Besides MC, the only thing I could suggest is to sit down with WH and tell him that you know you both are working very hard. You must schedule some way to have some fun together alone....even if it's taking a walk, playing a board game, taking a shower together....whatever. During this time you will just enjoy each other and no deep A conversations....just a break to be together.
I do realize how hard it is when you have small children, but see if there is some way you can do this.
Miracle: I do understand and agree with detaching from pfm and his dealings with the kids. BUT, in the case you just mentioned, if pfm came to you for advice, I don't see anything wrong with just calmly and with detachment letting him know your opinion. The hardest thing here, is if he doesn't listen to your opinion, BUT for you, don't get angry or upset about it. It seems pfm has no idea what to do and he is seeking help. You cannot tell him what to do, or make him do the right thing, but if he asks your opinion, I don't see any reason why not. On the other hand if he wants you to get involved or take sides or whatever, that's a different story.
Hugs to everyone.
Miracle; I know my post didn't seem to make sense. "black and white" thinking I don't think will help me. If I think of him as "all bad", then another part of me seems to come to his defense....It's almost as if I'm going back and forth between polarities in my thinking about him. Probably why I put up with so much for so long.
Now, I'm trying to see REALITY. To truly see that yes, WH is charming, can be generous, etc, BUT, and a very big BUT, I need to really see and accept ALL of him. To see beyond the charm. To really see and accept things that I gaslighted myself not to see or explain away or telling myself I would accept the good with the bad.
This is the hardest thing for me to do.
But, then again, I think you are right, as is my IC. I NEED to get good and mad first to get me moving.
the c told him that he has to stop putting me into it, in the past he will ask and ask and ask and then he does what he wants, i have told him a thousand times my pov, he still does what he wants, then to top that off he complains that i take control ....the bottom line is i cannot control him and how he decides to interact with my kids, i cannot influence him either...he has to find his own way without me....
now if this were an issue that dealt with school, or something medical, something that was important that we would need to come together on then yes we would have to talk...but this was yet another instance where he was having an issue with her attitude.....she is so so angry with him and it comes out every chance she has....he does not also know how to step in and put his foot down in a constructive manner to correct her disrespect and to boot most of his actions only foster it....and i cannot control that, i cannot make her respect him, i cannot teach him how to command respect instead of demanding it....and further i no longer want to....and i am actually happy to be free of wishing it different....omg i am happy to be free of it....small aha moment....now the practice of it is yet another matter...as her mom i wouldn't let her talk to others in the manner she talks to him.....those are usually the instances where i stick my nose in to her....and slowly i am trying not to, to back off and let him handle it....but when i am not in the room, i do not have to handle it, if she is not doing it in front of me it is much easier for me to back off...but pfm keeps trying to drag me in, the therapist pointed this out to him the last time we were in her office....and i need to say no....i am not always right on how to handle them...and not for nothing but my relationship with my kids is different then his and always will be...he has to find his own way on this one....
dip: yes allgood is right you are totally misunderstanding the purpose of the cabana boys.....
i did not mean to say that you need to view your ws as all bad or all good....yes you need to accept all of who he ACTUALLY IS.....
im thinkin that you are still very much stuck on the man you thought he was and you are not really seeing the man he truly is ALL of the time....
yes he has some good points, but if you put all of his points on a scale and weight them according to importance in a marriage how would this scale look to you....where would the weight be the greatest.....that is part of looking at the WHOLE picture my friend....you must see it ALL....not what you had believed, but what you now KNOW......
and yes you need to use anger right now to help you in this endeavor for i fear you may not be strong enough to do any other way....he charms you to easily to seeing the man you thought he was and is not.....and you remember the good, you focus on it....when you need to focus on YOURSELF and what is good for honest...not your boys, but YOU.....and not what you wish but what is....and taking what is and making it into something that you can not only live with but thrive with....its more then survival....it starts with survival though and you are not yet even in survival mode....you touch it now and then, but you are so hurt and full of pain you are still in the "i cannot believe all i did believe and how could this be", "how could i believe all of this now"....."why".....
and in doing this you started out looking for fault within yourself....and i still think that there is a part of you that feels that if you were enough, or if he really loved you...etc....
the first thought process that would be most helpful for you to ACCEPT would be that
THIS IS ALL HIM WANTING IT ALL, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU....NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING.......
and the fact that he does want it all, has the balls not only to want it but EXPECT IT is what will hopefully drive you to destination anger...
this man wants you to accept this and allow it....and if that were not enough he actually wants you to be happy about it to boot....he wants your sons to be happy about their new siblings...he wants to bring you all together to be one big happy family.....i think he realizes that you would need to be in separate housing while in the same country....other then that anything goes.....
is this really ok with you, is this really about YOU....
imagine this story being told to you by a new lta member...what pray tell would you tell this woman....
get angry honest, get mad....make that list and keep reading it til you get good and mad....then use the anger to your advantage....
Dip, the ladies here want what they want, why should these women make sense just because they are BS's on SI? As for me, there is a song that sums it up nicely:
I want a rich, young, dumb nymphomaniac. Who can drive me around in her Cadillac. The rest of the lyrics are probably too much for here, so I will leave you to Google them if interested.
Allgood mentioned not mentioning the A stuff. This is where I am/have been. What I am finding is that the more I do not talk about the A stuff, the more FWW brings it up. A few days ago she gave me a very good stab at empathy, and what it might have felt like to me to have my wife cheat on me. She really did touch some of the key issues for me personally, much more than cheating was bad, I am sorry.
A few things I am/have learned and I am working on. 1) FWW and both have to get our feelings out in the open, good and bad. When we talk we do OK, even when the talk is painful. When we hold it in and hope it will pass so we do not spoil an evening or day, we end up ruining the day. 2) I have to heal me. It never goes away, so at some point you have to stick your past in your behind. Sure there is basic timeline and methods stuff to find out and understand initially, the why of your WS deciding an A was OK, but after that it is all up to the BS to pull themselves into the moment and look forward. The past has happened and is not going away. Is this moment better or not with the WS? If better, stay and enjoy. If not, make plans and take action today for a better tomorrow. 3) I cannot make FWW (or anyone for that matter) want to do something. I can force some things, I can manipulate some things, but I cannot expect to create sustainable change just because I need or want it. If I cannot live with or enjoy my life with my WS, then see #2.
There is more being a better me to work on than I had expected. Once I quit focusing on FWW and the A-crap, it became more obvious. Being a better me may not fix my marriage, but it makes me a better person in the long run. As a benefit, I find that as I shift my focus to working on me, FWW is able to drop her defenses and better work on her. The important part is while I often complained that I felt FWW was a day late and a dollar short coming around after dday, she was making progress. She is no longer blame-shifting. She is remorseful. She and I both know why it happened, and I know the essentials of what happened. She is working on fixing the parts that thought an A was a good idea, or felt the need for it.
[This message edited by atsenaotie at 4:30 PM, October 17th (Sunday)]
I have been on that emotional roller coaster for that long!
If you remember my story, I kicked my H out of the house after d-day and filed for divorce. I was horrified about the 5 yr LTA and thought it was a betryal that I could not forgive.
Well, I've got to give him credit, my FWH dug in his heels and refused to give up on the marriage !
He took everything that I could throw at him and believe me...that first year and 1/2 or so.. I literally would throw things all the time...whenever I triggered!
(All of this was so out of character for me... I was never a screamer, thrower, never used foul language ever...)
well, all of that changed after d-day and after I read the pile of obscene emails that the OWs husband handed me!
But... still and all..my husband continued to try to work things out. He immediately went NC with the OW and went to IC, AA, MC, Christian counseling...you name it..we did it.
He has also been 100% transparent about everything since d-day-passwords, cell phones, emails, credit cards, etc. etc.
He has constantly been reassuring me with words and actions since d-day...showing me and telling me over and over again about how sorry he is that he hurt me like this, how the OW meant nothing to him and how much he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life making it up to me.
I know that many of the 'old timers' on the LTA forum have heard my story before..but, I thought some of the newbies would benefit from hearing what happened to me, how my husband reacted, and how long it still took me to get to a place where I am feeling 'peaceful'.
Ats...I'm glad that you have gotten to that place a lot sooner than I did.
It has taken me this long to heal....I still trigger but... I have finally decided that I am not going to allow the OW to steal one more minute of happiness from me!
Like FNF said.... she did not want the OW to win!
for the past (almost) 4 yrs...eventhough my husband was doing all of these great things... I was still miserable much of the time.
Not enjoying my life..dwelling on the past.
But, I think I have processed everything as much as is humanly possible.
There is really nothing else that I need to know about the A.
It is in the past.
I want to have a happy future. And , I see real progress...
I still trigger but I am able to push those negative thoughts out of my head much faster.
I realize that at this point... I do have the husband that I always wanted.
Unfortunately for me.. it took the devastation of the infidelity for us to get here...but, I have survived and now its my turn to thrive.
Some books that have helped me get here:
Not Just Friends by Glass
Transcending Post Infidelity Stress Disorder by Dr. Ortman
How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Love (this book was a recommendation by Ats and it is an excellent book!)
Thrive Don't Simply Survive by Karol Ladd ( very positive book , but from a Christian perspective, tends to focus on the female point of view)
(All of this was so out of character for me... I was never a screamer, thrower, never used foul language ever...)
njgal480, this is under the heading be carful what you wish for. FWW always wished I would show more emotion, not be so "stable". Well she gets it now Yelling, throwing things, I am not doing that much now, but the first months after dday she got a new me. It scares her still when I really get angry now, but we are working on it.
I have been lucky in my healing that I had a lot of good advice to follow here. FWW had some blame-shifting and perception issues at firat, but she did go NC and NEVER fished after dday.
Three days of setting up the outdoor Halloween decorations, and it looks pretty good. The lights still need some fine tuning on the programming, but a real step up from last year. It is nice to be working on things with FWW again.
The spooky similarities in our situations continue to amaze me. You caught your H with the aid of a GPS - got mine with a VAR.
Now I have both a VAR AND a GPS and he is being "good" - thank God.
You were not a drinker - became one and now backing off. I am still knocking back at least 2 Merlots a night. Hopefully will follow your lead and cut back in future. At present it is my comfort.
So, aside from the disgust I feel when I think about everything they did together, both physically and emotionally, it's more the unsettled feeling I have about how he could continue to do that, what kind of person he is, that makes me think I'm married to a stranger and there will be no letting my guard down.
Yes, they are strangers and you don't trust strangers. I sometimes think they will always be strangers because we don't know the "who" of our Hs who betrayed us. Who WAS this man??? Has he really gone or has he just gone into hibernation until the next whore crooks her finger at him? It is like living with different people. Maybe even Jerkyll and Hyde. And they were (are???) so clever - they conned us. Question is who are we living with now???? And so we cannot afford to let our guard down. So sad!!
I think if I chose to separate I would just be replacing a different kind of stress for the one I would feel now.
Yep - taking the path of least regret and staying with the devil I know!!! I also can't deal with any more stress right now - At present I'm happier with him than I think I would be without him - so I let him stay.
The only reason he is seeing someone for C is because he was found out.
This also I find hard. The only reason H is being nice to me, caring, remorseful, attentive, GREAT IN BED , calling all the time to check on me - is because he got caught. What a rotten reason to be nice. Why couldn't he have done all these things before?? Why do I suddenly merit them when I didn't before Dday?? So screwed up!!!
Instead of being a protector of his children, he allowed a stranger.....the power to destroy the beautiful family that we have worked so hard for.
I keep thinking "How dare he do this to our family?" He WAS supposed to be THE MAN and protect us but his actions could have (and maybe still will) destroy our family. HOW DARE HE!!!!!
Like most WS my H says that he never thought that I would find out.
God - this is so FUCKING arrogant. The little wifey will take my shit at home - who needs to be nice when she accepts what I dish out - and at the same time i can have my whore on the side and she will never guess - because she is SOOOO trusting and naive!!!
Oops. he's home early.
Have to go
Love to all
Like most WS my H says that he never thought that I would find out.
God - this is so FUCKING arrogant.
I had a L-O-N-G talk yesterday with WH about how arrogant he is, or maybe it's more accurate to say how arrogant I think he is. He completely denies this and absolutely refused to believe me until I told him that I have heard others say this about him. He was shocked!!! Now, here's what burns me.....why is it that when I say it he doesn't give my opinion any credence, but when I tell him others have seen this trait in him, all of a sudden he's taking it seriously?? This was pretty much the point of our discussion yesterday, how he thinks his view of the world is more accurate than mine. He decided on his own that I had broken our M because sex wasn't as important to me as it was to him. Mind you, he didn't tell me this but used this as a justification for getting sex elsewhere. I freely admit that there are times he defers to me, but usually on things that are not particularly important to him.
Here's another example....I told him that I am worried about his "cavalier" attitude towards our children finding out about his A. He says that he thinks if he/we present it in the right way they will accept it and move on!! Now, keep in mind, that my parents divorced when I was 20 (our children are 24, 23 and 16+) and I would always say that it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. But does WH give my concerns any consideration?? NO! After all, he can say the right things and the kids will just "understand." I finally told him that he was forgetting that they have minds of their own and he can only influence them so much. WH has always held himself up as a man who believes absolutely in honesty and loyalty. That is what we both have preached to our kids from the cradle...and now their just going to shrug off that he has been a liar and a cheat for the past 5 years??
Sorry about the rant this morning Tribe. I was doing okay then went for a run and the thoughts starting swirling in my head. Thank goodness I have an IC session today. The AD's are kicking in so there have been no tears for the past few days, but I'm pretty pissed off!
fnf, tell your story about "8 fucking years" at the mc
I had a really nice meeting with NJgal this weekend and at the end of our visit she gave me a book, Unfaithful, Rebuilding Trust After Infidelity by Gary & Mona Shriver. In there they talk about the issue of "time." I loved what they said and wish all FWS's would really get this.
"You will read over and over again that healing took 'time'. We all want to know just how long that time is. We have sat across from couples weary from the effort and battle, tears streaming down their faces, saying, "It's been (insert specific time here). Isn't that long enough?" The answer is "apparently not." The length of your recovery and your spouse's recovery cannot be predetermined - and most likely you will be on different time schedules."
There was another thought I had when I read this and I believe I read the following in Not Just Friends. The author suggested that there were 3 factors that would contribute to how long the healing process might take:
How long the A lasted, whether or not the S ended it on his/her own or whether it ended because they were caught and finally whether or not the OW/OM was a friend or family member of the BS. My H struck out in all 3 of these areas. Needless to say, anytime the issues of "time" came up I reminded him of this.
Don't let your S pressure you or make you feel guilty that it's taking too long to heal. Just as we must process our grief when we lose someone we love, we must allow ourselves the time we need to grieve the loss of a M that only existed in our idealist minds.
The mantra here has always been LTA = LTRecovery.
Hugs to the tribe.
[This message edited by forgivenotforget at 9:02 AM, October 18th (Monday)]
Why do I suddenly merit them when I didn't before Dday?? So screwed up!!!
We always merited these considerations and niceties, but our WS’s were too caught up in their own issue to tend to the martial relationship. In my case, after dday FWW began to realize HER misperceptions. I recall in one of our MC sessions when the discussion made clear that I had always loved her and tried to support our relationship she seemed genuinely shocked and asked “…how would I have known?” It took many months and much therapy for FWW to get to the point where she understands the dynamic that was our M. Now that she understands, she is more attentive to the needs of the relationship, and I benefit from this. Her perception has changed, and it is easier for me to be pleasant and supportive in the relationship when I do not feel despised most of the time, so we both get these little niceties now.
WH cannot be talked down when he's "making his point." He learned from the master how to just repeat himself loudly until the other person backs down. In his family, the loudest wins. Period. The only way to deal with him is to let himself run down and then pick back up where you left off. (Think toddlers.) MC obviously knew why he was feeling frustrated. I believe he wanted to see if I (or probably WH, now that I'm thinking about it) noticed the assholey behavior. Actually, now that I'm really thinking about it, I should not have said anything at all. And MC didn't let it drop. Listening to one another is our assignment. WH has his alone appointment on Thursday and his parents will be staying with us the next day (I think) for the weekend. Then our next couple session is the following weekend. Oh joy.
I'm doing with our M what you are doing with your DD. I can't baby WH through the steps, and I can't tell him what to do because he will do only what he wants to do and no more, and if he does make changes they will never last as long as he's ignoring himself. And he'll eventually blame me for things not working because I'm "trying to control" him.
I'm not sure what would happen if our MC got in WH's face. Probably not the same thing that happened with fnf's husband... actually, probably the exact opposite. WH has had a lifetime of dealing with authority figures getting in his face and insisting that he's wrong wrong wrong, and I think WH would react by shutting it out or believing the opposite just as a way to rebel against authority. He's a horse that has to be led to water but you have to be sneaky about it and pretend that he's finding the water all by himself or else he'll refuse to drink the water, no matter that he's seconds from expiring from dehydration.
Holy crap. Given all of this, and the fact that WH thinks I'm the authority figure... Okay, there's a whole other level of stuff that I need to consider. (Hello, Horsewoman; check out this water!) Will journal about this. Okay, getting back...
Arrogance. (check) "When are you going to get past this?" (check) Charming when he wants to be. (check) Wants to do things his way/rebellious. (check) I'd like to add excessive denial in there. That's a biggie.
I am glad things are going well for you. You seem to be grounded and at peace. I hope that lasts. Though I do worry...
cabana boys are a dime a dozen. Handy to have around, live to serve. Easy to toss aside when one of those rare Mature Men appear.
Though I do worry...
All I can do is live in this moment and see how things are. There is much she is doing right, and a couple of significant (to me) things being left aside. We have discussed the missing itmes, so now I will see if she decides to pick up her part, if they are not as important to me as I thought, or if they are the dealbreakers in the end.
Thank you for the gentle 2 x 4's. There was something you said that really struck a chord with me:
...if you put all his points on a scale and weigh them in importance of a marriage....
Sadly, and crazily, I do still love him. But what you said is extremely important. Marriage is not just love. There are so many other factors that can make or break it, and one of the main requirements is commitment. I don't believe WH was EVER committed to the M or the relationship. I feel he was committed to ME in the sense that he would be there for me, love me, help me, etc., but NOT to exclusion of anyone else and especially that WH is NUMBER one at all times. He was and is his own priority.
I remember talking with a fellow student when I was taking my Masters. He was happily married with 3 wonderful children. For some reason, he told me that he was engaged to the love of his life, BUT she did not want children EVER. No matter how much they discussed this, she was sure. So, this guy broke up with her because having children was priority in his life. He said that he really loves his wife, but I can see the bittersweet sadness in his eyes about his former fiancee.
Some things are not meant to be. I really knew this when dating WH, and I think he did too. We both wanted different things, had different baggage. WH wanted kids, and I'd have to start over. We did try to break up, and then had HB. I compromised on so many things to make it work, including starting over with more kids (I don't regret that) and giving up my career.
As I was thinking today, I remembered an mini argument WH and I were having in the car before he went back overseas. I was trying to broach the subject of S/D. He said he didn't want that and that I didn't either. I said, how do you know? I think we should. We had parked by this time and as I was getting out of the car, he looked at me very, very sincerely (not his charm and conning, I could see it in his eyes), "I don't think we are ready to give each other up."
OK, ok, this is not logical, but this is very emotional. I realize, that emotionally, he is right. I was actually ready long long ago to give up the M for so many other reasons, NOT because we didn't get along or didn't love each other.
It's not meant to be. I love him, but as my neighbor (the funny one) said once about her first H, "He was a great boyfriend, but a terrible H!!"
FnF: thank you for sharing that story again!! I wish we could all borrow your MC so they could yell at our WS!
NJgal: thank you for recommending those books. Are some of them to try to R, or just to heal from infidelity?
I am so sorry that you had to go through such pain to get to where you are today. I hope that you will find more and more happiness and less and less triggers.
Ats, it's good to hear from you. I'm glad that you seem to be moving forward with your FWW and that you are actually laughing and enjoying things together.
Laura: The things that you are angry about, I can so relate. How dare they? I mean it's not just to thier S that they are hurting, but their family. Family is supposed to be important. It's just a selfish act altogether, not even thinking about anyone but themselves.
Strong: I have the same problem with WH. He'll ask for my advice, I'd give it, and then ask many more people the same thing. Then he'd come back to me and say guess what so and so said? And it was the exact same thing I said. Last time WH was here, he said or did something that I said wasn't right. He ignored me, until DS15 said the exact same thing. WTF?
About telling the children? It seems your WH is like mine....all in the fog and not seeing reality. WH told DS 12 and 15 LAST year about the OC's. He thinks they should just accept it and be happy about it!! When I told WH that DS 15 is upset , I was accused of making him feel that way.
As for telling YOUR children, Strongish? If you are in R and still working towards it and WH is really remorseful and trying, I would say no. It is hard enough to deal with your own emotions through this time and then dealing with the fallout of your kids' emotions.
Believe me, I know. I have spent this entire last year not only dealing with my shattered heart and self esteem, but also with DS's hurts, feelings of abandonment, anger, upsetment, etc which sometimes manifested itself physically and failing grades in school.
Strong, I would wait and see about telling your children.
As long as you are in R, no.
If it ever comes to D and one of your kids is adament about trying to understand WHY??, perhaps you might want to tell then.....just for understanding, with no embellishments.
Love to everyone.
This was probably the biggest lesson I've learned in my adult life. I haven't done such a thing since.
So, that's one tactic.
2. As WH is shouting, tell him that you two can have a shouting match to see who's the loudest, but it won't settle who is right or solve the problem. Tell him when he calms down, you will discuss it and walk away.
Everytime he shouts like that, repeat, I will not have a shouting match with you. And do not engage.
3. Everyone's personality is different. I had one co-worker who yelled to vent (but not AT me), and I used to joke until she ended up laughing saying "you're not letting me be mad!!!" and just laugh.
I know the arrogance and it's so hard to deal with. If only they can learn to laugh at themselves it can be more tolerable, but then it's not true arrogance but bravado.
I shouldn't have to think of ways to get around his immature tantrum-throwing. But here I am. Dealing with a 40-year-old toddler.
Strong, I would wait and see about telling your children.
As long as you are in R, no.
If it ever comes to D and one of your kids is adament about trying to understand WHY??, perhaps you might want to tell then.....just for understanding, with no embellishments
This is exactly my opinion as well. But WH at one point actually told me that he was thinking of telling them whether I wanted him to or not. I told him that that was a dealbreaker for me. If he told them without my agreement/input then he could pack his bags. He could tell I meant it and immediately backed down. I just returned from my IC appt. (WH goes on Wed.) I told the C about this and she just kept shaking her head. She has been doing this for many, many years and see lots of kids. In her opinion the older the kids the harder a D is on them. We talked about that for a while and she agreed to communicate this to WH at his next appt. (Because we know that if I tell him it's useless.) She is also going to tell him in no uncertain terms that unless he makes some significant changes he will not be able to meet MY emotional needs which may results in a S/D. We talked about this alot and I'm not ready to throw the towel in yet. It's still early for me to be seeing big changes in WH (I need to write this down and read it every day!) so I need to practice patience. Sigh.....