The thing keeping me here and in R is for a few reasons...
1. Our 3 kids
2. My fear of being alone
3. My lack of self-esteem and self-respect
& 4. For financial reasons
I love my wh but don't love or respect him the way a wife should a husband. And that's what I have realized over the past few months leading me to reconsidering R in the first place.
And to your question about how things were validated pre final dday I never really got validation either. I was suffering from PPD with anxiety and really didn't want validation because I felt like I didn't deserve to be happy. But at the same time h never really offered me validation. I have always been the initiator in all things between us, and he just follows along (not so much since his A). I have told him over and over and finally wrote it down for him to read what I need/want from him to show me he "wants/cherishes/Loves" me and gave him a few examples. But he still doesn't give them to me.
When I told him about the account on there and why I set up the account, he responded with "well would you follow thru with an affair, what would you do if someone wanted to meet up with you?" But other then that as long as I didn't follow thru with anything then he didn't seem like it was a big deal.
I have not closed the AM account yet. And what I was telling myself during that time was "It won't turn into anything" and then while talking with the om today I wasn't really saying anything about it to myself except "he lives to far away for anything to really happen without one of us getting on a plane" Part of me doesn't think my h would really care about it if I told him as long as "nothing happened", which causes a whole lot of other problems/doubts about him and us.
And one last answer about how I am going to work on my self-esteem/self-respect is I am planning on going to IC. I just need to make the call and schedule it, unfortunately it can take awhile with our insurance to get in and then I only see a counselor 1-2 times a month. (Reason I quit going during the PPD) But for now it's what I have to do until we can afford something better
A month later I start and EA then a couple months in I get busted. And on a long business trip alone I realize how fucked up I am and all the issues I have that need to be fixed if I ever want to be the person I thought I might be. I come clean to the W and start working; books, SI, IC yada yada.
First 3 or so months go by as well as I guess this shit can, then I start to get the "your not the same", "your different", "your not empathetic". So, after much talking, weeping and nashing of teeth I recognize with the wifes help that I had a massive trigger, but because TG is only 5 months in there usually isn't time, room, or reason to bring any of that up. She says there is but doesn't feel like it or maybe its my CA taking over. Which is possible, my entire life is feelings, SI, IC, Bravo and housewives. Writing this I feel extreamly out of balance, at least it sounds that way to me.
So, for those of you who may have been here before, any ideas?
I've been up front about it all. Taken full blame for my choices. She at times blames me. Then says its her fault.
We've been trying to R for almost a year. We even renewed our vows for our 15 year anniversary.
However, once we got back from our vacation at the end of june something changed.
She told me she's not sure anymore of R or me. She began talking to other men. And in the beginning of august was with another man. Twice.
Through all of this I've tried to tell her how I feel. I'd be willing to do whatever I have to do to make things work. And that I'd stand by her no matter what. I want this to work.
But I don't know now. This is her third betrayal of me.
All the while I'm told we wouldbt be in this position if it weren't for me. True. But she didn't have to be with someone else. The whole thing is hard enough. Now this.
She now is back to brining up my affair. Asking why I went back when she questioned me. Why I never ended it why I had to get caught to stop. Maybe I should be with her.
I feel like some of this is because we are approaching september which is when she discovered my affair. And the summer is when mine happened. It makes sense to my why she pushes me away. Why the clock is resetting so to speak. And I'm truly remorseful still for everything.
But there's the fact she's been with another man. Again.
[This message edited by tearsofblood1 at 8:00 AM, August 28th (Tuesday)]
It just wasn't right.
Any time I try to delve into it, I compare it to Mr.DixieD's affair. It pales in comparison. He describes it like I cut my hand and he chopped off his entire arm. That is what I fall back on. That tit for tat mentality that somehow makes me better than.
I stopped myself. Why couldn't you?
My H doesn't think I had an EA because he too compares the two situations. How can he judge after what he did? My IC doesn't believe I had an EA because I didn't feel in love, didn't project a future, didn't think I was doing anything wrong.
I was too interested in this person. After dday, I sure used him as a way to hurt my H. Saying things like I wish I would have "done something" with him when I had the chance (little more vulgar than that) -- you get the idea.
What I do know was that for a time, my H's feelings didn't mean a damn thing to me. When I think about that, because this was before his affair then I tie that in with -- if I hadn't done this then he wouldn't have cheated. I know that's bs but it still blocks me facing anything more and I can't tolerate the pain thinking there may be any truth to it.
How do you deal with your own stuff as a MH?
All the while I'm told we wouldbt be in this position if it weren't for me. True.
Not true. Her choices are hers and yours are yours. You don't have to accept hers because of yours.
What are you doing to get healthy? Regardless of where she is at you have to focus on you. If your trying to get healthy just for her and the M then it will never work IMO. Set some expectations with her such as no more A's. If the decision is she or you can't do that then its over or you accept that behavior.
Holy crap would I love that answer!! I have done that myself, comparing EA vs PA, in the end for me it is a distraction that keeps me from looking at my own issues.. What helps me is reminding myself that her decisions are hers and mine are mine.
Seems like there are sooo many locks, blocks, walls and issues with MH. Its hard to keep it all straight.
What helps me is reminding myself that her decisions are hers and mine are mine.
I think that is a big key to it, hardlessons. Personal ownership and not playing the comparison game.
On the same token, my wife and I have had some productive conversations where we were able to relate to each others mindsets as waywards, and have empathy toward each other, while at the same time admitting how flawed our thinking was during the time of our A's.
First context: My adultery was along time ago. It was with another woman (I have not been attracted to other women before or after this) and I crossed the line of friendship after having poor boundaries and not prioritising my M. enough.
There was one brief physical encounter. Prior to this I had some 'twinges' of physical attraction that I didnot recognise. I disclosed to my H. within a week.
I then turned my life inside out to establish good boundaries.
I have not ever since been tempted to cheat, nor have I put a friendship before, equal or even close to our M.
Since working through his A my H. began to go through a whole new level of 'feeling' about mine infidelity. Because he rewrote it in his mind and applied his own actions (lieing, underground behaviour, sneaking around, numberous physical encounters, flirting, texting, romancing etc)
to my A.
From this point of view 'comparing' our A's was really important. Clarifying for him through retrospective vision about the details of my affair was important for him to stop inaccurate mind movies.
Another thing that has been important to me DD (which I relate to you in your post) is the pride I feel that I put a stop to my behaviour. That I did not go underground, that I turned myself around and did the hard yards for 9 years. I actually am proud of the choices I have made since I disclosed to my H.
I am also proud that I was able to recognise adultery for what it was, a lie and an illusion that offered me and all I held dear heartbreak and dishonour.
I was proud of this before I found out he was unfaithful. And I still am. I am not giving that up - because I have earnt it.
It does not mean I am finished understanding why I did it - nor that I can now be careless.
H. did rugsweep. But I don't believe (and I have examined this) that I am responsible for his avoidance of reality. That he told himself 'all that mattered was that it was over and that I was doing the right thing' that was his choice. It may have been true. It might still be true - except that he had an affair and now understands the wayward thought processes I was engaging in too.
He tells me his three - four month betrayal of me - especially the one - two months the affair went underground for is worse in its effect and intent than what I did. And I believe him. As many on SI say - the lies and deception is what makes it so much worse. It is the insult and the injury.
I don't let myself off the hook for my actions at that time. But I do congratulate myself and celebrate every health choice I have made for 9 years. I also celebrate that I faced what I did and was honest with him. I only ever asked for the same in return.
I don't know if this helps ... and I guess it may challenge the 'don't compare' thinking in some ways. I am happy to be challenged on it.
I disclosed because I can't lie. I can lie to myself but I can't knowingly tell a lie and be ok with it. It eats me alive until I spill my guts. I couldn't live a double life. If I was going to have an affair, it would be out in the open.
My H rugswept his feelings about my attachment to this guy because he never really expressed his feelings and he didn't think I would care if he was opposed to it and in all honesty I wouldn't have been. I had a very 'you can't tell me what to do' sort of attitude. Why express feelings to someone who doesn't care about your feelings?
I didn't prioritize my M in many ways. I didn't want it to change me. I feared enmeshment and it felt like I was suffocating sometimes.
I know I've had poor boundaries. Since discovering this I've isolated myself more so than built actual healthy boundaries. Although I do recognize them more than I ever have.
As far as EA go, I didn't think I was in one. It doesn't fit the Sally Glass criteria of one either.
I become too interested in people. I feel something I can't even describe. It's The Rescuer/The Helper role. Beyond that, when the urge or interest or whatever it is finishes I move on to something else. I don't think the person is the love of my life. I don't overlook their flaws etc. I don't think being with them would be the answer to my prayers. I don't need to be in constant contact. It's not limerance in definition.
Possibly a form of infatuation, with limitations. Wikipedia has a section on Intellectual infatuations and they do not need to only involve people, but can extend to objects, activities, and ideas. That's been a problem, I will find an obsession of the moment and use that to divert attention from the M. I've been able to challenge this thinking now that I know it's there, in regards to people, but it's not as easy with other things.
As far as this one guy in particular, the EA in question, there was a lot of flirting, primarily on his part. I remember thinking, I'm glad I'm not married to you. I wouldn't date someone like you. I knew he had a thing for me and had for many years and I told him he was chasing a fantasy. I'm not this wonderful mate he thought I would be. I thought as long as I didn't feel THAT about him and he stayed in the friend category it was ok. But I can't say for sure that I didn't feel something at least briefly.
When he asked -- where is this going? I was jolted out of it. This isn't going anywhere, what are you talking about, I'm married. I told my husband the guy misunderstood my caring and interest for something else. I was freaked out by it. I could see why he could have and it scared me. Someone with healthy boundaries wouldn't be questioned about their friendship in the first place. We'd been friends for many years and didn't want to mess that up so that we couldn't be friends now, so we remained friends -- a toned down version.
After Mr.DD's dday I wasn't about to talk to this guy about problems in my marriage, he'd also been a BS so I wasn't going to commiserate with him or flirt back with him. I was behind my new boundaries barrier wall. However, after reading about NC, I was adamant that he and I were different from Mr.DD and his A. We were just friends. I didn't need to go NC with my friend because I had put boundaries in place. For a long time I didn't and wouldn't go NC, because I didn't do anything wrong -- in comparison. I didn't lie or hide things and I never thought I was in love with him.
I have a lot more work to do with that. I think that ties into poor boundaries too, among other things. I had a real problem knowing where I stopped and Mr.DD started. That we are not the same person with the same thought processes. I've had to face just how different we are.
I don't know if this helps ... and I guess it may challenge the 'don't compare' thinking in some ways. I am happy to be challenged on it.
Your post does help, Meg, and I think the context in which you and your H are comparing your A's is healthy.
My concern with some types of comparisons is they can be done in an unhealthy manner, such as conflict avoidance, justification, etc. Feelings such as, "You had your cake, therefore I am entitled to mine." or "At least I didn't do X and Y and Z, so what I did really doesn't even count at all.", are very flawed thinking, IMO, and that's kind of what I meant when I said 'comparison game'.
In your case, Meg, it sounds like you are using 'comparisons', not to do conflict avoidance or justification, but mostly to map out the facts as they actually are (versus how they are imagined), and to inventory what you have on your plate to deal with individually and as a couple. Sounds good to me.
ETA: Edited for grammar. Brain is fried after work.
[This message edited by LosferWords at 7:42 PM, August 30th (Thursday)]
If we can compare A’s then why can’t I compare childhood’s and mine was much worse so I get special dispensation right? I understand and am guilty of mapping out the facts of who did what and facts are useless unless put in context. The context of wayward thinking is that you’re a Wayward, period no more no less.
I am white, am I more white because of my political beliefs or less white because I live in Arizona and a tan is easy to come by? No, I am still white. To continue that analogy I was white before and after the A. Not trying to bust balls or anything. Just think that comparison of any kind leads to less healthy thinking. In society we have laws like murder; 1st-3rd degree, manslaughter etc. at the end of the day someone is dead and their partner, wife or husband is crushed, regardless of the legal charge put on the guilty the outcome is exactly the same for those who have lost their loved one..
The only thing we own are our own actions and thoughts, allowing comparison allows you to justify or feel better or have upper hand in a relationship or if you think you have done worse it allows you to deny your feelings and triggers because, well you just don’t deserve it. Either way ends up fucked up. Tried them both..
When looking from the aspect of healing, there are different types of affairs with varying levels of betrayal that entail different consequences that each have their own path of healing (LTA, OC, STD, SA, EA, PA, Double Betrayal, the list goes on). I think it is important to get everything out on the plate, so it can be evaluated, accepted, and healing can begin for the individual WS/BS's and ultimately the marriage, if that can be done. That's just my take on it, though.
ETA: I don't know, maybe a better term for what I am referring to would be 'inventorying' instead of 'comparing'?
[This message edited by LosferWords at 3:52 PM, August 31st (Friday)]
I think MH situations are really complex - and I think there is a lot of variation to the perceived linkage in the adultery of each partner.
The length of time between / the context / the degree of patterned and repititve behaviour.
The point of 'comparing' or taking an 'inventory' of my adultery relative to my husbands was very important to us.
I betrayed my husband 9 years ago. I disclosed to him straight away and accepted his forgiveness when he offered it. I made a committment to him and I that I would never invite this back into our lives.
After my discovery of his affair, he took it underground, then on my discovery of that, he drip fed the truth to me for over a month.
The triage of the damage after his affair was all consuming. When we bobbed up from this a great tsunami of pain was waiting for him.
Because I put to him that I was concerned he had not processed my betrayal of him. He sat with that for a few weeks and then his mind movies started.
He saw my betrayal through the prism of his own affair and actions.
It was very important to reality check all of this because he was rewriting history and hurting himself again.
But not only that - he was (maybe inadvertantly - maybe deliberatly) minimising my access to working through my pain.
Because so much of my recovery is about finding understanding and forgiveness for all the ugliness that occured after the affair went underground.
I felt during this stage that he was moving through the pain that he was claiming my story in a way.
I didn't speak this to him. I reassured him that his pain was real and valid and continually gave him the facts regarding my infidelity.
The feeling that he was claiming my story shifted when he stopped rewriting that history through the prism of his affair.
Gosh I don't know if this makes sense.
when I speak of feeling proud .. I am validating the healthy and authentic choices I have made since facing my infidelity. All the changes great and small I have made to protect my marriage. Nine years of vigilance and work. And yes I OWN my ugly actions. My wayward thinking. I also OWN the healthy, life-giving and genuine thinking and actions I have taken for nearly a decade.
allowing comparison allows you to justify or feel better or have upper hand in a relationship
Not the upper hand in my relationship. I believe I have earnt my stripes in my own battle. It is something within me. Looking at WHO I was during those weeks(and the behaviour and thinking that enabled me becoming that)and looking at WHO I have been for nine years since.
If this was my friend or sister or someone here on SI I would be the one applauding. So I offer myself that same gift and encouragement.
or if you think you have done worse it allows you to deny your feelings and triggers because, well you just don’t deserve it.
this concerns me for my H. - because a part of his thinking before his physical affair was that I am a better person than him. I do NOT agree with him at all on this. My concern is that his view that he is worse than me could harm his self concept.
I am struggling to help him with that because I am struggling to forgive him for all the things he did after I first discovered and confronted him(without proof).
I am struggling to consolidate the emotional vampire that used my pain to feed his own ego for two months. Who watched me in dispair and felt satisfied that two women could 'want' him. Who allowed my pain to add spice to the clandestine and illicit nature of his 'romance' with another party. With the man I married and who is here with me today.
and yep maybe... that is where I trigger in an unhealthy comparison. Because I can not relate to that complete absence of empathy for weeks and weeks. The deliberate cruelty for months. There is this thing in me that thinks if i could relate - I could understand - I could hold 'why' in my hands.
This cycling is not about letting me off the hook. It is about trying to find my way to forgiveness.
Sorry this post has been so long. thank Losfer & HardLessons for both of your posts. So much food for thought. so now ... some more thinking.
(ETA- because i misread you had posted - I am sorry!)
[This message edited by MegM at 4:20 AM, September 1st (Saturday)]
I spent some time with Mr NEM, there were both ups and downs, but we are trying to make progress. I am trying to kick codependent habits but sometimes they sure do die hard.
The theme of the past couple weeks that I've been experiencing is "nothing is ever good enough." It doesn't matter what I do or how hard I try, he still pokes holes in me and deflates me. Always wants more. It's exhausting and it's hard to say no because I am a wayward too.
We had an outdoor activity and then had some folks over yesterday for dinner, so I cooked while he did chores outside. I had to cook fast so we could eat when everyone was ready, and Mr NEM had the gall to say, "thank you for dinner, but why didn't you cool ___ down in the fridge before serving? It tastes kind of gross at this temperature". Really? Backhanded compliments, my favorite? And when I spilled a drink everywhere and didn't immediately go get a towel to clean it up, he yelled at me in front of our guests...
Him:aren't you going to clean that up?!?!
Me: in a minute after I finish eating
Him:(( storms off to get a towel)) you're going to ruin the floor!!
IMO, the yelling and bitching about food temp just show that after what he deemed to be the "perfect" day together and that he was so content and happy together, he still sees the need to cut me down.
Most days I can let it roll off my back like water on a duck, but this hurt. And I did the socially appropriate thing by not having a confrontation in front of guests, and we agreed to postpone the conversation til later.
I was too tired by the time everyone left so we just went to sleep. Why throw more energy into a black hole if it's going to suck more out of me and end up not good enough anyway.
I was doing so good and being so strong last week. Times like this just make me think he is a self centered asshole and "we" are only doing great when he is happy. I'm tired of being not good enough in so many aspects. I don't need an ego kibble. At this point I just new neutral. He doesn't have to tell me how splendiferous dinner was when it isn't, or that he thinks it's great when I spill shit, but not publicly dissing me would be nice.
Yes, I am going to have this conversation with him shortly.
argghh no you should not need to live with that type of whiteanting.
and yes to this ...
Yes, I am going to have this conversation with him shortly.
The thing is I don't think public put downs are ok. they are undermining (in the least) and abusive at the most.
I guess the definition of this would be with the person who is experiencing it. That is - how it leaves you feeling.
It is not ok that although we might be hurt that we feel justified in whiteanting our partner's self worth, and the attempt to white ant other's perception of them.
If you and MrNEM are working through recovery - it is very important both of you have the goal of 'first - do no harm' or as SIers say - 'No New Hurts'.
Look it is understandable that at times we will not achieve this, that we will slip and take a swing at our partner. It is not ok that this is consistent. It is not ok that this public.
You can, should and need to expect more - because you deserve it.
I agree that neutral is ok. But undermining is NOT.
This type of behaviour and harm may seem like a small misdeamour beside the cruelty of infidelity.
But overtime this type of behaviour wounds. it creates a burden in the relationship that wears it down. And it leave marks and scars on the person who the acts are inflicted against.
It certainly will not aid healing.
That is why it feels so dreadful to be on the receiving end of it when in recovery, because we are already so vulerable.
You are right to talk to him. And you are right to feel it is harmful, to you, your H and you M.
((NEM)) thinking of you.
Anybody else's fellow mad-hatter always refer to themselves as 'the betrayed one'? My H is always talking about our situations and referring to himself as 'you, us betrayed's' or when referring to me in the 'for waywards' term. And it's starting to piss me off that he keeps making me feel like I am either entirely to blame or the only 'bad-guy' in this marriage. Really sick of the double standard!!!
so we wrap it up with this couple - and I'm giving him the evil eye and we talk business and I get in a few jabs about lying by omission...
getting ready for bed he says he knows I'm mad and I ask why he didn't tell me who it was on Friday - we sat 2 rows back from them. He said he wasn't sure it was her - she was dressed provoacatively and not business like, like she usually is, and he didn't want to ruin our night..
also, he said he didn't appreciated the lying by omission thing - he said he really didn't know if it was her...
we wrapped it up pretty fast with me saying I hate his job and him saying maybe I'd be better off without him because he can see so much pain in my eyes.
I said this forgiveness thing for your affairs isn't gonna be a problem. I understand how you got there and the slippery slope, etc, etc. It's the things that are currently going on that are. I keep getting hurt. And I burst into tears because I had planned and worked hard for his party and this is how it ended... He rubbed my back until I went to sleep..
we continue to be hard on each other. I continue to punish him. I don't know why.... I wish I could react in ways other than getting mad, giving him an evil eye, getting jabs in... I don't want to be that person.
[This message edited by rachelc at 8:26 PM, September 3rd (Monday)]
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“He has no idea how beautiful the ordinary becomes once it disappears."
It sounds like it might be time for a new dance.
I have a suggestions if you want, I don't know if it will be helpful but here goes:
Maybe try to make it a goal for a full week to encourage and focus on him being as honest as possible. That means, asking him what he's thinking, how his day was, if he saw this person or that person, etc. and then just listening to him without reacting just yet. Or if he says something upsetting, saying in the most simple terms, "I feel really angry that xyz." But then keep asking him questions. It sounds like he really needs to be more forthcoming with details about his life.
If he can do that, maybe he can start acknowledging your feelings more. As you're encouraging him to volunteer information, you can tell him how you need his support when you feel xyz. "I feel really hurt right now, and I need to know you care about that. Can you hug me?"
I know it's easier said than done. Sometimes it is so frustrating, you want to rip someone's head off and pelt them with it until they stop being dense. Sometimes it helps to focus on one change at a time and see if it gets better, even in a week. It sounds like if he starts telling you about his day and things that happen and encounters with people who aren't friends of your marriage, then maybe you won't feel like you're having to pry it out of him. That might take away some of the hurt, maybe? (((rachelc)))
Just checking in...
I've been allowing myself the serenity to detach from "A-land" for the past 2 weeks or so. My sanity had been slipping since April 1st & my children desperately need a healthy parent, and I deserve a peaceful life, I realize. WH/BH was not on board with delivering those things on his part, so I found detaching to be only thing that was going to help me survive. And I must say, I feel so much better.
I've surrounded myself with friends & family that love me & back it up with action. I've lived too long with a resentful person whom *I* allowed to make me feel bad about wanting/needing ANYTHING; whether it be emotional support, affection, or physical support when I've been ill.
Being away from all of this has made me feel like a worthwhile & wonderful person. But there are so many triggers due to longevity, depth, and multitude of WH/BH's betrayals. One (actual a bundle) that cuts like a knife through my heart is that he was cheating on me before & during my pregnancy, and continued more sickeningly when my DS was a newborn.
This weekend I had plans with different friends while WH/BH had the kids, but because I am recovering from critical anemia & my period has been making me feel really ill, I ended up resting at home. I ended up getting really emotional because my former assistant just had a baby & had sent me pictures. Then trigger. I just got incredibly devastated thinking about my little one & how things seemed soooo not quite right during that time with WH/BH. My sweet baby DID NOT deserve this bullshit that WH/BH was up to with that *bleeping bleep*. My BABY deserved the attention. That was a really, really fucked up thing for WH/BH to do. I wonder if he could for just one fucking time, put himself in that child's shoes! Oh, but here's the kicker, he WAS that child at one time! With an absent daddy. How could he do that to his own baby????!!!!
I'm sorry, I am just outraged at his selfishness, his utter destruction of others' lives.
Thanks for being here to let me vent.