Friday, March 23, 2018

Guest Post: Your Guide to Staying

by StillStanding1

Have you ever experienced the phenomenon where you thought about buying a certain kind of car and then suddenly you start seeing that car everywhere, even though you are sure you never saw more than three before in your whole life? Ever since I wrote my post about how a separation is sometimes the right answer, I feel as though I am seeing a lot of separations happening here on in the BWC community. And maybe I’m just seeing things that are always there. Maybe there is a lot of it. Maybe I’m assuming an undue level of influence for the post I wrote (I still take responsibility for things that aren’t mine). I know no one here is jumping into a separation willy-nilly because of something they read on the internet. And of course, as I wrote earlier, sometimes it is the rational, healthy choice for someone in a toxic situation. But, I’m also feeling that I want to add some balance through discussion of the other option, one that can be just as hard, and that’s staying.
Choosing to stay when faced with a partner’s affair is absolutely a valid choice and one that many women make. The public view of affairs is reminiscent of the ways we used to (and in some places still do) talk about sexual assault. It’s taboo. We pretend it doesn’t happen. We don’t talk about it openly. When someone in the public eye is unfortunate enough to go through this, the public is openly condemning the act of betrayal itself while simultaneously taking a voyeuristic pleasure in someone else’s pain and downfall. Society also tends to blame the victim (sounds familiar, right?). The wife must have been a frozen shrew, or he wouldn’t have strayed. She must be a chump if she stays with a cheater. She’s “asking for it” – being hurt or fooled again – if she stays. A woman is left feeling alone, isolated and with a burden of shame for her choice to stay. There’s no high five, feel good Oprah episode celebrating women who fight this difficult and painful fight. This is piled on top of the PTSD symptoms we’re struggling with from the betrayal itself. Why, then, might a woman choose to stay after the life-altering trauma of betrayal?
Staying might be the choice you make today, right now, because you need time to breathe and find your feet before you decide what is the next right step for you. You are shattered and often a weeping mess on the bathroom floor (no shame, we’ve all been there). Now is not the time to be considering wholesale changes to your life. It’s okay to sit still for the time being and recruit your strength. Staying because you need time to recover is okay. You have as much time as you need.
You may choose to stay because you have a long history with this person. You’ve built a life together. You are not willing to throw all that away. You know there is work ahead, and so does he, but you both are willing to do that work to get somewhere better.  And sometimes, it takes a little while to get from the pain and horror of D-day, to the point where you both are on board for this effort. It is a legitimate choice to stay and give things time to unfold, to settle down and for you to assess whether or not you see him making changes and doing the hard work of figuring out why he made the choices he made. Again, you have as much time as you need to let this part of the story unfold.
You might choose to stay for your children, if you have them. This is a valid choice too. Disruption, separation and divorce are all scary and challenging for children. You are making a choice for them, to keep things safe and settled. But know that they need a happy, healthy mother in their lives. So as you make the choice to stay for them, also own that it is a choice for you. You are not trapped or weak. You are fighting for a better life. What does this look like? Is this also time to assess and let things unfold? Staying for your children is an okay place to start but don’t let it be where you finish. What does your husband need to do to show he deserves this second chance to be in a family with you.
You might choose to stay because you are scared. Scared of all the unknowns out there. Scared you can’t provide for yourself. Scared it will be a struggle. Scared of being alone. Scared of running a household on your own. Scared that you won’t be able to keep your family safe. Scared of anything and everything. This is also real and legitimate. I’ve been there (and still go there sometimes). It’s okay to sit still when you are feeling scared about your future. Take some time to look at what you are afraid of. If you don’t feel like you can support yourself, start doing something to address that. If you don’t have visibility into the family income and finances, take steps to get that access. If you worry you won’t have enough to live on if you do end up on your own, go and visit a lawyer to understand what your rights are. Start taking steps to address those fears and take some of your power back. You have as much time as you need to work through these fears and gain confidence in your ability to handle your own life. This will serve you whether your relationship ends or mends.

The bottom line is that you may choose to stay for a variety of reasons, all of which are personal to you and all of which are completely valid. It is necessary, after trauma, to take time to breathe and recover, to give yourself time to feel through the pain. As you start finding your feet again, take stock. What needs to change? What are your boundaries and terms for staying together? What are your needs? What do you want to work on? What is holding you back personally? What does he need to do to earn this second chance you are giving him by choosing to stay? How are you going to take better care of yourself and ask for what you need? What are your deal breakers? What is your plan if a deal breaker occurs? It’s a lot to think about AND you don’t have to have all those answers today, tomorrow or next week. But, when you are ready, start thinking about where you want to go from here. Claim the power you already have to steer your life. And know that no decision is made in stone. You may choose to stay today, for just today. You are always free to change direction. This is both liberating and scary as help. Just know that we’ll be right there with you.

33 comments:

  1. Oh my. I love this post. SS 1, you are an angel. I spoke to my son and managed to trace the source of his meltdowns and begging mmummy to stay with his dad. The paternal grandparents triggered them by saying you poor thing, mummy and daddy are no longer together! Now I am at the anger stage, all ready to thrash H for his emotional pawn in our son!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds as though those grandparents are utterly lacking in empathy and common sense. Can you speak to them? I would also encourage you to assure your son, as often as he needs it, that he is loved and he will be cared for by both parents, even if they're not together. Kids are mostly concerned for how a separation/divorce will affect them. If you can do your best to make it clear that the adults can handle things and that he needs only know that he will be loved not matter what, it can certainly help.

      Delete
  2. Lynn, those grandparents sound like manipulative a-holes. Behaviors like this start to open our eyes to why our spouses are so messed up. Honestly, my MIL, who is in so many ways a lovely sweet person, is also a controlling co-dependent nightmare who has an emotional strangehold on all three of her children. I'm sorry they were selfish enough to hurt your son with their emotional agenda. You hang in there Lynn. Hugs SS1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. I wish I paid a little more attention to the statement I used to say when my H and I were first dating: "Gee, he is so wonderful. You would never guess that he came from the two people who are his parents." Well now I see what his parents have truly wrought. Don't get me wrong, he is still not as terrible as his parents, but he inherited some messed up stuff and he often projects what his parents did to him, on to me and our relationship. Nothing worse than your husband projecting his mother on to you....

      Delete
    2. Nothing worse but also nothing more common. So many men turn their wives into their mothers. I've had to fight hard against it. I am NOT her.

      Delete
  3. Ss1, you speak to my soul you really do.. I just love everything you wrote and your right I would say the last year or so I have seen more and more separations in here hence why we set up a post for it.

    I love the bit about taking control and facing the fears once you break them down one by one their not that scary after all. And your right take time with any decision you make the more time you give yourself the better you will feel. I’ve given thought to all those above and still stand strong in my decision to divorce I feel I’ve worked through them all, and yet my h is in the same place he was 5 years ago.

    One thing I’ve loved doing for the past couple of years is holidaying on my own with the kids, we just have the best time. Ladies if you haven’t done it just try it. The first time Was a little scary, the kids wanted their dad to come because they felt safe with his presence but I reassured them that I can keep them safe at home and away. In fact I’ve just booked us another week in the canaries in June. Inget such a buzz when a plan comes together. It’s better than sex, and I’ve not had sex for at least 3 months and guess what I’m ok, I’ve not dragged the post man in as yet lol.

    Thank you ss1, you’ve smashed it again xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's great for kids to spend time alone with each parent, whether they're together or apart. They see a different side of the person. I love vacationing with my kids without my husband. Kids love it too because my husband gets so wound up re. travelling.

      Delete
  4. I think I initially stayed out of fear. For a couple of weeks, it was simply that. And shock. Then as time went on, and I could see the pain and remorse my H felt, I stayed "just to see" if he could make the changes in himself. Add more time and experience seeing his hard work and opening my eyes to my own hard work, and I arrived where I am now. I'm staying as a daily choice based on what I see in front of me. Things are good, but I'm in touch with the fact that I will need to leave if that changes. The other day I reflected that I have found myself in a place where I love others more than they love me more than once in my life. I've felt like that a lot actually. I used to try to love them less to even things out, but since compassion is my super power apparently, I could never keep that up. At this point, I'm aware that the only way to even things out is to love myself more. Much more. That way I can keep loving others as much as I'm bound to end up doing anyway. Sometimes you can do that and stay in your marriage after beyrayal, but other times you have to love your former spouse from much farther away to keep loving yourself as much as you have to in order to keep the balance. Both are valid, loving, compassionate options. I'm so glad I live at a time in history and in a part of the world where we all have both options!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann,
      That is brilliant. Loving yourself if really the best way, no matter whether others in your life are up to it or not. And I'll share something my mother said to me years ago, when I felt less loved than I thought I should have been. "People love us the best they can," she told me. And then we talked about how it isn't as though people dole out amounts of love. Those who haven't been loved well as children aren't capable of loving well until they learn how to do it. And love comes in different forms. While my husband isn't a romantic, he'll fill the fuel tank for me.

      Delete
  5. Thanks SS1. You hit it right on the nose. Wait and see then take actions when we are ready.

    10 years ago, H lied about business trip and instead stayed in Wisconsin and visited his strippers. He swored nothing happened and made promises. Now the same problem. He broke off with the 22 years old stripper he put up in a very nice apartment with but found him visiting the strip clubs a few more times after D day which he
    totally denied and rant at me for questioning him. Finally appologized after I told him I had him tailed. Making stupid excuses...he was bad...he just needed to say good bye for closure...prior to that he said he didn't go that often. Told him I just needed honesty even if it hurts at least it showed remorse and not because he was caught. It took him 5 months to come up with a MC he would work with...I want him to pick one so he's comfortable with and won't blame me for picking a bias one.

    Told MC he may be SA but doubt if he will admit it. MC had him agreed to boundaries..let me know if he leaves work early and more communication so I known where he is .. which I asked before. He used to leave work early then come home before I do. I guess he can only hear if it's paid advice? Been 5 months of frustration, anger, haze, depression and want to just leave so many times but doesn't have the heart to. I still have a teen ager who is really sensitive and needs him..especially 18 months away from college life so can't really rock that boat. Another 2 close to finish in college..and he knows I would do anything for the kids...lol. when the girls were young I even volunteered to be the girl scout lead for a new brownie troop of 18 because they couldn't find anyone .. while doing 50+ hours work week plus work travel...Crazy but my girls learned and loved it.

    At this point i think my crying and being sad/angry doesn't help..Taking the time to breath and plan does. Trying not to make any knee jerking decisions but I do need to work on things that will provide me with options in life. Made a list of actions I want to see change/discussed at the MC sessions. Scheduled Second STD screening just to double check..my primary Dr is very cautious. My body is reacting and been menstruating for 2 weeks this month..or pre-menopausal? 10 years ago I spotted for 6 weeks. Meeting with a divorce lawyer next week to understand my rights. Especially when we are so close to retirement and better be prepared for our golden years than being destitute after working my butt off all these years to help support a roof over our head and kids tuitions. Also do an inventory of our assets so it won't be like the War of the Roses when the time does come.

    Thanks for the space to think out loud =)

    Xoxo

    FedUp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FedUp,
      Meeting with a lawyer is a great move. And I hope you also have a counsellor with whom you're working. And then, I think you need to stop trying to manage your husband's recovery and focus only on your own healing. Make yourself your focus. Leave him totally responsible for his own recovery. You'll be able to see if he's not working at it. And if he's not, then I would already have consequences in place. He moves to the couch, or he moves out, or whatever it is you decide makes sense. As for your child, sensitive kids can sometimes do better when there isn less stress in the house, even if it means one parent is less available. You need to do what's best/healthiest for you...which gives her permission to do the same for herself in life.

      Delete
  6. SS1- it also seems like a common thing daily is how sex, manipulation and a shit ton of lies is ruling everything. The Ashley Madison and adult Friend Finder breaches, Anthony Weiner, the me too movement, gymnastics dr, Nashville Mayor scandal, and all the other daily political scandals and on and on and on. Sex and corruption rule just about everything. It seems like it all erupted after my Dday making the unfolding mess feel more acceptable. Like if I told someone my secret I would be returned a “hmmm well shit that’s too bad”. Sigh!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, It is pretty common, as you know. But that doesn't make it any less devastating when it happens. Behind those headlines are undoubtedly some people who are in a whole lot of pain. So don't let the banality of infidelity make you feel as though what you're going through is any less valid. Betrayal is a deep wound.

      Delete
  7. SS1 - so true with the analogy of seeing cars everywhere relating this to separation/divorce. I wrote about this on "BWC separating or divorcing" how I was bumping into women all the time who are / or have gone through this.
    Sometimes, though, we don't have a choice in our husbands decision. Mine no longer wanted to do any of the hard work in front of him to work on himself, our marriage or our family - hence the separation, leading to divorce down the track. He is really a weak minded man-boy is so many ways, and for him, it was easier to live a life of lies, than face the truth - his truth that he can hurt his wife and children. I used to be terrified of the D word - divorce. It conjured up so many images of helplessness, loneliness, nothingness... but now I look upon this as shedding some very toxic baggage to clean my life and that of my children up without having to deal with the STBX. Do I wish he never cheated? Of course. Do I wish he would have stepped up and owned up to all he did? Of course. And I will always have a pang of sadness when I see happy families, and posts of my friends that are at our age with kids - together.
    Sam A. Glad you are going on another holiday with your kids. We are really very capable. In married life, and rightly so, we just get into a mode of having our husbands around to share the parenting load, and when faced with it on our own are able to handle so many things. My STBX was a bit of a bore, and on certain holidays wouldn't want to do anything except sit by the pool, so I ended up, money permitting, just taking the kids to see the sights. I love sharing new things and enriching our minds together with my kids.
    Lyn I'm sorry to hear you have shitty in laws. SS1 said it. I think her in laws sound so much like mine. Toxic and manipulative.

    There's a post Elle, SS1. In laws!!!! And the destruction they can cause to your marriage.

    " Family are invited to your wedding
    But not your marriage"
    Kudos to the person who came up with this.

    Hugs
    Gabby xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Gabby. So true. I had to take marriage prep classes because my husband wanted to get married in the Catholic church (hasn't set foot in one since, but anyway...). And they were actually pretty good. The guy leading it made it clear that a marriage needs to be between two people and that in-laws do NOT get a say in how the relationship works. My husband was so terrified of his mother's disapproval that she was triangulated into our marriage.
      Of course, we each come to a marriage with all sorts of baggage that often doesn't become clear until time has passed. What looked to me like a healthy family (compared to my drunk one), was actually highly controlling and toxic. I wasn't healthy enough to recognize it. I just knew they didn't drink ergo they were "healthy". Uhhhh....nope.

      Delete
  8. Sam A: the kids and I have almost always gone on vacation without dear old dad..he did not like my family so he refused to go. After I quit work and was no longer able to pay for vacations he would give me 150.00$ to go 600 miles and spend a week with my sister..she would have to give me gas money to get home... he would go on "vacations" alone when he wanted and had an unlimited budget of course..but anyway, I never let it stop me and it taught my kids how important family is and that you really can do fun amazing stuff for little or no money. Plus, they got to bond with their aunts uncles cousins etc on my side of the family and have memories they would not have otherwise. I was never afraid of the drive just the fear of " what if" should we break down and I have no funds ect..and the shame I felt for not being self sufficient Is another story..but I would not trade the memories for anything...i never let my kids see my struggles so while they missed having their dad the first few trips it just became normal..when my sister was killed in a car accident and my father died unexpectedly I learned to appreciate every moment I had with them and wish I had made more trips...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Aye fam, your the kind of mom I truly respect. Regardless of circumstance financial or otherwise you ensured your kids get to see their aunts, uncles, and cousins. It took some fierce determination to travel all that way with no funds should you have a break down, but I absolutely love that you did it anyway. You my dear are fearless.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sister And father Aye fam, sometimes life can be so cruel, especially when loved ones are taken away so suddenly. It’s times like these when you need your family around you, I know when my mum died recently just being surrounded by my siblings, Aunty and uncles friends and neighbours I felt protected and safe. I hope you have support close to your home Aye fam.

    Aye fam your an absolute strength, thank you for replying I hope your response has reconfirmed just how ace you are .. hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Gabby, SS1, Sam A and all my courageous ladies

    My pastor has asked H and I over to meet him this evening. Prior to this, my family came and explained why they are asking me to give the marriage another try. Seems like my son confided in his my niece that he knows how much the dad has hurt me (the quarrels etc) but he needs his parents together as we are his rock. He cannot accept us divorced. It frustrates my son that he has to go out with us separately. It angers him having to deal with his grandparents. My sister sat me down and told me it sent her and our siblings into depression hearing a 7 year old speak that way. But they are helpless. They know my sufferings. They know the injustice. But they also know my son and me are H's life. Why he cheated is pure stupidity. My pastor told me that God has blessed me with strength. Yes, everyone on my side agrees with my decision. But they cannot support me because of my son's pleads and emotions. I spoke to my son yesterday and it all came out. He refused to look at me while he talked. He said he is trying his best to support my decision but he cannot accept his parents apart.
    I broke down yesterday...after 2 months plus of not doing so. It is very selfish of me to expect my 7 year old to go through this. I waited 10 years to have him.
    I am re-evaluating my options. No doubt, getting the divorce is easy. I will be happy. I will be relieved of the insecurities and financial worry. But it is 'I'...not 'we'...my son will suffer.
    SS1...like you wrote, if you stay for your child, that is a reasonable decision.
    Hugs Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynn, If you do decide to give your a h a second chance please have some clear boundaries in place, make this a point in your meeting with the pastor. What is it you need from your h? Does he need to go to counselling? Can you have all passwords for his laptop and mobile, how does he help you with your healing. I know it’s hard to see your son suffer like this but it’s conpletely normal and as long as he is showing emotion and talking to someone he’s dealing with his pain in the most mature way. My son was around 8 my first d day and he was just like your son emotional, confused and hurt it was my job to ensure I was there to support him through these difficult emotions and that his pain was his pain and I couldn’t take it from him (even though I would have, if I could). Your such a warm and giving woman lynn I just hope your h knows just how lucky he is having this second chance. And please ensure that all contact with the ow is well and truly over, have him write her a letter or make a telephone call in front of you so you are part of it. I’ll keep everything crossed for you lynn.. lots of love xx

      Delete
    2. Lynn, I would suggest family counseling to get through this. As you are aware, whether you stay or go, it’s hard on everyone.
      You speak to your pressures to keep the family intact. What is your h doing to resolve feelings with your son and making yourself feel safe. It’s common for us to place lots of blame and pressure on ourselves and take the heat off the H. He needs to step up and create the harmony and dialogue with relatives and your son as well. Don’t take this on by yourself.

      Delete
    3. Lynn,
      I agree that family counselling is a must. I think it's really unhealthy to give a seven-year-old child this much power over his parents' marriage. Of course, he's hurting. Of course, he wants his parents together. But to agree to stay together because he wants you to is giving him far too much responsibility that he's not ready for. And what about when he learns, later in life, that he doesn't actually get to control what happens in life?
      Please don't think I'm not sympathetic to how much pain he's in. But I think he is being used to manipulate you into making a decision that they want you to make. And I think it's dangerous to give any 7-year-old this much power over adult decisions. What gives a 7-year-old comfort is trusting that the adults will take care of things, however that turns out. To make HIM the decision maker is terrifying for a child.
      Please, find a family counsellor who can help all of you navigate through this in a way that's healthy for all involved.

      Delete
  11. Still Standing.... I am now 4 months post D Day. The choice to stay or to go is deeply personal. People want to line up on the sidelines and play armchair quarterback and that's fine for them to do from the safety of their voyeuristic post, in their ignorance and naivety. I agreed to take divorce off the table to give us a timeout from the chaos of ground zero that was consuming us both, a place of sanctuary where we can both heal, seek counseling, and try to work though our situation wherever that ends up taking us. It may be separately or it may be together. But I can't expect him to be honest with me if he's living in fear that any upsetting but wholly truthful response is going to be the straw that breaks the camels back. He is committed to saving our marriage and is participating in counseling on a regular basis. We chose to continue to live together. If our path is going to be one together we have to rebuild our relationship and doing that separately just doesn't seem like a relationship build in real world for us. I'm still hurt, still angry, still trying to figure out how I feel from moment to moment and just trying to get through another day. There are good days or parts of good days and I'm so very thankful for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. marette, This is how we felt and what worked for us. My husband and I both committed to six months shortly after dday. I was more committed he was more confused and unsure of what he was capable of. I agree that for us working through this together giving support and learning to understand each other has helped us grow closer together. There were times I wanted to ask him to leave or not come home. In the end for me/us it was not the right choice but instead we had to work though it together. You are so early on and you sound so level headed and like you are in a good place. It is so hard. We are over three years past dday. It has been very challenging but I am glad I am here with him now.

      Delete
  12. I really wish I could stay or he could stay - he will be the one leaving eventually. I mean - he’s already gone-he has a crash pad in Miami that he lives in. He will stay in a hotel near here once we are separated. I begged him to try once more a couple of months ago....when he was blinded by his girlfriend. He doesn’t even remember me begging. He says I always hated him and wanted him gone. He claims he left his girlfriend on his last trip-but doesn’t want to come back to a hateful person like me and is OK being on his own! I don’t believe him-that he left his girlfriend. I don’t believe anything he says. And - He’s never on his own - I told him as much. She will always be his “friend” on FB and instagram, he will still have her #, he’ll still have all his memories with her, probably message her once in a while - like all the dozens and dozens of other ones he cheated on me with - that are still a part of his “life” online-while I am not even his “friend”. And I don’t want to be.

    If I saw one iota that he had a clue what he has done and was doing one little thing to make it right - I would consider trying and staying-as crazy as that sounds.

    If he actually could comprehend in his mind the pain he has caused me and the kids, I would try and stay. But-he will never. He sees it as our marriage problems, not anything he has done wrong. I can’t do anything with that.

    Lady Gaga said it best in her song https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WYRJ-ryPEu0 a million reasons. I can’t find one to stay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He isn't giving you a reason to stay, Ann. In fact, he's giving you every reason to believe that divorce is the best thing for you. He is still looking outward for everything -- for distraction (girlfriends), for blame (you). He simply can't or won't look inside himself to see what role he has played in this. So...that's your cue to stick to your plan and divorce. I suspect that, once he's gone and you've spent time in therapy to help heal from this, you're going to feel like a new woman.

      Delete
  13. Struggling with staying..I have a son leaving for college in a few months. My husband lied to me about cancelling his counseling appt this week. He really doesn't seem able stop lying about even small things. He doesn't think the IC is helping but joined a personal growth group (with help from his counselor) that he likes and thinks is helpful. I cannot tell if he really wants to change his behaviors or is just going through the motions to try to improve his circumstances and family relationships. Our daughter won't speak to him ( 1 1/2 years afterdday & is also in IC) Because she doesn't think he is changing. I believe he has a personality disorder that may be impossible to change-managing might be the best we can hope for. He has shown a pattern if lying and selfishness. I feel too angry to be supportive of his personal journey through this at times but then I feel guilty knowing he is depressed without any support system here at all. His family is in another country. Our teen kids are cold to him understandably but the more depressed he is around us the harder it is to have hope we can find a path toward healing our family. While I try to keep stability for our kids and encourage my husband to find a way to help himself, it seems he is not able to give me much emotional support. I have counseling and a strong support system and faith, but limbo is so lonely and difficult. I even find myself worrying that we are in his way of his recoery..the path forward is unclear and feels so full of extra work and sacrifice on my part for his actions. Thank you all for helping me feel less alone, especially late at night as I write this...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beyond the affairs facing the issue of cutting corners and lying about anything and everything was a big issue for my husband to face. He also elevated and put everyone else on a pedestal. Once we got through the pain of the betrayal I was brutally honest with him. I really got to the point I could not be with someone who spent time with friends who lie to their spouses and in their workplace/careers. Nothing huge that we know of however after being betrayed I have no room in my life for that type of behavior. It spreads. I just hated it. I did not care if it was having one more innocent drink, playing another nine holes of golf, whatever even if super innocent. I told my husband we had to have complete transparency. On the flip side if he told me something I did not agree with or like in honesty I did not get upset. But in the end transparency is so much more important now. I feel like in my mind those little white lies over years lead to bigger lies. Maybe I am wrong but that is just a feeling watching someone who did cut corners with morals/ethics and was fine with lies.

      Hang in there and it sounds like you are doing the right things for you. I find this all so hard not knowing what is right for someone else and watching them figure it out is challenging to say the least. Through all of this I have been very honest and not keeping anything in. I say what I feel since I find it so important to own my feelings.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,
      What are the consequences of his lying? As long as he can get away with it, why not continue to lie? Especially if he's decided that it's easier to lie, then apologize if he's caught, then to do what he doesn't want to do in the first place.
      It sounds as though the whole family is in crisis. Are you in any sort of family counselling? To not speak to a parent for 1 1/2 years reveals a TON of anger. And I suspect you have a lot of anger too, buried deep down.
      Your husband is acting out everyone's anger through depression, and then you feel sorry for him because he has no support, etc. Anonymous, HE has created his life situation. HE is the one avoiding counselling. YOU are not responsible for his unhappiness and his depression. YOU cannot fix that for him. But what you (and your kids) can do is seek help for yourself to work through the feelings around dealing with him. And, in so doing, he will be left with his own feelings, which he will either deal with or continue to ignore. Either way, it's his problem. Not yours.

      Delete
  14. Well I've been on both sides. Separating and then coming back to stay together. So separation doesn't always lead to the divorce track. I probably should have separated immediately but I was so much in shock that I couldn't. I separated when I had more strength to do so. Because even though he was apologetic and remorseful and had become accountable and started recovery groups I couldn't bear to look at him. I separated because I needed peace for a while from all the drama and feelings and to assure myself that if he ever messed up again I am strong enough to leave him. And it really helped. And I think he came back with more appreciation for me and a realization that he couldn't take me for granted. That said, no matter the reasons for staying; staying in the long term can only succeed if the offending spouse is really putting in the work. A bit of time might be needed by both parties especially the betrayed spouse to recommit but there needs to at least be a genuine willingness to do so.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous how long did you separate? How did that work? Did you live apart? Kids?

    I'm fascinated by it. I too wish I left him when it happened, three years ago in May. The impact of my loss at that point would have been swift and painful. He deserved it. Still does.

    I stayed to keep my family intact. I didn't want to leave my house and scare my kids. And I didn't want him to get to leave because we lived right next door to the cunt he carried on with for seven weeks. And if I had to see her and her husband and kids, then he did too. He didn't get to escape.

    So I felt trapped. We eventually moved, sixth months after d day. Those months were awful. I was furious daily, triggered by my house, seeing her or her house. It was miserable. Then, I was triggered when we moved. I was additionally angered as we had to pack and move out of the home we built, the home I brought my babies home to, the home he fucked her in. Holy shit. I was a wreck.

    The new home we are in has provided peace. I love it. We stayed in town, so I see the whore on occasion. And I rage all over again. My husband and I have healed somewhat. Most of our days are normal. But I still wonder sometimes if I should leave, to make a point. I've healed from the raw anger and pain, but deep inside, I'm furious at him. And I will never trust him again, or fully forgive him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tryme,
      I'm glad you've found peace in your new home. But I really want to encourage you to deal with your continued fury and pain. It sounds as if you've come a long way. But you don't need to live with that residual pain. Time can do its work. But sometimes we need to push things a little by facing up to them. It's possible to trust him again (as much as any of us will ever trust anyone ever again). It's possible to respect him again. But that takes work on his part to show you that he is doing everything he possibly can to earn that respect and trust, and it takes work on your part to let go of that anger, which we sometimes wrap ourselves in like armour.

      Delete
    2. Hi Tryme, yes we lived apart for like a month or two. I asked him to move out. No kids so that probably made it a bit easier. I hope your husband has learnt enough to be able to listen to you even through your pain. You can try talking to him about how you feel. For me it helps. You can also try to take a break for a while. If you can manage it you might go to a retreat alone and relax. That also helps as well. One thing I had to accept was I could never give him what he deserved. There would be no satisfying revenge. Whether I had a revenge affair or divorced him or disgraced him publicly it wouldn't be enough to assuage the pain I felt. So I had to let that go.

      Delete
  16. I typed out a long response to this 2 days ago. My phone ate it.

    This weekend I was triggered by a sticker on a propane tank. It was the sticker to an organization that the COW works with and I sent my husband a text.

    He started trying to connect but finally got to asking me if I was planning on leaving. My response was I had to keep that option open. He imploded and before long through out that he was done. He couldn’t do this anymore. And told me to make my exit and file the papers.

    I’ve made no qualms about my indecision in staying. I feel like someone who has stood next to the inferno time and time again after he imploded and this time (for the first time) I refused to stand in the flames with him and instead walked away to tend my wounds. I need so many things to feel healthy for myself little lone to be able to make that life changing decision.

    Today at our MC session we talked about the conversation and how it went south. A) we should nevet talk in texts. B) we are both terrified of the same thing - the other leaving. He’s worried I’m staying for the kids. I’m worried he’s staying because he has no where else to go since the COW finally cut ties (or so he says) in January.

    So staying - seems safe right now. It seems like this is what we are both wanting. But I find solace in the strength to say I have no idea what I plan on doing and truly meaning it. It gives me time to heal and time for him to realize that I’m not willing to stand still in the flames. He’s going to have to figure out his implosions and how to make it safe for me to walk next to him again.

    There truly is comfort in just not having to make that decision right in this moment.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails