And when they've given you their all
Some stagger and fall, after all it's not easy
Banging your heart against some mad bugger's wall.
Its a mite difficult to understand how your BH can betray you in a committed relationship, [before marriage], then refuse to forgive your affair. Apparently he's managed to explain off his hurtful indiscretions that lasted 3 years, and sees your adultery as something more serious and destructive.
Is it possible that he believes that your affair had a revenge motive attached to it? You had the LTA to get even?
If you were not emotionally attached to the OM and willingly embraced reconciliation, this may support his belief that you had the affair to punish him and level the playing field.
I can see that making R more difficult, given your BH does seem to have a lot of pride, personal strength and a good self-image.
And what hurts me too as one SI member posted is that when my BH had an on and off again A with the same OW for 3 years BEFORE WE WERE MARRIED he told me to "get over it or leave".
Wonder how he'd react if you told him this. RSEB, what are you fighting for? At some point you know what you have, you know what you don't. Nothing will change the past for either of you.
If you both can't build a healthy future together you can build one alone. Jamaica isn't going to fix that.
[This message edited by uncertainone at 9:26 AM, September 18th (Wednesday)]
'til the roof comes off. 'til the lights go out. 'til my legs give out, can't shut my mouth
I get the part of him courting you again, all of what you said, even the no follow through. I tell myself that I'll wear my ring again when I feel like I would walk down the aisle again. It's going to take me time and I quite honestly don't know how long, if ever, that will happen. It's still a roller coaster, just the ups and downs aren't as wild. I still have anger, pain, depression, hope and love. It's all just a little greyer for me.
Uncertainone, you wrote
If you both can't build a healthy future together you can build one alone. Jamaica isn't going to fix that
I realize Jamaica won't fix a darn thing. I believe my BH is experiencing yet another couple of bad days and this was his idea of a temporary life line.
I truly want a healthy future. I truly believe I had gotten past his A, eventhough I got past it alone. That is the only reason it crosses my mind now, when I get frustrated with "his wall", I think about the fact that he didn't even allow me a moment of having my own wall when I was experiencing my trauma, married or not, we were in a commited living together relataionship and I loved him more then anything.
I think about the fact that he didn't even allow me a moment of having my own wall when I was experiencing my trauma, married or not, we were in a commited living together relataionship and I loved him more then anything.
Sure. Thing is you had the same choice he has, really. While a loving remorseful WS is a key part of the reconciliation process, the facts don't change. They betrayed you. The real question is have they fixed the shit that caused that enough to be safe and do you really care at that point?
He didn't. For either of those. He fixed nothing and didn't care. So why is your affair so hard for him. Because it hit him at his core. His self esteem. His ego. His manhood. He does care very much about that. What is missing from both those equations? You. RSEB. You weren't a factor in his choice to cheat. You weren't a part after his choice cheat. You aren't a part now. The only piece you factored in was your choice and now you gotta pay.
You say you love him. Why? What about any of that picture is "love" worthy? What is there to fix when what you want to reconcile was so very broken in the first place?
I must say your posts make me think, your bluntness is an eyeopener.
My ownly answer to you is that I see glimmers. I see glimmers of a loving caring man that I knew long ago. That gives me hope. Do I hope that he will be "all in" and work to correct our communication problems, aside from BOTH As, yes. !00% yes.
When I was at the end of my A, before DDay, I just told my BH that I was leaving him. Long story short, he swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills because he could not stand the thought of losing me. It was momentary, he tried to bring them back up, but he wound up in an ambulance and in a psych hold for 3 days regardless. I went to visit him every day. It was then that he wrote me a letter, that I cherish to this very day. He talked about how much he loved me and he wanted to work and be a better father and husband. I know those were words on paper, but that was a big thing for my BH, the way I know him. It was that moment that made me realize I have loved him...and more importantly missed the GREAT parts of "us". He is a rock, which at times can be good and at times frustrating, but I saw the man I love in there.
And during our R, when I hold him and he is sobbing uncontrollably, and then I start crying because it is my actions that have brought him to his knees, that breaks me and my spirit. I have watched my BH lose his mother to cancer 2 months after we married. I used to hear him cry for her when he was in the shower...those tears and sobs do not compare in the least to the tears he has shed over me. That breaks me to this day, but the fact that he is still standing is a miracle, and I feel I owe it to him to try for on a time line AT LEAST two more years because I had a SIX year affair. Can I compare that he was not there for me? Yes, I could, but that is not my goal. In love you don't keep score.
OK now, I am sorry you are hurting. Just wanted to share with you quickly, that our DDay was Nov of 2009. Our wedding anniversary is June. Well in June 2010 our wedding A fell exactly on a Sunday, the same day we were M'd. I found a church and a paster to perform a renewal for us on the same day and time we had said our vows 11 years prior. It was just us and our kids. It was perfect I thought. My BH even went to the florist and made me a handmade rose bouquet to hold. That was the best moment of the day for me. Looking back now, I don't know how he made it through the day and how he said his vows. Learning what we have now, I believe he was in shock, but for me I wanted him to be able to look at our A in a little better light with maybe a glimmer of happiness in all our anniversaries to come. I hope for you and your H that you can again one day put your ring back on and feel at peace with your M.
Long story short, he swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills because he could not stand the thought of losing me
Yeah, you aren't anywhere there either. RSEB, what you describe has nothing to do with you. Nothing. As dramatic as it looks you don't see cards that say, "Nothing says love like a suicide attempt". Jesus. It's ALL about the person and how few options or choices they feel they have and hanging on to someone because you don't think you can live without them is the most selfish thing you can do.
He was willing to kill himself leaving you with that mess because he loved you???? Uh, no.
Losing his mom was horrible. It was also simple. Grief. You...much deeper hurt. Rejection can be the worst thing anyone experiences in their life. Still not about the "inflictor".
Love isn't about keeping score. Is that what you believe you're doing? Comparing your pain to his? If so does the length offset the dgaf he demonstrated? That's why I hate the whole score thing. Any conversation that begins with "defining our terms", even if implied, is a loss.
You're back to what you have right in front of you. It it works for you, great. If not decisions need to be made.
[This message edited by uncertainone at 10:51 AM, September 18th (Wednesday)]
So while a trip to Jamaica won't fix everything, it IS still important to incorporate fun things into the relationship. And that's not necessarily romantic, intimate things (ie, date nights/courting). Maybe, perhaps, even the opposite. We started scuba diving -so our attention was directed to the classes, the studying, the pool, etc. It became our thing to talk about - instead of the relationship.
It doesn't have to be major - especially if you have children. It may be a cooking class. It may be a new ping pong table...or a late night game of checkers. Just make sure it is FUN. It shouldn't put any pressure on the relationship...it should just be about relating.
I do realize quite clearly that a suicide attempt is anything but mentally stable or romantic. The point was the words he was saying in that letter. I do know that he has a lot of issues to address and right now my M is looking like a mine field, but we have many mountains to climb and decisions to make. I have turned a corner in my journey. It is not going to be any longer me holding him up, he has to hold himself up, and eventually help me along at times. He has to see the complete picture. He can no longer hide behind the hurt of my A. I will not go along with it any longer. He may see it as rejection or not loving him, but I am worth quite a bit. My A is not who I am and I will not allow him to treat me as such. That is why this weeks conversation shook me so much. My eyes were opened. I do expect him do to some work and haul the load in our M. It is not helping him to heal by doing nothing. I have tried to hold him and us up by myself for 4 years. OF course as is said here at SI, the WS has to do more then their share of the work to help the BS heal. However at the 4 year mark I think it may be healthy and helpful fo my BH to learn that he has to and can help himself heal. And I have to in turn let go o of the outcome. If he heals and realizes it was a deal breaker for him, then I have to accept that. I will continue working on myself, and I will be stronger for it, with either outcome. It will be a new concept to him, but life is about learning and change.
I loved your ENTIRE POST..I should HIGHLIGHT the entire thing. I will definitely take the WORK out of every aspect of our lives...we do need to FUN it up a bit...It is LONG overdue...thanks for the perspective shift
[This message edited by RSEB at 11:20 AM, September 18th (Wednesday)]
With no promise that your BH would change his attitudes , heal from the affair and agree to rebuild, you re-committed yourself to the relationship and put in 4 years of effort to create a better union. He did not cooperate in this attempt apart from dispensing numerous guilt trips and generally making himself to be the sole victim. Taking into account his own callous betrayal thats intensely hypocritical.
I agree there are signs that he could be emerging from his ego nursing darkness, but you need to gently tell him you have reached the end of the road. He needs to quickly start building the marriage that you want and deserve, or the parting of ways is on the horizon.
This is about turning this relationship into a happy union, not about whether you currently love one another, that than come later. He needs to understand that you can resolutely walk out of the door with no pain if he doesn't agree and contribute.
His choice to be mature and release this pettiness, or hang on to his destructive resentment.
His choice to be mature and release this pettiness, or hang on to his destructive resentment
My BH always says he wants to get past it, but he doesn't know how. I have read him a handful of posts from SI as well as PM'd Members on his behalf to get especially a BH's insight. Nothing has changed or impacted greatly. Is there any thing I can suggest to him? Realize I did hear your suggestions about making him realize that I too am out of ideas and my rope is getting shorter.
just popped in here, glad to see you are back.
i understand how your BH feels, but can say that it is his issue. by accepting/offering 'R' one is implicitly comitting to do the work necessary to forgive and be able to create a positive relationship.
in terms of how your BH feels, i get those same feelings from time to time, but those feelings are my choice and I have control over them. it is my responsibility to work through them and, in the end, not allow them to dominate my exisitence or marriage.
UO is right, boy is she a laser in the fog sometimes...there comes a point that my feelings of 'sadness' are very selfish, just about my ego, not about anything 'real.' you can not will yourself to such a realization, it just happens on its own after hard emotional work. very early on I was transfixed by the question 'why does this hurt so bad, and where does it hurt?' Not easy questions to answer with specificity. but the pain is closer to ego, fears of rejection and abandonment, i.e. my own FOO issues (i love that acronym) not related to my WW or 'love'.
I got to rambling, but if I am to really love my WW then there is no place for me being emotionally self-indulging via stuck in the mud. as UO pointed out, that is about me not about my WW or love it may be human nature to some degree, but that doesn't mean its healthy for me, her, the M, or the future.
now lunch is over, back to what I was doing
However the reality of the situation [your POV] has little impact. Its what he believes that counts. I suspect he thinks that your affair was revenge motivated [to him that sounds appropriate action], and he will never believe otherwise. This then fuels increased resentment and a bruised ego; you kicked his ass in essence.
Never underestimate male pride; his cruel comments to you when he cheated imply a lack of compassion from a position of control and dominance. Now the boot is on the other foot and he needs to deal with pain and humiliation. Obviously he is not coping too well.
As to what else you can do at this stage; just make initial plans to leave, [nothing concrete] and make sure he understands that your future life may not include him if he fails to make the necessary adjustments. Its not that you have run out of patience, just faith in a marriage crippled with betrayal..
I actually have a different perspective to what most have posted here.
Firstly, his cheating on you before the marriage was a massive betrayal that sounds as if he hasn't done anywhere near enough needed to mend the damage. Very hard for you to move on. However, this is not exactly the same as an A during a marriage in my opinion. Still huge, but marriage adds to the level of commitment. That being said, neither of you are the same people anymore because of this. Perhaps your marriage was heading south from the start and it probably just got worse over time. That does not mean that it's time to jump ship or call it quits.
If it is to work however, it cannot be built on the you of the past or the him of the past. It has to be built on both of the changed selves.
Much like an amputee needs to adjust to living without a limb.
To me, both of you sound as if you having been trying to live a life with limbs, but with those limbs actually missing. Obviously this would result in major frustration.
I believe your marriage can be really satisfying, so long as it is built on the reality which is in the 'now' and not the past. The reality today is that both of you are different people. There may be some positive changes and there may be some negatives. We all need to
adapt to survive. Adapt he must and adapt you must.
About his negative behaviour, perhaps this was a deal breaker for him and he has just been going through the motions. To me this does not matter too much as the old marriage is over. Resurrecting it is pointless to me. I think a fresh start is needed, and although some would assume this fresh start means 'without each other', I believe you guys can have a great marriage together. Two amputees learning to live a life without limbs together.
I don't think I have explained my perspective perfectly, but I hope you get the intent behind what was said.
Note: My 'amputee' analogy was not meant to offend anybody. It was used only to describe the level of damage done by betrayal. Apologies to any who were offended.
[This message edited by Heath at 2:42 AM, September 19th (Thursday)]
However, this is not exactly the same as an A during a marriage in my opinion. Still huge, but marriage adds to the level of commitment.
Ah, so it's the, no, I really really super duper love you commitment...instead of, just plain ol love you commitment level.
While you qualify that is your opinion, I'm trying to wrap my mind around the balls you would need to tell someone else how they should view their betrayal experience. Massive, I'm thinking. Of course that's my opinion, so there's that.
[This message edited by uncertainone at 2:51 AM, September 19th (Thursday)]
I am not trying to tell anyone how to measure their betrayal experience. If you read my entire post you would see that I consider both betrayals to be massive.
But being logical about this, marriage is a deeper level of commitment in most people's minds. Most people entering into marriage are fully aware of this. Look at all the men who get rejected from marriage proposals. They could have been in the relationship for years, but the woman was not prepared for the extra level of commitment.
I was going to ask him if he wants to read this thread, but I didn't because I figured that is me leading him to "heal" and he was not making any attempt to "talk". I figured it could keep for one more day, because we have MC this afternoon. So I talked for a few minutes about some things that happened at work yesterday and he just listened.
Heath, I do like your take on "a new marriage". However I keep running into another brick wall with my BH on that one. After 4 years he is STILL saying that he WAS happy before, he thought our M was great. So he doesn't want to or doesn't understand why or how we should or have to move forward, since it was SO GREAT before my A. That is also partly my fault because I was passive aggressive and was a TOTAL people pleaser, so I NEVER, well hardly ever voiced my hurt, anger, or dislike. I rug swept all my hurt feelings. I have a hard time with our history because for the most part we were not arguers. But in our past history there have been times when things have escalated, over disagreements where my BH has thrown things, called me names or just MAJOR screaming and yelling on his part. So that is one of his major points now, is that he always says "we only fought maybe twice a year", but the problem was that it only took that first one or two times for me to learn that any "argument" that rubs him the wrong way "COULD" escalate to such a scenario. So yes, while on most days we did not argue, it doesn't mean things were fine. Half of me is amazed that he could even think things were ok, while the other half blames myself because I never rectified the situation. Then again, I am not naive enough to think that "I" would have been able to change him, he would have had to be the one. So when he says he held me "on a pedestal" I can't even fathom how he sees it that way. I believe he may be referring to the fact that in his heart and mind he held me in such high regard, however his occasional actions spoke differently to me. Yes, I should have been strong enough to end the M if I felt that way, but instead I left it mentally with my A, and that was not fair to my BH, to me or the M. My BH has continually said "he was happy", and I have replied that of course...as long as WW did all the things BH "expected" (made his lunch to take to work, kept care of the house and our kids and made his dinner etc) BH was happy. But when WW didn't do those things, there was an issue and BH became "cranky".
That is the new issue for him now. I have learned through my IC that I do not keep my upset, hurt or objections to myself any longer. I try to tell my BH when something upsets me. That upsets him now sometimes because he takes the stance of "who are you to tell me such and such after what you did". So yes it has been a long road. I hope we have not come to the end of it. I believe the problem for us is that my BH has not gotten to ACCEPTANCE. I don't even care about forgiveness at this point. He just has not accepted that I had an A, that it happened and it cannot be changed. So he has to work to figure it out from here. I can't coax him through. That has been our pattern. He gets robotic, I approach him and ask him if he is okay or if he wants to talk, he says he is fine. Nothing changes so I ask him again a day or two later, still no change. So then I don't "let him get away with it anymore" and "confront" him. Mostly because the knot in my stomach by that point is the size of a boulder. So we talk. I ask if something happened? I ask if something caused a trigger? I ask if he knows why these moments happen etc. He doesn't really have a reply, but we talk. We may cry or just talk, it usually winds up with us being intimate and that is the band aid that gets us through possibly the next week, until the cycle begins again. That has been our lives for the past four years. I am tired, and I know he is tired and hurt and betrayed and confused and a million other emotions. I just can't keep keeping him "together". It isn't working. It isn't healing him. It isn't getting him ANY closer to "happiness". I have told him he can't just ignore it, that we/he has to work THROUGH it. (he was in that faze for about a year, no IC no MC, he just tried to "forget about it", nothing I could say or do would change his mind).
So now that I have rambled for WAY to long, I want to say thank you to everyone. I have to get moving and get the kids ready for school, make their lunches and get myself ready for work. I am SO hopeful that todays MC session goes well. Have a nice day everyone.
[This message edited by RSEB at 6:07 AM, September 19th (Thursday)]
We talk about the impact of affairs,yours and his, but what if the significant issue is personality? Your BH is just plain immature with an inability to adjust and give consistent love and affection. What makes you think his attitude is ever going to be acceptable? His hurtful behavior during and after his affair was indicative of an unbalanced temperament; no wonder he can't handle reconciliation.
Personality is so difficult to change in the short term; we tend to mellow with age, but I suspect your husband is crippled with destructive emotional responses that are not going to go away because we think they need to. Moodiness, anger, resentment, childish need for attention, inability to handle rejection; these are part of his personality and if you continue with this marriage you will need to accept them.
If you cannot reason with your BH, and he cannot adjust to the rejection he has experienced, then improvement will be a long time coming. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but there is no history in your marriage to show that he is capable of being an acceptable husband and thats rather ominous.
Moodiness, anger, resentment, childish need for attention, inability to handle rejection; these are part of his personality and if you continue with this marriage you will need to accept them.
When I read your post I get knotted up in my stomach. And the basic reason is that I hope I am painting an accurate picture of my BH. The first thing that jumps to my head when describing him is that he is an EXTREMELY hard worker, maybe not a work aholic, but he is EXTREMELY money driven. He can never have enough money in the bank, while I am a bit more lax. I was doing all the finances before and during my A. I was actually not handling them well at all. I was spending more then my BH was aware of and then I was a fraid to tell him. I did use over the course of our M $50,000 from his savings plan at work, but that paid our house bills. We were never late on our mortgage payment, we were in the midst of him adding an addition to our home. He did ALL the work himself and it took YEARS, but all that money went to our home needs, he was just not aware of how I was making it work. I never hid away money or anything like that. So for years since the birth of our first baby he would work and then come home and do the construction on our home until late at night. He loves our children more then anything. He always says that he did everything for me and our kids. Our MC has tried to help him understand that a M needs more then that, but she has often told him that "he did the best he could for us because that is what he knew". He did not have a father to show/teach him anything so he has winged it most of his life and my BH always says that he has done very well considering where he came from. His Mom was a single mother on welfare, but she went to work and got them off it. I however do know that she lacked quite a bit in the nurturing aspect.
So yes, my BH has never been a drug addict, or an alcoholic and he has thrown himself into working and achieving. Sports were his life growing up. He has come far. He does not however know how to communicate effectively, and many times that is not only with me. It with others in his personal life as well. He is wonderful with small talk and hamming it up with his co workers etc, but when there is friction, he doesn't hold back.
I always say and so does our MC that my BH "means well", that he has excellent intentions, but some how the follow through doesn't happen.
I am not explaining him away, exactly the opposite actually. When you mentioned that it may be based on personality. I believe that is true. For example, the way he gets loud in public, especially with our kids, I HATE. I have told him that, but he continues to do it. Now, I am not saying that many people don't behave the same way, but I am the one who doesn't like it. And I know that if I were to see another H or father behave that way, I would be embarrassed and feel bad for that man's W or children.
I pretty much wrote this post to give a broader picture of my BH, I re-read this thread and I wanted to just clarify some things about him, that is all.
Why do you always make excuses for him? You say he is one way, then when someone says confirms that your H has issues that need to be attended to , you jump in and defend him.
Look, you are stating that you need more emotionally from him, and that the M has never been good. It has had its good POINTS, but overall you were dissatisfied, and never spoke up about it. We get it. Your H otoh, thought all was well because he behaved however he wanted because you quickly learned to keep your mouth shut.
Do you want to continue to stay in a M with a man that has no interest in changing himself? That is what this all boils down to.