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Should I stay or give up?

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loveloss posted 1/25/2014 12:48 PM

It's been months. She's tried to make things better by focusing on the present and future, and I've told her I need her to address the affair. I've told her what would mean a lot to me: reading about how to recover, bringing it up herself and saying sorry more, but mostly she pretends it never happened. She's given only a little of what I ask, and usually only right after a night of me telling her that things are not going well. And the weeks go by where she is less compassionate, doesn't read, doesn't bring it up, and hardly comforts me when I tell her something is bothering me.

At the same time she is working hard to make our lives good and happy. We spend a lot of time together, we go on road trips and date nights and all sorts of things that make it seem like we have a great marriage. Except for the dark past.

She's kept no direct contact up, but there was never a NC letter written. She hasn't written to him since September, he has sent a few "where are you" and "I love you" messages but she hasn't responded. His last message was at the end of November. Also, she has refused to delete him from her social media friends list. Even after repeated talks about how it makes me feel.

There has been a lot of good, a lot of affection, but obviously there are still problems.

A week ago, I told her I was concerned because the OM's birthday was approaching and I thought she might want to contact him, and that it's not OK. She told me she had thought about saying happy birthday, but also using that opportunity to tell him that she could never talk to him again and then she would remove him from her friends list. ... I told her that I would be ok with the NC letter, but not a birthday wish, and that it was actually very cruel of her to think it would be best to tell him all of that on his birthday. She agreed and said she wouldn't talk to him.

His birthday just ended thirty minutes ago, and about 60 minutes ago, I noticed something was bothering her, so I asked... She was honest, and told me she isn't happy about how she feels, but she resents me for not letting her say Happy Birthday to him. She said sorry, and that she's not happy with herself for feeling that way, but she does feel that way.

Now I am left wondering how much longer I can wait for her to fully come around.

unfound posted 1/25/2014 15:12 PM

Only you can make the decision to stay or give up. It's not an easy one or one that you will come to without a lot of thought.

Ask yourself this: If nothing changes from this moment on, would you be happy in the M? Would you trust your W in 2 years? 10 years? Would you be satisfied that she thinks of him on special days and resents you for not wanting her to wish him well?

While date nights, road trips and time together and such are good things, they are only surface things. Focusing on the present and future are good things, but ignoring the past is not. I for one would worry that unless she is able to face her past and your present pain, and take measures to understand them both, you will, in 2 years, 10 years, still feel the same doubt you do now.

annb posted 1/25/2014 16:43 PM

Also, she has refused to delete him from her social media friends list. Even after repeated talks about how it makes me feel

^^Sorry, loveloss, this is a huge red flag. Somehow she still has the OM at arm's length. True R means NC AND totally removing the AP from the picture.

she resents me for not letting her say Happy Birthday to him

NC means NC. There is absolutely no wiggle room with this requirement for R.

If this was your daughter's marriage, how would you advise her if her husband was being disrespectful to her and the marriage?

Monsterslayer posted 1/25/2014 17:51 PM

Sounds very familiar. I look back at our R and it did not follow "normal" course. I had to step back from my up close view of our marriage and see the larger picture. Is my marriage different than it was? In what way? Is she doing things differently? Is she trying? It sounds like she is making an attempt at being honest about her feelings. Just because it is right to go total NC does not mean it still does not hurt. Good for her to acknowledge that.

It took my FWW 9 mths for NC letter, and come out of the fog. During that time I wanted a big gesture but my FWW was unable to give me that without losing herself. She made lots of small gestures like your wife, but I felt that I needed more. Eventually we had an argument, she told me that while she loved me deeply, it felt like she could never be enough for me. My needs were like a bottomless pit and she would loose herself in them if she was not careful.

I had to reassess my situation and recognize the things she was doing. I had to stop looking for so much and accept the good that she was doing. That made a huge difference in our R.

Now, years later, I am no longer a bottomless pit. I can receive the love and gestures she gives me and she does not feel like she is not enough. We have worked through our issues, she loves me not as a payment for having an affair but because she chooses to love me. I receive her love how she gives it, with no strings attached, especially affair strings.

For me it felt like the wound was too deep to let go of. i looked for my healing in my FWW and that was a problem. If my healing was to be found in my FWW, then my continued emotional health was dependent on her as well. It would have become a codependent relationship, unhealthy for both of us.

I understand the fear you are facing at this moment, I have felt it myself. Know that you are stronger than you think, you can do this regardless of what your WW does or doesn't do.

Focus on the truth you know and believe the best...

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