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cantaccept posted 5/18/2014 10:24 AM

I don't even know how to begin this, what to say or even what I am really thinking.

I hope there are some still here that know my story because I just don't have the energy to tell it now.

For the last week we have been talking, spending time together, this after almost 5 months of no contact.

He seems different, really different. I am afraid to believe it, but of course I want to believe it.

He is being gentle, compassionate, willing to talk and apologize. He is admitting that he caused all this, does not understand why and needs to find out, needs to change, not just for "the marriage" but for the rest of his life. He is being different. Is it real? Can it be sustained? Would I be totally crazy to even consider giving him a chance to show that this is possibly real???

I am trying to consider what I would need from him. I am trying to understand what my boundaries need to be to keep me safe.

I am afraid but honestly, for the first time in five months I have moments of relief from the pain.

I don't really have any expectations of him, just almost an attitude of what do I have to lose if I keep a distance and watch.

We are separated, I would not allow him to move back for a long time and at this point don't even know if ever.

It is so complicated. All my family and friends have watched me suffer through this pain that he left me alone with, twice. I don't think anyone would understand at all, they would think I was crazy. I guess I am wondering that also.

How is it possible that after all the pain, the lies, the cruelty that I feel better when he comforts me???

Not rushing back by any means but I need some help with this. I need to get this out. It has been spinning in my head and I am afraid and maybe a tiny bit hopeful that there could possibly be some meaning from all this pain.

sisoon posted 5/18/2014 11:31 AM

Sounds like the same thing he said a year ago....

OTOH, he could be a good partner if he really changed. So how has he changed?

What's he doing about alcohol abuse? Is he willing to sign a release that allows you to talk with his IC? Is he willing to participate in joint sessions with you and his IC?

A high level of pain after 5 months of separation and a couple of false Rs doesn't seem out of place.

It would be better for you if you found relief from pain using your own resources, though, instead of thinking a renewed relationship with him is the cure. So how have you changed? How do the changes you've made prepare you to have a good relationship with him?

Your H has a lot to offer. One question is whether he's really offering the good stuff, or just the same old crap. The second question is whether the 2 of you will be good together.

It would be great if the answer to both questions is 'yes'. As you know, history doesn't say that's likely, but it's not impossible.

cantaccept posted 5/18/2014 12:23 PM

Thank you again sisoon. I was hoping to hear from you.

These are the questions that I am looking for, if you know what I mean. I am looking for the questions that I need to be asking myself.

I am not looking for him to be my cure, I have been working on that for myself and I do know that it will be a matter of time and actions. He is not my pain cure, but damn it takes the edge off.

How have I changed? In some ways it is almost immeasurable but I also recognize many ways that I am the same, still a work in progress. The biggest change is that I see where I need to change and know that I need to.

I know that I will survive without him, I know that I can create a good life alone.

I think it is that I would love to think that we could heal this, create a good marriage together.

I also realize that I can only control myself. I cannot make him feel remorse, I cannot teach him, he has to have that burning desire to repair, it has to come from him.

I suppose what I could do is be very clear about the effort, actions that I would need and then just let it go. If the change is real, sincere, he will show me.

Responses very, very welcome...

authenticnow posted 5/18/2014 15:05 PM

I say keep working on your own healing and moving forward with the D. He will eventually show his true colors either way and you can be open to it, but it doesn't mean you should change the path for your own healing.

AML04 posted 5/18/2014 15:52 PM

I suppose what I could do is be very clear about the effort, actions that I would need and then just let it go. If the change is real, sincere, he will show me.

I think this is a VERY good plan. Keep working in you in the meantime and watch his actions to see if they match his words.

Your eyes are wide open now, just don't let hope cloud them.

cantaccept posted 5/18/2014 16:11 PM

I am not planning on stopping the D. That really is not an option. If he is sincere, if he is really willing and able to do what is necessary the D will not influence that.

I am thinking slow, very, very slow. What is disturbing me the most about considering this is how my son will react.

He is living with me since January, he is the one that has witnessed my triggers, my pain. He is the one that hears me scream in my sleep and comforts me.

I don't know I am so confused.

I have been thinking that I need wh to approach my son, talk to him in a meaningful way. Appologize to him for hurting his mother, reassure him that he is willing to do anything to atone for the hell. Does this make any sense at all???

I really am so confused tonight. I am still being cautious. I still know that the only one I can trust is me.

Damn, this is so hard, so confusing.

I think maybe it all comes down to actions, watch the actions. Protect myself but watch, very carefully. Put what I need out on the table and watch.

Wait and watch... is it real or just a hoover.

blakesteele posted 5/18/2014 19:40 PM

(((Cantaccept))). Been a while since I have heard from you.

Some very good stuff in this post with regards to your healing. We had similar starts to short, dreadful.

I admire you for separating. I believe if I had been healthier this would have been the choice I should have made.

With regards to "others" thinking you crazy.....adultery is crazy making shit. Save for a few select SI members who have model WS's, logically it is hard to make a case for sticking to our commitment to our spouses. Many of us have multiple DD's, trickle truth and fence sitting spouses early on. You aren't insane, you have been through a traumatic experience. Your husband may be changing.....but you HAVE changed. You are proceeding while using some of that new intelligence. Putting that knowledge to work is wisdom.

At some point R requires a leap of faith. The pain is too raw (even WITH a model WS) to offer R based just in logic and facts. If you waited til you felt completely safe, I don't think R would occur in many M's after adultery.

It has been said that grief doesn't really change us so much as it reveals our inner self.

My grief over the death of my original M at the hands of my wife as she reached for and embraced adultery revealed a very ugly side of me. I did not like what I saw and am committed to changing. My wife was slow to look at her ugliness, so her change was delayed. She is looking at it and deciding to change now. I pray your husband is finding the courage to do the same.

That traumatic moment sets into motions changes that were painful but necessary within me, within my wife.

I see you are affected similarly.

I appreciate the fact that you don't blame mr cantaccept for your lot in life, that you display the courage to own what us yours and to take responsibility to fix that. I also appreciate the fact that you desire to be comforted by and be vulnerable to him, while being aware of ALL the risks.

Your eyes are wide open and your vision is adjusting to the light of truth! Your journey is not complete.......your vision is improving, but your view of your husband is still blurry. My view of my wife is still blurry. She is slow to share and I still see some patterns that enable limited bonding....But she too is a work in progress and has changed after her fog lifted and she found the courage to look at her choices as they were.

I have taken that leap of faith that our M will be restored.

Regardless of what happens to your M, what happens to my M.....we both are in a much much much better spot then our last visit.

We may not be where we want to be, but thank God we aren't where we were!!!

Yes, I too desire to be comforted by my wife. But thank God I am no longer dependent on her doing this for me to be at peace.

Just you find yourself noticing other men? I visited with my IC recently.....she said my noticing other women is perfectly normal and to be expected as I begin to understand and desire mature intimacy. Outward appearance seems to be taking a back seat to deeper character traits.

I've always known I needed boundaries with other women, so I have just increased their presence.

Just wondering if you noticed other men more, less, or the same now that you have started to change.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:47 AM, May 19th (Monday)]

blakesteele posted 5/18/2014 19:44 PM

Sorry I didn't really address your husband in any way. Seeing as I have difficulty reading my own wife, I am one of the last to comment on other's spouses.

I have learned that as long as any of the 4 deadly A's are present, a wise spouse gets and stays in self protection mode.

4 deadly A's are addiction, adultery, abuse and abandonment.

If you can confirm these are NOT presently a part of your spouse.....I believe approaching a spouse is a valid choice (to some degree).


[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:56 PM, May 18th (Sunday)]

ItsaClimb posted 5/19/2014 01:00 AM

I've missed your presence on the R forum cantaccept!

I really am glad to hear that you and your husband have been communicating in a more positive way.

Are you insane???
Of course not! Insanity would be leaping back into R without a backward glance or without questioning. You are doing neither of those things. You are not committing to him in any way, you are not offering him blind trust or faith. Instead you are taking it very, very slow, working on building yourself up, strengthening your boundaries and watching to see his actions. I can see nothing wrong with that.

cantaccept posted 5/19/2014 07:29 AM

Good morning,

I suppose it all comes down to the same things I have been doing for the last year and a half but a bit differently.

I am different now, in a good way. I am stronger, not afraid of the consequences of asking for what I need. Better able to let go of the outcome, I really feel that I cannot control this as opposed to thinking that if I worked harder, pushed harder, he would respond. I am ready to let it all go if that is what is best.

I am not so desperate, I can self soothe, I have a little bit of my own life now, not much yet but some.

I feel in control of myself, my life, my choices. I do have moments of panic, but I am recognizing the emotions and countering with self protective logic.

Blake, "do you notice other men". Sort of in a kind of forced way??? Almost as if I am trying to notice because it does not come naturally for me. I don't think I am really ready for that yet and now??? Who knows, not high on my issue list!

Also, I liked the three A's.

Since we are not living together, I can't really know what he is really doing as far as addictions. Porn? probably. Alcohol? some.

These are on my list of requirements for change. There is still a lot for us to discuss.

Alcohol, I think AA would be a good start.

Porn. It was destructive to our relationship and is a dealbreaker for me. Not sure how I would really know about this yet.

Abuse, not lately, no contact puts a stop to that instantly. There has been some verbal, through texts and emails, but not for a few weeks. Now, it would be totally unacceptable. This is something he has to work on, a very big issue. Another reason for living apart and going very slow.

Abandonment. Been there twice. He left immediately, within minutes of discovery on both ddays. Total abandonment. Now, very recent he is showing responsibility for practical things, emotional things. We will see.

Adultery. Ughh, the catalyst for this monumental change. Necessary change but so very painful. As far as I can know, there is nothing right now. Will he do it again??? I cannot be confident now that he won't. Too soon. Time and consistent action, IC, transparency. He just gave me email passwords and phone passwords. Drop in the bucket. I know that this is another thing that I cannot control, if he wants to he will. The vigilant checking on my part is only an early warning to run as fast as I can.

I am surprised that there was not more advice to run, to not even consider.

Not what I wanted to hear but thought I would.

Keeping my eyes wide open.

Thanks everybody. I have missed you all.

Rebreather posted 5/19/2014 08:52 AM

I am surprised that there was not more advice to run, to not even consider

That's because Rebreather had not shown up yet.

Yes, I think it's nuts. I think he has been horribly abusive to you, more than you even realize yet. I don't think an abuser being a little nice is a sign of anything other than a new hoovering technique. I think he needs years of intense therapy and I wouldn't recommend my best friend wait around for that, nor would I to you. Getting out of that relationship is the best thing that has happened to you. Move on with your life and leave this dysfunction behind. My bet is his latest round of girlfriends have gone cold.

cantaccept posted 5/19/2014 09:38 AM

Hi Rebreather, you made me laugh. This is exactly what I am asking myself. Why would I even want to risk it? He was abusive, long before the affairs.

You are right also about not even seeing it all yet. These last five months, living with my son, I keep saying, "he is teaching me normal".

So many times, I feel the clench in my gut after I have said or done something that was "unacceptable", the reaction from my son is so different that it helps me to see that what I said or did was totally acceptable, not bad or wrong or cause for anger.

I know that I am still digging myself out from under the years of dysfunction.

I also agree that he needs lots of therapy, would it work??? Who knows, that would really be up to him.

Do I want to risk it? Is it possible? Honestly, I just don't know. I am torn and I am not quite sure where the tear lies.

Am I still just so hurt, feeling abandoned that I will respond to the smallest gesture of kindness?

Therapy next Monday, I will definitely talk about this. She may just lock me in a rubber room.

blakesteele posted 5/19/2014 09:52 AM

A technique I have used to discern if what I am doing is healthy or not is to place one of my daughters in my shoes. Envision them doing what I am contemplating doing.

Example: As I consoled and comforted my wife on my DD (yep, did that) I pictured my oldest daughter as an adult....interacting and choosing as I was doing with her husband who chose adultery over his M to her and his committment to his family. I visualized that. BAM!!!! All of a sudden what seemed like "okay behavior" on my part was absolutely, without a doubt unacceptable.

My RL go to male friends also help nudge me (as do SI members) to choose healthier choices.....but putting my own daughter in my sitch has helped time and again.

Recently I have uncovered some pretty disturbing details about a hands on sex talk I had with my parents. I was 12.....don't want to mention the details as I did this once before on SI and caused pain to surface in others.

Funny thing about THAT event is that I knew about some of it and thought it was "okay". I got the courage and asked my brother if he ever had a sex talk with my parents. He said yes...and then detailed what I experienced. He, too, had an "its okay" feeling about it.

But....when I asked him if he would choose to do a similar talk with his daughter he was quick to say "Oh hell no!!!" in a very passioinate way. A minute or so later.....he had the same shocked look on his face as I did after I did this same exercise.

There is something bad broken within my brother and I that has allowed painful events to be "okay" for us to endure.

I do see a more peaceful cantaccept in this post then I ever did before. One of the big parts of this is you separated from your husband.

Optimist at heart though...I so want M's to survive as they have long standing implications on the family unit.....and affect generations to come.

But to stay with a person who actively engages in any of the 4 A's I mentioned before is actually choosing to NOT love and protect their family. Really, allowing them to continue shows a lack of love for the person involved in that activity too.

You are choosing love. I am learning what love as a choice really looks like....and it differs greatly from what my wife and I either one thought it was.

Its a wonder we didn't implode sooner than we did, really.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:56 AM, May 19th (Monday)]

sisoon posted 5/19/2014 10:05 AM


I didn't understand the level of ongoing abuse until you described it.

I now think that considering the possibility is not insane, but that your best bet for yourself is to pass it up.

You're conditioned to respond in unhealthy ways to your H. You're likely to reinforce each other's unhealthy behaviors, and that will do more damage on the thinking and feeling levels.

What might have been could be great, but your history together means, I think, you'll have to spend too much time just to get from negative to neutral.

You'll both probably do better alone, and you'll both probably find the partners you deserve if you just say 'no.'

JMO, of course.

cantaccept posted 5/19/2014 10:10 AM

Hi Blake,

As always your post resonate with me.

I read your earlier post about "the talk", I think I responded, if I did not I thought about it a lot. R forum has been a tough one for me over the last 5 months and I have mostly avoided it.

Anyway, I get what you are saying about picturing your children in your shoes. It does help, that reminder may help me a bit with this.

I also understand the broken part that does not see the unacceptable behavior, I too struggle with this. Learned it in childhood, I joke, well seriously mean it but say, "I was raised for abuse, I was taught well".

I am just now learning to care for myself, to acknowledge that I have wants and needs and that they matter. I am allowed, it is not selfish or bad to take care of yourself.

Wish I had learned this younger but hope that I can show my sons.

I am grateful that I am learning this. I realize I could have lived my whole life in pain and never even knew why.

Peaceful??? Maybe, not always, sometimes I still rant and scream. I think it might be acceptance of reality? Things are what they are, events have happened, he isn't who I wanted him to be, I am not who I thought I was.

Acceptance does bring some power. Seeing reality allows me to see what I can change, what I have control over, enough with the wishful thinking!

I see that in the past, I chose to see the good and ignore the bad, the abuse, I made excuses, justifications, and gave cheap forgiveness. I abused myself. That is mine to own, I allowed myself to be treated badly.

I can control that. I can treat myself kindly, I can protect myself.

I just read a post in Wayward, about each healing themselves without the goal of R. Maybe that is what I need or want. To be able to have a kind ending.

I am not sure. I cannot know if a future R would even be possible. I know what I would need. I just cannot control what he is capable of. That is on him.

Rebreather posted 5/19/2014 10:18 AM

Am I still just so hurt, feeling abandoned that I will respond to the smallest gesture of kindness?

I think the answer to this is yes. And I mean that as gently and sincerely as possible. You have come a long way, but there is still a ways to go.

He can't offer you anything because he is not a healthy person. Everything he says comes from that damaged perspective. It's not a risk worth taking.

blakesteele posted 5/19/2014 10:21 AM

I am grateful that I am learning this. I realize I could have lived my whole life in pain and never even knew why.

That whole last post you made? I wanted to copy it all and explain how it resonated with me...but these two sentences are the best part. Through much work I now see how little I was settling for in my pre-A M. I am also starting to see how little my wife was settling for in that same M! Crazy really.....

The "raised for abuse" made me smile.

In our case.....our similar brokenness fit together so well. Our joint fear of real intimacy kept us nicely distanced from deep bonding. Mature deep bonding is what we desired, but we were too afraid of it to approach it. Add to this formula the fact that neither of us knew exactly what that looked like or how to achieve it.....and it is no wonder we steered clear of it.

But we didn't give up all together....we reached for false intimacy instead of total withdrawal and isolation. That is one reason porn was used by us both in our M and why my wife chose adultery. I sincerely believe I did not reach for adultery because I had firm boundaries in place that grossly limited my opportunity to choose it. It was not out of some superior moral was my own awareness of a weakeness in me that kept me from that particular, destructive action.

At times I have felt more broken then other BS's on here. But that feeling is not real, it just indicates that I am getting to know parts of me that I never knew existed.

This process of meeting hidden parts of yourself is shocking! The shock is tremendous, Second only to discover your spouse is in an affair.


[This message edited by blakesteele at 10:24 AM, May 19th (Monday)]

cantaccept posted 5/19/2014 12:04 PM

sisoon, yes I am conditioned to respond this way to abuse. This has been my biggest focus in IC for the last year. Self esteem, self love, self protection. Being brave and saying what I think and feel. In a way I think this in part and only just a part of why wh had affair #2. He could not handle the new me. I was too demanding of him, not in a bad way but in an authentic way. It terrified him and he reverted to his broken coping mechanisms.

I am not the same, not completely healed of the conditioned responses, but more aware and in a way shocked when I recognize them.

The thing of this is, I have to overcome this way of responding no matter who I am with. I have lived this way my whole life. It carries into every nook, I have to change how I respond, how I treat myself.

Rebreather, Yes, I still have a long way to go. I recognize this, you cannot undo a lifetime in a couple of years.

Maybe I still do not trust myself. Not sure about this but maybe I do not trust my perception that it really was as bad as I think it was.

Maybe I still am doubting myself. The old thoughts, overeating, too emotional, too sensitive...all part of the old story.

You were very gentle, it is okay. I really want to face all of this. Surprisingly, I feel quite strong. If I were not willing to face this, to be honest and open about it, I would never have posted this. I would have just gone with my emotions and not put any thought into the consequences or if this was healthy at all.

Blake, I have thought often of how wh and I fit together in our brokenness also. He was aggressive, dominant and I was so willing to please. We fit together perfectly, the coming together of a perfect storm.

I did retreat, I retreated from life, from speaking, laughing, thinking, I went through the motions. I look back now, pre a, I was just waiting for the man I married to come back. I had run out of energy, I had nothing left of me, I got through every day trying to not anger him and waiting for him to remember that he loved me.

I was delusional. I could not face his anger, his disdain but I could not face life without him.


sisoon posted 5/19/2014 13:34 PM

I could not face life without him.

I see you used the past tense for that....

I guess that means now you can.

realitybites posted 5/19/2014 14:05 PM

He can't offer you anything because he is not a healthy person. Everything he says comes from that damaged perspective. It's not a risk worth taking.

Whoa...that there is the root of this. You are asking a question about what YOU should do but not taking into account that the person offering is not in a healthy place to offer it to you.

If you look back thruout your relationship you will see him do something wrong, you will get mad or detach, he will get angry and you will cave OR when you actually got a little stronger and REALLY put down boundries he got very very nice and made promises and maybe cried or truly convinced you that THIS time it has changed. And you went right back because that felt good.

Rinse wash repeat.

What actually is HE doing to fix HIM? Consistently. Not just being nice to you. Thats where we BS's get screwed up. They can love bomb you and can even sustain it for a few months or even a few years, but their bad behavior always comes back because THEY have done nothing to fix themselves. Yet YOU are jumping thru hopes fixing yourself and going to IC and getting yoru own life and getting stronger.

And then you let him back in.

If you admit, the co-dep side of you is addicted to the part where he seems so sincere and really seems like he is changing. Its like a drug because you want it so bad to be true that you will overlook the fact that besides treating you nice and maybe offering to help with the kids or mowing the grass he really has not dug deep to find out why he is the way he is.

Which leaves you once again with the burden.

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