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Reconciliation
User Topic: Pride... in the name of love?
Montreal
Member
Member # 40627
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, September 22nd (Sunday)

Apologies to the U2 fans out there.

I know that everybody here has a story that would take up pages and pages were it to be explained fully, and mine is no exception. Nonetheless, I will try to keep this brief so I can get to my question.

DDay + a shade under 3 months now. In February of this year my wife decided she wanted to have a ONS, so she went onto Ashley Madison and timed it for a business trip she had coming up later that month. Perfect scenario, her out of town, nobody to know, me taking care of our three young kids at home. Mission accomplished. Problem is, she liked it. So she went back to AM and decided to find somebody in Montreal. Which she did. Unfortunately for her Guy #2, after sleeping with her for the first time, turned out to be "too creepy" as she put it. So back to AM she went to find somebody else, again with much success.

Long story short, three guys in a span of about a month, five encounters total she tells me. She stayed in contact with Guy #3, sleeping with him a couple more times, until I found out in July and forbid any further contact with him. I believe she has respected this, and is remorseful, trying to do everything right, etcetera, etcetera.

"It was just sex" she tells me, which is probably the worst thing you could say to a guy. Or at least to me.

So my question... when will I be able to see forgiveness as a strength, and not a weakness? I'm leaning heavily towards divorce right now, because I am so embarrassed and humiliated by the whole thing, and I don't know if I can be with somebody who treated me so callously. But we have three kids who I adore, and the thought of giving up the lifestyle we have to become a split family just kills me. I want to love my wife again, but I can't get over the three guys thing. I'm so... insulted? That doesn't seem like the right word. My pride hurts too much is perhaps a better way to put it. How do I get past this? Should I get past this? I know its early, but I really feel like this is going to be my biggest obstacle to reconciliation. And perhaps even to recovery, if I am to do that alone following a divorce. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how I can get past the whole "I wanted to have sex with somebody other than you" hit to my pride and ego?


DDay: July 6, 2013
Trying.

Posts: 91 | Registered: Sep 2013
RockyMtn
Member
Member # 37043
Default  Posted: 9:59 AM, September 22nd (Sunday)

Pride has been my biggest obstacle. It is for a lot of people. It took me a long time (and I'm still not there) to accept my decision to R - both times (my 2nd d-day was finding out that there had been a prior A to the one I discovered). It has taken me a TON of IC to work through this - to not see myself as a doormat. What has helped the most is to really detach, even as our M is growing healthier. This M is not me, my choice to stay is not me - these things don't have to define who I am. Even the best Ms shouldn't define an individual. So I can see the choice to R as just one element of my being and when I'm feeling down about the choice - I shift focus (detach) to non-M things.

I haven't necessarily forgiven yet...but I don't see being able to forgive/reconcile as a strength. I also don't see it as a weakness. It is simply a choice that carries pros and cons. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

In terms of the three men thing, since you are focused on the number, is to think of that month as one big mess-up. This doesn't work for everyone, but my WH's As almost overlapped. It kind of doesn't matter to me whether the months he spent cheating were with one person or two people. Some people, on the other hand, see each person (or even encounter) as totally separate, which is valid. But i just see it as one big fucked-up period. When you're in the screwy wayward mindset, no "aha!" is going to hit you between the APs. Totally NOT minimizing - there is a special kind of hurt that goes with knowing your spouse didn't even pause to think, "what am I doing?" between APs.


Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
rachelc
Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, September 22nd (Sunday)

there is a special kind of hurt that goes with knowing your spouse didn't even pause to think, "what am I doing?" between APs.

oh gosh, so so true... I've tried to put it into the "4th month long acting out phase" but damn, he pursued the 2nd one... I guess needed another fix. But it still hurts.

Montreal - I know it's so tough. Imagine how effed up a person is to do that with three DIFFERENT guys. That's pain, right there. And it has nothing to do with you...
I'm not sure it has anything to do with pride either. You are so so early in this journey, no matter where it ends up. Don't worry about forgiveness yet, or if you can get over this. Just take care of yourself and watch to see if she is getting healthy...


his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.


Posts: 5249 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
cantaccept
Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 10:33 AM, September 22nd (Sunday)

Montreal,

I wish I had words of comfort to offer. All I can say is that I still struggle with feelings of humiliation, not because of the # of ap's but because he left me for her, chose her over me. It still causes me to have overpowering feelings of humiliation.

I also understand your uncertainty about being able to forgive, to live with this, to be able to move on. It is a struggle to feel that you are not betraying yourself.

My IC/MC tells me that I am not betraying myself, I am honoring my commitment to my marriage vows, I am taking them to heart and doing everything in my power to reconcile, but I am not accepting the past behavior, I am raising the bar as to the kind of life I want. That does make me feel a bit better at times.

The humiliation is tough for me and I still struggle with that. With the thoughts of "what is wrong with me?". Knowing that it has nothing to do with you and feeling like it has nothing to do with you seems to be one of my biggest hurdles.

It is still so fresh and raw for you. Give yourself time. I remember one thing my MC/IC said to me in the beginning was that the only thing that I had to decide at that point in time was that I did not have to decide anything in that moment. I gave me permission to just live, not try to push to make any decision that I just was not ready for.

It really does take time. (i still fight that)

Posting here has also been invaluable to me. It helps to remind me that I am "normal".


"So often times it happens, that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key"

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013
wh boots5050
attempted R, it was all a lie

Divor


Posts: 1418 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
kansas1968
Member
Member # 32214
Default  Posted: 3:05 PM, September 22nd (Sunday)

Pride,I hadn't thought about it before, more in terms of of self-respect, but I guess it boils down to the same thing. To live and love someone who has betrayed you in such a callous manner is the toughest thing I have ever done and it still eats at me. My instinct is to say "FU" and be on my way, but it would not really be in my best interests to do that, so I stay.

You are very new to this and the best advice is to not make any life altering decisions for at least a year. Your head will be clearer the, and probably hers also.

It sounds like she needed a break from real life, like we all do at times, but she chose the most destructive path she could have to achieve that. Now you will have to heal and she will have to do a LOT of work to allow you to heal.

Communication is so important. If she had just told you she was overwhelmed by life, maybe she could have arranged for a week away occasionally. Instead, she chose something that blew her "safe" relationship with you to smithereens.

I know the the sex feels really personal, but she was just needing a fantasy. I has NOTHING to do with you and your abilities as a man, nothing.

I am so sorry she chose this solution to her personal problem. It always only makes things worse, never better. Keep posting. You will get much support and love here. This site is truly a life-saver.



Me - BS
Him - FWS
DD - December 14, 2010
Married 43 years 1/14/2011
Affair lasted 7+ years
Affair had been over for 2 years before I found out. OW sent me a letter.

Posts: 1319 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Kansas
ShedSomeLight
Member
Member # 40212
Default  Posted: 5:30 AM, September 23rd (Monday)

I'm so sorry.... My feeling are with you. I suffer to with the "pride" issue. I am about 2 months into this. My Domestic Partner had a three year affair with a woman who also decided to "stalk" me. She stalked me everywhere possible. She made hundreds of phone calls to me, stalked me on facebook...sat in front of our house..sent me mail. I found out because I had the Police put a tracer on my phone...and then that is how I discovered the affair. He confessed immediately as she began to stalk me because he was pulling away from her. I am still here....going to therapy and trying to work things out...but I can say everyday is a struggle. My therapist tells me that in time, I will know what to do. He wants to work things out and has so far done everything possible to makes things right again...but in reality..How can they ever be right again. I wonder if I just move on...will that be better for me. I am sure you wonder that as well. We are not married, but we own a house together. I have had day dreams about just getting a moving truck when he is not home and taking all my stuff and disappearing. All the furniture in this house is mine, so It would be empty !!! They say time heals all wounds....but does it really ?? All I can say is in time...you will know what to do.

Posts: 127 | Registered: Aug 2013
Montreal
Member
Member # 40627
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, September 23rd (Monday)

It has taken me a TON of IC to work through this - to not see myself as a doormat. What has helped the most is to really detach, even as our M is growing healthier. This M is not me, my choice to stay is not me - these things don't have to define who I am. Even the best Ms shouldn't define an individual. So I can see the choice to R as just one element of my being and when I'm feeling down about the choice - I shift focus (detach) to non-M things.

That's how I see myself - as a doormat. Like everybody else I would imagine before finding out I was like "if my wife ever cheated on, that's it!" If somebody had of said to me "what about if she cheated on you with three different people?" then there would be no question whatsoever what my answer WOULD have been… and yet, here I find myself trying to salvage my marriage, trying to figure out a way get past what I would have deemed totally unacceptable, without feeling like a complete doormat.

How do you do the detachment thing? It sounds like something I should try.

oh gosh, so so true... I've tried to put it into the "4th month long acting out phase" but damn, he pursued the 2nd one... I guess needed another fix. But it still hurts.

Yeah, that part really hurts too (what part doesn't?). The fact that SHE was the pursuer… it's not a case of her getting drunk one night and making a mistake, or even some guy chasing her for months and her finally relenting in a moment of weakness… No, she deliberately decided to do this. Premeditated. Of course she never wanted to get caught, but still. It is indeed a special type of pain.

My IC/MC tells me that I am not betraying myself, I am honoring my commitment to my marriage vows, I am taking them to heart and doing everything in my power to reconcile, but I am not accepting the past behavior, I am raising the bar as to the kind of life I want. That does make me feel a bit better at times.

I want to believe this… but it falls into my "nice guy" hangup that I have. I am a nice guy. A really nice guy. She went for the bad boys. Doing what you say seems to be… I don't know, playing into the pattern that led to the whole mess somehow. I'm not sure that would make me feel better. And as I said above, if you had of asked me beforehand there would have been no question as to what I would have said I would do. How do I view trying to reconcile as not betraying myself? My pride, my self-respect? Like if she can do THIS to me, then what the hell will I stand up for myself on?? I feel like there should be consquences for her actions, but what? How can I prove to her that this is unacceptable?

I know the the sex feels really personal, but she was just needing a fantasy. I has NOTHING to do with you and your abilities as a man, nothing.

Yeah, that's what she tells me, but during my initial discover days I came across a text from her to her best friend, in which she described Guy #1 as "the best lay of her life". Worse still, Guy #1 was on her business trip, so I stayed up late waiting for her to get home and greated her with what I thought would be a passionate, welcome-home-I-missed-you-so-much-get-in-bed-with-me-right-now move. She told her friend that I accosted her, that it was horrid, wonderbread in comparison to her AP's hazel-glazed donut or something. Crushing, as you can imagine. She tells me now that I can't take what she said in the heat of that moment too seriously, as of course there is no way I can compare to that thrill. Not with the kids sleeping 10 feet away, the day-to-day living, the exhaustion, homework, dishes, sporting activities and so on. He was a fantasy, I'm reality and of course it's different. But that doesn't really make me feel any better.

How can they ever be right again. I wonder if I just move on...will that be better for me. I am sure you wonder that as well

I wonder that pretty much every minute of every day. And that's really only a slight exaggeration. Ann Landers used to ask her writers "will you be happier with them, or without them?" Right now the only answer I can seem to come up with is "I don't think I will be happy either way."

Is my pride too big? Time... time... who was it that said "time" is their new four-letter word? They couldn't be more right...


DDay: July 6, 2013
Trying.

Posts: 91 | Registered: Sep 2013
SadFlower
Member
Member # 37725
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, September 23rd (Monday)

Montreal, my FWH and I are 13 months out from D-Day, and I still struggle with pride.

Rather than multiple partners over a short period of time, my FWH chose one partner over a very long period of time. That he could go behind my back, month after month, year after year, have sex, share emotions that he was not sharing with me, still hurts me. The sense of humiliation that I feel--I was not enough for him, either sexually or emotionally--has inflicted a wound from which I will surely never completely recover.

But after 13 months, the hurt is less intense than at the beginning. R is going well, but we're not out of the woods yet.

Interesting that your WW told you that "it was just sex." Women tend to attach more importance to emotional involvement, while for men it's sexual involvement, according to Dr. Shirley Glass (Not Just Friends). Your WW probably thought that "just sex" would make you feel a little less bad, but it actually made you feel worse.

For me personally, both are equally bad.

I guess I really have no concrete advice for you, except hang in there if your WW is remorseful and willing to work on herself and your M. Time does dull the pain, as well as the WS's behavior (proving him/herself trustworthy, maintaining NC, etc.).

It's like sustaining a leg injury. It will heal and we will walk again, but always with a limp.


Me: BW, age 66
Him: WH, age 64
Married 19 years
In R.

D-Day: August 14, 2012
9 year LTA with former co-worker and family "friend"/7 years EA+PA, 2 more years EA


Posts: 407 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Connecticut
herongirl
New Member
Member # 40398
Default  Posted: 6:16 PM, September 23rd (Monday)

For me, it's more of feeling of being stupid, which is just a variation of pride. In my family, being "stupid" is the biggest sin you can commit & basically means you deserve whatever you get. I have spent years trying to eradicate this from my thinking, but in the aftermath of my WS's A, it has returned full-force. I have only told 1 person in my family, for fear of being judged for not only trying to R with a cheater, but also marrying a man that was cheating from day 1 of our relationship & not realizing it. Turning off this internal soundtrack has been a big challenge for me. Remembering that his decision to cheat says nothing about me but volumes about him, & I did nothing wrong in falling in love & trusting my husband has become my mantra. I'm hoping, in time, we will all get past the wounded pride to feeling proud of doing what's best for us, regardless of what anyone else thinks about it.


Me- BS
D-day 1/21/13
Trying to reconcile

I can't make you happy, unless I am (Ziggy Marley-True to Myself)


Posts: 30 | Registered: Aug 2013
RockyMtn
Member
Member # 37043
Default  Posted: 7:47 AM, September 25th (Wednesday)

How do you do the detachment thing? It sounds like something I should try.

Sorry, I'm a little late in responding to this, I hope you see it.

Detachment was a process. It took me months to feel it. But I did start the process pretty early on, as in, "fake it til you make it" - I handled myself like someone who could detach from this crap, even if I didn't feel detached.

I found some new, enlightening things to do. I took up yoga. Not just for the mental/emotional benefits, but also just to have a hobby to focus on, something else to define who I was.

I also took up meditation. I'm no Buddhist, but there are a ton of positive messages about the happiness within, letting go of outside circumstances, etc. that were really helpful and eventually sank in for me. The outside circumstance that made me feel like a doormat was set aside so I could focus on what was growing inside me.

I also did a lot of positive self-talk. Whenever I was beating myself up for being a doormat, I reminded myself of all the ways that I am NOT a doormat. I'm not a doormat to my kids, or at work. Even though I decided to stay, I reminded myself that I wasn't holding back with my WH in R...i.e. I wasn't being a doormat in that moment.

I will say this - for all the focus on non-M things - a big part of being able to detach is watching my WH take responsibility for himself. Watching him work his ass off. Watching him grow and evolve into just a fantastic human being. In this context, it is easy to see myself as someone who took a risk for a great reward, rather than someone who let herself get walked on. And when I see him busting his ass working on himself, it is really easy for me to look inward and not towards him (detach).

Again, it is a process. I'm 2 years out from D-Day 1, which was my rock-bottom. The detachment really started to happen fully about 1 year in.


Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
Topic Posts: 10