self-esteen is usually the biggest reason from what i've seen...that all important "ego".....
i think i understand now.....i hope i do anyways....
more importantly is that you and he understand and it seems that the 2 of you have reached a really good place together....and whatever bumps you encounter in the road are just that, bumps....
i wish i had just bumps...lol, i seem to have detours and alternate routes on this journey
Sorry I have been absent for so long. I just read the last 5 pages. Whew! So many new members, so many questions, so few answers. I made it through my father’s funeral service and my 2 year antiversary with only one truly horrible day. I am in a limbo state now as DDAY#2 when I learned the truth about my life, my relationship and who my H really was is still a couple months out. As I have been reading the last few pages several very strong points came to mind. Please no one take this as a criticism of your or your sitch. These are things I have learned over the last two years:
Since we are all dealing with LTAs, we wonder what the length of the healing will be. We have heard the 2 – 5 years on this board but wonder what it means for us with the length of our betrayals. As far as your own healing, as soon as you make it about you and not about your marriage, your relationship, etc. you are on the path of healing. That is why the 180 is so powerful for those who have WS still in the fog. It puts the harmful party at a distance and allows us to focus on ourselves. So make sure you aren’t trying to heal your S for them. I spent months saying “read this, look at this, etc.” Codependent much? Then I started focusing on what I needed to do to feel better and it helped. I am still learning much about that.
However, if you are asking about how long until the marriage is healed I believe the answer is – it doesn’t matter as it isn’t up to us alone. It is squarely on the shoulders of the WS to figure out WHY, what was so broken inside them that allowed them to lie, to hide, to compartmentalize, to seek self-esteem is such a sick way, to be so completely and utterly selfish that they would literally destroy the lives of their spouse and children to do what they did.
These people had LTA(s) and affairs for years because they were monumentally fucked up. Fucked up in a way that those of us with a shred of normalcy will never understand. At some level they are as mentally broken as serial killers. They JUST DON’T CARE about the consequences to others. (the good news is that they didn’t really care about the OP either – only the fantasy that existed around this person). The bad news is that we must admit to ourselves that they WERE capable of anything. I believe I know the truth because his confession was so awful and so complete. He has never been faithful because he only cared about himself. My H has admitted that he used and abused me to get what he wanted. I was the vision of the good life and he could have his seedy life on the side. He admits he was pathologically selfish and knew just when to smooth things over so he didn’t lose what he needed. HE ADMITS THIS – IT IS SICK!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE LOOKING AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR AND ADMITTING THIS? I tell you this because if you don't feel you have all the truth, you probably don't. Your WS may or may not give it to you but don't deceive yourself as to what they are capable of. I give my H credit for the changes he has made but I am now wary about what he is/was capable of.
To understand the "WHY?" they need to do a shitload of very difficult, very time consuming work on themselves. My H is TWO YEARS into 1-2 week IC and I think he is finally getting to the point where he is understanding who he was, who he wants to be and what he did. AND HE STILL DOESN’T GET IT ALL THE TIME!!! He still is a conflict avoider even though he knows that was one of his biggest weaknesses. He still looks for external validation on an unhealthy level.
Also, these people had weak to non-existant boundaries. They need to first admit this (i.e. no slippery slope for them as they live on a cliff. )Therefore, NO work “friends”, NO facebook “friends”, NO gym “friends” as they are NOT capable of healthy relationships with the opposite sex. These boundaries have to be put into place by THEM (not forced into place by us monitoring them.) If they want to get away with it, they will. Snooping will just drive us crazy. If my H, god forbids, decides to do this again, I am gone, the kids are gone and the money is gone. This is REALLLLLLLY hard work people. It is not a “I am changed why don’t you believe me?” Or “I have learned my lesson”. That is gaslighting and blameshifting not doing the work to enter a healthy relationship with another human.
These people using lies as a force of habit. My H admits that he would lie about the stupidest thing just because that would be the first thing out of his mouth! He has had to learn to consciously wait and breathe to answer a question so a stupid lie that could undo all the work doesn’t just spring out. He has been lying to himself and everyone around him for as long as he has lived. This does not happen overnight and also requires a great deal of work.
Foo issues do matter immensely and cannot be brushed aside, forced down or whatever method they have previously used. For example, my H was exposed to sex in the following ways; first he found a stash of porn waaaaay too young and was mesmerized but what he saw, this is how he thought it was done. Second, he was exposed to his older brother literally fucking girls in the same room as he as he “slept”, he was allowed to be with his naked older sister in the tub waaaaaaaaay beyond what any of us would consider to be a healthy age (think her in puberty and he at 6-7) Therefore, he thought sex is something you used to define yourself, to prove you were a man, to “get away with something” etc. I could have written this post line for line:
He believed he was a good lover, but felt guilty for having sex. So when he had sex with any woman, he prided himself on his sexual prowess but even though he told himself he was trying to please the woman, his motive wasn't really to please her, it was to feed his self-esteem by showing himself that he was good at something.
I also can say at two years out I am still very protective of myself. I have not let him back in yet. I don't believe I will ever be as close to him or give myself up to him again. I watch his actions every day and any anomaly is frightening and I react (and some of these are the “little things” like not checking in when he said he would even though I know where he is). I will carry this with me always. We may survive as a family but the family, our marriage and my psyche will always show the deep scars of the wounds that were inflicted. Each of us has our own path that we must follow. Take care of yourself and the ones you love. Make sure you keep yourself safe. Enforce your own boundaries. Know what you can and cannot accept and don’t allow yourself to give that up.
Man, your H had even more screwed up exposure to sex than MY H! Geesh.
I know one EXTREMELY huge change in my H is that he is finally, finally, FINALLY cognizant of healthy boundaries. He has put them in place and enforced them ALL BY HIMSELF!! That is a HUGE turnaround. And, gee, not at all surprising to those of us who had healthy boundaries all along, he feels good about himself when he puts healthy boundaries in place and upholds them.
I absolutely believe that people can change, but making changes can be a monumentally uphill battle and one only the person wanting the change can make for him/herself. Once the scales fall from their eyes, they really do "get it."
I'm just glad for a whole bunch of reasons that my H FINALLY got it. He really is my best friend again. Hooray.
These boundaries have to be put into place by THEM (not forced into place by us monitoring them.) If they want to get away with it, they will. Snooping will just drive us crazy. If my H, god forbids, decides to do this again, I am gone, the kids are gone and the money is gone.
I’ll be gone for a couple of days. I’m trying to meet up with my oldest bf who is over from Australia to see her parents. She has very recently been diagnosed with liver cancer. Her parents live down south, so I’m spending some time with FWH too as he is working down that way.
DS’s 1,2&3 have also booked their travels to New Zealand. DS4 will be in bits. He loves his bros. They’ll be gone for a year or thereabouts. So I have that to deal with too, although it doesn’t really compare to bf’s sitch. But I’m feeling a bit bereft and could do with some good vibes. Just waiting for something to really knock me over. I’m sure it’s coming.
[This message edited by UKgirl at 4:47 PM, August 24th (Monday)]
its so good to hear from you again..
and what a powerful post....very well said, i wanted to shout amen and/or alleluhia...many times over in fact....
its more then validating when someone else can so eloquently put your thoughts, your feelings into word and throw in a few aha moments....
thank you for that post.....
ukgirl: you will be missed, enjoy your time with your friend, and try to find some time for you in there, spa time or just tea time....
fairyfreind: good for husband....that is awesome that he has done the work needed and continues to do so, and more then that i am sure its just as rewarding for him....
UKgirl... I hope you have a good visit with your BF despite the reason for her being in the UK.
Welcome and welcome back to those who have posted in the last few pages. I've read but mostly lurk feeling I don't have any wisdom to impart... just lots of empathy and prayers for our LTA tribe.
"I don't believe I will ever be as close to him or give myself up to him again."
But I'm really focusing on myself and trust that all you mentioned in your post will keep me happy. To take care of myself, I will never be a conflict avoider again, never again accept my wife stepping out of my boundaries and I am confident that my new outlook on life will take me back to happiness and joy.
And to add to your post. My W will now know my needs...and I will work hard to know hers... and it is up to me to place importance on those needs in our relationship. I think so many M's have "married singles lifestyles"
describes couples that may have lost a sense of closeness they once had as marriage partners and are living more like roommates.
Oh well... I think it will take me more time for my greatest happiness... another year + to recover... taking one step at a time.
[This message edited by MollyBrown at 8:01 AM, August 25th (Tuesday)]
But I would never, ever want the old him or old marriage back,
iwatnamiracle... Porn and self esteem? I guess I cannot understand how someone with uses Porn to increase self-esteem...
I always used porn to kick start a fantacy... a visual is so much better then the imagination... coping with a loneliness is the way I think about it. It was something that felt good about not hurting my wife and replaced what my W was not doing... coping is my words... there is a line to cross maybe. In fact, I always viewed it as the person that has A is someone that needs to feed the ego... needs that high self esteem... The bully is usually the one with the highest ego... need to be on top.. contol others...
I think about all the men I know and most look at porn.. believe me.. it is a taboo discussion but we all look it... joke about it... These women in the pictures or movies are usually different then the W, beautiful and stimulate the mind... for fantacy. think about how big it is on the internet. Huge!
The guys that knew that cheated.. One had a crazy wife, a mental illness she killed herself last month... one was unhappy that is wife was so controlling, one was always complaining about his wife never wanted to have sex.. But I do know this, These men all had one thing in common... Selfishness beyond what I have. They have the ability to think about themselves over others... Greedy... these were the customers that I could minuipulate with dinner, gifts... lol. BTW.. all D'd... And that is exactly who my W fell in her A relationship with too... Even she was like this in many ways too...
Oh well... Off to my feeling discussion with my W...
[This message edited by trynhard at 4:33 PM, August 25th (Tuesday)]
i always found it cathartic to sometimes ramble away, sometimes rant too....
tryn: i see that crane all the time now, today i saw another, a white one...i tried to get close for the picture and it flew off, then round the bend a bit and there it was..and again i tried to get in closer to get a picture and again it flew off....all the while the grey one stayed in the orginal spot....you've got me thinkin "BIRD".....
and self-esteem/ego is fed in many different ways, not always healthy...and by the waywards almost never healthy....
My FWS used some soft porn for a while too, we have it all over the place here where we live. As long as children aren’t involved, it’s pretty accepted. He said he used it to distance himself from me.
I think the connection between self esteem and porn is like this: many people with low self esteem reject/disown their true self and try to project a fantasy image of who they’d rather be. They then need people and props outside themselves to reflect back that image they want to see and they have to run away from anything that reflects their true self back to them. Validation is external and comes from others, not internal coming from yourself because you can only internally validate your true self, not a fantasy. So the person has to live in a constant fantasy state running away from reality. Living with a real person in a real relationship and loving them (and making love with them) forces reality in their face. Porn provides a safe haven far away from reality where they can believe whatever they want to about themselves and not have facts to the contrary telling them otherwise. But it is like peeing in your pants, it will only undermine your true self esteem in the long run.
I think that’s how my WS used it to distance himself to me. The more he lived his double life and got caught us in his lies, the more he saw reality when he looked at me. To escape that, he could just go have a little porn fantasy and not have to deal with it.
But that’s just people with low self esteem. I do think there are other reasons for using porn. Men are much more visual than women. The problem arises if it’s secret or if the person is using it for something not healthy.
I had major FOO issues reawakened when I found out about my WS. I had finally (or so I thought) resolved my issues around trusting men because my H was so “wonderful” when D-day hit and I was plummeted back to “you’re just like all men after all, objectify women and can’t keep it in your pants” (sorry to all you nice men out there). In trying to figure the porn thing out, I read Nancy Fridays “Men in Love”. It was a real eye opener. For most men, it seems there is a clear boundary between what they want to fantasize about and what they want to have happen in their real life. Most really love and respect their wives. The majority don’t use fantasies to distance themselves from their wife but to resolve a conflict in themselves. Usually about how much they love and desire women but don’t feel it’s appropriate to express it because their desire is “nasty” or because it’s just not manly to be so emotionally and physically dependant on women. Well, there were also the jerks and perverts in that book but I was touched by the honesty and struggle of the others.
you also seem to have a very healthy attitude and thats wonderful....
The majority don’t use fantasies to distance themselves from their wife but to resolve a conflict in themselves.
Anyway... I'm glad I can resist porn today and glad my wife is a real wife today.
iwantamiracle... spiritual meaning of a Crane - cessation of combat... I know God has sent me messages through these birds... have you felt that too?
[This message edited by trynhard at 6:57 PM, August 26th (Wednesday)]
then you post the symbolic meaning....i need to ponder it some more....or just go with the flow....i have given up on my marriage....the cessation of combat....
btw on e more side note, when i first found out so much i had asked my dad (he is dead) for a sign that i should continue in the marriage, kind of like dad you wern't there for me when you were alive, maybe you can come through now and give me that sig, the sign i had asked for was to see a blue jay....this was in jan/feb...and i asked to see it before april 1....because after april 1, it wouldn't be a sign, it would just be normal..i asked for the blue jay for 2 reasons, i ahve seen them here on long island, just not too frequently and also the baseball connection which was a strong connection for my dad, even though he was a yankee fan,,,,,anyways i prayed everyday that i WOULD see this blue jay, but i never did....i really wanted this sign, ireally wanted my wh to fess it all and i really wanted my marriage to work, but i wanted it to work on my terms...needless to say it wasn't meant to be...i have still not seen this blue jay, my decision and choices reamin and will not change, and os if i did see it now it wouldn't have the meaning i tried to attach to it prior to this...
i have asked for signs that i was making the correct choices for myself and for my kids...i got cranes, whether or not this really is a sign....who knows...but i have learned not to discount ANYTHING....too many things i have discounted in my lifetime and most certainly in my marriage...NEVER AGAIN....
i've taken my power back and i intend on keeping it...i am getting stronger everyday....i still hurt, but i maintain perspective, i am still angry and again i maintain perspective...and i am working really hard on me and i will do more then survive, I WILL THRIVE....
[This message edited by MollyBrown at 2:59 AM, August 28th (Friday)]
I managed to spend some time with my friend (see prev post). It doesn’t look very good at the moment, she had secondary liver cancer and the primary hasn’t been located yet. But she was only diagnosed four wks ago and she hopes to go back to some positive news and to be put on a programme of treatment.
And it was the usual triggers around being in the hotel. The affair seeps in everywhere; the car park, reception, the room, dining, drinks and just the whole time. The knowledge sits like a lead weight inside me. Bastard. All those times he had with her pretending to be me – his wife. The times she would have arrived before he did and gone up to the room using MY name and he wouldn’t have minded. Well, he wouldn’t, would he, seeing as he asked her to marry him anyhow. I’m going off on one, so I’d better stop right here.
Oh, except that coming home we had to go the other route which takes us too close to MOW’s place. And he said “what’s wrong?”!!! Fuckwit.
ukgirl: no surprise, he's a bit dense....the important thing is that you don't let it paralyze you, so many triggers can be so damned paralyzing...so be proud...and rant away dear heart, rant away.....
[This message edited by iwantamiracle at 8:53 AM, August 28th (Friday)]
ukgirl: I'm sorry to hear about your girlfriend. A good friend of ours lost her battle to liver cancer last year but her situation was rather advanced before they found it. I hope better things for your friend.
Yes, he chucked her under the bus pretty quick all right but that was easy because he was already phasing her out and grooming girl #2 to take her place but it was all still just to get his ego stroked and keep the fantasy of himself alive. I apparently made him see his real self too much.
I just read your profile.
Five years and I never knew.
This is the very thing i can't get past (3.5+ years). We're R'ing pretty well, all things considered. He has done a major soul searching and clean up in his life. Doing everything he can to make it right and I'm trying too. But there are just some things I can't get past and this is one of them.
Five years and I never knew.