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I Can Relate Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Madhatters Only Thread
WaywardInHayward
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Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you, Losfer... I have always enjoyed your posts and insight into this particularly difficult situation.

So here's the thing. You can tell that my affair and my wife's affair were different, when it comes to length of time it went on, her bringing the OM into our marital bed, the biological disconnect with my son, etc. We've honestly spent a lot more time healing from that affair versus mine. At the same time, it's really not fair to compare the affairs. My wife still had to go through her pain, anger, resentment, all of those feelings, which were 100% valid. I still had to go through the process of figuring out why I did what I did. I still had to work on myself and fix the things that were wrong with me that caused me to cheat.

Question for you: did you find that discovering the things that caused you to cheat were helpful to your wife? To hear your reasons? Or did it just frustrate and/or infuriate her that you would have the gall to compare your situations?

Are either of you in counseling? MC is great, but my wife and I benefited most from our own IC, or individual counseling.

I am in IC with an Imago therapist. She did visit twice to attempt MC with him, but his approach did not suit her well.

She is not in IC, and had been relying on me to do all the work in her healing, at least in terms of IC. She does read SI voraciously to help understand what others go through and how it relates to our situation.

She has always had a very adverse relationship with therapy - doesn't trust it at all. I worry that she'll never find someone she likes, or if she *does* it will be because they are saying the things she wants to hear, rather than things she needs to hear. But that's all her side of the street. I can worry about that, but it won't get me anywhere. I have to stay on my side and do my work.

A serious problem we have is in our conflict styles. I often want to put on the brakes when either of our lids are flipped, and that's when she really wants to start angrily pushing me hard for answers. That's when I have historically slipped into "saying whatever I can to make her stop coming after me - even if it's a lie". That's my wounding and I know it's something I need to deal with, but when she won't even take a break and come back at a calmer time, it's really hard for me. She likes having me up against the ropes, presumably because that's when she has historically gotten me to say what she wants to hear, which have sadly been lies.

That's the "rock and a hard place" I'm in between now. Knowing I need to stay truthful, but also wanting her to feel better as well. Sometimes the truth really DOES hurt. Me saying I don't feel remorseful is very painful. I understand it, but I don't want to rug sweep it either.

Sigh... it's really, really hard.

ETA: I posted some of this in Wayward forum, but probably should have put it in this forum: http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=535446

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 4:23 PM, July 7th (Monday)]


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
tired girl
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Default  Posted: 6:10 PM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to focus on your healing and continue to be authentic in your feelings. She will either have to figure herself out or not. You cannot own that side of the street for her. You have to heal as a betrayed and a wayward. I can tell you for a fact that I did my best work as a wayward, not a betrayed. Stay on the wayward board, those people will steer you right.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4859 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 10:51 PM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Question for you: did you find that discovering the things that caused you to cheat were helpful to your wife? To hear your reasons? Or did it just frustrate and/or infuriate her that you would have the gall to compare your situations?

Working on my "why" was more beneficial to me than my wife. Ultimately, figuring out the "why" helps to determine the "why not", i.e. why I will never cheat again. That is helpful to my wife. Also, working on the "why" helped me find some key flaws within myself that I could pinpoint, focus on, and work on. That helped my wife, because that work has helped me become a better person and a better partner to her.

We didn't really have too many issues with comparing our affairs, luckily. One thing that helped me was some work that I did with Hardlessons (Tired Girl's H), which helped me realize that no matter what type of affair mine was or hers was, they were both rooted in very similar fuckedupness and wayward thinking. Those are things that all affairs have in common, whether they are a one night stand, an LTA, multiple partners, an EA, a PA, etc., etc., etc.

I agree with Tired Girl about the wayward forum. The Madhatter's thread is great for discussing difficulties that you run into specifically with being on both sides of the fence. A lot of introspective, self reflective, and difficult work is done in the wayward forum. One benefit to that forum is that it opens you up to many seasoned waywards who have been there done that, not just specifically people from the MH camp.

Hang in there, and tell the truth no matter how difficult it is, or what the repercussions may be. Now is the time to let go of the outcome and live authentically. You can doo eeet. Cheering you on, man.


Posts: 7052 | Registered: Dec 2010
burntashes
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Default  Posted: 2:13 AM, July 8th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WaywardInHayward, you sound similar to my husband when you said you want to put on the breaks if either of you flip, except my husband wouldn't say lies. He would go into another room and close the door, or say "I am really thinking of leaving you. I can't wait to get the f out of here." I would go into another room and cry until I am exhausted or try to calm myself done. We can't talk about anything about our relationship without H flipping out and threatening to leave.

At this point I feel he's here because of our daughter whom he loves very much. He says he does love me when I get depressed and ask if he's just "putting up with me", but he also told me he will never hold hands and act like lovers with me again because I am not the type of woman he would love with my cheater history. We sleep on the same bed, but there's no intimacy unless I ask him, which is twice this year, and I consciously make myself stop because it feels like asking him to do a chore. He very rarely initiate any contact with me, so we can go thru months with no physical contact daily except for sleeping in the same bed. It makes me very depressed when days go by with no contact I reach out to give him a hug or kiss now and then, but there's no response from him, just feels like he tolerates them.

I battle the feeling of depression, resentment from the rejection everyday. I understand my betrayal made me someone he can't feel in love with anymore. Occasionally he told me he felt romantic, a couple times this year, but the vast majority of time we are like roommates from my view. It makes me trigger about his sleeping around with multiple women the first 2 years after DDay and saying he would have never done that had I not cheated. He doesn't do that anymore, but it still hurts and I can't talk about it. I can't say sorry for my cheating because he gets angry when I do. He doesn't want to talk about us: "I just don't think about it."

The feeling that it will never get better - he said he'd have to be dumb or shallow if he would love someone that betrayed him again - is hard to deal with. It makes me drained. I keep reminding myself I can only control me. How he thinks and responds to me is his choice, and I have no control over that. It's only futile to wish he would see differently. I focus on working on me and look to my honest feelings about who I am now. We are peaceful and both love our daughter. I know my daughter is much happier with my husband in the house. I owe it to her to provide her the best stable environment to grow up in. It's my actions that cause things to suck now for all of us. I need to put my daughter first. It's just hard for me because I've been such a selfish person for so long.

Sorry for rambling on and on. I just needed to share it with someone. Thanks for listening.


Me: WW/MH 30s Him: 40s 1 Daughter
LTA, not divorced with no R
I confessed PA 6/10. Detailed confession: 9/10. All the truth 9/11.

Posts: 365 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: California
rachelc
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Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 6:22 AM, July 8th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Burnt ashes - as an adult if your DD finds out the lengths of what you had to do to stay married to her father she would be so sad for you. Do you really want this life for yourself?


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4920 | Registered: Dec 2010
tired girl
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Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, July 8th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Burnt ashes,

I think your DD will end up resenting the fact that you sacrificed your life for her. Get out and live your life. Being a martyr does no one any good.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4859 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
butterfly1384
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Default  Posted: 11:37 AM, July 8th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

burntashes,

saying he would have never done that had I not cheated

I have heard this EXACT same comment from my X repeatedly about my affair and his affair. He tries to compare them and justify his by blaming me. And he will tell anyone that he comes into contact with that doesn't approve of his current situation that I cheated first, therefore, I'm the bad one and his affair is justified.

As my counselor said, his affair was HIS choice. My affair (or yours in this example) had NOTHING to do with his. We all have to be responsible for our own choices.


Posts: 9 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: Minnesota
WaywardInHayward
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Member # 41964
Default  Posted: 7:42 PM, July 8th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

In the aftermath of her affair and my own father's, one very unhealthy way I learned to cope with them was to decide "cheating really isn't that bad", and this idea is taken further into extremes with ideas like open relationships, swinging and cuckolding... all things wayward mindsets like mine enjoy agreeing with and exploring online, if not in reality. It makes what I think/feel/want to do feel justified.

I'm certainly guilty of this hurtful thinking. I *wanted* to be in a situation where cheating had no consequences... to have my cake and eat it too. I had already set myself up to be an unremorseful wayward. The key is breaking out of that poisonous belief system.


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
burntashes
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Member # 29446
Default  Posted: 12:33 AM, July 9th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

rachelc and TG,

Thanks for your replies. I don't know how my daughter will feel about this when she's grown, but she really likes spending time with her dad, much more than me. He's much more fun to be with. She would be very sad and missing him a lot if he's not here. I already damaged her childhood memories with the mess I created and the ugly aftermath. I can't bring more sadness in her life just because I don't feel loved enough by my H whom I betrayed so badly. That seems so selfish. When I think about the lies and disgusting ways I treated him when he was devoted to me, I am so angry at myself, how can I expect him to feel loving toward me after that? It feels unreasonable to expect love from him, as much as I want it. I already threw it away.

I feel since my H is unfairly having to suffer the pain from my betrayal, and he's willing to stay with me even though he's settling for less, shouldn't I also put our daughter's needs first? When I struggle I feel like I am being extremely selfish and entitled, the way I was in my A. I don't want to be that selfish person anymore. I just still have a hard time letting go of wanting love and closeness with H. I feel if I keep working on being more independent and self sufficient I can be more content accepting this consequence of my actions. My feelings change back and forth.

Butterfly, I agree that his actions are his choices, but I also believe how wouldn't have done that if I never cheated. So I caused the emotion behind it. Not sure how to work that out. He's not going to change his thinking and I am tired of thinking about the f'upness. Thanks for listening.


Me: WW/MH 30s Him: 40s 1 Daughter
LTA, not divorced with no R
I confessed PA 6/10. Detailed confession: 9/10. All the truth 9/11.

Posts: 365 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: California
rachelc
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Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, July 9th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I caused the emotion behind it. Not sure how to work that out. He's not going to change his thinking and I am tired of thinking about the f'upness.

this is sad. I suspect my husband still kinda feels this way. Thing is, I could point to all kinds of crap he did that caused my emotions too - I felt neglected, unappreciated, etc. Doesnt' really matter. We could both point at each other way back to the day we met! But the choices we justify based on someone else's actions are ours to own. In fact, it's a crappy way of living. You did this, so I get to do this. The minute someone thinks this is ok is the minute you're in trouble.

If you don't want to do anything about it that is your choice. Does your husband post here?


his Dday: 2/10
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4920 | Registered: Dec 2010
burntashes
♀ Member
Member # 29446
Default  Posted: 8:43 AM, July 9th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

rachelc, the thing is I do want to do something about it, I just don't know what to do. I feel like I am dying inside living like this. Yesterday just like any other day, a hug when I get home and I kissed him goodnight. That's it. No affection. None. No ILY, no tenderness. My question is am I expecting too much? Am I being too needy while this is how it just goes after I hurt him badly? I have to fight the urge to leave constantly. I feel bad that I feel this way. I feel so frustrated.

He doesn't post here. I don't think he even reads here. He wants us to "make the best of it" but it feels so cold and distant, but anytime I bring it up he gets angry and said "you did this. You f'ed someone else. I just don't feel that way about you." What can I do when he doesn't feel affectionate?


Me: WW/MH 30s Him: 40s 1 Daughter
LTA, not divorced with no R
I confessed PA 6/10. Detailed confession: 9/10. All the truth 9/11.

Posts: 365 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: California
Deeply Scared
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Red  Posted: 9:06 AM, July 9th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

burntashes...

You have a PM.


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 197750 | Registered: May 2002
WaywardInHayward
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Shocked  Posted: 2:30 AM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My wife is, understandably, having a devastatingly hard time with the revelation that I'd been faking a lot of the remorseful statements I'd made. It's triggering my instinct to want to tell her something hopeful that isn't necessarily true.

I try to give her hope that we're now on a better path, but it doesn't seem to help. She says she feels like I keep handing her grenades that she needs to hold onto tightly to keep from being destroyed.

I tell her I'm very sorry and that I love her and want nothing more than to be truthful *and* healing, but the two seem to be complete opposites for her.

What have others done in similar situations to provide hope?

I'm trying to determine what percentage of my work on reconciliation was true and false. It feels like I did a lot of good work, but the mad hatter bullshit that kept creeping up made it feel false, but something I felt I had to hide at the time. Now that it's out, she's wondering if ANYTHING I said or did was true, which I certainly understand.

Any advice/insight is appreciated. I feel like I'm swimming in the dark when talking to her in this state. I have no idea what to say because everything I say (even the loving/hopeful statements) seems to hurt her more.


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
tired girl
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Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 8:48 AM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So let me ask you this. Do you not have any problems with the fact that you betrayed yourself let alone her? Take her out of the picture, what about your choices? Look at yourself. Is this the person that you wanted to be? Did you set out to be this kind of person? Are you ok with who you are and who you have become?


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4859 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
WaywardInHayward
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Sad  Posted: 10:47 AM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So let me ask you this. Do you not have any problems with the fact that you betrayed yourself let alone her? Take her out of the picture, what about your choices? Look at yourself. Is this the person that you wanted to be? Did you set out to be this kind of person? Are you ok with who you are and who you have become?

All great questions. Yes, I feel terrible that I committed this crime against her.

I guess I don't feel that *who* I have become has become lessened by my horrific choice.

So I wrote that sentence above and just stopped. It is infused with all kinds of feelings about how I had devalued infidelity in my early 20s, with thoughts like "Yes, my dad cheated, but he isn't a bad person... he made a bad choice" Which I still feel is true.

It also makes me think of when she cheated and how it changed who I thought she was because I now knew what she is capable of. Yes, at the time, I had moments where I did consider her an evil person, but I knew that wasn't true in my heart. She was a good person who made an extremely bad and painful choice, but it took me a while to get that realization.

So I can see why she thinks the same of me - that I'm evil - and really wants me to see it that way too.

So, is the goal in remorse to be able to see and agree that I'm a horrible person? Or am I twisting your words?


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
LosferWords
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Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 11:07 AM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think what TG is probably getting at, and I don't want to speak for her, is that committing infidelity is a betrayal of self as well. It is something that instantly causes you to lose integrity, yet with so little to gain in return.

I'd like to be able to look back on my life and say that I've never cheated. Unfortunately that ship has sailed, and then sunk. Worse yet, I was the one that sunk that ship. It's not about saying that you are a horrible person, it is about realizing that your spouse wasn't the only person you fucked over. You fucked yourself over, too. Know what I mean?

Then there is the balancing act of realizing you fucked yourself over, but not wallowing in shame about it, as you have to be strong for your partner and your self. The ship can't be unsunk, but you can find new ways to tread water and move forward.

Good to see you posting, and digging deeper into this stuff!


Posts: 7052 | Registered: Dec 2010
WaywardInHayward
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Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Then there is the balancing act of realizing you fucked yourself over, but not wallowing in shame about it, as you have to be strong for your partner and your self. The ship can't be unsunk, but you can find new ways to tread water and move forward.

That's definitely closer to how I feel about it.

In all honesty, there is conflicting feelings in there as well which is that she sunk the ship long ago and left me in the lifeboat all alone. I bailed by myself for a long time, and when I saw other ships going by and no one offering a ride, I decided that this leaky lifeboat is where I belong, and that I need to be okay with it. That I'm hurt, broken and that's okay... in fact I felt empowered in being okay with my patched up lifeboat, and that infidelity isn't the end of the world. You can build yourself a new perspective and enjoy life in a patched up lifeboat that leaks from time to time.

It gave me a whole new outlook on life, but perhaps one that isn't healthy for relationships.

When she came back into my life (before marriage), I tried to show her "hey! I'm still sitting here in this shitty little lifeboat you put me in", but it never got through ... till recently. So for most of our marriage, I led her to believe that I was happily up on the stable marriage ship with her, when I was really still sitting in the lifeboat, hanging on to the edge of the ship.

I guess where I get stuck is that I want her to see that it really isn't that bad being down here in the leaky boat, but she's screaming at me to hurry up and patch it up quickly, so we can get back on a stable marriage ship.

Yup, I can see how messed up my thinking is, but it's honest, and I'm okay being there. She's not, and I probably shouldn't be either. Ugh

ETA: re-reading this I can also see how what I did was blast her ship and bring her down to her own lifeboat, and instead of jumping in and helping her bail, I'm saying "see? not so bad - stop bailing and just patch!" while I'm sitting in my own rickety boat. I can see how uncaring that would feel.

She may rightly feel like she needs to jump out and swim away from me as quickly as possible, because I'm not being helpful, but hurtful.

[This message edited by WaywardInHayward at 2:15 PM, July 10th (Thursday)]


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
LosferWords
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Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 2:50 PM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't want to get too caught up in the analogy, but I wasn't really talking about the "marriage ship" I was talking about an individual ship, representing integrity.

Your wife's infidelity did nothing to your integrity. That was still solid and intact. When you chose to commit infidelity, you single-handedly caused yourself to sink your own ship of integrity.

That's a really tough concept to grasp, because marriages are often viewed as partnerships, working 100% in unity. In reality (as I see it), it is made up of two autonomous parts that make up the whole.

Your analogy of the "marriage ship" is a valid one, it is just a different analogy than I was trying to portray. Hopefully I'm making sense here.


Posts: 7052 | Registered: Dec 2010
WaywardInHayward
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Default  Posted: 3:01 PM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yes, indeed, I see your point. And yes, the analogy got pretty thick there, I admit!

I guess I'm seeing how I had caused my own ship of integrity to sink way before the affair when I devalued the importance of fidelity altogether... and she only became aware of it through my affair.

My choice is whether I will decide fidelity really IS a big deal to me moving forward. And yes, I know how incredibly foggy wayward that sounds, but I think getting it out here and not hiding it is my best chance at seeing it and analyzing it for what it truly is.


Posts: 26 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Hayward, CA
LosferWords
♂ Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, July 10th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess I'm seeing how I had caused my own ship of integrity to sink way before the affair when I devalued the importance of fidelity altogether... and she only became aware of it through my affair.

This sounds like good insight on your part - that you are able to look back and see where your wayward mindset started to kick in, even before you went through with the cheating.

My choice is whether I will decide fidelity really IS a big deal to me moving forward.

You are right, in that it is your choice. None of us can decide that for you, and I agree that it is good for you to be talking about it out here. I can personally say, it feels good for me to have everything out in the open with my wife. We've been through some rough patches because of behavior on both of our parts, but it is nice to be authentic and have things out in the open. Things are only getting better. If either of us had stayed in our old patterns, things would have gotten worse, or we would have had to go our separate ways, in order for either of us to have any hope of healing.


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