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Endless limbo....

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JustShine posted 1/24/2014 10:33 AM

This is my first post, even though I've been reading for awhile. My WH's 2+ month PA/EA with a co-worker who had come in to town on a contract was early last fall. It was extremely intense, and he was "in love", even though he had only met her days before the A started.

I knew something was horribly wrong during those 2 months, but never in my wildest dreams suspected an affair. We were one of those "good marriage" couples. We had a fun, adventurous life, a good sex life, and were best friends.

He came clean on October 23, but followed up his NC letter with almost immediate contact, and didn't truly end things until 2 weeks later. I didn't find out the extent of the relationship, or the actual end date, until 12/31, when I discovered letters and emails stored on his laptop.

We were living overseas during all of this, and I moved back to the US about a week after DDay, when it became clear he really had no remorse. 24 hour flight, 2 kids, 6 suitcases, dog.....nightmare.

Anyway, as soon as we left, he decided he wanted to work on our marriage. Of course. But it took another 6 weeks for him to get transferred back and join us here. During those 6 weeks, he was still deeply in a fog, and was a pretty big jerk at times, especially at first.

But now we're all here. He says he's committed to working on our marriage. We're in MC and he's in IC. He's not so foggy anymore, and I know he's extremely ashamed and filled with regret. He's being open and transparent, and I believe he's sticking to NC. We've had some really good talks, and he's working on being a better husband, in some ways, than he was before the A.

But here's what is of huge concern to me - he still gets too upset to hear what I need to say, much of the time. He'll get angry, or detached, and shut down. Last night, he initiated a really great talk. He was patient, understanding, and seemed to really be trying to "get it." But the talk went on way too long, and it turned to a more negative place, where I was saying things that were really hard for him to hear. So he shut down, we didn't talk again last night, and he left this morning without even saying goodbye. This is the pattern.

So I feel pretty confused about the possibility of R. I'm working on my own healing, and generally my head is in a pretty good place. But I'm so so sick of feeling optimistic about progress, only to have this stupid stuff happen over and over. He seems to be coming around, but he isn't there yet, obviously. How long do I wait around?

Plus, it's so confusing to try to decide how to approach the whole thing. Do I just work on me, try not to worry about his work, knowing I have no control over that anyway? Do I try to work on the marriage, trying to be loving and understanding while he deals with his crap? It's like I go back and forth between feeling strong enough to be a little vulnerable and work on us, and being guarded and needing to work exclusively on me. Between being honest and open about my hurt and anger, and being numb and indifferent.

Basically, I feel crazy. *sigh* So sick of it.

emotionalgirl posted 1/24/2014 11:02 AM

Hi Zengirl and welcome to SI. The best club you have ever found, but really don't want a membership to!

It truly amazes me how many of us believe we have good marriages and great lives only to have our SO cheat on us.

You are incredibly strong to have walked out so quickly after DDay, and to completely move Give yourself a huge 'ol pat on the back for that.

You WH sounds much like mine. They just want to rug sweep. In other words, forget the bad stuff ever happened and push it to the back of the history book. They want to just pick up their regularly scheduled life where they left of and pretend that the affair never happened at all. I think they do this because the don't want to acknowledge that they screwed up so badly. Keep pushing! If he Truly loves you and is remorseful, then he will acknowledge his behaviour. I told my WH that we cant move forward without acknowledging the A and finding out the reasons for it. If we don't then we just risk history repeating itself. Good luck!

Remember yesterday.....
Live in today.....
Dream of tomorrow.....

JustShine posted 1/24/2014 11:50 AM

Thanks so much, egirl. I really hate seeing how many of us are here dealing with this. It breaks my heart. But it's also weirdly comforting.

I hope we can R, I really do. It gives me hope reading the stories and hearing the advice of those who have been dealing with this far longer than I have. I know I'm only a few months in, and I have many more ups and downs to scary to think about.

Morhurt posted 1/24/2014 12:39 PM

It took a while for my H to stop being defensive and it occasionally still tears it's ugly head. It's a process, a long and often very painful process. :(

Have you discussed him getting angry and shutting down in MC? Has he read "how to help your spouse heal from your affair"? When you look back over the time from true DDay to now, do you see improvement?

Those aren't questions you need to answer here necessarily but things that helped me/us.

And... It takes time. We're at 7 months out, it's so much easier now but there is still hurt and pain and difficult talks. I need to know that my H will discuss the A (or anything else for that matter) forever if I need him to. He knows that and every time I initiate a talk and he responds lovingly my trust goes up a notch.

Also, I really think it's hard for WSs to know, to see the damage and hurt that they have caused. I cannot imagine how terrible I would feel to see my H hurting as badly as I am and know that my stupid, selfish choices were the cause. I have zero sympathy for the affair but I do have a bit empathy for how he must feel now.

Keep doing what you're doing. The only way through it is through it.

Scubachick posted 1/24/2014 14:14 PM

Same pattern over here too. Sometimes we can have these really great discussions about it and I can tell he gets it. I feel like he really hears me. I even stop the conversation and say "Why can't we communicate like this all the time". But like you said, the talk goes on too long or one of you touches on a super sensitive spot and then boom! It all falls apart. I'm learning to catch myself when the conversation starts to go south and I tell him I don't want to ruin the progress we just made so lets just finish this talk later and I try to let it go for awhile. When it goes well, I always try to send him a text later thanking him for the talk. I tell him I know it's not easy for him and I let him know how much it means to me and how it helps me heal when we can communicate like that.

Then there are times that I feel like why should I hold back anything I want to say just because he doesn't like to hear it. If I'm feeling angry, hurt, or obsessing over the details and I see he seems just fine, I lose it. He caused those feelings so if I'm feeling it, so should he and I just unleash. That gets us both nowhere and it reinforces his habit of shutting down or detaching. So I know what you mean...I can't find the balance either.

rachelc posted 1/24/2014 14:24 PM

zengirl - you are pretty wise for being so close to your Dday and you understand how you can't do the work for him. It takes most BS a year to realize this.

That said, he really needs to own up and just listen! I know most waywards have shame and some people flood very easily with emotion, but he needs to be ready for this. Really, just taking off the next day without an apology or reconnection, that's more wayward behavior!

I say this as a former WW: I'll listen as long as I need to. My husband however, is a "flooder.' and can't handle very much.

Read anything by John Gottman - he explains this all pretty well.
The faster your husband can get over his shame the easier it will be for him to talk. I know some people here say to schedule a time to talk about the affair. I suppose this makes sense. It infuriates me, though, that I have to put my hurt inside a little box and get it out when it's the approriate time. FTS.
At any rate, you can't lose by working on yourself!
There's a saying around here, it's a race for the WS to "get it" before the BS runs out of patience.
Does he read here? Many WS have had lightbulb moments when they post in wayward.

[This message edited by rachelc at 2:25 PM, January 24th (Friday)]

Scubachick posted 1/24/2014 17:05 PM


I had never heard of John Gottman beore so when you mentioned it, I looked him up. I just finished reading the sample part of his book, The science of trust. It was so good I bought and downloaded the whole thing. Have you read that one yet?

Morhurt posted 1/24/2014 17:33 PM

H and I read his one called... something about making love last. I really liked it. Unfortunately we were not in true R yet as I didn't have all the info, but still, we both found a lot of value in it.

SpotlessMind posted 1/24/2014 19:54 PM

Hey Zengirl!

So sorry you found yourself here, but welcome anyway.

My DDay and TT end days are pretty similar to yours, and we sound like we are about in the same place--except my WH's biggest struggle is anger vs withdrawal. He also gets flooded quickly and easily...and it's so frustrating when that happens, because other times we communicate so wonderfully. We just had a crazy bad fight a couple of days ago where both of us were ready to throw in the towel. Hello, roller coaster!

I'd say have him continue to work out his communication/intimacy issues in IC and consider going yourself. It could be that you inadvertently contribute to the argument patterns--as I've recently discovered I do.

I am also reading John Gottman.

My best advice is that if you believe he's truly remorseful and trying but messing up once in awhile, keep plugging away. Long held habits take time to break. That said, he needs to be making a real effort to make the marriage work. Proceed with cautious optimism, but make sure you take care of yourself in the process.


JustShine posted 1/24/2014 20:22 PM

Thanks everyone. WH came home from work today acting as though all is fine and normal. I'm too tired to battle the rug sweeping tonight, so I guess I'll curl up with some John Gottman and brace myself for what tomorrow brings.

So glad to have found some support on this site. And so sorry we're all here.

Steppenwolf posted 1/24/2014 23:35 PM

Do I just work on me,


PRNDL posted 1/25/2014 00:49 AM

Based on your husband's behavior, he does not meet tbe criteria for R. Hes still "foggy". To me that means he still in the fog. Not to mention he is a cheater piece of shit.


Im sorry you are going through this. It sucks. Cheaters put their selfish want before commitment.

I tried to R. I held in there for 7 months. I just couldnt do it anymore. The images, the obsessions, and the triggers were torture. I threw in the towel and moved out.

Although, i lost everything. I am at peace.

Good thing too because I then found out her affair had never stopped after D-day. Even after the NC.

In the end after 7 months of HORRIBLE LIMBO i learned:
1. Once a cheater, always a cheater.
2. Never ever limbo. At least 180D their ass.
3. Trust your gut.

To me R only exists due to fear. Deep down, all of us BS' know what we need to do. Leave their cheating asses.

Just my opinion.

crazynot posted 1/25/2014 01:06 AM

This is all very recent for you, but because of your really strong actions at the beginning, in just packing up and leaving (well done, especially with all those suitcases!!!!)you have a lot of options. First, he's removed himself from the source of the trouble - brilliant. However, I would say your best option - for YOU, your healing and also your marriage - is to stop trying to fix things apart from your own heart and health. Focus on YOU. If things are to get better, HE is the one who needs to do the work on the marriage. See how he's acted so far? When YOU took strong action FOR YOU, he fell into line. The massive talks about things are excruciating. Give yourself a break for now, you're only a few weeks into something that it will take YEARS to get through. The secret silver lining is that YOU may be a much stronger person at the end of it, and I suspect you will. Be that strong woman at the airport, forget about acting in a loving way towards this man who you've only just discovered has betrayed you, your marriage and your kids. See what he does now, how far he can go in persuading YOU to love HIM. XX

Melian40 posted 1/25/2014 05:11 AM

PRNDL said:
"To me R only exists due to fear. Deep down, all of us BS' know what we need to do. Leave their cheating asses".

I agree. I have noticed that BS who are younger or don't have kids eventually divorce and leave the WS.
Actually, noone deserves a cheater to spend their lives with. JMHO.

JustShine posted 1/25/2014 06:50 AM

Thanks to all of you for responding. Yes, I definitely agree that I need to focus on my own health and needs right now. And I'm doing that, and I think doing a pretty good job of it. But I'm trying to balance my self-protective feelings with the vulnerability I know must be required at some point for R to be successful. I think we're probably not at the point in R where much vulnerability is appropriate, in my case. But it's a constant source of confusion for me.

I get that some of you don't believe in R, but this is the Reconciliation Forum! A blanket statement that no such thing exists doesn't seem appropriate for those of us who believe it's possible.

Now, I'm not saying it's possible in my case. I don't know if it is or not, and that's why I'm trying to sort out my feelings about it. But clearly it's possible for some people. And if it's possible for us, then I feel like my marriage deserves a shot.

Peace. :)

rachelc posted 1/25/2014 06:57 AM

To me R only exists due to fear

no, it exists because some people know they have something special and they want to try again, knowing that shit happens and people cope the best they can. they understand the affair had nothing to do with them but how broken their spouse was, they R because of love. There are many on here with successful recoveries.

Stay the course zengirl. Continue to work on you. the easy thing to do is leave. that is perfectly acceptable. But you will hear of many who are glad they stayed and worked it out. The road is OH SO BUMPY. I think about divorce STILL everyday! But I have options. And I'll be healthy no matter what choice I make.

crazynot posted 1/25/2014 10:45 AM

Reconciliation is possible, but it's not the most likely outcome in any adultery situation. Many of us have spent some time in the R forum... it didn't mean our spouses were on board. In my view, only if the wayward is utterly, totally, on-their-knees remorseful to the point where they would do anything to get us back, is there ANY chance of saving the marriage. You are not the one who did the bad thing. He is. He has to want to WIN and woo you back...

sisoon posted 1/25/2014 11:03 AM

Zengirl, One thing that helped me in the early days (like, the 1st 24 months...) was the thought that I'd go through similar pain no matter what outcome I chose (or was thrust upon me). Recovering from being betrayed by someone you love just plain hurts for a long time.

Since the pain was a given, I just let it come and focused on getting what I wanted.

To PRNDL (& Melian),

You're generalizing on one data point, and that usually leads to invalid conclusions.

IMO, your best bet is to focus on your healing now. Forget about analyzing your experience until you have some perspective.

I'd probably be better off financially if I had kicked my W out. I'd have a much wider range of potential sexual partners. I'd have a lot more freedom to live where and how I want to.

Sure, I feared the unknown, but that played a very small part in my decision to R.

I fully expect to succeed in R'ing, but even if we don't, I see many people here and IRL who stay together for many years (in one case decades) after an A. R is most definitely possible.

And making R work takes a lot of moral and emotional strength.

Just sayin'....

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:28 PM, January 25th (Saturday)]

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