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User Topic: Was it always in him? Or was I blind?
PhantomLimb
Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

DDay#2 going on 3mos ago. I NCed him because he told me he didn't want to R and had taken the A underground. Haven't heard from him since.

I'm managing as best I can. IC, surrounding myself with lots of family and friends. At this point, it probably will just take time. I've gone from having all bad days to having mostly bad days and some okay days. Eating and sleeping better, but still having terrible nightmares a lot.

This morning I remembered back to when we were planning our wedding and I was meeting with the rabbi who was doing the vows (also a close family friend). We aren't Jewish, but we were doing a modern, updated version of a Jewish ceremony that was more of a secular, multi-faith thing. He was explaining to me how he was going to update the traditional vows... and one of them he told me "just means you won't sleep with anyone else." I laughed. "Well, there's no need to worry about that!" I was THAT confident. I was really 100% solid in the idea that that could never happen to us. That we would AT LEAST talk to each other about lacks in the relationship before either of us would go and do something like THAT. After all, he was my best friend. We'd been together since we were kids. I used to fantasize about us having our 80th wedding anniversary in the nursing home.

Fast forward. Cheated on me with a coworker. It's all the awful you can imagine: tried to hide it, got me a job in the same office and was just crossing his fingers, would take her back to our place when I wasn't there. And the betrayal went beyond our vows to each other in some ways. I got him through grad school living in apartments with no floors or kitchens... she now gets him when he has a six-figure income (in the meantime, I had to quit the job with them for my own sanity and move back home with family until I can get on my feet). We agreed not to have children in part because of his family's history of mental illness, in part because we decided to become "career people"... now I'm approaching mid-30s, no children, no spouse... but *she* has a kid that he takes to the park and the petting zoo. Yadda yadda... you see where I'm going with this. He's set me back in my life years and he doesn't seem to care about it.

I'm thinking this morning about how confident I was in him that he had the integrity to come to me with any issues or unhappiness. How solid I thought we were. IC is beginning to show me there were cracks where I could see he didn't always have the greatest character when it came to his work ethic, etc... but I would have never assumed that meant he could be so cruel to someone he was supposed to love.

I've been on SI for a few weeks now and I'm seeing that lots of BS look back after DDay and can see that they enabled their WS somehow or gaslighted themselves. I'm sticking with IC as long as it takes to work this out for myself, too. I want to see if it can get me to a place where I'm not simply accepting our breakup because he has forced it one me, but because I can see that there were elements to his personality and treatment of me that I accomodated/accepted and/or missed and, hopefully, I can get to the point where *I'm* not just the emotionally squished bug, but the one who realizes she dodged a bullet and doesn't need to be in agony over this.

But I was so confident. This WS guy is not at all the guy I knew.

Do you think that the potential to cheat was always in your WS? Or is it something you think is in all of us and just takes the right trigger?

Or do you think an A is always an indication that something was wrong in your WS and maybe it just took some time to come out?

I realize the "answer" may not be one or the other-- but I'm just curious if veterans have any perspective on this. I feel like part of my process here is going to have to be going over the marital history and rewriting it so that I can understand why my confidence in him was so misplaced. But sometimes I wonder if maybe this will come down to "could have never seen it coming."


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
solus sto
Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 9:20 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

In my case, my husband was always deceptive, and always acting out. I was not aware of it for a long time. When I became aware of the tip of the iceberg, it was just that---just a tiny bit of the truth--I chose to remain in the marriage, oblivious to the depth of the problem until many years later, with d-day and learning of a whole host of other infidelities over the years.

In retrospect, there were red flags. I was simply not equipped to put them in context. I needed to see a bigger picture to see who he really was.

I wish I'd seen who he was immediately. I never would have spoken to him, let alone married him.


BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 53, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8848 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
TrustGone
Member
Member # 36654
Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

I think that is the ultimate question? What makes a person change from what we saw everyday into this unremorseful, disrespectful, selfish, lying cheater? How they could be this way and hurt someone this much is hard to believe? Certainly we did not fall in love with someone that could treat someone like this!!!!

I think deep down they always had it in them and they were always broken, we just didn't see all the cracks they put into the relationship until after DDay. Some can fix the cracks and decide they don't want to be that type person ever again and some can't. It sounds like your WH had alot that was broken inside him and it will stay broken until he fixes it himself, which it sounds like he is not willing to do.

I know it doesn't feel like it now, but there will come a day that you will be glad that he left. Right now you have to mourn the marriage you thought you had until you can accept that he is who he has shown you he is. Indifference takes awhile to get to, but you will eventually get there. (((HUGS)))


BW-50
WH#2-51
M-9 yrs T-11 yrs
4 children-none together
DD#1-9/5/11 LTA 2yrs
DD#2-7/3/12 False R
DD#3-4/29/13 (OW broke NC)
Status: Your guess is as good as mine.

Posts: 2420 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Texas
laney57
Member
Member # 35617
Default  Posted: 11:56 AM, July 22nd (Monday)

Phantom,
Everyday I find another red flag that I ignored. Now, I'm learning to take responsibility for it and I guess that is where the lesson is. My WH was always so secretive "to protect me" oh please! 8 yrs ago, I could believe he would cheat. This is a man that thought it was ok for his wife to deal with her cancer (I'm ok now :) completely dependent on my dear friends. He never went to one appt with me and sure didn't suffer along with me. We separated shortly after I was well and he cried and begged me to come back. I did and let all of our history go. He finally showed emotion and I thought he "loved" me. 1 year later was his 4 day vacation :(
Honestly, I look now and think anyone who can watch their spouse go through cancer and work around the clock,(like I didn't exist) could surely cheat and not have any remorse. Too bad, it took me 7 years to find out. What a waste of years... Heartbreaking marriage.
Keep going to IC, it sounds to me like you are one strong woman. Hugs


Update 09/28/14
Me - BS, 44
Him - WH, 46
Married - 23 years
D-Day - 05/12/2012
Trying to find me still
Gotta do this, but I'm broken - headed for divorce - 02/20
Hell if I know - 02/24
Divorcing 09/28/14

Posts: 230 | Registered: May 2012 | From: KY
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 12:06 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

I know that it was always in my H. He is just now starting to get to know himself, and I am too. In some ways I believe that I knew him better than he knew himself, actually.

Looking back I did actually see his character flaws and tried to get him to address them, but those same flaws prevented him from doing so. It took the catastrophe of the A fallout to finally force him to look at himself. He was lying to himself even more than he was lying to me.

The fact that he is finally self-aware is what gives me hope and keeps me moving forward.

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this ultimate betrayal.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1763 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 2:07 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

Do you think that the potential to cheat was always in your WS? Or is it something you think is in all of us and just takes the right trigger?

Or do you think an A is always an indication that something was wrong in your WS and maybe it just took some time to come out?

I don't see much conflict between the 2 statements. For one thing, we all have weaknesses, and we can all feel attacked at our weak points. even if the attack is inadvertent, bad things can happen when a person is over-stressed.

Just after our 10th anniversary I got a new job and went away for 14 weeks of school, with one trip home at 8 weeks. A couple of weeks in I started having great desire and many fantasies about a classmate. I went home after 4 weeks, and the moment I saw my W, I realized I was just lonely. The last 10 weeks of class were a breeze (in part, no doubt, because I made sure I saw my W and/or son every 2 weeks). But what if I hadn't gone home at 4 weeks?

I believe in 'soul mates'. I think we all have (many) potential partners out there who bring out the best in us, which IMO is a primary feature of soul mates. If that's true, it follows that we have multiple anti-soul mates out there, people who bring out the worst in us.

My W was, I think, well-defended against men, despite having poor boundaries. she said she was, and I believe her. She also said she had never prepared to defend herself against a woman; with no decent boundaries, and with a 'friend' who brought out some of the worst in her, she betrayed herself and me.

It was always in her, and I was blind, and I fear I could cheat, too, if the circumstances fell wrong.

PL, You're going through a horrible experience. You're learning you could have protected yourself better. That's great insight, something to congratulate yourself on; it's not a reason to apportion blame and beat yourself up. You're learning to protect yourself better. That's great!

Really, really, really - you did not cause your H's A. He did it all by himself. There's reason to be sad, to be angry, to be scared, but there's no reason to beat yourself up.

There's good reason to get a shark of a lawyer, though.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10383 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
PhantomLimb
Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

Thanks, everyone.

It's funny. I think it's totally normal to be attracted to other people and entertain those thoughts, even if you're married. It just means you're alive! There have probably been two or three men in the time I was with WS that I could have seen myself with had I been single. But I sort of just noted that to myself, maintained the appropriate boundaries... but I never mistook those feelings for something that warranted betraying WS.

So it's that question of what allows them to cross over the line. Sometimes maybe it is just a series of bad decisions and a perfect storm. In those cases, I envy the couples who have a wayward who is willing to deal with their sh*t and do the hard work to look at themselves and R.

Like you, sisoon, we were apart for several weeks because of work. I think I'm just finding out way late in the game that he couldn't be alone and he found a partner (OW is in the middle of a divorce) similarly broken. He had shown that in the past as well (he was always using the gym or whatnot to escape dealing with challenges at work, etc). It's pretty clear to me now that he's running from something in himself.

I just wish he had the strength to deal with it. But I think I get that it's not something I could have entirely predicted or fixed. Unfortunately, I may have spent a decade+ with someone who wasn't whole and who so convinced himself that he was that he convinced me, too. In some ways, it's really sad.

But I'd rather be with a "whole" person who is able to look at themselves (and me!) with open eyes. Otherwise, as his refusal to R has shown, that's not a real relationship-- marriage or not.


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
myperfectlife
Member
Member # 39801
Default  Posted: 3:49 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

Looking back I did actually see his character flaws and tried to get him to address them, but those same flaws prevented him from doing so. It took the catastrophe of the A fallout to finally force him to look at himself. He was lying to himself even more than he was lying to me.


I agree with this. The conflict avoidance and inability to talk about his true feelings, be proactive in his habits instead of putting out fires...all red flags that I now see contributed to his inability to make the correct decision.
But the man without those tools was the man I married. I was his counselor and biggest self-help promoter (ie:codependent!) for 18 years. In the past year when I pulled back from that, his decision making became totally flawed. I see he never really had the chance to grow up. That does not excuse his choices...the hardest thing is reconciling the man I fell in love with (and still love) with the man who almost kicked me out on the street, had a wedding date set with another woman and a key to her apartment-all the while I was in HUD housing, losing my health and taking care of our kids.
And it scares me to think if we D, how will I ever know and see the red flags in someone else?
Scary.


I cannot be responsible for another's personal growth.
DDay#1 of a "cheatillion" 4/1/13
Divorce final 11/04/13

Posts: 452 | Registered: Jul 2013
Jospehine85
Member
Member # 35971
Default  Posted: 8:40 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

Do you think that the potential to cheat was always in your WS? Or is it something you think is in all of us and just takes the right trigger?

Yes and Yes. I think given the right circumstances virtually everyone could find themselves betraying their SO. Not every wayward is a sex addict, NPD or sociopath. Most are just average every day people... like us.

Or do you think an A is always an indication that something was wrong in your WS and maybe it just took some time to come out?

For some yes.

For most I think it just took the right circumstances all coming together in a perfect storm.


Me - BS 40s
WH - 50s
4 Kids
Dday May 2012

Posts: 900 | Registered: Jun 2012
PhantomLimb
Member
Member # 39668
Default  Posted: 11:21 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

The conflict avoidance and inability to talk about his true feelings, be proactive in his habits instead of putting out fires...all red flags that I now see contributed to his inability to make the correct decision.

This really resonates with me. In many ways, it's a perfect description of my WS. He avoided conflict, bottled things up, procrastinated.

I was always there for him if he wanted/needed help and tried to guide him through rough spots.

I felt on our DDays like this was a final exam that we had spent 10+ years preparing him for. After all of the sacrifices, time, effort, love, commitment... would he do the "right" thing?

He didn't.


BS / D

Posts: 863 | Registered: Jun 2013
TICKED OFF
Member
Member # 8291
Default  Posted: 11:30 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

I am sure the potential was always there. Not that he showed any signs for the first 20 years of our marriage, but I am sure it was there or else he would not have done it.

What I mean by that is......I know for a fact that the potential to have an a was NEVER there for me because I had several chances but walked away from them without any regret. So NO, the potential for me to have an a was not present during any time in our marriage.

However thinking back now, I absolutely think that he was capable of having an a. If not then he too would have walked away from ow's advances knowing it was completely wrong.


Posts: 2465 | Registered: Sep 2005
seekingright2013
Member
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 5:45 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Slight thread jack -- phantom -- see a lawyer. Like now. If you have already done this, great.

10 years of marriage is a long term marriage, giving you rights to pension etc. (I filed on my 10th anniversary, as a matter of fact!)

It's terrible that you helped support him, put him through school etc. and now this.

You should try to get spousal support, (for at least a couple of years). Many times, someone in your position can get more than the law requires because of the wandering party's guilt.

See an attorney and start playing hardball.

Apologies if you have already covered this in an earlier post and I missed it.


BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
I tramp a perpetual journey.
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 119 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 6:43 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Now that I have really begun detaching and taken off my blinders, I realize that the red flags often waved in my STBXWW pre-affair.

They were all manifestations of selfishness. Sometimes small actions or gestures, sometimes larger. The affair is/was just the ultimate form of the selfishness that was always there. I am now convinced that it had to happen; it was just a matter of time.

I wish all of us strength.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1627 | Registered: Dec 2012
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 7:59 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

I would have bet my children's lives that my husband wouldn't cheat.

The only way I enabled my husband was being a terrific wife. When I got sick, he couldn't cope and his true self came out. I do not think all people are capable of cheating.

My husband came from a terrible family background. The poster child of FOO. I came from the perfect home and didn't have a clue what really existed out there. He did fine for over 35 years, but he was always who he was. I just didn't see it. Shame on me.

Could I have seen it coming? Maybe if I had been a psych major in college? I'm not sure what a "red flag" actually is. He wasn't close to his family. Is that a red flag? He always treated me like a princess. He wasn't selfish. He always put me first. To me those types of things are red flags.

Will say the first MC we saw a couple of days after D-day said he was a time bomb waiting to explode. I hadn't a clue.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
myperfectlife
Member
Member # 39801
Default  Posted: 8:35 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Phantom...

I felt on our DDays like this was a final exam that we had spent 10+ years preparing him for. After all of the sacrifices, time, effort, love, commitment... would he do the "right" thing?

He didn't.

Exactly.
I always felt like my "overworking" of the relationship would keep him loyal. Now I see the false logic in all that.
My WS now has his head out of his ass and is going a little crazy realizing the damage he has done.
Now it's my final exam-do I work to save the marriage or myself? Is it possible to save both?
Can he truly learn and grow with me there as his safety net?
IT was almost better when the only option was a quick, pissed divorce.

((((hugs))))


I cannot be responsible for another's personal growth.
DDay#1 of a "cheatillion" 4/1/13
Divorce final 11/04/13

Posts: 452 | Registered: Jul 2013
Violetta
New Member
Member # 39749
Default  Posted: 11:24 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

I've wondered this same thing myself. We've been married almost 10 years, and he was always a terrific husband and dad. I NEVER worried until the last few months that he would have an affair -- not once. I was 1000 percent confident that we would be together until we were old and gray.

And despite him giving me lots of lines about how he was "never happy" (and that story has lots of variations that don't mesh with each other), I don't believe that for a second.

I think, in my WH's case, it was a combination of stress from everyday life (work, three kids -- one with special needs, etc.), us being disconnected and not focusing on our marriage, and opportunity (attractive coworker with lots of similar interests and relationship issues in her own marriage).

I do know that if we R, there will be LOTS of ground rules about friendships with members of the opposite sex.


Me: BS, 37
Him: WH, 37 (EA with coworker)
Three kids: 6, 4 and 2
Married 10 years, together 12
D Day: 6/21/13
Filed: 8/15/13

Posts: 49 | Registered: Jul 2013
cancuncrushed
Member
Member # 28156
Default  Posted: 1:20 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

he was the nicest person I had ever met in my life.... I did see a few red flags, but considering he had just graduated college, and was heavy into his fraternity, I believed it was immaturity. ANd the timing was soon after we met. I believed he was still growing up. He really hasnt changed much.


a trigger yesterday

Posts: 951 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: athome
Deanna
Member
Member # 26854
Default  Posted: 3:05 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

I have to admitt that I thought if anyone would cheat in our marriage it would have been me. I told him how unhappy I was and he said he didn't feel the same way. And then the perfect storm hit. He had a woman throwing herself at him and telling him how great he was. Probably on the same day I was nagging at him for never getting anything done. She showed him how crappy his marriage really was. He didn't know he was unhappy until he saw how happy she made him.
I think all of us have the capacity to cheat if it is "the perfect storm" brewing.


DDay - 11/4/09
BS-49 DDay
fWS-46 DDay
EA/PA with childhood sweetheart/ kissed
R - 11/25/09
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Posts: 1461 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Northeast
Violetta
New Member
Member # 39749
Default  Posted: 3:22 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Same here, Deanna -- I was not a particularly faithful girlfriend in previous relationships, but I have been absolutely faithful to my husband. I never in a million years would have imagined he'd cheat. (In fact, it was pretty wildly acknowledged when we first met that I was way out of his league ...)

My husband also gave me the same line about how he didn't realize he was soooo unhappy until he was "truly" happy with her. Of course he didn't feel as happy -- you can't compare the work of a 12-year relationship (with three kids!) to the "fun" of going to lunch and concerts and going on long runs with someone new (I'm willing to bet if he compared the beginnings of both relationships, he'd find he was PLENTY happy when we first started seeing each other, too.)

[This message edited by Violetta at 3:23 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)]


Me: BS, 37
Him: WH, 37 (EA with coworker)
Three kids: 6, 4 and 2
Married 10 years, together 12
D Day: 6/21/13
Filed: 8/15/13

Posts: 49 | Registered: Jul 2013
Topic Posts: 19