Also, how would you feel if your BS said they are no longer committed to the M? Not that the BS will cheat but rather if a "better offer" comes up they wouldn't hesitate to take that opportunity. For example, BS gets accepted into B school of her dreams in order to pursue MBA and the move is financially and logistically feasible but WS doesn't want to move. BS decides MBA is more important and moves anyways.
We have MC for the first time in a year tomorrow and want to be honest about why I'm not divorcing but prepared for his reaction.
[This message edited by icbtih8 at 8:10 AM, August 26th (Thursday)]
Beauty is a calling...a call "to transfigure what has harden or was wounded within you"
-- John O'Donohue
While my WH is trying to "find himself" I have suspicions that he is still contacting OW (also an online EA like you). We did not implement a NC because he was so "unsure" of things. But even though we didn't officially do it, I feel that his continued contact is counterproductive to any possibility of getting "sure". Should I demand NC even if he's not ready to R yet?
Also, WH is not "into" IC - he has very misguided notions about it but I think it could help. Should I also demand that? Or is there another way I can gently convince him to go?
married 30 yrs. 8/2010
ETA. IPAD auto correct stinks, sorry for typos and numerous edits!
I ask a similar question in the R forum to BS. And am curious of the WS POV on the answer.
For you. What would reconciliation look / feel like? Meaning what would you expect to feel once the A is *behind* you both. And you are R.
Thanks in advance!
He's cakeeating. The longer you allow it, the worse it will be. 180 now, until he decides to get on board. Absolute NC...no exception. Even after it's established, she will still linger...then dwindle...maybe even fish after a long period of time. But one sign from WH will reset the clock completely. I don't think you can force somebody into IC. He wouldn't get anything out of it unless he really believed he needed it.
Unfortunately R takes a lot of work and time...from both parties. I'll be the first to admit that my contribution in my own situation has been dismal by any standard. I would suggest that you get WH to explore this site, and perhaps even join. It took a lot of discussions with my BW, and a lot of help from the good people here for me to Iunderstand that the real 'why' of the A was inside of me.
Because AP's represent something shameful, humiliating, hurtful, heartbreaking, and evil. Take for instance Voldemort.
D Day 3/23/2008
I expect to feel whole. I expect to not need anything from anyone other than my BW. I expect to not feel sad for myself anymore. I expect to get to the point that I can give BW the things she needs to know she is loved and to receive those things from her in return. I don't know what that looks like yet.
I don't think I argued much once the A was out. I didn't argue much before it. We did MC early, but I was still in contact and using the communication excercises with BW to justify and blameshift. I did that for about two years. Finally I gave everything up to BW. Even then it was false-R for about six months. So, two years to two and a half years from the first time I told BW I wanted a D to the time I finally committed to (false)-R. Despite all that, your WH has to want to work through this shit-storm that he has created. He has to want to find the truth. Until then you are going to be beating your head against the wall. Try the 180. Set dealbreakers and stick to them. Take care of yourself. Until you do, he will just keep putting you off and making things adversarial because he apparently knows how hard it is for you to live like that so he can keep doing it and not have to worry about losing you.
If I knew my BW was only staying for those reasons, not for love/hope, I would feel pretty crappy about what my wayward actions had brought about in the M. I would not be able to hold out very long if that was all there was in the M and I would likely head toward D.
As for the second part of your question, if she wasn't committed, I would let it go. Personally I would love if my BW went to school. I have encouraged it for years. You should do what you need to do. If your WH can't support what you want to do, then where does that leave you? Compromise? What happens if you are at a point where you are tired of compromising? I'm having a hard time with your questions because I am the wayward, but I am the one who would want to move to go into and MBA program. BW would go with me, but it isn't really what she wants to do.
Dday EA 03/10
Dday PA 06/03/10
Dday whole truth 08/2011
So tired and confused. R is up to him now.
Were any of you cheated on in previous marriages/relationships and then turn around and cheat in your present marriage/relationships? If so, what was your reasoning? I understand through IC that wounded people wound others but also can't imagine having had it happen to you, how you can turn around and do the same if there's anyone who can speak to that.
As I posted previously, I'm here due to a dating relationship. He was separated from his WW, I was separated from my H (not infidelity related.), when we started dating. (NOT wise I now understand until divorces are finalized) WBF admits how devastating it was being cheated on by his WW and she stayed with OM for a while after but then he turned around and cheated on me rather than just say he wasn't ready for a committment/relationship/whatever, yet ACTED and spoke to the fact like he was.
Still continue to try to sort that out and given that he and xWW are still in court, 5 years later, he can't seem to explain...other than cheating on me before I cheated on him or his perception that I would cheat on him (I never did), he wasn't ready for a committed relationship considering what he had been through and was going through but yet didn't want to lose me (thus the lies), blah, blah, blah...
Also, please know that I hold you all in high regard. None of us are perfect but for you to be doing whatever necessary to heal yourselves, your BS's, your relationships, and support others through this speaks volumes, if only I could be so lucky with xWBF...
But because I've seen him completely remorseful after his first affair and knowing my heart was #1 for a long time shows me that he has it in him to really recover (as long as he does his IC this time and gets to the bottom of his issues). My husband's first affair was 4 months. This last one was almost a year and a half. I wouldn't be here if he wasn't remorseful. But he is NOT the wonderful guy he was the first time. If I just thought he was being a jerk, I wouldn't attempt to recover. I know what the issue is. He can't face all the pain he's caused. I've seen him in tears about this a few times. I saw on someone's post..."you can't heal what you won't feel". I think this is true of my husband. He created so much more damage this time. He treated me in ways that are tearing him up inside. But what I'm wondering is....is he still in a fog? He left his job to get away from OW and is doing the right things. But I can tell he's not facing the pain he caused. Did any of you go through this? And if so, the farther you are from when you initiated NC, do you start to "feel" again? Sometimes I can tell he's feeling it but if it gets too painful for him, it's like he closes his mind off to the pain.
I noticed alexa071 had a question on the previous page that wasn't answered.
"When you can tell the story and it doesn't bring up any pain, you know it is healed." - Iyanla Vanzant, Broken Pieces
Alex, To answer your questions directly,
How long did it take for you WS's to "get it" and "Own your shit"? Was remorse easily found or did you play the "guilt" game for a long time?
To answer further, during that 2 year period from the D-day where I told my BW that I was in love with OW and to the time BW knocked me off my fence, my behaviour could be described and perceived as just like what all the BS's on your posts in JFO have been describing. But I also know what was going on inside of me. That is why I have hope for B47 and you. It isn't just a matter of whether it is guilt or remorse. There was so much going on inside of me during that time. I went through phases of staying because it was the right thing to do, staying for the kids, staying because I didn't want to leave BW for OW, staying because of guilt, staying because of remorse/regret. Very little of this is defensible really, but it is what some WS go through. And yes, it can be an honest attempt by the WS to really look for answers.
Yours and B47 story is incredible. What's even more incredible is that you are both still together. Why is that? Somewhere inside of both of you is the recognition of the truth in each other. Somehow through all of this you both have seen the parts that are good, the parts that are worth saving.
I think it is going to take B47 a long time to work through this. You are the only one who can really answer whether you believe she is staying with you because she truly loves you and wants to R or because she is just waiting to get to a better spot to be able to leave. It sucks, but it takes time. We have seen a change in her tone in her posts. Is that a glimmer of the person you knew her to be? Are you willing to wait for that person to find their way out of this maelstrom?
I can see the turmoil you describe going on in B47. She doesn't know which way is up or down... and in some ways that triggers my protective instincts. At the same time it disgusts me to be protective of someone that cared so little for me.
I find it troubling that I have to be the one to wait for B47 to figure things out. After her betrayal I wish she would either leave or commit 100%... I get tired of the pity parties she throws for herself.
ETA: "Is that a glimmer of the person you knew her to be? Are you willing to wait for that person to find their way out of this maelstrom?"
Not really... maybe just a glimmer. It's really hard to even remember the way I felt about her before this. I'm willing to wait, but not forever... and definitely not two years. I hope S.I. and IC can help her find her way faster than that.
[This message edited by alexa071 at 4:35 AM, September 1st (Wednesday)]
I've gotten through the initial shock and need for details. Now my questions center on "why?" And probably moreso - "how?"
After reading the post in the WS forum on "things I was foolish to believe," my wife gave me a long list of why she cheated and what she was thinking during those two months: neglected; desperately lonely; seeking excitement; thinking I didn't love her anymore; feeling old; not thinking of the reprecussions; being addicted to the attention from the OM; many others. Knowing those "whys" has helped a lot.
But it raises the next question that I can't get my mind around and the one I pose here for other WS to help answer: "how could the things she sought in an A trump the more important things, like our marriages vows, our commitment to each other, and our kids?"
Think of Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs: after base physiological needs, such as food and water, next comes safety and security. Marriage delivers that, even lifeless ones, which ours certainly was. Above that is love/belonging, such as family, sexual intimacy, and friendship. THEN comes esteem, which based on what I've read here, is the driving reason for affairs. The affirmation one feels from another; the sense of being desired; the thrill of the pursuit; feeling young and vibrant; and many others are important reasons that drive people to cheat.
I get the sense of loneliness, of feeling unwanted, of neglect. These are terrible feelings to experience, but I don't know if I will ever truly understand how in one's mind those could overrule or cloud over the far more important needs. She jeopardized everything for such fleeting feelings of desire. I know, I know...they weren't fleeting to her. They filled what I've learned was an incredible gulf. BUT they jeopardized the more base level needs of security and safety.
So any help understanding or squaring this contradiction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Knowing those "whys" has helped a lot
"how could the things she sought in an A trump the more important things, like our marriages vows, our commitment to each other, and our kids?"
Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs: after base physiological needs, such as food and water, next comes safety and security. Marriage delivers that
Above that is love/belonging, such as family, sexual intimacy, and friendship.
The affirmation one feels from another; the sense of being desired; the thrill of the pursuit; feeling young and vibrant; and many others are important reasons that drive people to cheat.
Somewhere in my life is a hurt that I have yet to define. I have been working on finding it, but it is buried deep. I can see the hurt. It is a child of about 8 years old, standing in front of my old house, crying and just wanting someone to take care of me, to make me feel safe. That's the image. I have never dealt with it. M just gave me a temporary bandage for that wound. Everything I have done in my life was a temporary bandage.
I think you are only scratching the surface by looking to Maslow at this point.
Think of Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs: after base physiological needs, such as food and water, next comes safety and security. Marriage delivers that, even lifeless ones, which ours certainly was. Above that is love/belonging, such as family, sexual intimacy, and friendship. THEN comes esteem, which based on what I've read here, is the driving reason for affairs
Maslow is seriously, seriously overrated. If you use his hierarchy to figure out your wife, you will get yourself confused.
He only studied people that he thought were psychologically healthy - what he called "exemplary people". He believed that studying the "mentally crippled" would yield a crippled psychology.
If you even look at his hierarchy cursorily and then think about the world in general, you will see that his philosophy is wrong on many levels. His level of needs is... how do I put this... what psychologists think people work on, in that order.
Cheating occurs at any level on that hierarchy. People who don't have shelter will cheat. People who don't have food will cheat. People do whatever they need to do for what they think they need for survival.
That triangle works (somewhat) for Albert Einstein. When you have food, shelter, etc., then you can work on a Theory of Relativity. Even then, Einstein, a respected physicist and professor, also cheated.
[This message edited by UnexpectedSong at 12:26 PM, September 2nd (Thursday)]
Unexpectedsong, on Maslow, I haven’t read enough to know whether he’s right or wrong, but intuitively he sounds right. My question was basically the unanswerable question of, “what is it about the fog that leads someone to endanger such important, fundamental aspects of their lives?” Is [fill in the blank…an AP’s attention, feeling young again, etc] really more valuable to a WS than their marriage, family, and kids? I've seen many references to an A being like a drug... the WS knows it's destructive but does it anyway.
For those WSs who are broken and shocked by what they did, and want to repair and reconcile with their BS, it’s obvious that whatever needs they were trying to fill were not as important as marriage and family. Or perhaps they see that an A couldn't fill the needs either. That’s easy for many to see in hindsight, as my wife has done. Why couldn’t they see it while they were cheating? Is it that they thought their marriage couldn’t deliver what they needed and only after they left the fog they realized that it can?
For those WSs who are broken and shocked by what they did, and want to repair and reconcile with their BS, it’s obvious that whatever needs they were trying to fill were not as important as marriage and family.
This is accurate for the BS - who perceives that anyone who acted out must not put marriage and family important. But, for many WS, these other needs were important, but not more important than marriage and family. Otherwise, they would have divorced first.
I never wanted to leave my H, I never wanted to replace my H. The xAP had nothing on my H. And I would never give up my kids.
If you like the drug analogy, that is a good analogy. Alcoholics do not want a divorce, they want the marriage and to drink. It's the same with affairs.
(Exit affairs are a bit different.)
Time really does heal.
EA D-Day May 2008
PA D-Day May 7,2010 (same A)