I've been thinking about this...
What is REALLY making it possible for me to stay with my FWH is the realization that he was broken, sick(mentally), and insane during the A.
My vows to him 28 yrs ago included "in sickness and in health."
If I thought that he was in his right mind during it, I think I would find it impossible to R.I also told my FWH this.
FWH is very remorseful. He is in IC. We had MC too. And I had some IC to help me get through the first 6 months. I saw my IC yesterday for a "tune-up". She is our MC too. Knowing my H, she agreed with my theory.
I'm wondering if other BSs think this about their FWs?
Was your FWS mentally broken and sick in the head?
Is it helping you with the R process?
Thanks in advance for reading and responding...I love the support I get from all of you.
[This message edited by Searchingforhope at 3:08 PM, May 23rd (Thursday)]
Putting the pieces back together, day by day. Hardest thing I've ever done.
My reason for R is that I recognized that altho the A was NOT about me - I DID contribute to the breakdown of our marriage with unkind, uninterested, behavior. I was tired, angry, sad.
I feel as if we got lost - (and then he got stuck in the weeds!)
So, no. I don't think he was insane. I do think he was in a very bad place.
But I did say for better or for worse and sometimes the "worse" does come along doesn't it?
My WH was emotionally and physically abused by both parents as a child. He hid the damage really well, but he had intense fears of failure and abandonment and low self worth. Most of the time, he was a gentle, successful, rational man--a great dad, provider and my best friend.
But, being abused teaches bad boundaries, so OW slipped right in and started pushing WH's fear and guilt buttons. He was a miserable, I unrecognizable, panicked man during the A. He felt responsible for placating OW's hysterical emotions in the same way he has always felt responsible for his parents' outbursts of anger or hurt.
I feel like I have a bit more insight into his broken or sick mindset. But I can't say I wouldn't R if he'd been mentally healthier because I've learned never to say never!
Multi famam, conscientiam, pauci verentur.
I haven't forgiven her yet — it's only been three months — but the future is bright for us if she earns that forgiveness, so I think I can give her a chance without guaranteeing that things will work out. She has to earn it.
His behavior was selfish and gave him an emotional high like an infatuation.
Company culture is not family friendly and society in Australia is so male sexually with no respect for women.
He was dishonest and was looking for excuses to do it.
Why do I stay. Because I love him, because I put up with the poor years and why should I walk away and struggle financially and manage with a disabled daughter alone, because he is my best mate, and because in forgiveness I find freedom. And because everyone gets a second chance.
It certainly seems like he was in a unreal state of mind but he wasn't insane, just like a teenager that had moved out of home and went crazy with the freedom.
But do it again and he is gone and so are all his financial assets.
A condition of R is that he seeks treatment for his depression and prepares for it. It happens every winter and he never deals with it.
[This message edited by hobbeskat at 5:41 PM, May 23rd (Thursday)]
So, yes, I was almost relieved to have TWO different substance abuse psychologists explain this to me. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to look at my H in the face. I love him dearly and realize he is on his way to getting "fixed."
I love that you said this:
My vows to him 28 yrs ago included "in sickness and in health."
I told God "till death do us part" on our wedding day in church at the alter and I meant it. :)
He was not insane. He knew exactly what he was doing. His lies were thought out, calculated, planned in advance. I was gas lighted and manipulated for years. No, he was not insane.
Why am I staying? Because I believed he could be better, even when he didn't.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
All that said, it's neither a good excuse for her affair nor is it a reason I've chosen to reconcile.
It does affect my understanding and empathy toward her but in no way does it assuage any fears I have or problems with her actions. She personally has always shied away from admitting to it being a factor because she feels it takes responsibility from her, yet it is still true. And that's the thing we both agree to, despite her being fucked in the head at the time those were still her decisions and choices she made in that state.
In fact knowing she snapped out of the blue and all that ensued due to her mental state is what often puts the deepest of fears into me regarding our future. At least if she had a moral character flaw only I could believe behavioural therapy and work alone could perhaps guide her to never doing it again. But for us, she honestly was not in the right state of mind and that terrified the fucking hell out of me and still does. Even knowing just how close she was to killing herself still gets to me.
As I asked her just before she had a psychiatrist appointment a couple months ago, "what stops you from snapping again and this happening a second time?" 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years, no matter how long from now, what stops it? She's spoken with doctors, she's been in counselling, she's opening up to me, she's learning healthy coping mechanisms and so forth. She's doing everything she can to make sure it doesn't happen again.
What is your husband doing if you genuinely believe he was sick in the head? Aside from counselling that is. My wife and I have a lifelong agreement that she gets medical help the moment I feel uneasy about how she's doing.
I understand why you're trying to seek comfort and hope within the belief he lost his mind. For me, in my situation, it's what can still bring the worst fears.
Surrender to the truth of life.
He knew exactly what he was doing. His lies were thought out, calculated, planned in advance. I was gas lighted and manipulated for years. No, he was not insane.
^ Yep exactly my thoughts.
A big reason that I am in R is that I have hope (that darn word) that my WH will become a better person, husband, and father. He asked for the chance and I am giving it to him. I am more leery of R than he is at the moment.
Just the other day he said something really strange that made no sense he asked me "You do know that the plant on the bookcase isn't artificial right?" Uh- yeah- I'm the one whose been watering it for the last five years!!!
He's having a blood test to determine if he has a chemical inbalance- which he may. Still- it's no excuse!!! But I do believe that he's sick!!! If you saw his ap you'd have to agree!!!!!!!!!!!
He cheated because he wanted to and he because could. Period.
He has never been a man of strong moral character, which is one reason he cheated but I would not call that an illness...terrible parental guidance maybe but not an illness.
Why R? He begged for a 2nd chance and was committed to becoming a far better H, father, human being.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
However, whether or not he was "in his right mind" had nothing to do with my decision to R with him.
He was extremely remorseful for what he did and I made a decision to forgive him based on that, and that is why we R'ed.
H and I discussed this theory of mine this morning before I read all of your comments.
He said he doesn't think he was "insane" and I guess that wasn't an accurate word that I used.
He doesn't try to weasel out of his responsibility for the A either.
My H has been sober for 9 years...The A was with a young "newcomer" who came on to just about every man at the meeting. I think she has "daddy" issues. She especially liked older married men. She got satisfaction from taking them away from their
wives/girlfriends. My H saw her coming on to all the guys. I think he thought, "Why not me?" When she turned her attentions to him, his ego got a big boost.
He has always felt inferior...not handsome, not athletic, not rich, not worthy , not good enough.
I see that as broken.
H says he wasn't thinking rationally. I believe this.
He says he wasn't thinking of the consequences of his actions.I see that as not being not in his right mind.
H says if he could go back in time and change just 1 thing in his life...this would be it. This was this biggest mistake of his life.
So I try to have compassion instead of anger.
I know this is a bit rambling. I guess I'm trying to figure it out for me.
Thanks for reading...
I think all of us are "broken" to a certain degree. We all use "coping mechanisms" to deal with what is going on in our lives, and sometimes, especially under extreme stress, we don't cope well. Especially when we can't identify or even acknowledge the stressors in our lives. Many people cheat when there is something particular going on in their life they seem to be handling, but not so much, hence the A.
Those who are serial cheaters tend to be those who don't deal well with life, in general, whereas the one time cheater may have finally reached his/her breaking point. Of course, when they find the A somehow meets those messed up needs, infidelity becomes their drug of choice. It's addicting.
Like you, I find this easier to accept and deal with than thinking my H is just a selfish a-hole. I couldn't stay if he were only that. Instead, I continue to love the flawed man, as I always have. Especially since he is a loving and compassionate man who, since getting his head out of his arse, is doing what he can to help me with my brokenness.