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I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39

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ClimateChange ( new member #75032) posted at 12:43 AM on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

GENTLY, I sense anger/resentment & some feelings of victimization in your posts. I am NOT judging you - not by a long shot. I think most BS' have those feelings years/decades after dday (I sure do - we WERE victimized by our WS for YEARS, and there's plenty to be angry about!) If this has some truth to it, what's going on for you right now? Or are these things that have been festering since dday? Do you WANT to remain M / try to R? Or do you want to D, but find it too scary/daunting/unworkable at this point (eg finances, kids, etc)?

You are not wrong GMC. I do have anger, resentment and feelings of victimization. In my situation my WH is still in contact with the AP though he doesn't see her and the contact is minimal. But there is little transparency from him, and it drives me crazy that he doesn't understand that transparency is necessary to trust again.

It took a long time for him to even get to this point. After DD he continued the affair. I've spent this time since DD chipping away at his relationship with her. What's left of it he's holding on to with a tight fist. I do believe that there's not much left, but he is someone who never lets people go from his life. He would be the first to tell you that.

He doesn't understand why he can't remain "friends" with her. When I've pointed out that in all my research, from every source, R doesn't happen until the AP is out of the picture, his response was: "when you go to the same places, you get the same answers." I'm still waiting for him to produce evidence to the contrary from "his places."

We were in MC for about a year. On the MC's suggestion, we stopped and each continued IC for about the same amount of time. I'm still in IC. He now refuses MC and IC saying it never helped us. He refuses to read any affair recovery books. He did read, early on when I asked him to, How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair. He hated it, called it a cartoon. He thinks he's too smart, too sophisticated for self-help books. He read the first few pages of Not Just Friends and said it didn't apply to him. He hates those little vignettes which describe couples and how they got to where they are.

We can't talk about the A without him bringing up how unhappy he was in our marriage in the years prior (something he didn't share with me at the time) Look, I may not be the world's perfect wife, but man, I did everything for him and our family. I busted my ass. I had health problems, ADD, and HE was hard to live with too. That makes me bitter.

I should mention there are some compelling reasons why WH can't completely go NC with the OW. I can't go into those without revealing too much. I have a (perhaps unreasonable) concern of the OW seeing my posts. I don't want her to have any access to my inner world or the facts of my marriage. Does anybody else worry about that?

I know how this sounds. And my problem is that if I told my whole story I would get a chorus of "I wouldn't put up with that" from everybody here. I get it. And eventually maybe I WILL get to the point of not putting up with it.

However, I stayed. I may have done everything wrong after DD. But I'm still here. That's on me. I made that decision.

I'm trying to do everything I can to change things or figure out how to live with what doesn't change.

I stay because:

1. We are old. I'm late 60's and he's early 70's. I don't want to start over

2. I have health issues and don't want to die alone

3. We built this life, this home, this family. I don't want to give up all that I have worked for.

4. I experience glimpses of connection, intimacy and love we have now that we didn't have before

5. I love my H. I realize this is pretty low on this list. I'm not someone who loves easily. Maybe I just have a more demanding definition of love. And this experience has made me really question if I DO love him, but yes, at this point, I believe I do. I think he's someone who is emotionally immature and not very self-aware. I can't blame him for those shortcomings.

6. Left to my own devices, I fear I would miss out on so much (experiences, art, connections) that he brings to my life

7. I fear that we just really really misunderstand each other. If I could figure out how to make myself understood, he would give me what I need. I believe he loves me. I don't want to give up too soon.

8. He is, by nature, someone who CANNOT tolerate change. It has taken him a long time to get to this point in giving up the A. But he has, and I have hope that more changes can still happen. I feel pretty confident he wouldn't resume the A with the OW or engage in another, not least because sex doesn't have the pull that it used to have when he was younger. He does (now, finally) show remorse.

9. Sex is important to me and when I think of that, I only want him. It's been pretty good since DD.

10. He is loving toward me, we spend much more time together and enjoy each other. Things were much much worse after DD. It's all so incredibly painful and his continuing the A was excruciating. So if I survived all that, why would I leave now when things are better between us? (though far from perfect!)

Edited because I didn't know how to show quotations

[This message edited by ClimateChange at 12:49 AM, Sunday, January 23rd]

posts: 8   ·   registered: Jul. 30th, 2020
id 8711366
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Gracey ( new member #79334) posted at 12:57 PM on Sunday, January 23rd, 2022

I am in the unenviable position of not knowing still if there has been a long term affair or just lots of awful behaviour. OW had been coming on to my WS for years in front of me and I have been told its all in my head over that period. Now he says she was coming onto him and says he was never going to act on it so did nothing about it. I found out 2019 they had been having secret meetings along with what he says was a chaperone. Apparently it was all a mistake and he is in love with me. However I cannot help look back and wonder if all that blatant flirting has actually been evidence of an affair. I have now severe anxiety due to OW rubbing my nose in all the goings on and wonder about taking legal action as my mental health is in tatters. Has anybody in UK successfully got an injunction against AP and compensation or conviction for making you ill. OW lives close by and I run risk of seeing her. She has damaged all my oldest friendships. I also am having extreme difficulty in trusting my WS is genuine in reconciliation & still not in contact with her. WS seems to be downplaying the whole thing and claiming he has never done anything wrong because he has not slept with her. I know alot of people will tell me to divorce him however 33 years is a lot to chuck away and unfortunately I still live him

Together 33 years Married. 17 years

posts: 31   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8711414
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 12:09 AM on Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

Trust your gut Gracey. Trust.Your.Gut

You gut won't know exactly what it is (your brain needs to do that) but it's telling you "No girl. You are not safe."

Maybe it was physical, maybe it wasn't. Perhaps your gut is telling you the EA is not over. Or that it was physical. Or that regardless, his commitment to you is no there. We KNOW when are partners have returned or are present or remorseful. Maybe your gut is letting you know he's not fully "all in."

Whatever it is, it's yelling at you. Keep pushing for the truth. Keep lifting your head high and demanding the respect of answers.

posts: 188   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8711627
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 8:23 PM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

My wh has a LTA which was very much physical, we are 7 months past D Day.

I am now wondering how it is even possible to move past the thought and hurt that ones partner threw away everything for their own desires. Yes they can have remorse, they can try to earn back trust, and do their best to show you that you mean everything to them now. But what about the time of A? that was all a choice, it wasn't really a mistake. I don't feel inside that someone can make up for something like that can they?

How do I make that ok so I can put it at the back of my mind? I dont think I can. What has hurt me most is that out intimacy, the fact that he was mine ... post were given away. Neither are just ours anymore. Its no longer private, its been violated.

does this mean if I can get past that we are done?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts I truly appreciate them!

posts: 69   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8713371
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 11:51 PM on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022

Squish - folks who have LTAs, and serial cheaters, and even SA can - and some/many do - heal and become safe (or safer or safe enough) partners.

The question is what do YOU want and what do YOU need? If this is a dealbreaker, it’s a dealbreaker. That is perfectly OK.

And, IF you WANT to R and IF your WS is able to make the changes to become a safe/safer partner, then that’s OK too.

I don't feel inside that someone can make up for something like that can they?

. We all have opinions about this. IMO/IME, no. No one can ever "make up" for the infidelity. What they CAN do is work to change themselves, work to become safe partners. Work to become someone WORTHY of the commitment to R. Some great folks on SI (successfully R’d folks) say: BS heals BS, WS heals WS, and then the two of them, TOGETHER, decide to heal the M. That makes a lot of sense to me. So, the WS healing themselves is the best they can to do "make up" for their crappy choices. And if you think about it, that’s kind of true for anything that we do that emotionally harms others. However, the BS has to heal too.

Its no longer private, its been violated.

Yes, it has. I am so so so so so sorry that it has. It hurts, deeply and profoundly. And, IMO & IME, It IS possible to move past - or really THROUGH - that pain and hurt. IMHO, it is imperative, regardless of whether you D or attempt R, or even stay in the M in "limbo" (which is more my sitch). IOW, we MUST heal ourselves and our infidelity trauma, no matter what happens in the M. It is not easy. It is no fair. AND, it’s still our job / responsibility TO OURSELVES (and to our kids) to heal.

Now, what does healing look like? What are the steps, or ingredients? That’s tricky. We are all different. What works for me may do nothing for you. IMO - esp with a LTA - DETACHING is the important first part. For me, that didn’t really take hold until I asked for separation - we did a 6 month S in year 2. For ME, it was only after WH was out of the house that I was able to breathe again, and able to focus on me and not whatever stupid thing I perceived from him in any given moment. It was the point where I began to stop obsessively trying to piece together my past, and focus on my present and my future. That is what worked for ME. Put simply, I HAD to stop thinking of him or his emotions or his needs or who he was and what I thought he was capable of or anything that had anything to do with him (other than the business aspects of our M) in order to put those thoughts back onto ME.

Others are able to detach and do that self reflection without having to S, and it also varies. Some BS need to change finances so that they have their own separate $ and the ability to leave (eg a separate bank account in their name alone that a part of the monthly income goes to). Some require a post-nuptial agreement (tho most states don’t honor them well - so it may be more for the sign that the WS is willing to do one than the actual practical impacts). Some are able to find their own mind "tricks" to detach. Some do a soft 180, some do a HARD HARD 180 (eg no more cooking, cleaning, laundry, or ANYTHING for the WS …I sucked at that). Some do IHS (in house separation - separate bedrooms, separate laundry, etc). The possibilities are endless. You get to think about the things that you think will help YOU… and IME, the key is that you do that without even considering how it may impact your WS. IOW if you fear a 180 bc that would somehow "make" your WS cheat, it needs to be reframed. The point of the detachment isn’t for him or for the M… it’s to give YOU some space in your own mind to focus on yourself and what you want and need (and if he does break NC or embark upon another A, then you have a solid data point that he is NOT worthy of the GIFT of R).

This IS tough stuff, Squish. It was VERY VERY hard for me to do. I’d been M forever and my entire world was built around my WH and our M. It was (and in some ways still is) inconceivable that not only did he engage in the infidelity, but that after dday, he could not do jack to institute any identifiable change. It is horrifying to think that the entirety of my relationship with my WH was chock full of lies. More than 25 years of my life was lived in some alternate reality. No one can give those years back… nothing can "make up" for it. Eventually - not for our WS and not for our M - we have to come to terms with it. We have to find a path to accept that it happened, that we are deeply scarred from it, and that we will find our path to healing from it and being OK. That WE will be OK, even though the infidelity was NEVER (and will never) be OK.

Godspeed.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:54 PM, Wednesday, February 2nd]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3810   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8713419
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Squish ( member #79546) posted at 5:48 PM on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022

Hi everyone,

I posted on another thread but I was hoping to get a few more thoughts on this. A lasted around 3 years... we are 8 months out...

Yesterday my WH email was open and I looked up emails that were sent mostly to the AP from him. It was a time when they had broken up and he was trying to get her back. The things he wrote were so explanatory about how he felt. Things he wrote on there I dont know that he has ever said then to me but its been 16 years so maybe at the beginning. Plus we have never broken up for him to write endless emails to me about his undying love and want for me.

I have been reading a little about limerence because he told me recently after I told him I dont know who he is that he doesn't really know who he was during the A and he doesnt understand it either. What he felt for her he thought was love but he actually thinks its infatuation. So that let me too limerence?

1. for those WS that went to limerence did you feel about your AP that they were everything? I mean his emails.. wow... she was everything to him. Its like they were the ones married and she was his one true love who he just can't live without.

2. He tells me he loves me, he chose me and couldn't leave me. That he doesn't think he will ever find someone like me, (that I won't find anyone like him, umm yes I know), that he doesnt want to loose everything we have built together, But will I ever have this feeling of But wow how can you write such love letters and wanting to get back together if if you love your spouse? I just dont understand and am trying to because he is doing work. MY gut is saying something is not right. And I'm guessing its going to say this for a long time.

He said he compartmentalized everything so it was all separate, what he had with me was just us and what he had with the ap was that. HE also called her things he calls me. Im really hurt by this. He didn't keep anything of ours ours. Does that make sense?

I think maybe now im just rambling.... I am doing work on myself to heal. I see he is doing some work, not yet what I want to see... this kind of crap keeps popping up. I just want to not think about it.

Is it right to think its his problem? that he did so it I shouldn't care about it? BUT IT HURTS MY HEART SO MUCH... that he would do that .... Do I just block it out?

Thank you for your thoughts. I really appreciate more insight into this. I just cant believe it, that he had it in him to do this to us. And not stop it or do the right thing by his family. duh

Squish.... barf

[This message edited by Squish at 5:48 PM, Tuesday, February 8th]

posts: 69   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021
id 8714724
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 7:03 PM on Friday, February 11th, 2022

He may have meant those things when he said them. He was caught up in the affair, the thrills, the rush. No doubt he also said those words to get from her what he wanted. Both things can be true.

You didn't exist in the affair. That was their little bubble, private world and you simply didn't exist there. Does that mean you don't matter? She matters more? No, that means he created a space where he could play and be adored and have fun without one bit of real life interfering. A little holiday he could take whenever he wanted. It was an acid trip that felt gooood but no one stops tripping and thinks that was real life.

posts: 188   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8715597
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 9:46 PM on Sunday, March 6th, 2022

I survived it. Another Antiversry.

7/2017 their LTA was discovered [it started summer 2014]
10/2018 their going underground was discovered
2/2021 LTAP creating fake profiles to cyberstalk/reach out to WH was discovered
3/2021 a harshly wordeded Cease and Desist was received by LTAP

I had a rough week of it - and survived!

While I am fairly certain LTAP is still doing so, she is probably more discreet about it. If she's doing it she hasn't shown herself yet. While WH is hopeful she's gone for good, I am not so optomistic.

But I survived another Antiversary.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home)
Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS in 2018
Cease & Desist sent spring 2021
"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3479   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8721483
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 1:23 AM on Monday, March 7th, 2022

Chaos you are a glittery rockstar. Tough, determined, and also caring and loving.
Keep on being you and treat yourself for getting through that really rough week.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4789   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8721502
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Gracey ( new member #79334) posted at 8:01 PM on Friday, March 18th, 2022

Hi, just wondering how many people on here have a problem believing their spouse could do this to them?. I am really struggling to get my head round how someone can act loving and caring at home and give you the impression all is well leaving you feeling like your life is stable and marriage secure after years and years and then rip the rug from right under your feet.

Together 33 years Married. 17 years

posts: 31   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8724153
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 8:18 PM on Friday, March 18th, 2022

Shock and denial.

The first stage of grief.

We've all felt it, thought it, wondered about it, wrote about it, asked about it. HOW COULD YOU?

Perfectly normal.

The easy answer: because they wanted to (and likely thought they'd never get caught and thus you wouldn't get hurt)

It's on them to figure out why.

Is there a reason he could give you that would make it better for you?

posts: 188   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8724158
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 1:28 AM on Saturday, March 19th, 2022

Gracey I have spent almost every day over the past several years wondering when this became my life.

You aren't alone.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home)
Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS in 2018
Cease & Desist sent spring 2021
"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3479   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8724236
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Marlita ( member #72286) posted at 3:54 AM on Saturday, March 19th, 2022

Gracey…
#1 sorry that you’re here
#2 you’re not alone, sadly
#3 I’ve been on this forum for a while and it’s amazing, validating, supportive, eye opening, encouraging, humbling…I could go on forever

You’re not wrong in your feelings, I totally understand!
It’ll be 4 years in June that I found out and I will never get over it!
Not a minute goes by that I don’t think of what he did!
It changed my entire world!
I’m still married to the dirtbag, but that’s my choice.
I have vowed to take the bullet, rather than tell my kids (who aren’t his, but he’s been in my/their life since they were in grammar school and they are now both adults).
They ADORE him!
Again, my decision, but my life is 100% different…not 100% happy, but I’ve become stronger and have learned a lot about myself!!!
This is my story.
It sucks! I’m still mad at him, to say the least.
He sees it. He hates it. But HE did this to us!
He’s no longer a priority to me.
I don’t make his lunches anymore and certainly don’t cook for him.
I pretty much do what I want without the respect that I once had for him.
I’ve never been unfaithful, but it’s weird, I feel liberated, in a way.
I am vengeful and guilty of holding grudges.
I play the same game he did…
I keep my ringer off.
He’s blocked from ALL of my social media!
I don’t give him the privilege, of being in my loop.
This is certainly NOT what I signed up for, but my eyes are so wide open now!
Every day is a struggle!
You will survive this and you are not alone!!!

posts: 95   ·   registered: Dec. 13th, 2019   ·   location: Usa
id 8724257
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 2:46 AM on Monday, March 21st, 2022

Hi Gracey, my ex had a 5 yr LTA with a woman he paid to have sex and went to massage parlours the previous 5 years.

At times, still cant believe that he did all that shit. Then other times I know with out a doubt he knowingly fucked up our lives by choice for 10 years.

It is unbelievable.

I still can’t believe this shit happened to me.

I actually talked to him tonight. He seems normal. Friendly. Caring. You’d never know.

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1953   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8724561
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 12:11 AM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

My wife had a three year affair with my best friend, then broke it off, kept it a secret for five years, then when it was revealed spent almost three more years concealing the full truth.

That’s about ten years of deceit. A full third of our marriage and 20% of my life.

I try not to measure it like that.

But what the actual fuck.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 227   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8724746
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 5:20 AM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

I try not to measure it like that....But what the actual fuck.

I've been with my WH >1/2 of my life and believe he was unfaithful for pretty much all of it, so I feel ya on the "what the actual fuck" part laugh

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3810   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8724806
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:15 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I echo WTF.

Doing the math kinda hurts. Best to avoid it if you can.

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1953   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8724975
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 5:44 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Yeah, WTF. I do the math all the time, it's not helpful but it is the way my brain works.

Cheated on for 1/4 of my allegedly perfectly happy marriage. For some reason, I keep track of how long until his years faithful again equal his years cheating. Summer 2027 is the date, assuming he has left his cheating ways behind. It used to be 2026 until I reached out to MOW one more time and begged her for a timeline and discovered it started a year earlier than he remembered. I guess when you compartmentalize, cheat and lie for almost a decade maybe is is possible to forget when it started.

I wanted to throw this out to the group:

There seems to be a subset of us LTA survivors whose WP's WILL NOT discuss their affair, at least not without a fight or worse, flight. Mine is adamant that the past is in the past and he is not willing to talk about it anymore, regardless of how much I need to work through the discrepancies or his mindset. I need to see him discuss things with me without acting defensive or angry, which screams to me that either there is more I don't know or he is still not a safe partner. Maybe he has just had enough, as he has said, and the behaviors aren't wayward as much as emotional immaturity or selfishness. Figuring out what exactly I'm dealing with is a part time job.

There are some of us in the LTA club that seem powerless to force our WH's to do what we need: read, talk, get counseling, unless we are willing to end the M. Year four/five depending on how you count, or year one if the last discovery is a reset, but I'm at the point of preparing to file for separation rather than settle for what could be more years of unhappiness and mental stress. He knows this, but it doesn't seem to change his efforts. He believes he is choosing me, us and happiness moving forward and I'm choosing unhappiness and misery looking back. I have tried to explain the healing process, the steps needed, the ones I know I need, to no avail. I am learning I am not able to bend my needs, my values or my mind to fit his. Maybe if I'd been the one who destroyed us, I'd be able to do anything it took, but since I did nothing wrong and am working so hard to stay in the M, my indignation meter is creeping up, and my give up voice is getting louder.

I want my marriage, I want this man, and as much as I think I can do this, I'm realizing not at any cost. I'm seeing in him a shift to defeatism, giving up and being ok with the fallout. This is new, scarier than the anger, and makes me move very cautiously toward the separation, as I am afraid it will only lead to one path: me alone, still with unanswered questions and a chunk of my life a freaking twilight zone episode. On the other hand, why would I stay with someone so selfish they continue to choose their needs over the needs of the marriage or the spouse they crushed with betrayal? This is the conundrum of my life, and honestly I am way too old for this crap.

There's probably no answers here, this is probably just a vent, but I wondered how many of us suffer this fate, and if anything ever changes besides choosing to end the M to save ourselves, or staying but unhappily...

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 384   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8725410
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 1:56 AM on Friday, March 25th, 2022

WILA

That is a very difficult situation. I do think there is a time where WS can no longer tolerate conversations. My ex lives with the shame of what he has done, that shame is hard to live with. I believe it is what they run from and why they shut down.

When you are not healed, you need to talk. I sincerely suggest that you need to talk to someone, not him. You need to resolve your feelings. And decide where you are. None of that is easy. And I think when you understand where you are, you may be able to have a very few simple conversations with him. If your husband wants to stay married, he should be open to it.

After you complete processing, It is time to start a new marriage with your husband. At some point the pain needs to be let go for both and you need just to look forward to the life that you can have with him. You still love him, that is important.

I couldn’t do that. I kinda realized that I didn’t like him. Sometimes I still feel love, but it isn’t enough to make a marriage succeed. I am too damaged from all that shit he did, and there wasnt much to save.

I will say being alone is not easy.

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1953   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8725580
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:47 PM on Friday, March 25th, 2022

Tallgirl, thanks for the feedback. You are right, I am not healed and I need to talk this out, but I wonder what good talking about my H's inability to talk to me will get me. It took him a long time to admit that he has shame, and I have realized that those feelings trigger anger and resentment in him. If it's too big an ask for him to work through his shame and discomfort to help me with mine, how I can't feel that he is invested in or choosing this relationship? How can I take him seriously when he wants to take the Oops I made a mistake, it's all good now approach? How can I find him worthy of what I am offering?

I'm the middle kid, always on alert to anticipate and avert trouble. This is affecting my recovery a lot, because I have nothing tangible to work with for cause or effect with him. I need to understand what went wrong, and get to the nut of his reasons. He has only given me one, that my parenting style made him feel like an outsider in the family and made his resentments grow. My parenting style was loving, concerned and doting, and I protected our kids from the emotional fallout of his critical, cold side, amidst the cruelty of some of their classmates. I never criticized him in front of the kids, and tried to negotiate through the difficulties.

I was a trained facilitator and tried to manage my way through this with everything I had, for the best outcome for all of us, maybe with me coming in last. I spent a lot of time helping them with their spectrum issues in school, as both children had vocal motor tics, one diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder, dyslexia and Asperger's and they both struggled socially and emotionally. The child my husband was the toughest on struggled academically, although testing off the charts in higher reasoning and every category except reading. H decided the diagnoses were dumb and our kid was just being lazy. The tics for both kids escalated during growth spurts, puberty and stress. Dad was stressful and it was painful to see any stress added to their plates. I can't even remember how many times I would console one or both of them with Daddy loves you very much, he just wants what is best for you. That logic doesn't help an awkward, struggling, acne riddled kid in puberty very much.

It was a long difficult period for me as a parent, and as a wife, and I had my own resentments but rationalized them away. I did my absolute best for them and their futures and thought my H was on board and supportive of my efforts. He was always angry about chores or pressuring them about grades, even though they both managed good grades in school. They both hated school, and for a while I considered home schooling, after my youngest begged me to, but that is not my strong suit and wasn't the right choice for them imo.

Anyway, he has admitted that I did right by them, he was wrong, everything has turned out better than ok for them and they are amazing people. So I am left with the one thing I tried to do right and do better for my family cost me my marriage? I'm not sure I can live with that or let that go. I need him to understand that our parenting disagreements was the excuse he used to cheat when he was actually having a mid life crisis and dealing with some financial problems he created with investments I did not support. He was the boss of the family and the money, even though I supported us for several years during my first pregnancy so he could start his own company. He never worked well with others, and he has been a successful businessman and I don't regret those years. But I look back at all of this with utter confusion and now, growing resentment of my own. My life doesn't make sense anymore now that the data set has been revised. I asked him what I was supposed to do with my resentments and unmet needs now? What about all the fun I missed out on while he played behind my back? Write it off like bad debt?

Maybe what's happening is me pushing back against feeling controlled. He is trying to control how I handle this. He controlled my discovery with gaslighting and lies for almost two years. He has fought me hard over getting support, especially here and has nothing positive to say about this site or the wisdom of those who have been through this and come out the other side. Everything I point out to him is countered with they are not us, they don't know me, I don't care what other people think.... That applies to psychologists and counsellors too. Everyone but him is either irrelevant or wrong. He actually told my IC who was our MC for a short time before the truth came out that he was only there to help me get better and get over this. MC's eye's bugged out at the inability to conceive he had issues too, that this wasn't a wife problem but a couple problem.

I know its not much to work with, trying to rebuild something he won't admit is broken. He blames me for being broken, not himself for breaking me. In the heat of an argument I said I'm trying to recover from what you did to me. He was livid, and yelled WHAT I DID TO YOU??? He does not own that he is responsible for how I am now, he said he didn't think I would take this so badly, or be so hurt. By a nine year affair? Gaslighting, rugsweeping, allowing the MOW to fill me with more lies? Really? I keep having to point out that my response to all this has been textbook, as has his. That made him mad too, I dont say cheater's handbook unless I want a fight.

Ugh I'm venting and whining here because there is no easy solution, only really hard choices. The kind you have had to make. I wonder how did you decide what you had was not worth saving? Was there not enough love to make it worth trying? We have lots of love, but one of us doesn't have compassion or integrity and is telling me now that the healing that is important to me is not important to him. Literally the words out of his mouth, repeated for emphasis. It is not important to me. You are and our future is, but nothing about the past matters. If I point out that translates to I am not important to him, he gets mad at me for putting words in his mouth, he cannot see the connection. My best friend said he doesn't have the skill set to reconcile, so what is your plan? I wish I had one.

How does a person lower their expectations and swallow the bile enough to let this all ride? I've come so close to finding an EMDR specialist but that bristles me, because that's just me trying to adapt around him. I feel like we are in some shitty negotiation where he is only willing to yield so much before he yanks the deal. After watching this parallel with a dozen business negotiations I know that he will draw a line in the sand and let the deal fall apart if he is pushed too far. Fuck em if he doesn't get the deal he wants. I think that is us. He wants me in his life but he also knows he'll survive if I walk away and he's willing to call my bluff. I guess the same applies to me now.

Do I just let go and pursue separation, hoping either he finds his way to maturity in handling this, or I grow enough to be ok without him in my life? Kids are grown, money isn't a problem beyond he will never have a big enough pile and I don't need much of anything. He came from everything and I came from nothing, so maybe that's why core values are so important to me: honesty, integrity, making hard choices and doing the right thing, supporting those we love no matter what.... We've always had a value gap but I thought the key ingredients were there. They were not.

The real question is how much longer do I keep trying. I have finally moved past frequent meltdowns and crying, I'm getting a lot of coping techniques down but I am starting to feel like I have better things to do with my time than manage my reactions to a pile of betrayal and denial and weak effort. I needed to be worth more, cheating ruined that and not doing the work to reconcile with me is sticking a fork in the relationship, ie it's looking done. I thought for a while there I could pretend we were just a casual couple, doing fun things together without the baggage of the marriage but I suck at pretend.

So, I am in the process of untangling us professionally, stepping away from any ownership in the business I don't want to be in any longer, with a partner I just can't trust to be open and honest. First the business, then the legal marriage I guess. It breaks my heart because he told me he would do anything to fix this, he promised to be patient and work through this with me, and yet here I am, stuck in the middle of this mess with the promises reneged.

So tell me Tallgirl, does the benefit of breaking away offset what is hard? Does the sadness just shift to a different level that is more manageable because it has clear borders now? I spend a lot of time reading on the D/S and New Beginnings threads, and am surprised by the thoughts I have now. I am super cautious and over analytical, so whatever I do will be at a glacial pace. I keep hearing the song lyrics If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.... but limbo is not a good choice, from what I've observed here.

I'm trying to keep an open mind here, while realizing my mind has been blown and I'm still trying to wrangle the wiggly bits back into a functioning pile so I can find my path forward. Thanks for listening. I wish you the best on your journey. I'd love to say things happen for a reason, but that's one of the shitty things MOW threw my way as explanation after everything blew up. Things happen because you can't trust people to have your back when it matters. Or maybe things just happen.

I really hope someday I find my way through, and I'm back here offering support and help to the next 80,000 of us lost souls who wander here.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 384   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8725729
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