I didn't move out, but your description of how your WH is acting is similar to how I acted. My BW consequence for me (I think) was to not let me avoid making the decision to D. I did everything to get her to make that decision thinking it would be better for her if she could look back as see what a bad H I was.
In my BW words, she chose to fight for her M. By doing that, she didn't allow me to do what I operate as I usually do, which was to let other people make decisions for me.
To me, sex outside of your marriage is an intentional decision... how else could it be carried out without intent?
I wish WS's would be more careful with their choice of words... 'mistake' is a very HURTFUL word to me.
The problem on our side is how do we find a way to describe what we did that both doesn't feel dismissive but yet doesn't feel like we are doomed to be characterized by the A forever. The word "choice" seems clinical and sometimes minimizing. "Mistake" seems like it's downplaying the damage done. But if we come up with other words to describe it, they tend to link the FWS to being evil. We try to find a way to admit what we did and own our shit, but in a way that we feel there is still hope we can be someone better and different in the future.
I think the phrase, 'I made a horrific decision' should work for both sides... what do you think?
In my FWH's case though, he made a 'horrific and disgusting decision' by cheating, becoming infected with an STD, and passing it to me. (Let me clarify, I know he didn't 'decide' to become infected, but he did 'decide' NOT to wear a condom.)
I can see what you are saying about not being comfortable with a label that seems to indicate that change is not possible.
Like Pain, I think "I made a horrible decision," is one viable description.
The description that I've given to my FWH about how I see his LTA (which lasted for 2 years) is "A series of very hurtful choices."
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don't want to label FWH with something that precludes hope or that indicates that I believe he is incapable of change. Your thoughts on that were very helpful.
did you do that?
but, in reality,I was into it..but, I was very dissatisfied with our sex life...he was depressed, and drinking alot, grouchy, no foreplay, no dating, no flirting...just the offer of a lackadaisical drunken encounter when he finally came to bed after drinking in front of the tv....
you get the picture...
and you can imagine why I wasn't exactly jumping on his bones....
just before d-day..we became empty nesters... and for a variety of reasons we had a period of a few months of a very active sex life! I felt like we were on a honeymoon and I was very responsive.
You see guys... wives will respond when you treat them like your OW...
well..while this went on he continued the affair...so, obviously sex with me didn't change the routine that he had going on with the MOW for years.
Then d-day hit... and I was devastated, had a breakdown, kicked him out, we were separated for 6 months... but slowly started reconnecting and then reconciled and had a period of fantastic sex... the hysterical bonding etc.
so..what's the problem?
well..whatever can go wrong has gone wrong with his sexual function...
is it his age? is it residual stuff due to the affair? guilt? or is this all that I get?
the MOW gets the over the top sexcapades?
And I get sub par sex due to age issues?
I feel a lot of resentment....
I don't talk about it with him because I don't want to hurt his feelings and make him more self conscious...
I know this is TMI...and most of the guys will feel uncomfortable answering this
but, if there is any WS out there that can help with this question you can PM me...
or answer here if you feel comfortable with that.
Any thoughts, advice, comments would be appreciated.
While my A didn't turn PA I can understand some of the factors involved. The most basic one is that MOW never had to deal with reality and you do. Time focused on MOW was always on just the relationship or set aside for his "sexcapades" while time with you has to be split with bills, work, household chores, etc.
While both my BW and I would love to be intimate far more than we are, life gets in the way. A kid has a bad dream and disrupts the evening. An older daughter has to babysit until midnight and by the time she gets home and goes to sleep we're both exhausted and crash.
Just today BW is taking the girls on a day of family fun during their spring break. It was the only day the rest of the family could do it - except for me. I have a customer call today I cannot get out of, so I am left behind to work while they have a great family adventure. It's not for lack of wanting to go - I miss them dearly and the good time they will be having today. But it's reality.
When your relationship is rooted in fantasy, it can be nothing but over the top sexcapades. When it's based on reality, life gets in the way.
This is the only way you may be able to jolt him out of his fantasy world. But don't do it for that reason: file to end his fence-sitting, not to threaten.
And when he comes back begging, discuss conditions.
[This message edited by UnexpectedSong at 11:44 AM, April 20th (Tuesday)]
Because of much of what Listenclosely told me - I need to firmly set boundaries, get into IC myself...the end came when I drew my line in the sand and didn't budge.
After 18 months of watching my FWH progressively withdraw and come out of the fog. Then become the H that I never had. Actually caring about me, working on himself through IC, the past six weeks I have seen him regress. He does have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) so winter has always been hard although he doesn't do anything to actively try to counteract the depression.
My problem is that depression was a one of the components that led to the affair (a self medicating - if you will). It was exciting and temporarily pull him from his depression.
Obviously, when he dips into this depression, I trigger badly because it reminds me so much of the way he was prior to the A. For months I asked him what was wrong - told him that we were growing distant - did everything I could to try to get him to open his eyes - then the A happened.
Again, because of Listenclosely way back when, I am much more firm in what I want and need.
He really romanced me for a year (once he was out of the fog) and now - no more loving texts in the morning, no more planning nights out. He has sort of settled in. Part of me sees that it is the depression that makes him so self absorbed (and I have voiced that I am unwilling to remain in the relationship if he does not actively address his depression - told him 1 week ago and he agreed although has only gathered names of counselors so far) but another part of me wonders if FWH just fall back into a comfort zone.
So that is my question - After a period of time in R, does the FWH fall back into a comfort zone where they stop the wooing?
As I see it, this is something we both actively need to be doing for the health of our relationship always.
Do I need to panic because it has disappeared (I have a bad feeling-although I am almost sure nothing is going on with previous AP)?
If you would.
Do you fantasize about your OW while having sex with your BS? Have you fantasized about another person in real life while having sex with your BS?
This is mainly directed at the male WS. I understand supposedly their sex is more fantasy then emotion so I was just curious how many males are fantasizing about the OW and real life persons vs the TV and magazine type made up type of people? KWIM?
I am not intending on inflicting pain to any BS by asking this question I have oftened wondered if a WS would be thinking of the OW while being intimate with his spouse.
Examples are my recently finding out that in addition to the PA he was also 'chatting to other women' on an online dating site.
I have just found out that he brought a motorbike in April 09 - that he has hidden in his parents garage.
I have had unexplained bleeding that my GP thought might be due to an STD - my WS told me that he only had a EA and it was NEVER a PA so I didn't need the tests. I believed him. He lied. I've had the bleeding since october!!!!!
His therapist has said that he is "basically a deceitful person" - I now see him as a compulsive liar. I really can't see how we can ever R when he is apparently incapable of telling the truth.
I'd be REALLY grateful if anyone can shed some light on this.
Thanks in anticipation.
After a period of time in R, does the FWH fall back into a comfort zone where they stop the wooing?
I think what you're experiencing is normal. But I'd put a slightly different viewpoint on it.
The A represents a fantasy world. One which could never be sustained in real life. In real life we have great and crappy days at work. In real life, we get sick and lose energy. In real life, we feel the weight of stresses and don't always cope with them well.
All of these prevent us from aggressively wooing our spouse. And that happens regardless of whether you are a BS or WS.
With that said, it still comes down to accountability. I've gotten some horrific feedback from my boss lately. Cost pressures are increasing with our first child going to college in the fall. We still have the pace of supporting four kids and their activities. Wells just came off a stretch of work where she was working crazy hours. I let it all get to me, and it didn't go well. I started to melt down. Was there some depression in there? Probably there was.
I'm in one of those stretches where it just seems like every time you get up off the mat, something else conspires to make your life worse. I shared this with Wells, because before the A I remained silent and that wasn't a healthy way to handle things. So the first question you need to answer is:
Is my WS openly sharing their emotions and what they are going through?
It sounds like you might be partially there, but not all the way. He's not running from the question when you raise it, but he's also not coming to you and sharing what's on his mind. IC can help dig into that, so I would hold him accountable by enforcing the choice. If he follows through with an IC appointment, then patience while he works through his IC "tune up" is fine. If he doesn't, consider going back to a 180 until he does.
Next, you need to be sure he understands his impact on you in the relationship right now. In my case, Wells ended up being very clear with me the other night. To paraphrase, her response to me was "it's really draining when I have to constantly be a cheerleader for you.". This doesn't mean I do not have her support 100% of the time. It just means that at some point, we have to understand that we are responsible for our own happiness. And if our current situation makes us unhappy, the only one who can change that is ourselves. We can't ask our BS to do it for us. This doesn't mean that you aren't sympathetic to his emotions - you want to try not to dismiss them. But at the same time you can be a mirror for him, reflecting how his unhappiness will make others around him not want to be with him because it brings them down too. So the second question you need to ask is:
Am I sharing exactly how his mood is impacting me?
With these two questions answered, he should be able to start moving forward. Going to IC, getting the feedback needed to turn his approach around. then, you can start to attack the individual elements here.
For his SAD, does he have a SAD light? We have a few of us in the house here that are affected by SAD, and we've rotated use of a portable SAD light to help us through it. Believe me, it really works.
For the texts, they can happen both ways. Have an honest conversation about how much they mean. I try to make sure the first electronic communication I send every day is an IM/text to Wells to say good morning and let her know what she means to me. There are times when she answers right away, but most days there's a delay and sometimes she doesn't get around to answering me at all. That's ok, because I know regardless of the reply, her heart is with me. Sharing the importance of his texts to you is helpful, but if it's not sustainable for him in the "real world", you might have to find another way for him to show what you mean to him on a daily basis.
For nights out, I've backed off from the intensity of just post D-Day. I am also not nearly as detailed a planner as Wells. I think we've found the happy medium there though. For example, I really wanted to see Disney's "Oceans" this weekend. We rarely go to the movies as a couple, and certainly not for a new release. So this is kind of a special thing. I pushed a bit to see if we could make it work with crazy family calendars. After the third try, we found a time we could make it happen on Saturday afternoon.
What I didn't do was figure out child care arrangements. Wells ended up figuring out where they all could be - one at a camp activity, one sleeping over at her aunts, two off with their grandparents for the night. Would she have preferred that I sort all that out and plan the whole thing? I'm sure she would. But I've never been good at looking at that level of detail and I'm far less comfortable at asking relatives to watch the kids for us. So she stepped forward and took care of it.
The result? We ended up showing our love for each other by doing what we do best. I forced Wells to be a little more spontaneous by just grabbing a date and something to do. She handled the planning so we could make it happen. We also did this a couple of weeks ago when unexpectedly good weather made for the perfect day out with the kids. She had planned on spending time with the family. I was the one to push that we go to the beach as our outing. She took care of most of the logistics and we had a wonderful day as a family.
In the end, to me successful R can be seen when the couple work as a team. They take advantage of each other's strengths to make the whole better. If you start to sort out what each of you are best at, you can work as a team to make a better, sustainable whole.
Is my WS openly sharing their emotions and what they are going through?
You know - he tried. It is difficult for him to be reflective, but I could see him trying. Sometimes it took him longer to figure out his stresses and unhappiness - but he did get there for the most part.
For example...In December, I opened my own business after being a SAHM for 5 years. It meant a lot of time and changes for the family. He was very supportive of this. However, after a couple of months & in the dead of winter, he started to get moody and distant. I would mention this to him and he would say it was work and winter. On one particular date night - he told me how unhappy he was with my work hours, asked if I was making any money yet. Then went on to say that he preferred it when I was a SAHM because I had more time with him. I firmly told him that this business was something for me, and although I hadn't seen any money yet, I wanted to give it more time. I said that I cannot stay at home because of the comments that he had made during the A and after the A in the fog ("what exactly is it that you DO") and that I won't be in the position of relying on someone else for my livelyhood anymore. I felt trapped after the A. He did go on to apologize for the comments he made about me as a SAHM & stated that it was blameshifting. Later at marriage counseling - he apologized for the evening stating that HE was currently unhappy and blaming my business for it. I let him know how appreciative I was for that and how impressed I was by his reflection. It truly was a HUGE moment for me and him and US!
Yes, I feel that I am very good at expressing how his moods not only affect me but the family as a whole. It is difficult to walk on eggshells around him when he is depressed. There is a lot of global anger when he has situational stresses. If he finds out about a bad work assignment on Friday (for work on Monday) - I know that we are ALL in for a bad weekend. I have expressed that not only do I not deserve this but that I am not going to accept it. It's too exhausting. He understands that and I am hopeful that he will follow through with his IC. I am prepared to do what I need to do if it does not happen.
I am also with you on the date nights. It is my birthday this weekend and he is also not that great at babysitters. So instead of waiting for it to blow up - I volunteered to get a sitter for Saturday. He is taking care of everything else.
I agree that I need to let him know how important loving words or texts are. I will admit to wanting to receive one from him first (in a pouty way) and will discuss this with him.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
How do I get her to talk.
By having consequences for her actions. Not the actions of 15 years ago, but the ones she is taking now. Her actions are dismissive and more importantly are hurting you.
Be clear with her that by her sweeping it under the rug, getting angry at you for asking about it and trying to blameshift to you as a "pity party", she is further hurting you. Ask her what you need to ask. If she continues the same response, consider 180ing her. This will both strengthen you as well as deliver consequences for the way she is treating you.
She's not in a place of any level of remorse, and until she gets there you probably wont see much change in the way she responds to you.
Can someone please tell me why WS continues to lie about his A and things that he did whilst in the 'fog' even though he is now apparently out of the 'fog', truely remorseful and 'desperately trying to make things right'?
A couple of things come to mind. First, I have been a conflict avoider for much of my life. I'm still not perfect at overcoming it but through IC focused on that issue I have been able to develop some better approaches. In many cases, the lies from a WS are to avoid the conflict that will inevitably happen when they bring up painful or controversial information. If this hasn't been addressed, you may need to start there.
The other big reason for the lies would be fear of consequences. Here it would probably make sense to establish some form of "amnesty talk". Basically, encourage your WS to "rip the whole bandaid off" and agree that once you have successfully talked through the issues you won't be punishing them for the same offense over and over again. If there is a comfort level that painful information can be shared without it becoming ammo for the next 20 years, it can make it easier to talk about.
WH and I had our first MC appt today. WH still doesn't know what he wants. MC asked him to end the A and he said he couldn't. MC told him that she understands that he feels good about the A and all, but that what he was feeling isn't real.
I thought something would maybe start to snap him out of his fog during the MC, but it doesn't seem like he believes her. He said his usual he doesn't know what he wants and he doesn't miss me, etc. during MC, but then wanted to talk and bullshit afterwards. I told him he couldn't just talk to me like that like nothing was wrong.
What is going through his mind? Will anything get him out of the fog? I feel like at this point only something drastic, like me filing for D, will do it, but that's the point of no turning back for me. Or will just keeping at MC help?