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Why do I not have a spine?

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Tigaress posted 8/10/2014 21:47 PM

It's been weeks that I found out about my husband cheating (he insists he only kissed her but I don't believe him and my gut says there were others ....). I kicked him out the same day but since then he has not talked to me about our situation or sent me the promised 'longish email' that was supposed to be explaining everything. A few weeks back he went on a business trip and communication was very sporadic. Last week, again, he promised me that he'd finally update me on what was going on, tell me the truth about his cheating etc. over the week-end. It's Sunday night and obviously there is no email from him in my inbox. I feel like such an idiot that I always fall for his promises and lies. Why do I not have a spine? How can I learn to 'show him boundaries'? My friends keep telling me that's what I need to do but I seem to be incapable. He still continues to manipulate me as he pleases but this has to stop. Anyone could share some advice please? And sorry if you already sent me advice, the first week after I found out about his affair is a bit of a blur and apparently I have to hear things several times to (hopefully) get it ...

healingroad posted 8/10/2014 21:53 PM

Don't be so hard on yourself. It's still so early. It's hard to make the jump from knowing what you need to do to actually doing it. Just keep in mind what you want and need, one step at a time. Baby steps if need be.

Hang in there.


Landoes posted 8/10/2014 22:10 PM

I feel the same way at times, jealous of the people who had the courage to leave their WS.
There isn't much anyone can do or say to make things better, the only thing that works is time.
I think you're being way too hard on yourself. You've been through a traumatic event,and it's normal for your feelings/thoughts to be all over the place. Best wishes!

Skan posted 8/10/2014 22:37 PM

Get angry. Anger can stiffen a spine quite quickly.

ProbableIceCream posted 8/10/2014 23:12 PM

If you started with a spine, going through something like this shatters it. It takes time to heal. However, I will agree that anger can give you a temporary replacement spine. :)

BtraydWife posted 8/10/2014 23:18 PM

You kicked him out. That's way more spine than lots of bs have right after dday.

What you need to do is pull back from him. He knows how you are because you contact him and talk to him. He hasn't reached out much to you has he?

Go dark on him. Don't call, don't email, don't ask for anything unless it's money or kid related, and even then be very brief with him.

Start the 180. You made a huge positive step by kicking him out, not stop staying in contact with you. Pay attention to what he does over the next several weeks, not the trash he says.

What he is showing you is that helping you or healing your marriage is not a priority to him. So stop treating him like he's a priority for you. I know that's easier said than done. Go over the 180 list, print it out and read it several times a day.

If he calls don't answer. Let it go to voicemail. Then listen to it and post here for support on if and how you should respond. Same with emails.

You are doing better than you realise. You have gotten him away from you so you have the chance to think clearly about things.

painpaingoaway posted 8/10/2014 23:18 PM

It takes time, but you must summon your inner bitch. Here, you can borrow my bitch shoes:

badmedicine posted 8/10/2014 23:57 PM

First I want to agree with those above: you kicked him out immediately!! Way to go!! Some people end up sleeping with a completely unremorseful WS right after finding out (which I fortunately avoided myself but was much closer than I would have liked ).

Second, take a deep breath. You can do this!! You have already done a lot. Now, just do what you can to ignore him. Channel your thoughts into something productive, like cleaning , walking, knitting, whatever. Do. Not. Answer. NO CONTACT! You can do it. Just do it for a few hours, then a few more. If you make it a week you should give yourself a prize like a cupcake or a manicure or whatever you enjoy. Something!

If you can just do that it will help. It's only been a few weeks since you found out. Seriously, I was still curled up in the fetal position at all times when I wasn't at work. Even sometimes at work I had to take breaks to find a closet to cry. If you are functioning (eating, showering, wearing mostly clean clothes, sort of sleeping) you are doing FANTASTIC at this point. I promise. So cut yourself some slack and work on one thing at a time. You will gain strength and be ready for your spine transplant!

**you can always go back and look at your previous posts to read old advice. For me it took awhile before some of it sunk in. Mostly because I could hardly read through the tears.

I'm sorry you are here but I'm glad you are reaching out for help. You can do this.

ETA: painpaingoaway, those are nice shoes!!

and then again because I can't copy and paste like a normal person

[This message edited by badmedicine at 11:58 PM, August 10th (Sunday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 8/11/2014 00:17 AM

He still continues to manipulate me as he pleases but this has to stop. Anyone could share some advice please?
His manipulation of you will stop when you decide that it stops. Tig, he's gonna keep doing what he's been doing until YOU throw the bullshit flag and put an end to his games.

Jomarion posted 8/11/2014 06:43 AM

Well Tigress, you have shown spine, though you don't see it. The first evidence of spine to me, is YOU LISTENED TO YOUR GUT!!! I wish I had, I believed every stupid lie, ignoring my gut. Keep listening to your gut. Your gut is picking up on clues and behaviours too subtle for your conscious mind to formulate. it is the survival part of you speaking.

I got lots of 'token gestures' and empty promises too. Some promises were fulfilled, and I would begin to trust. Then the other promises were not fulfilled, and I would say'why don't I have a spine?'

I am afraid of giving you 'nice' co-dependent-type 'advice', so I will refrain from doing so. But I think the gut-listening is the non-co-dependent in me speaking to you.

Take care of yourself. He is not fulfilling promises, protect yourself by expecting him to continue not fulfilling promises, or being wishy-washy. By doing that, you are stepping back a little, the knife still hurts, but it can't go in as deeply when you start to emotionally step back.

And this spoken from a person who asks herself the same question as you almost daily: Where the hell is my spine??? Me, the tough, no-nonsense, reputation for strength and courage me?

Hope You can take something helpful from this. Good luck.

krsplat posted 8/11/2014 07:27 AM

(((Tigaress))) You're doing better than you think you are. At only a few weeks out, I was still mostly curled in a fetal position on my bed and crying all day. You're functional. You listened to your gut. You kicked him out. That's spine, sister!! Now just keep going.

It takes time to get yourself together. You've just had a bomb tossed into the middle of your life, and everything hurts. So do what you can when you can, and don't worry about how long it takes you. Keep talking to your supportive friends. Post and read here. Take tender care of yourself. And when you are strong enough to take the next steps, you will.

solus sto posted 8/11/2014 11:45 AM

It sounds to me like you have a spine of iron, to tell you the truth.

He's out of the house. That's huge!

That he has not provided what you need is not due to any failure on YOUR part. It's not because you don't have a spine.

It's because he doesn't experience the same pain, associated with his behavior, as you do.

You can't change him. He's the one who needs to grow ...well, I wouldn't say a spine so much as a set.

So where does that leave you? Where you are---moving forward without him.

The only thing I'd do differently, in your shoes, is this: I'd stop expecting a thing from him. He'll deliver--or he won't. So don't ask.

His lack of action provides your answer, really, doesn't it?

No need to engage any more about it. That doesn't mean you have to file today, or tomorrow, or next week. You can take the time you need to catch your breath, get your thoughts straight, get ducks in a row--whatever you need to do.

But what you DO need to do is let go of the notion that you can drive this process any further than you have.

You've done what YOU can do to address the matter.

Now it's his turn. If he does HIS part well, then maybe you can work, together, to move forward as a couple. (At this point, I'd go dark on him, except for communication that is absolutely necessary.)

He may not do what needs to be done. He's not showing any real inclination to do so. If this persists, you can then decide what you must do to move forward with your life constructively.

But what you've done so far? Holy moly, woman! Give yourself some credit. You've got a spine of steel.

[This message edited by solus sto at 11:45 AM, August 11th (Monday)]

Tigaress posted 8/11/2014 20:24 PM

Thank you so much for all the encouragement :-) And the shoes are awesome, will definitely use them!
The 'longish email' that was promised for the week-end has still not arrived and I just realized that in three weeks away he has not called even once. And he has not checked in how the baby is doing either. Would not really consider this 'fixing everything', no?
I am trying my best to follow the advice to 'go dark' ... but without communication I am worried about what's going to happen once he's back from the trip (no clue when that is going to be)...

BtraydWife posted 8/11/2014 21:29 PM

Expect the same thing to happen when he's back from the trip. No show of concern from him. He hasn't called or made any effort to keep up with what is going on with you. This is because he doesn't care.

You can't count on him for squat. Stop looking for him to fill a space, answer a question, provide a reason, reassure you things will change.

Stop and listen to his actions. It is hurtful and I am sorry. He is showing you who he is, believe him.

He's someone who doesn't care enough to reach out to you. He's a new father that can leave his child and not look back.

You are chasing him. Stop. You are feeding his obnoxious entitled ego when you do that. You are making him feel desired as he is.

You don't want him as he is. You want a good, honest, loyal man and father. Someone your child can look up to, someone worth your effort.

Until he starts showing you with consistent effort (over weeks and months, not hours and days) that he is that kind of respectable and worthy man, stop treating him as if he is. Actions, not words.

Stop acting as if he is the prize. He's not, he's that goat behind Monty Hall's curtain. He's a joke.

You and your baby are the prize. He should be reaching out to you two. He should be chasing you and working to get your attention in a positive way. He should be fawning over you asking how he can get back with this beautiful family.

Don't give him the time of day until he starts treating the two of you like the prize you are.

I know this hurts. I know the rejection is so painful. How can he just walk away like it meant nothing? Because he's not well. He's steeped deep in the denial pit. You can't nice him back.

What you are doing is like begging. He should be begging you. You don't need an asshole like him in your life. Someone who acts as if you aren't worthy of him. You deserve so much more.

Don't answer the phone when he calls. Don't respond to his email right away. Come here first.

Please be aware that you are so desperate for a sign that he's sorry, you are likely to soak up any amount of bullshit and sorta kinda effort he shows. Come back here and share with us. Let us help decipher his communications.

Think of it like an auction. Say you have a dresser for sale. You hope to get $200 for it. Knowing people try and talk you down you ask for $300 from the start. Your husband says I'll give you $50. You say no, but now you start to get worried. You wanted to sell this dresser today and the day is almost over. No one else has shown any interest.

You know he has an interest and you counter with $275 but he walks away. Right now you are following him around all clingy saying -would you do $250, maybe $225? He keeps walking. Now panic sits in and you feel you need to finish this deal. So you keep following him around now offering $175, how about $150?

You've let panic convince you that should settle for less than you need. You are still following him around, badgering him, even while he's eyeing up other dressers. At this point, he knows how desperate you are. He knows he can get you down to $100. He knows this because he's willing to walk away.

If you had originally countered that you couldn't go any lower than $225 and stuck to that, saying thanks anyway, and walking away. Then he would've started to consider how much he wanted that dresser. If he really wanted it, he might pay the $225 or he might ask for $200. If he didn't really want it, you weren't going to get what you needed in return anyway.

Be willing to walk away if he's not willing to give you what you need. Stop chasing after him.

You are doing much better than it feels like. We are all so proud of the strength and self respect you have shown. Now keep it up. You can do this. We can help.

Tigaress posted 8/12/2014 08:19 AM

Dear BtraydWife thank you. My husband is Indian, that makes the comparison with the negotiation even more accurate. He's a quite good negotiator in Indian markets. The few emails were actually initiated by him but they were sounding as if nothing had happened. That's also something he's very good at, screwing up and then pretending nothing happened. Until people around him believe it or just give up. I'm 'dark' now .... day three ... but it's HARD! And I guess I also have to go dark with his mother because if I keep talking to her he probably hears everything about it.
I'll post as soon as he calls or emails, but that can be a while ...

gotcha posted 8/12/2014 08:42 AM

You have a way bigger spine than you think.

You kicked him out! That's way more than I can do right now.

I'm not sure what your particular situation is, but our Ddays are probably around the same time as yours. So far I'm having trouble getting my H to respect my boundaries or even show any remorse other than the initial fake remorse he gave me to keep me around.

My therapist says to set boundaries and have them have specific consequences that you are comfortable with and ready to enact when he does not respect the boundary that you set for him. Still working on actually doing that.

She also said it's okay to work on or set one boundary at a time. (I'm having trouble with only one simple boundary of not sleeping in the same bed... and I guess not having sex either bc he definitely knows better than to ask or expect it at this point in time).

I know your frustration. I'm getting so upset with myself too. Why can't we just kick them out and be done with it... draw a hard line! But it's not always that easy.

Hugs to you.

solus sto posted 8/12/2014 09:13 AM

Usually, the expectation is that, eventually, the WS will come around to provide, at least, the answers that make the decision to separate easier. There is the expectation that the WS will provide some sort of reason/rationale/closure.

Some WSs simply don't. Or won't. Some offer nothing, ever. And it's VERY hard. Very hard.

I suspect your WH is among this group. The cowards whose sense of self is so threatened by any challenge that they just--abdicate. They run away.

Still, you will heal. You will accept that the man you thought you'd married never existed. He never existed! (Alternatively, he might have changed on such a fundamental and negative level that the outcome is the same; it happens, but I'd bet on the former. You know, when things are just fine as long as you believe what he wants you to believe about him, ask no questions, offer up no real challenges.)

You will heal. He likely will not help.

Perversely (and it's hard to type this, because I've been in your shoes and know it feels as though there's nothing positive about the situation at all---and really, there isn't), you're damn lucky to be learning this, about him, now. Because the only thing worse than living a false life with a fraud is learning that you've been doing it for decades.

I'm so, so sorry for your pain. I know how it hurts to find out that you are married to a stranger---one that can't, really, come back after his transgressions because his personality flaws will not permit that. (If he's anything like Trac-Fone, he perceives the emotional battle in his own head, which he's dragged you into, without your knowledge or consent--to be a life-or-death battle in which any concession is akin to committing hara kiri. And Lord knows, he's too magnificent for the world to keep revolving on its axis without him, so he can't succumb. It's odd, the combination of grandiosity and self-loathing--and it absolutely precludes R.)

Millions of hugs to you.

(I found the book, The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, by Susan Anderson, to be very helpful. The other book that really opened my eyes kind of surprised me. It was He's Just Not That Into You--which seemed like an odd choice for someone in a long-term marriage to read, but helped me see how very little I was valued. Hurts---but helped.)

Tigaress posted 8/13/2014 22:26 PM

My husband still has not contacted me, it's day four now since his last email. He likes the pictures of the baby that I posted on Facebook but I guess that does not count. I'm being sarcastic. But something else happened. His oldest friend emailed me 'hope things are going better now'. I had hoped that guy could help my husband find a job several months ago but he didn't come through. Guess he was too busy with stuff that was important for him. So I didn't want to respond at all but ended up writing out a response - and then I accidentally sent it :-( It said that I had caught my husband cheating, that he'd have to work very hard to try and save this marriage but that he didn't do anything, not even communicate with me etc. etc. It sucks that the email was sent. He even replied already, said he would 'reach out' to my husband (probably the same bla bla as months ago) and that he could't imagine he would cheat. So I wrote back very briefly and said that I had proof, I had even emailed the slut and she had written back that she didn't care that he was married. I have a bad feeling about this...

solus sto posted 8/13/2014 22:54 PM

Don't be too hard on yourself. Telling someone else about the affair is fine. It may not effect any meaningful change--positive or negative. If venting helped you in the moment, it's just fine.

homewrecked2011 posted 8/13/2014 23:06 PM

I have a bad feeling about

Don't worry!!!!! It's perfectly ok to tell the whole world what he was/is up to! Affairs are like mushrooms and mold,, they flourish in the dark, but wither up and die in the light... Sure your WS might get mad, he might lie to his friends (as my xwh did), but it's ok,,, you are about to see who he really is!!!! Does he admit to his friend that you are right, or does he try to throw you, the mother of his child, under the bus and tell his friend you are crazy?

Just sit back, no contact, and watch and see who you really married..

btw, a great, fast, book about how to get your confidence back is a book called "Love Must Be Tough". It's about tough love when you are married to someone addicted to affairs. Do not tell your H you are reading the book. I was a strong woman by chapter 2!!! you can probably download the book or get it on CD. It changed me really fast (gave me my spine back) and my WS even wanted to come back! He told my friends he saw a change in me. I told him the ONLY way he could come back was 6 months solid in counseling before he came back home, that I wanted a real marriage. I found out who he was when he couldn't do that simple thing for his 2 sons and for me......

((( tigaress)))

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