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Why am I still here?

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rosie1 posted 5/8/2019 04:02 AM


I can't work out why I am still with my WS. I think that he has the potential to become the man that I want in my life eventually and says that he wants that for himself - although he has a long way to go. Another lie will be a dealbreaker as well as any other cheating of course.

I just can't work out if I am staying with him for now because I think it is best for me long term or if I am too lazy or scared to walk. I'm financially independent of him so that's not the issue and I have lived on my own in the past so that's not the issue. We don't have kids so that's not the issue.

And I can't answer the question 'do you love him' as he is not the man I believed him to be - not the man i fell in love with. I fact I can't get my head round any BS saying that they love their WS when they are not who we thought they were... but that's just my opinion. I think I could grow to love him again over time but right now I can't see how.

I have a history of just 'putting up' with situations - work, relationships etc and I'm trying to address this - and I can't work out if I am doing the same again here.

How did other BS work out their motivations for staying?

Adaira posted 5/8/2019 06:31 AM

When I worked out that it was just fear keeping me there - and that I couldn’t waste my life on “potential” when the other side of that coin was that he also had the potential to cheat again - I divorced him. Best decision ever.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 5/8/2019 08:11 AM

My "motivations" for staying have been financial and a "wait and see" approach, but my WH is failing/has failed/will most likely continue to fail. Financial in that I have a temporary position that has the potential to be permanent. When I took it, it was the "dream job" and now I am just biding my time until it's over (18 months from now) which I thought I could do, but now 18 months seems like way too long. If I am leaving permanently then spending money now will make that harder. I can afford to do it but moving here to be with him years ago cost me significantly (lower salary, period of unemployment, which over time accounts for about $100K loss...if you add in my therapy costs it goes way up...!!!)

My reasons are muddled. If I move out, I will find somewhere temporary to live, and will likely try to make a few shallow contacts (I have no TRUE friends here, just a few acquaintances), bide my time, and leave the area when this job contract is over. I will NOT date anyone as I have no desire to stay in this geographical area and I don't want to "risk" that. It was a big sacrifice for me when I did move out here initially and the place now holds a ton of bad memories so I would rather just get out. So, with that fabulous "temporary future" plan it has seemed like I may as well stay and "see what happens" but what happens is he breaks NC, lies to me, continues his "ambivalent" feelings about "us" and wants to rug-sweep and gets frustrated that we are not happy like we used to be (shocker...wonder why when you keep undermining any ability we may ever have had), is moody, and has convinced himself that all of this is too much work on most days.

No, I don't love him like I used to. Now, more than anything, I see him as this broken person who is largely not capable of normal behaviors. It's not pity but it's getting close. He isn't the man I fell in love with...in fact he never was as it turns out. He's a scared, insecure, shallow person who doesn't even know himself. How could he be a good partner for me? Answer: He can't.

And be careful about the "dealbreaker" language as you will find you could let yourself down on that one. I have a successful career, make good money, have a good family and friends, yet here I sit...miserable. I'm not afraid of being alone, I just don't want to do it (yes, laziness is part of it - moving just sucks - if I could move permanently to a hotel room that probably would have happened), and I don't want to leave my dog.

Crazy? Yep. Ridiculous? You got it. WTF.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 8:13 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)]

psychmom posted 5/8/2019 08:25 AM

Rosie, I still am working out in my mind how I am "accepting" this situation, and sometimes those thoughts get the best of me. I find it very challenging to stay the course of R during the times my mind slips back to who and what he was back then.

But that's the key for me. Separating who he was THEN from who is TODAY. Same guy, but he continues to work to improve himself in the ways that will strengthen our marriage and my trust in him.

I originally chose to give R a chance because there was a small part of me, even on DDay1, that believed that he was at his core a good man who had allowed himself to do some very bad things, for several long years. I had to know if that good part of him still existed. If I was wrong about that I could always walk away. But I needed to know or might always wonder. That is where R began for me. And it turns out I was correct. I sincerely believe that my H is a good man. One who had more emotional baggage than I ever knew, but who was committed enough to me and our M to figure out what he needed to do to understand these parts of himself.

So, at least for me, this is why I am still here. For me it always comes down to "what is the small voice in my head telling me?" I think most of us have an inner compass that guides us if we listen to it. I would ask you to find that voice and listen to what it is telling you. Is your H a good man? Does he deserve a chance for some sort of redemption? Is your life better with him or not? Do you have enough in common to possibly fall in love with him again? And yes, is it possible you are simply putting up with a less-than-ideal situation because it's your pattern?

I have asked myself a lot of questions and all answers point to keeping on the course of R because despite all that has happened, the future looks better with him than without him. Not because I've settled, but because I enjoy his company, he's kind and caring toward me, he is remorseful, and so on. Things are not perfect, and I do have my days when the past overcomes me and my doubts set in. But I can reason them out, ask myself the questions, and find my way back on track.

I hope you find your answers in the coming years, rosie. This takes time, more time than most of us realize when we set out on this path.

onthefence123 posted 5/8/2019 08:30 AM

When I worked out that it was just fear keeping me there - and that I couldn’t waste my life on “potential” when the other side of that coin was that he also had the potential to cheat again - I divorced him. Best decision ever.
Adaira, was your WS remorseful?

ETA: Not that I think you owed it to him to stay if he was...just feeling similar to Rosie and I know my WH is completely destroyed over what he has done. He is doing the work...but I can't seem to make the leap to make a decision to stay or go.

[This message edited by onthefence123 at 8:41 AM, May 8th (Wednesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 5/8/2019 08:38 AM

Honestly Rosie, this is a question that you're wise to ask. It's a deep one too. Picture yourself having left and see what you feel. Picture yourself having stayed for another year and see how you feel. Mine went off the rails so I didn't stay for even a year, but I knew I was going to wind up leaving because of how I felt when I pictured both scenarios.

Adaira posted 5/8/2019 08:55 AM

Adaira, was your WS remorseful?

No, I don’t think he was. He could certainly put on a good show - many tears, many breakdowns in marriage counseling about what a terrible thing he’d done, many promises to “do the work.” But he took the affair underground, so... obviously not remorseful.

But really, it’s not about how remorseful they are. I finally had to ask myself, regardless of what HE was doing, “What do I want? What is acceptable to me?”

JSS1227 posted 5/8/2019 12:00 PM

Rosie1 and onthefence I don’t have advice, as I’m in the same boat, just wanted you to know I get it, and I’m right there with you. He’s doing the work, but I have not yet worked out a good enough reason to commit to R. And our MC assures me this is ok...I might not know either way for a long time. But my IC says staying in limbo forever surely isn’t healthy, so 🤔...I just don’t know. I’m still here, but the D papers have been filled out since January.

rosie1 posted 5/8/2019 16:00 PM

Devastated Dee - great advice about picturing my future with and without him. Up until the most recent lie I probably would have said that the picture with him was better but now I feel like that has shifted. I spontaneously started thinking about a single future today and it felt good....even exciting. I have compromised so much for him over the last 12 years and for what.

As I write this he is celebrating a goal that his football team just scored- 2 days after him saying he realises just how close I am to ending our relationship. Not so worried that it puts him off his football though...

rosie1 posted 5/8/2019 16:04 PM

Devastated Dee - great advice about picturing my future with and without him. Up until the most recent lie I probably would have said that the picture with him was better but now I feel like that has shifted. I spontaneously started thinking about a single future today and it felt good....even exciting. I have compromised so much for him over the last 12 years and for what.

As I write this he is celebrating a goal that his football team just scored- 2 days after him saying he realises just how close I am to ending our relationship. Not so worried that it puts him off his football though...

Tallgirl posted 5/8/2019 18:48 PM

Hi Rosie

I am the same. Have been in limbo for a year. Still kinda am. Had the same dealbreakers. And I haven’t been able to commit to R.

My wh is remorseful, trying hard to become better person. I care for him but I don’t know if I love him anymore. I am uncertain if I can ever love him enough again. 10 years of cheating and lying has pretty much destroyed me. Certainly the trust part.

My wh omitted that he visited massage parlours for happy endings for 5 years before his 5 yr A with bitch whore prostitute. Yes that is literal. After he swore repeatedly that I knew everything for 10 months straight. I confronted him and I could see him wanting to lie. The pull was so strong. He told me the truth after I screamed “don’t you f-Ing lie to me! I know”. It was painful for him to be honest.

So there I sat with my deal breaker. Sitting out there in my mental ether saying. “Remember me, the deal breaker”.

We are now in a trial separation. I didn’t want it. But he kept lying. And I said it was a dealbreaker. They are hard to live with - I wanted to erase the line that I drew in the sand.

Part of me just wants him to come home, the other part says no freaking way. He hasn’t done enough work. He isn’t who I married. I cant trust him. But I wish for all these things.

If he does the work, proves he is a good person, lives with the trial separation honestly, shows up and stops lying maybe. If he still shows that he loves me in a year’s time. Maybe. He has a fuck of a lot of work for me to get to a maybe.

I am afraid I will be fooled. I know I won’t survive this again. So my safe perspective is no more.


[This message edited by Tallgirl at 7:19 PM, May 8th (Wednesday)]

rosie1 posted 5/9/2019 05:50 AM

Tallgirl

I'm so.sorry to hear your story. What I hope for you is that the trial separation let's you see things more clearly. You deserve better than this and will have better than this if you truly follow your heart and do what is right for you.

Being single again is scary I think but to my mind it is preferable to pinning my hopes on someone who is too broken to fix themselves.

Chrysalis123 posted 5/9/2019 05:57 AM

I have a history of just 'putting up' with situations - work, relationships etc and I'm trying to address this - and I can't work out if I am doing the same again here.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior....

rosie1 posted 5/9/2019 11:18 AM

Chrysalis - great point. I do feel though like the affair has been a big wake up call and has helped me see things differently. My putting up with was the main focus of my IC sessions- after I stopped wailing 'Why me? ' repeatedly that is.

I've set a new review date for deciding of 3 months time to stop me doing constant thought loops and I'm trying hard not to feed my WS with all the answers - you know ; read this , what do you think of that, how do you feel about....it needs to come from him now as I realise I am just producing a false R.

Rosie

Chaos posted 5/9/2019 11:33 AM

I'm taking it one day at a time. Subsequent DDays [same AP] rocked me to my core.

I figure when I know for sure it will be beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Until then, I keep putting one foot in front of the other and watch for behavior over time.

STLLOST posted 5/9/2019 11:36 AM

Rosie I'm one of the BS who wanted to stay. I had always thought I'd leave someone if they ever cheated on me. But I loved my wife with everything that I had. My motivation to want to stay was that love for the woman I married. I felt like she was my soul mate and I finally felt "complete" somehow.

She isn't remorseful though, just regretful so R hasn't worked at all.

I still love my wife for who I know her to be at her core. The woman I have known and loved for 9 years. The person she is now is not the same person though. She keeps saying she needs to fix herself to be the person she is meant to be. Sadly the person she was, was far superior to what she's become.

If you love your husband and he's truly remorseful and he's doing the work then you should stay because you'll always be asking yourself what would've happened if you just would've tried. You say he's not the man you believed him to be. Deep down he might be the same but just made some terrible decisions and have learned from them.

I agree with the others though if you can close your eyes and picture the life you want, is he by your side?

DevastatedDee posted 5/9/2019 11:38 AM

The HARDEST thing about this after the initial shock wears off is when you start to really see your spouse for who he is. This clarity is heartwrenching. We try to put it off by feeding them the answers, as you accurately put it, because our minds are rebelling against reality. We want him to become that person that we thought he was and we want him to do it now because the alternative hurts too much. You want it to have been a blip in the radar and have him recommence being the good human being you believed you were married to.

He isn't, though. You were never married to who you thought you were and that is unimaginably painful. It's like watching them die in retrospect.

Once you reach that acceptance, and see them for who they are without you propping them up, it is life-changing. That is the point where you can make a sane decision about R or D.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 11:39 AM, May 9th (Thursday)]

Nanatwo posted 5/9/2019 12:54 PM

I was so confused at first - trying to understand how the man I thought he was could do something so horrific. My sister told me repeatedly to not lose sight of the man he had been for 30 years. I had no doubt he had been faithful - he was a kind, loving husband and father. Everyone thought the world of him - my BIL said it was like finding out Ghandi was a serial killer.

I stayed because I didn't want the A to define him or our marriage. Of course, he needed to do the work - prove himself worthy of the gift of R. I was detached for months - just watching him to see if he could truly do the work. He has put his heart and soul in to R - and as he continued to do the work I was able to see that the A was an aberration - he has told me repeatedly it was the most horrid thing he has ever done and he doesn't ever want to go down that road again.

His choice to cheat will always be a dark part of him - but it is not the sum of who he is.


rosie1 posted 5/9/2019 12:56 PM

It's so hard to think clearly. If I try to picture the life I want it's all fuzzy and unclear. Haha maybe that's been my problem all along - very low expectations.

I think I need to do some kind of goal setting exercise to really think about what I want for my future and as you say, does that include him. At the moment I'm at a loss to see why I woukd want a lying cheater anywhere near me.

I agree that he never was the decent person I believed him to be - people don't jist lose their morals or ability to feel emapthy for others. I don't believe that the WS became selfish - I think they were always that way.

I believe that the only reason my WS never cheated on anyone else - well as far as I know at the moment of course - was because he never managed a relationship that lasted long enough.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 5/9/2019 12:59 PM

Short threadjack...

Tallgirl - you will survive whatever he throws at you - I know it!

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