The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
I have visited this helpful website many times over the last year. I have found it generous, compassionate and helpful and it’s ironic that today’s word hug is to decide to choose to leave or stay. My marriage of almost 45 years came to a catastrophic tsunami hit exactly one year ago when,classically I discovered an email he had not managed to delete. I don’t need to describe the agony of this discovery to anyone who has had the same experience. Just say’tsunami’ and that pretty well describes it. I knew the woman involved and I believe that he did not engineer the initial seduction. We had not had sex for over five years and I knew that repercussions might be the outcome but still rejected his attempte at lovemaking. She was divorced, single and attractive with no reason to examine her own motives or position. I decided to accept a small part of my part in his adultery and try, however ghastly some days and nights were to mend and recover and in some ways begin a new relationship with him . He said that it was only sex and that he always told her that he wouldn’t leave me.He emailed ,rang every week and visited her monthly Neither did he take her out,buy her presents or most importantly, although he had the opportunity stay the night did not.My advice to any that are at the beginning of this rocky road do NOT tell everyone. Keep your own counsel and admit very few trusted friends to this awful event. Eat, get up,walk, and get any sensible help available. I so wanted to attack this dreadful immoral woman but instead of physical attacks I wrote filthy limericks, wrote a diary and read it to my husband. After three or four months I asked him to write her a letter,his reflections on the effect their affair had had on me and how he hoped that one day I would be able to forgive him. That I might add,has not happened yet.I suppose by my posting this I want to tell anyone in this awful place that I am emerging into the daylight from probably one of the worst things ever to go through(and there have been some) and that every day is different, some very good . If he has vowed to stop his affair and genuinely feels remorse then there is hope. Watch the wonderful Ester Perel, read anything you can lay your hands on,make him tell you what he likes/loves about you and what you do about him. Be kind. It takes time to accommodate this shock but believe me ... there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I'm so glad you chimed in with your story and your thoughts. Light at the end of the tunnel can seem impossible but, of course, you're right. I wholeheartedly support your other recommendations: be kind (ESPECIALLY to yourself), journal, walk, share only with trusted people. I'm glad you're coming out the other side.
I so agree with your statement 'catastrophic tsunami'. As yet I haven't told a soul about any of what I have discovered/am going through. Your post gives me hope. Thank you.....
TodY I stood outside the house that he visited fir four and a half years and my heart was racing. I made myself breathe deeply and stare. Only God knows what would have happened if she had seen me. I pictured all the things he has unwillingly told me. That I have extracted over the oneyear since D day. Then I walked back to the shop where,a week after D day I had broken down in tears and told a shop girl what was happening in my life. She was kind and listened to my story. So yesterday I returned to that same shop and there was the girl who not only recognised me but asked me how my story had unfolded. I did not cry but told her who this woman was and that she knew her. She said that this woman who had seduced myhusband brought a man into the shop and got him to buy a coat for her, saying “oh he’s not my intellectual equal” and putting him down in front of everyone. This was not my husband but another poor fool. I gained almost too much pleasure from this and my day got better from then on. When I returned home I told my H that he had had a very narrow escape from this predatory piranha. He actually looked quite shocked. I think my message is this. The adulterer does not see the outcome of his behaviour and the ego rubbing and fantasy blinds them to reality. We become staid and stale and lazy in long marriages. This has been a ghastly wake up call but my eyes are very wide open now and we are in a better place than we have been for years.
No matter what way you try sucks. Staying and working on your marriage with all that you know and the disrespect, or leaving and being under financial pressure.I tried for so long, so many ways to work this out. For years.He'd already checked out - his penis ruling his life.Even now I think, if I had of turned a blind eye, the kids and I would be in a better financial position, as it looks like we may lose the house. Despite him telling the kids otherwise. I know people will say "money isn't everything", but having a roof over your head and knowing you can put food on the table and pay the bills IS EVERYTHING. STBX is being extremely selfish and putting his new whore ahead of his kids. Fuck I hate his guts. (sorry for the profanity, but there are no other words I can use).HugsGabby xo
Oh Gabby, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Of course having shelter is important -- but it's also what that represents: stability, safety, continuity. I suspect it's less about the money than about those other things.You're right -- there are times when either staying or going feels like a shitty option. I well remember those days. With time, however, I do think one of the other begins to feel far more right. I know it sucks right now. But I suspect that staying with someone like that, though it might feel preferable in the short term, would make life a whole lot worse in the long term. Hang in there. I do think you're better off without him though I am so sorry for the disruption to your lives.
Gabby, your right to hate his guts and other parts too. I was a child in affair marriage for 7 years. Your kids if not already will figure this out and when they get older will have nothing to do with him. He can whore around in the short term but long term - nobody is going to wipe his butt. You, your kids will surround you. You are doing the best you can. I can tell you are doing it BY YOURSELF the best you can. I downloaded an app called Headspace, it only takes 3 minutes to listen everyday but it really calms me. The narrator has a sexy voice too. Money is always going to be a worry. I sold $3000 on a FB resale site in 6 months. It like a FB on line yard sale. It made three house payments. If he has any shit left - sell it - that may make you feel better. Anybody else got any ideas for our strong lovely Gabby?
As much as I want to say i don't hate my husband's guts i do. I hate him. But also loved our life we built... hard to separate the two.Gabby: This was my plan for what it's worth. I was putting my house on the market and downsizing hugely. I saw it as a fresh start rather then looking at it as a loss. It was easy to do for me because i knew this house was temporary until he got his transfer then we would buy the home of our dreams. Kids were all sharing a room but it didn't mean it was worse just different. So not sure how your mindset is but downsizing But it was exciting for me. Next was sorting out the child support. He owed me a lot of money. I was not working because I had just had a baby. I wasn't due back for a few more months. That also means he had to pay a ton of spousal support if I went through with the divorce. This made his head spin. I juat wanted him to go away and leave me and my kids alone So I didn't take any. I also had access to his pension. 50% of it to date. Get a lawyer and see what you can get. If he isn't supporting his kids fincially he needs to be. It is the law. The rest is your choice if u take it or leave it. In my case it would be more emotional abuse if I took it so I left it. My sanity is worth more then dealing with his asshole nature. You can get a court order for the finances to be giving out prior to any divorce settlements. This starts immediately and there is severe consequences if he doesnt pay (as long as he isnt a floater and takes off) If there is legal aid where you live access it. It will give you access to free lawyers and get you organized. Lots of it you can do on your own however and don't need a lawyer. Go to the court office and ask the clerks there for help as a starting point. There is NO need for you to be suffering financially if he is not. I wish you strength Gabby. I wish I was stronger too.We are NOT doing good right now. He is a liar and I am a push over. I'm so tired of giving so hard all the time and getting half ass results from him. What a prize I have for loving with all my heart. But i have my kids. And they are a prize. Best gifts in the world. I would not go back and change our life if it meant I woudlnt have them... so there are reasons for everything. Blindsided.
Gabby, it would be impossible for anyone to NOT hate your husband's guts given what you've described here over and over and over. I'm in a very different situation than you so my journey and experience won't help you much but I hear you and I wish to hell I could offer you more than this encouragement. Much love and a virtual hug going your way.
Elle - this is so me right now. And not that I feel like walking away, not really - but lately I have been re-thinking my reasons for staying. And it's so hard and strange when it comes up. When I keep it simple and ask myself "do you love D(my husband)?" The answer is simply yes. Despite all the past, all the hurt, all the pain - there is still love. But I think that I am still more motivated by not disrupting our kids and the financial implications than I should be. Or maybe it's just part of it? Like I said - it's not that I feel like walking away - but I don't really feel like trying harder. Maybe that is a natural part of the healing process, especially when I feel like I have been doing more of the work? I don't know - but this just hit me today. Thanks for sharing.
Jules, I hear you. I know I love my husband and as my 39th wedding anniversary fast approaches I'd have to say that a large part of my choice to stay is to not disrupt my adult kids and grandkids lives. They adore him. Financially I would be fine if we divorced. I don't love him like I did before he told me about his private life. That kind of unconditional, unquestioning, trusting love will likely never come back and although I often miss that part of how I felt about him, what we have going on now is good enough today. I'm not really trying harder but he is and it is very obvious that he is sincere in his desire to make it up to me every day. I'm still me and I still do everything I always did to make a happy home. He sees all that now. I see who he is now and appreciate how he demonstrates how much he wants us to stay together. I am cautiously optimistic.
Jules,In my experience, the decision has never been black and white. The desire to provide a stable home for my kids has always factored in. It's what kept me put in the early days and it's a piece of what continues to keep me put. That said, I've also put a lot of work into rebuilding a good marriage, one that I take great pleasure in. I know I would be fine without my husband so it's a daily choice to remain in the marriage -- my life is better with him in it than with him gone. I love him deeply but I'm not madly IN love with him. I choose to stay for a wide variety of reasons and that's just one of them. Frankly, I think any long-term marriage gets to this stage. While love plays a larger role in getting married, I think it's just a part of staying married.
Jules, when I felt like I was doing more, I would say it to him. You can’t feel like trying hard everyday. That’s why he’s your partner. On a day when you can’t, he picks up the slack and vice versa. Can you have a discussion about this and communicate that you are trying and lay out examples and then put him on the hot seat for telling you how he’s tring? He may think he’s trying but his method isn’t well received or appreciated by you. Like my love language is doing things to simplify others lives. I like to wash his car, gas it up and put gum of mints in the console. If he ever did this for me it would make him one lucky man. He’s not like this and never will be. I have expectations of what makes me feel loved and he has others. It was important to get to the bottom of it for each of us so that we could understand each other. With the affair it put a lot of pressure on both of us to figure out a way on a daily basis to show that we were in it and trying. I had the tough conversation about him not trying for about 3 months after Dday and in retrospect he was still in an affair fog and conflicted. We are better now, but it’s a daily job. It’s like signing up for the gym. If you have another to hold you accountable, it motivates you to show up. If you don’t have the same ultimate goal, and your gym partner doesn’t want to show up and you’re waivering...you’re never gonna make it to the gym.You h may need to know that you need motivation. One can’t do it all.
Elle, I feel exactly the same as you. Well said. And I would say compared to my friends and what my husband has told me he has heard professionally most marriages are not even at this level. Even if there is not betrayal so many are distant for various reasons including careers, differing interests, kids, kids activities, other family, differing sexual interests, differing fitness and health interests, etc. I hear my friends talk and who knows if they have dealt with what we have but I can see and hear they are not in the same place we are. It is not great how we got here but I am thankful. And I agree it is a choice each day to stay. One thing I know now is that I do have a choice.
Oh Jules - I feel you sister. Oh, how I feel you.I've read several places (I think even Elle mentioned it?) about waiting 6 months to make a decision ... then re-evaluating at that point and setting it out however far. I also had a self-inflicted hard & fast 6 month mark "if he doesn't put my wedding ring back on my finger I'm making an exit plan" ... I've passed the 6 month mark and I'm still not wearing my wedding ring [although ... he put his back on last weekend when he traveled out of town]. I'm still not sure about my decision and thus have pushed it out another 3 months ... which puts me just past my due date.Ladies - I'm terrified that my rationale decision making process is going to fly out the window after I have this baby. I know that it's been a real struggle holding on to reality even during the pregnancy ... I can't imagine what the hormones are going to be like after.Gah! I sit and ponder almost daily - would this be easier to decide without him there every single day? And then I get into the cycle that Jules talks about - why am I really here?
Kimberly,Ask yourself -- are you where you want to be TODAY. Don't worry about tomorrow or next month or next year. And the reasons why you're there matter less than whether or not you want to be there TODAY. You've got a whole lot to deal with so perhaps staying put right now is simply giving yourself space to focus on having a baby rather than making a choice that will change the rest of your life. I think deadlines can be helpful to give us the space and time without pressure to make a decision. But they're suggestions not rules. I would encourage you to just sit with this, focus on you and your pregnancy, and see what unfolds.
This concept was hard for me at first. I would look so far ahead or behind me. My husband encouraged the 6 month idea since as he said professionally it takes about 6 months to work through any change in your life food, alcohol, exercise whether it is breaking bad habits or starting good habits. He encouraged me to have space and work through the pain. But he also said we needed to think about what we needed and wanted. We had some major discussions related to that. For us we had a meeting time once a week. I would journal daily which would help me get through the day to day without too much focus on all of it even though it was hard. Then once a week we would talk sometimes about the affairs other times communication, what we wanted etc. I would look back at my notes and let that guide me. It helped so I could focus on what I needed to. It also helped me to look back and see how far I/we had come. And I was able to zero in on the main things that were an issue for me. Otherwise I tend to go off on tangents. I am not sure if dday was for you 6 months ago. For me it took really that first year to just work through everything. Then to be honest he started really facing what he did and I would say he is still dealing with that. We are almost at 3 years from dday coming up in March. We have both done a ton of work and other parts have come easy. But it has taken a long time. I wanted to put time limits on things too but I also see now this is a marathon and not a sprint with lots of grey. You have to do what is right for you. For me that is giving myself more time and also I did not want to make a decision and regret it. My kids factored in a major way to start. Now it is more about me why I stay. I still think is it right that I stay. And for now yes I get more out of it than if I were to leave. I also think to myself what do I need or could my husband do for me to feel more secure and want to stay more. I tell him what I need. This really helps and I encourage him to tell me the same. We talk all the time about what we want from our marriage and what we want as individuals.
Kimberly you are pregnant! Wow. Hang in there! I know it's tough but such a wonderful gift you will have with that new baby. You just pour your energy into your sweet newborn and you know nothing will be lost but only gained. Try not to borrow worries from tomorrow is all I can say because no one can tell you what that will look like. I hope your baby sleeps like an angel for you :) the thought of going through this pregnant... I dont know... sounds intense. But I am jealous and still wish my family was growing. I wish my son could get a brother. My kids are way cooler then my husband to be around so more wouldn't be a terrible thing lol. But yeah he put the kibosh on that. After telling me he wanted more after d day. Manipulating lying self centered asshole. Hang in there. Blindsided.
Kimberly, congrats on the baby and I hope this new life will give you something to lavish your love on. Somewhere way back in the archives Elle had a post (probably several I suspect) that really helped me so much that I journaled about it daily for a month or two early in my tsunami of emotions. It had to do with slowing down and making a daily choice of staying based on your experiences. It helped me focus so much on my reality and included the question, "Is it happening now?" "If not, I'm OK right now and I'm experience emotional pain from the new knowledge of my husbands past however it is not happening now." It helped me stay in my marriage for the year I promised I'd stay in order to see things through for an entire cycle of my life. The reality of seeing my husband every day knowing how he lived his life and all the awful choices he made was so painful that there were times I contemplated suicide and/or felt like I was having a heart attack. I initially stayed so as not to disrupt our adult kids lives and now, I know that we are here because we are choosing to build a new life. I feel like I don't have the strength to rebuild what I thought we had because so much of it was all a lie so while he would like to rebuild I am starting anew. I have to choose a new date to celebrate for an anniversary (or not) but the old anniversary date which is in two days is gone in my heart now, just like my first marriage is gone. Just think about your life day to day. Unless you are unsafe or feel like your husband is not at all willing to go to counseling or get help it might help to slow it down with the time frames. I've always been a long range planner with a 5 year plan but this life I have now has made me stop that. It takes time and I am still fraught with anxiety at times but if the worst that happens is that my husband gets caught with his pants down buying sex and gets arrested then we both already know that the boundaries we agreed on kick in and he does not come back and we only communicate through attorneys. I'm good with that.
I'm pretty confident that I got pregnant the night I found out ... if not that night then within the next 3 days. I've always been the responsible one in the relationship and have been using family planning for the past 2 years ... I'd had a little to much to drink and I was so tired of hearing about how I never wanted sex ... fast forward 18 days and we're pregnant. He contacted her the same night I told him I was pregnant and thus started the summer months from hell all over again. I laid down the ultimatum - it was either her or me at the end of July ... he told me he couldn't do that because it would "destroy her" ... I let things linger and it wasn't until September that he confessed that he'd pissed her off and had had no contact with her since the 1st of August. I will never regret this child ... but it certainly did put a wrench in things. When I might have left I couldn't imagine this little man not getting to have the relationship with his dad that his brothers and sister do. And lets be honest - 3 in daycare is pretty freaking expensive! LOL ... but ... between child support and spousal support - he would have left more than 1/2 of his pay in my account each month. That certainly was tempting because the "man" she thought she might be getting wouldn't be the one she actually got. :)I feel like he has really been trying since September. But there is still that lingering thought that he's bullshitting his way through life and I'm just the convenient option since I fought like hell and obviously she didn't. I am working on living day by day rather than looking so far in the future. Today - I'm ok. Today - he's not cheating. Today ...
I think when making this decision, it's worth it to ask what exactly you're working harder FOR. If you're working harder to keep a relationship in which you feel "less than", unheard, hushed, undervalued, or disrespected, then there is no point to working harder to keep that. If you are working harder to be a part of a new relationship in which your value is understood and your on equal footing, then that may be worth the harder work. If your H is a constant drag on your emotions and energy, if he does not offer you care and support, if you feel mistreated, then that is worth noting before you put more energy into the system I think. Of course it takes a Year I believe to come out from the fog and ask yourself these questions. Before discovery, a great many of our H's were already showing these deal-breaking traits and we wondered why. After discovery, the relationship must be brand new in order to fight for it. The old one was broken and not worth the fight wether we recognized it or not. If you're fighting, I hope you're feeling closer to your H than before and that you know he's fighting along side you just as hard for the New relationship you're forming (not the old one). Grieve the old one and let it go wether you stay with the PERSON or not I say.
Walk away or stay - Remember when your on a plane that loses pressure - The instruction are - Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help others. That is Elle's advice in short version.
Absolutely. Women are socialized to always put others' needs before their own. Is it any wonder we find ourselves in these seemingly impossible situations? We need to take care of ourselves first. And then figure out what's best for us moving forward.
For me the hysterical bonding and my anxiety made me stay. I was for the first time ever...needy, had a self esteem that imploded and was a zombie. You come out of that bonding feeling good and are in a honeymoon fog somewhat. When your self esteem comes back and you’ve worked so hard on yourself that you realize your worth, THEN the second guessing comes into play. You understand all that you went through and now you feel better. I think it’s normal once you come out the other end and see the light, it clicks that you deserved better. We’ve all changed and some things are better and many things are forever changed. I’m almost at the empty nest phase and wonder what changes that will bring. Kids and family tend to help pull things together. Once that is gone then you need to dig in as a married couple to tackle the new lifestyle. Infidelity or not, it’s a drastic change.
Exactly!!. Marriage is work. And with infidelity it is just more work getting past the hurt anger sadness and the I just dont give a f^%$ when normal marriage issues come up. Empty nest is terrifying for me... alone with juat him? I don't know... I'd rather juat have more kids.Blindsided.
Blindsided, I used to think that about empty nest too. I had resigned myself to doing my own thing. I am so good at keeping myself happy and I think that is why I was able to do so well during the 10 years of affairs. He on the other hand I realize was a mess. I try to look at it that thankfully this all came out and he has been given his second chance. He knows it and if anything we will have the best years of our life if we both are willing to put the work in. So far he is proving he is up for it. He actually talks more about the empty nest days coming up than me. It is strange to me how he lived his life in so many ways. The best way he says he can explain it was before dday he did everything meaning everything only thinking about himself like a kid/adolescent. And on dday he grew up and realized what was important to him. I am impressed with his insights granted his profession has helped him and also the fact that he ended both affairs 15 months before dday. I try to focus on all of the positives and watch and listen to him now more than ever. And mainly watch his actions since he said things straight to my face that were lies for our entire 25+ year relationship.
I can't believe I'll be coming up on 3 years ... it's still with me not so far in the rear view that I can ignore it but not so much in the daily spot light that it's consuming. Feeling fresh sometimes and others so long ago it no longer puts me on the bathroom floor or makes me lose my breath. But damn it ... it's still here .. im still here. We are still here Im different .. we are different or perhaps im found myself again but all these things have to be some type of progress. But always remaining is the wtf?!?
Same here as we approach 3 years. If does not occupy all my time every day. However I do think of it at least once a day still. Some days are much harder than others. It seems to continue to evolve but it does hang over us. I would say over time it weighs on my husband even more.
At three years, I began to see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel but it was still faint. I was closer to five years before I felt well and truly past it. But with each passing day/week/month, I knew my reasons for staying were stronger than my reasons for leaving. And so I let that guide me.
Wondering if anyone else has experienced not only D-Day but also the discovery that their husband has far more mental health issues then previously known. Intensive therapy is being recommended for my husband before we can work on our marriage. His charm and amazing ability to lie have covered his inner issues which are now escalating to the surface. He is now facing legal issues and has shown addictive behaviors in destructive decision making. I have thought seriously about leaving but I also feel the need to stay with the man I vowed to love for better or worse.....in sickness and in health. We are definitely in worse and sickness. He seems to be trying but I don't feel optimistic when I read about the prognosis of a personality disorder that may not be able to be cured. I ache over the betrayal and even more at the realization of how unhealthy his mind is.
I think on some level whether it is able to a diagnosed condition or not there is some level of mental health issues going on when someone cheats. I feel the same about someone who murders or harms someone are they technically not guilty by reason of insanity by the letter of the law? Most are not. But I personally think there has to be some level of mental illness to commit many crimes or harm to others. My husband is a mental health professional and many things are grey. He knows all of the mental health signs and even all related to sexual predators, addictions, deviancy. He is well versed in addictions to alcohol and other issues like that. He has even told me he knew right before he cheated for the first time and every time after he was screaming to himself in his head to stop. He knew it would take us to the brink. I could go on and on about his thought process. In the end his only explanation was that he lived his life for only himself and did whatever he wanted. When he left our house he said he was so good at compartmentalizing things.Sorry for the long answer but I think it is important to work with a licensed therapist one with experience with betrayal I think is even better. My husband suggested I go see someone since I chose not to talk with anyone I know. It was the best thing for me. I wanted him to come initially with me but in the end it was great for me to have a person just for me to work with. I think in general though it is good for both people to go together and individually. Initially my husband was not wanting to go. My therapist did not think under out circumstance it would be beneficial but more just an exercise of going for me or to fulfill an obligation. My therapist was very aware of this the entire time I went for appointments. But my situation is very unique.I think in your case with the serious nature of his issues having a plan in place for what the expectations and boundaries are would be smart. For me this was hard and my therapist in individual sessions helped me a lot with this.Do what you need to feel safe and happy and maybe a therapist to help guide you will do that so you know you did everything you could.
Anonymous,Yes, my husband was a sex addict (unbeknownst to me) and D-Day revealed not only his infidelity but OCD, a childhood of abuse, trichtillomania, anxiety...and full laundry list of mental health issues.Like you, I wanted to stay with this man I'd pledged "in sickness and in health" and wanted to ensure that my children's father got the help he needed. I figured I'd leave later, once he was more stable. But as Ii watched him tackle his issues, I regained so much respect for him. He worked so bloody hard. And he's so much better. He still tends toward anxiety, he's still a "bit" OCD about things. But he can confront his issues and I admire that. You get to decide what you do going forward. And you are under no obligation to stay with anyone, whether they seek help for themselves or not. But I did want to share that it's possible to stay together.
Anonymous, yes, my husband was a sex addict along with OCD, ADHD, depression, etc. Oh man does he own a laundry list of mental health problems that run deep and wide on both sides of his family of origin. He will always struggle with his OCD tendencies but is able to laugh at himself now. His mindfulness practice and yoga help calm his mind on a regular basis. He is able to tell me when his internal stress flares up and he will quickly do a short meditation or just breathe in a way he learned when he took a mindfulness class for addicts. I'm really so happy to see him taking care of himself in an appropriate and timely manner. My only suggestions for you would be to take the time to actually do what you need to do to protect yourself financially/legally from any of your husband's actions. I have no idea what that means in your state/country but you can't cure him or fix him or manage him so it is important that you take care of yourself and your kids if you have them. Must my 2 cents.
Hopeful 30,Elle, and Beachgirl,Thank you so much for taking time to reply. Your words have helped me. It is so difficult to go through something like this that you cannot speak freely about with your friends and family. This site keeps me from feeling alone and isolated. I am learning g from all the wisdom shared and feeling more confident that I will find my way through this.
Wounded I hear you with the wtf? We’re going into year 4 and we have fewer blow ups but then I’ve learned better coping mechanisms for the triggers. My h has had to learn to listen to the real pain and not just the pain he sees in my eyes. We’re still working hard to find our way to a better relationship...daily we’re making progress...
Wounded & Theresa -- Totally agree with you Wounded, word for word. Our current experience sounds so similar, including "But always remaining is the wtf?!?" Yup. I'm better, he's better, we're better, but still... "wtf?!!?"And Theresa, your point really struck me: "my h has had to learn to listen to the real pain and not just the pain he sees in my eyes." Still struggling with this sometimes at 2-1/2 years. I think he chooses to see the pain he thinks he can "fix" and/or the type that does not make him feel so much shame, and not the pain I'm actually feeling. Too often still I feel like "why don't you see ME." I hadn't really put my finger on what/why was bugging me until I read what you wrote.Great post Elle! Everyone's responses have really given me a lot to reflect on today. Thanks ladies! Hugs!
Sal likewise you gave me a different perspective as well. My h is returning home tonight and tomorrow he will help me move my mother into our home. He plans to stay in town for the first week and he may have to go back but I think I’m going to have my hands too full to notice his absence. Thanks for your thoughts!
Gosh...feels good to come to this site. It is his second time and I am trying to hang on for my son's sake. Everyone around me told me to stay in the marriage. Will write more. For now, I feel lost, confused and losing myself.
Give yourself some time and when you are ready if you want tell us your story. We have all been there. For me just reading what others wrote on here and the posts gave me great comfort and that "me too" feeling. I was committed to staying in the beginning for my kids. Almost three years later and things have transformed a lot and for the better. It has been a ton of work but so far it is worth it. Hang in there
Anonymous,I'm so sorry you're here. Second time around? What's going on? And nobody here will tell you to stay in the marriage. You get to do what's right for you, and if you don't yet know, you have our full permission to take your time to figure it out until you're not so lost, or confused. Use this time to really be good to yourself, to try and heal your own pain around this without worrying about whether you're going to stay or go. Leave your husband to deal with his own stuff. See how sincere he is about truly addressing the choices he's made and figure out why he's risking his marriage. There's no easy way out of this but it is easier if you make sure you're gentle with yourself. Rule #1.
Anon 1/11- Take your time. Breathe. We are here for you. Sometimes writing it out in a journal at least helps to understand what is troubling you today. And the list of troubles does seem to be a carousel of items. Take a journal, blanket, listen to your favorite music and sip on something hot. Sometimes writing it out adds to clarity and you can revisit the writing to see how far you’ve come. Hugs
Dear girlfriends I need your opinion if I'm being unreasonable or have to high expectations I need your honest please. I said I was going to rock the boat, I have. I had a bad trigger last night. I talked to my H this morning. I told him that he never came totally clean about the affair and I can't stand it. I told him it took me two years by asking endless questions to get what little knowledge I have. I told him he lies to get what he wants and keep what he has. He got mad and left the room. I just sat there. He says I don't understand why you can't let it go. I told him that for once would he just tell the truth. He left the room again. I just sat there. So then he says all I want is this great life we have going. Then he told me I have our entire married life had difficulty trusting ie. telling the truth to me. He realizes it and he is working on it. He said he has been working on it. He says he is totally happy in our marriage. He asked me if I was. I told him I missed feeling like someone had my back, I miss trusting him that he would have best interest. I told him that is what I miss in our marriage. (He had been dumped really hard twice by two women in his past). I said well you got me this time before I could get you. He was silent. I told him that at least if I couldn't have a husband who didn't cheat on me then I wanted a husband who would tell me the truth. I told him what would really help is if he told me the entire story of the affair. He said, I don't see how that is going to help you. I said don't ever think you know what is best for me. I know what is best for me. He said he would think about it. So I said well if I can't have a marriage where my H tells me the truth then I will settle on your terms to have a relationship but it will not be a marriage. He told me he has come a long way with telling me about what he feels. And he has, he cries to me sometimes. He said he didn't know if he could go where I want him to go emotionally. I said well you can't give what you don't have. I think this is the death knell for my marriage in my mind, the kind of marriage I truly wanted. I'm not leaving but I'm in a relationship with a man who I love. Nothing more and shouldn't expect anything more just be happy with what we have. I have to get over I will never have what I want. We do have a fun together like boyfriends and girlfriends do. He is more touchy feeley as he calls it. Maybe I should just be satisfied with that, that should be enough. My H is 71 years old and very much aware he doesn't have much time left. Maybe I just need to enjoy the kind of life I have. Stop wanting more. Any thoughts on what is wrong with me?
LLP, oh wow. My husband and your husband sound so similar. He has opened up to me so much over the past 6 months and told me things about him and his life. He felt from an early age that he was not loved, important or liked. His mother was distant and narcissistic and his father was harsh (after 5 years as a Japanese prisoner of war) and he compensated from a very, very young age with sexual self-soothing. Of course you factor in childhood exposure to porn, being victimized sexually and being taunted and belittled by his father and you get a very screwed up, untrusting, maladapted man-child who feels insecure despite great accomplishments. He does tell me that he has told me the truth about his past although I do not have a lot of details. Sometimes when I want details I have to ask myself if I am pain shopping. Usually I just decide, Yes, I am so let it the fuck go. I'm reading that book right now by the way. I often feel like my relationship with my husband is like boyfriend/girlfriend and I've decided that is OK. My husband is almost 67 so not so much younger than yours. I truly believe that my husband is doing the best he can to trust me and be honest with me. Do I think he has more things in his past that he feels shame around? Yes. Do I really need to know about those deep, dark injuries to his psyche? Maybe yes/maybe no. What I do believe right now is that he is doing the best he can to overcome his reluctance to trust anyone but he knows it was all of his fucked up choices that nearly destroyed his marriage and his life. He feels terrible about them and I do to. He knows that I am unsure if I will ever trust him again but I do believe that he has my back. Sometimes I wonder if it is too late to learn to love him again like I did before he told me about his addiction but I do love him and I like the life we have together. It is not what I expected before D-day but it is active, fun and positive. I don't think there is anything wrong with you. I'm at a point where I'm willing to let a lot of that stuff go because I really do not need or want any more of his past actions to rob me of my joy. I am almost 67. Honestly, my husband has to live with his past and deal with it. He knows that our marriage is fragile and he now treats it as such. Wishing you strength to sort this out.
LLP,It sounds as if this story of his affair is like a barrier between the two of you. You can't fully trust him or the relationship and he just wants both of you to ignore the elephant in the room so that you can carry on the way things are.What if you found someone who could act as something of a mediator -- who could guide the conversation so that it doesn't veer completely off track and you could get the story you need to hear? With sex addicts (I know this isn't your situation, i'm just using it as an example), there's often something called Full Disclosure, in which a third party (therapist, usually) facilitates a session in which the addict tells the betrayed spouse everything -- or whatever it is she wants to know. It's considered an important part of the healing of the relationship. The addict is forced to reckon with everything he did and work through his own shame, and the wife is given full disclosure so that she can decide if she wants to stay or not, or at the very least, get a full clear picture of what was going on.I opted not to do this. But the fact that my husband was willing to do this was HUGE for me. It showed me that he was willing to put MY right to full disclosure before his own fear and shame. And I suspect that's what's tripping you up. Your husband is still controlling what you know or don't know. He's the one setting the rules. And that's not fair, especially at this point. I understand his fear. He's terrified, no doubt, that once you know everything, you're going to pack up and leave. And there's no guarantee that's not going to happen. Or that you might need time to process everything he tells you. But that's YOUR choice to make, not his. He cheated. And if he wants you to give him this chance to be a better man then he needs to let you make that decision based on the truth of what he did, not on the details he wants to share.There are those therapists who urge people to move forward, that the past doesn't matter, etc. And frankly, I don't think it's the details that matter so much as the fact that HE is controlling whether you have them or not. That's my two cents. And I do worry (and have commented before) that you throw a grenade into your own happiness (thanks to a childhood that has made you suspicious of any happiness). And I hear that you're both happy now. But this is a sticking point for you and I don't think you're wrong. But I think you need to be clear on whether you truly want the details of the affair or if you just want to know that he's willing to totally transparent with you. I didn't need the details, personally. I knew enough. But I did want him to acknowledge that I deserved to know everything -- that I was the one who got to decide, not him.
LLPThere is nothing wrong with you and your needs for a truthful relationship. The emotional part is something that is very lacking in many men. They feel emotions but fall short of discussion of emotions. I have a similar jackass. But I love him and every once in a while he does open up and I feel such a connection. It’s really hard to teach our old dog new tricks. I’m not giving real advice just a little understanding. Hugs!
llp I don’t think your being unreasonable, you clearly need more information to process what happened. Yes it will hurt your h having to revisit what he did but equally it’s hurting you not knowing.. I think you can and will meet each other half way on this one.. let us know how you get on xx
Quick follow up - He told me he couldn't give me what I want about being truthful about the affair. He told he has tried his best to be truthful NOW. I said am I expecting too much? I said what if - I had an affair and the only information you got was the exactly the answer to the question. And I lied to you for two years. He said, no he wouldn't trust me either. He told me I wasn't expecting too much, he just couldn't give me what I want. I don't know anymore where the hell I'm at with all this. He said love has nothing to do with this. He loves me and he is trying his best to make me happy. A side note - I grew up in a revengeful home. I grew up where you didn't forgive or forget. What is your opinion of him? I need an outsider view. Why is it still important to me that he tell the truth about the affair?
Llp wow my heart hurts for you. I’m guessing your husband is afraid to tell you the truth, he probably still has a lot of shame and he’s probably scared to death that you’re going to pack up and leave once you finally hear the truth after two years. But I also feel you have every right to know what happened if that will help you heal. It sounds like you still have a lot of anger and pain because you may not know the answers that you need. I was someone that needed to know everything and I had to beat it out of my husband to get the full truth and it took two months after DDay to completely get the truth from him. At that time we were going to a marriage therapist twice a week and she was aware that I needed to know everything. She also told me I was going to make her job a lot harder if I knew all the details. So I told her to roll up her sleeves because we were going to have some work to do because how could I forgive if I didn’t know what all I was forgiving. It was my choice to decide whether my husband was worth the fight or not and how can I make that decision if I didn’t know. It took about two months to finally get the whole truth out of him he says now he was just so afraid I would leave him, he was being a coward and protecting himself and he thought he was protecting me from all the details. The counselor finally said to him one day do you realize every time you fucking lie to her and she finds out more lies you are stabbing her in the heart over and over again. If you truly want the truth it’s going to hurt like hell and you may end up going down that rabbit hole again. I would highly recommend your husband divulge that information with a therapist present for both of you. Sounds like this is eating away at you and how are you ever going to heal if that’s what you truly need. A big hug to you!
LLP,I can relate, I don't believe my H will ever volunteer the entire story or elaborate on any answers beyond 1 word (and maybe a different answer to the same questions I asked months before). It is very frustrating and keeps me stuck in the letting go process - it sounds as though this is the same for you.We know they cheated, they've admitted it and nothing will reverse it. The justice side of us wants to make him say all of his wrongs because it is the right thing to do based on principal, based on the fact that they fucked up BIG time (in my case, many times, for many years, with many women). It may make us feel validated when we think back and can say "I knew I wasn't crazy! I felt something was off!" Maybe him saying all of the wrongs will make him never want to do it again when he sees the pain in your eyes and your heart. Despite you being brought up in a grudge filled home, wanting the truth is a need for many where there is betrayal. And for those that don't want the details, they can also move forward and let go. I truly wish I was more like this.Our husbands have SO much shame, they hate going to that place where they have to think about it and imagine all the pain they caused, all the carelessness, all the selfishness; and then say it all to you, the one he loves and desperately wants to keep. They hate that place. Nothing was glamorous. He wants and loves you, loves your life, and that is all he wants to think about now. He never wants to ho back to that place (even in his thoughts).I agree that there is a huge issue in that he is controlling the information flow. It's frustrating to hear "I don't know how the details of the affair are going to help you." My response has always been that he doesn't get to decide NOW what protects me - he doesn't have good judgement obviously and should have been protecting me all along. For me, details allow me to process, put timelines together, and stop obsessing. Believe me, you will never be able to understand it, but if it is truly details you want, you may start to accept it once you have a story.You cannot unknow details - please remember this.What if you wrote him a letter, one explaining all of the red flags you had over the years, how all of the lying and deceit has traumatized you, the story you have been telling yourself, and that you need closure to really and truly move on to a loving relationship because you miss him. You need to know because the story you tell yourself is most likely far worse than the truth, and you are in so much pain because if it. You can't move on without more than just "I did it". This may give him great peace as well; despite everything, he does need love and peace.I found read my H's 1st step to his SAA sponsor last week (he does not know I found it). I read something that has set me free from some of this. I am so relieved. Maybe your husband will say the EXACT thing you need to take a step forward. Good luck darling, please keep us posted xoxo
LLP,I understand your feelings. Since D-Day I’ve gotten as much detail on the affair as I can. My husband held stuff back early on but a few weeks in, he opened up with details. And when I say, details I mean stuff about the physical part of the affair. My husband’s ability to relay to me details on conversations they had wasn’t as successful. Maybe it’s fortunate for me, but the only access I had to messages between them was the night I found out. I was in a rage though and can only remember bits and pieces of what I read before he deleted the conversation (It was several weeks of ongoing messages on FB) and she messaged him that night when she realized I knew because I texted her. Then I responded to her via his FB account. That’s when the thread got deleted. In hindsight, I probably asked more than I should have because I can’t forget it now and had I read and recalled much of their messaging, it would have haunted me. We are now over 2 1/2 years past D-Day. At this point, my husband doesn’t remember some things. I truly believe him when he says it. I think some of it is having a crappy memory and some is his mind’s way of not having to recall what an ass he was. Is it 100% healthy? Probably not. Is he working hard to be a better person? Yes. Is he 100% transparent now? Yes.I guess it’s a matter of what you feel he’s holding back and how that factors into the ability for the relationship to move forward. If he’s just not talking because he feels he knows better than you what you need, I would take issue. What remains that you want to know? Is it details, is it motives?I struggle with forgiveness and my major hang ups come with not knowing how my husband or the OW could make such damaging decisions. Through this, i have learned a lot about my husband, his upbringing and his past coping mechanisms. But even with all that knowledge, I can’t get inside his head at the moment he made the choices. And when he’s tried to explain it to me, it still makes no sense because I am a different person with a different past. I end up arguing with him because I feel like he should have thought differently. My husband was not the person I thought he was. Now I get to decide if I can love and stay with the person he is now. Let my guard down enough to accept the marriage I have now with all its cracks. And my remaining desire to understand the OW and her motives does not help my recovery. I want to understand so I can forgive. I feel like I need to stop hinging my ability to forgive on that because I will likely NEVER understand it and it will EVER excuse what was done. Forgiveness is hard. I feel like I’ve spent so much time looking for the magic answer that will make me say, “Oh, so that’s why it happened.” and the answer is that it was a lot of different things that I may never be able to reconcile.I hope hearing others’ perspectives helps in some way.
Exactly, Dandelion. I also just cannot fathom HOW my h could have acted the way he did. He tried to explain it by saying he wanted two things but could only have one (as if he was choosing what flavor ice-cream- not sexual &emotional (in)fidelity). I will NEVER understand. But for now, I keep asking.
LLP - do you think he’s reluctant to tell all because he thinks you will leave? I don’t have all the details and there are lots of things I suspect due to my H’s vagueness and hestation. My H assumes I would leave if I knew everything . So for now I know what I do and I don’t need to know more to create extra triggers and hurt. I do demand transparency and 100 percent truth now in our marriage on everything. Not even a white lie is acceptable. If he crosses that line, it’s a huge deal breaker for me. I’m not staying with someone that can’t tell the truth about small things...how much something was, how he paid for things or where he was. If you are capable of lying about small daily shit, that red flag is flying high as I walk out.
Thank you for your comments. You all hit on points which are valid. Thank you breaking it down Elle into something I can understand. I always felt like he never did the work and told my therapist that. He is terrified I'm going to leave him. We went through disclosure after 6 months but he lied in therapy too which I found out after going through the bank statements. I will take some deep thoughts if I really want to know the details. He is a military officer so control is his thing. I have no doubt that he really truly loves me. Maybe that should be enough at this point and look for other ways he tries to control me and deal with it. It took me 4 years to get to the bottom of my stuckness. Yes it was a hand grenade a big one. He is so depressed and quiet today. I hate this shit. Thank you again Anon, Elle, Beach Girl and Sam A. You have given me alot to think about. Elle - thank you for taking time out of your life to help me. Thank you for taking time away from your family to help me. Every time I throw out a pinkie finger hoping someone will lock pinkie fingers with me and pull me out - You all are right there. My therapist told me I have trouble believing I deserve to be happy. Elle your right this may be one example. Thank you all so much again. I have some heavy thinking to do with your concerns Elle. I think you are right Anon, he is scared. That is the way he has been all along. I just saw my mom suffer all those years from my dad's infidelity and I don't want to be like her. Her life stunk and the shit rolled down hill. Beach Girl, I hear you loud and clear, you resolved it in your mind and put it on him. Maybe I need to take your route Beach Girl. I will re read these post several times. I'm 63.
Even when someone is no longer cheating, they can still hold the same unhealthy ideas. In AA, they call it a "dry drunk". Someone who's no longer drinking but hasn't addressed the reasons they drank.Your husband's shame keeps in a fear-based position. And when we're frightened, we can't step out of our fear to empathize or be truly present to another person.It's not surprising that you two have found each other. You each have incredibly deep wounds and, ideally, you can help each other heal. But he has to do HIS work. You've worked so hard on yourself.
LLP, my husband is a retired military officer too. Also, just because I resolved my spouses disgusting past one day does not mean I am not affected the next day. It is a process. One day at a time. I just have to keep asking myself, "am I pain shopping?" "why am I pain shopping?" I can't change his past and I can't forget it either. I hate the FB "memories" that pop up especially now at my wedding anniversary. I want to puke all over him. Then, in the next moment I think, "why bother?" He lives with his past every single day. He does not need me to remind him of it.
LLP, my story is a little different from most on here. Dday was recent but the affairs were 21 and 17 years ago. I knew he had cheated the first time. He denied it but gave me the "I'm not sure I'm in love with you." I moved out with a 2 and 4 year old. He came to me a month or two later and asked me to come home. I wanted the family. I loved him. I went home. I asked him about it from time to time and he wouldn't talk about it. Fast forward all these years...I'm in counseling for depression. I tell the counselor that he cheated years ago and this has weighed on me all these years. We discussed getting no answers and how I could approach the conversation differently to get the answers. I told him about this. He told me he just didn't see how it would help. I told him he was arrogant to think he knew what I needed and his protection was for himself and his AP. Finally, he began to talk. I say began because he did straighten out some details. I was angry that he had lied about it all for so long. I had obviously made to choice to move on with him. A week later I asked if there was anything else. Well...turns out he had another affair 2 years later and a ONS. I never had a clue. He has questioned whether this last piece of honesty was better for us. I told him this relationship has been a lie for 21 years. It's time for the elephant to be kicked out of the room. His lies have defined my married life. Please, don't give up on the truth. I didn't need to know intimate details but I needed to know he could be honest. That's what you are looking for...Can he be honest? He sees now that we could've possibly prevented the second screw up and have had a better relationship for many years. Now I'm having Dday again and questioning whether I want to live with someone who can lie to me so easily. He finally seems to have the empathy he should've had so many years ago. For me this didn't end just because he quit screwing around. It's been a struggle on and off over the years. You are the only person who can decide how you need to process his betrayal. He owes you much more than he's giving you if he truly wants to move forward and loves you.
LLP - I completely agree with Michelle on this. I don't know what information you are looking for - but I'm going to guess it may not necessarily be the details that matter as much as his willingness to share and be vulnerable and honest with you. At the end of the day - we each get to decide what we end up with. I laughed out loud at your description of your current relationship because really - truthfully - I almost prefer the "dating relationship" that my H and I currently have over the married relationship we once had - but that's just me!
Michelle,I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I think the time lapse complicates things in some ways but, as you note, the affairs might as well have been six months ago because, for you, the pain is NOW.His lying is clearly a huge problem. What does he say about that? Does he lie about other things -- ie. even little things? For my husband, he grew up lying to his parents because they were so judgemental and critical and controlling. Far easier to lie about where you were after school, whether you had homework, etc. So it has been a struggle for him to learn that lies are harmful because they kept him out of trouble. Now, even little lies (ie. I'm late because of a train rather than the truth "I'm late because I left work late") get him IN trouble with me because I want an honest relationship. So...I think whether he's worth staying with is based on how much he's willing to admit that what he's done was incredibly damaging and how badly he wants to be a better man and what he's willing to do to get there.
LLP I would suggest that you can both go on this website affairrecovery.com and take the free 7 days boot camp course. It might make him understand the need for disclosure.The post today just echoes my thoughts. I had an unexpected, unprovoked attack at work in which I was injured and it brought back some of my anxiety post D-day. I'm nearly six months out and doing much better but it's hard sometimes. And I wish I had a crystal ball that showed me which option was better; walking away or working harder. I have only just stopped my antidepressants sbf then something like this happens. You can't just control life, can you? My husband amazes me sometimes. We have had to help a number of people recently mostly friends of mine to do various things. Sometimes it was really an inconvenience but he never complained. He went out of his way to help. I am certain he is not pretending. And this behaviour is not new. This was him post Dday. I find it hard to reconcile the 'two persons' in this man since his behaviour was utterly selfish. Everyone believes he loves me and he is a good person but I struggle with accepting this sexual addiction and the regular meetings and everything involved with it. But again, I'm so busy it seems I have no time to think about it or even grieve it. Find it hard to finish the books I've bought because I'm so exhausted each day. Then I wonder if I'm staying because he seems a better man than my dad ever was. I'm rambling...
Id appreciate a reply and some advice please. Thanks.
Anonymous,I don't really have advice. It sounds as if you're just going through what we all go through -- stages of healing. Sometimes we need to just rest. Other times we can do the reading, do the therapy, have the conversations, etc. If you don't know what your next right step is...then rest. It will become clear with time.
Michelle, thank you for the advice. It is nice to know that someone else years later can look back and help me. I feel like I need to know the truth as you did. I'm going to give him some time to think about and see what he says. Hiking Girl - I can tell that shame is on his mind again. He is very quiet. Standoffish. That is ok. I never realized how much shame he has until he admitted he has lied all these years.Dandy, I have come to realize my husband is not who I thought he was either. I'm struggling to reconcile it as well. Your words help tremendously. Thank you friends for all your advice. I have re read each post and I think it is nice to know that I'm not the only one years out that is still having difficulty. His unwillingness to share information puts me in the "beware mode" as far as finances go. I knew deep in my gut that he has had other affairs that I will never know about. When I mentioned a polygraph a year ago he said no. I ask him if he ever had physical contact with someone while he was in the Army, he said maybe. I just let it go because I'm tired of digging for awhile. All you ladies are right about cheaters being broken before the affair. I just never thought my H was that broken but he is. He knows where I stand and I want him to come clean, not the details but just a story line. The therapist said he is the type of person who thinks about things for awhile then answers. I'm going to give him awhile. But certainly not put my trust in him if he is not willing to be honest. In therapy together we defined what is a lie. His definition was shaky at best. I guess I always wanted him to at least admit he had a problem with lying. He doesn't realize this makes me want him less, not more. I'll give him some time but I will circle back to this because it is important to me. He knows this. He is very quiet so I know he is thinking. I know he is ashamed of his past actions and will readily admit what an asshole he was. I read on a wayward blog of the men who continually lie and can't quit it. Now I feel a tension in the air because the real issue finally came out between us. Michelle your right it doesn't just end because the affair ended. Thank you all for your wisdom, experience and guidance. You helped me so much. I will keep you post on the outcome.
Walk away or try harder? I am still stuck in this state, as it seems many of us are.It's a little after 2:00 a.m. here as I sit in the dark of my family room, listening to my husband peacefully snore down the hallway in our bedroom.I am confused, angry, and hurt. I don't want to feel this way any more. Dday was early Sept. 2016. My husband works in the same agency/company as the piece of shit he chose over me and our children (15 and 17 yrs old). I will be 45 in a few days, and I have been married since I was 25. Around mid November, I gave my h some space, as he requested. According to him, I was "trying too hard," whatever that means. Yes, I was "trying hard" fighting for my marriage, fighting for my family, not screaming to anyone that would listen that I still can't believe my husband hurt me in the worst way possible. So, as he requested, I gave him space. I quit texting him sweet and sexy messages. I quit calling him at work. I quit initiating sex. I didn't ignore him, but I didn't go out of my way to please him or show him affection. We continued to have (mostly mediocre) sex, we continued to go out to dinner, we continued to watch TV shows that we both enjoyed and laughed at, we continued to do fun things with our family. Slowly, I began to see my husband again... or so I thought. He's lied to me for so long ("friendship" - I say emotional affair - began in 2011, sexual affair in 2014 that ended in 2015, "friendship" continued until Sept 2016) and kept a horrible secret life for so long... and told me he "pretended" with me sometimes for the sake of our kids... I think he's still lying - mostly to himself.Here's the confusion for me: He made such a thoughtful gift for me this Christmas - he found a metal tree, printed out several pictures of our family (all four of us, some of just the two of us, others of just the kids), and glued the pics to the branches and leaves of the tree. It's beautiful and I appreciate it. My husband also purchased gifts that required thought and planning, which isn't normal. I truly felt like we were making positive progress. I thought, Surely, a man who wants to leave his wife would not give such gifts that required thought, time, and effort. Surely, a man who wants to end his marriage would not make the holiday so special. Then, the holiday was over and we were out with another couple on NYE. I flirted with him several times and was not met with much enthusiasm. Our kiss at midnight was dull and void of emotion. We went home, I attempted to make love to my husband, and he asked ME what MY problem was. Why was I acting so weird. WTF? We argued, I left the bedroom, he followed me. He said it was late and he was exhausted, would I please come back to bed? He's exhausted? REALLY? I've been exhausted for almost 2 yrs! I was angry. Hurt. Disappointed. I did nothing wrong. I only wanted to flirt with my husband and then later be intimate with him. It's been a weird month. As usual, whenever I attempt to talk about us, even if it's a simple, "Hey, babe... could we please talk for a bit?" he immediately gets defensive. I purposely did not talk about our situation for 2 mos, just to see what would happen. So, what did happen? Moments of connection, moments of confusion, moments of brief anger out of nowhere (him), moments of sweetness, and many moments of uncertainty.My husband just landed a new job, and I'm happy for him. He deserved to be chosen for it, and he worked hard for it. I'm also upset about his new job, as it keeps him in the same agency as the lowlife he cheated on me with. In fact, he's even closer in proximity to her now. I know if he wants to cheat again, it doesn't matter how close/far she is; however, I feel uneasy that he is so close to her office now. I have not told him this yet. I should, shouldn't I?
Jo, yes, I would tell him. His job is a trigger and her proximity to him also a trigger. You are not unreasonable bringing this up.
I know I'm rambling from one topic to the next. I'm tired, but I can't fall asleep. I have so many things running through my mind, and I can't seem to calm myself like I usually can. I'm sad/angry for many reasons. Most recently, tonight... I told my husband earlier I planned to do some things to be ready for him tonight, and that I was looking forward to our alone time after being out with friends. He seemed excited. We flirted with each other. Suddenly, his mood changed. He stopped flirting. He moved to another part of the room at our friends' house and ultimately fell asleep. We came home, got in bed, and I snuggled up next to him and kissed him. I asked him if he had any special requests or if there was something specific he'd like me to wear. He looked at me in utter confusion and said, "No, why would you ask?" I replied that I wanted to please him. He responded, "Why are you being so unnatural? Why can't you just be here and be into me and let things happen?" WTF??? So, I did. Nothing happened. Nothing. Then he shifted and began complaining about a pain in his left ball. WTF??? This has never happened, and in my mind, I'm calling complete bullshit. I got out of bed, got a drink of water, calmed myself down, and returned to bed. He was lying on his stomach, facing away from me. I moved toward him and said we should just go to bed. He agreed. He just laid there. I reached out, touched his arm, kissed his shoulder, told him I loved him and rolled on my side. He said he loved me, too. Really? Because nothing you've said or done since earlier in the night proves that you do. Really? Because you were fast asleep and snoring within minutes. Really? Because, once again, I'm wide awake and doubting the future of our marriage while you have no idea what I'm going through. How can my husband say and do thoughtful, loving things AND also be such a jerk? What is wrong with him? Why is he so hot and cold? Why can't he talk with me without becoming defensive and turning things on me? I have done nothing wrong. He had the affair. I've forgiven him and am trying to create a new marriage with him. HE HAD THE AFFAIR. I still love him. I still want him. What is wrong with him? What is wrong with me for still wanting him?I'm pretty sure I could go on and on even more than I already have, but I'll end here for now. It's almost 3:00 a.m. I wish I could fall asleep. Thank you for listening. Thank you for being here.
JO, have you and your husband gone to counseling and are you in counseling? I really think it helps to do individual and couples counseling. Sounds like an objective third party might help you answer some questions. Just my 2 cents.
Hi, Beach Girl. Thank you for responding. :)Yes, we were in couples' counseling for a little over a year. We stopped going around October. I also went on my own, and my last appointment was a few months ago. Our MC suggested my husband go to individual counseling and make an appointment with his physician. He did neither. She feels he is not able to "dig deep" on his own and needs counseling to help him do that. I agree. A few hours ago, my husband asked what was wrong - was I angry or upset with him for some reason? How can he be so clueless? We had a lengthy conversation. I said he's not consistent in his words and actions, he angers easily, and he seems confused. I asked him to go to individual counseling. He said nothing. I told him matter-of-fact that he continues to pull me in, make me feel safe, and then he pushes me away. I'm exhausted from the inconsistency. I told him, as gently as I could, that he needed to get his shit together, one way or another. I know who I am, who I want, and what I want. He needs to come to his own conclusions, and soon. He needs to get his shit together. Thanks again for listening. I know I typed a freakin' chapter early this morning. Beach Girl, thanks again for responding.
Jo. Your story is familiar to many of the people on this thread. He needs to be shocked into some sort of real response. You will already have imagined the worst possible outcome. He is putting his head in the sand. I agree with a previous commenter, you must get an independent party to help,you both. It is possible to recover. Hold onto your dignity. Many of us have shared the bleakness of the 2a.m. Wake up ! Keep writing and sharing on here.
Jo, I up at 2AM I'm sorry you are hurting so bad. There are so many things to say about betrayal. You are not very far out from DD day. I always tell it straight up although I may not be on target. I can try to guess based on reading your story. What I hear is your husband doesn't seem to be trying to repair the marriage. It seems you are the only one fighting for your marriage. I read about wayward husbands WH and yes I have one still finding out shit and I'm 4 years out. On your side, it is no way your fault he had an affair. You are fighting for what you want. Are you 100 percent sure he is not having contact? When he does, is he suppose to call you immediately and tell you about it. Is this woman married? Have you told her husband? It sounds like he is pushing you away so he still maybe in contact even as a friendship - try to find out unless you know for sure. He has been with this OW for 6 years. He has been lying to himself for 6 years to justify this affair. He may miss her. Ask him if he misses her. I did. What are your limits on their contact at work. What do you expect him to do when he sees her? He also may feel deeply ashamed or torn. The OW and your H have built an affair on a fake life. He may miss not her but that fake life. That fake life has nothing to do with taking out the garbage, paying bills, it is just having fun. When my H gets defensive he is trying to justify the affair so he doesn't look like a scumbag to him self. It took a long time for my husband to quit justifying his actions. It took him 2 years to admit to me what an asshole he really is. What you are doing is what is called the "pick me game". I did it for a long time. See me I'm everything better than your lover." That is normal too. Wanting to have alot of sex is normal because a betrayed wife wants to reclaim what is hers. Everything you are doing and feeling post betrayal is normal. The rest is on him. You really need to find out where he is at right now. It took my asshole of the universe to say, 3 years out - well I guess she really didn't care about me.How did you find out? What rules have you given him so you can feel safe? I ask my H to leave the house about 3 times and he did. This was his wake up call and he was scared to death. I mean shit in your pants scared. Prepare a list of questions, give him the list then give him time to look at it. Then a week later sit down and talk. All the perfectness, flirting extra won't get you into his head. Hang in there. Your still very early in the process. It is way too early for forgiveness, How can you forgive someone who has a take it or leave it attitude about your marriage? He needs to be the one proving to you he deserves a second chance. My personal opinion is he is still in friendship contact with her or he has overwhelming shame/guilt which he deserves. I'm of the opinion WH lie for a long time so looking back I should not have believed him. I don't know him but I hear your pain and feel so bad that you are hurting. I think Victoria is right about the shocking and make it 6 shocks for every year he was with that scank.
LLP,I very much appreciate your straight forward responses, helpful advice, and sound reasoning. I have feared for some time now that my h does not want to repair the marriage. I believe he fears the fallout - how will he look to his kids, family, friends? How will he explain himself? That's on him. He likes being the good guy and has stated often he doesn't want to come off as a jerk. Wow... except where his wife is concerned.He has ignored many of my rules: doesn't tell me when ow emails him, even though it's work related (I have snooped, so I know)doesn't tell me when ow is in same meeting/gathering as him (whether there are 5 or 50 people attending)doesn't reassure me WHEN I FLAT OUT ASK FOR IT AND EXPLAIN AGAIN WHY doesn't initiate any check in conversationsI could list more, but everyone here gets the idea. What DOES he do?he shows me physical affection -inconsistently he sometimes tells me I look nice/I'm dressed nicelyhe spends time with mehe made the holidays very special (especially the artwork and family photos) -- but this recently turned into a slap in the face.I prepared a list of questions and had planned to give the list to him. Instead, I ended up asking him this past Tuesday night. I did not appreciate the deflection and non answers. I finally cut to the chase and asked how he felt about me, about our marriage. Blank, silent stare. "Do you want to work on our marriage...do you want to be married to me?" His response: "I don't know." Are you fucking kidding me? After all this time, and after all these opportunities I've given him... he gives me the I-don't-know-bullshit again.How can the same man that made the holidays so special, made it seem like he was coming around and making a break through, say he doesn't know???His answer: (here comes the slap in the face) He just wanted a nice holiday with no problems, no arguments. Everything he did was to make those weeks peaceful FOR HIM. I thought he wasworking on our marriage, and this was how he was communicating it to me. I felt so manipulated. I wanted to punch him in the face! WTF kind of answer is that?My response? I cried. I cried a silent stream of tears. I said only this to him: Take the next few days to make an appointment with your physician and make an appointment with a counselor. You need help.The next day, Wednesday, was my birthday. A bouquet of flowers arrived for me at work. I wanted to throw them out the window. I came home to a bday card full of what a great wife I am and how he never seems to say what's in his heart until it's too late, and he hopes I can see how he feels. He also gave me an expensive spa certificate and car wash certificates (I asked for those last year, so it's not an odd gift). WTF? I simply said, "Thank you." He said something like he thought the card was appropriate. I just looked at him.Buddy, if you want to apologize, then do it. If you have something to say, say it. Silence.So, the past few days I have basically talked to him only when needed. I don't kiss him, he kisses me. I don't say I love him unless he says he loves me first. He just stopped saying it altogether last night. When he asks me a question, I answer with a question (like he normally does). I know this is childish, and it certainly is not my usual behavior. I'm not getting any joy out if it. What else can I do?He has until tomorrow to tell me if he made those appointments. If he hasn't, I hope I can stay strong and tell him to leave. I already told him I'm unhappy and I can't stay in limbo. I'm even more confused now after the card and gifts. My gut tells me he's just trying to smooth things over again for the time being and he doesn't really mean it - just like what he did last month.
(cont).I have lost all hope that my h wants to save/is capable of saving our marriage. There is something really wrong with him, and he won't take care of himself. I'm devastated all over again. So...thank you, LLP, and all the other compassionate, badass women on this site. You all give me comfort and strength. I hope I can do the same.
Thank you, Victoria.I agree that my h needs to be shocked into a real response. I thought that would have happened when our daughter found out about his affair and then we sat down with both kids as he told them he had indeed "fucked up." It may come down to my H agreeing to counseling or... Leaving? Again, I feel stuck.I will keep reading and sharing, as you (and many others) have suggested. Thank you.
Jo, I agree with LLP, something is up with your husband. He's either overwhelmed with shame and guilt or has some serious issues--like continued or renewed contact with his POS. Like LLP i threw my H out on my 2nd d-day. It was the only thing that woke him up. He's still far from perfect, and hurray, so am I, but we're getting better--we've had some slip ups (non affair related) but we're still hanging in there. My H has a lot of misplaced guilt. He felt "guilty" leaving me yesterday, there were some issues while he was gone--but he responded in complete defensiveness when I told him the problems. "well i guess I should never go anywhere then"UGH--just shut UP! that's not at all what that was about. I want him to have his own interests and not rely on me for 100 percent of our normal social life. My only demand is that he keep no secrets and have contact of any kind with women that I dont know. They are all messed up in the head and I agree with you and would urge him or you or both back into therapy if that helped when you were in it. Best wishes to you. It sucks. I know. Sadly we all know
Steam,Thank you. Yep, "Sadly we all know."I'm happy that your h is working with you on your marriage. He was finally able to at least try to get his shit together.I recently told my h to go to counseling for himself... I'll know soon if he has decided to do so. I'm very close to telling him to leave. This is his last chance...
Hopeful30THIS >>>> but I also see now this is a marathon and not a sprint<<<<it is so true!!When my H was diagnosed with a sex addiction, crazy as it sounds (and we all know how crazy things can sound) It was almost a relief. Before I even knew that though--on D-Day 1 I somehow knew that I was enough and this was not about me.Fast forward to 18 months later on D-Day 2 i had no idea the deal that would make me stay--it just sort of came to be this year that this is how it's been the last two New YearsSince my d-day fell on dec 30,2013 every anti-versary falls during the upcoming years resolution time. December of 2013 I chose to stay through 2014December 2014 there was no question, I was staying. Our year of rebuilding after that first horrific D-day was fabulous. 2015 he felt a bit distant but nothing crazy (yet).December 30 2015 I didnt know anything was going on, so I decided to stay. By dec 30,2016 i was six months out of d-day number 2 (which uncovered 18 months of his bat shit crazy insane acting out that i was completely blind to-wow he cannonballed off the deep end) and was completely on the fence about staying--I had NO as to what 2017 would bring. I was with him i think strictly learning how to take over the business in case he fell off the wagon again.By last month 2017 i realized that i had been reaccessing every year without sitting down to write a pro and con list of staying vs going And again, I’m in for 2018. He’s kind of been a saint the last 8 months or so. I hope my gut is right. My only regret is that 2nd day. Had he focused half as much in us he did in hookers i think we’d be golden by now according to the 3-5 year rule. But the reality is. We only have 18 months if rebuilding in the rear view. It’s still going to take some time. But I have all year to access.Somehow this way is working out for me. I dont feel trapped by "forever" and I know I can reassess for a full year.
Jo:Is he giving you access to his phone, email, social media or anything he may have used to contact her? How would he react if you showed up at his work and asked him to take you for lunch? He should be OK with all of this if he is committed to recovery and truly regrets his choices and actions. My husband did not fully commit to me until he shared how deep his affair was. Prior to, he told me the “mini affair” as I like to call it. For over a month I was left in the state you are describing, he would buy me flowers and cook me my favourite meals but would clam up and even become angry at the mere mention of the whore or affair. He had still been in contact with her via phone. He still “loved” her and still missed her. He was not committing himself emotionally to me yet because it was not yet “over” it in his mind. The fact is he was lying to himself and therefore he was lying to me. He lived in a world where this wasn’t a big deal, where if I didn’t know I wouldn’t be hurt. He lied that it didn’t change him and that he was still a good person. Hence the gifts after I found out, hence the small attempts to show kindness. He even started donating things to charities and delivering baby clothes to needy that we hadn’t gotten around to doing yet. HE NEVER did this kind of stuff. He began calling his Grandmother, something he always felt guilty he never did. He did so much “good”. He was trying to prove he was that good person. But he is NOT a good person. He told me I love you over the phone then ran into her arms seconds later. He cared for her children while his own were crawling all over him begging him not to go. He spent our hard-earned money to impress and to glorify himself to her. He tried and tried and tried to get something from her he thought he was missing from me… but never got it. Until he saw it, fully saw what he did to us, and how awful it was, he didn’t commit to recovery and continued to lie. I worry this is the case for your husband and the Christmas present you described. Are you sure it is over? Before looking into this ask yourself what you are prepared to do if it isn’t, or at what degree of “over” would cause you to dish out some hard consequences. If they are still friends and talk? If he still has feelings for her? If he meets up from time to time with no sex? If he meets up time to time with sex? What is a deal breaker? The fact is, if he is still even just talking to her in the lunch room it will make those affair feelings stay longer even if the sex is done. No contact is so so so important to get out of the affair fog they are in. The idea that there is the option to go back to the whore needs to be destroyed in his head. I made my husband call and tell the whore it was over, tell her he lied about his unhappy marriage by saying that I was unfaithful (bahahaha losers!!! As if, a mother of a 4, 2 and 7month old has time or desire to cheat!! Bunch of stupid idiots) and finally the shame thrower, tell her that He got an STD from her and she better get checked out. That was fun to listen to her reaction. You cannot commit yourself fully to two different women. Both will be half ass-ed relationships but the whore doesn’t know any different, she was always #2. You know the difference. And now you want more. We all want more, just are they able to give it to us? And what are we wiling to settle for as they figure their shit out. How much time do we give them? How much time do we give ourselves? My husband still snores down the hall as I sit in the living room trying to distract myself with funny viral videos or even Pinterest at 2AM to get my thoughts out of what has happened. I want to scream “not fair”. But I have to remind myself that life isn’t fair. I have a roof over my head, three beautiful babies, food in the fridge, good health and a good job. And hey, I’d be ME over HIM any day. I couldn’t live in his skin. I like me. Blindsided.
Blindsided,I nodded my head, got a bit teary-eyes, and even laughed while reading your response. When you describe how your h wasn't yet over her/the affair... my heart dropped. This could definitely be the same for my h.No, I don't know for sure if it's 100% over. I have not checked his phone is awhile, but I know the passcode (he hasn't changed it). I have checked his email. I think he's smart enough to not leave a digital trail now that I know about his affair.A few days ago, I called the ow's husband. He knew of the affair at least one year before I did. He sent me a text a year after he found out in order to expose my husband. It was a pic of my husband. He was probably completely nude, but the pic cut just above his waist. Anyway... at first the ow's husband tried to deny who he was... Told me I had the wrong number. I gently persisted, and said i know who you are, and you know who I am. He talked to me for about 10 minutes, but he was not able to give me any information I didn't already know except that he and his wife are now separated. He would not tell me for how long they have been separated. He did tell me that he has put his wife's affair behind him and he has no contact with her unless it has to do with their two young children. The ow's husband hinted that his wife sent me the text from his phone. I don't know if I believe him. All he said was that he did not send that text.Regardless, I am tired of being lied to and manipulated. I am tired of fighting for a man who probably doesn't even know himself, much less know what he wants in a marriage. Until recently, I thought I was thankful for the little things. Now, I'm not sure if there's truth to even the little things.
Jo: it's so strange other people's reactions. I always assume people are good people. They don't lie or they genuinely care about not hurting people. I live in la-la land apparently. I just dont get selfishness... why would the ow husband lie? If he was cheated on why would he be so short with you? If anything tell you he prefers not to disguess and wish you a speedy recovery from this abuse and betrayal. Whatever forget about the whores husband. Forget about the ow. Focus on your husband and more so on yourself. What Do you want? I would scream peace when women on here would ask me that. I want my head not to torment me and my husband to build that damn time machine I needed to get the peace... not gonna happen. So I focused on whether or not being separated from him would be better for me or worse. And I desided that as long as he was faithful and committed to me on a level I could truely believe he was faithful then I would be better with him. Definitely for the time being with our little ones so young. We have lots to work out and I'm hoping it can happen before the empty nest faze as I dont feel confident we can pull through that. So... are you better with or without... is he committing to you... and if you don't think... can you be clear to him what you need to feel safe. And then i hope the 2 am wake ups are fewer and further between. If he can step up to the plate.You are awesome. You are faithful. You are amazing and you are loved and deserve love. Just in case you thought otherwise I wanted to remind you of it. That is truth.Blindsided
Hi JoYour story resonates with me so much. My heart is breaking for you. I'm awake most nights all different times, unable to still my mind. My STBX, we've been separated 5 months. Since D Day1, actually before, I find he's a habitual liar. He's an extremely arrogant boy with mental health issues - narcissistic traits.He felt he was entitled to have the affairs and continue friendships with his first whore and continue inappropriate friendships with other women. He could never be truthful, as for him it was easier to live a life of lies than be truthful and accountable for his actions. He couldn't admit he really fucked up and hurt me and our kids. So he's left the marriage and kids, left his first long term affair partner who was the "one" and now is on to another whore. I'm glad to be rid of all the shit associated with him, but scared to death of the financial insecurities he's placed upon us and I do grieve the loss of my marriage. It seems to be never ending. Please come here and vent as often as you need.Sending you many hugsGabby xo