Here's the thing. I loved my life before. I was thankful and appreciative and I felt I was in a true partnership, we were best friends, had eachother's backs. I NEVER EVER thought he would do anything like this. So, now my options with him are to work towards something that will never be what it was for me, it will always be less, I mean, how could it not be? OR divorce him and blow up my family and hurt my kids. Why is this my choice now?
I could see that for those that look back and say they were having problems for years that the A ended up giving them a better marriage, but what about those of us who thought we had it really effing good? Maybe it will be better for him because he wakes up and smells the coffee of his amazing life with me, but what about me?
I don't think this applies when one spouse has no idea that the other is happy, or when the problems are anything but ordinary. I don't think this applies when the WS is not remorseful, or TT is happening. I don't think this applies when R isn't working out well.
I'm going to go ahead and add that I highly doubt ANYONE thinks that the A itself was beneficial to their marriage- but the work done after the A to save the marriage was beneficial. The A was kind of the slap in the face about all of the problems coming to a head, so to speak.
[This message edited by BeyondBreaking at 8:37 PM, November 4th (Monday)]
"What did you expect? I am a scorpion."
Now, the aftermath of the A, the MC, the increased communication, the 180, etc... they may, may help the M, but in the end the A itself can only harm.
I"m sorry you find yourself where you do. I wish I had something to offer, but I'm afraid I agree with you. Your M will never be the same. Like you said, how can it be?
I wish it could be the same. I'd give anything for my M to be the same, to go back to the way things were. It wasn't perfect (nothing is), but it was good enough for me.
Now? I don't know anymore. It will never be the same, and that is very hard. I am so sorry for you. I wish I could give you better advice. All I can say is, follow your heart.
She wants answers... I'm still trying to figure out what the questions are.
The only thing that I can say, is that I spent quite allot of time with my IC looking at my marriage. I discovered that perhaps I was wearing rose coloured glasses, and things were not as great as I perceived them to be. That I actually deserved more than what I was getting. It doesn't make what he did right and it doesn't negate the fact that I was ripped apart by this, or that our M is forever changed. It just means that we have a place to start when looking at R and that just perhaps, our M can be ok. Not perfect but good enough that a repeat A will not happen. Nothing is ever perfect.
Good luck, I hope you find your true path.
[This message edited by emotionalgirl at 9:04 PM, November 4th (Monday)]
I'm not trying to t/j but H and I were just talking about this. This whole concept of the old marriage is dead and now you have a 'new' marriage. I get it when it's said, but the implementation is what I'm having trouble with. How do I seperate myself from that marriage? How do I not fall into old habits? I don't know who I really am honestly. I molded myself to be his wife. Now we have to mold ourselves together into a new marriage, but nobody prepared me for that. I'm still stuck in my old form, trying to break free.
He'll say how sorry he is and that he is going to do whatever he can to make us as good as we possibly can be, maybe even better.
Yup. Heard this last night, in fact.
I am in the exact same boat. I would have said we had an amazing marriage. We were best friends. But then the A blew everything up. And you know what? I was perfectly happy with less than I deserved. Our marriage had 100%, but I was giving 70 and he was only giving 30. And that won't cut it. He's going to step up and be the husband I should have had all along. And I've flat out told him I don't even know if that's good enough anymore.
I could have written this exactly. We also had what I would have called an incredible marriage. What makes me sick now is that we used to acknowledge how great we were together and how great we had it all the time. We'd jokingly say to each other in a Russian accent, "We have good life, yes?" We'd say how almost embarrassed we were to talk about each other to our friends, because we didn't want to gush and a lot of our friends are single, but that we were incredibly lucky to have what we had. I'd say it out loud every month or so: "Do you know how lucky we are? How many people never find real love? How many people are unhappy? We're so lucky, we should be very thankful for what we've got."
Looking back, I now that know we had a ton of those conversations during his A, I just want to crawl under the covers and cry for a year. How could he hear me saying that, and say it himself, and do what he was doing? I'm sure in his eyes, our marriage can be even better, because he'll be sharing things with me he never thought he could. But I shared almost everything with him then. I'm not sure what more I can share.
I discovered that perhaps I was wearing rose coloured glasses,
In my case, I realized that the problems we had that I thought were very small, things every couple wrestled with a little, were having more of an impact on WH than I thought to address. I just wish he'd been able to talk to me about them before he felt the need to run around sticking his dick into every open hole in the city.
So yeah, maybe we can make what we had better in terms of his level of communication? We're certainly learning to be more communicative about sex, and sex has been better since DDay. A lot better, actually. So there's one benefit. But in terms of the whole? I dunno. Time will tell, I guess.
7 years of double-digit ONS, LTA, hookers - the works.
First found out: August 20, 2013
Whole truth: January 1, 2014
The marriage I had since 1980 was based on lies, for the last 7 years (at least!), and for me, that means the last 7 years have colored the first 26 years of marriage.
That marriage is dead.
For me, I doubt things can be "better than ever" but only time will tell.
Right now, I'm going through the process of grief, anger, indifference, trying to heal, etc.
I also have an exit strategy just in case.
While I find him helpful to have around, I wonder about loving the "true him" because he's obviously capable of things I never would have suspected. I don't know who the "true him" is anymore, but it's certainly not anyone I could ever trust again.
Yeah he may have an amazing life with me (I'm *awesome!* but certainly not lately--he's killed that part of me--my *awesomeness* may resurrect just because people are often resilient, or it may not), while I deal with the infidelity and lies and deceit.
For me, it's too soon to make any definitive decisions about staying married or separating or divorcing.
the A ended up giving them a better marriage,
An A will absolutely 100% NOT give anyone a better marriage. It's what the individuals do in the wake of the A, the actions they take the work that is done, that may create a fulfilling post A marriage.
I like you, was content. In fact a day before Dday, I was looking in mirror noticing how I had put on a little weight. I felt a moment of self consciousness followed by a moment of gratefulness, because I said to myself "no matter how I look, my H loves me". And then Dday hit, turning all of those thoughts on their head.
But even though I believed the M was good, the other half of my M was living a second life. He was the weak link in our partnership, but I didn't know it. So while I was living one way, he was living another.
I do not regret, the fact that I was a happy person in that M. That's me. I operate that way. My H was not. I am glad I know this now. While the innocence of our M can never ever be regained (and innocence it something I love) we can build something from these ashes. But like you...and A will not Save a M, it is a destructive force that tests your ability to bounce back from disaster it creates.
[This message edited by refuz2bavictim at 3:51 AM, November 5th (Tuesday)]
Everyone here is right. I too thought my life was just great. We were soooo happy, sooooo in love. We used to joke about how people said marriage was work. HA! What work? It was as easy as could be.
In hindsight, my marriage sucked. No real communication, no real emotional intimacy, an unhappy husband, a wife too busy to see that she was unhappy, let alone him, and too many distractions to even see each other. It did take me months and months to really see this.
What also used to get to me was that maybe for the WS the marriage is better. They still have their faithful spouse. The two of them are working towards a better relationship. That seemed - seems - so unfair. They screw up, and they get a better life? Wow, sign me up!
This is another thing that needs 'acceptance' if R is going to work. It's another unfair part of an A. It isn't just the WS doing the work and it isn't just the BS that gets a 'better' spouse. I had to accept this for me. I had to get rid of the anger I was carrying around because of the unfairness of it all. If I was going to R, then I just had to let some things go. This was one of them.
I agree - I don't think anyone thinks the A saved their marriage. They may think the work they did in the aftermath saved their marriage, but the A? No, that's so destructive and harmful, there is no way anyone thinks that itself is a wonderful thing.
It's a lot like saying "I was unhappy so I cheated." There is so much in between those two that the unhappiness isn't even the reason for the cheating, the broken WS is. The unhappiness was simply what allowed the walls to come down to make a person who would cheat open to cheating at that time. Unhappiness doesn't cause cheating, and an A doesn't save the M. There are so many steps in between.
Perhaps marriages that are not good get better because the infidelity was just part of the bad marriage. But when the infidelity made the marriage bad??? No way.
What is the point of MC when the marriage was fine? Can Humpty Dumpty be fixed? That is how I look at my husband, the cheater.
We also had what I would have called an incredible marriage. What makes me sick now is that we used to acknowledge how great we were together and how great we had it all the time. We'd jokingly say to each other in a Russian accent, "We have good life, yes?" We'd say how almost embarrassed we were to talk about each other to our friends, because we didn't want to gush and a lot of our friends are single, but that we were incredibly lucky to have what we had. I'd say it out loud every month or so: "Do you know how lucky we are? How many people never find real love? How many people are unhappy? We're so lucky, we should be very thankful for what we've got."
Minus the Russian accent I could have written this word for word. We see lots of different marriage situations with our kids friends, and even more because WH coaches. Last spring there was a girl on my DD's team who had 3 siblings, all under 10 and the parents were divorcing and they weren't pleasant to eachother. This was, btw, also A season, but I didn't know it at the time. We talked about that couple at least 15 times always saying the same thing, what could be so bad that you'd destroy a family with 4 young kids?? We couldn't even fathom! All while he was with that woman. It is truly baffling.
We did have what I would consider "normal" issues that we'd talk about periodically, they were my issues, I wanted more dates, that kind of thing. I'd always ask him what he needed, he always saying nothing, that he was happy. Always.
One week before I found out I had a GNO and gushed to my friends how happy I was. It makes me
Thank you for all the responses, certainly gives me much to think on. Especially the rose colored glasses I may be wearing and the elusive acceptance that needs to come at some point. Not really feeling like that is coming any time soon, however.
[This message edited by OldCow18 at 7:48 AM, November 5th (Tuesday)]
[This message edited by OldCow18 at 7:52 AM, November 5th (Tuesday)]
I don't think it is rose colored glasses even, my WW was amazing at compartamentalizing. Unfortunately I am not nearly as good at that. Resisting the urge to rewrite our M history is very difficult sometimes. Since the A covered the entire M history as well as our dating history it doesn't leave anything untouched for those that are not as good at compartamentalizing.
Had the issues been faced in a healthier way, I believe any M "saved" by an A could've been stronger had the right choices been made from the start. The M needed to be valued by both parties even without a threat to it, KWIM?
Our marriage was ok. He said I was the best friend he ever had, but then every problem in our marriage he blamed on me and me alone. I watched him destroy our lives with alcoholism but was still hanging on to the "ghosts of husband past" where he was the person I married, not what he was slowly becoming 15 years into our relationship.
He also always said that he'd only cheat when the marriage was over. When the ONS came to light, he brought up all the stuff about being his best friend.
The problem is we had the "us" view of the marriage - pretty good, some issues, best friends. We had the "me" view of the marriage - his alcoholism was slowly eroding our relationship. And we had the "him" view of the marriage where I didn't give him enough attention, I didn't sex him up enough, I wasn't satisfying his needs.
The A made him wake up to a lot of those issues - he's in AA and actually believes in it this time around (he'd done a stint in rehabe before). He understands that his world view cannot be "it's all about him" and everyone else's should be "it's all about him." He understands that communication in a marriage is about talking respectfully to your partner, not bullying them until you get your way.
So, in that aspect, our M did improve directly because of the A.
That being said, the A left a path of destruction that will take a lot of time to heal. I had never read his text messages, e-mails, phone logs...until that week. He went out with friends all the time while I stayed home with our two small children, and I was fine with that, I wasn't jealous if other women were there...I knew he was a flirty guy but I never doubted it was more than that....until that week. He destroyed my trust and faith in him. He made me paranoid and worried about his actions.
I don't think the analogy about the slap in the face works well, at least in my situation. In my situation, I think it was like waking up and relaizing you wanted to change the color of your kitchen but decided to bulldoze it first. You can rebuild it so it looks like it was before, and you can paint it the old or the new color, but everything about it is completely different than it used to be even when it looks the same.
No the A doesn't make the M better, and it certainly doesn't save it.
For the first 15 years we were married, and the first 20 we were together, I too felt like we had a great relationship, and were happy. Now the the month or two leading up to the A, and the entire time of the A, he was clearly unhappy, with everything, but that was him. NOT ME!!!
Now looking back at things I do realize that even though we were happy for the most part there was certainly room for improvement. Did the A save my marriage. NO! It killed it, it blew it to smithereens, and then brick by painful brick we rebuilt it. It looks completely different now than it did before. Our M is very different from the first one. The things that seemed important before, aren't so important, and some of the things that weren't are. We certainly are better communicators, we also both appreciate what we have, and are very happy. Is this M better than the first one, the pre-A one, on many levels yes it is. Does that mean his choice to have an A saved our M? NO.
My choice to stay, and to push him to improve himself, and heal his broken parts, that's what saved us. My willingness to try to heal, and ultimately healing myself, and becomeing more independent saved us.
So OC if he says his A saved your M, then you need to call him out on it, and tell him no it did not save the M. It destroyed it, and only by your generous heart, and the grace of God is he being given the opportunity to build a new and better M out of the rubble of what was left. Should he not choose to rebuild with some of the old stuff, and a lot of new things, like a healed soul in himself you have the right, and responsiblity to walk away.