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User Topic: How do you know when to fold 'em?
crazytalk
♀ New Member
Member # 42668
Default  Posted: 8:00 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm a long-time lurker hoping for some advice... my heart hurts, so maybe gentle is the best way to go.

DDay was 5 months ago, and I have a very broken WH. Absolutely no excuse for his year-long EA/PA (especially considering I was pregnant for 8 months of it), but he has a long history of abandonment and my analytical side can certainly see what led to his ability to compartmentalize away from our relationship. I've tried my best to be the one to prove to him that some people are above leaving him.

My IC has told me he is a "textbook passive man in the throws of a midlife crisis". We've both been in IC and MC since about 2 weeks out, and while I've really benefited from the wisdom and assistance in managing my grief, I'm not exactly sure what WH does during his hour long appointments. Our MC usually tears him a new one every week for his lack of action, and it's just getting old. In the past 5 months I can maybe point to 1 or 2 instances where he's been truly reassuring. I don't believe he's shown true remorse - at least not enough of it to keep me hopeful. Our therapy is less about reconciliation and more about being able to live with each other for the sake of our babies (3mo and 3yrs) until we can make a clear decision.

I finally got this on Monday:
I love you but I'm not in love with you.
I love you but you're controlling and I feel like your child (duh man, but I didn't have to babysit you until you freaking cheated on me).
I love you but I feel no affection towards you.
I love you but I've seen your anger/true colors and I don't know if I can live with that.

He has not initiated any form of emotional conversation since this all went down. Seems like I always bring it up, and then he throws a bunch of crap in my face about how he needed me two years ago, even though he didn't say a WORD about how he was unhappy or felt unheard. So he's essentially rugsweeping and trying to justify what a monster I am, when in reality I've plastered the house with scripture about grace, welcomed him back into the family home, and openly dreamed with him about a future of forgiveness. Yes, I get angry and ugly, but I'm not ashamed to express myself like that once every 2-3 weeks.

Last night my IC and I talked about "when to fold the cards", so to speak. How long do I wait for the fog to lift? On one hand my IC doesn't want me to keep getting kicked while I'm down, but I think if I declared that it was over, my WH would always say that it was my choice since he's a guru at being passive and blaming his crap on others. Separating can't be done without my very close extended family seeing all of our dirt, and I've tried my best to keep it on the low. It just seems like it would be very "final", because I KNOW he won't chase after me in his current mental state. Deep down I know I deserve better, but it's just really saddening to watch this go down the tubes so quickly. Advice?


Posts: 15 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: midwest
Williesmom
♀ Member
Member # 22870
Default  Posted: 8:17 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Who cares if it's your choice to be done with this mess that he created?

I knew that it was time to be done when the thought of living the rest of my life alone was more palatable than the thought of living one more day with him.

I'm the person that finally said that I was done. I had the balls to take control of my life and decide what was going to happen to me. I wanted a partner, and I realized that he could never be what I needed him to be.

((crazytalk))


You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister. -George Costanza
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. - Madeleine Albright

Posts: 7635 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Western PA
abbycadabby
♀ Member
Member # 27428
Default  Posted: 8:27 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

but I think if I declared that it was over, my WH would always say that it was my choice since he's a guru at being passive and blaming his crap on others

Who cares what he thinks? He's a product of his brokenness. Of course he's going to make himself out to be the injured party, but you know the truth. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks- they're not living your life.

It just seems like it would be very "final", because I KNOW he won't chase after me in his current mental state

This might be true. But if he doesn't "chase" you, then you kinda know where you stand with him, huh?

Deep down I know I deserve better

Yeah, you do deserve better. But none of us can get you there. You will know when enough is enough for you and no amount of pushing/prodding/coercion/begging/pleading will be enough to stop your course once that decision is made I bet.

I love you but I'm not in love with you. I love you but you're controlling and I feel like your child (duh man, but I didn't have to babysit you until you freaking cheated on me).
I love you but I feel no affection towards you.
I love you but I've seen your anger/true colors and I don't know if I can live with that.

The bolded quote above would be enough for me to ask for a separation. If that alone didn't prompt me to separate, the rest would. You're 5 months out from Dday- you're going to have a LOT of anger at times, and that's okay. You're still on the roller coaster. He sounds like he's still in the fog at the least, or still actively engaged in an A, at worst.

Separating can't be done without my very close extended family seeing all of our dirt

I see no reason for you to tell anyone anything. I forced my exWH to come clean to his family (for all the good it did) so there would be no secrets/deception AND so I'd have some IRL support. But I don't see anything wrong with simply stating that you guys are having problems you'd rather not discuss. Keep repeating that and variations of that until the people around you get a hint.

ETA: I knew I was done when I realized my DS, 3 at the time, was playing peacemaker. Like, literally, his father and I would argue, and DS would step between us and say, "mama, be nice. Daddy, be nice." I saw that my ideal of an intact, nuclear family was destined to be more detrimental to him than having divorced parents(at least one of us is healthy).

(((crazytalk)))

[This message edited by abbycadabby at 8:34 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]


Posts: 1248 | Registered: Feb 2010
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:29 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

. So he's essentially rugsweeping and trying to justify what a monster I am, when in reality I've plastered the house with scripture about grace, welcomed him back into the family home, and openly dreamed with him about a future of forgiveness. Yes, I get angry and ugly, but I'm not ashamed to express myself like that once every 2-3 weeks.

This jumped out at me for some reason. If your husband hasn't had to earn grace and forgiveness, and he is passive by nature, then how should he take these things? I am sorry I am looking at it from his POV, but if he is a person who is afraid to step up and be assertive, and you are kind of trying to do his R for him, then it is not going to move him to action, and it is going to drive you crazy.

You are understandably angry at your husband, but somehow ya'll have to get past this "he's like X and she's like Y" stuff. You need to see and hear him, and believe him. He needs to do the same. Affairs are escapes, and so he was having a crisis anyway, and now a person who doesn't deal well with life is having to fix an enormous mess. He's putting his issues on you, instead of dealing with the pain and hurt of what he did. But, maybe your role in the marriage prior has made this comfortable for him. (I,e, your bit about showing him he won't be abandoned is a little maternalistic.)

I think my H also had abandonment issues, as his mom left the family when he was 8 or 9. He had an affair, with a woman very much like his mother, when our son was 9. Coincidence? And I think really, the most healing thing for him has been his realisation that I wouldn't abandon him, even at his absolute worst. But, I didn't do that as a lesson, I stayed because I love him, and our family, and I believe in us.

So, why are you staying?

[This message edited by bionicgal at 8:33 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1937 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
crazytalk
♀ New Member
Member # 42668
Default  Posted: 8:29 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Maybe that's the problem... he's actually very easy to live with until I demand some emotion out of him - he makes an excellent roommate. And my life would be exponentially more difficult with two littles if I kicked him to the curb, which is certainly making this more difficult.

I'm not sure I have enough disdain to know my life would be better without than with. I'm just worried I'll be the so good at negotiating my tolerance levels that leaving him will never happen. Divorce isn't something that my social circle is familiar with (yet), so this is uncharted water for me. Thankful to have an IC that's looking out for me.


Posts: 15 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: midwest
crazytalk
♀ New Member
Member # 42668
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

And yes... I still love him. Thrown for a loop, certainly, but deep down I know he's a good man that just made a series of horrible decisions.

Posts: 15 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: midwest
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 8:50 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

CT,
i have a friend who is a social worker who told me at one point that a big part of her job is seeing instances where people make a bad decision in a weak moment, and end up with a big heap of problems, and a mess they feel trapped in. It is hard to see my big, strong, smart, capable husband in those ranks, but it is what happened. At a vulnerable place in his life, he reached out for exactly the wrong thing to make it better. Could have been drugs, or gambling etc., I guess.

So, it has helped me to see it a crisis that he needs to get through. Of course, some people get stuck in their unhealthy coping mechanisms, and that is what has to be determined after an affair. Can this person heal from this? Are they safe? That's where I'd put my energies in determining if you should stay. It is early yet. Hang in there, and try to have faith. And, talk, talk, talk o you husband.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 8:51 AM, July 17th (Thursday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1937 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
crazytalk
♀ New Member
Member # 42668
Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This jumped out at me for some reason. If your husband hasn't had to earn grace and forgiveness, and he is passive by nature, then how should he take these things? I am sorry I am looking at it from his POV, but if he is a person who is afraid to step up and be assertive, and you are kind of trying to do his R for him, then it is not going to move him to action, and it is going to drive you crazy.

You are understandably angry at your husband, but somehow ya'll have to get past this "he's like X and she's like Y" stuff. You need to see and hear him, and believe him. He needs to do the same. Affairs are escapes, and so he was having a crisis anyway, and now a person who doesn't deal well with life is having to fix an enormous mess. He's putting his issues on you, instead of dealing with the pain and hurt of what he did. But, maybe your role in the marriage prior has made this comfortable for him. (I,e, your bit about showing him he won't be abandoned is a little maternalistic.)

Ah, yes... I think you nailed it Bionic. Maternal tendencies are something I've always struggled with, and it's a hard habit to break. Not sure I'll ever be skilled at letting it go, but definitely something I should be checking my actions against.

So what, if anything, should I be doing to kick the habit? A 180? Seems like I'm always really successful for about a week or two, and then I have a massive emotional vomit, and I'm left to clean it up by myself based on his responses. ugh.


Posts: 15 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: midwest
Lark
♀ Member
Member # 43773
Default  Posted: 10:23 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From the sound of it, I wouldn't be too certain the affair is over.
The "I love you, but I'm not in love with you" and the shifting blame on you "I needed you 2 years ago" sounds like immediate dday type stuff. My husband pulled the "where have you been for the past year" crap too. Derp, at home - waiting for HIM!


I think the "when" of deciding when to fold them is up to each person individually. I think you should definitely redirect your energies to you. He has to choose to be remorseful, choose to do the work, choose to want that - and he has not made those choices and you cannot make him make them. Focus on you and your kids and preparing for a future that assumes he is either continuing to cake-eat or he has no desire to come down from the fence.

If it is just fence sitting, it may just be because it's comfortable there and he has no reason to face the mirror and the hard work.


"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul." - William Ernest Henley

Posts: 509 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: California
painfulpast
♀ Member
Member # 41038
Default  Posted: 10:38 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

because I KNOW he won't chase after me in his current mental state

Well, no one knows that with certainty. I can tell you that 100% of the people that finally decided they couldn't R alone were terrified, and convinced that, since WS didn't care enough to work at R, there was NO WAY they were going to change their mind once BS left. I can also tell you that about 95% (or more) of those people were wrong. There's something about that final 'consequence' that wakes a WS up to what their selfish actions have gotten them, and they realize they need to do more than watch if they want their life back.

A WS is selfish. Every last stinkin' one of them. Selfish. They get ego boosts from an A. It makes them feel wanted. If after being caught, the BS is the one willing to put in so much effort, they MUST be that great, right? After all, just look at what they've done, and BS is still putting in so much effort to keep them. Why change?

The BS saying "Ok, I tried. See ya pal" makes them see that the BS isn't an option, and they are on the edge of losing everything. There is a huge mindshift, and it's so dramatic a lot of BSs wonder after why they waited so damned long.

It's your call, but you shouldn't accept anything but total committal from him before you even consider R. If he won't work for it, then why on earth should you? He's the one that cheated here. Fixing this mess is basically on his shoulders. Don't let him off the hook by doing the work for him.

If a WS doesn't move towards R, the BS shouldn't even consider it.


The stones from my enemies, these wounds will mend
but I cannot survive the roses from my friends

Posts: 1893 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: East Coast
Hatemyhusband
Member
Member # 41633
Default  Posted: 11:07 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My thoughts.
If he's easy to live w other than the lack of emotion and says he isn't in love w u, then u have a friend, not a H.
Are u ok raising two kids in a house where the two parents aren't in love? Would you want your kids in a relationship like yours, bc that's what they will grow up in and see as their model

If he isn't in love, chances are he will seek affection and love elsewhere. He sees you as mothering and not his lover. Can u live with this?

Next, if u see an atty, plan to D, get strength to pull the trigger then give him one last shot, he MAY step up. He may say he wants to work on it bc he loved u once, can't imagine life wo you, feels remorse for hurting the woman who loves him, is willing to do whatever to make you happy.
And... If he doesn't? Fold 'em. And find a good man who will be with you and show your kids how strong u are and how they should be treated in a M.

Good luck. U are strong. Do it. Don't accept less than u deserve


Posts: 296 | Registered: Dec 2013
JanaGreen
♀ Member
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 11:22 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What painfulpast said. Exactly.

As long as you're willing to hang on and accept that behavior, even if you're unhappy, even if you complain and try to change things, they are able to justify their actions to themselves. When you're willing to walk away, they immediately start to respect you more. My husband was in literal shock when I said I was done (bear in mind that I had already seen a lawyer, and he had freaking FILED, but I was still hanging on). He said, "You always tried. I never really thought you'd stop trying." It sounds so simple but it was such a huge turning point.

It doesn't always work, of course. You just have to be willing to decide what you can and cannot live with, and act accordingly. I still loved my husband very much when all of this took place, it was just that I understood that for my personal sanity, I couldn't stay with the person he'd become.


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6721 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 11:41 AM, July 17th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You know when to "fold 'em" when you know that you will no longer be the doormat, housekeeper, laundress, etc, and NO LONGER be a second choice.
I know you asked for gentle, but I'm not good at that I'm more a just rip the bandaid off kinda gal so bear with me.....

I have been around her for quite a while now, and I can tell you the things you have shared about your H tell me two things.

1. He doesn't get it, and is in NO WAY remorseful, or doing his share of the heavy lifting.

2. He is probably still involved in his A.

No ONE, Not a single one of us were able to R successfully with our partner just giving half an effort. R takes both of you, and it takes a LOT of HARD work, and soul searching, and getting in there and looking at the really ugly parts of ones self. Working hard to see what is broken, and healing it.

Not a single one of us that successfully R did by nicing our spouse back into the M. We laid down our rules, our consequences, and eventually got strong enough to stick to them. Most of us had to be willing to walk away from the M to save it too.

I knew when to fold em, and when I reached that point, a calm, and peace came over me. It was like williesmom said. I knew living without him would be better than what I was currently living with, breaking NC, continued lies, being a doormat and a second choice. For me I had a spouse that realized he was about to lose everything he had valued and worked for when this happened, and he finally got it, and started owning his choices, and did the heavy lifting to save our M. But I do know that had he not, I would have continued down that path. I was not going to be that role model for my kids, the one that was a doormat, and willing to look the other way.

I think you have some serious soul searching to do, and need to first figure out why you would want to R with your spouse, and if it is fear that is driving your choice, you need to take that out of the equation, and again ask why would you stay.

(((and strength)))) (hope I wasn't too harsh)


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8420 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Topic Posts: 13

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