perhaps counseling for each of you can help both of you wrap your heads around all of it. best of luck to you.
I do not know your situation but I am glad to have someone from the outside looking at my situation
1. you cannot heal a M (marriage) with 1 or 2 broken people in it; i.e. i wouldn't give your M much chances of working out unless you both start to WORK on your (individual) issues. IMHO, even MC (marriage counseling) would be a general fail at this juncture. issues such as self-image, low self esteem, needing external validation, possible sex addiction (SA)/love addiction, looking into PA (passive aggressive) tendencies, problems in communicating; such as CA (conflict avoidance), EU (emotional unavailability); lying/deceit, etc.. I dont mean to inundate you; just would like you to understand the journey you're about to embark on isn't one of "simple, lets fix this M".
2. as far as MH (mad hatters) are concerned, the BEST place to work on is on your own personal waywardness and wayward thoughts/behaviours (boundaries, entitlement, justification, transparency, passive aggression, etc..).
3. between the 2 of you, the FIRST place to start is HONESTY/TRUTH - the BRUTAL truth about everything in both your A's (affairs) and related behaviours which may not necessarily constitute part of the A's. there is no processing the damage till you haven't been exposed to the brutal truth. there is NO NEW M or no "lets move on" unless the BS (betrayed spouse) has been given the option of processing and grieving what happened in the A and to the M. unless that happens, I would call off everything between the two of you. understand that this can be a 2-5 year process. I dont know how it would work in your case since your H actually D'd and left, it might actually extend the time to R or maybe it'll shorten it. I dont know.
4. there is bound to be A (affair) fog (read up about it in the healing library) - which is where your H expressing his 'love' for AP is coming from. I do not know technically if his ex-AP can be considered his XW or AP - and in either case, his feelings of love are attached to how she made him feel rather than what he genuinely felt for her. which was her reflecting his best bits back to him. Love as an ACT is far more important in M than love as just the feeling (which is more akin to infatuation at most and an addiction/lust at worst).
I dont agree with your H saying he finished it because he wants to make it right, and to be honest, if you're here with the outcome attached to a 'happy' M, then I fear you BOTH will be disappointed. I think your H ended it because the fantasy started to fade-that is he smelt her farts and saw her zits up close and saw her at her slobby worst. you know, real life. just like you have real life with kids, bills, etc.. which was the reason he embarked on his fantasy.
What is the best advice we get here is to "WORK ON YOUR WHYs". Its critically important to RECOVER yourself as a person for your own sake (and maybe for the kids) to be a BETTER person rather than just for your BS's sake or for 'the sake of the M'. otherwise, what happens when your BS is being an ASS or when the M starts to suck again? do you understand why the motivation to work towards R (recovery) matters so much?
Working on your (and for your H to work on his) whys means to understand that you need to start digging as to WHY you'd allow yourself to do something so morally reprehensible and immensely hurtful to your spouse. then why did you cross those boundaries (if you believed in your vows). why did you feel deceit was ok. why did you seek that attention/validation/sex/ or whatever it was that AP (affair partner) made you feel you got from them. why were you (or your H) willing to sacrifice the future of your M and your kids security for this. you can learn a LOT from the wayward forums and the healing library on how to start tackling your WHYs.
As a final piece of advice, and this is not to discourage you, working on remorse is the single factor which will determine whether either one of you may or may not cheat again, if you decide to stay together.
You cannot make your H feel remorse and nor can he do it for you. It HAS TO COME from within and you NEED to have the DRIVE every morning when you wake up to feel the NEED to fix yourself and feel the remorse and express it. If you dont feel it you wont heal it.
Do you think your H has that DRIVE? do you?
So I feel safer here.
Anyway, I thought I would talk about my first 6 months of NC and R.
It's kind of weird, but I sometimes think my AP and I married the same personality. They are both introverts and both seemed to suck up so much during the A it is uncanny. I remember saying to my AP "We must be something desirable if both our BSs are working so hard to keep us." How sick is that? Her BH actually offered to drive her across the country as she left him to have a few more days with her. Obviously, in the end she chose to say with him. I have zero idea what they are up to today, but I feel so horrible about what we did to this guy.
Meanwhile, I described my BW as a barnacle at the time. "How can I miss you when you won't go away." I actually said that. Folks, everything on here about the way the brain rewires itself during an A is true. I can't believe the person I was. And everyone around me knows about it, so I have to face every day my bad behavior.
Now for R. We went through some HB, but the sexual tension is gone. Now it's kind of back to normal. Did I mention we are not living together? I suspect I will move back home soon.
Here is the odd thing. We really haven't had a blowout. I keep waiting for the shoe to drop but so far nothing. Any time she had a question, I answered it, but even though I keep inviting it, she doesn't seem to want to know much. This is strange, since I wanted to know everything immediately down to the positions and acts. Do you think it is reasonable for me to expect and even push for a hurricane. Isn't that normal?
Now for the really hard part. How do I get my AP out of my head. Folks, I KNOW it's over. I get that. But I'm still thinking about her every day. Outside she is beautiful, vibrant, smart. She is the kind of person that everyone wants to hang around with. Inside she is a bag of emotional issues that was only starting to wear thin when the A blew up. (Don't get me wrong, I know I am just as bad if not worse). I want this woman out of my head. But I can't stop thinking about her. Half the time I am so mad at her, and half I wish she would call me. Yes I have been to counselling. Sometimes I think it's that I just don't like to lose at anything. So maybe it's an ego issue. But damn, how do I get the A out of my head? Has anyone tried hypnosis? I wish I could erase the fact that she even exists. But all my coworkers are constant reminders of what happened. Oh there were so many enablers!
Is there anyone out there that gets what I am saying? I want to R totally. I do. But I know it is not fair if I think about my AP and secretly hope she will contact me. Even though I know she won't and in fact told her I never want to hear from her again. But for God's sake, I spent a year and a half declaring my love for this person. Should I tell my Bw about my feelings? Won't that set things back?
What do you think? Trust me, I don't need "Dude, you're an asshole." I already get that.
I mean what do you think? Is there anyone out there that has been through this? Is there anyone out there at all that understands?
I am so conflicted. Has anyone had feelings for their AP that they could not shake and still successfully Red? 6 months in and I am still not sure what is right.
It's kind of weird, but I sometimes think my AP and I married the same personality.
For a second, imagine your BW/WW posting that, how would it feel? I cannot empathise, because I didn't miss the AP at all. For me, she personified everything about me that was filthy, disgusting, lecherous, deceitful, unjust, immoral and condemnable. Notice here that I am not talking about the AP, I'm talking about myself. You'll probably know that the AP is only those wonderful things in our head because that's what they reflect back on us, I.e. no diapers, no washing toilets and paying bills and living for real. How about an exercise in reflecting what that involvement with the Ap had turned you into? You cannot be NC if you could write that statement up there. NC is a state of mind as much as acts. If you're remorseful about what you did, regardless of whether you're MH or not and regardless of whether your WW is remorseless; then you should readily acknowledge the absolute worst in you came out because of the AP/the A. The whys may be more difficult to crack but I don't think anyone can contend that the A, the deceit and the hurt you were inflicting or have inflicted is not what your wife signed on for when you married. It's surely not something you'd have wished upon yourself, right?
I think you really need to deflate that bubble that you seem to have created for the AP. maybe you haven't fully disclosed to your W? Maybe you haven't moved beyond the point that the A is ended? I mean that you haven't taken stock, allowed yourself to feel the guilt and shame and then move on to feeling remorse stemming from empathy for the hurt inflicted? Could it be that you keep mementos of the AP around? Or still share some secrets with her that your W isn't aware of? I know you'll lose those fond feelings the minute you expose them to the light of day. There is no 'them' and 'us' when it comes to the AP and your BW/her BH. The only them and us is between a husband and a wife and everyone else outside the M.
On a logical note, you're not married to AP, her BH is. You really have no right to think of another mans wife that way. Similarly, your W deserves that you maintain fidelity to her in mind and body, otherwise your M is a sham.
I don't know your sich and there is no story on your profile but if you guys are MH and finding it hard to R (heck, I'd say its impossible if you still think of AP 'that' way), why not just call it quits out of some sympathy for each other?
That's just an honest MH opinion, dunno if this is what you were trying to avoid at wayward, but that's what I think you need to hear.
It for nothing, please commit to improve yourself for YOUR own sake (and kids if there are any). That way, if your W is coming along for the ride or not or what she does or doesn't do will not hamper your own healing And growth.
The golden rule here in MH is to work on our wayward side. Though it may not ultimately repair the M, it WILL lead you to healing.
Best of luck.
How do I get my AP out of my head.
Have you read everything in the healing library? Have you read books, eg "Not Just Friends"? The more you read about it, the more you might get some perspective on the A and your AP.
But all my coworkers are constant reminders of what happened. Oh there were so many enablers!
Well, that's got to be hard for your W. What are you doing to make her feel safe?
Jannarae, I would be asking your H a few more questions.
He has also told me that he is not sure that he loves me anymore but he does know that he loves/d her.
Wow, and he wants to R with you? Lucky you! I'm pretty sure you'll find out that something has happened between the two of them so he's come home because that's convenient for him (definitely a cakeeater). Are you going to put up with being second best? I really hope his attitude changes and quickly.
Mr. NEM and I moved and started new jobs. I'm super busy all the time with mine (12 hour days aren't unusual). Things seem to have settled into some kind of normal. He is doing his SA meetings weekly. Neither of us is in IC anymore because we had trouble getting therapists to call back and kind of lost momentum from there. I think we're doing ok without it, though.
We still have moments of anxiety, but they're fewer than when we lived hours apart. I'm trying to get him a job at my place of employment, so that should cut down even more on any mystery about what I'm doing during the day. He started up some new hobbies to stay distracted, and I'm mainly just trying to find time outside of work, exercise and time with Mr. NEM to do any hobbies.
I think we're in a mellow version of the Lethal Plains of Flatness... At least I am. The volatility, confusion, panic and stress that was part of every waking minute of my days (and some of my sleeping time too) is pretty much gone. Our APs haven't had contact with us (as far as I know) and I have no urge to dig. As I explained to Mr. NEM a couple weeks ago, if he transgresses again, I'll find out eventually. I can't spend my entire existence sniffing out what horror is next.
What I am still working on is expectations. He and I are extremely different people and healed/ are healing differently. I am working on (what I consider to be a sign of maturity that I don't fully have at the moment) not expecting him to behave and respond in the same way to stimuli as I do. I think to a degree, he is dealing with the same.
We don't talk about our A's anymore, really. He brings up my state of mind during my A from time to time. I struggle with verbalizing things about his A because I am fearful of the emotions it drags up in me. Of course that reminds me of the cardinal rule of therapy: the topic you most want to avoid is the one you need to talk about.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hi and that I hope everyone is doing well. I see a few familiar usernames around SI as I poke around the pages. I hope that means that all of you are happy and healing.
She forgave me.
Eh, good to hear your update and that it's settling down. May be too early for forgiveness, but take it for what it's worth right now. I'd say 6 months after DDay is normally when the emotions calm down enough for a BS to take stock (but then, that's also when the PTSD wears off and anger sets in unless a lot of work is being done on both sides). Don't take it as a sign to 'take it easy'. I think the wayward thread should be a regular stop for you for the next few months, even if its just to lurk. There was recently a post on 'cheap forgiveness', if I can find it ill share it with you.
Sending prayers to my MH tribe, hope you're all doing better then me
Heed noescapes words. Forgiveness is a bit early yet, probably an upswing in the roller coaster. Don't want to rain on your parade, just want to prepare you for the ride. Stick around here and stay in IC yourself.
NEM, good to see you. Was wondering how you were.
Next, we have me. WTF? I was finally able to admit to myself that i had an affair too. in the aftermath of d-day 1, i took comfort in a friend. She was a new friend and the first time hung out was at a music festival in mid June. we kissed and she gave me a BJ. i tried to justify it and then talked to her and we decided we could just be friends. Wayward thinking. Even though my wife and i are seperated, i comprised my own integrity. About 2 weeks later another BJ, but i justified it away and lied to myself. Then another week or so later, we slept together. I was a mess. I decided to end it with her and come clean to my wife. Problem is I didnt come all the way clean. i told her we had sex but up till that point we were just friends. That was a lie. i just didn't want to admit it to myself. Friends dont do the things we did.The whole thing lasted about 6 weeks and during this time i never lied about seeing her, i just lied about what we did.
So we fast forward to Monday. WW is finally out of fog and willing to look at everything. I drew a line in the sand and said we were to D and I decided to 180. Afterall, look what she did? Problem is, i was still lying too. She called me in the early morning crying, vomiting and in the worst shape shes been in. I answered. I said NC, but in our hearts we do truly love each other and I knew i was not being authentic. I offered her the gift of me. I told her i would be here for her today and only today to try to help her. After all, i was way ahead in my healing. i had 2 months of progress. For some reason a sense of peace overcame me and i was saying all the right things and soothing the one who hurt me! It took a lot of strength and I was proud of myself. Well we took full advantage, talked on the phone for 5 hours, then saw each other and continued to talk for 7 more hours. The next day we did a repeat. We spent 24 hours covering everything. I came completly clean about my affair and officially labeled it as an affair. She had a lot of anger. Mostly do the hypocricy. During the 2 months since d-day 1, I pounded on her relentlessly about transparency and honesty because i was feeling like she wasnt being that way. My gut was right as the affair continued, but she did tell me a lot. A whole lot. Maybe more than i wanted to know or should know, my obsessive self asked hundreds of questions and based on her answers i knew she was telling the truth about the details of the affair. It was brutal.
So here we are. She and I talked more in the past 48 hours than we have in a year. We feel like we did a intensive marriage retreat on our own or like it was almost equivilant to 3 months of MC. It was emotionally overwhelming. We shared so much and expressed so much it was like HB for the soul. We talked about our love for each other and the beautiful life we once had. We discussed R, but we were also very realistic in that we have a shitload of problems. 2 affairs, issues with wanting/ not wanting kids, pre-marital problems, mind movies, trust issues. the list could on. We decided to start MC ASAP, but take the option of R off the table initially. We decided it was best to start with all we have and try to make a decision if we can even see a path to R. Crazy shit, right?
The other hugely crazy thing, is that i think my affair was a blessing in diquise. I hate to even call it that because it makes it a good thing, but I think me doing that gave me the ability to have enough empathy for my WW to see past some of her A bullshit and gave me a chance to even "see" her again. That gave us a chance. Its a huge, hard road and we might not make it, but if I hadnt done what i did, i know i would have filed for D and never looked back.
A few thoughts I am having now. We have spoken about R but are now getting some IC. I have been for over 6 months but WW just really got started. She went 4 times in the past 2 months but was still in A, so this is first time post A with new counselor. After some healing has occurred for her and she regains some strength (she lost 15 pounds during the A and said she feels like she is running at about 25% emotionally and physically) we plan to start MC.
Is it possible to change this quick? I guess when the fog lifts, its like a switch flips?
How long do you think you should keep trying? When is enough enough? I know its different for all. I already said if she breaks NC, it is over for good. 3 strikes...
Do you believe you can have a better marriage?
Are reminders always going to be a issue?
Do you feel like less of a man/women for taking her back?
I also started process of D. Haven't officially filed yet, but am still considering. Do you think WW will take this as I have no faith? In my state, you have to wait 3 months before you can sign and it is official. I thought it wise because if we go this road and try and it doesn't work, we can sign and be done rather than prolong it another 3 months.
[This message edited by Shockedman at 5:51 AM, July 25th (Thursday)]
I read this over in the D forum, wondered if you would come over here with it, glad you did.
First, I guess I would be very careful of having the view that your affair was a good thing. I understand that you are coming from the standpoint that it gave you empathy, and I think maybe adjusting your view to you now understand how this kind of thing can happen, as it happened to you, is a better way to look at it.
Being a MH does offer the unique perspective in a M that we can each understand how it happens, and we are no better or worse than our partner, given that each partner is remorseful. That is really the only way this works, viewing your A as a good thing can interfere with remorse on your end.
I don't know that you need to make any decisions right now. Watch her actions, see if they match her words. If her actions continue to match her words, maybe put the D on hold, you can always restart it if she starts to show you a different side. You will know if she is for real or not. I am glad that you came completely clean with your wife.
It took me a year of watching Hlessons actions before I committed to my M again. You don't have to put a timeline on this, watch and work on you. Let her fix herself. If she isn't up to it, you will be healed enough to let go.
I am comfortably numb. I love my kids and am in no hurry to change anything 'round here quick. Some days I come close to pulling the trigger on either: 1.) head for D and make it happen NOW or 2.) end the detachment and go ballistic with Mrs NE on something along the lines of "wtf is wrong with you?".... i am on a holding pattern though and am gaining a lot of insight and strength from the wayward and BMenz forums (also started peeking into the D/S forum for my build up).
i am considering a one time write down of everything i know/learnt/feel now after 3 years out and putting it in front of her just to give her the benefit of the doubt since our time (even @ 3 years out) trying false R or those shitty MC programs etc.. has been a *bit* confusing and I am sure I am not where I was even 6-7 months ago (and neither would she, but she hasnt bothered either to find out/care/show any interest). But I know I wouldnt give the time of day/airtime to her shitty reasoning/justifications, insincerity and still remorseless a$$, so I dunno if its a good thing from a detaching point of view. I am NOT and I repeat NOT detaching to get a response out of her (anymore). Whaddya think?
given that each partner is remorseful
IMPORTANT words shocked ^^^^^^^ very important. and what ever else TG said.
be vigilant about your own remorse and please consider that remorse, much like 'coming out of the fog' and processing what to do next through the rollercoaster of emotions, triggers and anger/pain/guilt/shame/fear etc.. isn't a one time deal. it is only through time, consistent ACTIONs (not words) and WORKING it. I pray and hope you both are on THAT page now, together.
On IC and MC, I'd say focus on IC/reading/posting here rather than 'just' MC now. Maybe couples counseling to help with communication etc... but MC can wait till you've both processed through the devastation of each A/each of yours brokenness.
"fog lifting flip switches"; I have heard of those but believe them to be a rare beast, much like unicorns. at best, I have heard of fog lifting in sudden increments after sudden spurts of realizations, but rarely is it that the fog "just goes".
how long should you try??: there is no 'one size fits all'; on one end of the spectrum you have: no decisions till 6 months, on another you have 2-5 years to heal and the third you have "however long the A/deceit lasted", take your pick. NC? might be broken, happens... its important to know what you/her are going to do about it... what about the withdrawal from the AP-remember its not about the AP (as a person) its about how the AP/A/fog made her/you feel (dopamine). is there withdrawal? yes. is the WS prone to think of the AP? yes. true NC is when the AP is expunged from your thoughts and feelings and no curiosity remains-indifference... not hate but indifference. none of this happens instantly and varies greatly from person to person.
better M? good question. much debated. in essence-no one wished infidelity existed in their past; even with the most wonderful/remorseful and loving spouse in the world. NO.ONE. its a scar, a deep wound. it'll be there. a lot depends on how you both move to being healthier individuals (first) and how you build a stronger (not necessarily 'better') marriage. It takes two healthy people to make a healthy marriage and that depends on how much work each of you does on yourself(vs).
feel like 'less' of a man/woman? - needs qualification. if you take back a remorseless spouse and they cheat on you again; you can take your pick from being a chump to being someone who acted in love/kindness and got used regardless of your integrity and honour and willingness to live up to your vows (difficult to say that in a MH situation). i do not think that equates to being 'less'. people reconcile for a myriad of reasons and it isn't always in the best interests of the BS from a fidelity/trust and self-image point of view. i think as far as the fear of failing goes though; it will require both of you to be 'all in' or you might as well throw in the towel right now-specially in MH situations; it can be a very very bad trip if one is 'half' committed. and VERY bad for both, not just the 'chump' (thats where I am at right now 3 years in.... so go figure).
Friday was the last time they saw each other. It was over for good. They both knew it. This was Friday. Then Sunday AP calls WW. She answers. I ask why if you knew it was over would you answer? she says she doesnt know. she said she had a feeling that he wanted to reiterate that it was over. And so did she. She said they both held their stance. She wanted to look at her life and M with me and he said he chooses his family. So what the hell? Then monday she is out of the fog? That quick? giving full transparency and promising NC. Changed her phone number, blocked his number with password protected (let me choose password) app so she cant call him.
I am struggling with being second. I ask to pull her text log from provider for last 2 weeks. She doesn't want to do it. She says it wont prove anything and only hurt me more. She said it is more BS fantasy shit about how great each other is and how much they love each other, but it would just hurt me more. We agreed to no more details of the affair. I got about 15 hours of details and already know more than i need to.
Her response to this is that, "I was in an affair. Of course I was choosing the affair and him over you and our life or I wouldnt be in an affair. But now its over and I am working very hard to heal myself." She has gone 4 day with being "authentic and no lies". Problem is we are not living together. I feel very unsafe.
I am just having a hard time beleiving there was no plan and I think he ended it and then she "suddenly" came back. Any advice? What really matters here?