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How do you know when to give up and move on?

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MJane posted 5/26/2014 09:06 AM

I know everyone has different limits and no two relationships are the same but I am struggling with whether or not to give up on R. I don't want to be a doormat my whole life and it just doesn't feel like I am hearing true remorse or experiencing real efforts on his side to rebuild. I wonder how each of you reached your decisions to move on or not? For me I struggle with how he still equates what he had with the OW as "love" - how can having sex for a couple of stolen sordid hours every other week and never going out in public or living a real life give any foundation for "love" or anything real - call it what it is lust or escapist fantasy - if 8 months down the line he still thinks it was love I think I have a problem staying in him and in believing in us...

BrokenheartedUK posted 5/26/2014 10:08 AM

MJane, everyone has to walk their own path with this. I'm almost six months in and I want to reconcile but man, there are definitely days where I'm not at all sure that I can. It's still too early for me to know what will happen. I think someone else posted on this question before something to the effect that I knew I would stay when I knew I could leave. It's so much stuff to get your head wrapped around that you don't and should make any permanent decisions yet. I do think that after all this time that he still thinks that he was in love, then yes, you may have a problem with reconciliation. Is he in IC? Are you? It sounds like a long time to be delusional.

sisoon posted 5/26/2014 11:23 AM

I'm really sorry you have to deal with an H who's still in what I would call 'the fog'. He's still in his A, at least in his mind. He's still unremorseful, and IMO you can't R with an unremorseful WS.

Have you read about the 180? It's a set of tactics that help you find and enhance your strengths and detach.

I wanted R. My W started working towards R on D-Day, but if she hadn't, I think I would have done the 180 in the hope of shocking her out of the fog - and if that didn't work, I'd still get the benefit of learning how to detach - sort of a long way around to D.

But I might have chosen just to go for D.

It sounds like it's been at least 9 months since D-Day. Sounds like life has settled down, and what you see is what you're going to get.

My advice, and I think most of the other advice you'll see, is to 180 or D. Nothing in your M will change unless you change it, and you can change only yourself (not him).

OTOH, it could be that you're not quite ready to pull the plug. If that's the case, what's holding you back?

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:26 AM, May 26th (Monday)]

deena04 posted 5/26/2014 18:34 PM

For me, my marriage ended officially on dday looking back. Yes he tries. Yes we still live together. We live together basically because our mortgage on our dream house we bought after cheated, but before I knew is hefty and we will have to sell said dream "never going to move again" house to split things up. I filed because this marriage is done! If we reconcile, we will have to remarry. It's weird to some, but I get it.

Strugglestreet posted 5/26/2014 23:24 PM

I am trying to find the answer to this question also. I feel like staying equates to me having no self worth. My WH shows true remorse and is trying everyday, and he admits that he never loved or found his AP attractive, but enjoyed the ego boost her attention gave him

Not much help I know, but just wanted you to know that you are not alone in your confusion on what path is best for you.

MJane posted 5/27/2014 03:35 AM

Thanks all for inputs - such a tough road this one. Sisoon you asked why I hang in - I have a couple of things holding me back from pulling plug - young kid, a family history which included parents divorced at early age (with little contact with my dad) and I had promised myself I'd do my best never to replicate that and find myself here wondering if that is the saner choice. I think part of me still loves him - or loves the man who I knew to be my H - the other part sees him clinging on to his view that it was love and my respect has pretty much left the building. I wonder if it is low self-esteem that makes me stay some days - having experienced abandonment from my father pretty early and my mom passed on a few years later, I cling a little to the idea of a "creating a family" and maybe it is something illusory and not possible with my H. I struggle with how little power I have in this decision - we can't make wandering spouses feel our pain or force them to be truly remorseful - they need to come to that decision by themselves and I do get that but find it hard to accept as I have always been such a proactive survivor. I so want to get power back and feel more like myself.

blakesteele posted 5/27/2014 09:07 AM took my wife almost a year to find remorse and feel compassion. Dreadful year. 6 months of TT'ing, lies and morning the loss of her relationship to the AP. So I kinda get what you might be feeling at 9 months out.

Honestly, that first 2 months I chose some pretty dreadful choices that prolonged my pain and suffering and enabled my wife to continue down her destructive path.

Divorced parents here.....Dad totally disappeared after D. I was 12. Abandonment fears were born!

IC helped me work through what I was doing, opened my eyes to who I was/am, and guided me through to healthier choices. I did all of that with little to no help from my wife. That first 12 months were the worst of my life. Period. End of story.

BUT BUT BUT!!!! That was the start of my healing.

It was if I was breaking sod and planting seeds....growing a crop in a field that was mostly weeds. Had been weeds for decades. It was a lot of dirty, sweaty work. It would have been nice to have a spouse sweating next to you....but then I don't think I could have grown stronger as I did.

I had MANY MANY moments of wanting to quit.

My healing really started about 3 months after DD. That is when I gave up my disgraceful codependent ways. I did this kicking and screaming!!! (my poor therapist really earned her money!!!) I finally accepted that my wifes decision to choose adultery was her decision to kill our original marriage. It was dead.

The energy I spent trying to revive that old M was then able to be diverted the work and healing I needed to do.

7-9 months out is when I really found RAGE!

Have you had the rage-phase yet?

I so want to get power back and feel more like myself.

Gently...this is a flag to me. Power struggles are not healthy in a M. Check into the feelings under this. I get the powerless feeling....we were totally duped by our spouses, our children at high risk because of their selfish actions. Anger made me FEEL powerful...but feelings aren't facts. Fact is, we can't control other people. Fact is, a healthy marriage is a combining of individual power into one power source. Two become one. Fact is we retract when pain is applied. Fact is.....R is a gift. It spits in the face of what modern society tells us to do, it goes against our natural logic. R is not awarded, it is given (as all gifts are).

It is your choice to give or not give R to your husband. Similarly, he can choose to accept or not accept your gift of R.

22 months out now...and I can say with confidence that when I feel like my old feels uncomfortable. But that first 9 months or so after my first DD....I was fighting so hard to keep that old self alive, that old M alive.

I don't believe in I must have had to have gone through that.

I still struggle with this thought though.....

"Did adultery really have to be a part of our relational history for us to change?"

I guess it did.

Change only happens when the pain of same exceeds the pain of change. I needed a tremendous amount of pain for me to change from my "same" to something new.

We were in ruts....repeatable cycles. Ruts are nothing more than graves with the ends kicked out.

Your husbands lack of ability to feel the pain he has caused (to himself, to you, to his family) is a blocker to him changing. It was a blocker to my wife changing. She had spent a lifetime of ignoring and denying her feelings...particularly her painful it was a tremendous struggle for her to face the consequences of her actions.

FOO coping mechs are strong! Deeply imbedded!!!

We all have to make our own choices with regards to R or D.

I suggest you wait 12 months. Kind of a "we aren't divorcing" stance....period. Your husband has deeply wounded you. You have experienced trauma. Your husband has been traumatized too...he is just not as aware of it yet. The bull shit that is an affair relationship hides that fact. My wifes AP was into another affair within a month or two of dumping her....that "drug" will delay him facing the trauma he is causing (both for himself, his wife and his 5 kids).

Also, as my therapist reminds me, peoples threshold of change varies as do the process's by which they change. Just because Mr. MJane is not choosing his steps as you are doesn't mean he is not changing.

9 months out and he is still professing love for his OW is not good, but it is not out of the realm of normal post-WS syndrome (made up term by me...not full on fog, but a lingering avoidance). My wife avoided her AP early on not so much out of respect for me our our M, but because she was scared she would get back into relationship with him. Yeah, sucks to realize this...that my wife was actively and intentionally choosing another man, another relationship built on lies, deception and fantasy over her M to me and her role as a Mom to our girls. But that is what happened.

It happened because of her brokenness....her internal pain, internal fears.

That is where I found some compassion for her. I have internal pain, internal fears.

This is also where I find hope for her and us. I have changed. It is hard work but the harvest looks infinetly better over that which I was harvesting in my pre-A M.

I had to decide if adultery was a deal breaker. It was not.

I had to decide if I was really in a M that I wanted to be in pre-A. I was not.

Since adultery was not a deal breaker and my old M no longer looks good to me....I have seen fit to offer R to my wife and to set about changing what I can change.


Continue to heal and change what you identify within you. Your M WILL will NOT be where you are today forever.

I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I was!
--Joyce Meyers

A good friend of mine past away last year. He knew the end was near so he wrote a letter to us, his friends and family.

Here is what he said about marriage.

"You must believe in marriage. And believe it will work."

Had I NOT seen fit to change and changed over the past 22 months....would I not be unlike my wifes fAP? Would it not have been likely that I would repeat my part of the unhealthy, intimacy limiting cycles that were a part of my original M to my wife?

If I had D upon my DD or shortly their after....I would most likely have felt justified (adultery is a biblical reason for D) and very likely repeated my parents cycle. To this day one blames the other for their failed M.

Wife and I sooooooo didn't want to recreate the M we saw in our parents (her Dad also abandoned her, even before her parents D). To do that is taking more work and guidance then we ever thought. We had a marriage by default....we knew what we DIDN'T want.

Now we are trying to find and visualize what we DO want.

It is happening in our M now....but it has taken time plus work.

I have added you both to my SI prayer list.

This is tough. I have no direct answers...only my own experience to share.


[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:20 AM, May 27th (Tuesday)]

MJane posted 5/27/2014 18:27 PM

Thanks Brokenhearted - to your question - I think I am starting the full on rage phase now. It is so tough as I am angry that he made this part of my life. I hear you on need for each f us to examine what we need to change to make the right choices - I feel pretty lost 99% of the time at the moment. I "get" that we had things we needed to work on in our M but the A just showed me what a weak cowardly man I married who chose to start having sex with a psychopathic woman just weeks before his first child was born and continued long after....I am so conflicted because after many years of trying to have kids we finally were lucky enough to have them and being a mom has surpassed every expectation - and at the same time I have this permanent sadness invading my life reminding me that this "family" life I have is not real, this M is a sham - this family man didn't give a hoot about his family and still lives under some illusion that he was in love - with someone he dropped like a hot brick the minute she disclosed the A to me. On the control front I just feel this was something that "happened" to me and now I need to take responsibility for the choices I make so I don't live a life of regret. I am conflicted because I have days when I want to forgive and remember why I loved him, and days with I empathise with those on here who say they couldn't live a life looking over their shoulder in doubt so moved on....this is such a tough decision to have to make in life.

MJane posted 5/27/2014 18:29 PM

And Blakesteele sorry for confusing you with Brokenhearted in my response! Too late for my brain!

blakesteele posted 5/27/2014 19:29 PM

No prob. You could have done worse.....confused me with Sisoon!


Sisoon = my "yoda" on SI. I believe he will appreciate my attempt at humor.

justinpaintoday posted 5/27/2014 19:33 PM

For me I needed transparency, her in IC and MC. She said NO, No, and half ass tried til the MC told us we were wasting his time.

I floundered on another few weeks then filed. I just knew my life would always suck with an unremorseful wife.

The good news is she is still completely clueless, selfish, blaming and unremorseful so I get validation all the time.

blakesteele posted 5/27/2014 19:41 PM


Sorry about your wife's choices and subsequent D filing.

Sadly, she is most likely going to repeat the same destructive patterns. My wife's AP is choosing similarly, and his wife is apparently sticking to her part of that cycle. No change = same results (just a new OW). Sigh

It only takes one to break a destructive relational cycle.

You are doing your part. Keep the faith.


hopefull77 posted 5/27/2014 20:08 PM

I am not giving up....I don't want to! But that being said I guess this is when I buy those bitch boots I've read about here!
I think I know 18 months out I'd be in this for the long 59 years old I have learned a bit about myself...
God is on my side...He has shown me a strenghth I did not know I had...I thank Him for that...
We never know what we might have to learn to live with...

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