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Do the As affect how you view your entire M?

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joeboo posted 7/6/2013 10:06 AM

While my fww is out of town, I have been giving much thought to the things that trouble me in my M and how it feels with her here vs away. Since joining Ive posted most all my troubles since d-day even those containing way TMI. Even though I still struggle with those, there is something that my fww said that has troubled me since the day she said it.

A few months ago, fww and I were having a very serious and civil discussion about our M, about D, and about the obstacles of R. I was explaining to her my challenge of coming to terms with a failed M of 20+ years and how to build on that to R (the As started when we were dating). Then she replies that it wasnt all bad all the time. Granted, there were some good times, but in my mind it was all under false pretenses. She rejects that mindset because she seemingly separates our relationship from the relationships shes had with other men and somehow and the M was only bad when she was with them.

I guess I look at the M and the relationship with a very holistic view, and she sees it more as a day-to-day moment-to-moment sort of thing. I would hazard a guess that it implies the level of commitment to the M or the moment. To me, its not like a test score where you deduct 1% point for every different guy.

At the same time, it doesnt mean that I cant appreciate some of her good qualities, it just means that its very overshadowed by all of the lies and betrayal since the day we met.

Am I off base here or does an A affect the entire status of the M?

Tripletrouble posted 7/6/2013 10:12 AM

I would agree with you Joe. A marriage IS holistic. Obviously there will be many ups and downs and times that you feel better or worse about the relationship, but ultimately it's a commitment that you don't get to waver on depending on your mood. If a person wants to live day to day, don't get married.

sadandtrying posted 7/6/2013 10:24 AM

My H's A's do affect the entire M - for me.

I think it is different for my fws...
my educated guess is that he thinks of his A's as, yes, terrible mistakes that he regrets, but at the same time, much less significant to the entire M.

(Early on after dday, he actually said that after 25 years of M he thought it was "pretty good" that he had had only 3 affairs - only a total of 10 months out of 25 years - wow! )

Classic compartmentalization and minimization so often characteristic of a ws....

solus sto posted 7/6/2013 10:59 AM

in my mind it was all under false pretenses.

My husband thinks there were "good times." I see them for what they were: times when he was "being good." He was white-knuckling, or pretending, or even trolling for his next affair.

There was no marriage. Not ever.

And that I believe this infuriates him. Because it conflicts with the good-guy view of himself he likes to maintain.

BlindSighted2013 posted 7/6/2013 11:19 AM

Yep, my husband keeps saying that we have had so many good times.

I am still looking at everything as having been a lie, but I am finally getting to the point where I can admit that pre-A, we had some good times.

He had a 12 yr A, and he keeps telling me that even during that, we had good times. He wouldn't think of her when with me, and vice versa. He says that he was still happiest at home. I'm sure that in his mind he is being honest, but BARF!

Ours was 33 yr M including the A time, and yes I am definitely mourning the FAILED M... but I totally get what you're saying...if I am brutally honest with myself, the M failed long ago and I just didn't know it.

So, if we choose to face facts and "build" a new one, how do we categorize the old M? Where do we "put" it in our minds?

We have two adult children, many family Christmases, deaths, births, so just where does that all "go"? Will *I* especially, EVER be able to think fondly of our memories again?

RightTrack posted 7/6/2013 11:20 AM

The two years of his affair wrecked the whole 12 years of our marriage and the two preceding years of dating. I can't think back on any of it without seeing it all as a path to his sick and twisted affair. The only way I can R is with him showing me that he is now a 100% different person and husband than he ever was before.

Even in the "good" (non-cheating ) years he was still being selfish and not reliable. He sees that now, he now apologizes for the whole path.

Nature_Girl posted 7/6/2013 11:45 AM

Yes. I am unable to look at any moment in our marriage and not see it as a farce & a sham. Now that I know STBX married me under false pretenses, now that I know who & what he is, there is no time in our marriage that does not disgust & terrify me. To know that I was married to THAT kind of person? Sickening & frightening.

Take2 posted 7/6/2013 11:45 AM

in my mind it was all under false pretenses

^True for me too. I think this is especially true when the A's go back to the beginning of the M. You end up questioning everything. How could you not?

For me it came down to realizing that what he said, meant, or swore to, at any given point in time - was only good for that moment in time.

His vow of fidelity came with some unpublished fine print that I wasn't made aware of: this promotion may be revoked at any time without cause, explanation, or notification.

I too heard: "but I was good for 20 years" -- we'd been married for 28! And try as I might I couldn't find anyone selling winkie buttons congratulating a spouse for being faithful 2/3rds of the time?

Here's the rub: if I had known the truth, I wouldn't have married him. And he knew that! That's why he lied!

He admitted that as if it was commonsense and commonplace. And at the end of the day - he really doesn't understand that that was not, and never could be okay!!

NotDefeatedYet posted 7/6/2013 12:50 PM

I look at it like a new car. You buy a car and it's great. It might break down on you every once in a while, and it needs maintenance, but it's a good car that you trust to drive across the country in. One day, some screwball crashes into you and it's not quite enough total it. It gets all fixed up and looks new again, but we all know it's never the same car. Now, you don't trust it. It's developed some odd quirks that you can't seem to find the source. You still like the car, but honestly, you know it will never be the same as it once was. People tell you they love your car, but you know it isn't. You smile and pretend like it's super awesome. The hardest question is do you keep it, or sell it? If you sell it, it's probably going to be at a loss because of the damage.

inconnu posted 7/6/2013 12:59 PM

I still don't know how much of my marriage was a lie. But I've been divorced for 3 years and luckily, it doesn't matter anymore.

healingk posted 7/6/2013 13:00 PM

I will totally say that the A effects the entire marriage, we will be married for 40 years this year and now everything I think about is either after A or pre-A... Ugh!
In my minds it changes everything.

ElectricBlue posted 7/6/2013 13:01 PM

In my mind, our entire relationship and everything that ever was between us was erased when he cheated. We were nearly 18 years married and 22 years together when it first came to light. Now we're almost 21 years married, 25 years together and I feel very strongly every minute of the day that I wasted my entire life and all my potential and all my dreams on him. Thank God for my children. I know that at least something good and wonderful came out of me giving up my life and my dreams to the selfish ass I married. They will always be a good reason for what I've been through. I'd do it all again, for them.

sisoon posted 7/6/2013 14:08 PM

We had 43+ very good years, years in which we got increasingly closer to each other and got ever more pleasure from our M - and even so, the A casts doubt on everything in our relationship. It simply boggles my mind.

As time goes on, my discomfort is getting less and less. I suspect it will for you, too, as you get more certain about what outcome you seek.

HurtButHopeful? posted 7/6/2013 14:53 PM

Since the A, I see all the lies of omission, niceness to my face while he was lying behind my back, that we were not "one" until recently (April 2013).

If I was fooled for 19 years, how can I trust whathe says and I see now?

Lackingcourage posted 7/6/2013 18:19 PM

Absolutely it affects my view, though WH doesn't get that. It turns out he's been lying to me for 12 years of our 23 years of marriage. He cheated because "we were having problems and I decided to look for happiness elsewhere. I can't help that I fell in love. I can love 2 people at once but society doesn't allow that." Yet he keeps wanting to talk about all of the good times we had. I just keep thinking about which vacation happened during which affair, and all of the other events in our marriage that were shared with his APs. He only wants to focus on the good times, and thinks I'm ridiculous for "only thinking about the bad." I personally can't separate the two so neatly.

momoffive posted 7/6/2013 21:18 PM

Now that the most recent TT has come out, I've learned my entire marriage was built on lies. WS never was honest with me. Apparently I never got to know the real WS, only what he wanted me to see.

Now I look back at the 26 years we've been together (almost 24 of them married) and see it as not real. I thought we had many good times, but now I feel used. It was all under false pretense.

Ostrich80 posted 7/6/2013 21:21 PM

I agree joeboo. My ws has a very distorted view of his choices regarding a lot of things. Sometimes he says stuff and I'm wondering if he was in the same house as I. He thinks because he goes to work everyday and supports his family, that's being a good husband and father. Yes being a good provider is part of it but it isn't everything. He has damages R with every one of our kids at some point in their life. He doesn't apologize, he thinks because he's forgotten, his victims have too. He swears up and down that he saved our DS from heroin addiction.
Every time he says that I want to punch him. He did nothing but cause more pain to my DS, pain that he had already caused.
So the answer to your question..YESSSSS...he stomps on people and acts shocked when they cower around him. He's the typical asshole kid in the sandbox who throws sand in your eye then gets butt hurt cuz no one wants to play with him.

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