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Won't call it an Affair or Cheating

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Alexisk17 posted 8/2/2013 12:17 PM

WH won't call what he did an affair or even admit that he cheated. He does say that he was wrong and hurt me etc but says he is not a cheater.

WH used to play in a billboards league at a pub once a week. Months of flirting led to one of the waitresses giving him her phone #. They texted every few days for almost two weeks. Then he told me he didn't love me anymore, wasn't sure if he wanted to be with me and was moving out. Our second son was only 6 weeks old at this point.

He moved out and stayed with family until he found his own apartment. That is when he actively started dating OW. To me it doesn't matter when he actually started dating her. He was distant leading up to our separation and abandoned me when I needed him the most. He even goes as far as saying that OW had nothing to do with him leaving, he was unhappy for a long time, it just happened that he met her at the same time.

I think it's all BS and part of trying to mitigate what he did. My question is though, does it matter? Does the label we put on his indiscretion have any effect on our reconciliation? Has anyone else been through this?

FTR, he was been incredibly apologetic and is jumping through all the hoops I have asked him to. He talks me through my pain makes me feel incredibly loved.

unfound posted 8/2/2013 12:41 PM

I don't know if the label/semantics used will make a difference, but the fact that he was flirting with and texting another woman while still married, and using the excuse that he was "unhappy" might.

he flirts with another woman.
he secretly (I'm assuming you didn't know) texts another woman.
he moves out and then starts dating this same woman.

and... OW had nothing to do with him leaving???

you can call a pig a petunia, but it's still a swine. I agree he's trying to fine print you. And it's not so much the wording , but the fact that he's not seeing that regardless of when he officially started dating her, he had begun a relationship with her before you were separated.

sisoon posted 8/2/2013 12:49 PM

Um...did your M vows permit dating after separation?

My bet is he violated his vows. If he doesn't admit that, he's lying to himself, he's not accepting responsibility, and he's therefore not yet a candidate for R - you can't R with a liar, and you can't R with a denier.

180 time?

housenotahome posted 8/2/2013 13:07 PM

You can't fix what you don't acknowledge. He is refusing to call a duck, a duck so that he can avoid taking responsibility for his poor choices, not mistakes, deliberate choices. I'm sure he's being sweet to you, but if he doesn't own up, he is not remorseful.

Alexisk17 posted 8/2/2013 14:09 PM

He will admit that what he did was wrong but he is avoiding the label. At this point I haven't really brought it up or pushed the issue, we had more pressing items to deal with.

I suppose this is something to bring up in MC next week.

Until he figures out why and how this happened I won't be able to start trusting him again.

I suppose this plays into the growing resentment I posted about yesterday. It hit me today, I finally admitted to myself that I'm not sure I want to be with him. After all we've been through maybe he will never be enough and I will never be satisfied.

I so badly want to celebrate all the good he is doing instead of counting all the things he isn't doing. Wtf is wrong with me?!?

[This message edited by Alexisk17 at 2:43 PM, August 2nd (Friday)]

Jadedgirl posted 8/2/2013 14:39 PM

If he is caught up on semantics I would simply point out the "until death do us part" clause of the marriage vows it's not "until we reside separately" or "until I'm no longer happy". Separation doesn't matter you were not divorced and he had a relationship with somebody else. It really doesn't matter when that relationship started because your marriage was never dissolved.

Scubachick posted 8/2/2013 14:51 PM

My husband wouldn't either. I printed out the symptoms of an EA list. I went down the list. As he answered yes to almost all of them, I handed the results to him and he agreed. I made him say "i had an emotional affair". His problem was that his idea of an affair included sex. It was hard for him to accept but I needed to hear him say it.

myperfectlife posted 8/2/2013 15:25 PM

My STBXWS would not admit for several months that OW was part of the reason for his wanting a divorce/separation.
Finally during one of our long conversations when she refused to talk to him and *I* was pissed off at him, he said "Well, now I will end up with nothing, and she was the reason for wanting the divorce in the first place!"
Wow, bingo. Later he backtracked a bit on that...but it was already out there.
As far as I am concerned unless you both had a stated agreement that you could date whoever you wanted to w/sex during the separation, it was cheating.
Just my opinion.

redrock posted 8/2/2013 16:05 PM

it just happened that he met her at the same time.

WH won't call what he did an affair or even admit that he cheated.

He became interested in her during the marriage. He built the relationship up before the separation and then used the 'space' to date OW. While you cared for a newborn at home. I am guessing that your 'space' didn't provide for many opportunities for 'dating'. Funny how that worked out.

It didn't just happen. He made it happen. He chose it.

I would even use stronger language. He manufactured the separation to take the OW for a test drive.

Is that a loophole? I don't know. Some would say that once separated it isn't cheating.

He may have found the cheater loophole but his behavior is deplorable.

I find his lack of owning the planning/manipulating especially troublesome. It didn't just happen. He made it happen. Until he acknowledges that, whether he is willing to call himself a cheater or not, I would not be confident in his 'getting it'.

[This message edited by redrock at 4:07 PM, August 2nd (Friday)]

StillGoing posted 8/2/2013 16:18 PM

Been reading this book to the kids at bedtime called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Devising. It's pretty cool. The main character, this 12 year old girl who calls her self September, she is warned about a few standard rules for Faerie, one of which is the old "Don't eat fairy food" that everybody knows.

So she wanders around for half the book making sure to avoid eating fairy food. Some witches offer her something to eat during a conversation and obviously, since these are WITCHES then it's witch food, right, so that's cool. Same with everything up to and including jerked bicycle tire and axle whiskey. They were wild velocipedes so obviously not fairy food. She gets to a part of her quest and finds this HUGE AWESOME FUCKING FEAST there and says "No, this is obviously fairy food" and after a conversation with the spriggans who have that shit laid out, they say "Girl you are in Fairyland, ALL this shit is fairy food."

The whole time, of course, everybody else knew. The Wyverary she made friends with (half wyvern/half library HE IS AWESOME), the Marid she rescues, every time she declines something because it's fairy food and eats something else, they just sadly look at her but don't say shit.

There was more to that going on of course, really I think part of the point of that was that her intent was to follow the rules and not be the typical stupid bitch that wanders into a fairy hole and eats everything and then sits around bloated and unable to move so the monster can eat her. That's the usual thing with fairy food, some bad shit happens because you didn't follow the rules. She tried to, and in the process even though she wasn't perfect, she did her best and didn't get eaten by any monsters at least. OTOH, everybody around her could see the truth despite all the lawyering she did about it with herself.

So I guess, your WH, he didn't even try to follow the rules and now the Consequences monster is looming over him about to eat his stupid ass. Other people may choose to agree that it's called whatever he wants to call it, but calling it something else doesn't stop the monster from taking a bite.

So he can change the label but he will still be judged by his actions.

cantaccept posted 8/2/2013 17:36 PM

My h said the same thing to me. He told me that he was going to leave me even before he met her. Funny he never mentioned it before.

He also has told me that his one comfort now is that he didn't have sex with her until he left me.

Now he is starting to see, understand. Just beginning to take the responsibility for his actions.

He was in denial, I suppose it must be very hard to admit that you have betrayed the one you vowed to love. It must be very hard to face yourself and realize that you have betrayed yourself.

Be kind to yourself. The best thing my therapist told me in the beginning was that the only thing I had to decide right then was that I didn't have to decide about anything.

I do think that the label is important, it makes it real. If he cannot admit what he did, truly own it, how can he ever be safe.

MC is a wonderful place to talk about these things, it helps to have an impartial person put things in perspective.


Alexisk17 posted 8/2/2013 19:27 PM

@stillgoing, your response made me lol, thank you for the story!

Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm making mountains out of molehills but a quick SI poll showed that I'm in good company thinking he just won't own up here. Our MC didn't call WH out on this during our sessions that we discussed A but I'm not sure if it was because he missed to or he was saving it for later (sometimes he recommends us taking some time between super heavy topics or if he feels that one of us isn't ready to go there yet).

We have made huge improvements in talking about the day to day stuff I still feel safest bringing up big issues like this in therapy, it's like a safety blanket. Plus, as cantacept said, it's nice to have an impartial third party.

ladies_first posted 8/3/2013 11:06 AM

abandoned me when I needed him the most.

From a recent post:

I still haven't blown up at him for walking out on us.

You have a giant elephant in the room, and he's shitting "Affair" turds and crapping "Cheating" everywhere.

Gently, you can't R without communicating honestly about abandonment, and your righteous anger.

You need to find your voice.

WH's #1 request if me was that i stop nagging as he "knows what i have to do, i don't need you on my ass about it."

He needs to take responsibility. (And please understand, substituting pot smoking for active affair behavior is simply replacing one poor coping mechanism with another.)

Until those hard discussions begin taking place, you aren't in R.


ETA: Check out this thread on the consequences of living a fear-based life:

[This message edited by ladies_first at 11:36 AM, August 3rd (Saturday)]

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