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Affair, Relationship, Marriage

fournlau posted 12/5/2019 09:40 AM

How do most of you separate these three things? Or do you? For my WH, he believes they are all the same and working on the relationship is the same as working on healing from the affair. For me, they are all separate. I can't focus on the relationship, until I've healed from the affair. Obviously, there is some crossover as when you work on some of the affair aspects, you also might fix something that was wrong in the relationship. However, for me, affair comes first.

WH once said that if we were to do MC he would only want to focus on the future, and not rehash the A or the past year. For me, that wouldn't work, as 95% of my issues with the relationship and marriage have to do with the A right now. He has since told me that he says a lot of stupid shit and that was one of them. Thankfully, we are both now in IC (we moved states and it has been a struggle finding new therapists, hopefully these will be better than the last ones), and are working towards eventually getting into MC.

Anyway, how do all of you see these? Separate or all part of the same thing?

EllieKMAS posted 12/5/2019 09:47 AM

if we were to do MC he would only want to focus on the future, and not rehash the A or the past year.

This is called RUGSWEEPING. Oh em gee that was an incredibly stupid thing for him to say.

For me I think there was bleedover on all three. In some ways they were stand-alone, but in a lot of important ways they were all mixed in together.

I'm with you. The A was the most urgent thing that needed addressing for me too.

BluesPower posted 12/5/2019 09:54 AM

Like Ellie said...

This is rug sweeping and very convenient for the WS and very hurtful for you.

Be aware though, that this line of thought he is espousing, which he read somewhere probably, is the crazy school of thought that LOTS of MC's Adhere to.

It is so pervasive in the MC industry that if you do MC you have to weed though many to avoid this mind set.

The answer is no, there may be some cross over, but the Affair has to be dealt with first, everything else is second.

With out the affair being dealt with you don't really know if you still have a marriage...

[This message edited by BluesPower at 9:54 AM, December 5th (Thursday)]

hikingout posted 12/5/2019 10:00 AM

This is a hard question to answer because I think the focus changes a lot.

We are in year 3 right now. I think the affair is something that still effects us and likely will for more years to come. But, we are not triaging quite the same way.

Year 1 for me as a WW was just getting my head out of my ass. There was progress, it was slow. A lot of it was coming to terms with how big of a bomb that I just put into my life. As we got to the latter parts of year 1, I could finally see how much damage I had done to my husband and marriage. I think all waywards come to that realization at different times, some never reach it. But the understanding of what I have done is when remorse set in. Remorse made me humble. It made me understand whatever it was he needed, I was going to do it. This is something it sounds like your husband hasn't gotten to yet, because if so he wouldn't be asking you to rugsweep the affair and just work on fixing the marriage.

But, even in year one we did work on our marriage some. We took weekend trips and did leave the affair behind for a couple days here and there. This too was happening towards the end of year one. For us, we needed time to be husband and wife and to try and remember what it was we were fighting for. Not everyone feels that way or does this, but it was important to us and set a big tone for year 2.

Year 2 - I worked my ass off to fix myself. I had made a lot of discoveries about myself in year one, and I started that work, but the most progress came after the remorse hit. I was in IC for all of year one and just off and on in year two. It was because once I had the discoveries - it took time to apply what I had learned. So, IC was about checking in and getting to the next steps. We did marriage counseling starting around month 10 ish? This was when my husband really committed to R. He had waited until it seemed like I was going to be a viable person to do it with. I don't even know if that was conscious on his part, it sounds like he had it all together when I talk like that, but he didn't. He just wasn't putting up with any shit, is more where he was.

In year two, as we both worked on ourselves we did make a conscious decision to work on our connection. Some of that was important for each of our healing. Without making efforts towards the marriage and each other, I don't think I could have even practiced some of the things I needed to work on.

I do think that the focus for a long time has to be on individual healing, but reconnecting should not be ignored...but only after the WW has gotten what they have done, realized that you are not over reacting, put down their defenses and gets in those trenches in a big way. They should be self-motivated, and self propelling. Them doing that will allow you to feel more like you have a safe place to heal. My husband didn't feel like he had to hold himself as separate because he didn't fear that I was going to forget what I did, that I could see what I did without him having to keep a distance to remind me. His walls started to come down as I apologized, took responsibility, pursued him.

This non-sense about "let's just build a new marriage and forget the past" isn't going to cut it, it only says to me your husband may regret or feel guilty about his behavior, but he is not remorseful yet. That part takes time, intention, empathy. I read the JFO and other BS forums a lot to understand further what went on in his head, that helped me a lot. Reading books was helpful as well. Your husband right now is still in denial about the damage and wants things to go back to normal, that is not realistic. But, it's also not an uncommon WS reaction, it doesn't mean that he won't get there either.

wifehad5 posted 12/5/2019 10:08 AM

That would be great for him, wouldn't it?

Oldwounds posted 12/5/2019 10:24 AM

Anyway, how do all of you see these? Separate or all part of the same thing?

All part of the same life with the same person, plus the AP he chose to bring into your marriage -- all nearly impossible to separate to me.

Until he tries to tackle why he did what he did and why he needed validation beyond the marriage, how can you possibly feel safe about moving forward?

At some point, if he owns his choices, of course relationship issues will need to be addressed in the now, but there isn't any way to focus on a possible future until he understands the scope and scale of the emotional trauma he has caused.

fournlau posted 12/5/2019 10:24 AM

Yes, so much of this first year has been him wanting me to accept the A and move on. He's asked many times why I can't do that. My last reply was "Are you fucking kidding me? Because you fucked another woman for over a year and got her pregnant, that isn't something anyone just 'gets over'."

It's been a long slow process and sometimes so agonizing! It actually makes me feel better that even a year out, WS's do eventually 'get it'. Thank you @hikingout for your insights as a W. He is still a work in progress, and, he did say that what he said about MC was stupid on his part and is absolutely on board with discussing the A with a MC.

I do worry, as @Bluespower stated, there are many MC's who focus on accepting the A and moving forward. I know for a fact that is not what I need! I need to turn the A upside down and every which way. I need to know why it happened and why he was able to keep it going for over a year. I NEED TO KNOW! So, hopefully, we get a good one.

tushnurse posted 12/5/2019 10:36 AM

Also he needs to be digging through the shit storm he created in IC. Figuring out his why's and then fixing the issues w/ in himself that allowed him to make those shitty choices.

Until he does that piece, you can't move forward knowing that you are going to be able to R in a meaningful way. Every WS out there would love to never discuss it again and pretend it never happened, and keep plugging along w/ life but that's not how this works. Not if you want to rebuild and have a safe and meaningful M after all of this.

Chaos posted 12/5/2019 10:40 AM

That is indeed rugsweeping and allows him to dodge a big bullet.

Because - I'm sure if rolls were reversed that's what he'd want right?????

cocoplus5nuts posted 12/5/2019 10:54 AM

I see them as separate, but overlapping. I had to heal from my fch's betrayal before I could even consider working on our M or relationship. My fch working on himself to become a safe partner may have helped me heal. I don't know because I haven't experienced this the other way. I'm 100% sure that EMDR was the greatest contributor to my healing.

Now that we are reconciled from my fch's cheating, I can turn my focus to our M and our relationship. I see those as separate because I can have a relationship with him without being married to him. Of course, it would be difficult to be married to him and not have a relationship with him.

So, now, I'm focused on our relationship, how we communicate, how we interact, trying to have fun together, that sort of thing. I think, if that's taken care of, the M will fall into place. It is very possible that I will decide that our relationship is not working and will want to dissolve our M.

gmc94 posted 12/5/2019 11:05 AM

I don't know if they are separate or not, but the relationship/M can't move forward until:

only after the WW has gotten what they have done, realized that you are not over reacting, put down their defenses and gets in those trenches in a big way. They should be self-motivated, and self propelling. Them doing that will allow you to feel more like you have a safe place to heal.
To me, this is the WS "step one" (full disclosure: my WH has not gotten to step one, so my healing has not had the benefit of any support from him. His shame and self victimization always takes priority over any of my hurt - we are still M, but are S and are not in R).

If the WS can't "get it", understand the damage, put down defenses, dig DEEP into themselves, find empathy, find remorse, find their whys and change whatever it is that caused them to make their crummy, hurtful, harmful, self destructive choices (and then lie to themselves and everyone around them), then I don't see why anyone would want to be in a relationship or marriage with such a person. Now, this does not account for all the other reasons one may want to remain in the M. I noticed a thread on this subject recently and kids and finances looked like the big ones. I'd add for me the desire to work on my healing w/o having to simultaneously deal with moving out, lawyers for D, etc.) But that is just "staying in the M', it is NOT reconciliation.

As your WH if someone embezzled from him or stole his money or car or retirement fund, would he simply put the past behind him and get back into business with such a person? Of course he wouldn't. But maybe, if the thief figured out what prompted such bad choices, became humbled and remorseful for them, and then worked their ass off to rebuild trust, one might still be willing to work with a (former) thief.

By having an A, a WS steals things that are (to me) WAY more important than anything money can buy, so why would the theft of a BS' reality or self esteem or basic respect and dignity be met with rugsweeping, but theft of $ would not?

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:06 AM, December 5th, 2019 (Thursday)]

The1stWife posted 12/5/2019 16:26 PM

The cheater doesn’t get to call the shots. Sorry your cheater doesn’t get that.

You need to take back some power and control From the cheating spouse. ASAP.

Otherwise you will end up rugsweeping the affair.

Niceguy25 posted 12/5/2019 23:51 PM

My WS, though remorseful, still believes her affair was justified because I was “out of touch with her feelings, needs and didn’t listen, and her married AP understood her and their affair saved our marriage and made me wake up and listen.” No amount of therapy has changed that stance in 30 years of recovery. She clammed up and rug swept it for 25 years until I discovered 5 years ago a birthday card ready to be mailed to him. We’ve been married 43 years and the last 5 have been hell, but healing as the truth finally began to come out. That was strike two, and there will be no strike 3.

20yrsagoBS posted 12/6/2019 04:56 AM

Until the fuckedupedness in WH is addressed and repaired, there will be no progress in the relationship or the marriage.


The part that entitled him to commit the affair has to be repaired before he will ever have the ability to address his marriage and relationship with you


Don’t back down, don’t let him slither away from the hard work

cocoplus5nuts posted 12/6/2019 07:53 AM

there are many MC's who focus on accepting the A and moving forward. I know for a fact that is not what I need! I need to turn the A upside down and every which way. I need to know why it happened and why he was able to keep it going for over a year. I NEED TO KNOW! So, hopefully, we get a good one.


You don't hope you get a good counselor. You actively find one. Interview them. Maybe try a few sessions. You are not obligated to continue with a counselor if she isn't working for you. You may have to go through several before you find one who works for you. It can be very frustrating. Stick with it!

Nice guy, that's not remorse.

fournlau posted 12/6/2019 10:02 AM

Why is it so difficult for W's to understand they need to start with themselves and not expect the BS to do all the work to "get over" the A?

Sadly, this is taking my WH very long to get. Little by little he gets more and more of what he should be doing instead of just coasting and waiting for me to catch up to him in the "move forward" phase he got to pretty much as soon as he told me about the A.

I would have opted out already if he was still stuck in that way of thinking. I have given myself at least 2 years to see what actions he takes and if he continues to grow and change, to understand what I need and just do it before I have to ask. We'll see. At least he's moving in the right direction, it's just so frustrating that it takes so fucking long to get his head out of his ass and trust that I know what I need more than he does.

MamaDragon posted 12/6/2019 10:16 AM

Explain it to him this they are interrelated but they are each a separate entity that must be addressed at different points in the healing.

First and foremost, you need to heal from his affair. That is where he must do the heavy lifting - this is related to your relationship and if he helps you heal from the affair, in the long run it will help the relationship....

which in turns helps rebuild your marriage.

Right now you are in survival mode, while he has had so many months to come to grips with his affair, this is relatively new to you and you need time to work through that hurt. Tell him, in no uncertain terms you do not know how long it will take to overcome his betrayal but you know that he understands how difficult this has been for you (he hasn't but let him think this)

MC will come along, but for now YOU need to heal your broken heart and it won't be his way, it will be the way that is most helpful to you. Ask him to consider how hurt and heartbroken he would be if the shoe was on the other foot...

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