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4.5 years later, is BH being unreasonable?

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Ceili posted 7/6/2013 15:54 PM

First time poster, long time lurker.

Background:4.5 years ago I had an affair. It started out emotional (about 6 months) and was physical for one weekend.
My mother and sister knew what was going on.
When BH found out I wanted to divorce and my family supported that decision, he wanted to reconcile. I stayed. He demanded I gave no further contact with family. I did not speak to them for 3 years (including my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter). I did not have a phone, car or Internet access for 2 years. Eventually he had to allow me a phone and car when I was due to deliver. When my daughter turned 2 I begged to have contact with my family again. That was a year ago.

They drive 3.5 hours to see me and my kids. BH does not participate in visits. I would like to spend a few days at my mother's house this summer. I am a stay at home mom with a very limited budget for entertainment and it would be a break for me and the kids. We could really use a change if scenery.

The idea of doing this sends BH into a rage. I don't know how much this is related to the affair, and how much it is him having become accustomed to having the final say on everything I do.


authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 16:04 PM

Hi Ceilie,

Welcome to SI. I'm glad you decided to post .

Your BH (understandably) has a lot of animosity towards your family. A lot of time has passed and the anger isn't healthy for anybody.

Question---are your family members now 'friends of the marriage'? Are they toxic? Are they healthy for you? Do you discuss your M with them?

I think that after all this time, things should be able to be discussed without your H flying into a rage. Of course he's angry and hurt, but where is the communication? He's not your father, you should be equal partners, and you aren't serving a life's a marriage.

My BH had the same reaction when he found out that my sister and his own sister (and our closest family friend) knew of my As. After his initial rage (which lasted awhile), what he did was have heartfelt conversations with all of them letting them know how he felt, how betrayed by them he felt.

The relationships might never be the same (we aren't friends with the friend anymore, but the relationship with our sisters were mended), but I think it's reasonable to expect him to talk it through, since it is your family and you want them in your life.

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 16:12 PM

My family tries to be supportive of our marriage, but it is hard for them to see me on a very very short leash this after this much time has passed. They would like for me to have a "normal" life.
Both my family and I try not to step on his toes but nothing short of me cutting them out of our lives again would make him happy.

authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 16:21 PM

Both my family and I try not to step on his toes
Keep your family out of the equation for a moment. Their opinion doesn't matter to him. They are free to talk to each other about your H, but IMO, he should not be discussed with you. You and H should be a unified front.

That's why I think it's important for you to sit down with him when it's not in the heat of the moment and tell him how you feel. If he starts yelling tell him that you would like to have a conversation without the yelling. You do not have to tolerate yelling from him.

Explain that you understand how painful it might be for him, but you need to be treated like an equal.

If he doesn't hear it or doesn't want to discuss it, you still get to decide what to do. He's not your warden and after almost 5 years of rebuilding trust, he has to let go a little bit.

noescape posted 7/6/2013 16:44 PM

Question is, has that trust been rebuilt?

Have you resolved your own issues with your A and then contributed to your H healing from that? Have you gone through honesty, true remorse and transparency? You're right, he's not your warden and you're free to make your choices. My concern, and please take it as an uninformed opinion and not a critique, is that you (both) might've not done the work required to reconcile post-A and thence the only option you feel is viable is one of leaving him (which is where I feel this is leading up to) or him wanting to cut off your family..

That might be something to look into given the lack of communication and his uneasiness. On average, you'll find that the after affects of betrayal will only start to wane 2-5 years in, AFTER DDay, not after the A started. And the last DDay is when the last bit of truth of the A came out, so please consider that when counting the timeline.

Have you guys sought IC or MC or some other form of professional help? I have also heard that certain family members are better cut off if they are still enablers of wayward thinking, but I cannot comment on your family, just something further for you to ponder.

doesitgetbetter posted 7/6/2013 16:47 PM

I kind of disagree with AN. If your family was a party to the infidelity, then they are the enemy to your H and will not be on his side and he knows this. Why should he open himself to people who were "in the know" about you breaking your vows to him and they sat idly by and let it happen? If you were a victim of a rape, would you want to hang out with the friends of the rapist who knew he was planning to rape you and they didn't bother to warn you about it? This is how it feels to be a BS and other people knew about the A and didn't tell you.

I understand you want to get out of the house and spend some time away. I don't like how it sounds like you are a convict stuck in the house, that's not right. But I believe that that issue is separate from your family issues.

I can tell you that my H's family cast me out after they found out I was a BS and my H had cheated on me, and my MIL was my best friend before DDay. We would talk dozens of times a week. After DDay, she slowly started cutting me out of her life, and my H wasn't about to let her become an enemy to our M and vilifying me somehow like that... and she didn't know about the A's while they were going on. To this day, my H doesn't talk to his family because they refuse to patch things up with me, and that is his choice, however he knows my feelings about it.

Now, for you being on such a tight leash... it is WAY past time for you to be able to go out and do things with your kids. Your H does need to loosen up about that, otherwise he will never let you out of his sight and you will be a prisoner forever and he will be a warden forever. Not healthy for anyone, especially your kids to see that dynamic. But again, that issue is separate from the family thing.

Just my opinion though.

authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 16:49 PM

I agree with noescape. All very good points, IMO. I probably oversimplified it.

I have a feeling that this issue trickles down into other areas of your M. What R work has been done? I think it's a much bigger issue than just this one issue with your family.

authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 16:54 PM

I hear what you're saying, doesitgetbetter. That's why I said this:

Question---are your family members now 'friends of the marriage'? Are they toxic? Are they healthy for you? Do you discuss your M with them?
I think this information is important in regards to allowing them back into her life.

People use terrible judgment during other people's As. I think a person's true character is shown. I had ONE friend who told me he would not hear about it, he thought it was wrong and he did not approve of it. Pretty much everyone else were my cheerleaders. That was a very bitter pill for my BH to swallow.

But like I said, it's important to process and pick and choose who to let back in, and when it's family it can be very complicated.

I think it's important for the communication to start happening in this regard for Ceili and her BH, because (from what she posted), it sounds like it's just a lot of rage and yelling, and at this point there needs to be better communication, some discussing at least.

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 17:19 PM

DD was 10/02/08. Sent NC email the next week. Cut off contact with my family December '08. Got rid of all email/social networking/ phone at the same time. Basically if he needed/asked for something he got it, but I know we haven't worked through things the right way. Long before the affair I asked BH to go to counseling with me. He refused. I asked again after DD, still refused. Which is exactly why I finally registered with SI, I want to do better.

My family never liked him. He is 8 years older than I am and we started dating when I was a teenager. They never approved of his being dominant in our relationship and they resented that I moved to live in his hometown near his family. They also disapprove of his spotty work history and his failure to be a good provider.

The flip side to this is that he has always disliked them, has never sought to establish a friendly relationship, speaks ill if them I front of the kids etc etc.

All if this is unrelated to and was going on before A.

I recognize that my family is not truly and honestly supportive of my marriage, but without them I have zero support system. I live in my husbands hometown with his family and his friends. I have no friends of my own because he has always discouraged it. I am NEVER without at least one child.

authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 17:37 PM


I'm sorry your H is treating you this way. It sounds like he hasn't treated you like an equal partner or respected you throughout your M.

Never an excuse for an A, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have his shit in the M to own.

Unless you stop allowing him to control you, he won't change.

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 17:46 PM

This is the heart of my problem, separating the what is the result of my cheating and what is problems that always existed within our relationship.

authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 17:48 PM

The fact that he is unwilling to address any of it other than controlling you says a lot.

noescape posted 7/6/2013 18:12 PM

Since this is the wayward forum, I'll plough ahead

Basically if he needed/asked for something he got it, but I know we haven't worked through things the right way. Long before the affair I asked BH to go to counseling with me. He refused. I asked again after DD, still refused. Which is exactly why I finally registered with SI, I want to do better.

Did you do work on your own regarding your waywardness? What kind of digging have you done; regardless of counseling? Books? Forums? (try the healing library).

There are tough questions that need answering as a WS and then DEMONSTRATING the process of change to the BS. Nothing excuses poor treatment however the existing dynamic also does not excuse not working on YOU for yourself.

It seems you tried to let him lead a lot which is not usually a good idea for a BS. The WS has to take initiative and work on themselves for their own sake too - regardless of where the M was and where it is going.

You cant expect him to 'work through' your crappy choices. Thats for you to own. Insisting on MC prior to facing your own issues is a waste, IMHO. He may have a load of issues too, and the M may have already been terminally ill prior to the A's but none of that takes the focus off working on the wayward thought processes and getting to the bottom of the why's that lead to eventually healthier behaviours. Are those changes a 'work in progress' or has the M reached stasis since DDay because "he wont go to counseling"?

Some of the A and post-A behaviours might arise from some form of passive aggression on your part? Just a thought...

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 18:23 PM

Not sure what else I could/can do. I found this site in 2008. , but only had access for a short while before I gave up Internet access. Ditto books, I have up my library card because BH felt that too many books were sympathetic to cheaters. I answered any/all questions honestly. BH demanded complete submission as a condition of staying married. It was not a matter of me leaving the ball in his court. These were his stipulations.

authenticnow posted 7/6/2013 18:27 PM

These stipulations...are you willing to live like this forever? It sounds very comfortable for him-him basically having to give you permission for every move you make and you being submissive and obedient.

I don't throw out the 'this is abuse' statement very easily, but this sounds like an abusive situation to me.

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 18:32 PM

To give a clearer picture of how I am attempting to reassure him now: he regularly reads text messages to and from my family. He regularly reads my email. I have phone conversations in front of him regularly and if I use the phone when he isn't home I tell him about the conversation. He is always invited to participate when my family visits. I make a conscious effort to say nice things about him to my family and to tell him when they say something nice about him.

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 18:36 PM

Again, that's part of why I am here. I am not innocent. I had an affair. And when I did that to my marriage I gave up certain rights and freedoms.

So how do I tell the difference between what is necessary to reconcile and what is abusive? If I can't speak negatively about my BH how can I articulate that I don't feel this is healthy?

noescape posted 7/6/2013 18:49 PM

ceili, pls check your pvt messages.

Ceili posted 7/6/2013 18:54 PM

My hope is/was that as I proved myself to be trustworthy with years of transparency I would regain some normalcy. I am not asking for a Facebook account or time alone. I would never ask to keep any passwords private. I don't expect to get everything I had back, but I would like to have less restricted access to my family.

mike7 posted 7/6/2013 19:00 PM

he doesn't sound like he's being reasonable to me. In fact, without any real information, it sounds like an abusive relationship.

i'm a BS and I just found out this year. I'm still pretty torqued, but I would never treat my wife like that. I don't even check her stuff anymore. She knows she needs to behave or I will leave. But, she's a human being. She deserves to be treated like a human being. IMO so do you.

It doesn't sound to me like you are in a healthy situation.

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