The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
"Only in the darkness can we see the stars."~Martin Luther King
"Only in the darkness can we see the stars."~Martin Luther King
It has been a dark and difficult day. You know the type of day where you are not sure you will make it with or with out your H. The type of day where you feel that it just might not really matter that much. I am feeling really alone and questioning if trying to repair my marriage is really a good decision. Of course we have work to do together and I am striving to work through my own issues, but my H has so much work to do for himself and some days I don't think he will do it. i want to share my life with the truly amazing person he is, not the angry pain and fear filled person that is leading his life. I am looking for the stars, but today it is hard to see them. Love Becky.
BeckyI so know that lonely place you have drifted into! I remember telling my h in the first few months that I felt lonely even when he's sitting right beside me! We had become so disconnected from each other and cow was doing everything possible to keep the wedge between us! I'm still coming to grips with how my h compartmentalizes his life! I'm still having to work through how easy it was for my h to lie not just to me but her more than me but especially how easy it was for him to lie to himself! I'm slowly getting back to my old self assured me but some days are tougher than others! I'm sending you hugs of comfort and just know that there's a rainbow out there somewhere!
Becky,Man do I know that feeling. The only thing that helps is that there will be a point this doesn't hurt all day everyday. I'm not there either. Somedays I cope, others I cry while driving home from work. Hopefully this pain will pass soon!
Elle, I just read this exact saying along with "A secret to happiness is letting every situation be what it is instead of what you think it should be, and then making the best of it." What I want my reality to be and what my reality truly is is difficult to accept but on those growing number of days when I accept life as it is, I am calm and fairly happy. If there were a sign ahead that warned me "Caution, triggers ahead" my life would be perfect. Alas, I've learned to come here, to read about and ponder my sacred sisters lives and realize that there is light somewhere out there. Sometimes I can see it clearly and sometimes I just have to trust this journey and believe the light is still there even when I cannot see it. Love and Peace, Beach Girl
Beach girl Please send me a sign for the triggers as well! They hit like a ton of bricks with zero warning! I'm heading to the beach this weekend and I'll be thinking about you and hopefully your triggers will be less!
Those triggers are killers.For me, it's even as simple as a sex scene in a movie. I immediately have to leave or forward when I can. I simply can not watch it. And it seems like once a day now someone on Facebook posts meme like "if they really love you they would never cheat". My h choose me even when I told him to get out and be with her. But the bottom line is he had a full blown affair.I am 4 months out. I was better the first moth. I think because we were in a bad place before and barely spoke. We fought the rest of the time. So he all the sudden changed and was turning back into the guy I fell in love with when she got pissed he left her and told me. Still despite my cussing and screaming he begged, cried told me how he was lonely etc. So I think after going for so long with nothing, it was a relief. It was a relief he choose me. But this month, I feel anger. Like the reality set it. Some days I try to put in the motions of a couple rebuilding but I secretly want to punch him in the face. I even have moments I wish he had just died. Like maybe that would hurt less. Triggers suck What are some of the things that are triggers for you guys?
Hi Theresa and Beach GirlThank you both! Theresa, thank you for the hug and encouragement, it really meant a lot to me. Beach Girl, I read your post and thought "oh yeah, perspective is really helpful" Accepting reality and awareness in the present moment really are key. You brought me back to seeing more clearly. To trust the journey and know others have walked this path and found wisdom and transformation. Happy Friday and love and support to allBecky.
Wow, Beach Girl! I need to remind myself of that. It's sometimes easy to fall into wishing this hadn't happened, but it did. My choice now is how I handle it. We're wrapping up a weeklong beach vacation now and I've struggled a bit recalling the last time we were here two summers ago and he called her while we were on family vacation. Truly, it was an awful trip... Me knowing things weren't right but not knowing what it was. This trip has been different, but there have still been triggers.As far as triggers go, I've found that some of the things I learned regarding self compassion can help me keep from spiraling. If I can figure out what I'm feeling and remind myself that I'm no longer in that place, I can normally stay calm. Meditation is also helping a lot.For those of you struggling right now, I'm thinking of you and sending you hugs and strength.
Theresa, Beach Girl (when you referred to us as sacred sisters I sat out here in my back field and wept--it is a generous thing for you to say. Thank you). Theresa you asked what triggers we have ? 1. Most movies and TV shows2. The song "honey I'm good" wherein the singers thanks the woman asking for a fling, but insists his heart is at home with his woman....sigh.3. Condoms in stores, condom commercials...to me they don't represent safety but secrecy and INTENT.4. Most songs on the radio !5. If the man in my life says something like "gosh I'm getting out of shape" or "my uniform pants don't fit the same" I often panic that he will seek affirmation from someone else or that if I try to reassure him it won't measure up to the praise the beastie gave him.6. Sex: I often scamper down my mind movie memory lane and envision him with the beastie.7. Weddings. I simply declined every invite after the first one I attended since D-Day.8. That certain type of woman who comfortably wear heels, apply a lot of cosmetics and have that oddly impossible Barbie Blonde...they've always made me feel terribly insecure, but I somehow feel like they represent everything I failed at and possibly what the man in my life secretly desires. 9. The co-workers of the man in my life: he was in a group of 10 other cops the night he was unfaithful and not one of them said "hey dude have you thought about the dice you're rolling here?". Instead they drove him and the beastie back to the police college where the fuck occurred.10. My birthday....the big collossal asshole screwed a hoe-bag on my birthday.11. Lingerie stores...need I say more, but whoa we are raising a generation of girls who are objectified in ways that make certain religious doctrines look pretty respectful. 12. The internet...we as a society need to wake up that this incredible paradox exists between what it gives us and what it is stealing from us. 15 months out and now when I'm triggered I try to go to war instead of going to pieces. Not always easy, but I shelter myself in this blog and all its good advice.
One arm pie maker I can relate to the triggers in your list! I'm learning how to take those things back and make them mine again! I find looking back at the first few months and pretty much everything in this town was a trigger because it is here that he chose to have his fantasy affair! I found myself wondering if they ate at the same restaurants that he was taking me to during the last year of the affair! I'm still triggered by things I have no control over until they happen but I'm learning how to deal with them so differently than in the beginning! You last thought is a wonderful way to deal with it... I try to go to war instead of falling in pieces! You have given me a new way of thinking! March forever forward!
A great reminder esp to those in the early days past dday. How i remember staring up at the night sky, how i felt i was being swallowed whole by the darkness and the hours of night would tick on endlessly as i prayed for morning to come the night seemed still, lonely and provided insomnia hours of to much time to think, overanalyze and obsess. Im just over a year out i can see the beauty in the night again thou i still have my moments now and then and all those nights that seemed excuritaing endless and dark also taught me a thing or two. you all are stars in the darkness you just have to wait for the fog of numb and shocked to clear to see it again. Thank for this Elle even at my stage im still healing and this touched the crack in my heart ... wounded not broken.
Definitely not broken. Thank-you.
Thank you Elle,,, peace and love to you ladies xxx
I'm repeating this over and over!
Shelley Triggers for me are any reminder of anything she, the cow, shared so 'passionately' with my h! They met playing volleyball! Just recently has that word has lost it's power over me but I still can't watch anyone playing it! The whole house was a trigger the first month or so but I took that back and made changes so I no longer think about that! My mother can trigger my anger the way she speaks to me and then it can spill over to anger at my h even if he's not the one I'm angry with. Working on this part! How to deal with the triggers? Wow! I stare at the stop sign at the end of the street and then I get busy doing anything that brings me back to my happy place! Time and my h are making me feel better.. And then there's the dark days and it feels just as bad as the first day! I'm not staying in that place! So I'm making the choice each day to find my happy! Hugs for you!
I am over 4 years in on trying to repair. The old me is dead so I finally quit looking for her. I think it's as good as it will ever be again. I don't know. I wish I had found this group back when I was so lost.
Anonymous....may I ask what your life looks like now? I hope I didn't misinterpret, but I believe you're working at reconcilliation? Forgive my questions please...I just feel like you and Elle are far ahead on the road and I'm desperate to learn the topography. Take care.
Anonymous and OAPM,This is never "as good as it will ever be again". Any relationship is like a person -- it will constantly change and shift, just like the people in it. I think it's tempting to idealize a relationship that wasn't affected by betrayal as somehow pristine. But if there was betrayal, then at least one of the partners wasn't as blissful or honest or dedicated to the relationship as the other might have thought. OAPM, I'm not sure there's a specific topography -- it can look different for each of us. But there are signposts that, I think, are common to those of us able to successfully rebuild after betrayal: (a) fully realizing that, even is we acknowledge that our marriage had hiccups, we had NOTHING to do with our partner's choice to cheat. (b)Knowing that we can survive the pain of betrayal and that no matter whether our marriage survives or not, WE will be okay. (c) Learning how to set clear boundaries to keep ourselves emotionally safe -- and refusing to disrespect ourselves by violating our own boundaries. The only way to create a healthy "second" marriage with the same husband is to understand that the first marriage is over and that it's time to negotiate a new one. And that the new one, honestly!, can be even better and continue to grow healthier and deeper with the respect and commitment of both partners.
At the beginning all I saw was darkness. I couldn't even look up. No flashlight, candlelight all I could see were burned out light bulbs and wall switches that didn't work. I remember for a month. I would say I was taking the dog for a walk. It was at night in January. When I walked outside the cold would hit my face. It hit my face but the pain of the cold felt good. I would take the dog off the leash and lay down in the front yard, ball up in a fetal position and cry like a wounded animal. My dog would spoon with me and did not leave my side. My H would come out of the house after a awhile looking for me. He would help me up and bring me back in the house. That lasted awhile and the cold felt good, it hurt. I didn't eat. Cold and hunger took the place of my heart pain. I lost 70 lbs of pain. I loved the cold for a long time. After a year of darkness and cold, I could see as much light as a flicker of a candle. No twinkle but I waited to make sure his changes were real. My stars began to appear after 18 months. No milky-way or shoot stars. But the star wasn't our marriage or him it was me. I twinkle brighter as every month goes by. Cold feels like cold and hunger feels like hunger again. I ask my therapist last week, will I ever get my spark back? My loud laughter? My big hugs? She said, we are going to work on self-compassion and yes we will get it back. This is not about his adultery anymore, it's about my twinkle. This site was hope and Elle or sister was my only twinkle
Oh Lynn,You don't just twinkle, you shine like the brightest star. Even if you didn't realize it, even when it felt like you were smothered under darkness, you shone.I sometimes tell the story on this site about a friend I bumped into a few months post D-Day and one of the first things he said to me, after asking me if I was okay, that "the light has gone out of your eyes." It stopped me cold but made me feel truly seen in all my pain. I didn't fess up...but it felt good to know that I wasn't invisible. We all need to reclaim our twinkle. It should be at the top of our to-do list, post betrayal.
Can we get a discount on those trigger signs if we buy in bulk? This Quote I had seen not too long after the sex addiction (and coordinating fuckfone) was discovered. That and "all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle". So I light a candle every night as a reminder. I will survive this. And I look at the sky and think of how small I am in the expanse of the universe and yet know how much I matter to it too. I belong in a brighter place. But until then. The Beauty of a flickering flame surrounds me. And guides me home to my own soul
Oh Steam. Your strength is breathtaking.
Steam, your courage and wisdom is beautiful and inspiring. LoveBecky
Hi everyone, it has been a couple of years since I commented on this site, but I visit here frequently, if only to find solace in the fact that others are feeling just like I am. My original DDay was over 3 years ago. I had just had my third baby. We have moved on, lived through several more ddays, worked hard on our marriage, had another baby. Things have been amazing at times, better than they ever were before the affair. Things have also been horrible at times. He left the hospital and changed jobs to get away from the OW. The OW contacts him on a probably a monthly basis, I guess hoping to catch him during a weak moment, and she has been successful a few times, including most recently last November, when they re-engaged and started talking again. She has her friends contact me regularly to tell me they are still seeing each other. She has male friends contact my husband to tell him that I gave them my number at a bar(which is completely false). She basically tortures us. My husband gives lectures in town and she attends every single one. It seems impossible to heal and move on. She won't let us. She is a part of our daily life. I love him and we are happy most of the time, but every time one of her friends contacts me to say they're still seeing each other it makes me wonder. Obviously I don't trust him fully. It seems like all the cards are stacked against us. I feel like I am in a dark place right now, wondering if I should just throw in the towel. I love him so much, and we have four beautiful children who would be crushed, but I just feel stuck, not able to heal any further. We are both in therapy and have worked so hard, it seems crazy to give up, but I am so miserable and suspicious and frustrated with her continued presence in our life that I just don't know if we can make it.
Jennifer one hurt momma It sounds like you have a cow just like ours is! Crazy ow is what I mean! My h tried for two years to get rid of the ow in a dignified way but she just wouldn't stop the contact until he filled the harrasment charges and then it only stopped her for the first four months and it was to reconnect during her loss of a child! He sent our sympathy via text and she left us alone for seven months and then sent a text requesting he meet up for drinks no hard feelings! I was back to being a shaky almost back to square one but my h contacted the attorney and he had the judge remind her that she could go to jail for breaking the no contact order so she was ordered to leave us alone for the next year or go to jail until the jury trial that she requested. This was in March of this year and it's been almost three years since their last physical contact. She was so certain he would choose her after she exposed the affair! When he didn't it made her crazy and I mean really crazy! She drove by our house daily for months before the charges! I was sure I would go crazy waiting for the stupid teenage like crush she had for my h ended! I feel certain we have not heard the last from her but she won't risk jail time just to drive through our neighborhood! I'm suggesting that your h may have to go file charges and if she is using text and email your h will need to screenshot and print them out for a judge to decide if charges would be filled. I'm so sorry for the pain I know you are feeling and I also know that roller coaster ride when you don't know for certain if he's making contact again! I'm not going to shy away from saying how hard these last two almost three years now have been but the fact is you can't really repair your marriage with interference from the ow! In our case she is a licensed councilor and tried giving us free advice but what she was really doing was trying to prove to me it was her he wanted! I'm hoping you have the kind of husband that can finally step up and do the right thing to keep his family! I'm grateful that mine found his integrity because I was just about to leave him forever! Hugs!
Jennifer onehurtmomma,Of course you're struggling to heal. You've not only got a toxic OW (and who the hell are these idiot friends of hers who would go along with creating so much pain for you??) but you've got a husband who has betrayed you repeatedly. So of course you don't trust him. He's revealed himself to be untrustworthy.At this point, I agree with Theresa that it's time to file charges. As she says, you'll need to make sure that your husband isn't involved in any way. And you'll need to collect the evidence that she's harassing you -- noting phone calls, screen shots of texts. But I would strongly encourage you to proceed. This is cruel and it's crazy. Collect your evidence and see if you can get charges threatened or laid. This has got to stop.
I completely agree, and we have threatened her over and over, but sadly, she is pretty street smart. I can never prove that it's coming from her. She makes sure of that. Most every time we get a text saying something hurtful or that they're still seeing each other, it's from some unlisted number. I've paid a PI to try and track down who the numbers belong to and have even had a friend in the DA's office run them through their systems. And to no avail. Neither one turned up anything. And even the friends who have contacted us, the most I can prove is that she is friends with them. Her response is that she has no control over what her friends do. She even shows up at my husband's hospital, and she will call him from a landline within the hospital and beg him to come down and talk to her. The problem is that I'm a lawyer, and I can just hear this all playing out in court. She will say well the reason I was at the hospital was to visit my mother (who does work there), and she will say we can't prove it was her who called him from the hospital line, which is true. It's terribly frustrating. It's like she has us by the balls. I don't see us being successful with a restraining order when she usually doesn't contact us directly, and if she does, there's no way to prove it's her. It makes me want to give up, after all this hard work on our marriage,because I feel like my healing has plateaued if she doesn't get out of our lives. I guess right now I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it makes me so sad and angry that he brought such a horrible human being in our lives time and time again.
Wow, that is incredible. What a dedicated psychopath. As a lawyer, you would know better than I what would stick in court. It just seems so wrong that she can continue to do this. What if, rather than go after her, you go after these "friends" who are harassing you? They might be less enthused about getting involved if it looks like they might get in hot water. Do you have records of the numbers who've contacted you? How often and when? There has to be some way to get her, or her posse, to leave you the hell alone. And yes, I imagine it is hard to rebuild a marriage when you're furious that you're dealing with this lunatic that your husband invited into your life.
Jennifer onehurtmomma: please forgive me if at some point you have mentioned doing this, but a woman in my support group has had almost identical experiences to you. I detest the fact this nut job with an under developed psyche is bothering you--sometimes that's why the legal route doesn't spook them: their lack of mental health prevents them from grasping the legal implications of what they're doing (oh and they're turds...did I mention they're turds!). The woman in my support group drafted a letter and email with her H. It was blunt and repeatedly stated "I want nothing to do with you. I demand you leave my wife alone as we have reconciled...etc". Point is the statements were closed--no room for her to say well you're only working at your relationship. Essentially the other woman was set up to either implode and leave them alone or explode and finally slip up and give them a legal angle for a no contact order. The letter was signed by both betrayed spouse and h and their therapist helped them draft it so it acknowledged the little tricks the OW had been using and admonished her for not respecting their right to have no contact with her. The letter was sent by registered mail and a unique email account was set up to protect their privacy and to warehouse any future emails from the OW and company. They filtered all of their original email accounts, closed social media accounts and changed their numbers. I know it's mind boggling the lengths you may have to go to. Shame on her and what a shame these specimens are brought into our otherwise ordinary lives. I will continue to hope the OW has an awakening of conscience or at the very least she stops being such a colossal asshole. Shawn
yes, it's smart (though utterly unfair) to delist your number, change cell numbers etc. so that you make it as difficult as possible for her and her friends to bother you. Even minimizing contact might help your own peace of mind. And responding like a broken record with a sort of form letter response might trigger what Shawn mentioned -- either imploding or exploding but either way, prompting a resolution. I'd be inclined to be sarcastic (though maybe that's being immature): "We received your letter. Please know that we will not respond apart from this letter because we have chosen to rebuild our marriage and want to inform you that there is absolutely no place in our life for you. We wish you all the best going forward. Sincerely, husband and wife" But maybe the mature, therapist-approved approach is the way to go. ;)
Elle, if it were my letter to draft it would be written in blood, include things like "unless you want to find yourself tied to a safe at the bottom of one of the great lakes--bugger off cuckoo pants". I would then respectfully pin it to her door with a machete (or ninja throwing star). These are all options I would exercise in the future if another OW troll pops out of her swamp.
I LOVE the idea of pinning it to her door with a ninja star. Why don't WE go all Fatal Attraction on these OW. Why do THEY get all the craziness? We should be the ones scaring the shit out of THEM!
ElleI'm only hoping that the judge in our case finally did scare the shit out of the cow! She as a mental health marriage and substance abuse therapist knew exactly how devastating her continued contact was for me and my marriage but I on the other hand stood strong enough during the six months that period of time and never let her know I was in the pain that she claimed to be in! Even if I did follow up that with plenty of self pity and several shit storms of finally letting my asshole of a h know just how much pain he caused and now he knows just what I expect from our relationship! Yes I too wanted to tattoo the letter A on his and her forehead but I didn't want to give them anything else to have in common!
This entire experience is the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I feel like the roller coaster keeps on running. I have no major incidents but small things can still send me spinning. Things have been amazing between us in every way. If we have any issues or disagreements we work them out. I am able to bring up anything and he does not get defensive which is a major shift for both of us. He pretty much gushes at me daily all day long. It all seems genuine and my therapist agrees he could not keep this up for over a year this consistently without it being genuine, not that he could never slip up I am not that naive.But recently he said when we were talking about us that he feels like we are in a honeymoon phase. And it just stopped me in my tracks, makes my stomach hurt, makes me feel like he stabbed me in the heart. I have not explained how it made me feel yet. I find for me at least it is better if I let things settle in first. For me if helps me gather my thoughts and also process what it really means to me vs my initial reaction which can be overly emotional. But this one simple statement which I think he meant in a positive way just has me so down. I find myself tearing up etc. For me this is not good since in my mind honeymoon phases do not last, we already had one of those too and look how that ended. He over time was not able to deal with what life dealt him and he chose the worst option to deal with it. I know I cannot control him, there are no guarantees in life and every day will not be perfect. I am a realist. However, over this past year what we have now is what I want and expect if not more. I feel like I am setting myself up for the bubble to burst or collapse even if it is never cheating or betrayal I am not ready to settle. I never really expected this and feel like I have been blindsided. The other thing is recently I got a closer look at how many of his friends behave. I know this is not their regular behavior but it was not comforting. This has been a major hot button of mine who he surrounds himself with does reflect on him and everything my therapist has told me has influence. Even if he does of doe what they do it normalizes behavior that is less than acceptable. He has totally cleaned up his behavior in major ways yet when I hear this honeymoon comment it makes me concerned even from this aspect. This is how he has been acting on some level for 30+ years. How easy would it be to slip up. And also I even see how these men act and I think this is who you spent time away from your family to be with? On the flip side for him to get all new friends I am not sure where that would happen. These people are his childhood and college friends. On the flip side if someone is an alcoholic then they have to find new friends, change their environment. It is so hard to feel like my marriage and husband are in their best spot ever in 25+ years and my husband says he feels the best he has ever in his entire life. Yet for me after this one comment I have the worst feeling. Now to find the time to discuss this hopefully it is soon.
I'm like you. It takes me a while to digest hurtful comments to really figure out how to respond. But I do think you need to respond and I think the best approach is to simply let him know how you interpreted that comment and ask him what he thinks. I suspect he was referring to that whole giddy, I can't believe how lucky I am feeling that we associate with early love. And then the person farts or leaves the toilet seat up or always forgets to put away the milk and, well, the honeymoon is over, even if we still love the person madly.However...let him tell you what he meant by the comment. And then take some time to talk about how you might nurture that feeling so that even if the giddiness wears off, the deep feelings of love remain. Tell him of your concerns re. his friends. I have a feeling that you'll feel a whole lot better when you've talked.
Thank you for your feedback. It helps me so much. I am that way and it has become the best way for me to deal with this. The negative is I sit with it for a while but then I know if it is a hot button issue or a passing issue. This is more and I am going to talk with him. Not recently but since dday he has been known to say he is worried about what he does say. He has felt like he cannot win. He says something he thinks is sweet, kind or loving and I see it all wrong. But I will approach it as you say. More in this is how I felt and what did you mean so not to accuse. As far as the friends go this is such a ongoing thing with us. He has pulled back a lot. But these people are who they are and no matter what he has tried with them offering more couple time together no one is biting. He gets it and is participating with them as much as I am comfortable. But when I am around them and see what they do and how they act it is I guess just another trigger of was he even partially like this. And this is who he spends/spent his time with. It should not surprise me look what he did to me and our marriage. He has no room to judge the past actions of anyone. But it is the future choices. As he said he sees the best in everyone. And after going through this I guess I see the worst or what I would say is reality. He makes excuses for his friends bad behavior. Or if a friend is controlling or limiting his wife he says they seem to be happy and it works for them. To me I am not sure if I am seeing reality or am jaded. I read some of the comments above and I do not envy other couples I know. I feel like most are plodding along and not that honest or open. And the more I learn about others they are just naive to what could be going on. And it is not always betrayal, it can be lies about how time is spent, financial, substance abuse... And my husband makes excuses for it. One of his best friends lies all the time regarding when he golfs to his wife. Again not the end of the world. But he will change in and out of work clothes, hurry to take calls from her inside so she does not hear the wind outside, has to stop playing and text her immediately etc and it goes on. And this happens a lot not just a couple of times a summer. It took me weeks of talking to my husband to see how deceptive this is. His explanation is that they seem happy and it works for them. But if he is lying about this 3-5 times per week then what else is he or could he eventually lie about. I said it is all boundaries. And I said to that he did not just happen to meet someone and sleep with her. His boundaries slipped over time to even allow him to feel comfortable enough and to allow that to happen. And it happens through repeated lies and secrecy. My therapist is blown away by all of his friends and their behavior. I have always been concerned but I am more due to my therapist concern. This is only one example. My therapist is adamant that you are a reflection of who you surround yourself with.
Hopeful30,Whether his friends lie to their wives about golfing (!!) or whatever isn't something you need to worry about. Though I'm absolutely with you in that it seems incredibly disrespectful to the wife and certainly speaks to the fact that communication in that relationship is in horrible shape. BUT...your husband's ability and willingness to make excuses for his friends IS something for you to raise with him. It's that ability to engage in verbal and moral gymnastics that allows people to cross lines. They tell themselves that they "deserve to be happy", that "what she doesn't know won't hurt her", that "nobody is getting hurt", etc. etc. But the truth is, somebody is getting hurt. Somebody is being disrespected. Somebody is being deceived. And that anyone can think that's okay is a problem. As the saying goes, it's what we do when nobody's looking that defines our character. You're either honest...or you're not. You're either willing to deceive your partner...or you're not. It doesn't matter whether you're lying about whether you were watching the game with your buddies or whether you were getting a blow job after work. A lie is a lie, and it's completely disrespectful to your partner.I suspect your husband has spent a lifetime pretending things are better than they are, simply to avoid having to make uncomfortable choices. Far easier to make excuses for his asshole friends than take a stand. Far easier to convince himself that what he's doing isn't so bad than stop doing it. But it's that sort of thinking that likely got him into trouble in the first place. He needs to decide who he wants to be, and if who he wants to be is someone with integrity and honesty and decency, then that makes his choice of friends a whole lot clearer. He doesn't have to stop being their friends necessarily, but I would think he would have a harder time laughing off or dismissing their behaviour.
Yea exactly!!! You said it all perfectly. I could care less what his friends do but him not seeing it as an issue. And I have said to him because he said it to me lying and betraying your spouse is a slippery slope. He did not decide to cheat on a whim, he made decisions and shifted his boundaries over time. And one other thing is I think being with these friends have always made him feel better about himself. He is the most educated and successful of the group and they look up to him. So that works for him. And I do not feel they would ever confront him about his behaviors or actions. So that works perfect for a person like him. And you are right lying is lying in my book where he sees things on a continum. This is an area we need to discuss more and he needs more work on.We did have a good talk last night and his honeymoon comment was based on being away and feeling like we are on a honeymoon. He said the way he/we have felt has gone on for too long to be a phase. And this week we are over committed and he is not happy about it at all. He is looking forward to our time together and planning for it. This is a major shift. I do get into my own head and write scenarios but I feel like I am also still protecting myself. It is all good and he was very willing to talk with me. And I touched on his friends and he said they embarrass and irritate me, he said he enjoys my friends more. Slowly but surely a new awareness.
Elle, I had a similar conversation with a friend a few months past d day she said she could see pain in my eyes... I couldn't convince myself never mind anyone else... That deep pain is striking it is clear for all to see... I want to reclaim my twinkle .... Love you ladies xxx
Hopeful, I have actually read of the "honeymoon phase" after an affair - it makes sense. Even still, much of the improvements you've pointed out here are obviously for good - the giddiness may not be - and that is perfectly fine. Esther Perel addresses this beautifully - how to have security (boredom) and passion (excitement and adventure) both afterr many years together
MelissaI have read it too and seen charts of the phases etc. Esther Perel does address that exact thing how can you keep that spark in the environment of comfort. This is just one more example of how my husband and I see things differently. I had already decided this is what I want from our relationship. And for me it is the biggest priority besides taking care of myself. And that includes making extra efforts so things stay fresh etc. I think I was crushed since he labeled it that way and I know I need to clarify with him but to me this means the next step is to settle into mature love phases. And the real deep down truth is I know I cannot control him but when this happened the first time is obviously when he went down the path of accepting that cheating was okay. And that took him 15 years. So as I sit here I really question if he is right for me. Is he enough and is he worth the risk. I factor in his perspective on things and his family and friend relationships and boundaries and I become more unsure. If we are isolated together it is amazing. But that is not life. And both of his affairs were sporadic and long term. It has just been really hard for me to process and deal with internally. And I sit waiting for a time when he is home and the kids are not around. He offered to cancel patients today since he could tell this morning that I was struggling. I know he has no idea though. He thinks I am tired and frustrated with the kids. So I know this will take him by surprise and it will be a longer discussion. I think the hardest thing is the doubt slipping in. I was so confident and feeli good about us. On the flip side maybe if is a good fhing that I am feeling some cautious feelings. I have a feeling my therapist would say that. I have not been able to go since summer started so that has been negative too.
Hopeful 30... please try to stay focused on the positives, living in the moment and less of worrying about tomorrow .. You have come along way and your h does sound like he's trying to meet you halfway.. Giving you 'his best'. As Elle says ..Maybe not your best but his... Would he consider going to counselling with you?? It seems a shame that your not experiencing therapy together given you are rebuilding your marriage..I would say don't dwell too much on things you can't control and more on what you can control.. Continue to look after yourself.. Your a great support here for many women including me.. Lots a love xxxx
Hopeful, I feel your confusion and pain. I guess we all see it differently. For me, as nice as the honeymoon phase is… it is after the honeymoon that matters. I would not be afraid of it, especially given your husband's dedication to your reconciliation. Or at least what I am seeing on this blog. And the fact that he knew that something was upsetting you this morning… That is huge for me. My husband is often in tune with my feelings and comes to me to ask me what is wrong. I do recognize that we all have different definitions of integrity, of truth, of morality, of ethics ... This may shock some of you, yet our marriage therapist said to us that in some cases if a couple is happy and one of the partners is having an affair it may not necessarily be the worst thing in the world. And she clarified that the partner not having the affair did not know of their spouses affair. Now, that may sound absolutely ludicrous to some, yet for some it works. And perhaps the man who is lying to his wife about the fact that he is golfing… Perhaps she knows full well that he is golfing and she's just glad to have him out of her hair. I guess what I am saying is each of us accept different boundaries and different levels of integrity into our lives, perhaps this particular couple is not bothered by that level of integrity. Yes, I would want my husband to be bothered by that and I believe that is part of what bothers you, of course, that your husband does not seem bothered by it. I have struggled with some of that with my husband as well. He has many, many friends with all different levels of integrity and morality. And yes, I appreciate it when he brings something to my attention that he feels one of his friends is doing that is wrong. Having said that, some of what his friends do is wrong in my eyes, yet my husband writes it off. The bottom line is, as you know, is your husband's level of integrity enough for you? Of course I am not referring to the cheating; that should not have happened and should never happen again. In closing, Hopeful, I will simply say that I have been exceedingly impressed by you and your husband's reconciliation. In the beginning, you seemed to have so much disconnect and now, you truly discuss topics openly. I know this - whatever you decide for you in your life is going to be the right thing. I have confidence in you. Peace & Light Dear.
Melissa,Thank you for your thoughts. It is so helpful hearing your perspective. And yes things have gone really well and I feel fortunate and in some ways this came out. Not that I am glad he did this but if it happened I am glad these are the results vs him never telling me or something like that. I think I am suffering from higher expectations. As we have progressed and as I have gotten more assertive with boundaries I have really high expectations. He does see some of what I am saying regarding his friends but it usually takes me pointing it out. Or with his family too. I mean really crazy things with zero boundaries and it takes me to point it out. There have been a few times I have told him I am shocked and considering he is a mental health professional. But again he is good at what he does since he compartmentalizes everything. And that is just part of his entire life. He has made great strides but I will push ahead for more. I do know he sees us and him in this amazing place and has such great thoughts for our future. But I still feel like he needs to deal with why and how he made all the decisions he did in order to not repeat any of them again. And also I need him to work on his other relationships with his friends and family. You have been so helpful and I need to recognize how far we have come. For him recognize something is not right with me is huge. I am sure he noticed in the past but did not ask since he did not want to hear what I had to say. Where now he does. All good stuff. Thanks a million!
You are more than welcome. 😊
Melissa, can you please give me some insight with respect to your therapist's comments (I would have fired my therapist if they said that to me) and perhaps your remarks about the varying degrees of integrity people can live with ? I sat with what you wrote for quite some time because it it absolutely opposite to how I feel. Since D-Day for me there are no "shades" of integrity and I certainly cannot abide by the idea that someone lying to me is ok because I want them out of my hair. I was uncomfortable with many of the sentiments, but it's when I feel that way lately that I want to explore it and challenge my fears and beliefs. Thank you, Shawn
Shawn,I think I know what Melissa's therapist is getting at. It reminds me of women who know their husbands have a mistress but simply don't care. It hearkens back to a time period when the comforts of being married often outweighed any need for fidelity. And I get that's okay for some people. It's not okay for me. In the case of whether someone knows/cares if her husband is golfing, I maintain that's HER problem. But I do think it can become a problem for us if our husbands' ability to write off another's lack of integrity also reveals some pretty fuzzy boundaries. For instance, if my kids shrugged their shoulders at friends who drove while impaired, I would be a lot less likely to trust their own judgement around drinking/driving. If they thought it wasn't such a big deal that a friend was lying to his/her parents about skipping school, I'd be less inclined to believe they were honest with me. I have a friend who has, on a few occasions, scammed her insurance company. She's had repairs done after an accident that needed to be done before the accident...and then run it through her insurance, for instance. I find her behaviour wrong. It's dishonest and it's the reason why MY rates are skyrocketing over the years. I've told her that. And while I haven't written her off (we have a long history), I'm certainly careful about what I tell her and how far into my life I welcome her. That's my choice...but I do believe that the people I surround myself with are a reflection of my own values.Might seem like a hardass approach to take but I don't want to spend my time with people I don't respect. Especially if I'm married to them!Shawn, I admire your desire to want to take a close look at the attitudes that trigger a strong response in you. I'm working on doing the same thing because I think there are things I can learn. I don't want to have knee-jerk responses to things, I want to understand them.
Yes Sean. In response to your question regarding clarification… I am saying that every person has a particular level of integrity. As I've said once before on this blog, a line in the sand that they will not cross. As well, I would say that that line moves or becomes more gray at different times in a person's life and circumstances. For example, The one thing a great deal of people seem to be OK with… And I'm not referring to people I know necessarily, but statistically, is cheating on their taxes. Or as Elle pointed out above, the person who is basically stealing from their insurance company. Or the wife who bought a new outfit and squirreled it away into the closet without showing her husband. Or the person who takes a one-week a pleasure vacation and has a 30 minute business meeting and writes off the whole week as a business expense. Or the waitress who serves your regular coffee when you requested decaf and they know they're giving you regular. Or the elderly person that you ask, what did you do today? And they say they went to lunch… Yet they neglect to tell you they also went gambling for a few hours. My point is almost everyone, pethaps everyone, does something that's not perfectly ethical and moral to everyone's standards. The beauty of it? You get to decide. You get to decide who you are in life and who you want to be with. As for the therapist who made the comment… It didn't upset me to the extent that it obviously would've upset you. She only made the comment because she has treated several people in the same circumstance. Interestingly enough, I came to the defense of the OW in that case. The therapist was indicating that both the spouses would be OK in the event that the betrayed spouse did not know she was being betrayed and therefore she was "happy". So, I referenced a situation that I knew of years ago, whereby a roommate of mine left her husband aftet having an affair with a married man for 30 years. The man she was having the affair with said he was going to leave his wife, who of course did not know about the affair, but he never did. When the man had a heart attack and was hospitalized it was the OW that was an absolute, and utter wreck. Of course, she could not go to the hospital to visit him. Yes, she was in 0W, she was also a broken human being that my heart went out to (specially then, prior to me even being married to my husband.) In closing, I recognize that our sense of integrity and morality is set in our childhood. My husband's parents taught him to lie in certain circumstances. Was that right? Absolutely not. Yet I recognize that what is ingrained in you in childhood is often difficult to overcome. By the same token, his parents also taught him to reach out and care for others, care for the underdog And be good to mankind. The fact that my husband will help our elderly neighbor clear his yard of debris is more important to me than the fact that my husband bought an illegal cable box at one point in our lives. What is important to you? What level of integrity do you except and yourself? And in others? I hope I explained things… I sure wish we could sit down over a cup of coffee; I love these kinds of conversations, Peace & Light Dear.
Shawn & Elle,Reading your comments I realize have had a similar experience. Interesting for me to see it this way.On the one hand, this fiasco has made me more black & white. I don't have the room for grey that I once did. I have drawn clear boundaries around myself -- in or out. I suppose it is a bit hardass as Elle says, but I really don't have the patience for anything else these days. On the other hand, whereas I would think this would make me quick to judge, I actually am a lot more considerate than I used to be. I take time to think, why is something in or out? Why does it make me feel that way? Is it truly hurtful/harmful to me? To the universe? Or is it just not my cup of tea? What do I do with it, how do I respond? Do I respond? Or should I let it go?My therapist says my level of "cognitive dissonance" around my H's adultery is thru the roof. Knee-jerk is no longer an option. A hard-won lesson.
Melissa -- same here -- these are valuable conversations to have. I don't always agree, but I always learn. I'm hearing more in them than I once would have. Good stuff. Thanks to you all for sharing.
How do you know when it's time to get a divorce? I'm struggling to let go, holding on hurts... but will being alone hurt worse?
Anonymous,I think you know it's time to get a divorce when leaving is less about avoiding pain and more about seeking joy. I think you also need to know that, even if divorce is absolutely the right choice, it will hurt. The right choice isn't necessarily the easy one. But if leaving makes even a small part of you feel lighter, then perhaps it's for the best.
Anon June 28, im exactly where you are right now... I know divorce is final, no turning back.... I would say give yourself some more time if your unsure.. Personally I'm going to see the counselling through to see if that helps me with my decision, I'm also watching and listening to signs from my husband as to whether or not I'm making the right decision... At the moment he's doing nothing to make me want to stay in the marriage ... None of us want to let go.. But sometimes letting go is the only choice we have : ( .. I hope things get easier for you anon, in the mean time just take care of you... Lots a love xxx