I think I'm only so put together because he's working so hard right now, and because I'm working so hard right now. It's not 100% of the time--I definitely start crying out of nowhere!--and I have the feeling that it could slip if (when?) he was less vigilant.
Thank you for the advice on counseling! We're both seeking IC as well as couples counseling. I won't have too much choice in terms of IC (it's provided at my work), but I am a little nervous about finding a good CC. I did some research in the healing library, and used those tips to try to figure out what we should look for, but it didn't seem totally comprehensive. What should we be looking for, really, besides being comfortable with the counselor?
I think we're both in for 100% effort--I hope our desire for that does not wane!
Thank you again for the response! I haven't had anyone besides him to talk to about this and I desperately need/ed support
1. HE chose the counselor. He spoke to him, told him our story, and told me why he thought he was the right choice. That was his first act of reconciliation, and it was so important to me. It showed me that he knew he'd messed up and took making it better seriously.
2. For me it was better to find a counselor without a religious bias. Ironically, I am a religious person. I just didn't want anyone telling me that "God has a plan" or anything cliche like that. I wanted someone who would be straight up with me- no bs.
3. What really made a difference for me with my counselor was knowing that he would be totally honest with me. I found out after the first couple of sessions that he runs a divorced women's group in the area-- basically he helps women get out of bad and unhealthy relationships and gets them independent and free from their loser husbands (not his words!) He said many times that if he thought I was in danger of this happening again, if he saw any signs in my husband (either in IC or couples) that he would do it again or was lying in any way, he would tell me. In fact, he would encourage me to leave. (He obviously didn't!)
All that being said, he wasn't perfect. But my husband and I bonded over his imperfections, too. I think we both just really WANTED it to work with the counselor, so it did.
All the best of luck to you, Me_Too. This forum isn't terribly active but the posts here are relevant and will be helpful. You aren't alone!
Not sure if anyone's still out there.
My husband just told me that he's going to have to travel back to the country where the ONS happened, likely seeing one of the people that paid for the hooker that destroyed our relationship. (He's going there for business.)
He's approaching it very calmly, like 'okay, whatever you need me to do to get through this, I will do it'. But WHAT can he do? What can he possibly do to make me feel better about him going on this trip? I know he's walking on eggshells, waiting for me to snap. I'm trying to come up with a list that will take even the smallest amount of anxiety from my chest right now (that's what our MC told me to do):
Obviously, no dirty-ass karaoke bars. OBVIOUSLY. I am sure my husband will laugh when I say that, because for him that will be a big "duh". If he doesn't react that way, I think I might barf.
Answer his phone at all times. Again, this will be fine for my husband and he will happily do it, but I don't know how much comfort that's really going to bring me.
The one thing I want to ask him to do is to not drink. At all. I want him to promise me not to drink so he won't be in a state where he could make a bad decision. But... (and feel free to call me crazy here)... it doesn't feel 'fair' to ask that of him. Business dinners where the guys buy each other drinks is part of the culture there, much more so than it is here. If he doesn't drink he will look unappreciative of their hospitality. Also, these guys KNOW he drinks. It will look weird.
I also don't want to ask him to do something so... big... and put him in a place where he would lie to me. Like if he had one drink with his colleagues and went back to the hotel and went to bed, what would be the harm in telling me he didn't drink at all? Nothing happened, no losing face for him. But for me, another lie.
Does this make any sense? I really don't know. I feel like I'm in a cloud right now. A year and a half from D-Day, and I'm now facing the one thing I've dreaded since finding out-- him going back to that god-foresaken country. Without me.
Have I mentioned I'm 7 weeks pregnant?
Ugh. Any support is appreciated.
What else can you do.
Hookers normally ONLY take cash - therefore, limit the amount of cash he has on hand. He'll have to use a credit card or debit card for transactions.
I'm assuming that there is no way that you can go with him this time, so that rules that out.
I don't have any other suggestions for you.
In our situation, returning to the "country of the scene of the crime" was (and still is) a deal breaker - simple as that. So was (and is) going to strip joints. Drinking without me ... not a deal breaker, but I'm not comfortable with it. He took it upon himself after Dday to swear off drinking without me, and even with me, limits himself to 2.
PS-Congratulations on the impending birth!
[This message edited by Devestatedx5 at 5:59 AM, April 5th (Monday)]
Congratulations on the pregnancy, I am sure you and your husband are thrilled.
That being said, he loves and want you and this child, he knows the incredible agony he has put you through. I REALLY don't believe he would do this to you ever again.
But, I understand your fear. Do you have a picture of the sonogram he could keep in his wallet? As him to think of baby names while he is away. tell him how much you love him and that before long you will be a family.
I would not tell him not to drink; that is his choice. He is a big boy who has it all. Just remind him how lucky you both are to have come this far and that by reconciling and having a baby, you have shown the depth of your commitment. Perhaps remind him that he has the opportunity to show the depth of his commitment.
We talked about the trip last night for about 2 hours. It was heated at times, but mostly because both of us wanted to feel heard. Here's what we came up with:
1. No karaoke. Yes, that was a big obvious. My husband actually said that he wants me to know he won't go to any place (bar or otherwise) or put himself in any situation that he wouldn't be comfortable with ME seeing him in. I thought that was a good gauge. He will not be going out to bars after dinner with work people (it was work people who bought him the hooker-- not friends).
2. Constant availability. That was also an easy one. He promised to call every night from his hotel room so I knew he was home safe (and sober).
3. Drinking. He was actually really receptive to what I said about wanting him not to drink at all, but I did end up feeling that it was not necessary for me to demand. Me_Too-- your suggestion made the most sense to both of us. He's going to drink water in between drinks and not exceed about 3-4 at dinner. His ultimate promise was not to drink enough to where his judgment was impaired. That is hard for me to "hold on to", but I do think that 99.9% of the time my husband knows his limits and is under control. I do have to trust him on this. It is hard but I feel it's right.
The one thing we just couldn't see eye to eye on was a hypothetical I brought up. I asked him if he would be tempted to do something like that again if I wasn't in the picture. Of course, the answer I wanted was HELL NO, NEVER, I am so disgusted with myself, etc. But what I got was, "Well I AM with you, so I don't understand the point of the question."
This got heated because it made me question his moral character--and to THAT my husband took offense. He said no, he probably would not ever do anything like that again because he DOES think it's shameful, but he wanted me to understand that most of the horror he felt as a result of what he'd done was because he had violated OUR trust. The act was secondary and even irrelevant. To him (the 1+1=2 engineer), that made perfect sense. To me, that was a roundabout B.S. answer that made me think there was part of him that would be tempted to do it again. (And I don't want to be with a man who finds that behavior okay.)
We did talk it out and work it out. I see where he was coming from with his answer, and he sees where I was coming from with the question, but there is still a bit of a nag in my heart about his response. I guess we'll just see how the next couple of weeks go in preparation for the trip.
Thanks again, everyone.
I feel sometimes similarly about my bf as we try to move forward . . . especially at first, he was focusing on how he damaged us, and me, and trying to fix the damage to us, and me. We had a LOT of conversations where I would get frustrated and upset and remind him that what was brought into my life had nothing to do with "us" and "we" and everything to do with him!
I think, to him, the focus on myself and the relationship was his way of trying to atone, repent, change, and address my pain. To me, though, it would feel like he was thinking about slapping a bandaid on the issue, rather than addressing the root. So, if I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, I think I understand how you feel.
I suppose it is good to look at a few things in his response, even if it isn't ideal . . . 1) he's talking about and setting boundaries, which is positive, because the lack-of-boundaries issue seems paramount in leading to infidelity, and 2) he's prioritizing you and your relationship. I know that what my bf did resulted from no boundaries and from caring about himself more than anyone else, especially me, so even if it's not coming out perfectly, indications that he's keeping/setting boundaries and prioritizing me do help me feel like my heart is slightly safer.
We're here if you need anything! :)
I found out about it because he gave me an STD from it. I was pregnant and found out from the routine tests the doctor runs. So he first told me he was given oral sex and once he realized what was going on, he left. After researching the STD, I found it can not be transferred orally, so now he says he was rubbing naked against her but didn't penetrate because the OW was on her period. For months he's been lying and probably still is!
He is very sorry and has changed his behaviour a lot since I found out 8 months ago. But he has also been lying the whole time. I also asked him to quit drinking as the ONS most likely wouldn't have happened if he was sober...but he won't. What do I do?
Are any of you going to leave your WS because of their ONS?
I am sorry to hear that he has lied to you. This would probably be a deal-breaker for me. If you're really worried about finding out the truth, some other SI'ers recommend polygraphs.
He seems to not be "owning" what he did. I don't know your whole story, but it sounds like he's trying to minimize his ONS. And he certainly is not taking the repercussions seriously. I would recommend you read more about boundaries and insist on some . . . no suggestions, but, "you want me to stay, this is how life must be".
I am not leaving my WBF, but only because he has been: a) consistently and totally remorseful, b) consistently and totally honest, and c) willing to bend over backwards to do what I need to feel safe again. If he violated any of those things, I would be out the door. My heart can't take much more.
I know it is painful to deal with these things, and I know it's hard to draw lines in the sand. IMO, though, you NEED to draw those lines. He did a horrible, heinous, hurtful thing, and it's HIS turn to make up for the pain he caused.
One tactic that I used when my WBF complained about boundaries is that I told him "This is not my choice. This is all YOUR choice, the choice you made when you slept with that thing. Everything that is happening now is something you chose."
Perhaps read Joseph's Letter in the healing library too? Good luck!
He's lied about this ONS for 7 months...told me a lie about it and yes, totally minimized it when now I find out it was so much more. He tells me he lied because he was so scared that I wouldn't be able to forgive him and he was also trying to spare my feelings. Well all I can wonder is what else is he hiding to "spare my feelings" or protect his marriage?
I did give him Joseph's letter and I got nothing. He said he didn't really understand it. He only told me more when I told him what I had learned about the STD he gave me. He's only ever told me information about that night when he has absolutely had to...like when I first found out I had an STD and then when I learned the STD is not transferred orally.
Do I still love him...yes, but things will NEVER be the same. I will never hold him in the same light I used to. In that respect, I feel like I'm settling. He is not the man I thought he was and I'm so much better than how he has treated me.
I know that I need to make my decision...leave or stay. If I decide to stay, I do need to forgive and put it behind me and move on. But I can't decide. My IC said that it's okay not to rush and that one day I would wake up with utter clarity and know what to do. It's been 8 months since dday...when will I know what to do?
Sorry, I know I am rambling.
I am asking you all, if there was a point of clarity for you when you knew that you needed to R or D. Thanks so much for all your support!
A few things. IMO if he is withholding things from you, he is dishonoring you by not allowing you to make decisions about your own life. His choice affected you, deeply. You deserve to know. He doesn't have a choice to protect his marriage. HE threw it away already--the choice is now yours, unilaterally.
Reading "How do I forgive you?" (Shirley Glass) might help. One thing she points out is that true forgiveness can't be reached unless the offending party makes amends. You won't be able to forgive him unless you starts owning his shit. Will it ever be the same? No, there is an innocence that is completely lost. But I read others' posts, and it seems that, if the WS is active in owning his/her shit, that it's possible for the marriage to be better in some ways. But only if.
I don't think you have to make your decision now. Everyone takes their own time on this (so I hear!). I personally am always staying "today" . . . I can never tell him I'm not walking out the door tomorrow. If his inability to tell you the truth is a huge sticking point, I might make that a boundary. "You need to tell me the full truth now. If not, I'm gone". You have to really believe it though--following a statement like that up with nothing will teach him that there are no consequences for his actions. You'd have to be able to follow through, if that were an important boundary for you.
GOOD LUCK and let us know how we can help support you best :)
Amen to the "owning up" piece of this. I don't think any decisions can be made until then. Maybe your husband is still too clouded in his own guilt to realize just how liberating the owning up piece can be. Can this be something to work on in individual counseling? You know him best (and yes, you still know him). Is he just needing to work through his own "grief" with this, or do you think this is indicative of more secrets or a general lack of care for you or your marriage/family? Listen to your gut on this.
Your counselor said you would "wake up with utter clarity and know what to do"?? That has not been my experience at all. It's been a year and a half since D-Day for me, and sometimes I still feel like I'm living moment to moment. I will say that my moments of despair are MUCH fewer and further between, though that has only come through a ton of work on mine and my husband's part. And that took lots of time, stumbling, and picking each other back up again. Eight months is not that long, Jadyn. You need to give yourself time to heal.
Me_Too-- the trip hasn't happened yet. It keeps getting pushed out because of work. I know my husband is happy to postpone it as long as possible, and so am I. In fact, we're trying to work it so I can go with him, though that will be tough since I'm now 3 months pregnant. Honestly, I'm feeling okay about it. Not great, but okay. It's taken awhile, but I've seen how far we've come since D-Day. I truly don't think he would do anything like the ONS again. I asked my counselor recently if that makes me a naive idiot, and she said, "No, I think that makes you a woman in a relationship that has worked hard to rebuild trust after a devastating blow."
That was really powerful, but we'll see how I feel when/if the trip actually happens.
How are YOU, Me_too?
I am doing okay . . . mostly surviving. I think I've hit some kind of anger stage--no matter how good, kind, thoughtful, etc., he is, I get irritated and pissed off. Oh well.
Also, his work is thinking of sending him to England at some time. I'm worried because it's never planned in advance--they'll call him and tell him he needs to leave in 3 days. And he'd be gone for about a month if it happened. Even though his ONS was in town with someone I knew and loathed (barf), the idea of him being away from my ability to track him for that long horrifies me! If he does get sent over, you can be sure that I'll be on here posting like mad.
Oh, I also find myself getting angry whenever anyone (IC, couples counseling) tells me that I'm being brave, or trying really hard, or gives me some kind of compliment. Anyone have that kind of reaction to niceness?
I totally empathize with the "moment's notice" job situation. I always thought it was exciting that at any time we could be in Asia or South America-- the ONS definitely throws a wrench in that lifestyle! But I keep having to remind myself that the ONS doesn't define my husband, his job, or our relationship. (The hardest realization, for me).
there's just too much that time cannot erase
And the more I know, the less I understand
Because of you...I am afraid...
I think I am also more hurt by the aftermaths...the decade of time he hid it from me and became a different person (not a nice one) because of it.
But it all stemmed from that one event. for me, anyway.