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User Topic: Dear Remorseful WSes… It's your choice, too...
mangledmom
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Member # 31622
Default  Posted: 9:02 AM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So true. As a BS whose fSAWH took alittle over 10mnths to really, really "get it" and connect it w/his heart and find empathy, this was a nor something I could appreciate. BUT omg when the light bulb went off in that man's head, and he could truly look through his own shame and see me, I am now allowed to see HIS PAIN. It hurts him everyday to look at the destruction of his choices. He could have stayed gone. He could have left LONG before now because I know how much I hate the angry phase, so I know he despises it. ( on an up and down note I have moved into depression, which is "easier" for him to handle). It would have been easier to say the marriage failed and no longer have to face family and friends. He will forever carry this piece. People who love him or who knew us at that know of his A's, his leaving, the fact he was our only income and got fired because he was a manager and had A's w/coworkers, and he will carry the knowledge that his job loss cost us our home. Those are just that things others see. He said the largest grievance he carries though is the loss of me. The loss of my love of marriage, my admiration of him, the overwhelming security and contentment in him, my genuine smile and witty side. He said he knows I will get those back on some level, but it will never be same. I will never have that innocent, pure gleam again. He's right, I am forever changed, but so is he. He said years ago, I would talk about growing old and sitting on a rocking chairs together on our porch. He said that he didn't get what that picture meant till now: it symbolized a life of committment, devotion, and love through ALL the ups and downs, shitstorms and rainbows. He's really there and really beginning his journey to his digging and discovery. I am so appreciative and happy he chose to stay and do the real work because I just may get the man I always wanted and thought he was!!


BS-30

Traumatized, but I'm headed forward towards the light.

I wish you enough ....


Posts: 468 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: mangledmom
mangledmom
♀ Member
Member # 31622
Default  Posted: 10:03 AM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And he will be getting a much better wife too!!! I too am doing some serious work.


BS-30

Traumatized, but I'm headed forward towards the light.

I wish you enough ....


Posts: 468 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: mangledmom
struggelingstill
♂ New Member
Member # 33984
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I want to thank you for posting this, it is something I never really considered. I only focused on me and how hard it was for me. I never thought of how difficult it is on her to not only struggle with her shame and guilt but to face my doubt, my questions, my insecurities...as a result I sent the following email to my WS....

Something I want you to know.

With all of the doubt and questions that you put up with from me. The pain and the scrutiny, the demons and ghosts that you wrestle with. I think you are one of the Bravest people I know.

Your willingness to put yourself through all of that for us means a lot to me...I know I've not said that before, but it really does!

I Love You!!!!!!!


Posts: 13 | Registered: Nov 2011
trytoforgive
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Member # 27330
Default  Posted: 11:56 AM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow... Strugglingstill. My whole life would change if I could receive something like this from my H.

Thank you so much for sharing- and for being brave enough to acknowledge your WW's efforts.


Me- W 38
Him- H 40
Long time lurker...Sometimes poster...
DDay 8/14/2009

DD 15
DS 10


Posts: 452 | Registered: Jan 2010
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 11:57 AM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

OMG strugglingstill...that brings me to tears...Thank you!


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
trytoforgive
♀ Member
Member # 27330
Default  Posted: 3:13 PM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Strugglingstill, I seriously just had to come back and read that and it truly made me cry. What a wonderful thing to send to your wife. I hope she cherishes that and recognizes it for the gift that it is.


Me- W 38
Him- H 40
Long time lurker...Sometimes poster...
DDay 8/14/2009

DD 15
DS 10


Posts: 452 | Registered: Jan 2010
struggelingstill
♂ New Member
Member # 33984
Default  Posted: 3:32 PM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks all...she called me crying and thanked me. Which was not my intention.

Look, this ain't easy and never will be...this is the new reality and we have to deal with it. I have to remind myself that we are one...as much as I expect her to recognize my pain...I must also recognize hers.

Yeah, I have doubts and expectations of her and I think they are justified. More importantly I have an obligation to her as well. I think it would be easy for me to say that she should bear the main portion of our healing...but, to be honest...isn't that the same selfish justification that she used for the A?

I know my story (which I haven't shared) isn't near level of pain and hurt of what some of you are going through, so I don't want to come across as if I know what you are feeling. That, being said, I am thankful for this forum...you have helped me see a bit into the thinking and feelings of a WS and that has been most helpful.

My hopes and prayers are for healing and peace for each of you and your BS.


Posts: 13 | Registered: Nov 2011
1985
♂ Member
Member # 28171
Default  Posted: 4:23 PM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I also offer my thanks. I think of myself as always able to see every situation from all angles and perspectives. But this is one I missed completely. And it is a very important perspective for a BS to see and to think about. It adds another dimension to a WS that a BS should have to take into consideration.
Through all of these years I never thought of my W as having made a conscious choice; rather I just looked at her continuing presence as her being opportunistic and me being gracious and big hearted. You have made me see that I probably gave myself too much credit and her not nearly enough. And that is important for me to know, even now.
I am continually amazed at how much can be learned from the SI community. Thanks again.


Me-BH 63
Her-fWW 63
DDay: June 1985. 5 years after A ended
DDay June, 1985
DDay June 1985
Still married - actually in love
2 grown kids; 4 grandkids

Posts: 591 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: Midwest - large city
BostonGirl
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Member # 33930
Default  Posted: 9:50 PM, December 2nd (Friday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This has been an incredibly thought-provoking discussion--thanks all who are participating.

notthesum and Whiistlestop, in particular, your posts about recognizing the serious dysfunction in your marriages really resonated with me. Yes, sometimes an affair is a wake up call that a M really is dead--new boundaries and healing alone is what's needed. It's good to know I"m not alone in this....


It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.

Posts: 133 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Boston
ShallLoveHer
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Member # 33811
Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

BS here.

I totally agree. The WS absolutely has choices. Choosing to face the shame often associated with infidelity and work to restore the marital relationship is not an easy thing to do. Running away is much easier. Especially when you are unsure about your emotions or immediate wants or needs.

Doing the right and honorable thing should ALWAYS be recognized and acknowledged. WSs who choose to stick it out do deserve kudos.

No one should spend a lifetime paying for their poor choices in life. Repentance should be rewarded with forgiveness. Right behavior should be noted regardless of past behavior.

That said, I do believe the WS has more responsibility to the healing process. The BS will need certain concessions from the WS for R to occur. But this doesn't mean the BS "owns" the WS for the remainder of the marriage.

For a marriage to work, both partners have to be well founded in "self", then choose to be together. A relationship where one partner has a "debt" owed to the other is unbalanced and unlikely to succeed. Healing ourselves and helping each other to heal so that the relationship becomes well founded and balanced will offer the best chance of success.

JMHO.

SLH


Me: BH, 43yo
Her: WW, 40yo
Married 16y w/ 3 kids
D-Day #1 Aug 12,2011 D-Day #2 Oct 30, 2011
Currently in the crucible.

John 3:17 - For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


Posts: 173 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Michigan
uncertainone
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Member # 28108
Default  Posted: 3:33 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Staying was the right choice for ME. It truly healed me. I am better. I am a different person with amazingly strong, firm boundaries while still knowing how to have a blast in life

I've been thinking about this post quite a bit and the responses. 

Taken beyond the specific "stay or go" I'm realizing from reading on this site for a few months shy of a few years and my real life experiences how much our personal identity and our view of ourselves in relationship to others complicates constraint in moral choices.

So many WS's have stated how they didn't feel the BS would care, how little they felt they mattered yet how strongly they viewed cheating as morally wrong. 

I know it's universally categorized as blame shifting. That doesn't mean it isn't true. 

I think it's a very big reason we see so much "dissonance" between moral views in the abstract and choices made when seeking something that has great importance to a "need" in us.

It's stated that staying is the harder choice and running is much easier, at times.  I believe that staying can be running, in some cases. While the BS's pain and anger is hard to face it may not be the derivation from the norm for some many find it to be. Familiar, regardless of pain, is sometimes the choice of least resistance.

As we do the work and invest the time we will strengthen our identity. Our perspective of how we fit in our world will change as well. This isn't just true of WS's but BS's go through it too. I think that's why we see many hitting a point down the road where they evaluate and reach a different choice.

Yes, recognizing that WS's have a choice is very important. How we make choices is also important information and that may involve further study. 

This is such a great post. It's so nice to read some of the responses of people that have now been able to focus on the healthy choices their spouses are making and the true growth and courage behind them. Nice!


Me: 37

'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth


Posts: 6795 | Registered: Mar 2010
trytoforgive
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Member # 27330
Default  Posted: 6:39 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So many WS's have stated how they didn't feel the BS would care, how little they felt they mattered yet how strongly they viewed cheating as morally wrong.

I know it's universally categorized as blame shifting. That doesn't mean it isn't true.
...
It's stated that staying is the harder choice and running is much easier, at times. I believe that staying can be running, in some cases. While the BS's pain and anger is hard to face it may not be the derivation from the norm for some many find it to be. Familiar, regardless of pain, is sometimes the choice of least resistance.

Holy shit, uo... If I had nads, this would have kicked me in them...

I have been chasing my H for 12 years, so it was familiar to chase him after d-day, and even after all this time and all this soul-searching and all this fucking healing inside me, it was easier for me to stay. It was easier for me to stay in the beginning because, God help me, he didn't get to say that the destruction of our marriage hung directly on my shoulders. He didn't even get to breathe the thought, or I was going to fucking explode. Staying was my running...

I have shared this before, but I didn't want to be bitchy. I didn't want to come off as naggy or overbearing or demanding. I wanted to be the cool wife. The one that would "love in spite of." The one that he would always know had his back, and so he would have no choice but to one day turn around and love me. When it became increasingly apparent that no amount of "cool wife" was making any kind of difference, I threw, what my IC calls, "The world's most destructive temper tantrum." It was my way of lashing out, but I honestly didn't think he would give a fuck if I lashed out in anyway.

I had tried small gambling interventions with his sister and BIL. I tried silence. I tried talking. I tried reading and discussing. I begged for counseling. I begged for sex. I tried everything in my power, and none of it worked, so I gave up- on me, on him, and on my M.

I truly think that's what I meant by saying that "staying was the right choice for me," because, in all honesty, I needed to know if this would change things. I needed to know if we would be one of those couples that came out on the other side with this new-found love and mutual respect for one another. I needed HIM to know that I wasn't the worst person in the room...

I stayed for the wrong reasons, my choice, yes, but only in staying, in digging, in ripping open and learning how to be truly authentic and HONEST was I able to save the most important thing- ME. I don't know that I would have learned that lesson had I been putting all the fight in trying to get him to come back home. Maybe, eventually, but I don't know... I am a better mom. I am a better co-worker. I am, in all honesty, a better wife. By staying, I was able to own my guilt. I was able to own my shame, and yes, I certainly did some blame-shifting, but I was eventually able to own that no matter what the state of the marriage, the A was ALL ON ME.

In this healing process, however, I have become more and more aware of my choices here. I chose NC. I chose to heal myself. I chose to be honest and to admit to the most horrible, gut-wrenching things. I chose to hold him when he needed to be held. I chose not to lash out in defensiveness (most of the time) when he needed to be angry. I chose to be honest and open and vulnerable to a fault. I chose to stay here and stop the bleeding and clean up as much of the carnage as I possibly could, and now, as I get further and further along in my own healing, I choose me. I've taken him as far as he can go. And eventually, I very well may have to choose to leave so that I can continue to live an honest, authentic life.

Wow... That sure did break open a dam...

Thanks ou, for the well needed kick in the nads...

[This message edited by trytoforgive at 6:44 PM, December 3rd (Saturday)]


Me- W 38
Him- H 40
Long time lurker...Sometimes poster...
DDay 8/14/2009

DD 15
DS 10


Posts: 452 | Registered: Jan 2010
mangledmom
♀ Member
Member # 31622
Default  Posted: 6:51 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe off topic (maybe not after UO's post).There is one huge point I read and kinda cringe......my WS chose to honor their responsibilities and duties and now we are working on our marriage. For ME, I don't want my spouse here out of duty and responsiblity. I would much rather see him happy, in love, and working on a good relationship w/our kids rather than stay out of obligation. For me, I want him here because he loves me and we are working on a better future, not because its "the right thing to do." Dome people may not agree, but it is a hard piece I have struggled with. I pray my SAWH is here for no other reason than that he realized in all this that he really loves me and only me. I never wanna wonder if another is in his heart while he's here out of duty and responsibility or because he is avoiding the fear of the unknown by leaving.

UO- I heart you. You are always inspirational in your words. I am full of them, but articulation is not ny thing.


BS-30

Traumatized, but I'm headed forward towards the light.

I wish you enough ....


Posts: 468 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: mangledmom
BostonGirl
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Member # 33930
Default  Posted: 9:38 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow, these last two posts are so powerfully resonant to me.

My husband essentially "checked out" of our marriage shortly after our first daughter was born, 10 years ago. He remained in the marriage but so closed off, nothing but walls between us. Mangledmom's contrast of duty and love hit it exactly--he was dutiful but in no way loving. And as the years progressed it became more and more clear that he wouldn't assume or share the really big responsibilities of life, about money or childrearing decisions, it was all on me.

Like trytoforgive, I tried and tried and tried to break through. Eventually I had to accept that he had no interest in being my friend, my lover, or my partner. Eventually the love was all wrung out of me, and then I was only dutiful too, for the sake of the kids...

My extramarital affairs were a part of several events that converged and had a seismic effect on my marriage. Throughout my husband has said he wants to stay married (even though he left and moved out), but I still feel so completely rejected and abandoned and his saying that he wants to stay is just mystifying. We're in counseling and some progress has been made, but wow, did this really resonate with me:

Mangledmom wrote:

I pray my SAWH is here for no other reason than that he realized in all this that he really loves me and only me. I never wanna wonder if another is in his heart while he's here out of duty and responsibility or because he is avoiding the fear of the unknown by leaving.

Bingo.I don't want to be the fall back because of his fear of the unknown, I don't want to only have the function of being the other workhorse in the yoke of duty and responsibility. Once upon a time this man promised to love and cherish me, as I did him--I did my best at that for a very long time, but he by his own admission blew it off completely. So painful, so profoundly painful.

I do completely own my choices, I do completely own my shit. I also own that I need affection, connection, mutual care and fully shared responsibility. Looking for affection and connection outside my marriage was not the right answer, but if it served as a big wake-up call that things really needed to change, it will have been for the good....


It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.

Posts: 133 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Boston
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 10:00 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just have to say....this thread kicks ass....


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
trytoforgive
♀ Member
Member # 27330
Default  Posted: 10:22 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((mj))) Been thinking about you all weekend and any bursts of love and strength you have been feeling are my prayers. Love you, sister friend.


Me- W 38
Him- H 40
Long time lurker...Sometimes poster...
DDay 8/14/2009

DD 15
DS 10


Posts: 452 | Registered: Jan 2010
MissesJai
♀ Member
Member # 24849
Default  Posted: 10:46 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

well then your prayers are powerful....thank you for sending me strength - I've used every ounce of it.... love you too girlie!!!!!


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
LosferWords
♂ Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 11:26 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

trytoforgive,

I really appreciate this post. Fairly early on, my FWW made it clear to me that she was still in this marriage because she wanted to be, not because she had to be. Who wants to be married to someone who simply feels obligated to be in the marriage?

This post really makes me appreciate my FWW, the mindset that she has, and the work she has put in to change herself. All of this because she chose to, out of love for me and wanting to heal herself, not out of guilt or obligation.

I think this post is empowering to both the BS and the WS.

Thanks for this.

Losfer

[This message edited by LosferWords at 11:28 PM, December 3rd (Saturday)]


Posts: 6752 | Registered: Dec 2010
mangledmom
♀ Member
Member # 31622
Default  Posted: 11:56 PM, December 3rd (Saturday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Boston- while I can't condone your actions, I get it!!! Funny thing is, that's how *I* have felt all these years. He keeps saying he didn't think I loved him, and that was his justification for heading deeper into porn, and I thought, " but I didn't cheat even though I felt the same way!" I used to think that that meant I was stronger and cared more, but I think the bigger truth is I just didn't end up with an opportunity. I don't think I could have had a PA ( probably more to do w/SAb), but I could easily see I was a prime candidate for an EA, even though I have never cheated. I was so desperate for some sort of emotional connection, esp as his addiction got worse and he went even further. I can't say it for sure would have happened but I was on a VERY slippery slope w/a former BF about 3mnths after A#2 was revealed. Thankfully I reconsidered, but it proved I wasn't immune.

Duty and obligation are fine when it comes to the kids, but not my life. I want someone who is here to share in all the ups and downs, support and encourage each other in our pursuits and individuality, and to work towards a common goal and vision. Above all though, I want genuine, real, authentic love. The cheap versions I have had forever. I am looking for the real deal. I want a companion, friend, lover, and partner, not someone w/a pretend smile who feels there is no other choice. I refuse to settle.

Hopefully Boston it did provide some good for you two, and if not, you know what you have to do. Good luck!

[This message edited by mangledmom at 12:23 AM, December 4th (Sunday)]


BS-30

Traumatized, but I'm headed forward towards the light.

I wish you enough ....


Posts: 468 | Registered: Mar 2011 | From: mangledmom
Hope24
♀ Member
Member # 9344
Default  Posted: 8:32 AM, December 4th (Sunday), 2011View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's stated that staying is the harder choice and running is much easier, at times. I believe that staying can be running, in some cases. While the BS's pain and anger is hard to face it may not be the derivation from the norm for some many find it to be. Familiar, regardless of pain, is sometimes the choice of least resistance.

This was absolutely the case for me.

I have shared this before, but I didn't want to be bitchy. I didn't want to come off as naggy or overbearing or demanding. I wanted to be the cool wife. The one that would "love in spite of." The one that he would always know had his back, and so he would have no choice but to one day turn around and love me. When it became increasingly apparent that no amount of "cool wife" was making any kind of difference, I threw, what my IC calls, "The world's most destructive temper tantrum." It was my way of lashing out, but I honestly didn't think he would give a fuck if I lashed out in anyway.

YES! My IC characterized my affair in the exact same way, TTF.

Great thread, great insights.


She packed up her potential and all she had learned and headed out to change a few things.

Posts: 7605 | Registered: Jan 2006 | From: Poolside
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