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Quakingaspen posted 11/6/2013 07:19 AM

So my WH emailed me this yesterday afternoon: "Just wanted to check in and see how things were going. The curry was tasty for lunch today. You should have seen a few emails from me today, just stuff I wanted to keep you in the loop on. The 5 Love Languages topic popped up again in my counseling session today, so I went ahead a did the quiz again, hope you don't mind and that you'll do it again for me. I want to know what the current boundaries are on touching you. I'm feeling very hug deficient and have to admit I'm a bit jealous of all the lovins you've been getting from the kids, the boys especially. Heading off to another meeting, but just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you."

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)]

KatieG posted 11/6/2013 07:48 AM

If he is IC I can assume you are planning to R. If so I would suggest not sending it as it sounds like he (in quite an insensitive way) is trying to reach out to you. So if you’re serious about R, I have reworded your response to be less antagonistic.

"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.

heforgotme posted 11/6/2013 08:36 AM

I think your response is perfect and you should send it. He needs a bucket of ice water thrown in his face as he is not facing the terrible reality of this. His message reflects none of the gravity of the situation.

womaninflux posted 11/6/2013 09:03 AM

I agree with KatieG but for different reasons. I think this is a good thing to write in your journal (one would be helpful to keep if you are not already doing so) but if you say he is more comfortable carrying on a virtual relationship but not an in person conversational relationship, why engage further in a virtual relationship? The GOAL for both of you should be to have a time or times every day where you check in with one another in person as well as on the phone or Skype. Always remember, actions speak louder than words. His words sound great, but what is he doing to follow through?

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.

doggiediva posted 11/6/2013 09:57 AM

I can't tell from your post, I was wondering if you guys were already committed to R?

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)]

Quakingaspen posted 11/6/2013 11:17 AM

Thank you all for your thoughts and encouragement! I do not know if we can R. I feel too broken to make a lot of decisions right now. I am taking things slowly because I don't want to traumatize my children any more than I have to, and having just moved over the summer, I don't want to pull the rug completely out from under them. We are living together separately, I still cook dinner for everyone, and if there are leftovers he takes them for work. He's done online IC for the last three weeks because his last OA was so bad that he's even afraid of his "problem" at this point (think about the danger that comes from not knowing how old the OP is), but I don't see him taking any steps beyond that to really make a change, besides making these demands of me to do things that he read we should do in his book.
We do have talk time every evening but he keeps things superficial and after I laid things out a couple of weeks ago, I don't have much to add. He's already not following through on things he said he'd do.

SerJR posted 11/6/2013 15:40 PM


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)]

Quakingaspen posted 11/7/2013 09:34 AM

Thank you SerJR, Katie and everyone. I do not really want to burn all my bridges while I do not know what to do.

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.

GotMyLifeBck2013 posted 11/7/2013 11:04 AM

Be silent. In all things. Say nothing. Text nothing. If he tries to touch you, hold up your hand like a stop sign and say "no". Firmly. Then, walk away to your safe room or the kids room. Do not engage him. Just because he is in ic and appears remorseful means nothing. You are only a few weeks in and you need to heal before you decide anything. It might be a dealbreaker for you. And thats okay. You might also take a chance on him, also okay, but he wants progress too quickly. He is trying to control the outcome now. The 5 love languages are fine when you arent starving yourself and struggling to get 10 minutes of sleep. Heal first.

Chrysalis123 posted 11/7/2013 11:35 AM

This guy has cheated on you multiple times, correct??

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.

Chrysalis123 posted 11/7/2013 11:46 AM

Oh my goodness, I just read your profile.

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?

momentintime posted 11/7/2013 13:23 PM

Even with IC I think his chances of giving you the M you want are slim. His has a long history of bad choices, weak character and a willingness to put you way down the priority list, along with the kiddos.

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.

Quakingaspen posted 11/8/2013 10:48 AM

Wow. Thank you for the support So much. I have spent so long not telling anyone about what goes on and how I feel in order to protect him and the future I hoped we'd have that it was easy to believe things weren't that bad. Even more I second guess myself and want to think I am being melodramatic. Yes I am too forgiving, I have always been stupid enough to give him the excuses. I mistook his not wanting me to leave for caring about me.
Crysalis, you are right. I do feel badly for putting up a boundary. He's starting on me with the reminders that we're both suffering in this, and it makes me question how I can make it easier for both if us, but then I am so over being nice to him. Why do I have to make things easy for him?
TBH, I think I am soft-pedaling because I am working on my exit strategy and don't want to destabilize things before I am ready. But even that fills me with doubt. Is it wrong to manipulate things right now in order to try and create a smoother transition for my kids and me?

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