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Living in limbo

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cissie posted 12/26/2013 14:13 PM

I had decided that I could live with this. I decided that we could be civilised human beings without my expecting perfection, just consideration from him as you would another human being. He is more critical of me, more demanding of me, and less respectful of me than he is with anyone else.
I never expected to be living in a platonic marriage I find it difficult enough to be just friends living in close proximity where we are supposed to be taking care of each other. It seems from time to time when I am up on the rollercoaster, he seems to feel the need to pick at the scab and pull me down. His uncaring comments and general lack of concern for me then shows me how bleak this part of my life is. The only reason he does not want me to die is because I will not be there to take care of him and be his general dogsbody - paying the bills and taking care of all the inconvenient things in his life.
I also stay because I do not have the courage to leave.He has threatened to out me if we divorce and I am too much of a coward.
I know that infidelity has long tentacles. Just because it was a long time ago it hurts no less. Sometimes it is worse because of the time that the betrayed one has spent in ignorance. The life they thought they lived was fiction. They thought they were one thing, one person, and they were not. Their partner was not who they thought they were. In fact they did not know who their partner was.
I know that in many cases it is a dealbreaker. I see here betrayed spouses decide to put up with it for a finite time. Sometimes it is until the children leave school. Sometimes it is because they don't have their ducks in a row, and as soon as they do they will leave. Sometimes they think they can handle it and then something else crops up and they realise that they just cannot. I am afraid that this has changed him, for which I am desperately sorry. He was a very trusting man. Now he has become selfish, self centered and hypocritical. He says nice things tome and about me in public, but tears me to shreds in private.
I understand that these things are consequences.It is which is why I am still here in this situation.
I come to this forum because I need to be reminded. I feel I have no advice to give except on practical matters or knowledge-based, such as travel tips or sometimes health.
To the outside world I live a privileged life. I travel a lot. I see my children and grandchildren quite a bit. I have a nice place to live and a nice car to drive. For this I am very grateful and I feel ashamed of myself to complain when I see the pain and stress infidelity causes. I grieve for the children who have lost a parent or who have rather been abandoned by a parent. I am humbled by those parents who continue alone, fighting for their families, against the last person in the world they should have to fight - the father or the mother of their children.

Aubrie posted 12/26/2013 18:57 PM

I understand that these things are consequences.
I don't consider the life you're living to be "consequences". It's abuse. Please love yourself enough to realize you deserve more than the life you're living, regardless of your past actions.

helplessme posted 12/27/2013 03:00 AM


I feel your pain. We are in the same limbo world. You are in so much the same situation as I am. It's like I put words in your lips, so to speak. My BH treats me like I am no one; constantly berating me and ever so mad. I have more down days than up ones.

I do everything to show how remorseful I am; I tell him I'm sorry everytime I remember the A. But it seems nothings works for him. I also get so scared of him because he can explode in anger anytime. Sometimes I feel like getting away because I feel I am losing myself and my dignity. But just like you, I still stay.

Hang in there cissie.. you are not alone. I am here

GotMyLifeBck2013 posted 12/27/2013 07:49 AM

I dont know your circumstance and only have your perspective, so I cant say what you husband is or is not doing is abusive, and its too easy to jump to that conclusion. You say he was a very trusting man before, but now is selfish and hypocritical. As a BS this is exactly what i thought of my WS. I didnt feel bad for her hurt because it was self inflicted. Maybe he is in his first anger long ago was dday? Did you have multiple affairs? There are consequences for sure. Affairs shatter so many good and loving elements of relationships. I became as conniving and cold as she was. Decided to embrace her hate. I eventually walked away. The thing is you cant control his actions or reactions. Some choose to patiently and optimistically move forward, others are so shattered and demolished they have to remove their spouse from their lives. Augie stated its abuse. Thats what affairs are too. Is a weekend retreat possible? Marriage counseling?

cissie posted 12/28/2013 16:01 PM

Thanks for your responses.
Aubrie, I feel that I have turned him into this. It must have been a dreadful blow to him.
GMLB my start date here was in 2008 and this has been going on for at least 2 years before that.

He has told me that there is no chance of reconciliation. That he is willing to live this way so that the family boat is not rocked. Children are all married, but all still very close.

Manic depressive used to describe people who had mood swings. He can be really positive at times. For instance, he suggests we meet up with old friends, when he normally has no time to be sociable. Then something goes wrong. I arranged to meet with some friends that he suggested we should see. He got really stressed and was furious about it, but it was too late to change without it looking really bad.

The last thing I can ever do is suggest there is something wrong with his mental health. I accused him of being obsessively jealous about my past boyfriends early in our marriage, and he has never forgiven me for that. If I bring up the past he says he doesn't care. If I don't bring up the past he says I am not doing enough.
If he cannot give me any more than we have now, and I have agreed to that, I do not feel that there is a lot of point in going round and round in circles. There is nothing to look forward to. No change, no possibility of a different result. And he has said there is not. He wants me to say that I was an evil person. I agree that I did cruel and evil things and I behaved abominably. But must I have been evil? If so what hope would there be for me?

He plays the gotcha game with everyone. He comes over as being ultra-generous, but then complains that people are taking advantage of him. He does it with me, and I try not to ask anything of him, but when it comes to doing family things at Christmas, I cannot do them without asking for his participation and then I pay for it.

I thought by now that we could have reached some balance.
I am beginning to realise that what he says he wants, is confused. He will not give me anything more, but he expects things to improve. I cannot change anything but myself. I have made many changes but it will never be enough for him to accept me.

I am not going to revert to what I was, I am continuing the work on myself. Sometimes though, I feel that he even resents that.

Bdell posted 12/30/2013 14:50 PM

Cissie, ok we have your list of complaints about him, so what would be his list of complaints about You? There are always 2 sides to every story, I wonder what his side is?

MissesJai posted 12/30/2013 15:07 PM

oh (((cissie))). My heart hurts for you every time I read one of your posts. You are in an abusive marriage, the only thing he's not doing is beating you, physically. He is beating you mentally, emotionally, and verbally. Your fear of leaving and the unknown consequences from doing so are classic abuse victim thought processes.

Your A did not bring this upon you. Your husband's outright refusal to heal is the cause of this. I'm sure you're going to hear from some who believe otherwise, and that's their right. I, on the other hand, call bullshit. He enjoys doing this to you. Even if he can't or won't admit it, he gets some reward from abusing you. Only he knows what that may be and we all know there ain't no way in hell you could even fix your mouth to say something. He will make you rue the day you even felt it was okay to even THINK he may need help.

I am continuing the work on myself. Sometimes though, I feel that he even resents that.
Of course he does. HOW DARE YOU do something that is good for you??? Not to mention, that work will make you stronger, which threatens the control he has over you.

MC_Jack posted 12/30/2013 22:22 PM

Your husband's heart has turned black. It is a tragedy. I am sorry for your situation.

He can't let you go because he still is hoping that the past will change.

oh, maybe you should 'out' yourself. Folks say often that you are only as sick as your secrets. Dispense with that stress.

[This message edited by MC_Jack at 10:31 PM, December 30th (Monday)]

heforgotme posted 12/31/2013 04:27 AM

Your A did not bring this upon you. Your husband's outright refusal to heal is the cause of this.

Seeing as how the second would not have even been necessary without the first, these two sentences seem to be contradictory.

maybe you should 'out' yourself. Folks say often that you are only as sick as your secrets. Dispense with that stress.

Very excellent idea. Seriously. It completely drains the "monster" of its power. At least that's what we've found.

Good luck.

Bdell posted 12/31/2013 20:06 PM

I disagree with Misses Jai because I don't think Cissie's husband has all that much "control' over her, for one thing. Remembering that SHE is the wayward and we only have her spin on his behavior. I have usually found that in order to convince oneself of the "wrongness' of another person, and your own righteousness, a person will usually "overkill" on the other persons faults. I completely agree with MC Jack in that if you "out" yourself, you take away his ammo.

cissie posted 1/2/2014 16:35 PM

Sorry to have left this without replying. We have had a lot of family events and I have not had time to frame a reply.
Thank you for the positive responses. I do Ok for a while but then the roller coaster starts up again.

I understand the negative comments. I know this should have been a deal breaker for my BH. He has tried very hard but he has told me that he does not love me. No sex ever. I can ask for no more. As I write that it makes me incredibly sad, as that is not only my life, it is his. It is his choice because he cannot do anything else. That is the way he is wired.

As for outing myself, I have thought of it. He has said to me that he thinks I want to do that and wreck the family he has tried so hard to shield from this. Doing so would only confirm to him that I am an evil person who takes pleasure in destruction. Only he can make that decision.

I know this all sounds really sick, and it is. I never imagined that something totaling in hours, about half a day, would create such wreckage.
Yes he has had things to put up with from me, but unfortunately as in Shakespeare, the good that we do is oft buried with our bones and the evil lives on.
I have been a good mother. Our children are all healthy and have successful marriages and careers. That was me 80% of the day to day, but he has also been a good role model for them.
I have supported him in his career. I have moved house more than 10 times and left friends and family many times. I have kept things running when he has been away for months at a time, with no infidelity involved.
I have cared for him when he was seriously ill. After that, he said he loved me, but when he was well he said he didn't really mean it. It wasn't even a "I love you, but I'm not in love with you. He does not love me at all.
So what do I do?. Prove that I am as evil as he wants to believe. Make every Christmas and family event awkward and miserable? He has FOO issues that make him tense at social events already.

He has one solution to everything and that is work. He is almost guilty if he relaxes, and he thinks everyone else should be the same. I work pretty hard, but I do need to stop sometimes.

So you see I created this exquisitely tangled web of lies and deceit, from which there seems to be no exit except death. We are old and I probably have maybe 10 years left. He may have more as he is healthier than I. Even in this, I am not allowed to die first, because then he would have no-one to take care of him. How sad.

longroadhome posted 1/2/2014 17:01 PM

I gotta say, I'm inclined to agree with MJ on this one. I hate yo be negative, but after seven plus years, this was a dealbreaker long ago. I wonder if its become about the power for him. As long as he doesn't forgive you, he has all of the power in the relationship and you stay off balance. I know it sounds crappy, but it's a possibility.

Cissie, are you resigned to staying no matter what? You do have a choice, you know. You deserve to be happy.

I'm so sorry for the pain you're both going through.

inshockandhurt posted 1/3/2014 11:48 AM

I am a betrayed spouse and I understand your husband being angry, hurt and a whole host of other messy emotions over your affair but at some point he needs to start trying to heal himself. I am horribly hurt and changed by what my husband has done but that does not give me the right to torture him for the rest of his life. At seven years out you need to stop torturing yourself, allow yourself to heal and realize that you are not evil, even if your husband wants you to feel you are. Forcing yourself to live a loveless and unhappy life as penance is self-torture and bad for both you and your husband; your guilt and his anger is keeping you both locked in a toxic relationship that ensures misery for both of you. Limbo is supposed to be a relatively short period while the decision to R or D is made, not a permanent state. Good luck and hugs to you cissie. Remember, you are not a bad person, you just made some bad choices, but you still deserve a chance at happiness.

foolishlycluless posted 1/3/2014 11:57 AM

^^^^^ What inshock says. You deserve better.

I too am a BS, not very far out from D-day. But it hurts me terribly too when I see WH in pain from his own actions.

We have a long way to go towards reconciliation, but hopefully it will become easier for both of us.


Senraba02 posted 1/3/2014 19:33 PM

First of all, you may have decided that you could live with this- but that doesn't mean that you can't change your mind. I never ever like hearing that people stay together for their kids sake. Mainly because is it any less painful for them to see their parent emotionally damaged? To see their parent so clearly unhappy? The decision that needs to be made is for you. And I don't buy into "I'm a coward" or too scared. You are not and you need to stop telling your self that. I think you actually believe yourself.
For the BS, his masculinity has been taken. That is not something that is easily repaired. But I can tell you that no one has the ability to "fix" someone else. If he wants to live life being miserable and angry and mean- that is his choice. But it is also your choice to live with it. You feel like because you had the affair, you deserve to be treated like crap. And that he has every right to belittle and demean you. Seriously? No one deserves that. Each day is a gift! And everyday you stay under the thumb of someone who doesn't want the best for you is a day wasted. It's obvious there is a love loss. And if there is no longer love in the relationship what is the point of being there? His threats are just that. And you give him the power to threaten you. Just because you made poor choices doesn't make you a bad person. The years following and the behavior that's been displayed on his part, shows an evil side, HIS! He is getting his revenge on you 10 fold. And you are letting him because you think you actually deserve it! No one deserves that! Not even a cheating spouse. Okay, think of it this way... You said all your children are married, what if your daughter came to you and told you that she cheated on her husband years ago, she was so remorseful and was doing everything she could to regain trust and love in her relationship. Would you be proud of her? Then let's say she opens up a bit further and says that he has been chopping her off at the knees and taking away any self worth she has? Would you tell her to stay!? Would you be proud of her for enduring? Or would you hope that your daughter loved herSELF enough to end the never ending circle of beating herself up and getting emotionally beaten up? Take everything you are going through and apply it to your daughter. You'd move mountains to get your child out. Why won't you love yourself enough to move mountains for YOU??

helplessme posted 1/3/2014 20:06 PM

I feel so much for you cissie

As I have stated on my initial reply to your thread, it's like I'm putting words into your lips because I am in a very much similar situation as yours.

I have gained so much wisdom from senraba02 and inshockandhurt. I am seriously thinking of shaking off all the web of abuse off my shoulder and try moving on and finding myself some life. It may be scary and dark out there but I already feel so entraped in the stinky pit I am in now. Without any help from my BH

God bless you cissie; God bless SI; God bless us

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