m3: your ws is still a puzzle to me....and i am having issues believing who he presents to you....he seems to have mulitple personalities....
Your posts about forgiveness are wonderful. I think they are completely appropriate for ATS.
Sigh. I selfishly need your perspective. In my case, it just doesn't seem appropriate to forgive.
I think the WS must do these things:
(1) Have remorse.
(2) Work to figure out why and change (IC)
(3) Change habits
So, my husband has changed some habits, but he doesn't seem to be the least bit sorry, and I just don't think 5 visits to the IC in 15 months "cuts" it for (2).
And then, there is this: OW told me they'd had sex in 2008. I know I've mentioned this before. For those of you who are newer --
We were on vacation with OW and her BH and kids and her nanny and my nanny. At the time I had only 2 kids. Anyway, her BH had my oldest and his 3 kids on the beach. The nannies, my baby and I went to the grocery store to get groceries for the week. OW was going to cook lunch. While we were gone, OW and my WH had sex.
WH and I had just gone through 7 months of bi-weekly meetings at the church to have our marriage convalidated. I'd just had two of my miscarriages. The convalidation and second miscarriage had been 2 months before this.
OW had managed to pick a fight with EVERY person on this trip except me and my two kids at this point.
I came back and went up the stairs with one of the nannies and asked what OW and WH had been up to while we were gone (all friendly) she was cooking. She turned around, Pointed the very large knife she was holding right at my throat and said she'd had sex with WH. I turned my shoulder to her, handed the baby to the nanny and told her to go downstairs, took the knife from OW and put it down and proceeded to have a huge fight with her that WH came down and broke up. (not physical, and I didn't yell but I got in her face and really scared her actually.)
Anyway, at that point it was "he said, she said" and I made a choice. I decided -- there are three possible scenarios here. Either this didn't happen and she's picking a fight (OW was backpeddling like crazy at this point), this did happen and now my WH knows she's going to tell and if he values the marriage this won't happen again, or this did happen and it will continue and I will eventually catch them again because apparently they aren't that smart.
After this trip, my WH said he didn't want to hang out with them anymore. He didn't speak to OW for 6 months (that I know of) he started to see the IC he sees now. Eventually, OW called and apologized etc. and we decided to forgive her. Anyway, to me, I figured that most likely #1 had happened because of the cut-off but possibly #2 had happened and he was working it out with IC, etc. (let's not forget my oldest DS and her second DS were best friends, which was the ultimate motivation (in my mind) for forgiving her.
So -- this is the problem. He's not actually getting a second chance, it's a third and I'm not really down with third chances, but then again in his mind he might not have really been caught per se the other time.
....he cannot fathom losing me....
This seems to be one of the hallmarks of the WS. They cannot comprehend future consequences for current or past actions.
ats.. Nobody’s perfect. No body!
I understand this, but less than 6 months ago FWW was a long ways from perfect. We are 16 months out from dday, but as recently as last October she was still on the fence about staying in the M or not. I am still a bit twitchy about trusting her when it comes to her feelings and what she says.
Tryn and iwam, I do think you have hit it for me. I have some reluctance or uncertainty about a final letting go of the past and forgiving all. I will need to ruminate on the reason. I am ashamed to admit it may be that by letting go I have to take full responsibility for my feelings and behavior from here on forward (yes, I know I do anyways). It may also be the trust issue. My fear that she is withholding or hiding something huge, worse than the things she was willing to tell me. She has told me she has withheld telling me things she believes I would consider significant. She believes they are no longer important, and she is “not going there” anymore.
Today, it really does not matter my W F'd her lover 400 or even a 1000 times. It does not matter to me she talked to OM on the phone without telling me for 20 minutes 4 weeks following dday. It just doesn't. Yes I remember it all..
Someway, somehow, my brain just doesn't get hurt about the A past anymore.
M3.. Are you happy today?
I am happy... I like coming here and posting, I like my job, I like my W, I like having fun with my kids, my W, my friends... I hate the ice though.. To chip away at that crap is horrible... lol.
What happened in 2008 is what happened. Not a damn thing you can do to change it.
Today, you and your H need to just focus on all those desirables I mentioned. That will be the key toward you happiness. It's too bad you are afraid to goto retrou... Then maybe your H would learn how to share his real feelings. He might just be sorry... but does not know how to say it to you...
Everyday... do things that make you happy...
It all boils down to this: I'm on the fence. Have been the whole time.
She believes they are no longer important, and she is “not going there” anymore.
All you can do ats is work on yourself to be the most desirable person you can be…. All you can do is make choices and decision to accept how you are being treated today. You can do this without making her dig into her past… facing all that ugliness. She’s faced it IMO.
If your W does not change.. Then you face tougher decisions. Those are my thoughts..
M3.. diddo for you… How do you know what his feelings are if he’s never told you? Did he say, “I am not sorry for what I did” Retrou!!! Is my prescription.
[This message edited by trynhard at 9:58 AM, February 8th (Tuesday)]
in the meantime focus on what YOU can do....kids, job, decreasing debt...line up your ducks if he drives off a cliff.....you are prepared....if he drives it out of the ditch...well then no harm, no foul...you would still be in a place knowing that you could walk if the need arises giving you peace of mind at least where the ducks are concerned...
speaking of ducks...laura, where are you and how are the fucking ducks...and the beautiful butterflies?
just had a thought...i like your hobby much better then his...yours is soul food, his is just belly food....
ats: you need to decide if you can live with the way things are?...you will never get anything further out of her regarding her past...can you live with that?...can you find happiness not knowing?...can you put it away in a box and bury it....give it a proper funeral....
maybe going through the motion of doing just that...write it all down, then hold a small ceremony of you burying the past...it might give you some of the closure you seek....and like someone you didn't like who has passed...you bring the memory to mind here when a trigger sparks it....and then put it back where it belongs...buried....
She has told me she has withheld telling me things she believes I would consider significant.
I have some reluctance or uncertainty about a final letting go of the past and forgiving all. I will need to ruminate on the reason.
FWIW, I am pretty certain my H has not told me the entire truth about his LTA. I have too many accounts from his coworkers about the # of years his A went on. I have memories about certain things that happened in our past that don't add up.
But at some point I did say to my H, "I have enough information now to make a decision about where to go from here. I don't want to know another detail." It was all so sordid and hurtful and I couldn't imagine how knowing anything more would be in my best interest.
I don't know if you can come to that place. We all have to reach it in our own time.
My H has denied that there is anything more to know. Your wife, on the other hand, had told you there is more. This is the crux of your problem with forgiveness as I see it, IMHO.
My question then is, Can you let this go? Can you just assume that it is better not to know and to take the advice offered here to look at what your W is doing now? Focus on the progress she is making, see how hard she is working on some very painful issues from her past and accept that sometimes we can never know, and maybe should never know, the whole sordid truth of a loved one's past.
Tryn -- my WS, right now, is a person who calls my nanny a Porsche and me a '76 maverick on Christmas Eve. 'Nuf said.
For those that have seen some marked changes in their spouses, I think you can say - ok that's not who I'm married to now. For those who are dealing with the "I stopped cheating, so what's the problem" variety, it's something that for me personally at least, I have difficulty dismissing it as irrelevant.
Thanks for all the responses and the insight. I am making plans to be gone a lot more,,,
It's not so much the need to stick it to him, although I wouldn't shed any tears over that but I need to get a life and not center everything around my family...
I have given him 24 years and the gift of R for 5+years and I can not do this anymore...
I don't want to get D but I have been given no choice--he won't change and doesn't feel the need to...anyone who ?'s what he does--his response is yeah but what about happiness?
You can't be happy by bringing pain and misery to other people.
They are both cheaters and of course they see nothing wrong with that. H and OW will never be happy because their relationship has been built on lies and deceit.
But they don't see that..all they see is their LOVE
They will never truly trust each other because she cheated on her H with mine and he cheated on me with her.
In a way I feel sorry for him that he is so delusional as to think this is what's best...
What's best was for him to keep his dick in his pants...
Sorry bad morning
HE though still has to do the brunt of the work...he still is in the drivers seat...it is up to him ultimately which way he drives isn't it...
if he says to do mc, then do it, he is in the drivers seat for a bit....if he says get over it, then you know he just put into reverse going deeper in the ditch....kwim..
"I stopped cheating, so what's the problem"
this is a problem for me too....its actually one of the things pfm tried to give me yesterday....along the lines of "no i didnt do everything you told me, but i did alot of them including my womanizing"....
i guess honesty and integrity was not high on his to do list...
see nell, i am laughing at this, i have too or else i would go mad....its just all so sick and sordid....i really should take notes..maybe thats what i could do for money...sell it to made for tv movie...just would it be listed as drama, documentary or a horror movie...it kind of has it all....even comedy....as a matter of fact the horror does border the comedic and vice versa....
why are there really genies?...i really could use one....3 wishes is all i need....
but, in your case, this lingering doubt about the significance of her actions in the past make this a definite hurdle to overcome. TT, but especially the admittance of important, significant information, makes forgiveness a very difficult objective, IMHO.
Who knows what that is? Maybe more rapes, ONS, abortion.. What ats can accept is that it is something his W does not believe is positive. She fears more punishment by ats if she told him. She’s afraid.
One Good thing is for sure… Ats, you need to understand that since she is afraid, this means she doesn’t want you to “think” or have any more negative thought about her. Enough is enough. Really, she is protecting a boundary she has set.
There does comes a time in every R where enough is enough. You cannot continue to punish with past failings. It is just not fair to your spouse to continue to bring it up…
M3.. If my W told me I was a Chevy and our nanny was a porsche.. She would have crossed my boundary… I will not be in a marriage where I am belittled, cut down or un-affirmed. She'd get one of these...
Dear Lord, Please give the strength to forgive when I am abused.
Dear Mr. M3,
I want you to know how I feel being “cut down” and told I am a Chevy.
Tears came to my eyes when you were not looking. My mind took me to a place where I felt ugly. Too fat, too wrinkled, too old. If you can imagine Paddy looking at you square in the eyes and telling you, “I think you daddy is an ass hole”. Remember that time your boss at that construction job told you your services were no longer needed. Remember you came home upset and crying. I felt like that when you said I was a Chevy.
My dreams are to be happy and be with a partner in life that can appreciate me. These comments made me unhappy and hurt. I am not going to be married to a person that makes me feel this way. If you truly believe I am not worthy of you, then by all means, let me know today. I can then make a choice to move on with my life.
let me tell you, if someone loves you, they will not be calling you a Chevy anymore after a few letters like this.. if they continue.. you are with an abuser. You must change.
If someone over and over treats you like shit, you need to make a change! Yes, it will be scary.. but you need to keep looking and seeking.. You seek, you will find….
You got that lookingforlove?
[This message edited by trynhard at 12:25 PM, February 8th (Tuesday)]
He was mystified why I just didn't care about my gifts. He was upset I ignored him over New Year's. He was angry that when my nanny got a bit drunk at her sister J's wedding and WH referred to her as a porsche again (without also insulting me that time) she and J started a big scene chewing him out...
He wants us to move 50 miles away, to a waterfront hours and to get a third boat. And a puppy. He wants me to have another baby. Two or three, actually. He wants a sports car. And a heyena...
Ats, you need to understand that since she is afraid, this means she doesn’t want you to “think” or have any more negative thought about her
Yes - but also pretty selfish. He wants to know the truth to make an informed decision. She's refusing. No, she's not refusing, she's not being candid with him about whether there's more or not. And, this may be her fear of punishment, but if he makes it safe for her to reveal all, there really is no good reason I can think of but to comply. To refuse to comply is just more selfishness.
I'm in a bad mood today.
I have a WH who tells me things--and really really seems to believe the things--that are so far from what is happening IRL that it's perplexing. He shows no understanding or even curiosity about himself (which would be scary, I fully admit... it would be opening Pandora's box). But isn't that a pretty basic pre-req. before you can tell another person about you?
Is self-understanding necessary before we go to Retro, I guess is what I'm asking.
Without seeing the truth within himself, is WH ready for Retro? Will he get anything out of it, other than another way to lie to himself and me with pretty words?
But, if the behavior that was there before and during the hurtful action is still going on, it is almost impossible to forgive. We feel that it may happen again. We are wary and have walls put up.
Granted, feelings are feelings and not necessarily are what is true. This is where a BS needs reassurances to show that the feelings are false.
But if the WS does not validate those feelings, just wants to rug sweep, it's very difficult to forgive when we are on alert. It's self protection/survival so we won't be hurt again.
Being told there is NC and "so what's the problem?" and continuing with old behaviors is not conducive to forgiveness.
Tryn, I do understand what you are saying to Ats about forgiveness. Mrs. Ats seems to be really trying to change. She has a momentous task. She is making great efforts. So, Ats, in your case, you may want to work on forgiveness as a gift to yourself and Mrs. Ats.
For me, I can't forgive Mr. Dishonest until he is no longer hurting me. I can't control his behavior, but must withdraw myself emotionally which I'm working on.
Don't know why I've been having anxiety attacks for the past 2 days. Geez, it's been so long that I thought I had to go to the doctor or ER for a heart attack. Thank God, I felt my lips being numb and then realized I must be hyperventalating (it doesn't have to be big breaths, just a chronic breathing in too deeply that you don't notice), I feel better now that I've done some breathing exercises.
Yes, Laura, where are the ducks? I want to see a pic. When I see your WH's ducks, it gives me an incentive to line up mine (plus I love those butterflies)
Nofun, did WH buy the snowmobile? Maybe he can just rent or lease one instead?
m3: going to mc is actually a good thing, its doing the work of communication which no matter what is great because you have 4 kids that you both will need to co-parent for many years to come......
m334455, soon after dday this is the reason that FWW and I initially went to MC. I had no expectations at that time that we would still be M six months later. While IC is ultimately what FWW needed, the MC eased us in to it, and allowed her to begin to see and experience my pain with a third party who would call her out if she tried to dismiss me.
And, this may be her fear of punishment, but if he makes it safe for her to reveal all, there really is no good reason I can think of but to comply.
Only in the last few months have I come to understand that FWW has been VERY codependent with regard to my feelings for her. She is better lately, but until recently I now know that my slightest criticism, and really, I am not a harsh person most of the time, would send her into a downward spin of self-loathing. She has beat her codependency for most everybody (including her sister and DD), but not for me so far. She is still very sensitive to how she perceives that I feel about her. I can understand that it is nearly impossible for her to tell me about these things, because she “just knows” that if I knew the truth about her I would leave.
I just had an aha moment about a change from FWW in the last two days, and realized she is doing soemthing very nice and supportive for me to address somthing she perceives may be a problem or concern for me. It is interesting to see how differently we express love and caring, and how much more work I need to put into speaking her language.