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This damn fence is starting to hurt my a**

WarriorPrincess posted 7/12/2020 12:10 PM

Logally, I see all the same things you all see:

All I have here is a tattered shred of a marriage, not worth saving at all. I mean, I get nothing out of this, except for some stability and another adult in the house to let the dogs out. Oh and maybe some sex if I make an appointment and if he isn't too tired (never happens) and if it doesn't interfere with his **sacred** sleep schedule. I don't think I am actually worried about him having another A, because I don't think he could stay awake for it.

We are both 51 years old. I act like I am 31, he acts like 81. I am still youthful, attractive, active, and fit. I have hobbies, ambition, and friends. He has diddly-squat.

I have values. He values nothing. Not even, apparently, me.

I have one reason, and one reason only, to stick around. That is the 2 1/2 year period between Retrouvaille and his stroke. I know I can't stop talking about it, but, y'all, it was magic. I felt so valued and loved in that time. We were still not perfect. We were on the first block of a lifetime marathon. We had dreams that we shared. We were growing and healing and both of us becoming better people and better partners.

I. was. happy.


And yes, I know if I get divorced and go out on my own, I will be happy again. I will find someone else to share my life with someday. Hell, I will probably be hitting the sheets with some firefighter before the ink is even dry on the divorce papers.

But I don't want to wait. I want my life back the way it was before this damn stroke ruined everything. I want my high school best friend, my lifelong buddy, there by my side. I want him to be the man he was, the one who cared about me and wanted me to be happy as much as I cared about him and wanted him to be happy. We had plans. Some of those plans included him helping me get things in my life the he had previously denied me. I don't want to put all that on hold while I try to figure out the logistics of a new life, then go find a new person to do all that with. I have worked too hard and waited too long for my turn in this marriage, and who the hell is he to deny it to me once again?

*************
I just had a weird thought, about how forgiveness is about letting go and not expecting anything from the person who wronged you. I think I need to forgive him for having his stroke. I have been angry at him all this time, and doing all the things I do when I am angry at him for being him. Mostly this consists of trying to get him to "see things my way" and then trying to force him to change his behavior to meet my desires, expectations, or needs.

My whole marriage was like this, with me cycling through the first 3 stages of grief: denial that things really are just as bad as they seem; bargaining by trying to change something or other about myself, him, or our marriage in hope that this would finally work; and anger at him for not being the person I thought he was. Then we would have a big fight, make up, things would be OK for a few days, and I'd be right back to denial.

So what if I can just forgive him? Not just for the affair, but for all of it. For pretending to be something he wasn't before we married, for being exactly who he is, for having his stupid stroke (which the neurologist said was probably unavoidable), for not recovering the way I think he should.... for all of it?

What if I can say, I don't hold any of this against him. There is nothing to do about any of it now anyway. I am never going to get him to change, so I can give that up. I will never be able to get him to meet my needs, so I can stop trying with that, too.

So I can stop expecting him to provide touch, or sex, or companionship. I can stop expecting him to care what I do with my time. I can stop expecting him not to whine about everything or to have any energy whatsoever. I can stop expecting him to make that psychiatrist appointment or do anything else to strengthen our marriage.

That is a really sad thought, but a really freeing one, too. That gives me some choices. Either I can do some of these things myself (except for the psychiatrist appointment) or I can let it go. Or I can find a way around it.

Well, that was apparently the end of the line for that train of thought. I just ran out of words.

I don't know why I keep coming here and cluttering up the board with my rambling, except that I truly want someone to bear witness. Thank you to all who read this far.

Lost2760 posted 7/12/2020 12:39 PM

I see you. And I hear you. Know that you are not alone. I can relate to your words. Although our situations are different. I too am at a cross roads. Itís never easy letting go of how things used to be. The plans and dreams and the life you had built together. However, it seems you have given so much of yourself to him. Even after all the things he has put you through. Although I am still struggling. I think the only conclusion I have come up with is to focus on myself. Make myself happy, give myself the love and attention, think about yourself! As I think you know that as much as you want things to change or go back to how it was...it never will be the same again. Just because you want it bad enough wonít make it reality. If itís something you can get past and deal with then more power to you but since you are here and struggling it seems to me that you arenít. I hope you can see your worth and find happiness in yourself and find peace with your situation. Iím rooting for you! (Hugs)

Gottagetthrough posted 7/12/2020 13:26 PM

Oh yes, I am having a difficult time letting go of how good things used to be! After affair 1, life was ok a lot of the time! Wh has bipolar 1 and that would mean some tough times, but there were so many great times!

Affair 2 took place in the last year. It was an EA and he still says they were just friends. Iím staying for 2017, 2018.. Iím not staying for 2020! I need to take care of me and stop cleaning up after Wh. I need to leave for my sanity.

Throwaway999 posted 7/12/2020 16:37 PM

I am going to be 54 this year. Starting over on my own like it or not...you are only 51, a few years younger. We both, hopefully, have years of us ahead of us...donít you deserve more? You can let go of your anger and accept the situation you have...or change it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years? You can easily stay married and just find your own happiness...itís definitely possible. Lots of people have done that...there is nothing wrong with that. Or you can start the path or divorce...nothing wrong with that either. No one would ever fault you for that path either.

I know for me...I want more. I want joy and happiness again someday. I want that feeling of being loved again and loving someone back. You just have to figure out what that looks like for you.

Neither of those paths doesnít mean we wonít grieve for what we have lost or what could have been...but thatís not the cards we were dealt. It hurts...so damn much...but you DO deserve happiness. And you DO deserve better...you just have to find a way to make that happen for you.

Edited to add...I live beside a fire station. 🔥🔥🔥

[This message edited by Throwaway999 at 4:48 PM, July 12th, 2020 (Sunday)]

sisoon posted 7/13/2020 12:04 PM

WP,

I think it would be good for you to forgive your H (or G-d or the Universe) for his stroke. I think you'd benefit from doing that.

It leaves you still unfulfilled, but I think forgiving the stroke may free you to make good decisions for yourself, either to require changes or to leave or to change your goals to ones that allow you to stay and get/do what you want.

Your ramblings seem to get you places, which I think is pretty cool.

Remember: I don't think there's anything on earth (yet) that forces anyone to read or respond to your posts. smile

Notthevictem posted 7/13/2020 17:38 PM

Yup, sometimes you just gotta get all these things spinning around your head out.

I was on the fence too at one point. I think, for you, it sounds like you aren't doing enough to make yourself happy.

What makes you happy? Hobby, like a fish tank? or tennis? or chloroforming strangers in the movie theater so you can paint their toe nails?

For me, I had a journal (very fond of telling folks that) and in it I tracked the little things that made me happy. As an example, I really like thai food. If I eat out once or twice a week, it's great! But if I go a third time, then it sucks the joy out of it. If I hadn't been tracking that in my journal I wouldn't have known. I used it to build up a host of little happiness builders that helped me stabilize some.

While I wholeheartedly support journaling, I'm bringing it up as an example of one way to focus on your own happiness.
I wanted to point out that there isn't anything stopping you from doing the things you enjoy. Well, the virus maybe, but eh, mask it up and figure out if taco bell 5 times in two days is too much!

[This message edited by Notthevictem at 5:40 PM, July 13th (Monday)]

WarriorPrincess posted 7/14/2020 01:43 AM

Thanks you guys, I love being able to share here!

I have made a couple of decisions. The first one is, I am going to become exactly the kind of person I want to be. I like being outdoors and doing active things. So I joined a bunch of outdoorsy meetups and a hiking club. I went kayaking on the Chicago river on Independence day. It was a blast!

I also want to be a paramedic and a business owner. Paramedic school starts in January and my savings are right on track to pay for it. I am struggling to get my business started, but I am learning as I go along.

I have also been making progress with my RV living plans. There will be 2 trailers purchased, no matter what happens. Either I will be sharing one with WH and the kid (who will be 20 at the time) will have his own, or WH can take his trailer and go, and the kid will stay with me, at least for a while. I have tentative plans on where to park, and I am going to get a closer look at my top choices this week. The beauty of this plan is, no matter what happens with WH, I still know what I will be doing. I also know I can afford this with or without him, and I will have help with the dogs no matter what.

The weird thing is, every time I either make strides toward becoming my best self, or threaten divorce, WH starts acting right for a while. When I came back from the kayak trip, he was all lovey-dovey for a day or two. When I told him I was not, under any circumstances, going to stay in a sexless marriage, he suddenly felt in the mood. It looks like I could go on indefinitely just threatening my way to marital satisfaction! Yeah, I know, who wants to live that way, right?

We went to the beach today and had a great time. It was very much like old times, with us just being companionable and enjoying the day and each other's company. He was all talking about if we live at an RV park we found nearby, we can take the dogs (the ones he wanted me to surrender) to the beach every weekend. This is the same man who told me that when he thinks of the future, he never thinks about me as part of it.

Even before the stroke, I suspected there was something wrong with his brain. Now I am certain of it. He seems to believe one thing one day, and believe a completely different thing the next day. It is bizarre! I don't think he is lying, actually, but his mind seems to shift from one reality to a different one. He told me early on that he is never the same person two days in a row. I wonder if this is what he meant? Can I live with this? I don't know yet.

I have adopted a watch-and-see attitude. I have decided to go about my life doing what I need and want to do for myself. I watch to see how he behaves when I am not pushing him to be a different person. This has reduced the arguing in our house to almost nothing as I am no longer invested in trying to get him to do things my way. It gives me space to do what I want to do,and I feel better about myself.

There are 2 things I can't manage this way: money and sex. I have taken control of our money, and our savings is growing by leaps and bounds. I need his cooperation for sex, however, DIY just doesn't do it for me. That is going make or break our marriage, I think.

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