thank you for taking the time to answer it was very helpful.
But it sounds like he is refusing you the other details you are asking for - going beyond what you just don't believe. Can you R without them? It sounds like he is making it a requirement of your R that you remain in the dark for the rest of your marriage. Are you willing to do that?
you are right I have to decide whether the info i have is enough for me to continue in R. H will never agree to a poly.
R'ing ?? yes, no, maybe, I dont know
This is not the end, this is not the beginning
WH has been NC with his EA/PA AP for about 7 months, he had a yearlong A. Prior to that he had a lot of inappropriate online friendships and one definate online EA in 2008 which lasted about 2 months until the mOW BH found out. at the end of 2010, WH bottomed out, stopped drinking, stopped going out with his bar buddies. He has maintained his friendships with a few close friends and goes out periodically with them, but mostly he is at home. Thus far he has resisted doing IC and we are not doing MC yet. Partly due to finances but also partly because I don't know where his head is and his committment level to the M. Our family life has improved greatly.
However, WH has almost no interest in having sex. He's not talking about it, just keeps on saying there is nothing wrong, nothing wrong with me. He's too tired from dealing with the kids all day, not in the mood, not feeling well. Always a reason. I have tried to initiate, but that normally fails. we have sex a few times a month and I thought things were improving about a month or so ago, but then I found out that when the A went underground, he had mOW 2 in our house for sex. And the other day I found out about the online EA. so I don't know what these discoveries have to do with everything.
Is this common?
I can only control myself, no one else. I do not have that kind of power.
There were a few things going on when it came to sex with BW. For one thing, that's what it was, just sex, for a long time. There wasn't any love-making going on. With the EA happening, and only sex at home, it made things difficult to get excited about. Thoughts of OW were in my head and having that going on while having my BW wanting to make love just made for a jumble of thoughts and feelings during those times when we were intimate.
There was also some resentment going on. As a WH who didn't want to let go of the A, I resented my BW for wanting to be intimate instead of her wanting to D.
Things eventually transitioned to regret/remorse/guilt and thoughts of "how could my BW want me after what I had done?"
Despite the stereotypes of guys and sex, it isn't a one size fits all thing. Guys can not be in the mood and for long periods of time too.
The other possibility is that he has more to tell.
I think that there are a lot of WS out there who are shocked at themselves for getting involved in an A. It is like the earth falling out from under us. Many WS probably have/had a strong conviction when it came to affairs. I know for me, I never thought about affairs because it just wasn't something that a married person would do.
So, when the realization hits, we are often left second-guessing our decisions and our convictions.
Another possibility is related to courage to take that final step whether it is to D or to R. Many WS are scared. Coming out of the fog of the affair, there often are still some good memories of the high. If it felt so good, how can it be wrong to D and pursue that? If the A felt so good, how can the WS possibly find that again with the BS after inflicting so much pain?
I had my own thoughts that my BW and kids would be better off without me. I knew I could work on the M, but was hesitant to commit because it would mean living with this everyday. I never thought I would have an A and thought badly of those who did. Now I am one of them. The whole world has changed. It is very unsettling.
I don't think I am well qualified to answer questions about anger because my BW generally doesn't show her anger. That being said, I do have ideas of what I would do if my BW started getting angry.
I think in most cases it is up to the WS to accept the anger. It is up to us to not deny our BS their anger by trying to give excuses, getting defensive or otherwise minimizing what they are going through. Normal yelling, name-calling, letting out pain type of anger is okay. I think most of the vents I have read here on SI are very healthy.
There are going to be cases when the anger is over the top and unhealthy (abuse). IN those cases the WS needs to protect themselves.
Whatever the WS does, they have to react opposite of how they might have reacted prior to the A, if that makes sense. Before the A, if my BW would have gotten angry, I would have avoided her. I might have talked to her to point out how this was her problem. Now, I would accept that this anger was my fault, that I was responsible for it and that I needed to take it back from her.
Like I said, my BW doesn't really get angry, so not sure how this helps.
I handled the anger by sitting quitely while he ranted. He is a talker and doesn't like to be interrupted, so this was my best course of action.
The anger lasted for hours and days sometimes. He doesn't get angry like that anymore though.
How did I help him though the anger? I think by just sitting and listening and by answering his questions. Saying I was sorry didn't go over well with him but I was very sorry for what I did.
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Why is it so hard to decide if they should go or stay?
I don't know if I should answer this one or not but I will try. I was one that knew I wanted to stay.
I think that some may not make a decision is because they are afraid. Afraid if they stay that the work to rebuild will be for nothing and the BS will decide to leave (I was afraid of this all through the rebuilding process and still am at times)
Afraid if they go they will loose everything they have (kids, family and a home).
It is a hard decision to make and one that needs to be thought out completely. If both decide to stay it is a long hard road but very much worth it.
For those of you that told the ow/OM that you loved them: how long after the affair ended did your feelings change? Also when did you realize it wasn't really love?
I don't know that I ever really realized this, rather I realized that my love for my BH was still there. During the affair I thought I had destroyed my marriage and any chance of reconciling with my BH because of how I felt for the OM. My realization was that I still felt love for my BH which continued to strengthen and grow as we focused on each other, our life together and our family.
Our relationship feels so strong, healthy and complex after coming through something so painful and difficult that the love I felt for OM pales in comparison. But, I still know that those feelings were there. I know it was wrong and it is very unfair to my BH and I am trying to make up for that.
I have a feeling it is more of the latter. But also a combination of everything you mentioned.
I appreciate the insight.
I'm beginning to feel that it truly is over...
WS and I have been separated for over five years after his first, very brief, affair. He was totally remorseful - really. It showed. But we didn't live together again (he works on the other side of the country) and this was OK because he does have Bipolar/Borderline issues and it was healthier for us all.
We saw each other often, made plans to renew our vows once my children (not his) had flown and I could move to be with him.
Five years on - a second affair. It's been going on for a year now. But this time, I really think it's hopeless.
He doesn't gaslight me and he does an enormous amount to help me financially and so on. He recently wrote to tell me how important I am to him, listed all the fond memories he had of our marriage, said he thinks about me every day and has great tenderness for me...but that the 'love' is dead.
I do believe he 'cares' about me and thinks of me - he visits my blog quite often.
He's emailed me several times to ask to be my 'true friend' and ends his mails with 'Take care - lots of kisses'
Dear WS: did any of you do this sort of thing? Did you truly believe you simply 'cared' and wanted to be 'friends' at some point?
Is there any hope for us at all???
Hope is patience with the lamp lit.
I'm so sorry, but he's done, honey. He's being honest with you and you need to take him at his word.
Time to move on and discover your own new beginning. I promise that life does go on after D. You have the opportunity to create your own future filled with hope, peace and possibility.
It's time to let go. Your WS already has.
It's so hard to let go, though.
But I'll try...
April 13 my husband sat me down and told me our marriage was in trouble and we needed to go to marriage counseling because it was the "right thing to do," but he had already checked out. He started to discuss separation and divorce and begged me to not take his children from him. He said if our marriage were to survive, I needed to take charge of my sexuality (be more passionate, initiate more, have sex with him more, etc.) and cut back on work. I work at home, make more money than he does, and tend to be a workaholic by nature. So, I did both. I started taking every weekend off and having more (better and passionate) sex with him. Nonetheless, he started to treat me like crap.
We started marriage counseling on April 20. On April 25 I checked our cell phone account (because he was texting all the time) and discovered 50 pages of texts (just date, time, etc.--not content/message) between him and a certain number. Rather than keeping my mouth shut and snagging the phone later, I confronted him on the spot. He admitted it was a coworker (my husband is a detective). Said they were just friends and that he didn't realize how much he was texting her. Felt bad about hurting me, and asked if he could hold me, as I sat on the floor sobbing. No, I didn't want him to touch me. He swore up and down it was not an EA and told me he would text her next day to end texting relationship. And so he did. (I was so naive.)
During next 5 or so weeks we continued MC. Counselor tells WH, who has ADD, that he has a tendency to make the wrong choice, that he won't regret it at the time, but he will eventually. She told him we are very compatible and that he would regret losing me. That messed him up for a day or so, as he was so sure he was done with our marriage.
Things weren't getting any better and I kept searching his work email (which he was stupid enough to stay logged in to). Finally, around 1:00 a.m. June 5 I found enough "evidence." I dug more and got into his deleted folder, which he had not emptied the contents of. I knew the girl's name and was able to go through enough pages to find where on Mother's Day he and OW emailed back and forth setting up a secret gmail account. He was asleep, so I took his phone and saw that he checks gmail several times a day. He wasn't logged in, though, and I only had the username.
Anyhow, I woke him up and confronted him. He admitted to EA and was a mess. I kicked him to couch. He got little sleep that night, and then that morning admitted PA to me too. He drove to his dad's that day (whom he is/was very close to), confessed to him, came home and told me he wanted to work on the marriage.
The next day he "ended it" with her, but insisted on doing it in person. He started giving me his phones, etc. Then the following day (so Tuesday, two days post D-Day), after he got home from work, we had a really good convo, ended up going to bed together, and I was stupid and let him have sex with me. It was finally different--more like our old lovemaking rather than the aggressiveness he had shown since quasi-dropping the bomb in April.
Well things quickly went downhill from there. By Wednesday he was trying to keep his privacy again and threw his phone at me when I wanted it. At our Thursday MC session the counselor said he wasn't ready to work on the marriage and would just go back to her. She asked what I wanted. A separation--what my husband had been trying to do all along anyhow. (The day after Mother's Day he had emailed his department coordinator trying to get a rent-free apartment because he's a cop. He was just, IMO, biding his time because one wasn't available until August.) Anyhow, the counselor ended our MC but said she'd be willing to do IC with each of us during separation and bring us back together for MC if the time came. He said he wanted to do that to sort things out. I did too. Then as we left, WH stopped me and almost desperately asked if I was sure this is what I wanted. I asked him since when in this process did what I want matter and walked out.
When I had my first IC session, I asked her where this was going. She said she can't say with certainty, but she was pretty sure my husband, once he was on his own, would hit rock bottom quickly (in a matter of a few months or so), in other words, come out of the fog. She felt he'd regret throwing his family away and would come begging for me back. Either that, or he wouldn't take a hard look at himself and would continue to jump from one relationship to the next to fill the void.
A little background now might be due. My husband and I are (were for him?) both committed Christians, as are our families. After getting married, we served in the mission field for a year and then he was youth pastor for a year. Both experiences ended up being negative and my husband changed careers and thus began his running from God. (I know many people are not believers, but please respect where our faith plays a role in this for us.) He became a paramedic and then a cop. He also became a functional alcoholic.
Since all this has come to light, my FIL outed the affair to the rest of my husband's family. They have told him and me that they support me and our kids 120% but would not turn their back on him either, no matter what. He refuses to have anything to do with them now. So, in his fog he has vilified me to justify his A, and is not vilifying his family. Integrity has always been big with my husband, and now he's ditching it. I think that's why the MC thinks he's going to crash hard and quickly--he's running from the core of who he is.
Anyhow, during the A, while I was still in the dark, he was blame shifting big time, but then sometimes would tell me he was having a "green" day (think stoplight) and thought we were going to make it. Others were red days, and I had no clue at the time why some days were good and others bad. During sex he would tell me he had "hope" for us. I don't know if he was waffling or just using me. The MC thinks he still loves me but can't recognize that because he has vilified me in order to rationalize the A.
Since our last MC meeting, before going independent, I've started the 180. I got my own bank account, met with an attorney to protect me and the kids, told WH I was going to my parents' for 2 1/2 weeks (where I am now), and told him to be out by the time I got back. He looked ready to cry, but went to work, asking if we could talk afterwards. I stayed up, but by the time he got home, he said there was nothing to talk about. By that weekend he signed a short-term lease at an apartment.
We still have our joint bank account. I won't have the card to my separate account until I go back home and won't be able to take my name off the joint until then. In checking the account I saw where on Sunday (7/3) he went to a pharmacy and then later that day made a beer purchase at a store near her house (she lives in a different county). I'm not stupid. I know he bought condoms and went to her. He probably bought the beer on the way home. I don't think he spent the night (yet) with her because we have a dog that he's agreed to take care of until I get back, even though he has his own place now. (It was either that or put her in the kennel, which he can't afford.)
So now my questions: He has left me for her and very much is still in the fog. He had trickle-truthed me a little bit and supposedly this EA/PA has only been going on since February (I was only 3 months postpartum). Is the MC on to something, or should I just file for D now? (Because I have fault, I can file now, whereas he would have to wait a year. I'm self-employed and will lose health insurance coverage if D.) Did any of you leave to experiment with OW and come to regret it before R with wife? Did your BS do anything to protect the kids from your or the OW during the separation? My WH says he won't introduce them to her, but I don't trust him. He has turned into someone I suddenly no longer know. To protect them, I'd have to file for a "legal separation" (not what they term it in my state), which would cost quite a bit that I don't have at the moment. And he really doesn't have the money. I've told him it's in his best interest to not screw me in paying the bills he agreed to, paying the child support he agreed to, or introducing them to her, because then I'd absolutely file legal separation, which he doesn't have the money for. Also, he already can't have the baby overnight cause I'm still nursing, but once the baby is weaned, WH's drinking scares me. He sleeps off the buzz (sometimes drunkenness) every night and wouldn't necessarily wake up with baby.
Thanks for any help, suggestions, observations, etc.
OW (27)--single mom, already married and divorced
Two boys: 7 years old and 7 months old
In my case, WH had a 3.5 year affair (and the cognitive dissonance and limerance reasoning from another thread is resonating with me on that one). However, when that ended, he started two affairs at work, not a month later. By the time I found out about the LTA affair, it was over, and the others had recently fizzled out. Perhaps I don't really know what I'm asking other than...what gives? Why get into the two new affairs/flings that are so seemingly different from the LTA? He maintains that he was relieved it was over, and that he didn't miss her.
He is unable to articulate why or how at this point. These seem to be very different types of affairs. I just don't get it. Can any WS who has had multiple affairs shed some light?
Married over 9 years, together for 18.
DD#1: 12/12/10 - LTA of 3 years, 2 mos.
DD#2: 02/02/11 - 2 EA/PA with coworkers, a month after the LTA was ended (by OW).
I'm sure this has been asked before but I can't find anything.
I've noticed in both general and reconciliation lots of discussion about sex with the AP.
We BSs are in a difficult position. If we ask our FWSs if the sex was better/different/more frequent/whatever and they say no we think they may be lying to protect our feelings. If they say yes then we hurt and some BSs may lash out. We can't win.
I suppose some of you may have BSs on here so it is hard for you to answer truthfully without being tempted to lie or worrying about hurting them.
To make it easier for you I'd like to specifically request that any WSs who have a spouse on SI NOT respond as the last thing I want to do is make this more difficult for you and your BS.
For those who do not have a BS on SI could you describe your feelings about sex with your AP(s) honestly please? Not what you think now but what you were thinking feeling then. Was it the same at the start as later? Did you daydream about opportunities to get away to have sex with your AP? Did you sometimes finish thinking it was so much better with AP than with BS or vice versa? Did you sometimes wonder why you bothered to do it with AP or BS? Did you have "guilt" sex with your BS? Find it a chore? Or did you have sex with AP at tims because you thought it was expected?Did you avoid sex with your BS because you expected to see your AP soon and were worried it might take the edge off the experience? Did you think about your AP while having sex with your BS?
I don't know what I'm trying to achieve here. Maybe just getting more insight into how my FWH may have been feeling. I know everyone is different but your thoughts might help me and others.
I will not take your responses to heart. I don't even know how I will relate them to my sich. I would just like to know if some of you all had different feelings or if there is a common thread.
Any responses would be appreciated.
Baxter why doesn't your BW show her anger if you don't mind me asking? I feel I might be at point where I might need to hold back. I'm not sure.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. I was in a somewhat different situation than yours and there was no waffling on my end in word or action (including sex), we were headed to D. That said, I think I do have some insights for you.
I think a lot of WS do have an epiphany when faced with the reality of the situation. It sounds like you are already aware of and employing the 180, which is to get you started on detaching and building your strength, but has the side effect of letting your WS see what life would be like without you. Often that can be the wake up call necessary to bring about a commitment to the marriage, if there is any hope of one at all.
In my situation, my exH did the opposite of the 180. He vacillated between rage (75%), groveling (15%), and empathy and concern (10%). I am not saying the outcome would have been different for me if he had done the 180 on me - I strongly believe it wouldn't - but the vindictive rage, as understandable as it may have been, certainly made it far easier to walk out the door. Good for you for keeping your wits about you.
So to answer your question(s), your MC may very well be on to something. But I still think you should file. The process will take some time, and you can slow it down if you see some hope, but he needs to know you will not be his doormat and you need to take some power back (which you are already doing a great job of). The health insurance issue is scary, I know. But the divorce agreement can mandate to keep the kids on his plan, and you can use COBRA to stay on it as well. In the meantime, compare individual plan pricing to see if you can do better that way than COBRA, which can be expensive. Some states mandate that the ex-spouse stay on the health insurance (I know RI does) post-D, unless there is an employer-sponsored plan they can join. So discuss this issue with your lawyer to see what your options are there. Also ask your lawyer what drawbacks there are to not doing a legal separation. Make sure you aren't shooting yourself in the foot by not having one in place, even if he is complying with the unofficial terms. You can put in terms in the agreement to keep OW away from your children, at least while the D is pending. I agreed to such terms in my agreement and extending after the D for six months, even though I did not have a relationship with the OM post-D. But I understood my ex's concern and that he had no basis to believe that I really wasn't going to go shack up with OM as soon as the ink was dry on the agreement.
My ex was also a (barely) functional alcoholic and I had the same concerns as you do about custody. My lawyer said there was little we could do about it without unequivocal proof that he was a threat to their welfare. But my kids are the same age as your oldest - so no baby involved, which might be different - and you have more leverage than I did. So it's another good thing to discuss with your lawyer. Sounds like your kids are where your ex is likely to fight, so maybe think about alternative methods, like mandated treatment or something?
I hope he comes to his senses.
ETA: edited to fix typos!
[This message edited by GroundZero at 12:57 PM, July 8th (Friday)]