Everyone came before my husband in my life; friends, family, everyone.
I never considered my husband my best friend.
My husband is very affectionate and I would recoil at his attempts
I gave up on our marriage long before he did
I married him for the wrong reasons
Yes, in hindsight we've all learned how critical it is to tend to each other even when kids and jobs and health take the center stage, but I hate to see BS's try and take on some of the "why" of the affair to try to make sense of how it happened.
In my case, we had an infant daughter and Crazz mother had passed away the year before. Our pugs both had severe health issues, one of which required surgery. We had no help with DD, and therefore had ZERO time for each other. He turned to alcohol and isolation as a way to cope with his mother's passing instead of leaning on me, which I encouraged him to do to no avail. He decided he hated his job, and there just so happened to be an insecure, loose woman at his place of employment who wanted his attention. It was the perfect storm.
The state of our marriage was poor, but we were starting on a new adventure with our DD and I thought we had it in us to work through it. I did not respond well as he started to detach, and while my anger and confusion may have fueled the cheating, I take zero responsibility for that. We were BOTH facing crisis. I chose to dig in and work on my family, just as he chose to cheat with a coworker. We have a choice when we are faced with adversity. You can't blame life events for our subsequent choices. Remember, when things were a total mess, YOU stayed faithful. That was your responsibility, and you succeeded.
[This message edited by Jrazz at 12:49 PM, August 4th (Monday)]
I can see the sun, but even if I cannot see the sun, I know that it exists. And to know that the sun is there - that is living. - Dostoyevsky
Unlike you, he says he doesn't love her. And I don't see any evidence to the contrary. I saw their email conversations prior to this DD. All her professions of love for him met with his response "ditto". He ended contact immediately with no backsliding or seeming conflict in doing so. But the pattern is there that apparently every few years he gets a wild hair that makes him seek this woman out, and she is apparently always available for him. He says that's the draw, the availability for fun times, not anything about her specifically.
So, I guess my point is... what difference does it make that I recognize my own issues that made me unhappy and I understand his issues that made him unhappy if his answer to any type of unhappiness is to seek out this woman to make himself feel better. I pointed out to him that I was unhappy too, lonely too, and not having my needs met, too. I didn't seek comfort from anyone else, but was waiting for something to happen so we could be happy again.
Unfortunately, what happened was his affair, again. So that's why this time things had to be very, very different for us to stay together. HE had to be sure that R is what HE wanted. HE had to figure out how to find a different way to handle bumps in the road. HE had to admit that nothing I did or didn't do was a valid excuse for cheating. Once he managed to admit that this was the basis for everything, then counseling got us to a better place. And it is a better place.
I'm not sure I'll ever be able to completely relax. It's only been 7 months since this DD and the pattern is a much longer honeymoon period between affairs. But I don't let him get by with much any more...he can't withdraw like he used to. AND, I've changed a lot about myself. We do more things together. I'm more spontaneous. I put aside household chores and grandkids to do things he wants to do, and he reciprocates with date nights and helping with big projects that need to get done.
He actually said at one point, "would it be wrong to say that my A was a good thing to happen to us?" The only good thing was that I didn't have a gun in my hand when he said that but I responded..."I wish it could have happened in a different way, but I am glad to be where we are now".
Or so I thought.
[This message edited by SunshineSoul at 1:09 PM, August 4th (Monday)]
It's just not that simple.
Pre-A I knew we were having issues, but they seemed short-term and standard "marital stresses" that you would have happen at that point in our life. We seemed to be coping with them well, particularly knowing they were short-term. Throughout the A, my husband still did a ton of family events with us and seemed genuinely happy, if distant, when he was with us. Now, he slept a lot (his A happened after the gym, which was after 2nd shift, so he would often not go to sleep til 4-5 a.m.), and it was sometimes a struggle to get him out the door, but he seemed genuinely happy and content with a lot of our lives. To this day he swears he was happy and really loved me and our family, it was just compartmentalized.
At the same time, the way he justified the A was by saying our M was distant and I - as in me - was stressed and seemed unhappy.
So who knows.
The actual timeline of events:
Met 2005, Dated beginning of 2006. Married late 2008. Immediately pregnant.
2009: First daughter born, and husband quit his job (of 10 years) to return to school and go into nursing. This created a lot of financial stress.
2009 - 2010: I had bad postpartem depression after first daughter was born, I hid it until 2010. My PPD manifests as clinging to my family and being tense/anxious/overwhelmed with everything else in life.
2011: husband finished nursing school. He began smoking pot in secret. Daughter began showing signs of autism and started 1x a week developmental therapy. Husband starts job at new hospital working second shift, working opposite shift from me. Husband starts going to the gym after work (he's gone to the gym throughout our relationship, so this wasn't new, he just couldnt' figure out a time except after work)
2012: second daughter was born. During the pregnancy, my pelvis split, putting me in extreme physical pain. Our sex life stopped. I think I again had PPD but never had it treated. Older daughter's red flags for autism hadn't gone away with the developmental therapy. She started more intensive ABA therapy several times a week. I handled that.
Late 2012: i get really stressed because I'm trying to balance everything at the expensive of my progress in school program. Try to resume having sex but again, horribly painful so it is infrequent. I began working more, squishing out the small amounts of time between our opposite work schedules but still making sure I'm home to have lunch with him and having family days on his days off. Late 2012, I find out he was smoking pot. I tell him I don't like it. We don't discuss it again (I assumed he'd stop based on my feelings, he assumed without a direct no he wasn't going to).
March - August: younger daughter began having seizures. there's concerns it's epilepsy and she begans a series of tests, which take forever and ever to schedule and carry out. No answers are found out during this time.
Apr/May 2013: Coworker starts flirting with him
July 2013: Husband tells his best friend that he is "worried he's going to stray" and about the flirting coworker. Best friend tells him not to do it, to turn to me. 4 days later OW1 messages my husband
July-August 2013: EA building with OW1
September 2013: Husband PA with OW1 starts.
Husband starts a "biggest loser" program at work, so picks up frequency of going to the gym. It is also a cover for the PA with OW1. He stops going to bed at the same time as me when he is home.
Oct-December: husband refuses my attempts at intimacy. He's gone 3x a week "for the gym."
January: OW1's BH finds out, PA with OW1 ends begins threatening my husband, stalking him, threatens me and my children. EA continues with OW1.
February 2014: husband resumes physical intimacy, but it is infrequent and very detached. I find out husband has been smoking pot the past 2 years, huge argument in which I scream "how could you lie to me about that? You knew it was important to me"
March 2014: Husband confesses to hsi mother and another friend about OW1 and says he wants to stop the EA. They tell him to, he "tried" to break it off. The woman from 2013 and husband start flirting again via text two weeks later. The baby's seizures, which had been decreasing, come back in full force. Re-start tests. This is horribly stressful or me as doctor tells me that I need to keep close physical proximity to her at night incase of a grand mal. I sit with the baby every night in her bed then move her to our bed. Husband is gone 3-4x a night "for the gym" and is mad everytime he is home that I bring the baby to bed. If he goes to bed with me, I move the baby to her bed for 30 minutes of just time alone with him. That rarely happens though.
May 2014: PA with OW2 starts. He is gone 4-5x a week until 5 a.m. He starts telling me he's working double shifts to let him go out until 6.
Lots of arguments about how I don't understand how he's spending 5 hours a night at the gym.
June 6, I find out about OW2 and then OW1.
Sorry for the extensive timeline, but yeah you can see just over it that things were building with stress and with distance. Between depression, the physical pelvic tear, and then just sleep deprivation and our daughter's concerns - I was stressed, depressed, extremely sleep deprived, and not at my peak in terms of emotional or physical intimacy. That said, I was very happy with him, doted on him, planned stuff. We did date mornings every week to get alone time. I gave up working whenever he had time off work so I could spend it with him, etc.
Through the timeline I can also identify when he started pulling away - it started with a small secret life of pot. It escalated with hanging out with friends after the gym. Originally the gym took 1 hour. But then he started hanging out with people and it was taking 2 hours. Then longer. and longer. I knew he was hanging out with friends, he told me he was playing basketball with a bunch of guys (and he was). But he also started just using that time to "have his own life" of hanging out with his buddies, chatting in the parking lot, seeing late night movies, smoking pot, etc. He figured it was "no harm done" because I was "sleeping" during this time - regardless of the fact that he was sleeping more at home, less engaged with us, etc.
by the time the flirting started, he already had a separate life and had already built up the longing for some liberated late night fun. He'd already justified it that what he was doing wasn't hurting us - I was "sleeping." He already pointed to the distance in us, not seeing that what he was doing was fueling a lot of it on top of the general stresses we had going on. By the time the PA started wiht OW1, he'd shut me out complete when he wasn't physically with me. He gave me 4% of his communication when he wasn't with me, he gave her 96% - so no wonder he thought we were distant, he never thought of me.
So yeah, I recognize we had a lot of tensions and stresses in our M. I own 50% of the problems, because I too should've been talking more, trying to set aside more time with him. Should've been figuring out the PPD. But - I may not have been doing it perfectly, but I was giving him and the M and our family my all. I wasn't splitting attention or looking to solve my problems elsewhere.
and we had a crapton of life stresses. Our older daughter is still possibly borderline asperger's, but she's made such amazing progress that everyone feels confident she is and will do great. The baby still has seizures - and the best neurologist for our area is totally stumped on why, and he isn't entirely sure they are seizures. We are in medical limbo waiting for the new insurance to kick in. We had 6 family members pass away within the past 4 years - including both of our stepfathers, my aunt that I was very close to, and my husband's grandfather.
Our life wasn't perfect. But I don't own any of the affair or the mess he made of our M during the A. That was all mind-games and gaslighting and me pathetically waiting up for him to come home from the "gym" so I coulld spend some time alone with my husband.
In the 2 months since DDay, our time together is 1000x better. WHy? mostly because he's freaking HOME. It was amazing to see all the time we actually DID have together if he freaking CAME HOME! ARGGCh
[This message edited by Lark at 1:25 PM, August 4th (Monday)]
We had 2 small children and we put our every minute of they day into them. We even talked about how difficult it was but that we believed in it and things would ease up as they got older.
Then he started asking to go out after work more and more. I never had a problem with it before because he never abused it before.
Then he started coming home later than he said he would, and later. Sometimes he would call and say he couldn't come home just yet as he had too much to drink. I didn't want him driving drunk right? Sure, but an adult knows when they have to stop drinking so they can leave on time. The second time that happened was one of the big red flags. I remember the phone ringing and not answering it on purpose because I was so pissed at him for pulling that crap again. Twice makes a pattern.
I was stressed chasing 2 kids around so much but I was happy until he started acting like a douche.
It was during his douche decline that he started getting short with me too. I'll never forget the look on their faces when the boys came running to us asking if we were fighting. We weren't, he flipped out about a bathroom light we were installing, acting as if the world was doomed because some plastic piece broke. I tried to calm him down then told him that I didn't want to be around him if this was how he was going to act. I specifically remember asking him "since when am I the patient one?"
I had no idea things were so wrong within him. When I started to dig I was absolutely shocked at what I found.
[This message edited by BtraydWife at 1:39 PM, August 4th (Monday)]
Delay is the deadliest form of denial. - C. Northcote Parkinson
Your standards aren't up for negotiation just because he/she can't meet them.
Everything else is utterly and completely irrelevant where an affair is concerned.
I needed help and he would not help me. I was the primary wage earner and did all the housework. He sat around all day and played video games, watched tv and worked on his art.
He was not meeting my needs and I did get very resentful, which manifested in depression. We could barely speak without it turning into an argument.
I don't know exactly when his cheating started, so I don't know if it started before or after the shift in our relationship.
I did try to work on my end. I was on antidepressants several months before d-day and was slowing turning a corner. I know he saw I was trying because he commented on it on numerous occasions.
So I definitely own up to not nurturing the relationship during what was a delicate time for us, but turning to someone else was never an option. So that is no free pass for him doing it.
I gave you more than I ever got back
You left me here to forget about that
All the things you thought you had have gone
Let that be a lesson to you
-Richie Kotzen, "Special"
I know that the most recent email didn't go further than an email, but I don't know whether the ones from when we were in TX did - he swears they didn't, but I still have my nagging doubts. We are working things through and its been a month now since D-day but we are trying to work our way though it.
He had been having a hard time finding a job and I was getting frustrated with that.
We put our house on the market, to get away from the bf situation, it went under contract, and he got a new job. Things were finally looking up. Two weeks before we were supposed to close on our house the contract fell through. I was at home trying to sort it all out and while he was gone a lot for his job, which is where he met his AP.
So I feel we went from one crisis right to the next, and have been living in survival mode for the last three years.
I do feel like throughout our relationship we put and have always put everything before our relationship, our kids, getting our degrees, work, etc.
I do own my part for how our relationship was before, but the affair is all on him.
The difference between us is that I turned toward her and the M and was doing everything I could think of to make things better.
After Dday when I asked WW about this she swore she was doing allot to work on the M too. The BIG difference between our actions was that she was taking advice from her OM about how to improve our M.
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
[This message edited by Shockleader at 2:12 PM, August 4th (Monday)]
The cruel, the unkind, those without honor, feast on the tender heart...
I know in my case FOO issues are at the heart of our M issues and WH's A's. They are just different issues for both of us. So many things contribute to the adults we become (environment, birth order, abuse, etc...) It's easy to point out certain things that could have been done better in any M, but getting the people in the M to realize that before something catastrophic happens is slim. The proof in that is the number of people on this site.
Do I condone what WH has done, NO! But I am also not willing to throw him away at this point. I have never allowed us to go through a real R as we have done lots of RS over the years. This time we are doing this differently as its our last chance and we both know it. Hope it turns out for the best!
The X had and awful job but he was on the brink of being able to retire. We even bought a countdown clock counting the months, weeks, days and hours till he could retire. This would have been his second retirement. The first was a disability retirement for which he received a tax-free pension for the rest of his life. The second pension was to be our new home fund to build a log cabin in the mountains of New Mexico and retire to tinker and work part time and travel. Life was good.
Without overthinking, it was probably too good. The X is a worrier parexcellance. He's not happy unless he's miserable. He was also haunted by losing the only job he ever loved as a police officer due to a life threatening injury (hence the pension.) Finally, we had suffered the loss of two dear people. Our sister in law (brother's wife) and a childhood friend to pancreatic cancer. These deaths sent him into a 'you only live once' state of mind. Perfect storm, and BOOM there went our lives.
It took me a long time and the discovery of even more As to figure out I had nothing to do with his As. The state of our marriage had nothing to do with his As. His victim mentality, his selfishness, and his disappointment with his own life choices allowed him to turn to other women for validation. My H was an emotional child for most of our marriage, a fact he has admitted to me. You can't have a good marriage when you're married to a child.
So as answer to your question--I knew our marriage was failing during the first A and thought we were fine during the more recent As. I know I was being as good a wife as I knew how to be by the second round. There is no guarantee gained from being the perfect wife when something's off inside the H's head. Your H was escaping to liquor and nicotine and was probably depressed and you have no guarantee he won't go there again unless he does the work to fix his head.