I am crushed....
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
Welcome to the madhatter forum, sorry that you are here. What is your plan for yourself going forward, are you in IC to figure out your own reasons for what you did?
Yes, I am in IC to figure out the reasons for my behaviour. I've switched to a new therapist, so I've only seen her once, and I'm not seeing her until next week - I wish it was more often. My husband and I have also been reading - "After the affair", "How can I trust you again", "Hold me tight". I have some ideas about why it happened - low self-esteem, poor boundaries, lack of emotional connection in the marriage - which I'm looking forward to exploring further with my IC.
We are in a cycle of anger at each other and then HB. Yesterday he was asking me a lot of questions about OM#1, which was 7.5 years ago. I answered as best I could, but often the answer was "I don't know" or "I can't remember". He thought I was trying to minimise. I was trying really hard not to, and I understand his need to question everything - I was there only 9 weeks ago (or at least, at the very start of it).
I told him after that I did find it frustrating that he was asking me all these specific questions when he can't even pinpoint the YEAR that he first cheated on me. I have nothing to go on, and no idea what was happening in our relationship at the time. He started to tell me about the first prostitute - that she had a tattoo on her leg. I said I had no interest in those sort of details, I just didn't want to hear them. I don't care which way he fucked her, I just don't want to know. I stopped reading his full disclosure statement because I didn't actually want all those details. Ick.
Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a rant ... hope the rest of you are doing ok.
[This message edited by grapefruit at 4:34 PM, April 22nd (Monday)]
You didn't scare anyone away , we all have variations of both partners cheating in the marriage down here in madhatter.
So in looking at your whys, you list self esteem, what you want to get at is why do you have low self esteem? Why did you have poor boundaries?
The work often entails asking why until we can't ask why anymore. Sometimes that leads off into other areas of our lives that we need to explore and fix.
Have you been specific with your H on what details you need from him?
The low self-esteem has always been there, I guess - growing up in a family where I was never told that I was loved, and feeling like I couldn't compete with my brighter brothers. Not that that's an excuse - plenty of people have terrible experiences growing up, and they don't turn out like this. The boundaries thing I will have to think about some more.
Yes, I believe my H knows what details I want, and I'm hoping that I know them all now. He has written a 'full disclosure', which I haven't read all of (too detailed for me). At first (when I thought there was only one woman), I wanted to know ALL the details, including all the sexual details. I realise now that I was pain-shopping. Now, I just need to know the basics - how many women, how many times, when (as closely as he can remember), any ongoing contact - that sort of stuff. I got trickle truth for weeks, but I really do think I have the whole story now.
[This message edited by grapefruit at 4:23 PM, April 23rd (Tuesday)]
growing up in a family where I was never told that I was loved, and feeling like I couldn't compete with my brighter brothers. Not that that's an excuse - plenty of people have terrible experiences growing up, and they don't turn out like this
It isn't about making excuses, it is about what happened in our pasts that caused us to form certain coping skills or have certain internal processes. If you can start to nail that down, you can start to correct that now.
Your right, not everyone goes this route, some people become drug addicts, gamblers, alcoholics, spend to much money, the list goes on. When we don't deal with the hurts that went on, and we have developed poor skills to deal with life, we will not handle stress in the right way.
Your job is to find out where your weak spots are and why they are there. Many people go to the easy ones such as poor self esteem and stop there. It goes much deeper than that. You have mentioned that you wish you would have just said something. Why didn't you? What led to not being able to communicate?
In other news, my H saw his IC today and she doesn't think he's a sex addict. (He's been going for about 8 weeks.) She said that wasn't a label that she had given him. He has said that he hasn't felt any urge to act out since he was discovered - no withdrawal symptoms. To be honest, I'm kind of relieved ... from what I've read about sex addiction, it's very hard to recover from, and most people have 'slips'. Selfishly, I guess I also feel glad that he doesn't have the excuse of an addiction. Clearly, we have both made some very poor choices over the years and there is a lot of hard work to do on both sides, but we are both committed to an honest and authentic relationship in the future.
That can be a tricky thing, so if she feels that he is not that, then that is good for the both of you.
How is your H dealing with your triggers? How do you deal with his? This can also be tricky in a madhatter situation.
As for triggers ... we're both trying to answer each other's questions honestly and without being defensive. It is really hard. We are both still in such a raw place. In the past, he has reacted to my hurt by giving me space, but I told him what I need is reassurance - that he loves me, that he wants to be with me, that my body is 'good enough', etc etc. Just this morning I read a thread on the 'just found out' part about a husband who confessed to going to a strip club and getting a lap dance. It made me trigger BADLY. I couldn't help myself from asking all these questions about the strippers he saw, the lap dances he received, the prostitutes he slept with ...
I know my behaviour is no better, but I really struggle with the fact that he started all this before we were even married. I've told him I wouldn't have married him if I knew - and he seems hurt and asks "where does that leave us now?" I also struggle with the fact that the behaviour was going on while I was pregnant and very shortly after I gave birth (I discovered an ad he'd posted for sex on an adult site 8 weeks after our baby was born).
Thank you SO much for taking the time to respond to me, tired girl.
my story has not been put here yet. to start i was caught in my a september of 2011. since then weve (for a while just me) have been trying to r.
about a month after dday, w revealed an affair, that started about 6 months before our wedding. she even left me for a short while, for om, at the time i did not know that.
a month after that she revealed a ons she had prior to the birth of our second child.
so for months now weve gone back and forth, up and down the roller coaster. good times, horrible times. ive taken full responsibility for my a and know i can only blame myself. she is a different story. to her, her a's mean little as they were so long ago. she wont take responsibility for them
fast forward to july of 2012. she wants seperation and to see people. she does and i still tried in my own way to show her i still wanted things to work.
january i got into a brutal accident which seemed to wake her up slightly and she began to come back to me a little at a time. set backs have happened since then. but things had been going well
until march. she slept with someone else. came home at 5am after being out all night. i knew what happened but she told me anyway.
so now we are in this place where she sees how she cant hold my a against me, swears she wants r.
i do as well, but now i have more anger than ever towards her. i have been able to productiely deal with my issues by talking to someone and by calmly talking to her when i am upset.
but now im in this plac ewhere i feel like ok, you cheated on my multiple times now, my a was my only. and yet im still doing most of the work to try and make things right. and it is frustrating. very frustrating.
im no angel, certainly i am not, but i have changed and realized how damaging my behavior was. its been over for almost two years now and since i feel like my heart has been broken and stepped on in ways i cannot describe sometimes.
so now what? i guess i have to live by my own words, only time will tell,
for things to truly work and move forward we both need to work on this. ive accepted full responsibility for my a, i know why i did it, ive accepted everything presented to me and made changes within my self to better me, not just for us.
i need her to do the same.
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.
I'm in a strange place today. I had a good session with my IC. Tomorrow we have MC. But I've been wondering lately how I would feel if I had never been unfaithful. Would his betrayals be too much to overcome? We have been together nearly 15 years, and he was cheating from the beginning until I discovered his most recent affair 3 months ago. A whole lifetime of deception. He actively sought sex wherever he could get it. How much am I willing to accept because of my past behaviour? Anyone in the same situation?
I allowed what he did to slide at first and then realized no, my actions are mine to own and I did so but that doesn't mean I have to accept his. If I can't then I can't. I will not force it because that path leads to misery.
I feel like what I did was horrible so how can I not accept what he's done.
many MH's get stuck here. Hell, ppl IRL and IC have occasionally said this to me. It's not right.
I wonder about this all the time.
We had our second MC session today. She is brilliant and doesn't waste any time at all. We are talking more about how we feel than at any other time in our relationship!