I know from hacking her Facebook and reading the messages she's sent to her closest 2 friends that she's remorseful, knows she screwed up big time, and wants desperately to mend this hell we're in. Cheaters lies, but she won't lie to her friends. from the dates of the messages, i know its true (some pre-dday).
So that brings me to this... I'm doing almost the opposite if the 180. Am I screwed? After spending so many years emotionally shut down, I'm having a hell of a time not wearing my feelings on my sleeve and not saying what I feel. I'm trying to take care of myself and such, but as far as our relationship and communication, I'm failing the 180 miserably.
I'm going to have the weekend mostly to myself to think and lean on friends while doing guy stuff working on my cars and such. Shes going up to visit with her dad and attending her side family reunion (taking kids with). I could care less about missing visiting with her dad, he's cool, but also half the reason she can emotionally detach so easily (read that as he's a mans man and a shitty father). The family reunion, on the other hand kills me to miss. I just cant trust my emotions being around everyone with no escape path if it gets bad. I cant let the kids see what I'm feeling.
She says she understands my absence and is fine with it. She doesn't want to go anywhere alone and make me question whats going on so she wants the girls with her. The family loves them anyway, and she misses the time with them as "our" oldest 3 just got back from their yearly biological mother visit and then church/cheer camp and such.
please help me
Pray for Strength.
On the same token you will have to gauge if your WS can handle dealing with the emotions that you do have. If things are very fragile then it might be good to work with a therapist or counselor to find the best way to approach and deal with your emotions. Some might be able to be dealt with without your wife while other feelings will need to be discussed with your wife but an IC can help you in trying to do that in the most productive way.
Everyone's path is different and if you are comfortable with your path and feel things are progressing then go with it.
180 is to protect your heart, and emotions, to not have to suffer any new hurts. It is not for every one of us who has been through this. I say that because, if you have a remorseful spouse, and you are not codependent, and things go right it may not really benefit you. For others of us, like me, I probably should have 180'd him intially, and definately after I found he broke NC the first time, however I found it counter-productive to the work of R that I was already very commited to.
If you are clear on what you want, and what it is going to take to R, and she is doing the work already then 180 may be counter productive for you as well. Now if she breaks the terms of R. Has contact again, catch her in a lie, etc. then 180 is good. Because you are not going to be open emotionally for her to hurt you again.
A little time apart this weekend may be helpful for you.
Of course,some aspects of the 180 are good for everyone. You do need to take care of yourself. But if you have a remorseful WW and you are in R,then you need to talk..and talk..and talk. tell her how you feel..ask her questions..let her see your pain. It's important that you do all of these things..that she sees the devastation her A has caused.
Unless Im missing something..which is entirely possible..I don't think you should be doing the 180..
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
There is no blame shifting only acknowegement of where we were at in the relationship- something I had already realized pre-suspicions, and pre-dday. I know what caused this and it was a troubled marriage. I know I was the brunt of the cause of it being shut down myself. I already knew this before any of this and was working on it, I just didn't realize it was as bad as it was and it was "too little, too late".
MC starts Thurs, IC will be set up at that time as well. I also spoke at length to the pastor that married us who offers lifetime relationship "coaching" free of charge for the future. He said unfortunately, he doesn't feel qualified to mend a broken relation ship. I only wish I had woke up earlier.
Never lose yourself. You risk losing everything.
No marriage is perfect. But that is no reason to cheat.
Look at it this way..look at all the BS's here on SI..especially those in the JFO forum. Our marriages are pretty troubled..no? So would it be ok for us to cheat on our WS's..because the marriage is in trouble? Of course not. We talk,seek IC/MC,bond,try to rebuild trust,etc. We WORK on it..we don't just say "fuck it" and cheat. Your WW chose to cheat,rather than reach out an attempt to fix the problems. Even if she came to you and asked you to help with the marital issues and you were too busy,or whatever, she could have done the honorable thing and told you it was time to divorce. Instead she chose to cheat.
Many WS's here on SI have said they had a great marriage..they were happy with their BS..but they cheated anyway. Because the marriage..and their BS..had nothing to do with their decision to cheat.
You are responsible for your part of the problems pre-A...but she is 100% responsible for her decision to cheat.
[This message edited by confused615 at 9:02 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
If so, then the 180 may not be for you. We talk about it a lot, but it's not a tool for everyone; it's for specific types of circumstances.
Cheaters lies, but she won't lie to her friends.
Or, you may be right. She may not be lying---"just" failing to be truthful. (Lies of omission are common.) Or, she may be telling herself, "If I tell my friends this---and my husband reads it---then he'll think he knows what's going on, then he won't put a keylogger on to this computer and see what's really going on, including that I've got a new email address I use to talk to OM."
My point is this: cheaters do lie. And they do lie to their friends. They may fake remorse. They may pretend there IS no affair. Or, they may tell others you're a monster so that, when their affair comes to light, everyone will say, "Oh, poor dear---it's a wonder she held out as long as she did, with that HUSBAND of hers!" (The latter is how my husband played the game, for years, unbeknownst to me.)
If she's not yet remorseful, and is not yet transparent and doing everything she can to keep you in the marriage (including attending IC, providing a detailed timeline, changing her patterns, excising friends who abetted the affair or are not friends of the marriage, and so on), then I'd be very reluctant to accept what she tells anyone at face value. (And THAT is when I'd use the 180.)
"Acknowledging where were were in the marriage" is NOT accepting responsibility for her affair. It's blameshifting. She did not cheat because of the condition of your marriage. You were in the same marriage but did not cheat. There are THOUSANDS of us, here, who lived with difficult people in difficult marriages--but did not cheat. Your wife needs to do some SERIOUS digging to determine how she made infidelity an option.
The real answer will NOT lie in your marriage, but within herself.
Rather than accepting this as the truth, doing the 180 might help you gain clarity about the truth of the situation. It might give you the strength to more clearly look at the character flaws that permitted your wife to make these decisions. You can't change HER, but you can change YOUR beliefs and approaches---which will benefit you AND the marriage. (It does your marriage NO GOOD WHATSOEVER to blithely accept that she had an affair because your marriage was flawed. In fact, it pretty much dooms you to a repeat performance the next time things get rocky--which they WILL. How do I know this? Because all marriages have ups and downs. It's a fact of life. Mature, responsible adults with good coping skills do NOT meet those challenges with infidelity. Why? Because mature, responsible adults know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that infidelity never makes ANYTHING better and, in fact, is a fast track to the END of a marriage. And yes, your marriage ended with the infidelity; now you have to choose how to build a new one where it once stood. IF you choose to do so.)
In all honesty, I was the world's worst 180er. I really could not enact it fully and effectively until I was separated; instead of feeling like a failure for my poor 180 (I certainly needed NOTHING more to make me feel worse about myself!), I focused on the parts I could do, and the ones that made ME feel empowered. I learned, for example, that melting down in my husband's presence, made ME feel worse---and had no impact on him whatsoever. So I learned to grieve alone. There were many parts of the 180 I just couldn't do as long as my biggest trigger shared a roof. So I focused on what I could do. Just that subtle shift in thinking---that I wasn't FAILING, but was rather doing what I COULD---helped me a great deal. I'd had enough of "failure," and didn't need to add the 180 to that list.
My point is, it's not a "failure" to use the 180 as it works best for you. As time passes and events unfold, you'll get a better grasp both on what empowers you, and what you just cannot quite pull off yet. Tailor it for your needs. But listen to your gut, too---and follow its instructions. Honestly, it's rarely mistaken.
One recommendation--NOT 180-related-- is to postpone MC. With a spouse who has not yet owned her actions, it can be profoundly damaging to the BS. It rapidly can devolve into a this-is-what-was-wrong-with-you-and-our-marriage-so-of-course-I-cheated arena. At this point, it sounds as though you're willing to accept some of that. I am here to tell you it will strongly impede R. Unless you know this MC to be VERY well-versed in addressing infidelity, I would not go yet.
I'd quite simply say, "I will be happy to go to MC with you, but not until you're a safer partner. You're still not accepting responsibility for your affair or being transparent about it. You're not yet <fill in the blank>. I think it would be best for us to tell MC that we will start after we've each had IC with different counselors. Once we've gathered some tools and insight, we can make an appointment with MC."
MC with an unremorseful spouse who's not yet owning her actions can be emotional suicide for the BS. Premature MC seems to quite often lead to misplacement of responsibility for the A on to the BS and the marriage. While addressing marital issues is valid, triage is necessary. If you were in a car crash, they'd attend to the respiratory distress caused by chest trauma before even considering that you might have broken fingers and toes.
The danger of too-early MC is that those fingers and toes get examined before the punctured lung. And this can cause tremendous damage to the BS---and to the odds of successful reconciliation.
Your wife needs to do some work on her own, and gather some tools for communicating (and new coping mechanisms) before she's safe in MC, IMO.
And you can use IC to help you gather communication and coping tools to deal with the shitstorm that is going to bombard your marriage for all of the foreseeable future. (For me, it was also useful to help me identify patterns in relationships, which helped me understand why I'd been "willing"---that's not the right word, really, but the closest I can conjure--to tolerate many behaviors from my husband over the years.)
Good luck, (((SuperDad)))) (I love that name.) This isn't insurmountable. But you need to find yourself in the right head space before you can move forward constructively. And neither you nor your wife seem to quite be there yet.
I'm sorry for your sadness about the reunion. I understand that completely, having avoided my family reunion post d-day, as well.
[This message edited by solus sto at 10:04 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
Everyone has demons and inner struggles. They make you weak. I understand this. It doesn't excuse a fucking thing, but it's not like we were all happily ever after. When I was in my bad place, I never had temptation.... what if I did? I'm not justifying her actions in any way. I know she tried to fix us, she tried for years, the problem in our relationship is I wasn't in it because of my own issues. It doesn't excuse a damn thing.
People make their own decisions and must take accountability for them. I take accountability for my part in our interpersonal issues. She has to deal with what she did. I have to deal with the aftermath.
She gives answers without defensiveness only the look of shame and remorse. She is being absolutely (brutally) transparent. I know this could be a front- been there, done that, but I do believe this time around it is different. My first marriage should have never been, I realized that long ago and it helped me cope. There was never the love that my WW and I had/have.
She has nothing to do with any blame-shifting. As I said before, I knew what was wrong with our marriage before any of this came out or was even suspected. I just didn't realize how deep I took her in the process.
It's like I told my x (too late, it turned out) you can put that marriage train back on the tracks as often as you want, but until you fix that broken line, it will continue to derail.
[This message edited by LadyQ at 10:35 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]
I promised myself I would proceed with caution and I will. I just need to know from those that are successfully R'ing if I'm screwing myself by not following 180 to a T.
However, allowing the friendships with those who knew of her affair and condoned it(if they didn't tell you,they condoned it),to continue, is a mistake.
You are being very protective of her. I understand. it comes naturally. But too much protection and your R will fail. It will prevent her from doing the work she needs to be doing,and it will make it easier for her to decide to cheat again.
There was no blame shifting at all. There was no complaining about the state of our relationship pre-A. I, like you , did that to myself. I took ownership for my part of the failed relationship. But the A was all her.
I did not detach. I did work on myself and my issues and heal for myself. She did the same and together we worked on us. It wasnt three separate puzzles to put together. It was more like three different parts of the same puzzle. If that makes sense.
As far as visiting the family, can you too work together to develop an escape plan if you went and things went down hill?
I dont know if it fits your sitch but Prioritizing our immediate family over extended family was one of the first deep intimate non-A conversations we had.
As far as the reunion goes, It's just not an option. It's too soon. Her Mom's family (aside from her father who is no longer part of that due to his infidelity) is the most supportive, loving group of individuals I've ever met aside from my own close family. That being said, it's just too damn early for me to be able to control myself. Her mother lives out of state and she has been in close contact with her about everything will be there and I don't know if I can handle it. I don't believe anybody else in her family knows aside from her brother and mother (both out of state).
I only pray she doesn't suffer a breakdown of her own in front of the kids. They know something is terribly wrong. My 11 year old (youngest from my first) is already starting to act out some. I can see from their looks my teens are not well either.
It's so hard sometimes to put on the mask and be the loving supportive father I need to be. Soccer practice last night was particularly hard. One of her co-workers (the only one who knew) was there and I almost lost it right then and there.
God, give me strength
[This message edited by SuperDad at 4:48 AM, July 31st (Wednesday)]
I found that I had many triggers intially, and it takes time to work through them all. Anxiety is a monster to deal with. I would see something, read something, and whamo my mind was back on the A, and while at work even I would start to cycle with the what if's. It's learning how to manage those that makes things more bearable.
Honestly if going out to kids games is difficult now, then try not to, when you can't avoid it, try walking while you are there, on the field, around the whole area something....I found listening to my favorite music (DMB) really helped, I would get lost in it, and combine that with walking I could burn off the nervouse energy.
Also if you aren't getting sleep call your dr. A little chemical support, ie, antianxiety meds, or sleep meds, and even antidepressants have been used by many here with good results. Personally I chose the antianxiety meds. I am not someone who gets down normally, and knew that I was sad from grief, not from depression, the psychiatrist, and counselor all agreed. The antianxiety med also works great to help you sleep. I would also recommend staying away from Ambien, and Lunesta as those both are associated with "sleep amnesia" and could be problematic.
It sounds like you two are off to a good start with R. That is great. Keep reading, keep posting.