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I destroyed my husband

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DoinBettr posted 8/14/2019 10:43 AM

LD - I love how everyone thinks I am Pippin but whatever. Pippin has a similar mindset to mine.
Ok, to the people mad about sharing what was shared with AP, you aren't reconciled 100%. Trust me, YOU HAVE TO TAKE BACK THOSE SIGNS OF LOVE! If you don't, then you now have something special that was between the AP and WS which always will be the AP's.

Now, your BS trounced the AP and stood up for you to the principal. I bet he is much like me and a tough guy. I wouldn't be surprised if he was an ex-soldier or abused kid turned fighter. (Again, my story)

Never share what I am telling you. I guarantee he is afraid you see him as a bit of a monster since you have seen his anger. If someone is physically imposing and have used anger as a weapon before, they are scared when people they don't mean to see it. As a soldier you worry they see you as the enemy, as an abused person you worry you are becoming your abuser.

Reassure him you aren't afraid and understand the anger. Tell him you liked seeing his anger because it showed that he cared. Tell him you would be more afraid of him not responding. That silence and ambivalence is the opposite of what you want. That anger is guarding his sadness about your rejection of him. Anger and sadness show he cared/cares. Tell him you know he will be angry again and you never want him to really eat the anger (guarantee he is doing that) and instead share it with you. This is kind of sharing the burden with him. Also, tell him it is ok to cry. Hopeful you have cried in front of him. He needs that and so do you.

Back to the anger versus nothing. The 180 hurts more than you think. Ask all the WS on here. It is worse than yelling, threats, and cursing. It means the other person is done, checked out. Waiting for something to push them out of the marriage.

Lastly, My posts have helped right? Ok, I worry you did more physically than you are saying. It is ok to be embarrassed. You TT in the beginning. Now is not the time to share this. But neither is 6 months from now. Set an alarm in less than 2 weeks. You need to share by then. You are a WS, not one WS has told the whole truth on day 1. You are not special that way sadly. You are scared he reads your threads so you won't share here. Just write it out and wait. Don't taint a good moment with this bomb. Just give him a week with you in the house before you hurt him again. Like in boxing, let him stand up before you hit him again or he might just be done.

Good luck! I am glad the love credits are working.

[This message edited by DoinBettr at 10:45 AM, August 14th (Wednesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 8/14/2019 11:00 AM

I have never seen my husband as a monster, nor could I. I know what to expect tons of emotions from him ranging from sadness to anger to numbness to maybe some moments of happiness. I am not afraid when he gets angry, and I won't be when the anger truly does hit. I know what I have done to him, and he has every right in the universe to be angry. I will sit here with him and listen and apologize. As far as the physical with the AP, I have shared the truth with him. I know he will never believe me because I lied to him for 7 months, and I will be lucky if he ever trusts me again. I have appreciated everyone's advice, whether they were good or bad. I know this isn't easy for people to talk about, especially the BS who may relive his or her experience when replying to a comment.

Bigger posted 8/14/2019 11:18 AM

Have you told him the entire truth, or have you “only” truthfully answered his questions?
I strongly suggest you sit down and journal your affair. No emotions, no excuses or justifications. More like a time-log or a play-by-play script.
I can promise you one thing: Sharing with your husband NOW some major truth will cause less potential damage than for him to discover some minor omitted truth six months from now.

Butforthegrace posted 8/14/2019 14:36 PM


A few miscellaneous things. First, I concur with the timeline advice. Include everything and the kitchen sink. When the first twinge of attraction made its way to your consciousness, and why (i.e. -- what was it about this guy that attracted you), etc. If R progresses, your BH will likely start asking the same questions over and over. The timeline helps, and you can build it via your answers to questions that he asks.

Some betrayeds want to cross-reference it to stuff going on in the family at the time, so they can have a vision of the two parallel realities ("While I was taking our daughter to the dentist, she was letting him feel her up in his garage... When she got home later I felt something was off...").

Prepare yourself for what your reality might look like if one or both of you finds out you have herpes. First, what if you have herpes, but your BH does not? How will you handle sex? Condoms for the rest of your life? Even that is not a 100% protection. No oral sex on you, ever? Or, perhaps sex becomes too fraught and completely goes away. What then?

Second, what if you are infected, and you have infected your BH? I think you should bring it up before the results come back. Right now it's like the elephant in the room nobody is mentioning. Your BH will likely feel a very high degree of injury if that is the case.

On another point, I want to mention something that may come up: what you did, in terms of your A, was pretty, to be blunt, dumb. I realize that cheating involves a sort of "upside down" mentality where logic sometimes doesn't apply, but even through that lens it was dumb. The AP was cheating on his wife, which you knew. He had a kid in your school. So you knew he was a cheater, and a liar, and a man willing to come on to his kid's teacher (a wise friend once told me that you don't pursue co-workers or kid teacher because "you don't shit where you eat"). In other words, you had an objective basis to know he is a piece of shit.

Yet, despite knowing this, (a) you had unprotected sex with him, and (b) you shared naughty pictures with him in electronic format that he could put on the internet, or email to parents of your classroom students, etc. Put aside the fact that you were married. Even if you were single, if I were your friend, I'd slap you in the face and call you an idiot. What could you have possibly been thinking?

Now, here's another level. He was a parent of a kid in the school where you taught. If shit were to hit the fan, you'd lose your job, and possibly your teaching license. Again, "you don't shit where you eat." Again, what could you possibly have been thinking?

Another level. Your daughter attended the school. It was a good district that you worked in so your daughter could be in the school. So, if things went wrong, your daughter could also lose her ability to attend this school. Again, "you don't shit where you eat."

As the final layer, you did all of this stuff while married to your husband. Your husband is also the father of your daughter. Your husband also suffers if your daughter suffers. He also suffers if you lose your job. In other words, the levels of harm to your BH from your A go beyond the "normal" harm of an A. All of the collateral job-related damage you risked, that harm would flow to your daughter and husband as well.

I'm saying all these things, by the way, to help you, not hurt you. Trying to get your mind ahead of events on these issues, so you can think through your plan, your response, your healing.

Pippin posted 8/14/2019 15:09 PM

LifeDestroyer, when you first came, the advice you got was unanimous: total no contact and complete honesty with your husband. I think every single person on SI agrees with that advice.

Regarding interacting with or pursuing your husband post-affair - I think what you see now is a range of opinions and experiences that is helpful in another way. I shared what worked for me, other people shared what worked for them or what they think from their experiences with infidelity, and it's all a range of what has, could, or might work. You are getting to know, based on what you already know about him, what you are learning, and trial and error, what you can do to create an environment that will support *him.* There are lots of good ideas if you need them, but there is no unanimous answer or a checklist.

You should be honest in this as in everything else. Your answer to him seemed genuine and if you are continually honest and genuine you'll start to build trust over time (though you may never fully have his trust again). If it's something you read that you think he would like, something you wanted to do before the affair but never had the courage to try, something you did with the AP and wanted to give him "more and better", something that came to you in the moment - be honest about that.

It seems like you are good at reading him and responding. Bit by bit you will learn what he needs or wants. He might not be able to tell you and he might be ashamed to tell you what he needs. So figuring it out is important and there are lots of ways to do that.

You've noticed that he shifts from moment to moment or hour to hour and you will learn to shift your response and interactions with him too.

Even though you have no guarantees of reconciliation or how long you will be with your husband, every day should feel like a gift. Even the hard parts are chances to learn about him and take care of him. I hope you can hang on to that.

Thumos posted 8/14/2019 15:37 PM

I have to agree with comments made here that warn that the sexy “seductive” stuff could backfire and come across as manipulative. My wife did some of this. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy or appreciate it on some level, but the cognitive dissonance a BH feels is always going to make sure they remember how their WW’s gave their sexual best to an AP, possibly used pet phrases and mannerisms the BH thought were special for them, backstabbed, gaslighted, trickletruthed, minimized, blameshifted, etc. ... and spread their legs for another man. If your BH is like me, it is also the case that the seductive stuff will come across not only as half-disingenuous and desperate but “dangerous” and potentially a red flag warning — as a reflection of what the BH suspects and fears is a WW”s cunning and disordered personality (how exaggerated or accurate that is being up for debate). Keep that in mind.

On top of this, other threads here on SI have had BH’s candidly sharing their struggles with each other about having to “power through” sex after the HB dies down (because of the constant intrusive mind movies that happen during sex, and still happen for me three years out) — and having to cope with now seeing their WW’s as permanently tainted. This is very real and very much a part of the devastating emasculation that a BH feels (which WW’s always seem to lack true understanding of).

I also want to say this thread has been perhaps unintentionally enlightening on WW’s general worldview of sex. My WW has told me my view of sex is “immature” because I stayed loyal and faithful for more than two decades to the only woman I’ve ever been intimate with (yeah, I know). This was baffling and maddening to me, and I ascribed to being in the “sh*t cheaters say” category for a time. But I think I’m starting to get it after reading these responses.

WW’s seem to view sex as part of a toolkit to be deployed for a variety of purposes, including trying to magically resurrect the sense of specialness and profound attraction that makes a sacred marital covenant work. So of course my WW (and probably others) would view my perspective on sex as immature: since I view sex as a high expression of spiritual love carried out as a deep bonding act in the physical realm, and they view sex in the context of the machinations and machine-like relations between primates, naturally a WW would assume I have an immature and unrealistic view of sex. I get it now. Thanks for the insight.

landclark posted 8/14/2019 18:39 PM

This advice to pursue him like he’s a piece of meat is gross. She just betrayed him. He just found out, what, a few weeks ago? Too soon dude. Any sexual advances should come from him. He needs to lead that charge at his own pace. The wayward doesn’t get to use sex as a tool or a toy. That’s just ridiculous.

My WH lets me lead. If I touch him, kiss him, hug him, he does it back. He takes all his cues from me. Instead he tells me things about me. Things he likes that he realizes he took for granted. That’s way more meaningful than flashing me when nobody is looking.

He tells you he wants to kiss you? You say when you’re ready. I understand why you’re torn. I’m here. Not play coy. You lost that right.

Seriously, women are better than that, aren’t we?

LifeDestroyer posted 8/14/2019 18:48 PM

I'm not throwing myself at him. I've already told that I will always ask if I can touch him or hug him or give him a kiss. I will be following his lead when it comes to being physical again.

Butforthegrace posted 8/15/2019 06:54 AM

I would suggest that, as much as possible, have those discussions in person, with spoken words, while looking him in the eye. It's way more effective than texting.

LifeDestroyer posted 8/15/2019 07:36 AM

Today is/was/would have been our 15th wedding anniversary. I wrote him a letter, but I don't know if he read it. He left it on the kitchen counter. I did not say "happy anniversary" in it. I won't see him until around 4. I have no idea what to expect or do. Should I just stay in the guest room all night, so he doesn't have to see me? Do I sit on the couch and wait to see if he wants to talk? Do I ask him if he wants to talk? I have no clue.

HellFire posted 8/15/2019 07:47 AM

The first wedding anniversary, after dday, is especially difficult.

Don't hide,and don't assume. Call him and tell him you understand today will be especially difficult. That you love him. That you are sorry. And that you will follow his lead today. That if he wants to talk, you are there. If he wants you to give him space, you will either leave, or stay in your room. That you love him. That you are sorry. That you didnt want him to think you are expecting anything from this day,or from him. That you will respect his needs, today,and every day. And that you love him. And you are sorry. (These can never be said enough)

I've forgotten. Have you scheduled a polygraph? Are you in IC?

Today will be hard. I'm sorry the two of you are hurting.

Butforthegrace posted 8/15/2019 08:38 AM

I have no idea what to expect or do. Should I just stay in the guest room all night, so he doesn't have to see me? Do I sit on the couch and wait to see if he wants to talk? Do I ask him if he wants to talk?

This day is going to be incredibly difficult. I understand your instinct is to avoid it if possible. But I do think you should speak to him. I think you tell him you love him, that you acknowledge and understand that today is probably very difficult for him, and that you would like to know if you can or should hold him. If says yes, then hold him.

If he says no, then ask if he would like to talk. If he says no to that, then ask if he would prefer you to stay in the room with him, or leave.

The more you look him in the eye and try to initiate conversation, not just today but all days going forward, the better.

Pippin posted 8/15/2019 09:28 AM

This is one of those situations where you have to know your husband, make a good guess based on that, and be prepared to learn from his response. There might not be a right answer. My husband would need constant short communication to let him know I was thinking of him and he is my priority. Maybe something about the kids or a photo of what I am doing with them. And something when he got home - I do this every day anyway - drop what I'm doing, take his shoes off, rub his feet, listen to whatever is on his mind or just let him relax.

woundedbear posted 8/15/2019 09:54 AM

I am not sure if it was the first or second anniversary after dday, my fWW gave me a luggage tag with the coordinates of the church where we were married and the anniversary date on it. It matched the business bag I tote everywhere. I gave it back, and said she destroyed that. A year or so later, I asked to have it back, and it is attached to my bag.

She did the work. It took too much time, but she did it. She worked on trust and learning to tell me her emotions. She earned the right to have an anniversary with me.

My advice? Be present. Tell the truth. Tell him sorry. Tell him you were stupid. Don't push, but don't pull away. Let him know that he is the only man in the universe for you. Show emotion and sorrow and remorse. Let him know watching him in pain is excruciating, but your pain can never compare to his. If you have, tell him how you tried to scrub yourself clean of the OM when showering, and still you feel dirty. Pour it out to him so he knows that you are in pain from what you did to your family.

Amarula posted 8/15/2019 10:55 AM

LD - it IS still your 15th wedding anniversary, you’re not divorced. It does not mean you have to celebrate it, but it iS still your wedding anniversary. What should you do? Be a wife, in YOUR house. Not a leper in the guest room waiting for your husband to let you come out. If he told you to come back, it is because he wants to give both of you a chance. Not as friends, or distant relatives but as husband and wife. So you do what a wife does when she is on holiday at home and her husband is working: you look after your house, your daughter, your flowers, yourself, and your husband.

In these tormented times, it is good to inject some normality back to everyday life. Be practical - do the spring clean, redecorate the walls, declutter, prepare a nice dinner, tend to your flowers, and look after yourself. Go to the gym, go for a walk, visit an attraction with your daughter. In these tormented times, we only have torment in our head and heart, and we want to talk, talk, talk, have answers, explore the whats, the hows, and the whys. And we forget to just live. Get out of the guest room, wait for him, not necessarily to talk about the affair, but about the movie you’d like to watch with him tonight. Have a drink together, ask him how his day went, tell him about your day. Normal stuff, but lot’s of kindness and attention.

Luna10 posted 8/15/2019 11:23 AM

In all honesty he probably won’t remember this anniversary because of the trauma inflicted on him. Our anniversary was 6 weeks later and I have no actual clue what happened except that I bought him a card and poured my heart out. I have big gaps in memory during the first year after dday. I remember the negatives but not many positives and sadly, for some reason my daughter remained 10 yo for two years because my brain didn’t register she had a Birthday. I mean of course I knew she turned 11 but when people asked how old she was I’d say 10 and then correct myself. She recently turned 12 and I am now back on track. I’m not saying that to make you feel guilty, it’s just a traumatic reality, expect him to be forgetful for a while.

That being said it would have pained me more to see that my husband didn’t acknowledge it than if he did. (He must have got me something I suppose as I don’t have a negative memory of that anniversary). I’d say don’t go over the top. Maybe don’t even say Happy Anniversary. But acknowledge it. Tell him you know what day it is. Tell him you wish you would be happy on this day.

What I would have probably liked on our anniversary is a letter telling our story before the affair. How we met, how we fell in love, how he felt for me for the many years of our marriage. Because on dday you don’t know which way is up and which way down, you start to doubt you were ever loved the way you thought you were. You doubt the cheating spouse ever felt the way you thought they did. Seeing it written on paper from the WS perspective it shows the BS that they weren’t actually crazy when they believed they were loved and had a good marriage.

LifeDestroyer posted 8/15/2019 19:31 PM

To say today has been a rollercoaster would be an understatement! I left him a letter this morning for our anniversary, not saying "happy anniversary" but expressing my love, gratitude, desire to work on us, and admiration of him as a dad. I found it on the counter, so I didn't know if he read it. I then sent a quick text, kind of like cliff notes version of my letter, still no response. I was walking around like a zombie. People spoke to me, but I couldn't tell you single they said. Around 1:30 he emails me a letter about what our anniversary should have been. He then said that he was going to take our daughter out to dinner. My heart felt like someone was squeezing it so tightly as I read his words. I couldn't focus on anything after that. I was just walking around my classroom not knowing what I was supposed to be doing, so I went home.

He would be home in an hour, so I wrote in my journal how I felt and read a little more Just Friends book. He came home and tried to print off the letter (he had wanted me to print it to read but my printer wasn't working). He finally came and sat down next to me with his arm around me. First emotional loop on the coaster hits. We both have our heads in each other's neck and just start crying, didn't say a single word. We hugged so tight. I didn't want to let go. I was afraid that this might be our last hug, so I was squeezing all I could. We then did a lot staring in each other's eyes, lots more crying and hugging, apologies, kissing, more crying, all the while holding each other. Our daughter came out and asked why I was crying. I couldn't answer. He then told her it was our wedding anniversary and it's day full of emotions. She climbed on our laps and he put his arms around both of us.

Second emotional loop on the coaster hits, but this one was the ones that also twist around while going upside down. I completely lost it. I felt the full magnitude of what I did come crashing down on to me. I risked my daughter, my husband, our family all for the worst mistake of my life. He and I sat there crying holding our little girl. She got tired of being squeezed and got off, but as just kept holding each other and staring into each other's eyes. He told me that last night he was staring at me for awhile trying to figure out if he could say goodbye to me, but he couldn't. He can't say goodbye to me just yet. He then layed his head on my lap and I rubbed his head and back for awhile. I was looking over him trying to remember every single inch of him. He then sat up and held me. He touched my wedding ring and asked if it still meant anything to me. Instant tears and trying to get the words "it means everything to me" out. Quite a bit more crying happened along with long kisses. He asked if those still felt the same, and I immediately said yes!

Third emotional loop on the coaster hits, he asks me if I would like to join them for dinner. I of course said yes and thanked him. We played some games in the car. God, it felt like we were the perfect family. We sat there for a little while longer hugging, staring, and kissing. We held hands while driving to the place. We held across the table while she played on the playground. He told me he won't be making any decisions until at least the end of September. We have to be 100% honest with each other, and he wouldn't bring up the A today. He then said that he still wanted to celebrate today even though this happened, even crappy milestones should be celebrated he said. I really tried to not lose it in Carl's Jr. He then sat next to me and we just held each other. The three of us stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some dessert.

He's now outside pushing her on the tire swing, it's become a nightly ritual with them these past weeks. I asked him if we could try to lay next to each other again tonight, and he said yes so hopefully that happens again. I really don't want today to end.

Hippo16 posted 8/15/2019 23:49 PM

I hope the Joy lasts!

Lalagirl posted 8/16/2019 08:59 AM

WOPR posted 8/16/2019 14:33 PM

I've never posted on this or any other forum anywhere. Lurked for 3+ years. Read all the things.

I am moved to tears. You write well.

I won't say do this or do that. I simply wanted to offer you and your husband a word of encouragement. There is hope. No guarantees, but there's hope. (Yes, there's a difference between real hope and "hopium").

It will get worse before it gets better; it's a long, long road.

Keep on keepin on, internet stranger(s). Praying for you both.

Gonna fade back out now. Y'all take care of each other. Thanks for having me.

[This message edited by WOPR at 2:46 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

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