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Madhatters Only Thread
Dday for both of us was 2 days after Father's Day, when he failed the first polygraph. I found out about his ONS, then while talking about the why's, when's etc, I confessed to by own ONS.
We are in MC, I am in IC (I have PTSD over this for many reasons relating to my childhood and general history), and he is in IC (but only on a rotating schedule with our MC, he sees her alone 1 out of 3 appts-she is a CSAT, but he has not been diagnosed with SA). So, we are trying. He wants to R 100%...I do too, but I always get scared about his porn or that he would do it again...I know I will never, ever do that to anyone ever again...the agony of being a BS is unbelievably excruciating, and I don't want to be "that" kind of person ever again :(
He tends to rugsweep, whereas, I tend to want to talk ALL.DAY.LONG. about what has happened.
he is trying to become more emotionally available and is fully transparent in every way (as am I). I am also trying to stop raging at him (and have virtually succeeded) to get him to feel more safe opening up.
When I think about what he has done and I start to get all anxious, I try to redirect my thoughts to what I did....the whole hooker thing is so hard to digest on so many levels....but the baseline act is the same, and somehow I have to learn to accept that fact.
Hey datura, you posted your story in wayward and I told you a lot there. Glad you're here.
Hiking I've told you my personal thought on the comparing. One thing I am having an issue with is this
Luckily, I'm not saying such ridiculous bullshit out loud, but that's where my thoughts go.
The fact that you know its ridiculous bullshit but you're allowing your mind to go there.
[This message edited by Unagie at 6:29 PM, January 9th (Thursday)]
F**K! I just got my proof. I am shaking like it's D-day again...but I'm going to go to yoga. The asshat is at a class right now anyways. F**************CK!!!!!!!!!
JAS breathe, lean on us. When you're ready to share we will be here.
Datura - There's so much that is good in your post and it's great that you both are actively trying. I don't AT ALL intend for that to sound like "why aren't you happy?" - it's totally not that. It's just good to acknowledge the good stuff when it happens. It also shows just how much muckety-muck there is to sift through when trying to get through this process (it's like, "I'm happy the sun is shining but I'm still wading through a pool of crap")
Major kudos to you for getting control of your rages. That's an issue (one of many) that I really struggle with. It was like kismet that my friend and I had a yoga class scheduled last week (we have started going on Saturdays but that had to change this week). If I had seen him without that I'm certain there would have been some fireworks when he got home.
One suggestion I read from another person was that they would have a little fishbowl and any time a question popped up, she'd write it down and put it in the fishbowl (or whatever other device). Then once a week they had a scheduled time for sitting down and talking. Her H would pull a question out of the fishbowl and answer it. And keep answering questions that way until the allotted time was up. It was a way for her to still be able to ask questions and yet keep those conversations to a mutually agreed upon time. I don't know if something like that would be helpful for you?
Unagie - thanks so much for the response! I read it in the middle of the night and it was nice to not feel so alone.
As I mentioned above, yoga was a total blessing last night. It allowed me to being able to pretend that I didn't know what I knew. Well, he knew I was sad but didn't know I was mad...so that's a good thing (for me...I need to work on controlling my emotions better). I had told myself that if I found one more instance of hard proof that something was going on then that would be it. What I need to do is move quickly and not tell him until my stuff is already out. If I confront him before that then the gaslights flicker, emotions flicker (in both of us) and I don't go...leaving myself to being both a)left to be a patsy and b) blamed for not leaving (even though he begged me not to leave). The past two years have really affected my work product and the past two weeks I've known something was up and was so focused on figuring out what it was that I've been absolutely useless at work.
So, I have to be brave enough to take control and be different than who I have been.
Hiking I've told you my personal thought on the comparing. One thing I am having an issue with is thisLuckily, I'm not saying such ridiculous bullshit out loud, but that's where my thoughts go.
The fact that you know its ridiculous bullshit but you're allowing your mind to go there.
Yeah, sorry I haven't mastered the ability to control all my thoughts and feelings completely. That must be great to be able to do so. Until then, judgmental criticisms are helpful, though, so thanks.
JustAShadow, I am so sorry to hear. How are you doing today? What are your next steps?
I haven't mastered the ability to control all my thoughts and feelings completely.
It takes time. It's a habit you can build. Can you redirect your thoughts to something else when the comparisons begin?
I know for myself, I worried at first that owning my choices meant giving up my BS hat somehow (it didn't meant that, but I worried it did). Can you relate?
Have you written a timeline of your A?
Hi Silver - thanks for asking! I'm not a mess of emotions today but the emotions are certainly all over the board. Yoga this morning helped (I'm going to try to do some regular yoga sessions these next days/weeks? to try to help me keep from going off the rails.
I should know Monday if the movers can move my big stuff next week. I've got so much crap going on at work (mainly because I've not been able to function the last couple of weeks) that taking a day off to move sucks but I'm hoping that I can get out this week. In this moment I really just want to be free.
H knows something is up but I don't think he knows exactly what.
How are things with you Silver? Were you able to get some de-cluttering done?
Had the talk...we are now separated.
I'm so sorry to hear that, JustAShadow. Was he even remotely remorseful? Did he deny what you found? What do you need right now? I'm imagining you're in a lot of pain right now. Do you feel your separation is permanent? Are you two taking time to see about R later, or heading directly for divorce? (((hugs)))
I hope Yoga helps.
So you're moving out of the home and not him? Are you moving into an apartment? Will you two have to manage anything about the marital home together?
Until then, judgmental criticisms are helpful, though, so thanks.
I wasn't being judgemental in any way shape or form. I was pointing out something I find to be bullshit. I'm not here to point a finger and feel better then others. I cheated and was cheated on, same as everyone else on this thread. I have no reason to judge anyone else but I don't censor what I say here I got tired of people pleasing around dday 1.5 years ago.
Let me clarify now why I highlighted that line. The fact is you know its ridiculous bullshit but your mind goes there immediately because that thought process is a safety net. It allows you to stop facing the hard shit for awhile. When your mind goes there do you immediately think "stop that's ridiculous bullshit" or do you allow the thought process to continue? Honestly you don't have to answer me either if you don't want to just something to think on.
[This message edited by Unagie at 4:49 PM, January 12th (Sunday)]
Justashadow I am so sorry. Please take care of yourself and know that you can still heal and be happy.
Silver: I am so sorry that you feel you are not doing so well. I hope you are drawing on the kindness and strength you have offered so many here in SI. I know that impact your father has had has caused you pain for so long. It is an important goal that you have set yourself in letting him go. Expressing that goal and taking those first steps are incredibly brave. For us as women that desire for acceptance, love and pride from our fathers contributes so much to our sense of self and relationships with others. That is why it is so challenging for you.
Do I acknowledge his birthday or Father’s Day this year?I think there is a bigger question to answer and it is the one posed in your goal … what does letting him go look like? What enables you to do that emotionally? The answer to that will guide you on the smaller day to day questions. It will guide your boundary setting with your father.
I am working from memory here regarding some of the issues in your family. So I am sorry if I am off the mark. I am sure you know that looking for validation from him his giving him power over your feelings again. It is the most hurtful thing that a parent can’t / won’t give us love and show us their acceptance. What can keep you safe from him misusing his power? What protects you and a through you your babies?
I have a longing for an extended family which is intact, happy and loving. My eldest sister is an unsafe person, she has put a wedge so high in our family that it is insurmountable . What keeps me safe from her, is to accept that the sister I want is not real. She never was. The person that she is not a member of my family. That is my boundary. We are not related. It meant potentially letting go of her children (one of whom I helped raise until he was 2 ˝ ) It has meant a lot of pain for my parents. But it keeps me, and my children safe from her violence and manipulation. So for me it meant all that – changing my numbers, blocking on FB etc. I don’t pretend this is as challenging as it would if that person was a parent.
How are things at home with Mr Silver? Are you still working towards exit? I know that it is very challenging for you.
Datura & Hiking: I too struggled with the concept of ‘not comparing’ and I will offer a slightly different perspective to those above. For us – the ‘not comparing thing’ was driving us a bit bonkers. Thinking that it was chasing rabbits down holes we kept avoiding it and trying to be deliberate. During MC we realised that what was happening though was we were both superimposing our own stories onto one another. For example: My H – BlindFreddy began to rewrite my infedilty in his own mind and starting to re-traumatise himself with the idea that I would have been duplicitous in the way he was, run around and meeting the Affair Party without his knowledge, have secret phone conversations etc. None of that happened. I also underestimated the extent and breadth and length of his affair by assuming it wore the same face as mine. This enabled his half-truths and lies and prolonged full disclosure.
In the end we both needed to revisit our timlines and process a type of inventory. Fully understand how our affairs were different, their different MO. To some people details matter. ( I am one) Having the facts avoids unnecessary pain later.
So rather than confuse language. I don’t support ‘comparing’ for the purpose of justification and self-dillusion. But I do suggest inventories and clear communication if you have the same dynamic as us.
JustAshadow – I am very sorry for how hard things are just now. I strongly agree with the other posters here.
Thank you everyone for the support - it is much appreciated!
He did break down and I'm certain they were real emotions but it's nothing I haven't seen periodically in these last two years and then the next day it's back to nothing changes. As to the "home" situation, we are apartment dwellers so that fortunately makes things easier.
I'm a little numb right now.
Last night I had a dream that we were prisoners and a group was told that they would be freed the next day. Both H and I were put in the to-be-freed group but I decided that I would go with the other group knowing that I had chosen the group that would probably be killed (but my intention was to try to get to a grenade and at least go down taking down my captors). Right before I woke up we were each in our different lines starting to move in our divergent paths...
A car load taken over to the new place yesterday and again this morning. Now to try to stoke the fire under my butt for work.
Silver - I'm sorry about the situation with your father. I think Meg has provided some good food for thought.
The love bombing has commenced (H to JAS)...if only his nice words and dreams equated to nice actions...
Actions will always win out JAS. I send you strength, know that you are not alone. Take time to truly figure out what you want and need and go from there. Remember those wants and needs can change along the way. Take care.
Much appreciated, Unagie.
One thing I really struggle with is the concept of comparisons. I know that comparing hurts in this situation only leads to MORE hurt, and roadblocks...but sometimes it seems like I can't help it, and part of it is due to my own personal history, I think.
I hurt my wife about 3 years ago by flirting briefly with three women I knew via Facebook. I don't know what to label it, but I don't know that the label really matters. It was one-sided flirting the girls didn't flirt back. My wife saw the messages in my history about a month or so after the conversations had taken place. About a year later, I discovered that my wife was having an EA with my friend/coworker. To be completely honest, I was not really all that hurt. I was more embarrassed and annoyed because it was someone we worked with and it made life complicated, but I didn't view it as some great betrayal. I guess I always felt like people having 'crushes' is just one those things that happens...to me, having the feelings is not the crime, but acting upon them is. So we established NC with the former friend and moved on. I don't really consider it rugsweeping, because I honestly really didn't care that much. I just kind of rolled my eyes the way you would at a silly middle-schooler. I don't mean to be condescending, I just really didn't view it as that big of a deal.
Here's where it gets more complicated. The NC held for about a month and a half....and then it was broken, the EA was resumed, and then it became a PA until I discovered it in January of 2013. When I discovered THIS I was super pissed...because after her EA, we had the boundary talk. We talked at length about the reasons they had to have NC. So I guess the reasons I was pissed were twofold: 1) She had all the info about why she could never talk to him again, and chose to ignore it. 2) Despite my historical tendency to be a flirt (which I'm not excusing), I've always been really careful about not discussing things of a deeply personal nature with people of the opposite sex. Throughout my life, I've always been considered as a flirty, social person....but despite that, I've never been in a PA. In fact, if I got the impression that a woman was ever interested in me beyond being a friend, I made a conscious decision to avoid or limit contact...so it's really hard for me to understand how my wife allowed it to become a PA, you know?
I don't want to give the impression that I still think this kind of flirty behavior on my part is ok...at almost three years or so since my self-made shit hit the fan, I've done a whole lot of thinking, writing, reading, and some IC about it. I feel like I understand why I was the way I used to be...my 'whys' and all that. So I guess my question is this: having been in my WW's shoes up to a point, I can (and kind of did) empathize with her...up to a point. But I'm struggling with everything after NC was broken and it went underground, because I've always been careful to avoid that aspect, you know?
Despite my historical tendency to be a flirt (which I'm not excusing), I've always been really careful about not discussing things of a deeply personal nature with people of the opposite sex. Throughout my life, I've always been considered as a flirty, social person....but despite that, I've never been in a PA. In fact, if I got the impression that a woman was ever interested in me beyond being a friend, I made a conscious decision to avoid or limit contact...so it's really hard for me to understand how my wife allowed it to become a PA, you know?
If you don't mind my asking… Why in the past would you draw a boundary at discussing personal things, no PA, etc? What did you say to yourself to make it OK to flirt with other women? What were you getting from flirting? When you flirted, did you hide it from your wife at the time, or did you think it wasn't a big deal and then felt surprised when she found the messages and was hurt? Did you ever flirt in front of her?
Your wife will need to examine her own boundaries. How did her EA with the OM begin? Was it with flirting? A crush that they acted on? Where did she first cross her boundaries? And by the time it was an EA, did PA seem like the next step, since the EA boundary had already been crossed?
I have a question, and I think here is the right place to ask.
For anyone here who is dealing with a spouse who isn't "doing the work", for anyone here who has done the 180 - are you afraid of what happens when you disconnect from your spouse?
I am. I have detached from him so much since summer 2012. That scares me. What if I am not mindful enough of my boundaries? I am alone. Mothering alone, changing alone, trying to ask for help from him (and friends and family and therapy and a hoarding support group) and not getting it. How do I stick with the loneliness? It's not good to try to escape painful feelings. I don't just mean escape as in affair - I mean escape into anything that dilutes reality.
How do you avoid the strong desire to escape pain? How do you accept all the pain, especially if that pain comes from being alone? How do you deal with all the uncertainties that come from loneliness? For me, it's about the voices in my head and the growing paranoia. Don't know how to manage that. I reach out to Mr. Silver, and he isn't there. Need to keep it together somehow. Writing fiction, drinking Bailey's, excessive video games, hanging out too much with friends when I'm sick, finding some kind of imaginary outlet starts to look more and more appealing, and they don't appear to be healthy outlets because I don't know how to enjoy them in moderation. How do I stay grounded?
I'm at a low point right now. I don't want to screw up.
FacePunched - you seem to have a good head on your shoulders and good boundaries in place for yourself.
I've always thought that the "don't compare" statement is just a shorthand way to say, 'own your own actions and don't use the comparison/blame-game as a defense mechanism for the purposes of shirking responsibility for your own actions.'
It appears as though you have taken ownership that something you did hurt your wife and have put a lot of effort into shoring up your boundary walls. So, if you are feeling bad that you are 'comparing'...IMO you aren't actually comparing (at least not in the same sense that I get when I hear or say 'don't compare') so free yourself of that burden (if you felt it was a burden of sorts).
I think you can leave the last sentence as just this:
But I'm struggling with everything after NC was broken and it went underground.
That's a wholly valid thing to be struggling with, in and of itself.
What effort has your W put in over the last year?