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I feel like there's 3 of him

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Lark posted 6/30/2014 11:55 AM

I was having this conversation with my husband last night... that he feels schism-ed to me. Like I feel like there's my pre-affair husband, the one who made me feel safe and loved and secure. Then there's the affair husband, who knowingly and intentionally shattered me. Then there's my husband now, who is trying to pick up the pieces and put them back together.

we were talking about how I still struggle through the cycles of rage, devastation, and calmly trying to read/work on it. I told him it feels almost like I'm in a room with multiples of him. When we're calmly talking about it, I have the post-affair him sitting next to me, and we're staring at the affair-husband trying to understand why and talk about what he's done. When I'm raging and he shuts down communication, I feel like he's not on my side and it's me staring at the affair-husband. When I have moments of normalcy through the day with him, it's like I can see the preaffair husband ghosting through the post-affair husband...

And that ultimately, I perceive the goal for him through his IC and through our MC is for the three of them to merge - scarred, carrying that history, but healed and moving forward.

This probably doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I've been having a hard time articulating some thoughts/feelings and putting it into images like that helps me make sense of it I think

[This message edited by Lark at 2:58 PM, June 30th (Monday)]

seethelight posted 6/30/2014 12:10 PM


I hear ya'

I totally understand.

Sometimes I look at my wayward, and see the man I fell in love with.

Other days, I look at him as see a liar and deceitful person, who treated me like crap while he dated another women.

I used to love when he smiled at me, but now his smile seems sleazy to me, almost like a lear.

Sigh. I wish I could say something that could fix things for you, but I too am struggling with the man I see when I see my cheating husband.

JustShine posted 6/30/2014 14:02 PM

That makes perfect sense to me, Lark. But the 3 versions of my H, even the 2 in the past, are changing. For awhile, I would have described them just like you did. But now, here is what I see:

1) pre-A H - loving, responsible, great father, kind, brilliant. But I always knew there were "broken" parts of him that could make him hyper-sensitive, defensive, selfish, and weak. I no longer ignore the latter and pretend that the former is enough for a secure, truly happy marriage. I loved this guy, but realize now that there are things about who he was then that are no longer acceptable to me, post-betrayal.

2) H during, and just after A - selfish, cruel, weak, confused, delusional, ugly, pathetic. If this is the true H, then I'm a-okay with walking away. No question.

3) current H - wow. I really like this guy. A lot. This H is attentive, loving and strong. Instead of hiding or running away from his demons, he's facing them, and digging for more. He's working, every day, on being someone he's proud of.

The tricky bit, of course, is the merging part. I don't quite believe in H#3 yet. I hope he's real. For nearly 2 decades, H#1 was my reality. The A brought in H versions 2 and 3, and I still haven't been able to consistently understand that on an emotional level. Intellectually, I actually feel like I get it, at this point. But my heart can't always keep it straight.

Shinypenny posted 6/30/2014 14:17 PM

Me too. Except without the pre personality since I have found that he has been "flirting" as he calls it and having EA's as I call them since before we were married. So there is this broken deceitful person and then I have the guy that is saying and doing all the right things to reconcile with me. But the thing is will he stay the person who is saying and doing right? Or after the time and urgency passes, will he slip back into the deceitful person he was? It's hard to know when it's safe to trust again.

KatieG posted 6/30/2014 15:08 PM

The 3 people is so true. I wonder how many of me though, would it be 2 - pre and post or a during too. It changes all the time maybe?

Lark posted 6/30/2014 15:15 PM

I'm really glad it makes sense. Like when trying to piece it together with him sometimes, I feel like we're talking about an entirely different person.

My husband told me he can tell who I'm seeing when I'm talking, because my eyes look so different - from looking with pure hatred to devastation to looking like the ghost of what they used to look like before I knew. In a way it makes me so sad that it's that physical and all-encompassing

For my husband, as he's starting to wrestle with this, the enormity of it hits him, I watch him breaking too. I know the merging is going to be the hardest part for him - he'd gladly just "destroy" the affair him, never look at it again, and just merge pre and post-affair him.But he knows he can't do that and he has to take the broken parts of him and fix those too. Even as devastating as it is to experience, it's hard to watch him too. At least on my end, I'm rocked to the core about my assumptions of trust, love, and the reality. He is rocked to the core of who and what kind of person he actually is.

Lark posted 6/30/2014 15:16 PM

I think there are 3 of me too.... there are parts of me that were broken as well, pre-affair, and parts of our marriage that were broken pre-affair and really broken during the affair. And those are things I have to figure out and address and merge together as well. I don't think it's quite as extreme as his schism but I think there are 3 of me too.

Chinadoll30 posted 6/30/2014 15:52 PM

We have discussed this with our therapist quite a bit. I have 2 husbands. Addict/affair husband who lies, cheats, steals, and gives a Damn ONLY about himself. And then clean husband who would promise the world if I would forget about the other guy. He has tried to deny the existence of the addict one, but he always comes back bc he hasn't been dealt with. AA tries to tell you to just silence the one by abstaining. But in my h's case the schism goes so deep, he needs to unite it to heal. If he can do it remains to be determined.

Blanket posted 7/3/2014 08:22 AM

This is so interesting to read, as I feel exactly the same . For a while after the A I never knew which version of my H I was going to be faced with from one minute to the next. During the A and some weeks after it was like facing a complete stranger, I truly didn't not know that man.
And now I'm faced with getting to know a whole new man. I'm not sure he is completely remorseful yet though so perhaps he is not in existence yet?
I would love H no.1 back, I liked him the best.

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