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Shoulda Coulda..why didn't I

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lucy17 posted 11/7/2013 21:06 PM

I am filled with regret tonight--why didn't I say, "No, you can't go out with your friends EVERY weekend." Why didn't I text or call when I was worried instead of getting bitter and distant? The more he pulled away, why didn't I pull back and fight instead of getting pissed off and pulling away as well? I would say things like, "You do your own thing and Daughter and I do our own thing." or "The only time you know I exist is when you want sex." (That always pissed him off). I just didn't think we were in as much trouble as we were apparently in--I didn't know he was in the process of ending our marriage and killing off the loving, completely trusting, 'love being married to my best friend' fool. I get the A was 100% his fault, but honestly I don't think it would have happened, or at least not as long if I had DONE SOMETHING. So it is a lesson learned. If we make it through this, I will DO SOMETHING (MC probably) if I start to feel like our relationship is being neglected.

Jrazz posted 11/7/2013 22:43 PM

It's good to communicate with your partner about how you feel, but I don't want you to take responsibility for his behavior.

Please go easy on yourself. You didn't make him cheat on you. Issues in a relationship are one thing, but an Affair is on the shoulders of the cheater.


BAB61 posted 11/7/2013 23:20 PM

You wanted him to enjoy his life and be happy, not be in control of his time. I too trusted my WH, you did NOTHING wrong. If he was that unhappy the FIRST person he should have been spending time with was YOU ... and your daughter the second! I wasn't too concerned that we had become distant, being married 20 years you learn that marriage relationships ebb and flow .. and sometimes things are close, and sometimes not. It's hard to think that they would stray ... I still am having difficulty thinking about it. Just remember it was HIS choice to do what he did ... no excuses.

Deanna posted 11/8/2013 01:19 AM

I totally understand where you are coming from. I was so angry at my husband that I started living my own life. My husband was a workaholic which meant he would rather spend time anywhere than with me and the family. Ironically the OW saw that crack in our marraige and moved in for the kill. I ame him 100% for the affair but I blame myself a lot for the poor state of our marraige.

Smokehouse posted 11/8/2013 02:42 AM

I think the majority of us wonder if we had that great marriage, full of affection, communication and respect, would they have still cheated? We will never know.

I'm in the same boat. My marriage was in a sad state. I knew it and sadly did nothing. Thought it would eventually fix itself, find its way. When I outed the MCOW to his BS, she said obviously we both have problems in our marriage, but I didn't see it coming. Ouch did that hurt! But she was right about my marriage. The A, not my fault. Her decision. I was in the same marriage and would never have dreamed of doing that.

I'm fixing myself while my WW fixes herself. We work on the marriage as well. We've had the same conversations about our problems now that we had prior to the affair, but it is different this time. I hear her and she hears me.

It's only been 3 months since I found out, but I saw my wife this week. I mean I saw her like when I first met her, like when I started falling in love with her, like when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Why did I quit seeing her like this?

Lucy17 I totally get what you are saying. My wife is finally coming out of it and seeing it too. It will be a long road to R still, but it is doable I believe.

overandone posted 11/8/2013 03:13 AM

I too feel this. I remember my mum saying our family seemed to consist of myself and the kids, with fWH looking on genially from the outside, we'd become that distant. When I asked for a divorce, before I had a clue about the A, I didn't slag my H off to friends, just told them we seemed to be going in different directions, so there was no point in staying together. Told the solicitor he didn't seem interested in taking part in family life - and discussed this at length since with H. How I wish I had insisted he spend more time with us, but at the time thought this was really for him to decide, I couldn't make him be interested, it had to come from him. His loss. I do remember pointing out to him that if he didn't spend time with them whilst they were younger he would regret it.

It's all so different now, seems he can't spend enough time with me and the kids - shame they've grown up and left home. Such a shame for him that he missed out on so much.

Aaah, hindsight....

spinning73 posted 11/8/2013 08:34 AM

I get where you are coming from.

Yes, I saw we had problems but to me we were "married married". We talked about problems in our friends' marriages and I always thought "we are better than that". Low and behold, yes our friends marriages have issues, but I am the only one dealing with an A

I think it is because A just isn't an option for some people. I honestly never have felt approached or tempted by another man. I naively thought this was also not on my wH "menu options" either..ugh.

There were times we talked about MC...I thought we were too busy to find the time for it and hey, things aren't really that bad,right? We would fight, be distant, but I thought we always found each other/ reconnected. And since an A wasn't an option in my playbook, the counseling etc. took a backseat to the rest of our busy lives with 3 kids, 2 full time jobs etc.
Maybe if I had pushed the counseling earlier, or read love languages sooner......

Hindsight is 20/20.

But then I think about things I've read about As happening in good marriages. Just because the opportunity presents itself. I think WS definitely has/had boundary issues, so I am not sure anything we did or didn't do in our marriage would have mattered.

There is a quote I saw on SI..I can't remember the first word for sure but I think it is "Acceptance is giving up hope of a better past". Can't remember who to give credit for...and it might have been "forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past". Acceptance works for me.
Best of luck to you

blakesteele posted 11/8/2013 08:55 AM

You are right on schedule....I was full of these types of questions from DD to 3 month mark.

Like any "accident", in hind sight we CAN see the signs of the impending action quite easily.

I use the term "accident" my profession accident investigation is part of my job as a manager. True accidents are rare in deed. A chainsaw accident can always be traced back to a choice the person who had the "accident" made that was poor.

This is where I struggle with adultery. My decision to trust and have faith my wife would NOT commit adultery NOW appears to be a poor choice on my part. But to live in a trust but verify mode within a marriage pre-A seems to miss the mark on what God had designed a M to be. This "trust but verify" mode of operation works very well (and is a given) in my industry.

I really don't think my M should be viewed in the same light as my $1.5 million dollar project at work.

So....what do I do as a BS?

Sorry...don't have much answers for you. I shared your same mode of operation. My counselor has helped me understand that my gut was telling me something was wrong months before my DD. I simply did not think adultery was an option for my wife, so I never investigated that as a possible "accident" within my M.

My counselor has gone on to say "Since you now know adultery was an option for my wife, when my gut acts up I will consider it a possible cause of that feeling....and will do my own "accident investigation" into this as a possibility."

Not a direct parallel to adultery....but hope it provides a bit of insight.

God be with us all.

blakesteele posted 11/8/2013 08:59 AM

We talked about problems in our friends' marriages and I always thought "we are better than that". Low and behold, yes our friends marriages have issues, but I am the only one dealing with an A

Well said Spinning73

Ah, yes. I remember those days. My wife and I did this exact same thing. Turns out I was more prideful then I ever would have thought. That pride blinded me to my own dangers.

Adultery is, among other things, a humbling experience for all involved.

This is a silver lining of sorts...for I believe it is only possible to grow in the absence of pride. If we THINK we know more then we do, we fail to learn what we dont know.

Pride gets in the way of growth.

Peace to us all.

jost1125 posted 11/8/2013 17:39 PM

Some days I absolutely hate myself for the way that I have handled our relationship. I also was proud of the "fact" that our relationship was so much better than friends' were. But at the same time, I knew that our relationship was nowhere near good. It was better than any I had ever seen, so I figured that was just as good as it got. I remember pre-dday (don't know if he was seeing her yet or not), I was so damn busy, trying to work, go to school, keep track of what my son was up to, take care of everything around the house, with absolutely no time to myself, and WBF was constantly wanting me to just sit with him and cuddle. I actually said one time, "UGH! why are you being so clingy?!" (or maybe it was needy, I don't know). He needed the affection and I didn't give it to him. I just hate myself for it.

But then I think, hey wait a minute, what the hell?? He could have picked up a little slack around the house, maybe cleaned up after himself, did some laundry once in a while, then maybe I wouldn't have been so damn busy. If he wanted to spend time with me, he could have offered to sit down and help me study. He never did anything. He just wanted to take, take, take, and give nothing in return. Ater all the little things I did for him over the years, while he only thought of himself, and I hate myself for not doing more???

On good days I can say I did the best I knew how to and that something this horrific had to happen for him to change and now things can be really great someday. On bad days I still hate myself for it and wish I would have given him more, but then, I think eventually it would have been me to turn out to be the WS.

We just have to get to a point where we can know that we have done the best we could with the tools, we had. Now we can use our new tools to make our future better than our past.

emotionalgirl posted 11/8/2013 20:33 PM

(((Lucy17))) I understand completely how you feel.

I was so proud of the fact that all the couples we knew who married at the same time as us were divorced but we were still together 25 yrs strong and had a fantastic marriage. Oh how wrong I was!

I thought I was being the fabulous wife, doing all the housework and upkeep, managing our money, doing the majority of yard work, working full other words trying to be superwoman. Meanwhile I never complained that WH spent more time with friends on weekends and days off than me, didn't come home on time, crashed at his buddies instead of driving home drunk. Here's me all " no go have fun at the party, I'll just pop in a movie or read a book" all the while feeling a bit resentful, yet thinking he needed his guy time and friends. Yea right? He found a friend all right and I had no clue that the friend was a female that developed into an EA and likely would have become more.

When I confronted his answer was that he needed someone to talk to about the trouble in our marriage. I just stood there with my mouth open, and finally said " what troubles?" His response " we don't communicate and I feel like I am a bother in your life. Like you don't want me around". WTF!

I too have regrets that I was so easygoing, but like you said lesson learned.

Do you think that the majority of us here feel the same? It makes me wonder.

PinkJeepLady posted 11/8/2013 21:12 PM

I hear you loud and clear. It's so strange to look back and see the signs.
One time in the middle of the cheating years, we were out to eat with a bunch of family. Everyone was happy to see each other and engaged in lively conversation, except WH. I remember clearly looking across the table from him and seeing him staring into space, not saying anything. It was so unlike him, I started feeling like something was wrong, really wrong.
I do know though that nothing I "shoulda, coulda done" would have stopped him. We have talked about it and he sadly agrees. He said he thought about telling me a couple of times when he felt guilty, but he didn't. I think it's a very good conversation to have, but please don't regret what you did/didn't do in the past Lucy.
We do learn lessons from this though don't we? The "school of infidelity" is a place we never wanted to attend.

standinghere posted 11/9/2013 01:28 AM

Simply because you weren't aware of your WS internal problems or what they would mean in your marriage.

You may have recognized problems, but if the other party isn't being fully open you find yourself grappling with the wrong problems and coming up with the wrong answers.

Bottom line is that the communication is all F'ed up. I tried really hard to be a good spouse, the harder I tried the worse she felt about herself.

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