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Sacrificing BS's happiness for kids

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libertyrocks posted 2/6/2014 13:29 PM

Hi Everyone. Haven't been on here for a while. I know this is a popular debate. But, really, I feel that giving up MY happiness so my boys can have their mother and father in the same household while they grow up is best for them. Or at least until they both start school. Yes, we love each other. But, I don't see myself with him forever. Just curious if others have given up their so-called personal "happiness." (as in happiness with a mate) I'm happy in other ways, like knowing that when I look in my children's eyes, they are happy. That's the most important thing to me. I mean, we are a happy family now. After the trauma/infidelities occured. I finally forgave BS and love him again. Apparently, he adores me...he proves it every day.

After the initial heartbreak waned, I started talking to very select friends and family about my situation. I"m not embarassed anymore. It's not my fault. I've found SO MANY others have gone through this.

Your imput is greatly appreciated.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 1:34 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 2/6/2014 13:48 PM

Does your husband know you feel this way? Are you getting your ducks in a row? Why are you posting in Reconciliation?

I don't understand, libertyrocks. I feel that if you are getting your ducks in a row because you have an unremorseful wayward spouse that is one thing, but if you aren't being honest and authentic with your WH, and in fact, being deceptive that is unfair to him. He should be able to decide if he wants to stay in this marriage until the children start school or not with full knowledge of your plans. jmo

Your post seems contradictory to me, that is why I don't understand.

Jovie posted 2/6/2014 13:50 PM

I don't have kids so take this for what its worth, but I personally think that it sets a bad example to children if their parents are unhappy in their relationships. Maybe more so if you had daughters, but I still think its worth considering as a "side-effect".

[This message edited by Jovie at 1:51 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]

KatyDo posted 2/6/2014 13:57 PM


I can relate though from a different angle. We're caregivers, and I sometimes/often feel I am sacrificing my happiness with my husband (wayward though he has been) so that the "family unit" of in-home care can continue. He is ironically very family oriented, just more when it comes to his mother than with me it seems. I do feel resentful but we are working on it.

I think giving your kids a secure base can be a good thing. But then I guess seeing an unhappy parent can also take its toll and teach your kids that a woman's happiness is not as important as their own. You could be instilling the value that it's okay to be treated badly, regardless of the reason.

Depending on how recent the betrayals were, I would see how your feelings change over time. I think you'd want to be very sure about your decision to avoid adding any additional turmoil to your kids lives. If you know, you know, and kids really do learn from your choices how to value themselves. So I would advise doing what feels right to you.

authenticnow posted 2/6/2014 13:57 PM

I finally forgave BS and love him again. Apparently, he adores me...he proves it every day.
This feels contradictory to me, too. I'm not understanding why the plan to leave if it seems like you're in a good place. Are you 'faking it till you make it'?

I was going to reply earlier that I am a product of parents who stayed together for the kids and I do not recommend it, it messed me up. My dad cheated and my mom was miserable and nasty to him our whole childhood (still is, now they're a miserable old couple). It was brutal. But I didn't reply because the environment you describe doesn't sound like you're staying together for the kids, it sounds like R is coming together for you.

If you're truly unhappy and plan to leave, I don't think being a martyr is the answer. Kids aren't dumb, and you're teaching them that it's okay to be miserable and accept less than you deserve. Not to mention the fact that they're going to catch on eventually, and there's the guilt and mixed emotions that go along with that.

Fireball72 posted 2/6/2014 13:58 PM

I am also not in R (have long since divorced my XH and remarried), but I am a child whose parents "stayed together for the kids".

I have not told my mother (mainly because she has issues of her own), but I have felt incredible resentment for her staying in a situation that she wasn't happy with because of me and my brother. It may have been "right" at the time for her, but she was miserable for a number of years and it came out in other ways. Neither of us ever understood why she was always so angry and tense all the time. Finally, when we DID find out what happened, my brother and I both were pretty upset with her - not only because she made herself miserable in the process of trying to spare us pain, but because we now felt like WE were responsible for her happiness - or lack of it.

That's a pretty heavy burden to put on someone.

Maybe that wasn't the intent, but it's how we both felt.

Just something to consider, maybe.

Fightingmad posted 2/6/2014 14:00 PM

I am a mom and have faced the same dilemma; My fWH is/has done everything he can but there are days/weeks/months I am down and wonder if we'd be better off apart. Then I look at my children and know that I have to give everything I can for them as well as us. There can never be any what if's, if only's, I keep working hoping that this is the right thing for all involved.

funny thing is, I often think that my fWH would be better off without me. It is him who seems unsatisfied so often with the "family" life and I wonder if setting him free wouldn't be the best thing. We are so different in so many ways but I do love him and want my children to have a happy home and will do my best to give it to them. My future, less important in my eyes

libertyrocks posted 2/6/2014 15:28 PM

Thank you for sharing, everyone. I'm confused myself. On one hand, things really are better than they have ever between H and I. Kids are happy and it's great to see them with their father. We do enjoy quality time being a family and we actually spend as much time together doing things.

BUT. Yes, there's a but.

We're so different and like different things. It didn't matter when we were in our 20's. I did whatever he wanted. We drank together and partied. But, after the babies came, I couldn't "party" with him. So, he found OW who could party. I was too busy working and taking care of the babies.

After we seperated for a while, I discovered my own tastes and find I don't like his at all. I feel trapped. Stuck. He was able to do all the things he wanted with those OW. I still do not do any of the things I want to do.

I can't help but to feel there's someone else out there for me.

AFrayedKnot posted 2/6/2014 15:45 PM

Is he still sober?
How is he spending the time that used to be spent partying?
Are you trying to introduce him to your tastes?

SoVerySadNow posted 2/6/2014 15:55 PM

I had this same discussion with WH last night.

I said it would be easier on our family for me to give up and just suffer alone about his infidelity. Basically, suck it up, and give up any hope of myself having a happy life and marriage, and instead stay with an adulterer. Less work, and everyone except me is happy, all for the greater good of the family.
He asked, "And what does that look like to you?"
Basically, it's like being detached roommates was my answer.
Do-able. Not the best, but I can envision it.
So, yes, I get what you are feeling and saying. I think we just love our kids so much,

Rebreather posted 2/6/2014 15:57 PM

It sounds to me if were to be remotely doable, he needs to make some major, serious lifestyle changes.

Personally, no, I would not do it. Could not do it. I think it is unhealthy.

SisterMilkshake posted 2/6/2014 15:59 PM

Libertyrocks, I am not sure, but that sounds like you are looking for someone else. Do you think that is how maybe some waywards start down the slippery slope? Thinking/feeling that your "soulmate" (I know you didn't use that word) is out there and that you are with the wrong person?

Why can't you pursue your interests? Look, my FWH are have extremely different tastes. I like alternative music, he likes Classic Rock. He loves hunting and has a bubba shack that he wants me to stay at. I can't stand roughing it. A 3 star hotel is roughing it to me.

I love science fiction, vampires and zombies. He gets nightmares! He loves nature shows, Nascar and hunting shows. I get bored out of my mind. But, you know what? We compromise. He watches Supernatural with me now. I will watch Nascar if Tony Stewart is racing. We have come to appreciate what each other likes and why.

When we first trying to reconnect after d-day we decided we needed to find a new tv show that we could share together. We decided to watch Dancing With the Stars together. We both liked some of the celebrities (him the athletes, me the actors) so we gave it shot. We both found we really like the show (we couldn't believe it) and we found something we enjoy together.

You do have something in common, though. Your children and things you like to do as a family. I feel you both need to try a little harder and find things you enjoy doing together, just you two. How about naked board games?

eta: good question, Chicho, and does your husband go out and "party" still without you? What does "party" mean? If he is partying without you, I agree with Rebreather.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 4:02 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]

libertyrocks posted 2/6/2014 16:04 PM

Yes, he is sober, Chico. No partying at all. He's with us every minute. He takes us to the park, out to lunch, Chuck E. Cheese, lets me take a bath by myself (that's huge when you have kids), go the gym on the weekends alone, makes us meals, he's really amazing now. I'm not at all a girly girl. I'm more like a dirty boy. I like trucks, motorcycles, tattoos, horses, tractors, hot rods, muscle cars (he hates car shows), America, Tom Petty. lol. He likes hip hop and sports (I hate all sports except Nascar, Motocross). Is more conservative and I'm a bit of a wild child. I always have been.

For the first time in my life, I'm afraid what people will think or say about me. :( After all he's done. I think that's what my problem is. Ego. You know, posting here is theraputic. It allows me to explain my thoughts and feelings. Thanks for paying attention, everyone.

And, yes, he's taking me to see monster trucks tomorrow night!

I guess when it comes down to it, my self esteem is hurt and my heart is still wounded and I'M AFRAID OF GETTING HURT AGAIN.

Sister, I love everything you said. You're my kinda gal. Tony Stewert hahaha:) Thank you so much for sharing!! Your words have been helping me since day 1 here. :)

you both need to try a little harder

Yes, we do!! I do.

[This message edited by libertyrocks at 4:31 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 2/6/2014 16:09 PM

Thats great, Libertyrocks, that he is taking you to the Monster Trucks tomorrow night. Is it just you and him, or are the kids coming too? Even if they are, it sounds like he is making an effort to do things you like.

KatieG posted 2/6/2014 16:31 PM

Hmm good one. I think it depends....

I have an ex-friend who is a serial cheater, she talks about carpe diem and getting what you want - life's too short and all that.

On one hand we all deserve to be happy, on the other we negotiate our way through life to find the best way that we can be happy.

It sounds as though you are reflective on the balance of that and as long as when the balance is less in your favour and you have exhausted options, you will feel it and know what the best thing to do is.

I agree that children pick up on fake - they haven't learnt to ignore it like we have [had] - and so they will know if you aren't genuine. That would be a mistake if you can't communicate your reasons for living your life the way you choose to.

Alex CR posted 2/6/2014 16:48 PM

Not sure when your Dday was, but it's coming up on year since you registered here.

My H and have different interests and prior to and during the A we pursued them separately. Since the A, we, like SisterMilkshake, have compromised. We share our time together with our interests and we've also developed new interests we both enjoy.

I commend you for thinking of what the kids is so important. As Dday might not be that long ago for you this may be a stage in your healing or it might be a sign this was a deal breaker.

I guess when it comes down to it, my self esteem is hurt and my heart is still wounded and I'M AFRAID OF GETTING HURT AGAIN.

This was key for me...feeling safe enough to go all in for R with my H.....I can't remember but I'm pretty sure it took longer than a year and probably closer to two before I decided to go all in....H had to prove to me I could take that chance and I had to heal enough to know I would survive, with or without him.

They call this a roller coaster for a reason and you might be waiting for that moment when you know you will survive with or without him, no matter what, and that it might be the right time for you to go 'all in' and see what happens. Time will tell.....meanwhile, take good care of yourself and enjoy your family.

Hatemyhusband posted 2/6/2014 17:04 PM

My advice... If you are going to D anyway do it before your kids start school. Then you'll have the burden if looking to stay in home or apt in that school district bc too much change for kids.
If you know u will divorce him, do it while kids are young and you are young.

RippedSoul posted 2/6/2014 17:18 PM

libertyrocks, my initial reaction to discovering my SAWH paid for a prostitute was one of absolute shock. I knew that he'd fallen off the wagon--big-time--and that his disease had really escalated. What I didn't know at the time was that he'd had a 4-month EA-turned PA, and he acted out when she dropped him.

Porn and mind-fantasies and inappropriate boundaries with attractive women were part of my life from Day 1 of our M. But I was naive enough to think that ALL MEN were like that, that ALL MEN were flirts--especially military men. And so I was willing to forgive him and to stay with him if he would stop--paying for sex--and get SA treatment. After all, this was a first physical infidelity in 22 years of M. Plus, and here's the answer to your question, I wanted our children to have two parents.

Before it got better, though, it got worse. He was a jerk. I didn't know why at the time; I just thought he no longer loved me and wanted to divorce me. And I actually questioned whether staying would be in the best interests of our kids. There were a couple months when my boys (who knew nothing of the infidelity) asked me why I ever married him. They still loved him--as children tend to love even extremely flawed parents--but they didn't want to live with him and they thought he was an a--hole. I had some serious decision-making to do.

Unknowingly, I carried out many parts of the 180 (hadn't found SI yet). I worked on myself. I became selfish for the first time in my married life. I did everything I could for me and for the kids. I made changes that benefited me but also benefited the rest of the family. I decided that I needed to be strong when he eventually left us. I'd begged him, at first, not to leave us and not to break up our family, but that didn't continue. I had, thank goodness, too much pride for that once the absolute terror of discovery wore off.

For a couple months, he hoped to reconcile with his AP. There came a time, though, when he realized it wasn't going to happen, so he spent a business trip mulling it over, weighing the pros and cons, deciding he liked the 180-me, then coming home and confessing. Yes, I was Plan B. That hurt then, it hurts now, it may always hurt.

So I now have a SAfWH who is trying harder than ever before to be a good husband. He is sweet to me practically every moment of every day. He is nicer to me than he's been our entire marriage. He seems to have realized what a gem I am. He told me a couple weeks ago that I'm the best thing that has ever happened to him. He just sent me a love e-mail today. But because he hasn't jumped into recovery with both feet, I'm still leery.

He's always loved me; he told his AP--before they were first intimate--that he still loved me (a killer detail), but he shows me that more now. Yet I'm one-year-down on the 5-year Plan. I hope with all my heart that he becomes sober and that he launches himself into IC more than once or twice a month, that he starts going to a 12-step group (he's resisted this time because he's now, suddenly, atheist), that he gets a sponsor. And that that all happens before our youngest graduates high school and leaves for college. I will not force him. He knows what I want; he doesn't, however, know my timetable. It's for me; it's so that I know I've a Plan B. I'm certainly worth it. I'm worth not worrying about him every day. I'm worth not wondering if, when he leaves home after me for work, he's going to a hooker first. I'm worth not having to watch his comings/goings on business trips with a find-my-iPhone app.

I guess what I'm saying is that life is complicated. Infidelity is complicated. Parenting is complicated. But I know that I will put my children above me in any decision I make. I chose to do that when I brought them into this world. Right now, that choice is to give them a 2-parent family with parents who love each other, who are affectionate to each other in front of the children--and alone --, who are supporting each other. If that changes, if there comes a time when it's better for my kids to divorce their father, then I'll do that, too. My heart will be broken because I think I'll love him forever, but my children come first. And, frankly, if that time came, then divorce would be putting me first, too.

I didn't sacrifice my happiness for the kids; I DID sacrifice my pride. Without children, I'd have walked. No questions asked. Even though I love him and even though I understand that he's an addict. Having an affair and paying for sex are much worse, to me, than an alcoholic getting drunk. Does any of that wordy answer make a lick of sense?

Tickingtock posted 2/6/2014 18:48 PM

My parents divorced when I was 2. I have absolutely no memory of them being married, which means I have absolutely no memory of a divorce.

What I learned is that as a woman, I don't need a man to be happy. See? My mom has been happy ever since D. And even at a young age I knew I would have a screwed up idea of what a relationship should be if those 2 had stayed together.

However, it also made me scared to be dependent on a man, the way she was, to some extent, dependent on child support. But it turns out that's a positive too. As a result, I have been on birth control since before I started having sex and waited until 30 to get married.

PositiveAttitude posted 2/6/2014 20:43 PM

I get exactly what your saying. I've thought about this very topic a ton lately trying to make sense of it. I stayed with WH initially because I love him, and I would have done anything to keep my children's home intact and their parents together.

I put up with a LOT of crap from WH for over six months while he boomeranged back and forth between me and OW. Always lying to me. Only admitting to what I knew. Acting with extreme selfishness, trying to make bad choices for our children (I halted that).

Even though my marriage is the best its ever been (still on the fence about whether he's competely NC) and I don't have to act happy around WH since I'm genuinely in love with him and want to spend time with him - I do still often think about divorce.

What holds me back is my inability to selfishly obliterate my children's secure, happy world simply because my WH's LTA haunts me - every second of every day. . If it means me sucking up fear and some minor unhappiness and their life stays intact? Gladly!

Our children have only seen us fight once though, believe mommy and daddy are completely in love, and my history as an OC myself (my mom was my dad's mistress for over 30 years until his wife passed away and he married my mother. YMMV.

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