Please go easy on yourself. You didn't make him cheat on you. Issues in a relationship are one thing, but an Affair is on the shoulders of the cheater.
I'm in the same boat. My marriage was in a sad state. I knew it and sadly did nothing. Thought it would eventually fix itself, find its way. When I outed the MCOW to his BS, she said obviously we both have problems in our marriage, but I didn't see it coming. Ouch did that hurt! But she was right about my marriage. The A, not my fault. Her decision. I was in the same marriage and would never have dreamed of doing that.
I'm fixing myself while my WW fixes herself. We work on the marriage as well. We've had the same conversations about our problems now that we had prior to the affair, but it is different this time. I hear her and she hears me.
It's only been 3 months since I found out, but I saw my wife this week. I mean I saw her like when I first met her, like when I started falling in love with her, like when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Why did I quit seeing her like this?
Lucy17 I totally get what you are saying. My wife is finally coming out of it and seeing it too. It will be a long road to R still, but it is doable I believe.
It's all so different now, seems he can't spend enough time with me and the kids - shame they've grown up and left home. Such a shame for him that he missed out on so much.
Yes, I saw we had problems but to me we were "married married". We talked about problems in our friends' marriages and I always thought "we are better than that". Low and behold, yes our friends marriages have issues, but I am the only one dealing with an A now..sucks.
I think it is because A just isn't an option for some people. I honestly never have felt approached or tempted by another man. I naively thought this was also not on my wH "menu options" either..ugh.
There were times we talked about MC...I thought we were too busy to find the time for it and hey, things aren't really that bad,right? We would fight, be distant, but I thought we always found each other/ reconnected. And since an A wasn't an option in my playbook, the counseling etc. took a backseat to the rest of our busy lives with 3 kids, 2 full time jobs etc.
Maybe if I had pushed the counseling earlier, or read love languages sooner......
Hindsight is 20/20.
But then I think about things I've read about As happening in good marriages. Just because the opportunity presents itself. I think WS definitely has/had boundary issues, so I am not sure anything we did or didn't do in our marriage would have mattered.
There is a quote I saw on SI..I can't remember the first word for sure but I think it is "Acceptance is giving up hope of a better past". Can't remember who to give credit for...and it might have been "forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past". Acceptance works for me.
Best of luck to you
Like any "accident", in hind sight we CAN see the signs of the impending action quite easily.
I use the term "accident" loosely....in my profession accident investigation is part of my job as a manager. True accidents are rare in deed. A chainsaw accident can always be traced back to a choice the person who had the "accident" made that was poor.
This is where I struggle with adultery. My decision to trust and have faith my wife would NOT commit adultery NOW appears to be a poor choice on my part. But to live in a trust but verify mode within a marriage pre-A seems to miss the mark on what God had designed a M to be. This "trust but verify" mode of operation works very well (and is a given) in my industry.
I really don't think my M should be viewed in the same light as my $1.5 million dollar project at work.
So....what do I do as a BS?
Sorry...don't have much answers for you. I shared your same mode of operation. My counselor has helped me understand that my gut was telling me something was wrong months before my DD. I simply did not think adultery was an option for my wife, so I never investigated that as a possible "accident" within my M.
My counselor has gone on to say "Since you now know adultery was an option for my wife, when my gut acts up I will consider it a possible cause of that feeling....and will do my own "accident investigation" into this as a possibility."
Not a direct parallel to adultery....but hope it provides a bit of insight.
God be with us all.
We talked about problems in our friends' marriages and I always thought "we are better than that". Low and behold, yes our friends marriages have issues, but I am the only one dealing with an A now..sucks.
Well said Spinning73
Ah, yes. I remember those days. My wife and I did this exact same thing. Turns out I was more prideful then I ever would have thought. That pride blinded me to my own dangers.
Adultery is, among other things, a humbling experience for all involved.
This is a silver lining of sorts...for I believe it is only possible to grow in the absence of pride. If we THINK we know more then we do, we fail to learn what we dont know.
Pride gets in the way of growth.
Peace to us all.
But then I think, hey wait a minute, what the hell?? He could have picked up a little slack around the house, maybe cleaned up after himself, did some laundry once in a while, then maybe I wouldn't have been so damn busy. If he wanted to spend time with me, he could have offered to sit down and help me study. He never did anything. He just wanted to take, take, take, and give nothing in return. Ater all the little things I did for him over the years, while he only thought of himself, and I hate myself for not doing more???
On good days I can say I did the best I knew how to and that something this horrific had to happen for him to change and now things can be really great someday. On bad days I still hate myself for it and wish I would have given him more, but then, I think eventually it would have been me to turn out to be the WS.
We just have to get to a point where we can know that we have done the best we could with the tools, we had. Now we can use our new tools to make our future better than our past.
I was so proud of the fact that all the couples we knew who married at the same time as us were divorced but we were still together 25 yrs strong and had a fantastic marriage. Oh how wrong I was!
I thought I was being the fabulous wife, doing all the housework and upkeep, managing our money, doing the majority of yard work, working full time...in other words trying to be superwoman. Meanwhile I never complained that WH spent more time with friends on weekends and days off than me, didn't come home on time, crashed at his buddies instead of driving home drunk. Here's me all " no go have fun at the party, I'll just pop in a movie or read a book" all the while feeling a bit resentful, yet thinking he needed his guy time and friends. Yea right? He found a friend all right and I had no clue that the friend was a female that developed into an EA and likely would have become more.
When I confronted his answer was that he needed someone to talk to about the trouble in our marriage. I just stood there with my mouth open, and finally said " what troubles?" His response " we don't communicate and I feel like I am a bother in your life. Like you don't want me around". WTF!
I too have regrets that I was so easygoing, but like you said lesson learned.
Do you think that the majority of us here feel the same? It makes me wonder.
You may have recognized problems, but if the other party isn't being fully open you find yourself grappling with the wrong problems and coming up with the wrong answers.
Bottom line is that the communication is all F'ed up. I tried really hard to be a good spouse, the harder I tried the worse she felt about herself.