I apologise if the "General" forum is not the right place for this, I'm not sure where else to put it.
For a long time, I've been indulging in fantasizing how I wish I would have reacted when she first told me about her cheating.
I feel like a chump/idiot/... for staying with her for more than a year after being told, trying to salvage things/reconcile etc., only to in the end be dumped for the same guy she cheated on me with in the first place.
So I've been fantasizing about what I wish I would have done if I had a chance at a re-do:)
My current fantasy is to ask her only: "Was it consensual, were you forced, drugged or in a drunken stupr in any way?", and when the answer would be "It was consensual", I'd simply pack my things without a single word, leave her house and utterly ignore her for the rest of my life, while she'd try in vain to get me to talk to her, approach me at our University etc.
So... What fantasies do you have about how you would have reacted if you had a chance at a re-do?:)
Thank you all for your time and responses, and good luck to all of you!
I wish I knew then what I know now.
I wish I hadn't been so convinced it was my fault and that I was some kind of failure. I wish I hadn't been so desperate. I tried so damn hard to nice her back. I focused on all my perceived flaws and figured that anything that was good about me just obviously didn't matter or wasn't good enough, if it was then the A wouldn't have happened. I lost so much sleep. I hated myself.
It took me a while (it seemed like a long time to me anyway, was probably about 1 month after dday) - and the help of the folks at SI - before I started standing up for myself and really making clear what my terms for the continuation of our M was.
I've made a lot of changes in my life over the past couple of years. I've become super outgoing. I've been building an ever increasing circle of friends. I've got buddies that I know would let me crash at their house indefinitely if needed. I've resumed some old hobbies and joined some organizations that utilize my talents, which help boost my self esteem.
My motivation hasn't really been for improvement. If an A happens again, I need to be ready and capable to just walk away. I cannot go through this a second time. It's like I'm perpetually training for a war that might never happen.
I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.
My "re-do" list:
Find SI forum and reading materials when I merely suspected there was an A going on, so I would be properly "armed" when I had proof.
Kicked his ass out after Dday 1, in the hopes he would have come out of the fog earlier.
Wish I had been more assertive and not believed he was telling me the truth, so I would not have experienced Dday 2.
Wish I had taken the opportunity to publicly humiliate the COW.
I would have kicked him out on Dday. I want him to really "feel" the pain he caused. I want him to understand just how badly he messed up. I would want him to face his family/friends knowing they know he caused this, knowing they know the kind of man he had become.
Obviously I still have some anger towards him. Two years out and I'm still in therapy and he's considered "cured" by every therapist he has ever spoken to. I'm the broken one now, too sad to move on with my life.
Mostly, I wish I'd have just told him to leave and made a new life for the kids and myself. Maybe he would have gotten his act together sooner.
As I always say "Shit in one hand and wish in the other, see which gets fuller faster"
me (WW/BS): 48
4 kiddos in mid 20's
Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...
DDay - June 7, 2014
Me - 43
WW - 41
DD - 6 and 3
Pulling the Plug
But, I also know that I could have behaved much worse, and I found SI early enough that I did not sabotage my own health and sanity any further. I also don't think much about it anymore at this point, and you won't either once more time has passed.
The whole last year has been a mental hell for me, feeling shameful for not being stronger and leaving the very second I read the email.
Mostly, I wish I had packed his bags and dumped them in her driveway.
But I was glad that I confronted her in the office the day after dday and told her to resign. That was the best thing I did. Otherwise, she would probably still be there. I do wish though that I had stayed long enough to see her pack up her things and leave. The few days that followed, before she actually left, were hell.
Of course, I would probably be divorced instead of staying.
Before confronting WH, I would have installed keylogger software on the computers so that when he lied and said the email account he had sent it to was hers and he didn't have access, I would have known that was B.S and actually the one he had set up for himself to contact her separate secret account. Then I would have had an opportunity to see everything in the account before he wiped it out.
I would not have told him I had voicemails of OW and that I was going to contact OWs BH. That resulted in 1 week of more lies, cover ups as they tried to find/destroy the evidence.
I would have used Wondershare to dump deleted texts/photos from his phone immediately instead of learning about it 1 year later (still got some interesting old stuff though).
I week after Dday, when I found out he was contacting her, about the email account, and that he was trying to delete evidence, I would have kicked him out then and made him work his ass off to R.
[This message edited by MakingMyFuture at 1:57 PM, July 12th (Saturday)]
DDay 1 - 1/13, False Recovery Discovered more + Broken NC so DDay2= 7/14
9/9/14: filed for divorce
BW: 42 (me)
WH: 40 (him)
Immediately after confrontation I would have grabbed as much of his crap as I could, hefty it, jam it in his truck, and tell him that he had to leave THAT MINUTE, that I couldn't look at him any longer. Careful not to tell him to go to her, just to leave.
Then start the dismantling, canceling credit cards as he drove cross country (bwah-ah-ah), new bank account, and go full press NC.
When I got the "I want to try to work on our M" (notice the "try to" ), I would have said don't bother; you've got the life and the person you felt was worth imploding our M for -- stay there and enjoy.
Yes, we're together, still doing MC, more good times than bad, but I'd like to think that if I hadn't been such a f&%#ing doormat doing the famous Pick Me dance, my self esteem, my self respect and my residual anger would be far less of an issue now.