For the newbies, I will try to be more helpful soon. For now I will say, your relationship with your spouse has not been fake, but it also has not been whole. This is their fault, not yours, largely, though you most likely have been accepting less than you should and thus indirectly play a role. Often this is done in good faith because your spouse was supposedly growing a business, advancing their career or education, was abused as a kid or whatever the excuse is/was.
You will be just fine. Not today. Probably not even next year. But you will. My WH's LTA started a dozen years before I even met him. What does this say about me? Well, on one level, nothing at all. On another? I was different when I dated and married my WH. Undiagnosed bipolar. Getting treatment made me want more out of my relationship with my WH; the professional guidance I was getting to foster that and repair the damage I'd done from my illness only made things worse --- and that is what finally led me to discover the LTA.
My marriage is better than it has ever been, but I'm still not sure we will make it. My WH has a lot of internal changes that he has made, but others that he still needs to make. Earlier in the summer I was going to get a D, but I've changed my mind. I can't really explain why though I'm sure I'll figure out how to articulate it eventually. I do think my WH and I should start MC. We've never gone, I didn't think we were ready until recently. I do think we've finally both changed enough in the same direction that it would be helpful.
It's all baby steps. Whether you D or try to R. Take it one day at a time.
oh, and I have NJ gal beat -- I cried daily for the first 18 months.
Ats Ė I donít have anything to add thatís not already been said. You seem to leap forward and then fall back. I wonder if your W is looking to you for encouragement and is fearful that the marriage is irrevocably broken. She seems to anticipate a response Ė and itís always negative. She has done a lot of work on herself, but perhaps there is only so far she can go. She needs to be happy in herself Ė which is not your job Ė and then she should find love comes easily. But if you are bashing your head against a wall, it might be time to stop giving yourself headaches.
Hi Teach and welcome to this gentle corner of SI. Yes, as njgal says, everything you are going through is normal. Weíve all been there and know exactly how it is. You are in the very early stages. Whatever path you choose, we will be here. You can come vent, cry, ask for advice, or just sit quietly with a drink and listen to all thatís going on. The most important thing for reconciliation is NC with the AP. Has your WH done this?
Hi sunflower Ė welcome to you too!
Hi TTF3, yes, 4yrs is a LTA. Getting past the living a lie is hard. You wonder how much of it was true. The fact is it was true Ė for you. And thatís what you hold on to. YOU were true, YOU were authentic, YOU were living and giving trust and love. Those times and memories were real. Your WH was in an affair, living a parallel life and living a lie with you. Thatís HIS problem, not yours. Thatís my way of dealing with it. And I feel sorry for fWH because he wasnít able to ďbe thereĒ with me and us as a family Ė although he would claim he was, having compartmentalised his affair in the same way as he did work. I shrug and think he just lost out on so much. His choice. I had nothing to do with it, so I donít blame myself in any way.
One piece of advice for newbies - don't put up with TT (trickle truth). I had two years of it and then I gave up. I live with a liar. Reconciliation is so much easier if the WS kicks the AP under the bus and has nothing more to do with them, if they focus on YOU as the BS, if they get into IC and MC and do whatever it takes to get some trust back. Yeh. Don't take any shit. Oh, and crying - Lord....every day for way too long. But it gets better. And we are proof that you do survive.
Still wanna make the COW cower, though.
Meanwhile, in the UKg house, Mr UKg has started a new job. He went for the one that is nearer to home and has less travel. But it does have international travel Ė mostly Europe, I think. Soooo, he changed his profile on Linkedin and changed his photo too. That was yesterday. And there she was, at the top of who had viewed him ďtodayĒ. So I captured the screen and filed it away. Thatís three times in a week. I think she knew he was about to change his job because of all the activity on his page. Well, now she has a new pic she can moon over. Maybe she thinks that if she takes down her profile after every viewing, it wonít show. Well honeytwat, it does! fWH has been telling me, so I suppose thatís a good thing.
Our few days away were great. fwH displayed no signs that he was familiar with the hotel, but that doesnít mean diddly squat. So I still hold some doubts there. We went house hunting Ė which was interesting Ė and spent a morning in Bath. He insisted on finding the hotel where we spent the second night of our honeymoon and we went in for a drink. Lovely setting, but it didnít mean anything to me. Iím not sure what he was trying to evoke in me, but I just went along with it.
He still hasnít read the document I gave him. Itís still in the box. Not sure what to do, so Iíve left it for now. He just doesnít want to see how much damage his affair(s) has caused. Head in the sand.
But everything seems to be okay at the moment.
[This message edited by UKgirl at 5:00 AM, September 5th (Wednesday)]
trying to forgive3- 4 yrs of on again off gain is definitely a LTA
to all the newbies- It is so difficult to wrap your head around.
How can the affairs have gone on so long? and we had no clue? How could they have been living such a different life from us? And we had n clue?
How could they carry on a LTA and in many cases still say that they loved us?
or like my FWH say the OW meant nothing to him? and yet he carried on with her for years....
It took me 5 yrs to begin to understand some of the dynamics that were in play.
I call it 'the perfect storm' that got us to where we were in our marriage.
What helped me? IC, reading tons of books and articles on infidelity, reading on SI, reading the Healing Library articles on SI, hearing other stories of LTAs, MC,and of course seeing the change in my FWH and his remorse and his commitment to change.
UK girl- thank you. You are right- he did miss out on so much, although he claims he didn't. Because when he was with us, he was in the moment and didn't feel wrong about spending time with us. Whereas when he was with her, his head was with us. ALthough clearly not enough to make it stop.
my WH is a big writer- of poems and what not. Always has been. He stopped writing them for me and started for her. Books and books. which kills me. that was something so special to me.
I guess unless you can get into the head of a WS, youíll never know what they meant by ďloveĒ. Mr UKg said all the things straight out of the WS phrase book:
Him: When I said I loved her, I didnít really mean it.
Me: Why did you say it then?
Him: Because it was what she wanted to hear.
Me: Why did you ask her to marry you?
Him: It was all part of the game
Me: Do you love her?
Him: No, I realised it was YOU that I loved
I was never going to leave you
I never stopped loving you
I never meant to hurt you
I didnít think you would have to know
She wasnít anything special
I was depressed (always a good one)
I donít know
I donít remember
But that was the only time!! (when I found out something significant)
Me: Why did you keep seeing her
Him: She was interesting companyÖÖ.
So, love. For me, I know Mr UKg loved MOW even though he said he didnít. Oh sure, at first it was crazy, heady, in lust as much as love, limerence more than deep and meaningful love. But as time went on, they settled into a sort of routine, getting out their diaries and deciding when and where for their next tryst or sojourn.
Although he described it in his ďpoetryĒ as with no strings attached, there were more rules and boundaries than I ever laid down on him or us. The affair, when itís a LTA, becomes a straight jacket. Oh sure, itís a habit and a routine, theyíre very comfortable with it. But it had severe constraints. Mr UKg had the perfect affair in that they knew each other very well, so skipped straight over the getting to know you phase, all they did was catch up and carry on where they left of 25yrs earlier. MOW was nothing to do with the rest of his life. Even though they had been HS and Uni sweethearts, they did not have mutual friends from those days. She lives 80 miles away, her BH also worked away from home and often abroad. Her kids were at uni. MOW would stay at hotels WH booked on business. Heís a salesman, so an accomplished liar (apologies to any sales people out there!!!) and a charmer. But, the affair and MOW had a place, a box it was all put in. It was a limited relationship. Once it had grown to a certain point, it had nowhere else to go. And so, like a plant, it became pot-bound. It was never going to be healthy wherever it was planted.
After a while, when all the thrill and excitement and delicious illicitness has worn off, it became ordinary. A parallel life they continued to live because they could not see an easy way out. And they didnít want to lose what they had with us, their spouses, either, so for that reason it had to carry on. In the end, it ran its course and burnt out.
All that adoration is hard to give up. They see the person they would like to be through the AP, but itís an illusion and, deep down, they know that.
[This message edited by UKgirl at 10:20 AM, September 5th (Wednesday)]
WH's OW once said to me that you can love two men at once, and I told her "Not if you're doing it right. Love is a feeling and also an action. If you're ACTING out of love, then you must confine it to one person to do it properly. Otherwise, you're simply shortchanging everyone, which is not loving at all."
So, in truth, the WH does not love the BS or the AP.
So, in truth, the WH does not love the BS or the AP.
Very very true. I don't believe they even love themselves.
DDAY#2- Jan 9,2012 2yr EA/PA with howorker
2-DD 22/15 and a son 20 (US NAVY)
Was tryin to R but to many false r. lies upon lies and not helping me heal now Seperated.....
I forgive people, but that
Here's what I did to get through the two wedding anniversaries I had with Daffy post-DDay before we divorced. (Both of the anniversaries he was all about how much he luuuuuved me and how "sacred" the day was. Huh? And did big plans to be all romantic with me.)
The card: Ugh! Do not read anything with a script font. If you do not want to sob in the card aisle or get irrationally angry at paper products, pick out a musical card that has some uptempo, goofy song. You don't even have to read it because it will say something light and ridiculous + Happy Anniversary. Or just don't get him a card.
"Doing Something": As I said, Daffy planned big romantic whatevers. I tried to ignore the REASON and enjoy the outing. I wore a bracelet on a band that I could snap against my wrist whenever my thoughts wandered into the dark wallowy-ness of his A. I spent a lot of time looking around, practicing "being present" (google it if you don't know how) and avoiding eye-contact with Daffy.
Oh, and only pretend to read anything he gives you while out. "Thank you, honey," said in a very nice voice will get you through the moment, and you can read it later if you want.
Breaks my heart.
I'm not exactly in a place to be very helpful right now. I guess the good thing is that I completely realize what is going on.
For the vast majority of the last 14 months, I've been trying to work through things, and he's been doing whatever he could to avoid it. Defensive, rug sweeping, minimizing. Months of TT. Caught him looking for OW online not that long ago.
At some point in that process, I resolved myself to the fact that he was just never going to get it. Eventually, I figured that I would get tired of waiting and leave.
Then, pigs flew.
He got it.
(granted, this only happened after he ruptured his Achilles and had this whole "come to Jesus" moment about how much he f***ed up his life)
Now that he's got it, and he is actually remorseful and actually committed to doing the hard crappy work on himself, I'm meh.
I basically copped out the last few months, assuming that I'd just eventually leave. Assumed that I'd never actually have to contemplate FORGIVING him.
Like I was trying to explain to him a few days ago, there are something like 30k people on this website...and my story? Oh, it's up there in the worst. The details of the affairs are so horrendous. The thins he has done, individually, are gut wrenching. Cumulatively, it's just overwhelming.
I don't know if I can forgive him.
I cried all weekend about it.
Then, this morning, one of my best friends tells me she had her baby. And she and her husband are gloriously happy. I want to be happy for them with all of my heart, but I just can't.
He started cheating when I was pregnant the last time, my son's entire life up until dday was a lie. He abandoned me when I needed him most. He sat in the corner of the l&d room, ignoring me, texting her the whole time. He never used protection, and I was freaking pregnant. I have HPV now, and he initially screened positive for HIV. (followups were neg) WTF was he thinking?!?!?!
I hate him for what he has done to me, to the kids, to our family. I hate him.
What right does he have to think he still deserves to be with me?
I'm sorry....I am in a bad, bad, bad place right now.
[This message edited by MutedMan at 2:44 PM, September 5th (Wednesday)]
Were it not for my two children I know I would be gone.
I suspect your WW is counting on this.
It is my belief that MC cannot work until the WS identifies, owns and is taking steps to address his or her issues that facilitated the A. I believe this is even more the case with a LTA since the LTA is not a mistake, but more likely the result of a personality defect in the WS.
I suggest you pass on any efforts towards MC until such time that your WW owns her sh*t and is working on fixing it. In the first year after dday FWW went on and on how we had to talk about 10 Ė 20 year old problems in the M that led to her Aís. Now she will tell you (an believes) her Aís were all about her, there was nothing I could have done (or stopped doing) that would have prevented her Aís. Until she reached this point of self-understanding, MC would focus on problems that existed only in her mind and take focus off of fixing her. Once she did reach this point of understanding herself, MC is not necessary.
FWIW, it took about 7 months until I got enough details from FWW to understand the scope and depth of her betrayals. Even with that information, I have settled for I know enough, not all I wanted to know.
It took until a year after dday, when I moved out of the house for a few weeks, until FWW decided she wanted the M to work and began to address her issues. She has been in IC for almost 2 years now.
In your post you ask:
Is R possible?
The answer is no. Until your WW begins to own her sh*t and address her issues, the MC is just lipstick on a pig. The same problems will exist, and your WW will not have learned new and healthier ways to meet whatever needs the LTA was meeting.
I am a big believer that it is better for kids to be from a broken home than to live in one. Years of watching a dysfunctional, betrayal stained M cannot be a good lesson for them in how to select and communicate with future spouses and friends. Would you want your daughter to stay with a partner who did not respect her? Who cheated on her?
w-y-e, it is OK to be meh. Let him take the load for a while. Focus on what works for you and your kids. ((w-y-e))
I don't know if I can forgive him.
At this point I cant bring myself to go get him anything to celebrate our marriage when the past 2 yrs were a lie!
How do you deal with the fact that they 'loved' AP?
Hi UKgirl, nice post. You really do seem to be finding a path that works for you and compensates for your FWSís shortcomings.
The hard part for me is that he thought he did and took special things away from me and gave them to her.
(((((WYE))))) Forgiveness. I have accepted that I donít have to forgive fWH. He has lied and lied and lied. He still doesnít want to see how I have changed. He hopes that by keeping his head down and just carrying on, it will all somehow get forgotten, and if I can not think about the affair and what he did and what a complete shit he was, then it will all be okay and we will go back to how we were. I wonder if he thinks we are back to where we were. He seems to have forgiven himself. Well, thatís fine. His issues, his forgiveness. If he had done all the things he should have done, things might be different and I might well have forgiven him a long time ago. But it has been too little, too late. And so it doesnít matter what he does or what he says, I donít think I will ever change the way I look at him. I make no promises, but Iím happy to be with him for now.
Does it matter?
hi Navymom I donít do anniversaries. We did the first one, which was 6wks after d-day. We had booked for a gourmet meal and went ahead with it. And then the truth started to seep through, a drip feed of information. I found out he had proposed to MOW several times and found out from BH that they had some sort of arrangement to leave their spouses and families (when it was convenient for themÖ.). I have refused to acknowledge that day since. No cards, nothing. Cards that arrive in the post stay on the kitchen shelf and then go in the bin. You could find a non-anni card, one that says what you want to say, or get an amusing one or just one with a photo and blank inside. Donít go down the wedding/anni aisle, itíll just make you sad.
Hi Muted Man, take note of Ats post. Reconciliation is possible, but it is a long road. Your MC should be one you both agree on, otherwise one of you will be left in the dark hole. Take your time and interview until you find one who works for you. You have to take the marriage apart before you can put it back together. You will both have your issues (skim-read your profile) and so, if you can, have IC too. Reading will be a great help, but you do need to start from the basic desire to work on this together. Welcome. There are a few new comers to this forum. Your stories have been told before and people on SI can help you find a way through the mire. The LTA corner is a softer place to land. The issues here are a different and mixed bag.
Ats - thanks. I'm in quite a good place at the moment and making the most of it!
I also just read some replies to a question about LTAs in the Reconciliation forum....and once again some of our LTA veterans were there giving hope and great advice to someone who was devastated by a LTA.
Teach...the first quote was Threnody and the second was m334455 but thanks anyway...I just quote everyone else alot...
So with that said
I believe this is even more the case with a LTA since the LTA is not a mistake, but more likely the result of a personality defect in the WS.
This^^^^^^rings very true in my situation.
My fWH was sexually abused as a child by his oldest brother for years and it really wrecked him. For unknown reasons to me, right after our wedding he became so mean and controlling. What I know now is that he turned all of his anger that belonged to his brother and feelings of emasculation onto me and I became his victim. The final insult after all those years was a 12 yr LTA. I never knew about any of it until dday 01/15/11.
He was nice to others, he was a good father but he lived a lie, compartmentalizing and not understanding his frustration and anger. Once the shell that he lived in shattered (about 13 months after dday) EVERYTHING was so different. He saw me
It was on February 26, 2012. This took a lot of IC and VERY hard work on his part. He had to SEE who he was all those years and what he had done without the excuse that I made him feel this way. It brought him to his knees and he really is a totally different person.
No matter what your story is though, the pain for us is all still real....I still have STD's....I hate the OW...I...I...I.. I never signed up for any of this...I didn't know how f'd up his family was...FOO issues, I guess!!!!!
Shock, tears, anger, pain, detachment, confusion and then...understanding, remorse, acceptance, then letting it go and moving forward. I'm in the last two steps.
It hasn't been easy. My husband's IC told him there is no one that would have stuck this out...I'm glad I did...my 5 children who know nothing about this are glad too, I'm sure. Their world is in tact and he is an amazing father and husband.
Read, post, cry, take it slow, question everything and for me prayer was the only way I've gotten to this point.
and one more
Your advice, compassion and caring is amazing.
Right back at cha NJgal You were a light at the end of my tunnel!!
I would like to nominate the post you did in Reconciliation on brokenhearted's thread for the Healing Library!!!!
At the least, you should copy/paste it for future newbies finding out about their LTA. It was really good!
Anniversaries? Handle them however you'd like to. Focus on what you are or are not comfortable with and go from there.
MC? You have to fix the individuals first. My WH and I have not been to MC. We've had 3 joint sessions with our IC's -- two with his, one with mine -- for critical issues, but MC hasn't been something that I could consider for us yet.
However, we'll be doing some joint therapy regarding our littlest boy because he's got some behavior problems that appear to be psychiatric.
I don't know if I can help any of you, but I do want you to know that you can always PM me. I usually try to check in every day, but I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy now and slowing down so sometimes it goes a little longer.
I guess what I want to say is that regardless of whether or not your spouse changes, you remain married or get divorced, there will come a day when you feel not just better, but wonderful again, I promise. You are on a strange and unusual journey here, but it will take you to a remarkable destination. it's certainly not a blessing -- What your spouse has done is not fair or right, but like many adverse events in life your opportunity to overcome this has uncommon value. I like to say that I was iron and have been forged into steel.