Oh God, I can't go through all of this with you. The reason why I am finally posting is we are both in IC. My counselor is nice, but I mostly vent for 40 minutes, then she says "So what are you doing for yourself". the problems is (one of them) HE doesn't know if he wants to stay married to me. He says he is emotionally detached because of all the years we had little to no sex; I was very reclusive (years of depression I tried many meds for) so often did not want to go to family and social functions with him, and I am "Controlling". He spends every dime, so I hang on to it even tighter. I feel like we should be best friends, he wants LOTS of friends to hang out with. Yes, I have felt threaten by that - obviously with reason now. And yes, I am very fat. So was his PA but not as fat as me. And of course 15 years younger and blond - not gray. Yes I have started dying my hair. Anything for him - I'm a idiot I know.
I feel like his counselor is not a friend of our marriage. We talk some after our sessions, and reading between the lines I think she is not trying to help the marriage just help him. Maybe I am being selfish. She tells him he needs to forgive himself. HELLO??? I though forgiveness was restitution. How about helping me to forgive him? He says to me - I can't fix you you have to fix yourself. I believe those are her words.
Jeeze - this was suppose to be short. His counselor had us both fillout some long survey (John Gottman??) and finally after almost two MONTHS the four of us met. I felt completely attacked. I was expecting "the is how you fix your marriage, this is how you rebuild trust, this is a normal reaction, this is helpful, this is not. Instead she comes in late and just starts talking about our differences on the assessment - "You two are very far apart on how you feel about money, you are far apart on how you feel about friendship outside of marriage, etc ect for 45 minutes. I admit I argued some with her, my interpretation of some of the questions were not what they meant according to her - BUT I answered them the way I understood them, I can't help if that was not the intent of the question!
At one point I actually held up my hands attempting to stop his counselor from talking and said "XX help me!" to my counselor. She stepped in a bit, but is much younger and not anywere near as verbal as his counselor.
At the end I said there are a couple of things "I" need to talks about, she cut me off said she had someone waiting got up and left.
Now I am a 59 year old grandma. I don't like confrontation, I don't really get mad. I get upset, hurt, whatever, but angry?? not really. I have always been the peacemaker in my FOO and my family (2 grown kids)
Well I lost it. I stormed out, got in the car with my husband threw my purse in the back seat, cried, yelled, and according to him, hit him. I don't remember doing that. (the hitting) If it actually happened it is the second time in our marriage the first was 32 years ago when we had an argument and he stood in front of the bedroom door and would not let me leave. I hit him once on the chest or stomach. Picture an obese woman who needs help opening jars, hitting a former marine. I asked him if he thought I could every really physically hurt him (actually and intentionally) and he said no. BUT he told the counselor now she will not do couples therapy because I'm not ready. I am a danger to him. Yes a DANGER to him. What has he told her about me??
So....I sit and listen to my counselor say "so what are you doing for yourself". And watch the mind movies of him and his counslor and her preparing to help him get the balls to leave me.
HOW can I find a true marriage counselor who will do therapy for us together that will deal with RECOVERY. All I am getting is "he needs to forgive himself" and I need to get over it. Well according to last night's conversation I think he HAS forgiven himself. I am just the crazy bitch to be discarded to help his mental health... I have told him what I need - mostly ideas I have learned here. I bought "Not Just Friends" and he is finally reading it with me - but was very resistant. What does it means that neither of our counselors has EVER heard of this book?
Please Help - He needs to understand that even if he decides to ditch me - I need HIM to help me recover. I don't know what I will do otherwise. I don't even want to think that direction.
Thank you - you have helped me a lot by all of your sharing. Hopefully someday I can do the same.
So sorry you have found yourself here in our club that no one ever thought they'd join.
Please know that you have found a place of kind and compassionate people who understand your hurt and your pain. We do.
It is still new and raw for you. Infidelity takes its toll on your mind, body and soul.
Please know this. You did not cause your husband to cheat. You do not own anything about the affair. Those were his choices. There is never any excuse to cheat. EVER.
A marriage takes two people committed to working together to choose to love one another. Love is a choice not a feeling.
I would strongly suggest finding another IC. It took me 3 to find the right one. You have to feel safe and that you have some connection, if you don't then it is wasted time and money, IMO.
As hard as it is, you can't beg or nice your husband in wanting to be with you. Actually those actions may push him farther away.
Please look up the 180 in the Healing Library. As hard as it is, try incorporating this into your life. You have to take care of you right now.
HE doesn't know if he wants to stay married to me
You have to move forward for you. Put and X on the calendar and say please figure it out by X or I will assume that means we are splitting up. Don't let him treat you like an option.
He needs to understand that even if he decides to ditch me - I need HIM to help me recover
Only, and I mean only, if he is truly remorseful can he ever help you recover regardless if you are together or not. He's caused this pain, he has to own it and want to change in order for you to even begin to heal.
I am so sorry you are hurting and you're lost. Please post often and know that we all care and are here for you.
Prayers and hugs.
[This message edited by 1Faith at 2:15 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
After D-Day I have really tried to change - diet, exercise, sex, go to all functions everything he had complained about. I constantly ask him, what else can I do?
[This message edited by Phoenix9572 at 2:53 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
A man who continues to text people and pretends to be alone when he's with you is not remorseful. He's only sorry he got caught. He hasn't done any of the work to figure out why he has boundary issues and he is likely to continue having those issues without doing any real work. His counselor sounds like a bully and it's actually a good thing if she isn't doing your couples counseling. You need a counselor who makes you both feel safe. You felt stomped on. I'd say that after 36 years of marriage, how far apart you are on money is not a bigger priority than your husband's boundary issues with other women.
And that is the reason I think you need to read about the 180 and learn to detach. First, your mental health is suffering chasing him around trying to be what you think he wants you to be. Honey, this isn't because of what you are, it's because of what he isn't. The sooner you realize that it isn't about you being the perfect wife, the healthier you will begin to feel. If it's a wake-up call to him that he's about to lose his wife of 36 years, well, that's a bonus.
Get and read the book "Not Just Friends" by Dr. Shirley Glass. The book explains how even good marriages can be damaged by affairs when good boundaries are not in place. It might just help your husband see why his boundaries with the opposite sex is a problem if he's willing to read it.
As for the counselors, keep seeing your IC. But I wouldn't see the bully again for any type of counseling. If your husband agrees to marriage counseling, find a counselor who specializes in infidelity and knows something about Dr. Glass and her research. A counselor who doesn't sweep infidelity and boundary issues under the rug is the best way to help a betrayed spouse overcome the pain of an affair.
[This message edited by Tearsoflove at 3:05 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
Ok first take all the monies you have and make sure he has no access to it. Period..
Second see a good lawyer.
He is not remorseful he is not thinking of you or loving you. If he was he would not be texting other women.
Gain strength in knowing his ugliness is coming from him because of him.. Not you.
Size does equate beauty by the way...
Do not let him beat you down. Sounds like he knows how to manipulate you. I mean really you a danger to him. An Xmarine..
Read on here about the 180 get yourself a therapist that is good! You need one that deals with trauma and infidelity. Yes trauma...
From the sounds of it you have been thru a lot in these 36 years... Make sure the therapist is focused on older couples also. Makes a difference.
Also do you have children?
Gather all your evidence and give them or other family members proof he is cheating and has. He is so manipulative he will try to make them look down on you.. Take that power away from him. He sounds like a bully.
Find a new IC. A good IC will help you focus on the actual issue, will give you coping strategies and will help you root out those feelings.
Finally, read in the Healing Library, BS FAQs #11. They call it the 180. Begin implementing it so you can individuate yourself from your WH. When you start focusing on you (the IC has that part somewhat right at least) you will stop thinking you need an active cheater in order to continue living. And as long as he's seeking out women like you describe, he's an active cheater. Kind of like an alcoholic getting a buzz from cough syrup. It's not technically drinking, but it still is a harmful choice to feed an addiction.
ETA- you don't need him to recover. I am still M to a man who hasn't followed through with MC or anything really. He's done the bare minimum. I'm at a pretty healthy place compared to where I was. That because of the work I did on myself. I'm still broken and will be in that place as long as I choose to remain M. If I D, I will eventually heal that too.
You don't need him to heal. It will be infinitely harder trying to heal with him by your side if he's not helping.
[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 3:28 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
I do think, however that your therapist is asking you the right question (over and over and over again):
"so what are you doing for yourself"
The reason why she's probably asking you this is because of this:
I have really tried to change - diet, exercise, sex, go to all functions everything he had complained about. I constantly ask him, what else can I do?
He needs to understand that even if he decides to ditch me - I need HIM to help me recover.
I feel like such a failure. I thought we were happy. I was happy. (yea, depressed but happy - read crazy person).
Any specific questions to ask a prospetive new counselor?
also I have an appointment with my IC tomorrow. Any ideas? I am just worn out. I can't sleep more than a couple of hours and I feel pretty useless at work - I struggle to get things done. I am on prozac and taking anxiety meds as needed - which seems to be every day. They really do help, but I hate that I am numbing my feelings.
I am SO ready to move on - but I can't do it by myself.
Do you specialize in infidelity issues?
What is your stance on infidelity in a marriage and the requirements for helping the betrayed spouse heal?
Are you able to help with a wayward who has boundary issues with the opposite sex?
I'd pay close attention to the answers. A counselor who says a wayward cheats because of something he/she wasn't getting from the betrayed is giving a wayward an excuse for cheating. While there may have been issues in your marriage, the wayward is 100% responsible for his decision to cheat. There are a number of ways to work on issues in a marriage. Cheating is not one of them and causes an issue so traumatic that it dwarfs other issues.
You are definitely among others here who have travelled this path. I felt compelled to share with all of you some very personal things that I believe will set your mind at ease.
Here goes,.......I, like many of you want to keep my WS from leaving me. I want my, our, life back....I tried everything I could to keep him from cheating on me in the first place.
Lost.....I want you to know.....and this is very important.....I have done exactly as you have... , diet, exercise, sex, not just regular sex......but any crazy shit he wanted to try. I gave of myself in ways I would never have dreamed up on my own. But.....here is the clincher.....I did all that for him before he cheated on me. The thing is.....he was bound to cheat anyway. Nothing I did could have stopped him. I was his soul mate, lover, best friend, carpenter helper, handy man assistant around the house, I climbed mountains, rode bike, kayaked, baked, cooked, cleaned the house to a shine, gave him massages, did all his laundry, ironed his dress shirts for 13 yrs, entertained his friends and co workers, pushed aside any of my friends he did not Approve of, limited my time with my kids And grand kids, I worked full time as a nurse, gave him his testosterone shots for the year while he was cheating on me with hookers, yup....he convinced me....a nurse ....that his Doc prescribed testosterone because he was sooooo tired. He was using Viagra with them and hid it from me. This man .....my WH never even had to pay full price for the wh****s because we split every household expense and I pay half. He saved half on things at home to save for paying for hookers.When I found out.....caught him....I was devastated because......as you and many others ask yourself...." what more could I do?"
The answer is a one word answer....Nothing.
WE could not and cannot do anything to to keep them from cheating. It is about choice.......both of our choices....his to cheat and mine to realize it is time to leave.
I am not there yet....still living in same house but separate areas of house...why????? I wish I knew that. I need to leave, want to leave, want to die most days.
I don't have answers for myself and wish I could say something....anything to help others....maybe one day...when this is over I will be able to help others. For now....I wish all of you the best of luck but just know that being anything....anyone he wants you to be.....is not the answer. I am living proof of that.
Here is a sad fact.....while I vent I may as well confess.....my WS cheated on me with a different who*e very night I worked and he told me they all told him how gentle he was with them.....yet with me he was rough and treated me like a who*e. where is the sense in all this???? I wish I had answers.
Thanks to all of you on SI I now feel I may find some peace of mind and a new direction for myself in life....maybe even a reason to keep living. Thank you!
[This message edited by Mel36 at 5:33 PM, September 11th (Wednesday)]
You need mostly right now to focus on yourself. Your health. That is why your counselor is asking you what you are doing for yourself. You can not make him want to stay, but begging and weakness will only make things worse.
If you want to make changes, you should do them for you, to make you feel better about yourself, not for him.
He should have told you he was unhappy and then you could have worked on it together. To make fun of you in emails to another woman is just so, so, cruel, and he should feel horrible about that.
Keep going to your IC, focus on yourself, start the 180, and see if he steps up.
So, so, sorry for your pain but you will get lots of love and support here.
After D-Day I have really tried to change - diet, exercise, sex, go to all functions everything he had complained about. I constantly ask him, what else can I do? What do you want from me.
You're not the one that is broken. HE is.
Please listen to what people here have said. Do the 180, it's been bumped and go to the library as well.
Hugs your way.
True love is harder to come by than soul mates. True love requires work.
Ignorance can be cured with knowledge. There is no cure for being an idiot.
After D-Day I have really tried to change - diet, exercise, sex, go to all functions everything he had complained about. I constantly ask him, what else can I do? What do you want from me.
Please don't think it is because of your weight our how your appearance is.
Look at all the beautiful women that get cheated on: Sandra Bullock, Tiger's model wife, Demi, and a lot of others. The WS are broken, cowardly, and morally bankrupt. It is not you. He makes you think that because he needs to justify what he knows is WRONG.
I can't tell you whether you should drop your counselor or not, but if you're going to meet with her tomorrow, I would tell her exactly how you feel about your IC sessions and about how hurt you felt when she didn't stand up for you during the joint session. One of the best things you can do in therapy is talk to your IC about how the therapy is going or any problems with it you've been having.
One time, my IC said something to me that really rubbed me the wrong way, but I didn't say anything at the time because that's not how I've been raised, I guess (supposed to be "nice" and not say anything negative to anyone.) Also, I really valued her help and and I didn't want to make her mad at me! Before my appt the next week, I mentioned it to a very close friend whose been in therapy before and he convince me to tell her. It was the best thing I could have done! She apologized for upsetting me and we talked about what she said and how I interpreted it and we achieved a better understanding of each other. I also learned that it's perfectly okay (and even encouraged) to talk to the therapist about how the therapy is going.
Now, I realize my IC is pretty kick ass and yours may not be. But if you're going to meet her anyway, you may want to air your feelings and see if it helps. You may still decide to find someone else, which is totally understandable and your IC may be able to recommend someone.
I just wanted to throw that out there. Good luck! We're all rooting for you!
I am actually feeling a little better about myself today. I hope it is not just the Prozac finally kicking in. I have lost 20+ pounds and increased my biking/walking at the gym to triple the time I could do the first day I went. My pants are baggy. I still look in the mirror and see grandma - but hey that's what I am.
I see my counselor this afternoon. I am going to listen closer to her today. I know she finally talked to HIS counselor (they are in the same office). My husband, who supposedly didn't drink for 36 years has decided he wants to now. So in the past year of doing so, progressed to a DUI about 2 weeks ago. I had spent 7 hours driving around the small town he had traveled to for a presentation - frantic with worry as he had not come home/called. I texted, called, begged, blah blah. And finally thought to call the police - yep he spent the night in jail. I am sure that was a low point for him. As I drove him home (he still had a positive so was release to me but not allowed to drive for 8 hours)I had a panic attack/crying jag and had to pull off the road and take the anxiety meds my doc had prescribed. How can he see me like this and not want to help me?
A little more back story - he came to me last summer saying he was very unhappy and gave me a long letter explaining his feelings and said he wasn't sure if he wanted to stay married. I was completly shocked, but at that point I started to change my life, offer sex (rediscovered I liked it), change eating habits, go to activities with him, etc. He started seeing a counselor and I did too. I though we were making progress - then he seemed somewhat distant again, wanted sex infrequently, etc. Well now I can see that that is when he was contacted again by the MOW (see my first post) after her daughter's suicide and starting the sexting relationship with her. That is also when he was emailing the "friend" and closing with "all my love" etc. that was when he told the MOW how I was in bed, etc
One more item - as if this story isn't crazy enough. He was diagnosed with early onset parkinson's disease two days before the DUI. Soooo that may have a lot to do with that night. So I get to be angry, hurt, destroyed and then feel guilty all at the same time. If I were to leave now (and I really don't want to) he can be the victim because I left when he got sick. (although his symptoms are VERY mild and don't disrupt his life at all - at least not now). The VERY selfish part of me thinks - now he won't ever help me over the A, now we just have to deal with HIS illness. yep, I just need to "get over it".
Jeeze what a mess.
[This message edited by selkiescot at 11:50 AM, September 14th (Saturday)]