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Madhatters Only Thread
So you two were already S and papers were filed and no move was being made towards R?
Yes, we were S, papers were filed, and no move was being made towards R because she didn't want R. And this was the second time she forced a S. Only, I didn't know she was having an affair this whole time. She has told me to not contact her anymore and D was the only option. I was extremely depressed because she let me think we were divorcing because of me, but in fact they were because of her own guilt and shame. I had let go at this point. Then comes along this woman who pays attention to me, pursues me, and I sleep with her a dozen or so times before ending it, because I knew I had to be alone to deal with losing my wife and the D. About two months after I ended it my wife comes back and wants to R. We try, but it is false on her part. This is when I find out about the affair but not from my wife. She constantly gave me TT till she couldn't deny the evidence anymore. We separated again because she "couldn't do it anymore." Again, I move out and work on D and moving forward. Rinse and repeat...she does it again and wants R. And again it is false only this time I pulled the plug entirely and vowed to never take her back.
I don't think I am a madhatter. But it makes me feel as if somehow I deserved her affair because I was sleeping with someone else. I know that is illogical because she started her affair before I slept with this other woman (she had forced a separation and D because of her A) I think it is just me trying to reach and take on some of the blame so I can feel in control of a situation I had no control over. Or am I in denial? Am I a madhatter?
[This message edited by justme1264 at 9:56 AM, July 25th (Friday)]
hhmm...I'm not the one who created the "madhatter" phrase, and I'm not really sure if there is a hard and fast rule to what places you in that category. IMO, it sounds like you were under false assumptions that you were getting a divorce. You didn't think that you were going to be married anymore, so in a sense, you were "moving on" but technically not because it sounds like your sex was purely based on the fact that you were getting attention and felt desired by someone other than your wife. Now, I think if your W would have said "we are on a trial S" then maybe your actions would have been different. You would have told yourself "no, we are getting back together, I will not have sex with this woman because of that". So I guess IMO, no, you wouldn't be considered a madhatter. But like I said, I didn't make the "rule" so I guess we'll see what others reply with.
On the other hand...do NOT take responsibility for her A and do NOT think that you deserve it at all!!! She chose her actions. You were not holding a gun up to her head telling her to screw someone else!!! Just take this time to realize that you can move on with your life.
Hi, I guess I can post in here although I don't reay feel like I should come under this category...I had a 3 month PA plus a long false R where I broke NC several times. I feel terrible about this now, i am really working on understanding why I did it so I will never go down that road again. I do not ever want to be that person again.
I am struggling with some things though - a couple of months before my A started my BH took another girl out on a date. Nothing happened apparently, but at the time things were not good between us. He has often said to me why didn't I say I was unhappy before I had my A, why didn't I force us to go to counselling. But part of me is really sad that he went on a date and didn't come home and try to work things out with me. He carried on as before.
He also had a ONS during our false R and then another during our 2 month separation (which he only told me about last week). He says he can look at himself in the mirror for all of these but I can never look at myself in the mirror again and that he has never done anything wrong. Obviously i have done many many things wrong, I know I have done so much worse.
But for some reason I am really upset about his first date. And also that somehow he can do all these things and it's totally fine. How do you deal with this when you know you have done a thousand times worse but you still feel hurt?
justme, I would say you are not a MH.
Are you two in R? What are you doing to work on you right now? You know that what he did was not right and whether he wants to admit to it or not, he was wrong. At some point you will have to figure out if you are ok with him not being remorseful and looking at why he did it. The fact that you had an A is not the reason or a good why. He has to dig further just as you do.
You have a pm.
Ok WTF just happened??!
MrBBT and I were having text conversation about him going out with his friends tonight, sorting out getting the car to me in case I need it. Him going out drinking with friends is a HUGE trigger for me, we sorted the car situation and I decided to tell him about triggering and feeling anxious.
Me: In the interest of being honest, I want to tell you that you going out is a big trigger for me. I get very anxious, which is how I'm feeling now. I think that's why I am so focused on having the car, I have no control over the choices you make but I can control myself and having the car while you are out (apart from being a safety issue) allows me independence and control over my own life.
Him: Ok, well that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for telling me. Is there anything I can do?
Me: In an ideal world I would like some reassurance, words of affirmation are my LL so it really makes a difference to me.
Him: I am not going to do anything that will breech my boundaries or cause you any upset, I promise.
Me: It means a lot to me to hear you say that, thank you. I love you.
Him: I love you too. I'll text you when I get back and see you tomorrow.
In six and half years this is the first time he has actually heard me and not become defensive.
I'm crying and I don't even know why.
[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 4:50 PM, July 31st (Thursday)]
That sounds like a very constructive conversation to me, BBT. I've had some breakthroughs in my relationship that have caused my allergies to unexpectedly kick in as well. Damn allergies...
Thanks for the awesome update. I hope this becomes a trend for you.
[This message edited by LosferWords at 8:23 PM, July 31st (Thursday)]
Been thinking about this question a lot (from a few pages ago):
Do either of you still see yourselves as people that would hurt others willingly NOW?
My immediate response was, I still hurt people a lot. So I wondered why and how. How do I do it - is it on purpose? It's something I've been trying to explore in therapy. I have a lot of work to do. Is it because I don't do what needs to be done to be healthy? Somehow that resonates. That translates to hurting others, because if I'm not healthy, then I'm not interaction healthily, and I'm spreading unhealthiness instead… Or so it feels. It's really hard to tell. The other thing is, it feels like a lot of people in my life push my boundaries. So some of my doubts might come from the backlash when I stick up from my boundaries. Still sorting it all out… if that makes sense?
Just realized something, reading another post somewhere on the site. I think of myself as an object at times. And when it comes to sex with my H… I'm not sure how to describe what happens. It's shameful. It's almost like both of us are 2D. I'm having trouble thinking of how to explain this. I'm having trouble interacting with H as both of us being two people together. We're ideas rather than people - he's this idea of the handsome jock I don't deserve, or the guy who doesn't value sex so that any and every encounter we have is him lowering himself. I don't want to feel this way. I want to love and respect my H as a person. He seems to want physical intimacy now - which is why I make sure I don't initiate anymore and make sure he always does, which is similar to what he did in the beginning of our relationship. He wanted to kiss me, but he knew I'd been abused before I met him, so he waited for me to initiate to make sure he didn't make me uncomfortable. I want to make sure he's never uncomfortable, so if he initiates, then I know he's where he wants to be. It's that respect we have for each other that's special. But I just can't stop remembering the many times he rejected me, for the first three years together. Called me a freak for wanting intimacy, but enjoyed the porn and acting single with other girls all the time. I've internalized it. There's something gross about me. I feel like the sexual predators who molested me, just by wanting intimacy. So I try to block out that part of myself. I wonder if I remind myself of how single H acted as a way to deny intimacy between us. Maybe I hold on to how repulsed he used to act toward me, in order to keep a distance between us, because I feel repulsive. But it's not his fault. This is something I've been carrying for a very long time.
I know he loves video games. I believe he likes gifts as well, like cologne or a slice of pizza if I'm out. Or words of affirmation, he wants to know he has good fashion sense when he puts together an outfit. Or someone to listen to him about his worries. Those are the things my husband values. That's part of who he is. He just wants his family. I think deep down he wants a good relationship with our son as well. That might be the ultimate gift for both of them. That's who he is. That's who I need to love. I need to forgive the rest. But struggling with how.
[This message edited by silverhopes at 2:13 PM, August 1st (Friday)]
Sometimes when we have been invalidated for so long that when we are finally validated by that person that our feelings do matter it can feel very overwhelming. I am glad that he heard you, that is awesome !!!
I have noticed that you often have trouble validating your own feelings and that they are as important as that of your H's and everyone else's. Do you realize that your feelings are as important?
I hope that you do
You're right, TG, I do have trouble with that. I'm afraid of validating my feelings too much and letting them skew reality or not being sensitive enough to others' feelings. But maybe I'm more unbalanced when I overcompensate and try to downplay them… My feelings are as valid as everyone else's… And I can still be a good listener and supporter knowing that.
Maybe the trouble is with the word "better". Always thoughts around "get/be better", others are "better than me", etc. What if I start saying "equal" in my head instead of "better" or "worse"? Hmm.
with some recents posts by others, I've realized I need to be very steadfast in my commitment to maintaining my own boundaries. Nothing has happened but sometimes I feel a pull. It's at this point that I really need to sit down and dig to find out the root of it.
The feeling of being unwanted is very strong for me. I'm not sure that means being validated, maybe it is, but I want someone to be with me for me, not because it's a hassle or embarrassment to be divorced but because they actually love me.
Because I cheated first and have worked on why I chose that as a coping mechanism, I'm pretty astute to when I need this feeling. It's SO DAMN HARD because the message one receives when our spouse has an affair is emotionally "I don't want you." when logically it is, "I am broken."
I had this discussion with HL yesterday, the fact that I am totally ok with who I am, but what he does makes me not ok with who I am inside of this M. In other words, I feel unwanted by him, and the fact that other women have always been present in way or another in this M, it has made it hard for me to feel that I was enough for him. So there is just no trust there for this. I don't need anyone else to validate me that I am this or that, what I want to know is that he wants only me. That seems to be something that he has a problem with.
Do you feel that you need someone else to fill in that need for you or are you able to do it for yourself?
I am totally ok with who I am, but what he does makes me not ok with who I am inside of this M. In other words, I feel unwanted by him
yes, this has been a stickler with me. But it's not an ongoing or previous issue with him but still hit me hard when the affairs happened. And his current choice of wanting to stay here.
I guess I feel that the pull was a standard MO for me but now it's not. So, I recognize it right away when it happens because it's fleeting rather than all the time. It doesn't scare me but concerns me rather, because then I know I'm not totally healthy.
I just keep following it down the rabbit hole.
We talked in depth at IC about abandonment issues - really both parents did this to me and I really hate that it affects me at age freaking 48. But, those scars run deep, I suppose, and I'm trying to clean out every closet in my head. IC said, wow, you've had enough hassles in your life. ya think?
Does HL have abandonment issues?
Thank you for responding!
[This message edited by rachelc at 7:37 PM, August 24th (Sunday)]
well, TG and all, if you're reading this - the "you started all this" - not sure how to interpret that when someone says they take full responsibility for their own affair but continues to say this.
Have you asked him what he means?
Where have you been?
Just logged back on after a month away. We've had a whole month of H being off work and the kids being off school so I took some time off from SI to be present and in the moment with them all. It's been lovely, things are going really well. He's been living at the house while he's been on leave and he's moving back in properly this week.
We are currently trying to find a good MC and communication is a lot better.
Have you asked him what he means?
yes, that there's been enough suffering and he shouldn't have to suffer anymore when he hasn't been the sole instigator, I think was his words.
welcome back BBT! Glad things are going well.
That is awesome news BBT!
What do you think about what he is saying to you?
Really struggling today. Going to make this question as general as possible,
How do you, as Madhatters, deal when one spouse in the relationship sees of actions of the other spouse "worse," so whenever you try to talk about their actions, it turns into a name-calling, blame game and they never take ownership of their actions or stop their actions because they aren't as "bad" as what you did?
So any discussion makes you feel so bad about yourself that you just ignore what you know that spouse is doing/has done because you just aren't up to hearing what a horrible person you are after 5+ years of feeling it every day.
That can be a common problem with madhatters. Are either of you in counseling or marriage counseling?