Return to Forum List

Return to General® > General

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Lost My Best Friend

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47

hikingout posted 1/16/2020 14:06 PM

I cant promise that yet...I think it's part of the reason I cant move forward yet. I don't want to hurt her, push her down, rub her nose in it, etc. I'm not sure I can do that. I want her to be happy without feeling subservient. I'm not saying I would purposely do that. But I can see her bending over backwards to appease me, which in the long run is a bad idea.

Agree. I think your wife is just now seeing her codependence. The root of who your wife is and who I am are very similar. I was always overly compliant too. I have been happy to see her start to see it too, but it's still in early form.

skerzoid posted 1/16/2020 14:18 PM

Neanderthal & Others:

I seemed to have committed a TJ with my call for forgiveness that has set off a firestorm.

I said, "Whether you divorce or reconcile, you will only find peace in forgiving yourself & her. You will always be in one another's lives."

I am not a religious fanatic, but let me quote a little scripture:

"The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly. ... Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus."


"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ďSimon, son of John, do you love me more than these?Ē He said to him, ďYes, Lord; you know that I love you.Ē He said to him, ďFeed my lambs.Ē He said to him a second time, ďSimon, son of John, do you love me?Ē He said to him, ďYes, Lord; you know that I love you.Ē He said to him, ďTend my sheep.Ē He said to him the third time, ďSimon, son of John, do you love me?Ē Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ďDo you love me?Ē and he said to him, ďLord, you know everything; you know that I love you.Ē Jesus said to him, ďFeed my sheep."

This was after the Resurrection, & it was Jesus way of giving Peter forgiveness for the greatest betrayal in history. Three "I love you's" for three betrayals.

In other words, God was giving Peter the responsibility of leading his followers through the soon to be trials and tribulations that early Christians were to go through and are still are going through. This was not something that could be done if he didn't forgive and trust him.

The point I am making is, whether or not they R or D, he needs to cleanse his soul of the hatred that is eating at him like a cancer.

They will still be involved for the rest of their lives through their child. This needs to be on a basis of equality. As long as they are still harboring the need for revenge or "justice" there can never be equality.

There is no other way to balance the books.

[This message edited by skerzoid at 2:25 PM, January 16th (Thursday)]

numb&dumb posted 1/16/2020 14:21 PM

I know you were implying maybe I hear an abusive parent or something, but I don't. Maybe because I don't even remember what they sounded like.

Not the actual voice but the words is what I meant.

It sounds like your W and you have both done things you regret. I think that is a good starting point to see where things go.

Why do you think you will punish her forever ? Do you still punish yourself for your choices that have hurt others ?

Do you think that a person can redeem themselves ? Make amends ?

Lieswearmedown posted 1/16/2020 14:31 PM

You donít have to promise that yet. In fact, in reading above it sounds like you are frustrated with yourself because you want to skip steps that are vital in this process. You sound as if you are disappointed in yourself because you want to knock this out of the park and be brilliantly successful at it when everyone has to go through some version of the same steps. It takes time, wading through pain, and ugly brutal honesty about yourself and your partner. It takes a leap of faith even when your head is screaming at you that you need more data! LOL. It takes trusting your own judgment and what you see versus what youíre being told. For example, a comment you made above reads as if you believe the 180 didnít work for you. To the contrary, it did exactly what it was intended to do. It gave you space to think. It allowed you to detach enough such that you could start identifying where your struggles are, what they are rooted in, and what you need to fix. It gave you clarity to realize just how massive this issue is and what youíre dealing with. Thatís a step. Itís not a sexy glamorous step, but a step nonetheless. Sometimes it takes as long as it takes. Self examination is at no oneís pace but your own.

That said, in the meantime, you need to be able to approach every action and interaction with your wife drilling one single question into your head:

Is what I feel and what I do or say in response to how I feel (all feelings are valid.. they are YOUR feelings) honestly constructive or destructive to me as a person, to her as a person, and to this marriage that we are in at this moment?

The trick is to speak and act according to the honest answer you give yourself. When, not if you mess up, donít make her be the one to call you on it. You know when youíve messed up. Own it out loud and sincerely then shake it all off like an Etch-a-Sketch and keep going. She has to do this for you too.

By the way, acknowledging ďsometimes I can be a real shit and sometimes Iím in awe of how big a shit you can be tooĒ to each other is real. It puts you both in the same shitty boat.

To summarize, here are some quotes from my therapist (my IC, not a marriage therapist):

No one ever died from crying.

The two of you work until you donít work. Everyone gets scared. Do it anyway.

You donít own his private thoughts and you have no right to them. Letís not diminish the fact that he is now giving them to you freely, the ugly and too.

He is changing the entire way he has communicated with the human race up until now because he wants you. Letís not shit on that.

What is the cost to you if you behave in a way you yourself know is wrong? The price tag on that is a mystery until itís too late and youíve already cocked it up.


Howís that for a mish mash of assorted thoughts? Hopefully there is something in there that helps.

sisoon posted 1/16/2020 14:32 PM

You didn't explain why you think I'm whining. Just claimed that I was.
Can you see how short answer posts can leave a lot open to interpretation?
Yes - but I think that taking in the literal meaning of the words with minimal baggage will get my point across.

I gave you feedback. I asked if I was reading you right. Have you reviewed your posts for whining?

I don't know how to unstick myself. I was having a lot of trouble early on doing anything, so I tried to follow the advice here. 180, poly, separation, etc. Now I've done all those things and I feel worse....
IMO, this can easily be interpreted as whining, especially that '...tried to follow the advice...' phrase.

You're looking for someone to tell you how to heal you. You are the only person who knows how to heal you.

All anyone can do is provide counsel. You choose what counsel to follow. You take the consequences, positive and negative.

Partially because it gave me time to see who I was.
I'm not sure what you mean by that, but facing yourself and your pain and processing the pain are necessary for healing and for becoming the human being you want to be.

You have to be honest with yourself. You need to see yourself as you are, without judgement, without beating yourself up for apparent failures and without praise for what you like. You do need to look for the things you want to change, and you need to work effectively to effect those changes.

What new decisions should I be making?
Gently, this could easily be whining, too, because I can't possibly know what new decisions you need. That's something you and only you can figure out.


BTW my intention was not exactly to tell you to grow some balls. It was and remains to tell you that you have the power (the balls) to heal you and to make decisions for yourself, even though you seem to be telling yourself you don't.


I suggest starting with what you want. I suspect that you want things that are impossible, like someone to tell you what decisions you should make. So what do you want that's attainable.

Do you want R? Do you want D? Do you want to wait before making that decision?

You have the power to decide for you. You have the power to figure out the likelihood of getting what you want. You need help finding and using that power, but the power is in you.

Neanderthal posted 1/16/2020 14:32 PM

Why do you think you will punish her forever ? Do you still punish yourself for your choices that have hurt others ?

Do you think that a person can redeem themselves ? Make amends ?

I don't want to punish her forever. Or at all really. I worry I will harbor anger or resentment towards her. With my own infidelities, I'm well aware of what resentment can turn into if not checked.

I want to punish myself for my past choices. I'm open to suggestions. I am a glass half empty kind of guy. I don't allow myself to feel much joy....ever. I don't feel I deserve it.

Yes, people can redeem themselves and make amends.

Neanderthal posted 1/16/2020 14:35 PM

Before we continue Sisoon, this is my definition of whining.

complain in a feeble or petulant way

Is this what you are saying you see from me?

Neanderthal posted 1/16/2020 14:52 PM

I couldn't wait. lol

I don't trust me. My heart, my logic, none of it. Since Dday, I could probably be convinced the earth is flat. Now add that I am a wayward with wayward thinking, and I really don't trust me.

So when a Guide(mentor) says something like this:

Your beliefs are part of what got you into this. Your beliefs probably contribute to keeping yourself in pain. Why defend them? Questioning your beliefs may get you out of pain.
In fact, I'd bet changing some of your beliefs will be necessary for you to heal, both as a WS and as a BS. I just don't know which beliefs are the critical ones
It makes me think you see something I'm not seeing or refusing to see. For example, before you made this comment. I didn't think there was anything wrong with my belief system. I believe in right and wrong. So I started to question. Oh shit, what am I missing? It appears Sisoon sees something!

I certainly didn't think I was complaining in a feeble or petulant way.

emergent8 posted 1/16/2020 15:14 PM

Woah, I step back for a few days and things really take off...

Neanderthal, I'm glad you're back posting. I see this, and your recent revelations to your wife (and to SI) as an "action" step that may assist in getting you "unstuck". I think opening up the lines of communication with your wife (however cautiously), is also a step. Keep taking steps, please do not shut people out.

Re: forgiveness vs. reconciliation. I see this similarly to Lieswearmedown. I'm almost 3 years out and consider myself to be mostly reconciled. That said, I'm not sure I've reached the stage of "forgiveness" or if I ever will. I'm not sure it's important to me. To be honest, I'm not really sure what real "forgiveness" would mean or if it would change anything for me at this point. I do not resent him, I do not punish him. He has proven to me (and continues to prove to me) that he is sorry, that he values me and our relationship, and that he and our marriage was worth the gamble and the work that we've both done.

This is all to say, I certainly was nowhere close to forgiveness when I decided to give R a shot. For me, the decision to R was not whether I forgave him (or could imagine forgiving him) but it was to figure out what I wanted (for me, for us, for our future), what my H wanted, and whether or not I could see a future where any of that was possible. Part of this, was deciding whether he could be a safe partner to me, part of this was deciding whether I could get to a point where I didn't resent him. I then proceeded towards that end, taking small steps, ready to back out at any time if what I wanted and deserved was not possible. At some point, I found myself all in.

Like Lieswearmedown, understanding the A (and the weaknesses that led to it/enabled it) was more important to me than "forgiveness" because understanding it, helped me figure out if it was a fixable issue/problem or whether he was just a shitty, irredeemable person who could not be trusted. I know we've chatted about the utility of "whys" before. For me, this was their practical purpose.

You have a lot of people here who care about you Neanderthal, sometimes despite your best efforts . I'm disturbed that anyone would post entirely for the purpose of tearing you down - particularly by PM. Please try to focus on the voices that want better for you and not those that are purely negative. Something numb&dumb wrote recently strikes me as particularly relevant to you:

The thing that most people miss when someone is so angry is the amount of anger directed at themselves. Only when it is maxed out internally does it leak out in other ways. You are angry with yourself and since you don't have the support you need those angry messages play over and over in your head chipping away at what is left of your will to move on. No wonder you have no idea what you want. That confusion and the anger are 100% normal. No one can change that but you.

You say that you don't want to punish her indefinitely. That you don't want to resent her. I think those are good goals. Why do you hold your self-talk to a different standard?

I don't trust me. My heart, my logic, none of it

I struggled with this too.

sassylee posted 1/16/2020 18:42 PM

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to imply that forgiveness was a requirement to begin R. More that its a requirement to complete R. Does that make more sense?

When is R complete? I prefer to view reconciliation as a lifelong process. Reconciling means healing, improving, communicating, speaking and understanding love languages, rediscovering, healthy challenging...when should all those good things end?

I prefer using the verb reconciling. Iím 7 years out. Iím happy...there is very little left of what was our old marriage. What we have now is so much better and different, itís hard to believe we ever had that unhealthy period in our lives we call pre-affair. I hope we are never done reconciling...itís a journey not a destination.

Also, I used to twist myself up in knots about forgiveness. I asked for definitions and examples in my early days on SI. Iíd declare to my WH that I forgave him only to take it back a week later. I finally decided forgiveness is an abstract thing. Itís not tangible. Itís an idea with varied meanings to various people. Have I forgiven? Who knows. I DO know that Iím still here. I still love him. Iím still working to improve whatís become pretty damned good marriage. I hope we are together for the rest of our days. Do I need to name it and call it forgiveness? And can that just be enough?

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:31 PM, January 16th (Thursday)]

Neanderthal posted 1/19/2020 10:21 AM

You have a lot of people here who care about you Neanderthal, sometimes despite your best efforts
I've been rereading my thread. Doing my best to view it without my bias. I see a lot of anger. For some reason anger flows through me here. I kept saying I wasn't angry, but that's not really true. I feel anger all around me, towards everything with one big exception.....My wife. I am not angry at her or at least I wont allow myself to be. So I take it out on friends, coworkers, internet strangers, my daughter, walmart shoppers, and myself. What I post is very very raw and authentic, but very limited in view or scope. Somehow I want to continue being honest but only after giving time to reflect on whats posted.

I have pushed away many people with good intentions. I react quickly without taking the time to see if my knee jerk reaction is accurate. I am quick to judge others and label them failures for the way they handled there infidelity. I have no business judging anyone.

I am terrible at accepting help. To me that means I am a failure. I know this isn't logical and very detrimental to me. But I am trying, and apparently failing at that too.

So then Sisoon made a well intentioned post and I blew up. To me I was asking for help, something I struggle with and I was be labeled a whiner. Then my internet rage poured out. Unfortunately this time, my anger was IRL too. I had my daughter and was taking it out on her. I had a mini break down and asked my wife to come get her. I fell into a dark place for about 48 hours, missed work, didn't get out of bed. I missed out on two days with my little one, due to my anger.

I know I need an outlet for my anger and the obvious solution is to do something physical. I will being working on that.

Sisoon also hit the nail on the head. I absolutely don't want the decision making in this process. In some ways, I am avoiding it. Keeping myself in limbo.

Maybe continuing to talk to my wife will help us out of limbo, whatever that ends up being. She knows I am really struggling with all this. She admitted she thought about taking the decision making out of my hands. She thought about asking for a divorce. Hearing her say that hurt. For some reason I still want her to want me.

Lostgirl410 posted 1/19/2020 11:10 AM


Sometimes we have to finish breaking before we can put ourselves back together. In contrast to the other day, this last post of yours looks like good progress.

ohsospecial posted 1/19/2020 11:43 AM


In my experience, when I am most angry ( about anything, not just marriage/spouse), itís because Iím actually hurting. I donít like to say Iím hurting, because it makes me feel weak. I donít like to appear weak because I know Iím a strong woman. But my convoluted thinking on this doesnít help anyone, especially me. I remind myself that itís my amygdala overreacting. I need to let my thinking brain, not my feeling brain, take control.

Not making a decision IS making a give up your own control of your life. However, you CAN decide to wait on a final decision, with the intention to examine options over a somewhat defined period of time.

And exercise. (Iím one to talk; Iíve skipped 3 workouts because I canít face the day.)

Keep posting.

OwningItNow posted 1/19/2020 12:03 PM

I am trying to R, but I don't feel forgiveness. I thought I might explain what I do feel that allows R.

When I remember terrible hurts, I tell myself, "But he is not that person right now." When he and I discuss it, I say, "This only works as long as I see you putting in the work, living differently, showing me how you are not the old you." He agrees. And every day I see that we have a new marriage. I want nothing, nothing to do with the old marriage. I don't like who those people were.

When we have a conflict and he doesn't shut down, I see he is different. When he is heading to his IC appt, I see he is different. When he faces a task that he would have avoided, I see he is different. When I am upset and he doesn't defend his actions but instead listens, I see he is different. We have worked through his whys, his shame, his justifications and secrecy, and I see that his behaviors and choices have changed. He is a new person. I try to match his changes with my own, and he tells me that I am different, too.

I didn't forgive and stay with a cheater; I accepted that I can't change a traumatic event in my past and then stayed with my new and improved partner. To be honest, he seems to be quite the self-actualized catch right now. Why would I let him go?

HellFire posted 1/19/2020 13:41 PM

You want her to want you,because you still love her.

Under all of that pain,is love.

Under all of that anger,is love.

You love her. And that's ok.

You don't see how you can get past things, to reconcile.

Reconciliation is a life long process. It never ends. You are constantly working on your marriage, and yourselves. Which is a good thing. It's not all pain. It's life.

I think you should give her a chance. Give yourself a chance. Give your daughter her intact family. Give your marriage a chance.

I truly think,with both of you owning your shit,you have a chance at something beautiful together.

You love her. So let her love you.

Oldwounds posted 1/19/2020 13:47 PM

Reconciliation is a life long process. It never ends. You are constantly working on your marriage, and yourselves. Which is a good thing. It's not all pain. It's life.

That's a very succinct way to describe R and I agree completely.

Pain is a huge part of life, it just is. I wouldn't wish the pain of infidelity on anyone -- well maybe the AP -- but not anyone else.

But it ain't all bad.

I love where my life is now, compared to the Hell it was.

You'll find you in all this N.

Be kind to you first.

Anger was a HUGE part of my first two years. It took a while to process all of it.

Neanderthal posted 1/20/2020 13:10 PM

Rules....I struggle with them. Laws, ethics, guidelines, etc.
I learned or believed at a young age that rules were not necessarily in place for me to follow. I believed/believe rules are in place to protect dumbasses. Some people just aren't wired in a way to see inherent danger so without rules, they will literally walk off a cliff just because a fence or sign wasn't there to tell them not too.

I can give another example. If a busy 4 way intersection didn't have stop signs, would you stop before crossing? Or at least slow down? I know I would and so would most people. But a few dumbasses will continue at a high rate of speed just because nothing told them to stop. Therefore a law is created to protect the few dumbasses. Which makes us all suffer. SO what do I do at stop signs? I slow down, check for danger and proceed (rolling Stop). So I broke the law.

Unfortunately I have that same mindset to most rules, expectations or whatever. I challenge the company policies at work. I look for grey areas to save money. Essentially life is all about me. Everything revolves around me. Why should I be affected by a stop sign to save another dumbasses life? I am very selfish. I don't see the big picture. Maybe the dumbass that runs the stop sign hits a mini van full of kids. Now innocent law abiding people are hurt.

All of this is to say I need to stop justifying my actions by saying "See! No one got hurt!" I did that with my marriage. I took my vows for granted. I allowed resentment, anger, depression, alcohol to excuse my actions. To bend the rules. Swinging is a prime example of that. I knew the swinging lifestyle as a whole doesn't and can't work for most people. It's just not a very good idea. But I convinced myself regardless of the warnings, that we are good. It wont hurt us. 8-9 years later, I'd think we would all agree, It seriously hurt my wife and I.

Do as I say, not as I do. That's me! I was dead set against cheating. I always told my wife, just divorce me, don't cheat. Somehow I excused my own integrity, guidelines and rules.

Now years later we are both gravely wounded by our selfish actions and inability to play by the rules.

We spent more time together on Saturday. I miss her. It's very hard juggling conflicting feelings, as you all know.
It seems most people here that reconcile, have to train themselves that what the wayward partner had wasn't real. Not real love, not a real relationship. Learn to believe the AP was nothing more than a fairytale. I'm not certain I can do that.

How can I come to terms with her being open to loving and being loved by someone else while WE were married? She seemed so happy too.

emergent8 posted 1/20/2020 17:38 PM

You really are making progress, N. Keep it up. Don't stop posting. Healing/self-growth is rarely linear. You are bound to make mistakes along the way. We've all been there, and understand. Your readiness/willingness to be raw and authentic, as well as your ability to recognize and acknowledge your slips-ups will continue to serve you well along your journey.

I kept saying I wasn't angry, but that's not really true. I feel anger all around me, towards everything with one big exception.....My wife. I am not angry at her or at least I wont allow myself to be.

Of course you're angry. You have every reason in the world to be angry. Lord knows I was full of rage around 5-6 months out. I also very much agree with OhSoSpecial when she says that often, anger is often a cover for hurt. You also have every reason in the world to feel hurt right now. The only way to get past these feelings is to go through them. I'm sorry you had a difficult few days. I think some sort of physical outlet is a great idea - I know it helped me immensely both in terms of my infidelity-related healing but also just in terms of my own mental well-being and self-confidence.

I do hope you spend some time examining why you have so far, spared your wife from your anger. Is it simply a matter of not feeling entitled to anger given your past? I suspect that is part of it, but I wonder if there is more at play, and whether its part of the reason you feel stuck. You and HikingOut had an exchange about being afraid of what you expect your wife's (codependent) reaction might be in the face of your anger. I think that's worth examining further - both independently and together. If you are going to communicate, your anger (and hers!) is likely unavoidable. You both need to get a handle on how to deal with this productively. You already know that rugsweeping does not work.

She admitted she thought about taking the decision making out of my hands. She thought about asking for a divorce. Hearing her say that hurt. For some reason I still want her to want me.

This makes perfect sense to me. I believe that, in your heart, you want R. That said, you are absolutely terrified of it. You have no idea if it is possible. By her actions, she has already rejected you. It was the most painful thing you have ever experienced and you are (appropriately) cautious about putting yourself in a position where you would be opening yourself up to further rejection.

The one thing your wife has had going for her (in the R column) throughout this entire ordeal, is her unwavering desire to R with you, no matter what it takes. Her steadfastness on this point, I imagine, offers you some reassurance/comfort - whether you trust her or not (this was certainly the case with me and my H). Any hint of her wobbling on this point likely exacerbates your own concerns/fears.

Neanderthal posted 1/21/2020 09:31 AM

Not making a decision IS making a give up your own control of your life. However, you CAN decide to wait on a final decision, with the intention to examine options over a somewhat defined period of time.
I think this is why I was pushing myself to divorce. I hated the indecision aspect of this. Allowing time to decide isn't the same as incisiveness. I think I see that now.

I do believe the separation and 180 have been beneficial. It has just been hard. I'm still very much in a funk. I stopped at not 1, not 2, but 3 fast food joints to get my dinner buffet for last night. Then I topped it off with a bowl of cereal before bed.

I have IC today. I'm not going to switch IC's just yet. She's been telling me the same things suggested here. She knows the self hate is destructive. I just wouldn't or couldn't listen yet. No IC can help me unless I let them.

I have been thinking about her why's a lot lately. Honestly I understand most of them(as a madhatter maybe that's easier). Without boundaries it's easy to cross line after line after line. Before you know it, she's banging him in her car on Easter Sunday. While I'm at work for the seventh 12 hour shift in a row. Believe it or not, I think I could get past most of it.

The willingness and the want to be loved and love someone else while married to me. That's really hard to get my head around. I do believe she was 100% invested in seeing where there love would/could go to. A few changes to the story and I fairly certain she'd be with AP instead of me.

The emotional aspect of her affair hurts me the most. She was in love. She was happy. Fake love or not, she didn't know that at the time. She was not going to let it go.

The anger Or lack there of, towards my wife. I don't really know for sure why. At times I have been angry at her. When she told my daughter to lie about having two homes. That really set me off. Its hard to describe. Maybe it's only something a MH or a cheater can understand. How can I be angry at there flaws? when I am no better. It doesn't feel forced, I'm not holding myself back from that anger towards her. It's just not there. Extreme sadness and disappointment are better descriptors of how I feel towards her.

I am angry. Angry to be in this situation, it just isn't directed towards her. Very odd I suppose.

sisoon posted 1/21/2020 13:15 PM

I have to talk in theory here (because I'm not a madhatter), but ....

It makes sense to be angry at your W for betraying you, even though you betrayed her. Human beings are more emotional than rational. We human beings want what we want when we want it. Having your feelings is how you heal as a BS. Just remember that you have your feelings; they don't have you.

You don't have to forgive her, even if you want forgiveness yourself. You and your W can want different outcomes here - one can want D, the other, R.

To heal as a WS, you need to change yourself from betrayer to good partner, and as much as possible you need to see yourself as a loving, lovable, capable human being. You are redeemable, if you do the work.

To R, you need to see your W as redeemable, too, and she has to do the necessary work.

R is complex for mhes, with lots of moving parts, but it IS possible.

Whether you R or not, however, you can change from betrayer to good partner. You ARE redeemable.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24 · 25 · 26 · 27 · 28 · 29 · 30 · 31 · 32 · 33 · 34 · 35 · 36 · 37 · 38 · 39 · 40 · 41 · 42 · 43 · 44 · 45 · 46 · 47

Return to Forum List

Return to General

© 2002-2020 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy