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User Topic: Madhatters Only Thread
silverhopes
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Default  Posted: 7:56 PM, October 6th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I view two people in a marriage as being a single unit. Two separate entities, tied together in the middle, kind of like a Venn diagram. If we get validation from within that marriage, where the two circles intersect, I think that's healthy. It's when the two circles completely overlap each other that things can really get out of hand.

That is such a good metaphor. It captures the idea of balance and moderation. No interlap at all, and the "circles" or people have nothing in common. Too much, and it's codependency. So it's about finding the balance and what things should be within the overlap and what things are independent. And what things overlap with other people's circles and whether that's appropriate or not. Great metaphor!

I did go to the science museum today. Mr Silver decided not to go, so it was just our son and me. Mr Silver asked me to bring him back a scorpion lollipop, which is itself a trigger (about an incident with a different OW and him and the same museum about a month or two before the butterfly exhibit incident*). So we went to the butterfly exhibit first, just to get it out of the way, and that was hard. I kept having questions and images of "did they stand here? Did they do this? Did he flirt with her about xyz?" And it hurt that he would go there with her but not me, chose her over our date. But then we (DS and I) wound up having a good time anyway. I'd forgotten that the last time my son and I went that he was too little to really get it. He went totally nuts over the aquarium. I got H the lollipop anyway, and it was a good thing - realized it was more about feeling good about myself, and knowing that Mr Silver's love language is gifts, I didn't want to be petty over the trigger and not get him something I knew he wanted. So I got it for him and he appreciated it. It felt a little easier to be there this time. I might get a membership there for Christmas so my son and I can go more often. I really want it to be our place.

*ETA: If this is getting confusing, lol... We'll call one girl Cloudy and the other one Pinklace. Cloudy was a chick who lived in his program with him, who was also married, but who insisted on putting her hands in his clothes (according to him because she was trying to get money or smokes, but really?), who started picking flowers for him when he told her he picks flowers for me, who would ask his opinion often and obsessively on how she looked, and who got him to go with her frequently to the corner stores and once, just the two of them, to a Buddhist temple at night without my knowing in advance. When their program went to the science museum, for his first time, instead of spending time with the other guys he spent the whole time with her, and she went around semi-panhandling other patrons until she had enough for a scorpion lollipop. He talked about it for months after and has asked me to bring him one other times, usually accompanied by the story about her. Also he saw her at some undisclosed point after agreeing to tell me all contact, but withheld it until she came up in random conversation later. Not to mention he wouldn't shut up about her eyes and how they were his "same exact shade" for the longest time. That was incident #1. Incident #2 was about a month or two later. He'd said he hadn't been to the butterfly exhibit before, and since I hadn't either, we'd agreed to go on a date together there. We'd also just found out we were pregnant. Imagine my surprise when he called in the middle of a week to say he'd just gone with another girl, Pinklace, and was gushing over how a butterfly had landed on her shoulder. Showed me the video later. I was horrified - "what about our date?" He hemmed and hawed. "Well, I got a chance to see the butterflies, so I took it! Shouldn't you be happy for me?" So we went a few weeks later, and he complained the whole time that he'd already seen everything (except the Planetarium - neither of us have seen it, and that time when we were going to, he had us leave just before the show started claiming vertigo). Then I stupidly bought us a membership to try to compete with the OWs, until he a) blew up at me for "wasting money" since he'd gone on free days with the OWs and b) wanted to throw the penguin mug I'd bought him at the wall because I'd left the gift in a bad place where "someone else could have stolen it!". Whew, I wrote a lot! Feels better to get it all out there. Maybe now I can let it go (one day at a time). Wooosa. WOooosa. That's the past. It's not happening anymore. It's gone. Wooooosa.

I honestly don't think she did a lot of comparison between myself and the OM.

Was she compartmentalizing during this time?

I guess part of that is a comfort, yet at the same time I have questioned, "why was *I* not enough?". Know what I mean? The thing is, the A was never about me to begin with.

I can hear that. It's almost a question of "why was I not enough to have commitment at least in the beginning, to be worth stopping the wayward behaviors?" but then knowing that we had no choice in those decisions. The wayward behaviors were already the established way of life and we were the new addition. It really wasn't anything to do with us.

My own choices wound up being for different reasons than my H. Mine were with the intent of self-destruction. Which proved to me two things: one, that I was hurting others with my bad behavior, and two, that to be honest I probably wasn't healthy enough to be in a relationship at all. Before my betrayal, I had done something else self-destructive and my H rightly said that if I ever tried to harm myself again, he would dump me. Another reason why that venn diagram is such a good metaphor. It's important not to base too much of yourself on a relationship. You have to be healthy enough to stand up on your own. You've got to be OK whether you're alone for ten years or ten minutes.

Maybe that's why it will be such a big step to make the science museum OUR place, a place for my son and I. To go there, not solely for my son, but for US, for our bonding, and to make my own good memories there. Not to define it by what H did there. Today was a good step in that direction.

[This message edited by silverhopes at 8:23 PM, October 6th (Sunday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 2:31 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Great metaphor!

Thanks! I tend to be more of a visual person, and sometimes seeing things as various types of shapes in my head helps me understand them better.

Glad you were able to get that story out about Cloudy and Pinklace. Sometimes just writing about what has disturbed us can be an integral part of the healing process. I definitely can understand why that museum can be a huge trigger for you, so BIG kudos to you for working at reclaiming that place as your own.

One thing I have to work hard at actively practicing is living in the moment. It sounds like you were able to take a step back and live in the moment with your son. He must have had a great time.

It felt a little easier to be there this time.

Good! That's the thing about facing some of our triggers head on. Sometimes it takes repetition to heal, but it tends to get easier each time.

Was she compartmentalizing during this time?

Big time. This is something that my wife and I discussed quite a bit, especially in the beginning. In one of her last facebook PM exchanges with the OM, she talked about how she didn't want the A to impact her "real life". Almost like she was living in a parallel universe or something. Compartmentalizing was a huge part of her affair.

It's important not to base too much of yourself on a relationship. You have to be healthy enough to stand up on your own. You've got to be OK whether you're alone for ten years or ten minutes.

Those words are golden, right there. Definitely worth quoting, in the hopes that others will read them and gain from them as well.

Maybe that's why it will be such a big step to make the science museum OUR place, a place for my son and I. To go there, not solely for my son, but for US, for our bonding, and to make my own good memories there. Not to define it by what H did there. Today was a good step in that direction.

Awesome!!!

Really good to hear that your day was productive and healing.


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
silverhopes
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Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, October 9th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
silverhopes
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Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 1:04 AM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Crap. I am so sorry. I really thought I would be done for a long while from posting anything else about the Science Museum Saga. And then another stupid trigger comes...

My H's sister and cousin will be coming to town next month for a family reunion. Specifically, the FIRST family reunion. H grew up in the foster care system, and he is finally getting his real family back, in the form of his sister, cousin, and hopefully more relatives in the near future. Good news all around.

He was just saying that his sister has never visited our city before and he wants to take her around everywhere. He named several places... guess what the last one was he named?

Now, I'm not jealous of his sister - I mean, this is his long-lost sister! Someone who brings a great light with her into his life, and I want to make her feel comfortable and happy when she's here. It's the principle, once again. He'll gladly take another girl to the museum, show her a good time... but not me. He'll make magic with his sister and cousin there, because going there for the first time with long-lost family is damn magical... But goodness forbid his pregnant girlfriend wants to go there on a date. Noooo, he goes with another girl and then going with me is "boring" because he's seen everything. Goodness forbid he takes his wife there on a free day. Noooo, the first free day was too crowded, so the one that happens the very next weekend, well, he can't be bothered going with his wife. But a week later, and he wants to take someone else!

I will not do anything to jeopardize their fun time. If I'm invited, son and I will probably go. But how will I cope that he's essentially there on a fun magical time - once again - with someone else instead of me. It really will be THEIR date, not ours.

I hate him sometimes. Or maybe not him, but rather I really, really hate his hurtful choices sometimes.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
silverhopes
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Default  Posted: 9:18 PM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just giving a final update. Decided to share my feelings with him this morning. One of the things I learned from SI is to live authentically. That means, no matter what his reaction was going to be, to share how I am feeling. So I did. It started out the usual way - I shared (and tried to be pretty minimal about it, with a disclaimer that it was NOT meant to make anyone feel badly), he reacted badly and accused me of trying to make him feel badly (and I called him on it the moment he said it), he slammed the door behind him, and then actually came back and tried to explain himself. I called him on giving me different versions of the story about the museum over time, but thanked him for trying to explain and clarify. Ended with saying what the core of the pain was: I wanted the museum to be our special place, and it wasn't. Feel a great amount of peace, and it didn't ruin our morning. Hopefully this will be the end of the Science Museum Saga. I learned a lesson about sharing my feelings. My husband's supposed to be my best friend - so how could I not share? That's called being authentic, and it's a much better tool/skill than shutting down and stuffing up. The latter can lead to resentment and dishonesty, neither one good habits.

How are you all doing, my fellow MHers? Losfer, how is everything going with you guys? You had said last time that your wife had acknowledged that she thought of her life with you as "real life" and the affair as happening in a "parallel universe". Have you guys gotten to explore more about compartmentalization? And how was your anniversary dinner? Hope everything is going well!

Take care, everyone.


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 10:02 PM, October 15th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Silver! Just getting caught up here. Sorry I missed your post from earlier today, but I'm glad you had a chance to discuss your feelings with your husband. It sounds like you've made some real progress there! You are right about living authentically. I've had to make some steps towards telling my wife how I feel, versus expecting her to know how I feel. I can see you've made progress in that area as well. I'm really happy to see you get some closure about the museum. Feel free to discuss it here anytime it comes up, though!

At this point, are you looking forward to going to the museum and your husband's long lost family? Best of luck with that. Keep us posted on how that goes.

My wife and I are doing good. The compartmentalization that I was talking about, i.e the affair not affecting her "real life", occurred heavily before I caught her. The compartmentalization shattered quite a bit once the affair was discovered and a light was shown on everything. At that point, it was more a matter of healing... and for her, seeking out they whys and hows of her behavior during that time. I've done some reading since then on compartmentalization and cognitive dissonance. Just internet resources so far. Really interesting stuff.

Our anniversary dinner was really nice, thank you for asking! It was really low key. Just the two of us having dinner in a quiet alcove of a quiet restaurant, enjoying each others' company, and enjoying the food and atmosphere.

Next task at hand is dealing with the holiday season, and all of the triggers associated with the next few months. First big trigger is Halloween. I'm a little bit nervous, because the last two trigger seasons I was on antidepressants. I then tapered off of the meds near the beginning of this year, and have been doing well ever since then. Now that the trigger season is coming up, I can feel the depression starting to hit me again. I'm making sure I am vigilant of my mood and my mental disposition. The last week or so has been a bit of a struggle.

One thing positive we did was travel way out of town this past weekend to a farm to pick our pumpkins for Halloween. This is very much a part of our reclaiming process for this upcoming holiday.

So here I am rambling! Hope everyone is doing well.


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
silverhopes
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Default  Posted: 12:45 AM, October 16th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The compartmentalization shattered quite a bit once the affair was discovered and a light was shown on everything.

Sometimes honesty, either with our SOs or ourselves, can be the very best disinfectant.

Next task at hand is dealing with the holiday season, and all of the triggers associated with the next few months. First big trigger is Halloween. I'm a little bit nervous, because the last two trigger seasons I was on antidepressants. I then tapered off of the meds near the beginning of this year, and have been doing well ever since then. Now that the trigger season is coming up, I can feel the depression starting to hit me again. I'm making sure I am vigilant of my mood and my mental disposition. The last week or so has been a bit of a struggle.

That's hard. Holiday season can be stressful anyway, and then to deal with A-related triggers on top of that. Are you two thinking of making any new traditions during the holidays? Something to make it new and special for you two? Or traditions that survived that can reenforce the time period's importance and bonding? Have you two talked about what the holidays mean for each of you? Maybe it can help to know what importance each of you place on them, whether there's something specific each of you treasure - a specific one, or a thing you like to do, or a feeling you get that you want to nurture.

One thing positive we did was travel way out of town this past weekend to a farm to pick our pumpkins for Halloween. This is very much a part of our reclaiming process for this upcoming holiday.

At this point, are you looking forward to going to the museum and your husband's long lost family?

I think my role will be to take as many photos of them as possible. It helped me to acknowledge that it will never be our special place. Now it frees me to enjoy helping make their visit and time there together special.

In time, I still fully intend that it will become a special place for our son and I. I will give him good memories just like my father gave me. Unlike my father, I won't leave my son - I'll be there to share those good memories with him AND my grandkids!


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 10:00 AM, October 16th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Are you two thinking of making any new traditions during the holidays? Something to make it new and special for you two? Or traditions that survived that can reenforce the time period's importance and bonding? Have you two talked about what the holidays mean for each of you? Maybe it can help to know what importance each of you place on them, whether there's something specific each of you treasure - a specific one, or a thing you like to do, or a feeling you get that you want to nurture.

The pumpkin patch is our new tradition that helps overshadow the horrible things that happened on Halloween of 2010. Not quite sure what to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas. But yeah, we have talked about a lot of that stuff. There's a big part of me that wishes I could cancel the holidays. Then I realize that I need to make these holidays special for my son. That gives me great joy. Then I am conflicted, because the holiday season was the time of year when the affair was uncovered, and I found out he is not biologically my son. My head is still so very screwed up over that. And of course my son doesn't know. We pretty much wrap him in a protective bubble, and go about celebrating the holidays and give him a childhood of tradition and happy memories. In the meantime, I still feel like I am on the sidelines, dealing with feelings of hurt, isolation, abandonment, loss, and humiliation.

Anyway... so here I go, with my negative self-talk. Horrible trait of depression, eh? Normally I would just delete that last paragraph, and talk about how I am going to power it through the holidays, and make them special for myself, and everyone involved. Now for my positive spin. I usually set up our Christmas lights and decorations around Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll go a little more Clark Griswold, and pep up the outside of the house a bit! That will help to make Thanksgiving AND Christmas better. Ha! Bingo...

I think my role will be to take as many photos of them as possible. It helped me to acknowledge that it will never be our special place. Now it frees me to enjoy helping make their visit and time there together special.

Your positive attitude about all of this is inspiring. I'm starting to think that bad memories can be like shackles. Breaking free of those shackles is up to us. You're not only breaking free of those shackles, but you're grabbing a camera, and making good memories out of them.

In time, I still fully intend that it will become a special place for our son and I. I will give him good memories just like my father gave me. Unlike my father, I won't leave my son - I'll be there to share those good memories with him AND my grandkids!

I'm really sorry to hear about your father. Are you still in contact with him in any way? That's wonderful that you are giving that special place and time to your son. And to your future grandkids! That is definitely something to look forward to.

On a different note, along the same subject line of reclamation... I was talking to a very wise member here the other day, and he basically suggested that things from the past really can't be 'reclaimed'. So why not reclaim today? Why not reclaim every day? Huh. Good idea. Think I'll go rock out to the new Pearl Jam album and enjoy the beautiful fall colors in our neighborhood!

Take care, and have a great day!

Any new or lurking madhatters, you are welcome to join the conversation.

Either way, I hope everyone who is reading this is making the best of their day. Take care.


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
silverhopes
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Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 2:06 AM, October 21st (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Not quite sure what to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It can be hard to remake them, huh? Maybe it can help too to do some research about different things people do during them, maybe different traditions. You might find something you've never heard of before that sounds fun. Like maybe an interesting new recipe (we recently discovered squash-apple soup for Thanksgiving, for example), or decorations (or even meals) in a different room of the house.

Then I am conflicted, because the holiday season was the time of year when the affair was uncovered, and I found out he is not biologically my son. My head is still so very screwed up over that. And of course my son doesn't know. We pretty much wrap him in a protective bubble, and go about celebrating the holidays and give him a childhood of tradition and happy memories. In the meantime, I still feel like I am on the sidelines, dealing with feelings of hurt, isolation, abandonment, loss, and humiliation.

That must be very hard. I wish I had advice for you.

I'm really sorry to hear about your father. Are you still in contact with him in any way?

Not at the moment. He disagreed with my decision to start a family. We emailed back and forth for about three years (he wrote every three months or so), and then this summer my Nana passed away, and we saw him at the memorial service. He met his grandson for the first time. I haven't heard from him since, he hasn't responded to my emails. I think I'm trying to repress just how upset that makes me. I know intellectually the way I need to move through this - accept it, then stop dwelling on it and wallowing in it. I feel deeply upset, if I'm honest ANGRY about it and spend way too much time thinking about it. And he can't be part of the resolution because he's not here. This has taught me, more than anything, how individual healing really is. We don't always have the partners we need to help us through the healing. Sometimes they're there but not on the same page, and sometimes they're flat out gone.

I think Mr Silver and I might have a bigger problem than the science museum after all: our communication. We don't respond well to each other. A conversation goes something like this:

Him: We're out of wet cat food (which we use as an addition to the dry food). We have like 2 cans left.
Me: I could feed them the (meat) baby food.
Him: Baby food? *scowling* We feed them the baby food again, fuck?
Me: OK, you're right, we won't feed them the baby food.
Him: I mean fuck, what, you wanna feed them the veggie one now?
Me: *holding up hand* OK, I acknowledged you, I said I heard you and we wouldn't feed them the baby food. That's it. I won't mention it again.

We both have issues. I tend to be very dismissive of him, emphasis on the diss, and I get angry with him very quickly. He tends to be disrespectful and curses at me. We've had prior conversations where he's voiced his disapproval of feeding the cats meat baby food, so I should not have brought it up again. We've had prior conversations that I don't like him cursing at me, and he should not have cursed at me again. I'm wondering what I should say. Should I swallow my pride more? I think that should be the answer. So then what to do with the resentment that remains?

ETA the main problem... Control struggles: I will shut down conversations where I feel attacked by saying, "End of story" type statements. He will shut down conversations by leaving the room and slamming the door shut behind him. I'm guessing we both do it when we're feeling overwhelmed. So maybe the first step for me is to say honestly that I feel overwhelmed. Or maybe I should try to suck it up more often. He got mad at me earlier for saying I don't feel well (which I don't) because I say I don't feel well a lot (because, well, I don't). If I clam up, I'm shutting down further talks and also trying to win the power struggle by having "the last word", not to mention affecting our intimacy. If I say that I don't feel well too often, then he feels like I'm either overwhelming him or using it for an excuse. Maybe I need to either say it less or else vary what I mean: "I need a break from looking after DS, could you please watch him?" (and stop being afraid of him saying no) "I think I need to lie down for a little while, can we turn off the lights/can I leave the room for a while and can you be here with DS?" I'll try it. Don't know if I'm asking too much of him. Support vs. not stepping up to my responsibilities. Hard call. I *FEEL* like I don't have a lot of people I can turn to for support.

Sorry if I've written a lot. Sometimes it helps me to think when I write things down.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday!

[This message edited by silverhopes at 2:15 AM, October 21st (Monday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 8:13 PM, October 22nd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It can be hard to remake them, huh? Maybe it can help too to do some research about different things people do during them, maybe different traditions. You might find something you've never heard of before that sounds fun. Like maybe an interesting new recipe (we recently discovered squash-apple soup for Thanksgiving, for example), or decorations (or even meals) in a different room of the house.

Absolutely! We have been doing that, with the new recipes and decorations. We usually do a different stuffing for thanksgiving each year. I might find something a bit different to jazz up the turkey. Maybe more lights/decorations for the outside of the house this year, too.

I'm starting to let go of the anticipation of the upcoming holiday/trigger season, which is taking a lot of the pressure off already.

this summer my Nana passed away

I saw that in Off Topic earlier this year. I am so sorry for your loss.

He met his grandson for the first time. I haven't heard from him since, he hasn't responded to my emails. I think I'm trying to repress just how upset that makes me. I know intellectually the way I need to move through this - accept it, then stop dwelling on it and wallowing in it. I feel deeply upset, if I'm honest ANGRY about it and spend way too much time thinking about it. And he can't be part of the resolution because he's not here. This has taught me, more than anything, how individual healing really is. We don't always have the partners we need to help us through the healing. Sometimes they're there but not on the same page, and sometimes they're flat out gone.

This really is about individual healing. I learned quite a bit about this concept from Janis Springs' book, "How Can I Forgive You?". Have you read it? I'm almost positive you have, with all of the books I've seen you talk about in the Book Club. Something that was new to me was her concept of forgiving people that are emotionally unavailable, not in our lives any more, or even not alive anymore. There's also the concept of acceptance, and the choice not to forgive. All of those have their different level of healing. Forgiving can go a long way in letting go, but it is still healthy to feel some of the hurt, in my opinion. I'm sorry you are hurting over the relationship with your dad, and his lack of interaction with your son.

We've had prior conversations that I don't like him cursing at me, and he should not have cursed at me again. I'm wondering what I should say. Should I swallow my pride more? I think that should be the answer. So then what to do with the resentment that remains?

I tend to lean towards erring towards communication versus repression, because repression can lead to resentment, and subsequently, escalated repression and escalated resentment. I think to a certain extent it can be about control. I know in my relationship with my wife, control tends to be about who "wins". But does anyone really win when one person gets their way, and the other person is resentful?

So maybe the first step for me is to say honestly that I feel overwhelmed.

I think that is probably the way to go. It's okay to take breaks from conversations when they get heated or uncomfortable. I tend to want to leave a "mental bookmark" though. Instead of just cutting things off, sort of say, "let's get back to this later, when we've both had time to think it out more/calmed down more/etc."

Maybe I need to either say it less or else vary what I mean: "I need a break from looking after DS, could you please watch him?" (and stop being afraid of him saying no) "I think I need to lie down for a little while, can we turn off the lights/can I leave the room for a while and can you be here with DS?" I'll try it. Don't know if I'm asking too much of him. Support vs. not stepping up to my responsibilities. Hard call. I *FEEL* like I don't have a lot of people I can turn to for support.

How does Mr. Silver react when you ask him to do this? Maybe a different approach would be saying something like, "We need to sit down and come to a mutually agreed upon arrangement of watching over DS and giving each other some breaks and personal space." Something like that? I don't know. I honestly had a struggle in this department myself, when my son was a tiny tot. He'd pretty much be in my care from the time I got home from work until the time I left the next morning. I think things would be different now, post d-day, as we have worked out a bunch of our communication issues. I can definitely relate to your struggle with this one, though.

Sorry if I've written a lot. Sometimes it helps me to think when I write things down.

Never be sorry for writing a lot. That's why DS and MH have created this page. To allow us to get it all out and help us all heal!

Hope everyone's week is going well.


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
silverhopes
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Default  Posted: 5:17 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I learned quite a bit about this concept from Janis Springs' book, "How Can I Forgive You?". Have you read it?

Haven't read this one yet! It sounds like a good book. I've been resisting the idea of forgiveness, to be honest with myself - while I know that it means acceptance and (a little bit at a time, not all at once) letting go of the *pain* for yourself, I keep getting the "conventional wisdom" version stuck in my head which equals not being allowed to feel hurt anymore and rugsweeping and somehow saying what happened is OK (which isn't what forgiveness is, I know, but it's such a common picture of it that I get upset even thinking about it). But forgiveness is healing. It's necessary. It involves overcoming the pain instead of remaining within the suffering - real forgiveness, anyway. Acceptance. Thank you for the book recommendation, that'll be the next one I order.

But does anyone really win when one person gets their way, and the other person is resentful?

So true! Winning means winning as a team, that's what marriage is. There is no "win" if one partner loses.

How does Mr. Silver react when you ask him to do this? Maybe a different approach would be saying something like, "We need to sit down and come to a mutually agreed upon arrangement of watching over DS and giving each other some breaks and personal space."

It seems like that conversation should be straightforward and makes sense. For some reason, it never seems that easy with Mr. Silver or with anyone in my family really. Right now, Mr. Silver thinks that an even division of labor is that he cleans the room (when DS and I go out), does laundry, takes care of the cats, and sometimes cooks, and I do everything with DS and sometimes cook. He watches him sometimes, but usually for very brief stints - 10 minutes tops (showers, bathroom runs, sometimes cooking). I cannot leave the house without DS (Mr. Silver doesn't feel comfortable watching him without me around), unless DS is taking a nap. And Mr. Silver won't watch him the whole nap time, so I have to specify and ask and then run quickly to the corner store or the basement or wherever. I've come upstairs sometimes, and Mr. Silver will be out smoking somewhere for a half hour. It's hard to describe. Mr. Silver grew up in the foster care system with very inconsistent adults in his life, and I know he feels self-conscious in that he doesn't know how to do the right things with DS. So I know that's part of it, and I feel badly for the rough childhood he had and how alone he was. But unfortunately, another part of it is his temper. He doesn't have a lot of patience. He curses at our son sometimes when he loses his temper (and I always say "please don't curse at our son" and usually take DS somewhere else when he does - Mr. Silver needs to know that it is NOT OK to curse at our son - or me, for that matter). That's probably why I'm the one who is always watching DS. I have a sitter on Tuesdays for when I have my weekly therapy appointment but she lives in another city that we take a train to get to. So not so easy to call on her for help or a break. She is wonderful though, and she's one of the only people who I trust around my son. Everyone else breaks important, unacceptable boundaries.

I honestly had a struggle in this department myself, when my son was a tiny tot. He'd pretty much be in my care from the time I got home from work until the time I left the next morning. I think things would be different now, post d-day, as we have worked out a bunch of our communication issues.

How did it wind up getting better for you guys? How is it going now?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Unagie
♀ Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 10:53 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi guys I've been silent. I recognized something in me and want to run it past you guys. Everytime I get angry at something he did or said (still living here trying to save money) or says or does I lash out...at myself. I find something to nitpick about me...I was playing GTA online and ended up running around with some random player. We drove around, jumped out of planes and ran a mission. We chatted through in game text the whole time about the game, then the questions got personal. Before they did he friend requested me and I accepted because its fun running around with someone else. As soon as he asked mh age I got uncomfortable, my character is female and people like to act stupid so I always act like I'm a guy. He asked my age said i was 30 he said he was 16 and I told him okay nice knowing ya kid Im going to log out and hang out with my girlfriend. I immediately took him off my friend's list and logged off. Then I sat here for 2 hours and made myself feel like shit for a situation that I handled fine.

Why did I do this folks? Well because I was mad at him. He has a tendency now to belittle me or make it obvious when he's right and I'm wrong and it pisses me the fuck off. But do I deal with it? No. I take something and make myself feel like shit instead. I feel like I'm losing my fucking mind sometimes.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.

Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.


Posts: 2362 | Registered: Oct 2012
joshan1719
♀ New Member
Member # 41091
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, October 24th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I found this thread a few weeks ago and have been lurking until now. I think it's time I shared my story so I can start trying to make sense of everything.

I had an affair during the summer of 2012 with a coworker. For a long time I couldn't really sort out why, but after a year I'm finally able to accept what some of the main reasons are. First and foremost I don't think I took commitment seriously. It was a word but I took it for granted and didn't really respect what it means to be in a monogamous relationship and not share certain parts of that with other people. Secondly, as our relationship turned routine I looked for a way to have that excitement back without actually talking to him about it. Instead of having a conversation like adults do I took the easy way and just found my fun with someone else.

Towards the end of the summer my boyfriend found out about it. He'd had suspicions the whole time but I swore up and down nothing was going on and he chose to believe me. After he found out we had a lot of conversations about where to go from there and we chose to try and work on our relationship. He made me promise not to contact the OP but I did anyway. After finding out about that he gave me once more chance. I stopped all contact with the OP after that.

In the last year he hasn't been able to make any healing, which is my fault. I didn't apologize enough, and when I did it was a weak apology. When he wanted to talk about it I would get upset. I was rug-sweeping. I thought I had explained enough and we now needed to stop talking about it to move on.

Fast forward to September and he starts a new job and begins talking to a coworker there. He ends up sleeping with her at work one day and doesn't tell me about it. He starts telling me about her because she's in a physically abusive relationship and he wants to help her, so I agree that if the time comes where she needs to leave she and her son can come stay with us until she can figure things out, which she does. After being with us for about a month she's able to leave and that's when I find a text on his phone from her letting him know that her ex doesn't know they had sex. I confronted him and he didn't deny any of it, was completely honest about what happened.

It's been 24 days since I found out and I go back and fort between being fine and being a wreck. Sometimes I feel like he thinks I shouldn't be as upset with him because he cheated once and I had a continuing affair. I asked him not to talk to her and to give me the passwords for his facebook and email, which he did, but now he's changed them. And when I check the history on our computer I can see that he's been talking to her. I brought it up with him this morning and he said that I don't have anything to worry about because she's moved out of the state (this is true), but that he will occasionally be in touch with her to make sure she's doing ok. I agreed he could contact her once in a few days to make sure she made it because she's driving by herself but that was it. I haven't asked him why he changed his passwords and put a security lock on his phone yet because of other things that have been going on, so hopefully if he doesn't work too late tonight we'll be able to talk about it.

I guess that's my story, I hope to get more help from this forum.


WGF/BGF: 26
BBF/WBF: 23
DD 5 months
D-DAY for my EA/PA 8/8/12
D-DAY for his PA 10/1/13

Posts: 5 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: United States
LosferWords
♂ Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 4:49 PM, October 24th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

joshan1719 - Hello, and welcome to SI!

You will get a lot of advice here from people in all sorts of similar situations. I'm sorry for the circumstances that brought you here, but you came to the right place.

Have you read through any of the links in the Healing Library in the upper left? Really good stuff there.

Are you and your BF going through any type of counseling? My wife and I both found IC (individual counseling) to be very beneficial. A lot of folks here recommend marriage counseling or couples counseling, which I advocate as well.

At 24 days out, you are still experiencing some raw emotions. This is a roller coaster ride, so stay strapped in and be kind to yourself.

Being in a madhatter situation, it's really hard not to compare affairs with each other. The best bet is to avoid that as much as possible. You both have had your own actions to own up to, and you both have your own individual pain to deal with. They really don't have anything to do with each other.

Hang in there and stick around. Best of luck to you in your healing journey.

ETA: I went back and reread your introduction and just noticed this:

but that he will occasionally be in touch with her to make sure she's doing ok

So he is still in contact with the OW? Whether physical or not - unacceptable. You simply can't heal this relationship if a third person is still involved in any way, shape, or form. It's perfectly okay for you to put your foot down and demand no contact.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 5:14 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
LosferWords
♂ Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 5:00 PM, October 24th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Silverhopes - I would definitely recommend Janis Spring's forgiveness book. That book was almost as helpful as Not "Just" Friends to me, if not more. She totally reshaped my view of forgiveness, and what I thought forgiveness was, based on the ideals that were taught to me in my childhood. This book has helped me not only with my marriage, but with other interpersonal relationships as well. Good stuff.

I'm sorry to hear Mr. Silver doesn't feel comfortable watching DS on his own. There is a great opportunity for some real bonding time there.

I agree that he should not be cursing at you or your son. It sounds like you have pretty strong boundaries with that, which is good. One thing I am learning from this entire process of healing, and from stories I've heard here, and interactions with my own wife, is that while a rough childhood can certainly explain certain behaviors and poor choices, it does not excuse them. What type of work is he doing on himself?

How did it wind up getting better for you guys? How is it going now?

A lot of things changed pretty drastically since d-day. My wife has been working on being more considerate, and ramping down her abusive behavior. At the same time, she is more conscious of meeting my needs, and realizing that I need a break from time to time as well, even when I'm not complaining about things. So I guess the main thing that changed there is my wife. I will have to give myself credit for being more vocal about my own needs, and having stronger personal boundaries as well. Prior to d-day, I was a bit of a doormat, and I would cater to my wife's every whim and desire. Look where that got me. Nowadays I try to be vocal, but fair at the same time.

My wife and I still have a lot of work to do, but we're getting there.


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
LosferWords
♂ Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 5:09 PM, October 24th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Unagie - Good to see you posting in here again.

I think you handled the GTA situation just fine. I don't see any boundaries being crossed, and is soon as you found out he was 16, you drew your line in the sand and did the right thing. Good job! Why beat yourself up over it?

It does sound like you have some misdirected anger going on. I know when I am angry and I don't express my feelings of anger, those feelings tend to turn inward upon myself. I think this is a common thing when people tend to bottle things up. Do you have any other way to express your anger? Feel free to vent here, or keep up a journal. Physical activity can help a lot with this, too.

Try to be good to yourself. You deserve it. You've made so many huge and positive changes in your life. If you were your own friend, how would you want to treat you?

Take care, everyone.


Posts: 4503 | Registered: Dec 2010
silverhopes
♀ Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, October 24th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Losfer!

I will have to give myself credit for being more vocal about my own needs, and having stronger personal boundaries as well. Prior to d-day, I was a bit of a doormat, and I would cater to my wife's every whim and desire. Look where that got me. Nowadays I try to be vocal, but fair at the same time.

It sounds like you're doing a good job! Sticking up for our boundaries is so important, and it can be an ongoing thing as our understanding of boundaries grow and expand. They're everywhere! Have you read any good books on boundaries? There's this great one I've been reading by Cloud and Townsend - "Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life". It sounds like you and your wife have done a lot of good work!

What type of work is he doing on himself?

Going to school to get his diploma, reconnecting with his long-lost family (it was a long-term goal of his), staying away from alcohol (though he is waiting to quit pot until January), getting his dental work done finally (tooth extractions), taking his meds consistently... Most of the stuff is health-related, and he aims to increase his stability. His caseworker is going to try to get him to go back to work when he's finished with school, though he might or might not remain on disability. He's not much of a "why" person; because there was no kissing or sex (that he admits to) he believes that he wasn't cheating and gets angry at me for calling it that. The closest two things to a "why" were (in order): "I guess I still felt single" and "I didn't know what it meant to be in a relationship back then". I think his infidelity will be something I work through by myself. I think he wants me to be happy that he's not pursuing other girls anymore or acting single around them - and actually, I guess that is something he worked on. He claims that he doesn't even check other girls out anymore (which translates to not comparing me to them anymore, so yay). He's never written a timeline or sat down to grieve together or really "gotten" it... But I don't think everyone does, unfortunately.

Hi Unagie!

He has a tendency now to belittle me or make it obvious when he's right and I'm wrong and it pisses me the fuck off. But do I deal with it? No.

It can be really hard to be around someone who pushes our buttons and has no desire to stop. How can you take care of yourself and not turn the anger on yourself? Is there a way you could create mental distance between you and him?

How often do you two talk, now? I know you're living together to save money. Is there a way you could leave the room anytime he attempts to strike up a conversation? He is unremorseful. It's not easy to deal with someone like that.

Hi Joshan!

Sometimes I feel like he thinks I shouldn't be as upset with him because he cheated once and I had a continuing affair.

1) Like Losfer said, try not to compare the affairs. They're different hurts. One is not greater or lesser than the other one.

2) If she lived with you guys for a month, and he is still in touch with her now, he is continuing the EA, and it seems like they would have had opportunity to continue the PA during the month she was with you all. I hate to say this, but it's possible that your boyfriend isn't telling the whole truth. If he's still in touch with her, he's still in the affair.

3) It might help to read a book together. There's one I recommend to everyone called "How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair" by Linda J. MacDonald. I think it could help to read a book together (if you're both wanting to) because it helps both of you get on the same page in terms of boundaries and standards you both need to do to help each other heal.

4) Transparency from both of you is so important. I hope your conversation goes well tonight. Hopefully by the end of the night he will answer why he changed his passwords, give you transparency, and then you will both have access to each others' emails and passwords etc - that is a big step.

Good luck - keep posting!

eta: salutations!

[This message edited by silverhopes at 5:57 PM, October 25th (Friday)]


Find peace. Or sleep on it.

Posts: 3761 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
Unagie
♀ Member
Member # 37091
Default  Posted: 11:40 PM, October 24th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks losfer I try to rationalize and think logically and most times I win.....just sometimes I don't.

Silver we talk everyday and majority of it is okay. I work 12-14 hr days so sometimes we talk for like 10 mins. Its those other times when we have hours like my days off that he will inevitably say something so condescending. I keep calm but I know he's heard the venom creep into my tone when he does this. Moving to my mom's seems more and more likely. Was gonna live with mh BFF but her mom got sick and she has to take care of her.


Heartbroken madhatter trying to rebuild

No longer together

Do not let others be your reference for who you see in the mirror.

Stop allowing people to hurt you, because you don't love you enough to walk away.


Posts: 2362 | Registered: Oct 2012
joshan1719
♀ New Member
Member # 41091
Default  Posted: 5:20 PM, October 25th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Losfer, thanks for responding. We aren't currently in counseling but I'm think we might give it a try since it's covered by my insurance through work. The A's are a problem, but we also have communication issues that need to be addressed. He's great at talking and expressing himself, while I tend to just shut up. We're often snappy with each other, and we have different plans of attack, for lack of better term, when it comes to our disagreements. He needs to address everything right now, no matter how long it takes. I like to step back and evaluate thing, think about what I'm trying to say. Which I think is part of why our argument involve him talking none stop and me sitting there.
I definitely agree we shouldn't be comparing them. I feel like when it comes to this issue it's all a matter of perspective anyone. He could say mine was worse because it was on-going and there were feelings, but I could say his was worse, because there were no emotions at all, she was just a girl to him. I view them equally. We both made a bad decision. We both broke our promise to be faithful.
I agree that he shouldn't be in contact with her. I explained that it was a deal breaker for me and I think he's gotten the picture. We won't be able to move forward if he's talking to her when he doesn't need to be.


WGF/BGF: 26
BBF/WBF: 23
DD 5 months
D-DAY for my EA/PA 8/8/12
D-DAY for his PA 10/1/13

Posts: 5 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: United States
exhaustedheader
♂ Member
Member # 39459
Default  Posted: 11:19 PM, October 25th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi. Just cheking in. Not much to say.
Broken hand is finally healed. Sort of.
Brokrn heart,,,not so much.
She left a week ago, with the girls.
Im at a point where i am numb with sadness.
She went to see him in jail. While i was away in grand junction ...i found out thru a mutual friend and the ensuing arguement was enough for both of us. So much for reconciling.
You all told me to be careful.
We agreed on divorcing finally. Again.
But,,,this time, i can feel its over. Odd feeling.

Posts: 103 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: exhaustedheader
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