I am starting to realize my WH was in a mini-fog all his life on certain emotions. I don't think he has ever felt really deep feelings or fully connected to anyone. He seemed to have guarded his emotions with an arrogance and selfishness. I think he has many wonderful traits, but these four things are what bit our marriage in the end. We did have a good marriage, but I realize now what was lacking and how surface-level it was. There had been many times I would ask him what he needs to have fun and get excited about his life. We had several discussions throughout the years about him being a workaholic and putting his family as second priority, but none of it sunk in.
Post A, it sunk in. It seems he has finally woken up emotionally, it seems he gets it now. He realizes how guarded he was and has even matured as a person. In his words, the scales have fallen from his eyes. I don't know if this growth happens because of fear of your life crashing or something else causes it. Obviously, I struggle that he had to go to this length and drag me through hell before he became enlightened.
What are you thoughts? Did they/you need something extreme to wake up? Would they/you have eventually gotten it on their own without an A?
I thought I had hit bottom so many times over the years, but my A and the destruction caused to my BS and myself was The bottom that woke me up.
I've been climbing up ever since, slipped back a few steps here and there, but the Journey has been amazing.
[This message edited by broevil at 1:20 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]
"Your secrets keep you sick"
Since we have alcoholics in the family my H said that he felt like he hit rock bottom the last time he was physical with the AP. He said, "If I was in AA, I would have had to go back and get my first chip again."
Because a bit of time passed between his second last time (argument with her) and the last time I believe this also helped him get to where he needed to be in terms of ending it. He knew it had to end anyway and while I wish it would have ended sooner, it relieves me that it ended with him feeling like shit.
In the year or so leading up to D-Day, I was very frustrated with our marriage. I was resentful, angry, scared that this would end in divorce. I thought, "if he ever cheated, I will end it."
Guess what? That is not what I really wanted. I realized even in that dark, sickening night of D-Day that I truly wanted our marriage.
Funny you should mention that re: emotions. My H has always had fun but the past 10 months he is much more in touch with his feelings - he is going deeper. It's him but there is more to him now, you know? A maturity. I think he is becoming the man he was always meant to be.
It is too bad that it came through an A. This is something we need to make peace with.
Glad yours is waking up!!!!
LA, we cross posted. Just have to comment on:
"I think he is becoming the man he was always meant to be." Sadly (again), I really wish my WH could do the work to become the man I believe he COULD be. Glad yours is stepping up!
[This message edited by StillStanding1 at 1:31 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]
He went from, "Why bother working on this - I've ruined everything and there's no fixing it." to completely TERRIFIED of what he had just lost.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot
He didn't realize everything all at once; it took a few months and he still continues to grow and change. I suspect that will be a lifelong process. But, wow! I never would have believed he could be this way. He truly has become self-aware, giving, unselfish, open, honest. What a difference.
I wouldn't go back to before the A if I had the chance (I know I am in the minority here). The pain I have gone through is worth it both for the payoff I have received in the improvement of our M, but also in the fact that the man I love more than anyone in the world if finally becoming whole and at peace. The A was never about me, never about our M, never about the OW. It was about his dark, destructive impulses, and one way or another they were bound to come to light.
I am happy to still be with my H and help him on his journey.
[This message edited by catlover50 at 2:02 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]
"All I want or need is you. You're the love of my heart and soul."
This is a guy where all he said was "I love you" no deep emotions. We're not there completely, but, he's getting it. The fog has lifted.
My only wish? It didn't take the A for us to realize how our marriage was lacking AND that we needed to work on it. Honestly, we were just going through the motions of a marriage.
[This message edited by strongerdaybyday at 2:06 PM, October 15th (Tuesday)]
**If I edit I'm correcting a typo!**
He was also a master compartmentalizer, even dissociative, selfish and unable to fully connect with anyone.(this is why I believe his LTA was the way he describes it).
Wow. I see my H is this before D-Day.
I wouldn't go back to before the A if I had the chance (I know I am in the minority here).
I am with you on this Catlover. As bizarre as it sounds, I agree.
It was the best thing that ever could have happened. I'm so glad he got fired.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
I told him I will love him always, but I will not live like this so I'll have the divorce papers filed this week. I'd tell my kids in the morning, it was up to him what/when to tell his kids but don't expect me to candycoat why we're divorcing if they ask me.
I think how calm I was and the fact that there was no question in his mind that this was no idle threat
shook him to the core.
For him, rock-bottom started with our separation. He now says that he realized he messed up the minute he left. But, he was determined to "show" the world he was right about his decision. Three months later he finally consummated his lurve for COW #4, who lives 1600 miles away. But that was only for 4 days. Then he came back to our city and finally moved out of his friends' place and into his own little apartment.
So, he's sitting there staring at the walls, waiting for the next visitation with the kids, when he realizes that OW#4 is not going to work out - he still loves me, and never really loved her. They break up. BUT, Pride gets in the way and he continues to sit in his little apartment.
A light bulb goes off somewhere around month 5 and he sees that all the things I was trying to tell him about his so-called friends was true. They were users and bad influences on his life. But he sees that I'm finally starting to be happy again and he doesn't want to cause me any more pain. So he continues to stare at the walls.
Finally, at 6 months from separation, I declare that I'm finally "done". I told him I had spoken to a lawyer and was ready to divorce. The kids were good with it too. THAT was the final straw for him. He broke down and started crying "What have I done?"
We've come a long way since then. We had a couple of setbacks in the beginning of R. But now we are solid. He has changed so much. He doesn't take anything for granted anymore. He appreciates that I am his wife, his partner.
While I hate that we separated and the kids/I went thru so much pain for his stupidity, I do believe that he would be up to OW#6 or 7 by now if things had remained the same for us. The separation and pending D woke my husband up from his stupidity!
Sadly, yes, i think it took the aftermath of the A for me to really SEE the way my WH had been treating me over the years...and to finally say NO MORE, i wont accept this anymore. It took the devastation of the A for me to learn to stand up for myself....to figure out what i really needed out of my marriage and to accept nothing less. I have readjusted my standards...not just with WH but with the people I allow into my life as friends. I have learned to be less of a people pleaser and more of a ME pleaser. Whats that Dr Seuess saying????.......something like "those who matter dont mind and those that mind dont matter"
It had been 20+ years. It breaks my heart more than i can express...but no, i dont think we would have gotten here if it wasnt for the A. It is so so so sad that it takes something like this for people to make those epic life changes. Guilty as charged. I was one that was "happy enough"...muddled thru because its what we were used to...it was life...it was good enough....comfortable enough.
No more. Its worth the hard work. Trying to keep facing forward...one foot in front of the other!
hugs to all of you!
Obviously, I struggle that he had to go to this length and drag me through hell before he became enlightened
I think this is a hard concept for me to wrap my head around.
As a spouse, you want/assume your are their number one person. I struggle with feeling invisible, why wasn't I enough to snap him out of it, and why wasn't he more aware of what he was doing to us?
It does always help knowing many of you are in the same boat.
I could have left him, he could have left me. If I had left him and started dating right away, he would have totally freaked and hit bottom. If I had actually died, he would have hit bottom.
We had tried MC, he thought we were picking on him. FWH took me for granted. Only when faced with really losing me did he wake up and start owning his shit.
I wouldn't go back to before the A if I had the chance (I know I am in the minority here).
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
I can tell you I found out 2 months ago, but he changed before then. He became much more involved with the kids, spent more time at home, and spent more time with me. He was definitely less angry, less volatile, and less gloomy.
I hope things will stay this way. Although I wish it didn't take the A to wake us up, we now constantly text each other how much we love each other and constantly compliment each other. I hope this will make for a stronger marriage. I always thought I would leave him if he had an affair, but the day I found out I knew I would never leave. And that realization is terrifying in its extreme vulnerability.
The therapy, the reading, the introspection, the work...these improvements are helping me become a better wife, mother, and human. And I really needed it, more than I ever could've realized. Ask my 9-year-old son. He recently flat-out told me he was mistaken before, when he told me I was the best mom in the world, because he would never want to go back to *old mom.* But he says *now* I *really* am the best mom in the world. And I'm just getting started.