So I am asking here: what can I do? What are your recommendations? I don’t know if I will easily except the answers “forget it “or “move on”. What are your thoughts? Please just share. Anything will help.
Thanks in advance for your time and help.
Have a great weekend.
What are you doing to make yourself a safe partner? Are you doing any digging to figure out why you gave yoursel permission to cheat?
I can only control myself, no one else. I do not have that kind of power.
You need to get your priorities straight and you need to focus right now more on becoming a healthy person no matter the outcome. She might be keeping you in mind right now and then again she may not. Your ACTIONS and your own personal growth are going to be what she needs as well as time and she needs to heal on her terms.
I'm not saying to stop sending flowers or letters, those are all nice things. Maybe just pull back a bit and figure out your "Why's" in all of this. What made having an A okay?
Anyway, welcome to SI, its a wonderful place. Check out the Healing Library over there on the left. There's TONS of invaluable info. Good luck in your journey.
ETA: I highly recommend reading the thread in the WS forum titled " What Every WS Needs To Know". Its currently the 2nd post down from yours.
[This message edited by stilllovinghim at 8:55 PM, May 10th (Friday)]
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
From the sticky thread on the top of this forum, Please remember that this forum is here to give the WS a place to work through their feelings and respect that they need the space to do that.
The people you do your life with shape the life you live
This is a place for healing and introspection, regardless of relationship status.
If you care about her, you will respect her needs. Be a person of integrity and she may choose to let you back in someday. Either way, having boundaries for yourself is a really important step to being a good partner no matter who you're with.
“I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there - that is living.” - Dostoyevsky
I will try to answer some of the questions.
Yes, I am digging into why I did it. I have some excuses but when I listen to them they are actually lame excuses. So I don’t think they are real excuses. I am also confused of myself. Because I never cheated my wife when I was married. Even though we had problems, I never thought of cheating. I was trying to save the marriage. So it is not my style. One of the lame excuse I have actually is to enjoy the bachelor life before getting married again. To me right now it is not a good excuse. So I don’t forgive myself. Actually I am not sure I will be able to forgive myself until she comes back. Since I had marriage without any cheating and I learned my lesson, I will easily not do it again but she probably does not think so.
Livebythesea: I know she is hurt a lot. I know she is in so much pain. That even hurts me more. You are probably right that she is hurt much more than me. I am not here to get sympathy. I am here to figure out how I can get her back and what I can learn from others so I will not repeat this again. I know what I did was wrong and I am trying to deal with it. I wish I had not done it so she was not hurting like you do.
Stilllovinghim: Since she is not talking to me or seeing me. I am not sure how she is going to understand from my actions. I want a chance to prove that I changed so I can show ACTIONS. I hope one day she gives. Because I am going to definitely prove it; I love her and I will not cheat again. As I mentioned above, I am thinking of Whys and I now know what I thought that made the A okay is not really what I should have been doing and that is not who I am. The problem is since she is not giving me chance I am not able to show this to her. I will look into that topic. Thanks.
Aubrie84: My ex-wife had problems with my parents. So it was more in-law issue. I never cheated my wife or thought of it.
Jrazz: I do care about her and I want to give her space but it is so hard. Every minute I want to see her. Every second I am thinking what she is doing. Every day I am thinking of ideas what I can do to get her back. But since I care about her, these days I am just sending letters. So if she doesn’t want to she can throw it away. But believe me; I am dying to see her. I can fly if she says “come here”.
In my sitch. FWH always flirted or flattered other people insincerely. Got off on how their responses to his attention made him feel. He always had bad boundaries with everyone. It made ir that much easier to cheat when he started chatting online with women while playing an online game.
I understand wanting to show her that you won't cheat again. That this was your wake up call. But she is probably wondering why you didn't get the wake up call when she found the online dating site.
Keep digging. You are in a safe place.
The way actions will help is that it will change your tone when you communicate. All the "miss her so much" and "I'll never cheat again" and "this is hard for me too" comments are things she quite honestly probably doesn't want to hear from you. From her perspective, she may very well be thinking that she was lucky to find this stuff out before she married you. She may just be gone.
When was the last time you talked with her? Has she asked you to stop?
Make a conscious effort to stop. Instead of calling her, writing her, or sending flowers, make a journal and write in there. If you feel compelled to send flowers, send them to a nursing home for the patients to enjoy. I know this is hard, but if you re-direct your energy, you may find the strength to let go.
I'm a BS whose WS worked very hard, as you are, for several months at trying to do whatever he could think to make me happy again. I can state from my own experience, the dealbreaker for me was that he wasn't doing it for himself. If his motives were to get me back to the love I had for him before, then that said to me he believed the problem was me, my emotions, my reactions to his betrayals, and that his betrayals were actually just "mistakes" that I would "get over" if he just did X, Y, and Z.
I'd have healed much faster if he would've done the internal digging, not just the surface stuff. I needed full total remorse, no blame from me, no "justifications" or "excuses" as to why he did it, just his realizing he was a truly broken man far before the affair, finding what that brokenness was that allowed him to betray me so many times, and to see he wanted to be a better man.
Instead, I'm in 180, we're separated, and I really don't see us ever making it through anymore. I'm focusing on me, and making sure I never allow his awful behavior and poor boundaries again in my life.
It's good you're staying in IC. It shows you do want to change for yourself too. This very well may be a dealbreaker for her. She may never come back, but regardless of whether she does or not, you can grow from this, become better, gain a real healing. I'd be inclined to believe that huge void and hole you feel with her gone is also attached to whatever the internal issue is that allowed you to cheat in the first place. Perhaps bring that up in your next IC session? Good luck.
You didn't cheat on your first wife, said although there were problems, you tried hard in the marriage, but the marriage failed anyway. Did that experience perhaps leave you with some unresolved abandonment insecurities? If you think that's possible, there's another book I recommend. The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. It is a very good book to help soothe you through a lot of the emotions you're experiencing losing CB. It's helped me tremendously with the loss of my own love. Did the divorce affect your self-esteem at all? Since you had never done this before, the questions would be what were you gaining from this? Was there a need for external validation that these OW fulfilled? Again, the healing deep within you will help tremendously. It will soothe you, help you feel secure again, not feel so lost losing CB, and maybe just maybe, once she sees the you more confident in the good parts of you, she would return.
[This message edited by windowsnotwalls at 7:12 AM, May 11th (Saturday)]
Welcome to SI. There are a lot of things that you are saying that send up red flags. You are placing all of your actions on what she does or doesn't do. It doesn't work that way. Not if you want to be truly healthy. Like this statement
Actually I am not sure I will be able to forgive myself until she comes back
I am here to figure out how I can get her back
This can't be your goal. If it is, once she comes back you will stop digging into why you did this, and the chances of it happening again are high. You are focusing on her, not you. You are the problem here, not the fact that she is gone. Do you want to be a safe person to be around? Someone with boundaries? Then start focusing on why you did this, and because you wanted to be single longer is not a why. Put as much energy into fixing you as you are into trying to get her back. You are obsessed with this person who has rejected you and that is what this is about. And yes, her pain is much bigger than yours.
I know I have hit you with some 2x4's, sometimes us waywards need to refocus our energy in the beginning.
I think if I asked for no contact and I was getting cards, flowers, etc, I'd feel the same, that it was more manipulation. I totally understand that may not be your mindset. I'm just trying to give you the BS reaction. I'd have been much happier with some time of silence followed by a full explanation of the work he'd done on himself FOR himself to recognize and repair what was broken in him, not just win me back. As long as winning me back was the goal, it was a deal breaker for me.
Isadora: Many of my relationships were long term. Since I went to military schools, actually I did not have girlfriend until collage. I did not cheat in my previous relationships either. Like I said, it is not my style. That is why I am still digging into why I did this because superficial reasons do not satisfy me. One other superficial reason that comes to mind is once I crossed the boundaries, I liked the attention and could not return back. But again this does not seem to me a real reason. The other reason I am thinking might be ex-wife related. I will mention a bit below. You are absolutely right; this was a wakeup call and I don’t have good reasoning why I did not wake up before. I also give this example: Sometimes they say fire is dangerous but you still play. I burned my hand and still did not understand the danger. I had to burn my whole body to understand the danger. On the other hand I am thinking why she would come back to a person that acted so childish.
BaxtersBFF: She cried. She was angry. She definitely did not like that I was online dating. I would definitely get angry if I had learned that she had sex with some guy. I don’t know if I would leave her but I would definitely be angry. Matter of fact a similar situation happened. She did not have sex or anything but she got emotionally close. It was someone she dated and had sex before (I did not know this at first). She was inviting him to parties or soccer games we go. One party, after drinking too much, she was so close to him. That is the time I understood that she still has emotional feelings even though she denied saying they are just friends now. I asked her not to contact him anymore. One day he decided to move to India. He invited her to her leaving party. Couple days later she showed me the email. That was good. So I told her that I will not go but she can go. I guess they emailed couple times after that and decided to have drinks on a different day. I learned this later. Yes it made me very angry. She bought me some gifts to forgive her. I forgave her. After she learned my online dating, she contacted him again. I learned this by chance and she did not know this. I casually asked many times if she contacted him but she denied that she did. Even though to me this is another lame excuse but this gave me the rationalization to my dating and putting myself overnight with another person. March 12, 2013 is the date I talked to her last. I waited in front of her work place. I gave her the book (I love you but I cannot trust you), which I just finished. I thought it might help her regardless if she comes back or not. At first she did not want to take but later she did if I promise not to go to her work place. I promised and she took. I also mentioned to her that I am sending her gift (coffee maker since she likes coffee). She was okay with the gift. I later know she picked up the mail and took it home. This is another reason I am in dilemma. If she had moved on she would not accept the gift or take it home. Also when I saw her she did not say stop contacting her. This gives me hope, maybe she might come back. Maybe I am dreaming. I feel I have more chance of winning a lottery than her.
Windowsnotwalls: No, I have not read those books. I will look for them. Many people were saying trust is like a glass, once broken you cannot glue it back. I was believing it too until I read I love you but I cannot trust you. The reason I am mentioning this maybe you should think of giving him a chance if you have not already. At least read the book if you have not. Maybe he learned his lesson. Sometimes it takes to loose in order to understand the value of the stuff you have. I started believing “Broken bone can heal”. But majority believes trust cannot be regained. I think that is why she is not coming back. I am trying to dig more since excuses I have do not satisfy me. I am even trying to go to childhood and see how much it affected this. At counseling we have not come to this topic yet but I am digging myself. About the marriage: I married in 3 months. This definitely affected me. That is why I said to myself I will not marry again so quickly. I wanted to live together first before getting married. I now think that I should have married her quickly. That way I could have stopped and we could have been very happy now. Maybe even kids by now. Marrying quickly before prevented me marrying quickly again. I was married 7 years. At least 5 years of it was with problems. So it definitely affected me psychologically. I am not sure how much and it really created abandonment insecurities. This is another topic I am exploring. I will check out the book. I think the divorce affected self-esteem in women relationships. I am thinking that might be the other reason I wanted to date many women because I wanted to prove myself I am desirable. I am not 100% sure on this. Sometimes it sounds another lame excuse. Sometimes I am harsh on myself.
tired girl: I know I am focusing her too much. It is sometimes preventing me doing the logical thing. But I am also digging into the problem. Even after she comes back I will continue digging so it does not happen again. I am sure even she comes back there will be arguments because she will remember and she will be angry. I will (and I am already) educate myself. I will avoid negative cycles. I will try to understand her concerns. If she comes come back we should still continue figuring out why it happened. It will take time for us to heal. Please feel free to hit me with some 2x4's. That is how I will improve myself.
Actually I am not sure I will be able to forgive myself until she comes back.
Mine actually came back and I still don't forgive myself. <shrug>
Here's the thing. As other posters have said, true personal health (emotional and mental) won't occur as long as you are doing the work for any other purpose other than to get healthy. Not to win back your wife, not to get in anyone's good graces, not as any kind of a manipulation tactic. It won't be lasting and it won't be true.
My XH divorced me over my cheating. Ask those on this forum who remember when I joined---I thought he was never coming back. I was sure it was 100% over. But even without him---I was suddenly tired of how I had been living my life. I'd "HAD IT." Every interpersonal relationship I'd ever had, my whole life, had been a failure...and I could no longer deny the common denominator in the equation. I'd spent my whole life---at that point, 28 years of it---being, alternately, selfish, manipulative, passive-aggressive, a slut. I was done. Not because I thought I could win my XH back. But because I didn't want to spend the NEXT 28 years of my life repeating the same pattern and getting the same results.
I wanted to be mature. I wanted to be a grown-up. I wanted to actually live my Christian beliefs rather than just giving them lip service. I wanted to walk with integrity...not for anyone else...but for ME.
Do it for YOU.
Married 2.5 years
We remarried in 2014 on our would-have-been 7th anniversary