you may or may not have acted badly at all... or you may have. Either way, doesn't excuse HIS behavior. He's a grown man - a big boy... and if he had a problem with you (how you act, treat him, whatever), then he should have dealt with that by communicating with YOU... or seeking help to do that... and NOT by seeking the "counsel"... or "comfort"... or another woman that he can't even reveal to you he's talking to. People who have nothing to hide... hide nothing.
You gotta do what YOU gotta do here, girl... and that is get to the bottom of this matter... one way OR another. NOT for your own sanity (although that should be a consideration)... but for the sake and FUTURE of your GIRLS... particularly THEIR relationships with THEIR husbands. You and your husband are there first example of how a "works" for them. They will look for... and most probably end up with... whatever you two SHOW them.
So, if nothing else motivates you to move forward to resolve this... mmmmm... "concern" you have... love for your dear daughters should. Folks MUST remember: our children have NO choice, while they're children. If you're unhappy... they're gonna be unhappy. If you're scared... they're gonne be scared. If you take abuse... they're not only taking it, too... but will probably take it later as well. If YOU cheat... then they might just as well cheat, too. Or, alternatively to all of this, become SO controlling in their adult lives... so as to keep all of these kinds of things OUT... that they end up perpetuating another kind of misery for themselves.
If you're having marital problems you OWE it to your children... and yourselves... to try and get them resolves ASAP. One way... or another.
I hope this helps and, again, peace to you!
A slave of Christ,