Newest Member: SoBeyondLost17

Reconciliation :
BH claims he wants to R, but no effort after 4 years

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HowCouldSheDoIt ( member #78431) posted at 4:47 AM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

A quick TJ, but ChamomileTea you've used this values system description a few times:

For me, you either have a "but..." in your values system or you don't. ie. "I believe in Fidelity, but... not if I need some extra attention" or "I believe in Fidelity, but... not if my spouse cheats first."

and I love it so much, it is such an elegant, pragmatic way to look at it. A big reason I love it so much is because the conclusion is unavoidable, and it forces a person to conclude that if they truly feel they value fidelity, then they need to figure out their "buts".

Me: BH Early 50's
Her: WW Early 50's
D-Day Nov 2020
Married 21 years before D-Day
3 children
Working toward reconciling. The most difficult thing I've had to do in my life.

posts: 276   ·   registered: Mar. 3rd, 2021
id 8691511
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Aletheia ( member #79172) posted at 6:20 AM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

BA’s spouse is a BS as well as a WS. Are Madhatters typically encouraged to point their Madhatter spouses here?

BrokenAsh, a month and 7 pages later and you’re in the same exact place as page 1. Four years is a long time to not even start reconciliation. Two things have been made crystal clear 1. Cheating was a dealbreaker 2. Your husband is only "with" you marriage for the children. I put that in quotes as you hit your marriage with an atomic bomb and your husband effectively divorced you shortly thereafter.

BrokenAsh, my sense is your marriage was toxic before the A, and is now a terminal disease. Your husband doesn’t want to R with you. He doesn’t! When he says he does it’s only when he can sense you’re contemplating finally stepping a foot out the door. I forgot who said it but I agree, this is the saddest shit ever, two people just wasting their lives away. He don’t want you, is angry and depressed, you’re miserable and depressed. And this is the environment you’re raising your children. I don’t know their ages but consider therapy for them too, you and your husband think you’re shielding them but children are intuitive, they ask why you’re sad all the time. Your children are going to mimic this in their adult relationships if you don’t take action.

Your husband’s absolutely right, he shouldn’t have his kids 50% of the time because of what you did, but the past can’t be changed and you two should not be together, it’s literally better for your kids. BrokenAsh it’s time to be brave and do what’s needs to be done. You’re mentally deteriorating right before your children’s eyes - which btw you really may need another therapist or to increase sessions or see a psychiatrist as you’re clawing at your skin. Your kids see the marks. Your husband isn’t going to do it, frankly IMO he gets a pleasure out of seeing you decompensated, moreover he needs you to file to validate the narrative in his head "see she left she didn’t really love me." Your husband’s FOO issues may have him think that staying, no matter how badly he treats you, is the only way to prove you love him. End this suffering for you both and put your children first.

Your best must be just as glorious as your betrayal was destructive.

Don’t allow people to "Life is short" you to amend bad relationships. Forgiveness /= reconciliation. Leave them people where they are. Life was short when they did what they did.

posts: 222   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2021
id 8691515
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 11:48 PM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

CT - I would not believe it myself if I'd not engaged in absolutely crazy behavior / actions after dday that are completely outside of my "normal" value system. For instance, I could NEVER understand folks who cut or otherwise self harmed... and worse, I had a bit of a judgy attitude about those who did. If someone had told me the trauma reaction would be such that I would put lit cigarettes out on my body, I'd have laughed my arse off. Yet... I DID that - MANY MANY times after my own dday. Another one was times where I would -literally- have to leave the kitchen bc WH was there and all I could think of was how much effort I'd have to use to get the knife in my hand through his breastplate to ensure the blow would be fatal. NEVER, no matter how PO'd I'd been at anyone had I ever had thoughts like that - not only the desire for homicide, but actually contemplating the action required (and TBH, if we had guns in the home, I would say there's probably a better than 50% chance my WH would be dead and I'd be in prison). Or the time I found myself laying in a fetal position, covered in tears & snot, in the middle of a frigging golf course, about 5-6 months post dday. I was an absolute mess, and devoted pretty much all the energy I had to keep lizard brain from taking 100% control (it already had more than 50% control...).

I also came VERY close to my own RA, but somehow managed to come to my senses (or get executive brain back online) and stop...and if I really look back on that day, I think what got me to stop had little/nothing to do with my WH or breaking my vows, but everything to do with the OP being married and I could not do to another woman what my WH's APs did to me. Had he been single? I suspect another >50% chance I'd gone through with it. Maybe that means my values are stronger WRT sleeping with married people than cheating on my husband... maybe not. Or maybe I just didn't have a problem hurting my WH at that point, but could not allow myself to harm an innocent stranger. I don't know. All I DO know is that even tho I didn't have language for it at the time, I was not - by a longshot - in my "right mind" for several months (coincidentally, my acting like someone NOT myself is what tipped off my kid -who didn't live in the home that year- to the M falling apart... they KNEW something was really really wrong with me).

Today, I wouldn't dream of self harm, and have no concern about harming my WH, or any of the many other off the charts (and wholly against my values) behavior I contemplated or engaged in during the first 6-10 months post dday.

And OP - I think ThrowAwayabay makes some solid points, esp this:

You cannot control or change anything he does, so I don't believe you should be focusing on him so much as yourself .. since you only able to change and improve what you do.

For whatever reason, and no matter "who started it", your BH does not seem capable at this juncture to work on himself, find a path to healing and recovery, etc. A WS cannot R alone any more than a BS can.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 11:51 PM, Monday, October 4th]

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: 3509   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8691625
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DevastatedDee ( member #59873) posted at 12:30 AM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Don't get me wrong, GMC. I'm not saying that wanting to get even, wanting to punish, wanting to prove that we also have options isn't normal. It's absolutely normal to feel that way. Acting on it though is something different. Yeah, maybe one could use the insanity defense. I dunno. I think it would be a rare thing though among those who are otherwise solid in their values. You literally have to throw away something that has real meaning to you in order to do that. You have to actively choose against what you value and be willing to become that which you despise. And that sounds to me like a whole other set of problems.

Perhaps before my own DDay I would have agreed. Unfortunately I'm with gmc on being one of those BSs who essentially lost her mind with the trauma. I'm pretty solid and always have been in my values about cheating. It wasn't a "but it's okay if" situation. My own DDay trauma had me so wrecked that it was like I couldn't see. I literally saw white light in the upper corners of my eyes. My brain was white noise and I couldn't think. I couldn't feel an emotion. It was like watching someone else leave the house and find a stranger to have sex with. I was so detached I could barely feel it. I absolutely am responsible for my actions. I'd just found out my XWH had cheated tremendously with drug-addicted prostitutes. I could have infected this stranger with HIV for all I knew. I hadn't had an STD panel in those 2 hours. He used protection (as he should have with some rando), but I still put that guy, who didn't know I was married or even my real name, in harms way. I feel more guilt towards him than I do my XWH because that man never did anything to hurt me. I presume he just thought it was his lucky day. When I came to something like my senses on the way home from the guy's apartment, I scream-sobbed in horror because I could not believe I had done that. I took trauma and handed myself an extra helping that day.

Anyone who didn't get hammered so hard psychologically by this trauma may not understand this, and I don't blame you. It doesn't make any sense. I didn't even have a motive in my head. I was mentally blasted. I've had more therapy to try and figure that out than I had for infidelity recovery.

Like BrokenAsh's BS, I confessed even though he otherwise would never have known. None of my confessing had anything to do with any possible R. I just couldn't hold that secret. I'm not naturally a cheater and even given those circumstances with a serial cheating WS, I wasn't able to act like it hadn't happened. So I don't judge an RA in the same way as the original cheating. It isn't comparable when you're talking about a ONS in the first bit after DDay. That's often an action by a somewhat insane person.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 12:31 AM, Tuesday, October 5th]

DDay: 06/07/2017
MH - RA on DDay.
Divorced a serial cheater (prostitutes and lord only knows who and what else).

posts: 4635   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2017
id 8691631
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 12:42 AM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

I hear you, GMC. And yeah, I did some weird stuff too. I remember after the confrontation on DDay, I basically drank every drop of wine in the house and then went out to the garage and got in the back of my SUV with a pillow, blanket, and a box of tissues to go to sleep. Of course, it's winter and about 20 degrees outside, right? But while I'm laying there in still sobbing, hiccoughing, and trying to get the snot under control, I realize that if one of my kids is looking for me, they're going to find me there in the garage and think I've done myself in. shocked And all that because I didn't want my WH to open my bedroom door and see me sleeping because I couldn't bear the idea of him seeing me in any kind of vulnerable state.

But still, I maintain that there is NO good enough excuse for cheating. None. There are always other options. Either we have a "but..." in our core value of Fidelity, or we don't. Either cheating is an option in one's decision tree or it's not. I don't know about you, but I swore up, down, and sideways that I would do it and that I would MAKE him feel what I felt. But.. just like you, I didn't go through with it because it's just not right and I couldn't. That's the point though.

posts: 4676   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8691632
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