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I will survive; but at what cost...

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survivalcosts posted 2/23/2014 07:44 AM

Well, this is my storyÖH and I have been married for 21 years; together for 22. We got married at 18. Thinking back over the years we have never had what I would think people would call a great sex life (in our marriage). Even at its best you might say it was good. With all of the analyzing I am doing now, really I donít know what left first me sexually or him emotionally.

In the early part of our marriage, AOL was big. I remember catching him sex chatting with people. We had a big blow up and he would say he would stop but I know he never did; the porn the chatting with people.

When we were married about 6 years, I became attracted to someone else. I sat us down and said look, I am attracted to someone else, there must be something wrong in our marriage. We went to counseling. We worked on a lot of things. Our sex life was better. We discovered in counseling that the woman friend he had from work was a kind of inappropriate relationship. He was doing ďtoo muchĒ for her and focusing a little too much attention on her. She had moved away and he swore there was no intimate relationship.

We had our daughter 2 years later. When I was pregnant, sex was difficult. I think this and having a baby sent our sex life into a downward trend. When my daughter was 4 he asked me for a divorce. We were able to get through it although I donít know how. I was the beggar and pleader at that point. 2 years later he is having sex talk with a co-worker. I see texts and emails. He swears no affair but now, I donít really know. We made it past that.

We had our son 3 years later but our relationship has been struggling since. I have felt that he doesnít even like me and he is always grouchy when he has to be home and around us. He usually withdraws from us. Dday was January 30, 2014. I was faced with something I think I had seen in the past but did not feel strong enough to confront. I have known for a while that he texts a lot 5 Ė 8000 texts a month. I was looking at our bill online and just decided to look closer. 70% of those texts go to one number. I asked him whose number it was and he said a friend. He wouldnít tell me who she was. At this point I think TT is what I got. I told him that we should talk about a divorce because he is not happy with me. He needed to look at himself and decide what was going to make him happy. He indicated that he wanted to stay in the marriage. I could see that he was still texting her a lot and calling her. I didnít feel good about where things were going. He was trying while he was home but I donít know. I was trying to. I was making a huge effort sexually and emotionally. At our first counseling session together he said that he would not stop talking to her because she is someone who he can talk to. I began to feel uneasy about this statement. Then the weekend following our first counseling session, I had a work family event. He could not attend because he had to work. This is not unusual. However, there was a long period where he was not answering a text question that he would have answered right away. Then the next day, the same thing. I just had this thought out of nowhere to check toll charges and there it was. Plain as day. He spent 10 hours with her just that weekend. But also there was him traveling in her direction for the past year. There was no other explanation for him to go that way. He tried to tell me that he was hanging out with her family. Including playing cards with her husband. I laughed because I said did he actually think that was better. He was choosing to spend time with someone elses family and acts like he canít stand to be around his own. Eventually he has confessed. His relationship with her started like the others before.

He says there is something missing that he is trying to find but the start is sex. We aren't good sexually and then there is no connection. He is horny all the time. And I judge him about the porn and I wonít have sex. I donít know what my feelings are on the matter but I feel that he chooses the porn over me. He is always very secretive about it. I now believe that he probably has never really talked to me about who he really is in all this time. There are things he has said and comments he has made but not really shared. I donít want him to hurt or suffer but when he is mean and grumpy all day, I donít want to have sex. Even now when we talk about these awful hurtful things, I want to be with him to ease his pain. I feel compassion for his hurt. I can tell the difference between when we are communicating and when we are not.
He says he wants to stay with me. He feels it is the right thing to do. He has lessened the communication. It is almost non-existent (that I can see). But I have not presented my boundaries yet.

I am so scared that I am going to put my heart out there again and it isnít going to work. I want to try to save our marriage if that is what he chooses but what if my changes are not enough. If he doesnít change too or if I can not live up to his expectation. He acts like he wants sex every single day.

I have tried to give some facts and that seems to have taken the whole post. I do believe that my husband is a good person. He is very distressed over what he has done. He is showing remorse.

I am sure that I left out important stuff about discovery but this is a lot and I am a little lost about what else to say. Really nice to lay it all out.

I will survive but at what costÖ

scarednbroken posted 2/23/2014 08:34 AM

I think maybe a better question is what is the cost of not "surviving?"

Are you meaning to survive within this relationship? I have a slimline story to you. Only my WH isn't limiting himself to just one OP. Him not agreeing to nc with OP is not fair to you.

For a relationship to heal... Both parties have to be all in. Sounds like he wants the M and his extra marital play time. He isn't turning to you. He isn't nurturing you and your feelings. But wants you to put all the effort in. Not a healthy relationship.

I looks like you have been to counseling a lot. What do they say??? Do you discuss the relationship or just his feelings??

I know I've been in a one sided M for 20 years. It really drains you. It's all about him. Not even a little about me. Make him feel good. I'm just an "accessory" to make that happen. You don't make your accessories happy....

solus sto posted 2/23/2014 08:38 AM

The cost of "surviving" in a one-sided marriage is ENORMOUS.

Consider that there are other, healthier options, options that are better for you AND for your children (who do not benefit from the example of marriage currently modeled for them).

I wish I had done so at your age. Trust me, the cost only gets higher.

At your age, my future, moving ahead, would have looked bright, once I shook the sadness and "failure" from my eyes. Now, it's pretty grim, and there's very little I can do to effectively remedy this before ... well, before I'm an old woman with, quite literally, nothing.

Don't let fear and "obligation" keep you in a marriage that is harming you. Strike out on your own and make your life the life you want it to be.

norabird posted 2/23/2014 08:45 AM

Hi sweetie. You have such a level head. I see how good and compassionate you are in your post.

You guys have been trying hard--you more than he, I think--to make this M work since the very beginning. I admire that. I get that you have a lot of history and made a commitment. And you probably do love each other.

But maybe this is the time to stop trying, for yourself. So much effort put in only to get on the same merry-go-round time and time again. How exhausting.

It really seems you would be happier, after the adjustment period, if you were apart.

One of my wisest friends had told me, about my (very different) situation, 'love shouldn't be this hard.' Yes, relationships are work and have ups and downs. I'm sure you've had some ups too. But it shouldn't be a slog. It shouldn't drain you. Certain aspects of the connection shouldn't take effort.

You did your best to make this work. Maybe if just can't. There is no shame in walking away after putting forth everything you had. Sometimes it's just better to fold.

doggiediva posted 2/23/2014 16:31 PM

The advice of the posters before me is spot on..

Solus describes my situation and wishes exactly except that I am older than her by several years..

If your H is REALLY and GENUINELY wishing to stay in the marriage, for the right motives he will honor your wish to sign a post nup agreement that weighs heavily in your favor should you wish to D because you discovered him to be lying and cheating still..

No one should have to stay in a marriage because he or she feels trapped due to the combination of age and finances..(financially dependent on the WS or WS financially dependent on you)...

So before R is attempted ask for and get a financial cushion..

Years wasted at false R shouldn't render you financially unable to start over again on your own..

If your WS is unwilling to provide the above assume he is un remorseful and file for D...Like one poster said and from what you wrote, your WH behaves as if he wants you as an accessory or a slave, not a partner..

Edited to add..

The sex may not be good because he isn't doing his part to put some romance or laughter or fun into sex or the marriage itself..

In my case my marriage probably damaged me permanently in regards to sex..

If ever hook up with somebody else romantically (after my D) and this person has an interest in a long term relationship, it is gonna take a lot of time and reassurance on his part for me to really trust him...

This person will have to find a way to prove to me that he ISN'T grading my sexual performance ...I shouldn't have to have sex with him in a port a potty or hanging from the chandeliers or 4 times a day to make him want to stay with me..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 4:57 PM, February 23rd (Sunday)]

BeHappyAgain posted 2/23/2014 19:03 PM

He says he wants to stay with me. He feels it is the right thing to do.

This statement really stuck out to me while reading through your post. You deserve so much more than being the "right thing to do." I hope you truly know that.

I hope that regardless of what you choose to do going forward you find peace and happiness! Hugs to you.

survivalcosts posted 2/23/2014 21:38 PM

Thank you so much to everyone who has responded. I find it amazing that you see things from this one post that I find so hard to see.

Scarednbroken: When I began this on 1/30, I was sure that my marriage was over. Then the affair cemented that thought. With him saying he wants to stay and he has stopped talking to her that I know of, yes I am hoping that I can survive in the marriage. I have no (well maybe still a little) blinders on about where we are going. We could end up divorced. Or we could end up happier than ever. I want him to stay in IC. I think he needs it. He looks to me to provide his happiness and it is just not possible. When I started this on 1/30; that is what I told him. He needs to figure out what is going to make him happy. Giving him up so that we could both move on and be happy is one thing but to have him go out and have an affair. I am trying because he says that he wants to stay but I am not sure that I will ever forget. I explained it to him in reference to my father who passed away. I can go through my day and I am okay but if I stop and think about him I cry and get sad. My dad passed 14 years ago. I know that in 15 or 20 years when I stop and think about the affair and the things he did with her I will get angry and sad. It is never going away. It is part of my history now. He wrote this into our story.

Solus Sto: I hope that I am strong enough to remain vigilant. Strong enough to keep my eye on things and not let them deteriorate like they did. Strong enough to stop being the doormat.

Norabird: Your post hit me the hardest. I do feel like I am doing more than him. I do feel like I made the right decision in the past where he has continued to make the wrong. My head tells me that I should cut ties and run. But I canít. Not yet. Not without beating my head on the wall and making sure that I tried everything. I also wonder if I just donít know anything else. In my heart I feel that I will be faced with these same issues no matter where I go or who I am with. My husband is a good man. He works hard and he does try to do the right thing. He has struggled with certain things and I think maybe we just let life take over instead of addressing them. This is my wake up call. I had been building to this even without the knowledge of the affair. Only time and actions will tell if this is also his.

BeHappyAgain: I struggle with this statement too. I guess that is why I wanted to put it in the ďfactsĒ. I donít know what he really meant. I know that he loves me but is it just because I gave him two children or is it because he really loves me. He much better at expressing how he feels with words too. Sometimes I wonder if I donít love him as much because I canít put it into those nice words. I now have a hard time saying he is a good man (above), good husband, good provider. Now that I know what he choose over his family.

So conflicted sometimes. I feel like I am not really getting my feelings out but is it really productive to beat him over the head with this? I was really angry 2 days after d-day. It was Wednesday and Tuesday night all I could think was how this was the night he would leave work early and go to see her. He was home but I just couldnít stop thinking about it. Wednesday I was so angry. I yelled at him and I think I went to far. I donít think I should be trying to punish him. But sometimes I would like tooÖ

norabird posted 2/23/2014 22:03 PM


Maybe somewhere out there are people who can cut ties and run so simply. Most of us need much, much more time to try, to process, to slowly sever the links and then reattach a few and sever more...painful, arduous steps. I certainly didn't mean to hurt you by saying it might be over. You'll keep trying until you're done. It's just worrying that you have already tried so hard. When does it end? When will you have tried hard enough that you can accept walking away? If you aren't there yet, what if you never get off this cycle? That would be a sad outcome, to never see improvement and yet keep hoping.

Remind yourself every once in a while that insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting a different result. And think about your boundaries. What would you demand for yourself? You can set any boundaries in your life that you chose, that you need to be happy. But then if they are broken you need to show you are serious by enacting a consequence (in this case probably filing).

You ask how much anger you can show...that makes me think that with past affairs/cheating you suppressed your reaction for smooth sailing, for reconciliation, for him to stay. To go back to 'normal'. It means nothing gets processed or changed in the end. You did get counseling so obviously you were trying but I'm a little concerned that you're trying to manage your reaction when so many betrayals in your past means that yes, of course you'll be angry. It's natural. So I'm not sure why you're beating yourself up for that?

I hope I'm not just pouring yet more salt into the wound. I did have one last thing I wanted to say re your comment about not thinking these issues are inescapable, worrying that they will be there in any relationship. Gently this shows your expectations have been woefully lowered. Would you want a daughter to not look for a happier marriage than this one,, and expect nothing more? At the very least I can tell you it's possible to have a more sexually and emotionally fulfilling relationship. Don't think so much about his being a good provider either. It's beside the point for your happiness if you stay with him.

Lastly this a hard crossroads to be at. It's okay if you sit at the fork in the road for as long as you need to. Responses at SI can be harsher than people are ready for sometimes. Give yourself time, detach as much as you can, and search for clarity about the future you want, knowing that history clearly repeats with your husband and you cannot expect to change a long established pattern but you CAN end it by stepping off the ride. That doesn't mean you have to shut off the possibility of reconciling yet. But protect yourself by being as clear on your boundaries and what you deserve as you can be. And know that you're strong enough to handle change if it comes to that.

[This message edited by norabird at 10:05 PM, February 23rd (Sunday)]

doggiediva posted 2/23/2014 22:35 PM

I hope I wasn't being too harsh with my advice..

My earlier comment/ advice comes from a place of having been a doormat and being angry about it.. I was codependent...Relationship at all costs..Everything for the relationship..It cost me my self esteem, confidence, youth...

A false R that wasted years..

Years can go by in a heartbeat, before you know it..

It is okay to think about the practical issues of protecting yourself along with the emotional ones..

I think you may find more clarity and peace in the midst of this storm once you know you don't have to make decisions regarding your future based on fear...

[This message edited by doggiediva at 10:38 PM, February 23rd (Sunday)]

meplusfour posted 2/24/2014 11:30 AM

I am so scared that I am going to put my heart out there again and it isnít going to work. I want to try to save our marriage if that is what he chooses but what if my changes are not enough. If he doesnít change too or if I can not live up to his expectation. He acts like he wants sex every single day.

You are strong and resilient. The time and energy that you have given to save your marriage is a testament to your strength and compassion. No one could ask for more.

All of the previous posters are right. You need to detach and refocus your energies on you and your children. Do not put your heart out there right now. Take some time to take a long hard look at the state of your M, and whether your H is doing the changes that you need to see to stay over the long term. Realize that you are entitled to a fulfilling life, with or without your H.

These are hard truths to hear. Start with small steps. Are you going to IC to help you gain some perspective on your situation? If not, make an appointment. Or reading books, such as Not Just Friends or After the Affair, may help. Are you taking care of yourself~eating, sleeping and getting fresh air and exercise? I know it sounds trite, but you need to make sure that you stay as healthy as possible, your children need you. Seek medical assistance if you are unable to sleep. I was on prescription sleep aids for several months. Without sleep, your perspective may become skewed and you may be susceptible to depression. During this time, take small steps to become independent. Doggiediva's advice regarding financial security is critically important. Please follow it.

I am just beginning to truly understand what it means that I am responsible for my happiness. I am a SAHM and I used to think that my future revolved around my M and family. I now realize that my future belongs to me. Even though we are in R, my fWH may be part of my happiness, but never again will I place my future and happiness solely with someone else. I can be happy with my fWH but I can also live a happy, fulfilling life without him. One saying that I often see here is that your marriage cannot be saved unless you are willing to lose it. It is true. Please value yourself, separate and apart from your H and M.

Sending you grace, dignity and strength

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