Partner and I have been together for 12 years and seven years in marriage. I am 27, and he is 32. We were together since we were young, and the age gap was not an issue as we were living in Jakarta, and I am half Indonesian. It is commonly accepted, and I adopt some of the cultural values (if anyone is going to call me out on the age gap). Since we got together back in 2009, it was okay in the first 12 weeks, and I started seeing red flags that I completely ignore. He likes to do things behind my back until now, such as texting female friends and liking their pictures. All over his social media, he is following women and would sometimes engage in flirtatious texts. He often would delete them, so I do not find out and asking for their mobile numbers. From my perspective, he likes to collect all of their numbers even though they haven't spoken in years. When our first child was 12 months old, I received an anonymous message that he slept with someone weeks before our wedding. Over time, all of the behaviour above lead to the extreme form of betrayal. Fast forward, I stayed because I felt that I had to, and there was no other way out as I was financially dependent on him.
I came back to Australia with our first child at the time and brought him here. Things got better because Australia wasn't his territory, but I gave it another go. We had our second, and things got bad again. He made a secret Instagram account containing his colleagues of opposite gender chatting to them in flirtatious ways and other women I do not recognise. There was a lot of talking with other girls that I caught him in, and he would use his obvious trick using promises to change. Very recently, last year, I found he visited a strip club, joined and subscribed to only fans, and he grew to watch porn more often than usual. All of this was ended with him promising me to change. I can see the pattern of his behaviour that varies depending on how he feels about me. He is expected to repeat the pattern when we are in a fight because sometimes, when things are well, I still caught him.
I don't trust him. Respect is non-existent, and I feel stuck. I wanted to have a family but not this way. If I leave, he will always try to win me back, and when he does, he will go back to his old ways and funnily, I always ended up not leaving him. Every day I see myself wasting my life away, empowering him to take control over my life due to my inability to choose me and move on. I HATE MYSELF