My marriage was at an all time low when my WS started his A. We were hardly talking, we hadn't had sex for over 6 months. We didn't even talk to each other about mundane everyday things. We just couldn't be bothered as as we have both admitted since DDay we didn't like each. I resented him for working such long hours and taking me for granted and he hated the way I spoke to him, put him down in front of the kids and rebuffed his sexual advances. I'm not sure if we hated each other but we disliked each other very much.
I did often wonder if he would have an A and would I be bothered and honestly the thought didn't bother me. Boy was I wrong, like all of you I have never felt excruciating pain like it. It made me realise I did love him and I don't know how things had got so very bad to end up like this.
We both know we want to try R but I wonder if too much damage was done before. He does regret what he did but he is still feeling as though he was just so low he wanted someone to make him feel wanted. I guess this is the fog type thing people talk of. He says I have to change too if we want things to work which I know.
We did have a wonderful marriage for many years, I think things did change a lot when we had children and I gave up work. My priorities shifted but his remained the same I think. That's how the resentment and everything grew. This was gradual over a number of years, with the last 6 or so months before DDay just horrible. Obviously we did have some good days but there were not many in that time.
Does the fact we want to try and R despite our marriage troubles before prove we are commited or I wonder if its far too late to fix, especially as we have an A to get over too
We were able to R because FWW decided that she wanted our M to work. She did the IC and reading, identified, owned and worked or replacing her issues with healthier alternatives.
As for R, I think it is too early for you to be looking at that. Before working on the M problems, your WH needs to figure out why he wanted someone to make him feel wanted when he felt low? Why did he need external validation? Why was it OK for him to cheat and betray you for the attention rather than separating or D-ing you first? How was he able to lie to you? Why did he not talk with you about these things, insist that you both go to MC? These are the things he needs to identify, own, and address before he will be ready to work on the M with you.
Meanwhile you need to heal and get to a point of acceptance of his A. You need to feel safe in the relationship, see that he is doing the things listed above, and sustaining the efort. It would also be a good time for you to explore, prehaps with your own IC, why you tolerated not having sex for 6 months? Why you tolerated a relationship where the two fo you did not talk. Why did you put him down in front fo the kids? did you try to communicate better, learn better techniques, insist on MC?
Unless the two of you are able to work through these personal issues, it will be hard to work together effectively on the relationship issues.
I believe in IC, but it is important to find one who is competent and a good fit. Nearly 50% of counselors are below average in effectivness, so you do need to shop around.
Books can also help. Have the two of you read Not Just Friends by Glass or Sexual Detours by Hines, and discussed how they apply to his A and your M?
Dday gave me my voice to express all of the dissatisfaction that I had been living in for years. In R I will not settle for returning to pre-Dday relationship. A little over 2 years out and the A's are reconciled for the most part. We still have a lot more work to do on the relationship but it is better than it ever was.
I used to be so confused talking to AP because he would say he was "happy" in his M and considered it a good M. But I didn't understand how/why he would chose an A if his M was good. I recognize that I'm not a BS and can't really know the feeling of that type of betrayal, but that seems like it would be a harder hurdle to get over - reconciling that kind of betrayal.
[This message edited by Jovie at 8:28 AM, February 25th (Tuesday)]
I don't know the answer for sure, but I do think that it complicates things. From what little I have experienced and read about I think it makes it easier for the WS to blameshift, and might make the fog more difficult to lift. In my situation I wasn't aware that the relationship had such deep issues. In the beginning I did blame myself a bit, even though I knew that the fact that the EAs became a viable option for WS had nothing to do with me. For us it has made R more difficult because we started with poor communication. Trying to communicate thoughts and feelings about the EAs when we didn't have good communication to begin with had definitely complicated things.
What I have done is researched about communication issues and found the flaws in our patterns on my own. I have shared some with WS. I draw on our strengths as a couple from times when things were good as a way to recognize what we could have and what we've done right in the past. I view our relationship now as very fragile and in need of cautious and careful treatment with regard to communication. With all that in mind and both of us in IC and MC we are moving forward. The progress seems slow at times, but it is good. We are learning that even if we disagree during one conversation, we can revisit it a day or two later and identify misperceptions and misunderstandings that interfered with being on the same page.
Because you have a strong base to pull from, as you mentioned having had some wonderful years together, I think you can be hopeful about moving forward as long as you are both putting an effort into improving what went wrong in the relationship.
I want to add also that I had to learn to balance addressing the relationship issues we both share with the issues of WS that led to the EAs. Many of the posts I read early on talked about how the focus needs to be on healing the BS from the trauma of discovery. While this is true, I've found that in a relationship that went bad, especially because of communication issues, that balance is important at some point earlier on than I realized. I can see how this balance might shift from relationship to relationship, though.
Any way you go about it is tricky and the process is difficult. If you are both invested, then it is possible to R, I think. I wish the best for you. I hope that sharing my thoughts as they pertain to my experience is somewhat helpful.