I am not one for writing in front of strangers. I don't think it fulfills a need in everyone, but as my H has been writing, I thought I would let you know where I am.
What he doesn't mention much is that I still love him and our children, that the closer we get to moving D along, the more it is destroying me. I have said I am sorry, had NC, was trying to love by an R agreement that he had not yet accepted but helped to write. I found out he told he AP's wife without telling me, after saying he wouldn't. Now, I am not passing judgement on whether it was right or wrong (actually released a burden I did.not realize I was carrying), but I should have found out from him. I had screwed up in so many ways already, but now you can also add over-reaction.
What he doesn't talk about is the prior 18 years of marriage, his major depressions and alcoholism issues, and my own difficulties. That he supported me staying at home when our second was born and then starting a business to help with the bills when he was 5 and that it did and does bring in money while allowing for significance flexibility for him and the kids. That in our first ten years of marriage the finances were more equal, and I supported him doing a start-up. No matter how the money and home situation works out, I will never regret staying with the kids, even though my prior career has passed me by. However, it is still my goal to somehow keep flexibility in what I do next and allow my kids to have as many similar opportunities as possible. My remorse is not about money, it is about my H, the M and the kids.
He also doesn't mention that I spent a lot of time trying to get his attention on our marriage issues, which he took as complaining and criticizing. I truly wanted to figure out how we could be happier, I felt like we won the lottery - loved each other, happy and very smart kids, fabulous extended family, his lucrative (if not wonderful) career, my part time creative career - but he seemed disconnected from me, our friends and extended family. He seemed unhappy almost all the time, although he seemed connected with his kids and sports. I felt like I had built my life around his schedule and them with less for me. This again is my own fault - I didn't stick up for myself when things were important and stopped developing new interests as they would take away from family time.
I know I shouldn't have looked to an affair to fill the void I was feeling and I know I should never had lied. I should have pushed for earlier MC, should have pushed more of a physical connection, should have.... Yeah, that and $2 will get BH a cup of coffee. I never felt about the AP as I did about my BH, ever. I let it get out of control and then when things started going badly in January and February, I could not see the sky. Every day seemed like a different marriage nightmare. The caring was coming from the wrong, wrong place. I wish I had thrown it all out then and just concentrated on my BH.
But I didn't, and I have found that I can't be the perfect non-WW. I can't seem to address his concerns in the way he needs or let him know how truly remorseful I am. He laid out what he wanted for me, and I think I was really trying hard to do it, but if am not perfect. I lost his love, and he says it is gone.
So yes, I own it, I screwed up. I don't care about the house except for kid stability and my poss future ability to qualify for buying. I want to be a great ex-wife and awesome mom. I'm smart and will figure out how to stay flexible for the kids, as they need it now more than ever. There are things I can do with my current business as well as looking at other ideas with a vocational specialist.
And yes, BH and I have been over this and over this. Hard to let go. I guess that's my whole issue - letting go. How do you do it? I feel I could write the book on the perfect way to fuck up your marriage.. No one wants to read that though.
Other WS's, how do you let go when you still are tied up in the love?
The love thing, that's tough. Yes we love our BHs. However, it's toxic. Much like an addict loves heroin. Or abusers love their victim. They love their vices. Doesn't mean it's a healthy love. People will commit all sorts of crimes for their drug of choice. Abusers will beat their victim to a pulp, then cuddle them and say "If you would listen to me, I wouldn't have to do this." Toxic love.
Affairs are not a tool to fix a marriage. They are destructive by nature. Sometimes people stand up in the middle of the wreckage and try to rebuild. But many chose to walk away. It's just too much damage. You had options. You could have left. But you chose the affair route. Why is that?
I think the biggest favor you could do for yourself is to find out why you did it. Why you chose to self medicate with another man. See, your husband didn't male you do it. It was a series of choices for you. What led you to *that* particular path, and why?
If you can find the reason why, and correct those behaviors, not only will you become healthy, but you will be a better parent for your children. And you will be a safe partner, should you chose to have another relationship further down the road.
As far as letting go, I had to realize that my As decimated my husband. And he could chose to leave at any moment. Eventho he said we would R, he still had the choice to leave. And he had every right. I had to decide to fix me, regardless of the outcome, regardless of whether we R or D. Because I knew deep down there was something wrong with me and I was a sick person, whether I was married or single. After Dday, my husband pulled a version of the 180 and detached. I'm still fighting for us. He's here, but he isn't. He could still chose to leave. But since I've been working on me, I know I'll be ok either way.
The best advice I have is to work on you. Be healthy. Fix your core. For your children. For your STBX. For your future.
Im blessed to be in R so I cannot offer you a perspective on how to let go. I can however hear that you wish you could be in R and I would like to gently point out where I think your perspective may need some shifting if you are ever to get there or if not R, get yourself to a place where you can be safe for future partners.
What stood out to me most in your post was how much time you spent explaining all the ways life has been hard for you. You started a business, you felt like he was disconnected, he had issues with alcohol, he told the OMs BW without telling you, he didnt give you attention, how you supported him during a start up and so on and so forth. This is a major alarm bell from where I stand because it feels like a long list of reasons we should all consider when reading mhca's posts so we can empathise more with you. Or put another way, you are still trying to justify your affair.
Your post doesnt demonstrate the true remorse you say you feel. It doesnt accept responsibility in full the way you profess at the end. It tries very very hard to remind mhca of what he should be looking to to see all your hardships and and reasons you were pushed into the arms of another. As well as the things he should know about how you feel about him and your kids.
The thing is, none of the things you listed are relevant. None of them make your choices ok. You need to dig a hell of a lot deeper and start really working on your 'why'. And I can promise you this, your 'why' has nothing to do with how difficult your marriage has been or how unbalanced you feel the relationship was. Its about who you are, your values and your boundaries. There are many many WSs on SI who can help explain the idea of finding your why a lot better than me, so please look into it.
One other thing I want to say is with regards to your comment that mgca doesnt talk about how you still love him and the kids. Lklb5, do you honestly expect him to be able to take that into account?? You have shattered every belief he ever held that you loved him or your kids when you calculatedly signed up for a website that trades in setting up affairs. How could he be expected to believe let alone share with us that you love your family? Remember, you have lied to him over and over again. Nothing you say is true just because. Ahead of you is the long and difficult task of rebuilding trust through actions. Not words.
The sooner you accept this, the sooner you will make inroads to being a good exwife and maybe, just maybe you will be gifted another chance. If not, you will be far better equipped to live authentically both within yourself and any future relationships.
Yes, I fucked it up so badly and the choice to have an affair was 100% mine., i was callous and was going on my way with little regard to the consequences. I have been examining the why, on my own, reading, and IC. (And to answer other accusations, I am not in touch with any "friends" that knew or suggested AM. Yuck.) I will never do anything like that again. I can tell you some of the things it was based on - lost sense of self, selfishness, feeling powerless, inability to deal with marital conflict, and insecurity. I'm a knitter and it reminds me of a very tangled ball of yarn. You just can't undo one knot, you then find another and another. For me, whether of not part of M, I'm untangling it.
We can't go back to the way we were a few weeks ago, both being miserable all the time, but D being the way to move forward also seems wrong. Back to the letting go idea, keep working g on me and trying to build a new life that includes being the best X possible and the best mom and a better human being.
but D being the way to move forward also seems wrong.
When that can't happen..
Sure, your marriage had problems, I can't think of many that don't. Those problems didn't seem to lead you to divorce, it's how they are handled that makes that decision.
Throw an affair(s) on top of those current problems and now you got the planet Jupiter to tread through before those problems can be further addressed.
mhca may have made the decision to divorce...but why did he?
Why would he make a decision that seems so wrong unless he reasoned that it was unsolvable?
How can you fix that?
I appreciate the comments. At this point from reading mcha's posts, he has made a decision for D. He doesn't trust me. I don't think he will ever be able to forgive me. Without love, what would a marriage be?
Sometimes I hate reading everyone's comments, i want to respond back - like talking to the TV. I am so remorseful for the pain I caused him, the disaster I turned our marriage into and the hurt this is causing our kids. It's hard to explain how I feel inside, and the work I am doing to understand the why's.
The "I have my ways" comment was hurtful, but similar to something he said to me early on, and I immediately told him how I found out. There has been NC since. The OM and I both messed up our lives and have to deal with our own consequences. And yes, I would rather be in R than D, but I understand it is not my call.
I have to move forward the best I can. My highest priority is my beautiful boys.
Remorse, IMO, begins with putting yourself in the others' shoes, and trying to understand the hurt your actions caused them. It's when you have that "OMG, what have I done!?!" moment, when this wave of agony hits you, because you realize BH did nothing to deserve being cheated on.
Based solely on what you've written here, sorry, but you don't sound remorseful. You sound defensive and blame-shifty. Which, honestly, is really typical behavior for WS. Sometimes it takes a year or more to hit true remorse. Thing is, our BS are under no obligation to wait around that long.
I feel a great deal of compassion toward you, because ICR to your situation. A lot. I blamed BH and our M for my unhappiness. "Life's too short," so I went on AM, got the fake ego boost when the sharks circled. Cherry-picked a few, met them out for some nice lunches, and ultimately got naked in hotels with a couple of them. When BH busted me, I defended the APs and my actions. Like mhca, BH initially said we weren't going to out them, but then he "made me" do it, and yeah, I was pissed.
It wasn't until after 6 months of weekly IC that I started feeling guilty about what I'd done. Luckily for me, BH saw enough progress along the way, or whatever, who knows why, but he's still here. He has not forgiven me, he may never completely trust me, and even though he gave me an "f" (for "former", we're only 15 months out. If R is a race, we're much nearer the starting line than the finish.
You asked, how do you let go when you're still in love? I can't answer that, but one of the first steps in my personal recovery was letting go of the outcome of our M. Understanding that no matter what I did or said, BH was going to choose the outcome that was right for him. Realizing that whether we R or D, I had to fix me, for me. For our kids. For the good of humanity.
Welcome to SI, BTW. I hope you stick around.
True remorse would not leave you angry that your BS lied about letting the OBS know. If you check out JFO, you will see that they all do that. So as to catch the WS/AP unaware in case they are still together. You would recogonize that you lied and should not expect anything of your BS. You would also recogonize that D does not seem wrong. You would see that it is a consequence to being selfish and having an A. The A was wrong, not the way your BS reacts to it. Sorry, but it is part of realizing how much you hurt someone you love and letting go of the outcome for the sake of the spouse you betrayed. It took me 18months to get to that point. It is when you realize, "How the Hell can this wonderful person even look at me, let alone want to be near me?"
The OM and I both messed up our lives and have to deal with our own consequences.
Why do you need to mention the OM?
How do you let go? You feel remorse. You stop thinking about what you felt, feel, want, think and deserve. You focus on being better to be better, not to win your spouse back. You stop focusing on damage control and focus on healing the BS even if they are no longer going to be in your life.
How do you let go? Don't mention that to your BS. That is not their problem. They will just ask you how you let go of them before to be with OM.
BTW: To our BS, we D them as soon as we decided to have an A. We chose the A. We chose the consequences. Admit to yourself and your BS that you always knew what the outcome could have been for self indulgence. Let go of the outcome. In a way, it is giving our BS some control back in a situation that we railroaded them in. Give them that gift. You can say you don't want it to be that way, but that you understand why it is. But only if you actually feel that.
[This message edited by Zugzwang at 2:22 PM, August 3rd (Sunday)]
If you've got a good IC, he/she will help you keep your focus on you, not mhca. As a result, you start letting go. The key is to have a really good IC.