The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Wow Elle, you nailed it 2 days in row!! This quote just hit me in the gut!! Thank you. I also loved the post from yesterday, I am still contemplating it..... because I have been struggling with the concept of closure lately. Love and support Sisters!! And never forget you are amazing and there is only one amazing you in the whole world and you deserve and balanced respectful loving relationship. We are not plan B.Becky.
I must talk to myself in my head a lot. I tell myself all the time "it is my choice to stay". This says it all to me. I am in control of my future.
Hopeful 30, I do that all the time. I provide my head/heart/soul with ongoing positive self-talk including, "It's my choice to stay". I'm sure both of our spouses know this too. Mine expresses daily gratitude that I'm still here with him. Although your husband does not sound like he has sexual addiction problems or patterns I just read this article this morning and found it fascinating for all of us married to men with compulsive issues.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-choice/201702/10-patterns-addictive-behaviorThis just serves to reinforce this post message. My husband's priority is to stay clean and sexually/chemically sober and his second priority is me. It is somewhat foreign to me to put myself first as I've always been the person to take care of others. (First born daughter syndrome?) Love that we are in control of our future.
Beach Girl, Thanks for sharing. Good article. Due to my husband's profession he knows and has shared most of this with me. Crazy this is his profession, bg and training and still did it all! I would say he is an abuser for sure not an adict. I think things got out of countrol during the affair years for sure. I do not think alcohol is good for him in many ways. Granted even during the worst there would be times where he might have only gone out once or twice a month. So I think that is the way he would cycle through and redeem himself. As far as porn I think there were issues there. I think it is all connected sex, porn, affairs, alcohol just as this article one could sub for the other. He sees them as more segmented. He has always said that it is how much it affects your day to day life. Well he spiraled out of control obviously and did not know how to stop. It was a process with what I feel like was making him aware from an outsider how he was living. Baby steps for sure...It is good he has this professional background but some days I don't want to hear his measured and knowledgeable statements. One thing that is interesting is he personally opens up the most when he has been drinking and gets most emotional at that point. Makes total sense but why am I the one that sees it or will admit that.
This is spot on Elle, my priority will always be me and my children, at the moment they still need me as I do them. I've just come back from a trip abroad with my 2 children aged 13 and 3 this is the first time I have taken them away on my own and we had the best time ever.we ate what we wanted, spent what we wanted, and went where we wanted. We had a great time bonding just the 3 of us it was just what we needed... I know now that I can do everything on my own if that's what I choose.. no fear.. he's now the option not the priority!!! Feels good too xx
Hi Elle,I'm having trouble finding the update separating/divorcing blogs.Any tips please where to find them? I can only find part3 up to December 2016, so looking for the one after that.Thanks heapsGabby xo
Also a first daughter, also finding it hard not to put other people first! This is a good 'wake up' quote: I really am spending too much time and energy on someone who has clearly shown me that to him I am only 'part of the furniture' or a Plan C maybe. I love Maya Angelou for her strength. Thank you, Elle.
He is the option now. In therapy, my husband said, she was really rough on you today. I had a week long trigger. My issues were: He interrupts me before I finish. Then begins to tell me what he thinks. I feel dismissed. He doesn't understand what I'm trying to say. When I say, can you understand why I traveled? He says, I understand because I traveled too. When I say I had the flu. He says I understand I had pneumonia. I feel misunderstood and my opinion is lost. When I say something's that he is doing that irritates me. He says I have been trying to show for the last 3 years I can be a better man. I have been trying. I cannot please you, I'm never going to meet your expectations.Here is what I learned in therapy: He admitted interrupting is a life long habit. In the military mind, this is a normal, problem solved, checked it off the list, on to the next subject. I learned he doesn't understand me because I don't give all the context of a subject but hold back some information. I'm afraid to tell him everything I'm thinking. I'm still holding back because I'm afraid he will get in an affair mode mind set. He was surprised I'm afraid to talk to him. So when I get upset or trigger he feels like it comes out of the blue when I have been thinking about it for a month or so. I still don't believe what he says. He says something like that was a great romantic evening with you, I had a great time being with you. In my mind, I hear he like the romantic evening BUT so what, you said that before so you really aren't being sincere. Or in my mind, I hear he liked the romantic evening AND he probably was just saying it to be nice. Or in my mind, I hear liked the romantic evening AND he is just saying that because doesn't want me to trigger. My therapist assignment is to stop the and's and buts in my mind. He admitted he is still wants to defend himself. I learned staying mad at each other for the entire day is normal. Usually the more stubborn person keeps the disagreement going. Until that stubborn person says, hey, we both had a bad day, let's talk, the discord continues. Then my H says, it is upsetting when we get mad at each other but it always bring us closer. I just get tired of these post-affair things that keep swirling in my mind over and over. It's almost like I'm doing compartmentalization now keeping the before and after affair separate in my mind. It is just exhausting. I just want to get up for day without feeling burdened in my mind. I just want to get up and look at the day for what is just a lovely day. I just want to sleep soundly, I still can't sleep. I want to piddle around without a care in my mind. I want someone to take that device like the movie, "Men in Black" and point it at me.
Lynn Less Pain, reading your post I can feel your pain. I am so sorry. It is so unfair that their selfish choices hurt us for so long and we're expected to 'move on'. I'm so sick of hearing people who have not been betrayed say that. There will never be closure and it is the cheater's fault. If they want to continue in the marriage they have to accept that they caused a new reality - their betrayed wife is going to hurt, cry, etc. and they can't just run and hide. 3.5 mos from dday and my H said "I thought you were better" the last time he SAW me cry. Well I cry every single day, every single night. He doesn't see it. I'm trying not to constantly show him because my intent is not to make him feel shame, my intent is to heal me. I don't think my H has it in him to see my pain for very long. I am hoping we can address this tomorrow in MC. I am PO'd that I have to go to therapy and be on antidepressants for something the man I was faithful did purposefully. I too long to sleep soundly. The bags and dark circles under my eyes can't be covered by even the best makeup. There is no one who can sympathize with the emotions I feel except the rest of you on Elle's blog. Your posts have helped me, LLP. I hope you have a better week this week.
What I have really realized almost taking a step back is a lot of our habits and communication are so much just that habit. I think some relate back to the "affair days". I know my husband is so different now. But I do see where especially he sinks back into his usual operating behavior. And nothing to do with affairs, women, bad habits etc. But more now for us it is still the I guess what you would call traditional roles. I am working now more than ever since before we had kids. And honestly it makes my life harder but it also is more rewarding having something for me and to be proud of. He gets that but in the end that means he has to step up more in our day to day life. But for so long it our relationship has centered around him, his needs, his feelings. I see this all so clear now. It is interesting this is how it is and even with all this focus he still went and had two affairs. Does he ever have enough? How needy is he? I can see it so well now he was not neglected but honestly indulged, selfish and allowed to do what he wanted growing up. And I see that is how he is now. I can say anything simple to him that I need help with not that he is doing wrong. He takes it as I can never do anything right. So I have started saying to him am I supposed to not say anything and lump it? Am I supposed to take on more and just do it all? Am I supposed to have the burden and make up for what you can't do if you are stressed at work etc? But if it is reversed what do I hear... why are you so stressed, you are doing this to yourself, don't do so much... It was like an ah ha moment this weekend he is gas lighting me not related to the affairs but our dynamic both as a couple and individuals. We ran out of time and literally could not talk since our kids were around the entire time but wow it hit be like a ton of bricks. Not sure where this will take me or us but I just feel more aware than ever and I refuse to settle whether there are affairs or not.
Hopeful 30--So much of this rings true for my situation, of what you wrote. My husband's IC told him he suffers from Narcissistic Injury...it sounds as though your husband may have some of that, too? Google it for a good description, but basically it means that they take something that we say to them (however benign) and twist and turn it in their mind that they are being attacked or "never doing anything right"....Something as simple as asking for help taking out the garbage. Supposedly it all goes back to their childhood. Now that my husband is aware of this, he tries to step back and realize that he is misinterpreting my words or actions. I hope this helps.By the way, I think you and I are exactly the same time frame out from D-Day (two years this coming April). My OW unfortunately is still at the same firm (different state, though) as my husband, so I have been having a very difficult time. We are still hanging in there, and he is trying. Still doing weekly MC and IC (for both of us.)-Morgan
Morgan,It is all so interesting. I will google that term. What is interesting is my husband is in the mental health field... That tops it all related to this. He knows it all from education, training to his real life work. But just as you hear physicians don't always take care of their health I can attest he is amazing at his job/career and helping others but when it comes to himself not so much. He did not go to therapy. I did and thankfully he suggested I go and supported that. It has helped me a ton. He really does know too much and know it all. In the beginning I was worried he was just telling me what he had to. Now though with this much time he is genuine and has made huge changes so I know we are on the right track.I feel so bad for you that the OW is even at all connected to your lives. That would be the worst. I got lucky the two the latched onto him were fringe and connected through a friend that is no longer part of my husband's life. He had already broken up with both ow over a year before dday. That helped us a lot. The worst part were his lies on dday that lead to dday 2. He never thought he would tell me so he got caught off guard that day and didn't tell me the entire truth as far as how long each affair lasted and when they started. Big mistake and that created a major set back.Yes we are close to the same time. My dday is March 13. It was a Friday that year, two years ago. I have been more emotional and sensitive lately. I mentioned it in passing and he said he was aware and knows it is coming both for him and me. It is stupid but it is connected to March Madness and other events that take place in March. I have the hardest time in January and February since leading up to dday he was just off on his own doing what he wanted. I am reminded of that even with a couple years under my belt. I measure time with memories and anniversaries. I try to focus on how far we have come and how happy we both are now. That helps.
Browneyedgirl,I understand and can relate so much to your husband saying, "I thought you were better" and his thinking there is a way to shut the door on this pain forever. My H said that a lot in the beginning and I felt the same way. I too hide some of my pain at times in order to take care of me. Sometimes when I'm sad, it's just not worth it to me to bring it up because it brings up his pain at the same time. If I do that every time then I have to help him in addition to dealing with my own pain! Other times, I can share and he can help me (which he should), I can help him, and we can kind of navigate it together. I find that it depends on my mood/strength at the time. My H has stopped saying, "I thought you were better" when I have a hard time. Now he sees me struggling about anything and asks how I am, if everything's ok, etc. Sometimes I am actually thinking about the affairs, but other times I'm worried about something totally unrelated. This last weekend he asked if everything was OK, I said, "yes, why?" (everything was fine). He said, "You just seemed a little distant so I wanted to check. I know you have your tough times. I just wanted in on it if you were having one of those." After he checks in, we usually hug. I don't usually have to tell him what I'm thinking or worried about (unless I want to). Sometimes I will just say I was thinking about the past or I was worried about how you felt about me... Just him checking and the hug/reassurance is enough. This feels like as good as it gets to me. Our MC certainly helped us get to this point by asking me to spell out for my H exactly what I need in those moments. Once I could do that, he had a "script" and didn't feel lost as to what to do to help me. I will never NOT have these moments. Him recognizing that and offering reassurance and affection without melting down himself is about all I can ask for I think. In MC he said that my pain caused him to melt down because he was terrified I would just leave. I expressed that I was terrified of the same thing. Having him admit that his reaction to my pain was based on a ton of fear was helpful. He has quit thinking that there is a time in our future when I will be "all better", and I have quit thinking there is a time in the future when I can make him hurt enough so that my pain will be less. I don't exactly hide my pain from him, but I don't drag him into it every time either. He acknowledges that it exists and doesn't make me feel wrong for having it. (and he doesn't panic about it anymore either). I'm not advocating crying alone on a regular basis, but I do understand and think dealing with your pain in a way that makes you feel safest and most cared for is very important. Sometimes for me that means allowing myself to feel things all by myself. Other times, we have an issue that we need to talk through. I am not always perfect at knowing which-is-which, but I am getting better with practice. I am hoping for a very good night's sleep for you and a tear-free night very soon. You deserve that and so much more! I encourage you to ask for what you want in those moments when you are struggling. You can do that with or without telling your husband what exactly is on your mind.
Thank you, ann. Reading your post has been so helpful for me today. I am going to address what I need in those moments in our next MC. H has been so angry (read depressed) lately and it has had to be me helping him when I need him to help me or at least me help myself. Here I am again, being his lifeguard - and risking drowning myself. And Hopeful 30, spot on "...But if it is reversed what do I hear...". Dittos! It's truly like BW can write each other's stories.
Ann thank you for your post, it really helped me especially your insight into causing each other more pain. I liked your thought about you can't make him hurt more. So true. Brown eyed girl and Hopeful thank you for your empathy it is real because you have been there. Each one of you hit on a point that helps, something said that rings true. Thank you again.