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WanttToBeHappy posted 5/15/2019 14:50 PM

WS had 3.5 year double life.
Not excusing but has BPD and traits of narcissust although therapist says a true narc would never do therapy.
Heís been in weekly sessions about 3 months now and states he enjoys the weekly takes
He is obsessed about loosing me and kids. I donít get it. How can you create a life with another woman and promise then the world and then wake one day and realize what You wanted was in your face the whole time?
Now...he is everything he should have been years ago, and I want to believe this but how can I forget what he did. This wasnít a month fling. This was a double life. Day was Feb12 and here I sit more confused than ever.
I finally set a strict plan of who stays at house with kids on what day until end of August so I can breath and heís not up my ass crying for forgiveness.
Sept I want to make a final decision of try or just call it.
Anyone successful overcome a LTA??? I donít know what to do. My heart is confused. One day Iím head strong on divorce, next itís like try R. I flip in a matter of seconds
How do people even look at themselves doing this to their spouse??? Iíll never understand :(
Anyone believe this had to happen to be a strong couple?
Iím not too convinced if that, but I hear some say that. Canít help but wonder I can try and start over with a real man would be love me and treat me right from day one.

SisterMilkshake posted 5/15/2019 15:14 PM

Have to post and run, but quickly wanted to make a few points in response to your post.

1. Reconciled after my FWH's 7 year LTA.
2. Give yourself permission to not make any decisions right now about R or D.
3. WS's think differently than most BS's. What they say and do ISN"T logical. We will never understand. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to understand. It will never make sense.
4. No, this doesn't have to happen to make you a strong couple. It may be the impetus for changes that make you a strong couple but it is a bullshit, and unnecessary, way to effect change in one's marriage.
5. No guarantee's that starting over with a "real" man will keep that man from cheating on you, too.

WanttToBeHappy posted 5/15/2019 15:21 PM

Wow!!! 7 year LTA. I canít imagine. How did you decide to R?
Could really use a friend right now.
Iím so down

psychmom posted 5/15/2019 16:16 PM

Sounds like the hateful rollercoaster of emotions, WantToBeHappy. That up, down, all around rollercoaster ride of emotions can last for many more months. I would switch within minutes from wanting to D, to believing he was just a "good man who done bad". Hard to make sense of any of it during those early months post DDay.

My H had an EA that lasted over 3 years with a woman half his age. She played him for the fool he was, taking his gifts, his money, but not giving much in return except weed occasionally and a (fake) sympathetic shoulder to cry on. But he thought at the time he was in love with her. And that maybe she would one day love him, too. Crazy shit, isn't this?

And when she moved away for a short time he lost it -- lost his best friend and completely had a melt down, taking him to the 2 PAs that happened in the year after she first left. He was just so darn sad that she was gone!

But when DDay hit, he ditched them all. He quickly realized what a prick he had become, and was, and that his selfishness and narcissism was going to cost him his daughters, his marriage, the family that actually meant quite a lot to him. But he was living in fantasyland by that time, fueled in part by regular porn viewing as well. A big freaking mess.

So I don't know if you'd call my situation a LTA, but in a way it was. And the fantasy was real. Until it wasn't. Some of the best advice I received early on here was that I didn't need to make any decisions until I was ready, and that could take some time. Like a year or more. That helped me breath more easily, and it seemed that I had to choose immediately and stick to my choice. But I was wrong and by allowing myself to settle in limbo for awhile, to sit back and watch him for 6 months, then 12 months (his request that I give him a year to show me where his heart and mind were), I was able to move forward and remain on the path of R, although I've strayed over to D more than a few times in the past nearly 5 years.

Take care of yourself, nurture your children and help them know that they have you as their stable parent. It's easy to fall into our own fantasy that "life would be better if I just D his sorry ass", but in reality, it may not turn out that way. I figured I could take some time to let him do some work on himself, take some time for MC and working to improve our communication and relationship, and not have to make any choices until I could see things more clearly.

Stay focused on the fact that we (the BS in our sad story) were an afterthought, not the primary motivator for their behavior. Cheating was all about them, what they were seeking, what they felt they lacked, evidence of poor coping skills, disordered thinking, the whole ball of wax. Our M was on life support when DDay hit, and DDay is what shook us lose from that marriage coma and forced us to start talking, to get real with one another, to recommit to each other and our future together. Trust took time to rebuild, but that's come a long way since that first year. And something else remarkable can happen during this time; you will become stronger than you ever knew you could be. And you will make the choice to D or R based on strength, rather than fear.

You are not alone, WantToBeHappy. There are many here walking the path along side of you.

Svon posted 5/15/2019 16:59 PM

My husband and I are reconciling and obviously I do not know the specifics of your WHía affair, but I refuse to think of it as a double life. He came home to me. He took care of me financially and physically during surgeries, he was with me for holidays, all important events, he planned, saved and created a future and retirement with me, I had his name. She was just some dumb POA he was doing on the side that had no basis in reality. So he was lying and doing some shady shit, but I was the real life. She was nothing evidenced at how quickly he dumped her ass. I often wonder why she settled for scraps. Literally scraps. She was married too. I wonder if she feels as worthless and used as she is and was? I knew in my heart from day 1 that I wanted to try and reconcile. We just had too much to throw away even if he had spent years abusing it. I struggled with whether I could do it. It took about 3 months before I was ďall inĒ as in committed to trying. Give yourself time. The best advice I got from a therapist is to do nothing but heal myself and work to make myself happy. The viability of my marriage could and would be figured out later, when I was stronger. I also realized early on that the pain would be there whether I stayed or divorced and the only way to get through to the other side was to feel all the pain. I was in no shape to plan a divorce at the time. As the pain lessened and my husband kept up his work, I became convinced we could make it. Donít get me wrong, itís still a roller coaster and hurts at times, but things are so much better. I am happy again and you will be too whatever you choose.

sunwillshine posted 5/15/2019 17:46 PM

I think it takes two main things to R. Certainly there are other things. 1. A remouseful spouse who is willing to do everything it takes to heal themselves and have empathy for the bs.
2. The bs must do the hard work to heal themselves from the trauma and abuse they have been living with and at some point be able to move through the hurt.
I'm not sure the type of A matters that much. That being said I am in R with a man who had 3 nsa, lta all during the same period of time. The longest was 10 years, the other 2 were 5 or 6 years. There were also ons and internet sex, etc.
The only advise I can give is that you take care of you first and you do not have to make any decisions any time soon. It took me over a year to decide I wanted to stay in the m and a few more months to move back in.

crazyblindsided posted 5/15/2019 17:57 PM

I believe it can be successful, but only if you have a remorseful spouse who continues to do the work and when it is not a dealbreaker for the BS.

I have not been able to get over my WS's 3 year LTA (which includes False R)and he was not remorseful. I'm in limbo but pleasantly detached.

Babette2008 posted 5/15/2019 18:05 PM

I'm another one with a spouse that had multiple LTAs and we are still together. We actually had a good M for most of it, and the weaknesses I felt can now be explained by the impacts of the double life. If my H and I had had a shitty M I would have definitely walked. But we actually get along well. I like him alot and he is a good dad. I am not worried that he's cheating, but I do worry that his ability to live the double life for so long means that he is too good for comfort in compartmentalizing and in presenting a fake persona. He avoids conflict like it's nuclear waste and is terrified of how people see him.
This crosses over into most of his relationships. Lots of FOO issues, his parents are the same. It's some comfort that his APs knew the real person even less than I did, but for many years they did get the better version :-( even if it was fake. Im not sure what the future holds, but am ready for whatever.

I don't know how to counsel you, except to give you the classic Ann Landers advice " are you better with or without him?". The answer may change over time - but it's what you should keep in mind. Don't stay in a shitty M, you deserve better than that. Alot of the Ms here I would flee from. But don't leave a M that works for you because you feel like it's expected of you because he had a LTA if he is serious about R. My H's As we're over by my DD, and I think that that if he had been having an A when I found out I would have left him. There is no way I could have lived with a man who was actively cheating. And if he cheats again I walk.

Chaos posted 5/15/2019 19:26 PM

My WH had a 4.5 year LTA. 3 years on DDay1. 1.5 years underground. I was blindsided.

Iím still figuring it all out.

I too think of it as a double life. Although Svon has given me something to consider.

Others here have given good advice. You are under no obligation to make any permenany decisions right now.

Take good care of yourself.

Nanatwo posted 5/15/2019 20:09 PM

Not sure what is considered a LTA - my H's lasted less than a year - but 3 months after meeting her he moved out to live with her - said he had met his soulmate. Was back home in less than a week - only to resume the A that I discovered three months later.

We are five years post Dday # 2 and it still hurts to think he wanted a life with her - she wasn't just a side piece. I was so torn - my heart wanted to believe he was truly remorseful and give our marriage a chance - my brain told me to run and never look back.

I don't believe this had to happen - my H tried to tell me that - said he needed a catalyst to deal with his issues and change. Called bullshit on that - told him there are ways to deal with issues and become a better person that don't involve destroying another person. Our marriage is in a good place and in many ways much stronger - but there are other ways we could have gotten here that didn't include infidelity.

Best advice - know it's ok not to make an immediate decision - you are dealing with so many emotions right now and the decision to commit to R or D needs to be made with a clearer head than you are probably capable of right now.

I had to detach - just sit back and see if he was capable and willing to put in the hard work needed to fix himself and become a safe partner. If you are considering R he needs to do everything in his power to prove to you he has dealt with his why's - what made him capable of justifying cheating. What is he doing to make you feel safe?

As my emotions started to level out after about four months I told him I wanted to give R a chance - but I could change my mind in a week - a month - a year and if he was willing to take that chance then I would commit to giving R a chance. His willingness to take that chance - and watching him put his heart and soul in to R slowly strengthened my commitment to R. I still vacillated - D was still an option - but it became less and less a consideration as we started to work together to rebuild our marriage.

The flip flop between R and D last for a long time - but his actions will go a long way in showing you what is best for you. This is a crazy time as you try to make sense of what has happened. You want to find logic in the whole mess -but as my IC told me - sometimes you just can't find logic in an illogical situation. It's a hard concept to grasp - but I had to accept it or I would drive myself crazy.

Take care of yourself - find a life outside of the marriage. Even though I wanted to R I knew I had to envision a life without him so I knew that I would be ok if R did not work out.

You will find so much support and good advice on SI. Know you are not alone in this journey - and what you are feeling is perfectly normal.

Tallgirl posted 5/15/2019 20:18 PM

we are all different and deal with Ltas differently. You have a big and difficult decision ahead. One that should not be rushed. It is hard to put a timeline on it. It can create some undo pressure.

make sure you donít put on rose coloured glasses. See things as they are. Take a hard look at what he is doing to be safe for you. Sit with it to see if you can get through this. It is hard as hell. I was in limbo when I found out my wh had hidden that he went to a massage parlour for 5years before the 5 year A started. We are now in a trial separation because I am reeling that he lied -trust is gone - this was a dealbreaker for me - and now the character of his cheating is different.

My husband had a double life for 5 years. And it was an absolute double life.. he called her his best friend, the love of his life, his soul mate. He saw her 3days a week . They dreamt about their future, talked about how he would leave me, planned it with her, he was grateful for having her in his life every day. I was not important, I would go as far as saying I was hated for a couple of years. He was so selfish that he would not leave me, I took care of real life while he played in fantasy land. He treated me like shit. My marriage was a not good.

In fact Yesterday was our 25 anniversary. There was no reason to celebrate. I didnít talk to him. He is remorseful now. Wants us.

It is my choice. I do not want to R to go through this again. So I am taking a break, going to refind my centre and then I hope I can decide what is right for me.

Do what is right for you. He is optional. You have to respect and love yourself first.

And him he has a fuck of a lot of self discovery, and change to do to become a good safe husband..

I wish you the best.

gmc94 posted 5/15/2019 20:38 PM

My WH had a 15+yr EA followed by 10yr PA with the same old girlfriend that I never knew existed on the planet.

I see R as the decision to try and make a NEW deal with my WH. His LTA completely - and unequivocally- killed our M (I took off my ring on dday and will never put it back on).

At 16 months from dday, I consider myself in limbo and TBH don't have much hope that we will ever R. My WH's paralyzing fear and conflict avoidance don't make him a candidate for me to commit to R. Today, he is not someone I would ever in a million years agree to marry.

Within a few months of dday I realized I was not "in R" because my WH was not "R material". I was so traumatized by the A (PTSD diagnosis #1) and then by my WH's suicide attempt (PTSD diagnosis #2) that I could not cope with the simple logistics of S or R while trying to heal myself and just be able to get through a day without a breakdown. By month 10-11 I began to start to detach from WH and begin to actually heal and regain my footing - and strength.

My gears switched from all the infidelity-related work (except, of course, for SI) to my own healing - my own trauma - and how I was gonna learn to walk again. It has been very good for me. I suspect I will spend the rest of my life reprocessing and learning to recover from the trauma of last year. That's OK, because I LEARN and GROW with every step.

As to R or D or the possibility of R after an LTA? SisterMilkShake has been successful (and she has some great no bullshit posts here on SI), so we know it's possible. But that doesn't mean it will ultimately be the right thing for you - you are the ONLY person that can make that call.

It sounds like you are separated (or have a custody schedule?) through the summer. Personally, I think that's a good first step (I still wish we'd separated right after dday - I NEEDED that space and it wasn't until we had a short 2-week separation around month 9-10 that I was finally able to pull away from WH and really focus on ME and not let the codependent bullshit pull me back into his self victimization). I can certainly understand why we want to set deadlines to decide, but I did come to a realization that it would not work for me (ie - I will "know" by x date). Maybe just set milestones or points to reassess the situation? For instance, every 3 months (or whatever period YOU want) you reevaluate where you are with respect to the progress he's made AND if it's sufficient for you to remain in the M. Maybe that assessment goes well. Maybe you still want to keep the status quo, or maybe you want to open up more, become more vulnerable. Or maybe not. We don't know. We can speculate, but this is one of those things where living in the moment kind of works best (or it has for me - so far).

Sounds like you aren't cool with him being "up my ass crying for forgiveness". That sounds pretty healthy to me. Have you told him that? Have you told him what you want and expect from him? Maybe you want to go with him to IC and set those boundaries - so everyone is clear on what YOU need.

Then just focus on YOU - get that space to breathe and use it to find joy, to build resilience, to learn to walk again, and to even learn and grow.


gmc94 posted 5/15/2019 20:41 PM

So I am taking a break, going to refind my centre and then I hope I can decide what is right for me.

He is optional. You have to respect and love yourself first.

And him he has a fuck of a lot of self discovery, and change to do to become a good safe husband..

I think this is some pretty good advice.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 5/15/2019 21:56 PM

I was not important, I would go as far as saying I was hated for a couple of years. He was so selfish that he would not leave me, I took care of real life while he played in fantasy land. He treated me like shit. My marriage was a not good.

Same here Tallgirl. You're spot on about the selfishness of having no intentions of leaving the marriage because wifey was taking care of the real world while they escaped it. It's what makes me feel used and that is bringing up anger and resentment.

My WH's LTA lasted at least 4 years. At 3 years out from DDay I still do not have an answer as to how long it lasted. I don't know when it began other than looking back to when red flags were popping up. But 4 years is quite enough to make me doubt my ability to move on.

My BFF told her husband that mine cheated. One of the first things he said to her was he can't see getting past the length. How do you get over that?

The thing for me is a LTA meant they communicated. A lot. They spent time together. They talked. Learned about each other's lives, marriages, family, friends, interests, life stories. There was a high level of trust that neither would expose the A, The trust so high that his MOW had no problem having her face in her pics and videos. No one knew. They managed to keep it secret for years.

She was his GF. They had a relationship. That it occurred during my marriage takes my breath away. I will never get over this.

I am stunned at the length of some of the LTA'S. How such deception can be carried out for so long is mind blowing to me. It's heartbreaking to read some of the numbers.

Infidelity is hell, but trying to come back from a LTA is a special kind of hell. I wish none of us were going through this. We deserved better. Much better.

Tallgirl posted 5/16/2019 05:26 AM

I am sharing this in the hopes that you learn from my situation. Things to look for, that might be similar. There is also an LTA thread in the I Can Relate thread. Lots of this type of sharing.

I have a driving need to understand what he was thinking and what drove his decisions so I asked a lot of questions around various actions. Much of it feels contradictory. I have not got a lot of satisfaction.

For example, he wanted to end the A which I am told was for the last three years, they broke up every few months and got back together. I recently found a gratitude note written by him for him. He was grateful for our kids, being able to go back to school, and he was grateful for her everyday, he wrote that he needed to do more for her. I was not mentioned even though he wanted to end the relationship, even though he was in school full time and not making money. It was all about her. This was written 7 months before DDay1.

In my case he explains something as he looks back but his own words and past actions contradict what he says today. He did not remember it.

He is lying to himself now. Making himself a better man because he canít understand what he did now. He does not remember.

Here is his work. Self truth and understanding - seeing the reality then. Here is my fear. He believes his own words. He has a lens that shows his actions in a better light now. ďI wanted out! I wanted our MĒ.

This week as he spewed loving words to me, I asked him how can I believe him - he is a proven liar, full of contradictory behaviour. I suggested either he is mentally ill or simply the ugly cruel person he was. He has to be able to see yesterdayís and todayís reality to understand the why's, start to be a safe person.

He tells me he knows his whys. It is surface level. He hasnít done the work. He doesnít see what I see. And this is where I worry. Does he have to remember it all - no. Does he have to explain everything - no. But he has to understand the what and the why enough so I can trust him again. He has 10 years of lying to overcome! This doesnít change because he now promises to never do it again. He has broken thousands promises already.

All As are horrendous and there are so many sad stories here. Those of us whose WHs had parallel lives for years have a special kind of hell to go through. I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

Big hugs.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 5:29 AM, May 16th (Thursday)]

Tallgirl posted 5/16/2019 05:27 AM


[This message edited by Tallgirl at 5:27 AM, May 16th (Thursday)]

Chaos posted 5/16/2019 06:56 AM

he wanted to end the A which I am told was for the last three years, they broke up every few months and got back together.

Tallgirl - I got this a lot as well.

The1stWife posted 5/16/2019 07:30 AM

My H had a long term 4 year EA. He refused to admit it.

Then decades later he had an EA turned PA and after a few months he wants a D. False reconciliation and he demands a D again.

Typical mid life crisis Affair.

We survived it and reconciled and have a good marriage. The first year was awful. I thought about D almost every day.

Best advice is to take your time. Make solid decisions not snap or emotional decisions.

For some people certain things are dealbreakers. Only you can decide that fir yourself. But just know that reconciliation takes time, patience and commitment on both parts.

Oldwounds posted 5/16/2019 10:02 AM

I'm not much on comparing the types of affairs -- the special Hell we enter after any kind of betrayal is horrible enough, and I can only know my own pain and anger.

My wife's LTA is something she truly believed was based on some real feelings. In her mind, the only way she would betray her OWN values is because it was special enough to cross a line she was certain she would never cross.

I don't know about ALL long term infidelity, but hers really was like any other shorter A -- they just kept repeating the same shallow cycle. When her AP (a family 'friend') realized (about three years in) that my wife thought "their" feelings were real, he started to panic. He made himself less and less available and then he dumped her in a way that is about as harsh as anything I've read here -- so she would have no doubts the WHOLE thing was about him USING her.

So, the physical stuff ended then, but my wife still could not believe anyone would lie about their feelings -- it would mean she risked it all for nothing. Which was a truth she had a hard time facing. Anyway, we moved away from that place and AP showed up at our door 2-years later. He figured enough time had passed, he could better control an affair from long distance. So, he asked her to start up again. It was the first time she told him no. First time she saw him for who he was and what she had been.

I think the only kind of starting point for any R is that the WS owns all of it. And then they learn from bad choices and they choose to change.

For me, I'm only in it to be in a relationship worth having TODAY. Who my wife is now is the key. Remorse is fine. Her working to be a good partner is dandy. But what I need is someone who hates what they did almost as much as me and wants ME for me.

Three years later, we're more kind to each than ever before. We talk and we're more authentic than ever before. We can't make up for lost time, but is fun trying make up for it anyway.

As always, only YOU know what you need and want -- if anything -- from the person who hurt you. It ain't easy, but it can be worth it if both people are looking to find a way back to each other.

WanttToBeHappy posted 5/16/2019 17:03 PM

Thank you all for the support! I have cried everyday since feb 12 and have lost 24lbs. I am mentally and physically drained
I keep asking WS the same question...why??? How??? Why??
I then found out my 13yo knows and he is mad at his dad. He ask him...did you even think of us? Itís heartbroken for me and my kids. A real man wouldnít do this. A real woman wouldnít do this.
Iím not even sure my 13yo wants me to stay married to his dad. How sad is that?
He claims to be working hard but who really knows anything. Was he a dick husband?? Yep...but never in a million years did I ever think he would do this
I should have though. Heís been selfish the entire marriage. My fault knowing and marrying anyway.
Wish I had all the answers. A crystal ball pointing me to happiness

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