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Destroyed my BH

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DomesticTourist posted 7/15/2019 17:34 PM

DomesticTourist- thatís easy for you to say. Also do you find it to honestly make sense to compare your WW 21 months out from dday to me? What was your WW doing 5 months out from dday? Was she slipping up? Was she still inadvertently hurting you? Was she perfect? Was she 100% empathetic and 0% selfish? How was that possible? Were you rugsweeping or ignoring it when she was still screwing up by you or were you admitting to mistakes and moving on? Was everything all better? Iím honestly trying to understand where you are coming from in your comparisons.

Five months after she confessed she was still lying to me, so she was not inadvertently hurting me, she was intentionally hurting me by maintaining her deceit. I told her the lies had to end or I was divorcing her. She finally came clean, or at least as clean as it appears she ever will.

If I'm harsh on you, it's because I really wish someone had spoken so plainly to my wife from the perspective of a BH so that she might have not done to me what she did post Dday. I'm not trying to prove my wife is a better wife than you, I'm trying to tell you you can be a better wife than you are being right now. You claim you want to be. So, here I am, a betrayed husband who has been where you have put your husband, telling you almost surely what you need to be told, albeit with a bit of an edge. You donít have time to keep making mistakes. You donít have the luxury of excusing selfishness by saying youíre new to this. This is cold water in your figurative face: stop hurting your husband if you want to be his wife.

Take it for what it's worth.

[This message edited by DomesticTourist at 7:30 PM, July 15th (Monday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 7/15/2019 21:22 PM

He worked at one bank and was there after we got married - that was where I went in to see him before I met me husband and then after we met, while we were engaged and then 5 times during the first year we were married. The last time that I saw AP was October 2015. According to his LinkedIn account he started at a different bank in 2016. I never saw him at that bank and I have no accounts with that particular bank.
Thank you for clarifying this and also about sequence of events on the ride home and the location of the restaurant. It sounds like you live in a small town with limited choices about where to go out. I also live in a small town with a limited number of restaurants and things are fairly close together so I understand. It does sound like this was a lapse and a loss of attention. I had a number of these too. The best thing you can do when they happen is to keep your defenses down, apologize, and make a plan for how you can avoid a repeat. If "close contact" means every 10 minutes, set a timer. If it means every time you change locations tie a ribbon onto the handle of your purse or something so that when you pick it up to take it with you, you'll be reminded. Do you have GPS enabled on your phone and does your BS have a way to see where it's at?

faithfulman posted 7/16/2019 01:21 AM

EvolvingSoul Wrote:

Thank you for clarifying this and also about sequence of events on the ride home and the location of the restaurant. It sounds like you live in a small town with limited choices about where to go out.

No. She lives in the biggest city in America with endless choices of place to eat.

faithfulman posted 7/16/2019 01:21 AM

duplicate

[This message edited by faithfulman at 1:21 AM, July 16th (Tuesday)]

faithfulman posted 7/16/2019 01:21 AM

duplicate

[This message edited by faithfulman at 1:22 AM, July 16th (Tuesday)]

RocketRaccoon posted 7/16/2019 01:28 AM

Change,

Hang in there. As long as you are not telling lies anymore, is a good step in the right direction.

Keep working on your empathy issues. Just try and remember that your BH trusts you as far as he can throw you now, so how do you regain that trust that was shattered even further just over a month ago?

Try and sit down and switch places with him. Imagine what it would be like if you had found out that he had an affair instead of you. What steps/actions would need to be taken to regain trust with you? What would your triggers be?

This may be difficult, as you have not been in a BS position, but try. This will assist in your quest to develop more empathy.

If you really want your M to survive, you will need to work harder than you ever have in your life. As I had mentioned, the amount of effort you put in, will reflect how much you want the M. Little to average effort = little to average wish for the M to survive.

Always keep at the top of your mind, that to your BH, his perception of when your A 'ended' was early June 2019, and not 4 1/2 years ago.

You two have a chance at R, but you will need to work extremely hard. Any slip you make, will set you back to square one, so you CANNOT take things for granted, nor assume things. The onus is on YOU to prove that you are worthy of HIS love.

TimSC posted 7/17/2019 12:24 PM

Just read the comment about seeing your AP 5 times after you were married.

Do you mean you had physical relations with AP after marriage?

KingRat posted 7/17/2019 13:28 PM

Respectfully, I think you need to really dig deep and honestly explore if you want reconciliation. Are you doing it out of a sense of duty, guilt, shame, etc.? Or are you doing it because you genuinely want it irrespective any other person? You have to be selfish about this if it is truly going to be successful. Going through the motions won't work. You cannot "fake it 'til you make it."

I cannot speak for what you feel or what is going through your head. I am limited to what your actions reasonably communicate to a third-party observer. I don't see it as a lack of empathy as much as they demonstrate a lack of effort. This in a lot of ways is more concerning. If you fell short you must ask yourself, did you give it 110% and leave nothing on the floor so to speak?

I question this because of failing to communicate isn't about empathy or consideration, it is about not adhering to a plan. You don't have to understand empathy to follow through with an agreement. If I had an employee, make a mistake or fail in his/her task, I'm going to work with them and be empathetic. I would not question their long-term ability to perform. If I had someone show up late and do the same the next day, I would question if he/she could ever perform--despite being qualified and capable--because his/her heart is not in it.

To apply to your situation, I understand how the proximity of the restaurant falls into the category of "working on empathy." The failing to check-in falls into the category of "working on effort." When you fall short in that category, it is an issue of "focus." When there is a lack of focus, it comes down to a lack of desire. A lack of desire is why I suggest to do some soul-searching to figure out what YOU want.

I am not trying to beat up on you, but you really have to treat these moments like "the game." All that practice and training (the shit you guys are going through) is for these moments. Trust is built in this moments not in interactions you have when you are alone or talking to each other about the affair. You really need to understand that.

Change4thebetter posted 7/17/2019 15:26 PM

Just read the comment about seeing your AP 5 times after you were married.
Do you mean you had physical relations with AP after marriage?

No I did not have any physical relations with AP after marriage. The 5 times I saw him was going to the first bank where he worked so I could see him in person. It was continuing the emotional affair but the physical affair had stopped.

[This message edited by Change4thebetter at 3:31 PM, July 17th, 2019 (Wednesday)]

KingRat posted 7/18/2019 13:34 PM

Iíve stopped striving for perfection and Iíve stopped trying to control the outcome. I remind myself constantly that true change will take time and a lot of hard work. Iím not going to lie to myself, my BH or any of you and say that regardless that it was me and my despicable actions that created this situation and destroyed my BH the work is often intimidating. Iím not complaining about it and Iím not stopping it but I am not fooling myself.

I'd be careful here. This may not be what you meant, but this reads like saying: I know I can't get an A on every test, so I'm not fooling myself and try for one. The problem with that is it results in subconsciously giving yourself permission to make a "C effort." The problem with "C efforts" is that they don't always result in Cs; they result in some Ds and Fs too.

I think it is always a good idea to strive for perfection. Accepting nothing less than perfection is a mental state that can be troublesome.

[This message edited by KingRat at 1:35 PM, July 18th (Thursday)]

Change4thebetter posted 7/18/2019 16:02 PM

I'd be careful here. This may not be what you meant, but this reads like saying: I know I can't get an A on every test, so I'm not fooling myself and try for one. The problem with that is it results in subconsciously giving yourself permission to make a "C effort." The problem with "C efforts" is that they don't always result in Cs they result in some Ds and Fs too.
I think it is always a good idea to strive for perfection. Accepting nothing less than perfection is a mental state that can be troublesome.

Thank you, I understand what you mean. What I meant to say is that I know that the ultimate goal isnít perfection but rather progress.

LightningCrashes posted 7/23/2019 01:10 AM

I don't know why I am even posting this but I feel it might need to be said. Maybe it's the lateness of the hour. Maybe I've had a little bit to drink. Maybe it's because I am sitting here all alone at night after two relationships with women I loved who both left me to be with other men.

I wish my wife would be as willing to subject herself to hearing these comments and devote herself to the reconciliation process as much as Change4thebetter has. This is the only thread I have read, so I may feel differently after viewing some SaddestDad posts. But I want to give credit where credit is due.

Yes I can pick out some statements and actions that would trigger me as a betrayed husband. It is easy to focus on the negative. But every once in a while I believe commendation is in order. And I do think you are making the effort. Is it to the best of your ability? I don't know. Only you know if you are doing your best.

But I don't want you to get to the point where you throw in the towel and give up because you feel so worthless that you don't believe you will ever be worth the trouble. Because you are worth it. SaddestDad is worth it. But you are worth it too. SaddestDad would not be hanging in there if you weren't worth fighting for. And his opinion is the only one that matters. We are just trying to help you along the way.

In both of my long-term relationships (24 year marriage and 18 month live-in girlfriend) there was no effort made by either one of them to save our relationship or to make amends for lying and cheating. I wish my wife was willing and humble enough to come on this site and benefit from hearing the straight talk and tough comments that you receive. I wish she was in therapy to figure herself out. I wish she was still here with me trying to show me that she loves me and wants to be a safe partner for me and that she is sorry. I wish she was willing to do even half of what you are doing. I didn't even get the choice to be mad at her for planning a girl's night out or for not texting me. I was denied the opportunity to even be mad about something like that because she chose to leave me instead. I would give anything to have a remorseful wife who was coming home to tell me she was sorry and that she still loves me.

Instead I have an empty house and silence. Instead I have to wonder why I was not worth it. Why was I not worth fighting for? Why was I not good enough for the only two women I have ever loved to not lie and cheat and then throw me away like I mean nothing to them?

And neither one of them even gave me the dignity or the respect or the courtesy or the opportunity to demonstrate that I was willing and able to forgive them so that we could recover and so that our relationship could survive. I was deprived of even extending the gift of reconciliation. I was deprived of even showing them that I loved them enough to forgive them.

They don't see me hurt. They don't see me cry. They don't hear me scream at the top of my lungs in the living room because the pain is killing me. They were selfish. They left. They didn't stay. They didn't even try.

At least you are staying. At least you are trying. I give you a lot of credit for that. We have heard about wayward spouses who are vindictive and spiteful and arrogant and who just move on with their life and leave the carnage behind them. I am living proof of that having experienced it twice now myself. But you are demonstrating humility to come on here and ask for help. And you are doing it in the face of your own emotions, your husband's emotions, and even other people's emotions. I applaud you for it.

Besides, not only am I a betrayed spouse, but I was a wayward spouse too. I know how true remorse feels on the inside, not just what it should look like on the outside. I would give anything to take back the pain and agony I caused my wife. I think I cry as much over that as what my wife did to me. I have to live with myself. Believe me, no one is ever going to be harder on me for what I have done than me.

There are times when I feel like I can't take this pain anymore. Like it is all my fault. Like I am not worthy of forgiveness or love. Like maybe my wife is better off without me. And I have to live with what I have done. But at some point you have to forgive yourself. I still haven't done that yet. I think everyone has forgiven me, but me.

I am glad to know that you are hanging in there and doing what you can to improve yourself and your marriage despite how you may feel or what others may say. Lest we forget that you could have said no to any reconciliation efforts.

I asked my wife is she was sorry for what she did. She said no. I asked my wife if she wanted my forgiveness. She said no. I asked my wife if she even wanted God's forgiveness. She said no. And then she left.

Like I said, this is the only thread about your situation that I have read so far. I will certainly be reading the other posts that you and SaddestDad have written. And I might be completely wrong about you in all of this. But I don't think I am.

For whatever reason today is the first day that I have ever read anything from you, and it is only this thread that I am posting on now. But your very first post on this thread had me in tears by the end of it. In fact, you expressed such genuine concern for your husband that I printed out your post and now I have it hanging on my wall. Why?

Because it has the ring of authenticity. And it gives me hope.

I know people are going to say that I am smoking the hopium pipe. But I hope that someday my wayward wife will come to her senses and think like you do. I hope she will feel about me as deeply as you so eloquently expressed in that post about your husband. I hope she will show me the same concern that you have shown for your husband. And if she never does, at least I have hope that there are women out there who are capable of facing themselves and subjecting themselves to whatever is necessary in order to become a better person and to atone for their errors and to save their marriage. You have given me hope that there are women out there who will actually choose to stay. Thank you for that. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And this is the line you wrote that got me: "Everyday I have hope. The hope isnít to save my marriage. The hope is to save my husband."

Remember, it is not our past or our mistakes that define who we are. It is how we recover from those mistakes and make amends.

I am definitely rooting for you.

Change4thebetter posted 8/8/2019 23:18 PM

Iím back.

Today I was working on the timeline answering some more of BHís questions and got caught in a lie. Today I had stated that AP never finished inside of me without asking or letting me know. This contradicted my BHís assumption that AP was trying to get me pregnant and that it was a true pregnancy scare as I had originally implied.

In fact, I had vilified AP with that lie. The truth is that I knew he didnít have a condom and I said it was ok for him to finish. I thought to myself, Iím at the end of my cycle, my period is due next week and Iíll take Plan B just to ensure nothing happens. I had confessed to BH that I used plan B as a form of birth control several times, but I withheld that it was one of the times I slept with him while we were engaged.

I had tried so hard to forget my AP and move on from him over the last few years. I wish I had had morals. I wish I had the strength back then to do the right thing. I knew my 5 year ďrelationshipĒ with AP was coming to an end as the wedding date was approaching and instead of ending it then and there I continued on while engaged to my BH ďfinishing upĒ and trying to get just one more time from him.

I had originally told BH that I didnít remember him finishing and that I didnít remember him asking. Everyone said how can you forget a pregnancy scare?! Instead of doing the work to make sense of it, I looked for excuses and explanations. I didnít want to think about it too much. I didnít want to come to terms with the truth, I just wanted it to all go away.

Anyway, I came back to say that you were all right. You saw that it didnít make sense. Once I made that comment that he always asked and that I always knew all the puzzle pieces now fit together.

Iím done with the lies. I so wish I was in this place 6 months ago.

[This message edited by Change4thebetter at 12:36 PM, August 9th, 2019 (Friday)]

Butforthegrace posted 8/9/2019 05:28 AM

Your thread brings to mind my early relationship with my current wife. We had both been in long-term-relationships in our 20's in which we were both cheated on. I was dumped by my WXGF; my wife got fed up with her WXBF cheating and left him. We were both single for some years in our early 30's. Both of us, in the rebound, had messy sex lives with multiple overlapping partners, etc.

When my then-new-gf (now wife) and I first slept together, she said, straight up: "You know, this is not exclusive." I admired her bluntness, in part because I was thinking the same thing.

Then, about a year later, as we were getting serious, we agreed mutually to end things with other lovers and become exclusive, get engaged, set a wedding date, and try to start a family. At the time I was seeing 3 other women and I went about the process of breaking up with them, which took a couple of weeks because I wanted to do it in person with each. There was one in particular whom I had some feelings for and I do believe I had "one last time" with her.

For my wife's part, she had a similar process. There was one guy in particular, a man she had known for a long time (since undergrad in college) and had been romantically/sexually involved with, off and on to varying degrees, for over a decade. He was tall, handsome, successful, and since he had known her for so long, he shared a high degree of intimacy with her. I will admit that I felt jealousy and even some pain knowing that she was likely sharing her "last time/times" with him during that same period. Hypocritical, I realize, but the heart feels what it feels.

My point is that there was no sneaking nor lying about this. She was up front and clear, and I was too. We both proceeded to get married knowing that, in the period leading up to the marriage, we had been doing this.

I am naturally somewhat jealous and insecure, but I never carried any post-marriage jealousy or hurt feelings about this. It goes to the point, made over and over here on SI, that what hurts the most about infidelity in the long run is the dishonesty. It's a form of disrespect. I realize you perceive it in your case as having roots in shame and self-preservation, which is probably true, but in the end, it's about you over him, which is a form of disrespect.

Sort of a rambling post. I guess the point is that although I wasn't happy about the idea that the woman I was falling in love with was emotionally and sexually with another man, the fact that she was transparent and bluntly honest about it gave me agency to make my own decisions. In the end, we hear over and over from betrayed spouses, and especially BS who found out years later, that this is the one thing they wish most fervently they had.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 2:53 PM, August 9th (Friday)]

Sanibelredfish posted 8/9/2019 06:16 AM


Iím done with the lies.

I hope so, but you should anticipate some skepticism from your BH and others on that given your track record.

A big part of your work will be to dig into what else youíve buried in an attempt to forget. Perhaps instead of getting defensive and saying, ďWe didnít!!!Ē, or, ďThereís no way that happened!!!Ē, you could try something along the lines of, ďI understand why you ask that question, but I will need to think about it and do a little mental digging because I canít recall it right now. Letís touch base tomorrow on this topic.Ē These should never be used to push of an uncomfortable answer though or you will erode his trust here too.

Then actually do the work and try your best to come up with an answer. Give intermittent updates when possible. In short, act like it matters!

Change4thebetter posted 8/10/2019 23:48 PM

I got a text message from OBS today. She texted me letting me know that she is leaving AP and some other choice words. I feel awful about her life entirely torn apart due to my selfishness and stupidity so many years ago. I do respect her decision though and it was better to hear than her thanking me for being there for AP when things were rough for them all those years ago and her saying that I was good for him etc.

HellFire posted 8/11/2019 09:20 AM

Wait. What??

It feels better to hear from a woman,whose marriage you helped destroy, telling you she was divorcing your AP...than it did when she was kind to you before she knew about the affair?

Im sure her kindness caused you to feel guilt. But finding out she is ending her marriage, because you and her husband caused so much pain, the damage was too much to get through, makes you feel better? How's that?

Zugzwang posted 8/11/2019 09:35 AM

I didnít want to come to terms with the truth, I just wanted it to all go away.

Bingo. Now realize you just set Dday to August 8th.

Zugzwang posted 8/11/2019 09:39 AM

better to hear than her thanking me for being there for AP when things were rough for them all those years ago and her saying that I was good for him etc.

Maybe it is better to you because you felt even shittier in the face of someone being really noble and selfless that she would thank someone for taking care of someone she truly loved and you were threatened by that type of love she had for her husband. Now you are relieved and happier that that love is gone? Just things to explore. Here is your chance to really be truthful and not hide

I didnít want to come to terms with the truth, I just wanted it to all go away.
Just saying. That is the thought that came to my mind with that statement.

Change4thebetter posted 8/11/2019 10:37 AM

It feels better to hear from a woman,whose marriage you helped destroy, telling you she was divorcing your AP...than it did when she was kind to you before she knew about the affair?
Im sure her kindness caused you to feel guilt. But finding out she is ending her marriage, because you and her husband caused so much pain, the damage was too much to get through, makes you feel better? How's that?

No, thatís not what I was saying. I feel terrible regardless and sickened by the part I played in destroying her life. When she had initially thanked me it was AFTER I had answered all of her questions and she was texting me after BH had called her and informed her about the A.

Maybe it is better to you because you felt even shittier in the face of someone being really noble and selfless that she would thank someone for taking care of someone she truly loved and you were threatened by that type of love she had for her husband. Now you are relieved and happier that that love is gone? Just things to explore. Here is your chance to really be truthful and not hide

What I felt shittier about then was that she had been so gaslit by him for so long that she believed him when he gave his reason for the A to have been due to how she acted to him. I wasnít ďupset by nobility.Ē -Iím truly bent out of shape for the role that I played, but it sickened me to hear her put herself down, excuse her husbandís actions and go further to say that sheís thankful that I was there for him during that time. After BH called her she initially chose to rugsweep the entire thing.

Iím not any less upset knowing I destroyed not 1 but 2 families with my supreme selfishness, but I guess Iím just relieved that sheís not going to be in a farce of a marriage any longer and that sheís actually taking a stand for herself. I hate knowing Iím the cause of such pain and suffering due to my active participation.

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