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Waywards - what did you give up?

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anothermoron posted 8/6/2014 11:44 AM

I'm thinking of quitting my job to save my marriage. This might sound strange, but it would serve three purposes: 1) my wife wouldn't have to worry about me cheating as she'd know I was home with the kids 2) it's one of the two most important things in my life (the other being my family) so she could feel more comfortable knowing that I will always put the family first. 3) She has too much pride to try and work things out as if nothing has happened. This is something for her to hold up to her friends and family and say "He's an asshole, but he gave up everything to save our family, so I'm going to try as well." Obviously I'd discuss it with her before quitting!
Anyway, back to the question: have any of you been in a similar situation? any of you also given up something big to save your marriage/family? This is about my last chance. First appointment with the divorce mediator is next week...

TheIrishGirl posted 8/6/2014 12:00 PM

Ask her if she wants it. Seeing you make the offer, and look for things that make her feel safe will probably help.

Was your A with someone at work? Did you use work as a cover? If so, I think *changing* jobs may be a better alternative.

Also, how old are the kids? Little- wouldn't you then start taking them to parks and museums and kiddie classes, where you would presumably meet a bunch of moms & nannies. Big- aren't they in school, leaving you several hours to spend as you please? Not sure being with the kids is sufficient insurance. Plus, there are a fair amount of SAHMs SAHDs that had their As while home.

Have you read 'how to help your spouse heal from your affair'? A lot of those things will be what makes her feel safe. She can't feel safe because your options are limited, she needs to feel safe because you are safe.

Wayflost posted 8/6/2014 12:45 PM

I changed jobs. Cut out friends and family. Gave up all extra-curricular activities ( not just the affairs, but hobbies).

rachelc posted 8/6/2014 12:53 PM

should waywards have to give up things? I'm asking this from both sides....

I've given up having any male friends, going out with the girls, privacy,and I don't miss any of it. I'm proud to make my husband feel safe.

However, he misses going out, he thinks me knowing his passwords signifies I don't trust him and he hates that. He thinks that we should have a normal marriage, as long as no one is cheating and we understand boundaries, what is the problem?

Some waywards turn their lives inside out to appease their spouse. Others do not. What is the correct way? If we can't control others, shouldn't we assume that they "get it" and go on business as usual? (I'm just asking....)

DrJekyll posted 8/6/2014 14:52 PM


waywards need to give up everything, until safety for the BS and healthy boundaries are established.

ETA: I have given up friends, family, am tying to change jobs, probably selling house, selling cars, replacing wardrobes - that is the list from the top of my head

[This message edited by DrJekyll at 2:53 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)]

tired girl posted 8/6/2014 14:55 PM

What is the correct way? If we can't control others, shouldn't we assume that they "get it" and go on business as usual? (I'm just asking....)

For me the correct way was when my H felt that I was remorseful and my actions lined up with my words and helped him feel safe.

For me, the correct way was when HL quit being defensive and was willing to do whatever it took to make me feel safe. For however long it took.

jendo posted 8/6/2014 17:10 PM

If the A happened at the office or if his work schedule helped contribute to the A I"d say a job change is maybe a good thing, but I"d discuss with your wife. My husband had been working 2 jobs during the A. My WH met the OW at one of his jobs and then sexted her during the other ever day. By the time day happened she no longer worked at the job where they met. IF she had I would not have wanted him continuing at that office. The planets somehow aligned for us and it worked out that he was able to quit job #2 right after dday too. So he did an extreme schedule change which helped a lot. We went from spending very little time together to him being home every evening and on weekends. Financially it was challenging, but at almost 4 months post dday we are starting to recover from the financial hit. He is now working more efficiently as he isn't distracted by the A- the guilt, the fun, etc and is going to end up making more money just working one job. Ugh! But thankful too. Talk to your wife and see what she thinks.

Lark posted 8/6/2014 17:15 PM

I'm not a WS... so not sure if this is open to BS.

My husband gave up his truck, his job, his gym-outings, his hanging out with buddies after work, etc.

He got a new car. He got a new job. He will be going to the gym again - but with us as a family. He is starting to hang out with family friends, but much less frequently.

For us, what he gave up was directly tied to or enabling of the affair or marital stressors. It was taking a hard look at the ways in which he was checking out, compartmentalizing his life. I don't know if he views it as "giving up" as in a sacrifice so much as "finding a way that is more conducive to the life I want." Not sure. that'd be a worthwhile question to ask him.

NoGoodUsername posted 8/6/2014 19:18 PM

I'm going to answer the question as intended, but I really like what Lark said about her husband. It rings true.

I don't know if he views it as "giving up" as in a sacrifice so much as "finding a way that is more conducive to the life I want."

I gave up two major hobbies. I quit doing a martial art that I had done for 14 years. I separated from all of my friends. We sold our house and moved across the country. She got control of the entire profit from selling the house. It was a lot, I could have started over someplace without her on my half. I work at home now so the places I go are for errands and out with her. All of the housework and most of the cooking is my responsibility. I eventually gave up all social media but SI. Early on, I did everything that I could to put as much power in her hands as possible. She has access to everything and could instantly leave me homeless and destitute if she so chose.

Reading over it, it all sounds like a lot, but from where I'm sitting, it doesn't feel like a sacrifice. We shared both hobbies; one involved my AP and the other took more from us than we got out of it and encouraged me to be a bad person. I miss the martial art, but it would have been a distraction this past year and was associated with the bad hobby. The friends are too complicated to explain here, but it has been a positive decision for me. The money went to her student loans and a car she has wanted since she was a teen. Hell, the car has been used for shared adventures and is a vehicle for reconciliation. (pun intended) The social media was no loss to me and the shift of power and all of the work has just felt like an attempt at restoring balance after the freedom of choice that I stole from her with my affair.

Just looking at a list, it seems like a lot. Looking at it in context, it's just what you do.

rachelc posted 8/6/2014 19:45 PM

NoGood- bless you. You "get it."
Thank you.

anothermoron posted 8/7/2014 09:14 AM

Thanks, that's really helpful. Especially helpful to see that other people have done the same thing. I'm still quite torn, but I know that having my family is more important to me than having a career. I think - as NoGoodUsername kind of alluded to - the big part of it is putting yourself at the mercy of your faithful spouse. Knowing that they could leave you destitute any time they wanted. But I suppose that's the chance you have to take, same as they take a chance if they stay and work on the marriage.

MomtoRoses posted 8/7/2014 09:51 AM

BS here. I'd ask her first. I wanted my wh to find a new job, but quit his job would have exacerbated our debt problem so we'd be fighting about money as well as the affairs.

My bh (afaik) has given up craigslist and facebook and twitter since he acted out on all of them. He complained once about not being able to sell something we had on cl. It really stung me bc the reason he can't get on cl is bc he acted out on there. It's not as though I'm trying to keep him from harmless fun. So whatever you "give up" (I like the conducive to the life I want), keep it positive. I try to use the "I get to...." My wh gets to keep his wife and kids as long as he stays away from women. Not "I don't get to have fun on craigslist anymore".

I think your sentiment is great and I hope it works out for your marriage.

Alexisk17 posted 8/7/2014 10:10 AM

Some waywards turn their lives inside out to appease their spouse. Others do not. What is the correct way? If we can't control others, shouldn't we assume that they "get it" and go on business as usual? (I'm just asking....)

I know I probably don't hold a very popular opinion here but I don't feel that waywards should jump through every hoop presented. Yes, I get that the damanged caused by WS behaviour completely destroys the BS's world but I don't think it should be done to the WS with the intention of tit for tat.

My WS met his OW at a pub while playing in a billiards league. Reasonably I believe that I could ask him to not go to bars or pubs without me and to quit playing billiards altogether. I hope though, that if I asked WS to quit his job, never visit with his friends, sell the house, buy a new car, etc. that he would ask me to give my head a shake or at least bring it up in MC for discussion.

Besides, these restrictions are only a temporary measure to make the BS feel safe. They are not a long term solution. I can't reasonably expect my WS to never step foot inside a pub or bar for the rest of his damn life. Going to pubs didn't cause him to cheat. If he wants to cheat again he will find another avenue for it. Asking him to avoid them right now is just a temporary measure to make me feel safe while we re-build trust.

I do want to add though that WS's was a STA that ended while we were still separated. I don't pretend to think that the above logic might apply to those dealing with multiples or LTA's.

Feel free to set me straight if you think I'm out of line of course...

somethingremorse posted 8/7/2014 10:15 AM

I wanted to share my process. I have definitely given up some things (like fb, going out, privacy) to make BW feel safe.

Just in general, I have repriortized life to put my M and family first. I don't really think of it as a list of things I have given up. It's more like I am spending my time and energy doing the things that really matter.

It really isn't so cut and dried for me. For example, I work out less. Instead of heading to the basement as soon as the kids go to bed, I make sure that BW and I connect. So I spend a lot more time in bed watching TV. At the same time, I am playing more golf, getting time to clear my head by myself. I still spend a lot of time with the kids' sports, but I don't go out with the coaches after games.So it's sort of looking at everything and saying "does this make sense for us?"

seethelight posted 8/7/2014 10:34 AM


Personally, I would feel more unsafe, If my husband were at home all day, alone.

If I worked from home and he did, then him working from home might help.

But him being home alone would make me very uncomfortable.

Was this your spouses suggestion? Also, if you are a stay at home dad, it will cut your income.

She may resent that aspect. It may seem like another consequence of the affair that she alone needs to suffer.

At work, at least my wayward has to be productive and had someone to answer to, if he took too much time off, and Now I often drop in at lunch or early in the A.m. unexpectedly because I work near his office, to ensure he is there and not underground with the OW.

He also now no longer goes out with the guys or on men's only vacations.

The Wayward's OW was a stay at home mother. She had several young boys and would hire a sitter to go out with her various APs.

With her prior AP, she would go to his house while the wife was at work, based on emails I read.

She lived in the neighborhood but he typically met her in the morning for coffee and during lunch for sex and few evening they went to a hotel when he was supposed to be out with the boys. Or, went on a weekend trip that was supposedly a men's trip.

Oh and yes, his friends covered for him by assuring me that my husband did go on their men's trip, and those men are no longer considered friends of the marriage and we no longer associate with them.

So I would only mention this, if it was something your wife suggested because it might make her suspicious, IMO.

Lark posted 8/7/2014 10:51 AM

alexis - I think it depends on what went on during the affair and the dynamics of what is being "given up." For my husband, all of the sex took place in his truck. The hanging out with buddies after work was happening between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. as they smoked pot, leading him to sleeping all morning which impacted his caring for our children and impacted my ability to work. The "gym" was my husband's codeword for "screwing OW tonight" which usually did come after a gym workout.

I think for some, asking or expecting or desiring a WS to give up something is a powerplay. i think in other situations, it's things directly tied to the affair that shouldn't have been happening to begin with or have been tainted beyond redemption (i.e. my husband's truck).

For practical reasons, I really wrestled with the idea of my husband selling his truck - it was paid off, we used it to haul stuff quite often. However, he also couldn't bear to look at it again and wanted it gone, so when I wavered on whether to sell it right away he jumped in and said it was going to be gone. He went from an 11 year old truck to a 2 year old car that has 2x the gas milage, 100k less miles, and the payments are $-100/month after trading the truck in and factoring in gas saved (we've gone from $300/month to $60/month since his new job is closer too). He said he feels almost sick that he came out so ahead for that "sacrifice."

My husband's job was where the OW worked, was a second shift position which led to stress before the As ever started. His new job is a morning shift, he has all evening every day with his family, its base pay was the same as the pay he left, and the network is much larger and has way more possibilities for him. It also has way better benefits for our family (i.e. 100% coverage of our daughter's epilepsy tests and treatments). He's wanted in this hospital network for years - dday became the impetus for throwing himself at it.

And the gym - he works morning shift so he gets home at 4 pm, which is the same time I go to the gym. So of course he's going with us, and then after we work out we can all go swimming as a family - which is something he always enjoyed doing with our girls.

He's now reconnecting with long-time family friends we've had who he has always enjoyed spending time with (most are old college buddies) but had a difficult time finding time after his life was consumed with everything toxic.

For him, everything he "gave up" was replaced by something that he says is so much better. And he said that his life is in such a better place, despite the devastation lying around us of our M.

So I think context and looking at the overall life before/after A is important as well. I think there are likely situations where it is just "you can't do that because i'm punishing you" but in others, the "sacrifices" may make a lot more sense for the life they want to have.

Alexisk17 posted 8/7/2014 12:23 PM

I think for some, asking or expecting or desiring a WS to give up something is a powerplay. i think in other situations, it's things directly tied to the affair that shouldn't have been happening to begin with or have been tainted beyond redemption (i.e. my husband's truck).

This was the perspective I was missing, thank you. There is an obvious difference and when I was first setting boundaries I couldn't see the difference between the two (requesting he give up something to punish him vs. requesting he give up something because it made me feel safe).

To OP, sorry for the hijack, looks like you have recieved plenty of great advice on your situaion...

DrJekyll posted 8/7/2014 12:26 PM

another perspective

as a WS we have already given up our morals and values and torn our own soul just by having the A. So what really do the material things matter?

[This message edited by DrJekyll at 1:13 PM, August 7th (Thursday)]

ReconcilingWife posted 8/7/2014 15:07 PM

Another BS here. In the first conversation, he offered to give up his job--which is where he met her. This would have done us NO GOOD at all! He did, however, do everything he could in terms of restructuring at work to make sure they had little to no reason for contact at work even on official matters.

The bigger thing: he was part of a band. This was really, really important to him. But it turns out that sometimes he was inventing practices as a cover for seeing her. She was also coming to see them play a lot.

Also in that first conversation, he asked me if I wanted him to give up the band. I didn't say anything--I really wasn't sure how I felt about that. The next day, of his own volition, he emailled his bandmates to say he was quitting.

I know this was very painful for him, but I think in a way he did it in part for me but in part for himself too--somehow it was part of his process of starting to make amends and to heal himself to do this. I can see that the day might come in which we could both be ok with it again. But right now it feels almost like it's more a case of when HE will be ready for it than me.

ReunitePangea posted 8/7/2014 17:07 PM

I think for some, asking or expecting or desiring a WS to give up something is a powerplay

I think you may be correct in stating in some cases it is a powerplay but in some of those cases that is what exactly is needed. Many times I feel a WS use the A to skew the power balance in the M. They stroke their ego with it and create a sense of false power. They decided to take the state of the M into their own hands by lying and deceiving their BS. They risked the health of their BS for their own personnel satisfaction without even telling them, another powerplay. Reshifting the power balance in the M is exactly what is needed. If that can be done by the WS having to give something up I do not see the issue with that.

One example in my case, I used to always let me WW get the new car when we bought one. I would then take her old car while she picked out the new one. That would mean every car I drove was never really one that I would want. Well after DDay, I bought myself my first new car that I have ever had. It's exactly what I wanted. My wife gets to drive her car for another 3 years. Yes that was a powerplay, but it is one to bring balance back to the M.

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