Sorry you need to be here, but LTA is a very nice and soft piece of ground in the oasis that is SI.
I was all of those things and now I am nothing. I feel like a fucking dope for being so trusting.
Yep, I remember those feelings.
It took me a while to work through it, but I no longer see myself as diminished by her A's, and I view my prior to dday trust as a positive (if a bit naive).
With all of the book recommendations you will see, I profited from Sexual Detours from Helen Heins. Her book helped me more than any to understand the dynamics of the A relationship, triangulating, and how it was not my fault.
I found IC to be very helpful in processing my feelings and rebuilding my emotions and personality.
I was sick Friday and Saturday and she was all about getting me anything I needed (food, drink, quiet, etc). If she could just be half as attentive to my day to day needs.
What you do with a statement like that is ignore it. Because it's crazy and attention-seeking and passive aggressive.
I wonder the same thing as m3.
In my life my W will say things like this quite often. This kind of talk seems to be in some people more than others. It is crazy, attention seeking and in my W's case paranoid/negative thinking. If she says this again you probably could ask her why she thinks this way but be ready for the fallout. Trying to "make us work" can be tiresome. Get over your illness first and congratulations on the new job. Will you get to work less hrs in the future. I did the 12-16 hrs stuff and it sucks after awhile.
Welcome to the LTA house. I bet 99.9% of BSs thought they were a fucking dope, moron, stooge, idiot, dumbass. These words really only apply to the WS. As others have said, you are supposed to trust your spouse.
It was good to hear about Baby Paddy. Thanks for the update.
I think fWH had a bit of an epiphany the last few days. At least I hope so.
He just changed jobs, and though OW hadn't worked with him for over a year and a half (she changed jobs before dday), I think it was cathartic for him to get away from that place.
Change in perspective or something like that.
Between that and his injury, and him realizing just how much he needs me right now, I think he's seeing just how much he screwed up.
We were watching the movie Contagion yesterday and got hit with yet another instance of infidelity onscreen. I triggered of course, but so did he. I think he's really starting to see the huge ramifications of cheating and how much he took for granted.
At least it seems that way for now. I'll take it. :)
I'm coming up on 8 months from d-day. Yes, it has been a roller coaster ride, but until lately I thought that we were on an upward trend.
FWH did confess immediately after confrontation to a 15 year affair, and he did "throw MOW under the bus". He has been transparent and attentive. We have been going to MC since January and that is going well in that it forces him to talk. In the beginning he answered all of my questions, and still does when I think of something else. He was reading books that I suggested months ago, but has only completed one of four. I have sent him numerous articles, which he prints, sometimes reads, sometimes comments on, but not always.
Apart from MC he has NOT done any serious digging into what made him continue the A after the first encounter which he claimed was a terrible mistake.
I got all those classic lines of "I always loved you" "I never wanted to hurt you". "I never thought that you would ever find out" "I never loved her (although I told her I did because that's what I thought she wanted to hear)" and "I can't believe that I let this happen to us".
He is tiring of MC now and we discuss the A much less frequently. In fact, even though I have told him that it is still on my mind EVERY day, and that I need him to be forthcoming about those years, he never brings it up.
When I have a bad day he is very comforting and on all the other days, he behaves like nothing has ever happened.
I am so needful for him to be on the same page as me. I try not to dwell on the A every day, in fact I try so hard not to bring it up outside of MC, but there is still so much that I need to know. I need to understand those 15 years. I need to understand him.
When we do talk about it, it is like learning about someone I never knew. A whole double life where I didn't exist.
Mostly, I am afraid that I am hoping for too much, that the closeness and connection that we had been missing for so long, returned only briefly in the first months after d-day, and now that he is "relieved that it is over" and that things are settling down to "normal" between us, a distance is beginning again.
Maybe my hopes that we could fall in love all over again are ridiculous. Maybe he isn't capable of feeling anything to the same depth as I do.
Sometimes I feel loneliest when I am with him, because I had hoped that by now it would be so much more.
Is this a normal stage of recovery or am I expecting too much of him?
For the record, I have never seen what seems to be described as "extreme remorse" although he has said as much in words. And although he says he loves me more than I know, I just don't feel it.
I am afraid
When we do talk about it, it is like learning about someone I never knew. A whole double life where I didn't exist.
Hey FightingBack, I remember that feeling. I would stare at FWW (this would annoy her to no end) trying to "see" her, wondering how I had missed it all. I could not believe that she could organize meeting him out of town, covering daytime meetings, the scheduling, and the “mechanics” of cleaning up, methods of communication, all of it. Honestly, I would have laughed prior to dday if someone told me she was doing all of these things. I did nto think her capable of them.
m334455, old_dipstick, it has been quite a while since I got the woe is me line from FWW. I am not sure what is up, be we are at a low in the relationship. She has been sick, DS1 is going back to school, her DD2 is having some problems, money is always tight, I have a new job, ... You know, life.
The long hours are just a push to get some work done in a sensitive area. I actually welcome the extra time as it gives me some schedule flexibility early on, and it builds the project team for some of us to be making sacrifices for the good of the project. I did handle long hours much better when I was in my 20’s.
I think FWW is feeling old, unattractive, ashamed, not the person she thought that she was. I can understand why she feels these things, but also believe it is her job to deal with them. Just because she now knows that she cannot rely on external validation to feel good does not mean she has figured out self-soothing and validating herself.
I don't want to waste any more of my life waiting to see if I can be happy again.
I need someone to say: Your FWH has to do xyz, then you both have to do abc. And beware, if you don't have all of these factors, then you are heading for trouble.
For example, I understand why WH is uncomfortable talking about his A. He is ashamed and embarrassed. I know why he is hesitant to look into why he made those decisions. It is because he doesn't want to see himself as selfish and weak, foolish and uncaring.
But isn't it necessary to face those things? I don't want to torture him, but he KNOWS I need to talk about it. There are still questions that I have, which perhaps will not do me much good to have answered, but I feel I have to know. I need to know in order to move past this with some kind of acceptance. And he KNOWS this too because I have told him. I practically beg him to talk about it.
Isn't this a necessary part of helping me to heal?
Disclosure: I said similar things a lot in the first year or two (it has been that long ) after dday.
FightingBack, What I have learned, and this may only apply to me, is that FWW had very little to no input in helping me to heal. I have found that healing me was all on me (and my IC and a shelf from Amazon.com). Now maybe if FWW had done more of the things I was looking for I would have healed faster, but I could not (IMHO) have healed better. I am happy with me and MY life.
Now, healing the M, that is a separate issue. I believe that FWW’s unwillingness/inability to be at least as physically intimate and flirty with me as she was with OM is hurting our R. I believe that FWW’s unwillingness/inability to be fully honest and transparent about her A activities when I asked is hurting our R. I believe that FWW’s unwillingness/inability to do the things I told her helped me to feel connected to her and the M is hurting our R.
So helping to heal the M it would be nice, from my perspective, for her to carry more load, but for healing me, that was all on me.
You all seem to be such a tight group and know each other's stories so well. I hope I can find some support here too.
Well here is some of my back-story. Dday 10-5-09, DS2’s b-day. She had A in her previous M, and 2xONS in ours I found out about later. I had suspected A in 2007, but FWW and a well-meaning friend convinced me it was all in my head. She dumped that OM and moved to her last. TT until April/May 2010 (7 months). At about 1 year post dday I moved out for about a month due to a boundary violation. That is when FWW decided she wanted to stay M’d and began over a year of IC and self work. Early after dday she pointed to me as the problem in the M and the reason she had checked-out of the M a long time ago. After a year of IC I am no longer the primary problem. FWW had many FOO issues that set the environment for her feelings and miss-perceptions. She is aware of these things now.
What I learned is I had to get through the huge betrayal; my whole life experience was ripped apart. I had to not just heal me, but also fix the parts of me (KISA) that was attracted to women like FWW. I had to learn to live with working with one of her OM and another one being her bil. I can be happy again, I am happy again.OTOH, my marriage is at best a friendship.
I'm sorry that the healing process (of your marriage and Reconciliation) is taking so long. Do you think that if your wife had realized a need for IC before, that the process would have been less dragged out?
I am glad for you that you have healed yourself, and I understand that it is probably our responsibility, but I am so sorry that you consider your marriage a friendship at best. I need more than that now. I lived that way for 15 years but I won't be happy if that is all that it can be.
Thank you for your honesty.
I'm sorry that the healing process (of your marriage and Reconciliation) is taking so long.
Early on FWW and I thought of ourselves as the poster children for R. Now they say 2 - 5 years is typical and I believe that we are on the 5 year plan if it is going to work.
Do you think that if your wife had realized a need for IC before, that the process would have been less dragged out?
Sure, but the is the thing, she did not believe IC would help her becasue to her way of thinking I was the problem. We had done MC 3-4x in our M and it never got to the real issue. In fact, if the MC would get close FWW would find reasons to quit attending. We only ever worked on parenting skills and communication, while ignoring the underlying miss-perceptions that caused the communication rift. In 2007 I got IC after thinking she was having an A (which she was) and I asked her to attend a session or two with me. She declined, told me I was broken. She then went on to have a 2+ year A with a MOM she caught herpes from.
About the time I was moved out we had been doing some MC (her IC, my IC, our MC are all the same great guy). I had been discussing her bpd-traits with the MC and we both brought the topic up and she agreed to see him for IC.
So the teacher can be there many times, but until the student is ready to learn...
Also, during her 1st M FWW received a great deal of therapy to work on issues she knew she had. Many of her issues were resolved, but I now know that she was in an A with a MOM boss (who for many years, even into our M she considered her one true love) while doing this therapy, so I suspect that blunted the effectivness of the parts that would have helped her to form more intimate relationships and establish boundaries.
Sure it is life, but there is extra stress going on right now. Some people do not handle the extra stress. It happens to my W. She is at her worst when the stress bus pays a visit. It seems your W has a little bit of that problem too. Remember, she has a harder time than you do in the self validating department. She may understand why you are working those long hours but she could still have a hard time with the lonely feelings.
You came to the right place to get advice about the LTA. Hang around, many will be along with words of wisdom. Keep asking questions till you get the answers. You are not very far out in this process. One big problem you are facing (it seems almost all BS have to face this) is that your WS is tired of the A talk. The WS always wants the A put in the past. They want it all to be like it was spilled milk. Whoops! I'm sorry.....now lets move on. Is it necessary for you to have all your questions answered in order for you to move on? It may not be totally necessary but it would be a big help. Those questions can eat at you. The sad thing is the fact that even if they answer your questions, you usually have more questions. It is hard to know if the answers are the truth or just more coverup bullshit. It is hard being the kid who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Where are you? FightingBack needs formulas and maps to help out with all this. You were the first one I thought of when I read her request. This sounds like a perfect time for some of your graphs and charts.
If I could give you a formula, I would be really, REEAAALLLYY rich.
Instead, I will tell you this: if you focus on yourself, on caring for yourself, your goals, improving your weaknesses, go to IC, etc. you will be happy again.
This will have little, if anything to do with how your WS behaves.
Your marriage may or may not survive. After spending a few years here in LTA, I'd say your marriage has a 50% chance of surviving and a 25% chance of surviving as a happy and fufilling marriage. Actually, weirdly enough, these are slightly better odds than marriages racked by infidelity in general. However, you've got to give it 5 years before you declare it "happy and fufilling" or "good enough but not my favorite thing about my life".
You've got a better shot at winding up with a very good marriage if your spouse has some problem other than the A that the A is more of a symptom of, such as an untreated mental illness or substance abuse.
So, there are some general guidlines.
I don't want to tell you it's hopeless, because it's not. But I do want you to understand it's a "watch and see" situation to a certain extent. You do what you can, and you see what happens.
I was responding to a question about what brings FWW deep emotional connection, if it isn't sex. I wrote that she says words of affirmation and acts of service, but the reality is these are things she likes, not things that bring a deep emotional connection. FWW does not (cannot?) form deep / intimate emotional connections. She has told me (and our MC/IC) this. She says that "letting someone in emotionally" frightens her, she fears she will lose control of her. This is why she is happy in a marriage that is like a friendship, and was satisfied with A relationships.
I have been trying to do better at speaking her love languages (affirmation, providing service in home repairs, cleaning, other tasks, etc) to build our bond and emotional intimacy, but these are things FWW likes, not things that build the relationship because there is no intimate relationship with her. She likes the words of affirmation, the acts of service, but they do not fill any love bank, because she will not let herself feel love. So she does not respond from an upwelling of love, but out of guilt; ie: atsenaotie is affirming me and doing all of these things around the house for me, I owe him some sex or other physical attention.
Sex and physical touch for FWW is not an expression of love, it is an obligation or the debt she must repay for people (APs before, now me) being “nice” to her, affirming her.
I sometimes wonder why I still have such desire for sex with FWW. When we have done it sex with FWW has not been as satisfying as I remember, and I do not perform as well as I did when I was younger. Maybe my desire for sex is really a surrogate for my desire to feel loved, something I have not felt since dday, and that I now know FWW cannot give me. She can be supportive, nice, we can have fun together, but I do not think she will ever love me (or any other adult).
One definition of love is a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. I do not think FWW has ever felt this for another adult; I used to feel this for FWW. Even after dday I was at times able to find a way through my feelings to touch this deeper feeling. This is what I want to feel from another person, in my M.
Not sure what I am going to do with this insight; nothing immediate. It may be time for another visit to the IC.
H is working really hard to recognize the character traits that let him go down the path he took and those that might hinder our R. For example: He likes to be in control and he likes everything his way (who doesn’t?!). One behavior that bothered me about him is that when I shared with him an idea or a plan, he ALWAYS immediately responded with his own contribution to make it better (most times I just wanted to hear “That’s a great idea!”). Over the first 25 years of M I learned to deal with that by not sharing with him (not good for the M). It was a real revelation to him that I quit sharing my plans with him for that reason. He still does that once in awhile, I remind him that he’s doing that thing again, and he agrees to work on it some more.
We refer to the process as “recovering” from the devastation of the A. Perhaps that is a misnomer. In cases like mine, what are we recovering? Something that didn’t exist as either of us perceived it? We’re building a new house – how awesome is that?! One must love adventure, because that it is!
Thanks for bearing with my ramblings. (((((LTA TRIBE)))))
[This message edited by kalamity at 4:11 PM, August 15th (Wednesday)]
WS-59: LTA (22+ years)
MOW-54: H's old girlfriend
D-day 08/11/08 (3 days before 25th anniversary)
Working hard on R
FWW does not (cannot?) form deep / intimate emotional connections.
Sucks when it sinks in, doesn't it? You, dip and I are all married to the same person. Nell probably (was) too.
Look, I don't know what you will choose to do with that info. But I'm VERY glad you truly realize this now. Your FWW is very limited. I usually think if emotional issue were visible my WH would be in a wheelchair or something.
You're right. You really are. I do think more IC is a good idea. It's a huge realization.
Happy un-anniversary! Do something special next year anyway. 30 years? Who needs a better excuse than that to do something good and out of the ordinary?