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How Do You Know?

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OceanBlue posted 12/10/2020 09:53 AM

How do you know when itís time to move forward with divorce? Or specifically, how did you know?
After six months of individual therapy, and six months of marital counseling, I am feeling more unsure of a reconciliation that ever before. And I donít even feel like reconciliation is the right word. We are reconciled, have a better friendship and stronger love than ever. However, I donít know if the romantic component has been/can be saved. I feel as if the damage has been done, and that the relationship is coming to an end. To me, marriage encompasses so much more than the relationship though (home, children, finances, social circles). So while I can say that the relationship may be over, I donít know that I am necessarily ready to call an end to the marriage.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

The1stWife posted 12/10/2020 12:28 PM

I asked my friend how she knew when it was time to D.

Her answer was ďwhen you can no longer tolerate the spouseĒ then you know the marriage is over.

BearlyBreathing posted 12/10/2020 13:23 PM

For me, when the pain of hanging on was worse than the pain of leaving. (But my WH never really stopped his A, so... you know...)
My therapist told me I would know when I did. And he was right ó one day we reached the tipping point and there was no going back.

Some folks talk about two Rs: Recover and Reconcile. Recover is about you healingó this takes TIME. Reconcile is about the two of you. What does your H say when you tell him your feelings about this?

skeetermooch posted 12/10/2020 15:00 PM

I was in a limbo phase for what felt like forever, although my first major dday was just a little over a year ago - it was so heinous it didn't deserve limbo.

I knew for sure in an instant when dday #2 happened. But even before that, I felt so strongly that it was too late, that romantically I could never come back from what he'd done. I tried for a year to see a way back and I was no closer when dday 2 happend.

Even without that second dday, I'd have eventually ended it. Romantic love for me is so completely and inextricably tied to safety and trust - those are the things I find romantic, along with (and to a lesser degree) sexual attraction and shared interests and goals. I would never feel safe or trusting because that level of safety means this person would never betray me. This is the one person on the planet, who has my back no matter what. He became the one person on the planet who betrayed and injured me beyond what anyone else had ever done or could do. It was not compatible with my version of romantic love. I don't think it's even compatible with friendship.

I don't know your story. I imagine there are some kinds of cheating scenarios more forgivable than others - a drunken office party kiss? I don't know. But I think the level of deception and betrayal is important to assess because people capable of ongoing deception and all that goes into long term affairs or serial cheating are lacking in character in ways that the rest of us aren't. I don't think they ever can feel, or be, safe as partners.

unsearch posted 12/10/2020 15:11 PM

To me, marriage encompasses so much more than the relationship though (home, children, finances, social circles)

I think youíve nailed the crux of the situation. Itís a tough question for me because I approached from the opposite direction: I jumped on the divorce train with both feet after D-day but changed my mind as time passed. The way I put it in a ďnotes to selfĒ document from back in the day was: ďItís not just us. We created a family, a household, a legacy. Weíve set expectations which must be met.Ē

In my case, the A killed our old relationship, and the new one isnít close to the same, but itís enough of a hook to keep the marriage flying for the sake of those other aspects. Your WH put you through hell, but if heís willing to rebuild, show some character, and never cheat again, maybe the other facets of your marriage can compensate for a qualitatively different relationship.

For the record, I canít pretend to have no second thoughts, even after all these years. Itís a gut-wrenching decision. I hope things work out as is best for you and your family.

OceanBlue posted 12/10/2020 15:33 PM

Thank you all for your sincere responses. Itís all so complicated, but they do help. I understand that everyoneís situation and processing is different, but it helps me to look at it from several vantage points.
The infidelities of my WH are many and varied in severity spanning from 6 months into marriage (as Iíve been told) until October 2019 (again, to my knowledge). They came out as TT, so itís hard for me to believe that I truly know about anything and/or everything. Itís also hard for me to accept that, should we stay together, I will be second guessing everything for a long time if not forever. I donít like being this person, the constant detective with her head on a swivel.
We have young children, the youngest being a toddler, and itís heartbreaking for me to think of him never remembering his parents as a nuclear unit; and itís infuriating to think of any other man or woman stepping into a parental role.
I just donít want to feel like this forever, and itís hard to imagine a time in the future where it would be any different.

HalfTime2017 posted 12/10/2020 15:38 PM

I think this is like the age old question on the opposite spectrum of infidelity. The question of "how do you know that this is the ONE?"

I think the answer to your question obviously is different for everyone. But I think youll know when you're done. It'll be dead and there isn't much you can do to save it.

If you're fighting for money (b/c that is a consideration for divorce, you may want to look at how support both CS and Spousal) and custody, you may want to do some homework.

As it relates to home/friends and even money, it'll all settle itself out. Its a big decision, but things will work out if you go that route.

I think an important question you should ask yourself is, can you revive whatever it is that you had. It might not be the same, but is it good "enough" for you to stay. I think a lot of what our society teaches us about marriage is a bunch of nonsense and that is what leads to unhappiness b/c of our expectations of what a marriage is. There is no white knight, no fairytale endings. Just a lot of work for two committed people. What you once wanted (marriage and a family with your current spouse) is exactly what you have now, and like your spouse, there is the expectation of more. More this, more happiness, more sex, more whatever it is. That is not the truth of marriage. What you have now, is probably what you had hoped for all along prior to the affair, but society tells us its more and we deserve more. I divorced my ex, and that was the right path for me. Ask yourself, is this enough for now, and is it enough til the end. ONly you will know. There is not right answer.

Justsomeguy posted 12/10/2020 18:10 PM

I finished my last day of teaching and left on a solo, week long motorcycle trip to really think. I just told my WW I was leaving a few days before. I spent the whole trip sleeping next to my bike, save a night in a motel so I could shower. When I came home, I asked my Ww what she was actively doing to help me heal from her betrayal. She said that she could not be there for me until I was in a better place, as I made her feel to guilty. I looked at her and remarked that she was never actually going to change. Then I announced that we were done and I was filing for divorced. I couldn't tell you how she reacted as I got up and went to bed. That was 7 months post Dday. I finally realized that I was working my ass off, reading, journaling, and doing IC so I could heal and rebuild s M to a substandard partner. She was no longer a prize, let alone the prize.

The funny thing is that my friends all knew I was done long before I pulled the trigger. It took me time to get there in my head. I think part of it was my own ego. I didn't want to give up before i had exhausted all of the options. I wanted to be able to look my kids in the eyes and say I really tried to make it work. I think the kids know deep down that the relationship was not equitable. They made a comment the other day about how mom never appreciated me enough, so that felt vindicating. Not that I need the validation. Still feels good...

Hope you find your way.

phmh posted 12/10/2020 21:28 PM

For me it was when he was begging to R and I said that I would on the condition that he sign a post-nup that was favorable to me (but not punitive to him; just guaranteeing me salary + 3% COL increase so if the only job I could get paid me less than the one I was leaving, he would make up the difference) that only came into play if he cheated again. Basically making me whole for taking this chance.

Note that he couldn't get a job in our city because he was sleeping with his coworker instead of seeing patients, and I'd be giving up my great new job to move hundreds of miles away from family with a cheater.

And he declined to sign this post-nup saying that it was punitive and I should trust him. I knew in my entire body then that he wasn't willing to put his money where his mouth was and that actions speak so much louder than words.

Countingsheep65 posted 12/10/2020 22:59 PM

You dread them coming home.

You canít stand them talking.

You canít look at them.

Listening to them breathing.

Listening to them laugh, how dare he laugh, I havenít laughed in a long time, because of him.

Not hearing them anymore if they talk.

Knowing you can never hug, kiss, have sex with him because you canít stand him.

Him carrying on like nothing is wrong.

These are signs itís done!

I could go on....final papers for separation sent to court December 7th, waiting for judge to sign.

Legal separation vs divorce due to a business and loosing too much money. Divorce will come in a few years after business sells.

crazyblindsided posted 12/11/2020 02:15 AM

Everything Countingsheep65 said ^^^

countrydirt posted 12/11/2020 09:21 AM

My story is in my profile. Basically 5 years of realizing that I would never trust her word or actions again. In December, she had a medical emergency and was likely within a hour of passing away. I recognized as I was praying fervently for her for 7 hours while she was stabilized in the ICU, that I was done. I knew that I as I prayed for her life that my heart was not into having her in my life anymore. The betrayal and emotional abuse of the previous 5 years was just too much to overcome.

After she recovered, she took back up the cheating and I finally got the balls to file and start moving on.

Final divorce decree should be in about a week.

[This message edited by countrydirt at 9:24 AM, December 11th (Friday)]

skeetermooch posted 12/11/2020 09:54 AM

OB,
Knowing your husband starting cheating early in the marriage, as did mine, and in a variety of ways, I can see why you are uneasy. You also haven't mentioned whether or not he's in recovery for his issues - that's a huge red flag.

I understand the worries about other women your husband might expose your son to and how two households might impact him. If it feels safer for your boy to stay that's a big consideration.

It helped me to think through leaving and staying - what are the pros and cons and fears were and how I might address them. Like everyone here says, when you know you know and you'll find a way to work through the details no matter what.

Good luck to you.

[This message edited by skeetermooch at 9:55 AM, December 11th (Friday)]

EllieKMAS posted 12/11/2020 10:11 AM

When did I know it was over?

We had been stuck in limbo (I thought we were trying for R, but it was false R the whole time, unbeknownst to me) for 9 months after dday1.

I made the decision to put my 16 yo pupper down cus it was time. He went with me to 'offer support'. I went through his phone that evening while he was out and found out that he had been sexting and getting tit pics from some hooch (different than his original AP) while we were at the vet putting my dog to sleep.

It just hit me all at once that this is who is is and he won't ever change. And I don't like or recognize this guy and I no longer want to be married to him cus fuck that.

The universe sent me one more nudge later that week when I found out that he had fucked his original AP in MY house earlier that year.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

I will say - I don't for a second regret divorcing him. My life has done nothing but improve since he left it.

OceanBlue posted 12/11/2020 10:37 AM

Again, thank you all for your input. It has been more helpful then you can imagine.
To provide the whole picture: yes, my WH has been putting in the work to fix himself as well as our marriage. We both attended individual therapy for the first six months and then came together for the latter marital counseling. Just before the original DD, my postpartum depression became something that I couldnít overcome alone and I was planning to seek counseling for that. Decided to get help for PPD on a Sunday, made a doctorís appointment for Thursday, and DD occurred on a Tuesday. Talk about a double-whammy. We both felt that individual counseling was vital before any sort of marital issues could be sorted out.
Thereís not any money to fight over, so that was never on the table. We are late 20s/early 30s, built a home and had a baby in 2018, and bought a new (expensive for us) vehicle in 2019. He agreed to a polygraph and a post-nuptial agreement, but then the pandemic happened and it became less of a priority for me. Pre-COVID, I gathered all of the documentation for divorce and we reviewed custody, marital assets and debt consolidation. He agreed to all of my terms, and ultimately we decided to ďgive it a yearĒ before making any hard decisions (as we went to counseling). We were steady building a life together when everything started crumbling around us. It was hard to throw in the towel so quickly without first giving everything a try.
To be frank, thereís also the added issue that his infidelities have brought a certain incurable virus into our lives, which makes the ideal of dating or finding a partner nearly impossible. Found out 6 months post DDay when my first outbreak occurred. Not terminal, but definitely makes things more difficult and adds to the residual feelings/cycle of emotions.
Back to the topic at hand, I think you all have helped me realize that Iím not ready for divorce. Thereís baggage that comes with choosing to stay together, and on the hard days Iím going to have to remember that. I can still look at him and stand his breathing (most days, LOL). Heís also the first person I want to tell a story, the only person I want to be with sexually, and overall someone I still enjoy. Iíll just have to trust in the process that thereís a possibility that I can trust him again if we both put in the necessary work and are honest with each other.

Westway posted 12/11/2020 11:43 AM

When you are putting more effort into reconciliation than the cheater, it is time to call it a day.

nekonamida posted 12/12/2020 09:34 AM

To be frank, thereís also the added issue that his infidelities have brought a certain incurable virus into our lives, which makes the ideal of dating or finding a partner nearly impossible.

I'd like to point out that this is untrue. If you're talking about herpes or genital warts, lots of people have them and as long as you manage it, you won't likely pass it on to someone new. I hear it gets easier to manage over time. Please don't let this make you feel like your only options are to be single or stay with your WH. But do allow yourself to be angry at him for giving you this curse.

1 year is very early in the process with a serial cheater. Truthfully, I don't think this is just a choice of whether you can be okay with your new relationship. It's also making the choice knowing that there is an uncomfortably high chance of you finding yourself with a new DDay in the years to come after putting all this time and effort in. What are his whys for cheating?

phmh posted 12/12/2020 10:46 AM

And he's already given you an incurable but not life-threatening STD. He's a serial cheater. You have to be ready for the uncomfortably high probability that he may infect you with HIV. I know many of my gay friends take Prep as a way to help prevent infection. Might be worth a conversation with your doctor to see if there are things you can do to protect yourself because you know he's not going to stop having sex with other women.

wayshegoesboys posted 12/15/2020 06:24 AM

[This message edited by wayshegoesboys at 3:38 AM, December 20th (Sunday)]

katmandude54 posted 12/15/2020 20:00 PM

Took me four years of separation. But, enough is enough. Full speed ahead

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