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Dance, puppet, dance

Joanna1013 posted 9/20/2020 03:54 AM

It’s been a while. Hope this finds you all well (or as well as possible considering we are all here).

I just finished reading No Soliciting Wow. That shit was empowering, and I wish I had read it right after Dday #1. It would have saved me a lot of heartache, but I wanted reconciliation so badly that I didn’t even want to read it.

Now, I’m a lot less sure about reconciliation. I definitely buy the premise of the book — that cheating is a character problem that has nothing to do with FOO issues, midlife crises or any other pathetic excuse. It’s problem of entitlement.

Sure, my husband had a shitty, traumatic childhood. He was also feeling shifty because of his DUI. But here’s the thing, lots of people have childhood trauma and lots of people have gotten DUIs for the first time, but not all of them end of being cheaters.

Thanks to the “universal bullshit translator,” I can now see exactly when my husband started trying to force me to do the pick-me dance for him.

Like many people in my position, my husband tried to push me into an open marriage before I knew I was already in one (of the non-ethical variety). He tried to put the onus of his "happiness” onto my shoulders, and made it seem like polyamory was “who he was” and I would be hurting his “authentic” self if I denied him that.

Here’s how I see his polyamory offer now:

“I’ll go out every night, spend our money and all of my free time with this other woman. In exchange, you can keep doing my laundry, buying and cooking my food, cleaning my house, taking care of our pets, and if you’re lucky, I may even let you suck my dick every once in a while.”

He and bitch-face made it seem like it was my problem that I felt threatened or jealous by the idea of opening our marriage, that something was somehow wrong with me for not feeling “compersion” at the thought of my husband fucking and loving someone else. “You’re just possessive and too stuck on monogamy, which, by the way, is a social construct that’s unnatural to humans.”

Now that I see this for the clear manipulation and bullshit it really is, I can’t unsee it. He knew I loved him and would do just about anything to prove it, and he tried to take advantage of it. He knew I would never get anything out of polyamory except heartbreak, but he didn’t care. He just wanted cake, even if it meant manipulating me and allowing me to suffer. It’s disgusting.

She tried to manipulate me into it, too. She was pretending to be my friend, and since polyamory isn’t something many people are open about, I tried to talk to her about it. I thought I was reaching out to a friend.

I cried to her about how my husband wanted to be in love with someone else — how pathetic, considering it was her. I feel like a fool. As I was crying, she marvled at how alike they were, and asked me what was missing in my marriage. Hello blame-shifting. She also tried to give me her copy of "No Soliciting" to enlighten me and help me evolve and be like her.

Maybe they are more alike than I want to admit. Certainly brings things into perspective, as I want nothing to do with anyone even remotely like her. In fact, I have to actively stop myself from hating people who share her stupid name.

ETA:

I almost forgot about the best part. After about a week of not eating or sleeping, researching polyamory non-stop and trying to force myself into it for him, I finally told him no, that I didn't think I could do the polyamory thing. He crossed his arms, turned the other way in bed and literally pouted and told me he would just have to "mourn that part of himself" — ...the part that wanted to my permission to bone other people...that he had never once mentioned in the 14 years we have been together.

And this is the guy I have been crying about for the past 10 months? WTF is wrong with me?

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve done the pick-me dance a lot over the last 10ish months. But I’m glad that I never gave into that particular manipulation.

But now that I see it, I’m not sure if reconciliation can be on the table for me anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still here and still addicted to the hopium, but I think my supply may be about to run out.

I think I may have hit the anger phase :)

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:12 AM, September 20th (Sunday)]

The1stWife posted 9/20/2020 06:12 AM

I think you hit the reality phase. The reality of your M etc.

There is only so much crap you can tolerate. And once the rose colored glasses come off - it’s like a sucker punch. You see the reality of who or what your spouse has become (or always was).

My H had an ego the size of Montana lol. He wasn’t always like that but suddenly he was someone I didn’t recognize in some way.

My H swears one has nothing to do with the other but I believe he had his affair b/c he was angry with me. For once I stood up to him and told him “no” and refused to back down. And suddenly the OW appears a month later and then the affair begins. I never thought my H was a petty person but guess I was wrong there.

It comes down to — can you forgive him for this? Can you reconcile knowing this? Think of his affair like an addiction. It explains so much.

My H was planning to D me. He kept telling me for months he wanted a D. I never stood in his way. The day I had enough of his lying & cheating I told him I was divorcing him!!!!!

Funny how all of a sudden he no longer wants to cheat and see the OW etc. that affair ended immediately. If the recovery for me was years. It’s slow and it’s a process.

The interesting thing was he admitted he made the biggest mistake of his life. He tried to blame me by saying “we were disconnected” but I shut that down immediately. I told him it’s not my job to change you. It’s your job to change yourself.

I hope this helps you. The “friend” you trusted who was cheating on you w/ your H is another thing to heal from. That is just more trauma and crap. Sorry for you.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 2:25 PM, September 20th (Sunday)]

OwningItNow posted 9/20/2020 06:30 AM

I definitely buy the premise of the book — that cheating is a character problem that has nothing to do with FOO issues, midlife crises or any other pathetic excuse. It’s problem of entitlement.

For some this is so very true. But it does not take into account the many waywards who cheated once a long time ago or cheated after many faithful years, so I don't think it's true for everyone.

I almost forgot about the best part. After about a week of not eating or sleeping, researching polyamory non-stop and trying to force myself into it for him, I finally told him no, that I didn't think I could do the polyamory thing. He crossed his arms, turned the other way in bed and literally pouted and told me he would just have to "mourn that part of himself" — ...the part that wanted to my permission to bone other people...that he had never once mentioned in the 14 years we have been together.

Yes, ^^^^ character flaw. Entitled. This was the right book and right advice for your situation.

Sure, my husband had a shitty, traumatic childhood. He was also feeling shifty because of his DUI. But here’s the thing, lots of people have childhood trauma and lots of people have gotten DUIs for the first time, but not all of them end of being cheaters.

No, some of them end up to be relationship addicted, codependent, drug addicted, alcoholic, gamblers, workaholics, narcissists and other personality disorders, suicidal, self-harm, binge eaters, bulimics, anorexics, child abusers, domestic abusers, gangbangers, murderers, pedophiles, rapists, serial killers, serial rapists, cult members, hate mongers, rage-a-holics, racists, chronic depression, crippling anxiety, phobia driven, emotionally vacant, homeless, or prostitutes. A shitty childhood brings many varieties of fucked up to your life, and you won't get them all. Does someone get to pick? Geeze, so many good options to choose from. But no, since this fuckedupness lives and breathes in the dark crevices of your soul, you are often not even aware of how fucked up some of your thinking is. Do crazy people know they are crazy?

He knew I loved him and would do just about anything to prove it

Umm, this is not ok. Why would you have to prove anything? That should have been your first (and last) clue to leave this partnership. Healthy people don't ask us to prove our love when we have not done anything wrong. Why are you so addicted to him? Consider your own childhood.

I’m still here and still addicted to the hopium, but I think my supply may be about to run out.

If it's a character flaw (it is in this case, as you said) then there is no hopium to smoke. You must leave. If you struggle with this, then it's time to confront your own demons.

sisoon posted 9/20/2020 12:39 PM

Some people let anger control them after being betrayed. Some people with writing skill use that skill to get others to hold onto and act from their anger, perhaps as a way of validating their own choices.

I think BSes will be a lot better off if they recognize all the feelings that come with being betrayed and process them out of their bodies. That will open them up to figuring out what they want and finding joy again.

I think all BSes will be better off if they consider all options open to them and figure out what they really want.

Joanna,

I don't think you did anything wrong in seeking counsel from ow. She failed as a human being. All you did was ask for help.

I don't think you did anything wrong in considering polyamory. Now you know you don't want it.

I think everything is right about considering dumping your H. Even if he decides to change from cheater to good partner and does the necessary work, if you don't want to spend the rest of your life with him, the sooner you figure that out, the better. It's really OK to D - if that's what you want or if your WS won't change.

[This message edited by sisoon at 12:41 PM, September 20th (Sunday)]

LadyG posted 9/20/2020 17:52 PM

This is interesting.

My STBXWH ended his last A, when I found out. I don’t understand why as we were separated by then and I wanted out of the marriage.

So, if you leave as I did, does the Polyamory relationship end? Will your H need to find another 3rd person to allow for his Polyamory.

Much of what you have described, sounds like my STBX Narc. The affair was only fun when I was around. As soon as I left him and it was out in the open it was over.

steadychevy posted 9/20/2020 19:16 PM

Could you give me a little more info on the book. I Googled it but only got signs to post.

allusions posted 9/21/2020 00:32 AM

I Googled this book too and just found "No Soliciting" signs for sale. Is there an author's name?

gmc94 posted 9/21/2020 00:43 AM

The "no soliciting" was likely added by an SI mod, as s/he felt the name of the book itself is soliciting and violates SI guidelines.

OwningItNow posted 9/21/2020 01:30 AM

Yes, probably send Joanna1013 or someone else a pm for the name of the book. Only certain books have been properly vetted and supported by SI staff, so if I write the title again, it will be removed.

steadychevy posted 9/21/2020 07:05 AM

Thanks.

EllieKMAS posted 9/21/2020 11:02 AM

OMG Joanna, I think you are married to my xdouche. This is verbatim the same line of utter fucking horseshit I got when he decided he was poly. They don't have a proper emoji for barfing sarcasm over here...

Like many people in my position, my husband tried to push me into an open marriage before I knew I was already in one (of the non-ethical variety). He tried to put the onus of his "happiness” onto my shoulders, and made it seem like polyamory was “who he was” and I would be hurting his “authentic” self if I denied him that.
Yep - mine too. How dare I deny him the 'right' to go date and fuck an 18 year old. I was 'so conventional'. I was 'boring'. I needed to 'get over my jealousy'.
He and bitch-face made it seem like it was my problem that I felt threatened or jealous by the idea of opening our marriage, that something was somehow wrong with me for not feeling “compersion” at the thought of my husband fucking and loving someone else. “You’re just possessive and too stuck on monogamy, which, by the way, is a social construct that’s unnatural to humans.”
Thankfully I was not friends with the little tramp, but she did try to convince him that she would date and fuck me too and it would be just fine - and they both brought me into their ridiculous sexting fantasies - that one still makes every corner of my being feel violated. And the 'societal construct' bullshit... I got that exact same line, word for word. He also told me he "needed to date and have romantic relationships with other women" and that I "better just get on board with the idea". Mind you - He had no job, contributed nothing to housework, was generally a useless sack of shit, so who would be bankrolling these dates? Yeah, his wife. I think I deserve a LOT of credit for not killing or bobbit-ing him. Seriously. Stupid douchebag motherfucking MORON.
After about a week of not eating or sleeping, researching polyamory non-stop and trying to force myself into it for him, I finally told him no, that I didn't think I could do the polyamory thing. He crossed his arms, turned the other way in bed and literally pouted and told me he would just have to "mourn that part of himself" — ...the part that wanted to my permission to bone other people...that he had never once mentioned in the 14 years we have been together.
We weren't in bed, but he did the pouting shit too. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH THEM???? You did better than me tho girl. It took me five months to say that poly was never gonna happen.

I have developed a theory in the intervening months. I think that deep down he knows how fucked up he is and subconsciously the poly idea appeals to him because if he spreads his fuckupedness around, it will take longer for the poor saps he ropes in with his 'poor me' brand of bullshit to cotton on to how useless he is.

In my case, man I tried to reconcile too. But after all was said and done, he wanted to do the poly lifestyle and there was NO reconciling that with me and what I want from a partnership. It took me from dday1 on 11/7/18 to 7/24/19 to see that my marriage was over. It's okay if coming to that realization takes time.

Joanna1013 posted 9/21/2020 12:07 PM

The1stWife,

I think you hit the reality phase.

I think you might be right.

He wasn’t always like that but suddenly he was someone I didn’t recognize in some way.

Mine, too. I think that's part of why it's so shocking. He never acted like that before.

It comes down to — can you forgive him for this? Can you reconcile knowing this? Think of his affair like an addiction. It explains so much.

I don't know :/. I want to...even after everything. He's doing most things "right" now, and I don't think his behavior during his affair is really indicative of who he is. But maybe I'm just kidding myself. I guess I just feel stuck between who I thought he was vs. who he showed me to be during his affair.

OwningItNow,

For some this is so very true. But it does not take into account the many waywards who cheated once a long time ago or cheated after many faithful years, so I don't think it's true for everyone.

I respectfully disagree. My husband was faithful for 14 years, and this was totally out of character for him — at least I thought it was. But I still think it's an entitlement problem, which is a character problem. He betrayed his own ideals as much as he betrayed me, but he still did it because he gave himself permission to.

A shitty childhood brings many varieties of fucked up to your life, and you won't get them all. Does someone get to pick? Geeze, so many good options to choose from. But no, since this fuckedupness lives and breathes in the dark crevices of your soul, you are often not even aware of how fucked up some of your thinking is. Do crazy people know they are crazy?


Again, I respectfully disagree. Yes, childhood trauma can result in a bunch of different brands of "fucked up," but no one is at the mercy of their trauma. We all have a choice in the matter.

Yes, someone might be more inclined toward alcoholism due to genetics or childhood trauma, but it's still their choice to take a drink.

I do agree that people often aren't aware of how fucked up their own thinking is. My husband is a great example of this, as is probably cheater in an affair.

I don't believe that he was consciously trying to manipulate me into an open marriage or was consciously using polyamory as an excuse.

I think, in his twisted mind, it just all fit. He had felt "restless" in the past (honestly, who hasn't?), so to him, it all fit that having multiple other romantic relationships was exactly what he had always been looking for.

And I honestly think (if he had thought about me at all) he thought if I could just find someone else, I'd be happy, too. Obviously, had he given it any deeper thought whatsoever, he would have seen how stupid and delusional that was, but he didn't. I doubt he thought about me at all though.

That should have been your first (and last) clue to leave this partnership. Healthy people don't ask us to prove our love when we have not done anything wrong. Why are you so addicted to him? Consider your own childhood.

I think what I am trying to drive home is that he knew I loved him and wanted him to be happy. I think he believed he was such hot shit that I would be grateful for any amount of attention or time he would give me, and that I would willingly open the marriage rather than leave as long as he was happy. Again, deluded thinking.

I'm not sure this makes him unique amongst cheaters.

I'm also not addicted to him. I'm conflicted about what to do, yes. Does staying make me a co-dependent weakling? Maybe.


sisoon,

Thank you. I know it wasn't really on me for trusting my husband and someone I thought was my friend, even if it makes me feel foolish.

He has been doing a lot right and says he really wants it to work and will do whatever it takes to make it work. I want to not be this angry and to let it go. The how is the hard part though.

LadyG,

I have no idea whether the relationship would have continued or not. Bitchface's husband found out, and he blew the whistle on it. My husband didn't confess or try to end it on his own. He cried to me about it after they ended it...gross.

I think it would have continued if everyone hadn't founded out, or if we would have given them our "permission" to be together like they were hoping. I think my husband wanted me around as a plan B, or so he could keep up a "normal" facade, have someone appropriate to take to the office holiday party, etc.


steadychevy, allusions, gmc94,

Yeah, "No Soliciting" isn't the book. I unknowingly broke an SI rule. Sorry about that.

EllieKMAS,

Sorry you had to go through that shit too. It's a mindfuck. It's insane how many cheaters say and do the exact same thing, all thinking that they're "enlightened" or some shit.

You'll get a kick out of this. When I asked him why he suddenly thought he was polyamorous, he told me "I just have too much love to give." ...WTF.

His other evidence? When he was 14, he had a crush on two girls.

Mind you - He had no job, contributed nothing to housework, was generally a useless sack of shit, so who would be bankrolling these dates? Yeah, his wife.


Yeah...I'm trying to come to terms with this. My husband has a job, a decent one in fact. But I make probably 65% of the household income, and we live in an expensive city. Without me, he wouldn't be able to afford to go to every concert in town (pre-covid), or to own 20 guitars and the finest recording equipment.

I wonder often if he's here for me or if he's here for the free ride.

I'm not ready to leave quite yet or for a full separation. However, I'm separating my finances finally. I don't really believe deep down he's with me for money, but I think it will be empowering to take back my financial freedom, and it will help me to stop doubting his motives I guess.

My husband has come around and now says he isn't poly and that he thought it was a rationalization that sounded good and fit. He wants to reconcile and now says wants monogamy. It's hard to know exactly what to believe though.

Anyways, thanks to everyone who read and responded.

I believe people can change, and I want to reconcile so badly. I'm so conflicted though. On one hand, I feel so betrayed and like he doesn't give a fuck about me or my feelings. But, on the other hand, he's here and acts so remorseful.

Plus, since he supposedly never did anything physical with her, I almost feel like I'm overreacting. Even people on SI have said emotional affairs are "laughable." Am I just a weak idiot?

But he did lie to me, and gaslight me, and emotionally manipulate me. He did spend time with this woman behind my back and told her he was in love with her. He did talk to her about opening our marriage, and hers. He did delete their all of their text message conversions and threw away his journal in the dumpster at work when I asked to read them. He did treat me like shit while he was seeing her, and was totally dismissive of my feelings.

Ugh. I don't know.

[This message edited by Joanna1013 at 12:21 PM, September 21st (Monday)]

EllieKMAS posted 9/21/2020 12:21 PM

Joanna, I have been on SI for rollin up on 2 years and have never seen someone refer to an emotional affair as laughable. I am so sorry if anyone has ever told you that, cus EA's are every bit as devastating as PA's. So no, being a mess about it in no way makes you weak.

Just IME, my douche told me (promised and SWORE) nothing physical ever happened too. To quote Maury - "The fact that the twatlet was fired because she and my xdouche were 'dry humping each other all over the shop' proves that was a lie". I'd be veeerrrrry skeptical of him claiming nothing ever happened. Given the opportunity two adults that want to have sex generally do.

The thing about people changing.... I believe they can too. But I also believe people (esp waywards) generally don't until some catalyst happens that forces it. Change is uncomfortable and the majority of people don't like discomfort. Only time will tell if he is really taking the steps to change. And you are under NO obligation to stay even if he does everything 'right'. If he is really remorseful and really wants to change, he will do that for himself regardless of whether you are there or not. I think you separating your finances is a good idea just for you to take back some of your control and as a just-in-case measure to set yourself up for success down the road.

I do get wanting that reconciliation. I did too. But at the end of the day, you owe YOURSELF peace first. And if that ultimately means that the A was a deal-breaker, then so be it. None of that reflects badly on you.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 9/21/2020 15:44 PM

I'm glad you are getting to acceptance - that is where the healing, and your life actually get to begin. If its a book that got you there, good deal, but don't treat any one book as gospel. My mind has changed so much (about me and about my WH) throughout this process the idea that I actually beat myself up about anything in the past and simultaneously excused things I did seems plain silly to me now.

You have to decide what you want, based on the knowledge of what you actually have. Sounds like you've arrived at that doorstep, and I'm happy for you. Once I got to that place the miserable horrible feelings started to dissipate and I began to wade out of the shit.

T/J to commence and totally just my own meandering thoughts.

I'm not sure I agree with the premise of the book, as you explain (I have not read it, but as someone who before I decided to go in a different direction career-wise used to be in an advanced degree psy program I hate all or nothing proclamations).

Now, I’m a lot less sure about reconciliation. I definitely buy the premise of the book — that cheating is a character problem that has nothing to do with FOO issues, midlife crises or any other pathetic excuse. It’s problem of entitlement.

Cheating is a character problem...but what builds character? Nature or nurture? IMO, the answer is, most likely, both. Why is it two people can go through an "identical" experience and not end up the same? Because no two experiences are alike, is the answer. My WH and his brother grew up in the same household...they couldn't be more different. My WH needed affirmation from the get go (and didn't get it) and his brother gave the middle finger to his parents from the get go as well. The troublemaker who didn't give a shit (seemingly anyway) whether he father approved of him or not versus the dutiful son who was always looking for his father to appreciate him and not getting it.

Same household - same father - a lot of the same experiences (coldness, beatings, etc) but not all of the same, and totally different outcome and outlook on life. I think my WH, for whatever reason, wanted that affirmation because otherwise he got no attention, in part, because his older brother got a lot of attention, even if it was negative. My WH basically got rejected over and over and over again and his brother got beaten over and over and over again. So each are now fucked up in their own different ways. Nature or nurture? You decide, but I think FOO has a lot more to do with things than I ever imagined beforehand.

EllieKMAS posted 9/21/2020 16:56 PM

Now, I’m a lot less sure about reconciliation. I definitely buy the premise of the book — that cheating is a character problem that has nothing to do with FOO issues, midlife crises or any other pathetic excuse. It’s problem of entitlement.

Cheating is a character problem...but what builds character? Nature or nurture? IMO, the answer is, most likely, both.
I do think it is both. But ultimately, imho it doesn't really matter what caused it. It isn't the BS's job to figure out why the WS felt that entitlement. Because just speaking for myself, the level of pain that I felt on dday1, it made zero difference to me what fucked up shit in his past would have caused him to make that choice; all that mattered to me is that he did make it. Figuring out the why's the WS's work to do. Just my 0.02.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 9/21/2020 21:10 PM

Oh I totally agree EllieKMAS - it just got me thinking about how some advice is so black and white and the world is anything but.

LadyG posted 9/21/2020 23:05 PM

I have no idea whether the relationship would have continued or not. Bitchface's husband found out, and he blew the whistle on it. My husband didn't confess or try to end it on his own. He cried to me about it after they ended it...gross.
Interesting! In my case, the OW’s other SO blasted my WH, a married man, on social media for fucking his GF. The OW was already Divorced but even her exWH weighed in on it.
I think it would have continued if everyone hadn't founded out, or if we would have given them our "permission" to be together like they were hoping. I think my husband wanted me around as a plan B, or so he could keep up a "normal" facade, have someone appropriate to take to the office holiday party, etc.
The Mask of my Narc fell off and smashed all this. My WH was embarrassed being in public with exAP. Apparently he even told her this.

That’s the thing about true Polyamory, aren’t these people out and proud. Swingers I have unfortunately met are open about their lives.

They were cheating. Let’s be honest about it. Cheaters who wanted permission after the fact!

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