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First Post over here

Tentwinkletoes posted 6/11/2021 00:40 AM

Hi I'm really looking for some insight. I have been in active R for 4.5 and seen some real insight and progress with WH. But he has violated wayward boundaries on a couple of occasions in the last 6 months.
There was several years with nothing like this. This past 9 months or so he has suffered major trauma from his old job. And I have stood by him. But I think this is partly key for acting out and reverting to the old way. No excuse just trying to understand the situation for what it is. He did IC in the past and last violation he said he would see an ic again but didn't follow up.

Anyway this last violation was pretty major. It was a well known deal breaker. And as a result I've just shut down.

I feel numb. I feel nothing. I'm usually emotive and reactive intense I pursue resolutions and give demands and conditions although admittedly in the past couple of years I stopped that and handed it all over to him. And I've stopped accepting certain things but also stopped trying to "fix" certain things.

We were in a good place in the relationship when he decided to violate this boundary. He was acting out due to unhappiness in his new job. He stated lack of feeling in control wanting to act out wanting to cause chaos and feeling comfortable in the bad guy role as well as feeling "something" when there is a drama going on. He totally recognises all of this is unhealthy. But he hasn't seemed to break the cycle.

Anyway back to me


I'm trying to figure how I know to trust this numb done feeling. Is it my body shutting down to avoid further trauma? Or is this the end of the road no more angry no decision made emotionally its the finality of being finished?

Did you know? Did you fear you would regret s/d? Was it easy to trust yourself?

I cant picture my next move as I deep down don't want either option... but I think I am so done with the trauma and situation he keeps putting me into. I no longer am willing to enter into that cycle. I feel very differently looking at him I feel.pity. I love in a caring and pitiful way.

[This message edited by Tentwinkletoes at 12:41 AM, June 11th (Friday)]

WhoTheBleep posted 6/11/2021 06:17 AM

Wow, TTT, I'm so sorry to see you in this forum. But there are some pretty awesome badass people here, so you are in good company.

An answer to your question, yes I did know. It felt like a eureka moment, except it was very peaceful. I just felt clarity and calm and peace, and I knew that we would divorce. I attempted R for 2 years, and I just wasn't seeing the change I needed to see. In fact he became more verbally abusive than he ever was. There was one particular incident where he binge drank and then drunk texted me calling me horrific names. He just kept going on and on and on, and as I was reading his words, I felt that switch in my head go off. I was done. He always reverted back to his default toxic abusive wayward self. I wasn't willing to give him one more minute of my life. I had given him almost two decades. Not one more minute. I wanted peace. And I knew the only way I was going to get it was for myself.

It sounds like you may be at that point. I'm so sorry he violated that boundary. Do you feel peace? Or do you feel numbness in the way of trauma? Do you feel clarity? Or confusion?

What troubles me is that he knew you had a hard boundaries, and he consciously crossed them. After having already betrayed you in the past and knowing what the consequences were, he chose to do it again. I will say this, if he does not receive consequences this time, you can expect more of the same for the rest of your life. Figure out what you want the rest of your life to look like. Figure out the best way you are going to achieve that. Then go from there.

(((Tentwinkletoes)))

[This message edited by WhoTheBleep at 6:18 AM, June 11th (Friday)]

Unhinged posted 6/11/2021 08:22 AM

...I am so done with the trauma and situation...
I know exactly how you feel! I'm so completely exhausted by feeling like a human pinball that the only way to maintain even a modicum of self-preservation is to simply quit. And while divorce is something I never truly wanted, especially when a young child is concerned, remaining in an unhealthy marriage is... well, unhealthy for me, her and the kid.

EllieKMAS posted 6/11/2021 08:38 AM

Is it my body shutting down to avoid further trauma?
I have a theory that a lot of BS's just reach a point of saturation in dealing with the infidelity that you just can't absorb anything else. I call it empathy atrophy for myself - I am a very caring and empathetic person but once someone pushes me over the edge, I just can't drum up any more for them.

I don't think that's unhealthy - I think it is your mind/body's way of calming the storm so you can hopefully make decisions based more on logic than emotion.

And if you're like me - your ws should really get worried when you hit the numb stage.

Did you know? Did you fear you would regret s/d? Was it easy to trust yourself?
Like Bleep, I had a light bulb moment too where I just KNEW in my bones that divorce was the right option. Because xwh was not gonna change. He just wasn't. And I had two crap choices in front of me - divorce and all the shit that comes with it, or continue living with a cheating douchehole and all that came with that. For me, D was the far healthier and appealing option.

Did I think I would regret it? Yeah maybe a bit. But you know what? I haven't. Not for one second of one day since I decided to D have I regretted my choice. Having a life free of a cheater is so. much. better. than words can even express.

And as far as trusting myself... I trust myself more now than I ever have. I lived through this, I made the hard choice, and I am stronger and better for both of those things.

I cant picture my next move as I deep down don't want either option... but I think I am so done with the trauma and situation he keeps putting me into. I no longer am willing to enter into that cycle.
Yeah us BS's get a raw fuckin deal IMHO. Two shitty decisions and we are forced into making one by the WS's stupidity and selfishness. It blows, bigtime.

But the second part of this quote is the kicker I think. That old adage 'if nothing changes, then nothing changes'. Truly the decision on whether to keep yourself in the vortex of bullshit your ws has created is 100% your choice. And that is both scary and incredibly freeing at the same time.

I feel numb. I feel nothing. I'm usually emotive and reactive intense I pursue resolutions and give demands and conditions although admittedly in the past couple of years I stopped that and handed it all over to him. And I've stopped accepting certain things but also stopped trying to "fix" certain things.
I am an adult child of an alcoholic and in alanon parlance, we call this the 'dropping the rope' moment. When you finally just put down that rope you've been holding on to, trying to 'control' someone else's behavior, and you instead fully accept that you can't control someone else and actually never could. You can't 'fix' someone else, but you can fix YOU.

I had this same moment with my mom and her drinking. And I had this same moment with my xwh and his wandering gonads. Cus I couldn't control either of them, the only control I ever had was on myself and what I was willing to tolerate or not. I remember the dtr moment in both of those and the sense of peace and relief in both circumstances was almost identical. And that feeling of peace was what gave me the strength to remove myself from both of those toxic situations.

TTT, you're gonna be just fine, no matter which way you go here. But I will echo Bleep - decide what YOU want the rest of your life to be like, really visualize that. And then weigh that with the people in your life - do they help you get to that life you visualized? Or do they hold you back from it?

Karmafan posted 6/11/2021 09:00 AM

We were in a good place in the relationship when he decided to violate this boundary. He was acting out due to unhappiness in his new job. He stated lack of feeling in control wanting to act out wanting to cause chaos and feeling comfortable in the bad guy role as well as feeling "something" when there is a drama going on.

I am just curious, did he own up to it? Did he apologize? Did he promise to see a IC?

I guess what you need to ask yourself is whether this particular event is enough to invalidate 4.5 years of otherwise decent effort, and a reconciliation which, by your own admission, was going OK.

I am not finding excuses for him, and I completely understand that you must be fed up with acting as his punching bag every time something goes wrong in his life. But if he were willing to finally see a IC, and work on himself to try and identify these patterns, would you then give him another chance? Or has the light completely gone off?

EllieKMAS posted 6/11/2021 09:38 AM

I am just curious, did he own up to it? Did he apologize? Did he promise to see a IC?
I guess what you need to ask yourself is whether this particular event is enough to invalidate 4.5 years of otherwise decent effort, and a reconciliation which, by your own admission, was going OK.

I am not finding excuses for him, and I completely understand that you must be fed up with acting as his punching bag every time something goes wrong in his life. But if he were willing to finally see a IC, and work on himself to try and identify these patterns, would you then give him another chance? Or has the light completely gone off?

Karma, I don't think you're saying this, but this is my gut reaction to this.

I don't care what kind of effort a WS puts into R, how many years of 'pretty good' there's been, whether they get into IC... A BS is n-e-v-e-r obligated to give them another chance, ever. And a BS owes NO justification to anyone for being done, regardless of what the WS has done for/in R.

I think a lot of BS's get almost... shamed? into staying because "your WS is doing all the right things" or "things are pretty good". And I, for one, am here to say that a BS never has to stay in it. And yes, I am biased towards D because of my own personal beliefs and lessons, but I will always encourage BS's to consider D or at least start thinking about that because I believe that getting comfortable with that thought and removing the fear from it as much as possible gives a BS options for getting out of infidelity.

JanaGreen posted 6/11/2021 09:46 AM

Big big hugs.

I think I was so wrapped around the trauma axle that I never would have left on my own. Thankfully ex did me the enormous favor of moving out (to try to figure out what HE wanted) and so by the time he started making noises about maybe trying again for the eleventieth time, I knew that living under the same roof again would be soul suicide.

I was happier single than dealing with the trauma. Never regretted divorcing for a second. I'm with a good man now who isn't perfect but who has never once called me a crazy bitch or made me cry in 2.5 years. Like, that sounds so idiotic to say, but after being actively traumatized for years, it's illuminating to see that relationships DONT have to be a dramatic shit-show.

You shouldn't have to live exhausted and emotionally shut down all the time, and if that's how you feel, I truly doubt you'll regret pulling the plug.

Best of luck to you whatever you decide to do. And another big e-hug.

DevastatedDee posted 6/11/2021 15:40 PM

I'm trying to figure how I know to trust this numb done feeling. Is it my body shutting down to avoid further trauma? Or is this the end of the road no more angry no decision made emotionally its the finality of being finished?

Did you know? Did you fear you would regret s/d? Was it easy to trust yourself?

I always knew I wasn't going to be able to R no matter what my XWH did. I didn't always want to know it, but it was what it was. For me, my XWH violated a boundary and I shocked myself by reacting with absolute glee and dancing around the house. I had a surge of pure relief that I could just stop participating in any of it. I kicked him out. I hated so much living with all the drama and stress of post-infidelty marriage. It sucked at my soul. When the final drop the rope moment happened, as Ellie says, I felt peace. It was like putting down something really heavy and walking away. Everything in me was aligned and I didn't feel anything much towards him. I had the usual financial fears, but I had put a good plan in place and just began enacting it.

The anger and rage came back to me when he decided that I couldn't kick him out of his house and he came back for the last couple of months while I was packing, cashing out my 401k and buying a new home. When I was done, I was done. I had nothing left for him but anger. He had exhausted every bit of my empathy.

Karmafan posted 6/11/2021 18:57 PM

Karma, I don't think you're saying this, but this is my gut reaction to this.

Ellie, I was just asking the questions, not making a value judgment. We werenít given a lot of information apart from the fact that the WS has had a difficult 9 months at work which affected his moods and behaviour, and a boundary was crossed, making the OP question the viability of the relationship. So I was trying to join the dots. Itís, of course, the OPís prerogative to end the marriage if sheís no longer happy in it.

[This message edited by Karmafan at 7:00 PM, June 11th (Friday)]

Tentwinkletoes posted 6/12/2021 01:25 AM

Thank you so much for all these replies and insight.
I think I can see I am numb from trauma rather than done. But perhaps my brain is there and heart needs time to arrive. Or perhaps I do want to find a way through it. But I kept saying to my wh you don't keep doing the same things and expect a different outcome.

He has owned it although did try to hide/Bury it from feeling ashamed he pressed that self destructive button. He hurt and acted out on the people he cares about most. Theres something about feeling comfortably in adversity and not feeling like he can trust or deserve good things.

One thing he's always done is owned wrong doing he did ic before but he didn't go long enough to dig deep enough think in his head he felt he had a good enough grasp to continue the growth but clearly he doesn't.
Hes already contacted his IC to schedule some meetings meetings and realises he has to make himself vulnerable and commit to it more. He didn't minimise he didn't blame he just said I've F'd up. I know what I've done and in some warped way why. But I don't know how and why I didn't recognise it and stop it. I think there's a realisation who he is rather than identifying as someone else whilst actions say differently. Alcohol was involved but hes even said by his own admission its no excuse its just been easier to break boundaries but he was fully accountable for his actions. He wanted maximum damage and chaos and he did it.

He likened it to abuse.
He said he suddenly saw me break inside and go numb and disengage and it does worry him. But he also said its just like the man who abuses and assaults his wife. Everything is fine. She is led to believe she can trust her life and stability and security then she blindsided with a slap. Then told its all OK but the deeper seated issues aren't resolved they are just hidden and she doednt know when the next slap is coming and she gets to a point trusting it might not. Then again it comes and each time breaks her more and takes who she is. Till she's a shell. He's told me over and over I don't deserve this and he wants to save it but if for me it has to end he will give me what I want and need to make that happen. He isn't an emotional person but he has cried and I can see the conflict and pain inside him of feeling what he's done alongside knowing he's to blame. Good thing is he's not avoiding like he would do usually and he's being very understanding of the consequences.

I am watching him. I am talking to him. I'm giving him space to help me feel one way or another. But I'm also contacting the mortgage company and figuring what my life will look like if I separate, what house can I afford. That type of thing. What life will be for me and the kids.

I do know peace is coming at a higher price but it seems good value. But I love my family. I love my wh. Although the love does seem mixed with pity and concern rather than all just romantic love. Like even if we separate I really hope he gets the ic to stop him spiraling and passing these cycles onto our kids and future relationships.

I do know I'm not continuing the same path. I'm not sure he can do enough to convince me his path is different

[This message edited by Tentwinkletoes at 1:32 AM, June 12th (Saturday)]

phmh posted 6/12/2021 10:17 AM

This is the part that stuck out at me;

Anyway this last violation was pretty major. It was a well known deal breaker.

The tricky thing about deal breakers/ultimatums is if you don't follow through, the other party loses respect for you, and you've taught them that they can treat you any way they want as there will really be no real consequences.

What do you mean by deal breaker? Prior to this last violation, what did he believe the consequences would be for breaking the deal?

Tallgirl posted 6/12/2021 13:21 PM

TTT I am so sorry that you are here in this forum.

I know the numb feeling. Was that way for a long time. For me I was afraid to face my reality. My numb was a way of disconnecting from ex and my fear of having a failed marriage. But the numb helped me survive. Try not to stay numb for too long, but maybe it is a good way to be objective and set yourself up for your future success.

My DD3 was my deal breaker - lying (by omission). And now We just legally separated, I found evidence 2 yrs later of further omissions the Day before we signed the papers. He didnít change. And he seemed so very remorseful I thought it was all true, it wasnít. He said many of the same things as your husband.

In my case remorseful was his strategy. He fooled himself too. I am not sure he realizes that.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 7:44 AM, June 13th (Sunday)]

Tentwinkletoes posted 6/13/2021 03:26 AM

I believe he knows/knew S would be likely to break that boundary. I just don't think in that moment he thought outside anything other than his own self destruction

Bonetired posted 6/14/2021 10:09 AM

The numb part you mentioned. I felt this way before and still do in relation to work. It's a way for the mind and body to protect itself during a trauma. Abuse does this to a person. Children also go numb after being abused for so long. They stop responding to the blows. In time as you heal your mind will allow you to process this as it feels you can handle.it. It will well up unexpectedly and overwhelm you time to time until you can process it in a healthy way. I am sorry you are going through this. Hugs for now.

dogcopter posted 6/14/2021 10:28 AM

I am so so sorry tentwinkletoes. Dragging someone from where they would stand next to you through any illness... any cancer... any career setbacks or trauma to the point where they are willing to walk out the door is a long painful transformation.

Before the A, leaving was probably unimaginable.

And for most of us leaving doesn't happen until staying is unimaginable.

Feel whatever you feel. Everything you described is normal. It's not the change you wanted to happen, but you are in the middle of the change, and it is really up to him if he wants to try to stop your change.

In order to do that, he needs to change his own behavior. He hasn't; there was a boundary crossed and so you shift some more towards what was previously unimaginable... and it's painful.

But hang in there; don't force anything. Live in the moment and rely on whatever support you have. You will make it.

Cooley2here posted 6/14/2021 10:44 AM

The most basic question you can ask your self, ďIs this person good for me?Ē. If the answer is no then you move on.

crazyblindsided posted 6/14/2021 11:17 AM

(((Tentwinkletoes))) I'm sorry he has violated an important boundary. I knew when I found out I was in False R that I was done. I felt similar to you just numb. I still feel nothing for him. Something snapped in me that day that I was never able to recover. Unfortunately I spent another 5 years in limbo before I left, but it has been like a breath of fresh air to not have anymore emotional upheavals, drama or fighting.

BluerThanBlue posted 6/14/2021 12:19 PM

I'm trying to figure how I know to trust this numb done feeling. Is it my body shutting down to avoid further trauma? Or is this the end of the road no more angry no decision made emotionally its the finality of being finished?

Neither. Your numbness means means you're so used to being disappointed, mistreated, and disrespected by this man that it's no longer an extraordinary experience for you anymore.

This is far worse then disconnecting from a moment of trauma or resolving to end the relationship. When I became numb, it was because I no longer assumed that my husband cared for my wellbeing or dignity as a person.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 12:25 PM, June 14th (Monday)]

dogcopter posted 6/14/2021 14:23 PM

When I became numb, it was because I no longer assumed that my husband cared for my wellbeing or dignity as a person.

I felt this way too

twicefooled posted 6/14/2021 17:23 PM

(hugs) I was sorry to read your update.

I know that feeling of numbness. It happened to me after Dday#2. It was my saving grace and moved me into anger to get myself and my children out of the situation. It took away the "fight or flight" response and allowed me to see clearly what my next step was (to leave).

I finally had the realization that my ex has self-destructive tendencies and that I was going down with his ship. I asked myself if I would EVER do the things he did to me, and the answer is no. I've been in temptation situations and never, not even once in 16yrs I was with him, contemplated another man in a sexual way. Your wh has the choice to do what he did. It sounds like he even recognized what he was doing, but was so far into himself that he didn't give a shit about what this would do to you. He just didn't.

You are worth more than someone choosing to self-gratify their self-destructive tendencies over your own emotional well being.

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