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Help me work out why I still want him back?

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Softcentre posted 12/7/2013 05:11 AM

Seriously, I have worked all this out:

1. I'm financially BETTER off without him, especially if we divorce. He has a LOT of debt and will be worse off without me, especially if we divorce. I realise that I will have to go back to work either way. If we reconciled, I would mainly be working to pay off his debt.

2. I do not trust him financially. I will never go back to having a joint account or any joint debt apart from our mortgage. And that's true even if we reconciled.

3. It would be a really hard, long road to reconcile with him. I'm already working on me and will keep doing so regardless. He's still blame shifting and expecting me to 'parent' him (which I'm working on not doing any more). He's still trying to hide stuff from me, stuff that I already know, so it's pointless? But his actions speak volumes about his lack of honesty and lack of emotional maturity. If we reconciled I'd want to grow to trust him. But that could only happen if he made genuine sustained changes within himself and between us. As he currently is, I'd be mad to trust him.

4. I want to be in a loving emotionally mature relationship. I believe he has been keeping small but important secrets from me from the very beginning, larger things as time went on. Maybe it would be easier to start with someone who can be honest from the get go. However, I'm not looking for another relationship (and would not for at least years after any potential divorce) and have big reservations about the type of man who'd want to be married to someone with two young boys. WH has big issues with fearing confrontation & needing female approval and the dishonesty is part of that. I'm not sure how easy it would be for that to change. I'm also not sure that I want to live with passive aggression again.

5. He has done some truly awful things. I think I could forgive him. I want to be able to trust him. But would I always be looking over my shoulder, waiting for something else to happen? He told me that if I'd only [fill the blank in here] it wouldn't have happened. I don't want to live fearing that if I'm not perfect he'd do it again (I KNOW I'm not perfect!)

6. He is my biggest trigger. Most of the other triggers have disappeared or faded so they don't hurt too much. Every time I see WH, it hurts. Will that always happen? Would it be better if we worked things through? Or worse because the trigger is him?

BUT, BUT...I still hope and pray for reconciliation. Why?

(BTW, we're separated already)

karmahappens posted 12/7/2013 05:46 AM

You are the only one that can answer that.

What ARE you getting from not starting the D process? There is something because you are not sure yet.


He told me that if I'd only [fill the blank in here] it wouldn't have happened. I don't want to live fearing that if I'm not perfect he'd do it again (I KNOW I'm not perfect!)

Would be my answer. He is still blaming you, IMO that's one of the first things I needed my husband to get.

YOU did nothing wrong!

Lostandpregnant posted 12/7/2013 07:37 AM

Because you loved him and probably still do.
Because he's familiar, and you want your life to not be turned upside down.

I think it's normal to want things to be back to the way they were, and not lose someone, no matter how horrible/what they've done, etc...maybe it's not that you want HIM back, but you want what you thought you had back?

I'm just thinking out loud, probably projecting my own thoughts and feelings.

There's no black and white or easy answers about this stuff, it's too complicated to just sort easily.

stillprettyupset posted 12/7/2013 08:24 AM

My old F-150 was dying. Electronic brain was going out, tires were expensive, windshield cracked. I bought a new Dodge and inherited different problems. Replaced the whole brake system on week three. That being said, I once loved that old Ford, but it broke promises to me. And I will never forgive all the times I ended up at the side of the road, stranded. I love my new truck and don't look back at what I gave up.

suckstobeme posted 12/7/2013 08:35 AM

Because when someone leaves we tend to romanticize them. We believe that our life with them was a fantasy because we so badly don't want it to end.

This is all normal. You're getting there, just keep going. Your intellectual side knows that he's bad for you and you could never be happy with him. Your emotional side takes a while to catch up, that's all.

crazynot posted 12/7/2013 08:46 AM

Yes, there's research that shows that our brains get flooded with 'in love' chemicals that we may not have had for years when someone leaves. Ride this out. You know he's not a good bet. Life has more twists than we can imagine.

Blobette posted 12/7/2013 09:03 AM

Because it can take a while for our heart to catch up to what our brain is telling us.

Be strong.

Softcentre posted 12/7/2013 18:00 PM

Thanks everyone.

I'm not romanticizing our life together. Although I was mostly happy, I wouldn't want to go back to the way things were before. His A woke me up and I've made (needful) changes to myself that mean I can only go forward, with or without him. And 'with him' would require hard work and changes from both of us, changes that I'm not seeing in him.

The heart is a strange thing. I do still love him. It's not just chemicals, I never stopped loving him. But I'm very close to being done. And when I'm done, I'm DONE. I've always cut out ex's from my life completely. I'd have to have limited contact because of the children, but a big thick permanent wall would be up. I don't do 'friends' with an Ex. He'd just be 'somebody that I used to know'

I suppose, though, I'm still hoping for a Christmas miracle, before it's too late.

myperfectlife posted 12/7/2013 21:44 PM

Maybe it is not him you want back.
Maybe it is that you don't want to let go of the investment you have put into your life with him so far.
For me, letting go of that investment was like admitting *I* had been wrong about something(HIM or our marriage).
It was very hard for me to let go of that ship even though it was sinking.
I guess I tend to play the "what if" game a lot.
What if he did decide suddenly that he wants to be with you?
What if he did decide that he would do 1000% necessary for reconciliation.
What if he did actually have the TOOLS and not just the desire to do that?
What if it took the minimum amount of time (2-3 years) for the average reconciliation.

Would you be happy with a relationship that has that past? Would you be happy with HIM as a mate? (I am guessing he wasn't perfect before,I ask myself "why settle for someone who doesn't do dishes AND who cheats?" Not doing dishes wasn't the end of the world, until he cheated. Now I tell everyone what a piece of shit he was for not doing dishes.)

What could your life look like without him. Not financially, but ACTUALLY-socially, spiritually, mentally.

You are separated right now. Have you mentally separated yourself? What are your goals for YOU?
Where do YOU want to be in 2-3 years?
Imagine you were starting your life over tonight, right now, and you had all the time and money to do whatever you wanted to in the next 3 years but the catch is you have to do it alone...what would you do?

gonnabe2016 posted 12/7/2013 22:08 PM

He told me that if I'd only [fill the blank in here] it wouldn't have happened. I don't want to live fearing that if I'm not perfect he'd do it again

He is unwilling to *have your back.*

You may be hoping/wishing for R....but he isn't and it takes 2 to make a marriage. As one of those two....your WH is already putting unreasonable expectations on you. Do you really think that he has the right to do that at this point?

Ostrich80 posted 12/8/2013 02:25 AM

If you make a list of the pros, what's on it. You love him but arethere other things. What do you love about him? If he were to wake up Tmoro and give you whatever you needed to heal, what would those things be and would they realistically be enough.

Me personally, if I were able to be financially independent, I would be gone because no matter what my ws does, I will never trust him again. I don't want to forever be wondering if something means something or nothing.. I don't like be suspicious.

[This message edited by Ostrich80 at 2:27 AM, December 8th (Sunday)]

stronger08 posted 12/8/2013 03:44 AM

I think almost every BS wants to R in some form or another. Especially if your within a year or so of D-Day. The reasons vary in each case. It could be a million reasons love, financial stability, reclaiming what's perceived to be yours, comfort etc. etc. etc. But what I think is the most prevalent reason is just plain old fear. Its said that its better to be with the devil you know, than the one you don't. And I think many people in the back of their minds think this to be true. And why not ? You already know what your in for no matter how shitty your being treated. And its no work on your part to sit there taking their shit at every turn. You get to wallow in your own misery and insecurities while the WS gets to do what they want. But it all comes down to the fact that a BS does not want to dip their toes in the waters of the unknown. And trust me that's a scary leap of faith for some people. Does this solve your situation with your WS ? Certainly not. But it gives the BS a sense of security to stay with their abusers.

We want to think back to when things were good and think this is just some phase the WS is going through. That everything will go back to how it was. But this is how our devil works, he/she wants us to feel this way. They get to hold all the power over you. They pretty much can and do whatever they feel they want to do. Its a codependence that runs really deep. It does not have to be infidelity related. Its often seen with physical abusers, people who abuse substances etc. But, and this is the big but, it never changes your situation. Your always going to be stuck in the little hell that was created for you. And the longer you allow yourself to be controlled by this dark force, the harder it becomes to get away. You can make excuses for them, clean up their messes, hide their behaviors but things don't change for you. It finally gets to the point where people start saying what the fuck is wrong with you for putting up with the shit. You become the joke of your social circle and family. And if your WS catches wind that someone disapproves of their behaviors, all he will do is cut you off from them. Before you know it, its just you, the WS and the misery that has become your life. Your stuck in this hell of a life and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. Your emotionally paralyzed and too afraid to do anything.

Does this sound like a life that you want to have ? I think not my friend. Your at a very important crossroad in your life. Do you go down the same road you just traveled, or do you take the road that's unknown ? With your current thinking its assumed you just stay on the road you know. But that road is just a big circle and before you know it your at the crossroad again. You life has become one big circle of loss and misery. Yet if you take the road that's unknown you cant predict what's going to be down there. It could be the road to Shangri la. But you will never know it because you let your fears keep you on the circle. But I can guarantee you one thing. If you take the road unknown the one certainty is that you go it alone. Your WS will not follow because he is more of a coward than you are. He wants to stay on the same road because its pretty good for him. So he naturally wont follow you because it takes away his power over you. But if you do gather up the courage to take that unknown road you finally get away from the bullshit. Bring along your tools cause your gonna need them on the trip. And what are the tools ? Well they are your support system of course. They are friends and family, they are your therapist, doctor, attorney, SI etc. All tools you will need to navigate the road. One thing is for certain, only YOU can make the changes needed to make YOUR life better. I say get your tool box out and take them with you down that unknown road, You just might find its pretty nice where your headed. But the choice begins with YOU my friend. You can stay and be miserable. Or you can put on your big girl pants and head off in another direction. I honesty hope you chose the road that's right for you.

Abbondad posted 12/8/2013 07:59 AM

Maybe it is not him you want back.
Maybe it is that you don't want to let go of the investment you have put into your life with him so far.

This is what my therapist (as well as SI) enabled me to file. And I filed when STBX was in one of her hoovering modes, dangling crumbs of hope that we could work things out and perhaps live happily ever after (meanwhile she'd not given up her AP):

I had to act motivated by pure reason, as my heart struggled mightily against it. Even if by some miracle she demonstrated real remorse, she would always and forever be the person who did this to me, who had the ability TO do this to me.

I miss my family terribly. I miss that investment terribly. But when I think hard about whether I really miss HER, I waver: I miss the idea of her, the myth of who I thought she was. And it is a myth, as the myth would never have done what she did. But the real person did.

Yet the heart struggles, of course. In my case I did what has always worked for me when I was scared--terrified, in this case--of change, of loss: I did it anyway. I have faith that my heart would catch up. And it is. Painfully slowly, so slowly. But it is.

Anger helps, as do her continuing despicable behavior and actions.

Strength. You KNOW what is right.

IrishLass518 posted 12/8/2013 12:29 PM

Maybe you just want to unknow what you know. I think for me, at the time, I felt like I wanted to go back to when I believed in him. When I trusted and respected him. I lost my best friend in all of this and that is the person I missed.

Softcentre posted 12/8/2013 12:34 PM

Thank you. Interesting responses. I'm going to think on them further.

A couple of thoughts of some of it:

I miss my family terribly. I miss that investment terribly. But when I think hard about whether I really miss HER, I waver: I miss the idea of her, the myth of who I thought she was. And it is a myth, as the myth would never have done what she did. But the real person did.

I don't think I'm in denial about who he is and what he has done (and is still doing). I don't think I'm in love with a myth. Through all of this I have become much more aware of his brokenness. I've also become aware of my own brokenness and have been working hard on myself. So I realise that is is possible to change from habits of a lifetime. But I think, for me, it's about whether he's able to face his own brokenness. Does he have the courage that Stronger08 was talking about?

I'm not sure whether he does. His passive aggression (diagnosed) keeps him from admitting that he does crappy things. And failing to see this stops him from letting himself change, instead, he blameshifts, projects, distracts - anything to keep from looking at himself.

I love him, even with all his faults. How can I not, if I love my imperfect self? BUT it's now about if he can find that courage or not. I dearly wish he could. I hope and pray that he will. But for my own health and well being, I've given myself a cut off date.

I think most of this angst is because that date is getting ever closer, with no sign of change from him. I fear that either he will never face himself or it will be too late when he does. It's so very sad.

I understand how hard it is to face our true selves and our horrible decisions. I've had to do this as part of all this. I almost quit IC myself at one point, but some how found the courage to face some dreadful traumas, as well as my own self. It was scary, but once broached, much less scary than I had imagined. I don't know why I had been so resistant, but I was. I can understand the resistance. But I just hope he finds the guts to deal with it before it's too late, or lose me forever.

Am I scared of what the future holds? Not so much. I have a deep faith that sustains me. Whatever happens, I will be ok.

I would just like him to WAKE UP. And I have so much respect for all the WS who are willing to face themselves and do the hard work. I wish my WH was one of them.

sisoon posted 12/8/2013 14:15 PM

Perhaps because you know intuitively that D is excruciating, too.

It's one thing to know you want him back, for whatever reason. It's quite another to know if R is possible. Financial infidelity can be as bad as an EA or a PA.

As karma points out, you can't R with an unremorseful WS, so you might want to choose D now if it seems inevitable, even though you want him back.

myperfectlife posted 12/8/2013 22:16 PM

"I love him, even with all his faults. How can I not, if I love my imperfect self?"

This resonates with me. Through the past 7 months this was the reason I stuck around, because I knew that I was not perfect either.
I EMPATHIZED with him, with what he was going through, with the motivation for why he'd acted how he had.
However, at a certain point I realized that even if I'd had the exact same set of circumstances, the exact same motivation, the exact same feelings- I don't think I COULD HAVE CHEATED.
I don't think I WOULD have cheated.
He made a conscious decision-not once, not twice, but over the span of many hours, days, weeks-to continue his behavior.

At some point I stepped back and said "hey. I KNOW I am not perfect, but my soul deserves better. I deserve better. There is someone out there who can love me better (THERE IS!). There is someone out there who will not only value me more, but has the tools to value me as I deserve to be valued."

Guess what, I am not perfect, and neither is he. I empathize with his imperfections for the reason that I am NOT perfect.
I also will no longer allow his DECISIONS to affect my desire to better myself.
I can be a better person, and live a better life and still empathize with him. ON. MY. OWN.
Feeling sympathy and being invested are not the same thing.
My empathy is the one thing that kept me with him, now it is the only thing that keeps me civil to him.
It is what keeps me from telling him I am seeing someone else, that I no longer miss "him", that he is a failure.
My empathy keeps me human, and understands that he is also human.
But I am on MY journey now. Me. I can love him unconditionally without giving up my unconditional love for myself. For me, that meant divorce.
And so far I have not looked back.
Everything he has shown me since the divorce has been a continuation of my reasons for moving on and proof that even though on some level I do understand-that I did the right thing FOR ME.

tara1110 posted 12/9/2013 21:08 PM

I have learned so much from this thread. ... ((( everyone)))

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