Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday Word Hug: Next Right Thing


  1. Trying to remember this. Not always sure what the next right thing is. Sometimes its sitting still until the next right thing becomes clear.

    1. You are so right, SS1. Sometimes sitting is the best thing and that can be so hard to do.

  2. Best advice you gave early on when I just discovered this blog. This is hard for a type A, get it all done person.

  3. I’m walking one day at a time and trying hard to get through!

  4. For those of you who got through d day number one to find out your mental husband went and had another affair... how did you take it??? Was it as bad as the first? Or were you just kinda like "oh ive got this, time to kick him out or work through his mental issues again?"

    My husband is not seeking help. From all i can see he regrets the affair... regrets telling me the truth even more and will not seek help (or assesment) for his addictions to sex nor will he get help for anxiety and depression (I'm thinking he should be on something for both).

    To me, before the affair bomb I was mentally healthy. I had self esteem issues for sure... but a lot of that came from 4 years of either nursing or prego and my body changing from the body I had known my whole life. After the affair I went crazy. So so crazy. First I wanted to kill him... then I wanted to kill myself... then I wanted to stalk her then for so long I hated. So strong and so much it drove me mad. Now I can say I dont. I feel sorry for him and even for the whore. Because couldn't even imagine how I would have to feel to be able to do what they did... lonely, selfish, insecure, foolish destructive. I know it is very very far from who I am. And whom I'm proud to be. So my mental health is going pretty good now. Even let's say better in some cases.

    He on the other hand is a mental health mess. His social anxiety is through the roof now... before the affair he would be able to fake a level of comfort but now I can see it was all just an act. He is damaged but now has no cover to hide behind because the affair uncovered the real him and He is scared of it. He believes we can just go back. Never. We can never go back. I dont understand why he wants to keep up this act or pretend he is the same when look where it got him? Us?

    I fear another "ooops". He is in a high profile job, is still out of town 50% of the time and is very handsome. He still has all his issues undealt with and even lower self esteem then previous(me telling him he is a low life piece of shit every day for 3 months might have had something to do with that :(

    i feel so together in understanding his errors are not mine and I've done so well separating myself from Him now emotionally (Not in a bad way.. I dont give myself value based on my marriage and family anymore). I see I have value no matter what people do to me or to themselves with their selfishness, anger, hate, jealously etc.

    But i dont want to be blindsided again. I am honest with myself that he very well may do it again because he will not seek help and is continuing down the same thought paths he always did... "I'll be happy when ABC is done." "So and so has a better car, house, cottage, kids etc then us"; "how do we not have these things yet?? Im not good enough until i get more more more"

    Am I stupid to think I can handle another fall out and not colaps into a mess of suicidal thoughts and days in bed sobbing? I remember the pain or mostly... I remember the affect of the pain when I was blindsided before. But i feel educated now... I feel experienced... I feel prepared to undergo it if need be. I feel strong and I feel I can do it. Is this crazy?? Please share how it goes second time around... if you it better emotionally or worse or the same. What am I getting myself into by staying with him and helping him through his demons?

    Just my current thought process...


    1. Blindsided- after d-day 1 i set bounties he agreed to. On disgusting dday 2 (he had gibe to therapy for a year and more but never copped to bring a sex addict) i was WAY more outraged than dday 1 But i was MUCH stronger and way more prepared. I put the boundaries contract in place and he was out of the house. No phone contact either, only text for three months. He had to work a whole lot harder after dd2 l. You’re correct in the mental issues. And until they understand them they are going to be susceptible to another affair.

    2. Blindsided, So did he have one affair, then dday then post dday had another affair? Sorry for the questions but I wanted to understand completely.

      First of all it sounds like you are really doing amazing working through all of this. That is such hard work. Do you see a therapist on your own? I would suggest that even if he will not go. Look for someone who is licensed and specializes in betrayal, affairs etc. For me this was critical as an outlet and resource. I agree with you based on his behavior and attitudes towards all of this and recurrence he needs some form of help. I can see now what a charade my husband was putting on for his entire life. He is handsome, well liked, and super successful. But he also was hiding a million insecurities. And your commments about when will it be enough for anything in life was similar to my husband. I grew up with much less than he did attention and material wise. I grew up learning how to be content, not settling but being happy with what I have. Well as I look back he did not. And I would say working through the pain of the betrayal for both of us was a huge aspect then working on our marriage (which will be ongoing forever I believe) and more so now he is working on himself.

      He is struggling more than I ever thought he would. I thought these affairs would be something I would be hit with worse than him forever. But now I look at it as a matter of fact and the past. He really beats himself up and struggles with it especially as our kids get older. Lying and cheating comes up all the time now and he feels like a fake to them.

      As far as if this would ever happen again I think that is something that needs to be resolved and there are many paths to work through that. In the end I needed to feel safe to even consider staying beyond the first year. And all of it had to do with how he handled himself. I had in place very precise boundaries. Some have gotten more intense/detailed and others have become habit. I gave it a lot of time but I made it clear that this is a second chance and he should not waste it doing this or mistreating me. And that goes for affairs, lying of any sort, drinking too much, etc. It has been a process and will be something we always address.

      I hope this helps some.. sorry for all the rambling. I have a million more thoughts

    3. Blindsided,
      My experience is a bit different. My H did not have two affairs but upon D-Day 1 he successfully lied to me and convinced me it was an emotional affair. Then after about 2 months, the affair which was not emotional, but physical, resumed. In beteeen that we had D-Day 2 where the OW re-initiated contact and I caught him replying. D-Day 3 came about 2 months after that when I came across FB messages between them. That’s the night I got the full story.
      I said once before I felt more prepared to handle it when the full truth came out because I had been through D-Day 1 which was a complete shock. It sounds kind of strange but at least by D-Day 3, I had some tools in place to deal with it. I don’t think it made it less painful, but I had resources. I started therapy sometime after D-Day 2, I think. I had read some books on affairs and was following another site specific to emotional affairs.
      You sound very strong now. Recognizing that this has everything to do with his issues and nothing to do with you is huge, especially at only 3 months out.
      In my case, it took my husband seeing the damage he had caused and being faced with a choice to finally get his shit together. And once it was all out in the open, I think he was horrified by what he had done. He knew at that point, he had to figure out why he had done it and work on the real issues. As long as he was avoiding them, it was easy to continue to lie, to compartmentalize, and to rationalize.
      Wanting or even contemplating staying isn’t crazy. But I think if you decide you’re willing to stay, it’s important for you to decide what you expect in your relationship going forward. I’m also a huge proponent of therapy. We both went individually and jointly. You can’t force him to go but it does sound like he’s still deflecting in some way if he’s saying he’ll be happy “when ABC is done”. And while my husband did want to stay and repair our marriage, it was not easy at the beginning. He was changing over 40 years of avoidant behavior and we had 14 years of not so great communication in our relationship to overcome. He wanted it to work but in some ways, he atill wanted to be who he had always been in our relationship. And there was also a lot of shame to deal with. We’re approaching 3 years out and are in a pretty good place.
      These are just my experiences, but I hope it’s helpful to hear.

    4. Blindsided
      Sam A and I have written here how similar our husbands are, and your story sounds so familiar to mine.
      All your reactions are completely normal and understandable. I've felt the same way.
      Even though we are now separated, I've still got to deal with him and hear about his new whore. So I am still getting kicked in the guts with new discoveries etc, but I no longer sob, I shed a tear here and there, but unfortunately the love I had for him has now turned to hate as I keep discovering how horrible a person he is. I still have anxious moments and an working on times when I get depressed. But. I get up everyday, and whilst I may not fully function (ie house work) I work, the kids get a meal and I am able to speak to people. I haven't closed myself off fully, though sometimes, I really need some alone time and I do not answer phones or doors etc.

      I tried, for many years, to make my marriage work, but I was the only one trying and my STBX has so many issues - he's one very mixed up person, and he has narcissistic traits and was not interested in fixing himself or our marriage or family.
      From my experience: My h didn't want to change as that would admit he is a very flawed person, and he is so full of himself, that would destroy his cover to all who know him. So for him, it's easier to live a life of being an asshole and lying and cheating, than being a good honest decent husband, father and person.
      We did try MC but he was lying the whole time. I gave up as I reached the end of my patience with him and his years of lies. Maybe I should have kept going and maybe somehow the MC would have been able to sort him out, but I realised he's always been like this - I was turning a blind eye and he was never going to change.
      If your h can get to IC/MC and stick it out for the long haul and this could be years, there may be hope. You won't know until he and you gives it a go.
      I know you are having mixed feelings. That's ok. This will not be an overnight fix.
      Come here and chat/vent/rage as often as you need.
      Gabby xo

    5. Blindsided sorry for my HORRIBLE typos. I tried to do that with no glasses on--on my PHONE let me clarify.
      Blindsided- after d-day 1 i set bounties he agreed to. We both agreed that if he did this again, he was out of the house. All I had to do was enforce that boundary. I didnt have to think about what to do next. I had it written down.

      On disgusting dday 2 (he had GONE to therapy for a year and more but never copped to being a sex addict) i was WAY more outraged than dday 1 but it was different. This time he KNEW over the previous 18 months how DD1 destroyed me. and then he did it again? W in T holy F.

      But i was MUCH stronger and way more prepared. Prepared even though i would have bet my life that he would NEVER do that to me again.

      I put the boundaries contract in motion and he was out of the house within HOURS>

      No contact with me---no phone contact either, only text or email for three months.

      He had to work a whole lot harder after dd2 than he did on DD l.

      You’re correct in the mental issues.If you read through a recent thread you'll see just how many of us are married to men with deep mental issues

      And until they understand them they are going to be susceptible to another affair.

      So since your H is being a bit dodgy, you keep working on you. i am SO thankful that I was working on me. I was as shocked as I was on DDay 1 but not as sad, I was devastated again, but got up much quicker.

      Just like you said, you are more educated and you have more tools.

      What i stopped doing this time was "helping" him through his demons. I am not his shrink and I am not him mommy. Sure i can teach him how to treat me and teach him what i will put up with but I am not going to try to fix him.

      I will however support him as he and while he fixes himself. Love to you Blindsided--it just sucks.

    6. Hopeful:
      He had one 5 month affair that i'm aware of. He gave up his apartment and lived with the whore downstairs from him while out of town for work... his other wife/life. She knew about us... I had no idea about her. :( D day happened after he transferred cities and away from her. I had known something was up the last few weeks before he left and had been interrogating him. he confessed a mini affair which i forgave instantly and then a month later he told me the truth. That was my true D day and was 8 months ago.

      Because of how drastic he had to be with this affair i'm scared of another coming up. I want to see other's experiences, and truethfully its an eye opener. I actually think another affair will happen eventually. I figured a one night stand, or some emotional thing at work, maybe even physical but limited to how far because he must come home now more often, and obviously the texting from home can't happen because i'm watchful. I want him to address why he had to try so hard to get her to love him, why if he never wanted to leave us it was important that he get some validation from her. why he would shit on his family for a stranger & hers. Its his own self worth he needs help with. which he will not seek help for. It would be a huge sign of weakness for him and he is scared of it.


    7. Steam: Maybe the sadness is better in the long run for me after all. I could see myself becoming angry tho instead of sad now that you say that. God have mercy on me if it is worse the second time... I don't want to go there. I should not be worried about the sadness then... but the anger.

      THANK YOU ALL WHO HAVE RESPONDED. It is a good learning tool this site. I'm going to try not to visit for a while to get my head around this idea. I just wanted to share one thing i found on pinterest today i liked and found encouraging:

      When I got enough confidence, the stage was gone. When I was sure of losing, I won. When I needed people the most, they left me. When I learnt to dry my tears, I found a shoulder to cry on. When I mastered the skill of hating, someone started loving me from the core of the heart and, while waiting for light for hours, when I fell asleep, the sun came out. That's LIFE!! No matter what you plan, you never know what Life has planned for you. Success introduces you to the World. But failure introduces the world to you. Always be Happy!! Often when we lose hope and think this is the end God smiles from above and says, relax sweetheart; its just a bend, not the end!
      By Sophia Loren (actress)

      lots of love

    8. Blindsided. D-day (emotional affair) was four years ago. D-day 2 (went back talking to her) nine months later. So cruel and after he had assured me how much he cared and wanted to be with me. Four months ago I find he has been having not affairs but inappropriate friendships (oversharing, inviting single women to lunch, one of whom was interested in him.) This was a total gut punch after all the hurt I'd suffered. I had to draw a line because my mental health was in a terrible state from this and other deceptions and inconsistencies along the way. We started couples counselling which unlocked some things and my husband has started individual counselling which is unlocking a whole lot more. I'd also said to him back in December that I thought he was depressed and he finally agreed and did an excellent online CBT/mindfullness course to combat depresssion. In our relationship I'd been painted as the depresssive one and many of his depresssive tendencies were not the obvious ones we see listed. My eyes were opened on reading Depression Fallout: The Impact of Depression on Couples and What You Can Do to Preserve the Bond
      Anne Sheffield - how Depression can become that extreme selfishness, and lack of feeling/affect anhedonia - leads them to feel that the problem is with the relationship and leads them to look for ways of injecting feeling into their lives elsewhere. My husband has had all the right intentions for the last five years but depression/addictive behaviour and a series of patterns resulting from depression and early experiences have led to him repeating the same actions again and again DESPITE (and I believe this) wanting something completely different. It has also prevented him truly coming back to an authentic relationship with me. He said he cared but did not truly show it, had no real trust in me or the relationship. I agree with the others and see from my own experience that we would never have got anywhere if there was no therapy or focussing on the underlying issues. We would have been back with more undermining behaviour, a half-hearted relationship and seperated/divorced because I could not longer live that way. I've done a lot of work to build myself up in the last few months especially but living in this type of limbo state you describe so well does nothing for our peace of mind and mental health. The depression book (above) suggests ways of encouraging people to get help. I hope you can move this forward with his engagement.

    9. Blindsided, Thanks for sharing the details. It is crazy the tangled web they weave. What in our case I have seen was my husband really believed one thing on dday. And then over time he sees things totally different. I still do not understand how he had two overlapping 10 year affairs. He broke it off with both of them before dday and thought he would end up leaving me making up some bs excuse since he thought he had ruined us. It is odd hearing what he told himself over the years. I think it is so important for him to work out what happened. Does he express that he does not want this to happen again or is he not to that point yet? For my husband he said it became easy quickly once he put in even a little effort with me/us. The Gottman's and their work on "bids" really connected with him. My husband seemed to identify with what the Gottmans talk about. Maybe since it is more data driven with real life examples. The good thing is you are on track and focused on the right things.

  5. Yes...great advice and sometimes it is all we really can do. Focus on one thing at a time - that next best thing. Or sometimes it's just quieting the mind, like described above - just sitting with it. And sometimes it's just taking a breath. Sometimes all we can do is breathe...and that is enough.

    This is a daily struggle for me - sometimes a moment to moment struggle - but when I am honest, I feel better when I slow it down and just focus on the here and now. Great reminder!

  6. Yes, it's realizing that controll is an illusion.

  7. Blindsided I feel so sad that your having these feelings it’s almost like your preparing for the inevitable. It sounds almost inhumane to have to build yourself up with this armour to protect yourself, but totally understandable at the same time given your h is refusing to seek counselling and address his issues that got him and you into his mess in the first place . It’s incredibly selfish and irresponsible of him and rather than anticipating another affair how about setting some boundaries like getting some help, maybe changing his job so he’s closer to home. My h sounds very similar to yours blindsided and the sad thing is we understand their issues better than them I too pity my h but I’m not prepared to let that blur my vision of what’s in front of me, these men need to sort their own demons and you my love need to continue to work on yourself.

    Blindsided I never ever ever expected my h to betray me a second time I could have bet my life that he wouldn’t. No way could he put me through what he did a second time. I was broken like never before he hated to see me cry, went to counselling and did pretty much what I asked. Unfortunately 3 years after d day 1 I find out he’s been back in touch with the same ow and started where they left of .. I was fucking mortified, devastated and shocked to the core however my reaction was different this time I didn’t blame myself I didn’t try to fix it, I kicked his dirty backside out of the house and I changed, I realised that only I had my back, only I ever had my back and that was an eye opener. Ive concentrated on me and my kids ever since. That was 18 months ago were still living separately we are on talking terms, I basically ask if I need anything money, help with the children etc etc. We’re mostly civil to one another. I live my life and he does the same. Not sure how long this will go on for but for now it’s working.. I’m coping fine on my own actually I’m doing better than fine and I’m proud of me for how strong I am ..

    Blindsided if you can’t get any sense out of your h I would just concentrate on you, hope that helps a little xx

    1. Sam A.
      You are amazing!
      I've got your back from here.
      Sending much love and hugs
      Gabby xo

    2. : ) thank you gabby.. thinking of you xxx

  8. Hi, I'm curious how often you all think about what your husbands did. I feel like I'm obsessed with it. Its constantly on my mind while I'm watching a movie, eating, showering, or doing something with my kids. The other day I accidentally ran a red light and almost got hit by a semi truck all because I was lost in my thoughts. Its been a year since I discovered his long string of online hook ups. Our marriage is better than ever now, but it doesn't erase the damage done to my heart and soul. I can't stop thinking about it. Its killing me, mentally.

    1. Angie, this is normal. I would say it took me two full years before I did’t do this on a daily basis. For year one I had trouble sleeping so it consumed me during the night and day. Year two was a little better. I’m approaching year 3 and I sometimes have a bad day, but for the most part it’s very limited.

      I’m sorry this is killing you. We all are familiar with opening our eyes in the morning if we are able to sleep and BAM there it is. It’s like a damn shadow following you all day, to cloud your every thought. I was obsessed for so long and I really relate it to PTSD. Songs, movies and of course just tuning into the news is a huge issue. You can’t run or hide, it’s all over and the triggers pull you in.

      Try focusing on a hobby or exercise and get engaged to take your mind off. I walked a ton with the dog. I would put my headphones in and would do an hour long walk. Listen to music that takes you back to a certain time or listen to a book. Listen to a new artist and create a healing playlist that is energetic to push you forward.

      Your heart is damaged and I’m not certain if my heart will ever heal. My H and I are much better friends than we’ve been in years and laugh and talk more than ever. It’s different and it’s not going back like it was ever, but that is probably good.

      Breathe in and smile. We’ve been where you are or in the same place now. This site helped me heal and learn that I’m not a mental case or alone. Sharing makes it easier. Let it out :) Have a wonderful weekend. Treat yourself to something special. You are going to make it!!

    2. We are almost to 3 years since dday coming up in March and both of us think about it every day still. I would not say it is constant like it was at one year. However I would say I am reminded of it often with tv, movies, books, music, conversations with others etc. It is still hard but is much easier than even at one year past dday. We both try to focus on the positive and how far we have come individually and in our marriage/relationship. Working on it together and focusing on each other has helped so much. It really is a true partnership and we are closer than ever. I think time in general and just the general working together. It comes up and I will ask questions time to time. Just the other day I asked if he would tell me if one of the ow contacted him. I think with the passing of time I sometimes wonder if he would think why tell anything, why rock the boat, why upset her etc. He was adamant he would tell me.

  9. Dandelion & Sam A: 3 d days with the same woman?!?!?!? Back where they left off 3 years later?!!!!! oh man. okay. scratch everything i said about feeling like it won't be as bad as the first. I would soooooooooooooooooo want to destroy her life. I wouldn't leave a person in her life that didn't know her awful sick lifestyle. Like I would seek out her 3rd grade teacher to tell them what a horrible person she was. I would put build boards up. She would be social media bullied and would not be able to leave her house without someone yelling home wrecker... I would... I would..... blahhhhh i wouldn't do anything. Its this crazy anger and hate and revenge that washes over me and is everything that almost destroyed me. Wow guys, like wow. You must have guardian angels helping you. All of you women just amaze me. Your experiences did help me see another possibility. I didn't even ENTERTAIN him going back to HER for another secret affair. That, would be my mental breakdown. Of course that could happen!!! Why in the world would it not??? It’s the easiest affair to have if that whore is still stupid and insecure and believes ridiculous lies. I just couldn't handle it. I just don't even know how to think that through. I can't spend another second on that thought cus I think I would go and wake him up right now and punch the shit out of him.

    Rambling happy thoughts now… my kids, my faith, my home, my health, my job, my family, my life is good. I like me, I like my peace, I want love and not hate. fewf back to sanity. What a nightmare we live in our own minds. (I should probably journal and not post this shit for the whole internet to see.)

    We don’t have resources in our town for therapy. A life changer for him would probably be to get some drugs for the anxiety he has. He won’t. He can’t bring himself “down” to that level. I’ve asked him to leave his job. Problem is he loves it. He recently switched careers he absolutely hated his other job. I know I would quit. I know I would look for a new job the moment I realized I was still putting my family at risk by being away so much. Knowing every time he packs his things I get sad triggered… knowing every time he comes home for the first night I am angry triggered. I would do what it takes… but I would also not do this. So we are clearly different.

    You have shed some light on a new issue I must now find a solution for in my mind. I’m revisiting his words when I begged him to just leave me and the kids if he wanted her so badly. He would repeatedly say “don’t tell me what to do . it is my choice if I go back or not. Stop saying go back. “now he will say “I don’t want that life, I want this life” he wont say he doesn’t want her, or anything really negative about her, other then the obvious… she is a whore. Thank you for the insight…. Never ever can you prepare for what life gives you I guess. I feel so stupid for not even realizing that he could go back to her secretly. So much for my "strength".


    1. Blindsided
      Yes to all those emotions times 10
      My h returned to his cow after spending 20,000. To buy me a car for my pup that I got when he first dated her and his guilt helped me get her, and he spent this money to build a fence for her in order for me to move up to our house and help him convince her that they were done... only thing is that he took one last sex trip with her that just about did me in...and yet she’s still the one that I pity more than him or myself other than her son that lost his life during his mother’s selfish tirade to take my h! God loves us all! Hugs!

    2. Blindsided, Have you thought about travelling to a therapist? Many will set up an initial visit then skype or conference call. I travel about 1 1/2 hours to mine since my husband is in the mental health field. There was no way i was going to anyone where I live and also the caliber is not there. Honestly people go to my husband for this type of stuff. Or mine would meet with me for two hours once a month to conserve on the drive too. I think it is really important and can help so much.

      One thing that sticks with me reading your husbands words I remember my husband saying he felt like he could not say anything right since none of it sounded good and I would use it against him. Over time that dissipated but maybe after a year. He is still in shock at what he said to me dday and after. For him the women could have been anyone and he realizes it now. But he had to work through why he did it and how he was not going to in the future.

      For his work can he only do it if he travels? Is there any system you can set up that would make you feel better? Certain times he checks in, texting your, facetiming you, can you track his iphone to confirm he is where he should be, I don't know anything that might help. I really had a hard time when my husband went out of town a few times. My husband and I worked out a system. And basically I could call him at any time and he would answer. Initially I would call in a total mess. Over time it has gotten a lot better. We have a conversation every time he is going to leave town of exactly what his plans are. It is a lot of work but he feels better too. He said he hates it when I am not feeling okay. Granted this is not every week for work. But as my therapist said my husband has to do whatever I need to feel safe. Otherwise it is hard for us to move forward and even think about trusting them ever again.

  10. Sam a I re read your post.... I feel like you are the future me... but the what if keeps me planted. What if my family can stay together... what if I give him more time and he comes around. What if I dont have to be separated from my kids and whatcha some other woman help raise them with him (He cannot be alone and would find someone. I am certain to help him with three babies)
    It's the what if. Dispite everything screaming inside me that says it will happen again. I need to try. Because I love my life and my kids and I am happy with the peace I am blessed with when I can forgive.

    One day at a time.... good to see these responses. I will not be blindsided again.

    1. Blindsided - yes, yes ... a million times yes!!!

      This week has been hard. I actually realized that the 7 month anniversary of DDay came and went and I didn't even notice. Which of course sent me spiraling and it's not great to spiral when you're also 7 months pregnant and feeling like nothing more than a beached whale!

      I have been asking myself over and over ... WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?!?!?! Where is your pride woman - you let him stay even when he was in love with HER ... even when he was ready to give up everything and walk way ... even when ... LEAVE him ... make him come BEGGING for you to come back. YOU deserve to never feel like the consolation prize.

      I realized - I'm here because of my kids. I discovered the truth at 10:00 am on 6/20 that there was an OW ... by 1:00 pm I had divorce papers completed AND notarized. I got to the part on the parent plan and I froze but forged on. Every other weekend. Every other holiday. A few nights a week without them. HER having access to my kids.

      NO fucking way was that going to happen. Not in my lifetime.

      And hence the commencement of doing the biggest pick me, pick me dance ever. Which stems a lot of my insecurities because I do feel like the consolation prize. The one who stood up, pushed up my sleeves, pulled out all the punches … to fight for HIM to stay with US so that US would still exist and I wouldn’t have to give up anything with my baby loves.

      In reality - which usually comes about after a big cry and then waking in the middle of the night to some clarity (anyone else have those moments in between sleep and wake where you're quite certain SOMEONE is telling you what to do?) ... I realize that I'm still here yes because of my children. Their very existence stopped me from my typical knee jerk reaction. Their very existence will spur me forward through the dark & emotional days. Their very existence will keep me in this spot.

      But their very existence also is showing me that’s he’s trying … and while he didn’t do what I wanted/needed him to do immediately after DDay … he’s working on a better marriage on the surface. They show me he’s trying when they comment on how affectionate we are now (usually with an "ooh, gross" or the 2 year old's demand to be in the middle) ... or their complaints that we are ignoring them because we're actually having an adult conversation - even if just about the weather - or how I notice how much he truly does help ... and how I have to explain to my 9 year old that moms & dads NEED alone time.

      So yes, yes, yes … a million times yes! But it has to be more than just about staying for them. It has to be that we realize somewhere along the way that we’re staying for US (H and I both) too.

      Here’s hoping that your WH figures that out sooner rather than later!

    2. I agree totally with this. For me it was all about the kids at first. I still stand by the fact that I would and will do everything for my kids. I know I have to focus on me since that is when I am best for them. It would take me a long time to get to the point of divorce and not seeing my kids or dealing with some ow raising them. Granted my kids would snif that out a mile away and it would not be good. My husband knew that too. My kids are a little older still at home for several years but at first I said just take it day to day and see how far I can get. I do want it to be a good home with good modeling of a relationship for them. So everything was putting all of my effort into how I could do what I needed to do in order to heal then work on our marriage. And there was one point I did tell my husband that there would be issues about holidays, birthdays and all of that and if we did separate or divorce there would be major language about who and when a woman could be introduced to them. I know the best attorneys for this stuff through him so I was prepared if need be.

    3. Wow I can’t imagine thinking of the OW being with my kids! Mine are 21, 18, 17 and 9. So not a huge issue, but let’s say my H moves his girlfriend to Miami and wants the kids to come down and meet her? I would go nuts and my girls would HATE THAT! But I need to figure out all that-holidays, birthdays.

      My kids haven’t seen a healthy marriage or loving relationship with us at all and I don’t think they ever will. I fear they are scarred forever. I wouldn’t even know how we would rebuild and model that after everything even if we wanted to.

      There is no US and hasn’t been forever.

  11. Yesterday I did not do the right thing and I feel awful now.

    My WH is having an affair with a woman in Lima, Peru. He’s a pilot. He has been a serial cheater for a long time - I’ve been trying to move on for a while. Not sure how to do it or what I’m doing - just trying to get my self confidence up and figure out what to do. That said-we aren’t separated or divorced - it’s up and down but we still are kind of together. He comes home to see the kids and before this D-day with the Peru girl things were average.

    I found out after a fight that always takes place when there is another woman - just a fight about something stupid and then it goes into what is all wrong with me. Of coarse I would look around and find something. What I found is their love affair in pictures and poetry on her Instagram account! She writes poems about how she loves him and posts beautiful pics of he her to go along with it.

    His excuse is that I have wanted him gone for so long and he sees hate in my eyes. How could I be upset that he is looking for passion and adventure and love?
    Well-he should have separated me or divorced me a long time ago if that is how he felt. But-that would be loosing too much for him-financially and his ability to see kids. Better to just stay in this terrible relationship and screw me over again than go through that.

    Anyway! I was trying to do the 180 - but I don’t know if it works when you have been cheated on a million times and know your husband is in love with an exotic, passionate woman your daughters age.

    I didn’t do the right thing yesterday when I made up a fake Instagram account and posted a comment in Spanish on one of her posts. She would know it was me by the comment. I’m sure she will tell my WH. She said in one of her posts that my WH was “a boy lacking love-a passionate madman like me”. So I said - “maybe if he didn’t betray his wife and break her heart over and over, his life would be filled with love”.

    What a dumb thing to do. Like either one of them care about me or my feelings in this or what I say. I just look like a fool again now.

    1. Ann,
      You don't look like the fool at all. You look hurt and vulnerable and that is NOT the same thing as foolish.
      But I do think you are being so cruel to yourself by staying with this person. He gets all the benefits of being married to you and none of the responsibilities. Why would he stop cheating when he can simply have his family in one place and his adoring OW in another. Let her have him. Let her deal with a man unwilling to fully commit. Let him deal with a guy who will openly disrespect his children's mother. He's no prize. Let her have him.
      I think it's time for you to show him the door. And then I want you to spend some time healing yourself from his cruelty and his absolutely lack of respect for you. I want you to re-discover yourself, to be kind to yourself. You can't do that with a husband who long stopped seeing you as a human worthy of love and respect. You deserve so much better than this.

    2. Ann, I agree with Elle. You need to let him have her. He’s not a prize worth keeping and he’s shown that.

      Don’t feel bad about the Instagram thing. I did the same thing! She posted something about not judging others and that there is only one judge. I was like, while I agree with that thought process, I don’t do stupid shit to others that knowingly hurts them. My post said “I don’t think you can ever imagine how much pain you’ve caused.” She obviously blocked my fake acct, but I had my final words. Don’t be all pious to others when you’re not quite living a life with a good moral compass. Her Instagram account also says - Lover of laughter, kindness, compassion, mercy, and grace, extending to others that which so freely is extended to me.... and then the kicker is a heart a cross emoji! WTF is my statement on that!

    3. Oh Ann,
      I'm so, so, so sorry. So sorry. My heart aches for you reading this. You are not a fool. Absolutely not. Your strength and wisdom and compassion shines thru in all of your posts -- please see it in yourself and take your next right step. You can do this.

    4. Oh Ann... no no no I was screaming in my head thinking of what has happened to you. How cruel of him. Ann you DESERVE love like Elle said... she is not exotic and passionate SHE is foolish and dumb and immature. Put a baby in her belly and 10 years to her life and he would dump her harder and faster then you can say "karma". She is in for a rude awakening in her life... but that is not for us to do... it will happen on its own. She cannot do this kind of shit without a fall out of some kind. There is sadness in-store for her, and well deserved. You are not stupid!!!!!! You are sad. He is stupid and she is an idiot if she believes these lies she is posting. If she believes them why is she trying to convince the world by posting them??? Insecure idiot.

      Ann.... love is not passionate sex. And i dont even think their sex IS passionate. I think it is filthy. Love is not a younger body... or how easy you can get off Love is caring and thinking of others before yourself. It is security and being able to lean on each other when you need it...Their affair is NOT LOVE. Its sex. Filthy disgusting sex that will give them nothing but genital warts and aids if they keep that up. They will turn on each other in a second when push comes to shovel. Just please take care of yourself. You are not foolish but dealing the best you can with foolish people. Keep loving ann, but maybe not him. Yourself for sure and your kids, your true friends and everyone that you can see loves you without condition.

      Your husband wants a foolish life of jumping from bed to bed... give it to him. When he is 80+ and needs care himself and no one comes to see him he will see how horribly horribly wrong he was in his life shitting on the love he was blessed with. But it will be too late. So sad for these blind assholes.


    5. Ann - is it wrong of me that I literally spit out my Diet Dr. Pepper at your message. OMG ... how many times have I wanted to do something like this! Sometimes we just have to "Fried Green Tomato" it in life ... Towanda my friend ... Towanda!!!

    6. Ann, please find yourself a good divorce attorney right now and figure out what you are entitle to. Get it in writing. Move forward with your life, you know? The life you deserve. I'd probably be looking real hard at how to put ex-lax in every single dish I fed him. Then some. Get rid of his stuff. Take all the money you need for you and your kids and open another account. Geesh. I'm not an attorney and I don't play one on TV so ignore my legal advice and find a good attorney immediately. Don't even tell the SOB. Hugs to you.

    7. Beach Girl!

      I wish we were close and we could go out! I have an appt. with a lawyer on February 8.

      My WH has been gone for 3 weeks - work and a Surf school vacation in Costa Rica! He does want me to take a vacation at the end of Feb For myself and he’ll stay with the kids. I am so doing that!

      Anyway-I told him I have a real problem with him coming here since he has a “girlfriend” now. He just says that he wants to see his daughter - we have 4 daughters but he always refers to the little one.

      So - yeah - I need to iron this shit out. I am not going to sit here and cook so he can eat it or help him with laundry or get ready for work while she is writing love poems for him amd he’s planning on his next trip to Lima. No way.


    8. Ann, So sorry. All the other advice is good and I am glad you have an appointment. Take care of yourself and your girls.

  12. Blindsided I recommend mindfulness techniques.. insight timer is one I use. Regulate your breathing and listen to your body. Bring yourself back to the moment. We can’t predict the next 5 minutes let alone the next 5 months or years. There is no evidence to suggest your h is cheating at present blindsided, you’d have that gut wrenching incline if he was trust me, I did. Ultimately if it’s gonna happen it will with or without you having a breakdown every time he’s away from home. So just try to relax try meditating and enjoy each day as best as you can. I don’t have all the answers blindsided I sometimes feel I’m lost in this mess I just try to focus on what I do have rather than what I don’t and what I do have def outweighs what I don’t..

    Hope you can make it to our retreat blindsided would love to meet you in person to share stories : ) .. big hugs my friend xx

  13. I absolutely agree with Elle, Ann, have his bags packed and throw them out on the lawn. Make today the day you say ‘enough is enough’. I feel like kicking his ass Ann, how dare he treat you with such disrespect, however your the priority now not him.. take back so mr control Ann. Your warrior sisters are right behind you xxx

  14. Thank you all for your insight! What a great thing to have support! The thing I have been struggling with is - I have been cold, I have been distant, I have wanted to end things...I really didn’t know the extent of his cheating until about 7 years ago - and then most of that time I am pretty sure I had anemia-diagnosed last November and all OK now-but it was severe and I’m sure I was out of it!

    But-what can I expect when I had basically given up? This is part my fault for sure. I shouldn’t Be so mad! Do I have the right to even be mad?

    When I came out of my Anemia I could see all that was going on - I have been trying to get out since - he has made some attempts to figure out if we could fix things but all have failed of coarse.

    He claims he is going to start seeing a counselor....I guess we will see what comes from that.

    Either way - it all sucks. This is now-but the same thing happened when I was loving, caring, and loved him - almost 18 years ago- I guess my grief and rage comes from then as well as now.

    1. I don't care what a spouse is doing or not doing it is the cheaters fault. There are a million different options besides cheating. I believe that so intensely. Anything else is a selfish excuse in my opinion. This is about him and his issues. It never mattered how successful my husband was, what I did, how thin I was, how happy I was etc. And he knew it was wrong he lied to my face about it when asked very direct questions for 10 years. Please do not take this as your fault at all. Get the help and support you need.

    2. Hopeful 30
      I agree with you 100%.
      Gabby xo

  15. Ann, put yourself first and while he is trailing behinx you, he will either be in a fog or see clarity. You’ve put in the time and effort and been there for all. Now it’s dDay (Decision Day) for him. Put yourself first and make him realize that you are capable of moving on. If he’s trailing behind with support, great! If he’s trailing behind as an anchor, cut the cord. You are worthy! Show your worth and look in the mirror!

  16. So what's the common denominator in all this, our relationship issues?
    In so many problems in the world?
    (sorry for any men out there that are good decent humans. This DOES NOT apply to you).

    Quote by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton:-

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men,."

    The more "power" my h gained at work, the more impossible he became. He's always had traits of ego, but this power escalated many narcissistic traits hidden behind his underlying mental issues.
    Life needs to have a balance or it just doesn't work. And to create that balance IS work.
    I'm not advocating women take over the world, I am hoping men take a step back from their power trips and together we can bring balance into society - into our homes.
    Too late for me, but it got to a point that I had to turn off from him and his ego, his power/control as the put downs were a disgrace, not all the time, but enough to dampen by confidence.
    Sorry for the ramble..
    But I've never felt a need to "control", to work together yes, but not control. Sure there's been situations that I know how to deal with issue that arise, so in those instances I lead, but lead with a team.
    This male dominance is a topic we discuss at home, the kids and I, as I help them navigate life and to become aware and good citizens. Still a work in progress, but we have to start somewhere. Giving the girls the confidence to believe in themselves and what they chose to do, and giving both the boys and girls the tools to treat people with respect and be respected.
    Gabby xo

    1. I agree 100%. My husband cheated as he was more successful than ever. He was not down or struggling at all. He had it all. What I can say now looking back that made him feel more entitled. I see little bits of it still now. He is so easily able to justify things in his head. It is different now but he will justify why he does not need to help with the kids or something around the house. I call him on it. Just yesterday this happened. He tried to hug me and tell me how amazing I am. I told him no and he owned up to he realized how much he slacked and that he was trying to hug me to make himself feel better. It is better he has that insight. And I told him in the end I was doing everything I was doing without help for me not him.

      It is hard to look back since I saw it as us being a team but in the end he just ran with it and walked all over me. I still don't beat myself up too much since he lied about it all those years with lame excuses. But now I focus on our communication and that he does want to be part of the team and when I call him on his not so great behavior he owns up to it right away.

  17. I totally get where your coming from Gabby, I think there is truth in that quote. For some reason men find it hard to balance work/ home situations mine for example my h can’t leave his work at work. I guess it goes back to coping strategies, what they saw and learnt growing up. Why did we have to meet the ones with deep rooted issues?


    1. Sam, This is a huge issue due to my husband running his own business and being on call. I get it I grew up with my dad that way. But my husband during his affair years used this as an excuse and as a way to detach. Now he gets done with his work as soon as possible. I can see the difference but it is an easy excuse to disconnect from the home life or relationship

  18. Gabby and Sam A.,

    Yes - I see truth in that quote as well. My H always saw himself as above and beyond everyone-I think if he goes to counseling that he will find he has narcissistic traits as well-along with so many problems from his childhood. And now that he flies the big Jets-that is an ego boost for sure. He does/did have power over me-I see that now and how he put me down constantly, gas lighted me through the years - I lost a lot of confidence and lost myself.

    Why DID we HAVE meet the ones with so many deep rooted issues!!! And no one warned us all!!!

    1. Ann, My husband's career definitely boosted his ego and also fed into the negative dynamic in our relationship. My husband and even me has patients come up to us all the time telling him/me how he has transformed their lives, done such amazing work, saved their kids/family members/marriage etc. All great but man it is a daily ego boost. He has a huge wait to see him and is in high demand. People will ask me if I can get them or their kids in to see him sooner or at all. Many people pay out of pocket to see him. All major ego boosts. On top of that I 100% believe his profession of being in the mental health field played into our dynamic. When he says things it is with authority, years of education, professional training and years of professional experience. So for me to combat that was next to impossible. I get it now he was deflecting and defending and making himself feel better. But it was hard to argue or even disagree with someone at his level that deals with relationships, personal and mental health issues every day. Let's just say I have read a lot and can hold my own now. He still does not agree with some things I have read based on his background education and in the office but it is totally different now. I do think this was or bordered on emotional abuse since he was using his professional knowledge and background to deflect me and make me feel worse all in order for him to feel better.

      He has opened up recently that he is so mad at himself since he had no reason at all to do what he did except he was selfish. He said no one did anything and nothing was bad in his life. He said he was not grown up, not acting like a husband, not acting like a father.

      I am right there with you Ann I lost all of who I was. I believed what he told me and said to me. None of it made sense. The big aha moment was when he went away for a 8-10 day trip. It was the longest he had been gone and I realized that it was him that made us not happy as a family not me as he had always said. Otherwise it was always my fault for being tired, sick, not happy. He was great. Well now I know why. First of all it was a lie and second of all he did whatever he wanted without regard to anyone and in the process made all of us feel horrible. It was when he was gone though that I realized I did not care and was going to focus on me. What is interesting is within six months of that trip he broke up with both ow and then dday was 15 months after he broke up with them. I do wonder why did I meet him and allow him into my life.

  19. Hi All,

    I am such a mess now. I had to pick my H up from the airport last night-he did a last minute trip and we were running low on $, and he is here to see the kids. I couldn’t even look at him in the car ride home and only had short answers to his questions. He’s been gone for almost rheee weeks! It should be a happy homecoming and we should be talking and catching up in the car. I am sleeping in my daughters bunk bed since she is away at college. I didn’t sleep at all! My stomach has been a mess for a month and a half. I am just struggling because I am so lonely - part of me just wants to give in and sleep with him - for comfort and also to get back at her - I know he is going to see her next month from looking at his flying schedule.

    How do I stay strong until my appt. with my IC and attorney - to do the 180 and act like I have it all together and that I am OK?

    Obviously he doesn’t care about me. He just wants to see his kids and says he doesn’t want us hating eachother.

    I am going to try and stay out of the house-working our and work-or just get the he’ll out for coffee or something.

    Idk. This life I have is so stupid. I hate it.

    1. Ann - this is one of those times that you selfishly get to do whatever the hell you want to do. If you want to use him for a little stress relief ... go for it ... If you want to fight with him ... do it. If you want to disappear during the day and go out for whatever ... do it!

      Do what's RIGHT for you!

      I'm sorry you're going through this. The limbo/in between phase has to suck.

  20. Thanks Kimberly!

    What if I want to have sex, ask him if he would want to and he says NO because of his girlfriend! OMG—I wouldn’t know what to do!? I am afraid to even suggest it! But I think it would relieve a lot of stress and hatred - at least for the time he is here and we figure out what we are doing! I just want to get a good nights sleep! Plus. - I’ll probably never have sex again when we split. I’ve looked on

    1. Ha! YES ... it is scary! I spent a stint on Tinder, Craigslist, etc. looking for stuff from my husband ... it made me rage because of how many married men are out there and we all know that only a portion of them are honest enough to actually admit their married (oh the conceit!).

      Frankly - I had some of the same thoughts in the days after DDay ... we were like jack rabbits ... part of it was the need to feel wanted and desired ... and part of it was like "oh, I may never have this readily available again ... I'm taking advantage of it."

      This morning I asked myself WHY I initiated sex the same night I found out about DDay. Part of it was because I was SO tired of hearing about how I never wanted it ... part of it was that I really wanted it (damn ovulation and hormones) ... and part of it was because he'd turned me down 2 days before and I wanted to see if he'd reject me again. I won't lie ... if he'd rejected me it would have hurt. BUT ... I also think that if he'd rejected me it would have been a clear indication that we were through and that he wasn't willing to salvage this marriage.

      Does that makes sense?

      Ann - as it says - do the next right thing for YOU! WHATEVER that might be!

    2. Kimberly,

      Yes! It makes perfect sense to me!

      Well I asked him the other night! I was emotional because I told him I have been lonely and alone and just wanted to feel something nice. He didn’t flinch and accepted immediately - said he always wants to...I was the one who told him to stop asking me for sex when he came home after he just took his GF out on a date.

      And- I did this knowing that he has been texting her on WhatsApp this whole time he’s been home. But-I don’t even care! I saw on his phone that she asked if he had a good sleep last night! Haha we were up until 2:30 am drinking wine and screwing. It feels like I am totally Fucking her over which I love! Now she is the one left out-not me! All I know is that It feels a hell of a lot better than what I have been feeling the past month and a half! Plus- I’m igetting in rockin’ shape going to Body Combat and HIIT IT all the time to relieve this stress! Felt great to show that off. Maybe show him what he will miss.

      I hope the next time she sees him she will know. Women always know! Even though he will never tell her I am sure . I hope she starts posting crushing poems of sadness and heartache on her stupid Instagram account! That would be the best! Wow - I am cruel!

      So - in closing- I don’t know what the hell I am doing or what my next step is!

    3. Ann,
      Then you rest. If you don't know what your next right step is, you get still. It's there. The voice that knows what's best for you but you've likely spent a lifetime stifling it. Get still and wait.

  21. Hopeful 30,

    Thanks for writing all that. It put a lot of things into perspective. It is very similar - Doctor and Pilot - both looked on as GOD’S in a way-And - yes- all the education and training. He will always tell me when I suspect that he is
    with another woman- that it’s not all a party, chicks and sex. That he didn’t just walk into the Airline and they just gave him the keys. He will go through all the training and all he does in a day - bla bla bla-He he will deflect and tell me all that he sacrifices for the family - to be away from his kids, the training - all
    Without anyone giving him support or caring from home. To me-his job gives him all the opportunity to cheat on me anytime he wants-so of coarse that is all I see from it. I wish I could appreciate all he does more-but really I hate it-I hate the airlines and the whole culture and the job.

    I believe a lot of emotional abuse here as well. With the gaslighting and constant put downs - no respect at all for anything I do. I don’t think he would listen or believe anything that I would tell him-that is why I really hope he goes to counseling! Just so he can finally see what he has done to me and how it has effected me so much. I want him to be a better person and maybe just try one more time to be with me.

    Can you give me the titles of things you have read? Anything would help!

    Thanks again!

    1. Ann, I feel like I am you. I find it so interesting how they can see things so differently. For me I gave up everything to support our family/as a team since it made sense for me to take care of the kids based on our careers. I was more than happy to do that without resentment or any issues at all. I thought we were in this together. What I found is just like the affairs he told himself whatever he had to about work. I understand the pressures that comes with it and have fully supported it in a million different ways. I have never complained about hours or money or anything. But that is not how he heard it. It all makes sense now though he was so caught up in himself and his guilt. It was as if he had blinders on. He would say such mean things to me. Even say the kids were sick or I was getting zero sleep since you know he had to in order to save lives... well I would voice that tiredness or frustration. The replies back would be why are you always tired, why is this so hard for you, you want to trade places with me? I would gladly stay home and take care of the kids if you can earn what I do. It all happened gradually and it was little jabs here and there. Nothing was ever confrontational. And when I look back it was most often over the phone or text never in person. It is sad how they used a position of power and manipulation. I am still not sure he sees it that way. I feel it is so black and white and of course his professional bg says thins are grey.. how convenient. He does regret and feel bad about the way he treated me and the things he said. So that helps but it leaves deep scars. Some days I feel that pain worse than others and that is with him trying hard.

      As far as reading I literally read just about every book in print. My favorite was Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. That might have been due to where I was. I felt like the book affirmed my feelings but also had good insights. I also read every single Gottman book. Those are books I really connect with. I also like The Atlantic Article by Gottman Masters of Love. I have suggested that before and I think it is a good one for the husbands to read. My husband found that in the months following dday and it connected with him. Another thing that clicked with both of us was the one man play Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus. It is based on the book but the delivery in person was moving and spurned some good discussions. I am not sure if you could find it on YouTube or elsewhere on the internet. I read other books but skimmed those more. These were the ones I connected with. My therapist recommended some others that were okay. Writing every day helped me a ton just for my own self. Hang in there! Thinking of you!

  22. You all know my story from above...My serial cheater pilot H has a young woman in love with him in Peru - posts poems of how she loves him. I don’t know if he is in love with her-it hasn’t been that long-I guess it’s that beginning stage where everything is wonderful. Who knows -

    Even though I hate him and he has hurt me so much- I would try one more time - if he goes to counseling and we are all in together. I would try for us and the kids.

    My problem is that his next trip is to Lima, Peru - where she lives. He switched his trips around to get those trips all month.

    Before he leaves, should I tell him that I would try one more time...if he doesnt see her and sets up counseling? But who am I kidding-of coarse he will go see her. I am not going to wait here very long to see what his choice is. If he is going to try-shouldn’t he start trying ASAP?

    Should I tell him that If he goes and sees her then it’s over - that I have to make my plans?

    I just can’t sit here knowing what is going on and waiting for him to do something.

    I have to say something before he leaves!

    Or am I supposed to do the 180 and just not care?

    I don’t know.

    1. Wow. Too late. I was so dumb and looked on his Phone. I knew what was there! Why did I have to look! I just feel like such a fool again. Here I was trying to do the 180 and have it all together! I can’t even last a week!

      I guess we are going to talk tonight. He was waiting and wanted to talk Sunday before I freaked. I was going to try one more time but I think he thinks it would be too hard and was going to see his lawyer anyway. And he told his GF about seeing a lawyer! I don’t think he will ever get help or see anything as his fault. I will keep my appt. with the attorney. He wants to be able to come here and stay with the kids! What! No way! He has to suffer and pay for something. He will loose all that. no way he is staying here after all he put me through. That would never work! I will never agree to that! Never.

  23. Hey Ann, I think if you get real still and sit with each of these options, you will find the answer. I feel for you. I was in similar shoes and I waited and waited and suffered, hoping he'd make the decision to give us one more try, until I reached a point where I realized I deserved better than a man who slept in my bed, but snuck to the basement to talk lovey dovey on his phone to her and told me he was going to see her a few states away for her birthday because "he still cared." I told him he needed to move out.
    Sit quietly and think about telling him that you are open to trying one more time and what your conditions for that are (that he ends all contact with her and agrees to go to counseling, transparency etc). What are the consequences to him if he does not agree to those things? How does that feel and where do you feel it in your body?
    Then imagine giving him the ultimatum (which is a totally acceptable and viable choice too). "If you go, you are not coming back to this house and I am filing for divorce." How does that feel in your body? Where do you feel it?
    Low key real life example... I had the option of going with my BF to a bar some distance a way tonight to meet some of his friends to see a new local country singer. We did the "could be cool, what do you want to do" dance for a while. But I felt my gut start to feel heavy, like it was going to be a lot of effort and I'm tired and I don't want to drink my face off tonight etc etc.. Then I said, you know it seems like a lot. We could just go out in town (walking) tonight and grab a drink locally. He said yeah that does sound better. And I felt a real sense of relief and lighter. And the slight sense of heaviness in my gut was gone. So I made the decision that was right for me, by listening to my gut. Literally. Do either of those options (or both) give you any kind of relief from the tension you are probably holding or that heavy feeling of holding or carrying too much? I think no matter what you choose, to tell him you are open to one more try or to tell him its now or never, as long as you put your needs first, choosing you, you are making the right decision.
    And don't forget. Nothing is forever. No decision you make today need be written in stone. Things change. You'll change. Just do what is right for you right now.
    And yes, you absolutely can't sit here knowing what he is doing and waiting for him to do something. Claim your power and act. Choose you, Ann.

  24. Ss1 your so bloody spot on, Ann and anyone else out there who is stuck listen to ss1’s advice. Listen to your body is it pushing or pulling. OMG you hit that nail right on the head ss1. Thank you my love xxx

  25. Still Standing 1 and Sam A,

    Thank you for listening and for your advice.

    I feel like I have already lost. I couldn’t do the 180 when he was here to see the bothered me so much that he has a girlfriend....I just had to snoop and look on his phone - why?! I already knew what was there. I messed everythingu up. And look pathetic.

    Then, last night he had wine - too much - I had some as well-and as usual- he said something and it sent me into a rage - we were screaming and I threw things. I couldn’t control myself. My oldest was home and came to calm me down. It was the worst night in a long time. My kids have been through enough of this fighting-this House is a scary place-not a happy house for kids to feel safe. It’s not right. It has to stop and never happen again. He cannot stay here. I am so embarrassed and broken.

    I HATE THIS! I HATE THAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS IN MY LIFE AND THINK ABOUT ALL THIS CRAP! THAT I HAVE TO BE DISTRAUGHT AND TRY AND DO the 180 and get it together and have so much hate and anger in my heart! Who wouldn’t blow up I guess-it was inevitable. I started seeing my IC last week so I hope that helps.

    What a Fucked Up life. I honestly don’t think he will ever go to IC or want me. He just wants to be able to see his kids, I’m just a barrier for that. That is what I mean to him-just half his salary when we split and if I will allow him to see the kids.

    I feel powerless now since he already brought up divorce and knows what it entails. I know that his new relationship has made him lean this way. And sped up his decision making. I feel like I am getting tossed aside-out with the old and in with the new.

    I will see a lawyer even though he doesn’t want me to-he wants us to come to an agreement-and he wants to be able to stay in this house so he can be with the kids.

    I did mention that I would try one more time-before out really bad fight-he said how hard it would be - how we have so much hatred for eachother. But he would think about it. Whatever that means. All he talks about is the kids, the kids, the kids and he just wants them to be happy. H said that if we split-he could maybe give me a better life than suffering being married to him. That he wants to give me a better life.

    After last night I don’t have any hope things will work. But I still don’t know what to do.

    I will sit quietly and listen to my gut-it’s all I have left.

    1. Ann,
      I think you do know what to do. It just feels impossible when we don't want to do it. But everything this man is doing is telling you that he is NOT in this marriage except legally. He has already left. And I know that's painful. But you're holding on to a ghost. The man you loved is gone. The man he is now is not someone you want a relationship with. He's cruel, he's self-absorbed, he's selfish. Let this man go.
      And focus on being the best parent you can be to your devastated kids. They've lost something too. And as hard as it is when your own heart is breaking, you need to be there and support them, not the other way around. You can do this, Ann. You love them so much that you can do this, buffer them as much as possible from the messy part of this marriage/divorce. And if you do the hard work of healing from this -- of really letting go of this marriage and working through the trauma created by his treatment of you -- there's a better life for you, without all this drama, without the snooping, without the constant anxiety of wondering about lies and cheating and fighting. That's all you're really giving up. The fantasy of a better marriage. The fighting and the lies and the constant anxiety. That's nothing you want to hold on to. Let it go. Make up your mind that your'e going to be tough but fair. Don't hurt the kids just to hurt him. They deserve a relationship with their dad even if he's a total prick. And release yourself of holding so tightly to this ghost. You deserve so much better. And better is possible if you let go.

  26. Elle,

    I’ve read your post 100 times. Everything in it makes so much sense! How can I not see any of this and my judgement be so clouded. How can I continue to be such an idiot!

    As I write this-my H told me that he was going to Miami to work reserve for 3 days - to keep the peace at home, and to make more money. To sacrifice and stay in his dumpy condo. It didn’t take long for me to figure out he lied-he is in Lima, Peru - his bank account is negative because of him staying at a 5 star hotel for a couple days.

    I want to send him what you wrote-I couldn’t say it any better.

    Thank you again. I don’t know what I would have done without you and this site.

  27. I sent this poem to my husband.....

    The Nobody

    When you fell in Love with me - I was somebody special to you.
    I was your Love
    I was your Everything

    When you made me your Bride - I was on top of the world - You were my man and I was your girl! I was the most special to you

    What A Warm and Happy Place

    As days went on and life became hard - demons and darkness surrounded your soul

    You were under quicksand. You should have reached for me - Your Special One. Your Somebody.

    But your hand went in different directions - away from mine - clawing and grabbing for something to ease your pain...slapping mine away.

    My prominence faded with every passing year - as your soul became blackened and hard

    You would not Speak of me
    You would not Look my way
    You would not Love me
    I could not Contrast from the rest

    Gently - you saw me as glacial, biting and vile. Not someone special at all.

    My spirit faded until it was unseen - and I became Nobody - to you

    What a frigid and catastrophic place

  28. Heart breaking Ann. Sending love your way xx

    1. Thanks Sam A!

      He sent me some BS poem he wrote-blaming me for not being here with his kids around Christmas time-Because of our fighting. I was the Thief in the poem.

      He just doesn’t see that it is his behavior and treatment of me throughout the years that has us fighting. He has a GF now and we are just supposed to get along here so he can see the he can have a peaceful time with the kids. and me just be OK with it all - for the kids.

      Yes we both fight. That’s both our fault, but we wouldn’t have these fights if he wasn’t always cheating and lying. He’ll never see it that way. It’s aleays, always, always my fault that he has to go away and leave his kids.

      I am just so tired of trying to bash this idea into his head.

    2. Ann, when he does come over to spend time with the kids I would use that time for you. Leave him to spend time with his kids it doesn’t have to be under your roof I’m sure he can entertain them elsewhere. Ann use that time to do something you like for you, having s massage, reading a book, having a catch up with s friend over a coffee, boxing the shit out of a punch bag anything just dedicate that time for you. Switch of from him and what he is and isn’t doing, he’s causing you a great deal of harm and you must detach yourself from him to prevent yourself from hurting further. Limit your contact with him, I’m not sure how old your kids are but can they have contact with him direct so you don’t have to. Ann make today the day you say enough is enough!!! Xx

    3. Ann, He is telling himself and you whatever he has to in order to justify and not feel so horrible about himself in his own mind. It is scary how they act and what they tell themselves. My husband has admitted to me that every time for 10+ years when he left the house he just blocked out he was married or had kids. And he went about his life that way. I was like whoa. It really blows my mind. That is why he communicated as little as possible and if I reached out to him I was the problem. Because I reminded him of his real life he committed to. In the end he could have handled this a million different ways even if he did not want to be in the marriage. And it would have still been horrible but we all deserve that respect instead of the lies. One of my favorite lines to my husband was I would rather be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. And you know what I hate all the things he did but the lies hurt the worst. I would remind yourself he does not get to call the shots. And him blaming you for everything is just a horrible defense mechanism to help him feel like he is not at fault.

    4. Hipeful 30,

      Yes. The lies are the worst. Just being lied to right to your face and then they do something completely different! How can someone just keep doing that over and over and live with themselves.

      My H probably hasn’t told anyone he’s married in the past 8-10 years. We got in fights and he “unfriended” me from his FB. He is a single bachelor Pilot with a bunch of girlfriends from South America. No wife, an occasional picture when he’s with his kids. It’s so stupid. I quit FB, instagram, all of it. People are so fake.

      I don’t think my H ever wanted kids and a family - I think that hit him hard once we had kids. He tried to re-enlist in the military when our oldest 2 were little, and never was into family stuff. He lives his kids of coarse-but being a husband and having a family is not his thing.

      I’m sure I’ll get more lies - even though it doesn’t even matter any more-he can’t do any worse than he’s already done. I love it when he decides to slay in Miami - if he’s tired or doesn’t want to commute- he’ll say-“NO, I’m not staying to party”. WHAT-you have a girlfriend d that you fuck regularly on your trips and you think I care if you party?!?! What an Ass. I don’t think he knows what’s true, what lies he’s told, what he thinks I know, what I actually know or what his reality is.

      But yes-the lies are the worst.

  29. Ann
    I hope his shame allowed him to read this through. My heart aches for you! Sending hugs!

  30. Ann, Thinking of you every day. Please do not beat yourself up. These are his bad decisions. It is always so hard to know what to do when you are in the thick of it. Take care of yourself and your girls.



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