[This message edited by BIZZYBEEZ at 3:54 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]
Learning to breathe again - one day at a time
The strength comes in the ability to make the choice for ourselves.
^^^This...nicjean, as a BH myself why we stay differs for each person. Whether we stay out of strength, shock, fear, confusion, religious belief, for the kids, it depends on the specifics of the BS. Me personally I stayed initially out of shock and fear. I literally was frozen and didn't know what to do. It took me 2 years but eventually I started to heal on my own while my WW didn't do any of the work. I filed for D. I wanted my M to work but I had an unremorseful WW. Was I weak for trying or weak for leaving. Was I strong for trying or strong for leaving. Truly it's all a matter of perspective. Both paths, staying and leaving are extremely tough.
Just because your BH stays doesn't mean he is weak or strong. It literally means he just chose to stay. You are focusing on the wrong thing. He is there for now. If you truly want your M don't question whether he is weak, question why you chose to put him in this position in the first place. Figure out why you did it and go about fixing yourself.
If you want your M and want an answer to your question then this is how you get it for yourself. Print out your initial post and put it away. Pull it out again 6 months or a year from now. If you do what these great people around here suggest you will be able to answer your own question about the weakness or strength of your BH.
[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 3:09 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]
You have a PM.
My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.
Main reason - we have a family with 3 kids, have 20 years together, life can be stressful, and I think some things merit a second chance.
If we had been newly married with no kids, I would have dumped her, as the circumstances would have been different.
With the way I was raised always ready for a fight
Perhaps. But when temptation came calling you were presented with a golden opportunity to "fight" for your marriage, your commitment to your husband, and the vows you took on your wedding day...and you folded like a wet blanket. If you think that's what your BS is doing by trying to fight for a marriage that has been almost completely destroyed by your terrible choices, I think your perception of things is way off.
Trust me when I say this. It takes far more strength to stay than it does to go. How to see this from your BH's point of view? He obviously loves you enough to go through the work and pain that comes with reconciliation. This is true strength. He deserves a lot of credit for this, and I hope that you are bending over backwards to help him heal.
I am a BS, I'm currently going through a "do I stay and fight or admit defeat and go?" phase and, actually, reading this thread has reminded me why I'm still here.
I can assure you, the stayer has the strength
You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think (A A Milne)
I'm not just talking surface reasons, but maybe think about how you really see yourself. Do you like and love yourself? Do you have problems understanding how he could love you? Do you want to make the changes, or are you thinking of walking?
I can understand your standpoint since it mirrors my own feelings for much of my life.
My fiance & SO of 2 years cheated on me in my 20's and my stance was to cut, run and don't look back. I did so. There was no doubt in my mind that no matter how many years or how much effort was involved, cheating was a deal breaker.. period... and I practiced that policy for much of my life.
That ex-fiance of mine has drifted from state to state, been married & divorced twice, has two kids with different fathers and is now in her 40's discovering all her turbulence, struggles with fidelity and issues are all related to her FOO issues. Her family was terrible, rife with infidelity, drug addiction, sexual offenders, etc. etc. and starting to now, 20+ years later, seek help as nobody really "stuck" with her due to her actions.
I see now that infidelity is truly the act of the broken, weak, and damaged. Of course, the easiest way to handle this is to just dump/evacuate, which is what I did.
When my WS of 8 years cheated, I knew the easy thing to do was to just cut and run again. I could easily have my life back on track inside of 6-8 months, and likely be in another, better relationship inside of 1 year. How much more simple can it get?
I chose the harder/stronger path this time. That is to live in the same space with someone that I once loved, yet decided to completely stomp on my trust and love and commit the most heinous "crime" against someone possible- which IMO is infidelity.
Staying and trying to R against this is no way weak. It's the totally opposite. The natural instinct is to knock such a person's teeth out while throwing them and all their shit to the curb... never to see such filth ever again.
What is much more difficult and harder is to look within to figure out why we could not see this in the cards, as well as sacrifice a big part of ourselves (pride, ego, valuation of trust) and extend this in hopes of growing not only for ourselves, but for our partner that has done this to our relationship.
I'm a year+ past DDay and I can't say if my choice was the right one at this time. But I can say that I am glad I decided to suck it up and try since I feel what I did in the past when confronted with infidelity I consider a much, much wimpier, easier and cowardly way to face this terrible situation.
Just my $0.02
I stayed for my kids I sucked it up and gave my kids a family under one roof.
I dont regret it. My kids was raised with loving parents it was a choice I was forced to make not what I wanted for myself. Love is a choice family is a choice. I chose my family.
I would do it again and again.
While it is absolutely certain that a BS that has been a victim of infidelity exercises strength, perseverance and courage to extend the GIFT of R to someone that has stricken them with this terrible offense, it speaks nothing of the strength of character and pure bravery of the WS's here that have also chosen to find true remorse, look within and decide to make the major life changes needed to walk away from infidelity, better themselves and seek help, support and guidance to rid this from themselves going forward.
SI is a site for victors... both Waywards and Betrayed. It should never be a contest but instead a safe haven to share our daily victories and our occasional set-backs on the road to a better, more healthy life.
except through this he has turned into a calmer person. we will continue to learn to understand each other. get to know one another again.
Nic, at 3 weeks out, your husband is likely still in shock. Do not assume that he is going to stay as calm as he is now, say in 6 months time.
LA44 has a tagline that reads...
R is not linear.
That is very true. You have a long road ahead of you both. Your husband may change his mind about R at any time. Just because he didn't leave immediately doesn't mean he still won't.
The affection was next to nothing which is what made me reach out to another man ( though understanding the why does not make it ok.
Perhaps you and your husband are buying that this as your 'why' at the moment, but for his sake and to build greater strength of character in yourself, hopefully this why gets rejected and deeper reasons why are found.
Good luck to both of you on this journey. It's not for sissies.
Originally, on Dday I stayed because I was paralyzed. I simply could not think. I called into work sick and made him take care of the kids. Told everyone I had the flu. Then I reached out to others. Went to an online group of friends and told them our story. These ladies listened and one reached out personally and told me her story. She recommended a book for me to read "After the Affair" and recommended therapy.
On day three I found SI. We started MC on day 4. I told my family and my boss. They all said the same thing "we will support you whatever decision you make."
I still waffle between do I stay or go, but 90% of the time my head and heart say stay. So, why do I stay...
We have two kids. Why should I have to suffer with only seeing my kids part-time? I did nothing wrong, I will not be punished for his choices.
I want my kids to grow up seeing how two adults and the all their faults can make a home loving.
I want to show my children that running away is not the answer. They see me standing up for myself and they see WH treating me with respect.
Money. our standard of living will decrease.
I meant my vows. For better or for worse.
What if I leave and wind up alone for the rest of my life?
We have history...10 years of laughter, love, giggles and yes, some anger.
I love him.
So am I weak for staying. Maybe, some of my reasons seem weak, but many of my reasons are because I'm strong and am fighting for my marriage.
[This message edited by Zayda1 at 5:41 PM, October 24th (Thursday)]
So.... as a BS... why are you staying?
A question I have asked myself a zillion times.
I started to answer your question but it turned into a novel. The truth is my reasons have changed frequently since DDay.
One constant reason has been our 2 children. They didn't ask to come from a 'broken home' so I saw it as my duty to try everything in my power to 'make it work'.
Initially though I felt very weak. I knew I was fearful of being alone. I was scared of what others would say, how his infidelity confirmed that I was unlovable, it was pitiful. I questioned how I could claim to love this man who I didn't even know.
So, with a lot of introspection my reasons for staying are fluid. Accepting that I would have a fabulous life with or without this marriage was a defining moment for me. I no longer felt weak for staying. It was my choice, my decision, I no longer felt like I didn't have an option.
Your BS probably has his own road of introspection to travel too. You need to keep speaking with him.
each and every time until now, it was an instant deal breaker. the breakup of the marriage involves me having to live with her for over a year while the custody battle resolved itself all the way through the Supreme Court. that left me with a $50,000 legal bill that I had no reasonable way to pay. I didn't care, I wanted out. I got custody of my son. truly against all odds.
this time around, I'm trying to reconcile. for me personally, there is no fear of what is on the other side. been there done that. I'm trying to reconcile, because she is truly remorseful. no excuses, straight up remorse. she is actively trying to figure out why she was able to do this not only to me and our son , but also her self.
of the two options, I personally find that reconciliation is much harder. I have to find a new reality into which she fits. she is not the person I thought I marrIed. I find I love the person she is though.
value the gift you are being offered.
He had to EARN back love from me. Most days he has it. Some days, it's just not there.
The last two times I was cheated on, I left. It was hard, but not as hard as choosing to stay, and not as hard as the journey of forgiveness.
At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.
"Love means never having to say you're sorry."
Here's what I think lies behind the question. The WS thinks the BS is weak for staying because she or he imagines she or he would leave his or her BS if the shoe were on the other foot. But that's a mirror that the WS is holding, not a window onto the world of the BS. The WS is seeing that her or his action is so vile that the BS has the moral (and legal) privilege of leaving the marriage should she or he choose to do so. But then, rather than recognize that this means that a BS who stays *may* be acting from the strength of a certain kind of grace, interprets the BS's action as if it were necessarily motivated by the same kind of selfish weakness of character that motivates the WS in having an affair. And while a BS *might* be motivated to stay for reasons that are ultimately self-destructive or arise from weakness of character, this far from being necessarily the case.
In other words, there's a basic confusion in the question--a WS who says that, "if I were my spouse..." probably doesn't know what the F she or he is talking about. Or I could be wrong... Maybe strength is just whatever it is that enables people to do whatever the hell they like without any regard for the consequences to themselves or others. I guess if that's what strength means, than any BS who offers to work on R is weak, a coward, and a fool. Is that what you mean?
[This message edited by lloyddobler at 3:01 AM, October 25th (Friday)]
I have read all of the responses here. There are those who argue it takes more “strength” to stay. There are those who argue the opposite. The question posed was WHY do we stay?
I truly believe that these reasons change over time. I also believe the reasons people stay are sometimes dependent on certain factors – children (and their ages), the age of the BS, finances, property, health and so on.
It is not a one size fits all.
My status "Not Divorcing" is an expression of my choice at the moment.
This is how I currently feel.
Today I believe I will not forgive or forget. What my FWH did was just too much.
People on SI talk about R and forgiveness or separating/divorcing like these are the only options. They are not. There are many reasons people choose to stay. There are many options. They are not all ideal. Some would say that some reasons are cowardly or that they are materialistic. Personally, I don’t care. People choose to stay because that is their choice. I respect everyone’s choices. I don’t think anyone has the right to judge anyone else’s choices.
The questioner wanted to know WHY. I think sometimes we idealise the staying. We believe a loyal BS is doing their utmost to save the M. A remorseful WS is changing remarkably to save the M. So they stay together. But is this what ALWAYS REALLY happens? I don’t think so -certainly not in my case.
Since dday my FWH has changed remarkably. He was incredibly difficult to live with for most of our 28 year M. I will never forget the day my daughter (who was 13 years old at the time) said “Mum, he is such a dicklead. Why on earth did you marry him?” My response “Don’t you dare talk about your dad like that!”
I often considered leaving; I begged him to “try to make our M work” -repeatedly over the years - but he continued to behave badly. I stayed “for the kids” and put up with his nonsense. (Not knowing about his multiple LTAs).
So now he is a “great” H. The husband I always wanted - so easy to live with, kind and considerate, and even helpful around the house. We get on well. We do lots of things together, talk a lot and have travelled a lot together since dday.
But there is a deep wound inside me which I doubt can ever be repaired- a wound which festers because of his persistent refusal to talk about his affairs. No matter how many times I have begged or threatened – he just won’t talk.
So….. What do I do? Leave him to prove a point? To show him and the world this was a deal breaker for me? Why? ??? Did I spend all of those years putting up with his shit to quit now?
No. It suits me to stay. If he doesn’t like my attitude he can go.
I have told my FWH how I feel. He knows I am choosing to stay for me. It suits me. I have not told him I love him since dday, I don't wear my rings and I have told him I will not commit to him. I will never cheat on him but I will not commit to him forever. I have also promised myself that if one day I feel like leaving him I will go with no guilt and no regrets. I know all of that sounds cold but putting myself in this place gives me peace.
I have also told him that if he wants to go that's fine with me. I don't want a man who doesn't want me. He swears he loves me, wants us to be "happy" again (not that I think I ever was after the first few years) and he wants to grow old with me. (But of course he still won’t talk!)
As far as I know he is NC with the OWs.
At my age I feel my choices are limited. I am “comfortable” with FWH. Why should I upset this comfortable life to prove a point?
I have been completely honest with him (just as I have right through our M).
I changed my will (and told him the details). When I die our children get my half of everything. He gets none of it. Not a cent. I don't want him staying with me for financial reasons as, although we are by no means rich, we have some significant property, especially our farm, which is worth about twice as much as the above average home. The will is iron clad. I put a statement at the end of it (which my lawyer recommended) stating that the reason he was excluded was because of infidelity throughout the marriage. The L says no court will overturn it when they see that reason.
I also hate the thought of another woman living in the home I raised our children in. No way. Not after what he did. So the children have promised they will sell him up if I die before him. (They know). What he gets from his share of the property will be quite enough for him to buy a small house or a comfortable apartment.
I have developed a plan for a future without him. I told him of my plan. I told him that if I wasn't happy with him this was what I would do. I gave him the choice. I said "You have to make it worth my while to stay with you. If you don't I can find a better life elsewhere".
Again, I know that sounds cold but it is true. I lived with a cranky self-centred bastard for years. I tried to "make him happy", I bit my tongue when he was unreasonable - all for the sake of peace in the home.
Well now I will be no one's second choice.
Someone on here said "You have to be prepared to lose your M to save it". I am. It has made me feel stronger and more at peace with the sich I am in. If FWH did cheat again I would hate him. I know I would. He knows the pain I went through after dday. So a second dday would not be tolerated.
I believe that a BS needs to take care of himself/herself in whatever way they need to.
We all have a variety of reasons for staying. The poster wanted to know what they were.
Personally I am not interested in which approach takes the most “strength” or “courage”.
I respect and accept everyone’s choices.
So – for those who want to condemn me for staying for my reasons – bring it on. Frankly I don’t care. My reasons are just as valid as everyone else's.
Why did I origionally stay? Well first I was terrified of changing my life. I had an 8 year old son and wasn't sure how I could do it all on my own, I definately could not keep the house, where would we live. I didn't want to change my DS' routine, school, friends..etc. I liked the life I had, even though we had some bumps in our marriage, it really wasn't that bad until the A.
So I talked to my sister (a laywer who did her share of divorces), she adivsed that there is nothing wrong with waiting, give it some time and try to work on it. That way even if things don't work out I can look back and say I honestly did everything in my power to make my marriage work.
So I did. Unfortunately in the end, even though he didn't continue the A or start another one, he didn't work on his own problems. The very problems that started the A in the first place.
I put myself in a place where I could manage to stay in our home and keep DS in the life he knew.
I can say if I hadn't had a son I would have been gone that night.
Everyone has their reasons, but it does take a lot of strenght to fight to save your marriage.
I think you need to sit with your BS and find out what he is thinking about it. You may find yourself surprised.
I never thought that WH#2 would ever cheat on me. He also was a BS in his 1st marriage. I was wrong. He had a 3yr affair with an old GF from before we were married.
Why did I stay?? Because I love him and he loves me. We are not spring chickens anymore and I have a terminal disease that will eventually kill me. I thank God everyday for the chance to love him even though he chose for 3yrs not to love me back. I do not think that by staying I am weak. I could just as easily leave him and I have family that will take care of me when my time comes. That is not what I want because I love him with all my heart. He made a very bad mistake that he pays for everyday and I know that if he had it to do over again, he would not do it. He sees my pain and has to live with it now. He has to live with the fact that his family and friends know what he did to me. He has to live with the fact that he was the weak one that chose to betray the person who loved him the most.
Please do not think that your husband is weak for staying with you. Undoubtably he loves you even though you broke his heart. I hope you both can take this and find a way to grow a new and improved relationship. (((HUGS)))