He does have problems with circular logic, taking responsibility, and expressing his needs without resentment.
And I admit, he DOES have a pattern carrying out emotional affairs in a past relationship.
His only other long-term relationship was ten years long. In that time frame, he developed three different infatuations with other women (one a musician in a band he was in, i think, and whom he claimed was really pretty gross and disgusting when he tried to pursue her; another he spent one day with while vacationing in Europe and then thought about her obsessively upon returning to his girlfriend). The first two times this happened, he came crawling back to his girlfriend and she took him back. The third time it happened, their relationship ended for good. She has maintained NC to this day - obviously because he put her through emotional hell.
Maybe I am foolish for being blind sided, considering his history. But he is an amazing talker.. you can probably even tell from how he presents our relationship to the OW in their messages. He sounds like he knows what is good and healthy, he seemed to take responsibility and feel awful for how he treated his ex and he assured me that he felt for me something that was always missing with them. I bought it, and up until now, he really did seem totally devoted, in love, and committed.
On contacting her: As I said in my last few posts, I demanded transparency from husband if he wanted to stay in the home.
I contacted her. I was quite reined in, heartfelt, and open. I feel like I was extremely nice considering all I could have said. She responded defiantly at first, and when I only responded to her with measured calm and kindness I think she felt a LITTLE guilty. She all the while claimed that she was only his friend, though, and that she was NOT flirting with him.
Well, the two of them then started texting each other while he was at work. He also called her for 40 minutes in the middle of his work day.
Obviously he had no plans to tell me and I assumed the phone correspondence (which they had not had before) was meant to secretly replace the facebook messaging.
When I called him out on it, I got a nice dose of trickle truth about how much he'd communicated to her. I gave him plenty of time to tell me about the communication. First, she texted him. Then he admitted that he replied. Then admitted it was two or three messages. Then when I asked him if our phone bill would verify that story, he added on "And I called her. I was GOING to tell you that, but you interrupted me." Of course there was no interruption.
I made him show me the messages. He tried to slide by one or two where he was lying to her about details he knew that I was aware of. But basically, they both started out agreeing not to talk for now while he deals with stuff with me (which really is their code for dumping me like a piece of garbage). But then the OW started defending herself against what I had told her he said about her, and started revealing how she had a bad childhood and an apparent sexual assault or something like it. That's when he called her, probably to comfort her and connect to her for sharing that for the next 40 minutes.
Of course he worked late, being that he skipped out on work to talk to her. Reminds me of the midday phone calls that I used to get every afternoon to check in on his son and me. Haven't had one for a while, and the last time he did call, he hung up on me in 15 minutes because he was "at work" and couldnt "be on the phone too long".
I just hate that she uses the pity card to keep him on the hook, even while pretending she is saying goodbye to him. It's disgusting to use sad life circumstances to garner pity. She is shameless in holding onto my husband. He is even more shameless, intent on lying to me and treating me like scum under his shoe. I can't stand the thought of him comforting and connecting to her, and all because I asked him to draw a respectful boundary right now.
Everything I do to try to protect myself backfires and makes things hurt more. I can't believe I was so nice to her. I don't believe in blaming the OW as much for something as the cheater, so I guess I wanted to be clear that I was truly angry at him and not her. I wish I had been more unkind now.
I told you I was done. But you also told me you were done.
If you look at how instantly he started hitting on and flirting with you upon you re-adding him, you can see that he was looking for an excuse to get involved in something exciting and illicit. I only told you what he said about you, not to hurt your feelings, but to get you to see how he projected qualities onto you that he really did not feel when he knew you. I don't doubt his past assessment was unfair, but his current assessment is based on fantasy and not a few facebook messages. He is doing the same thing in reverse to me, taking back all the good and telling me I've been an awful partner in every way imaginable. He is almost convincing in his fervor, but he is transparent in his tactics and interest in you.
He showed me all of your texts to him from yesterday and told me he called you. He couldn't resist hearing your voice (as I told you yesterday he was fantasizing about). He revealed it to me in order to stay in the house, because I had already told him , twice, that he needed to move out of the house immediately if he wanted to continue to communicate with you, being that he agrees it is an "emotional affair". I asked him why it was more important for him to talk to you than it was for him to stay for now and see his own son in the mornings (which he says is his favorite). He said "...You're right. It shouldn't be." He promised me twice now he would not communicate another word to you.
He doesn't respect your privacy; he only cares about himself right now and how good talking to you makes him feel about himself, when in reality he isn't acting like a good and kind person. He has friends who love him and want to help and support him. He doesn't want to talk to them because he doesn't want to admit he's infatuated with you. He doesn't want to feel like a cheater, so he ONLY talks to you.
He is using you to perpetuate a fantasy that helps him hop off his marriage and into something else as soon as possible. I have done my very best to approach things with as much grace as I can about a situation where I am going through absolute emotional hell, our son is suffering (he has started to hit and throw things at me because of the way he sees his dad treating me), and the guy you have such a "connection" to has bad mouthed you, is bad mouthing me, has disrespected every boundary I've tried to lay out for my own mental health during one of the worst times in my life, crapped on his marriage vows, and has been as cold and unkind and dishonest as I've ever been treated. He was an hour late coming home to care for his son - I had to change my plans to go out - because he had a 40 minute call to you in the middle of his work day as well as an hour of texting, and had to catch up on work. His texts to you contained weird lies, like that I discovered you two on Tuesday instead of Monday, a text I saw, though he tried to brush past it. Small lies but lies. He lies and lies and lies to you and you open up to him and trust him with intimate details and like him more and more. It is agonizing to behold. I cry myself to sleep each night wondering how any of this could be true.
I am flailing now, trying to establish boundaries and draw lines and communicate with either of the two people who are involved in my anguish. I am recognizing that my feelings and what is fair to me don't matter to either of you. I feel dehumanized and helpless.
I know it's out of my control at this point. But I imagine you being in my child's life after all this. I imagine maybe you truly stealing my husband and I feel like my insides are being crushed. I wish he would have just waited until we had divorced to do this with you, and I wish you would see that he has been very, very inappropriate for a married man, and there is no reason to believe he is behaving in an attractive way, unless the fantasy is reciprocated.
I'm just a normal, flawed, but good and loving person. I'm a human being.
I spoke with all of my husband's OW, too. I got pretty much the same response you did. In my case, I had exposed enough of my WH lies, that it turned off both sets of OWs. I also learned some terrible things he would never have told me. I'm glad you posted that letter here. It was sincere and kind and well written. I don't think she would have appreciated it. In her continuing to contact him, she's exposed herself as selfish, self involved, and not worthy of more effort.
Every piece of info you learn gives you a clearer picture of who your husband is choosing to be. The old adage you'll see here is "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."
It's a small sentence that means big, true things. Watch your WH, Lamp. See him for who he is. He's choosing that guy, BEING that guy.
I'm so sorry. Turn some of that kindness on yourself. Cuddle your son. It feels like time doesn't move during this, but this will end.
So what does this mean for me? We have more counseling appointments scheduled, one for next week - I feel like she is just letting us talk, not giving us "homework" except random suggestions about how a problem could be compromised on here and there, and then scheduling another appointment.
All the while talking about the EA and my husband's clear checking out of the marriage is glossed over.
A part of me leaves feeling "Well we're still going to counseling. Maybe she gave him food for thought" and then the other part feels more hopeless because I feel stuck more into limbo than in a 'moving on' phase. He hasn't changed any of his attitudes or fatalistic thoughts or desires to just be free of me, so why am I still going?
Am I just being strung along by the counselor at this point? She isn't telling me that there is any hope, she's just encouraging us to try. But he isn't trying and she's not asking him to make any steps at all toward me. I feel I might just be setting myself up for more pain, but if I stopped going, then my husband can say I was the one who quit counseling.
[This message edited by lamplighter at 6:09 PM, July 12th (Friday)]
So cancel the rest of the appointments. Spend the money on seeing an IC for you. It will be far better for you than sitting in an appointment discussing hampers while there is a Elephant crapping on the carpet in front of everyone. (((hugs)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
Just curious - did your relationship start this way with him? By which I mean - was it a whirlwind, face-paced, sweep you off your feet deal...?
Given the history you described, it sure seems like he needs a fix every 3 or 4 years... I wonder if you might learn more talking to the xgf that stayed with him for 10 years - than the current OW... I'm seriously suggesting that.
Please reread Reality's explanation, given what you have written - I think she is on the money! In fact, copy and and put it somewhere - I suspect with more time and distance you will find it very helpful...
Meanwhile focus on you! What you need to feel peaceful, go out and do things for you - spend time with your son, get out of the house as much as possible. ((lamplighter))
So I think I've made some big mistakes. I am feeling more confused than ever. I truly see the wisdom in the 180, even though it goes against my instincts.
After counseling, we got some ice cream. Then later we went on a walk with our son together, as was suggested during our session. He had told me he was going to go out that night, and after our son went to bed, he fixed a big plate of food and brought it over to the couch where I was to share it with me.
Well, instead of going out we talked until 2 a.m. - and not about our relationship or where it went wrong. He asked me some questions about who I had gone out with - I met a man for coffee and scrabble earlier in the week, although there was no flirting and it was not framed as a date. I asked him why wanted to know, and he said he thought we were being honest and forthcoming. Of course we had only talked about him being honest about his EA. He said in counseling again that he is "putting it on hold" until he's moved out. Well I told him I didn't mind telling him, but that I wanted to know why he cared. He then said he wanted to "see how he would feel about it" and admitted he hadn't processed or thought about what it would feel like to know I'm going out with other men. I gave him a brief, honest synopsis, and I could tell that even though nothing happened and there was no flirting, he was still a little jealous. He said "I guess I'm glad you didn't fall head over heels for him". I said "Imagine how I feel." He paused and then said "Must feel pretty bad."
Our talk continued, as he asked me a specific question about a past relationship I was in. We talked for a long time and after a while it felt suddenly intimate. He said it was the closest he had felt to me in a very long time.
We then talked about the possibility of dating while living separately and going slowly to see if we could reconcile. He expressed that he wanted that, wanted to try, and lots of positivity about it.
And (this might have been a big mistake) we ended up sleeping together, for the first time in more than a month.
I encouraged him to go to sleep in his own room, and told him I really did want to take it super slow. To gradually figure out if reconciling is what we want over the next few weeks.
I feel sort of pathetic, for being so open with him and allowing myself to connect with him, but it also deep-down felt like I was with my husband again, and that feeling flooding me was just irresistible. I felt like the plan for reconciliation was a sensible one, at least as far as we verbalized it so far, but that is ignoring the EA. I honestly am not certain at all that I want to reconcile with him and I know that when I'm on my own I may really want to take the opportunity to explore other options, to date, etc. I don't know if he can ever "make it up to me" or if he's ever going to be truly invested in making it up to me.
Before the EA was revealed I felt certain that the marriage was worth saving and fully salvageable. Now that it has been, I haven't processed fully what it means about him and/or about me.
And most obviously, I know he is still infatuated with the other woman and I am not sure if he has the strength of will to overcome it, even if he decides he wants to. We haven't discussed yet whether he is willing to totally cut her off, not just now but in the future. The evidence so far says that he has not contacted her since Thursday, when they had the phone call. But the evidence also says that he is preoccupied with thinking about her.
I have no idea, honestly, if a reconciliation is what I want, and whether I should be 180ing or working out details about what we expect of each other moving forward.
Time will tell whether things improve or get worse between now and the time we go our separate ways. Either way I'm signing my lease tomorrow and continuing with making plans - joining a game league with some friends, planning for an out-of-town old friend to come visit, etc., and I'm looking forward to life, whether my husband is a part of it in any way or not.
As he was leaving this time, I reached over to kiss him and he hesitated. I asked him if he went weird about being affectionate when it wasn't sexual, and he admitted he felt mixed feelings about a meaningful "kiss" . Of course this made me feel bad, and he understood and said he was sorry.
We ended up talking while lying in bed in the dark for about an hour. He said he was still unsure if he wanted to reconcile because he wanted someone to "appreciate him for who he is from the start". Unfortunately regardless of what I want, I can't change his perceptions about the "start" of our relationship.
I finally said something about the "elephant in the room", his infatuation with someone else. He became quickly distant and cold when she was mentioned, claimed he really hadn't been thinking about her for the last two days and told me it wasnt really in my "best interest" to bring it up, or at least to talk about it in the way that i had. He said that he'd thought maybe sex could be a healing thing for us in some ways; he also told me that that day was the very first day since all of this started when he let himself daydream about what life with me could be like in the future. He emphasized that it was the "very first day" his mind went in that direction. He didn't like that he felt I was trying to bad mouth her in order to make myself look better - he said my "persuasion tactics" were blatant.
So I guess I'm just feeling crappy and confused. I did sense things were better than ever today, but I also have felt uncomfortable kind of knowing he did not want to discuss her, and I'm sure the people here can understand that I've felt we need to discuss the EA and his feelings about her in order to move forward. Otherwise, even if he isn't talking to her, it still feels like cake eating for me, and it makes me feel I am being weak and setting myself up for hurt.
I pointed out to him that what was in my "best interest" was to be able to make an informed decision based on my own feelings and where things stand with us. I told him I wasn't certain we would work out or that I would want to reconcile. It's clear that he doesn't like the idea of me with anyone else.
Am I rushing him to have this conversation and actually ruining positive progress, as he has communicating to me? Is it possible that he needs to just not talk or think about her in order to gain perspective?
I have felt like some things needed to be said and discussed, especially after he tensed up last night when I drew him in for a kiss. He tells me he needs to process things internally and not externally. I wish I knew how to trust that, but experience has taught me that when he is internally processing, he spends time justifying himself instead of trying to be totally honest.
He told me I was trying to convince him she was "unhealthy" and that it really looked bad on me. Do you think there is any way she is a healthy person and I'm being unfair?
I know that this is happening because of him and not because of her, but it does bother me that when one of them talks about maybe not talking "right now" or putting their "friendship" on hold, she will continue to find reasons to say one more thing, and most recently, after they both mutually agreed to not talk, she took the opportunity to drop a big intense secret in his lap - the implication that she was sexually assaulted. He of course responded by calling her and talking to her for 40 minutes. As seriously as I take abuse issues, that choice seemed manipulative at best. I know there is no way in hell I would reveal something intimate and painful to someone right after we agree to stop talking and say goodbye. That said, I would have run for the hills if any ex of mine, regardless of attraction to him, instantly upon reconnecting, dropped a load on me regarding his horrible marriage AND flirted with me. It's obviously a big mess and a sign of someone who is not stable or healthy. She also had other emotional issues she would bring up in their conversations, like saying she was neglected as a child, and then when he asked about it she'd be like "Oh I don't want to talk about the past". In her letter to me when I contacted her, she defended her own behavior by saying she had "lost a lot of people in the past 5-7 years" and said I would probably "not understand unless you've been through it". She seems like she has a lot of baggage and uses said baggage to excuse herself, or to reel people in.
This is a ramble at this point. The thing is, I know there are places where I failed in my marriage. That is what makes me hold on and not just hate him right now. My actions were often hurtful to him, and I can understand that. While I had no intention of controlling our relationship, I do recognize that he wasn't happy sometimes even though he wasn't really communicating it. I see where it could feel to him like the relationship was smothering, or how he could feel I was controlling. So it is hard not to blame myself and try to give him all this space and control he felt he lacked.
But I've never seen advice on here or anywhere telling me to just try to rug sweep the relationship and forge a new bond with him, minus communication about an affair. It doesn't feel right, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be told by anyone at all that it isn't right either. Yet he seems pretty convinced that that is what he needs.
Putting his "relationship" with her "on hold" means he isn't committed to you or R. He can not make a healthy decision as long as she is standing by waiting.
You have every right to ask what you want. He is manipulating you into backing down..saying YOU look bad because you don't like his girlfriend? Um..he's your husband...what a ridiculous thing to say.
No honey..she isn't ok. She is toxic. She is knowingly having an affair with a married man. There is nothing healthy about that.
He must be willing to talk about it if he decides he wants to R.
In the meantime..stop having sex with him. He wants to date you..and other people. As long as he isn't on his knees crying and asking you to give him another chance,you need to 180 this man. You're setting yourself up for more pain.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Do NOT be accepting of her in any way. He wants to legitimize their relationship as "friends". No, they are not just friends. To characterize her
in any other way besides a cheat,
liar, manipulator etc etc is just NOT
Don't allow him to label this a
"friendship". "Friends" don't interfere with friends marriages. They have gone too far.
As hard as it may feel like it, you could insist he write a "no contact" letter. The "friendship/relationship is NOT put on hold. It is over or he is out. Period.
I would write that counsellor a letter & DISMISS their ass with specifics. I understand your reasoning for not wanting to discontinue but at this point it IS giving him fuel for his fire. "Put the relationship on hold?" WTF? I know a counsellor has a duty to remain non judgmental but if your husband was contemplating jumping off of a bridge, the counsellor WOULD get real judgmental real quick. Why this sorry counsellor is not as offended by self-destructive behavior in infidelity-they are in wrong business. Unfortunately there are a lot of horror stories.
If you feel like you really have to go back-Arm yourself. Take a stand for your marriage-it's what you are there for-not rug sweeping. The counsellor seems to be helping to sweep the core issues under the rug.
Flat tell them both, "We are not going to discuss anything else besides A-B-C. I came to counseling to do the hard work of recovering my life. I came for help & THIS is what I need."
He is still trying to have his cake & ear it too. How ego boosting for HIM if the ex girlfriend waits while he puts their relationship on hold. This is so wrong.
Tell your husband "Look buddy, DON'T get it twisted. I am the WIFE I won't be treated as anything less." of course this is open to interpretation but it is YOUR interpretation he needs to worry about.
Do not accept this. 180, step back & clear your head. Don't beat yourself up, that is totally counterintuitive to what you need. You are strong. It is obvious. You are wise. You have been making very wise choices early on. You are getting a more clear picture of what you are dealing with because we are left to figure all of this shit out. We can't count on their honesty. I know you say everything is so confusing so there is your picture. When it's confusing, it's bullshit. In my observation anyway.
Best to you & prayers. Edited because I can't type anymore.
[This message edited by Duffy1958 at 11:26 AM, July 14th (Sunday)]
I know all the while that I don't deserve to have to do that, and that I'm dehumanizing myself for wanting to do it.
The pain is crushing. It comes in waves. I want so badly to communicate with him. i'm still partially in shock that he doesn't care anymore, that he doesn't WANT to connect to me anymore.
I know I deserve so much better. I know I am a good person, someone that many people will find attractive. But knowing that doesn't help me right now, because I chose him. I married him. I trusted him.
I feel a little like I'm spiraling downward emotionally. I wouldn't wish this hell on anyone.
I tiptoe around him, always hopeful that he might want to talk, waiting to see if he seems open to it, feeling guilty and like I did something bad when I see him sigh or become frustrated. I know I have a right to demand actions and commitments and communication, but I stuff down what I need from him in order to try to give him what it seems he wants or needs from me. I know I have more self-respect than that, but I feel so small in the face of all this.
This is new. The most painful & confusing time. You are in it. Sometimes breathing is all you can manage. It's so overwhelming right now, maybe it's just breathing time. It hurts. I know. I'm right here with you. If you can't do much right now babe, that's Ok & to be expected.
As far as your feelings towards him & what you describe as walking on egg shells, you won't always feel like that. You will get sick of it when you get sick of it. We all do it I think. Some longer than others, granted.
This is such a shock to our system, striking us in the very heart of our being. We are in shock, we WILL be in shock. Shock wears off babe. You are a smart girl. Don't be too hard on yourself.
I knew what I needed to do that night. I felt clarity on a level I had not yet felt, since this nightmare began for me. It was time to set a boundary. There are only two paths I am willing to walk down right now, and I needed to let my husband know just what each of those entailed.
The first path is eventual reconciliation, which for me at this point, considering the damage done and my lack of trust in him, includes the continuation of our separation. I signed my lease yesterday evening. We both have one-year commitments to new apartments while our home will be rented out. This path includes total willingness to communicate and rebuilding intimacy from the ground up, starting with friendship and dating, without the perhaps impossibly claustrophobic environment of working all this out in close quarters. We each need an opportunity for lots of personal space to decide what it means for us. That said, the reconciliation path also means commitment to working on us, applying ourselves to fostering a connection, and it means that he needs to end things permanently with the OW. For now things are "on hold", but that is not a good enough promise to me. He would need to write her a very solid NC letter that I would read and send. He would also need to be transparent and willing to "prove" he is following through.
The second path is as close to NC as we can be while having a son. Parenting is pretty much the only thing we will communicate about, and conversations would happen via email. No friendship, no hanging out in each other's apartments, no general updates on our personal lives. Discussion about our son and nothing else. Permanently.
It really hurt to lay all of this down, as I haven't gotten many indications that he's anywhere close to ready to reconcile. So I went into the talk fully expecting that NC would need to be implemented immediately. Made it hard and made me a little sick to my stomach all day anticipating the talk.
The talk went moderately well. I know my husband was not happy with either option. I remained calm and accepting of every doubt or fear he had of reconciling as he cycled through some of them with him. I just said "I accept that you feel that way" and reiterated calmly that I would not be interested in reconciling with someone who doesn't really want that himself. I think he understood more than he has yet what he stands to lose. For the first time he admitted a fear of doing the wrong thing, of making a mistake, of being a "fuck-up". He also acknowledged that he realized over the last few days that not having contact with OW actually left him space to reconnect a little with me.
I read him an article about the fog early on in the conversation and I think he began to recognize that it applies to him. We also looked at a list of signs you are having an emotional affair, as he expressed desire to understand instead of just getting defensive - whether/how it was really clear cut that he was indeed involved in something serious enough to be called an affair.
He said he really needed to think about things. I told him I didn't really have time any longer to wait for him to figure things out, but that I would give him two days. I told him that at the end of day one, which is today, he needed to at least check in and communicate a bit of where he was at in his thought process, and then he could have one more day.
He accepted this. He also became hostile toward me about a "separate" issue - regarding the splitting up of his checks and the agreement he signed. I just told him I didn't need his hostility and that I was no longer willing to endure it. He did eventually stop and reign himself in.
We'll see what happens over the next two days. I don't have expectations but I feel very good and peaceful right now about clearly defining my needs and boundaries and demanding a response from him about what he wants/isn't ready to commit to.
I have a story a bit like yours.
I PM you.