My STBX told me he was in love with his OW. He didn't mean it...it just "happened" as a result of just wanting to have an affair by posting on Ashley Madison...but then they fell in LOVE. BARF. He said she "opened him up emotionally" and that "he has experienced all this personal growth." Really? If by having sex with a swinger into open marriage he realized...wow...He could have his cake and eat it too with her. Apparently, you just really have to be at such a higher emotional and intellectual level to understand it...he said didn't expect me to get it!
Just to clarify, my thoughts below do not apply to truly abusive relationships, whether mentally, emotionally, or physically.
In my healing, which is finally happening, I swing between wanting to believe my ex is a total POS Narc Freak Manipulative borderline abusive person, to believing he is a person who handled a hard situation really, really poorly, and a person who, for all his wonderful qualities, ultimately has a couple core values that don't match mine. Both extremes have such intense ramifications for the healing process.
The first (He's Totally Messed Up) is the perfect proof that it's not me, it's him. He will never be ok, he will ruin everything eventually, and I'm better off without him. Freedom! From a destructive force that would have driven me into the ground one way or another. That helps healing. Until ... oops ... why did I pick someone so deeply damaged and twisted?
So I swing to the other side. He made a mistake in a big, big way, and the way he dealt with it is proof that we are not a match. This makes it harder to believe "it's not me," and sit with the idea that he may be ok, I may be ok, and everything may eventually be ok in the wake of the deepest despair I've known. My One did not think I was the One or worth the work. But at least my picker arrow made it on the target and not off in space with the total freaks. We were in the right neighborhood and maybe we get on the bullseye next time.
Thinking about lack of remorse is on the same pendulum. On one side: only a deeply twisted person could abandon their family with no remorse. On the other: my remorseless ex-partner gave me a painful gift of truth, a deeply devastating, horrible band-aid ripping truth. This pain came from a basically good person who messed up bad, does not share my values, and therefore can't fully love me as I need. He did what he had to do. Once he knew what he needed to do, he did it, and he did not torture me further by looking back.
As always, truth is somewhere in between, not sure where. Why the long ramble - I think in the healing process, we need to pick up and hold all of these realities for a time. But eventually, put them down, and move forward with just ourselves. It's horrible, horrible, horrible thing that has happened to all of us.
I'm considered a madhatter here so I can't post in JFO so I don't read in there.
I'm not jealous of those in R, I'm jealous of those who don't have to share kids with X.
I've accepted and embraced everything else but this one part.
With pain there is no better or worse. Its all pain.
I think those of you who didn't get False R, crocodile tears, rugsweeping and gas lighting believe that somehow it would have made you feel better, validated in some way. Like just even having 'the talk' would have made you feel better.
Challenge this logic. Real, True Remorse? I would have given my right arm for it. The false remorse of a broken, fucked up person? No. I got that and it did far more damage than the betrayals. I got to have lots of talks - gaslighted the fuck out of myself too.
In the 3m False R I held him as he wept. I let him hold me as I wept. I am more ashamed of that than of tolerating his emotional abuse for as long as I did.
You did indeed get off the torture table. Doesn't mean it doesn't still hurt. Doesn't mean there isn't still healing that needs to be done. Doesn't mean that road to healing isn't awful and agonising.
Has this brought up some unresolved abandonment issues for you? It did for me. My extreme reaction was not about my M or my husband or even my kids. It was that old stuff rearing its ugly head.
I was so angry I started self-harming myself emotionally when I had detached enough that he was no longer able to.
Stuck. Getting unstuck is not passive. It is bloody hard work.
[This message edited by SBB at 10:02 PM, February 7th (Friday)]
I have always said, the cheating part of this whole nightmare was cake compared to the emotional/physical abandonment. That part killed me and scarred me forever. I hear what people are saying about false R and how that is worse. Since I have no experience with that, I can only imagine what that would be like, but I can't relate. My X walked out on DDay and has refused to even have a conversation about the ending of a 21 year relationship since he left. To my sensitive, emotional heart, this is impossible for me to wrap my head around as I couldn't live with myself had I ever treated someone this way.
Sean, you're a great guy. I know you in real life so I can say that with confidence. Don't let her brokeness define who you are. The way she has treated you says nothing about you and everything about her.
No offense to any women on here, but I'm tired of selfish and unremorseful women. I know there are the same kind of men out there, but I haven't been married to one so sorry if I seem biased. I'm beginning to wonder if most women out there my age are more selfish now than when they were say younger. Caring mostly about themselves and what effects them first. Seems to be a lot in the case with women I have tried dating. And it's beginning to turn me off now from pursuing any type of future relationships with one.
I had a close friend from high school going through something similar. He said (and this is his quote not mine)..."Women always have a plan B." I don't know if that's true (somehow I doubt it), but I know mine obviously did. So did his.
[This message edited by SeanFLA at 12:52 PM, February 11th (Tuesday)]
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
I totally understand. My ex actually left me before it even got physical. They had an EA and he confided in her about "problems" in our marriage....problems I had no clue about. Now it's physical. EA's are hard to accept because it's on an emotional level. There are a lot of people out there who have sex and not feel a thing about it other than sex. When an affair is started based on emotions, that is more intimate and can tear a BS apart because they once shared that intimacy and is being given to somebody else.
I have a conscienceless, remorseless stbx. He also committed his earliest infidelities in strip clubs. This was not normal boys will be boys stuff, nor did it hurt me less than his full-blown luv affair. It was different but it was agonizing. And "just strip clubs," FYI, can involve full on physical adultery, even in upscale clubs.
Does minimizing others' pain make your husband more remorseful? Really, we're all here for the same reason.
I'm beginning to wonder if most women out there my age are more selfish now than when they were say younger. Caring mostly about themselves and what effects them first. Seems to be a lot in the case with women I have tried dating. And it's beginning to turn me off now from pursuing any type of future relationships with one.
People (men and women) have a tendency to swing from one extreme to the other. When you are used to being taken for granted, or having people take advantage of you, you get to a point where you want to look out for yourself. It can be selfish, you might have a plan B, but it doesnít have to be detrimental to relationships. A little self-interest can actually be quite healthy. No one knows your needs better than you do, and if you leave them up to someone else, there are going to be resentments.
Consider how you yourself approach relationships now. You would probably be less inclined to support another womanís career at the expense of your own, and that is a good thing. There are ways to be supportive without abandoning your own goals.
You look out for yourself, you build trust, you help when you can, you compromise because you want to find a way for both of you to be happy. This isnít something that comes easily at the start of a relationship, but as long as your self-interests arenít destructive to each other you can find a way. If they want something that you canít comfortably provide, it doesnít mean they are wrong, or a bad person, you just arenít a good fit and you part ways to find someone who is.
Hang in there and respect yourself. You canít be right for everyone but that doesnít mean there isnít someone out there.
My exWH was a guy who never yelled or swore at me or raised his hand. Hell, before the whole marriage shit the bed, I could count in one hand how many times he made me cry in 15 years.
At the time, I thought we had a great relationship. We always laughed and got along had a good time with each other. Now, with a lot of IC, I understand that we had a very dysfunctional relationship starring him as the "good guy narcissist" and me as the over functioning co dependent wife. He is about as deep as a puddle. He was all surface and he ran from conflict like a scared child. On the rare occasion wheresee disagreed and I would try to tell him how I felt, he would actually tell me that he "disagreed" with my feelings. What?!!! You can't disagree with how I feel! That was his way of shutting me up because there really was no argument after that.
That was him. I will never put up with another him again. Certainly, i will never tolerate cheating and lying ever again. But aside from that, I also don't want a man who rarely communicates and, when he does, disagrees with my feelings. I don't want a man who takes advantage of my tendency to over function and always put myself last in the equation. When I'm ready for a relationship, I want a partner. I want someone who can talk to me, explain his feelings and let me explain mine. I want someone who will support my wants and needs and let me know the best ways for me to do that for him.
It seems to me that there are an awful lot of assholes in this world. At the same time, this whole shit storm we call infidelity has forced me to really look at people and know that I can't change them, but I can certainly spot a bad one a lot quicker than before.
A woman who can't even apologize sincerely isn't worth your time. Move on and remember that trait for next time.
On the rare occasion wheresee disagreed and I would try to tell him how I felt, he would actually tell me that he "disagreed" with my feelings.
Been down that road recently. And I had enough. Nothing worse than someone disrespecting you by telling you what you are feeling. It's the most sincere form of avoiding what the truth is...that they wronged you and are too selfish to look inward at themselves and actually grow from it.
I think a lot of people don't understand remorsefulness. Generally you say your sorry because you care more about the relationship than you do the actual issue at hand.
Some people just can't admit they are wrong and apologize. I really just can't understand them or their thought process.
My life has been turned upside down, and I have been forced into a direction that I did not want to go. I have never been given the opportunity to make a decision about saving my marriage or not. I am jealous of those that have, but I understand that they hurt just as much. But, there is a sting associated with an unremorseful WS that you just won't understand until you live through it. Just like my entire view about infidelity has been changed by living through it even though I thought I understood before it happened.
Thank you so much for this post! My STBX showed no remorse, just contempt and disgust towards me. I found his text messages, confronted him, he told me he wanted a divorce and told me to leave. I was blindsided and went into shock.
He later came over to "talk". Blamed me for everything, said I changed, changed the day we got married, didn't get along with his family, was not suited for his social life, and on and on. I took all that in and thought it was the truth. I was in so much pain when he left and if I did not have my son, doubt I would be here today. I was completely broken and devastated. All he would admit to, was breaking the vows.
I have never read the R forum. When I started to read someone's post that is in R, I often stopped reading. At first, it was just too painful for me to read it. I so wanted the marriage to work. I loved him so much.
Now, my life is in a different place. I do not want him in my life. I do not deserve a spouse that lies, cheats and deceives. I am finally starting to accept what happened and not as concerned about the "why" of it. Finally understand that I will never "get" why he did this. He is broken and fundamentally incapable of truly loving another person. He only wants attention. I am no longer drained by his constant need for attention and adoration.
I had to chuckle to myself when you wrote that you can not find a woman who is capable of saying she is sorry. It is all too easy for me to say I am sorry!!! I have to learn to stop saying I am sorry when I tell someone things that I know they won't be happy to hear. I say I am sorry if I think my words might anger someone. I have always tried to never say something that would hurt someone else's feeling. Now, I have to learn to speak my truth, in a loving and kind way. And not apologize for it!!
On the rare occasion wheresee disagreed and I would try to tell him how I felt, he would actually tell me that he "disagreed" with my feelings. What?!!! You can't disagree with how I feel! That was his way of shutting me up because there really was no argument after that.
My stbx has never ever been remorseful. In the beginning, I was so ashamed. Now I'm able to say "He walked out on us for his girlfriend" and feel authentic. Not embarrassed or ashamed. It's the truth.
All he would admit to, was breaking the vows.
That's all my exWW apologized for. But the way she said it was so matter of fact. Like when the dentist tells you..."I'm sorry, but you need a fillng."
[This message edited by SeanFLA at 10:40 PM, February 12th (Wednesday)]