So today we had MC session #2 and he announced he would file today. I hyperventilated and had a full blown panic attack in the counselors office ("Hi. Counselor, crazy lady here, nice to meet you and prejudice you right off the bat.") My H said the filing was a formality to "time stamp"'the marriage legally so that if we go forward and D in the future, he can claim (for alimony's sake) that the marriage ended when he found out about the infidelity. That the filing doesn't really decide the future of the relationship. Call me crazy but I find filing to D me is unforgivable. How can I go forward with this Sword of Damocles hanging over my head? The whole problem with the M in the first place was that I always felt that way.
I find this cold business move to be very indicative of the whole relationship, as it was, and also that he is wholly "over me" now. Yet he says he doesn't know...there may still be a future for us (without my prompting him to say it.)
I think he's just saying that so he can stay in the house, play happy families, get his ducks lined up in a row...Meanwhile, I am so gutted I can't function or even accept it's really happening-- I need him to leave and rip the bandaid off at once so I can start to move on (I keep slipping into denial that it's not over.) The MC was little help in this regard, as the focus on this first session (2 counsellors, 1 session each) was on the infidelity.
I'm in total despair and don't know how to act (civil, jovial? resolved, desperate) to maintain dignity. Anyone else deal with "I am leaving you but when I damn well please..?" And how stupid is it to hang onto hope?
Call me crazy but I find filing to D me is unforgivable
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
We all got our ducks in a row right away. Some states require longer waiting periods, so maybe he is just getting the clock started.
We looked for our STBXs to do the recovery and fix themselves ANYWAY. Despite the D.
We also look for the actions. We get a lot of words. Beautiful wonderful words followed by horrific actions.
Keep doing to do. Fix up yourself. And even if he does do the D... at least you are a better you... GL
Call me crazy but I find filing to D me is unforgivable.
Gently, you had an LTA. You have known about your A for quite a while. Your BS just found about about your A and is reeling, but trying to hold it together. While I do not know this for a fact, if he is like 99% of BS's then that is exactly what he is doing. He filed for D because it is a solid thing that HE has control of. He has just been informed that he did not have control over his life for years. He is not being cold, he is hanging on by his fingernails.
The MC was little help in this regard, as the focus on this first session (2 counsellors, 1 session each) was on the infidelity.
Good. That is where the focus needs to be right now in order for your BS to heal. Your focus right now should be helping your BS to heal, regardless of whether you stay together or not.
I'm in total despair and don't know how to act
You need to act like a remorseful WS. You need to realize that for years you put your selfish desires over the needs of your family and your husband. You need to realize that you focused only on yourself during the A and that NOW it is time to NOT focus on yourself but rather to focus on your BS and helping him heal. If you are unable to do that then rip off the bandaid yourself and leave. But regardless of whether you leave or not, you need to also get into IC and figure out why your thought it was OK to cheat on a man when you are now terrified that he may actually leave you because you did cheat. You are freaking out right now because you are faced with the consequences of YOUR actions. You must have known, on some level, that if you cheated then and he found out then he would D you but you had an A anyway. You need to figure out why you made such self-destructive decisions.
I am sorry for giving you tough love, but I think you really need it. I do hope that you are able to heal and that your BS is able to heal and if that happens then you have a hope that your M will be able to heal.
I know how you are feeling though. Hearing the D word and believing it was going to actually happen was the single most difficult epiphany that has ever smacked me in the face. But it was necessary. I wouldn't be working on my issues without it.
NOW it is time to NOT focus on yourself
I disagree with this. Now is exactly the time to focus on yourself. Now is not the time to focus on your desires, but your self needs fixing/healing whatever you want to call it. Meet and surpass the needs of your BS and focus on you. You can absolutely do both. One is action and one is reaction.
Call me crazy but I find filing to D me is unforgivable.
You had a LTA and you find that him filing for D is unforgivable?
I've read a few of your other postings and you still seem to be in the mindset of the A was his fault.
I KNOW that no marriage is perfect and that both spouses contribute to the state of the marriage -- even the BS. And I "get" that you were very unhappy, but you made the CHOICE to cheat. You could have left him and filed for divorce yourself if the marriage was that bad. You could have dragged his ass to a MC BEFORE you had the affair. Instead, you CHOOSE to have an affair.
He is making a choice about his life now. Your affair may be a dealbreaker for him. It is for a lot of folks.
It sounds like you want grace and forgiveness from him and for him to make the changes to make you happy. But him filing for Divorce because you cheated is unforgivable to you?
Have you been to IC? You really don't have a choice on whether he files or not. Or whether
he can stay in the house, play happy families, get his ducks lined up in a row
He didn't have a choice about you cheating on him.
As others have said, if you are really remorseful (not regret -- not "omg, how terrible for ME"), there is still a chance to save your marriage. But you need to work on fixing you -- why did you make THIS choice. And work on helping to heal him. And it is HARD work. The result COULD be a saved marriage. But even if it doesn't save your marriage, you will be a better person for having done the work. And you will be a better mom to your girls for having done the work.
Good luck to you!
[This message edited by ItHappened2Me2 at 10:25 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
You sound resentful and full of pain. I know it is hard to think of yourself when you have embarked on an affair. Some will tell you to work on his feelings, that is not always the correct course, I don't believe. A lot are people who have had affairs perpetrated on them and it is understandable. However, I believe you took the wrong course of action on the right feelings. You now must deal with the issues of remorse, guilt and self doubt your affair has produced for you and the decision whether or not this relationship is right for you and what you need to do about it.
Your BS just found about about your A and is reeling, but trying to hold it together.
I hear this, but Regrette's posts don't bear this out, on the face of it. He took a weeks business trip and came back with this idea. Perhaps Regrette is missing out details, but her husband has maintained a good deal of friendliness and interaction. This doesn't sound as if he is gutted to me. It seems he is using this to ratchet up his control of the situation. I would expect to hear he had lost weight, was questioning himself the whole trip "what did I do?", was calling everyday he was gone, asking where she was, who she was with and acting like someone who was actually hurt, instead of being friendly and interactive. Maybe this is just a wayward rewriting of history, I have no reason to believe that at this point.
Your focus right now should be helping your BS to heal, regardless of whether you stay together or not.
Why is that? On the face of it this man has abused Regrette emotionally for some time. Where is his responsibility to help her heal. Of course her A was wrong, you won't hear me say otherwise. But helping her abuser to heal? She owes him honesty, transparency, but we are in a different world where he has responsibility for his actions as well to help promote healing. Her A does not take away that fact. This is, on the face of it, a dysfunctional relationship which needs a lot of work from both sides.
I will put aside my opinion when I see her husband come and post directly and in line with Regrette and for Regrette to say that her statements about her marriage were made up and apologizes for misinforming us. We have one side of the story to go on.
I will never advocate for an affair under any circumstances. Nor will I simply overlook emotional, verbal or physical abusers getting a break from their responsibilities because someone had an A. They need to stand up and take responsibility for those, if they want to help heal a broken relationship.
They of course have every right to be angry, resentful and hurt by the A, and have a right to end the relationship in a non abusive manner, and I firmly believe the abused has every right to feel hurt and resentful of the abuse, and must find a way to reconcile the damage of their A and find peace and comfort for themselves, even if that means to end the relationship. But in this case to ask someone to focus on healing their abuser and to put their feelings on hold? I don't get that at all. I don't think that person that says that understands the dynamics of abuse to ask that.
I don't believe in soul mates and I was the world's most pain-in-the-ass mistress, riddled with guilt & anxiety..I found MM simply b/c I wanted to not feel like a POS.
All this being, said, nothing gives me the excuse to in turn abuse my H. And as far as I'm concerned an A is abuse, on a par with repeatedly punching him in the d*ck, so I get it. I appreciate everyone's comments and the reality check. I need to fix myself and become a better person regardless and I can't control his outcome..it is his right to not forgive me.
I can't however work on healing the BS in my case, other than with honesty, though instead of healing it just...ended the family. He has shown me ZERO hurt. Studentoflife you SO ASTUTELY described what I did NOT get: no sense of insecurity or sexual jealousy or anything. Just a cold, expedient focus on the paperwork and contractual concerns of our M, with " I'm hurt" or "I'm angry" thrown in as explanations for the definitive, surgical action. If anything he has told me " I could've faked this marriage but not you."
My confession upset the status quo. That's what I wanted--thought it would drive everything to a deeper, richer place. Instead it's just gonna give my girls a Daddy that doesn't live at home.
Regrette, I think you purposely tossed a grenade into your marriage hoping to get the outcome you wanted (you admitted that). But you don't get to control this outcome. It was a very passive aggressive act to have what you called a revenge affair because you felt neglected.
And if I understand what you are saying correctly, you are now upset that you didn't crush your husband by having an affair? You want to see his pain. You are right, what you did was abusive. Purposely hoping to cause pain to someone with your actions.
He's said he is hurt and angry. Just because he's not a sobbing snotty mess on the floor doesn't necessarily mean it's not affecting him. A guy who doesn't sound like he's in touch with his emotions to begin with, what's he suppose to look like? There is no script for this.
But in this case to ask someone to focus on healing their abuser and to put their feelings on hold? I don't get that at all. I don't think that person that says that understands the dynamics of abuse to ask that.
Let's go with that idea for a minute;
Maybe now your husband feels like he's been abused by you having an affair, especially if you told him what you said here....that you had an affair ON PURPOSE! So, now you are the abuser in this situation and you are asking HIM to focus on you and put his feelings aside and 'invite you back if he wants you'. There is some seriously flawed thinking there. And, what if your husband is abusive -- when is this tit-for-tat stuff going to end?
You're A has to be dealt with first because it's what blew your marriage apart. You lit the fuse and the bomb went off. Anything about your marriage prior to that bomb takes a back seat. Even if your marriage may be over, and you have no control over that, you still have a giant mess to clean up.
I'm sorry your family is in turmoil.
I'm both a BS that became a WS so I know about not reacting well to this kind of news and let me tell you, your attitude is not what it's needed to move forward. To be honest, because I think the best thing for you right now is to read the truth, if your natural reaction to his not spending much time around you is to have an affair, you had the divorce coming. A little bit of begging and asking for forgiveness is required, but that's doesn't grant you automatic reconciliation rights at all. You can be the most apologetic WS in the world and the infidelity still be a dealbreaker. I don't know about your situation but reading you, if I was to choose which one of you is abusing the other, you would be my bet by far.
Sorry to be harsh, I know you're suffering enough as it is, but I can't stand people giving you validation to your wrong choices right now. It's like giving drugs to a quiting junkie, I hope you understand.
That's a rather self-centered script, is it not? Do you normally deal with emotional issues by running and hoping to be pursued? If so, this is definitely something you need to address to be a healthy person for the balance of your life--whether or not that life includes your spouse.
Frankly, I think your BS did the right thing by seeking legal advice, and if in your state he would have an advantage by filing to "timestamp" the sequence of events, well, he wouldn't have needed to have that timestamp had the events not existed, correct? I don't see it as controlling or abusive AT ALL. At the end of the day, ending a marriage is wholly a business arrangement (that is how the court sees it) and he has made a move to ensure that the has the advantage entitled to him because of your choices. Cold? Not necessarily. Lawyers cannot deal in emotions--they deal in facts. And personally I think he got some good legal advice that he took. This does not mean it is calculated or mean-spirited.
I know plenty of people who have lived in emotionally abusive relationships who do not have affairs. Continuing to avoid the obvious and blaming your BS for your sequence of very self-centered choices is going to continue to retard your healing. You had other choices you did not take, such as sitting him down and telling him of your concerns and offering to go to MC with him. Why wasn't this a course of action? Or you could have filed for divorce and left if it was that unbearable and he wouldn't change. But you chose the affair and to move out (figuratively, if not literally) of the marriage.
With regards to him not "appearing" like a hurt person, I would have to wonder if he can even feel safe expressing his emotions to you. You have blown his world apart--perhaps he feels that he cannot (for good reason) emotionally invest or be vulnerable to you. So he slaps a coping face on it and moves forward. Sometimes a BS has no choice but to do this.
If you want your marriage, you are going to have to take concrete steps to show him that this is what you want. This includes MC and probably IC for you. Is there currently NC with the MM? If not, that should be the first order of business.
I don't see a lot of hope for your situation unless you stop blaming him for your choices and start realizing that running away from him and hoping he pursues you is a very childish way to deal with marital issues. It is okay to ask for what we want in a relationship. However, right now, your relationship is very delicate. Asking for something for you when you have "overdrawn" your trust and love with your BS is over the top.
What does the MC see in all of this?
It's too overwhelming and I understand that. A one night stand is overwhelming in terms of betrayal, but an LTA must be like an ocean of pain on top of an earthquake of betrayal. I'm watching my BS go through this daily (well, on the days she will see me) and it's horrible, indescribable and certainly UNFORGIVABLE, which she has reminded me 100 times since DDay.
And then there are the kids which complicate everything. No kids the equation looks pretty easy (I think). I hurt her beyond all reasonable doubt and to protect herself now and in the future, she would leave me. But then you get into the family aspect - do we REALLY want to raise children across two households through a nasty, horrendous divorce process. I'm from divorced parents, and without having to read any of the reams of research on how traumatizing it is for children, I lived it. There is no worse memory in my life than my parents divorce.
So now the equation gets really messy, because instead of an "eye for an eye" there are other things to think about - those lovely kids. And then you begin to wonder what is the better path, a divorce? the potential of R? the ability to forgive? etc.
Net, net, no kids and my BS would have filed for D the week after dday. With kids she may still eventually decide on D, but it becomes a MUCH bigger decision.
Good luck with your process. There is some great feedback here, none more important than NOW is the time to wake up, take responsibility for what you have done to your spouse and decide if you're capable of understanding their pain, finding empathy and doing everything possible to help them through their pain and trauma.
I am curious. You have been given quite a bit of sound advice and plenty to think about from experienced members here, however the only responses you have given are to those that are validating your current thought process. And sadly I believe one of the posters you have related to has been banned from the site. Probably not the healthiest person to get sympathy from.
I can tell you from experience that as a wayward, my perception of a situation has not always been the reality. I have had to step back and look at things from all angles. If you do anything, I hope that you ponder a bit some if the advice you have been given here, even if you don't like it.
The members here have all been there done that. They speak from experience. And I get that hearing the truth sucks. So if you want to fix the things are broken within you please stick around and do the hard work. If you are looking for sympathy and comradery and validation I'm afraid you will get more of that from your girlfriends over a bottle of wine.
Honestly, I hope you have what it takes to stick around. There is a lot of work to be done. And again, I can say from experience that it is worth it.
Well, everything is abuse nowadays, isn't it?
No it isn't and no one said it was. What Regrette described is emotional abuse. All the things she described as her husbands actions PRIOR to the affair scream emotional abuse and control to me. Perhaps in your life these things are acceptable, not to me at any rate. I have been there and am still working on my abuse issues and talk to a very good professional who knows abuse inside and out.
From his lips would come the following advice for Regrette. Yes, you made poor choices and you owe your husband honesty and transparency. You owe it to yourself and to your husband not to make this same choice again. How can you help him heal if he as put a wall between both of you? Abuse negates love and affection. That is the consequences of his poor CHOICE to emotionally abuse you. There is a lot of blame to throw around here.
At the end of the day, seek a professional to help you through this, rather than seeking out "help" from an AP. Work on you, your self esteem, because if this is an emotionally abusive relationship, there probably is not a lot of that right now. Your husband either will or won't address his abuse issues and it is your right to decide to stay or leave depending on that.
From an infidelity standpoint, I am not siding with you. What you did was dead wrong. There were many many other choices for you, including the one I just pointed out.
To those whom I sense some anger from in this post towards my posts. I am sorry that you feel that way. I have only read Regrettes story and must take it at face value, just like every other post on this board. Emotional abuse is real. It is damaging, every bit as much as an affair. I've read Regrettes previous posts and on the face of it she is emotionally abused. I have seen what it has done to my wife, thank goodness she decided not to have an affair. I have see the damage that it has done to her and I have compassion for anyone else subject to it. I certainly don't think I have given Regrette a pass on her behavior. Emotional abuse doesn't equal the right to infidelity. It also doesn't equal that he is hurt so she must help him heal. That is an impossibel thing to ask of an abuse victim. He made choices as well and must deal with the outcomes of those choices.
Ideally they will both work on their own issues and develop a healthy marriage.
The points made about her blame shifting and her choices are valid as well, and Regrette can make up her own mind about them if they do apply. Because at the end of the day we are responding to what is written and is as valid as what is written.
Now I'm going to be real. You are playing games, and acting out like a spoiled teenager. You used the A to get attention, and now you are unhappy because it blew up in your face. Ummm, what? As others have said, there is no textbook reaction to finding out about an affair. I told my WH that he could have the OW and packed up my kids and left. It doesn't mean that I didn't love him or wasn't destroyed by what he did. It means that self preservation told me to get as far away from this man as I could.
Get into IC. Figure out why you are so insecure. Why you stayed with a man who sounds like he ignored you and didn't give you the love, affection, and attention you desired. I read in one of the millions of self help books I read after Dday that we each end up with partner who are on par with us in the emotional health department. If you imagine each of us has a number from 1-100 an 80 would be attracted to an 80, and 20 to a 20 and so on. If you are an 80 and you are with a 20, the relationship won't last. Think hard about this. You may not be controlling, or emotionally distant; but there is something in you that made you want to stay with someone who was. Start working on that, and stop focusing on all of his shortcomings. You can't control his reaction or whether he files for divorce, but you can make yourself a better person and a better parent.
No, I'm angry now and I've been angry for quite a long time reading these kind of forums. I feel like I am attacking you and I apologize, that's not what I want. It's just people use thing that, not being OK by any means, are NOT abuse, as an excuse to feel justified in their poor choices. I may be wrong, but I feel there is an industry of self-help books, therapists and cult-like support groups making a living out of offering the WSs easy ways (the way they liked it) to feel better about themselves, depecriating serious things along the way. Call it as you want but if that's bad, an affair it's in the same category and it's worse. And I'm saying this as a WS and a BS, no high ground here.
You really have received some good replies. Try to step back and listen. Think things through. Let it sink in.
Your post remind me of feelings and thoughts I struggled with before, during and after my A that I now know to be distorted.
Work on the abandonment in IC. Get your thoughts straightened out. Learn to love yourself (sometimes that means tough love) and you will then see how much you are capable of loving your spouse.
I understand that his filing feels like further abandonment but it was a sound move on his part. Don't focus on that. Focus on the fact that he is still there interacting with you. Use this opportunity to show him by your actions that you are working hard to be a person you both can love. I promise it will be worth it no matter what the outcome of your M. You need to get healthy and help him to heal regardless. You have children who will benefit from having two healthy, healing parents whether they are parenting in one household or two.
Where does this fear of abandonment stem from? That is something that needs looking into and faced.
Stop focusing on what he is doing and what he has done and focus on fixing yourself and supporting him through this trauma. The pre A marital issues will have to wait. The marital issues could turn out to be a deal breaker for either of you but you will not get a chance to see if they can be worked through if you don't handle things better now than you are.
I had myself convinced that my H didn't love me. I was never good enough. I felt judged all the time. I am so glad that I chose to do everything he needed me to so that he could give me a chance to R. I was wrong about how he saw me and we are now working on our martial issues. We love each other more than I ever thought possible and things continue to improve.
I wish you peace and strength to face the scary and tough things you will need to face to become healthy and happy.
No, no it isn't. And I'm not under any obligation to suck it up or allow anyone to decide they're gonna minimize it for me: you don't know. My abuse is a fact that is not up for debate. It was constant, insidious and across all areas of the marriage. It can all be put under one umbrella: a lack of commitment on the part of my H. A flat- out REFUSAL to be a husband to me. The neglect was not just "wasn't around much" it was a willful determination to be as minimal in the relationship as possible so he could get the benefits of marriage w/o giving. He gave money. And now he taketh away. Makes perfect sense.
I regret my choices (nobody was a more guilt-addled AP than me) but I regret confessing more than anything. In my mind my H said: go get your needs met elsewhere (He even said as much,) and he is using the A as an excuse to have both feet out the door when all along he had one.
You're right...I threw a grenade into the M. If I didn't have kids I'd be glad I did it. But I think of their future and realize I should've just sucked up my M with grim determination and carried on in A's until the cows came home.
I've been betrayed in the past in relationships where I was deeply in love. I always questioned my true victim status. I always felt only half victimized and the other half of me just felt like I'd "lost" someone's interest. And that the reasons had to do with the RELATIONSHIP.
To say I could've sat him down and detailed my needs from the M is ridiculous. I approached him in a multitude of ways numerous times. I'm not crazy or needy. I wanted a NORMAL amount of love and intimacy and companionship. He WAS WITHOLDING meeting needs b/c that's the kind of M HE wanted...one where he got some needs met at home and most others outside the M.
There are consequences you say? The consequence of neglecting your spouse too much is that they will step outside the marriage. I don't really care if that is the "party line" here or not. It's not to be defiant it's just a fact.
I am not a narcissist, quite the contrary, and my confession was a desperate plea for authenticity. More than anything it seems my confessing upset the status quo and THAT is what enraged my H the most.
Another poster reminded me the M was bad to begin with so surviving the grenade is unlikely. I have to remember that: his reaction is totally the norm.
I do not lack empathy for my H, or need to see him "a snotty, snivelling mess." but I do need to see SOMETHING. Anything. I don't have tolerance for people who can't show their feelings. I think it all comes down to that. To me if you can't show feelings you don't get to have an adult romantic relationship; it's like it's own form of broken vow. You don't get to pass go or collect $200. It's game over for you from the start. Also true if you don't f$ck your spouse.
If you show me ANY vulnerability, I am a deeply empathetic person with a huge sense of responsibility and self-discipline. I am generally not boundariless. But I am disloyal.
I am also abusive. Because while wanting to step outside the M is NORMAL, actually having an LTA is abusive (the gaslighting alone is the abusive part.) That's on me.
Ground control to Major Tom: it is very interesting that I anger you so, because, as a childhood abuse survivor at the hands of my narcissistic and violent mother, I learned pretty early on that I might just be one of those people who spends a lifetime courting abuse. I enrage people. I am a professional victim. I have often thought I might die at the hands of a murderer. These are paranoid thoughts, for sure, but it's what you live with. I am sorry for your cigarette burns but my scars are good enough for me. I understand your ire. Everybody hates a victim.
I have been in IC for 15 years. Only just started MC. Big mistake. Thank you all for your sound advice. If I truly want this I should work hard to clean up my end, otherwise I should be relieved it's over. Ain't nothing in between I suppose...
[This message edited by Regrette at 8:29 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)]