My BS knows, in excruciating detail, the whole story because he gained access to my chat history. He read everything that was said and saw everything that was sent. One day he says he loves me and wants to be with me, but the next he has fits of rage and proclaims he wants to D. He also says the only way he will get over my betrayal is to have an A of his own. It's been a roller coaster, to say the least, and I have been hanging on for dear life, taking each hill and turn the best i can, for 5 months. I want to save the marriage and I hate myself for what I allowed myself to get involved in. I have told him I understand his feelings and his subsequent desires to be with someone else, and that I will reluctantly agree to a D, just so he can find happiness again. That's all I truly want is his happiness. I have caused enough pain.
A little about me:
I have a history of low self-esteem that goes all the way back to my childhood. The feelings of inferiority have been present almost all of my life. People that know me would never believe how deeply these feelings run, but I feel them every single day. I am in the process of trying to find a therapist that will be a good match for me, because IC is something I need very much.
[This message edited by medicinetaker at 2:58 PM, February 27th (Thursday)]
and regarding the RA, read this thread:
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
“Follow your intuition. Be smart, be brave. Tell the truth and don’t take any shit.”
He also says the only way he will get over my betrayal is to have an A of his own
With regards to his desire to have a RA, maybe just read this thread. Its chock full of the reasons that a RA is just about the stupidest thing someone can do to try and heal a broken heart. Print it out and give it too him. It might help him reconsider this idea.
That's all I truly want is his happiness. I have caused enough pain.
Gently said, while its good to hear you put his happiness in front of your selfish wants, in truth, you can't heal him if you aren't healed yourself. Your best bet for a happy BS is to get yourself into IC and be supportive in his healing.
I would suggest that you read the healing library, locate to the left in the yellow box and in particular, read this post.
Take care of yourself, eat and drink healthy and don't beat yourself up too much.
Stilllovinghim - You have got to work every single day on yourself and on your M if you want this to survive. This is the most important thing in your life. This is the air in your lungs. Don't squander it.
[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 12:31 PM, February 27th (Thursday)]
I think it's important to try and separate things right now. He may be super angry and hate what you did...but he doesn't hate *you*. If that were the case, he wouldn't still be there with you.
The name-calling is tough, I know...I've been there. Just try to push that aside and tell yourself its his anger that's controlling his words. Time passes and this horrible anger stage will be on its way as well, but it's one of those things that you just have to work through. Take deep breaths...this will pass.
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
medicinetaker - How do the other WS's handle the chronic bombardment of name-calling and shame inducement?
First of all, recognize that this comes from anger right now. Also understand that when the anger morphs into abuse, you need to take steps. Just because you are the WS, it doesn't mean that you need to be a door mat. You still have the right to set boundaries in place to protect yourself. I know some posters talk about setting a time limit, say 6 months, where verbal abuse can be tolerated but at one point of time or other, lashing out in anger is counter-productive. My advice, is to hunker down and ride it out for a while longer.
medicinetaker - As far as the threads on RAs go, he says he doesn't care what other people say about them.
And no, he doesn't have to care about what we say. He does however have to take into consideration your views on this matter. After all, you still have the right to set deal breakers in place, regardless of your WS status and firmly asset that you will not tolerate a RA. If a RA is a deal breaker for you and you clearly and unequivocally tell him that, then he too will have to suffer the proverbial "consequences of adulatory" if he carries through on his threat.
Remember that post A, life is similar to a roller coaster and elevator combined into one ugly ride. Hang on tight, it might get bumpy.
How do the other WS's handle the chronic bombardment of name-calling and shame inducement?
First, you absolutely need to understand that it is coming from a place of pain. Be empathetic. Tell him that you see he is hurting and apologize for specific actions.
Second, own your behavior. Once I was able to begin working through my why's, I could begin to own my shit (as we like to say around here) and there was a shift. Early on, conversations had him talking and me looking down in shame, like a puppy with its tail between its legs. Unable (or unwilling out of fear) to engage in the conversation. Once I was able to work through some of my stuff that began to change. I could begin to understand why he would say those things. I could also begin to agree with him on some points. I could tell him "yes, I behaved like a ______, or a was a ______. But I'm not now and here is why.
We have our great days, but they are relentlessly and inevitably followed up by horrendous days.
Good and bad days will go in cycles. Perfectly normal. That's why they call it a roller coaster. We started out with a couple good days then a couple bad days. Then a few good days and a bad day. Eventually more and more good days will string together provided you both are doing the work.
Hang in there. Find that IC. And read!
You sound a lot like me, in that you crave that acceptance from others and external validation, even though you had a H at home probably more than willing to provide love and acceptance in abundance.
The anger and all its name calling, etc. will abate over time but it sure is ugly when it's coming out. I know that part alone nearly killed me, although my H didn't really do the name calling. I don't think my H could ever have a RA, since he has morals and standards that he adheres to and he is a strong person. But he did tell me he had thoughts that he wanted to bring his ex into our bedroom and f@*%k her and make me watch.
I know where that was coming from when he said that but man it hurt!! Eventually I hope you and your H can come to a place where you no longer want to hurt each other, but want to help each other heal. Do take the other posters' advice and read the articles in the healing library and the suggested books. It helps because you can see perspectives from the wayward and betrayed sides and see what's normal. The roller coaster ride you're on now is a familiar one to many of us here. There are days I seriously want to just lay down and never get up and then there are days I spend all day just basking in the gloriousness of my H and I still being together and trying to figure it all out. Those days of being partners and companions in the truest sense are what hold me up to keep going when the bad days come back. I hope you and your H find lots of help and healing here. Keep us updated please.
[This message edited by mrs7 at 1:16 PM, February 28th (Friday)]
First, your story is so similar to mine that I actually jumped to the end to see if you were perhaps OW in my case. Doesn't look like it, but I've been exactly where your BH is. My H had an EA. It was LD. It was short lived. He lied after DDay, and I had to break into his chats and texts to get the truth. There were "I Love You"s exchanged, and a LOT of sexual talk. My H even called in 'inappropriate' as you did. Very, very similar.
OK - a quick question. You said that you and AP were never in the same place physically once it started. Had you been before that? How do you know AP?
I don't think your H wants D. If he did, he would have left already. I also don't think him having an A is a solution. This thought process seems more prevalent in men (wanting an A of their own) than women, but it does happen on both sides. Here's the thing - if your H has an A, it won't ease his pain. You will still have had the EA. He will still know what you and AP said to each other. He will still feel the pain of knowing you exchanged words of love and all of the other emotional parts of this. It really won't fix anything at all. It won't even the score. It won't make what has already happened disappear. You may not be in the best position to tell him this, but perhaps you could show him this thread? Or print out this response? It can seem like some justice will be served by having a RA (revenge affair), but nothing changes, other than both sides now have hurt feelings, mind movies, etc., and yes, even though yours was an EA, there are mind movies. Most likely, your husband imagines how happy you were to get a call or text from OM. He thinks of you sneaking off to call him, or text. He wonders if anything you sent him was meant for OM, or vice versa. He hates thinking of the smile on your face when you'd get a fun message from OM. In general, he probably pictures how happy it all made you. Not all mind movies are sexual.
I was just like your H. Madly in love one minute, raging the next. I was obsessed with the details. I couldn't stop myself. I'd see the messages in my mind constantly. I lived in his EA for a year.
What I finally realized was two things. First, I was very angry at myself for staying. I love my H, and I wanted to stay with him. That made me feel weak, and needy, and I was angry at the world. I knew I could leave at any time, but I didn't want to. Not wanting to made me feel like a sucker. That made me angry. Now, please don't think all of my anger was at myself. It wasn't, but enough of it was. I couldn't accept that I was staying with a cheater (sorry - that was my thought at the time). It made me furious that my only options were to stay with a cheater, or divorce the man I loved. I would rage, sometimes alone, seething and heartbroken, and begging for anything to make me feel better, to make the thoughts stop, to just get 10 minutes of peace from it.
Second, I realized I hadn't 'accepted' what had happened. I knew what happened, in painstaking detail. But I couldn't accept it, if that makes sense. I couldn't accept that sometimes, people make mistakes. I wanted answers, but I already knew everything. I wanted justice, but none was to be found. I wanted my old mindset, where life was fair. I wanted my old marriage, where it was just me and my H. I had to 'accept' all of this, and decide to move on. Until true acceptance happened, the anger continued. Once I accepted that sometimes, life just isn't fair, that my H made a series of very bad decisions that he regrets, that my old marriage was gone, and that there was no justice anywhere, then I could start moving towards the future. Until then, I was truly stuck, and I hated it. It made me a very unhappy person, and it only added to my rage.
I hope I haven't insulted you in any way. That was absolutely not my intention. I just wanted to give you a little insight into the mind of someone that went through something eerily similar, and that had virtually the same reactions. Of course, I could be very off from what is happening with your H. I can only speak to my experiences, but here on the outside looking in, it sounds exceptionally similar.
So what finally caused the acceptance breakthrough? After a year of misery, I finally said, out loud, the things I just wrote. Life isn't fair. Sometimes, bad things will happen through no fault of your own. When they do, it's up to me to brush myself off and move forward. That doesn't mean 'get over it', it means move forward and stop living in the past. I told myself that my H was working so hard to make me happy, and to make me feel safe, and that I could accept that, and take the risk, or not accept that, and move on. I had chosen to stay, so staying in mental hell was my own choice at that point. I said it several times, for several weeks. When the thoughts would enter my head, I would let them, for a minute, and then tell myself that I already knew what happened, and that getting angry or upset wouldn't change it. Then I would find something, anything, to take my mind away from the EA.
As far as the self-directed anger, that stopped when I reminded myself that staying was my choice, and that I could leave at any time. I wasn't weak for staying. I decided, after reviewing all that had happened, both with the EA and all other items that comprised our marriage, that I loved my husband, and that as long as infidelity was not going to be the norm, and in fact would never happen again, I would stay and work towards R. So far, I've been very happy with that choice. It's important to say that I couldn't do this with the acceptance I mentioned previously. I couldn't accept my own decision until I accepted what had happened, that it was never going to not have happened, and that there was not going to be any magic pill to make it all go away or make me feel all better. Once I accepted these things, I could accept my decision on how I was handling things.
I think low self esteem is common with cheaters, and imo it's more common for those that have EAs. These people aren't really looking for sex, they're looking for that ego boost. They will say anything to get a response that tells them they're hot, or beautiful, or sexy, or to be told that they're all the other person can think about. These are all ego boosts in the short run, which someone with low self esteem would crave.
If you don't mind my asking, how long ago was your EA? Had it ended when your H discovered it, and if so how did it end? If not, have you been NC since DDay?
Keep at it medicintaker. it's a long road, but if you do the work on yourself, and your H learns to accept this, and is willing to move forward with you, you can have a really wonderful marriage. I'm not saying that the EA will ever be viewed as a good thing. I'm simply saying that there is life after an A of any kind, and with the right attitudes and effort, a relationship can be very, very good. Better than pre-A in many cases.
As far as my AP, we actually worked for the same company, but in different parts of the country. We met at a company meeting. It happened a little over four years ago, but my BH just got the details last fall. I had rugswept it completely in my mind, because I was too big of a coward to face the consequences.
After my H discovered it, I blocked his number and him on Facebook. We were NC until he contacted me early last year under a fake name on another networking site. He was telling me about a job, but he did allude to starting up the inappropriate talk again. I ignored it and thanked him for the job lead. I know now, I should have completely ignored his message and continued the NC. I was lying to myself that it was "ok" because I kept it strictly about my job search. I was totally wrong in doing so. We exchanged messages occasionally (7 or 8 times) through last fall, until I deleted his connection. The exchanges were short and pertained only to my employment.
I have resolved that, no matter what happens in my M, I am going to try to "fix" me. I have spoken with an IC, and we are in the process of sorting out the insurance info. My greatest wish is that we will move past this, eventually, together, and come out stronger on the other side. Our good days are not just good, they are better than I could have ever imagined our relationship to be. We are so in love and in touch with each other on those days, it's awesome to behold. Our bad days, however, are usually really bad. If we can somehow find a way to have more good days than bad days, I think we have a fighting chance. I truly hope so. This man is the love of my life. My biggest regret in life is that I took him and our relationship for granted and did nothing to try and improve it when we were in our rut. If I had put half the effort I did into my marriage as I did my repulsive A, we would be golden right now.
Glad you found the info useful. So this happened years ago, but your H just found out? Or did he just recently see the detailed messages and chat logs? If so, how long before that did he 'know' that something had happened? Just trying to get a sense of where he is in his recovery.
Also, did you tell your H about the 7 or 8 messages? Even appropriate messages to a former AP are out of the question, but it sounds like you know that.
Taking someone for granted, particularly when you began life with them in your 20s, is not a hard thing to do. As my husband said, he never really thought about what he was doing (during his EA) because he just never envisioned a life that didn't include me. He couldn't even imagine it. Soon after discovery the realization that he could spend his life without me hit, and he's been a different person since that moment. You've learned through this experience what really matters to you, and what you want for your life. I won't say that the EA was good (I'll never say that, since I've already written this twice to you) but you can take the lessons from it and be a different person.
I'm glad your H has commented that he doesn't want to leave you. What he says is true - all of us BSs have said that at one time or another. We all know leaving is an option, just as it is for all WSs. Your H knows this too. He's there because it's where he wants to be. Please remember that when he's angry, or things seem bleak. Don't give up, because he hasn't. As long as he's there, he hasn't given up.
Is your H in counseling, or looking into it, as well? I didn't want to go, but it's really been helpful. Much more so than I thought it would be. It helps just to say out loud what you're feeling, and to have a person respond and help you sort through all of it. A good counselor is one of the best things a person can find. I'd highly recommend he go talk with someone that's experienced in dealing with infidelity and the aftermath. He'll probably say no, but I'm betting if he goes, he'll like it, and he'll feel a lot better after each session.
Please feel free to send me a pm if you have any questions. Again, we have very similar stories, so I think I have a good idea of how your H feels, and what some of his struggles may be. I hope this doesn't sound too forward. I just feel like I've been exactly where you H is now. If I can help in any way, please reach out.
Oh, another weird similarity - my H and I have been together for - you guessed it - 17 years.
If you haven't already, please write him a timeline/letter of everything that happened from start to finish and do not hold anything back if you still are. Get EVERYTHING out or this rollercoaster of rage is going to be drawn out even longer. Take it from a fellow TTer who began to spill 4 years after the OEA. It sounds like you have some great self-realization and remorse, but of course we all have a long road ahead to self-improvement, so never stop working on yourself.
[This message edited by rekindle at 5:02 PM, February 28th (Friday)]
I would love to send you a PM, but I don't have enough posts to initiate a PM.
Mine tells me the same things when he is calm, that's what gives me the hope to continue to hang on. I know he loves me dearly, that's the only reason I was able to hurt him as severely as I did with my actions.
I could never have imagined I would be capable of doing the things I did, and the whole mess brings me great shame, embarrassment and disappointment in myself. At times, I feel a tremendous amount of hate for myself and I honestly can't imagine ever being able to forgive myself for the pain I have caused him and the damage I have done to my marriage and family. He knows the whole, ugly story. Unfortunately, he knows things he probably wishes he didn't, because those things will never go away.
We have spent a few nights apart when I thought the situation needed to be diffused for our kids' sake, but he always wants me to come home. I am very thankful for that.
medicine taker I have resolved that, no matter what happens in my M, I am going to try to "fix" me.
For just about every betrayed or wayward spouse some version of that statement is universally good advice. We have to heal. Heal from wounds of the A. Heal things we brought with us into the marriage. Help each other heal.
It's work. And we have to do that work knowing that it may not fix the marriage. But if we do the work we'll be better stronger people for whatever lies in front of us in life.
The good news is that people that are healing and helping their spouse to heal certainly have a better chance to reconcile. It is no guarantee, but healthier, stronger people are better able to deal with the tough times in life and are better able to love spouses, friends and family.
My marriage is over. When it came down to it, he couldn't deal with my obsessing over another man. He has progressively gotten angrier and more aggressive every day. He announces to our children what a slut their mother is and gives gory details about what I did. Tonight it got physical.
I took the rages as long as I could without fighting back because I believed I deserved it, but it got to the point where I couldn't take anymore without standing up for myself once in a while. I honestly do hate what I did and I have lost what little self-respect I had for myself. I hate that my family is being ripped apart by the series of really bad decisions I made. I hate it, but I can't take any more. I truly do love him with all of my heart, and because of that, I have to let him go. He will never be able to experience true happiness with me.
I don't foresee myself ever trusting myself or anyone else enough to get into another relationship, and it's something I can't even begin to fathom right now. My focus has to be on getting myself better and trying to repair some of the damage that our poor kids have suffered. I'm not looking for sympathy, just giving an update.
Best of luck in your continued, personal healing. Sending well wishes and strength to you and your family.
Don't forget to be kind to yourself.
I know right now you are hurt and the struggle is deep and painful. I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
I'm sorry also that your children have had to witness his anger and the verbal abuse. While you were wrong with what you did, your kids should not have had to hear those things about you. You are their mother regardless.
Big hug to you. Stay strong. One foot in front of the other...
I hope you are in therapy and have a good support system.