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Madhatters Only Thread

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BSandWS posted 3/10/2015 12:52 PM

Thank you She-Ra. Thank you so so much. She starts IC today.

My IC made a suggestion to me yesterday. I get very angry and jealous and disgusted when I think of my wife with the OM. My IC said that I should, just maybe think about myself in that same picture of disgust. That maybe I am in there, too. Not just her and him.

He is right but that does not make it feel any better.

rachelc posted 3/10/2015 14:13 PM

My IC said that I should, just maybe think about myself in that same picture of disgust.

I really disagree with this. I'm guessing that being a WS didn't take away any of your pain of being a BS too. You might think you deserve it, but you don't. Each affair must be dealt with separately. Your IC's advice of kind of "you did it too" is not helpful. Look at your affairs separately, without any baggage of what your wife did, because you know what, it had nothing to do with it. You BOTH had poor coping skills, but they don't have anything to do with each other's affairs.
I don't understand why people don't get this -- as if thinking of you both in the same cesspool is helpful. You both have different journeys. You can help her when she can't help herself or you and vice versa. But to muck it all together, how does that help the INDIVIDUAL work you both need to do?

BSandWS posted 3/11/2015 10:40 AM

Thank you Rachel.

I think you are right in the sense that I cannot cancel one one with the other.

I think what he is trying to help me with is keeping some sort of check in place for when I have urges to pursue prostitutes again. I believe I have an addiction to sexual experiences. I never had a relationship - just paid encounters with prostitutes and lots of pornography. Finding out about my wife's affair kind of flipped a switch for me. Since D-Day (both came out on the same day) I have not acted on those urges. I might see a picture of a sexy woman in a magazine, or feel like crap at work, or hit any of my triggers for sexual addiction, and then I immediately think of my wife's affair, and I want to puke. And it turns out that puking feeling cancels out my sexual addiction feeling.

Of course, I also spent lots of time feeling totally lost about my wife's affair, separately. Let me give you an example. Last night, I got back out of bed because I could not get those horrible images out of my head. I watched TV for a couple hours and drank a beer. I tried to go back to bed. No luck, still thinking of her with him. So at 1:00 I decide to workout. Finally, I drop off exhausted at 2:00 AM.

The good news is - no porn and no contact with prostitutes on the internet. No urge to really. The bad news is this is a nightmare.

MistersMommy posted 3/17/2015 11:47 AM

BSandWS it's HARD to be a madhatter. To know the pain you have caused because you are going through it yourself. It's hard on you as a person as well as a spouse. We try to rationalize, minimize, rug sweep and anything inbetween to bury it and let it go and move on. I'm in that stage. Trying to forget my fWHs A and mine. My OM2 came up in discussion with a mutual friend of ours yesterday and I didn't even acknowledge that it probably upset him. The man means NOTHING to me. The A happened 6-7 yrs ago and I don't even think of him in that way. It's hard. I keep trying to remind myself that I have to be aware of fWHs feelings as well during all of this. His A was very recient and just ended in November on dday.
*sigh* it is a struggle.


[This message edited by SI Staff at 1:54 PM, October 18th (Sunday)]

rachelc posted 3/17/2015 11:55 AM

I didn't even acknowledge that it probably upset him. The man means NOTHING to me.

the fact that our APs probably mean more to our BS than us is a struggle - and by "mean more" it's in a negative way, still allowing head space.

I think I get that. These were just people that were used. As long as I'm not reminded of them I'm ok.

Sadlady14 posted 3/20/2015 13:44 PM

I am fWS and That A (lasted two mo, saw AP twice in RLF, mostly was EA over phone BC we live far apart). ended about two mo sgo with me confessing all to husband and seeking R. A month ago he had A and he confessed four days ago but it occurred about a month ago. I had found an address and saw some IMs with his AP prior to that and confronted him but he pretended to end it and lied about address.

I have sought R since my confession, NC with my AP. My husband seeking same since his confession. States he could not move forward unless he was as bad as I was but now seems sorry remorseful and since confession states only wants to be with me and move forward. He states after A he came home, was able to move forward and we had a pretty good 2-3 wks (still were processing and both in IC and in MC). Then he dropped bomb on me.

I am sad, mad, distrustful of him while still having shame guilt and remorse over my A. I think H is telling truth now but hard to believe him. I am leaning toward R with him.

Help! Seeking general advice from other MHs.

We have been together over 20 years.

BSandWS posted 3/21/2015 10:44 AM

Thanks for the feedback Rachel's and MistersMommy.

I took Racheels advice and asked some of my questions. Even though my therapist said to focus on my mistakes, I needed to ask my wife for details. I did not ask the gory ones, but I did ask some of the ones that just baffle me.

Why did she invite the couple to our house for dinner during the A?
She did not know but though maybe to pretend it was not real.

Why did she call him about his career change 5 years after the A ended?
She said she wanted to make sure they would not be bumping into each other more frequently.

What contact has there been?
Only occasional work related email.

The answers all helped although they are painful. I think I need to talk about it because that takes away some of the mystery, power and fear the lack of answers creates.

And just to complain for a minute, why do two of my closest colleagues have to have the same name as the OM?

And one plea for help: her pa happened in our home. So I think of it every time I climb our stairs and walk past the guest room. How to I get over that?

One other note. Misters mommy, I cannot join the Facebook group. I am incapable of using a secret web page appropriately.

rachelc posted 3/21/2015 13:38 PM

tates he could not move forward unless he was as bad as I was

And this is where HE needs to dig to prove he is a safe partner for you. If he's a person who uses another person' actions to justify his own, OR, if there has to be Some sort of "now we're even" thing, then he was broken long before your affair. Healthy people don't react this way.

MistersMommy posted 3/24/2015 09:24 AM


Why did she invite the couple to our house for dinner during the A?

I can answer this one. During my ONS with an ex boyfriend (it was six yrs ago) I remember wanting my husband to be friends with OM. I wanted them both in my life. I knew that I would never leave my husband for OM and I didn't have any 'plans' for the OM who was home on leave and living in Hawaii while I was in NY. I just didn't want to give up what he meant to me in the past and I wanted to keep him in my present. I didn't think long term. Didn't think of the repercussions of trying to force him on my husband. I was selfish and confused and I understand where she was coming from. It wasn't out of spite or to be malicious but simply to keep both things that were important to me at that time. My husband being the most important. That never changed.... I was so mentally messed up and seeing that I did that to us and to him is disgusting but, I hope that helps to expand the explanation.....

jess29 posted 3/27/2015 16:27 PM

So apparently I'm a 'Madhatter'. I don't like to think I am considering we were over at that point but anyway...I didn't know he was having an affair until we had broken up, I had my suspicions and but could never prove anything one day he stopped coming home all together and wouldn't answer my calls and telling me to leave him alone all because i didn't trust him so he says mind you these were the 2 weeks after valentines days where he bought me roses and a teddy and a card saying he was sorry for 'working away' and how he loved me... fast forward 2 weeks and he never come home and all we did was fight so one night i was drunk and told him it was over and that's when I slept with someone else... another week had been well 4 days to be exact he still hadn't come home so I told him what happened and he was so hurt and upset I thought to myself no way he could be having an affair if he's this upset and for a week or so before I found out I honestly thought it was all on me...Then after I discovered my suspicions were right he was never working away he was in fact next door having an affair...I still don't understand why he would be so upset over what I did when he has been with her for the past 5 weeks...and now I have to live next door to them both..

Liz1122 posted 4/1/2015 12:15 PM

I'm hoping I am putting this in the correct forum as I am new to this site and I am just learning my way around. So here goes......
My husband and I have been together for 22 years, married 20. We have two children ages 20 and 12. We have certainly had our share of hardships and problems as many couples do. I apologize if this is lengthy but I want to air my feelings and get this out as I just don't know what to do anymore. He is an alcoholic which also makes things difficult as I am not much of a drinker. Regardless I want to portray both sides as best I can. Several years ago I had an affair on my husband, I'm not making excuses for my behavior but several things lead me to this. Our world had been turned upside down and as much as I tried talking to him about it nothing seemed to work. I went to a therapist, We went together to a therapist, I went to Al-Anon, etc and I thought in my mind I was trying to get him to understand the rejection I was feeling, the hurt, the feeling of only being good for sex and it seemed to fall on deaf ears. Nothing changed and I just got lost in wanting something (outside of the crazy messed up world) that had become my reality. I felt trapped....I did find at that time that talking with other men and eventually having an affair just gave me an escape. I do regret some of the things I have done but I realize they cant be changed. At that time I had moved out of the bedroom, I was sleeping on the couch, etc so It was quite obvious that I was unhappy and not putting much into this relationship. I felt lost with him, the only thing I felt that he wanted from me was sex. As long as he got that then there was no need for communication, closeness, etc. ( Although he always claims and still does that sex makes him feel close to me and I also stated to him that sex doesn't make me feel close to him or loved by him, its the other things that lead to closeness the love making) Huge difference between sex and making love.

In 2013 I caught him cheating on me. Texts, meetings with this woman, pictures etc..... Obviously I was shocked and surprised but through all my anger I understood it.I understood how it felt to feel alone, unconnected with someone you live with, to have little in common, the need to have someone to make you smile. All the things people long for in a relationship. This woman was married as well and they met on a job out of town. He did apologize but did blame me for what he did. He said it was all my fault for what I did to him and he would never had done it if I didn't cheat on him. I never contacted her husband about it as he told me that he had beat her and I just felt enough people had been hurt by all the things wrong and he said he was no longer having any contact with her. Obviously things were very hard and stressful but over the course of the next few months we gradually started to work on things. We have children together, he was and is unwilling to let me go. Which brings me to today......

July 2013 is when I caught him.... As of lately I just had a gut feeling something wasn't right. I wont go into detail unless you want me to but regardless.... So over the past year and a half I thought we were working on things, slowly but surely. Trust was broken, things done and said etc but he said to me several times that "he loved the way things were going and wouldn't do anything to ruin it" He had to leave town a few times which of course made me uneasy but I did not badger him with texts or calls, I simply kept myself busy as he assured me she wasn't there and repeated he loved how things were going with us at this point. We had nice holidays, I gave him a nice birthday, I made plans for us for Valentines day, we went away together etc.... I thought things were getting better. Well I still had my doubts as his "cheat" phone was always at work never to come home. (its a work phone) he claimed it was difficult to carry 2 phones around....whatever. So last week I drove to his job unannounced and very calmly explained to him how I felt. I said to him....there have been things that don't feel right to me and I'm sorry if I'm wrong but I need to see that phone for my own peace of mind. I was not mean or angry I just said I apologize in advance if I'm wrong.... but I need to see it. His face was surprised.....but he reluctantly handed me the phone. As I went to look at it a text message came in and low and behold it was her number! I was a mix between shocked and I Knew it! Now it seemed as he realized a message from her was there he tried to get the phone from me. I opened it and was able to see only a few lines as the messages don't display unless you open the entire thread. What I did see was..... Good Morning Buttercup, I saw a Save it for the morning and I saw He's home now ( I'm assuming she meant her husband was home. As he took the phone from me I asked him to open the messages so I can read them....instead he deleted them. So here I am....... feeling like a gutted fish.

He says to me "Buttercup" was there code word so she knew it was him texting her and not me (as I had texted her from his phone back in 2013) seriously..... I am SOOOOO confused right now. He insists that they were just talking about work etc and I don't believe a word of it..... So here I thought we were working on things for all this time only to find out hes been continuing to talk to this woman (the one he had an affair with) the entire time. So in my mind everything is a lie, and the trust is SHATTERED once again. I do not want to work on things....I know I will never believe him again nor wil I ever trust him again but he again blames me for this too. I just don't understand any of this.....we BOTH made mistakes in the past I admit that....but I just feel this is different now. He had a chance to work on things and while he was home playing ever so happy working on things with me he was secretly communicating with her. He insists they never met again but frankly I don't care. They obviously both went to great lengths to keep in touch even after they got caught.....he knew the risk and still took the gamble. If I didn't catch him...this probably woudve continued...so since August of 2013 they have still been talking........ Someone please help me shed some light on this as I am just lost in my own world and frankly don't know how to get out.....

Thank you and I apologize for the length of this....sad thing is I could've written more....

rachelc posted 4/1/2015 12:27 PM

Honey, I'm sorry you're here....

Here's the thing I've gathered from your post - you both had affairs and blame life, your spouse, whatever - but it had nothing to do with that. It had everything to do with reaching for an affair as a coping mechanism. Why not simply divorce if you were that unhappy in your marriage? None of what you listed is a good enough reason for an affair.
Nor should your husband be blaming you for his. It had nothing to do with that.
You should have told the other BS. At least that would have been another person to keep an eye on things...
Have you guys been to MC? OR either of you to IC?
Tell the other BS ASAP, is your husband still in the affair? You have a right to make demands as you are his wife. Don't stand for being plan B or simply there just because you had an affair too.

Liz1122 posted 4/1/2015 12:49 PM

Thank you Rachel for your response-

I hope I answer everything you asked. Yes we did go to MC several years ago... I continued to go alone to deal with things as he was not interested in going anymore. I did finally this last week tell the husband about the affair... he was unaware of anything going on. Of course she denied everything. I sent him what proof I had as far as texts, pictures, but she would only acknowledge what I had proof of. I left that situation in his hands and just said if he wanted to contact me he was welcome but I would not keep contacting him regarding the situation.

I did consult with a lawyer 2 years ago, its a very difficult and costly process to go through on top of the fact that he would not leave the house then and will not leave the house now. I have no choice at this point but to co exist with him as its a family court issue and unless I am in danger they can not make him leave the house at this point. After a few months I reconsidered and again I thought we were going to work on things as I stated that's what I thought we were doing. Until I found out the entire time he was continuing to have contact with this woman.

He claims I am over reacting and they were just talking..... I am not beleieving any of it. He claims hes sorry but I think hes sorry he got caught again. I don't know.....I'm just stuck here with him not having anyplace to go.....

rachelc posted 4/1/2015 13:17 PM

you are in a bad position. If my husband had continued contact with his AP I would consider it a continuation of their affair, I don't care if it was work only, especially if it was secret.. it is NOT an over-reaction. Ask him how he'd feel if you had continued secret contact with your former AP.

If you are simply co-existing as roommates in the relationship well, good luck I guess. If he won't admit to the truth or hurting you or he blames you for everything it would not be a relationship I would continue to pursue. he has a lot of fixing to do.

I would also suggest you look at yourself and see why you chose an affair to cope with your pain, especially before you would continue this relationship or get into another if you guys split up.

Liz1122 posted 4/1/2015 16:13 PM

Yes I agree I'm in a terrible position especially for my daughter. He just came home from work and still insists I'm over reacting.... I'm just sick to my stomach. He admits to hurting me and says he's sorry but really I don't believe anything he says..... Any work that we've done on our relationship over the past year is gone now as he has lied again and continued to talk to his AP. I don't believe it was only about work but regardless it doesn't really matter..... There's a reason why they both felt the need to stay in touch.

As for me..... I'm heading back to counseling my first appointment is Monday. I need to work on myself and getting through this, trying to understand it, I just can't wrap my brain around it. I so thought we were in repairing mode and it's all gone in my eyes. He thinks we can salvage things but I just don't think I have the strength to do this all again..... My trust and faith in him is gone......

Sadlady14 posted 4/5/2015 21:19 PM

Hi Liz,
I agree. He was still having an affair even if no recent physical contact. I am sorry you are in so much pain. I am pretty new to this but please take care of yourself. Do the 180. I think the part about working on yourself is key as that is all each of us has control over.

Sadlady14 posted 4/7/2015 21:33 PM

Ok. Need help dealing with a trigger. I get triggered when I feel alone dealing with some family issue, organizing the kids, etc. This I think stems from me feeling very alone and dealing with most of the day to day organization of our family for about two years before having my affair. My husband is much more present and does more now that we are in R. Anyway, I was supposed to go to a school meeting today that I was looking forward to going to bc I was finally going to get some information about an upcoming school event for one of my kids. I have mixed feelings about my kid participating in said event and really wanted to learn more. Anyway, I had the mtg time wrong and did not see reminder email this am with actual time. Husband also got and saw email but did not read it. He ends up being able to go too ( at the wrong time). We get there and realize we missed the meeting. He discovers this by reading said email. Anyway, I was frustrated neither of us saw it earlier and it took me back to that feeling of having to be absolutely on top of everything in the past. Then guilt, shame about what I did, then anger at him for his ( after mine). Not sure what I am looking for here but just getting it out and writing is helping which a lot of people on here have mentioned as being therapeutic.
Second part which I asked in An earlier post but didn't get much feedback on is, any general advice for us Madhatters? We have heard, deal with each affair separately. Working on that. I feel we are In R but trust in him is low. Other advice for the Madhatter rollercoaster?
D day (mine). 1/25/15
D day ( his) 3/16/15
Both in IC and MC.
School age kids

rachelc posted 4/9/2015 09:01 AM

Sad - to kind of answer the last part of your question...
One of the shittiest parts of being a MH is that if you know any A can be prevented. It's been harder for me to forgive my husband than most people because I have lived the other side - the side that knows it didn't HAVE to happen.
When I'm on the Recon board and I read other people moving along, forgiving, thinking of their WS's A as a mid-life crisis or attributing it to FOO issues honestly, I think it's a cop out. Because I was there. There are SO MANY directions one can chose from other than an affair. It's not a perfect storm waiting to happen. It isn't. It's a purposeful choice of selfish intent to get some sort of immature need met all the while stabbing your BS in the back.
So... this is why I feel trust is low for the MH crowd. I remember my husband saying that he didn't even like the woman he had an affair with. Wow... so you imploded our marriage on someone you didn't even like? What happens if you feel like shit again? What are you doing so you don't turn in that direction anymore? THAT is the question I like to ask when talking about trust.

paperweight posted 4/9/2015 10:51 AM

Also looking for advice as a MH. How do you deal with it when you each have a very different way of processing? I need to talk about it (my affair and his), I need to know every detail, I ask a lot of questions, etc. He doesn't want to talk about any of it (mine of his). I think he is rugsweeping, but he says he dealt with my affair years ago. He doesn't want to talk about his anymore because he wants to "leave it in the past and look toward the future." He has no respect for my process and I don't believe in his, although I do try and respect it.

We have no transparency (it makes him feel "controlled"), we are not in MC (although I keep pushing for it) and, not shockingly, we are not making any progress. I feel like I keep giving in to his wishes and totally compromising my own. I know the work I have done to figure out my brokeness, my whys and hows, and how to make myself a safe person for him to be with, and he says he completely trusts me. I don't see the work he has done. He still gets so defensive and is utterly conflict avoidant. I still catch him in stupid lies about nothing. I don't trust him at all.

Sorry, this turned into a bit of a rant. I just don't know how to deal with the crap of being mad hatters. We have such differing views on how to handle it and work through it. We don't hear each other and it's a mess. I feel hopeless, sad and lost.

rachelc posted 4/9/2015 14:07 PM

paper - you absolutely have a right for conditions to be met in order to stay in the marriage - that includes transparency and talking about it. Would he go to a weekend marriage retreat such as Retrouvaille?

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