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Don't recognize myself

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linds9 posted 4/24/2019 20:19 PM

After I told WH I wanted space, he offered that I could call on him whenever I needed help. He emphasized that he wanted to help. I don't want to have to take his help but tonight I was prepping supper and realized I was short on a couple of ingredients. Instead of scrap the meal that was mostly made or go to the grocery store with 3 kids in tow, I called him and asked if he wanted to help by grabbing the ingredients and dropping them off to me. He said he would, but after he delivered the goods he stuck around playing with our youngest and trying to strike up conversation with me. I was polite but did not engage much. He seemed surprised by this. And he was even more surprised when I told him I wanted to go back to having space. He asked if I meant right then and I said yes I did. He didn't say anything bur screwed up his face indicating he sure was thinking something. Then he said he just wanted to get a drink first and then would go. I reminded that he told me if I ever needed help I could ask him for it. And then his attitude seemed to change, he said that he would give me my space. But then as he was leaving he told me how being away from me made him feel anxious and stressed, he said he's only sleeping a couple of hours at a time he's so anxious. And then through the night he texted me twice - once to say that all he wants is to be able to come home someday and then later telling me that being away from me pains him to the core and the he doesn't eat well, doesn't sleep well, and misses us all.

I've been tempted to respond and simply say that either I've heard him or I'm sorry he feels that way. But I've resisted. I don't know if responding is the right thing to do...but I'm also questioning if no response is mean and causing him undue pain. He has made efforts - getting into SAA, doing the weekly online meetings, seeing ICs, giving me access to all emails and phone (that I know about) and putting Qustudio on his work computer, and helping me out with car repairs, cleaning up around the house, taking care of kids, etc. But there is also some clear signs that he doesn't totally get it yet. On Friday he missed part of his SAA meeting because he had been at a friends house (which rarely happens) but it triggered me and I told him I'd been to see a lawyer about divorce. His response was you don't need to do that. It really threw me.

ChamomileTea posted 4/24/2019 21:55 PM

I've been tempted to respond and simply say that either I've heard him or I'm sorry he feels that way. But I've resisted. I don't know if responding is the right thing to do...but I'm also questioning if no response is mean and causing him undue pain. He has made efforts -

But isn't this part of the pattern? He cheats and then he's sorry. He ups his husband game. You see progress and then start feeling like you're not being supportive enough... then he cheats, and you go around again. What's different this time? What is it that you need to see to make sure it stays different?

I'm not trying to discourage you, but rather just hoping to get you thinking about what you really need to see in order to make a lasting change.

linds9 posted 4/26/2019 23:45 PM

I'm having a hard time tonight. When he broke it off with the AP on Jan. 1 she got mad and forwarded me a bunch of e-mail threads between the 2 of them. From across several months. In one of the emails my husband told her that he's weak in the sense that he would put up with anything to be with our kids and that he wished he could be with someone that he truly loved and got along with. He said that we were just people living together taking care of kids.

That is not how he acted towards me at the time. When I asked him if what he wrote to her was the truth he said no they were just garbage words that he wrote to keep things going with the OW. But he has lied and manipulated so much. So I don't know if his words to her were the truth or if his words to me are. And I'm lying awake questioning whether my husband stayed with me the past 5 years to be with the kids and I feel sick to my stomach. And I feel angry that someone would screw with my mind like this. He was telling the OW that he loved her in the messages but, again, he tells me he never loved her and the people he cheated with never meant anything to him. That they could have been anybody, he didn't care.

And I looked at his phone records this week and saw that there was a call to 911 made on Jan. 1, the day that everything came out. I asked him why he called 911 and he told me that the OW said she was going to kill herself. But then went on to say she just said that and didn't really try to do it and that he thought she was just trying to hurt him. He said all this so nonchalantly. I felt horrified.

Feeling really low and I don't know what to believe.

Odonna posted 4/27/2019 09:24 AM

Linds,

Your WHís lack of real emotion and empathy is alarming to me. He admits to not caring a whit for anyone he fucks, just so long as they have a vagina. He admits lying to them to keep it going. As Chamomile Tea pointed out, all the supposed work and kindness he was showing you in MC was a lie. And when he talks about what is going on now, the pain he talks about is his, not yours. Is this sort of apathy for others and self-centeredness typical of his general behavior?

What I am suggesting is that you look to the forest of his character and not just the trees of his infidelity. Really look hard at who he is as a person. It will be hard because the fact that you married him will give you a bias one way, and your anger at what he did will bias you the other way. But reallly think about this and talk it over in IC.

Cooley2here posted 4/27/2019 09:56 AM

People who are healthy mentally are able to think rationally. The hallmark of maturity is postponing pleasure. Mature adults take others into consideration. Planning is done with kindness and thoughtfulness in mind. You are dealing with a child. He might want to behave but that plate of cookies is sitting there and he canít ignore temptation. The question then becomes will he ever grow up. Addictions of any kind are lifelong. There are too many massage parlors, prostitutes, hungry women, available women, cl, am, and other places to meet. You canít police him for the rest of your life.
There are one or two bloggers whose husbands have been ďcleanĒ but their issues show up in other ways.
The first time an addiction begins is the last day the addict matures emotionally. Look closely at your husband. How old would you say he is emotionally?

linds9 posted 5/2/2019 12:45 PM

I don't know what I would need to see to make sure it stays different. And I don't know who he really is as a person. I feel confused and disoriented.

I do feel that he lacks empathy and emotion. But he argues that isn't the case. I feel like I don't know anything anymore. He hasn't expressed his emotions or thoughts on serious things much in a long time. It was an on-going argument with us. He claims it isn't easy for him. He only shares things if I push him and I am pissed, especially after everything he's put me through, that it takes that to get him talking.

He invited me to lunch today and I accepted expecting it would be a chance to talk because every other time I see him we are with the kids and there is no chance to talk. I want him to give me answers about what was going on with him that he could do those things and what he thought about me and the relationship. I want to understand what happened. I pushed him to talk and he told me that he thinks that he wasn't getting attention from me after the kids came along. And I asked if he then started up with these people online as a substitute? And he said it may have been something like that, but that it wasn't what he had wanted. That he wanted the attention from me.

I felt like clubbing him. We had children, children that he had wanted - he had actually pushed for them, and then when my attention shifted to the children as it should have he goes off and chats and screws other people. And lies to my face about it. Who does that? It's not right.

Edie posted 5/2/2019 13:09 PM

But then as he was leaving he told me how being away from me made him feel anxious and stressed, he said he's only sleeping a couple of hours at a time he's so anxious. And then through the night he texted me twice - once to say that all he wants is to be able to come home someday and then later telling me that being away from me pains him to the core and the he doesn't eat well, doesn't sleep well, and misses us all.
I've been tempted to respond and simply say that either I've heard him or I'm sorry he feels that way. But I've resisted. I don't know if responding is the right thing to do...but I'm also questioning if no response is mean and causing him undue pain

Sounds like he knows how to press your sympathy buttons. People who are solipsistic as it sounds your husband is can seek out very caring and empathetic people, like yourself, in order to feed their need for attention, care etc. I note that the empathy, sympathy and attention is not reciprocal and it is still all about him. It sounds like it is so usual that you have become used to that, and are only now beginning to notice. Perhaps you have been caring for 4 children instead of 3?

It may be also that he has turned you, now as a busy mother of three, into more of a mother figure in his life, there to Ďstop him feeling anxiousí etc. Whatever, he has enough issues that you must seriously consider whether or not he could ever become the kind of life partner that you would want to be with.
He certainly needs to do much more work on himself and for much longer than he is currently.

But what I canít get away from is how good an actor he is... that is scary and makes future trust seem impossible.

You are doing the right thing seeking some distance currently in order to recuperate yourself somewhat. Do not seek answers from him, they cannot be trusted.

Iím sorry, itís obviously been a great shock. Keep reading here. I think you are probably quite resilient from what youíve written.

fareast posted 5/2/2019 13:47 PM

linds9:

Please go back and read your post from April 17th where you describe how well things were going after your first DDay and your counselor even praising the progress your WH had made. Now read what he told you today how he wasnít getting enough attention from you after the kids during that same time period despite all of your efforts and being in counseling. Itís one thing to be a SA who canít help himself. Itís another thing to say the lack of attention from your BW made you do it.(typical bullshit blameshifting). So which is it? Being a parent is hard, tough, time consuming, and unappreciated work. Your WH seems to be saying he needs you to give him the same ego kibbles and attention as the kids. Really? Grow up! The others are correct. Do you see how immature and self centered he is in all of this. Can he be a responsible partner and parent with you, or is he just your fourth child? He needs serious therapy IMO. Sorry for the negative outlook but it is what it is. Good luck.

trustedg posted 5/2/2019 13:59 PM

Infidelity is always a mess. What if you divorce him and set up a parenting schedule. That way he has his time with them and you get a little time off while he is with them. It may reduce your contact with him, gives him time to clean up his act (if he can), give you time for IC and to attempt to work on healing yourself.

ChamomileTea posted 5/2/2019 14:05 PM

I pushed him to talk and he told me that he thinks that he wasn't getting attention from me after the kids came along. And I asked if he then started up with these people online as a substitute? And he said it may have been something like that, but that it wasn't what he had wanted. That he wanted the attention from me.

Agreed with Fareast... this is blameshifting, and not even interesting or creative blameshifting. It's lazy, like he can't even be bothered to offer a better story.

But let's take him at his word for a minute. How does hooking up with other women achieve his goal of getting more attention from you??? If it's only about getting the attention, then mission accomplished. He went out and got him some attention. Never mind that you're at home, being the ADULT, while he's stuffing other people into the hole where his character should be. But let's say it truly is about getting attention from you. That means he intended to rub it in your face so you'd be jealous and improve your pick-me dance.

I sometimes wonder if these guys actually think their excuses through before committing to them.

I'm so sorry, Linds. Nothing about that interchange was mature or adult on his part.

nekonamida posted 5/2/2019 15:44 PM

Linds, are you absolutely 100% sure that he isn't on POF right now talking to OW? According to the OW that you know about, he saw how devastated you were at DDay #1 and didn't even pause his cheating. In fact, he ramped it up. All the while pretending to be an ideal candidate for R.

Have you seen his POF account to know that he deactivated it? Do you have access to the email account he used for it? How sure are you that there isn't OW #2, #3, #4, or more lurking behind the shadows? What if he had sex with them too and told them he loved them? Would you want to D if he did?

I see that you're getting caught up in what he says. Does he lie to her or lie to you? He's lying to you both. He probably was lying when he said he loved her and he was lying to you about his faithfulness, R, empathy, and about loving you too because his ACTIONS are not loving. It doesn't matter that he denies struggling with empathy. His ACTIONS said that your first DDay and devastation meant very little to him and so does your pain now. So it doesn't matter what he says. It only matters what he DOES. He probably has no idea how to love someone because he only loves himself. He never put you first. He wasn't putting the OW first. There's nothing loving about what he has done and continues to do.

It's very very difficult for a situation like yours to have a successful R because of the kind of false R he put you through. You will always be looking over your shoulder knowing how well he lied and deceived you. He saw your pain and didn't care enough to stop. He will always be a sex addict and even in the best of circumstances he will be tempted to stay again at a moment's notice. And you, your health, your happiness, your marriage, and your family is not enough to stop him.

To make matters worse, I do think he's telling the truth about blaming you for his cheating. He's wrong, of course, because things improved when you thought you were in R and he kept cheating. But it makes sense that during false R, he secretly blamed you and lied to everyone. If he can't realize that it's no one's fault but his own for cheating then he has no hope at ever becoming a safe and faithful husband to you. Because he will always believe deep down that it's okay to cheat the second your attention isn't fully on him and he will gladly lie directly to your face as if not a single thing is wrong while he's doing it.

annanew posted 5/2/2019 16:57 PM

Please control your physical responses. They are understandable, but your husband is not your friend and he will likely file a police report on you if you continue. Which will not serve you well when it comes to maintaining custody of your kids.

This is conflict - a war, to be dramatic - and you need to start thinking strategically. This person has not protected you in the past, he's not going to protect you now. He's your enemy, not your friend. You have to protect yourself.

All his actions now, they are not genuine. They are damage control.

pureheartkit posted 5/7/2019 08:14 AM

You and the children are the best parts of his life. He knows that. He's scared to lose them. That's probably the only truth other than him saying he needed more attention. I'm sad for him. I want him to change and be content.

It's so difficult when all the lies are there contradicting each other. What to believe? He says x and does y. X sounds so good and hopeful and y rips your skin off and takes away your sanity. So you can't live with y. Neither can I.
I've had to learn its a blessing to be openhearted and caring but not to sacrifice my well-being and future for those that abuse my nature.

Why not let him be for a time and he can go to get help and understanding while you think on what would be best for you. He's got to stop the lies. He's not being himself and through his acting a part is damaging others. He needs to settle down and learn to live in a healthy way. That would be the most important thing so he could be a good father for years to come. Someone who's life is always lies and turmoil has little to give and kids need authenticity and stability. If he really loves the children, he will conquer his weaknesses.

linds9 posted 5/10/2019 12:14 PM

I think that is the answer for now. Just take time, let him live separately and work on his problems. And I take time to try and get my head straight after all this and start to feel better. And then see where we are. And I will have to figure out the details by trial and error as we go along - how much is too much time to let him be at my house while I'm there, what am I comfortable doing with him and what am I not. And I really need to learn how to control my thoughts - I find that really difficult because I can get caught up on what's happened and spiral and lose a whole day. And then I feel bad about myself. I haven't figured out how to keep my thoughts in check.

And I need to figure out how to be openhearted and caring, without letting people hurt me like you said. I guess that is where boundaries and enforcing consequences comes in. I am so used to taking people at their word. But now I have to pay better attention to what he's doing and not saying.

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