"We're not broken, just bent. We can learn to love again."
But that turning point is not only for the person bouncing on the bottom, it's also a turning point for everyone around the affected person.
New truths have to be faced. Old lies buried. New ways of relating have to be figured out. Inter-dependent ties have to be dissected, examined, and re-evaluated.
Strange, but true. Sometimes when someone hits rock bottom, accepts that they need help, seek it, and become better people, old people in that person's life can't accept the changes. They need that person's dysfunctions and brokenness to function. Other times, the change has come too late to save the relationship the old wounds are too deep to heal from. Nothing wrong with that latter scenario, sometimes one is just "done."
So, it really is up to you. If you're done, then there's no shame in it. You have the right to realize that there has been too much done and said to reconcile. But if you think that there is anything at all left, you owe it to yourself to explore that.
No right or wrong call here. Other than the call that is right for you! (((hugs)))
D-Day, June 10, 2012
You definitely need some MC to help you wade through this all. The part I hear in your story that is worrisome is that you may be so concerned about his illness and recovery, that you won't feel free to make your own demands moving forward. Although I know from my journey that I went through months of feeling desperate to save our family no matter what it cost me; happiness, sacrifice, crying every day for the rest of my life. It took a long time and a lot of reflection for me to get to the place where I could be honest with myself and my H, and look at what I WANT from this life, relationship and partner.
But the rewards are an intimacy and connection to my H that I never dreamed of before. So, yes, I believe that it's possible that you will get what you wish for. I had to get to a place where I was willing to consider that my dream may not be with my H, and then I was free to do the work I needed to.
It still hurts to say and think that sometimes, but I am ready to walk away today if I find out that he has broken our contract (truth, commitment, remorse and responsibility in a nut shell). That's the truth, and the hardest commitment I have ever had to make with myself.
Best of luck, sending you hugs and support. You are not alone.
I want to commend you for sticking by your husband.
Please do your best to keep yourself happy and healthy so that you can support him in doing the same.
Realize that bipolarity isn't a choice and there may be times that he honestly doesn't know what he's doing.
Realize that there can be crushing guilt for even dumb little things, much less, the big things.
Lastly, a lot of folks do not realize this but for the bipolar person, small, seemingly innocuous things can tip us into mania or depression. A party. A really fun shopping trip. The excitement of looking forward to going out...whatever. I'm not saying those things shouldn't happen obviously but you need to be aware that simple, normal, happy things can be a trigger of sorts.
I'm guessing that all along, your husband has wanted to be who he's showing you now. I really commend you for loving him through all that as it is a very rare thing. Part of him getting as much a grip on himself as he can may also bring additional guilt because of what he's done to you.
Truth be told, I don't have many bad things to say about a spouse who goes through that stuff and cannot handle it and leaves...but it's just very rare to hear of someone who stays the hard road.
Your husband may still hit heavy depression and mania. He isn't choosing these things to happen but it helps to have a game plan.
My current husband spent years egging my mania on because I'm really super fun when I'm like that...if you think orgies and general debauchery are 'fun'. I've got a lot of embarrassing history behind me as well as a 2year complete depressive meltdown in which I was mostly bedridden. Now, he finally understands. Now, he watches for signs and tries to keep me as stress free as he can. We have a game plan for keeping me under wraps if I'm getting 'up to antics'. I feel awful guilt. I'm not sure how to get over that part.
I hope I don't sound preachy. I'm sure you know this stuff.
He can be someone who you can love and trust...if he is doing all you said and if he begins to learn boundaries...what they are, why he needs them and how to use them. He will really need them.
If all that is in place as well as you understanding that sometimes he will need your outside perspective to help him through his less positive moments, I think you should cautiously begin to heal with him.
One last thought...about the A. I don't know the details so I apologize if I'm way off mark but it's possible that his A was about him trying to feel 'normal' or to have moments of being okay. He was likely under incredible guilt for his 'failings' and depression. Guilty for what he was doing to you and kids but couldn't stop. An affair would have (wrongly) allowed him to be able to be 'normal' and 'desirable' in brief amounts of time he might have been able to sustain where he couldn't sustain anything at home. He knew you knew every last piece of garbage about him and he knew he was failing in every way. He couldn't pretend with you.
It's not an excuse but it might be perspective. Again, I apologize if I'm way off. I just know the bizarre places I've been and some of my thoughts surrounding them.
I can relate to so much of your story. My fWS has struggled with addiction issues as long as I have known her. There were a lot of bad times over the years. I gave everything I had holding our family together. Intermixed there would be good times that offered hope only to be let down again. For years I prayed everyday that she would find the willingness to work on herself and find peace.
That willingness, the work, and the peace has all come from the bottom she hit since Dday. So yes, I too prayed for it, I just never expected it to happen the way it did.
I hope you both find peace through this storm.
[This message edited by Chicho at 7:21 PM, October 20th (Sunday)]
"Knowing is half the battle"
Expecting progress not perfection
It was truly surprising for me to realize how much of my confidence and self-esteem/worth came from the superior position I held in my M due to my WS' brokenness. I depended on him to be fucked up, and the more fucked up he was the better I felt about myself. In the beginning of our R I treated him as "inferior", and part of me wanted that dynamic to continue. I had to work on myself while he was working on himself, and be vigilant about seeing him and treating him as an equal/partner.
We are in R.
Actually my codependency has been more that I have taken on more and more and more to protect him out of fear of finding him hanging in the garage rather than liking being the strong and sorted one. But my FOO stuff was all about me being "tougher than the rest" so I have had a lifetime of being a coper rather than being allowed to feel. I am loving the fact that he is taking responsibility for life for the first time in over 7 years. I'm not loving the fact that I don't know who I am if I'm not the strong one. But I can't be strong right now. I'm doing all I can just to get through the day.
I'm looking at my difficulty with feeling my feelings in IC. I am being authentic with FWH but it is very hard.
Yes there is some comfort in the fact that he affaired really, really down
Not to take away your comfort....but don't most, all fWS affair down? Isnt the fact that their AP is willing to hurt and destroy another family singular proof enough that they do this?
If I were to sleep with a married millionaire underwear model who was also the CEO of Farm Aide and had adopted 8 homeless African children...would that be considered Affairing Up for me?
I guess a possible exception to this rule is a man who is married to an abusively alcoholic wife and his AP is not....but even in this case....wouldn't it be Living Up by divorcing first, or counseling, or intervention for wife? I still think it would be affairing down.....just seems like there is no UP for anything about adultery.
just my opinion.
God help us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:18 AM, October 24th (Thursday)]
(although I am not as slim as her, I was when the A started - funnily enough I was comfort eating the whole time it went on and couldn't explain why - I guess on some level I sensed something)
This is interesting to me. I actually found a counselor 3 weeks before I found out about my wifes affair. Know what I found one for....my heightened levels of anxiety.
This is the GUT everyone talks about listening to.
You had comfort food before your husbands A, I had anxiety issues before my wifes A....both were somewhat in check up until they blossomed upon our spouses decision to commit adultery.
Peace to us all.
I just meant that on SI and things I've read/heard in real life it seems a lot of BS feel inadequate after an A. I do in some ways for sure but I don't look at her and think she is in any way superior to me.
Which is a small amount of comfort and right now I will take any comfort I can get.
Which is a small amount of comfort and right now I will take any comfort I can get.
Totally get that...it is a smart mode of operation to take time to recognize and feel EVERY comfort we can identify.
I am really enjoying your posts and your journey...thanks for continuing to share it as it comforts and helps me.
God be with us all.
Yesterday was another roller coaster. Has it really only been 6 weeks since dday?????
I started the day so anxious and insecure. Fwh reassured me. I survived a morning at work. We had a parent teacher afternoon regarding our son who is 15 and has big exams pending so we had the afternoon together. My parents had our two daughters. Fwh was struggling at lunchtime with the game changing of realising he has this awful illness and the fear that his guilt and my anger will mean he is stuck in a permanently subservient role. I get what he means but it's not my desire to belittle him and I try when angry not to score points. We talked. It helped. We talked a lot while waiting for various teachers. Some good. Some bad. Despite the challenge of having such an ill father our son is doing great. We are both so proud and so relieved that we are able to try to R for the kids as well as for us.
Then we started a conversation about love languages and that did not go well. I tried for years to use any of the ways to express love and it was always thrown back in my face. This predates the A and relates more to our disconnect regarding his diagnosis. We resolved this later too.
We got home later than hoped because the school interviews over ran and the traffic was bad. My father was horrible about it because he has plans. Plans I hadn't known about when we made the arrangements. I tried to stand up for myself about his attitude and got shouted down (just like fwh used to do) and got ridiculed. My FOO stuff regarding never been prioritised, fear of abandonment, my narcissist father and codependent mother and my idea on what love is seem even more relevant now. Good job I have found a good IC
Fwh and I managed to finish the day well with time together, love, a lot of talking about the A timeline, my fears and our M and all the good and bad times and our regrets. We both would have loved more children. Not happening now. Didn't happen before because of bad decisions and then his breakdown.
Funny how the A was a bomb in our life and every single thing has been shattered and we are looking now at it all in a different way.
I'm tired even thinking about it.
Long day at work ahead and a little girl to get ready for a preschool (kindergarten equivalent) Halloween party.
Love to all my supporters
I feel very sad this morning. Not specifically about the A. Which is progress. The A was a symptom of a much bigger problem. And the biggest painful memory I have in the front of my mind right now while during the A was my fwh furiously angry and downright cruel in the grips of his denial.
I had mentioned something to him about work, something that I was proud of and it angered him. I get why tbh. I am a doctor and since his breakdown I started trying to use my influence to try to improve things because local mental health services are dreadful and full of staff with attitude problems and who are cruel and the stigma culturally is huge. I was so traumatised by my experiences as a carer I wanted to "do something" I got more educated, am now on carers' groups, help to write protocols and get paid quite a lot of money to spend a day a week advising. He has at times seen this as me gaining career success on the back of his illness. I would love to not do it anymore but we need the money. A husband in denial with a OW on the side does not make sound financial decisions. And a codependent wife doesn't think before she buys another expensive present to try to make her husband happy.
Anyway that day he was breathtakingly cruel to me. Told me I was to never talk about work to him again. That we were married but in name only. I didn't even suspect the A but I still begged him on my hands and knees not to withdraw from me. The A had been on the wane as OW loved him so much she didn't contact him or visit him while he was in hospital but apparently in addition to humiliating me that day he decided to go back to her because he was so angry with me.
Of course that was all about denial. Denial of this horrible illness. Anger with me because the only other option was acceptance and he wasn't low enough to reach acceptance. But I hate that it happened.
So this morning I'm sad.
And not least because although I knew he had effing bipolar while he was in denial I didn't always have to face it too. Not its undeniable and ever present. And regardless of my pain I ache for him because bipolar really sucks
I'm struggling this morning. Really really struggling
I can't ever see myself not being in agony over this
Now to Alex...I haven't read your story but you said 2 weeks. 2 weeks is too early to even know what you are doing or feeling besides pain and anger. Please trust me on this but if you don't...well, look around on SI. People tend to follow a pretty clear time frame with very little exception.
I am so sorry you find yourself in this and I've certainly felt the same. I actually felt stronger and more sure footed at two weeks than I did at two months...or twelve months.
The conclusion I came to, right or wrong, was simply this: I hate dating. I have had numerous crappy experiences. I don't have a lot of patience for that kind of thing. I'd rather be alone, honestly. Okay, maybe that's not quite true. I'd rather have what I always wanted but I hate the process it might take to get that at this point and I'm not growing any younger. Despite the garbage my spouse has put me through (for years), he is still the one I know best. It's still his personality and his arms...his scent, his touch...that I crave. I've met many seemingly upright men from a variety of walks of life but it's still him I miss. To be fair, almost without exception, those other guys were all hiding an insensitive, cheating nature. At least I know what my ('formerly' according to him) cheating spouse is all about. So...while the grass may look greener over there...I'll take the devil I know over the one I don't any day. I suppose I might be missing out on that one great guy but I wouldn't recognize him anyways at this point.
I can't tell you what is right and I wouldn't even try because I don't know you or your guy. I'm just telling you my thoughts at this point.
None of this means I let my H walk over me. I have a lawyer on retainer ready to file for divorce at a words notice and he knows it...I hate that this is how it is but truthfully? I could never know without doubt what ANY guy was actually up to. I trust me and how I'll handle things if need be. I trust what my own eyes show me and that is my H is doing everything he can to right some severe and serious wrongs...every single day, without fail. I do not trust anything more.
Hold your head up, get rest and drink water. Take some walks, do so,e writing. Distract yourself and don't feel bad about it. Don't make any decisions about anything. You don't need to now. Let things settle and clarify. Read and ask questions or just cry here. Vent and be angry here. We all understand.
My heart is hurting for you both.