My thoughts on reading your post, something struck me in reading it, it was your comment 'it is hard for me as I am in a different place now.'
I felt an immediate gut reaction to the comment that something was hard for you.
A strange thing about pain and betrayal is although we may try very hard, when we stand in our own pain, we can not stand in someone else's. this is very challenging when both partners have been unfaithful.
So from that point of view when dealing with your choices to betray him, and his pain, he will need you to do everything humanely possible to restore his trust. To show him that your marriage can be a safe place where he can heal.
(You will also need the same from him)
When you say he has asked something of you, and your reflection is that it is 'hard for you' already shows that you are giving yourself an out from taking an action that would help provide safety for hi.
...if you don't know why you texted AP on day and gave your loyalty to the AP on the day your marriage was most deeply wounded, how do you or your H know that for some reason you wouldn't do that again?
I am not being hard on you, I understand you are carrying your own hurt and that we have not spent much time speaking to that.
I have a slightly different take on the thought regarding 'comparing' affairs. I don't think it is healthy to draw up some kind of ledger, however my husband and I did work through the differences of our betrayals, as we found he in particular would transpose the narrative of his over mine and imagine all sorts of things.
Like your situation our infidelities were different in there MO. our roles were reversed to you, it took discipline to just stay focused on facts. I posted on this in Madhatters a few pages ago.
'Can't '- I have read your posts too, I understand the depth of pain that comes from an emotional betrayal by a spouse, I would just add to earlier responses with a question, can you step outside of that for a moment a look at your own affairs, and ask yourself if you compartmentalise each of you affairs as separate and distinct, it seems that do not understand that your choices and journey meant you were unfaithful in your marriage over years, it is less about the narrative of each affair, and more about your mind set that had whole parts of yourself separate to you marriage. In this sense you maintained a deception over time, in this sense the women you were involved with may as well been the same person, they could have been anyone. Making sure they were different women just ensured it was less messy and entangled for you.
The betrayal to your partner due to the repetitive nature of your infidelity really adds a dimension all it's own. It adds a particular magnitude, that is not reflected in each 'liaison' with each affair party.
Bless you both, keep posting, one wisdom that has held true for me has been, so long as you are both 'in' - in the roughest times turn towards one another.
[This message edited by MegM at 9:10 PM, December 30th (Sunday)]
[This message edited by MegM at 9:09 PM, December 30th (Sunday)]
A strange thing about pain and betrayal is although we may try very hard, when we stand in our own pain, we can not stand in someone else's. this is very challenging when both partners have been unfaithful
thank you for this. I wallow in my own pain too much.
The one thing I do is protect my boundaries so fiercly I wear it like a badge, according to my IC, and she's not so sure that's good. I think as former waywards we need to do everything we can to make our BS feel safe and I'm proud to do this.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace."
Husband - cangetworse11
So, what have I learned in the last week? First, when people show you who they are believe them. Why do I say that? Because my AP is a conflict avoider that flees rather than confronts reality. I saw her do it to others, but thought it would never happen to me. Why? Ego of course. We were so great together I was listening to words and ignoring various warning signs. Things like taking her cell phone into the bathroom. Things like crying at the drop of a hat. Things like saying " I hate myself" and similar comments. Now, of course I told her we did not need to have her come live with me, but rather than deal with the reality, I took her at her word. So here I am. After a week of blind rage, I can say that self analysis has begun in earnest. I have learned a lot and will have a long learning curve ahead. The first thing I have to own is that I brought this problem on myself. Look , we were both married to others. Yes there was infidelity on my WW's part, but that is no excuse. I cringe at the pain we have both brought to her H. She demonized him, but I have no reason to think it was anything other than typical rewriting of history. I should have know this, but I wanted to believe in a fantasy rather than reality.
Next, an A is like an addiction. Everyone warned me that it would be better for my mental health not to be in contact and to detach. I knew they were right. But I needed the ego stroke, the false sense of love, the fantasy to the point where I could deliberately ignore reality. I ignored numerous warning signs that this could not have worked. Numerous.
So now what? I have behaved horribly. What can i do to fix things? I really don't know. Do I want to save my M? It makes sense in some ways, but I was unhappy for so long before I met my AP. I think my AP was my vehicle for an exit affair. But my brain has been so rewired, I'm not sure if maybe there may be something to save. I guess only time will tell.
The notion of seeking out another female fills me with self loathing and dread. I know I must heal myself first.
Finally, I should say that the anger at my AP has left, and I feel terribly sorry for her. She has had a hard life, and this will not help anything. Everyone she knows is aware of her A. I suspect she will go back to her H, but I don't know, and probably will never know as we are in total NC, at my insistence. How this man has held up for so long as I and my AP have behaved so openly is beyond me. If they can work it out, they are strong people who deserve nothing but support. But surely not from me.
I know some of you are wanting to know if I have a point here. It's this. You can't go back and do it again. If an A fails, let it fail. Don't try to beat the percentages like some desperate Vegas gambler. Don't think you are smarter or different or more in control than everyone here. There are so many smart people who have been there that understand. They get it. I refused to get it. And now I have to begin to repair a lot of damage. So use my story as an object lesson. Once again, the people on this site have proved to be right. The definition of insanity is doing something more than once that does not work, but expecting a different result. Well, that is me. I think I have been insane. But I see a way out of the Hell I created.
Hold it together. Listen to each other. And good luck in you journeys forward. I will try my best from now on to do the right thing. I will not let this define me.
I’m not sure how to bring this up. I know we talked about what you’d do if you saw either of them at lunch or any other event. I want to think of them as unimportant and I do. But, I also want to be respected. You still work at your job close to your first AP, we still live here and we are still married. I haven’t requested any changes in those areas. In fact, I see them as gifts of my offer to recover our marriage. I also see you as giving me the huge gift of recovery. However, it just seems to me that NC should be NC with these people, out of respect for each other.
I thought over Christmas vacation what I would do if he (my AP) showed up at school, maybe to visit his friends. If I saw him I would walk out. I would call in sick or whatever just to not be in this building. I have put you through a nightmare, and that demands that I now put you first.
You are an adult and of course make your own choices. If you don’t remove yourself from their (your APs) presence at any time I will assume you place more importance on your job and position than on our marriage and your wife. That is your choice to make and letting me know when and if this happens will allow me to make the choice on whether I want to be married to someone with this priority. Please don’t manipulate me by keeping the choice from me. I want to be married to a man with integrity. I will assume you no longer want to be married to me if this occurs. What happened to me crushed my soul and as you have seen, has been very difficult to recover from. I will leave if I am disrespected in any way.
I hate it when people say we need to not let these people have power over us. They don’t. But they remind us of what happened. It is not fair that I have to live with triggers about something that causes me pain that was no fault of my own. It doesn’t matter if we’re together or not, this will be part of my life for a long time and it is unfair to me, as it is to you and I’m so sorry I put you in this awful hurtful position.
Simply put, your H needs to sit on the wayward side of the fence for awhile. He seems to have forgotten that he cheated on you for years. He has taken a very entitled approach to his pain at this point and has forgotten that there is another person in this equation that is in pain that equals his. There is a person on this board, uncertainone that likes to say how pain makes us very narcissistic. I believe that is where your H is at. He can only see his pain. This is unfortunate. In order to rebuild anything in a madhatter situation both partners have to be aware of the fact that their spouse has gone through what they are feeling.
I think the letter in itself isn't bad. However, you again are focusing on the symptom and not the problem. You are expecting him to understand how to react properly in a situation when he doesn't understand the problem. Until he gets it, it will be a crap shoot as to when he makes the right choice and when he doesn't. This is because he is guessing as to what you want. He isn't making real changes to who he is. Until that happens, you will be let down over an over. Focus on the issue at hand, quit getting sidetracked on the issue of these women. They aren't the problem, your H is.
This is because he is guessing as to what you want. He isn't making real changes to who he is. Until that happens, you will be let down over an over
but isn't this letter telling him exactly what I want - respect? If I'm let down again, I'm out...
Your letter is telling him what you want for this situation, what happens if another situation comes up that he doesn't handle correctly?
I have read your posts to this forum as well as other forums because I want to have your side as well as her side to what is going on with the situation. So I hope that my take on what is happening is not as skewed as you might believe. First off, do you truly believe this and if you do why?
It appears at this point in our R my W has the ability to look past these A's of mine and is able to look forward
I think believing in this could be a serious error in judgment on both sides. Let me tell you why. Your wife may feel this way, or think she feels this way right now. And that is because all of your feelings have taken front and center. Period. Has there been any room for her anger and blameshifting and minimizing to take place? I believe that when her anger over what you have done hits it will hit with a vengeance, you just haven't seen it yet.
Here is the thing that I want to talk to you about and I have experience with it, because I did it. After my ONS, actually two time encounter, I spent about a year focusing on why what I did couldn't have been quite as bad as what my H had done to our M for 17 years. After all, I didn't give a shit about the guy I fucked, I didn't even know his last name. Yet all the women that my H had decided to talk to, cross boundaries with, share things with at work that he wouldn't share with me, that was far more damaging to me than if he had fucked someone once! Sound familiar? And all through MC I kept thinking if I could just fix him and the marriage I would feel better. Sure, I had huge amounts of guilt and shame for what I did, but shit, he had done worse for 17 years.
This is what you are doing. Can you explain to me how it was that you had any kind of real intimate close relationship with your wife that was honest while you were betraying her? You didn't. You may not have loved these women, but you weren't loving your wife either. What you are doing by sitting here and focusing on what she has done, is you are keeping yourself from fixing you. You aren't taking the time at looking at the real problem and that is the person in the mirror. I know I didn't like it either, but until I did that, NOTHING changed. And nothing will change for you either.
Look, you can decided this is a deal breaker for you. It very well may be. Just because you each did this, doesn't mean you need to R. But continuing on like this is not healthy for either of you. I am not telling you to forget about what she did, or rug sweep it, but turn towards her in your hurt. And start working on the person in the mirror.
A lot of what is going on with you is fear. Fear of being hurt again. And that is understandable. It is the name of the game around here. So let go of needing to control the outcome. BTW, this is a lot of the same advice I give her.
Do you guys have boundaries for when you get angry? Me and my H had to establish boundaries, things that I agree not to say and things that he agreed not to do early on. It helps keep things a little more fair. With these kind of emotions, things can get heated very quickly.
I wish you both the best.
I had an EA back in 2007. I for the longest time didn't think I did anything wrong because the guy was just a friend, I was not attracted. Then I read Shirly Glass' Not JUst Friends and I felt like I had just been smack upside my head with a 2x4. I had, had an emotional affair. I knew I didn't like the jerk I was then, I was selfish, stubborn and had a gaming addiction. I thought my gaming addiction was the root of my husband's misery during that time.
Well here we are now 5 months past his dday of an intense EA that lead to a PA. When I tried to express my hurt, he would just throw my EA in my face. He said, this never would've happened if I didn't have mine first. I was beyond sitting high on my horse because I still didn't think I did anything wrong. Then I read the book and felt like a filthy POS. I had had an affair, just because it didn't go physical didn't mean I wasn't wrong. My emotions were everywhere because I was beyond hurt by him but I had hurt him first, the man I love more than anything and I had betrayed him.
We talked and talked and talked about what I did. Sorting through his feelings then, dredging up the past. I tried to answer his questions the best I could remember. Unfortunetly he had rationalized/demonized what I did so much to talk himself into his EA being okay because of what I did, that it lead to the PA. He rewrote our M history to the point he is convinced I had a PA as well. I calmly listened to his evidence and as rationally as I could explained it to him. His evidence was all disproven thanks to the fact that I was transparent while friends with the guy and my best girl friend that my husband does trust could back me up on all the points.
It doesn't change the fact that I had hurt him, deeply. He bottled the hurt and let it build.
This past summer he deployed (active military) for 4 months. He had never worked with this girl before (she was active duty, she discharged a month after they returned), my H was a last minute add to this team because someone had medical problems. The first month he was out there we talked everyday, he talked to our kids everyday. We also sent emails everyday too. Then after that first month, he started calling less, stopped talking to the kids all together unless I forced it. We still emailed. Then our anniversary came (9yr) and I got flowers but the phone call was seriously lacking. It lasted a couple minutes. Then the last month of the deployment came. No more phone calls and a few emails. Until I got the "we need to have a talk when I get home" email. Then I blew his ass up. I freaked. Because I honestly had a gut feeling something was going on with that girl. A friend put pics on facebook and they were always standing together. His emails always had a mention on hanging out with her and some other people. I shook it off because I trusted him but my gut was screaming something is wrong.
He came home and basically gave me the I love you but not in love with you. Said he had been thinking about it all deployment and said it is because of what I did. One of the above paragraphs explains what happened next. During that time of sorting through that he detached, moved from our bedroom to the den. Started finding excuses to leave the house, he was on post deployment leave but kept making up excuses to go to medical to update his record. I noticed he was in the bathroom ALOT. I would go to do things with the kids, he would come along but acted annoyed to have to be with us. Then he got all excited about a run he was going to do with some deployment buddies. The morning of the run, I asked him who was going. He deflected at first but then admitted it to only being that girl. "But we're just friends, so don't worry." Can you hear my gut screaming from all the way over there? He was gone for 6hours "running". During that time I pulled phone records and found a number that he was talking/texting to in unhealthy excess. When he finally came home, he went straight to the shower. I snuck in and took his phone. The text and call log had been wiped. So I went through his phonebook and confirmed the number was her.
I confronted and he denied. I told him to stop talking to her, he refused. Then he did something I will never forget. He turned around and said "If you tell her husband about how much we're talking or my command I will make you regret it." He threatened me!
Two days later on Monday, he came clean about the affair, said they broke it off. I told him I love him and want to work on our marriage. The next freaking day, Tuesday, he came home from work (he was off leave) and said he just couldn't give her up. I lost my mind. I threw him out, called a lawyer and a doctor (found out he hadn't been using protection because he took her at her word she is clean and on the pill). Wednesday he called asking if he could see the kids, I told him to go f* himself. I was a mess on a cocktail of antidepressants and antianxiety, had also JUST had my full STD screening. I told him maybe he should've spent more time with the kids while he was here instead of sneaking off to see her and call/text her. Thursday my daughter snuck my phone and called him. Begging him to come home. SHe gave me the phone, he begged to come see them and I caved because my daughter every morning and night had been crying she missed daddy. He came over, he spent time with them, even went with us to pick up the dogs from the groomers. That night me and him talked. He was telling me how he just knew she was close to leaving her husband. I calmly pointed out how much he had sacrificed/given up and she wasn't committing the same to him, that she hadn't even told her husband about the A. It rattled his cage. Friday, I finally had a huge break down where I was on my knees begging God for him to come home. I love him. An hour later I texted him asking to watch the dogs so I could go visit family. He showed up at the house crying, saying he had fully broken things off for good. He said he needed me, his feelings were all messed up, that the A didn't feel right anymore now that they were dealing with consequences/real world. I took him back because I love him and wanted to work. Down note, he never said he was sorry, I had my blinders on.
Here we are now. He still has feelings for her but he's working on regreting what he did and getting rid of his feelings. He's trying to feel something for me again. He's scared because he wants our family. He feels guilty that he's not feeling love for me.
Now that I've rambled and written a novel does anyone have advise/relate? Is there hope? Suggestions?
Not to mention the fact that he is holding to his "inappropriate friendships" story and saying he's not as bad as me because short of me knowing he had sex with someone else I had no room to judge him. He said all this before I told him we we're done and hasn't said anything about us since. I had a panic attack because one of the girls tried contacting him again but was brushed off and the focus was put in me because I didn't feel I could go to class. I didn't want to break down in public.
Thing is I feel myself spiraling again somtimes. Now I know how to forcibly pull myself out of that but sometimes in my weak moments I think its all my fault even what he did and then I have to spend precious moments of sanity that its not that he made his own choices. I hate this.
No longer together
Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.
Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.
Currently I'm a second time BS and I've been getting TT for the past 6 months or so. OW gave him an ultimatum to leave me by the end of Oct 2012. He didn't and her ultimatum wasn't real...he said he was hoping it was because he doesn't want to be the bad guy and hurt her. Then he was going to break up with her before we went on a trip to see his family (so that he wouldn't have to deal with the fallout from the breakup). That didn't happen. Nor did it happen the 4 or 5 other times since then.
In December I filled out the Joint Divorce paperwork and said if he wants a divorce he just needs to sign. He didn't sign, doesn't want to divorce me. Nothing changes. Three weeks ago I started to implement the 180. It helped but I couldn't hold out after a few apologies. Two weeks ago I was going to sublet a different apartment - I consciously made the mistake of telling him about it. He said he didn't want me to move out and he would break up with her. Of course I'm just as much of a coward as he is, which is why I didn't just surprise him with coming home to find me and my stuff gone. For the next 10 days or so contact with OW was cut down - he only saw her at work and talked to her on the phone. In the last 4 days the physical contact has picked up (or normalized again). Monday night he came home and said, "I love you. I will fix this problem." I called donkey poo on him on that because in the span of three hours since leaving work he had called her for times and talked for about an hour total. He said he's trying and I just have to give him time. I said, I don't think she knows the truth. I picked up his phone and dialed her number. He grabbed the phone away from me and said, "That's it, you and I are done. I'm leaving and I don't want to see you again." When I said that I would go to a hotel he said that he would be leaving anyways because why would he want to stay in our apartment all alone? Well, we made it through that night. Then last night she texts him after their after-work phone call, "I forgot to tell you I love you." He replied (in all caps): I love you more.
When he came home I was in my room and he didn't say anything to me. Nor I to him. He went to bed that way (I had fallen asleep). I woke up, got the laundry out so I could grab my clean clothes and I dropped the basket on the floor and started walking out. He said, "If you leave, I'm not coming home tomorrow night". I left and somewhat slept in a recliner chair in my office.
Although I did take his car keys (since he doesn't have to go to work today he doesn't need them). I will drop them off tonight.
In short - I suck, my history sucks, my 180 attempts are noncommittal, my threats don't hold teeth, and I'm a coward and trying to manipulate the situation to a more desired outcome.
And my H is in his fog and probably feels like he is making a choice but what I think he's really doing is boomeranging because I called him out on the carpet. His AP doesn't do that, she eats up the half-truths like candy and she will be the salve to put on his wound.
As an aside, he's a resident manager (not his full time job) so that's one reason why I would leave the apartment -because he should be there for that. His AP lives 45 minutes away and is a co-worker at his full time job.
I'm looking for an IC - I've not had good luck with them before the ones I found just basically 'hmmm'd' me and didn't challenge me or help me dig into my own shizz. And my H doesn't believe in counseling (although he IS a counselor) so we didn't look for an MC after our earlier affairs and basically rug swept them. He says he doesn't really care that I had affairs but he brings them up when I corner him so there is aftermath that he hasn't or doesn't want to deal with. Or maybe it means he wrote me off long ago (as well he maybe should have).
Anyhow...longer than I expected but I'm really sad and worry about what today will bring.
[This message edited by JustAShadow at 8:00 AM, February 6th (Wednesday)]
He didn't sign, doesn't want to divorce me. Nothing changes.
JAS, I'm sorry you're here. You know he doesn't want anything to change, right? You are going to be the one who changes here. You are the one who needs to determine what you will and will not accept from him.
Keep reading here, read about the 180, and do keep trying to find a good IC. You can do this, you're on the right path.
Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.
I will keep reading - I bounce between the BS and WS forums as each side has something to offer me (as well as the Madhatters section, obviously).
Yesterday I finally ordered 3 books: Not Just Friends, After the Affair, and This Affair is Over (which is more for the OP but I wanted to check it out too). So, I will start reading those this weekend.
Next week a friend is going out of town and will let me cat sit so I will have a place to get away comfortably for about 10 days while I (hopefully) continue the 180 and figure out next steps. Although I will miss my own sweet kitty during this time.