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Madhatters Only Thread

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IHatePickingName posted 1/14/2020 07:54 AM

We are reconciling and he reads my threads. I think he only posted on mine once, with permission. If we werent reconciling, i would do what worked for me and ignore his presence here. But that is easier for me since i think his post count is like 4... He lurks.

I think it would be good for you to be able to post in wayward. You would get better help there, in my opinion. You could avoid her threads if you dont want to read them. You cant make her not read yours, no matter where you post, so i would advise anyone even considering divorce to be careful what you say. It can be misconstrued and used against you.

I havent started a thread in wayward since i did my confession post because i am not ready right now to publically process a lot. I have done work on my own and talked by dm which keeps me accountable, but this is a bad time of year for my mental health in general and i need to tread lightly. Ive been trying to stay away from the site altogether (and failing...) After a really bad week last week. I want to start again as soon as i am able.

I really wish there was a MH subsection. One thread is very general, but it is hard to post only from one or the other perspective when they influence each other so greatly. General is so busy that my threads get buried because i am not interesting enough to spin long threads, so i find it discouraging.. i know a MH forum probably wouldnt be super sustainable because we are a minority within a minority. But i wish it were feasible.

leavingorbit posted 1/18/2020 11:17 AM

We both read on here, or did. I donít think he does anymore. He has a profile but heís not posted on it. He reads all of my posts and messages, by my request. We still have great discussions regarding the things I read.

Iím wondering, Neanderthal - do you spend a lot of time figuring out what you ďshouldĒ do? It may be hard in the recovery period and life in general to figure out what we really want, and yet I feel itís the only thing that has ensured happiness for me. Who else can tell me, who else can be inside my head? Do you feel you should stay out of wayward? If so, why? If not, why? Do you feel youíre missing something? Do you feel youíre pretending to be on some moral high ground? Why?

Can it be done in your original thread? Sure. Everything is a choice, IMO. What do you want to choose? I read a lot of shame in your posts, a lot of fear. Are you afraid youíre unlovable? Unforgivable? Unworthy? If so, why do you choose to think those things? Theyíre not true, unless you want them to be.

What are you afraid of? I struggled with this and still do sometimes. Iíll have a series of events- boom sick kid, boom client complaint, boom snowstorm, boom baby was up and I wanted to put the moves on H, etc etc. overwhelmed! Iím garbage! Iím trash! Iím - wait, I donít like this show. I can change the channel. I donít have to accept that first feeling. I can do and feel something else. Itís work and a process. It takes time to accept and rewrite.

And hi, IHPN! Iím glad to see your sig update, thatís wonderful! I feel like Iím reading some negative self talk in your post... what does a threadís length have to do with your value or interest? Very gently, do you feel the need to be interesting? Why do you need to keep your pain and your actions separate? Theyíre both a part of your experience and I believe things get easier when youíre able to accept the whole enchilada, as it were. I feel it takes time. What questions are you looking for help figuring out answers for?

H and I are still working on bits and pieces. Trigger management, I think. Trust. Itís nice to be able to move slowly and intentionally, build each other up, breathe. I feel grateful everyday.

IHatePickingName posted 1/19/2020 12:20 PM

There is possibly negative self talk, I am bad for that. But I don't think I meant it as significantly as you thought. I just mean that short posts without drama tend to be answered and buried, and don't attract a lot of replies. I don't mean it as a negative towards myself, it is just the way message boards work. But posts that run to multiple pages attract people's interests, as they wonder what is so interesting being discussed there. So since I generally don't have dramatic opinions or questions, mine get pushed down off the page in sections that are more busy like general.

Whereas wayward moves slower in general so it takes longer for slow posts to be lost. That works better for me since I get more feedback. I didn't mean to imply either that I am uninteresting as a person or that I owe it to anyone to be interesting.

I don't *need* to keep my actions and pain separate. It is just that my pain is still capable of overwhelming me into not being able to do anything else. It is getting better now, 5 months after my biggest dday, but it impedes my abilities to do my own work. For example, when I think about specific things I did, it can trigger images of what he did, or reminders of what he was doing at the time I was doing it, and if I am not careful, I flood. It isn't that I intentionally use my pain to avoid my own work. I don't. It is just that both my pain and my work are so emotionally raw.

I don't think I have specific questions, per say. I just need a place to process all of it, at once. As you said, you can't really separate them. I don't try to. But there isn't really a place here to do both. Reconciliation is about what we do as a couple, not my work. Wayward is about half my work, I can't post in JFO, and general is busy and well, general. I never really had a "me" thread, like people do in JFO where they use one for pages at a time. Maybe that is what I need, and it doesn't matter where I put it.

leavingorbit posted 1/22/2020 11:36 AM

Thanks for clarifying, IHPN. Itís so hard. My husband and I struggled with what youíre talking about, so much. Iím so sorry youíre experiencing that turmoil. We still get in a crappy negative feedback loop when weíre stressed or activated, but weíre each building up tools and skills to both reduce and work through triggers. Weíve been under a ton of stress lately and I slid into my head, he pursued, we both took shit personally. At the end we both agreed progress is being made - at least weíre now angrily (fearfully) talking about our feelings when triggered, not finger pointing. Itís still quite early for you, five months is not long.

Would questions here be helpful for you?
If youíre ever interested or wanting extra support, Iíd be happy to share whatís been helpful for me/us. I was a basket case after our d-day and had been unhealthy for years. Day to day, minute to minute, second to second. It was the loneliest and saddest I have ever felt. Hope youíre having a better day today.

IHatePickingName posted 1/24/2020 18:03 PM

Leavingorbit, i would happily welcome any suggestions of what worked for you. I did start a "me" thread which got off to a rocky start but was very helpful to me in figuring out some areas where i have a lot of work to do. It would be really helpful to chat about the ways people dealt with recovering from both sides of infidelity, especially those who had to process both at the same time. And especially those who did it together as a couple, whether you ultimately reconciled or not.

leavingorbit posted 1/29/2020 16:25 PM

Hey, IHPN, sorry for the late reply. I hope your week is going well. Iíve read your thread on cognitive dissonance and found it very helpful. Thank you for posting it!

Honestly, the stuff that was helpful or beneficial didnít feel like it for a long time. But the best advice I got was to focus on my wayward hat. Figuring out myself and my whys. Stop blaming people and assigning labels to them, work on compassion and why they might be acting in whatever way. The feelings behind things, not explaining and mentally managing their responses. Figuring out why I was in pain and fulfilling myself, forgiving myself, loving myself. Then the love started to flow. I can only control myself. It was scary. It was hard. It meant giving up my illusion of control.

I had to be willing to put aside my pain. I had to work through the shame of causing pain to my husband. He had great compassion for me and I am so grateful. I was a shriveled up raisin and it took me a long time to water myself.

Learning these things helped me:

I have my feelings, they donít have me.
Everyone is doing the best they can at that particular time.
There are no ďshoulds.Ē Life isnít black and white.
Marriage is a privilege, not an entitlement. Itís not my husbandís job to make me happy.
The grass is greener where I water it. This was especially useful for reinforcing nonviolent communication, because no, people donít owe my anger a compassionate response if Iím screaming at them.
People arenít mindreaders. Yes, I really have to explain exactly what I want and compassionately advocate for myself.
I can change the channel.
Peopleís actions are about them, not about hurting me. If something hurts me, itís my filter to own and work through.
Blame doesnít solve anything.
Once you know different, you can do different.

I meditated. I did yoga. I read SI. I joined groups. I created self care and vigorously challenged negativity. I will do those things forever, married or not.

I believe betrayal exacerbates filters that we already hold about ourselves. Resolving those filters (like Iím unlovable, bad) creates the capacity for forgiveness and compassion. Itís unpacking a lot of resentment. Itís letting go of illusions. Itís resolving cognitive dissonance. I know that for me hearing this stuff for a long time triggered shame. Hopefully, none of this reads as blame. I searched for anything after discovery that would tell me that what he did was worse, then what I did was worse. Anything for control. Accepting that we were both just people was a process but itís so FREEING. People can make their choices and I donít have to police them! Amazing!

Look, I went scorched earth with my husband. He is truly amazing. I kicked him out, sent my lawyer off writing dissolution papers, outed him to my family. I had a fucking breakdown on his head after all of my bullshit and he stayed. Thatís a massive amount of shame and fear for me to work through. But weíre doing it, so far together. He knew it wasnít his fault. I am so grateful. I do know Iíll be okay, but it took your favorite word, TIME. We are both very remorseful and yet still there are triggers, still working on trust, communication, our own work.

Loving myself took time, figuring out what made me happy. Our MC was great and wouldnít put up with comparisons. He encouraged us to remember our bond, to choose and cultivate compassion. Accept each other. That gets easier as you focus on yourself and your work. Get to common ground. Build empathy.

Just our experience, YMMV.

Bor9455 posted 2/26/2020 09:33 AM

Hey fellow MHs.

I come to you mostly as a BS, as my D-Day is 02/01/2020 on my wife's over year long PA that began as an EA in 2017. During that span in 2017 to 2019 I had an EA and broke NC myself a few times during that span, so there is certainly plenty of hurt to go around.

Since we are still a few weeks into my learning all about how her EA that I thought was over actually never ended but went physical, I have generally still held up pretty well. I had been in IC for a few months prior, and had been working quite hard on dealing with myself as an unsafe partner for awhile. I got to my whys and have for a number of months made some significant changes that my wife has recognized as big changes in our lives.

Recently the topic of physical intimacy has come up and been a road block. I don't know if it is hysterical bonding in me that was craving it, but she has absolutely no desire whatsoever. I know it certainly sounds crazy, but it really does upset me how she was able to give it away for free to her AP, even going to the point of scheduling a couple of lover's weekend getaways which were marathon fuck sessions.

I run into this crux where with me for almost two years she metered out sex as if it was a duty with me and it was clearly a chore for her, but with this guy she didn't have those same reservations. She gets defensive about it how the AP and her connected, which is why she felt no reservations about sex. This whole thing is a mess.

I'm not sure if any of you MHs have experienced such a thing. At this point, with the recency of the issues, I'm most certainly in the BS lane and she is in the WS lane as we are working through things that are still very fresh. Anyone else have any advice here?

NewWorld posted 2/29/2020 12:21 PM

Hello Bor9455. It's difficult getting help in the Madhatters thread. There's obviously not many of us. Personally, I think it's the most difficult type of infidelity. Trying to sort through being a BS and a WS is mindbending sometimes. You said you identify as a BS right now because of your recent Dday. Understandable since you've been in IC for the WS side of the equation. I was wondering, when was your wife's Dday?

confused2007 posted 3/2/2020 19:36 PM

Iím coming here to try and put the brakes on becoming a PA Madhatter. I am so confused because my heart wants to R again. From my screen name you can see this isnít my first dday situation. My WS went full throttle PA this time and was so sneaky and malicious I canít believe I am even entertaining g R. But what the heart wants and your head tells you are so different... that being said we have good days and bad. My pain and emotions are like I never imagined. The thing that is different I will say is WS finally started IC. His idea. On the most recent DDAy when OW told all I started the divorce process and I meant with every fiber of my soul I was DONE. But deep down I also knew my heart was not though I thought I was... so we do MC and IC.

Fast forward I was out and a guy started talking to me. Ordinarily I shut that stuff down but I admit Iím a vulnerable emotional mess. I gave him my card. Originally he aid since I was married he would back off but a week later sent me an email and so it has begun. Three days worth of emails maybe twice a day but I know this is the type of thing we discussed I. Counseling wasnít allowed by any married couple.

I think the fact that Iím even entertaining an EA speaks to I am not invested in R... but I want to be. Itís just that the hurt is so. bad I really donít know if I can move past it but yet I donít want to be without my WS. At the same time I keep questioning how he could love me and be so very sneaky with the PA. Yet here I am sneaking emails.

I will talk to my counselor on Thursday but I know that coming here those who mad hattered and regret it will help me with the many reasons to not do this... itís not going to stop the hurt but I think because I feel unwanted (my words not his- he has been remorseful after all heíll broke lose and he saw I was truly ready to leave) it was so nice to feel wanted and know that maybe there is life after WS.

Thanks for reading.

Bor9455 posted 3/3/2020 15:29 PM

New World,

Good Question. My wife found out about my EA in December 2017. Neither of us remember the date, she came across it when we were moving, she found some of the messages on my Facebook Messenger and she confronted me. I had about 6 weeks earlier confronted her about her EA in October 2017.

So D-day for my wife was December 2017 and our big mistake that we both made is we didn't know what kind of problem we had on our hands, we "patched it" aka rugswept the whole thing. Neither of us demanded that we got NC with our APs. We agreed to cut it back and not be so "friendly" with these APs, but obviously that whole thing never works.

In September 2019, I came home from a guys weekend for Labor Day, and she tells me that she has had it with my EA (online only) and that she is done. So my NC began and the EA ended in September 2019. We began MC at that point.

On December 4, 2019, a week after we returned from a two week trip to Europe (for my work) that she is done and wants to divorce. Little did I know at the time that on December 3, 2019, her AP and her had defiled our master bedroom and when he was in town. Apparently he had been pushing her hard to leave me (he is single). Her request for divorce and being done with it all made no sense to me until February 1, 2020 when I learned that the EA AP that I never demanded she go NC had turned things physical. But I was rather shocked to find out that it went back from December 2018 when I was out of town for a business trip and they apparently spent the whole week slamming like bunnies at night when my son and sister-in-law were asleep. What a nightmare that it went on for over a year.

A brief update, my wife's IC has been intense. The woman she is seeing seems to be a real taskmaster. Has been giving my wife assignments to do, and when she found out that I had already done some serious work and read some of the popular books recommended her on SI, she assigned my wife to do that work and do the exercises. She came to me this past Thursday (February 26, 2020), the same day I made my initial post in this thread and she said that she hates being in limbo and if my offer to try and reconcile was there that she wanted to try that direction. Let's just say that opened up the chastity belt block that she had. She told me afterwards that her being stuck in limbo was what kept her from wanting to engage physically. I have seen a change in her in the brief days that have followed. It is like her reading that book and doing some of the reflection on the messages and things it discusses has changed her completely. Her IC has been a big driver of this, but she has done the work needed in the early stages of R.

NewWorld posted 3/4/2020 15:37 PM

Great report bor9455! Sounds like you guys are in a better place now. BTW, Miami's my home town.

NewWorld posted 3/4/2020 15:40 PM

Hi Confused2007. Hope you haven't pursued the EA you were talking about. I posted my thoughts on that topic to Humbled123 on 9/20/2018. It's on page 44. Maybe it's helpful. Hope you can take time to read it.

NewWorld posted 3/4/2020 15:40 PM

Hi Confused2007. Hope you haven't pursued the EA you were talking about. I posted my thoughts on that topic to Humbled123 on 9/20/2018. It's on page 44. Maybe it's helpful. Hope you can take time to read it.

leavingorbit posted 3/26/2020 09:56 AM

Hey, fellow MHs, nice/not nice to see all of you here. Hope everyone is making their way through all of the craziness and finding some strength/healing.

JMO for all the following stuff, etc.

Bor, we dealt with some of this at different times. For us it was shame. We both had pretty messed up relationships with sex (obviously, or it wouldnít have been used by both of us as a validation tool) and we each had to resolve those things in our own way. Iím glad youíre both working through it.

One thing Iím wondering about- why are you bs and sheís ws? If Iím reading your history correctly, your final d-day is not much farther out than hers. Youíre both limping. I experienced a metric crap ton of those victim feelings myself while processing my discovery. Pain breeds entitlement, right? Itís important to wear and own both hats, the whole banana. Sitting strictly in a BS place was really unfair and hurtful to my husband. MHs gotta be all in to R, otherwise we can end up scorekeeping until the cows come home. JME, hope you both are still moving forward.

Confused, Iím sorry youíre here. To me it sounds like youíre already a MH. You say your BH is in IC, what about you? Gently, youíre engaging in this behavior because youíre choosing to. Youíre not responsible for your husbandís choices and heís not responsible for yours. I used to engage in thinking like that too - if he had just been xyz, I wouldnít have needed to... itís justification, not taking responsibility for your own actions. Your husband made hurtful choices, I get it. Yet if that excused your choices, then every addict would be justified in using. Their pain is valid, too. Itís how we proceed with our emotional responsibility that matters. Again, Iím sorry youíre here. Please get into IC.

NewWorld, being a MH can be crazy making for sure! For us, weíve also found a ton of empathy and common ground although it takes time.

Being home with the kids has been an adventure. I found myself getting on that perfectionist hamster wheel at first until I dialed things back. Since then, weíve all been loving all the time together although lamenting the circumstances. Doing gratitude exercises every day has been great!

am452 posted 4/14/2020 19:02 PM

Looking for some advice here--
I feel sometimes I cannot talk to BH about his A. Technically we are both madhatters, but I initiated NC on DDay with my OP, BH still talks to his OP to this day.
She calls multiple times a day and it kills me, BH has said he wants to talk to me about it and R but every time we try, he ends up turning the tables in me and saying I deserve to have these feelings because of my EA, he even has gone so far as to say he is smarter because he is having a PA and my OP lives in a different country so I couldn't do anything physically with him.

leavingorbit posted 4/15/2020 13:09 PM

am452, again, Iím sorry youíre here. The following is meant as gently as possible: heís in an active affair and unremorseful. You canít control him. You can only control you. I would strongly recommend you seek IC, set boundaries with your husband/180, and focus on yourself.

What outcome are you hoping for? What assistance would be most helpful for you from us?

metoohurt posted 4/28/2020 15:09 PM

Need to get a few things off my chest.
My story isn't that complicated.
My gf cheated on me 10 years ago. We were in a bad place and I had stopped sleeping with her and stopped touching her. I wasn't really into her anymore and she was too weak to break it off. Anyway, we reconcile. I cheat on her immediately after (she didn't find out) and we sort of move on and rugsweep. Years later and on and off stuff, we decide to marry and i have a bit of a breakdown, want to know more about her cheating. We fight incessantly and we still end up marrying.
At this point, she is remorseful, and you can feel it. It's not "im sorry I got caught, it's i can't believe i did what I did sort of talk."
It didn't phase me. I cheated on her very soon after we got married with some chick i met at a bar when my wife and I were traveling out of town together. She went home early because she wasn't feeling well, and i met someone and she took me home.
Soon after that. I cheated on her again with someone while on a business trip. Also met her at a bar, she took me home. And we arranged to meet again a couple of days later.
IT's been about 1.5 years since that happened.
She doesn't know about any of it. The harsh reality is that she wouldn't want to know about any of it. She's told me before that she feels intense guilt over what she did and she would understand if i slipped up and cheated. But at this point I still feel anger over what she did, although I know i'm not better. She truly feels remorseful over her actions...I don't. Not in the slightest. I did right after it happened, but it took a week and the knowledge i won't get caught for that feeling of guilt to dissipate.
I think I like feeling that she owes me one which is why I'm not going to come clean. I also feel that she started the hurt...but I also wonder if i was prone to cheating even without her initial move.
Thanks for listening. This may be the only thread where people are not going to jump down my throat and call me scum.

Shttrdshtpll posted 6/20/2020 04:33 AM

Is it normal to wonder what the fuck you're doing?
How are you supposed to know what you even want?

It's been three and a half weeks since I came clean, and my wife seems to know what she wants. It's been three weeks since she came clean. Three weeks since I broke my hand, and kicked her out. Two weeks since the paternity test confirmed our daughter's paternity. A week since she found out that I broke my hand and we blew up at each other.

How is it fair that she knows what she wants, and I don't? She didn't have to drag our mattress out to the desert and burn it because of the fucking nightmares its mere presence caused.

I told myself that I was just seeing her today, for the first time since kicking her out of our apartment. Despite what she thinks, we can't swing two apartments, with a full suite of utilities, not in this city. So we have to try cohabitation in person. Whether as a separated couple or trying to piece our shared life together again.

Somehow, we ended up here. Her, satisfied and asleep. And me... Feeling nothing but shame and anger at myself, and her, for caving into our base desires. I can't sleep, I'm ashamed, I'm angry, I'm sad, and confused.
I know I'm a piece of shit, I did step out on her. But it was a one night stand, in a hotel. She fucked another man for two years, sometimes, even in our bed. I know two wrongs doesn't make a right, but I also know betrayal has depths to it.

What the fuck am I doing, and what the fuck do I want?

Mickie500 posted 6/25/2020 10:14 AM

So I had attempted to begin a revenge affair by having 2 dates with 2 different men. I was speaking with a stranger online and went out with another man for coffee. I have not kissed or had sex with either. I am extremely attracted to one and the other pursued me constantly. I became disgusted by the one I met online as I finally met him in person. My stomach turned when he looked at me with so much creepy desire and asked me straight on ďare you still having sex with your husband? You should be having it with me.Ē Just a BIG TURN OFF.

The only thing is Iím still very much in ego and want to experience what he experienced to make him pay for what he did. I do not think I can forgive him unless I follow through with an affair of my own.

In my head, every restaurant he went to with her Iím going to go with my AP. Iím going to have sex at the same place (one hotel I believe they had sex at). Everything he confessed and every thing he lied about and everything he trickled out will be replicated. And the only way it can be revenge is if itís a secret. And the icing on the cake will be that ití will occur while he is bending over backwards and jumping through hoops in Reconciliation Working hard to win me back. Thatís when Iíll feel like weíre even. And I wonít affair down!

I need to confess all of the above looks better in print then acting it out will ever be. I already know Iím not built for a LTA.

leavingorbit posted 6/25/2020 10:27 AM

Mickie, are you in IC? Have you talked about these thoughts there? I know this is hard, I struggled with revenge, too. But ultimately itís about me, not my husband. My husbandís choice to cheat is on him. My choice to cheat is on me. Same for you and your husband. Gently, you have already cheated. How will doing it again help you? How does hurting your husband help you? How do you feel revenge helps you?

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