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Saving Yourself

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Babette2008 posted 10/28/2019 01:17 AM

Is the possibility of "regretting not doing everything I could to save a bad marriage" really an excuse to stay and if so, why? I mean, will you really have regrets over this that you might not get over? Really

No. Dear Abby had a standard answer to writers with marriage problems "are you better off with him/her or without him/her?" The answer to this question will vary by situation and sometimes takes awhile to figure out.

My response to that question is weighted by having children, the length and overall stability of our M, and the timing of finding out about the As (after they had ended) and of course my H's desire to stay with me and the changes he has made. I have different variables and put different weights on them than someone whose infidelity story might otherwise be similar. Someone in a different context might, with the same pattern of infidelity, walk. And they would be right to do so. Should my variables or weights change my decision could change.

I think we run into problems when we operate out of a place of fear or powerlessness. That's why the discovery phase is so hard.

[This message edited by Babette2008 at 1:18 AM, October 28th (Monday)]

Sunshine184 posted 10/28/2019 14:07 PM

SB, Iím so glad youíre posting. I hope you are physically and emotionally stronger since you last post.
I completely agree with you that it never should fall to the BS to do everything to save their marriage. I feel that comes from a place of feeling responsible, in some way, and needing to prove or discover that they never were.
Iím still with my FCH for a few reasons and none of them come from an effort on my part to save our marriage.
I sincerely hope you find serenity and happiness Speedbump.
Iím curious - what have you been doing to deal with loneliness? Still on that bike?

Cooley2here posted 10/28/2019 23:06 PM

SB, my husband cheated when we were much younger. I ďknewĒ it but with small children and being a SAHM I didnít ask until years later. I blindsided him with the question and he couldnít think up a lie fast enough. We moved on. He was out of town and it was not in my face like you Hís was.

You absolutely do not need to question yourself about standing up to them. By the time you found out they had been gaslighting you until your health was in danger.

Have you heard the term folie a deux? The dance of madness. It describes a madness that comes from two people who bring out the worst in each other. The dance gets tighter and tighter until no sunlight, no rational thought, can get in. I have wondered if that might have been what your H was caught up in. From what you wrote he had never acted that way before.

I can watch true stories about murder but will turn off the tv if it is about a con artist. I have felt this way all of my life. I think that is why I was so angry on your behalf. You were conned by what seems a sociopath. Your H let her pull him into the con and you and HIS marriage suffered. He killed his marriage. It makes no sense.

There are discussions about the difference between regret and remorse. Has he made the journey to remorse yet? Thatís when he knows just how cruel he was. If he feels remorse maybe he will become a better person regardless of where he ends up.

I hope your health has improved.

Odonna posted 11/14/2019 16:02 PM

Dear Speedy,

First, there are no "rules" to your decision-making about your own life. No one can tell you what you "must" or "should" do.

That said, many think it is wise to try to project yourself into the future and see if you think you might regret having walked away without a lengthy stab at reconciliation. In some cases, I think this is a good perspective, as we tend to forget we will not always feel the way we do now, and time will temper perspectives. But those are the cases that are not as severe as your case, and where the circumstances are not as indicative of a very flawed character.

In your case, his abuse of you was breathtaking, even to those of us who read dozens of these stories at a time. Early on, when your anger and outrage was ruling you, you saw this. With time, and his kindness and the tamping down of the anger, you are likely second-guessing conclusions made in the throes of discovery. That is all OK.

So leave aside all "shoulds" and evaluate what his conduct as a whole - and the arc of his changes since DDay - tell you about his character. What kind of person is he, really? Has he been studiously in IC? Has he been transparent? Has his remorse actually been growing over time? Has he told other people close in his life what he did (that one is important)?

I am glad you came back to post and to engage this community again. I hope this is helpful.


[This message edited by Odonna at 6:12 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

MalibuBayBreeze posted 11/14/2019 16:19 PM

One thing I do read time and time again is a justification to "do all possible to save the marriage", as in, someone doesn't want to look back one day and think they didn't do everything they should have or could have done to save the marriage. I can't help but feel this is being used as just an excuse to stay and stick it out. Then my thoughts turn to what I think is the better question one should be asking and that's, "Did I do all I could to save myself?" Isn't that the better question to ask oneself one day down the road? Is the marriage more important than the person? Shouldn't we be promising to love and treat ourselves with the most respect above all?

I agree. The focus should be on yourself as a BS because with 20/20 hindsight towards DDay, the onus to save the marriage should be on the one who stepped out on it. Not the one who was stabbed in the back.

I am guilty AF of repeating the mantra that at least I will know I did everything I could to save the marriage should we D. That if it winds up in the shitter I will be able to hold my head high knowing I gave it my best shot.

If I could go back to 3 years ago I'd slap my own face because now I look at that as being preposterous.

I think part of the reasoning of why we take that route is shock. The WS has known the true state of the marriage as they engaged in their affairs. When DDay hits, even if there were suspicions as in my case, it rocks you to your core. Your world is blowing up and you grasp for that life preserver in the storm as it does.

Eventually I think we all come to realize the focus needs to be on ourselves. We need the self care, the self love and some soul searching of our own. There's a shift away from treading water to save the marriage towards saving yourself because you realize through all of this that at the end of the day the one person who is constantly there for you is you yourself. The WS surely proved they didn't have our best interests at heart so we need to.

cancuncrushed posted 11/15/2019 21:04 PM

There are so many components And so many stages. You have to ask this question in each stage.

I pondered this today. First to deal with shock. Your spouses actions. Then you process. You choose. You try. You watch. You suffer. You grieve. They should try.

Then you learn to accept. Many things. In stages.

Like steady said. I also wanted my spouse to have remorse. To try. To want. He did not. He planned to cheat forever. And he did.

I didnít see that coming. I had to start over with acceptance. And thatís where I got stuck. It wasnít about my mental health. Or safety. It was all about shock and disbelief. I had never heard of narcissists. It was a long study. It was very hard to accept that in 36 years. Not one minute was real. Not one conversation was true. It made the affair feel small. It has been very hard to accept that reality. It was so much worse then I knew. My entire reality tilted. And erased.

Of course I had to D. There is no choice with Npd. I thought it was just an affair. I was so stuck. Until I learned more. This hasnít even touched on finances or children.

I know the one thing I knew for sure. I was a great wife. I did my part well. A great mother. With all the other insanity. I knew this for sure. My conscience was clear. I had no regrets about my efforts. This was my reality. My lifeline.

When he started the cruel discard. I knew who I was. His ugly words and actions didnít break me. He was self destructing by his choice.

For all who know. Agree completely with this. I needed this to balance my thoughts To survive this It was what was real. Itís very distorting to loose 36 years. I had many reasons for staying. I had to set my world back upright. I was not functioning. We are very recently divorced.
Heís meaner every day. Our marriage might have been destroyed. But I know who I am. Who I was. Iím proud of the wife I was. No lies can change that.

Heís further destructing his entire life. I feel I survived a hurricane. Again.

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 9:27 PM, November 15th (Friday)]

sisoon posted 11/16/2019 08:46 AM

Hit submit by mistake.

[This message edited by sisoon at 8:52 AM, November 16th (Saturday)]

LLXC posted 11/16/2019 11:04 AM

We have to become strong enough to forgive them

But doesn't that mean that those who can't forgive are weak? People sometimes do unforgivable things and/or do nothing to truly repent. I think.when we've been betrayed and traumatized the anger and hurt can destroy us, and so we need to let go of it in order to heal. Other times that anger is the fuel that moves us to better things. Do whatever you need to heal - forgive, let go, hold on to the anger. Whatever.

I will probably be crucified for saying this but I think marriage has been held as sacrosanct for far too long. If it is broken it is ok to get out. If fixing it is hard and one or both of you are not up to the challenge, it's ok to get out then too. It makes me uncomfortable to read the Reconciliation forum and see how many people post about being unable to have sex. Maybe that's your body's way of saying, "get out."

Not all relationships are worth saving, especially when the one who fucked up is doing less work. And even if they are doing all the work, the relationship might still be beyond saving

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