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Feeling like such an story (long)

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ItsaClimb posted 4/22/2013 03:32 AM

I have hit a brick wall in the reconciliation process. For the last couple of weeks I have been fighting this feeling that I am the world’s biggest idiot for attempting to reconcile with this man. And this weekend it's like I hit a wall.

At the time that I committed fully to R (a few weeks ago) I figured that I was faced with two choices and neither of them was particularly appealing – reconcile with this man who has betrayed me so badly or divorce and be financially far worse off and lonely as well.

If I choose divorce I will lose not only my comfortable life-style, but my house, my extremely beloved pets… life will be hugely different and more difficult. I simply don’t have the earning power that fWH has. I could probably afford to live in a tiny little flat on my salary. It’s a horrifying thought to me. VERY horrifying.

I thought about it a lot and ultimately decided that at this stage of my life the upheaval of divorce, the drastic drop in my standard of living and the loneliness of being single (my younger daughter leaves home at the end of this year as well, so I face an empty nest) was really not something I could face, on the other hand fWH is really trying hard in the R process, we do love each other and live together extremely well. So I decided I obviously had to choose to R.

The problem is that I under-estimated how hard it would be to live with ME if we R. I am furious with myself for tolerating his bad behaviour. I have this voice inside my head that is saying “you useless, spineless idiot… how could you accept him back after what he has done to you? How can you tolerate the way he treated you?... blah, blah, blah…” It is relentless.

I think the thing that makes this so hard is this:
3 years after we got married fWH lost his job because he stole some money. I was mortified, nothing like that had ever happened in my family, it was a concept completely foreign to me. I was a SAHM and we were in a complete mess. My parents helped us out until fWH found a new job. He assured me nothing like that would ever happen again.

In 2000 fWH and I decided to emigrate. A few years previously fWH had been retrenched and my father bailed us out – bought a business for fWH to run. When we decided to emigrate fWH sold the business, we rented out our house and fWH left for the UK, leaving me and the kids with my parents while he found a job, a house for us etc in the UK. I duly booked our plane tickets and all was looking peachy. It then came time to pay for our tickets and I asked fWH if he could send money over, he said that I must get the money from my father as the sale of business was due to be finalised any day, the money was being paid into my father’s account, and our plane tickets would be paid from the proceeds. I approached my father only to be told that fWH had stolen money from the business, had confessed the day before he flew out and that the sale of the business would only JUST cover the money he had stolen and a loan he had taken from his brother (unbeknown to me)…. In other words, there was no money for me and the kids to fly over to join fWH.

I was beyond devastated! Totally mortified by what fWH had done. I told fWH that our marriage was over and I set about getting a job, renting a flat for the kids and myself etc. I missed fWH desperately, I hated being single, I was in a really bad place.

A few months later I got a letter in the post from fWH. It was the most touching, heart-felt letter, from a man who had never been great at expressing emotion or admitting fault. He admitted that he had never been the husband I deserved, he owned up to all his faults, he expressed how I was his soul-mate and he couldn’t live without me, he showed true remorse for what he had done and told me that if I gave him a second chance he would spend the rest of his life proving to me that he loved me more than anything, that he could be the man I deserved. At that point I just melted. I forgave him completely. That letter was literally a turning point in my life, I think that was the first time I really and truly gave my ENTIRE heart to fWH.

He came home a couple of months later for a holiday and we were fully reconciled. My whole family thought I was making a huge mistake and told me so, but said that it was my decision and they would stand by me whatever I decided. He applied for a transfer back to S.A and it took 2 more years before the transfer became final.

In that time our relationship got better and better. We were communicating on a level we had never before, even though we were living on separate continents. We would email each other numerous times through-out the day, sms, phone at least once a day. I felt a connection that had never been there before and he felt it too. Every 6 months he would come home on holiday and it was like a 6 week long honey-moon. Pure bliss! We couldn't wait for him to come home permanently.

He finally came home in May 2003. Within 3 months the EA began and the PA began at the beginning of Feb 2004. To make matters worse this wasn’t just some hours stolen here and there with OW. He literally had 2 lives running parallel. He would spend 4 days and 2 nights a week living with her as if she was his wife! He was an accepted part of her family, they socialised with her sister and brother… that type of thing.

I believed that letter he sent me from the UK completely. I put my faith in that letter. I went against my family by taking him back then. This man KNEW I had huge abandonment issues (my birth-father walked out of my life at age 11 and I have never seen him since) he knew how the death of my only sibling in 1996 had hurt me. He knew how deeply HE had hurt me in 2000 and what it took for me to R then. I just don’t understand how he could have then gone and betrayed my love for him in such a horrible way. But worse still, I don’t understand how I can even think of taking him back now? Why I want to? I don’t understand why I still love him? I feel like our relationship is so toxic now because on the one hand I am trying to return to some kind of normality, focus on NOW, see the efforts he is making, look to the future, but on the other hand I am FURIOUS at him, at ME. And every now and again it all comes spewing out in hideous rages. What a mess!

phoenixrivers posted 4/22/2013 04:17 AM

Hi ItsaClimb,

I'm very sorry for the position you find yourself in. I understand feeling like an idiot. Been there, done that. My story has elements of yours. I was attached to an emotional zombie who looked alive but wasn't. In my mind she was everything I wanted in a partner. In reality I was severely deluded.

I am constantly amazed at how I was able to fool myself into believing the person I was with was responsible for my happiness. Truth is I was blissfully unaware of her distance, coldness and emotional unavailability.

I think like me, you've been fooling yourself into believing that you're better off with this man than without him. Yes, life for you would be hugely different should you divorce. That fact is scary enough. Add to it how lonely and vulnerable you would feel and you have a recipe for outright terror.

But ItsaClimb, you are not alone with these feelings. They are a natural state for all of us. No one is really there for you and you have been as alone in your marriage as you will be should you divorce. In all the years you have spent in drama with your fwH, you have lost yourself. The prospect of getting to know you again is what's frightening.

I think you will be much better off without him and learning to rely on yourself. At the moment of truth, would you trust your fwH to be there for you? No matter how loving, how committed, how loyal and how attached, no one will take the final journey with you. You will face it alone. As alone as you will ever be and as alone as you have always been.

Embrace your situation. It's the only one you have. Your life has been wasted in a false reconciliation with a man who's not worthy of further expenditure of your emotional treasure. Spend your wealth on yourself. Learn about you. Expend your energy on finding your strength. Be happy within yourself. Then, no one can harm you ever again.

And the only person who counts at the moment of truth will be prepared for the journey.

Good luck and many hugs.

[This message edited by phoenixrivers at 4:20 AM, April 22nd (Monday)]

catlover50 posted 4/22/2013 05:39 AM


The thing that's hard in your situation is that the A was so long ago. He truly could be a different person now. It's very disturbing that he started the A just after coming back and the way he carried it on. The stealing (twice) is also worrisome. But who is he now?

Of course you feel like an idiot-- you went against your family's judgement and were proven wrong. I've done the same. But the important thing is today. If in your heart you still don't trust him you have your answer. Things don't matter( pets do!!!). Your self- respect and emotional health matter.

Strength to you.

ItsaClimb posted 4/22/2013 10:11 AM

But who is he now?

What is doing my head in is that he seems to have changed, he seems to be completely remorseful and willing to do whatever it takes to R. In the 6 or so years before I found out about the A things were great. He was great. WE were great.

But something inside me still reminds me all the time that he had the A, he hid it from me for all those years, I've already given him a second chance and he blew it, that he promised me in that letter that he would be "the husband I deserved" and look what happened?

I WANT to R, I really do. I want to grow old with him. I want my happy, comfortable life. Heaven knows I don't want to start all over again - single and penniless - at my age.

If I could just shut that voice up that keeps on yelling at me to kick him to the curb!

doesitgetbetter posted 4/22/2013 11:18 AM

I just don’t understand how he could have then gone and betrayed my love for him in such a horrible way.

The simple answer is, because he knew you would stay and tolerate anything that he did to you if he said the right words to make you stay. It's worked for him countless times in the past, so why would this be any different? He walks on you because you let him, plain and simple. That is the consequence of your choice to stay to keep this lifestyle and tolerate his actions, lying, thieving, sneaking around. He's been a liar and a thief since the wee days of your marriage.... he's not changed a bit, you just keep expecting him to suddenly start telling the truth and being a better person. He's shown you time and time again who he really is, you just choose to never believe him.

sisoon posted 4/22/2013 13:34 PM

I'm sorry you're in this sitch, but I think you are again leaving yourself unprotected.

What has your H done to change? Is he in IC? Has he made amends for what he's done? He can't do much about the infidelity, but he could, for example, pay back what he stole.

Have you considered a post-nuptial agreement? For example, he could put aside some of his income in an account that belongs to you that will, by agreement, not be considered a marital asset if he steals or otherwise cheats again.

BTW, how is it that he has a nice house, after his history? He was broke a few years ago....

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:35 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]

ItsaClimb posted 4/22/2013 13:52 PM

What has your H done to change? Is he in IC? Has he made amends for what he's done? He can't do much about the infidelity, but he could, for example, pay back what he stole.

This is what makes this so hard, because he has done so much to change. He is in IC, working hard at it. He has read various books with me, he is talking about it all, answering my questions. He helped me draw up a marital contract. I honestly can't find fault with what he is throwing into this. He is desperate to R and to make it work BUT in light of past history, I can't trust it. Part of me desperately wants to, I honestly do love him, I want to be with him. But the other part of me is shrieking at me not to fall for it. Fell for it once before and got badly, badly burned!

Regarding the money he stole, that was all paid back years ago. He got a really good job in the UK, transferred back here with the same company in 2003 and has done great in his job ever since.

Have you considered a post-nuptial agreement? For example, he could put aside some of his income in an account that belongs to you that will, by agreement, not be considered a marital asset if he steals or otherwise cheats again.

Definitely looking into the post-nup. I think I need tangible proof that I am protected if he messes up again.

I dunno, I still need to do some serious soul-searching. Up until this weekend I felt as though I had a handle on this, but now I feel quite lost.

Can leopards really change their spots?

doesitgetbetter posted 4/22/2013 14:04 PM

looking into the post-nup

Given his incredibly awful history with money and hiding/stealing it, I wouldn't feel safe even with a post nup with this guy. It means nothing, he's proven he can and WILL steal from whomever he chooses, including family.

laney57 posted 4/22/2013 14:12 PM

I have no words of wisdom, because I'm working through as you are. You're not alone and I hope that you find help with the advice above. I sure did. Phoenix, in particular.
The time that has passed before finding out is brutal. Some would think easier (as it's over in most cases). I don't, I feel as if those 6 "wonderful years" are tainted. All the good times and memories now are blah.
Similiar to you, my WH and I had seperated 1 year prior to his 4 day fling. He cried (1st time) and begged us to try again. Background - he was absent while I beat cancer. Anyways, I was sure that he loved me again and life was grand. Obviously, not...
Such heartache and so many games. I so understand your fear of being alone though. I would trade everything I have to live in a box with someone who truly loves me (that I believed).
Hugs and strength to you.

kansas1968 posted 4/22/2013 14:13 PM

I just think you are fighting a losing battle with this guy. Given his history, he really has no boundaries or no concept of right and wrong. Stealing is just another form of cheating. A violation of trust.

This is just my opinion, but I think you really think about leaving. Surely you have some assets is common that can be sold and split.
If you decide to stay I am afraid that you will just have to accept that he is not going to be faithful to you. A hard thing to live with. So, so, sorry you are going through this. It is not fair, but these things never are. Hugs.

catlover50 posted 4/22/2013 14:16 PM

I think that people can change if they really want to. I feel that my fWH has changed/is changing. I believe it in my heart, which makes me rest easy and be hopeful and happy for our future.

During our "false R" ( no A but still lying) I did not feel peaceful. I kept looking up for that other shoe. When it finally dropped it took him several more weeks to basically "give up". All at once he stopped all lying, opened up about his childhood, and dove into the work. He began focusing on me and the M. He became someone I didn't believe was possible.

He could still slip and I take nothing for granted. But my inner voice is purring happily.

I think it's important to listen to that voice.

brokensmile322 posted 4/22/2013 17:11 PM

Its a climb,

I, too, believe people CAN change. It is one of the beautiful things about being human. We can all grow. Yes, are there people who are serial cheaters, liars, thieves...YES. But I do believe people can change if they put a lot of hard work into it.

The thing I am unclear about in your story is where you say that he moved back, you lived in bliss until you found out. It sounds like the A was long ago and over? Not that it being over makes it any better, but I agree with cat lover, "Who is he now?"

How did you find out? And more importantly, what and who is your WH now?

If life was great before you found out and the A was over, and now it is good because your WH is working hard to fix who he is, I think you have to ask yourself, "Why wouldn't you try?"

For some people this is just a deal breaker, period. If that is the case, make the decision and move on. To hell with the small flat and cushy lifestyle. I get that it would be hard. Move on!

Do not stay because it's comfortable. You will destroy your very soul.

crazyblindsided posted 4/22/2013 18:44 PM

If I could just shut that voice up that keeps on yelling at me to kick him to the curb!

I just read something about this over the weekend about why R is so tricky. We have to fool our minds in a way because after trauma our mind tells us to run and protect itself from whatever is causing us the trauma. The challenge is the thing that is causing us the trauma is also the person we love and trusted It's a tough road for sure.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 6:46 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]

ItsaClimb posted 4/23/2013 01:41 AM

The thing I am unclear about in your story is where you say that he moved back, you lived in bliss until you found out. It sounds like the A was long ago and over? Not that it being over makes it any better, but I agree with cat lover, "Who is he now?"

He moved back in May 2003, the EA began in Jul/Aug 2003, the PA began in early Feb 2004 and ended at the end of May 2004. I only found out in Aug 2012.

How did you find out? And more importantly, what and who is your WH now?

He confessed about the A. It all came tumbling out on 18 Aug 2012. (the whole story is in my profile)

In hindsight I can see that there was a huge change in him post-A. He says he realised what a stuff-up he'd made, and was determined to change and make things work. 2005 was a difficult year as he had a serious accident and almost died, was critical for a few days and then had a long period of recovery. 2006 - 2012 were wonderful years for us. Our marriage became so strong, I felt we were genuinely soul-mates. He has done nothing "wrong" (apart from keeping the affair from me!!) since the A - no dishonesty, no infidelity. I had a meeting with his IC and she is adamant he is truly remorseful and committed to working on his issues and our relationship.

If I had to only consider the past 8 years, I would be completely comfortable staying with him. He has been dependable, a committed family man, loving, kind...... It's when I take into account what he did in the past and the fact that he hid the A from me for so long... that's when the wheels come off.

I'm just so torn! I read the responses saying I should leave... and what they say is true. On the other hand I look at the man in front of me and he assures me he has changed, he is humbled, he is willing to do anything I ask... I WANT to believe he has changed, I WANT to stay with him, live the life we were living pre-DDay, grow old together.

I'm going to wait till the end of the year before making a decision. Our daughter is in her final year of school, so I don't want to throw her life into turmoil right now anyway. She is moving away to college in January, so if there are going to be any changes, that seems the obvious time for them to happen. By then we will be more than a year past D-Day and hopefully I will have some more clarity in my own mind about which way to go.

Thanks so much for all your responses.. I have read and thought about each and every one.

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