H wants to R with me and I think that ultimately I want to as well. He has recently started IC, we've been in MC for 2 months, I'm in group IC, and he is showing lots of signs of remorse and realizing how much he hurt me and compromised his own morals. However, I'm really stuck in the EA aspect of his A. The A lasted ~4 months and I saw emails between H and OW where he was telling her he loved her just weeks after it started. The A ended only because I found out about it and even though he was telling me he wanted the A to be over, I could see from his actions that he was in limbo, in the fog, still believing that he might have loved her and that she loved him. For instance, when I found them texting the day I learned of the EA, I flipped out and left the house. He didn't call me to find out how I was. Instead he called her to say that I was flipping out and that they shouldn't talk. That's really hard for me and shows where his loyalty was. The last piece of TT that came out 3 weeks ago was that after I found out about the EA, but when he was still denying the PA, he tried to end it with her, but he ended up going to her house when I was out of town on a business trip and slept with her. She was crying and saying that she loved him and I'm pretty damn sure (though he never admitted it) that he was probably saying that he loved her too, but that they couldn't be together because it wasn't right. He said he thought of it as a last "goodbye" and that he really wanted to be with me. Sounds more like cake eating to me. Shortly after he would cry that he didn't want to lose his children, and to me that looked like he was just staying with me out of obligation.
Now he says he believes he never loved her, that he was lying to himself so that he could accept what he was doing. He even told me very soon after D-Day that he wouldn't have done what he did if he didn't feel strongly about her and if they didn't have a bond. Like that was supposed to make me feel better.
He says he loves me, he never loved her, she just filled an emotional need at the time, he was selfishly enjoying the attention, and now sees her for the manipulative witch that she is. But I say that he really believed in his feelings for OW at the time, so how can he say he wasn't in love with her? I mean, what else is love if not a belief? Maybe I'm looking at it wrong.
So, I guess my big issues are that I feel like second choice and how do I deal with the fact that he was in love with someone else for a time? I have told him that I can't even be mad at him for that, just sad. This basically hits me squarely in one of my oldest and deepest childhood issues, which is never feeling good enough or worthy enough. I'm angry about the lying and the callousness, but his feelings, how can I be mad that he didn't love me? It was what it was. I'm just not sure how to deal with his feelings then vs his feelings now and the fact that he replaced me with someone else for a time.
I'm fearful about how to push past that and feel good about myself in my relationship. Do I just need to look at it as the old M being dead and that we are just starting from scratch? It's really hard to do that after being together for nearly 20 years.
Not sure there's a question here. Just trying to sort out my feelings.
But I say that he really believed in his feelings for OW at the time, so how can he say he wasn't in love with her?
I've a similar story. How is he saying he loves her and ignoring me and then later say he never loved her?
As you said, it was only a few weeks in that he was saying that to her. Who acts like that? 12 year olds. I'm not joking. When we are kids, we 'love' our boyfriends/girlfriends immediately. Oh, it's true love. We'll be together for ever and get married. You know how that is. Well, that's the same with these things. It's that puppy love feeling that has more to do with loving the attention and someone wanting you than anything else. It's not real love, at all. In the moment, you think it is, but it's not. Not even close.
I'm not sure if this is making sense, or if I'm explaining it well, but these infatuation/love EAs are just that - a case of a 12 year old popping out of an adult brain. It's all about that feeling that the A gives them, not the AP.
As he crawls farther away from the fog, he should start to feel a little embarrassed for his behaviors. Saying he loves someone in a couple of weeks? That's just ridiculous, and he knows it.
I'm sorry you feel like second choice. I felt like that for so long. It took years to realize that my H was actually very remorseful. It was through years of consistent action, along with me repeating to myself that if he didn't love me, he wouldn't stay for all of this work. He wouldn't make changes. He would just leave, to be with OW or not, he wouldn't stay for the aftermath of an A.
You'll feel better as time moves on. You're correct - love is a feeling. It's how you feel about your H. It's not how you felt about your 6th grade boyfriend, even though when you were in 6th grade you would have sworn on your very life that you and he were deeply in love. Silly, childish kid stuf.
Now he says he believes he never loved her, that he was lying to himself so that he could accept what he was doing.
I think THIS ^^^ is what you focus on . What is happening NOW. What is he saying now. What is he DOING now. Focus on that.
As opposed to this....
He even told me very soon after D-Day that he wouldn't have done what he did if he didn't feel strongly about her and if they didn't have a bond. Like that was supposed to make me feel better.
What they say after D-Day is FOG. As they come out of the fog, they realize how ludicrous it is. I remember asking my H that first night,
"Do you love her?"
Did you love her?
Did you TELL her you loved her?
Yes. But I didn't mean it.
But she thinks you did. (and that burns my ass!)
WTF?! You cannot LOVE someone based on lies! It wasn't real life. It wasn't built on honesty, friendship and over time.
Focus on what is happening NOW. That time is over. It's done. It hurts to think about. But its done.
V12, I made a list of all of the things I needed to ACCEPT about the A. Him telling her he loved her was one of them. I wrote it all down and put it away. I would look at it every now and then and say, "nope. haven't accept #4, 7, 12, 15, and 24 yet!"
But the more time passed, and the daily remorse he showed and the good actions behind his words and during that time my ability to stay in the present - and DAMN that is SO incredibly hard to do and I failed miserably the first half of the year....then the closer I got to accepting that he could be so selfish, foolish, immature and careless with our lives as a married couple and as a family.
Anyway, keep posting, venting, sorting out your feelings. It's good that you do this.
[This message edited by LA44 at 10:09 AM, March 1st (Saturday)]
If I've learned anything over these last 2 years, it's that my perspective on what my H did is not the same thing as truth. No matter how much I believed my thoughts, feelings, perspective, in reality, there is a whole other perspective at play. Like a deer in headlights, what's happened has you locked in and it's almost impossible to look away.
he was telling her he loved her just weeks after it started. The A ended only because I found out about it and even though he was telling me he wanted the A to be over, I could see from his actions that he was in limbo, in the fog, still believing that he might have loved her and that she loved him.
That's really hard for me and shows where his loyalty was.
Shortly after he would cry that he didn't want to lose his children, and to me that looked like he was just staying with me out of obligation.
He even told me very soon after D-Day that he wouldn't have done what he did if he didn't feel strongly about her and if they didn't have a bond.
But I say that he really believed in his feelings for OW at the time, so how can he say he wasn't in love with her? I mean, what else is love if not a belief?
my big issues are that I feel like second choice and how do I deal with the fact that he was in love with someone else for a time?
for a time
Once you deal with that true fact (and you both rely heavily on IC to help you really get this,)then you deal with the fact that your H royally f*cked up his life, made stupid mistakes and got incredibly lost and is broken. And it is OK to be mad about that. In fact, you will find yourself getting really angry about that. When the people we love do things that hurt themselves as well as all the other things we love, anger is the expected response. When my kid darts out into a parking lot without me and I finally catch him and pull him into me, my first reaction is anger: Don't you ever do that again! You could have gotten hurt! You know you're supposed to hold my hand! And because you love him and you cherished your marriage, you have every right to be sad, to grieve over what he sacrificed.
but his feelings, how can I be mad that he didn't love me?
one of my oldest and deepest childhood issues, which is never feeling good enough or worthy enough.
And finally, this:
I'm fearful about how to push past that and feel good about myself in my relationship. Do I just need to look at it as the old M being dead and that we are just starting from scratch?
I'm now looking over this response and see that I've taken over. Please forgive me for running with this. But I just hear my old self all in your thinking and I know for a fact that that way of thinking made it almost impossible to heal and move forward. If I can help someone avoid falling deeper into despair from this awful mess, I'll do it with all that I have.
veronique12 - learn as much as you can about infidelity and affairs, challenge your perspective, don't give into your own inner demons, love yourself enough to stay with the process. I promise that if you do that and your H continues to work just as hard with his own issues, you two have a fighting chance. I really believe that.
veronique12, what Kyrie wrote is spot on. Read her post again and again. The mind of a cheater is not a normal place.
V12, I can relate completely to your feelings. I am still struggling with this, yet we are light years ahead of where we were a year ago. My H was foggy for a LONG time , even though he decided he wanted to R. Just in January, he got pissed during IC that he "was being told" his feelings for AP weren't "real". I re-iterated that the feelings are real, but didn't take place in the real world. And a 23 year relationship can't compete with that "perfect world". Just makes my head explode. He had really been working hard at this and I think is finally finding remorse. Like you, I wonder if I'm just wonderfully patient or so lacking in self-respect and belief in my own worth that I've waited this long.
Just wanted to say-- I feel your pain. I do. And it sucks.
On the positive, he is finally working extra hard on R and the sparkle has returned to his eyes when he looks at me. This is a long hard road. But I believe we can still make it. We both want an incredible M-- it's not worth it otherwise. I feel we're both committed to making that happen.
I wish you the very best. Great thread. Great responses. Thanks, SI peeps. You're the best.
[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 11:52 AM, March 1st (Saturday)]
Two things from Kyrie's post really stand out for me reading this through those in early R. The first is,
How do you deal with the fact that he was in love with someone else? Well, first you deal with the fact that that is not a fact. The fact is: He was in love with the way he felt. Say that out loud: He was in love with the way he felt.
This is what you are going to have work on. This is what you are going to have deal with. Because as long as this is at work within you, nothing your H says or does will be taken at face value. Because of your distorted ideas about yourself, your H's behavior just confirms those thoughts, right? You're going to have to work hard to remove that filter so that you can entertain the idea that his actions are all about him, not about you.
Oh so true! This is a key issue to work out in IC bc if you keep going back to that place in your head, you may find yourself asking these very same questions 4, 6-12 months from now.
[This message edited by LA44 at 12:46 PM, March 1st (Saturday)]
I don't know how to R. I obviously suck at getting past things and letting it go.
[This message edited by Morhurt at 1:51 PM, March 1st (Saturday)]
Something that helped me was to write out my interpretation of him and the A and then he would respond to each thing in writing (just like I did in this post.) And we've had to do this activity several times. Writing it out rather than talking it out helped us stay on point. It helped him see the places where I made faulty assumptions or had drawn the wrong conclusions. It helped him get a better handle on the depths of my hurt. It helped me to read the words, "I did not love her," along with a lot of other things that described what was reality and what was actually my fear's interpretation of reality.
We can get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we take our feelings/perspectives and turn them into truths. Once you say it like it's true, there's no way to hear or perceive things differently. And we all know that you can't go forward with lies and 1/2 truths.
The posters here are correct, when good people have affairs and they know it's wrong, they lie to themselves to justify their actions.
Worse, they believe their own lies.
You're not his second choice, nor am I my WW's second choice. Even if he had left you for a month and then asked to come back you would still be his first choice.
Your husband's actions were brutally selfish, but it seems to me that he knows you're the best partner for him.
And yes, that last time they were together, that was cake-eating.
My perception was that if he wanted how she made him feel then he must have wanted her, right? No, apparently.
It seems such an alien concept that he could care about that but not about her. You really helped clarify that for me and understand what he means so much better.
I don't struggle with him wanting her but with the fact he could throw it all away for someone he 'didn't' want. He admits he used her.
He had doubts about what he wanted for a while of course, me cos he loved me, her cos she made him feel good, to be single and have no responsibilities, but it wasn't a serious 'I want to be with her' more which is the better option He wanted it all. He eventually decided to stay with me - but only if I changed cos of course the fact he was cheating was all my fault in his eyes- but to keep her on the side as his little admirer. Cake eating. It blew up in his face though.
He even said if he was single he wouldn't have been so interested in her, he may have had a fling with her but nothing more. He would have looked for better. So why was she good enough to risk all we had for. She wasn't. she was just convenient.
Of course he looks back now with self disgust and can't believe he thought that way but this thread has really helped me understand more so thanks for that.
In some ways it would have made more sense to me if he had thought he lurved her. The way he used us both just seems so callous to me. I guess it's all selfish and callous though whatever the thinking behind it.
[This message edited by olwen at 11:26 AM, March 2nd (Sunday)]
LA, I like the idea of writing out items that I need to examine and attempt to come to terms with. I often feel so overwhelmed by all the individual pieces, events, emotions that I end up in fight or flight panic. Maybe writing them and looking at them in smaller doses can help me cope better.
Lots of love to you all. Thank you.
I tend to think there is hope for the majority of foggy WS's as I was probably as foggy and hung-up as a WS can get.
As a FWS, I cringe now when I think about what I gave up, what I ruined, what I tarnished.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
[This message edited by sunnyrain at 4:46 PM, March 2nd (Sunday)]