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Newest Member: Confused4 (61103)

User Topic: Year 2 struggle
♀ 40139
Member # 40139
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, August 18th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WHs level of remorse and regret for his A, and for his general behaviour to me over the last 20 years, seems to have deepened in the last few months. It actually seems disconnected most of the time from what he did to ME, and is more focused on what he did as a person. It's like his character has changed, and he is getting an ever clearer picture of just exactly how bad his choices were. He is having a hard time forgiving himself.

At the same time, he does not want to talk about the A specifically. He does not really seem even aware that I might still be in excruciating pain. He needs a lot of affirmation from me, but it's almost as though he has disconnected me from being a partner in this healing. It's not about healing our marriage, it's about him healing.

I am also starting to get a clearer picture of just how awful our marriage was. I must have been mentally ill to think we had the greatest marriage in the world. I was emotionally abused for 18 years, and I didn't know it. I know it NOW, in light of how completely different our entire relationship is, now that I know what it feels like to be seen and heard and respected and not constantly humiliated.

I am having a very hard time forgiving myself for staying with him, for being his greatest fan and support, for being blind to the true condition of my marriage and ignorant of the man I believed I was in love with. I was happily married to a complete stranger - a liar every day of our lives together.

I am not sure what I need from him. I don't need affirmation. I don't even need him to say sorry again. I need a time machine. I need him to heal - but encouraging him and caring for him emotionally makes me feel invisible.

I am having a hard time with the knowledge that I often wish I had never met him, never loved him, never had children with him. I do love him and our marriage is healthier, as much as it could be in these circumstances... but I just wonder how very different I might have been as a person if I could go back 20 years and have a do over. I read BHs on here - men who are broken and wounded and still would rather lose a limb than betray their spouse - and I think, that's ME. I know who I am - I can't even fathom a world where I would break my vows in that way. Why couldn't I have married a man like me, who abhorred the very idea of infidelity? Why did I think so little of myself that I was content with such a poor offering of love for so long? Blah.

Me: Believer, 40s
Him: Liar, 40s
Married 19 years
1 year EA/2 month PA/incidental infidelities I can't begin to process
OC born 2014
In successful R. It only hurts now when it rains.

Posts: 865 | Registered: Jul 2013
♀ 34353
Member # 34353
Default  Posted: 2:13 PM, August 18th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Its really hard to see the true 'ugly' in ourselves, them and our marriage. Maybe some IC would be of help for both of you

Me: BS
Him: WS
Married since 1985
Parents to 2 adult sons and 3 of the cutest cats you have ever seen
D-day 8/6/11 Truth about ONS and 9/21/11 Truth about EA and 10/28/15 NEW dday.
Just surviving.

Posts: 1849 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: midwest now.
♂ 36555
Member # 36555
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, August 18th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The fallout is just horrible. I know what you're going through. My FWW has a hard time with shame and guilt and now self loathing. So much so that she doesn't feel worthy of me and therefore builds a wall sometimes between us. I don't know if that's your H's case?

Truth is, the blinders before my eyes are also gone and now I can see clearly. I too thought our marriage was perfect. I too assumed wrong. She is more alpha than me and abused of such a thing.

BS - Me 47 WS - Her 45 (Childhood sexual abuse survivor)
DDAY -#1- June 2012/ #2 -June 2015 / #3-August 2015
Married 25yrs. 2kids
Status: divorced.

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: USA
♀ 39836
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 5:11 PM, August 19th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just wanted to reach out and say I get it. I get it all. I thought we had a good marriage and I was happy, but looking back it was so unhealthy, it really wasn’t a marriage at all. I was so devoted to my marriage and supported my husband as he worked his way up the ranks, but I now know my kids and I were always second or third on his priority list and in reality, I was a single mom. Thinking we were both in this together, doing what we needed to for our family, and communicating well, when really he saw me as a parent figure, built up resentment towards me, and worked really hard at avoiding conflict and lying to me. Also, I have had men hit on me while being marriage and not at any moment did I actually entertain the idea, but the first woman that tells him he is hot and that she has had fantasies about b***** him in his office, he immediately arranges to have an affair?!? It never occurred to me to have an affair, to separate, or to divorce him because I thought we were so solid, I must have been just as delusional as he was!

I went through a very emotional “I just want a do over” phase that lasted a couple of months. Oh, I hated that this was my past and that WH stole this from me and I would never be able to get it back. It would be forever part of us even after we were long gone. Then, unfortunately for this world, Maya Angelou died. Her quotes where everywhere. It wasn’t new to me, but the one that really helped me was “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

You and I did our best. We did what we knew how to do. We had limited information and life experiences. I felt like I knew how to be a good supportive wife, but obviously, I did not know what a healthy marriage looked like nor how a healthy husband should look when he’s invested in his marriage and present with his wife and family. I have forgiven myself and come to terms about this.

We are told not to go into marriage trying to change someone which I understood, so instead I made excuses that he was “tunnel-visioned” therefore, never really saw when we needed help, he was “wanting to provide for us” therefore, was never home, he was too “stressed” to be bothered to buy birthday or holiday gifts/cards for me and the kids, and that he was “cerebral” therefore, wasn’t interested in sex and felt uncomfortable when I would bring up the topic. It sounds like you made excuses to yourself as well, because looking back it seems insane that we would put up with so much disrespect. We did our best because we didn’t know any differently.

Well, now that we know better (oh, and how we know better), we WILL do better. Even though our “happy” marriages have been blown to shreds and we are picking ourselves up, we now seeing glimpses of what a partnership is supposed to look like and how we need to communicate. The best thing is that we are not going to settle or make excuses this time around. We know better. We just don't know how it is going to look in the future.

At the same time, he does not want to talk about the A specifically. He does not really seem even aware that I might still be in excruciating pain. He needs a lot of affirmation from me, but it's almost as though he has disconnected me from being a partner in this healing. It's not about healing our marriage, it's about him healing.

This really jumps out at me. It sounds like your needs are not getting met AGAIN which is reminiscent of the past. You have mentioned that WH is changing and growing, so maybe toss out your initial post to him and see what he has to say. If anything, you will be able to gauge where his thoughts are on supporting you and your needs and both of you can come up with a game plan where no gets left behind. If you haven’t you could also do the 5 Love Languages and see if that helps start some communication.

((plainpain)) Sorry about the long-winded reply, but in short, I did just want to say that I get it and I feel it too. I have told my IC that there are times I feel that I don’t want him because the pain of the disrespect and betrayal is just too great, but I don’t want anyone else to have him because he is getting healthier, so it seems the best solution is to just have him dissipate in a cloud of smoke.

Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 893 | Registered: Jul 2013
♀ 43489
Member # 43489
Default  Posted: 7:12 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

((plainpain)) Sorry about the long-winded reply, but in short, I did just want to say that I get it and I feel it too. I have told my IC that there are times I feel that I don’t want him because the pain of the disrespect and betrayal is just too great, but I don’t want anyone else to have him because he is getting healthier, so it seems the best solution is to just have him dissipate in a cloud of smoke.

It is so reassuring to hear others say they're experiencing the same feelings that keep cycling in my head! Yes, exactly this. FWH doesn't deserve me, I don't deserve the crappy marriage that I thought was so amazing. But he has become someone so unrecognizably caring, attentive, and fiercely driven to be the most amazing husband on this planet that I get furious just thinking about another woman reaping the rewards of all my heartbreak and anguish that are the catalyst for his reform. No woman on this planet deserves THIS man that is trying so hard, except ME. But then I remember the seven months of the most horrid evil behavior done to me that I couldn't have ever even imagined a human being was capable of. And then my pride plummets because I'm staying with him. I'm emotionally and physically exhausted.

Posts: 135 | Registered: May 2014
♀ 43489
Member # 43489
Default  Posted: 7:16 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

plainpain... Thank you for writing this post. I kept this tab open since Monday because it resonated so strongly with me. I spent the week thinking about it and I talked to my IC about it yesterday. She said I projected what I wanted/needed and could cope with or that I felt powerless to change it, so instead I changed the reality of it to something less damaging to me. It's just amazing how blind I was!

Posts: 135 | Registered: May 2014
♂ 38044
Member # 38044
Default  Posted: 1:44 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Just past 2 year mark now and much of your post resonates with me.

The excruciating pain I still feel on a daily basis? I get that. My wife NOT being able to grasp that? I get that too.

Past 2 months have seen me face loneliness unlike anything I have experienced in my life......or has it? Yes, adultery is new to our M. Adultery is NOT a singular stand alone is the fruit of much work. The work that went into that hurt our M and us long before the A started. IC has opened my eyes to MY choices....and they were hurtful to my wife and M too.

Before you write off years of M as all abusive....consider this.

The pain you NOW see as unacceptable was acceptable before. Why?

For me my coping skills are mostly dead....this is a healthy but scary change.

Couple things....

I mostly "coped" with life while dating my wife and most of my M to her. It was not healthy nor wife did the same. In our sitch....neither did it to hurt or abuse the other. But hurts and abuse did happen. But we coped with it....never processed past them to healthier spots. During this time, many good things happened. Our girls being born are among the best, but many other shared experiences were good!

Without my coping skills the pain that was "acceptable" to the point of NOT dealing with the pain is no longer so. It's EXHAUSTING but necessary. BS often times are the first to have their coping skills broken. WS often fight to keep theirs alive longer (lies, TT, etc) in attempts to keep their pain at bay.

For me that "disconnected" feeling is among the toughest. It was the pre-A but both my wife and I ignored this. We were able to because of some very strong coping skills. My CoD, her ability to totally disengage her emotions.

Our brokenness worked well together. Same isolating feelings exist in both of us....but I would hide them through lots of CoD activities and that would enable my wife to have just enough "evidence" to deny her authentic self. Neither of is meeting the others needs not getting our needs met.

I believe we all marry who we are supposed to.

I also believe we all have free will.

If I were married to an adoring underware model or my wife was married to a sensitive brain surgeon.....I believe our life's journey would resemble what it currently does.

If either of us were more broken or more healthy....would we even have made it past 2 dates?

2 years appears to be a dicy time for couples post-A....particularly with what a BS feels.

I am back to weekly IC because of much of what you post. I am NOT fixed and struggling hard too.

Please just refrain from assuming the entire length of your M was abusive and junk. A therapist is a need for me as I out to the "test" what I think I believe.

Often time what I "believe" turns out to be a cause of pain I don't want to feel, but can't ignore because I have grown past the coping skills that previously would have allowed me to avoid and deny that pain.

In those belief is disproved. It hurts. But it gives me the "authentic self" I am committed to seeing within.

I believe a M can R when both spouses commit to a real, authentic search of themselves.

It's hard, humbling work.....and I only half of my M.

But for me to chose not to do this would greatly increase my chances of repeating known destructive cycles.

God is with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 1:52 PM, August 23rd (Saturday)]

ME: 42 BH, I don't PM female members
SHE: 38 EA
Married: 15 years
Together: 17 years
D/Day 9-10-12
NC: 10-25-12
NC: Broken early November 2012, OM not respond
2 girls; 7 and 10
Fear is payments on debts you have not yet incurred.

Posts: 5801 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Central Missouri
♀ 41736
Member # 41736
Default  Posted: 9:31 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, thank you all so much for putting into words perfectly what I am going through right now!! Plainpain, I think our paths have crossed before and I so get what you are saying! I too thought things were hunky dory with my marriage-- I am very codependent and he is very type A. I feel like I put up with the "abuse" if you can call it that--- he has always been a very thoughtful husband, but I always feel like I am kissing his a** over something. (if I don't do xyz he will be mad, etc) Well, we had a talk about his anger issues and he has worked on them. I felt like I really didn't deserve his tirades and cussing sessions every time he got mad about any little thing. I hated it! For me it was the thing that made me put up walls, even though I knew he would never harm me physically, emotionally I felt like I walked on eggs all the time! Then it seemed he resented me for telling him how I felt and having to curb his anger, made him internally more angry! I honestly feel that his A was a way to strike back at me, for not being ok with him "as he was" (not that he ever said that) But she was willing to leave her husband, children, etc for a man she really only knew at work. They have no idea who he really is!!! I am the one who put up with all his BS for 20+ years and I am now the angry one for feeling like the fool. It so isn't fair and I have so many bad days over this, he doesn't understand. It is so hard to put into words, but when I read this thread, so much of it I truly get. I'm not willing to give up just yet but I am feeling so mad that his anger kicked off this whole ugly mess to begin with. How's that for ironic? Now when I show any anger, I get it shoved down my throat . (so sorry for the rant!!) Hugs to all of you for even getting this far on this horrible journey we find ourselves.

Posts: 31 | Registered: Dec 2013
♀ 37107
Member # 37107
Default  Posted: 1:40 AM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for posting this plainpain, so much of what you have written resonates with me. I'm really struggling with this stuff at the moment.

BS 49
Together 32 yrs, M 28 years
2 daughters 27yo(married with 2 children) & 21yo
D-Day 18 Aug 2012
6mth EA lead to 4mth PA with CO-W. I found out 8 1/2 yrs later

Posts: 1310 | Registered: Oct 2012
Topic Posts: 9

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