I worry about WH ability to put uncomfortable things 'in a box' probably better known as compartmentaliing...... although I fully understand 'why' he does it, it still feels to me a way of avoiding / ignoring problems that need to be worked out. How can you resolve everything completely and feel safe / secure if you are unable to go through the feelings / thoughts / reasons that allowed you to have an affair in the first place?
What happens if a similar situation arises again (OW made a play for WH knowing he was married, didn't care ) How can WH protect himself / us if he is able to re-write our marriage and put us in whatever box he chooses?
Surely part of this journey is having the ability to look at ones own behaviours and make all the necessary changes (despite the discomfort) to keep our marriage safe?
I do completely understand how difficult it is to change childhood resiliance from FOO issues (I have had to do it myself....not easy at all). My H admits how scared and uncomfortable 'facing' himself emotionally is, it opens up all sorts of old wounds. My IC said that it is up to me to help guide him into a safer more emotionally mature place. I am very willing to support my husband anyway I can, but how do I help him feel emotionally safe to make the necessary changes?
I agree with the WS who say 'you can't heal if you don't feel'
Would welcome WS thoughts on how they managed....
This is a journey only for the emotionally brave it seems.....
[This message edited by tooloyal at 6:18 PM, March 8th (Friday)]
Do you ever/still think about your OW/OM?
If you do, what do you think or feel about her/him.
When I see him at work, which is rarely---maybe once every couple of months---I think, "Don't talk to me." When I think of him as I post here---such as right now---I feel very neutral and apathetic. I don't love him anymore. I don't hate him. He's just someone I threw away my entire life over. I have another chance to NOT screw up and I'm taking it.
Do you remember the date of dday?
March 6, 2010. My BS does NOT remember, as it happens.
Can any WS who had an affair with an XHSGF/BF tell me how long it took for those feelings to fade, if they ever did, and what it was like to choose the BS over that old flame?
Quick backstory: the OM/ex and I actually had our first EA in 2007 before XH and I were married. We texted back and forth, I'd say maybe 5 or 10 messages, for about 1/2 an hour one day out of the blue---the conversation started about work but the personal stuff was out of the blue---about how much we missed each other, how "unforgettable" the physical relationship had been, how we wished things had been different, etc. I was engaged to my XBH and living with him at the time. He found the messages and we had a huge fight, almost broke off the engagement. I convinced him that it was a one-time thing (which it was) and it was stupid; would never happen again; etc.
Fast forward to 2009. It was just about 2 years exactly of NC except for work-related stuff with the OM. And again...because I still had his number in my phone...a personal remark is made (by me to him), a personal conversation ensues...and this time we started a full-on EA/PA that lasted 5 1/2 months.
So to answer your question: the feelings didn't fade from breakup to D-Day1 of the text messages, nor from the texts to D-Day2 of the EA/PA. It took getting caught and getting left by my XBH to "get it" and stop the feelings...and the behavior...and the whole wayward mindset, the whole shitty mess that was my life and my psyche.
It was easy to "choose" my XBH over the OM, and felt very natural...even though simultaneously as I was choosing him, he (my XH) was un-choosing me. He was D-O-N-E done immediately, as immediately I wanted to fix it. But back then, it was too late.
I have a terrible fear that those feelings are just waiting to flare up again if NC is broken.
I can certainly understand this. I hope your H keeps NC. If I had kept complete NC after the first incident and had gotten his f-ing number out of my phone, I wouldn't be where I am now. Even though we are reconciling, we've lost 3 years of our lives---it'll actually probably turn out to be more like 5, since we're not starting from where we were at D-day (future-wise, financial-wise, kid-wise, etc.)---it's more like starting from the very beginning.
Married 2.5 years
Reconciling after divorce
so just found out WBF of last 4 years (previous good friend of ten)cheated on me two years ago, i had thought it was EA but it was full blown PA for 5 months. he has lied for two years.
D Day 1 Nov 2010 - EA, texting and flirting with bosses daughter. I thought it ended then (niave!)
DDay 2- 1st Feb 2013 found it was physical and continued after D Day 1 until Jan.
In Feb 2012 i discovered he had a gambling addiction, the counselling brought up the cheating and he believes he has addressed the all the issues to do with the cheating and the gambling.
however, obviously he didn't give me the respect of deciding what he should be forgiven for. i had to pull the truth from him after two years of triggering and fighting and 'paranoia', i know he feels bad now and he says he wants to try, but part of him thinks that hes taken this all for two years and now that we know the truth we need to decide whether i can forgive him and whether he can build enough trust.
So now he has moved out, hes respecting my need for space, when he goes out he started of texting to say he still considers us together and will be faithful so i dont have a worry about that, but of course, i dont know if i believe him.
We will meet in two weeks and he wants me to decide whether i feel we can move on or not, and whether he can do what i need to move on.
he thinks he has 'small changes' still to make, but i think they're quite big, they're about creating a secure relationship - he has one, i dont! and i dont think he entirely gets it.
For the last two years he didnt acccept that he had cheated with the EA - he still didnt consider it cheating, until he admitted sleeping with her.
I have to hand hold the whole time since DDay 2, spelling out what i need. He started by leaving little notes remindng me how much he loves me around the house but then forgot about them a week later, these are all superficial anyway.
i know he doesnt really want it to end he said hes had an epiphany where he just started crying and vomiting with sickness over what he did and knew in his heart that would never forgive him and he had lost me. ive had a similar thud moment and it was terrible.
he did change a lot over the last two years, and finally told me the truth (although i did have to call his bluff).
He has spoken about getting engaged later in the year, so i think this may be why he decided he needed to tell me.
He feels he has changed all the major things during the counselling, but he has had slip ups - he still lied about going away with his mates. he said he was going for one night but when i checked he had booked two. This was in oct '12. he said he felt he deserved it as he had tried so hard and 'he knew he wasnt going to do anything ever again so he knew there was no danger' - this is the crucial bit he isnt getting. he doesnt get the boundaries.
i don't know whether i should bother if he is this badly behaved before we're married, what on earth would marriage be like?
On the other hand, if we come through this before marriage we are strong, we know our boundaries etc...
Appreciate any WS POV, particularly any who also cheated before their marriages or in previous relationships. I dont think once a cheater always a cheater... but i cant see whats going on in his head or how much self delusion he is under in thinking he has changed enough.
Also anyone who is in R to advise - if you could go through this before you were married, would you put the effort into it and have a solid marriage, or would you run like hell while you can even if you still love them?
sorry its so long
In my case, it was the decision to let go of love for my BW. That decision was made based on poor intel, so it was a shitty path to go down in the first place, but at that time, it was the only information I was able to comprehend.
The "love" of the EA was just a drug.
I don't know why some A's seem to be "worse" than others when it comes to the "love" and emotions. I guess I wonder if the high in shorter A's is more like crack, whereas the high in LTA's becomes more like pot?
The parallels with A's and drug addiction are very similar IMO. It isn't love, it isn't that the AP is better than the BS. Can a person make a truly rational distinction if they're high?
Also, when does an addict get to that point of admitting or realizing they have a problem? Well, they might realize it on some level, but just one more hit and all those confusing thoughts of reality just slip away again and you can tell yourself that it's all about love and who wouldn't see the good in that? Love is. We all want it. We see it depicted all around us. Not the messy hair and bad breath in the morning love, but the sunset on the beach love. That's what it was all about. Because if I could have that sunset on the beach for the rest of my life, everything would have been better. Maybe for a little while. Then a big wave would have come along and wiped everything out. I see that now.
So no, love does not create destruction, or rather, healthy love does not create destruction. Wars have been fought for love. While some of those wars may make for a good movie, there was always intrigue and deception and death involved.
Each WS is going to have their own inner dialogue going on. As you've seen here, some WS's will realize what they've done, others won't. I don't know what it is that makes some WS decide to complete the devastation they started while others realize it at some point along the way. I think I've said it before that I believe it has to do with the level of damage inside of the WS and whether they ever had any influence from some others who've walked before them. There are so many people who are just so utterly damaged that they will stay on one course throughout their life.
ETA - clarification as to a then and now perspective.
[This message edited by BaxtersBFF at 6:01 AM, March 15th (Friday)]
My WW is having a great deal of difficulty severing for good all contact with the AP. I am trying to be patient with her, as she has finally acknowledged that she has deep emotional problems, will be starting intense therapy and new meds. She has moved back into the marital home with me and our young children.
I know so many of the hardliners on the forums will advise me to go NC and 180, but at this point she is really a broken woman who wants her family. I truly believe this. She is no longer seeing him but wants to spend all her time with me as she "does not trust her emotions." Meaning a big part of her craves the other life she built (at least in her mind) with the AP.
There are deeper issues involved here complicating matters. She was abandoned by her father as a young adolescent and associates strongly the AP with her father. Looks, personality, lifestyle. He meets those needs she lost from him. These needs were transferred to me when we met and over the course of eight years, but when the affair began she split those feelings, compartmentalizing her two lives utterly (the family life with me and the "single" life with him).
Now she is frightened of making that final leap and severing all contact. She claims she is afraid that she will not be able to get over not necessarily him, but the deeper feelings of letting go of the father figure, thus experiencing those feelings of abandonment all over again.
Again, I believe she really wants this to be over but is wrestling terribly with this final crucial leap.
I don't expect that any of you WS wherein the same exact situation necessarily, so I guess my questions are more universal:
If you were strongly emotionally tied to your AP but still loved utterly your spouse and knew that you belonged with your family, how did you cope with this after saying goodbye to your AP?
How did you transfer back to your spouse the feelings attached to the AP.
How bad was the withdrawal? (My WW fears the worst--a total emotional breakdown).
How long did it last?
Any advice on how I can help her get through this, and how she can help herself?
We love each other, but she is emotionally unstable to say the least. This has dredged up and has become tied to childhood issues so I am scared of the NC not "taking." And I cannot survive another false reconciliation.
Thank you in advance.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Anyway, on to your questions, going cold turkey was the only way. No good-byes, no nuthiní. Doing IC to figure out why those emotions happened in the first place was the way to work through the A. In your WWís case, working through the abandonment from her dad all those years ago will probably be a major factor in her healing. As she process the hurt from then, she will be able to separate the AP from the emotions and start seeing that those emotions arenít what she needs in her life. Think about itÖthe AP was a shadow of the guy who walked out on his daughter? How can that be healthy for her to still maintain any feelings for the AP? She probably canít see that now because of the FOO issues long ago. Itís a real fear for her.
It took me a couple years to work through the withdrawal issues. It was hell for my BW who chose to not do NC or a full 180. My BW helped me along, but she didnít coddle.
The thing is, she wonít transfer things back to you in the same way. She will hopefully learn a new part of herself, and at the same time, she will hopefully see you in a new light too. Everything she knew is going to be gone for a while. As she learns the new stuff, she will reconcile the old, and maybe find a good balance.
Has your WH done any IC? Why do you only bring up the A every 6-9 months?
At this point, it sounds like he hasnít done any work on himself. In turn, you havenít been able to do much work on yourself because you are waiting for your WH to ďget itĒ and then he throws out a comment like ďshe was a nice person and so nice to meĒ which is about as blatant a piece of evidence as anyone needs to see that your WH just doesnít get it.
So, what are you doing for yourself? Are you going to continue on this M knowing that your WH doesnít respect you enough to see how his choices have affected you for the past five years?
See, the thing is, for the WSís posting in this forum, we wouldnít answer a question in that way. Weíve done the work on ourselves, and for the most part, that APís have become a non-issue. The APís shouldnít mean anything to the WS because they donít deserve that much head space.
Itís generally well accepted that a BS, or anyone for that matter, canít make a WS get it. You just canít. So you need to start healing yourself without your WHís help. I strongly encourage you to engage with the other BSís in the General and Reconciliation forums. Youíve put yourself on the sideline for the past five years waiting for your WH to get something that he is apparently incapable of getting. Itís time to realize that you have your own choice to make. You can sit and wait, or you can take care of yourself.
Itís a total crap shoot, but what a lot of us have seen happen, is that when the BS starts taking care of themselves, the WS starts to realize what they might lose. This doesnít always happen, and it is not the reason you should have for taking care of yourself. You canít depend on the WS to get it. Some will, some wonít. Either way though, if you do take care of yourself, you will be ready for the day when your WH realizes he has no control over you. Then you can make the decision as to whether you will accept any changes in him, and if he hasnít changed, you can accept the challenges of a new life knowing that he will always be that same guy who canít step up.
Did she lie to elicit sympathy, empathy? Did she lie to make me out as such a bad person to justify what she was doing?
Or where there real truths that she won't admit to?
To WWs or WHs, did you lie for gains or did you say you lied to cover up truths?
I cheated in previous relationships, but not with my BW before we were M.
I donít know if your WBF has changed. I mean, yes, he has changed a bit, but he hasnít made it to a safe place yet IMO. His idea that you need to decide if you can trust him after this two week hiatusÖitís a bunch of crap. Heís already shown you that he canít even do the ďleaving notes around the houseĒ for more than a week.
He did get sick and puke. Thatís something. But what other actions has he done? He still hasnít admitted or understood that an EA is as bad as a PA. Ask him to read Not Just Friends. See how he does with that. See if it makes an impact on him.
My own opinion is that it is your choice to stay or go. Going through infidelity prior to being married will not equate to a stronger M. You guys are still in the honeymoon phase, no kids, and just out for having a good time together. Things will change in the M; kids, house, bills, jobsÖit will all change the dynamic.
So, while itís your choice, you may be much better off ending this now. Instead of you telling him whether you can trust him, ask him to provide you with a list of things he will do for you from here on out which will prove to you that he wonít do this again. If he gives you a list, let him know that if he doesnít do even one of those things, the relationship is over. Itís his call. Draw your line in the sand now and be willing to enforce your own boundaries if he breaks them.
Did you tell yourself it was love?
Yes, I did.
Does Love cause pain and destruction to your loved ones (family)?
Very bluntly: I did not give a shit about what anybody would have to say about it during the A. I didn't want to hurt my XH by him finding out, which is obviously why I hid the affair rather than screwing the OM in the open. I was going to divorce him and wanted to do it as quietly and painlessly as possible. I didn't care what my blood relation family would think (at the time of having the A). I didn't have children so that wasn't a factor in my decision-making.
Of course I feel differently now. But that is how I felt then.
Just wondering about the self talk or constant thoughts that kept you in the A especially if it was longterm?
The A was 5 1/2 months; I don't know if that qualifies as long-term. The self-talk was mostly about ME and what *I* wanted and to hell with anyone else. Word-for-word, the self-talk probably went a little something like this:
"If I had known 3 years ago when I started dating [XH] that [OM] was going to come back into my life, tell me he made a mistake by letting me go, and want me back, then I would never have even dated [XH] in the first place. I only dated him because [OM] broke up with me 3 months before and I was sad and lonely and thought he was cute and nice and funny...but if I had only known that [OM] would regret it...if I had only known that he'd change his mind...so therefore, me being with [OM] right now, having the affair, is really just "righting a wrong" from the past, because we should have been together from the start...."
Shit like that is pretty much an accurate portrayal of how the delusional self-talk of the A was.
Did you cheat before marriage?
Yes. It was rug-swept and ignored, leading to the subsequent D-day and divorce.
Has my WBF actually changed and should i continue with him?
If you are seeing progress and if it's enough and rapid enough progress FOR YOU (and only you can decide that, and only YOUR opinion on that matters!) then maybe you should continue while still requiring further change and work on his part. You are certainly not obligated to continue.
Firstly, thank you so much for being here to help us.
I doubt there is anyone who can help me, but I am looking for a FWS who had multiple LTAs.
My FWH had quite a number of LTAs over most of our M (which was 28 years at DDay).
He has shown lots of signs of remorse and I am 99% sure is NC. I do believe that at present he has no intention of cheating again.
However, trust continues to be a huge issue for me. Very soon after dday I asked him who he was screwing between OW1 and OW2.
His response "No one. I had a few years off". I know this sounds flippant (at the time I was incensed!!!) but I don't think he meant it that way. I think it was actually a statement of fact.
I am sure he doesn't even remember saying this but it haunts me.
Thanks in advance
Edited for "stupidity" - Sunday evening blues and spelling errors
[This message edited by Laura28 at 5:33 AM, March 24th (Sunday)]
[This message edited by disgracetoh.race at 9:15 AM, March 25th (Monday)]
My WH keeps saying that his A made him realize how much he truly loves me and wants to be with me forever - we separated before I knew there was anything going on and I made it perfectly clear that I would be just fine without him... he said seeing me happy and moving on made him rethink his decisions and brought him to this realization that he was making a terrible mistake - almost like this lightbulb moment of "what the hell am i doing?" - do other waywards find that to be true? It seems like a line to me... just curious what others think
[This message edited by Beemer at 10:12 AM, March 25th (Monday)]