I didn't respond because part of his problem is that he is great at carrying on virtual relationships, but crap at actually talking. If he wants me to take his requests seriously he needs to actually say them to me. This morning though, I felt like I needed to say something to him that maybe he would understand, and wrote this:
"I don't think you get it at all. The man I loved, whether or not he ever existed, is dead. I gave everything to and for him, and now he is just ... gone. I am grieving this loss alone. Meanwhile, I am living this life with a man who sometimes looks and acts like my love, but isn't. I don't even know you.
The current boundaries on touching me are this: don't. The kids need reassurance right now and they will always get it."
I don't know where to go from here, or whether I should even send it or not. I am just disgusted that he seems to think he can be jealous right now of our children. I am irritated that he wants me to do serious relationship building stuff right now. This all sucks so bad.
[This message edited by Quakingaspen at 7:19 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]
D-Day: Too many in 17 years of marriage. LAST time 10/17/2013.
"I don't think you get it at all”
= “I don’t feel as though you understand how I feel right now”
“The man I loved, whether or not he ever existed, is dead”
= “I feel so sad that you seem like a stranger to me”
“I gave everything to and for him, and now he is just ... gone”
= “I feel like I have given all of myself to you and now its lost”
“I am grieving this loss alone”
“Meanwhile, I am living this life with a man who sometimes looks and acts like my love, but isn't”
“I don't even know you”
= “I feel like I don’t know you anymore”
“The current boundaries on touching me are this: don't”
= “I am not ready for you to touch me”
“The kids need reassurance right now and they will always get it”
= “I find comfort in hugging the kids and reassuring them, I am always there for them”
“I don’t feel as though you understand how I feel right now. I feel so sad that you seem like a stranger to me. I feel like I have given all of myself to you and now its lost. I am grieving this loss alone, meanwhile, I feel like I am living this life with a man who sometimes looks and acts like my love, but isn't. I feel like I don’t know you anymore. I am not ready for you to touch me. I find comfort in hugging the kids and reassuring them, I am always there for them”
Hopefully it conveys how you're feeling, but retains some dialogue that isn't confrontational.
My SAWH and I made an appointment to talk every night when we saw our first MC -at MC's suggestion -as a way of dipping our toes into finally communicating again and it something we are still doing 7 months later (and probably will for as long as we are still together). Every night, I get the kids ready for bed - make sure their pjs are on, teeth brushed. And then he comes up from working in his office, reads and says good night to them and sits with our daughter in her room for a bit as she falls asleep. Then he comes into my room (we're doing in house separation) and we talk for a bit. At first it was very forced and he would leave after 5 or 10 min. I could tell this was something very uncomfortable for him. He was guilty as hell, it was out of his comfort zone, he did not want to take responsibility for his actions, etc. Now he is staying a lot longer, willing to be more open (but still has a long way to go on this) and we have accomplished a lot. I can tell he is making this a higher priority in his day now rather than dragging his feet or viewing it as a trip to the dentist for getting teeth pulled. He used to sit with our daughter and wait until she fell asleep and he would sometimes fall asleep too and i'd have to go wake him up in the chair next to her bed. Now he is willingly coming to talk, almost like he looks forward to it. I don't know…I guess I just see an improvement in that regard. I never thought it would get better, but it has. We were definitely teetering on divorce. I can't tell you how many times I thought, "Well, this is it. I am calling lawyer tomorrow and telling him I am ready to file." (lawyer had all info and was ready to start process when I gave go ahead).
When we are not together (I had a trip with my friends a few months ago), we check in with one another at a designated time every day. This is something you guys can do, too. Every day at 11 am you call him and talk for a couple of minutes (due to the nature of my husband's job, daytime conversations don't really work for us). Every night at 9 you talk in person for 15 min. Face each other. Look into each other's eyes. No tv or computer or phones on. All I can tell you is that this practice has helped us a lot.
The cooking and doing other stuff for him to make life comfortable makes me think that you are in R or at least heading that way..
It is okay if you aren't committed to R yet..
You don't need to commit until you are ready..If you feel that you are in limbo than tell WH you are in limbo..
Your WH not knowing which path you will choose(because you don't know yet) is one of the basic, minimum consequences that he should experience..He just has to suck it up and deal with it and still help you with your personal healing..
Before my D-day I was with a friend who went thru an extreme trauma such as this...We were out eating...I think she experienced a trigger..We were laughing and talking and then all of a sudden I saw a shadow come across her face..Her eyes changed, she had the look of a cornered doe that was about to be shot...The sudden change in her demeanor freaked me out a little..
Your WH has to know that this is the level of damage that his behavior has caused you and your family..
A remorseful WH won't put pressure on you to" work on the relationship" or " Hurry up and heal so we can get on with life" ..And he does need to work on better communication with you face to face..
With all of the above said, I like your original letter..It conveys both the anger and sorrow that you feel and as another poster said, he does need the slap of cold water on his face...
[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:08 AM, November 6th (Wednesday)]
If you don't know whether you're going to take the right bridge or the left bridge, then don't burn one of those bridges down.
It's normal to not know what you want and to be upset, angry, confused, and all that jazz. Give yourself the time to understand what you want before you act on it.
FWIW, if he is doing IC, that is a very important step in R. (The other big one being to stop cheating, of course). The reason he cheated is because something was missing within him, and the fears revolving around that manifested themselves in his choices. True introspection will help him to understand this and what is needed for his self improvement (and thus the improvement of the marriage).
Quite often, these issues are related to a fear of being vulnerable, which leads to a fear of intamacy and lack of self identity. Communicating is a difficult thing on its own, and communicating our needs is even more dificult in the face of those fears. This online communication may provide him with a bit of a buffer to open himself up to you, and give him the time to compose those internal thoughts. If you can provide him with a "safe place" to communicate (And I really like Katie's translation), then he may be willing to take more of those steps towards self improvement. It's positive reinforcement of the positive that you see from him (assuming he is taking other right actions), while still holding firm with your needs and boundaries. If you want to find the good in people, you have to be willing to look for it.
Keep in mind as well though, that just as he is responsible for his choices, he must take ownership of the consequences and recognise the impact they have on you and respect that.
[This message edited by SerJR at 3:42 PM, November 6th (Wednesday)]
I did tell him a version somewhere in between Katie's and my original when we spoke last night. He heard me, said he realized that he was trying to rush things but that he just felt like he was flapping in the wind and then he shut down and left the room.
I wanted to ask him how he thinks I have felt these last six years being neglected while he was carrying on his online affairs? Does he think that 3 weeks of online counseling and a book are going to magically convince me he's changing for real this time? I feel like he wishes I would throw a parade for him every time he does 1 thing right, and when I don't, he just sulks. I know he is clueless about how to have a real relationship, but he's in counseling, there are books, websites, etc. If it's so important to him, then why won't he learn?
And the worst part of it all, is that he IS changing, but he's done that before. He's never gone to counseling before. I guess I am impatient too. I just wish there were a crystal ball so I could see past all this painful stuff.
Me: fBH 46
Her: exWW 42
DDay: Nov 1, 2012
Divorced: September 17, 2013
Your most recent DD was Oct. 16, 2013!!! Holy cow, no wonder you are reeling and devastated.
Very gently, how much more of this are you willing to tolerate? Are you getting help? I ask because it sounds like he has been emotionally abusing you for a real long time, and that does a number on anyone.
You are right, he is out of line asking you to do anything. To me, he is not showing a remorseful man. He is showing a serial cheater that is caught and is doing what it takes to get back to the status quo... ie the abuse cycle.
Honey, I am so sorry you find yourself in this position, but so glad you found us. There are so many wise people here. Please check out the NPD forum on the I Can Relate board.
I think you are right, he has some type of personality problem. Emotionally healthy people do not act like he has chosen to act.
Given the circumstances, let's focus on you! You are a caring loving mother of 3 young kids, right? You have been carrying the entire burden of the children and the home as as he off playing and acting like a teen, right?
So, you have a lot of skills, lots of perseverance and determination. I bet you are also over-caring, and over-forgiving and maybe feel badly if you state a boundary??
So, what are your plans for helping you?
You don't have to decide right now what to do. However, I would think long and hard if you want to continue with his bad behavior and low commitment to you. You have built a new life several times due to your numerous moves. You have the strength to have a life without him. Now you must decide if you want him or not. This is not his decision anymore. You are in control of your future, if you want to try, it should be one last time ONLY, if you want to end it, well you have given him more than enough chances to commit. Don't feel sorry for him, he didn't think twice about you or you feelings, especially after his repeat cycle of infidelity.
Take your time, plus you can change your mind no matter which way you choice in the near future.
"Global editing disclaimer - I edit almost everything I post, and I am not going to post why every time."...re: Bionical girl