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Long Term Affairs Part 38

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hopeandhealing posted 10/25/2018 09:38 AM

Amanda,

As I read your post, it made me think that rather than stand up and face whatever the current issue may be, your WH automatic reaction is to avoid, escape that which is uncomfortable. I believe many A are just that, escaping reality, living the fantasy.

Fundamentally, I think poor communication and coping skills are at play. Rather than be capable of articulating their emotions, for whatever reasons, i.e. fear they will be rejected, fear they will look weak, fear they will lose the r/s, they fill the void with the A. They shift their internal narratives to support their belief system i.e. my wife doesn't love/want me, my wife treats me poorly, my wife doesn't give me what I need etc. Combine that with poor boundaries, maladaptive coping strategies and a willing participant and we all know the result.

Admittedly, my bias is until these things are "fixed", the risk remains.

its knowing what they are capable of doing, it's what they did in the past.

Absolutely, it is. It will walk beside us forever as part of our story now. It changes us to the core and shifts our perspectives on many things. I try to take the lessons from it, see how I have grown, focus on how it changed our rs positively to reframe it as not as awful as the behaviours were.

I feel that he wasn't punished nor did he have to face any consequences for what he did and what he put me through

I said the very same thing to my WH the other day. I asked him his consequences. The few friends he has told, support him. His family, supports him. His reply was his consequences are not tangible, but he feels the weight of what he did everyday when I don't reply with "I love you", when he can feel the distance between us, when my heart's not it in during a hug, when he can see the disappointment in my eyes. He said "everyday I wake up and wonder if today is the day you find your strength to say, the kids will be fine, I deserve better and walk out the door" He said he has lost my trust, my respect, my innocent love because of his selfishness, horrible judgement and epically bad decision making, which could cause him to lose the people he loves most.

I think post infidelity, the WS doesn't get to choose if s/he goes to counselling, answers all the questions regardless of how many times the same ones are asked. They gave up many of those rights when they chose to cheat. If they want the M to work and want to work on R, then they need to meet the expectations of the BS. I shared my "demands" with my WH, none of which are unreasonable, abusive etc. Uncomfortable for him? Sure. Do I care? No.

Amanda, if you want him to attend counselling with you, my bias is, he does it. Too bad if it's uncomfortable for him, processing the A was fairly "uncomfortable" for you as well I am sure! He lost some of his decision making rights when he chose to cheat on you. He doesn't get to escape that which is uncomfortable anymore, he can meet it right at the door.

Svon, my WH sounds like he has responded much like yours. Answering all my questions, regardless of the number of times I asked them, my expectations were clear and the consequence was "you can't meet these? I guess you don't really want the M. I am done".

CaliforniaNative posted 10/25/2018 14:52 PM

He said he has lost my trust, my respect, my innocent love

The issue I have with this type of consequence is that they knew this loss was a possibility when they had the affair yet the chose the affair anyway. Additionally it’s no where near the consequence of losing your kid 50 percent of the time.


Knowing these WS made a choice that could destroy their kids family, does that make them a good mother or father? Maybe they were, but isn’t that in the past due to the selfish person they are today?

Svon posted 10/25/2018 17:11 PM

Hopeandhealing,
I completely agree. I know my husband is suffering too. Not nearly as much as he has caused to me and our kids, but for all those reasons you listed. He will know for the rest of his life that he did this to his wife and children. I don’t think I could forgive myself had I acted that way. That is his cross to bear forever.

Californianative, yes, my husband risked all those things yet he is still a good father. He is a flawed imperfect father for sure, but discounting all he the good he has done for his kids would be unfair to them. They deserve the love of their dad and have always had it. No one, not you, not me are perfect parents. We make mistakes. We will hurt our children in ways we will never understand or know. My husband’s actions were horrible and I am quite sure my faults will never reach the level of his, but I was blessed with a much stronger mind and sense of self worth. He carried baggage from
Childhood as well as mild autism that has compromised him. It’s not an excuse or justIfication by any means, but he is imperfect as we all are. I choose not to rate the degrees of imperfection in people without also considering their positives and what they do good. So yes, my husband has been a very good father. Oddly, he was a good husband too except for his colossal fuck up. He worked hard for his family. Spoiled us. Treated us well. He had a secret he kept and that was wrong and horrible, but he is and was so much more and he is working hard to fix his flaws.

Svon posted 10/25/2018 17:24 PM

Californianative, I get the idea of wanting the worst punishment allowed and seeing your kid only 50 percent Of the time would definitely hurt, but in my opinion it would also punish the kids as well as the betrayed spouse. Punishing a WS by taking kids 50 percent of the time also punishies the BS as they lose their kids 50 percent of the time. Does my husband deserve a second chance? Technically, probably not, but “punishing him” will in turn punish me. What’s in it for me? Loss of my kids from time to time? Loss of financial security? Loss of a future with grand babies that have a safe home to come and visit grandma and grandpa? Loss of the financial feeedom to help my young adult kids as they get established? Loss of my best friend because he hurt me? I just fail to see how punishing him doesn’t in turn punish me. What do I get out of it other than pride? Pride will not erase my pain or help me find joy. To me, it’s cold and lonely.

I am in no way judging those who decide infidelity is a deal breaker and choose divorce. I just hope they do it for the right reasons. The right reasons for either choice should be made to allow the continued healing and future happiness of all parties involved. Their is no real punishment or winners here.

crazyblindsided posted 10/25/2018 17:55 PM

Punishing a WS by taking kids 50 percent of the time also punishies the BS as they lose their kids 50 percent of the time.

Exactly why I've chosen to stay for the time being.

CaliforniaNative posted 10/25/2018 19:13 PM

I am fortunate enough to where the financial impact isn’t a factor for me. I have a career and make excellent money. I own my house now. I can provide for my son on my own. Do I miss my son, hell yes but I agreed to 50 percent as it was the right thing to do to my son. I can tell you he is adjusting well, making good grades and has lots of friends. I am so lucky.

The reason why I bring up being a good dad is there is a post in JFO where members are saying the wife is not a good mother for risking their children’s family security while having an affair. I was courious if those in R feel the same way. There are times in the beginning of my D where my x would post Instagram photos of he and my son having a great time at xyz, showing the world what a great dad he is. I now realize it comes from a place of insecurity about what he did and the need to make it up to him over the course of his life.

[This message edited by CaliforniaNative at 7:16 PM, October 25th (Thursday)]

Svon posted 10/25/2018 19:40 PM

Californianative, you did the right thing by your son. He deserves you both and it sounds like you did the right thing for yourself too. My husband makes enough to support me in a divorce and he would legally have to after all these years, but we are a close family. Honestly, I would be devasted to break it up. I guess romantic love is not all that important to me and my husband is doing all he can to fix himself. That’s good enough for me now. If my mind ever changes, I wouldn’t hesitate to leave. We all need to choose our happy comfort zone.

hopeandhealing posted 10/26/2018 00:57 AM

Knowing these WS made a choice that could destroy their kids family, does that make them a good mother or father? Maybe they were, but isn’t that in the past due to the selfish person they are today?

Californianative, I am unclear on why they are currently selfish people. Absolutely, every WS made monumentally selfish, egocentric, self absorbed, entitled and colossally poor decisions in pursuing As, but I don't see it as the entirety of the person. My WH is choosing a different path, doing the work, everyday. People can change, that is my belief. So I choose to look forward at the possibilities and build a new M. I don't want a new partner, a new family, new step kids, in laws, I don't want any of that. I want my life, my kids, my current in laws, my house, my community etc. and he is doing the work to keep me here. That's my choice for my situation and I judge no one for choosing differently. This is my story and I get to write it.

My children do not know of their father's As and if you were to ask them, they would say he's been a great father, involved, supportive, engaged. His selfish behaviour did not extend to all facets of his life and he never treated us poorly in any sort of overt manner. He was a cake eater, never had any intention or desire to leave what he had with us.

Our stories are all different as are our truths, I have my lines. Someone posted today that infidelity is always a deal breaker and I agree. The old M is dead and we are rebuilding this new one. I am in R because I want to be, not because I have to be. I have no crystal ball. If I am wrong on these things, then so be it, but hopefully I am not and I can continue to grow in my happiness.

I agree with you Svon, punishment isn't something I am interested in. It comes from anger, hurt and does nothing to serve me, which is actually what I am interested in. Instead, what I am trying to invite is softness, dropping the shield, as I have found staying hard prolongs the pain and the suffering.

His As will not define me, my life, they are but one small chapter. Truthfully I actually don't want his As to define him either.

amanda123 posted 10/26/2018 06:00 AM

hopeandhealing, I agree with so much of your post. You got it right about the poor communication skills.

Just to explain what I mean about not being punished or having any consequences. Usually punishment or consequences are used as a deterrent so the perpetrator doesn't do it again. I could never do anything spiteful to him, that is not in my nature. However I would have liked for him to in someway realise exactly how his poor choices and actions literally destroyed me.

My H has walked away virtually unscathed from doing something that I consider to be a sin against me and our marriage.

While I became quite ill, struggled to go to work and maintain our household, cried nearly every day, some nights I cried all night long, lost a lot of weight when I didnt need to, became depressed, lost my confidence, developed anxiety, OCD and then had to lie to people about why I lost weight had I to pretend that everything was fine between us.

Now let me tell you what repercussions my H had when I found out he was having this LTA. He had to see me upset and crying, he became angry, he was embarrassed for a whole couple of days. He never lost his appetite, he never lost any sleep. He carried on as usual. I heard him laughing and talking to his work mates. There was not a hint of anything different about his behavior. I am not saying that he may not have internal struggles with what he did, but I can tell you he never verbalised them to me.

Why is it that he did the wrong thing and I am still the one that is being affected by it.

hopeandhealing posted 10/26/2018 09:34 AM

Amanda,

You WH may be a masterful compartmentalizer, capable of putting even the shitty things in a box to not be considered...that needs to change in my opinion. Those very skills are what contributed to his ability to have an A, shift his internal dialogue to support it, not feel the horrendous guilt the rest of us non waywards would feel at the notion of having an A. I hope your WH can see how his lack of communicating so negatively impacts you and shift that to meet your need. It will not be easy, as this has been part of his coping and personality likely most of his life, but if it's a demand of R, he needs to address it and be better.

I know WS as us, (BS) can't live in the A moment to moment, life must go on for them too, to function, to heal, to dig and and find the strength to fix their broken. I too was frustrated by his apparent capacity to move on with normal life. His therapist told him he needs to eventually be able to forgive himself. He told her he would be unable to, the best he can do is accept what he has done and do better.

My WH did have a physiological response. Colleagues at work asked if he was ok, as he looked terrible, he did lose weight...not as much as me, but some. After one of our "discussions" I left the house, but forgot something so had to come back in (which was unbeknownst to him), he was vomiting in the bathroom, I left without him knowing.

Though he did have some consequences like described, I told him his suffering was 1% of the pain he had inflicted on me and that his was self inflicted, he could have avoided it all had he not been so selfish.

The cost will never be the same, but if I am trying to move forward with this man, I can't look at him through the eyes of "you will never get the justice you deserve", that is dooming our future rs. Admittedly, he said to me the other day that sometimes he catches me looking at him and then giving my head a little shake in disappointment of his behaviours. This cuts him more than anger. He knows, I don't need to articulate my disappointment. That will always be with me and with him in himself.

[This message edited by hopeandhealing at 9:37 AM, October 26th (Friday)]

Svon posted 10/26/2018 10:11 AM

Hopeandhealing, you have a gift with the written word. Your responses are so similar to mine. I wish my kids did not know. My daughter was the one to discover the affair and my 18 year old needed to be told as I was doing so poorly we worried she feared I was very ill. She needed to know I would be okay eventually. My husband’s pain may not be as severe as mine is/was, but mine is better and continues to get better as time goes on. It’s pain that I did not cause. I don’t think his pain will get better. He will see the repercussions of his actions the rest of his life. He has a wife that does love him, but will never look at him with the same pride for the man she married. He has two daughters that love him but no longer see him as their “hero”. He knows he has effected their future and how they trust in relationships forever. Can you imagine living with that? Honestly, I think I would choose my pain than live with what he must think about everyday. He has always suffered from low self esteem
And worth. The affair was a result of that. It felt good to be some pathetic woman’s hero. He admits to being so emotionally needy that no amount of afavsfuon and love was enough. He needed more and more validation. Now, he is stuck knowing that he WAS always good enough and that we always wanted him, but his actions turned him in to the worthless person he feared he was. That will be a hard pill to swallow for a lifetime. A “rule” to our reconciling is he must stay with a psychiatrist and in therapy for the rest of his life. Even if the therapist thinks he can be “finished” he must continue to talk to someone and I must be allowed to listen in or speak to therapist after sessions. He has to sign a disclosure to therapist agreeing to me knowing what they talk about if I choose. I have not felt the need to know, but just his willing to be that open is what I need and he has granted.

CaliforniaNative posted 10/26/2018 11:47 AM

Punishment was part of the deal. I was angry and for months. I had every right to be. In the end I didn’t want to stay married to liar and a cheater. Anyone that would come home to me for two years and lie to my face without enough remorse to stop is not a good candidate for a husband for me.

Did I throw his stuff out on the lawn - no
Did I rip apart his AP either verbally or physically - no
Did I take my x to the cleaners - no
Did I spends thousands of dollars and years in court over custody or other such stuff - no

I just walked away. He doesn’t deserve me, my love, my loyalty. It was a dealbreaker for me. A ONS is not.

He faced real consequences imo. Ironically now, after a year, we are friends and speak daily. However it took months of anger to get to this place. He put up with it too... lol. That shows me that he was resourceful about hurting me too and wanted to do the right thing now. Ironically I am still here for him as a friend and the affair partner is not. She is MIA. Surprise, surpise.

Svon posted 10/26/2018 14:56 PM

Californianative, funny how we all deal differently. I did throw mu husband out! I gave him an hour to get his things and leave. What was left... brand new suits, shoes, thousands of dollars of clothing... golf clubs, etc... went Into the trash. I verbally attacked and shamed his AP. I traded in wedding rings and diamond necklaces for a 35 thousand dollar ring for myself. I was pissed. In the end though, I saw a broken man ready to heal himself and a man I still loved. His affair went on almost 9 years.... it was not love. I am also competitive enough to not allow the other woman to think she got what was mine. She wanted my life. It was weird. I would
Choose divorce too if I didn’t still want my intact family and him. I love everything else about him and the life we built together. He is exactly the partner I would choose again minus the cheating. We are a good team in all other matters. Giving fhat up would punish me. I have been hurt enough. Forgiveness is easier for me and the least painful.

Svon posted 10/26/2018 15:02 PM

Californianative, funny how we all deal differently. I did throw mu husband out! I gave him an hour to get his things and leave. What was left... brand new suits, shoes, thousands of dollars of clothing... golf clubs, etc... went Into the trash. I verbally attacked and shamed his AP. I traded in wedding rings and diamond necklaces for a 35 thousand dollar ring for myself. I was pissed. In the end though, I saw a broken man ready to heal himself and a man I still loved. His affair went on almost 9 years.... it was not love. I am also competitive enough to not allow the other woman to think she got what was mine. She wanted my life. It was weird. I would
Choose divorce too if I didn’t still want my intact family and him. I love everything else about him and the life we built together. He is exactly the partner I would choose again minus the cheating. We are a good team in all other matters. Giving fhat up would punish me. I have been hurt enough. Forgiveness is easier for me and the least painful.

hopeandhealing posted 10/26/2018 16:06 PM

^^^^ This. So very much this for me.

I was fit to be tied with anger in the beginning. Rage the likes of which I have never seen and never want to experience again. Moments of "Caged animal" comes to mind.

It's funny Svon that you say I have a gift with the written word (thank you), because my ability to articulate myself and my exact thoughts about his APs ever so clearly was likely not interpreted by my WH as a "gift", or not one he wanted to receive! I have said before my mother would be so appalled at what a spewed shortly after dday, venomous and quite honestly, truly cathartic for me. I believe I needed to go through that to in turn be able to let it go.

My WH took it all, my rage, my tears, my incessant questions, my unknown volatility which was subject to change from moment to moment. He continually said, "I am here until you tell me not to be. I am committed to being the partner you have always deserved". When anger is met with softness, empathy and compassion rather than lies and defensiveness, it is a powerful thing, a game changer.

I am sorry your daughters know Svon. I think you did the right thing by telling your 18 year old given your level of function shortly after dday. Further, I think it is good your two girls have each other to talk to, to help them process their thoughts and feelings and that your eldest doesn't feel the need to "hide" something (that large elephant in the room) to her sister. That is an additional burden she didn't need to bear. Of course you would have preferred they didn't know...really, the preference would have been that nobody had to know, because it never happened, but sadly, that was written a long time ago. You are clearly intelligent, logical, caring and mindful, so I am sure you are doing all you can for your girls to help them through this.

A friend of mine found out his dad was cheating when the AP called his house and told them she was having an A with his dad...imagine? What kind of a person tells a child that? I guess the kind that has an A. Anyway, of course he was furious with his dad. His parents reconciled and remain married to this day. That was 30 years ago and he has long since forgiven him. When I asked him about it shortly after my dday he said "I forgave him a long time ago. It was awful what he did, but he is so much more than that one thing".

I too am highly competitive so my thinking was "hell no, you're not taking that from me, I am better than you (AP) in every single way", which allowed me to reclaim the parts of my story, my history which I initially allowed them to become a part of". No more. My memories are mine and I actually seldom think of the APs and the triggers are fairly infrequent.

In the end I didn’t want to stay married to liar and a cheater. Anyone that would come home to me for two years and lie to my face without enough remorse to stop is not a good candidate for a husband for me.

I agree, if I were living that, I would have made the same choice. That has not been my experience with my WH. I am glad you have found happiness.

[This message edited by hopeandhealing at 4:19 PM, October 26th (Friday)]

Svon posted 10/26/2018 19:18 PM

Hopeandhealing, we are so similar. If you ever make it to southern Ca let’s do lunch! Wouldn’t it be interesting to have our WS meet? “Hi dude, I heard you fucked up nig too”...😬😬

amanda123 posted 10/26/2018 20:17 PM

I respect everyone's own decisions to stay or leave.

For myself I will see how things go. I have told him about things that Im struggling with and he has responded with a comment I feel is a cop out. He has said that if I cant get over it then maybe we should split up. He doesnt want me to be in pain forever. His response is said out of annoyance rather than concern I feel, because I keep asking the questions. Just because I am here now, doesn't mean that I will stay. These issues may get the better of me.

As far as him carrying the burden having it (LTA) on his mind. I would question that as well, since men are so great at compartmentalizing things it maybe tucked away in one of those places that he may never address or access.

I spoke with my mother last night, she thinks my H is the best thing since sliced bread. Praising him on what a good man he is and how great a father he is. If only she knew.

Svon posted 10/26/2018 23:36 PM

Amanda123, he needs to know that you need answers and will be in pain for awhile if you stay or leave. If he loves you at all he should help you heal either way. Try telling him that.

hopeandhealing posted 10/27/2018 00:27 AM

OMG Svon, I literally laughed out loud at your post.

“Hi dude, I heard you fucked up”


Can you even imagine? Love it! Yes, if I am ever in Southern California, we should do lunch...and if you ever head north to the frozen tundra that is Canada (Alberta), the offer is also extended!

Amanda,

He has said that if I cant get over it then maybe we should split up. He doesnt want me to be in pain forever.

Couple ways of interpreting that I would say 1) he's tired of hearing about it and wants to go back to whatever it is that is more comfortable for him (not cool by the way) 2) He thinks it will ultimately be a deal breaker for you and doesn't want to draw it out, for him, for you, for both of you 3) He is afraid it is a deal breaker and the fear of that is causing him to meet your words with defensiveness rather than really listening to what you are saying you need.

Just because he hears you speaking, does not mean he is truly listening to your words. Communication is a learned skill...with some clearly learning the skill more effectively than others.

I would straight up ask him where his response is coming from. something like "I am at a bit of a loss as to how I am supposed to interpret your suggestion that we split up. Can you help me understand where you're coming from with that comment?"

My WH said something similar once in the beginning when he was afraid his colossally selfish decision making was a deal breaker for me. Well, I lost my shit, said something along the lines of "are you freaking (not the real words used ) kidding me? I am working my ass off everyday, showing up and that's your suggestion?" I told him I was out unless he was committed to doing the hard work for the long run. I also told him by out, I meant completely out, out of my life except for child related events, communication etc. I wanted nothing else to do with him because I still loved him despite his monumental failings and it would be too hard on me. He fell apart and acknowledged it wasn't at all what he wanted, but he was preparing and protecting himself for the loss of me leaving. Vulnerable, honest and accountable were the only ways forward for me and once he genuinely heard that and understood what it meant, he has met me (for the most part) where I have needed him to.

I encourage you to ask him directly. I get the sense from you that you need him to get vulnerable, do some digging and get better at communicating. You are driving the show, he knows that and his loss of control is probably a very uncomfortable place for him. Too bad, it is of his creation so he better saddle up and get comfortable.
((()))

[This message edited by hopeandhealing at 11:40 AM, October 27th (Saturday)]

gmc94 posted 10/27/2018 00:56 AM

his loss of control is probably a very uncomfortable place for him. Too bad, it is of his creation so he better saddle up and get comfortable.

Literal LOL on that one!

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