My FWH doesn't want to renew his vows until he can forgive himself. I have told him that I have forgiven him already. I chose to do so because the idea that I cannot change what's happened has sunk in and I can either start to move forward or I can choose to be stuck dwelling on things which prevent me from getting better. To me, forgiving him didn't erase the thoughts, but did help ease them. I think it's a lot of mind over matter.
Anyway, I guess I don't understand why he wants to forgive himself first. Sometimes, I feel like it's just an excuse to stall even though I don't truly believe that. And why...since things have gone pretty well for us since day one can he not forgive himself? I have not been mean to him since dday, i don't yell, scream, call him names, nothing. we have been to counseling, we have spent a lot of time together, we have done a lot of things to improve our communication and our marriage as a whole. i know it's only been 5 months since i found out, but we have made really good progress. i think in my opinion it's high above average progress, so what's taking so long??? i don't understand what he's really waiting for. what has to happen in order for him to forgive himself?
BUT WH seems to feel all of this has to do with his poor decision about getting involved with A.
I understand that his self esteem is in the pits right now (and he doesn't want to go to IC or MC)... I'm having a hard time too though, dealing with triggers and my own worries about our finances and he just can't seem to be there for me... for him, it's like he can't be there financially, so he can't even begin to approach the emotional stuff...
I'm really frustrated. I don't know how to help him, he's certainly not doing much to help me... and, to be honest, I'm suddenly feeling like I understand why people end up having EA. I'd give an arm to have someone just listen to me and give me a dam hug... I asked FW to come be with me in bed last night and he laid next to me with his arms at his side... I know I should have told him I wanted to cuddle, but it's so tiring having to tell him the same thing over and over... my love language is physical affection and I know he knows that... but when he's in his dumps (which is most of the time these days), he can't or won't reach out to me.
I'm at my wits end...
can a WS just let go and never look back?
I went through a number of different phases during my recovery period. Everything from pining for xMOW to anger at her to frustration with myself to ultimate indifference. All were emotions I needed to process to heal myself, and all came when I was emotionally ready to handle them.
I think timing is different for every WS. Can some jump right to the anger stage, and in time move toward indifference? I'm sure some can. It just wasn't my experience.
The important thing is that a WS process the emotions and not bottle them up. Letting them eat you up inside allows darker thoughts to build and unhealthy choices to surface.
In the end, just don't let your WS go into a shell. Make sure there is a release of whatever thoughts are running through their mind. That's the most critical element when coping with the emotional state.
Do you think he is safe there with her or could she try to start things up again.
I think he actually has a bigger problem than whether or not OW tries to pursue restarting the A. His work environment will never be stable as long as the two of them are working in the same organization. There is not only the instability of things at home, but an HR nightmare is waiting for him every day.
Unfortuntely, the only solution I can see resolving the issue is for your FWH to find employment elsewhere.
And why...since things have gone pretty well for us since day one can he not forgive himself?
I know it seems like it's been a long time, but 5 months is a very small amount of time to allow for deep healing to take place.
This is a place every WS needs to get to themselves. Regardless of whether or not their BS has forgiven them, the WS has a huge hill to climb.
I know this can be confusing. After all, the BS is the one who endured the pain and damage from the WS's actions, right?
Not entirely. While not understood by the WS during the A, we strip ourselves of our core with every A related action. We sacrifice things that can never be fully regained - values, integrity, respect. In time, a BS can make the choice to move on, to R, to forgive. They make any of these choices while their own integrity is still intact. But no matter what path a WS chooses, the loss of these core items is permanent.
I will never again be a great husband, a great father, a good man. The best I can be is someone who is good to his family in the moment. Any idea of greatness was shed the day I closed the window on my BW and opened one with xMOW.
With all of that said, I have found a way to forgive myself. I had to leverage my faith to do so - in essence deciding that as a human being I am fallible. I have and will continue to make mistakes in my life. This mistake was on a huge scale, but it was still a reflection of my imperfection. I've allowed myself to believe that Grace does exist (I see it in my BW every day). I've allowed myself to believe that there is a path to healing and forgiveness from a greater power exists. Without that faith, I'm not sure I could find a way to forgive myself.
We've made the choice not to renew vows, but to instead revitalize and renew who we are as a couple. Neither of us are willing to throw away all of the 17+ years that preceded the A. There were some amazing moments during that time and some terrific experiences we shared. Instead, we are taking what we have learned through the A, and committing to each other that our future together will be an incredibly bright and inspiring one together.
No formal ceremony in a church (although there are no religious issues that would prevent one for us). No crowds of family and friends around. Instead, we will honor 20 years of marriage and celebrate the promise of a lifetime together ahead of us on an island, in front of God and all creation as our witnesses.
Imagine murdering a close personal friend. Then imagine that friend's spouse offering to listen to you open up about your pain over what you have done. How likely are you to open up to the very person you harmed through your actions?
Now take that example, only 1000 times more painful.
Inside us, it just feels wrong. What right do I have to lean on the very person I crushed with my actions?
You are right that it's crucial that the WS work through this and regain their own strength in themselves. For me, my BW gave me three very special gifts that helped my healing process.
First, she didn't let me run and hide. She forced me to confront myself and my emotions. She didn't let the conflict force me into hiding.
Second, she ensured that the conversations that ensued after I had to open up were on an even keel. She asked a lot of questions, and didn't respond in a judgmental way. She simply asked questions for understanding, and let me express what I was thinking. She didn't challenge my thinking as invalid. She simply helped me get to the real answers to why I felt the way I did.
Last, she gave me the time I needed to work through the crap that built up over 40+ years of my life. She wasn't thrilled with how I responded early to IC, but she let me work through it without arguing that I needed to switch IC's or pull the plug. She let me get to my answers on my own schedule. It took a while, but it was the space I needed to figure things out.
Do you guys go through "cycles"?
Oh yeah. Loads of em. Sadness. Depression. Elation and freedom from past darkness. Anger. Rage. Frustration.
It's all part of processing the magnitude of the consequences of our actions. And as long as I wasn't allowed to avoid conflict, everything was fine in the end.
Beauty is a calling...a call "to transfigure what has harden or was wounded within you"
-- John O'Donohue
WH seems to want to work on our marriage, but, he's so caught up in his guilt about the situation, I feel like he's shutting down.
Is your husband in IC? My biggest stumbling block was (and still is, to some extent) forgiving myself. That had a lot to do with other issues of self-esteem and co-dependence and playing the victim etc. In reality it's hard to forgive yourself but he has to if the two of you are to move forward. He has to get to the point where he realizes this. IC really helped me. I was also more self-destructive and destructive to the relationship when I was still focused on xMM/the A and didn't know if I could/ wanted to reconcile. So I'm not sure what stage your husband is in but sometimes the "poor me/ I am a horrible person" cycle is because the person is still doing something wrong -- not necessarily still having an A but maybe pining for it or focusing on the xOP, or not sure they want to stay in the M etc.
I think after a certain point he *has* to decide he will do whatever it takes to move forward in the marriage, including forgiving himself and focusing on the positive and the future instead of on the negative and the past. IC could really help him with this I think.
I'm not in this forum often so feel to PM me if something I said doesn't make sense. Best wishes to you.
I posted here because I know that many people have harsh words about my FWH (which they should), but I wanted to gain the WS perspective. If there is any chance I can support my FWH in dealing with his unfinished demons (they were obviously not completely addressed after the LTA) I would like to. THe online A was NOT the LTA OW - She was a former classmate that found him on a networking site for their old school.
Also just wanted to say I read through your posts and we have some amazing people here.
Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.
i don't want the details of what they did but i can't help but wonder if he did the things i refuse to do and has fond memories of those things.
I still have friends of the opposite sex, but I'm very aware now of where the boundaries are and I don't cross them. I have no limits on social communication and I do a TON of it (I'm a s/w engineer and on the computer all day long). However, I'm completely transparent and anyone I talk with with any regularity is someone H knows about. I chose to turn off Facebook chat entirely because sometimes old high school friends (male) would IM me and I wanted more control over it. I do use other chat programs, but with a self-selected list of friends.
Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien
Do you have "fond" memories of the PA?
[This message edited by beach at 9:51 PM, July 13th (Monday)]
WH had 2.5 year, I suspected for the last 2 years, he denied and finally it was confirmed (not by him) but I found evidence back on Dec 28/09.
On Dec 31 after 3 long, emotional days, I was willing to try and work on getting past this but he was doubtful from the beginning that I ever could so was a bit hesitant, fairly remorseful but wasn't throwing himself at my mercy begging for forgiveness or anything remotely close! I finally told him at 4:00pm on Dec 31st to go and figure out what he wanted and if he didn't come back I would have my answer. He set out...the AP lived a 4 hour drive away. He called me at 6:00pm in tears telling me the further he got from home the worse he felt and he wanted to come home. He got home and he was different, but different good...like he used to be. He told me it felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders and all he had to worry about was me and that I was ok. One week later there was an argument and an angry outburst from him (remincient of the way things had been during time of affair) and he was mean and hurtful and unreasonable at suggested a divorce. We got past that hurdle, then 2 weeks later I found a text message from her that led me to phone her and confirm that WH had been there that day (lied to me about his whereabouts obviously) for "great sex and a shower" it was during that conversation that she told me that my WH couldn't let her go. He admitted to seeing her but only to determine that it was 100% me that he wanted. I clearly told him that if there was any truth to what she said and that he wasn't 100% certain about his love and commitment to me and our marriage then to leave and just give me a shot at a happy life.
Valentines Day weekend we went to Vegas, good time but something didn't seem right, no Valentines card, no intimacy (long days, very tired etc but still?)
The week after we got back I found emails (well hidden in his email files but found) and yes they were in contact and she was encouraging him to be with the person that he couldn't live without (assuming her, no reward without risk, that she loved him more than life itself and he replied that he couldn't deny that he'd been thinking that way. I was furious and told him that I was done and to get out. He spent a week sleeping on the couch, making himself scarce etc. The following week at my suggestion we got together for breakfast. We talked for the entire day at which point he voluntarily told me that the "sex and a shower" story was true, the week before our Valentines trip to Vegas she had met him in Florida (he was working) for a couple of days and the day after I asked him to leave he drove to see her. He wanted to stay in the marriage (he had some concerns and things that he wasn't happy about in general) and I wanted to stay in the marriage and my only conditions were absolutely no contact with AP and complete honesty (the good, the bad and the ugly)...I was hugely supportive...more than anything I wanted him to believe in himself and our marriage...our motto became "good people sometimes do bad things", I wanted us to be better and stronger as a result of this...you know lemonade out of the lemons!
Things were pretty good in March although at first insane contact from AP and he was upfront with me about it, tons of text messages, email,voice mail etc however I did find a few emails and evidence of continuing contact that he had kept from me, I confronted him again mid March and told him no more false starts, all or nothing...again he claimed he was in. In mid April I found evidence of email contact, confronted him and he admitted to contact via email and on the phone regularly his story was that up to early April she was claiming to be pregnant with his child (I found out this was the 3rd time she had claimed to pregnant throughout their relationship). I was furious that he would keep something like that from me and again choose to deal with things on his own which has historically only caused us more problems. He said that he had always suspected that she was lying but didn't want to tell me until until he knew for certain that it was the true. Things were for the most part pretty good throughout March and April, he was willing to talk about it, answer my questions etc. There were occasions that I found out about contact but it was contact on her part which I figured I couldn't control and I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt that his intentions were good he was just sometimes struggling with the right way to handle things. Things started going drastically downhill for us mid May. WH travels for work and May and June took him away from home 50% or more of the time which is difficult in a healthy, stable marriage. Our fighting increased, I sensed a change in him that was reminiscent again of the time period he was seeing the OW. He became easily irritated and would get frustrated with me, he would get nasty and personal during our arguments etc. So when he was home, we were arguing or I was mad about what had happened the week before etc.
It came to head on July 1st. We'd had a confrontation the weekend before where I asked to see one of his cell phones (he recently got an additional business one so now there was 2 phones) and while he had been good about it being visible and accesible the old one was always being left in his vehicle etc. Something didn't well with me from the night before and I mentioned it, he offered an explaination but still wasn't right with me. The following morning I asked him to show me the "absent" phone and he freaked..."we are still doing this after all this time" (yeah I know) and I simply said that it would put my mind at rest that BS continue to search in hopes of finding nothing and that nothing helps to rebuild trust. He was mad. I said it was his choice that he didn't have to show me and he didn't. The next several days were tense, I was angry and hurt and worried and he did a bit of his usual trying to smooth things over but things changed on the Monday...he left to work out of town again, nasty fight where I basically asked him if he wanted to be married to me any longer? He said that he wasn't happy, I wasn't happy we had some issues that we had to talk about and also told me how much he loved me and that he could never love another soul like me. He pretty much avoided me for the next 2 days and finally on Wednesday night after a day or 4x4'ing with his buddy and after they went for beer and wings that evening with his buddies(and for those of you who don't know July 1st is Canada Day...a stat holiday...I ended up going into the office to avoid sitting home alone), he came home and I asked him he wanted to talk (yes he is an avoider...that is clear). He basically went over the same things, me not happy, him not happy etc. I told him that I noticed a drastic change in our relationship over the last 6 - 8 weeks. At that point I asked if there was contact with the OW and he said yes there had been but it was sporadic at best and yes he had seen her, he stopped by to see her new place May 20th (coincidentally around the time things started going downhill for us????). I told him that was the biggest problem as long as he allowed her to be a part of his present, we could never put her and this in the past. He doesn't entirely agree, he says he doesn't think I was ever going to be able to get past it and I told him I was never given the opportunity and when I accused him of not giving 100% to our R he said he was sorry that I felt that way but he felt as though he'd given 100% and he told me that he just wasn't sure that his heart was in it. He said he was scared that he might be making the biggest mistake of his life, that after 18 years together he didn't know life without me. He told me that he loved me, I was his best friend, he loved our home and the life we had created but again he didn't think his heart was in it so we were done.
We separated (him into a fully self contained in-law apartment in the basement of our home and me upstairs). I've been practicing the 180 from July 1st and have been pretty sucessful at it except for Sunday night. It was driving me crazy that after 18 years together (married for almost 4) that the extent of our communication had come down to text messages or awkward uncomfortable run-in's and exchanges in the driveway. I texted him to see if I could come down to see him and talk and he said ok.
The conversation didn't go well, I guess even though my line is "hope is devastating" that's what I had, I hoped he'd missed me like I had been missing him, I hoped that he was going to tell me how hard it was and how horrible he felt and how much he loved me and seen the error of his ways and wanted his life/our life back etc. Well...didn't happen. He was cool (not cold), business like, showed no emotion. I was in tears, and I told him that his actions and his demeanour would indicate to me that it is easy for him to walk away from everything that I hold so dear. I told him that I didn't understand how we ended up here...when just a few weeks before we had been talking about renovating our bathroom on a budget because we were planning a vacation in the fall and may have needed to buy a new car. Two weeks before I was the love of his life and our marriage was the most important thing in the world to him and now???
He said that he loves me but just doesn't think he loves me the right way or enough otherwise why would he have done the things that he did, screwed up our marriage and continued to make bad choices. He said that I deserved better and I agreed but I added that I deserved better from him, the man I loved and married. He told me that I was right that he had changed and he wasn't the same guy. I told him that if I honestly thought that he would be happier without me then life is short, you have to do what makes you happy then so be it but I don't honestly believe that long term he will be. He told me that I'd be happy to know that he and OW were no longer speaking (as of the middle of last week), it was a heated arguement so he again assured me that he was leaving to be with her. Oddly enough that wasn't reassuring to me? It was one thing to think that he was leaving me for someone that he thought would ultimately make him happier but the thought of him leaving now after all of this to be on his own? So he'd rather be alone than with me???
I honestly believe that we still both love each other a great deal and still like each other and enjoy each others company after all these years which I think is rare and wonderful. When I asked him if I was so great and he loved me so much and our life together and I was his best friend etc. then what was missing for him, why wasn't his heart in it? He paused and said "passion maybe, the passion isn't there" and I again I told him that I couldn't and wouldn't compete with the feelings that he had with OW. 18 years with me and a real life and real marriage vs. 2 years of illicit, dangerous, forbidden sex and a long distance anything but real relationship with her...come on?
He says he still likes to be nice to me and do nice things for me because he cares about me (I think it's to ease his conscience) but I told him it makes it harder for me. He can't try and be normal when we are the furthest thing from normal.
How do I know if this is it? How do I know if he's in the "fog" or if he'll come out of the "fog" or was this an "exit affair". I'm trying to move on with my life as best I can but I still love him and as much as I don't want hope......you know! I would give anything to have my husband back, the guy that I loved and married...I'm just not sure how to know if he's gone forever or maybe never existed, could he have fooled me for 18 years.
I'm having a really hard time coming to terms with him walking away from me, telling me his heart isn't in it, he gave 100% and throwing his hands up at it and telling friends that "he just kept disappointing me so this is for the best". I thought if anyone was going to throw in the towel it would have been me, if anyones heart just wasn't going to be in it it would be mine! After everything that has happened, all of the horrible choices and decisions that he made, the lies the betrayal for me still love him and want to get through this only to be rejected by him and told that maybe he doesn't love me the right way or enough???
I'm in desperate need of any thoughts, insight, advice that anyone can offer and I thought I might as well appeal to any FWS that might be able to relate to my situation or my WS frame of mind.
Sorry for being so long winded, guess I needed to vent a bit too. It's true that putting your thoughts and feelings in writing is therapeutic.
Like I said I want to be happy and I guess I have to be prepared to move on I'm just having a real hard time imagining a life without him.
FYI - We both did a couple of IC sessions in January/February and 1 MC session in February and we stopped (WH hated it) and I agreed on the basis that as long as we were making process on our own (hindsight is 20/20 I know!) and I'm back in IC.
Me - BS (37)
Him - WS (36)
Together - October 1991
Married - September 2005
DDay#1 - 12/29/08
DDay #2 - 02/21/09
His heart just isn't in it -
Need advice from BS and WS, Please.
My WW and I were separated for 4 months after I found out about her 4 month EA and 1 month PA. I thought the fog had lifted and she said she wanted to work on our marriage and she said the kids and I meant the world to her and that she loves us. Little to say less than two weeks into a false R, she broke NC and started texting OM again. After I told her I knew about the broken NC, I told her if she keeps him in her life there can and will never be an us. Now she has left again and will not reply or answer to my text, phone calls, e-mails, and most of it is about the kids(6&4) which have been with me the whole time. Plus we were supposed to be moving and there is a lot of things that her mom and grandmother gave her and I ask if she is still moving with us and should I take and have everything moved, again no reply. I know I should be doing a 180, but she is doing it to me, the BS spouse. My question is how should I go about this, I want her to still move with us and try reconciling again, plus she has told our kids that after 4 months of her being gone that she was coming home and moving with us. Now they wonder where their mommy is. She broke NC and I told her she must have absolute NC or it will never work between us and now she is pissed at me!! Any advice would be most appreciated.
Sorry I posted twice
[This message edited by cantbreathe09 at 5:23 PM, July 14th (Tuesday)]
[This message edited by cantbreathe09 at 5:24 PM, July 14th (Tuesday)]
I had a major meltdown last night and it stems from the fact that WS is emotionally constipated and I am tired of it. He was upset at how sad I was and said that when I get like that he feels "helpless" because he caused it and is overwhelmed with not knowing how to respond or if he can ever "fix things".
Huh? Really? I thought he was just being heartless and selfish...please explain.
Hey LNS, a fellow SI'er said it best: If it fucks like a whore and lies like a whore, it's probably a whore. Thanks for being such a great friend!