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disillusioned12 posted 8/14/2013 01:06 AM

I have not posted on SI in a while, and am new to this forum. I spent some time in the Divorce/Separation forum because that was the road I was heading down. I ended up asking my L to stall at the settlement meeting, because I needed more time. Now, I am tentatively here.

My FWH says he's committed to R and so far his actions back this up. He's already put me through a false R, but this time feels different. However, I am having a really hard time jumping into this with both feet. Part of me still feels D is the safer option, but not the ideal one.

My FWH insists he's told me everything he can remember, that he only had an EA which never progressed further than a friendship. I'm not 100% convinced. Part of me believes him, but I don't know if this is because I want to, or if it is because he's being honest. Then the other part of me keeps replaying the events leading up to D-Day and beyond, and I cant make sense out of why someone would go to such great lengths to protect a new harmless friendship.

I know I can't force him to tell me the truth, if he isn't already. So, am I rug sweeping if I find a way to accept that I may never know everything? I just don't know if I'm obsessing over this because of my own insecurities and anxiety, or if there is validity to my suspicions. In the end, how much does it matter?

My IC says a polygraph is a lot of money for an unreliable test. She thinks I'm obsessing over something that is no longer significant. She feels the damage is done and I need to decide on what I can or cannot live with.

These last several months have completely depleted my self-esteem and I'm constantly doubting myself. I made so many bad decisions during the aftermath of D-Day, i.e. telling my entire family who do not support my decision to try and R. All I know right now is I cannot stand the thought of another D-Day/false R.

TwoHearts posted 8/14/2013 04:30 AM

What happened to you is going to turn your life upside down emotionally and it will last as long as your grieving process takes to put it as behind you as you can.
If you believe him or not, the basic question is can you live with the dishonesty he exhibited and believe he is not going to do it again.
Take your time and let your mind process this without putting pressure on yourself to hurry or need a quick decision.
If he did only have an EA and he is telling you the truth you are already further along than most of us. It is never going to be the same, but it can be better enough in time, if you choose to stay or leave.
Good luck to you and remember you are special no matter what garbage someone else has dumped into your life.

sisoon posted 8/14/2013 09:16 AM

We can't know everything that went on with our WSes, so at some point we all have to say, 'Enough!' For me that came when I realized no her answers weren't going to change my decisions.

I think you should ask yourself these questions, though: Have you asked every question you want to ask? Have you asked every question you're afraid to ask? Is your H willing to keep answering questions? Will you continue to feel comfortable asking questions at any time, now and in the future?

I think if you get 4 'yeses' to those questions, you've probably gotten as far s you will get with Q & A. If that's not enough for your gut, though, you have to listen to your gut....

lostworld posted 8/14/2013 11:21 AM

Something that popped out of your post for me: "That he only had an EA which never progressed further than a friendship." Is this your interpretation or his? Only asking because, for me, I think I'd feel less settled if my H didn't realize that an EA is definitely not a "friendship." Maybe it is just semantics, but either way, perhaps there are other little snags like that one that make it more difficult for you to feel safer. Not trying to be a jerk, but I found it was helpful for me to really focus on how my H and I both spoke and thought about things so we could bolster any weak spots before they could fester and become bigger than they needed to be. Sorry to t/j if this is irrelevant for you.

As for obsessing, I think there does come a point where you have to decide to live with where you are; as long as that's a place where you choose to be; not a default position ruled by fear and exhaustion.

TxsT posted 8/14/2013 11:35 AM

Oh I am glad I stumbled onto this thread. The advise and in site here is not only sobering but really well written. It made me stop to think about my own situation...

Would I personally feel safe if I were the one writing the initial post above??? NO I wouldn't. I too now feel any sort of connection between two unmarried people is a door waiting to be opened. I would now look at it as a red flag that something isn't right in our marriage.

How would I now deal with this if it were me?? I have learned to speak up when something hits me in the gut the wrong way. Couching, covering over or making up my own ideas of what is really going on is how I got into this hell in the first place. I would honestly ask my husband what he was getting out of an EA that he was not getting from our marriage. Of course hind site is a wonderful thing.

My gut feeling about your initial post is that you have yet to discover the real underlying things that in your marriage that allows your spouse to think an EA is just a friendship. Without getting to that level sets both of you up for future failures, be it with each other or a new partner if you can't get to R.

Not sure if this was at all helpful.


[This message edited by TxsT at 11:37 AM, August 14th (Wednesday)]

devasted30 posted 8/14/2013 12:52 PM

This is my opinion and my opinion only, but what if it had progressed beyond an EA?
What if the did have a full-out affair? Could you live with that? Could you forgive that? There are so many things that only you know. Why is a EA eating you up so badly? Is it because you don't believe that it ended there?
Take your time. Set a date, in your mind - 12 months - whatever it takes and re-evaluate - see where/how you feel then. A D is a big step -make sure you really are ready to take that step.
together 30 years
2 affairs - 1 - 6 month, 1 3 years (off and on/mostly off - ha)

disillusioned12 posted 8/16/2013 00:02 AM

Thank you for the advice and insight. My FWH's dishonesty and his complete lack of respect for me hurt more than the nature of his A. I guess things would make more sense to me if there was more to his A, but the pain from his betrayal would be just as bad. I keep trying to make sense of the situation, but I think I need to accept the fact that it doesn't make sense. I may never really understand why and how my FWH could hurt me so deeply.

Last night, I asked him if he had an EA or a friendship and why he feels that way. His response was that he had an EA because he placed another woman before me and lied about the relationship. He said he was in denial about doing anything wrong at the time because they were not doing anything physical. He insists he didn't have any romantic feelings or physical attraction to her, but he liked feeling needed. He liked how easy the relationship was and he felt good about himself. He was helping her through her marriage problems. He denies confiding in her about our marriage problems or about me, and that the relationship was very one sided. He said she did most of the talking and he'd listen.

If I was to discover my FWH is still hiding something from me about his A, I'm not sure I'd want to R. It really comes down to how I'd find out. if my FWH came to me and confessed of his own accord, I think I'd still work towards R. However, if new information is given to me by a third party or because my FWH is backed into another corner I'm pretty convinced I'd D. Is this fair of me?

meplusfour posted 8/16/2013 01:05 AM

If I was to discover my FWH is still hiding something from me about his A, I'm not sure I'd want to R. It really comes down to how I'd find out. if my FWH came to me and confessed of his own accord, I think I'd still work towards R. However, if new information is given to me by a third party or because my FWH is backed into another corner I'm pretty convinced I'd D.

I would tell your FWH this and wait for his reaction, namely that this is his only and final chance to come clean. If he maintains his story and you later discover that he was deceitful, he truly does not deserve you and the chance you gave him.

sisoon posted 8/16/2013 09:51 AM

My FWH's dishonesty and his complete lack of respect for me hurt more than the nature of his A. I guess things would make more sense to me if there was more to his A, but the pain from his betrayal would be just as bad.

I think that's the main problem with As - the lying and disrespect is much worse than a specific action.

Have you asked him every question you want to ask? Have you asked him every question you're afraid to ask?

Are you in MC? Our MC's response to my W provides a lot of clues WRT our MC's view of my W's truthfulness. Our MC confronts any statement that doesn't feel right to her. She's caught every questionable thing that I recognized and more.

Scubachick posted 8/16/2013 13:41 PM


Do you believe him when he said he has no feelings for her? This has been the hardest part for me to accept with my husband. I want to believe it but I just can't.

disillusioned12 posted 8/16/2013 23:42 PM

I am struggling with believing he had no feelings for the MOW. He says he thought she was a good person at the time, but doesn't now. It's hard to believe how much pain he was willingly inflicting over a woman he didn't care for. Just seems so cruel and scary.

He's joined me in sessions with my IC, but we do not have a separate MC. We are limited in our selection of counselors. I have asked all the questions I can think of multiple times. Im just struggling with accepting his answers as truth.

Scubachick posted 8/17/2013 13:47 PM

I hear ya. I think it would be easier for me to understand if he did admit to having feelings for her. My husband is the take it to your grave kind of guy. My husband is a private person and doesn't have a lot of friends by choice. I know him well enough to know that he had to have some sort of feelings for her or he wouldn't have crossed over the line from business to personal.

RockyMtn posted 8/17/2013 16:15 PM

It is such a tough situation you are in. And I don't want to compare your situation to mine - where the EA was a PA and there was a PA preceding it, which came out on D-Day 2 - because there was evidence that my WH's "EA" was stronger than yours. My gut always said the EA was something more because, just as you say, his actions did NOT add up. They weren't congruent.

If I was to discover my FWH is still hiding something from me about his A, I'm not sure I'd want to R. It really comes down to how I'd find out. if my FWH came to me and confessed of his own accord, I think I'd still work towards R. However, if new information is given to me by a third party or because my FWH is backed into another corner I'm pretty convinced I'd D. Is this fair of me?

Sure, it is fair. Totally fair. In this scenario, you've begged for the truth and he won't give it. I'll simply offer this about TT. Most on this site say the TT is what kills them. The continued deceit. For me, I can kind of understand TT. Not that I think it is OK or beneficial. Far from it. Simply that I can understand feeling like if I just kept X,Y,Z hidden, then I could "heal" and reform and never lose my loved one and never hurt them again. I can't say that I wouldn't consider if I had been in my WH's shoes. I haven't even forgiven the TT yet and it has made R harder - but I actually empathize with it (the As themselves, I can never empathize with). He finally confessed after being backed into a corner by me and evidence from a 3rd party. It sucked. I was on the way out to D for months. But his transformation once the truth was out? Amazing and beautiful and utterly life-changing for us both. Just another perspective. If you do end up getting the truth (if you haven't already), the way you get it does and can totally matter. For me, personally, it was what came after the truth that mattered more.

How is he responding to you telling him you aren't sure of his story? I think there is a lot of light that can be shed there.

I'm surprised your IC said what she did about polys. Is such a test as unreliable as a cheating spouse (even if he is telling the truth now)? I don't think so. But you do run the risk of having two sources of information, neither which can prove things 100%, and if they conflict - that's a doozy. Who/what do you trust more? The machine or your WH? But if they say the same thing? I think you have something to go on there. And, really, at this point - what other options do you have? Just stop obsessing? Good advice when it comes to small stuff - not so great when you're dealing with a potentially huge lie. How are you going to feel 3-4 months from now if you "just move on" and let it go? Do you think you'll feel good about yourself? Good about R? Because that's what matters.

ccw82 posted 8/17/2013 17:10 PM

disillusioned12, I went through something VERY similar back in 2007 when WH and I were still dating. He had an EA with another woman, and even when I found out and confronted him he still didn't think it was "wrong" because it wasn't physical. Hmmph!

He "apologized", but here I am, 6 years later, having just discovered that he's had multiple online sexual romps (which he calls "fantasies"), multiple flirty exchanges, and the topper -- he actually went out and had sex with a prostitute he found on backpage. We had gone to IC and MC before and after we got married due to his EA, but a fat lotta good it did him! It wasn't until he finally confessed to the sex-with-prostitute that we discovered the ROOT problem: he is a sex and love addict.

Since finding out what the root problem was, he says he's been able to cut out all of his triggers and such. He said now that he knows about his "addiction" he knows what to avoid and stay away from in order to go down that road again.

The point I'm trying to make is, these issues are like weeds. If you just pull the stalk off, but leave the root, the weed will eventually grow back (the bad behaviors will resurface or continue), even if you can't see it. Your WH needs to dig out the ROOT of his issues before he can begin to fix it (he needs to discover WHY he did these things, no matter what justifications or rationalizations he can make about them). Otherwise the weed is just waiting to sprout again.

disillusioned12 posted 8/17/2013 23:38 PM

(((Scuba chick))) I feel I can relate. My FWH never had anything nice to say about female coworkers so for him to have an EA with one really makes me wonder.

His response to my doubts and disbelief is that I don't want to believe him or I will never believe him. He keeps telling me he's changing and doing the work, and that it will never be enough for me. Maybe he's right?

I keep trying to think about how I'd feel several months out if I choose to R. What scares me is I feel so much hinges on if he changes, which I know is faulty thinking.

My IC says I see things in black and white, which complicates my situation because there is so much grey. I always saw infidelity as wrong and an instant deal breaker. However, that was before I experienced it and before I had a child. Now I'm surrounded by the grey areas and I'm overwhelmed.

Scubachick posted 8/18/2013 11:11 AM


I honestly wonder if my husband is in denial about his own feelings he had for the OW. He doesn't identify emotions well at all. I don't believe he still has any feelings for her or that there is anything between them now. I can't figure out why I'm still so stuck on him admitting that he had feelings for the OW. It's not like if he did it would change What happened. I guess it would help me understand more though. I'm starting to wonder if I am capable of moving past this.
Have you ever talked to the OW and heard her side yet? Did she have feelings for him?

disillusioned12 posted 8/20/2013 13:16 PM

I have not talked to the MOW. Honestly, I have nothing to say to her and I wouldn't believe anything she said. She clearly didn't mind tearing apart my family or her own for her selfish needs. Neither did my husband, but the only difference between him and her is that I was already emotionally invested in my FWH.

I, too, wonder if I can move past this with him. I find it so hard to respect him. I look at him and only see our son's father. I see a man more than capable and willing to hurt me and destroy our family. I rarely see the man I fell in love with, my best friend, and partner. I still love him, but do not believe love is enough for me.

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