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Madhatters Only Thread

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BrokenButTrying posted 6/9/2014 15:40 PM

Just wondering how you guys handle discussions about the A's?

H and I thought it would be best to schedule talks that specifically centred on one of our A's. So discuss one at a time, that way we're only focused on one person's feelings.

Anyone else do it a similar way? Or got a better suggestion?

LosferWords posted 6/9/2014 21:28 PM

BBT - We didn't really have any organized schedule or plan. We did and do tend to talk about the A's one at a time. Part of that stems from our fair fight/fair discussion agreement, where we keep our arguments and discussions to one topic at a time so things don't get "stacked" or "snowballed".

tired girl posted 6/9/2014 23:02 PM

We also try to keep it like Losfer and his wife are doing. Keep it to one at at time.

For instance, if HL is telling me about something that has triggered or is bother him, I don't talk to him about something that is bothering me as well. I will wait until another time.

BrokenButTrying posted 6/10/2014 01:29 AM

Until recently, H has been very defensive about his A and wayward behaviour. I've found it difficult to talk about how I feel because he just gets angry and then he will bring up my A.

Good to know that tackling one at a time works for other people.

tired girl posted 6/10/2014 09:41 AM


Is he talking to you now about his A?

rachelc posted 6/10/2014 13:21 PM

it works but its very difficult. When they say "do you know what it's like when you did _____?" and you do but you bite your lip because this is about them being heard.

We struggle with it. I will bring something up and suddenly we're talking about him. When he brings something up I try really hard to just listen and not talk about my own situation.

Also, I want to suggest, fix, do something that worked for me and that's another thing that's hard to keep quiet about. Our journeys are different, our healing is different.

2.5 years out, its time to watch actions. If he hasn't figured it out by now he probably won't. However, this has given me peace.

BrokenButTrying posted 6/10/2014 14:23 PM

Yes, TG. One conversation at a time, tiny baby steps but things are getting better. He has really pulled his finger out!

He's by no means perfect but he's trying, I can see it.

Rachel, I can really relate to you wanting to suggest things to fix and heal. I'm Co-D so it's hardwired into me! I'm doing well in stepping back though and it's done us both the world of good.

tagalong posted 6/14/2014 21:51 PM

Are you a MH if you were only a BS in your marriage and are now an AP in someone else's?

BrokenButTrying posted 6/15/2014 14:08 PM


A madhatter is someone who is a betrayed spouse and a wayward spouse in their current marriage.

The marital status of your AP has nothing to do with whether you're a madhatter.

tagalong posted 6/15/2014 15:48 PM


BrokenButTrying posted 6/16/2014 08:48 AM


Awful, awful weekend. This is going to be long.

We went down to stay with family this weekend. We stayed with H's family Saturday (none of them know anything) we went out with all the kids, had a BBQ in the afternoon which was all fine, really fun. In the evening we went out with H's sister and her husband to a charity event and to watch the England world cup game (we lost - shocker! ) H got very drunk. First time I've been with him while he's been drinking since his Dday.

During half time I was talking to one of my sister in law's friends (we'll call her Laura) and Laura's husband, they are expecting a baby in two weeks and we were discussing baby names. It was a funny conversation, Laura and I were laughing a lot.

H triggered. Talking to people I didn't know, getting to know them, letting them see my personality and them laughing at my jokes all made him think of AP, him getting to know me, thinking I was funny, cute etc and falling in 'love' with me.

After about five minutes I turned round and joined in with the conversation H was having with some other people. I could tell he had triggered so I took his hand and whispered that I could see he was hurting and if there was anything I could do just let me know. He insisted he was fine but he struggled for the remainder of evening. I stayed close to him, lots of physical contact (his LL is physical touch) and trying to make him feel as safe as possible.

The next day was no better. We left H's sister's house and went to visit my mum for lunch. My mum knows so at least he didn't have to 'pretend' around her, he was distant and just played with the kids in the garden.
On the drive home the kids fell asleep and we had a chance to talk.

H was saying he is sick of feeling like this. He wants to feel better. There's nothing I can do to help him (I already know I can't fix it for him and I don't try to, I just offer support) it's been six months and he feels hopeless.

He is depressed, won't go to the doctor. The funding for his counselling has come through, he won't book an appointment.

I have tried validating his feelings, reassuring him it's all normal. It just makes him more depressed because he doesn't want to feel like this anymore and the five year timeline feels like an eternity.
I've explained that recovery is not linear, he will have bad days and set backs, a lapse/relapse isn't the same as a total collapse. I've also reminded him of how far he has come in the last six months, how much healing he has already done. He rarely gets mind movies or images and has a very effective coping mechanism in place if they do occur. He has taken very positive steps on feeling better about himself, lots of exercise, going to the gym and working out. He has good friends who he can rely on if he's in a bad place.

I've also gave a bit if tough love. I created this situation, handed him the shit sandwich but I cannot help him eat it. I cannot heal him, I cannot fix it for him. He has to do that himself, I will support him absolutely, without wavering, be there for him. But I cannot do it for him, nor will I try to (like I would have done in the past) because our co-D dynamic isn't healthy so I refuse to be caught in the cycle. He's definitely angry about that, the unfairness of it all. I apologised for it but he loathes apologies so that just made it worse.

I don't think it's a LPOF, he's not numb. But he says he feels hopeless and like things will never be different. I can relate to that, I've been depressed before so I know how that feels.
I feel for him, it's a horrible place to be in.

To make it worse, I triggered too. On the way to my mum's house we drove past the place he took OW#1 on a date. First time we've been in the area since I stopped rugsweeping my feelings about his A. I'm proud of myself for how I handled it. I have a thought process, like self soothing steps I do in my head to stop me going to the 'bad place'. I thought about why it was upsetting but didn't allow the feelings to overwhelm me. I thought very logically about whether there was any reason to feel threatened or anxious at that moment and calmed myself down.

H didn't even notice. I don't blame him, he was wrapped up in his own trigger which was on going from the night before. I don't really need him to comfort me or reassure me (huge step for me) but a squeeze of my hand would have been nice. Just some sort of acknowledgement, you know?

This sucks.

LosferWords posted 6/16/2014 15:46 PM

BBT - Wow, that does sound like a brutal weekend! I don't really have any words of advice, since it sounds like you are doing everything that you can.

I think a big positive is you staying calm, and trying to talk through this logically and reasonable. One either or both of you are triggering, it can be really easy to get past that tipping point of things breaking down.

Hang in there, and continue to work on yourself. I wish there would be a way to convince your H to seek some of the help that it sounds like he needs, but I know he needs to take those steps and make those decisions for himself. Maybe continued gentle encouragement in that area?

Sorry to hear about the rough weekend. I'm hoping this is a dip in the roller coaster, and you both will have some easier and better moments in the near future.

Hang in there, and take care.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 3:47 PM, June 16th (Monday)]

BrokenButTrying posted 6/16/2014 16:05 PM

Thanks Losfer :)

I think a big positive is you staying calm, and trying to talk through this logically and reasonable.

And there's the rub.
Before my A I was the irrational, hysterical, crazy drama queen constantly chasing H, obsessing over our M and trying to fix things. Now, I'm calm and logical and rational and healing. He hates that, with very good reason.

I think he knows he has to heal himself and he's approaching the point where he's ready to start. I really don't want to leave him behind.

tired girl posted 6/16/2014 20:12 PM

Before my A I was the irrational, hysterical, crazy drama queen constantly chasing H, obsessing over our M and trying to fix things. Now, I'm calm and logical and rational and healing. He hates that, with very good reason.

This was the same dynamic that was happening in my M with HL. Hl referred to it as me stepping off the dance floor. Not only did I stop doing those things but I refused to get pulled into our same old argument patterns, man did that piss him off. He no longer knew how to react. I don't know that your H thinks that he has to get healthy so much as he can't figure out why the dynamic has shifted. He knows something is very different, he doesn't know why. Keep going, you are doing great!!

BrokenButTrying posted 6/17/2014 04:07 AM

That analogy me laugh, TG! Yep, it's like I've stepped off the dance floor and H has realised he's dancing by himself. He's doesn't really know what to do with himself now. It's awkward and unfamiliar for him.

butterfly1384 posted 6/17/2014 12:20 PM

Hello everyone!
I am new to this thread so I will just begin by telling my story and see if there's anyone that's had a similar situation and can give me some advice and support.
Four years ago I cheated on my husband. I told him about the A immediately and never contacted the AP ever again. It happened one time and nothing after that or before that. I let my XH decide on if he wanted to reconcile or not and he did. So we went to MC for quite awhile and then had our youngest daughter. We have 3 daughters together. On 10/27/2014 my XH came home and said he didn't love me anymore and wanted a divorce. Our divorce became final on 4/28/2014. On Mother's Day weekend I found out my XH introduced his "girlfriend" to our children and her and her 4 children spent the weekend with them. Soon after that, I found out she was pregnant...and about a week later him and her were married...on 5/19/14 to be exact. Their baby is due in September. So as you can probably guess by now, he'd been having an A with her the entire time and lied about it to me and our children.
Now he's trying to justify his A by bringing up mine. Is there even a comparison?

BrokenButTrying posted 6/17/2014 13:16 PM

Hi Butterfly, happy to see you've found this thread but still sorry to see you here.

His A had NOTHING to do with your A or you. The excuses he is using are just that... excuses. It's down to his bad coping mechanisms, his own brokenness, his issues.

Please don't get into discussions with him comparing your affairs and your pain, neither of you can win that argument and it's not good for either of you.

What you need to do now is the 180, focus on you and your own healing. Take legal steps to ensure your children are safe emotionally and physically while visiting their father. Go no contact with him unless it's about the children. Be strong.

What do you want now? Are you happy with the divorce or would you like to reconcile?

butterfly1384 posted 6/17/2014 15:36 PM

Thanks for the response, BBT. I may have considered reconciling before I found out about the A but he has now married the OW and they are expecting a baby. Don't really see any reconciliation a possibility and not sure I would want to...would cause more problems b/c there are so many issues we can't deal with together unless we deal with them separately and he's not willing to do that. I am in IC and he is supposed to be per court order and we are supposed to be in JC but he has refused.

I would like our relationship to be civil for the sake of our children but I don't see that becoming a possibility as long as the OW is now his wife. There are too many negative things I know about her and I am concerned about the safety emotionally and physically of my children when they are in their home. But not sure how to go about getting that changed. Didn't find out about the A until after our D was final so he manipulated me in Court to get what he wanted.

BrokenButTrying posted 6/20/2014 04:27 AM

Blameshifting son of a bitch

I think I'm probably done.

He brought up his drug use last night, saying it was something I'm still angry about and he doesn't ever want to have another conversation about it.

I explained that I wasn't angry about it at all. He says he doesn't want to do it anymore and I believe that he believes that and that's enough for me. I don't need to talk about it, I'm perfectly capable of processing my feelings about it by myself.

He became angry. Said it was years ago and asked why I would still need to process my feelings about it.
I gently reminded him that it wasn't years ago, he used again in November last year and I only found out about it in March this year as well as finding out about the other time he used in 2012 which he also hid from me.

He said he was angry in November, he knew about my A even though I hadn't confessed at that point (he was in denial) so it was my fault he relaped and used again.

Yeah... I forced him to shovel three grams of coke up his nose and risk his career. My fault entirely.

I didn't say anything other than I was sorry for hurting him. I've been holding onto the hope that he can't see his own issues right now because he's hurting from my A. But sometimes I get the distinct feeling he actually believes I make him do these things and he has no choice.

The drugs are not the dealbreaker. Hell, his A's aren't even the dealbreaker. It's blaming me for them that's the dealbreaker.

I'm quietly done. Detach. Detach. Detach.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 5:06 AM, June 20th (Friday)]

rachelc posted 6/20/2014 07:24 AM

It's blaming me for them that's the dealbreaker.

and this is the crux of being a MH. IF we each can't take complete 100% responsibility for our actions it just won't work, IMO..


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