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Seeing the Light...

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NothingIsCertain posted 1/23/2014 15:38 PM


I found out I was pregnant November 26th. Super happy.

Broke news to family December 24th about new baby to arrive.

Found out about husband "A" December 28th. The OW was a Co-worker, who moved and the PA part of the affair ended 3 months after it started. There was contact in the 3 months after the move, but it was very infrequent and did not have a caring or affectionate tone at all (text/emails). It seemed to serve the soul purpose of re-living the PA.

We had some long hard talks about the "A", during which it was decided that we would try and work through this. It might seem like a quick time to make a decision like that but we both felt very strongly about not letting our marriage of 9+ years go over 6 months of bad. Especially since we had a baby on the way and another child already here. My husband stressed to me that his having the "A" had nothing to do with his being unhappy with me or our marriage. He also stressed that it was a very one-sided "A", that was on his terms and to his benefit only. From the evidence I have seen, found and heard it seems to support that.

We started marriage counseling and my husband has done all the right things that he can and a lot have been voluntary.

Now that you have some background what I really wanted to say today is...I've seen the light.

Here is what that means to me. First of all, I re-read the 180, and did a 180 myself. I realize that really is the ticket to making this work. Even if you aren't and maybe especially if you aren't going to R, it is something to live by. I had been feeling sad, and rightfully so, about every little detail. How I'd been wronged and there was a lot of self pitty. I thought if I was sad in front of my husband I would get a caring hug or attention so I didn't turn it off for him. Sometimes I would get what I was looking for and then yesterday after a stupid fight about the "A" I realized what that way of getting affection was costing me. His respect. I was indirectly pushing him away. I can't make him feel any worse for what he did and even if I could what good would that do. Besides my dwelling on the sadness only makes me sadder.

I decided that I was not going to do that anymore. In front of him, no matter how hard, I would practice the 180 rules. As much as I need to see his efforts and changes, he needs to know that this situation will not break me. He needs to know that I mean what I say when I tell him I want to work through this. He needs to know that I'm not going to use the "A" as a tool to manipulate him and his behavior. The most important part is that I need to know I can make it through and this "A" does not define me or my marriage and I know the 180 is the start to that.

I know this was long but I wanted to share and hope to share more in the near future.

180...learn it, live it!

Morhurt posted 1/23/2014 15:46 PM

Welcome to SI NIC and congratulations on your pregnancy! What an emotion filled time you've had lately!

I personally never used the 180 (and I'm not sure I quite understand how you're implementing it) but I know for me, it's absolutely essential that my H see how I'm feeling and truly understand it. When I'm hurting and he's sincerely empathetic and understanding, the pressure (of pain and/or anger) is relieved a little bit and the trust bank receives a deposit. But that's me.

I'm glad you found your way to us, though I wish you hadn't needed to.

NothingIsCertain posted 1/23/2014 15:57 PM

I'm using the 180 as a tool to be strong. For me and for the child I have and on the way.

The reality of the "A" is that it leaves you wide open and vulnerable. But too much of that directed at you WS can make you come across as needy. I'm using it the way it was meant to be used. To get myself back in mental shape. My H has list some of his rights to see my emotions. If I cry and get upset, he might only be wanting to console me to get it to stop. I'd rather have the affection because he gives it of his own free will and not because I'm basically asking for it. It means more to me to get the affirmation when attitudes are up. I believe it's more genuine.

I'm also using the 180 for my daughter. Some of those rules apply in dealing with her. Not the distancing but the bring strong for myself. She doesn't need to know what's gong on and have to worry about her future before there's a reason to worry.

bionicgal posted 1/23/2014 17:09 PM

I understand your fear and vulnerability at this time, but I (gently) suggest that this is not a great plan of attack for having a quality marriage. The 180 is best used when you have an unrepentant and unremorseful spouse who you need to separate emotionally from until they get their head out of their behinds. I don't think it is any model of a healthy relationship.

It is terrifying, but what saved my marriage thus far is us going all in. My H seeing my needs, and meeting them. Him seeing my hurt, and helping. Him feeling remorse, and me feeling it. Us loving and caring for one another -- asking for what we need, and doing it when we can, and talking about it when we can't.

No hidden agenda, no power struggles, and no hiding. You are in protective mama-bear mode with all of the pregnancy hormones, so you may not be able to do this now, but please know that what you are describing does not sound like a good long-term plan. You run the risk of rug-sweeping and having a very inauthentic marriage. The painful truth is that the WS who are the cause of the pain, are also your best ally in healing it. I know it is scary, but if you plan on staying married to this person, and reconcile, you will have to let him in.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 5:12 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

trying1 posted 1/23/2014 18:21 PM

I echo Bionicgal.

The most helpful for me was to let my WH see the pain he had caused. But not out of a desire to manipulate, I demanded honesty. He gave it, sometime brutal honesty, I found myself trying not to let him see that it killed me (because after all I had a need for control of something in my now sideways life and hadn't I asked the question?). After about a week, I said screw it if he is being honest with me, I have to be honest with him....and at first it sucked. He would answer a question I had or we would be talking about the A and I he would ask me how I was. Everything part of me would want to tell him I was JUST FINE, but when I started to tell him exactly how it felt - really owned my own feelings and my own baggage we started to heal.

Talking about it made it stop swirling in my head, which I am pretty sure would have killed my marriage.

I do not mean that you have to not be strong. Some of the 180 are great ideas just to get your feet underneath you. But if you are trying to reconcile, there is a lot of junk you will have to deal with and hopefully you want him to be by your side while you deal with this.

Good luck with the little ones. I wish you the best.

sisoon posted 1/24/2014 09:06 AM

The full 180 is the antithesis of R.

In R, both partners need to communicate honestly at all times. In the 180, the partners communicate only about kids and finances, and the 180er needs to look good and act happy no matter how s/he feels.

But maybe you're not doing the full 180....

The parts about finding your own strength certainly help whatever stage you're in and whatever outcome you seek.

The 180 is not a set of tactics aimed at getting an unremorseful WS to R.

It's a set of tactics aimed at strengthening a weak BS so s/he can move to D/S, which is usually appropriate with an unremorseful WS.

The 180 does make some WSes see they really want R, but that's an unintended and unnecessary side effect.

Welcome to SI, and congratulations on your first post. You definitely show strength, and that is good for your future.

Disagreements are pretty common here, IMO, or maybe I'm just argumentative. In any case, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, you get to choose what you believe, and you have to choose what you do.

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:12 AM, January 24th (Friday)]

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