I told him I was leaving, and he asked me to stay and go to RC
I assume RC is "relationship counseling"...? Did he go to individual counseling? What was the reason he had the affairs?
I'm curious about how FWSs feel about their APs.
I've never vilified the OM. I think I would give hands-only CPR if he had a heart attack in front of me, but other than that, I have no feelings about him. He is kind of a non-entity.
*latest* dday: January 26
Me: BS, 29
Him: f(?)WH, 30
R? I think...
He's continually refused to do IC until this past September, but has been going faithfully since then
Ok. So things are different this time. If he is going to IC and working on the real issues, then there is a chance.
But it is always your prerogative to walk out. At any time.
If you try R, watch what he does. Actions, not words.
I haven't vilified the MOW. But I stopped defending her too. That's what it sounds like your WH is doing. He doesn't know what her M was like. He shouldn't be feeling pity for her. There should be nothing there.
There have been moments where I have hated what she did or been pissed at her for her part of all this shit, but then the next moment I feel that even with those little thoughts, she takes up too much space in my head. She did what she did, I did what I did. Neither of us have a responsibility to each other.
I know you believe that the OW put the moves on your WH and wore him down, but he still made a choice.
Is there a chance that he isn't talking because he is afraid that he will end up blaming you?
He may be at that point where he wants to R, but he doesn't know why yet. He knows he did wrong, but he doesn't yet realize that it was his choice and his own actions which led him down that path. So he might be trying to wait himself out thinking that by doing the actions, he will gain the correct mindset that he knows he should have, but that he can't seem to find. Does that make sense?
Is he in IC?
I remember most of the details. Maybe not the actual conversations anymore, but the gist anyway.
Sooner or later he is going to have to learn to communicate.
If your reason for straying was just more sex - how much sex did you feel you would have needed for you not to be tempted?
You want honest conversations yet he lied and swore on your children's life so your desire and ability to believe him are understandably shattered.
You say he's remorseful in his actions. What is he doing?
Is it possible this is a deal breaker for you and you're looking for something from him that won't ever really be enough...the ability to erase the LTA from existence?
It's understandable if that's the case, even if for whatever reasons you can't leave yet. Just be honest with yourself.
In time, with consistent actions that may change. Don't rush into R. Just work through your pain and devastation and let him figure out what he needs to do to get healthy and save.
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
I ran into my X a few weeks ago at Starbucks and asked if he could talk. He answered yes but only for a few minutes because he had promised OW that he would be on the road by 930 and he was already running late.
It was about 915. He ordered us some coffee & then asked why I would want to talk to him.
He knows the answer - I still love and miss him.
We talked about the kids and a few other things when he said it was time to go, walked me to my car and gave me the most awesome kiss and then practically ran to his car.
I called him a few minutes later saying thank you for talking with me. He said he really enjoyed seeing me and especially the kiss and he would call the next time he's in town.
He called Tuesday night and I went by his place. He gave me a huge hug and pulled me in his lap where I stayed and watched basketball with him. I suggested we play Gin and he said sounds good. I enjoy seeing you naked. I laughed and said I'm not playing strip gin and he asked what was the point in playing? He said I'm not going to try to F you although you are the best sex I've ever had and I do miss that. I said yeah right, that's why you're with her.
He said I promise you it's not because of the sex. You are by far the best I've ever had, ever.
We played gin but we did not strip. It was fun and we were just enjoying the evening when OW called so he went to his room and shut the door to talk to her. He started screaming that was the first time the phone rang, that he didn't know she had called or text. He told her he would change the ring tone and make sure the volume was up. It was on the charger which is why he didn't have it on him. About 15 min of screaming ended and about 10 min later, he came out to finish playing cards.
I asked if he was ok and he said yes. I then walked around the table to give him a hug and he held me really tight for a while.
We then moved to the couch where we gave each other a massage (clothes on) and then about an hour later he said he was beat and had to get to bed and walked me to the door.
He said he loved me and to come over in the morning for coffee but he text that he had to be at the dentist so coffee was out.
We met around lunch time to sign over some legal stuff and he was very stand offish. He said he would like to go to lunch but he had too many things to do so he would call later which he didn't.
He did call today to let me know he had left town. I told him that I knew it was difficult for him to spend time with me and that I really appreciated his efforts.
He said that he knows one day things will settle down & we will be able to go to lunch & play golf, etc...
It was just going to take some time. I said OW will never be ok with you spending time with me. She lied to you from the beginning saying that she expected us to stay friends and that she would never prevent him from being there for me and my kids.
He said he wasn't going to get into that because he does believe that we will one day be friends again doing things together.
My question is this....if he's so in love with her, why does he still keep in touch with me?
Why does he still want to hold and hang out with me? We are not having sex....
Why does he fight so hard to keep that relationship going when she treats him like crap but he didn't fight for us?
She has hugged and kissed other guys in front of him. He's had to carry her out of a bar twice that I know of because of her being so drunk. He's walked out on her because of her flirting. She goes off on him if he isn't readily available when she calls.
We had a good life together. It might have gotten boring sometimes but that's life. We didn't fight, we didn't disrespect each other. We had a good sexual relationship and we talked all the time about everything but he still cheated and he still chose her.
He said that I would make us miserable because I wouldn't be able to trust him but she's making him miserable for the same reason and he can't trust her.
I just don't understand how we can love each other so much but him choose to be somewhere else.
I don't understand where his head is? Can anyone explain?
I'm sorry you are still going through this.
You were D almost a year ago. He is with OW. You sat on his lap, then he went to another room to talk to OW. He said you look good naked, then implies a comparison to OW. You massaged each other, then he showed you to the door, then invited you back in the morning for coffee. You tell him you love him and know how hard it is for him to be around you, he says things will settle down and you guys will be able to have lunch. You bring up OW and he shuts you down.
Why are you doing this to yourself?
He makes these little efforts and you drink it in. He gets to be a nice guy, and when you ask him about something difficult, he changes.
Even though you are D, this seems like cake-eating. I don't know...maybe a BS has the correct term for what he is doing...Maybe manipulative?
He keeps in touch with you because you allow him to.
He wants to hang out with you and hold you because it makes him seem like the good guy.
He keeps OW because there is no reason for him to leave her when he has you still saying you love him, massaging him, sitting on his lap, taking his compliments.
Then, to top it all off, after being this nice guy, he blames it on you by saying that You would make "us" miserable because you won't be able to trust him ever again.
I'm sorry if this sounds harsh to you. But until you cut the cord, he will continue to play nice and to keep you on the side.
My question is this....if he's so in love with her, why does he still keep in touch with me?
Um, because he's a cheater?
I think the question needs to be why are you ok being the "OW"?
That's why I've always said, yes, some people do deserve to be cheated on. She does. You don't "deserve" to cheat, though. You need to want far more for yourself than to descend into such horrible self disrespect
I'm 20 months out from DDay#1. Early on there was her confessions of online EA's 3 months prior (OM#2-ex BF and OM#3-old friend from IRC)(looking for an exit A, but wanted to give the M a 'chance' as well). A few days later and a lot of pressurizing; there were the confessions of 5 years ago - online chats with multiple OMs, EA's and an OM (OM#1) she met only once. Then there was months of TT; now there were also phone calls with a few of the online OMs, then she met OM#1 at his place, only friendly conversation, a little later it turns out she did have physical contact but she only had him rest his head on her lap and caressed his hair, nothing else happened. And the months of TT went on. She always denied PAs, she always denied any sexual innuendo or 'inappropriate' chats. We then did timelines (including my A's-thats for another post), she finally sent the NC letter(s)-almost 6 months after DDay.
During all this (over a year), we were trying everything. More appropriately, I was trying everything and leading her into it. Marriage Builders, books, forums, audios. She did try taking some initiative but there was little in the way of follow through. I saw guilt and shame but no remorse.
BUT the TT kept chipping away at any semblance for R (at least it did for me). There was good times too: HB, started date nights, had honest conversations about our (Pre-M) histories. Identified and stopped what we were doing to hurt each other and doing the right things to make each other happy.
In general, she has always been the avoider, she blameshifted a lot, she only wanted to work on the M and put the A's to rest without resolving them, she gaslit me (overreacting to my suspicions, leading me down the garden path with her lies; which would only get deconstructed after yet another DDay); and other crazy making behaviour.
Early on, she made me promise I wouldn't leave her on finding out more. I know she has fear of abandonment and swings between trying for R and securing her position without rocking the boat.
Things came to a standstill because of her emotional unavailability and my not being able to deal with conversations with someone who wouldn't/couldn't share herself with me, wasn't interested in fulfilling her commitments, wasn't sincere about her wanting recovery and I didnt know was lying or telling the truth about anything.
After this, there were some MC sessions (joint and individual) which she initiated and had some initial progress, which ended because the MC wanted, as much as her, to not necessarily get to the truth about the A's and to just carry on with the R process-this was a deal breaker for me (for MC), since I am not willing to reconcile with her unless I know what I am dealing with. The MC was useful in identifying that she was still acting very selfishly.
From then on in, its been on and off forums and conversation has almost come to a stop. I am accused of leaving things in limbo, she is not interested in being remorseful or trying to act/prove her trustworthiness. All she'll say is "there is no more" (and she's said this many times before a DDay and though TT, to the extent of taking an oath on her deceased mother - after which there was, indeed 'more'). Her words mean little to nothing when there is no follow through in her actions.
Now, why do I not believe her and what am I asking for from this post?
Her timeline was/is always sketchy, a lot of it was "I dont remember, it was so long ago" (yet she knowingly did hold back stuff or outright lie about pointed questions); she admitted being 'sexually interested' but just not in the M and not with the OM's; she had a history (Pre-M), some of which I knew and things I uncovered later, that she'd get quickly get involved with someone online, meet and make out within 2-3 weeks - the A with OM#1 exhibited all these patterns except her insistence that she 'wouldn't go there' with any of the affairees (on or offline) 'since she was married'(wtf?). I found her handwritten note, in the form of a poem, which was hidden amongst her mothers final scribbled notes (from her death bed) and some pictures with her mom (inferring it must've been something special or secret); which described a situation of her having hesitant sex with someone - "once a friend, and now a foe", but not really resisting either-she dismissed this as her 'poetic' side rambling and that she'd done this before when her mother and teacher discovered something akin to this; hinting that she may have been abused by her father but she says was all made up and inspired by a website where such musings were posted up. There are other smallish signs, not everything I can put down here, but my gut tells me (and always has since the initial shock/disbelief) that she is holding back more and not being transparent.
We've put up boundaries, we've been transparent and yet I feel she can (and will) get up to something sooner or later since she never told me the actual truth of the A's, ergo she is still in the fog and either hiding an A or keeping it in cold storage for later use.
This is really a long post, I apologise for you having to read this far (if you have). From what I have posted above-can you tell whether she is or isn't holding back information about a PA(s?). What is causing her to when she knows that R is something we both want badly and there are 3 kids involved. That R cannot even start unless we deal with the A's first (I have a policy of no negotiation on this one).
As much as she would like me to believe that they were all fine, upstanding and honorable men (sick); I know where she was hanging out (seedy chat rooms) and the longish EA (4 months) could not be sustained by any OM unless he was getting some.
Men aren't in it for conversation or affection alone. OMs are obviously predatory.
As far as whether your WW is holding more information back, it sounds like you believe she is, so I think that is the strongest indicator you could have that there really is more. But you also are now wondering about some possible childhood sexual abuse too. If that is really part of her past, then it could very well explain the difficulties your WW is having in getting everything out there and getting on board with R.
If the childhood sexual abuse is a reality, then the fear of bringing that up and working through it could very well be worse to her than losing you.
I think most WS have issues from their past which have contributed to our current situations. Time and again, we see examples of the WS not being able to do the work to save their M. It seems somewhat logical to me that for whatever reason, the fear of the past issues is so great that the WS can't work through them, even at the risk losing everything now.
My point was really in regards to what sounded like your conclusion that all OM are predatory, even outside of your situation. Taken in the context of your post, the implication is that a man is only going to go along with the emotional side of the A if the woman is putting out, or if there is a real expectation that the woman will put out with some sort of sexual piece, whether in person or on-line or whatever. I'm here to tell you that this simply isn't true in all cases. Is there a sexual tension? Yes, often there will be. But is sex, real or imagined, a necessity for an OM to become involved with a married woman or a woman who is otherwise "taken"? No.
In re-reading your posts here in ICR, you seem to be really struggling with a couple issues. One, your WW is protecting her OM by continuing to think they are upstanding or honorable men. Two, you are convincing yourself that by OM being predatory, your WW was the victim of their actions.
The answers, which I'm pretty sure you know, but maybe haven't fit into place yet, are that your WW shouldn't be protecting the OM at all and that your WW played an equal role in the A's, so she is just as "bad" as the OM.
Maybe I'm reading too much into your situation. You are having to deal with a lot of stuff, and you also have the experience of being a WS yourself, which throws in a bunch of other variables into how you and your wife will work through this.
Despite all of what you have posted, I do see some positives in your WW. Which is what I had in mind when I posted my first reply to you. Your WW knows something needs to be done on her end. She does see you and your kids. She also knows that there is something deep inside herself that she needs to deal with in order to fix herself. She probably knows deep down that you have very little to do with it, and that you unfortunately are dealing with the consequences of her own actions (of a lifetime) now. That does come through to me in your posts.
This is where getting to the point of R can get really messy. It isn't just a matter of your WW telling the truth about everything to the point where you finally believe you have everything you need to be able to make a decision on R.
As messed up as it may sound, your WW probably doesn't feel safe or that she can trust you. If what you believe really did happen in her past, that is going to be a huge issue for her to deal with. She will have to face it within herself instead of hiding from it. And she will have to find a way to trust you enough to be there while she is working through that. I would guess that the problem for her, and maybe you too, is that she hasn't realized that she is the source of that mistrust right now. Her issues stem from experiences long before she met you. You stepped into it not knowing anything about it. And she was this person all along, which now she is discovering that the person she was has to change. It seems like it is an insurmountable task to her.
You guys will certainly have to deal with the A's, on both your parts. But until she starts working through the core issues, she is going to have a hard time working through the A issues in the same way as you are doing now.
Just my two cents. I feel like I need to qualify this entire post by restating the SI mantra - Take what you need and leave the rest.
I guess it may be projection (me as WS), or it may be just 'the where' (sleazy chat rooms) WW was hanging out.
Sexual tension is definitely there, but I would disagree with you in that sexual pursuit isn't always on the agenda-at her age then and their approximate age, the setting and the continued interest... well, motivation needs 2 sides to it. If she was seeking attention and getting it, there was a reason they were giving it and stayed interested. Anyway, i'm not into absolutes in a big way-if anything, the last 2 years have taught me that and my brain is so confuddled that I dont know if I can ever think straight again. Not that I had been thinking straight before that.
To set the record straight, no, I do not think WW was victim at all, she sought out the A's and, as I evidenced in the one email I did catch, she tried chasing (and thank god, failed) her ex-BF once he started giving her the cold shoulder after a brief EA.
I may believe her that her made up story to her mother was just that (about the abuse, but not the poem), but I also know she came from a very broken and dysfunctional family and she may have a lot of issues with abandonment and opening up emotionally.
BUT, and this is the BIG one, I cant deal with her shit anymore. We had a stab at behavioural MC, where, rather than painfully going through possibly years of digging up the past and resolving issues from then on in, it was all about changing behaviours to start R. The material was good, we both seemed to start to catch on, however, once the TT was exposed for what it was, it started crumbling around us.
My other issue is with psycho babble which could have us in IC or researching problems without a hint of improving either 1.) Our M, 2.) chances of recovery or 3.) WW or me as a person. Yes, there is a place for it, but resolving the A's is critical if we're going to survive as a couple.
If one were to say, "but she might not be capable of doing just that" because she may be EU or passive aggressive or have been abused as a child. I'd say she's now an adult, using her past as a crutch (within herself) may have served her when she discovered herself neck deep in this shit pile (or other similar situations), but it never stopped her from having relationships, going through college, attracting me or marrying me, from raising her kids, from functioning 'normally' for the world around us, from acting normal with me and keeping up the ruse for over 5 years in our M (and all that complex deception), from being attractive to and carrying out A's with OM's, dealing with our day to day challenges and duties, socially functioning well with our friends and family etc.. etc.. Those were adult choices, flawed or otherwise, they were the result of critical thinking and judgement based on the here and now and not something that happened in the past. Deep seated issues, yes. Can't function without dealing with them, a big emphatic NO. The goal: R, the behaviour: everything that is needed NOW for R: lift the fog, be naked and vulnerable to each other, show care, fix everything you've broken, dont stop till you're sure the BS feels safe with you. (I know I am making it sound simple, its been anything but that. Yet I also know that the journey of a 1000 miles starts with the first step, or, as a construction friend of mine recently said; you to finish the building you need to start building it)
You guys will certainly have to deal with the A's, on both your parts. But until she starts working through the core issues, she is going to have a hard time working through the A issues
Bro, I hear you and it pains me but I probably need to realise you speak much truth. Dealing with the A's might be a very small part of her having to deal with her core issues which makes her who she is and has never faced herself, let alone expose to anyone else. Her truth telling doesnt start unless she can start telling herself the truth. I know self image and her projected image is of critical importance to her. She needs admiration due to very low self esteem, admittedly, my pre-DDay behaviour didnt do much to help either.
Having said all that, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically I am so drained through PTSD and running on adrenalin for most of these 2 years (countless sleepless nights, constantly reading and thinking, mind movies, working on her word puzzles she left me with through her timelines, TT and gaslighting, depriving myself of regular meals, stressing out about the future, the kids and already faced with finance and work problems, trying to ensure I keep her happy and not in 'A-zone' ever again, coping with loss of self esteem and pride and feeling so humiliated and yet humbled due to my own A's, reassessing me and who I am/have become, fear, lonliness, controlling the rage, coping with resentment and mind fucks that she gave me to deal with etc.. etc..) that I am now at the juncture where I really dont care about her issues. I did DEEPLY care for her, even right after DDay and through most of these turbulent 20 months. Almost to a fault, I cared for her mental and emotional state as much as I had been for her financial and spiritual well being before. All I feel now is I cant. I cant own her outcomes or protect her from them (A and non-A related). I have to give up and look after my kids and to do that I have to look after myself.
I dont want to appear like a victim, I have done a lot of damage myself, and I know what I am doing/need to do and have done to fix it.
Sorry, I am rambling here. I just dont know whats been going on in her mind all along. What was she thinking, what did she think she'd achieve out of all of this? We had a lot of promise, honestly, as bad as DDay was, the time immediately before and after and also 6-8 months later was probably the closest we shared since the first few months of our M (other than the HB, there were a lot of deep talks and insightful anecdotes about each other and our feelings and our childhoods etc..., we got along well, but the DDays that kept coming subsequently DID eventually kill off that feeling entirely)
Finally, its not the first time I have heard that possibly she cant trust me or feel safe; is it because bad behaviour has repercussions? If even that, then she has demonstrable proof that I didnt kill her, hit her, abuse her, call her name, kick her out or walk out after DDay's 1,2,3,4 .... And thats probably when it could've been the worst. Didnt bring up the A's later to rub them in her face (except the dishonesty bit).
She did give me a hint of this in one of our close moments, that she felt safe with her emotions and feelings with strangers online since there were no outcomes or repercussions and they didnt know her, hence 'no strings attached' so to speak. But we know thats not entirely true since she went on to develop relationships with some of these same strangers eventually.
Sorry, minds all over the place...
noexcuse, you have every right to be done. Your BW isn't going to make much of a move until things are shaken up. It sucks that you are the one who will have to do it. If she comes out of it, things can be pretty incredible. The down-side is that she may never come out of it. You've done just about all you can do. Ultimately, her actions will have forced your hand.
Whatever decision you make, you have to take care of yourself in the end.