A lot of times I didn't post because I wasn't dealing with an OC. But now I realize that I will always be affected by that OC. The hurt just lessens over time.
This is why I haven't posted here, but your post helped me see that I very much qualify, and my perspective might be helpful for someone here, so I will post what I shared in a thread in General a while back.
In a nutshell, I divorced 5 years ago. My ex had an affair, and had a child of the affair all about 7 years ago. I tried to make it work. For two years I tried. The endless emotional upheaval of the situation just was too much. I am so glad that is no longer my life! (I have read the posts on the OC thread and can hardly do it because it just takes me back to that time in my life which was hell. I realized I was making every excuse to stay even though the price was way too high in hindsight.)
It was a relief to leave all that behind though I still had to deal with my ex over the ensuing years b/c we have a 10 yr. old COM. He eventually married the AP after we divorced, but (to no one's surprise) that marriage ended last year.
Lo and behold, the ex is now calling on me. I feel like it is probably just a desire to find a booty call buddy, but you know what feels good? It feels great to say "no" and mean it...and never want to go back. It is like confirmation that I did the right thing leaving and now I've gained enough self-respect to say "no". 7 years ago, I would have given anything to see him "want" me. 7 years ago, I was willing to accept the unthinkable and believe it was the best and right decision. 7 years ago, I thought I would never recover if our marriage ended (to the point of accepting the ultimate betrayal of an OC)...now, I just don't care.
Just had to say, it feels damned good.
I wish I'd known about this forum when I was going through all the hell back then. I felt so alone with my situation. I am glad I am so far out from it now, though.
I just thought I'd come here and say that no matter HOW awful it is and how terrible you feel, even if the marriage is over, you will be okay! You will even be HAPPY again...and the part that surprised me was to learn I was even HAPPIER than when I was married. I truly thought I was going to just die inside and never be happy ever again if he left. I was so unhappy staying with him for those 2 years after the affair and birth of other child...but I really believed it was better to save my marriage and stay. The only way to do that was to blame the other woman. I truly made her the target of my hatred, bitterness and wrath (that really belonged to my ex-husband!).
I wish I could have shown myself back then the "me" I would be today. Today's "me" would never have stayed after such a betrayal, no matter how hard my partner might try to keep me with him. I know we all live and learn at our own pace, and I do think so many of us stay because we fear the unknown that change represents (and people do NOT do change well!).
Many of you sound so much like I felt during that 2 years. I realize now I was STUCK and healing was NEVER going to be complete if I stayed. My marriage was like a priceless vase which was shattered, and no matter how carefully I tried to mend it, it was no longer beautiful with the missing pieces and the parts glued back together. As the reason for divorce said in my papers, the marriage was "irretrievably broken".
I lived that way for a long time, powerless to act upon it. I really really tried to see if we could heal, but it was like a wound that would just keep breaking open. It was fragile and ugly and sensitive. Now, I have what I would describe as a scar. Yes, I have been changed for it, but it is healed and the healed parts are strong. I no longer am at risk of them being torn open again.
Never again will I stay in a realtionship that is so damaged. Life it way too short. It took me getting out and STAYing out to realize (and it took about 2 years to realize) that it would heal, and heal in ways that were NEVER going to be possible if I stayed in something so damaged.
It was such a relief to leave that burden and constant stress.
Hugs to you all.
But I feel that I also have something to share, not only with other BS', but those with OCs.
I had to question myself a lot as to whether I really loved STBXH and why I would choose to stay. In the end, I just didn't love him enough.
Having distance from him helps me to put things in perspective. When I would see him, I would get agitated. His life is filled with so much drama and I get anxious at his problems. Now, I don't want to see him.
I know that the day will come when he wants me back. I feel that I should expect him to be interested when he finds out I am dating. But I'm really not interested, whether I am dating or not. Plus, he's done too much for me to ever forget. But when my son told me that the last straw for him was STBXH having an OC and giving me herpes, I had to wonder why that wasn't my last straw either.
Like you said, we all learn at our own pace. Reading here allowed me to see what could occur in my life if I chose to stay. I knew that I couldn't do it and keep my self-respect. Reading my journal shows me just how much I have grown away from the emotional mess I was.
I had to question myself a lot as to whether I really loved STBXH and why I would choose to stay. In the end, I just didn't love him enough.
That knowledge makes it easier to go, but like I was wisely told many years ago, "Love isn't enough". It is easy if you love someone who beats you to say, "This relationship is toxic. Love isn't enough of a reason to stay. I must get out for my own good", but it can be equally toxic and damaging to stay in a soul-killing relationship with someone you love.
As you know and I am sure personally experienced, the OC situation can consume your whole life if you let it. BS can spnd all their time making decisions that surround this rather than dciding what is best for them. No one situation is the same, but what I think we can learn from this is that you must to what is best for you. So thank you.
Scorpio, I sent you a very important PM concerning someone I am sure we both knew, please read it when you get a chance.
Hugs to us all.
Hurt 24/7, please let usknow you are ok, I am concerned for you.
We realized my fwh pays off the arrears next year! That goodness, that saves us $250 a month. I'm sure the cOW will freak out but oh well, I hope she sees that coming and realizes that's it, no additional $ for her. Told my fwh at court next time to remind her to keep track of when the arrears are paid off, make sure she's saving the $ for the OC. Oh yea, there will be a next time for court, she wants to take my fwh to court for his family medical info and the fact I put the oc on my vision plan without her permission. My fwh found a dumbass, no doubt.
I will say the $ part kills me more than the OC part (at this point, I've come to terms that there is an OC). I have worked so hard to get to this point in my life...just to see my household lose $ over such a stupid move on my fwh's part. I am determined for this to work, not just for my COM but for us, because we have found that we do love each other and we want this to work. We did have a date nite last nite and went to dinner without the COM. It was very nice and pleasant and reminded me of happier times, and reminded me we can be happy through this sitch.
Hope everyone has a good day, and again debbys and scorpio for your insight. You're always welcome and really your words and experiences are helpful. It did make me reevaluate what decisions I'm making. And lol yes typing it all out and reading does make me go wow...that's MY life?! Wtf?!
The financial part just boggles my mind. this BITCH tried to ask for $3000 a month. Yes, you read that right...she was asking for over $500 a week! She's only getting what she's getting because the state rolled in the arrears (which they let her calculate and it's an additional $700, which my fwh fought but it was apparently too late--he told her that's the OC's bday and Christmas right there so spend it accordingly). Soon though she will just get the max/base $275 a week, which in my eyes is still too much, but at least whenever she finally goes to work (which she won't have a choice) it goes down from there.
Hopefully we don't hear from her for awhile so we can move past this little outburst. Things were actually getting quite pleasant!
I am so with you in the ERRRR.
The crazy AP in our situation is certifiable. She too is getting assistance with WIC, fodstamps, housing, heating and cooling assistance and has petitoned to keep the child on medicaid because it will allow he to stay on until OC is 3 I think.
We have medical insurance but she doesn't want that because a) it wouldnt cover her and b) there are actually co-pays and deductibles.
She is a hypochondriac and like running to the ER for things like the child had a cold. (she took him there at 10 at night. like he had not been sniffling and runny niose all day for 2 days before. again ERRRR.
I hate this system. She benefits from being a liar.
WE have to pony up the $ because He couldn't remember to remain faithful.
I may have stayed had he shown a commitment me to me and the kids. Instead, he wanted to continue as he always did. I didn't take that as love on his part. And I couldn't see myself enduring what you ladies experience.
You suffer on every front when there is an OC. I think the most important thing is to live your life without regrets. I didn't just walk away. I really tried to make it work. But it didn't. And I won't have any regrets in the future, always wondering if we could have made it work.
You ladies have taught me a lot about forgiveness. In the end, I decided to forgive but also learned that forgiving didn't mean I had to stay.
I think the most important thing is to live your life without regrets. I didn't just walk away. I really tried to make it work. But it didn't. And I won't have any regrets in the future, always wondering if we could have made it work.
You are so very right. I do have this peace. What I couldn't see at the time (and why I stayed for 2 years after the affair that produced OC) was that he had been proving himself all along (as a cheater). That wasn't his first affair nor had it been our first R. I had already forgiven two affairs and I actually REALLY genuinely thought we were at a better place in our relationship when I got blindsided by the affair/OC. I should have realized it wouldn't work to try to R, but I tried again anyway.
I have absolutely no regrets or thoughts about how it could have worked. It couldn't. He always made a good game of R, but either it was false, or he couldn't go the distance. I don't know.
I will say the OW/OC drama has really put a strain on R, and I won't lie there are days I'm ready to bounce because it's just too much. And to know that I will be dealing with this for years...I'm committed to R for now, but I can't lie--this is HARD. And it makes R very difficult, even if he is doing everything right.
(((to us all))) because no matter whether we stayed or left, it has made us stronger (even if we don't feel or notice it). You folks make me feel so NORMAL in a sea of abnormality.
"The Power Struggle (Stage 3)is physically and emotionally draining, and if the couple can survive, they move into the next stage, of a conscious Re-Evaluation of the relationship. Whereas the original commitment one makes is typically based on projections of fantasy, this Re-Evaluation takes into account the reality and fears and defenses of each person. Do I really want to stay with this person? You know who this person is now, you know their limitations, and you know the range of which they are capable of improving or getting better. Knowing all that, do you still want to stay? That is the question that gets answered during this stage.
Both people tend to turn outward to resolve their issues, instead of toward each other. As a result, fears of abandonment come up strongly here. Can I make by myself? Am I really okay the way I am? Will anyone else find me attractive or appealing?
Both people emotionally (and sometimes physically) disengage and withdraw during this stage, which makes it the stage in which separation, divorce and/or an affair are most likely to occur. Feelings of resentment are less intense in this stage, as the affect in the relationship is likely to be very flat and empty. The sexual relationship sporadic at best and more likely non-existent. Things are ripe for an affair to burst on the scene, and often a person in this stage will begin to confide in someone of the opposite sex. This confidante will take on more and more importance in the person's life, due to their neediness and vulnerability, and they will often get emotionally very involved without consciously realizing it. At this point even the slightest affection is like throwing a match in the forest on a hot summer day, and a passionate, intense affair will begin."
As www.about.com states, the AP "...happened to be in the right spot at the right time. They are nothing special. Your spouse was looking for an affair, not looking for them in particular....." In other words, they fulfilled a need in the WS that they felt was missing in their marriage. This does not excuse the behavior at all but it does explain some about the choices some of our spouses made.
Obviously this is not applicable to all our situations - some men just can't be civilized and think with their brain but it likely applies to many of our situations so I thought I'd share. Here is the link to some of the studies:
I also highly recommend, The Five Love Languages. Also very helpful in gaining understanding for relationships not just that with your spouse.
It's a good thing that your WH finally showed remorse. Sadly, my WH just kept acknowledging that he had a problem but wouldn't do anything to fix it.
I found out 5 years after what I thought to be his first affair about the 25+ affairs he had throughout the marriage. That made me realize that whatever issues he has has taken over his life. He is an adult victime of sex abuse and uses that as an excuse for all the bad choices he makes.
Had it been his only affair and he was remorseful, I would be more than willing to try. But his past history told me all I needed to know about his future. I do believe that some people can change, but as a therapist, I am not there to change anyone.
Feeling bi polar, the finances are a big issue for me too. Right from the start, I filed for child support. Wasn't going to depend on him to send the money in a timely manner. But I am raising the kids on my own and he complains about having to give money. I am of the mind that he should give willingly since I make it possible for him to enjoy whatever lifestyle he chooses.
But there are still times when I feel sad that my family has gotten to this point. That we are a statistic!
5 years later his mother became ill and eventually passed away from uterine cancer. I helped in caring for his mother during her last few months. It was during this time that our marriage hit a rough spot and he sought solace with OW.
I was blind sided with his confession about now wanting a child and having a legacy to leave behind and he felt that he couldn't talk to me about it.
The OW is someone we both knew and had previously worked with. (total skank ) She ended up getting fired for poor personal hygiene.
He then reacted to the pregnancy and birth with great ambivalence. He wanted to be married but he also wanted a relationship with OW because she is the mother of his child.
Talk about making me feel angry, hurt and inferior.
I can't file for CS because we have no COM and I was not able to get spousal support because I had more income than he did after he was garnished for CS for OC. so yes I am still angry and feel like I was used. He got to present the facade of a loyal married man while he screwed the bimbo in cheesy hotels.
The icing on the cake was that he chose to house the bimbo in a room at my brother's house. He is single and well as twisted in his relationship loyalties as WH. Brother had a spare room and saw the oportunity to make some extra cash. It turns out that OW also engaged in PA with my brother.
I know all of brother's issues come from two problems...FOO and drugs.
WH didn't see the double betrayal by housing the OW with my family. We still don't see eye to eye on this. and probably never will.
Luckily this state automatically counted my COM first in the calculations, which pissed off the cOW because my daughter is 4 months younger than the OC. But she filed wrong; she should have requested a paternity test while I was pregnant, rather she just wanted my fwh to acknowledge without one. Ha ha yea right! By thw time she figured that out, my daughter was born and therefore my fwh technically had 2 kids when we found out paternity. And she can't undo it, my COM will always be counted before the OC. However because I work they did the figures off of both of our incomes and I get less per COM because of that. But at least they counted first AND it pissed her off. If we got divorced and I sought alimony, her CS would get affected again, at least according to our attorney. Probably the only good thing about the guidelines in this state. But I can't help but at times focus on the $ leaving...my fwh pays an insane amt of CS because the bitch doesn't work. And this is a combo state/% state...we did the calculations and the CS would go down. Luckily he wouldn't have to pay for childcare, that would offset her income but still bring the CS down, although not by much. But hey some is better than than none! I estimate he will have the arrears paid off by next summer, thank goodness. That's an extra $300 a month in our pockets. The arrears built up while we were waiting for the courts to determine paternity, yet the state treats him like a criminal. I just think about the bigger house I wanted, them COM's college funds (those are on hold until the arrears are paid off), just the material things we work hard for and wanted for our family...now gone to pay for the bitch and OC. That makes me mad, it interferes with my life plan. But I'm going back to school next year so I can make more $ that we wouldn't have to part with, and I work a 2nd job to help with what we are losing. Although if my fwh got a 2nd job it wouldn't be counted for CS (its in the guidelines).
We keep everything so if the OC questions at least the financial piece (ask why did he grow up poor?) We can show him just how much my fwh paid.
Luckily the state no longer increases according to age like they used to. The guidelines state that they can do a recalc every 3 years (I'm sure the bitch has the date circled in 2013). This time we have a MUCH better lawyer so we hopefully won't get as screwed this time. Although we can remod sooner if the cOW starts working (doubt that will happen).
A quarter of a million dollars that didn't have to be spent...(yes I did the math up to age 18)
I knew that he probably would not be bothered by it and he wasn't. He told me today on the phone that he still feels the same about me despite the Herpes. He also understands now why the kids and I feel the way we do about WH.
The financial situation is tough for me too. My oldest is in college and WH and I agreed long ago to support them while they attended college/trade school. Now he doesn't want to and states that she is an adult now and should not need any help. He seems to forget the assistance his mother provides to him from time to time.
I will be up and running when I graduate in May and be able to continue that support for all my kids. Right now, older daughter has financial aid for school so support is mainly providing a home for her. My son will be starting college in three years so I want to be prepared for that.
I feel that WH can work another job to earn extra money. At least he lives with a woman to split the expenses with. But he doesn't see the kids or help to raise them so he should put some extra money in. That's just my opinion. We have three children together and it's not easy or cheap to raise them.
[This message edited by scorpio1 at 5:15 AM, October 25th (Tuesday)]