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R and fence sitting (sorry long)

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hopefulmother posted 4/28/2013 11:12 AM

I am the BS. 7 months since D-day. My fWH has become so committed to R. He is sharing more and beginning to be more verbal (I like words of affirmation) in order to bond and show how much he cares. In addition, he is doing more to show it (cooking, making it possible to have me time, physical intimacy, etc.) He really wants to be with me. He has begun to see what the AP was "emotional vampire" in his words.
The problem is: I am now sitting on the fence. I feel like I am two different people with no gray areas.
One side is white: the side that sticks to the vows (for better for worse), love him, do it for the kids, it would kill him to lose them and not see them everyday, he is a good person, he is trying.
One side is black: stick to your moral values (he cheated, you leave), fallen out of love, estranged, he was willing to lose me and family at some point, loss of some trust and respect, devastated he cared that deeply about another women when he was M.

My ideas of M have changed. I know plenty of people that are happier in their second M. Maybe I will find someone that will cherish me more. Have more in common with and share, educate, and challenge me in the things I am interested in. I notice men checking me out and flirting. I never noticed that before the A. I was very happy with who I chose to share the rest of my life with. Now I am so confused.

Is this normal? Can I still call it R if I am now the one fence sitting? I now wonder "what if"? I am so angry that I am going on 9yrs of M and feel this way.

Undone1 posted 4/28/2013 12:08 PM


I too am like you in my fence sitting depending on the day (after 6 months). I thought I should know by now if I wanted to stay or go. In my mind, I set 6 months as my goal. But there was nothing magical about the knowing in 6 months.

Some days I am committed to R but other days I feel the need to flee. In my view, it would be easier to leave than to stay. Look for someone that I know I can trust, love and they in turn. But, there are no guarantees in marriage. We say vows, but we are also human. Like you, I said my vows and meant them. I wanted my fWH to mean them also, but history cannot be changed. The biggest issue seems to be when I dwell in the past too much and wish for it to be different, I want to run. When I look forward, I am worried about whether I can trust and forgive. For now, I am just taking it one day at a time. Working on forgiveness for myself. When I am able to clear my head of the affair, and focus on myself, I am much better. I don't want to keep beating up myself with his affair, or cause myself misery for his affair. Do I want to continue towards reconciliation today, yes I do. But tomorrow, I can't predict. Be present in today!

[This message edited by Undone1 at 12:10 PM, April 28th (Sunday)]

AimfortheHeart posted 4/28/2013 12:32 PM

Hopeful, I wish I had answers to your questions. I'm in almost the same place - remorseful WH doing all the right things, me on the fence. The best I can offer is that you are not alone.
Good advice, Undone - "stay in the moment."

Ashland13 posted 4/28/2013 12:52 PM

I did this, too.

But what did it for me was pretending to reconcile when he really wasn't. Now I know that if he ever chose to do that again, I would not know if it was real or not.

He broke trust so much that I don't think it can come back for me and I don't know if this will help anyone on this difficult thread, or not.

Some of the most helpful advice I've ever given is somewhat relevant here. The irony is the source, an unmarried bachelor who was my childhood priest and the priest who married Perv and I.

He said: after an A, the innocence in M is gone, but when we are living it, we don't know that's the term or what has happened. The person we married is no longer the same in spirit but we never knew they were changing right under our noses.

They not only take away the marriages' innocence of the two people in it, as marriage is for two, but a cheating spouse takes away the betrayed spouses' innocence, too.

hopefulmother posted 4/28/2013 13:08 PM

Thank you for that. My husband uses that mantra, "Focus on the here and now." I try to, but like you guys. The here and now is the reality that I will forever live in a M without the innocence and specialness. Some days I too can deal with it and feel that I have accepted it. Some days I rage against it. Like I said, always black or white. When will I see shades of grey? Now, I feel bad for what I am putting my fWH through. Perhaps I will find more in "Not Just Friends" Currently reading chapter 5.

Angel177 posted 4/28/2013 13:28 PM

I am also having a hard time with this. When DDay first happened the desperation I felt to hold on to him and our marriage was intense. He wasn't sure that was what he wanted I remember thinking that if he just would love me again everything would be fine. He came out of the fog and we began to reconcile and I was surprised at how not fine I felt. The pain, devastation, anger, ect was still there. Now 6 months into R and 8 months past DDay it's still there and I find myself wondering how long I can live like this. I love him but I don't trust him and I feel like I'm just waiting for him to do it again and I don't want to live like that forever. It's such a hard choice to make.

Have you told your spouse you feel this way? I tell WH that I'm not totally happy and still think of leaving him and he holds me and tells me we will get through this. It helps.

mchercheur posted 4/28/2013 13:48 PM

Count me among you. Almost 2 yrs out. WH has made some baby steps , but many of the pre A problems are still there & I realize that he will never change & doesn't want to look at it, plus there is my wound from his A that still needs to heal, & he doesn't want to talk about it.
WH doesn't get it, & I can't force him to.
He doesn't want to look inside & I can't force him to.
So, do I break up our family because I am not happy (I think I could be happier alone---don't think I want to spend the rest of my life with an ostrich))

or do I "play the part" & stay for the kids & for the sake of keeping the family together, but at the cost of my own happiness?

MrsDoubtfire posted 4/28/2013 13:51 PM

My ideas of M have changed. I know plenty of people that are happier in their second M. Maybe I will find someone that will cherish me more

I hate statistics BUT statistically a WS who gets it, does all the work and owns their s**t is about 83% less likely to cheat on you compared to a new partner! Strange statistic I know but it's important to note.

White: yes you could stick to your M vows and this is good reasoning.

Black: Is this his first A or does he have previous? For me I knew I could give him one first last chance but no more than that.

Your SI join date is recent. Is your DDay recent too? If the answer is yes then stop, step back and think about what YOU really want.

If your WS is remorseful and you think they can put the work in for the long haul then I can honestly say (as someone who decided to give the gift of R) don't make any immediate decisions. It's okay to fence sit a while. It's not okay to fence sit after your bum has gone to sleep though as then it's time to get off that fence and choose

cheerless posted 4/28/2013 22:25 PM

Now, I feel bad for what I am putting my fWH through.[/quote

I read your story and i don't think you should feel bad about taking time to make a decision on whether to commit to R.

Very gently, it took your WH a while to commit to his marriage even after DDay, knowing what you had been through in your past life and knowing you have 2 little ones at home.

As the BS, you're entitled to take as much time as you need to make the healthiest decision for yourself. In the meantime he should continue to do all the things you need to feel safe and "whole" again.


hopefulmother posted 4/29/2013 15:56 PM

Angel177: Yes, I have shared my feelings with my WS. I don't hold anything back, no matter how hurtful to him. Way I see it, secrets and hiding true feelings is what got him into this mess. I was open about the M. He wasn't. I was hoping that by sharing everything, it would create more intimacy. He is not good at that and I never even realized it all these yrs.
Mrs. Doubtfire: D-day was 8months ago with one month of TT and his "fog". It was his first time. His sister pointed it out to. That he learned his lesson and that if we split (which she doesn't blame me, but hopes not) that some other women would benefit from this learning experience for him and that I may end up with someone who will do it again. That is all based on whether he is or isn't a repeat offender. Only bad thing about SI-it seems most are repeat offenders later down the road.
Cheerless: thank you.
Mchercheur: I could not imagine feeling like that in two yrs. So sorry, it sounds like he is still avoiding it all. My fWH is really putting in the work.
I guess it does come down to what we all hate the most TIME. I just hate living in what I feel is limbo. I need to look at this in a different light. I just have to stop thinking about what I could have without him or if it would be better without him.

Ashland13 posted 4/29/2013 16:20 PM

These are the same issues I faced with STBXH. He grew up in a family that sweeps everything remotely hard under the rug. I grew up with it being drilled in my head that lies and omission will make a bad person.

During R (that turned out false), it was really difficult because while I worked like a dog to change anything STBXH complained about, he did little. He worked to take the A underground, but on his issues or M issues, nothing or nothing more than maybe once.

The advice from your sister in law, HopefulMother, is kind of funky, because of a few things. She hasn't walked the earth in your shoes that I know of. Another point of view is that the "next gal who "gets" him, will also get a cheater." That's a lot to fathom on your part and she's also not in your heart knowing the pain you are sorting through.

One thing we BS have to decide, I've learned, is how many times can we open ourselves up to the possiblity of the pain being thrust on us all over again? For example, mine got so bad over the course of the A (that's still happening) that I couldn't handle any more emotionally. Hearing from STBXH made me cry because he was such a jerk and not hearing from him made me cry because I'm having such trouble detatching.

There's a lot to decide during R, but the trust issue for me is the biggest one. It seems that by default in life we trust another and give our hearts sometimes, but when that trust is broken like with cheating, it's a monumental task to search for ways to trust again.

Beautifulmom posted 4/29/2013 20:04 PM

Hopeful, I can't help but see that much of our circumstances are the same, from Ddays (I am 6 mos post d-day as of yesterday) to kids' ages to WH's affair partners.
If I didn't know better I would have thought I had written your post myself. Yesterday, I was sitting on the edge of forgiveness. I really felt it my heart it was time. Today I am having mini panic attacks that I do not know the answer to so many questions, and I am barely able to talk to my WH.
I find it so comforting about what you describe about noticing other men and wondering if you could be happier with someone else. I find that I have fallen out of love with my WH, and really had fallen out of love with him 3 years ago when the "emotional vampire" (love this phrase, so appropriate) closed in. Lately though I can see little glimpses of the man I loved so deeply years ago. For now, that is enough.
3 months ago I could barely get though an hour without thinking, "That's it, I'm done!" Now, the thought comes every couple of days. I find my "cycling" has become less rapid.
What I am scared about is falling into a complacency. It's so cut and dry to say, "I'm leaving you because you cheated on me." But what happens when you wait a year (the amount of time I've given myself to decide), and he has stopped seeing her but now you see all his shortfalls and you can't seem to fall back in love? What if all I see when I look at him is the person who betrayed me so deeply? All I can think of is how little he must respect and value me. Will that make the decision harder?

refuz2bavictim posted 4/29/2013 20:12 PM

I believe that what you describe is normal for many. I know that my entire family describes me having become black and white about many things. I think that the first component is time. Time gives you a chance to sort out those areas of black and white and categorize your feelings. There is a certain safety in viewing things on a black/white level, which is probably why many of us respond to infidelity in this way. The fence sitting will probably come and go over time. I would love to tell you that you will come to a definitive decision, but the reality is that it can change day to day. As you heal, and gain some footing and sense of normalcy you will find that you will gravitate toward one side of the fence more often than the other. It is not an easy road, but you can heal from this.


hopefulmother posted 4/30/2013 12:16 PM

Ashland13: I am getting better with the trust. He really hasn't done anything since true R to break it. But, it is hard to rebuild a relationship when they are lacking a quality you found very important to you when you first started dating. His sister does understand. She is split from her WH. She has been a Godsend and the only one I can talk to in person about all this. It is good to see the other side. After the divorce. Divorce is hard for the kids, but she has found a better man that treats her right and respects her. She just really/truly believes her brother will never do this again. Sorry your EX was such a jerk. My sister-in-law hurt too, until she found a man that treated her the right way.
Beautifulmom: Right there with you about the cycling. My H pointed that out too. Love your name. Sounds inspiring like mine-refuse to give in to the A consequences. Very strong and positive. Maybe we need to focus on how far we have gotten since D-day? Maybe we can't fall back in love because of the things we lost that can't be replaced. I don't want to be in a M where I am not in-love with my H. As long as I can imagine being without him (I know I am not in-love)I think time will make the decision harder. If I do leave, I will feel bad/guilty for all the work and hope he put into it.
refuse2beavictim: love that name too. Thanks...guess it just means more time. For my family, I can be patient. I am no longer really worried about myself. More about hurting him. I know I will be okay. Even if he did it again. It can't hurt as much as the first betrayal. I just hate wasting time.

libertyrocks posted 4/30/2013 13:45 PM

I feel that way. Every. Day. Thinking if I will meet the man of my dreams one day. Then, I think of the H I have cooking dinner for me bathing the kids when I get home from work with flowers waiting and a smile from him...I'm still on the fence and have accepted that I will be on this fence for a year or so until I decide for sure if this pain is worth it.

Good luck.

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