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Madhatters Only Thread

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rachelc posted 8/27/2015 12:48 PM

I think after a week you are still in survival mode and not thinking through everything. That is normal... You may feel very differently in a few weeks/months.

I feel like I deserve what he did

I'd really look into why you feel this way.

VirginiaRegret posted 8/27/2015 20:00 PM

Because I cheated first. I put him through hell and he's still here. Would he have ever cheated if I hadn't first? I can't say no for sure but I think the reason he did at this point was directly related to my affair. Logically, I know I am responsible for my choices and that nothing he did caused me to make the choices I did, so the same must be true of him. But it's different. I put him in that position. I made him question his love for me. The pain he's trying to escape is because of me. I don't know. It's a very hard position.

rachelc posted 8/28/2015 13:34 PM

The pain he's trying to escape is because of me. I don't know. It's a very hard position.

completely understand. However, I'm not sure where our pain comes from is the most important thing. How we HANDLE our pain is the question.
I had the affair first too. I could use all the crap ton excuses of him not being there for me emotionally, being a douche at times, a hard ass about finances - but those are excuses too. It doesn't matter what caused my pain. It matters how I handled it. What I used to cope.
I get it though - I doubt my husband would have had an affair either. He said it changed him so much that he was not himself. But really, if my affair changed him so much then he wasn't healthy to begin with. It is NOT the normal way people handle this. Unless they're purposely TRYING to hurt you the same way, which would be an entirely different animal.
That's why it was important for me for him to figure out why. If he did it for revenge, well, I don't want to be married to someone where I have to be so afraid I'd piss them off what would they do? I don't want to be married to a revengeful person.

You put him in a position of pain. How he deals with that is on him. I know it's a hard position. I struggled (and still do) with incredible guilt for causing my own pain. But I didn't get a choice in the matter - my only choice was having my affair. Him having affairs was his choice.

[This message edited by rachelc at 1:36 PM, August 28th (Friday)]

VirginiaRegret posted 8/28/2015 17:43 PM

I definitely have a long way to come as far as not blaming myself for his choices. But I think I need to work on it. At this point, I don't trust him at all. He wants to go to clubs to "relive his youth". We're mid 30s and that has zero appeal to me. I feel like it's just a matter of time until he ends up in a full fledged affair, I think he's looking. But I don't want to call off my marriage over something that might happen down the road. Maybe he'll have a change of heart before that. I don't know. It's hard to live a happy life with that knowledge but there's not much else I can do at this point.

ThatGirl2 posted 9/23/2015 14:14 PM

I'm struggling, too. My H cheated when we were dating, broke up with me because he was engaged to someone else. Wow - I was a young high school kid, gave him my virginity. I was devastated. Fast forward 3 years and his wife left him; it was a sad situation because now there was a sweet child involved. We started dating again, but we rugswept the other issues. Never talked about them.

Over time, I started seeing that my H had some serious control and anger issues - the reasons his XW gave for leaving him. I was determined to make things work, but noting did. He worked constantly, and got to go on fancy trips and out to nice dinners while I was home taking care of everything. I became resentful; I begged for MC, but he had a bad experience with XW, so he was having none of that with me. Nope. I WISH WISH WISH I had the strength to leave at that time. We fought constantly. One day, my step son asked that if Daddy and I divorced, could he please live with me? I couldn't abandon him. Just couldn't. I turned to a coworker (that I thought was gay) for advice. Turns out he wasn't gay. So an EA that turned PA began. That was almost 20 years ago...

H suspected something - I "confessed" to an inappropriate friendship and said I'd end it. I did. Then the porn use began. It became hours and hours per day, and the kids knew what he was up to. I felt I was getting what I deserved, but again pleaded for MC. Nope, not happening. This went on for 10 years. 10. Until I couldn't take any more and I went on his computer to find volumes of downloaded files, including live cams and links to escort services. Suddenly, he wanted to fix everything in the marriage.

I've tried. I forgave him, and I atoned for my selfish and cowardly behavior. I was so ashamed of myself for the A; I felt I'd failed my family, my husband, myself. I gave up everything - I did everything he asked of me. The "R" was out of control abusive at times - physically, emotionally, verbally. Our kids heard and saw it all. It was damaging to them, I know it was. And yet I stayed...

A month ago, I caught him on a live cam. Yesterday I discovered he was texting an ex-hookup from his single days. I am at the end. I am so profoundly sad because I had high hopes that we could make it...

beachbunny posted 9/30/2015 23:57 PM

I didn't know where to post this.

I read a post in another forum that really shook me up emotionally & allowed me to feel feelings finally about what happened to me that landed me where my marriage went, but most importantly where I need to heal.

I'm exhausted emotionally, bu wanted to take a baby step towards the denial of the toxic shame I've carried that has hurt my M and has the ability to kill any future relationships.

I am a sexual abuse survivor. I have never dealt with this. I felt alone, ashamed, confused, angry, vengeful, and so frightened about facing this. And it kept me from fully being open & vulnerable with my H. And it hurt him too because my anger & upset and obsession with revenge towards my perpetrator took the love and attention H deserved.

When I was 16, my 21 yo boyfriend raped me. He was successful, rich, and well connected. I thought he was better than me.

We were at a friends house & we were arguing. He took me in the other room & continued to argue with me. He then pushed me down on the floor, held my arms down with one hand, ripped my clothes off with the other while i fought back & tried to get away.

He put a hand over my mouth & whispered in my ear not to scream, not to say anything or I would be in trouble. I still fought as he raped me & basically left my body.

After he was done, he took me home.

The next day he sent flowers & an apology. I was so confused and ashamed & thought it was my fault for making him angry. I continued to want him to "fix" things & just went into denial about the whole thing.

Years went by and anger built, but shame was still there. My fucked up way with dealing with it was to have an EA with a mutual friend of ours. While I was married. 10 years after it happened. In my scarred mind, I thought it was payback to this guy-he'd find out somehow that had found someone more powerful, successful, etc.

I was warped and my marriage took such a hit because I never discussed my feelings around sex, feeling scared and violated sometimes-not by H, just this general unsafe feeling around sex sometimes, all the feelings I should have shared with H & an IC.

I doesn't excuse the hurt & distance I created from H, and my biggest regret has been total inability to deal with the reality of that really happened & to trust & work on it with my H.

It is too late for us now, but I see it's not too late for me. I hope.

Brass Tacks posted 10/4/2015 19:18 PM

The 12 step group for sexual abuse survivors and therapy can help so much.
I too was sexually abused as a child, by incest and as a teenager.
It is a miracle I am still breathing.
It brought me rage, fear and unwanted pregnancy, alcohol and drug addiction.
The gift that keeps kicking your ass.
Get some help.
You are not alone. No one is alone.

MistersMommy posted 10/21/2015 14:06 PM

Please remove if not allowed. I simply did not know where else to turn to for mad hatter input.

Hello all! I could really use some class participation here. I am writing... a lot. It started as me simply writing my story (to get it out of my head) and it has turned into 20 pages of Mad Hatter related content. I am beginning to think maybe I should use it all as how to help heal a mad hatter. As we all know so well it requires a bit more... finesse.

Here's where I need your help...

Is there anything you wish you knew or could have changed about your journey? Is there any information you wish you could have found earlier or that you have found to be extremely helpful? Is there something you feel you are still seeking?

I have been thinking about using others stories as examples as well. If you are willing to help (again I'm not sure where this 'piece' is going yet) but I would love for you to PM me and share your stories. Everything will remain anonymous. Anything you are willing to enlighten me with I would greatly appreciate it!

It does not have to be mad hatter related or involved. I suppose I am looking to absorb as much information as I can in order to decide where this piece is going.

Thank you all in advance!

Sadlady14 posted 11/29/2015 01:22 AM

Ok. Entering my A season. He is struggling, no surprise there. I am Trying to be loving, consistent, transparent, etc. he says I am much calmer and nicer now. He said he still wants to punish me (this has been mean talk about what I did). That has gotten less and less but seems to be rearing its ugly head. However, he recently said he could still be seeing that woman he had the ONS with or start up with a coworker. I really feel he is trying to hurt my feelings and push my buttons yet do not trust him either. His ONS was to be able to stay after being emasculated and revenge per him. Thoughts? Have other people been through this? Wondering if I need to do some surveillance....

Sadlady14 posted 12/3/2015 01:31 AM

Ok, a little update while waiting for replies.
Things improved for a few days, were really good actually. No suspicious behavior on his part. Then he goes to IC and after is distant and somewhat shutting me out but no mean talk. Ok, it seems like the roller coaster but when it is good for a few days and then gets bad again, it is 1) really hard to give him space although I know from experience it usually helps in a day or two. 2) my emotions absolutely tank-suicidal thoughts about what I have done, panicking that this is it-meaning it is over, which I know is always a possibility but seems less likely when we have more and more good moments.
And we haven't talked about him talking about further cheating yet. He was really angry when he said it, and I did not discuss it then. Then things were better but no real time to bring it up and now feeling bad again- for him, for me, for us.
The emotional downs suck- sometimes it seems that as they get less frequent they produce stronger emotions. Thoughts. Need support.

nokidding posted 12/3/2015 07:40 AM

Saw your post in Wayward

You mention your BH is in IC, and I am wondering if you are too?

You're DDay's were pretty recent. I know, I know...how it can simultaneously feel far away, and still very near is totally maddening. From what I can see, your BH has an RA, and that I can understand as this is our situation. I'm sorry my 'story' isn't posted anymore, but FWH has a LTA, and then I went onto an RA within a few months.

I've rode the rollercoaster together with him, so I understand.

You need to try to forgive yourself.

What's happening today? How are you feeling?

Sadlady14 posted 12/3/2015 12:37 PM

Thanks Nokidding.
I feel as a madhatter that sometimes MH issues are not examined and discussed as thoroughly on SI as some of the other stuff.
Yes, BH/WH in IC. I am also in IC but can only go about once a month BC I have a huge copay. Insurance changing soon so hoping I can go more. We were in MC but he refused to go back after she ticked him off by saying he needs to deal with his depression (had for awhile prior to the A). He does not want to find someone new and go through the whole story again. I have mixed feelings about going back. We usually talk after out IC which has generally seemed to be good to process.
Today I am feeling low. My love language is talking and he really didn't want to talk last night.
I feel like I am moving closer to forgiving myself. Most of the time I actually feel pretty good and accepting of what I did in terms of I can't change it, can only move forward. I am always willing to talk to him about the past,etc. Still have lots of remorse and really working on myself. BH has even said why did this have to happen for you to become a nicer kinder person?
We are entering my A season so from everything I have read, shouldn't expect much from him which is very hard for me. He did not know about A until I confessed and then it ended very soon So not sure how going through this time will be for him.
We still have not processed much of his RA/ONS yet. We did for a few weeks after then back to mine. He did recently ask me why I don't seem to care or bring it up and I said it doesn't seem to be the time to bring it up yet as we are still dealing with mine and that it still hurt a lot and that seemed to bother or get to him. So I feel him asking about it may be some sort of progress.
Any insight, etc is appreciated.

Hisbunnyonly posted 12/3/2015 14:28 PM

He did recently ask me why I don't seem to care or bring it up and I said it doesn't seem to be the time to bring it up yet as we are still dealing with mine

This is a concern to me. My fear for you, and for your M, is that you are going to end up rugsweeping his ONS. You say that it doesn't seem to be the time b/c you are still dealing with your A, but an A typically takes 2 years minimum to get past. Are you going to wait 2 years (or longer if it takes him longer to get past your A) before you address your concerns or feelings about his?

anyone who has been in this situation will tell you that the A's need to be addressed separately, but I don't personally think that putting communication about 1 off until the other is COMPLEATLY resolved is a good idea.

nokidding posted 12/3/2015 15:03 PM

We still have not processed much of his RA/ONS yet. We did for a few weeks after then back to mine.

In due time, but please make sure that you do. Your first priority is to helping him heal. I don't mean to suggest that an RA is 'less than', because it's not. But I think there is so much rugsweeping that goes on with an RA.

Honestly, my RA was motivated by power, trying to take my power back. And FWH really gave me a pass on this one, and that (to some degree) still hurts a bit. He totally rugswept, and almost dismissed my RA and we really never did deal with it.

So from my side, I take that as not really giving a shit, thereby still leaving me with control issues, etc.

Make sense? When the time is right, show your BH how much this hurts you.

Hisbunnyonly posted 12/3/2015 15:13 PM

He totally rugswept, and almost dismissed my RA and we really never did deal with it.

This is what happened with my BS, he had an EA afterward, I rugswept the entire thing, mostly b/c I thought that I deserved it and that an A was what he needed to get past my A. and well, I was very very wrong. He has now had more D-Day's than I can count, never physical, always online, but when it came down to it, was due to my rugsweeping his actions. What I THOUGHT was helping him, was actually further hurting him. and hurting me as well. I just didn't feel I had any business saying anything much about my pain when he was in so much pain.

tired girl posted 12/3/2015 21:20 PM

I feel that there are no such things as RA's.

They are A's. Pure and simple. People go out and have A's due to the same crappy coping skills as everyone else.

nokidding posted 12/3/2015 21:45 PM

I feel that there are no such things as RA's.

Oh agreed, totally. It's just a way to define the situation.

People go out and have A's due to the same crappy coping skills as everyone else.

This is also true, but the motivation is often different. That's the underlying issue you need to deal with being a BS and a WS. WTH did I just do?

tired girl posted 12/4/2015 09:38 AM

But just as the original WS doesn't get to use their hurts and pain as an excuse to go out and cheat, neither does the BS that goes out and cheats because they feel hurt and should be able to go out and cheat as well.

This is why when the A's are discussed, each one should be discussed separately at different times. If one spouse is triggering and needs to talk about what is going on, all focus should be on what is happening with them, the other affair should not be brought up.

If the other partner has something that is bothering them, they need to pick a time to bring it up separately, but it does need to be brought up, always.

This not talking about one affair, because only one is being dealt with is probably not going to work. Both partners need to be healing and working together to help heal each other, otherwise resentment will build.

LosferWords posted 12/4/2015 10:34 AM

Tired Girl's approach has worked best for us overall. My wife and I have had a handful of constructive conversations where we are processing things from both sides, but generally speaking our most constructive interactions have been when we are processing one affair at a time.

Sadlady14 posted 12/5/2015 01:26 AM

Thank you so much Hisbunnyonly and no kidding. Yes,yes,yes...you hit the nail on the head. If he thinks his ONS isn't a big deal, he brings up coping that way again. I really plan to start addressing it but honestly am fearful to bring it up at the beginning of my A season. I just don't think we will be able to keep everything separate. I can already hear the comparisons. Suggestions for dealing with that?
I also really appreciate NKs comment about her A getting rugswept by FWH causing her pain...that makes a lot of sense as to why it needs to be dealt with. Thank you all for helping me dig deeper. Now just need to work out a discussion time in the next week or so?
I agree with tired girl that the first A is not a justification for the second A. BH/WH is still there I think. I don't know if he has made the connection yet about poor coping skills.
The other piece that just really burns emotionally is how my BH could go do a similar thing to me that he said was the worst thing that ever happened to him, my A. How does he justify it?? As much as a female can, I get the emasculation thing and I sort of get the revenge thing although I would say I have never been a vengeful person.
Other bad things that have happened to me in life I wouldn't wish on or do to anyone else.
And now, I upset him tonight by defending him to one of the kids but he was upset that I got into it with said kid. (It was really not a big deal), HOWEVER, I think at the beginning of A season he is triggered by conflict, maybe???
Any thoughts on what helped you get through your spouse's A season So I can continue to help him heal? Thoughts for maintaining my sanity? I feel like I am walking a tightrope with a lion underneath.

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