I realized I probably never really knew the man I married, the man I loved without reservation from the day I met him, the man I trusted with everything. I realized I REALLY didn't know the man he was capable of becoming when he had his affair.
I realized how incredibly disrespectful he was during the affair, as if the A wasn't bad enough, he and his whore took disrespect to an entirely new level. I could write an entire topic on the things they did to/with me where the disrespect was beyond amazing.
I realized how easy it became for him to cheat, lie, manipulate information to hide his betrayal, talk to his whore about me, about our marriage, our finances, our DD, MY secrets (things I never told another soul besides him), a future with her.
I realized that my very "unemotional" husband quite easily became emotionally available to her, comforted her, said things to her that completely blew my mind, never thought he had it in him.
After he was caught, I realized how much lying has become part of him now, he seems incapable of telling the truth about anything, no matter how small or inconsequential. I realized how manipulative he has become. How selfish. My healing is all on me, "only I can help myself", he has no part in it because he only wants one thing - for it to all go away and let him live happily ever after in peace. Oh yeah, and he gets to keep all his stuff too. . .
I realized I DON'T know cheaters and how they work yet, but I'm slowly getting it. As someone pointed out - and click goes the lightbulb. Someone else pointed out I'm on the cusp of "getting it".
I have always said from day one I do not want, nor do I feel I can, leave this marriage. I am fearful of the future without him, of losing everything, starting over at my age, in my financial condition and with my health issues (tho many of those are from the fallout of the A).
Many have pointed out I won't lose everything, am entitled to half, maybe some support, etc.
I know that I am entitled to certain things. When I speak of losing everything, I am being more specific than just money. We have a vacation home that took 15 years of hard work to obtain - a dream we both shared. We WILL lose that. We both have businesses. Mine is very small, makes enough $$ to support itself and our "pin" money - small home improvements, vacations, doctor bills, etc. NOT enough to support itself and our main home. So we will likely lose our home too. His business is much larger, provides most of our income. In this economy, we are struggling mightily with it; spousal support from there will be difficult, and I can already see his excuses for not paying what he should; years in and out of court.
But God help me, my biggest fear is the loss of him, our marriage. I DO love him, despite his affair, despite the selfish shit he has become. I have come to count on him for so many many things in the last 25 years. Even during his affair, he was there for me if I was in trouble (only time he WAS there for me, but he was). The thought of never hearing him say I love you again, never making love to me again, not having him in my life anymore absolutely terrifies me. The thought of another man touching me makes me want to vomit. The thought of him being with another woman - well it's been over 15 months and it still makes me ill.
I am allowing him to GL, TT, manipulate me because of this fear. And I'm quite certain he knows this.
I am so torn. At some point, self respect has to trump love, I understand that. Right now it's safe to say I have NO self respect. That is not who I am, certainly not the woman he fell in love with. I always believed I could do anything if I wanted to. Now I don't give a shit about anything except THIS and our daughter. Every minute of every day of my life is filled with this mess.
I am so hurt, the pain is constant, never ending, hurts me emotionally and physically. I have become a doormat. I know that. But the fear is paralyzing. I am convinced that if I give him an ultimatum, he will just walk at this point; he is so sick of talking about this, re-living it, HE is so past this. And I still need to talk about it. Probably because we never really have. He told me he wants to save our marriage, he would stick with me to the bitter end, he loves me and can never do enough to fix the bad choices, mistakes he made,the pain and anguish he inflicted on me and our little family. But he's not doing that, is he?
I'm holding off making any decisions until we start MC again. I pray I can make it until then. Right now I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep the rest of my life away. I cannot handle this roller coaster any more. And my strength, which has always been fueled by my anger and pain - there's none left. I've used up all my reserves and then some.
How can I want to stay with a man that I don't even know any more, apparently never did? How can I possibly still love him? What the hell is wrong with me? What the hell am I going to do?
Once again, I am so lost. . . .
I think the most important thing is for you to be good to yourself. Try to think of ways to take back your power while still being willing to stay. Work on seeing yourself as a talented, caring and intelligent woman as opposed to part of a set. Go do things you've always wanted to do, with or without him. You'll find that empowering. It beats wanting to sleep all day.
See a lawyer. You are confused what happens in divorce. ALL assets are subject to division. His business and yours. Monetary value is assigned, and do the math for division via cash settlement.,, you owe me $ 50, I owe you $100, I pay you $50 and we are even.
Knowledge beats speculation any time. Without knowledge you are flying blind. You need to get an idea of what D would do financially which will let you concentrate on the rest of the issues.
(((hugs))) we all want what is best for you. That's why we push. But it's totally your decision.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
Of course he is past this, because he has been allowed to almost sweep it under the rug, in the meantime convincing you it's nothing when in fact it's a freaking elephant. He has not owned it, he has not changed, and he certainly has done nothing to make you feel safe.
Your fear of being "All alone" is what is driving this. It's proven by the fact that you mention being loved by another man. Yuck really? After all this you want another man in your life? I have a wonderful husband that did the work, and saved himself, and rebuilt our M and saved the family, and sister if he drops dead tomorrow the last thing I would want is another man. Think of the freedom. Think of being able to go and do what you want when you want it. Think of being able to make that stop on your way home, and not worrying about cooking dinner, because tonight popcorn and a beer is good enough. (this is the shit I think about, and it sounds wonderful to me, now that might be because I don't get a second to myself right now with teens in HS, a foster dog, new chickens, and small side business beside my FT job) But the biggest best thing I did for me in my healing from his A, was to learn that I don't need another man, or want another man. I am perfectly happy being me, doing what I want, and you know what I'm pretty awesome, and you know what else? So are you.
Stop basing your decisions on fear, and stand the hell up for yourself. He may just surprise you, and actually do the work. When I finally had enough of being a doormat, I was shocked, when my H stepped and finally did the work.
It takes a very strong person to face this reality and you have come a long way in a short time.
It's likely that nothing will change with him until you are ready to enforce some boundaries and consequences. It took me 3 years to get to the point that I was ready. I know how difficult it is to do.
You don't have to do anything like that until you are ready. Your awareness has completely changed and you are being honest with yourself. You didn't have a chance at getting to that point until the clouds passed a bit. Now your denial isn't what keeps it from happening.
You don't just wait around though. You have lots of things you can do to help yourself. This is take care of Delilah time. Take your focus off of him and give it to someone worthy of your love, yourself.
It would be incredibly helpful for you to start IC. You deserve to feel better about yourself, you deserve to respect and love yourself. IC can help with that.
What do you enjoy spending your time doing? What brings you joy? Start doing it again or set aside more time to do it than you are doing now.
Is there something you always wanted to earn or try? Reach out and get yourself involved in a new hobby or skill.
Reconnect with friends you trust. Volunteer your time for a cause close to your heart. There are unlimited things you can do to nuture yourself.
Put the 180 in place for your husband. Pull back from him. Give him less of you to take advantage of. Start worrying about yourself more than you do him.
That doesn't mean he can just do whatever he wants. Tell him he still needs to meet your requirements. It's imperative that he gets into IC. He's got to figure out on his own that the way he is treating you and this marriage is unacceptable. But he has to do it on his own.
You are starving for love, attention, respect, and gratitude. Your husband isn't giving it to you so get it from someone you can trust. Someone who isn't trying to manipulate you with it. Get it from you.
This part you can do. This part doesn't require a drastic change of your marriage. Do things to help and nuture yourself. You are due for some love.
I will tell you that there is nothing I regret more than allowing my fear---of some things that have come to pass, some that might, and some that have not---keep me from valuing MYSELF enough to ensure that I shared my life only with those who respect and love me.
I regret not respecting myself more than....things. Even more, I regret engaging in the magical thinking that there was, somewhere, a man who was anything resembling the man I wanted my husband to be.
I will tell you what was far worse than the disillusionment of learning my spouse betrayed me: realizing that I betrayed myself. I betrayed myself by staying after I learned he was a stranger, a fraud, a cheater, a liar. Because I was afraid. Because I didn't want to lose stuff. Because, because, because.
Really, there wasn't a reason good enough. But fear is a strong, if unhealthy, motivator.
On a day-to-day basis, I do struggle with the logistics of being on my own, supporting myself and kids.
But what I reallystruggle with is that I chose to allow myself to be devalued---to devalue myself--once the duplicity was revealed.
Gently, if you have a business of your own that can support you (in addition to another, larger business), a house, a vacation house, you CAN leave. So if you don't, it's because you don't want to. And that's fine. But own it. Own that luxury is more important to you than self-respect.
Reserve the right to change your mind, about this, any time you'd like. The decision you make today is not irrevocable.
We all have different thresholds. We all have different timetables.
Today, you are where you are. That's fine.
If you're in the same place tomorrow, next month, next year, 10 years from now, and are comfortable with your choice, that's fine. It really, truly is fine to stay. If you are true to yourself.
Be true to yourself. If your soul is crushed by the relationship, then do not compound your husband's betrayals by adding your own.
You deserve better.
(As an aside, why even bother with MC at this point? He's not remorseful---what will be gained, other than pain? Until and unless he's made strides in IC--strides that demonstrate that he's on the same page, wants to heal the himself and then the marriage--MC is a waste of time, effort, and money. With an unremorseful WS, it can be tremendously damaging to the BS. Why subject yourself to that?)
At some point, self respect has to trump love
You know he has minimal respect for you while being kind and considerate - now the affair is behind him and he want to rebuild his comfortable, convenient marriage.
I'm not suggesting you should dismantle this secure relationship. What I am suggesting is that you recognize your key deficiency in lacking self esteem and personal worth. Learn to recognize that you are an intelligent, decent, kind human being who deserving of respect, and demands this of every person you build a relationship with.
Learn to love and value yourself or you are lost in a world full of cruel bastards who don't, or won't, recognize your sterling qualities. I respect you for your well-crafted intelligent post that describes a woman of high integrity. You need to heartily agree with my sincere sentiment and build on it.
I am allowing him to GL, TT, manipulate me because of this fear. And I'm quite certain he knows this.
Also, you should see an attorney so that you understand your rights. Most attorneys do not charge for the initial consultation. Just because you see an attorney doesnít mean you have to file for D. Donít get hung up on material things. Living a healthy and productive life is more important.
Actions speaks louder than words. When your WH sees that you are serious, if he is really interested in saving your M... you will notice a big change in his behavior.
"The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies. It comes from friends and loved ones."
I do want to clear up a few things. I guess because my H and I are both self employed, and realized a lifetime dream of buying a vacation home, it looks like we're living the good life, and $$ are not an issue if I do leave. That is not the case. Due to severe illness, both myself and my DD, a few years back, we are up to our eyeballs in doctor, hospital and specialist bills, many of whom are now suing me. Due to the economy, my H's business is hanging on, but we are not making the kind of income we were when we purchased our cabin; each month is a struggle to pay both our mortgages. My business is quite small, a one woman operation, and due to my depression during the 2nd year of his affair, and the 15 months since DD, I have not taken very good care of my clients. Many have left me, rightfully so, because of this, and it will take me several years to get back to where I was before the A.
During the 2 years of the A, H was living quite the double life. Both he and the whore enjoy FINE dining, expensive wine, "excursions", etc. The 1st 6 months of the A required a hotel room every week until she moved back to our state. They went to our cabin every month but 2 the first year. There were gifts, dinners, trips, "help" with her finances (she didn't work, why should she with him around?). Too long to explain, but that double life of his affected me quite badly financially; I lost all my credit cards (all 3 are suing me also), and there are several other debts that are business related that are coming back to haunt me. I may very well have to file bankruptcy due to all this. I know this is very personal, but I feel safe on here. . .
I guess I appear to care more about my "stuff" than my self respect; that is absolutely NOT the case. I just don't want to lose things I've worked my ass off for the last 25 years. Our cabin took us 15 years of saving and sacrifice to get, and it is absolutely my most peaceful place on earth. I am still trying desperately to "get over" him taking her there, make those ghosts go away.
I will go see a lawyer, see what would happen with everything. Knowledge is power. It doesn't mean I have to make a decision, but at least I'll know where I stand. That is good advice, thank you.
My focus now is getting my health back to where it should be, and concentrating on being happy again. A long road I suspect, being sad has been me for over 3 years.
For those questioning the MC, I have no health insurance right now. I cannot afford IC. The ONLY way to get any counseling is MC through his insurance. The 1st time around, our counselor did IC and MC with us. I'm hoping the new one will do the same. H does not think he needs IC, I'm hoping that light bulb will turn on for him via MC. I'm also hoping we get a good enough counselor to show him the reasons he is being regretful, not remorseful. Putting a lot of hope in the MC. We'll see how it goes.
Thank you all for being here for me. This site has been a God send for me.
Whatever you can find, get a hold of and make copies. He owes you back for half of that.
I understand he may not have the cash himself, but if a divorce does happen you will get more of the equity in the homes, one or both.
Your medical bills are different, but he can't trap you there by wasting away all the marital funds.
Do you know what I mean? Gather anything you can and take it with you when you see a lawyer. Tell them about all the money used in the affair.
For the counselor and the insurance. Is it that he's the only one with coverage? So the only reason you get to see a therapist is because you go with him?
There are other options to look into. You can call counseling services and explain your situation. Some might offer drastic price cuts. Also contact your local domestic abuse center. What he is doing is emotional abuse. They might have contacts for free or low cost counseling.
There are several books on codependency.
We are on your side. We were never here to fight you. We just needed you to see your reality before we could help you more. I know it's hard, but you are doing great.
I hope someone else has other options or ideas to help. There are lots of smart and resourceful people on this site. Maybe you'd get more info if you posted a separate thread asking for counseling help with very tight funds.
Keep hanging in there.
You are much stronger than you believe. Being honest with yourself....especially in a weakened emotional state...is difficult---but you are doing just that. I commend your strength.
I understand the paralyzing state that one can feel when in your situation. No matter what, finances play a HUGE part in our lives. Some people have better resources to handle a divorce, while many...like myself...realistically view it as a struggle. Add the absolute injustice to it all, and it becomes overwhelming in a heartbeat.
You know that your self-esteem is bottomed out right now. But ask yourself this, right at this moment: "Will I continue to live the rest of my life like this?"
As long as the answer is "no", then you are making progress. You have acknowledged that you DO have self-worth, and deserve better. Now comes the difficult task of reclaiming that self-esteem that you once had.
Take baby steps. It will take months...maybe even years...for you to demand the respect that you deserve, and to be willing to leave if you do not receive this. Time does not have to be your enemy---it can be your best friend. Don't put yourself on a specific time table, but instead, continue to make small steps toward regaining your strength.
Can't afford IC at the moment? Fine--keep posting and staying engaged here. Purchase some books after doing a little research on what may best apply to you. You see? You can move forward...a little bit at a time. In the meantime, as a huge positive to this approach, you can monitor your WH's actions, and see if he is starting to become the man that you deserve. All the while, you continue this slow detachment---and you will lose this huge cloud of fear over your head.
The one thing I will mention about being loved, and not wanting to be touched by someone else: after my most recent D-day, I told my WW that I am a caring person. I told her that I have a lot of love to give, and wish to feel that love in return. I told her that I always thought it would be with her, but if not, I eventually WILL find someone to share that with.
Of course I can't imagine starting over again approaching 50. The idea of a mixed family right now seems incomprehensible. But that is the way I feel TODAY. There are many members here who have started over at an older age, and with much adversity facing them...only to thrive once again. So what seems impossible today, may be very enjoyable in the future. It is just important that we don't paint a negative light on what we don't really know.
What I do know is that you deserve happiness again. Don't surrender your future because your present seems so bleak. Just know that if you continue to work on yourself...and work toward the goal of self-respect...that things will get much better than they are today.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Accepting that I can may end this marriage 7/2/14
Heading for D
They still drain a significant portion of our resources. They always will.
Are you not covered by your WH's medical insurance? I assume not if IC is not available. You may find it accessible by other means.
I still maintain that MC with a remorseless cheater who will not seek IC himself is dangerous. I would not set foot in an MC office with him. You do have choices. Just as you are protecting your vacation home, you can protect YOURSELF. You're worth it.
There is nothing to be gained in MC now. There may never be--there won't be, until and unless your WH pulls his head out. It is reasonable to say, "attending MC with you now-when you are unwilling to admit you have issues that must be tackled and unwilling to do so--is emotionally dangerous for me, so I will not be doing so. If you decide to get the help you need first, we can revisit our marriage." Then 180.
Right now, your willingness to maintain the status quo gives him little impetus to change. Of course, you can't change him anyway--but you may be able help him see, if he is able, the potential consequences of his continued failure to accept responsibility for his own actions.
GO SEE A LAWYER ASAP, please!
As far as H's double life, oh yes, I have much proof. I made him download the "undoctored" credit and debit card statements, as well as the 3 he originally didn't tell me about. He actually went through and highlighted them for me. Then I went through them and highlighted all the things he left out. I can never prove the cash spent, but I can prove $8-$10K of cash received by his business that never hit the bank those two years. Not a dime. I also made a list of all the weeks I didn't get a paycheck because there was't enough money in the account for me (of course he got all his and then some). I also made a separate list of all the things MY business paid for his business to keep it up and running when funds were low, which of course affected my finances; that's why I lost all 3 of my credit cards. He still has all his, and recently got another one with what appears to be a LARGE limit. The amount of money HIS affair cost ME is staggering.
I desperately need IC, I know that. Just can't figure it out, and I feel like I've tried everything. I have no health insurance, due to prior conditions, and Obamacare is not doable. He does have insurance. So the only way for me to get any type of counseling is through MC via his insurance, and hope the MC will want IC as well as MC, as our last one did. Anything free around here, or income based, has 2-3 year waiting lists. Obviously I can't wait that long.
I understand I need to start doing more for myself, concentrate less on him and the M. I've spent the last 2.5 years completely devastated, crying all the time, let my friends go, lost all interest in my hobbies, things important to me. All I've done is poison penned the OW, read books on infidelity, research infidelity, fought with H, and basically trashed my business. I lost both his and my own family because of this. I know it will be a baby step, but I don't have a clue how to take that first step.
The revelations (light bulbs) are tough to take. To finally realize I never, ever really knew this man, even after 25 years. I need to just figure out how to get past that before I can start thinking about being happy again.
And Tush, no, the last thing I want right now is a new man. But knowing me, and my fears of being alone, if my M ended in D I know eventually I would not want to be alone forever. Right now the though of that makes me sick. But just another example of me thinking about the future w/o taking care of the present.
I have definitely decided to see a lawyer, find out my options if this does all crash and burn. And I will continue to focus on my DD until I feel ready to focus more on myself. And most importantly, I will look into EVERY piece of advice I have received here on finding SOME type of IC. Even if I have to call the DA or SH every night. . . .
Hugs and thanks to you all.
Knowledge is power.
And don't forget Delilah, the money he spent on his concubine was MARITAL PROPERTY and therefore, HALF yours. He owes you half the money he spent on Pass Around Patty. What you need to do is to seriously compile documentation showing as complete as possible an accounting of every cent he blew on her. If it's in the form of credit card debt, then your lawyer needs to be sure to DEDUCT half that from the total amount of YOUR debts incurred in the marriage. If the dumbass wanted to pretend to be someone he wasn't by blowing money you didn't have and charging YOU into debtor's prison so he could look like Mr. Big for his whore, then he can damned well PAY for it himself.
Jesus, this man has completely destroyed you every which way he could. Mentally, physically, emotionally, financially...and the list goes on. He left no stone unturned in his complete annihilation, did he?
I ask this honestly - just WHAT are you afraid of losing? Someone who can sink to some of the lowest levels of humanity? Someone who is right now literally WATCHING you get sued by 3 credit card companies because his selfish need to have a good time at 4 star restaurants and paying his girlfriend's bills trumped his own wife's financial SECURITY????
In my opinion, anyone who can literally hang their spouse out to dry on the clothesline with literally NO care or concern for them whatsoever doesn't deserve a damned thing. Not forgiveness, not understanding, and certainly not reconciliation.
I'm not going to yell at you Delilah, but there comes a point in your life when you have to put yourself first and stop allowing someone to abuse you. And that's all he's done is abuse you. YOU are paying the price tag for his disgusting behavior. In every single way possible.
I'd seriously think long and hard about ever forgiving someone who could sink to this level.
Good luck to you.