Most of you know my deal by now, but I'll review a bit: WS and I were long-distance this year for work. About a week before I was going to move across country permanently and begin a job in his office, I found out he was having an A with a coworker.
At first he wanted R. He NC-ed OW. Then he said our conversations were "taking a toll" on him and he would only text about how much he missed me. We had another conversation wherein he got a little mean and defensive ("maybe I'm not sorry"), expressed that he missed OW and so I began the 180. Then he wanted R again. He decided to go visit family for a week and we talked before he left. I told him he had to maintain NC with OW as a minimum to even consider continuing as friends. I would find out when he got back that he had taken the A underground and slept with her one more time before leaving.
For the week he was with his family I didn't hear from him at all, even though I asked him to check in every night. I was maintaining 180, so I didn't call him. When he got back, he had completely changed. He was aggressive, hostile, cruel. He started blaming me for the A. ILYB. "You lost me before I met her." You know the drill.
I quit the job and NC-ed him on the spot and, save a few emails that first week canceling upcoming trips and whatnot, we haven't spoken since. Not a word. After about 8 weeks of watching him post manically about how great his life is on FB (nothing explicit about OW-- just junk), I unfriended him so I didn't have to look at it anymore. None of my friends are allowed to tell me anything about him... although I have recently heard through the grapevine (two girlfriends at lunch who let it out before I could stop them) that there is a rumor he has transferred (or at least moved his office) to a different division and that OW no longer works there.
Until that last horrible conversation, I think it's fair to say that WS was all over the place. Sometimes he wanted to get on the next plane to come see me, quit his job, R. Sometimes he washed his hands of helping me, was clearly mourning the loss of OW and, of course, he slept with her again. Throughout he always maintained that OW wasn't a long-term thing, that the A was a result of loneliness and opportunity, that he wouldn't have given her a second look if he were single and that he knew something was wrong with him (he walked out on an engagement shortly before I met him and this transition to my permanently being out there had similar features). At the very end, he did admit that he cared for her and suggested that he didn't know what would happen with OW "six months from now"... but even in our breaking up, he still said that he wasn't sure they had a future. Then he started bawling about how much he missed me. As I say, all over the place.
One of the reasons I 180/NC-ed so quickly (even though, at the time, I didn't know it had a name!) was because I wanted his *actions* to speak for him.
In terms of actions, then, at the end of the day, beyond the fact he took the A underground, he also latched onto lines from OW and his IC about how he "deserves to be happy" and "shouldn't feel guilty" and threw them back at me. Again, he didn't call when I asked during that week at home. As I say, he got cruel and defensive. Again, he hasn't tried to talk to me since. As hard as it is for me to accept, he's just gone. I believe someone called him a "poofer" the other day.
But in the last week or so, I've had a lot of people begin to tell me that I've made it "too hard" for him to try to talk to me. By not trying to talk to him, unfriending him, telling friends and family what he did, I've sent him the message that I'm hostile. They think that I should ask him what's going on or, at least, talk to a mutual friend who works in the office in order to get a sense of what the landscape is (e.g., is he still with OW). They think I need "closure" and the only way to get it is to find out where he's really at. They think that in not facing him I'm hiding away out of fear and it's not healthy.
On DDay#2 when I NC-ed him, I told him I wanted him not to talk to me "for a long time." I told him at least until I got back from a major professional conference in July. I told him that, during that time, I was going to stick with IC with the goal of "learning not to care about you anymore." It was my intention with that to indicate that *he* could check in or contact me when I got back. He didn't. Frankly, it's one of the reasons I unfriended him on FB. As far as I was concerned, his lack of communication helped me feel free to shut that door (which I felt was like a tacit form of communication between us). Some of these same friends are now saying that I wasn't clear that he should be the one to contact and he may be trying to respect my boundaries by waiting for me to contact him.
Listen... over the last few weeks/months, I've been an unholy wreck. Going to IC at least twice a week. Crying almost everyday. I went from a size 4/6 to a 0. If I'm lucky, I get about 4 hours of sleep a night and they are full of nightmares about him calling to tell me that he and OW are in love and living together. I've read every book on NPD and grief and infidelity and codependency on Amazon. My IC specializes in grief and he's been helping me "say goodbye" to him and is *convinced* that he has a PD of some kind agrees that it's better that I found this out now before the move, children, etc. I found a new job for next year that is going to make me insanely busy. I bought a new car. I'm looking for a new place. I'm spending tons of time with friends and family. I'm doing everything I can think of to help myself heal. And, personally, I think NC with WS has been a HUGE part of that.
As far as I'm concerned: WS knows my phone number. We still share the friends&family plan for crap's sake. He knows my email address. I don't think blocking him on FB and gchat constitutes an impassable blockade. I get what people are saying that I may have made it seem uninviting to try to reach out to me... but guess what else is uninviting? Finding out that you used to bring this cretin and her spawn back to our place after work and play house with her until it was time to Skype with me. Knowing that you lived a double life for months. Knowing that I probably don't even know half of what really went on. I could go on...
Am I insane here? Am I really not facing reality or facing something I need to by maintaining NC?
If I'm completely honest, I don't know what I want from him. I know I want an apology. I'd like to know he thinks this was a mistake. I would love my life back... but I know that, regardless of anything he does or doesn't do, that life is gone anyway. We were one of those couples that were in great shape before this happened-- usual issues with money and whatnot, but very few fights and still cuddling every night, saying "I love yous" all the time, etc. He was definitely OCD and probably a little NPD, but not on a level I couldn't deal with or felt like was putting me out (until this of course!). So it's sometimes hard for me to weigh the 3 weeks of DDays and breakup against the 10+ years of good stuff. But certainly he was sh*tty enough to me immediately before and during the DDays that I can totally open my journals, remind myself of what he said, and rage myself up into a "NEVER AGAIN" stance. And there is the friends/family factor as well. I know there are some people (including my father) who will *never* accept him again after this, even if I do.
I also think that his silence tells me volumes. Odds are he *is* still with her. That S/D is *exactly* what he wants. That he thought he wanted R at the beginning, but realized it was too hard and that it was easier to just stay where he is, continue doing what he's doing. If NC means No New Hurts, then I don't see what good talking to him and finding all of that out will do.
Final thought: his job is such that it is all concentrated on the summer months (the rest of the year is focused on preparing for a crunch period between June and August). During that time, he pretty much runs 24/7 (if he's not at work, he's on call). In fact, one of his reasons for not R "right now" was because he knew that he needed to at least finish the year at this position if he was going to then quit to come out to me (he is correct that he would be a pariah in the field if he didn't) and, if R went badly, his obligations to the job would give him so little time that he said he saw himself "having to sleep in the office under [his] desk." I have a vague idea of his schedule from previously planning to work there and it is disgustingly brutal. One of the reasons the rest of our financial issues haven't been ironed out is because I understand that he needs to get past this crunch first. So I imagine there is a possibility I will hear from him once the rush is over. But, without knowing what's coming for sure if and when we do touch base after the summer, am I setting myself up for a breakdown if I do find out they are together? Is that the downside to NC?
If by the time his busy work schedule calms down and he comes back begging on hand and knees and willing to show with actions that he is truly remorseful and committed to R then you can always hear him out then.
Otherwise I think you should carry on as you are.
At the very end, he did admit that he cared for her and suggested that he didn't know what would happen with OW "six months from now"... but even in our breaking up, he still said that he wasn't sure they had a future. Then he started bawling about how much he missed me.
Please wait around until I decide to stop cheating on you.
I wanted his *actions* to speak for him.
lines from OW and his IC about how he "deserves to be happy" and "shouldn't feel guilty" and threw them back at me.
Bullshit, justification, blame shifting, et al. Ignore.
I've had a lot of people begin to tell me that I've made it "too hard" for him to try to talk to me. By not trying to talk to him, unfriending him, telling friends and family what he did, I've sent him the message that I'm hostile.
Those who haven't gone thru it offer well meaning, albeit completely wrong advice. It depends how you did the telling: fact a, fact b, no extraneous commentary comes across as you not covering his ass. If you tell it in a vindictive way, that is how it comes across. And shit, you have a RIGHT to be hostile to your WH. WTF did he think was gonna happen?!? (Rhetorical, of course)
They think that in not facing him I'm hiding away out of fear and it's not healthy.
Some of these same friends are now saying that I wasn't clear that he should be the one to contact and he may be trying to respect my boundaries by waiting for me to contact him.
If WH was truly remorseful and wanting to R, this isn't an issue. He'd do whatever it took to come to you and beg for forgiveness. Learn to filter out advice from those who haven't lived it. In my case, all the advice I got in RL was helpful only if I did the EXACT OPPOSITE.
Odds are he *is* still with her. That S/D is *exactly* what he wants. That he thought he wanted R at the beginning, but realized it was too hard and that it was easier to just stay where he is, continue doing what he's doing.
I'd be inclined to agree that OW is still around. As for D, maybe, maybe not. I don't think my XH actually wanted a D, just to be able to have a W & OW.
I think sometimes the WW wants to play, but then at some point realize what they've done & it's just so fucking hard to fix themselves/it, that they just keep going down the path. Not necessarily their first choice, but easier.
I'm not trying to be harsh w/you PL. The way you're handling this is similar to the way I handled my sitch. Cut him off at the knees, 1000%. I truly think it's the only way to get thru to him & more importantly, get yourself in good shape to handle the outcome.
You can PM if you like. (((hugs)))
For example right after I wrote this post, I checked the phone bill: he removed himself from the friends and family plan two nights ago. Now I don't even know his phone number! I also know our lease was up in July. He blamed me for moving into a place that was too expensive because we were "fiscally incompatible" -- so lord knows he didn't stay there and must have found a new apartment. Did he send me an address in case we need to be in touch? No. And if it is the case that he moved his office, once the rosters are updated in the directory I'll be able to track down his new office and phone number... In the meantime, he's basically continued to "poof"!
I may PM you later. I think my major issue is that I still can't accept that he is choosing this life and that he isn't going to turn around and be the person I admired and loved so much. He could be if he tried hard. But, like you say, he must have looked at the extent of what he did and staying on this path is easier.
That advice might make sense for a functional person with a conscience but if your WH is indeed PD, any door you open is just a door for more manipulation and hurt. If he isn't capable of giving you the love you want and deserve, giving him another invitation isn't going to change that.
Now I don't even know his phone number! ... he didn't stay there and must have found a new apartment
So, you basically have no idea where he lives or his phone #? Yikes! That's what I did when I left XH. I'd hazard a guess as to where he's staying ...
Again, it's all about what they do, not the crap they spew.
Keep up the good work w/180. If you talk to him, I wouldn't even acknowledge knowing that he moved/changed his #.
He made zero effort to reach out to you. Giving you space that you requested is one thing, but someone who was remorseful and giving space, I'd still expect some communication - a text here or there, a status on fb that was "meant' for you, etc. He could have let you know you were on his mind without imposing himself on you, and he didn't bother.
I know that you miss him and would love that apology if not more, but his reaction to all of this has been to take the path of least resistance. His every move has been the one that requires the least of him. When you were upset, he went NC. When you actually demanded he do something though, he didn't. Didn't contact you regularly, didn't have conversations, didn't keep in touch while with his family. I think what stood out to me the most was that he was texting he msised you but refused to actually talk to you? What the actual fuck - if you miss someone, you talk to them. Even about the hard stuff. He didn't miss you, he missed the comfortable aspects that you brought to his life. He missed the cushy lifestyle of having someone care about him, not you, and certainly not being in a relationship where he gives as much as you do.
He sounds lazy. He's not willing to do the work, so unless you eliminate it all together, he's not coming back. What value is there in someone who isn't willing to do any of the work that it takes to be in a healthy relationship? Or who isn't willing to fight at all for a relationship that is supposed to be the most important one in their life?
A couple of thoughts.
I wouldn't worry about whether you're making it easy for him to reach out to you. That's not your job. Even after I had moved on to acceptance that my WW and were headed for divorce, my initial attitude was that I wanted to keep the door as open as possible without actively pursuing her. But I've come to be of the opinion that this is misguided.
Imagine the following scenario: Suppose he was questioning his decisions, felt like maybe he might want to R with you. Perhaps he was of the mind briefly, that he should do right by you and apologize. And let's say that he decided not to because he felt like the signs you were giving by cutting off communication indicated that you would be resistant to such an overture. Well, in that case, how serious was he about it in the first place?
I think someone who was truly remorseful, truly ready to reconcile, truly ready to make things right would be willing to confront those barriers. It would be worth it to him. In response to the title of your post, in my opinion, he has to work pretty damn hard for it.
Even if you would be open to him if he walked in the door tomorrow wanting to R, he shouldn't feel like he can do that, like you'll just be there waiting for him any time "the spirit moves him."
If he is truly remorseful, he will have to confront how much he hurt you, and he will be compelled to repent regardless of whether he believes you will take him back. In fact, in some ways, it's better if he doesn't believe this, because then you'll know that the apology comes out of genuine remorse and not simply an attempt to manipulate you into accepting him back.
All that being said, it does sound like you need closure. It doesn't sound like he's made it easy for you. My WW never once wavered in her resolve to end our marriage (Even when she said she was on the fence, I later discovered that this was a lie). Your WH has been "all over the place" as you say. So closure may be something you have to create for yourself. It sounds like your IC is trying to help you with that. I can't say for sure, but it sounds from all of this like a clean break should be your goal. Maybe, at some point, when you're ready, you'll need to talk to him and actually say goodbye, that you're moving on without him. But only when you're ready.
Ah, yes. Before this whole debacle the only problem we ever had in our relationship was his laziness. We met in grad school and he was the golden boy: got into an ivy for his doctorate, had every fact and theory at his fingertips, could write award winning papers in an afternoon... all while the rest of us were working our asses off. But, behind the scenes, he was the laziest thing I'd ever seen in my life. He got a grant to study abroad for a year and write three articles. He went to the pool there everyday and never wrote a thing. He had a year to study for his comps. He went to the gym everyday and spent the three weeks before the test just reading a couple of encyclopedia entries and winging it. I never saw him prepare a lecture when he had to teach-- he would play video games. His dissertation has been due for about four years now. The first work he ever did on it was this past xmas after he got a letter telling him he had to produce *something* or they would kick him out. He locked himself away from everyone and pumped out 100 pages and then did nothing else on it all spring. He's been at amazing universities (either as a doctoral student or at his current job) for the last decade and he has never really taken advantage of the free classes and talks he could go to. He only takes advantage of the cheap gym classes he can sign up for.
He even procrastinated telling me about the A until it was basically just too late to hide it anymore. He was so lazy that he was going to let me sell and move all of my wordly possessions out there and work in that office WITH the OW and not tell me.
Even now, I suspect that he maybe doesn't even want this whole situation... but to make things up to me would be hard. To R would be hard. No one is forcing him. In fact, my NC is making it easy for him.
He never talked to his former fiancÚ again after he left her. She wrote him one kind closure email over the course of a decade and he just ignored it. I would beg him to write her back to help her out and ease her pain... he just procrastinated it. His estranged father tried to get in touch with him while we were together. Sent him emails and packages almost DAILY. He would just toss them in a corner or hand them to me. He never answered.
I would tell him I thought he needed IC. I would explain to him that his actions were a little odd. Not "normal." That his interactions with people could be a little rough and he needed to tweak how he presented himself. I can't tell you how many times "I know you don't mean it like that" came out of my mouth over the years. If I were made into a talking doll, when you pulled my string, that's the phrase that would come out.
Of course everything I just listed doesn't take into account the day to day stuff where we were a loving, happy couple. These were just the ruptures along the way. And I'm sure I did stuff that made him nuts, too.
But he certainly showed me over the years that when it came to being accountable and controlling himself, he's not that great at it. I mean, much of the gym stuff was because he was *such* a glutton... and I can remember wondering how it was that he couldn't control himself with work or food, but he controlled himself when it came to me (i.e. not cheating). To give you an idea, once we bought a decorative ginger bread house for my family at Christmas from this famous bakery in NYC. By the end of the FIRST DAY we were visiting, he ATE it. HE ATE THE WHOLE HOUSE. I remember our jaws just dropped and we had to explain to him that that sh*t was decorative... and you don't EAT other people's gifts. He loved doritos and this past xmas (when he locked himself away to write his dissertation), we gave him 50 bags of them as a joke. HE ATE THEM ALL WITHIN THREE DAYS. I'm not kidding.
Okay, at this point I'm just venting.
Real life started this past year when we both got official positions, the bills started to pile up, we had to spend this time apart for our careers. Money started to be a *much* bigger thing for him (it was always a gripe-- but we had a safety net with my family). Instead of being able to procrastinate and hold off on completing tasks, he was expected to produce at work. He was-- and doing an exceptional job (I was very proud of him!)-- but as the months wore on, I could see changes in him. He started getting more abrupt, distant, drank a lot. Things that used to not be a big deal he started to treat like an inconvenience. He started to have issues with people at work. I've mentioned elsewhere that at least three people in his office have either quit, refused to work with him, reported him to HR as "difficult." Again, he's super smart and produces, so his supervisors are happy more or less... but you just got the sense that something about him or the job or *something* just started to become toxic for him.
I feel like we spent a decade working hard for our careers and these were the years when it was finally supposed to pay off. We found jobs in the same place. A part of the country we both loved. We didn't have to use the old furniture we found in a skip or was handed down from our families-- we were buying our own stuff. We spent a week picking out just the right mattress. Every piece of furniture we bought we would tell each other "hope you like it! It's our [bed, couch, bedspread] for the next 20 years!". We were talking about adopting or maybe having a child... or maybe just continuing to rescue animals as we had been. It felt like our lives were really just beginning.
So when I get sad, 75% of it is missing him. The other 25% is knowing that it's going to be a long time before I share that thrill with someone else. That I have to do this all alone now. I can try to feel empowered that, if I continue to work hard, I'll find a new position of my own and get to choose my own couch someday, etc etc etc. But there is a profound sadness in not having him there to share it.
Here is the truth -- your WS wants you AND he wants OW. He wants everything to go back to the way it was before DDay. That time was ideal for him. Now, dammit, if YOU would only cooperate then he could be in la-la land again and everything would be perfect!
Your friends who are advising you probably mean well, but they really have no clue. Especially this
I've had a lot of people begin to tell me that I've made it "too hard" for him to try to talk to me
As you said, you have not changed your number. The big difference is that you expect him to be faithful and remorseful. If THAT is "too hard", well IMO he does not deserve to be in your life.
I think perhaps that your WS knows you better than your friends know you and so he knows that his efforts will be lacking because he lacks remorse. He simply does not want to face what he has done and if he sees you or talks to you then he has to face it. His loss.
Stay strong. You are doing great
I don't know if it will last, but something like today's phone bill fiasco just makes me feel like I'm tired of feeling this way. I'm tired of crying over this guy. That sounds trite... but, it is *very* possible I'm not going to get, as you say, my closure and pound of flesh. At some point I have to start doing what this site is about: surviving. That means owning my shit and taking care of what needs to be taken care of not just because I think it's what I'm *supposed* to do. But because I'm really, truly trying to pick myself back up and not giving him a thought.
I keep thinking about his former fiancÚ. I met him a few months after they broke up. He was starting a new job and moving to a new state (sound familiar?). Right before he left, he realized magically that she was simply "the wrong girl." They had the venue booked. Invitations were out. He went on a trip to clear his head (sound familiar) and on that trip realized he couldn't work it out with her. He broke it off, moved, met me, started over. When I say he never talked to her again-- he *never* talked to her again. They saw each other at a college reunion about 8 years later and kept it civil. A couple of weeks later is when he got the email from her asking for closure. Even then, he just wouldn't respond!
Yes, I thought it was odd... but he always had an explanation. They were just too young (early 20s) when they were planning to get married and he didn't want to prolong the pain by continuing to talk to her. And he was in another state anyway-- what could he do. And why write her back all of those years later. It was over. Why open up old wounds.
In our last conversation (DDay#2) I accused him of setting himself up to do to me what he did to her. He paused a long time and denied it.
I think I need to stop thinking that I'm special just because we were together for so long and had a deeper commitment.
He has a pattern.
One other thought. If he is PD, then him moving on and forgetting you exist is a blessing. It does not feel like closure but you can get closure for yourself. Close the door. Move on. If someone can't "make you happy" then they can't give you closure either.
I am sorry this is difficult and frustrating to you. I hope that venting and writing it out helps!!
And it's not like our relationship was full of drama or abuse before this. Other than some fights about Sunday being cleaning day, the only other time I can remember crying for something other than joy when I was with him was when Nomar got traded. And that wasn't his fault.
Sure, the stuff about him avoiding work and being lazy is totally true and bugged the hell out of me-- but that's why he took this job! Because his actions over the years told us that he just wasn't cut out for the path he was on. We even had a plan for the fiscal stuff all laid out. He just blew it all up.
And maybe I'm just full of myself, but I don't get why you leave me. I loved him unconditionally. I can count the number of times I've ever yelled at him on one hand. I'm not hideous. Intellectually we were well matched. We were in the same career field. I would still send him care packages and love notes every day. I adopt special needs puppies and nurse them back to health. My family isn't the poorest and they gave him free access to cars, paid for trips, dinners out, he got as many gifts on holidays as I did, they helped pay our bills. He was truly their son. And, oh yeah, we had over a decade together.
As far as I can tell, OW drove him to Target on the weekends, told him what he wanted to hear, and let him do stuff to her that he never even told me he was into.
I quote Seinfeld: "who leaves a pony country for a non-pony country"?
Thank god I have an IC session in the morning...
The sad clown pulled much the same shit. Verbatim in some instances.
You are doubting yourself because you cannot believe what you're seeing. It takes a whole to clear the BS fog. He is showing you who he is - BELIEVE HIM.
Your friends are TOTALLY out of line. Too hard for him? WTF? Did he not make it too hard for you to stay with him?? Absolutely.
He is not the prize - you are.
This isn't a whoopsie, he's a naughty boy, oh well boys will be boys. This wasn't some dumb slut who seduced him and used witchcraft on him.
If it wasn't her it would have been another low hanging fruit willing and in proximity.
He chose this. He is still choosing this.
He broke your fucking heart, he deceived you, he broke your trust and he didn't lift a finger besides a few pretty words whilst also saying pretty words to his whores.
Too hard for him? He is making it impossible for you to even consider R now or in the future.
It should have been 'too hard' for him to do this to you, himself and your M but he managed it. He could manage True Remorse if he wanted to. He doesn't.
There is no venom in True Remorse - whether in R or S/D.
I'm projecting massively - I was right where you. My brain just could not accept what I was seeing. It couldn't reconcile who he is with who I thought he was. I felt like I was in a parallel universe.
I was unwilling to accept I had been so wrong, that he had duped me so completely.
But I was wrong and he did dupe me. I duped myself even worse.
IMO I focussed my energy on refusing to accept this is who he is because I was trying to avoid acknowledging/accepting my own hand in this by tolerating bullshit + Gaslighting the fuck out of myself.
What you're feeling is completely normal - you won't feel this way once your fog clears.
[This message edited by StrongButBroken at 1:45 AM, August 1st (Thursday)]
I've heard a lot of the same things from my WS. I've felt the same way you do many, many, many times. I guess for me I had to give myself a certain amount of closure. But I made countless attempts to R. Tried to reason with him, went to MC, had numerous text message exchanges trying to get at the whys and hows of his A, his sudden change in demeanor, and his lack of empathy, remorse, etc.
I got tired of crying all of the time too. I have to ask you...have you considered going on AD? This might help some while you are grappling with these emotions. I've found they have helped me stay more level headed and less obsessive. The obsessive thoughts are what really drive you mad!
I can relate to some of the things you've written about your WS being lazy and about his possible reasons for not wanting to R.....I went through a time when I was focused on reasons why he was acting this way. I even talked with my in-laws about his alcoholism and how he was running away from us like we were a problem. I kept thinking...ok this, this is the answer...maybe this is why he is afraid to come back...in the end I just ended up chasing my tail.
I really recommend Codependent No More and The Language of Letting Go. I think for where you are right now, these two books will help you process some of these feelings.
It's hard to get closure and start healing by yourself...but sometimes that's what we have to do. I have to see my WS almost every day and he has done NOTHING to help me heal. I even gave him the book, How to Help Your Spouse Heal from your Affair and he read it. He read the whole thing and never once did anything in that book to offer me comfort, try to explain his actions and behaviors, or show me that I mattered to him.
So it's all on you now to get the help you need to start feeling better without his answers, helps, excuses, justifications, or more lies.
It's easier said than done, but you just have to take one day at a time.
He loved doritos and this past xmas (when he locked himself away to write his dissertation), we gave him 50 bags of them as a joke. HE ATE THEM ALL WITHIN THREE DAYS.
Gently, he doesn't want to.
When I say he never talked to her again-- he *never* talked to her again.
it is *very* possible I'm not going to get, as you say, my closure and pound of flesh.
Now print out this thread for yourself, and take it along to your IC and show him your progress.