The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
It's been a while since I visited. My husband actually feels like I get worse when I read this blog and especially your comments. But I have no one else to talk to other than therapists, so he can get over it. Things have been really rough lately. His counselor (we meet with our therapists together) told him that he thinks that I am stuck and that typically if a betrayed spouse doesn't show signs of moving forward in 9 months to a year, then they won't forgive and get over it. So my husband has been trying to push me to move on. Mainly by being a completely insensitive shitbag and yelling at me a lot. I almost left with our two small children over the weekend because I couldn't take him talking to me so condescendingly and without compassion. I told him that I was afraid of him when he was angry. He said that he would never physically abuse me, but I explained that I never thought he could cheat on me either and that happened so why would it be so hard to take the leap that he wouldn't protect me from his anger? That woke him up and I explained that if he couldn't control his anger and act with compassion, then of course I wasn't going to be able to heal. He has been better since then, but I am still astonished on a daily basis by how selfish he is and how his reaction to my pain is typically defensiveness or anger. I am trying to be compassionate to his own issues (abandonment by his birth mom, cold, judgmental adoptive parents, exposure and addiction to pornography, codependency, people pleasing, etc. etc.), but I have a hard time sympathizing when he starts being pitiful about himself. He has finally mentioned going to get tested for STDs, so maybe HE is actually making more progress.
Oh Grace, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. But hold firm, sister-warrior. YOU get to set the rules for your healing. And no surprise that you're not moving forward when your partner makes your marriage an unsafe place to me. No matter that he hasn't hit you. Abuse comes in all shapes and forms and you feel unsafe. That's the long and the short of it. He has made your marriage emotionally unsafe. And as long as you feel unsafe, you won't allow yourself to be vulnerable...and without vulnerability, there is no intimacy. It's really that simple.His therapist is full of shit though. The reason you're not moving forward is because your husband isn't making it safe for you to do so. The timeline is arbitrary. To make such a statement puts you on the defensive and, clearly, frightens your husband. And your husband expresses his fear with anger. Grace, you get to determine the conditions for moving forward. You do not have to stay with your husband. If you choose to do so, then I hope you will draw very clear boundaries around what you need. As for his resistance to you being here, I often hear that from men who feel threatened by what we do here. He needn't be. This site is about helping women heal from betrayal. The shape that healing takes is up to each woman. Some stay, some leave. Some stay at first and then leave. Some leave and then return. There is no right path to healing. There is only learning to tap into our own strength. We learn to set boundaries. We learn to treat ourselves with kindness and respect. We learn to value ourselves. That is threatening to some men who fear that, with self-respect comes abandonment. Your husband's deep fears of being left are likely at the root of his fear that, if you understand your own strength, you'll leave him. Except that...he wants you to stay because you choose to be with him, not because you're afraid to leave. And to create those conditions, in which you choose to be with him, are under his control. But he needs to see that. And that is out of YOUR control. Re. getting tested for STDs, Grace, set boundaries. If one of your conditions for reconciliation is that he get tested, then tell him that, calmly and clearly.
Grace, I am so sorry. One thing I said to my husband is that words and silence can hurt so much too. Not that I ever want to be physically abused but so much pain can be caused by verbal and non verbal abuse. I really believe this and it can be so hard since it has a silent nature. It is hard to explain to others if at all even. I agree with Elle that his therapist is terrible. it is sad there are bad professionals out there and as far as therapist go there are some that are not in favor of figuring out if a marriage or relationship can be salvaged first but instead puts the individual needs first. My therapist has told me the opposite. He has told me he thinks it is healthy that I am holding back some and protecting myself. He said he likes seeing that I am doing that naturally on my own. He said over time depending on my husband actions that will lower. He saud it could take a while and is dependent not on me but on my husband's actions. The one exception is if I am pain shopping or in punishment mode. And I do not know if my husband knows I come on here but there have been times he has asked me what website I am on. When I say a site related to betrayed spouses it did not sit well with him. For him it made him sad and he did not say he did not like it or want me on. He said it made him realize we were not as far along in recovery as he thought. But I do think it was a wake up call. I think for my husband at least it makes him sad.And make sure he does get tested. We both went together to planned parenthood and it was an experience. It was emotional and good. They were so helpful.
Grace Omg! I'm so sorry for what you are going through. This is the worst of the worst to happen to all of us here! I can only agree with what Elle said above and Hopeful 30. What I can add is my experience with this blog. In the beginning my h thought it was simply a husband bashing site that was delaying our chance to heal. Slowly I began to share some of the posts and he could see that instead of delaying us, it was indeed helping me cope with the mess. Just this week he watched some of the videos suggested by Dandilion that are somewhat Christian oriented but gave him insight into how this is affecting both of us. That night he opened up his heart to me giving me understanding to more of the missing pieces in our situation. I'm so thankful for everything I learn from this blog and the stories we share. Just my opinion but if that therapist isn't meeting both your needs, I suggest trying a new one. Nine months just to give up in my opinion is ridiculous! I've learned that there can't be time limits on any part of the process of healing our hearts! If we're committing to the rest of our lives together then we are going to take as much time as we need to get to the other side of this nightmare! Be strong and just know that we feel your pain and this is the one place that we can feel safe to say anything we feel or need advice on! I'm rooting for you to make it all the way!
It's been two years since D-day and one year since I learned the OW's name. Through two years of therapy my husband and I have moved on and started over. I have a concern I don't think I've seen addressed and if anyone has experienced this, please reply.The husband of the OW is stalking us. We changed all contact information including a relocation because of the harrassing text messages and voice mails. Through public records, he now has our current location and sent a letter with at least five veiled threats of possible physical harm. Grace's above comment: His counselor (we meet with our therapists together) told him that he thinks that I am stuck and that typically if a betrayed spouse doesn't show signs of moving forward in 9 months to a year, then they won't forgive and get over it.Is where this man is at. He refuses to accept his wife was equally responsible. Or is she spreading lies as easily as she spread her legs.We have legal advice which essentially is to ignore, do not respond. The recent letter is a worrisome twist. Dateline has multiple stories of people murdered in their home under similar circumstance.Any betrayed wives who are still married but because of the OW's husband, refusing to let it go, make it challenging to move on and feel safe. Would like to hear how you cope.Sister Grace, your husband sounds like he is a narcissistic personality. There are multiple sites on Facebook about living with a narcissist which I find helpful and encouraging. Take care of you and your children Sister.
Anonymous,have you spoken with a lawyer or a law enforcement officer? I can't imagine that they would take this lightly. This man has forced you out of your home and you continue to feel threatened. You need a restraining order to protect yourselves from him. He sounds unstable at best and dangerous at worst.
Anoymous Our threats came from the ow when my h was out of state for work and went on for months before my h filed a formal police report. We were advised not to respond and we didn't but she continued to threaten a confrontation with us so she was warned by police first with a phone call and when she continued charges of harrasment were brought against her. She spent a night in jail, she asked for a jury trial, a year later when we were about to drop charges against her as we didn't want to go to trial, she again tried contacting my h. We met with our city attorney he advised us not to respond and he would keep the case open for a year and if she left us alone case would be closed but with in a couple of months she sent a text for my h to meet up for drinks no hard feelings... He contacted the attorney she was brought before the judge threatened with jail time until a trial for breaking the no contact order. The attorney said he thinks she got it this time. We have not seen her driving by since the judge talked to her so we feel like we are going to be ok but I can see from the way she acts these last two years that she is crazy in her head and we are making more progress on our relationship. Not easy when you deal with unstable people in these situations. Contact your police and protect yourselves!
Anonymous, I think you are so right about my husband. He is a complicated creature for sure. I once told our therapist that he was the most arrogant insecure person on the planet. He thinks he's better than everyone, but he is so insecure that he constantly wants to hear what he already believes from other people. And as for your situation, that is truly awful. It is one reason why I decided against telling the OW's husband about the affair. I am 100% certain he has no clue that it happened and while part of me wanted to tell him, I was also afraid for my husband's safety and didn't want to potentially jeopardize his job either (since it was an affair with a coworker). I think my husband is just one of a list of men she slept with at their job, but I didn't want to risk it in the end. Please protect yourself by contacting the police. So sorry you have to deal with yet another consequence of your husband's infidelity.And just FYI, you can choose to comment as Name/URL without adding a URL and use a code name if you want to remain anonymous. We want to keep up with your story and know you!
Thank you Elle, Theresa, and Grace for your response and concern. Grace - our situation is similar as the OW is/was a co-worker. It adds another layer - consequence. Elle - we have legal counsel. Reading what Theresa experienced is what we want to avoid. Unfortunately, we may not be able to avoid it. I will provide updates. I will use the code name of 'Alexis'. Great idea!
Ladies, the other day I came across some words that really resonated with me:"Not everyone can bear the weight of true love. Wounded hearts turn away from love because they do not want to do the work of healing necessary to sustain and nurture love. " - bell hooksI'm four years out from Dday but April is always a little bit of a tender time for me - its the month that my husbands affair really intensified and became physical. Reading those reads helped remind me how much healing his heart really did need to do and reaffirmed for me the reasons I stayed. He was willing to do the work of healing his own heart so that he could really engage in love. Those words also reminded me of how important it is that I continue to heal my own heart after the devastation of the affair, so that I can bear the weight of true love. Hugs to all of you early on this path.
I love that quote! My husband's insecurities and unresolved childhood trauma made it hard for him to really love. He is such a damaged soul. Abandoned by his birth mom, he is so afraid of being abandoned by me now (though in this case, it would be his fault). I hope as he continues to go to therapy that he will be able to heal so that he can finally truly love.
I often put a similar sentiment in the words "Hurt people hurt people." When we haven't healed ourselves, we will carry those wounds into our most intimate relationships.
Hello ladies, I'm at a crossroads - I'd say "again" but perhaps I mean "still." I have waited weeks to express to my husband some boundaries which I recently decided upon given a certain chain of events. ( getting along better and better and then a sad and upset and temper on my husband's part and his decision that we needed to get a divorce. Many of you read it on an earlier post. I know the saying on this site "my heartbreak, my rules", however, unfortunately that does not apply to all. Some people, when they hear "rules" they would run and that would be the ultimate end of the marriage. So, I have been attempting compromise. My husband did marriage counseling off and on for the past year… He never went to individual counseling. And… Several counselors noted that he would not benefit from individual counseling, for two main reasons one he does not believe in it and two he lacks the self-awareness necessary to make progress in therapy. I do not know that I agree with the psychologists, but of course that's all he needed to hear from them and he is firm in his belief that he should not go. OK, where am I today? After weeks of looking for just the right moment, it was rather forced upon me today, earlier than I had planned. In any case, I brought to his attention that in order for me to feel emotionally stable in this relationship we would need to read a particular marriage book that was given to us by one of our counselors and we could do such by reading once a week from the book and then I wanted us to go back to our last marriage counselor let's say just once every 3 to 4 weeks. His immediate answer was no, he would not do that. He said that I want to analyze everything and he does not. I explained to him that we had problems that are continuing and that need to be addressed, his feeling is to just move forward… Yet at the same time he recognizes that neither he nor I want to work on our previous life goals, as we are not on solid ground in our relationship. Basically I said to him divorce is hard work and working on a marriage especially after an affair is hard work so we can choose whichever path we wish, but we cannot do nothing. I also asked if he valued me as a wife and a friend. And if he valued our marriage. He answered that he did, yet to be unable to give one hour a week and then potentially another hour every 3 to 4 weeks ... He truly does not value what he has or he is simply that stubborn and will lose what he has just so that he cannot be told what to do. Actually I made a point and made it very clear to him that this was not an ultimatum or a directive but it is what I need to feel emotionally safe. At the end of the conversation I asked if he would at least think about it and he said yes. I then said we can revisit this at a later time. And he said don't tell me what to do, we will revisit this when I say we will revisit this. He says things like that to get a laugh from me, but the truth be told I know he absolutely does not like to even think he is being controlled. Sometimes I wish I had the strength to just tell him to leave. And frankly the marriage counselor that we were seen and I have seen a few times individually without him… She, tends to support our marriage saying that most of the time it is good. I guess it is only going to be I that truly knows. Thank you for listening ladies. Love & light.
Melissa My h has point blank told me to stop analyzing him and I understand the reason for him as his ow was a therapist of substance abusers and she analyzed him their whole relationship when she was trying to get him to file for divorce. He has felt controlled by this woman until she spilled the beans to me and after that he got his real balls back. We had a really good conversation this week after watching the videos suggested by Dandilion on a different post, and my h had his aha moment of understanding my need to analyze all of it. That's when I began to realize how hard he's already worked on his own pain and guilt. He truly had made up his mind their last sexual encounter ended it all but his weakness of my finding out he continued his contract for 5 months until he said no loud and clear to her. But bless his heart, she blew it up in less than 2 weeks because he finally refused to answer her 100's of attempts to just talk. When we were first day talking about it he cried what a relief not to have to hide anymore and now she would finally leave him alone. My h had already begun to make his change for himself to feel a better man and learned his lesson of the heart. This was one of the most painful things he's living through because of the pain and shame of realizing how painful it was to all parties involved. I'm sorry I don't see that in your h. I think he's stuck in his own pain and can't face your needs. That's what has been very difficult for my h to understand how much time it takes to get through to a better place and how fragile the road is to get there. I must say again I admire your patience because more than once I've totally lost mine and my poor h just had to listen one more time. I'm sending you hugs and prayers for your current version of your h!
Melissa,I can understand your husband's resistance to being "analyzed" or "fixed". I suspect he views your requests as being hauled into a therapist's office so that he can learn what's wrong with him. It has been my experience that anyone with such a strong resistance to therapy has a whole lot of stuff buried that terrifies them.BUT...you cannot control him. I think you know this intellectually but I'm less convinced that you know this on a deeper level. Melissa, I think you so desperately want this to work out that you're hoping against hope that the right counsellor or the right words or the right book will suddenly help him see the light. I'm not sure he wants to see the light. I honestly think that he, on some level, thinks he's just fine not dealing with stuff. That's not you. YOU want answers. You want understanding and insight. You're a thinker. He's...not.I think the questions Lynn Less Pain asks you below are provocative and important ones. I would really urge you to ask yourself. You are incredibly HIM focussed. What do you want, Melissa, knowing that you can't make him do what you want? What does your healing look like in the absence of ANY support from him? Walk in the direction of YOUR healing. Not his. Not that of your marriage. But your own.
Thank you Elle. I appreciate that.
Melissa,I'm so sorry you just can't seem to get forward or backward but remain in a state of purpetual purgatory. It must be hell to be so unsettled. I don't think I ever have seen you post what YOU want. If you could you have your way, what do you want? Does what you want, fit in the story if he doesn't change? Can you tell me one or two ways he has changed to build a stronger marriage in all this time? I'm not talking about no contact but changes about or in him. Can you name one or two boundaries, hard stops, he respected? What are the one or two things that prevent you from leaving? I'm just trying to have a better understanding of this seesaw your riding. Something just doesn't add up.
Hi Melissa,I can recognize much of my situation in yours. My H resists alot of things I need. Like Elle said, he is terrified and full of shame about what is deep inside. He is doing more personal work but it is long and hard. His resentment about "being told what to do" comes out often, still. Anyway, the only way things have shifted, and he saw a reason to change, is by my showing that I am not going to settle for less, standing firm in my boundaries (it was hard at first) and being clear about my willingness to walk away. He has made alot of promises, still waiting for actual follow through. In the meanwhile, we live parallel lives and I am focusing on everything I need to be a whole and healed person now and if and when I walk out. Lynn Less Pain's questions are so spot on. I would spend some time with those and stop focusing on him. That is something that has taken me 2 years to get to but it is worth it.-MBS
Thank you MBS for your thoughtful response.
I feel like I beat one more dragon yesterday. It was the one year anniversary of our final D-Day. I met my husband for lunch... we laughed and had normal conversation. I shed a few tears later in the evening, but nothing like the hysterical sobbing in the early days. I helped my daughter with her homework and packed school lunches. When it was all said and done, it wasn't anywhere near as awful as I anticipated. And at the end of the day, my husband and I laid in bed and talked about how we made it past one more thing. He thanked me for giving him a second chance. Our life isn't perfect every day. We still have a lot of work to do. But at the end of the day, I realized that all in all, it was a pretty normal day. And yesterday, I was grateful for normal.
Dandelion,I'm grateful for normal most days of my life. I never imagined I'd have it again. Kudos to you and your husband for fighting through 365 days of hell to get there.
ElleDid I read somewhere that if I'm stuck has 200 comments that it deleted post or that we can't post anything on it until you create 15. Either way we're still a whole lot of stuck together!
Whoops...yes, for some reason this program won't load comments past 200. I have to go back and delete earlier comments to make room. I'll create...Feeling Stuck: Part 15.
Sounds like you had a really productive day dandelion here's to many more. Well done to you and your hubby ��
Thanks for asking Lynn. Thought-provoking questions. I don't know about changes per se - yet I can tell you some activities he has engaged in that was definitely not something he would have engaged in before ... for the length of time which he did such. 1) marriage counseling... twice, for quite some time - second therapist longer than first, 2) reading the book together "After the Affair", 3) watching the series, "In Treatment", 4) watching Esther Perel videos with me and discussing - in all of this discussion after, 5) watching Super Soul Sessions together, 6) right after DDay, cooking for me, taking me for walks - caring for me, holding me as I cried, until I could hold myself up, answering all my questions about the affair (albeit trickle truth in the beginning), 7) being accountable as to where he is and perhaps why running late, and 8) continuing to be the husband he's always been - hard worker, at work and home and supportive of me in my new business venture, and my favorite - NOT boring with wonderful sense of humor, passion and grabbing life by the horns. I write all this and think, boy Melissa, sounds great - what are you looking for? A feeling of safety. He has an avoidant personality; I have anxious personality - therein lies many of our issues - especially now, as both of our anxieties - his avoidant, mine anxious, have flared up since the affair. I want to try to make that better between us. I want us to do our best to operate from a place of love (which we do most of the time) and not a place of fear (which infrequently, yet ferociously rears its ugly head.). I want him to be less critical (not only of me, but of everyone, including himself.). With this last one, I know he has to make that change - well, in all cases he needs to tackle his own growth, as do I. Just last night he was being critical and I found two excellent articles on the net - he asked if I was here, on the blog - I said, "no". That I was reading articles on why people are critical and he wanted me to read to him - and I did, with good discussion. That was wonderful to me. Lynn, I hope I've answered your questions; I truly thank you for asking them. When I write it all out, I recognize all he's done and he is - much more than I give him credit for sometimes. Love & Light
Just read this great description of self-care and wanted to share. http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/self-care-personal-awareness-0108134
Thank-you for that. I think there's too much confusion re. self-care. So many women I know see it as selfish to address their own needs but without self-care and the ability to bring our best selves to all our relationships, we end up resentful and depleted.
Melissa what a great way to remind yourself how far you and your h have come. Sounds like you have worked as a team. Great insight thank you xxx
Melissa,Sometimes I found I looked for just negative actions, rightfully so. I had to learn to look for the positive. This is a trite example, but if he washed the dishes, I would think, that is new but he didn't wipe off the counter or the stove. Why couldn't I just be happy he washed the dishes? He never ever helped before. I had to learn to be satisfied with the good I saw and stop looking for something wrong, something more or something less. I had to make myself recognize the positive. It was like a hyper vigilant mind only stop looking for or expecting - are you going to digress? I know him being wishy washy for so long didn't help you feel safe at all and you maybe hyper vigilant about him to going there again. Just the wishy washy way he was for so long, his freedom or you, the OW or you, love me - love me not bullshit would make any woman be very cautious, not safe and prepared for the worse. It would be hard to see any progress. I would be thinking, well your here now but how long is it going to take you to flip flop and say good bye again? Even if he had no intention of doing this, maybe your just not sure yet.
Lynne I agree with you. Things have shifted so much and I feel like I have to recalibrate how I look at things. Both to appreciate what he does. And I make sure to tell him. About about physical things like cleaning up etc but more so even with emotional things. When we have a discussion and he is not defensive I make sure to acknowledge that. He always says thank you for noticing. I can tell he is working at it.Another thing is he catches me off guard. He will go to play golf or watch a game with friends. He will call and ask if I need anything and I will say why and he is on his way home, he would have never done that before. He always chose to stay out with his friends. Some of it is great and sometimes I think is this too good to be true?
Hopeful30,It might feel weird for him too to try on this "more thoughtful" persona. But appreciate it. Even if it feels forced or uncomfortable. Let him be that person. Ask for things -- "why yes, I would love you to pick up some strawberries" or whatever. I'm convinced that part of what allows people to think that cheating is somehow okay is because they've become disconnected from their families. Strengthening that connection -- by asking men to participate in the day-to-day stuff -- benefits everyone.
Elle, I agree this is totally the case. He is happy and enjoying it. I always make sure to thank him for what he does or how he helps. To me it seems exaggerated but I totally get for him it is all new and I need to view it as reinforcement. What is funny is the kids notice. They have asked why he offers help with homework or asks about school, why he gets up with them 1-2 mornings s week. It is all good new for all of us! And that is huge I can see by him doing these things he is connected. But again it had to be him doing it. Through the years we tried to set up systems or a schedule but he was not invested so he never followed through. Now he is consistent and always willing to help. Again now it is his decision.