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rbf1234 posted 11/27/2013 10:28 AM

Just posted this in reconciliation, but maybe it belongs here (too).

I would love to hear from anyone who had or was a wayward husband who has perspective on this question:

How can a wayward who is already an emotional mess find the courage and strength to do the difficult work of reconciliation on top of fixing the problems that caused the wayward behavior in the first place?

My WH is dealing with both a serious history of trauma (Dicken's novel childhood + other adult adverse events + a likely anxiety disorder) as well as the fear and shame and anxiety inherent in facing what he has done (and is doing to me).

13 months out, yesterday I found out he was still texting with someone he promised to go NC with - twice. This was not his 1 year long AP, and I think it was just texting, but he still lied and didn't keep him promises. It is just clear that he is still a complete emotional disaster. And he is having a renewed breakdown.

He is begging me to stay, begging me to help him. Promising to seek psychiatric help for what is probably an anxiety disorder. (He is already in IC but it is talk therapy only). Vowing to stop drinking. Writing a real NC letter. Look for a 12 step program (etc. etc.)

He is begging me for help and support, and describes going in and out of despair this year as the damage he has done to me sinks in, ... making him feel quite hopeless about fixing all this.

If anyone has had a severely damaged WH who managed to heal himself enough to become capable of being a good partner and survive reconcilation, I would love to hear about it.

brokenblackbird posted 11/27/2013 10:35 AM

What is different this time than the last time he did this? What makes this DD different?

Its easy to say he is going to change and all the other stuff, but is it likely to happen? Did he promise you the SAME thing the last time? And yet here you are, another discovery.

Being screwed up (FOO, anxiety, etc) is not an excuse. He knew what he was doing was wrong. That was why he hid it! He did it because he didn't think he'd get caught and he felt entitled.

I'd make sure to see some change in him - not just talk - before I made an further commitments to him.

He should be supporting you and helping you through this time. He screwed up. He hurt you. He took a sledgehammer to your trust and your marriage. He knew he was doing it and he still did it.

rbf1234 posted 11/27/2013 10:44 AM

Thanks for your reply. He has made a lot of changes this year. Obviously not enough. And I am not really making any commitment to him - except to stay in the house. We have stopped sexual intimacy for the past couple of months, which had been worrying me a lot, but now I am glad. And in fact, I think is the right thing for us right now.

He is treated me very well on a day to day basis, which is a big change after years of crankiness. That is the biggest change.

The question is - he barely seems able to take care of himself emotionally right now, much less help me heal.

So what happens to these guys who are such a mess?

GabyBaby posted 11/27/2013 11:05 AM

He is begging me to stay, begging me to help him.
My XWH did this too. It is a manipulation tactic.
He cried crocodile tears, begged, and pleaded. He agreed that he needed help, didn't know why he was the way he was, yadda yadda.
Then as soon as I showed any sympathy or tried to "help" him, he screwed me over again. He NEVER actually got counseling (stating later that he knew himself and counseling wouldnt help him). He never did any reading or attempted to "self help". Take a look at my signature. I stayed in this insane cycle for over 15 years.

YOU cannot help him. He has to make the changes himself (or with the help of a professional).
YOU are not responsible for his behavior.
YOU are not to blame for his behavior.

If I could do it all again, I would boot him out the door until he showed REAL change.
Oh- and I tried the "roommate" style marriage for the last couple of years. It is its own type of hell, but by then I had an exit plan (finish my degree, etc) and stuck it out.

Given the fact that he is a repeat offender, do you really think he's going to change?
You are worth so more than what he is giving you.


GabyBaby posted 11/27/2013 11:08 AM

he barely seems able to take care of himself emotionally right now, much less help me heal.

So what happens to these guys who are such a mess?

He cannot help you heal at this point. You have to do what is best for your own health and he has to tend to his.
If he is truly remorseful, eventually you can help and support each other, but he's not "there" yet.

As for what happens to these guys who are such as mess?
If they are truly remorseful, seek help, and do the work to change their behaviors, they can go on to have healthy relationships.
Or they can be like my XWH who refuse to TRULY look at themselves, never fix their issues, and go from relationship to relationship, repeating the same F'ed up patterns time and again.

MOTG posted 11/27/2013 12:11 PM

The WS being so fragile to me just kind of irritates me. Maybe this is harsh but I feel like oh cry me a river. We all have had turmoil in our lives and we all have pain and hurt an trauma from various things. My WS is very selfish, I could blame his upbringing but he is an adult. He know how to make a choice and he knows how to be considerate and respectful. I remind him of honesty and open communication, communicating to me when he feels bad about something but ultimately they need to grow up and get over things they can't change. If he needs therapy, then do it, if he wants to change then do it. If not there is the door. I'll do the work I need to do and I'm not perfect either but I reach out and communicate when I need help with something. I don't hold it all in and use it as an excuse to cheat on my husband. KWIM?

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