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Mom2Boys posted 3/12/2014 17:19 PM

Hey all. Sucks we're here. Can I get some opinions? Or reassurance at least. And I know that will be hard once you read what I've done.

I married in 2001 and had kids in 2002 and 2005. In 2008, with 2 young kids and a seemingly decent marriage (there were issues, he's a heavy drinker and a hot-head), I found out he had a girlfriend since 2000 that he was still seeing. He also admitted to a few other short affairs during those years. There were additional d-days in 2009 and 2010 (same girlfriend). We've been working on the marriage since then. I've been trying everything I can think of...counseling, lots of time together, etc. etc. Almost a year ago I woke up one day and decided to have an affair. I thought that if I did the same thing he did, I couldn't resent him anymore and it would level the playing field and I could get over my hurt. Now on affair #2 and what ended up happening is realizing that my feelings for DH were dead long ago and I had totally numbed myself to protect myself. I used to look in the mirror and feel ugly and worthless and disconnected. Now I look in the mirror and feel the opposite. I know now what it feels like to be respected and cherished and appreciated. I have tried to get that back with DH but I now know it's 100% gone and buried. I can't reignite it. He's stopped drinking (after 2008 he became an alcoholic) but there's this dark cloud always over me threatening to start raining...will he start drinking again, is he cheating again, when will chaos come back into my life? It's so hard to live day to day with no control over how your life will be. No matter what I do, his actions could rock my world at any moment. My world imploded in 2008 (and 2009 and 2010 and whenever some dramatic event happened surrounding his drinking) and I can't let that happen again.

I told him I want a divorce. He's devastated. I'm scared out of my mind. It has nothing to do with another man. I feel so guilty for wanting this after he's tried so hard to be the man I want him to be since the last d-day in 2010 and since going dry last year. But on the other hand, I feel like I could have and should have walked back then but I gave it one last chance and it just isn't working.

I need someone to tell me I'm doing the right thing. Or the wrong thing. That my kids will be OK. That he will be OK. I know I will be OK, but is that worth possibly hurting others for?

MovingUpward posted 3/12/2014 17:51 PM

Welcome Mom2Boys,

There is no right or wrong to D'ing. Infidelity is a deal breaker to some. Your kids will be ok if you make sure that you give them the love they need and would be helpful too if their dad can do the same. For the best that you can do is the best that you can do.

Whether you decide to divorce or not, I do think that you will probably need some counseling to help you address these "what if" fears. For anyone that you might start a relationship will have some baggage with them at this point and you will need to find a way to believe them if they've dealt with an issue and it is no longer an issue. For if we protect ourselves too much with the "what if" fears then we will miss out on life. Finding the balance of having faith based on another's behavior and these fears will be important for you and any others that have fears of the worst.

one2ndchance posted 3/12/2014 19:58 PM

Sounds to me like your marriage is over. He's cheated and you're cheating. You're feeling good about yourself because of the attention you've gotten and he can't compete with that. It sounds like you no longer love him. I'd say you'd be doing both of yourselves a favor if you divorced. It's what you really want. If you stay because of the kids, it's a farce and they'll soon realize it.

Gemini71 posted 3/12/2014 20:09 PM

I grew up in an unhappy marriage. I remember hoping my parents would Divorce. They never have. Staying together for the kids backfires.

I kicked STBXH out in August and my kids are the happiest they've ever been. STBXH is a better father when he's with them, because he knows the time is limited.

You will probably find people with more relevant advice in the Mad Hatters' thread in the I Can Relate forum.

Good Luck.

Mom2Boys posted 3/13/2014 09:44 AM

Thank you everyone for your input.

Upward - yes, I know I have an issue with the "what if" fears and have worked on that in IC. I know it will be a big hurdle for me.

One - Yes, it is a farce. I told him I'd stay and keep playing along if he wants, but that I can't ever be a true wife. I think he's considering the offer.

Gemini - I grew up in an unhappy marriage as well. VERY unhappy. I promised myself I would never expose my kids to that and so far I haven't. I refuse to fight around them and as far as they know, I'm happy as can be. But I don't think I can do it anymore. It drains the life right out of you.

So I've been discussing divorce more with him this week. He drank yesterday and admitted it. This is a horrible fear realized...that he won't be able to stay sober if he doesn't have the marriage as a motivator anymore. He said he thought it would help but it was stupid and it didn't help at all. I am holding onto that.

I haven't brought up any divorce specifics with him yet...who will keep the house, custody arrangements, etc. How long do I allow him to internalize the fact that this is going to happen before I go down that road with him? I haven't filed yet because I want it to be amicable and I don't want to do anything behind his back regarding the divorce. Am I being unrealistic. So far there hasn't been any anger or fights, but I keep wondering if that's just because he still thinks there's hope for a reconciliation. He's been divorced before and it was amicable and he has a great relationship with his ex/co-parent. So I know he's capable of it. Of course he wasn't an alcoholic then.

lost4now posted 3/13/2014 09:54 AM

M2B......have you told your H about your affairs? I think you really need to be honest with him regarding what has happened. Just like you deserved honesty from him about what he had done. He deserves to know the truth.

I too think that your marriage is over. You cannot and will not be happy if you do not love him any longer. You likely stayed with him out of fear and you were not happy which explains why you sought happiness outside of your marriage.

Honesty is the best policy. It may hurt you and him but the truth will set you free!

Best of luck to you!

Gemini71 posted 3/13/2014 10:37 AM

Have you ever attended an Al-Anon meeting? I've been to S-Anon, and one thing common to all the "Anon" programs is that we cannot control another person's sobriety. Whether it is alcohol sobriety or sexual sobriety, it is the addicts decision. Do NOT let him use his addiction to alcohol to guilt you into staying.

You don't have to have all the financial and custody arrangements worked out before filing for divorce. Give him a heads up if you want to. If you're still in MC, that's a good place to break the news. Or encourage WH to call his sponsor for support after you give the news.

The point is, your WH is a grown up. He can take care of himself. Worry about yourself and the kids.

Mom2Boys posted 3/13/2014 10:59 AM

lost - I don't know if I can tell him now. He is hurting so much right now and I honestly think if I do he will go back to drinking. Logically I know that's not on me, but he's not in a good place right now.

Gemini - I know I'm hugely co-dependent. I've done IC on it and read the literature. I've never been to a meeting. Thank you for reminding me about them. I just looked them up and found one that I can make work with my schedule. I'm a child of an alcoholic/co-dependent couple so I know this very well.

Softcentre posted 3/13/2014 14:46 PM

M2B - I'm sorry, this is going to be a bit of a 2x4 coming at you:

You haven't told him about your As. You are letting him think that the M breakdown is all his fault. IT IS NOT.

Yes, he had As first. But YOU chose to stay. You could, at any point, have walked away, being honest about how you felt. YOU chose not to. You have had 2 As and are blaming him for them. And now you're blaming him for the breakdown of your M, when you are just as responsible...except you are not being honest with him and are allowing him to blame himself. You say that you can't tell him because you're worried about him? Well don't a lot of unremorseful waywards say that? And BTW YOU are an unremorseful wayward.

Be honest. Let him know what's really going on but also be clear that it's really over and don't give him any cause for hope if you know that your M is dead. False hope and blameshifting hurt a lot worse than the truth.

Mom2Boys posted 3/13/2014 15:33 PM

Soft - Yeah, that hurt, but I needed to hear it so thank you.

I really am playing the victim card, aren't I? I was never stuck. I make more money than he does and have more family/friend support than him. But I have been acting like a martyr, like I have no choice but to put up with him and my bad decisions were only situational. I should have walked years ago. I knew what he was back then. I knew the marriage was doomed but I stayed "for the kids" and have created a situation that could very well implode and wreak havoc on him and be terribly hurtful to many people. Shit...I didn't think my affairs were about revenge but maybe they were. I don't like the way that makes me feel about myself at all.

He is still holding onto the hope that I'll change my mind. I won't, and it's cruel to allow him to continue thinking that. If he knows about the affairs he will let that go.

nekorb posted 3/13/2014 15:50 PM

He is still holding onto the hope that I'll change my mind. I won't, and it's cruel to allow him to continue thinking that. If he knows about the affairs he will let that go.

So, that should establish your plan for you. You need to tell him.

My WH strung me along for several months. I wish he had just been honest and upfront right from the beginning. It would have been much less of a mind screw.

Softcentre posted 3/13/2014 19:12 PM

MTB - It's easy to put ourselves in martyr mode as BS. I've done it too (no As though for me). I was in false R for months, I LET him treat me very badly during that time, and after he left, too. I blamed him not just for his choices, but also for mine. It was easier to put it all on him, rather than face that I chose to be in that position, too. I could have told him to leave when he kept disrespecting me but I wanted R so badly that I chose to live like that.

Learning to own our choices is hard, I still fail a lot of the time, but I'm more aware of it now and am working on it. Owning our choices also has consequences, for our own self respect we get to a point where blaming the other person feels dirty - it damages us as well as our relationship with the person we're blaming, and it also harms them. In fact it can end up being abusive if we allow them to take the blame for our choices too: trying to convince ourselves that we're not that bad,means that we make the other person out to be worse than they are, and if they're a normal person, they may believe it. They may be a real POS, they may be a sociopath or NPD, but trying to shift our poor choices onto them only diminishes us and stops us from facing our true selves. If we don't like who we really are,then we can change, but if we won't admit who we really are, there is no chance for us to get healthier.

You are not going to be able to grow and get healthier until you admit what you've done/are doing, to him

PhantomLimb posted 3/13/2014 19:43 PM

I agree with the 2x4s you are getting, but I also want to say that I think it's great that you are willing to look at yourself and reflect on this. It takes a lot of guts to face what you're facing.


Caretaker1 posted 3/15/2014 22:33 PM

Al anon. Enough with the affairs on both sides. No respect for yourselves or each other, looking for love in all the wrong places. That's sex and lust and short lived. Shit or get off the pot, sorry to be so crude. Attend al anon, find common ground , forgive. Its tough, but might be worth it. Alcohol screws up everything and usually brings out anger issues. Personally, if al anon doesn't work and the husband has anger issues, good riddance. Life is too short. You don't need toxic in your life.

[This message edited by Caretaker1 at 10:35 PM, March 15th (Saturday)]

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