I've read through other people's posts of why they believe they're strong for choosing R, and it just always sounds to me like a ridiculous amount of mental gymnastics to convince themselves that staying with a cheater is really OK. But I don't really think it is. I think it's stupid and weak. And now I'm stupid and weak, too.
I'm not trying to make fun of anyone here, I wish I could reason my way into believing that my choice is a good one, but I just can't. There is no logic I have found to convince myself that this life will be good for me. But there was also no logic I could find that convinced me that putting my son through a divorce was in any way good for him. I went through it at 10 and it sucked big time. I wish I knew this was going to happen cause I never would have had a child. And I just wasn't strong enough to raise him by myself.
I don't know how to feel better about R. And I don't know how to feel better about D. So I will stay and know that my life will be good at times, but that this is the best it will ever get. It can't get any better because I can't get any better. Because I don't like me anymore. Because I will always believe that I am stupid and weak.
You are not stupid or weak, Alice.
[This message edited by Crushed15Feb13 at 12:25 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
The way I dig myself out of beating myself up is by trying to shift the way I'm looking at the situation.
Your problem isn't you. Your JOB is now you. Your goal needs to be to get where you want to be - to get to who you want to be. Not right this second, but in a timeframe that is achievable. Maybe that means after your son is old enough to be out on his own in the world. That's OK, if that's what you need.
I don't feel that I'm strong enough to raise a child by myself. I'm in awe of people who can. I need help with DD, and not because she's difficult (she's not). I just do. That doesn't make me weak, that means I have identified that I want help raising her.
There are aspects of myself that I don't like, but when I try to look at it as a to do list rather than something to loathe, well... a weight lifts.
You are in a very difficult position, and you are doing the best you can. There's no perfect answer, just like there's no perfect person.
You are not stupid and weak. You just haven't figured out how to get to your best "you" yet. Every day's a chance to make a change, even if it's really small at first.
I really truly understand exactly how you feel. Focus on living moment to moment instead of judging yourself for supposed big-picture failings. You are a loving mother. That's a win, always.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:23 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
Please listen to Jrazz's words. There is so much wisdom there.
I'd like to share. Firstly my FWH had many LTAs over many years - probably about 25 years, the longest for maybe 8 years.
I found out after both of our children had grown and left home. We are financially secure. I could manage quite well on my own.
I have no excuses to stay. None, zero zilch!!! But you know what? I don't need an excuse to stay.
Wow if you are stupid and weak then I must be the world's most stupid and weak person. I'm sure there are people out there who would say that I am MUCH more stupid and weak than ladies who have children to consider, or those in financial difficulties. Maybe I am. I don't really care. Some would say I am incredibly stupid to stay with a man who betrayed me over and over for many years. But you know what? It suits me to stay and it is really no one else's business.
I CHOOSE to stay because it is what I want to do. One day I might change my mind. If I do I will S/D. Staying is my choice. No one has the right to judge me and frankly if they do I don't care. I don't like judgmental people.
I could be making a mistake. If I am I will make a new decision when I recognise that I have made a mistake. I will do it on my own timetable. No one else's.
So ladies please consider this. If you are choosing to stay because that is what you feel is the best thing for you in your sich, please don't judge yourselves.
You are not stupid and weak.
Alice honey please also stop saying (thinking) that things will always be the same, or you will always think badly of yourself.
Life happens. Things do change. You will find that if you accept your decision to stay for any reason or no reason then you will be able to live a fuller life. One day you may wake up and think "I don't want to do this anymore". If you do then leave. You always have that option. Of course there's a chance that someday you will regret staying. Well... we all make mistakes but when we do we need to move on.
You may also find that one day you will think that you are pleased you stayed for whatever reason. No one knows what the future holds.
I also found that when I told myself I had a free pass to leave whenever I want that I accepted my decision to stay and stopped second guessing myself. This is something else you might try.
My WH is out of town for a conference. Yesterday, I had been trying to stay present, deal with the million triggers that keep coming. Then it morphed into I can't deal with this anymore, because my husband is not giving me the help I need. I finally picked up the phone and told my WH what his actions (just lack of awareness of my situation or struggle) was doing to me. He said he simply was caught up in the seminar and should have been more aware. If that is true or not only time will tell. Trust and Verify....
Laura's advice is fabulous. Staying really only has to make sense to you, but if it doesn't perhaps my line of reasoning might help (although occasionally I have flashes of I am stupid and weak too!)
I choose to stay. I am not weak. I have 4 boys under 10, I work full time, my husband started his LTA (3 years)days after I found out I was pregnant, and continued while I watched my mother in late stage aggressive Alzheimer's disease, took a two week maternity leave to keep my family supported and then quit my job and started my own business. I stayed. I am strong enough to leave and I think others are too, but for whatever reason (which only really has to be up to you)we stayed. Staying is not weak..staying is hard. Staying might be stupid if the situation fails to change, but if it's a true reconciliation you approach it with your eyes open....and your spouse understand what you will not accept then the stupid goes away.
Work on being a person you want to be. Don't let yourself be engulfed in hopeless. You are strong, and if you can't feel that now, just hang on. Make it through today, and maybe strong will come tomorrow. Be kind to yourself, you are valuable.
[This message edited by trying1 at 3:06 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
I don't know how to feel better about R. And I don't know how to feel better about D.
I've had two WS's. The first one was unremorseful and wouldn't quit lying to me so I left that one. It was hard, it devastated me financially (and I'm still paying for that one), and my future changed when I made that decision. I had to let the dreams I had with him die and move onto a different future.
The WS I am with now IS remorseful. So far, he has done everything I've asked and we are working to build a stronger and deeper relationship than before D-day. I've decided to stay with this one.
Neither one is easy and they both suck. From my own experience, staying and doing the hard work of dealing with the loss of trust, rebuilding, getting to the deeper issues of what happened with my WS and what happened with us, and the insecurities and fear that come from betrayal has been more difficult, but for me, it is also more rewarding. I wouldn't be doing this though if my WS wasn't showing true remorse.
There are no right answers, only what is right for you. I am, though, at peace with both decisions that I made, and looking back, I feel I made the right decision for me at that time.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 3:22 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]
sounds to me like a ridiculous amount of mental gymnastics to convince themselves that staying with a cheater is really OK
I thought this exact same thing yesterday.
It's tough, it really is.
Nothing more to add as others have given good advice.
You are not stupid or weak. You are strong!
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”
I guess the girls were saying things like
How can she stay?
She has no self respect.
Once a cheater always a cheater.
She is stupid.
Shes so weak.
My dear friend said she told them:
She is not the weak one she is the strong one to stay, she believes in her choice and is trying to make it work.
My children are gone, they have started their own families. I don't have to stay. I can leave whenever I want. Those are my choices. I choose my family. I want my Kids to know I am strong and can rebuild after such a travesty.
You are not WEAK or STUPID none of us are.
The ones who were weak and stupid are the ones who committed infidelity. They are lucky to have BS who are strong. BS, I believe are the strongest of them all. Don't let others judge you and most of all don't JUDGE YOURSELF!
Life is not measured by the breaths we take
but by the moments that take our breath away.
19 months out here...so take that into consideration when you read my response.
First, Jrazz is spot on.
Second, we are not to judge...period. Unfortunately, I have discovered I was a very judgemental person pre-A. That has been a hard habit to break free from, but I am breaking free from it. From your statement that you always beleived people who stayed with a spouse that cheated on them were weak people...you had some judgementalness within you pre-A. This personal experience has.....changed you.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
It takes courage to change....it is far easier to remain the same. Yes, this change has been thrust upon you...so it was not your choice to start the change and you could have decided to NOT change and D your husband. You did not.
My wife committed adultery....but that ability has been within her since childhood. Pre-A she did not work on that part which made adultery an option for her...because, in part, that required change. Much easier to lean on the coping skills (deny and ignore her feelings) to deal with parts of life rather than maturely processing life.
I had my own coping skills that lead to destructive choices in my life (porn use). I resisted changing and took the easy way.
So that, in part, is what it means when it is said that BS who offer the gift of R to their fWS are "strong"...because to do so means they have to change (change their perspective, which often times require changes in previous judgements and other things).
Certainly to D takes strength too....because it, too requires change. But, unlike R, D CAN make self-exploration OPTIONAL. True R insists both BS and fWS do extensive self-exploration to identify unhealthy parts of each.....which is the first step in changing yourself.
Another component of this "strength" is.....delayed gratification.
Adultery is nothing if it is not instant gratification....an instantly emotional and-or sexually freeing playground, if you will....no baggage or reality to bog you down. My wife was making out with her fAP in less than 20 hours of face time....full on sex within 40-60 hours of face time.....wife considering leaving our family for him upon DD#1. There was nothing "delayed" about affairs.
BS offering R is effectively saying "I am in more pain than I ever thought humanly possible to endure....and I am willing to sit with this pain, process this pain with the person who inflicted it upon me (but who is NOT doing that anymore and is remorseful) in hopes that, one day we can have a healthy marriage and save our family....maybe even change our family tree becuase of our efforts."
And this is strength in action. Takes unbelieveable courage.
Post often. Realize you always have choices.
Keep the faith.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:19 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)]