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I destroyed my husband

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gmc94 posted 8/6/2019 22:38 PM

Your stoic nature sounds a lot like my WH.
And I agree with WilliamM.
It's really hard, but as a BS, my brain (more like lizard brain) immediately attributes the worst in my WH's actions. Now, if I'm mindful I usually get past it (and that 'getting past' has gone from taking days or weeks to usually only a few minutes).
I don't think I'm an exception here. So, when we see your stoicism, we think you don't care. We think you don't feel. It somehow manages to affirm the bad things we think about you.
And it makes sense, because after dday, we realize that we no longer know who our WS is.
OUR loving spouse would NEVER.....

but on dday, we learn then would and they could and they DID. We can no longer trust our gut as to what the WS is capable of, because we sure as shizzle didn't think they'd have an A.

I can see how this would be tricky. You are told "don't be selfish" but also told to show emotion.

I think it comes down to VULNERABILITY. Showing feelings means being vulnerable. And as a WS, that means being vulnerable to a BS responding to your vulnerability in a hostile way. It's not punishment - it's consequences. Trust me, it's no picnic having such rage at someone we love and whom we thought loved us and had our back.

And when one's vulnerability is met with anger (nee, rage), one is apt to respond in kind (more anger) or with defensiveness. Also both no-nos while wading through the wreckage of dday.

But if you can't /won't/ don't show that vulnerability, it sets things back - a lot. Do your best. It won't be easy. It WILL be met with snark, anger, tears, or any plethora of uncomfortable emotional responses. It's not punishment - it's consequences.

Again, the measure isn't that we f*ck up - we are all human and all f*ck up.
The measure of one's character is how they respond to the f*ck ups.

ETA: I'm so sorry about your FOO. I grew up in a home fraught with domestic violence too. I know how awful it is to be the one trying to get them to make peace, the one that calls the cops, the one that stands up and says "don't do this", only to be met with neglect, anger, etc. It's horribly traumatizing. I spent a lot of years in IC before dday on this stuff. Unfortunately, dday trauma pretty well opened all of those scars. There is treatment - even later in life - that can be really helpful both on the FOO scars, but also to help with vulnerability, empathy, etc. which are good for the infidelity stuff too.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 10:41 PM, August 6th, 2019 (Tuesday)]

RocketRaccoon posted 8/6/2019 22:50 PM

He doesn't think I'm feeling any of this because I'm not crying.

.... and here is the trouble. He will need to see that you feel things, and he did not marry a robot.

My old instincts have kicked in and are forcing me to be strong in front of him because I don't want him to think that I want his sympathy or for him to feel bad.

Look at this another way, look at it that you are crying FOR him, for the hurt that you caused to HIM. By thinking that you do not want to cry because you do not want sympathy FROM him, shows you are still in victim thinking mode.

I am trying to be strong for him and be there for him because is the one with the undeserving feelings.

Then show your remorse. By being stoic, could mean that you feel nothing for your BH.

I deserve to feel every single thing, I know that.

And so you will, for a long time, but take comfort that feelings will dissipate through time.

Hippo16 posted 8/6/2019 23:52 PM

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
What RocketRacoon said

Look at this another way, look at it that you are crying FOR him, for the hurt that you caused to HIM. By thinking that you do not want to cry because you do not want sympathy FROM him, shows you are still in victim thinking mode.

I am trying to be strong for him and be there for him because is the one with the undeserving feelings.

Then show your remorse. By being stoic, could mean that you feel nothing for your BH.


the gist of the message people are begging you to so much to do is "show empathy" and emotion both for your shame in what transpired and for the pain you have dealt Neanderthal

For me - anyone who stuffs their emotions out of site have internal issues with being a human.

Loss is grief personified - give into it and let it out - it is a healing act

Downforthecount posted 8/7/2019 01:32 AM

The first time my ww truely cracked and broke down in front of me was the first moment i actually had any hope at all.

Downforthecount posted 8/7/2019 01:33 AM

Duplicate

[This message edited by Downforthecount at 1:33 AM, August 7th (Wednesday)]

Zugzwang posted 8/7/2019 08:02 AM

My wife grew up in a similar household. I will tell you what I learned about her from her IC apps after Dday. You think you had to. Your perception makes you believe that. Due to your own internal strength. Truth is, you didn't have to. You chose to. She had to take ownership of choosing to emotionally wall herself off and take the leadership responsibility with her mother and the rest of her family. She didn't have to. She could have been just as what-ever it was her sisters and brothers were, yet she chose not to.

You just posted a huge breakthrough into your whys. Your coping mechs. The choices you made about your personality that keep you emotionally walled off so that you will not appear weak. Those are your choices you made about who your character was going to be. Are you satisfied with being emotionally closed off? The answer is no, your cheating proves it. So, let it go. Show emotion. Show weakness. Be vulnerable. Show your daughter how to care and work through stuff or chances are she is going to become who you are right now. I seriously doubt you want that. Maybe you think no one will be there if you are a mess and you are weak. That just isn't true. I mean really how much more of mess can you possibly be than what you are now. No more hiding. You are not a runner. You are a stuffer. Time to unstuff. With your family, all of them.

Ask to speak to him. With your daughter somewhere else. Tell him that what he said you understand how he feels that way and you have portrayed it as true. That this is how you really feel though... rewrite the letter and put in every word you just shared with us about your upbringing and how you chose to be the person you are today not just about what you want. Write about who you are. Who you became and why. Especially if he has been vulnerable with you about his own issues he dealt with in the past. Above all things do not blame it on your past. Remember you chose this route. You chose who you became and what to incorporate into your character. You aren't a victim. You just chose wrong.

Morph posted 8/7/2019 09:25 AM

One thing stuck out for me that I think you may want to reflect on. You said you couldnít cry in front of your daughter when your mom died because you needed to be strong. Why? Do you think itís weak to mourn, to be sad when bad things happen? So much of our society tells us that it is ďbadĒ to feel negative emotions. I think this is wrong. People should feel sad when sad things happen. We need to work through and with the feelings not push them down. I would encourage you to share your sorrow with your daughter. Obviously, you still need to function on some level and not cry every second. I would encourage you to think on this because so many waywards are used to pushing down and running away from feelings. I wish you the best.

Pippin posted 8/7/2019 10:43 AM

LifeDestroyer, I will write more later or tomorrow, but there is something I wanted to say soon for you to chew over.

I hate it when people bring up FOO issues and donít get sympathy. Because, it sucks! You did not deserve poor treatment. Children canít change their environment, they can only deal with it. And develop crappy coping mechanisms and distorted views of reality that they bring into adulthood without realizing it. Then something big happens - depression, adultery, inability to have relationships, addiction, violence - that forces them to take a look at how they got there.

At that point, the point where you first see and understand you have done something harmful to someone else (or yourself), your FOO issues are REASONS. They explain your behavior, feelings, coping mechanism, patterns.

After you understand that, you move immediately from reason to EXCUSE. So if your family did not allow emotion, and you shut down when faced with emotional situations, you now UNDERSTAND that is your pattern.

Now that your understand it, and can observe it happening through your reaction, you can make a different CHOICE.

If you donít make a different choice, a choice that stops hurting other people or doing something self destructive, you are using it as an excuse and that is not OK.

This is really f-ainít hard and you have no time to wallow or process.

You can and should understand what happened to you when you were little. You can and should be angry about it and realize that was not your fault and you didnít deserve it. But you have to move off of that really fast. (You can go back to it later to process, but NOT NOW).

When you feel yourself shutting down, you MUST fight that and feel all of those emotions, in front of him, even if itís terrifying. For me, when I have to confront an FOO pattern, it feels like jumping off a high dive. It happens in small or large ways almost every day and doesnít get easier. And sometimes, god help me, I donít jump and I have to pick myself up as soon as possible and vow next time to not do that.

I have a little space because my husband wants to stay with me, Iíve built up trust with him, and if I make the wrong choice I can apologize and immediately do it over the right way. I hate when I do that and it hurts him. But I have a little space.

You have no space for that right now. Prepare yourself for extreme discomfort and vulnerability. Itís literally the only chance you have to save your marriage.

More later. Iím praying for you.

DoinBettr posted 8/7/2019 14:00 PM

I will give you a little bit of a head start on your why.

You are able to shut off your emotions (Or so you think). You feel you should be able to control all emotional outcomes.

The AP surprised you and you have poor boundaries because you think you have control of your desires. Your husband knows you better than you think and I bet can see through your hard (fake) exterior.

He wants to know you feel because your stoic approach is reflecting his shutting you down. He is torn up inside and wants to see your remorse through pain. The lack of pain makes him see his disappearance from your life as little concern.

Remember, your words mean nothing. He thinks you cheated more than the once and are still lying. Not to be mean, but I believe you are as well and you should confide in a letter to give him when you get back with him. Don't do what most WS do and wait until you feel safe before you drop another bombshell. That will just end this marriage. He went with you to the boss. Understand that shows he still cares.

Good luck and keep digging into the main question.

When the AP first started to get dirty in his texts and conversations, why didn't you shut it down?

Don't let something as simple as, "Because I liked it." You know it is deeper. Get there. It will help you a lot.

sickofsurviving posted 8/7/2019 14:49 PM

^^^ Pay attention to this. My cheater acts cold and uncaring, I assume he is.

Your actions mean more right now than anything you could say.

Pippin posted 8/7/2019 15:13 PM

Regarding the letters -

This is one of the areas where you and your husband need to figure out what he needs. He might like the letters, he might like it if you write them and read them out loud to him, or he might not like them. I don't know the answer.

My husband and I had a period of marriage difficulties several years ago. During that time, he would write me letters and emails describing how he felt. I didn't respond to the emotional content of the letters and emails. I felt that - he was alone as he wrote them, having an emotional experience without me, then he would send/hand the letters to me, and expect me to understand and respond to the emotion he had poured into the letters. I felt more distant from him, like we were not together and were having separate experiences. (I didn't want to have emotional experiences with him very much, so this was an excuse, but if we were going to have an intense talk I wanted and still want it to be face to face). There were many other reasons that didn't work for me at all which had nothing to do with the sincerity of his emotion or the way he expressed it. That way of communicating was in some ways worse for us than no letters at all, because he thought he had expressed himself and been heard, and I did not take in his feelings in the way he thought I should.

I was wrong in many ways during that part of our marriage (and my husband was not wrong) and I don't want to t/j into a description of that part of our history. I don't want to say that letters are a bad idea for you and for him. I wanted to convey that whatever the letters mean to you, they might mean something different for him, and you should be open to hearing that and changing how you share your feelings with him. Especially since he has said explicitly that he wants to see your emotions, feelings, and reactions.

As an P.S. I'll say that (fortunately!) I did save the letters and emails, I love to read them now although it is very bittersweet, and I am so happy now when he sends letters and emails expressing his feelings. He texts me a morning message every day and it's the highlight of my day. Things can change and removal of entitlement and self-protection does wonders for gratitude. Reading them now, I cannot believe how lucky I am that he was patient, persistent, loving, and forgiving.

[This message edited by Pippin at 5:42 PM, August 7th (Wednesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 8/7/2019 19:40 PM

Today has been a crazy day of emotions and events.

I drove home this morning to help get our daughter ready for her first day of kindergarten. We all got to drive to her school together. I know she was happy for that, even though it was sad. I could see the sadness in my husbandís eyes and on his face. We walked her in and sat down with her while she had breakfast. The emotions started to come out. When she was done eating, she sat in her class line. We both stood there just watching her. There was this gap between us, I slowly inched over just to be closer to him. I cried saying bye to her as we watched her walk away with her class. She was so excited. She had a little nervous look, but that quickly went away. Our daughter is a school kid, she loves it so much. As we walked back to the car, he broke down. In the car I asked him if I could touch him, he nodded yes, and I held him and cried with him. The ride home was silent. I asked if we could talk when we got home and he said we could. I told him that I do feel everything even though it may not seem like it. I explained that I was afraid that if I cry he will think that I want credit/sympathy for my emotions. I then asked if I could read my on-going apology letter to him, and he said that I could. I immediately started crying while reading it, reading those words to him knowing how much pain I have inflicted on him. We then spoke for a little bit longer.

I went back to my class to pack up some more things and called my union rep again. She suggested that I call the woman who was in the meeting with us, she is right under the superintendent to ask if there was anyway I could stay in the district. I spoke with her, and she said told me about an opening at a different elementary school. I immediately emailed the principal my resume. I then went to a doctorís appointment for my anxiety/depression medicine and dropped my stuff off after. I was on my way back to pack up some things when the new principal emailed me asking if I could come in for an interview. I went straight there, had a great interview with her the AP and two teachers that were on the team for the grade I was interviewing for.

I got to pick up my daughter from school with my dad. She had a great day! I dropped her off at home and went back to pick up one more load when the new principal called me and offered me the job. I thanked her up and down and took the position. I instantly texted my husband to tell him. He said he was happy for me, but that he feels that my affair had no consequence on my career. I was shocked, but I understand his feelings. I too would probably be a little upset. I texted back, and I know I shouldnít have, that my affair did have a consequence on my career and I will be walking on eggshells at this new school. I thought getting a job right away would have been a good thing, one less thing that he has to think about.

GreatWideOpen posted 8/7/2019 20:15 PM

... one less thing that he has to think about.

Really? Please don't tell him that while the additional panic and anxiety of knowing his highly susceptible wife with a lot of major life issues right now will be among a new group of men eager to trade a sympathetic ear for blowjobs in their garage.

You need to get a clue LD. He is in misery and nothing has much of a bright side right now.

landclark posted 8/7/2019 20:28 PM

my affair did have a consequence on my career

But did it? You werenít forced out, you left on your own, and had a new job within a few days. Iím sure itís all an inconvenience, but no major consequences really.

I know for me when my WH tries to argue with my perception of things it does no good at all and just makes me angrier. Right now you have to rethink everything you say before you say it and try and see it from the BS perspective. It wonít be easy.

gmc94 posted 8/7/2019 20:40 PM

The lack of pain makes him see his disappearance from your life as little concern.
Them is some powerful words. Making this a mantra may not be a bad idea.

when my WH tries to argue with my perception of things it does no good at all and just makes me angrier. Right now you have to rethink everything you say before you say it and try and see it from the BS perspective. It wonít be easy.
And some good advice.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 8:40 PM, August 7th, 2019 (Wednesday)]

Zugzwang posted 8/7/2019 21:53 PM

Does the new principle know why you left the old job? If it is in the same district, word will get out if they don't and would there be issues? I can get how your husband would be angry there was no job consequences. You had an affair with your student's parent. A huge breach of ethical and moral values. We live in PA, anything like that happens here and the teacher would be out in a heart beat. Plenty of new ones looking for jobs that have clean records. Still, if it is the same district...word gets out from the BS and parents will question the standards of the district to hire someone that crossed that line with her student's parent.

RocketRaccoon posted 8/8/2019 04:11 AM

He said he was happy for me, but that he feels that my affair had no consequence on my career.

Normal for a BS to feel this way. It is like the balance of the universe is skewed away from the BS, who has suffered immense trauma, yet the perpetrator
gets away with minimal consequences.

This unfairness is a product of any affair, and the 'scales' will never be balanced no matter what the BS or WS does to 'right' it, and it will hang over the M like a stain.

Some WS offer Hall Passes, and that can have two possible common outcomes:
1. BS is offended, and refuses to stoop to the level os the WS
2. The BS takes it up, and their integrity is destroyed

There are some who have taken up the offer and the R went well, but they are few and far in-between.

Basically, the WS will just have to work incredibly hard to regain the BS trust back through consistent actions. Words will be generally useless, as the WS has proven that their words (lies) cannot be trusted.

Keep leaving yourself vulnerable to your BH, and show him how much he means to you. You have did the right thing on the day your daughter went to school, so continue to do that. The fastest way to stop any chances of R (apart from having another affair), is to build walls between yourself and your BH.

One more thing, any idea what your BH's Love Language is? Might be worth finding out....

Butforthegrace posted 8/8/2019 05:36 AM

I went straight there, had a great interview with her the AP and two teachers that were on the team for the grade I was interviewing for.

To clarify one point, by "AP" do you mean "Assistant Principal" or "Affair Partner"?

He said he was happy for me, but that he feels that my affair had no consequence on my career.

I'm not quite sure why this is an issue for him. Many betrayed husbands feel a desire to see their WW face consequences for the A. Eventually, the BH will realize that there really isn't a possible consequence, in the universe of available consequences, that comes close to the level of pain, humiliation, and emasculation we feel as BH.

As to the career, it is usually in the best interest of the BH if the WW's career continues to thrive. If you D, this minimizes any spousal support the BH may have to pay (or, in some cases, it nets spousal support payments to the BH). If you don't D, it maximizes the family's total income.

If the WW's job puts her in contact with the AP, there is reason to change that job. This is to get her to a place of NC with the AP (or, in your case, with the AP's family). It's not to "punish" her by knocking her out of her career.

LifeDestroyer posted 8/8/2019 05:49 AM

To clarify one point, by "AP" do you mean "Assistant Principal" or "Affair Partner"?

Sorry, in teacher world AP means "assistant principal."

Butforthegrace posted 8/8/2019 07:03 AM

That first day of kindergarten is such a milestone. It brings most parents to tears. The catharsis that is occurring in your family at this time multiplies it.

Dropping your child off at college is like this, times a million. It's only about 13 years hence. Those years will pass by faster than any other 13-year span of your life. Your daughters extracurricular activities will begin to consume your free time, making those years a blur.

What do you want your family to look like on that day. Now is the time to look in that direction and put one foot in front of the other.

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