You are the strong one here. You are in the trenches taking care of your baby and holding your life together. Don't waste your energy arguing nonsense and what he's giving you nonsense. This will get better but it gets better faster if you insist on rational behavior from him and don't try to fix the situation for him. He screwed up and if he wants to freak out about how much he screwed up, let him. And yes, I learned that lesson the hard way.
Time really and definitely will tell..Clarity tends to come as things/events unfold..
I may have forgiven my WH for the A had he been truly remorseful..My WH is almost a carbon copy of yours( in attitude and behavior) with the exception of the work situation...
It is the entitled attitude and lack of remorse (threats, blaming, not answering questions, arguing in circles, etc, etc) on the part of WS that eventually kills all love and good will that the BS may have have felt for him or her immediately in the aftermath of D-Day..
Because of the disrespectful way my WH treated me in the aftermath of my discovery of his cheating and lies, there is no way in hell I will reconnect and bond with him as a wife..Not now, not ever..Now there is too much water under the bridge..Because of my circumstances I am biding my time but I know physical separation and D is what I want.. Until then we sleep in separate bedrooms and try to avoid each other as much as possible while in the house..
I lost two and a half years Post D day in false R..I didn't know about SI at first and I didn't seek the support of people who had been in my shoes in regards to infidelity...I thought that I HAD to try R before proceeding to D..
One can head off the battering and slow death of self esteem, and soul, the waste of time encountered in a false R if one knows the signs of a lack of remorse in WS..Fortunately for you you found this forum early..
From what I gather of your situation (obviously you are still in child bearing years) you have the luxury of youth going your way..If I had it to do over again I would not have rug swept my WH'S first A, an ONS that happened 27 years ago when my baby was 3 months old..
In hindsight I should have divorced WH,rebuilt my life while I was still young, I probably would have avoided the unhappiness that I am facing today..
The fear of being a single mom stopped me when it shouldn't have..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 9:51 AM, September 30th (Monday)]
~~Tao Te Ching
I know I have to divorce him because of what he has done or else lose my self respect
Not necessarily. Give yourself time. Get into IC/MC (both of you). IF he does the work and is truly remorseful, there may be a chance.
But...sometimes infidelity is a dealbreaker in a M no matter what.
Either way, we are here for you and will support you 110%.
But divorce isn't necessarily inevitable. Once I reaized how rough this infidelity s#%€ is, I gave myself 6 months to see progress and to reassess. I needed to take care of myself, heal, and learn about infidelity. Take your time.
You have done a great job in such a difficult situation. Stick to the basics now- sleep, food, water.
Married for over 15 years
2 beautiful boys in elementary school
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Maya Angelou
You don't have to do anything except what is best for you and your baby..ever..
As long as you two talk about things openly and you have the option to ask him questions that is good..Don't allow his A to be rugswept..Clarity will get better in the coming months as life unfolds..
Why wasn't my love enough? Why wasn't I enough?
statistic, his cheating had nothing to do with you. People who cheat don't care about anyone or anything but themselves.
People cheat on loving devoted spouses. On the other hand, there are many people in terrible marriages and who don't cheat. Cheating is a decision. Hiding, sneaking around and gaslighting are more decisions and are based on lies.
Don't let him get in your head. You have nothing to do with his choice to cheat and the resulting demise of your M. Have you read the Healing Library here? Read, read, and read some more. It will help give you sanity.
I have to confess I haven't read the entire post, but I wanted to address your initial post.
The affair fog is powerful in some of these waywards. My SAWH was also monstrous. He's always been broken, but he was a decent human being just the same. During and immediately after the affair, though, he was a complete stranger to me--even after almost 22 years of marriage.
I'm not saying your husband will continue to be cruel, weak, and manipulative. In fact, he sounds like he surfaced enough to give you some of the information you needed. I remember sitting in the rocking chair in our bedroom (the one I nursed all our babies in), him handing me a box of tissues and then sitting on the edge of the bed opposite me while he told me everything. Like most of us here have experienced, it was part devastation, part relief--because I'd thought I was going crazy with my suspicions! It felt good not to just be some stereotypical bat-sh-t crazy jealous wife.
You don't have to make any decisions right now. You have time to repair your psyche by being nice to yourself, by spending time with family members who love and support you, by getting sleep when given a chance, by loving that sweet baby of yours, by reading books about healing, by going to an IC, by taking bubble baths--whatever makes you feel comforted and strengthened.
Your WH may end up being a completely reformed, loving, remorseful husband. He may revert back to the man he was when you first confronted him. You have NO control over that. Those are his choices. All you can do is worry about you and your little one. It's that hard. And that simple.
Eight months have passed now for us. He's done some stupid things, some smart things, some silly things, and some sweet things. I still couldn't tell you what my future holds--and, believe me, I desperately want that crystal ball--but I can say that TODAY he is a good man who is trying. Tomorrow? No clue. Luckily, the general direction has been up. As long as I see that trend, I'm staying.
There has to be some hope mixed into the reality that is now yours/ours. That can be hope for your current marriage or hope for a better life without him. But please stay hopeful. You're a young woman with a beautiful baby girl. Life WILL be happy again even if you can't see it today.
I know I have to divorce him because of what he has done or else lose my self respect.
Please don't make the decision to divorce just yet, especially if he's pulled his head out of his rectal orifice.
My opinion is that your self respect is NOT tied up in your husband's deliberate decisions to behave the way he behaved.
Your reaction to his behavior and then your choices relative to that are linked to your character, your integrity, and are germane to what you will and will not accept from a spouse.
I have a line in the sand, if you will, and my WH crossed it, and now I'm dealing with triggers and fall out and what I will and will not accept as I walk this path.
You've been traumatized by the loss of the "marriage" you believed you had, and the loss of the husband you thought he was, and if he is really on the road to disclosure without defensiveness, without head-games or blaming you or trying to downplay his actions, and if he is capable of showing remorse and contrition etc (keep reading SI for more specifics), then divorce isn't your only option. You *might* still find your way back to one another, but it's going to be a long hard road for both of you.
When there has been a trauma or a loss in our lives, it's often a time to NOT make any life or life changing decisions, unless (for example) staying in a relationship will subject you to abuse, of course.
I was married young, for 10 yrs, & first WH cheated on me (no kids yet, I was putting him thru grad school.) That ended that marriage for me.
Now I am in 2nd marriage--almost 25 yrs together, & 4 kids together. I always thought if he cheated, that would be the end of it for me.
But I had no idea how much it changes things to have children together. Now you are not just making a decision for yourself.
For now you can remain in a place of just "not divorcing yet", as long as you think there is a chance for your WH to come out of the Fog & possibly R.
On the other hand, if he becomes a monster again, you can always file for D---it takes awhile & you can stop the process at any time, but it sends a clear message to WH to make that move.
It took awhile for WH # 2 to come out of the Fog ( he would not stop contact with OW), & it took my going to a lawyer for him to finally end it.
He keeps saying that all he concludes is that he is an idiot, weak, and thought he would not get caught. He said he hates everything even further because he didn't have feelings for her, but enjoyed the physical intimacy. He said he hates that fact that he is going to lose everything because he messed with a person who is so meaningless to him, she could of been anyone.
The more I find out, the more I hurt, I don't get mad. Will the anger come later? The more I hear, the more questions I have. When is enough, enough? I feel like I need to know all the ways he betrayed me bc I've been out of the loop the entire time and it's time that I'm brought into what was going on behind my back. It's the only way he can be remorseful. He cannot be remorseful for behavior he's not informed me about in my opinion.
How did you decide you knew enough?
I feel better when he is in my company, even though it is only to talk about the affair. I'm in danger of allowing myself to rug sweep in order to alleviate even a tiny bit of my pain. I am instead telling myself I don't need to anything right now, which is good bc I am not even able to do the basics like eat and sleep. I will set up IC today.
It is easier to come to a decision when dealing with a heartless prick...(not that it is any less painful). Now your emotions will really see-saw, (and he may or may not stay this new course only time will tell). Screw what he says - watch now what he does, what actions he takes.
Whatever happens my advice is to keep the focus on you and your daughter. See an atty for a consult and get data: what are you looking at if you choose to D? Best case and worse case scenarios... Gather information so you can make an informed decision.
If R is something you might consider then start a list of what you'd need to pull that off - what he'd have to do or not do - what your ultimate dealbreakers are - and what the consequences are. R is a gift from the BS. You set the rules for any such attempt.
If R is not something you would consider - that is okay!! Adultery itself is a well established dealbreaker. Your WS knew that!!
Either way you will find support here. And you don't have to decide anything today or tomorrow. Just focus on taking care of you and the babe - the basics.
eta: Because my orientation is from a Divorced point of view, I feel compelled to add this thought: Though it may seem a "safe" solution (he can't cheat cause he is home with DD and you'd feel less stressed and suspicious) know that there are plenty of SAH moms and dads on the Wayward side.
If he becomes the stay at home dad for a length of time - and you the major bread winner, and if R doesn't work for any reason whatsoever. You could find yourself in a position where once D'd - you are paying him spousal support and child support.
Finding out "why" he felt entitled to cheat is critical to R, because until he works on that - the reason will still be there lurking.
[This message edited by Take2 at 7:04 AM, October 1st (Tuesday)]
At this stage, I would employ Ronald Reagan's tactic: "Trust, but Verify." For a while (months at the minimum) you will need to monitor his behavior, keep looking at phone records, credit cards, check if there are new phones, cards, email accounts, etc. This is to give yourself peace of mind, and to let him know you are not going to put up with any more sh*t.
He could very well just be in shock at his world falling apart, and telling only what he has to tell. Is he NC with the OW? Put a VAR in his car to check who he talks to when he's not with you.
Come up with your conditions for R. Make one of them that he find a job. You must let him know that you have one toe at the door, ready to leave the M at the first hint of infidelity, secrets, or entitlement on his part.
From here on out, begin thinking about things that would be real shockers if you did get D someday, and work on getting your life in a place where it wouldn't be such a shock. That's what I'm slowly working on, even though we are in R. People (my spouse) are unpredictable and can blow one's world up in a few minutes.
Add to your personal R list that: you will never put up with his playing with your mind ever again. I know how it feels, and it is cruel, mocking, and dishonest. When you sense something, and he tries to make you think you are crazy, trust your gut, and tell him to get out of your mind. Stand firm, and make him leave until he is ready to talk about the issue.
t/j but related: My H also played with my mind throughout our entire M. It is his way of avoiding having to look deeply inside himself or his motives and behaviors. Even though he is no longer in an A or looking at porn his reverts back to mind games/belittling me when I notice or am angry about something he doesn't want to face. It makes me angry as all getout, and that is when I want to D and get him out of my life.
If you were to D, it wouldn't be the end of the world. You are smart, a good mother, have an adorable daughter to spend your free time with, and hopefully family and friends.
People probably wonder why I am so obsessed with post nups..
I don't want anybody to be in the situation that I am in..That of an older lady with a non remorseful WH whom I am unable to boot out of the house or D without facing financial ruin..
If the BS has a remorseful agreeable WS then take advantage of that remorse to protect yourself somehow..Getting a post nup( in the states that recognize one) is more possible or obtainable if there is remorse or feelings of guilt on the part of the WS... Post nup can be one stipulation of R designed help the BS to feel safer going forward in the partnership/marriage..
Going forward in R with a post nup or other protections in place can help eliminate that feeling for the BS that he or she is just an option or fall back plan..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 1:33 PM, October 1st (Tuesday)]
I like what you are saying about how your H is behaving now. He really was behaving like a cornered animal before. It is an immense improvement that he is taking responsibility for all of this now.
It took most of us months before we felt we knew everything we needed to know; sometimes years. Give yourself time.
It's also completely acceptable to take a break from "affair talk" sometimes; in fact I recommend it. Sometimes it's helpful to schedule time when you will talk about something else and/or schedule time to talk about the affair. It's also natural that you feel better when you are with him. The sad thing is that we need comforting from the one who did the damage to us! It's very confusing.
Also, don't think that if you reconcile it means you have no self-respect. I have immense self-respect and I am happily reconciling. I had demands from my H that he has moved heaven and earth to satisfy. I now have a marriage I never knew was possible.
Give yourself time. Take a break. Be good to yourself. Have your H watch the baby and go for a spa day, a long walk, whatever.
One way or another you will get through this.
Why wasn't my love enough? Why wasn't I enough? Why didn't he think about the hurt this would cause
1. You are enough, your love is enough.
This has NOTHING to do about what you were or weren't doing (as hard as that is to understand) but it is about HIM satisfying his selfish needs and choosing to cheat on his wife and his family. His conscious choices. HIM
You did nothing wrong that would ever justifying cheating. NOTHING.
2. He didn't think about the hurt because he was compartmentalizing his behavior and if he thought about the hurt that would make him really see himself as the jackass he was.
This way he can have his cake and eat it too.
Life #1 - Married man, family. Good guy.
Life #2 - Fun, fantasy life based on lies, deceit and selfishness.
It is a coping mechanism that allows them to exist in the twisted lives they've created. Nothing logical or emotionally rationale about it.
I'm sorry. This doesn't help you reconcile his behavior but it is true. You will NEVER understand the why, the how, the how could you. It's unfathomable to those of us who would never cheat. You can't make sense out of nonsense.
You will get better. You will get stronger. A bit each day. You will have good days and you will have terrible days (sorry but you need to know this is normal and actually a part of healing).
Hug that baby and define your boundaries. What you will and won't accept.
Be strong and demand more for yourself and your baby.
Your WH actions will convey if he can handle helping you head (it is a long, hard process) and if he is worthy of your forgiveness.
One day at a time. Good luck and know we are all here.
(((hugs and prayers)))
Also, did you all find yourself in denial at the beginning? I was much more upset before. Now I am numb and not feeling much of anything but some sadness. I'm fighting the urge to rug sweep.
I think there is something wrong with me. I had no idea that I was so codependent until now. Even after all this, I cannot imagine my like without him. I can't keep the bad stuff in my head long enough to get pissed.
I recognize that I don't need to make a decision to divorce. I'm waiting for a number of reasons. One of the major reasons is that I am worried about how the timing of this will overwhelm my husband. He has completely unraveled after coming out of his fog and losing his job. Yes, this is all his fault and I'm only getting small tastes of the pain thanks to denial, but I am worries about his ability to keep himself safe. He has made very concerning statements.
I've allowed him to spend time feeding my daughter or putting her to bed while I or my mom are working on something else just so we could keep an eye on him. He said this is the only thing he does that helps him maintain his sanity. He does not have any social support system besides us as he is not from the U.S.
I meet with a lawyer tomorrow for an initial consultation. On my birthday. I know in my heart that I do not want to divorce, but the nature of the affair and the aftermath makes me think we've reached the point of no return, at least for myself. Too much water under this bridge. I hate that he put me in this horrible position where I must decide.
Thanks again. In ready to delve into the library.