The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
Elle, I think we are ready for a new Separating or Divorcing? page. Comments are coming through by email but not showing up on the page itself. Thank you!!!Meanwhile, I am sitting in the sunshine, reading new posts and sipping coffee. I'm so grateful I have this place to visit, sit, rest and be heard when I need it.
Elle just keep telling us because being in the dirt is frightening, like being buried alive. For me I can tell you when the spring comes, it gets warm and I see the sun for the first time it feels very good. It just me three years to get out of the dirt. The amount of time to get out of the dirt was equal to the amount of hurt/anger from the betrayal. Love to you - LLP
Thanks for that message. I keep telling myself this every day.
I have a question, it doesn't necessarily have to do with this but I need advice, if anyone can help. Since my dday, what I really think is going to be a huge part of me leaving or staying with my h is the effort he puts in to helping me, to fixing this. I feel like I spend so much time looking up stuff on line, stuff that can help me, stuff that can help us, stuff he can do to help me get through this. I make counseling appointments, look at books, I am trying everything I can. I feel like unless I say something to him numerous times, he isn't really putting any effort into figuring out how to make us better. I feel like HE should be the one looking all this stuff up, HE should be the one making appointments, trying to find books that help, getting us to church, etc. Am I wrong? Am I expecting too much? Cuz I just feel like he put effort into these other women, he put effort into messing us up and if he's not willing to put this effort into fixing us, it's pointless. Like why should I fight so hard if he won't. I'm still relatively new here, 36 days in. Any help would be much appreciated.
All Love,No, I think you're exactly right. The "emotional labor" often falls on women. But in the wake of an affair, it's reasonable to say "enough". This is where it's important to state your boundaries re. reconciliation. If he wants to rebuild a marriage with you then he needs to do x,y and z. You get to determine what that is: seek counselling? Attend a 12-step group? Be totally transparent re. passwords, etc.? Stop going out with buddies in short term? Whatever you need to begin to feel safe, then that's what you ask for. if he won't do it, then that's important information to have. Then he's essentially telling you that you are in this marriage alone. It will be uncomfortable for him, it will feel humiliating at times for him. But it's nothing compared to the pain of being betrayed. So he either steps up, or leaves. In the meantime, you don't police him. You give him guidelines and then...it's up to him. You take care of you. You continue to do what you need to heal from the betrayal.
I really struggle(d) with this too. For months, it was as if I was the one desperate to atone for something, trying everything possible to face our new 'reality', while my betraying h acted like a sulky, 'wronged' spouse, saying he "didn't know" whether he wanted to make an effort or not.My conclusion is that I really want an EQUAL partner- someone who cares enough about me and the relationship to actually do the work.
All love, You are right. But it's also true that your H may have little practice with this. That was true for my H. I had always done everything. When I stepped back from doing that for my own self care/health I had to spell it out. I printed off info for 3 therapists I found. I told him to pick one and make an appointment. If he had not done that, I would have told him I needed him to leave until he was ready to take an active part in healing our marriage (I didn't have to do that afterall). When I needed love notes and flowers from him, I explained what I wanted and why. If he had refused, I would have asked him to leave until he could take an active part in our healing. I didn't have to. My point is that you have to state what you want and spell it out clearly to a man who has been allowed to behave as a boy because you are such a go-getter. (At least that's what happened with me) Spell it out and step back and wait. Let go of the outcome. He just might surprise you (or else YOU will surprise you). Do exactly as much as you wish and not a single thing more. Just make sure you communicate clearly exactly what you want him to do. You deserve an equal partner and he *might* deserve to know how to earn this second chance. (Then again, he deserves nothing, but you are being generous and hopeful when you spell it out). You can't be general in my opinion."help me more" or "do more stuff" is too vague for a toddler or a wayward spouse. "I want you to make an appointment", "I need you to leave me a note about your feelings for me when you have to travel", "I need you to go find a book about betrayal and read it. Then I need you to discuss it with me." It's scary, but ultimately the only way to know if he's willing to work or not.hugs!
Yes Selkie, me too, I felt like I had to "fix" everything and atone for everything because I had done everything wrong. But I think some of it was the way my h was acting and the stories of justification he wove around his cheating. He even brought up me forgetting his birthday once. This was more than 25 years ago and before we were even dating. File that under "stupid shit cheaters say". Now I'm pretty clear that I want someone who will both work with me and fight for me, when I am too tired to fight for me. And not just expect me to make things comfortable and OK and swept under the rug. But yes, Selkie, I so recognize that place you describe.
I stopped cooking anything, taking out the garbage, doing dishes or any wifely stuff for 4 months. It just piled up and I didn't care. I thought what for? I have been thinking about this alot but trying to fix things equals I'm afraid he is going to leave me stranded. Pick me game, which I did, comes in many forms. I was in a state of shock, I didn't want to be left stranded until I could figure out what I wanted to do so I did these forms of "fixing" as well. Mine was all out sex and spending money on my looks. I wanted to cling to what I had left of my life. So fear and uncertainty drove me to choose him at first. I actually was in a undecided state of (fake) recovery until until I could figure out if I wanted to stay or leave. It took me 1.5 years to decided to stay. Honestly, I'm glad I did because it was right for me. Don't hit me with a club but fixing things to a certain extent is ok if you are doing it for a reason which is for YOUR reasons not his. LLP
Hi all love... I was passed url from another betrayed spouse site I go on... and yours was the first post I read... I'm 6m in and in terrible shape still... but your 36 days in reminds me of my life back when I was just 36 days in.... my husband was the same... but there was a reason for it and I needed to share. He was distant because there was more to discover, much much more. He hid away from working on it because my radar was way up from the discovery if the mini affair I like to call it. He didn't want to slip up and have me find out the rest. Thank goodness his guilt finally set in enough to tell but it took over a month of me running around trying to patch what I thought was a small puncture hole when really there were entire walls missing. Not that this is your case but i had to share. Trust your gut. I never did but who wants to believe this? I wish there wasnt so many shitty people out there.
Hi all love, I’m pleased you found us here as I know you will be looked after and cared for by the btw. Your 36 days in you say, that’s so recent all love, you need to slow right down, your most likely still in shock, let your body get used to this new normal, let your mind get to a better place before you start thinking about Making any decisions. There’s no rush my love, you have all the time you need. I did exactly what you are doing now, I rushed straight into trying to ‘fix’ us making all the plans, buying all the books, booking a Counsellor I did it all with no initiative from my h and looking back I wish I had just concentrated on myself. Betrayal is like a death, your grieving a loss of your marriage, it’s time for you to take a step back and just breathe, if you need to talk it through find a good Counsellor. the next few days, weeks and months are going to be a struggle do reign in as much support as you can. The more you start taking care of you now the better you will be down this healing journey. The key here is you not him, he can wait for all long as you need. I don’t know how you found out about the affair but has he disclosed details? There maybe questions you’ll want to ask information you’d like to know. Is he being open and honest or do you feel he is holding back?. There’s no doubt he will still be in the affair fog if the affair has just come to light, if he is he will find it extremely hard to do any of the things your asking as he too will be grieving a loss of this ow, I know that’s not what you want to hear right now but if you want to understand why then maybe that’s a factor. Men who have affairs find it difficult to leave, some for fear of the ow telling the wife and some because they don’t want to. My h had left his ow before I found out and tried to get on with his life however the ow was not about to go quietly, these are just some of the scenarios that might/ might not be happening with your h. When you feel stronger share your story so we can help further. Until then post when you need, we’ve been where you are and we understand. Take care of yourself.. big hugs. Xxx
I'm coming up on 4 years from d-day. I'm still doing the policing for him. His work emails were where he made friends with female work colleagues from all over the US and Canada. I still don't know if it went beyond "playful" banter with any of them. My policing of his emails and texts still is because I keep finding things that he fails to tell me. These communications with work women before d-day would have been no big deal to me, but I asked him to be open and transparent about any communication involving women he comes in contact with and he still "forgets" to tell me. His excuse is that it really is not a big deal to him so he forgets by the time he gets home from work. I've told him countless times that if it's a big deal to me, it should be to him. His "one night stand " was when he was out of town on business one week after our 17year anniversary. What's worse is that I found out about all the women he would talk to when he went out with his work friends to the bars. That's where he picked up this other woman. He promised me for years that when he went out of town he was not talking to other women. You can tell that even after almost 4years, the betrayal is still too fresh. I have to relive it every time he goes out of town for work. He has made an effort to change, but he still gets caught by me telling little white lies. And most of them are stupid, but it makes me doubt him every time. This is also why I keep policing him.He was supposed to be policing himself by now, but how can I trust him to do that when I find emails from his secretary telling him she will save his Friday doughnut for him for another day. I had asked him to not let his secretary do things for him that would encourage a close relationship with another woman. He told me he had taken care of it. I have no idea how long she was getting him this stupid doughnut. I know. Why can't he get a freaking doughnut from his secretary? It's not like a doughnut is going to lead to sex. But what if that week is a bad week for us and she comes and takes care of him by bringing him The Doughnut? And he lied to me about it! I just feel like I'm wasting my life with all this policing but I don't want to be stupid again.
Merry,The problem isn't the doughnut, it's his utter lack of boundaries with other women. And it's refusal to respect YOUR boundaries. He cheated on you. He continues to carry on "friendships" with women online. Both are NOT okay with you. Both are threats to your marriage. And yet...he continues. Merry, he doesn't "forget" to tell you. He wants to continue doing this. It's that simple. And until he gets that continuing to do this is a risk to his marriage, then he will carry on, utterly distracting you.What's more, he lies. He's lied about big things (ie. cheating, his online flirtations) and he's lied about small things. He is a liar. So...my question is this: What has he done to show you that he deserves the second chance you're giving him? Just telling you that he's not cheating right now isn't enough. He needs to get clear on why carrying on with these online/e-mail friendships matters more than your need to feel safe in your marriage. He needs to get clear on why he cheated on you. And he needs to truly acknowledge just how deeply he has hurt you and take steps to make you feel emotionally safe again. Right now, he is doing the exact opposite.You cannot continue to police him. It's not healthy for you. And, frankly, what difference is it making? There are no consequences to any of his violations.So, Merry, I want you to get some help (ideally from a therapist) on learning to set some really clear boundaries about what behaviour you will and will not tolerate from him. He needs to understand that while you're willing to give him a second chance, he's on thin ice and he'd better shape up. If he continues to disrespect you, then he's telling you that you simply don't matter enough for him to alter his behaviour. And that, dear Merry, is NOT okay. You deserve respect. You deserve love. You deserve kindness and support. You do NOT deserve someone who "forgets" and lies.
This is very similar to my situation at the moment - it's almost four years on and my husband has continued to deceive me about smaller things along the way since then and I recently found out that he's been having heart to hearts with emotionally vulnerable women (first as part of larger groups but then from time to time alone) while he is vulnerable/stressed etc. He has even been confiding in them about the marriage (including that he had an emotional affair.) But he never told me and, even though it was clearly stated he should not have these type of friendships he did not see it in that way, as Elle said, he got into such a bad state that he was only thinking about what he needed (sharing) and yet again did not think about how he was making the relationship unsafe. I despair that it's now 4 years later. He is now on the couch with us looking at whether this is the first step to an end (we have so much great stuff between us but I can't operate the way this relationship is set up) or whether he can get the help necessary to realise what he is doing and want to change. We have it open that if he is honest with himself and realises he can't or won't change then I just can't sign up to this relationship. I'm upset that we are wasting so much of our lives in this limbo state. So much of what Elle said rings true. I have been policing because I had no faith and it made no difference. He says I matter but he never seems to link his actions to their consequences on me and the marriage. I don't want to be the police, I want to have a mutually respectful marriage and like Elle said RESPECT. Merry, I hope we can get this message across to them before it is too late. This messing about is affecting my mental health, I can't let it go on and as Elle says, you don't deserve the disrespect.
Merry D-day ChristmasI'm so sorry for the years of pain you are experiencing. Your story is similar to so many of us. I fully understand the policing you have on your husband. That too was me. The need to confirm you are not crazy and the need to know if the lies are continuing. No matter how small or irrelevant they may seem - a lie is a lie and will lead to bigger lies. I'm almost 2 years out from d day 1. and 7 weeks into our 2nd separation. My husband was a constant liar.Merry. Please know, no matter how much you think you are keeping an eye on your husband and policing him, he has proven time and time again to not care about your feelings and disrespect you by continuing with the white lies and not being transparent and accountable for his actions. With you not being comfortable for him to police his own self is a huge red flag that he doesn't want to change. It's not fair on you with your husband travelling that you are not feeling safe. Husbands/marriage is supposed to make us feel safe and happy.Are you to in MC? 4 years is a long time to be having these painful experiences for you. You husband has to want to change. He will not change because you ask him to. Hugs to you.Gabby xo
Merry d day Christmas, I’m so sorry your still feeling so suspicious after all this time but how long can you go on like this, checking his emails texts etc it’s not healthy and if he’s gonna betray you no policing even 247 will stop him. Let it go a little, it sounds like your holding on for dear life. This man is an adult maybe a dishonest one but nevertheless an adult, My advice would be to spend all that time on yourself, catching up with friends, hobbies, facials, shopping anything that will take you away from checking on your h. I’d slso speak to a Counsellor as it maybe that your stuck in this cycle and need some help moving forward and discussing the reasons for you being stuck, my guess is your h lack of respect for your boundaries might be it. You have your own life to lead my dear please don’t waste it on someone who couldn’t care less and is more interested in his Friday doughnut ??? I hope others wade in and offer you further support .. please look after no 1.. let us know how you get on xx
Elle and Ann- Thank you so much for your responses to my questions. You women here are the only way I feel like I'm not crazy, you are the reason that I know I'm actually normal. We did this, what you suggested. We wrote a list together, I told him what I need and why i need it. Not a long list, and its most certainly reasonable. I'm trying to do my best here, this is a new thing for me, so I'm trying to do what is right or best here, but sometimes I don't know. I am so grateful for all of you, I appreciate so much you taking the time to help me. I really don't know what I'm doing. I just feel like, as you said, I have always been the go better in our relationship. And that was fine, we each play our parts in our marriage and that was part of mine. But now that this has happened, I need more. It took effort from him to kill our marriage, it took sneaking around behind my back, it took months of hiding the truth. And I just feel if he can put that kind of effort into destroying the relationship that meant the world to me, he should be able to put more than that into putting me back together. If I'm wrong, please tell me. Just from what he has said, none of them meant anything to him, it wasn't anything about me or anything I was or wasn't doing. So if that's true, if it was just him, then he should take the time and put in the effort to show me that is the truth. I think. Anyway, thank you so much for answering me. I will be here again, asking for help, sharing my story, and I just appreciate your willingness to share back. You are my sanity right now, you are my air when I can't breathe.
Sam A-You are right. I am so early in all of this and I do need to slow down. My first thoughts on this were that I had to decide now if I was gonna stay with him forever or not. It was too huge. But then my mom actually pointed out to me that all I had to decide was as much as I could..so i gave us 30 days. 30 days to make the progress I need. And if we do, then I'll give as much as I can again. I have gotten answers to most of my questions. He was defensive at first but has been trying to be patient and listen and help me with this. We had a moment a couple days ago that made me feel like he was sick of all of this (honestly I'm sick of all of this too, there's just no way for me to get away from it) and since that moment, I haven't been able to talk to him. I have felt completely disconnected from him and I feel as if we are at a standstill. I will soon share my story. Right now I'm trying to get through the things you have all mentioned here, taking the small steps toward forgiveness and healing, setting a slow pace for the huge decisions and actions that need to be made and taken here. Thank you for taking the time to write me. As I said above, I've never been here before, so you women listening and writing me is what is getting me through. So thank you.
All Love. I found out on a Sunday about the affair at about 9:30 PM. We argued and tales until almost midnight and in the midst of the worst hours of my life he fell asleep sitting upright talking to me. He had an affair and we were in a conversation and I felt the world caving in and he fucking fell asleep. I got up to go to our bedroom and he woke. We headed upstairs and actually slept in the same bed. I didn’t sleep at all. I laid there and my mind and heart raced. He slept.In the morning we had work and I work from home but still get ready for the day. I could not dry my hair or look at him. He hugged me hard and said he would call me mid morning after breaking things off with her. I sat at my computer all morning like a zombie and forgot to take out the trash. He called told me her broke it off at 10am and that he would be home from work by 4. He arrived home and questioned and was frustrated that I didn’t put the trash out. OMG! He spoke to me and explained that the two of them were friends and could remain friends online. He met her online and traveled many states to eventually seal the emotional affair deal and make it physical - on a work trip. Anyway, I spoke up when he said we will remain friends and replied firmly NO! He looked at me and said, don’t make me second guess my decision! I was in shock. What was I hearing. He then said...”You don’t trust me, do you? Not even a full 24 hours and I was supposed to trust???? Oh I remember wanting to die. How can he be a little remorseful in the AM and then a complete jackass by the PM? He did this because of shame and guilt and he wanted me to hurt even more! I felt so alone inside and scared. It took many months of ups and downs for him to get out of the fog to see what he did to me. I didn’t sleep or sleep and the panic attacks were through the roof. I’m just telling you this in case you get the “you need to stop bringing this up, why are you not over it, why don’t you trust me? It’s the most bizarre treatment ever but it happens to many of us. xo