"We're not broken, just bent. We can learn to love again."
And now I knew how well that worked. It didn't gain me any extra loyalty or fidelity. So F that.
I think especially dealing with the degree of damage and pain his choices created, feeling like it was going to be the right way or the highway was very important for my sense of self in staying with this person and taking another chance (thereby being vulnerable).
I'll be interested on what others have to say.
[This message edited by sad12008 at 2:14 PM, December 6th (Friday)]
Some BSs tolerate a huge amount of shit from their WS because they're afraid to draw the line in fear of the WS not meeting the standards of what the BS expects/needs. As a result, the BS gives in, compromises what they need, hoping they can 'nice' their WS into being truthful, staying in the M, etc. Standing up for yourself and what you need, no matter what the outcome, is what being willing to lose your M to save it means, IMO.
"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
I had to get to the point where I knew I was going to be happy and healthy (eventually) no matter which way the coin landed (stay or go). Of course it wasn't a coin, and actually a very hard decision to stay, but I needed to know I wasn't staying out of fear of what would happen if we divorced.
but I needed to know I wasn't staying out of fear of what would happen if we divorced.
4 kiddos in lower 20's
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
It was such a freeing moment when I realized that I was not chained to a man or a marriage. We can only control our actions.
I was in the mind set of R even before I had confirmation of his A. I knew something was up, but couldn't get proof. But I also wanted to make our M work, we had been together for too long not to.
Unfortunately for me, I was also too willing to believe what he said initially, and too willing to tolerate broken NC initally. So we got off to a rough start with R. He kept breaking NC, and I kept saying ok but no more, you have to tell me when she contacts you blah blah blah. The truth was he was still foggy as hell. I finally started to get strong, due to some healing, some advice on here, and realizing that Dr Phil was right, "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior" so I installed a keylogger. I realized he wasn't looking out for my own good, and I had to do that for me.
So I ultimately had to end things (although it was very briefly less than 3 hours) for him to really really get it, and the transformation that occured at that point was unbelievable. He defogged, he realized he was going to loose it all, and thats when the real R started, the real remorse showed up, and we started to progress.
So When I say you have to be willing to loose it to save it, I mean often you have to be strong enough to walk away, and worry about yourself first for the WS to realize what they are going to loose, and if they don't realize it, then are they worth keeping? I certainly didn't want that spouse he was during the A, and immediately after. He was a liar, that was so self absorbed he didn't even consider the pain he caused his wife and his kids. I didn't need that in my life. I was finally strong enough to demand more.
I hope this makes sense.....
Shorter version: This is exactly where I am. After dday, I was devastated. Beyond hope, so it seemed. With time, and a lot of reading here on SI, I gradually began to realize my W's A was not my fault. Marital problems, ok, but I was in the same marriage as she was, and I didn't cheat. Mentally and emotionally, I grew stronger. She was unremorseful for a while. I worked on my healing by myself, became stronger for me and the kids, and realized that I didn't need her to survive, where before, I thought I did. I was ready for a divorce, and looking forward to it.
She has since come out of the fog, showing remorse, and wanting R. I'm happy for that, but I will not have a problem with D if it happens.
I had to learn to let go. I could not get stronger until I did. I am now strong enough to R or D. Will be ok either way.
Hope this helps, and good luck!
Honestly, with my WH, if I would have just said "It's ok, it was a mistake, I love you, we can get over it" I wouldn't be in the place I am now. I had to get to a point and just say "No. It's not ok. It was a mistake, but you have to fix why you made it. I love you, but I don't know if we can get over it."
He is aware now that if there is any indication of slipping, I won't even discuss it. He will come home to papers taped on the door and the locks changed.
but I needed to know I wasn't staying out of fear of what would happen if we divorced.
That was crucial for me, too.
Another way of thinking about this is that your M is over already. The question is whether or not you want to rebuild it.
About a week after D-day we had a huge fight - I thought he was still lying to me, even though for the first time in our marriage he actually wasn't. I had kind of a mental breakdown, from trying to un-knot all the the lies he had told me over the years. There were so many lies, so many 'truths' to be confessed. I didn't know what was real anymore.
Long story short, that night I finally came to a place where I realized I did not care anymore if he left or not. I had done everything possible for 18 years. I had been a very, very good wife. There was nothing more I could have done. He had failed me horribly, and from that point onward it was on HIM whether or not I was going to stay. I was not afraid to lose my marriage. I was afraid to lose myself.
I don't think we could have gone into a healthy R if I was still afraid to speak the truth out of fear of losing him, or if he was afraid to speak the truth out of fear of losing me. Our marriage isn't worth crap if we're not being real with each other. Then who are we married to? A stranger? No thank you, not anymore. We try as much as we can to be KIND and GENTLE, but we ALWAYS speak the truth now, even when it hurts like hell to hear it or say it.
Now, when I say that I love him, he believes me. When he tells me that he thinks I'm beautiful, I believe him. We're not allowed to lie.
Like others, I am done with giving more, doing more, bending over backwards while he does the minimum. I will no longer accept rationalization (which is really just a form of lying), defensiveness or selfishness. As others have said; did that for years and look where that got me! I will not back down.
I was never afraid of losing the M, but am afraid that things may go back to how they were before. He has a much higher standard to live up to now; fortunately he is knocking it out of the park!
Just curious about your thoughts
Married 10 yrs
Together 11 1/2 years
I've loved him forever
4 beautiful children ages 4-12 (one not bio his) but his through love
How I handle this now as a woman is as important, or more important, than having two parents together. For my part, I am doing everything that I can to heal, to come to a place of forgiveness, to have a healthy marriage because I want my marriage. I want my husband. If it falls apart, it will be the devastating end result of his own selfish choices. The consequence of betraying his family. I did not choose that. He has to own the pain that his children would absolutely endure for the rest of their lives.
My parents divorced, and it was awful. But not as awful as watching my mom whither away in bitterness, jealousy, anger and depression, and knowing that she believed she was doing that for me.
When the realization struck that the M and I were expendable during the A it was knee-buckling and liberating. For now, this M is much better than the old M because we're both working hard at it and no longer take each other for granted. I'm at peace with walking away if he drops the ball.
I do believe our old M is gone. Gone but not forgotten. We are rebuilding with honesty. I do love him. I believe he loves me.
I have told him what the conditions are for me now. He is doing all he can
I guess it's complicated by his illness. He genuinely wanted to kill himself every single day for seven years. I tied myself up in knots, became codependent and controlling and turned into his parent to keep him alive. Protected him.
He now acknowledges how hellish this was for me and that he is ill and is working on getting better and wants to live.
In many ways the fact that I wouldn't let him die was the biggest source of resentment he had for me and his A was a suicide note. I was meant to throw him out and then he would find a ditch and die in it.
That alternative reality didn't happen. I'm so relieved that we are in a new reality where his illness can get better and our M can be rebuilt
But I'm scared that if he gets sick again or even if he doesn't how could I just throw him out or end our M? I do want him and us but still.
I wish there was an easy way through this. I'm so sorry for your pain - it must have been an awful betrayal to have invested so much of yourself into just keeping him alive, and then to have him shatter you like that. It seems unimaginable to me.
Probably for a lot of WS's the A is on some level a 'cry for help'. I think my H was hoping I would leave him - he wanted to go hang himself in the woods. He was angry that I forgave him, at first. He didn't want to leave me - he wanted me to leave him.
I do believe that had my H not gotten his head out of his A and done what he needed to to heal himself and our M, I would have eventually D'd. I think in this day and age that growing up in a broken home, or a home of D'd parents isn't a big deal and that it's better for the kids to grow up in a home with a Mom that is strong and demands and gets the respect she deserves, than to grow up in a home where mom is sad broken and not respected.
I can tell you that a dear friend decided to D when her kids were small, and her H was an abusive jerk, who didn't respect her. It was a really smart move on her part, her kids are happy and well adjusted, her son knows how to treat a lady, because despite his dad being a jerk, Mom was able to demand and get the respect she deserved. She broke the cycle that had gone on in her famil for at least 3 generations.
So yah it's hard on the kids initally, but I think ultimately it is much healthier to grow up in a well adjusted family where mom is healthy, happy, and strong. The same goes for dad as well.
I will not teach my children to 'suck it up' or 'lie down and take it'. I will show them that their mother is strong, that she is forgiving, that she is faithful, that she can survive incredible pain, that she has dignity and self-worth, and that she owns her own life and her own choices. I will teach them that choices have consequences, that love is hard, that it is a choice every day, that it can be broken if it is not valued. I will teach them that truth, honor and faithfulness are the most important things they can have in a relationship. That is what I want for them. I don't have to be married to their father to teach them that.
I wasn't going to contribute to the post as I'm in a bad place with R right now, but this is what happened with my last marriage (my first, and very hard on the kids at the time as the ex lied to them constantly, too).
A happy, healthy Mom is a much better example than a depressed, defeated one just getting by until the kids are old enough to be out of the house!