But as time has passed, I have realised there is so much more to it than that. As my emotions have settled (somewhat!) I am realising how much I value my marriage, how much I still care about my fWH, how much our intact family unit means to me... and so much more. So although I felt I made the decision to R out of fear initially, I think that the trauma of infidelity was actually crowding out all the other very valid reasons why I stayed.
Had it happened when I was in my 20s before we had a house and kids I would have divorced. Fewer ties meant it would have been easier to leave.
Hanging back, allowing the shock to subside, gave me time to make a decision based on the reality of the situation. I'm glad, because now I believe I made the right decision. I also know that should I have another DDay I'm much better prepared to leave because I've had the time to think about it and be clear that it would be a deal breaker for me.
[This message edited by Healinggirl at 2:18 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)]
D Day 11 November 2012
You can't scale a mountain in a single step
I have a debilitating skin disease. My fear was that if I wasn't with WH, I would spend the rest of my life alone because I could not imagine letting anyone else see my skin. WH took advantage of this fear.
It took a lot of work in IC, but I came to realize that anyone who really loved me would be able to handle my skin disease. If they couldn't, it wasn't real love. If anything, my skin disease would be something that we faced together just like couples face diabetes or any other chronic disease.
I also had a fear of trying to R because of this. The last time I had to have major skin removal surgery, I caught WH making out with my sister less than an hour before my surgery. Instead of being able to kick him to the curb, I was dependent on him for 2 weeks before I had healed enough to take care of myself. I have a major fear of ever feeling that trapped, helpless, and vulnerable ever again.
WH is now willing to do whatever it takes to ease my fears. He has agreed that when I have to have another major skin removal done, it will be entirely on my terms. Money will be set aside to hire a nurse to care for me if I feel I need it. He wants to be there for me, but he understands if I don't want him at the hospital. He will respect whatever decision I make about it and will arrange for alternate transportation to and from the hospital if I need it.
I don't like being held prisoner by my fears so I have tackled the others one at a time. I have done what is necessary to make sure I am in a good financial position if we divorce. We have had the hard talk with our daughter. We have agreed that whatever happens, I get our house and custody of our daughter.
I don't want to be in R because of fear. I want to be able to try to R because I want to, not because I feel like I have to.
It does not need to be an all or nothing R or D choice. You can take the option to Not Divorce while you work through your stuff and observe your WH.
While you are in the Not Divorcing mode, consider some IC to explore why you feel such responsibility and fear about D, get some help with processing your emotions and values clarification for what you want and need in your M or any relationship going forward. This is also a time that you can take steps to improve your financial situation so that money does not become the sole reason to stay together. Work on expanding your social network of friends so that in the event of D you have help and support and will not feel so alone. Take the focus away from your WH and your M, and focus on you and your children. Become the person you always wanted to be. If you focus on you and being a great Mom to your kids, you will eventually find your WH has worked to keep up with you, or that you have left him behind in your dust. Either way, the decision to R or D will be easier, and for the right reasons.
I really did not get to the point where I was comfortable pursuing R with FWW until after I got to the point where I realized I would be OK, maybe even better, without her. Once I took away my fear of D and the financial and emotional costs I was able to be more authentic in my relationship. I do not need to avoid conflict to “protect” her and my M.
After a bit of thinking.... I asked myself, why did I ask him if HE wanted to D ME? Instead of me standing firm of my personal vow.
Was it out of fear of the unknown? Maybe.
But in reality I know that I am a very independent woman who isn't afraid to be alone, so that shouldn't be the problem.
I am a WAHM (home based business) is my R because I don't want to lose that? Maybe.
But in reality I am willing to shut my business down if I have to. I told my H that if he ever cheated again, that WILL be a deal breaker. So I have made sure to put a few things in place in case he screws up again.
1) In the event that we ever D, our house will be mine.
2) Our girls will stay with me.
3) I will receive Alimony and Child Support (and he has agreed to help with the bills)
4) The kids will remain on his health insurance
So now I no longer have any fear of D. I now know I want R because I truly love him.
[This message edited by LdyD at 8:07 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)]
Verbal agreements from the one who betrayed us aren't to be trusted especially when our ways of life or livelihoods are involved..
I agree completely with devastated.. If the BS is younger and has years ahead of her or him pre retirement, than take the risk and D.. Getting assets/way of life/custody legally secured in a divorce is a wise thing to do, especially if the divorce may be contentious..There will be more years to recover from such a divorce if it is done when the spouses are younger..Then if desired someday, start over with the WS if the WS is remorseful and can follow the requirements set forth for R...
What I have realized is, in the beginning I was, devastated, heartbroken, disgusted, destroyed…… My first thought was my kids! I initially stayed for them. But now my kids are grown and I don't have to feel trapped for them anymore. So I ask myself why am I still here trying to make this work? Did/do I stay because I have spent more than 30 years with the same person, I feel like he is all I have known? Because over those 30 + years I somehow lost who I was? Like some of you have stated, had he done this to me in my 20's or 30's I would have ended my marriage and walked away. My therapist asked me a question that really made me think. DO YOU TRUST YOURSELF ENOUGH TO LEAVE? I was like whoa….. The fact is I didn't trust myself enough to leave, which is part of why I stayed.
So now I am working on making myself whole. Initially, we were both trying so hard to work on recovering from the infidelity. For us, we were so damaged before he began his A, then it all imploded and we were trying to fix our marriage without fixing us separately, What I have learned is, we need to make ourselves whole first. I can't fix/change him, nor he me. I'm working on healing myself! If we can make ourselves whole again, then we will be OK whether we choose to stay or go.
We are currently back in MC so I'm hopeful we can find our way back to a healthy marriage. But if not, I know I will be OK!
Strictly my thoughts. Has anyone else had/felt this struggles?
Good luck to everyone in your journey!
I will see a IC tomorrow and Friday we see a MC. WH already went to IC.
Of course he is remorseful and says he'll do anything to make amends but he said that last time too.
I am not allowing myself to wallow in it this time, I guess I'm just not as shocked as the first.
It does make you question that your whole life was about.
Hugs to you and I hope you find peace. That's what I want.