For the WS's: how and why did you come to forgive yourself?
I don't believe self-forgiveness is a real concept. Just my personal opinion - "forgiving" oneself is like hugging oneself. Sure, you put your arms around yourself, but it's not really a "hug". Likewise, you do not "wrong" yourself, you wrong others.
Your husband will learn to live with this in time and will be able to laugh authentically with you again... given time. Not "self-forgiveness".
Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours.
I can't speak to the first two of your questions, since my A didn't go on nearly that long. But I thought I'd take a stab at this one:
how did he stop it immediately...NC...as soon as I found out and has never felt the urge to see her, contact her, etc.
If she was so........ exciting and tantalizing for 5 yrs. (not in my opinion!) then how did he manage to get over her just like that?
I wish I could say that I ended my A as soon as my BW found out. It would have been much easier on both of us. What I can say is that once we started in R, I cut the xOW out of my life entirely (well, as much as possible, since we did work at the same place for a year after that, so I had to see her sometimes... but thankfully nothing more than that). I think a big part of it was that the illusion (which is all the A ever was) was shattered. That, and I realized just how much my BW meant to me, and didn't want anything to do with the xOW. So it was really a movement from illusion (the A) to reality (our M). Illusion may be delightful feeling when you immerse yourself in it... but it is not, by definition, real. And at some point, you want reality. Or at least I know I did. And still do. I love my reality with my beloved BW... I just wish I'd never allowed myself to succumb to illusion and involve myself in the A. All I can do - all any of can do - is move forward.
I don't know if that was at all helpful, but I hope it was, at least in some small degree.
"Every hill that's worth the climb will always be too steep."
- Wild Colonials
H says - I dont know what is wrong with me - I have a beatiful daughter, beautiful wife who is standing by me after all this shit - why do I feel so unhappy?
I am not sure what to think of this.. I know he is depressed - has been out of the job for a year and then A got found out... I think he is still somewhat in the fog... but still why would he say this - maybe any WS can relate?
He may be dealing with the same thing. If he can get in with an IC it would help.
I can pinpoint specific times throughout our 20 years when I believe WH genuinely loved me, including some major sacrifices.
BUT... I have no doubt in my mind, with the newest information I've found, that he has slept with at least 5 or 6 other women during our marriage, of them probably for a year or more, and I believe starting with a ONS in the first month of marriage.
He has kept me separate from his family by telling me I'm 'rude' and treat them badly, though he can never tell me how. (To be clear on the extent of this issue, I have not been invited to visit his family ONCE, NOT ONCE in twenty years), and I believe it's because he told his sister early on about at least one or two of his affairs and he's scared to death it'll come out.
He has made multiple excuses to keep me away from his work, and through the years has bad-mouthed me to his workmates and OW presumably to justify his cheating. People literally halfway around the world think horrible things about me without ever having met me. He drove me to the brink of suicide with years of telling me how his friends and family think I'm so awful, and left me feeling completely worthless-- and again, I believe he 'had to' (in his mind) to keep me away from them, to justify to them and himself what he was doing, and to go on the offensive so I never got around to asking too many questions.
How does someone who can make genuinely loving sacrifices and acts be so brutally cruel, too? Does this man have a split personality? Is he a sex addict who acts on impulse and then finds himself backed into a corner?
Question: if you brought your child(ren) while you were with the OP, how did you justify it?
Sometimes the thing that gets me through my day is hearing from the courageous WSs who have stepped up to help not just your BS but all of us BSs heal. I can't tell you what a witness you are on this site.
Thank you for being brave enough to look inside and do the hard work, and even braver still to answer the barrage of never-ending, hair-raising questions...
I hope your selflessness in sharing on this site will bless your own Marriages and will cause other WS to choose humility and healing as well. This is my blessing to you for a wonderful and fruitful NEW year.
And a blessing on my own FWH... for your healing and fortitude as you walk with me through ashes... I love you.
[This message edited by Elbell at 3:41 PM, December 31st (Thursday)]
Thanks Mods for what you do!
To the unanswered question re-listed earlier:
>>>Question: if you brought your child(ren) while you were with the OP, how did you justify it?<<<
In my case, me having children was never a secret or something to be kept away or out of sight. The OM knew me as a mother of two, just as I knew him as a father to his children. My kids had known him for years before the A, as his kids knew me; and as we moved in the same social circle it was more or less natural that we would see each other in situations where our children and our spouses were present also.
It never occurred to me that the presence of my children would be something that had to be justified.
I imagine it may be different for affair partners who do not interact in a wider social circle.
My FWH had a LTA of five years with his HS gf/fiancee. Initially, he was open to anything for us to stay together, but he trickle truthed for over two years and then I accepted I was never going to get the truth. He would only confess to what I found out. We had MC for the first year or so.
In the early part of last year (2yrs 8mths post dday), I found some documentation (I wasn’t looking for it, I’m just more aware post dday) that didn’t tally and concluded he has had a couple of other affairs – which he vehemently denies. And this led me to examine our whole marriage, year by year, alongside his known LTA. And something puzzles me because it doesn’t make sense.
Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, does anyone else see that when the affair(s) was going well so was the marriage, and when things were going badly, so was the marriage? Something triggered me about 2005 and my thoughts went immediately to recalling that 05 was a torrid, intense and involved year for the affair, but instead of it being a bad year for us, it was actually quite good. From the moment the affair took off again in late winter through to almost the end of the year. The same for a long period during 2002-03 when WH was working for one particular company, he saw MOW a lot and things were going well for them. And it was for us too, mostly. Yet 2004 and 2006 up until dday, were pretty crap. He was being distant, verbally putting me down, absent and downright difficult. We had some social occasions that stand out too.
There were other periods too that I can identify as good or bad. And some of those times were when I reckon he was in other affairs.
It shouldn’t make sense, and yet it other ways, it does. The business of the “three legged stool affair”? Is that was it means? Just perplexing and wonder if anyone can give me a take on this that I can understand.
Sorry - it's ended up rather long!
[This message edited by UKgirl at 1:01 PM, January 3rd (Sunday)]
FWH had an 8-month EA/PA long-distance A with an old girlfriend. Pretty classic in the sense of it being FOO issues (fear of abandonment,) depression after the death of his father, her reaching out to him, and then his excuses for why it was okay (i.e. DBB doesn't love me anyway, we're headed for D anyway, etc.)
Even though we are doing fairly well in R, there are a few lingering issues that nag me. Mainly, his demonizing me to his friends and family. I find it difficult (and in fact haven't) to attend any of his work social events, Christmas parties, etc. because he had told co-workers we were getting a D, and at least a couple of them knew of the A.
My question is if any of you demonized your spouse or marriage to anyone, and if so and you're R'ing, if you ever went back and cleaned up that mess?
Question: when you came out of your fog was it all of the sudden or was it a gradual process?
For me it occurred over time, but in a few large jumps. All of a sudden I would have an epiphany where I would see things much more clearly, and think I had it all, until it happened again a few weeks later. It took several months for me to come out of the fog completely.
Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien
when you came out of your fog was it all of the sudden or was it a gradual process?
Gradual. I figured it out depending on what I was posting. I really could not tell within myself. One time, someone posted about a BS talking to the OP and I wrote something about how if my husband wanted to talk to the xOM, I didn't care and didn't want to know about it. So, that was one indication.
Another time, H saw the xOM and told me and I didn't want to know about that, either.
Those kinds of things let me realize that I really wasn't thinking of the OM anymore. I think about the affair a lot, but not the xOM, if that makes any sense.
if any of you demonized your spouse or marriage to anyone, and if so and you're R'ing, if you ever went back and cleaned up that mess?
I did not ever demonize my husband, but ... you should not feel any hesitation on going to your husband's events, etc. He is the one who had the affair, not you. You can hold your head up high!
My husband can hang out with my friends who knew - all of my friends who know know that I am the sucky person, not him! I myself feel a bit strange about seeing my husband's friends who know - and that is how it should be. I am the one who needs to fix things, not my husband.
when you came out of your fog was it all of the sudden or was it a gradual process
I came out of the fog almost immediately - I had no desire to continue the A and knew right then and there that I wanted, more than anything, to save my M. But the willingness to admit that I needed help and that I was broken was a gradual process. In the beginning, I blame shifted and told H that my A was somehow his fault not realizing that this was total bullshit. Coming here and reading all these perspectives opened my eyes so that I could see past my own bullshit and begin working on myself.....
[This message edited by MissesJai at 1:48 PM, January 6th (Wednesday)]