Prior to the A, I thought things were going so well in our lives. As I said, our kids were beginning their careers, our time was our time, and we were looking forward to retirement in just a few years. He never, ever even hinted to me that he was unhappy in our marriage in any way. Yes, there were moments where looking back now, I can see where there may have been some indications, like not spending as much money on him at Christmas as he did on me, or getting mad because I sent cookies to our children when they were away, etc., but I because to me things like this were so ridiculous, I just took them to mean that he was just in a bad mood at the time. I never thought he really meant them, but he did.
I respect him so much right now for at least trying to understand his mindset for the first 50 years of his life. He really is trying, but my struggle is knowing that I was SOOOOO WRONG about who he really was. I never really knew him and it's not just the things he did, but the way he thought. We couldn't have been more opposite. He keeps on telling me I was a good mother and raised our boys well. Thanks for that, but I wanted to be a good wife too. That was just as important to me. He wrote something and in it said that he knew I was a good mother, but that I was a bad wife. He has since modified that statement a little, but it still hurts. How could he think I was a bad wife? He has said he thought he was the only one GIVING anything in our marriage during the first 30 years, he has said I would BUDGE on what he wanted me to do sexually with him. How could I have been so wrong in thinking that we shared so much together and built such a good life together and then find out that this is how he really felt? He even said that we didn't do anything together. I don't get it. We always went out on Friday nights, (I called it date night - I now know he didn't think anything of it), I planned vacations for just the two of us, I even went with him to gas up his vehicle because he asked me to. I know there is no one who knew us back then that would say we were never together. So, if he thought he weren't together then, how much togetherness does he need?
But the biggest thing that confuses me as far as what I can believe is the false R. How could he treat me as wonderfully as he did during that time and still be in the affair? Everyone says look at the actions, not the words and I did and his actions at home showed me that he wanted our marriage, but what I didn't see was that his actions at work showed that he didn't.
Now for the world to see, he is a kind, loving, wonderful husband. We have moved out-of-state and are no where near the OW. I don't think he is cheating now, (the old me would have said he isn't cheating, but I will never be 100% sure of that anymore)and everyone who sees us things we are a happy married couple. I feel the walls around my heart, I feel the panic if I even think of letting them down and being as carefree as I was before. Is there ever anyway or any time that someone can really believe that the person they think they know is really who they pretend to be?
If he said the sky is orange with green clouds - would you believe him? I'm thinking you might look up, but when you saw the sky is blue with white clouds- you wouldn't believe him! He's telling you the sky is orange.
YOU KNOW THE TRUTH!!!! You know the history of your marriage, don't let his words change what you know to be true.
Ask yourself what has he done to insure he won't cheat again? Every marriage has it's ups and downs, good and bad days, etc. What has he done to insure he won't go down the cheaters path the next time your marriage isn't hunky dory?
If he hasn't done the work and only given you lip service, then you have no assurance and he doesn't deserve your trust. He hasn't done the work to earn it.
You are the prize, not her and not him. You have your integrity and dignity intact. He doesn't.
You can't keep him from repeating bad behaviors, it has to come from within him! He needs to make those changes, not you.
Kajam, thank you for your words too. Anyone seeing WH now would think I was so lucky to have a man like him as my husband. They did prior to the affair too. As I learn more about WH and his way of thinking prior to the A, I realize that we were not a good match even though on the surface it looked as if we were, and I thought we were. To his credit he is trying to get in touch with his feelings. Using, What if's or what would you do if ......or how would you feel if......, don't work because he's never done anything like that before, at least when it comes to feelings and it's hard for him to deal with hypotheticals. I don't know of any other way to help him to see how his actions can affect others.
If he has changed, I AM extremely lucky to be married to a man like him. I just don't know if I can trust or believe that this change will "stick" and he'll be strong should temptation be put in his path again. And that's the way I live now, like so many others. Sometimes I think I just have to settle on living with these feelings and thoughts because it's too late for me to do differently.