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Avoiding Relapse

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Wool94 posted 8/21/2019 11:12 AM

I would find it very hard to believe that everyone was just rolling along in perfect marriages that an affair just blew apart. I take responsibility for doing something far beyond the problems we were having but that isn't to say we weren't having any.

No one has said we had perfect marriages.

You claim you're taking all of the blame for your affair, then you bring up stuff from before the affair.

I know that that stuff is important to you. I get it.

Here's the thing. The affair is a gunshot wound. Your husband is bleeding out from the gut.

The premarital problems are a scratch on your arm.

I'm not saying it's not a painful scratch.. hell it may even be infected.

But for the moment, the scratch (premarital problems) need to be put aside for the gunshot wound (affair). Wouldn't you agree?

Before you respond to this post, think about what I stated in my previous post.

Why does this post strike a nerve with you?

DoinBettr posted 8/21/2019 11:25 AM

Your husband had his trust betrayed. If you think he confides in you, then you haven't exercised enough empathy. Put yourself in his shoes and see, he may be trying to communicate, but there are parts you won't tolerate and he has no where to put those feelings.

Him not telling the kids is to protect you. See it as the sign of love it is. They would rally around him and turn on you if they knew.

Be careful with this advice because he will need some prep. Maybe see if he wants to post, but put it in reconciling. Then he gets less advice to divorce you.
FYI - He will still get that advice. Half of us here are trying to get through to you.
You seem to care about your husband and are using this forum to vent your thoughts. Not a bad strategy.
So, give him this place as well.

Also, at a minimum read the "How to help your spouse heal from an affair". It is short and really gives you a manual on how to fix what you screwed up. It wasn't a tryst. It was a screw up. Naming the event is huge. Every WS will call their affair their major screw up. And it was a decision not an accident. Just some phrasing that will set people off.
Good luck fixing this.

Be sure you rebuild your husband's self esteem. It is mentioned very rarely by you. I know it may already be in your head.
I am in great shape (Was even during the affair) and now I kind of have an eating disorder.
Even tough guys can hate themselves and will question if they could have been sexier, smarter, stronger, "more romantic", thinner. Even if AP wasn't these things.

That shit will break him one day.

[This message edited by DoinBettr at 3:47 PM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 8/21/2019 12:25 PM

When I come here to talk about myself, it's because I don't have an avenue to express these thoughts. I don't sit there berating my husband and making lists of demands and telling him what's what. I'm not some sort of monster.


I don't think anyone is saying that, or at least I wasn't. I was asking you to evaluate your expectations, whether they were ever clear to him, whether you had considered the different styles that people use to show love and how the two of your styles might impact the other. I wasn't saying what I was saying to condemn you or to say you were bad, I was giving you food for thought from some of the things I learned.

I still have expectations, desires and personal boundaries. He's not really the sort who would accept me talking down to him like that. He's very guarded with his feelings and does have the habit of hiding them. I'm the only person he ever confides in and I'm not sure that's healthy either. I've encouraged him to open up to people, but that just isn't him. The absolute most important thing to him is that nobody ever knows about this, especially the kids. I do hurt for him like nobody can possibly understand.

I can identify with this. My H has also chosen to tell no one, not even our kids. And, I have been his full support through this. I understand how that effects reconciliation because he doesn't always have people to bounce the things I say to him to really evaluate them. I get that, it brings complications that it wouldn't have otherwise.

When wrote about romance, I was writing in the past tense. I did not say it justified the affair, but it was a real problem we were having.

I get it. I can honestly say without any hold back that my H and I were having a lot of problems connecting, communicating, and there was little romance. In the 18 months prior to the affair, he would get off the phone often without saying "I love you" back to me. This never happened the whole time we were married and I was taking it very personally and kind of passive aggressively pointed it out several times. He was just distracted with his business, exhausted, and in a mode where he was making one call after another and wasn't really taking in that he was talking to his wife and not just his business partner.

But, post A, that really didn't come up as something for us to work on. Because you know why? I was the one who cheated, and that meant that I needed to spend more time figuring out my actions pre-A that led up to it. The reality of it is, I was conflict avoidant so I didn't force us to sit down and really talk about what was bothering me. I had low self worth, so I don't feel that I often felt I was worth changing for and didn't put up my own boundaries or explain my own personal expectations so that we could work through that as a couple.

And, in the end, when I learned to do those things, guess what? Many of our problems disappeared and that's why we didn't have to address them in R. I saw my perspective wasn't fair, and I changed it. We can only control our own thoughts, behaviors, etc, but often when we change them it gives the other person a different thing to react to.

It also wasn't all about me. I made it reasonably clear that I put in all kinds of work for him too.

Right, I get that. I would tell you that I put quite a lot of effort into our relationship. I did the best that I knew how anyway, at least until the A.

Just because I had an affair does not mean he didn't have a roll in some of the issues we were having.

Nope, but unfortunately when we have an affair, what has to be triaged is the affair. It's like Wool said, it is a gunshot wound to the marriage. It doesn't mean that your feelings about these things were not valid at the time, and they should have been addressed at the time. But, once you have an affair, it's trauma and all that other stuff goes out the window until you fix the reasons you had an affair. The reasons that are internal to you. The entitlement you felt in starting and conducting one. You have called into question for him every part of your character. Shattered his trust. Took away his security. And, you are still taking from his security because as long as you pine/relapse/do anything at all that puts the AP above him you are still actively doing these things to him.

So, nope, we can't point fingers about what happened pre-A right now. You can work on pre-A issues after you have worked on stabilizing the situation. And to do that, it means you have to focus completely on the affair, what internally made you do it, committing that you are getting out of it, etc. Nothing else can come until the foundation is at least starting to sit back in place.

I also understand that having the affair doesn't put me in a position to make demands.

It's not that it doesn't put you in a place to make demands, it's that until you can secure the binders back on by showing him you are serious about working on the character flaws that existed that allowed you to have an affair, everything is built on sand. Everything. You just haven't been able to take in what this has done to him yet. And, I get it because it sounds like our husbands can be similar in that they don't open up, they don't always know what it is that is bothering them, etc.

But, once you get that secured, then you can look at your boundaries with him on what you would like to see in the relationship, what you want to build together. We are just starting year three and I think that's where we are right now. Rebuilding and it's been in recent months. My work lasted two years (it will always continue, but the brunt of getting where I needed to be to even start rebuilding lasted that long), and I gave it a lot of time and effort everyday. It was almost a full time job.

Not that I ever made these sort of demands anyways, just stuff that would have been nice. This wasn't written as a condition, but in response to the way things were before the affair.
I do understand that, but you are just concentrating on the wrong things if you want this marriage to work.

I would find it very hard to believe that everyone was just rolling along in perfect marriages that an affair just blew apart. I take responsibility for doing something far beyond the problems we were having but that isn't to say we weren't having any.

This is you deflecting, and being defensive. Noone has a perfect marriage. But, guess what? My husband was in the same marriage as me and didn't cheat. Your husband was in the same marriage as you and didn't cheat. We cheated because we have character flaws that have to be fixed in order to even be suitable for marriage. You need to concentrate on being suitable for marriage first.

foreverlabeled posted 8/21/2019 17:44 PM

I would find it very hard to believe that everyone was just rolling along in perfect marriages that an affair just blew apart
No not everyone, but I can't count how many times I've read in JFO something along the lines of "I thought we were good" "I thought our M was perfect" "Things seemed so well" "I didn't know s/he was so unhappy" "completely blindsided" You see affairs happen in good marriages too. At least a one sided opinion of a good marriage.

Ya know, we are notorious for rewriting marital history. I did myself by first convincing myself with thoughts that our M was shit, that I deserve better, I'm entitled to this or that, he doesn't really love me. Then crept in the feelings to back it up, I took in all the bad, zero of the good and with that before I knew it, it was my truth. It's that trifecta that sets a possibility of an affair in motion. And only those weak and broken take the bait.

And also while rewriting history we place blame on ANYTHING but ourselves. Oh how I told myself I tried to get him to see, that I begged and pleaded. Which I did in ways.. but imagine if I told him I'm vulnerable that I might as well seek what I want elsewhere, are we that honest? Um no. And I think its right there at that point that we fail ourselves and our M. Why couldn't we be so brave to admit our deepest thoughts, that went so far to turn into feelings, that turned into truth, that we were brave enough to act on that of all things, to go the extra mile to become cheaters instead? Without so much as giving them a fighting chance. IDK, I daydream often about this scenario and the what ifs. What if I told him I was that desperate?

Who knows what that would have sparked and set fire to. Maybe his reaction to just my thoughts alone would have awakened me to my own deficits and brokenness without actually having to hurt him in a more tragic way. *Sigh* no bueno going down the what if hole...

You also can't blame the way he loved you or didn't love you in your eyes. So, it gets messy for me proclaiming my H loved me throughout our M, only because he engaged in an EA for most of it until our ddays which was roughly 4 yrs in at that point. I do believe though that he did show this in some ways. I wasn't receptive though because his idea of showing love and my idea of showing love was like vinegar and oil. We are on the opposite spectrum of the 'love languages' if there ever were a spectrum. I can look back now and pick out all the ways his love language spoke his love to me. Well, my clueless ass didn't know any of this shit. And all his attempts meant nothing, because in my mind if he didn't do this or that, well, he couldn't possibly love me. And I wouldn't be surprised if he felt the same. So your idea of romance and showing he loves and adores you probably isn't the same for him.

But let me just say, we are getting ahead of ourselves here. Your dday was just last week (ETA just to add a big emphasis here, you technically stopped cheating on him last week) and so there are bigger issues at hand. You speak of hypothetical viscous cycles that are intolerable should he keep you there. Let's ponder on that for a moment. Because truth is, you are currently perpetuating a very cruel, vicious cycle. What is more vicious than keeping contact with your AP after your first dday? I think it would serve you well to acknowledge this as more than a relapse, and own the fact that you gave your BH yet another dday with all your heart, when does the hurt you are causing stop?

Do you not understand the gravity, the depths of pain this action has on your BH?

I know he's responding from hurt and self protection but passive aggressive sarcasm aimed at the thing you are most ashamed of is hard to respond to with anything other than running away or lashing back. It's hard to summon tenderness or understanding in the face of sarcasm.
This comment, no, just no. Where is your empathy where is your compassion that BSs don't exactly act rational and proper with the utmost of coping skills? I mean seriously, sarcasm hard to face? How about being cheated on? Maybe VioletElle, and anyone else for that matter should do a little research on the trauma of infidelity, the grief process (which btw might seem like a vicious cycle if you aren't aware of how it works in infidelity). And maybe it's harder for WS to understand and know when they didn't get the full force of what many many many other WS experienced.

I used to think my H was content to rugsweep, he didn't have much to say or react to after the initial blow and the months that followed. But what I didn't take into consideration was the natural human mind going into protection mode to compartmentalize the extreme pain he was in. To the naked eye, yeah, compartmentalization is going to look like sweeping. I didn't consider how well my H could compartmentalize this kind of pain one that almost (actually) calls for it if you think about it (some don't/can't and that's where tragedy can really strike), if he couldn't before (and I doubt it as one of the reason he excelled the way he did) but his military history only cemented it, he couldn't do what he did without that ability. And I know it came into play in the aftermath, but you don't have to be military or any other profession that calls for it to cope with a serious situation. Same goes for any BS that had shitty FOO or any previous traumatic experience. Adding a first timer to trauma in as well. Because the brain does it's thing to protect us. Compartmentalizing is a go to for our brains when one faces the extreme.

I have to go here, it's important to owing it.

He knows my emotional state and tried to take advantage of it anyways.
So now it's the APs fault? You didn't give him the door to walk through? My thought is this, you gave yourselves a cooling off period. Once it was seemingly settling down for you, you were right back in contact. Before you get the cart ahead of the horse, you should sit down with yourself and first question is this it? Are you willing to suffer the shit feelings of discomfort and pain you might feel to give up this guy? Like, for good? No matter what?? You have to start here you have to COMMIT or this viscous cycle will continue at your hands.

What steps are willing to take here? What is preventing you from another dday due to a broken NC, you are proving you aren't strong enough, not yet. What if you told your BH that the pull is strong before you even go there? Can you manage that? To take the necessary steps before, before your viscous cycle stars again? You are telling us here you won't go to extremes, so what are you willing to do?

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 6:54 PM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

Zugzwang posted 8/22/2019 09:51 AM

If you were taking blame for the affair and for your problems, you wouldn't even bring up the marriage conditions. Your Dday is what? Couple weeks ago. Way too soon to be talking about the marriage issues and what you would have liked to see. Even if your husband asks. Like some posters stated, he could be rugsweeping and just focusing on affair proofing the marriage. Which will never work because you will continue to be the weak link.

I don't sit there berating my husband and making lists of demands and telling him what's what.
I believe that you don't. It is just comes across most likely in your day to day interactions because of your personality and character does here. If you do it here, you probably do it at home.
He's very guarded with his feelings and does have the habit of hiding them.
From you too? Why? Why does he feel he needs to guard them? Why doesn't he feel safe?
When wrote about romance, I was writing in the past tense.
Didn't sound like it was past tense to me. Sounds like you expect that now. Which is unreasonable considering you are conditional. Honestly a wayward should be going beyond 100% to the betrayed for a long period of time without expecting to receive in return. You should be earning him. Not the other way around. Does it suck for you? Yeah, no doubt. You are however the one that fucked it all up because of your issues. Doesn't matter if the marriage was good or bad. Which you just proved your own point. People cheat on good marriages. I did. People cheat on bad. That is why it isn't about the marriage. It is about the cheater. Where they lack as a person for themselves. The individual people cause the marriage problems. You were the one that cheated. If you were willing to do that to yourself, spouse, family, and even other people...don't you think your percentage of marriage problems was most likely pretty huge as causing them?

Many times posters have used their spouse and marriage as scapegoats for their own personal unhappiness. I see this alot with empty nesters. Suddenly don't know themselves and have anything to do with their lives. No hobbies, no crafts, no accomplishments that speak to who they are as a person...there is no one to blame but themselves for that.

I would also suggest that you go back and read every single one of your posts since the very beginning. See how many times you have an excuse for everything. See how many times posters reply to your entitlement and expectations that you change or clarify to say it wasn't that bad. You do a ton of going back and debating what you meant. Is it really to clarify or is it to show absolute strangers that you aren't a monster or bad person.

He keeps saying he doesn't want anyone to know. Why? Is it really to protect you? Is it just because he is the type to not air dirty laundry? Or is it because he feels shame and guilt for letting you down in the marriage and causing you to cheat? If it is the latter, it is wrong and it is because you are allowing him to take ownership and blame for your choice. That makes you a bad person. IMO it makes you a monster. If you are allowing him to feel like it was his fault that is shameful. If he comes here, posters will point it out that he has no ownership and no fault. Are you satisfied with that?

but you are just concentrating on the wrong things if you want this marriage to work.
go beyond that. You are concentrating on the wrong things if you want you to work and finally be fulfilled and happy on your own.

VioletElle posted 8/22/2019 11:21 AM

He isn't open with his emotions because he just isn't the type. He talks to me about that stuff, but that's it. With his guy friends, they just watch sports and make bad jokes. They don't discuss personal stuff and they certainly don't let on about any weaknesses. Maybe it's a macho thing, I don't know, but it's just the way he is.

The reason I came here was because of my concern about him internalizing the blame for something I did. He does blame himself for the affair and there really isn't anything that will convince him otherwise. He's not about to start posting on a message board about infidelity and if he did, right or wrong, if anyone said anything bad about me it would be met with a litany of abuse before he logged off for the last time.

Nobody here really gets our relationshop, nor should they. People are more complex than A = A and will always be A for everyone no matter what B, C or D is. What is true for you may not be true for everyone else.

If I no longer have any right to a sense of happiness or expectation for my marriage I would end it. That isn't the case. I would find living that way to be far worse than living with infidelity. The damage would be too great and we would need to move on. We aren't living like that. We have good days and bad days, but more good. Those days wouldn't find me posting a thread here to talk about all the things that are working.

He doesn't spend his time brooding over my affair. I spend far more time doing that. He's told me to cut it out as it only serves as a tool to create more drama after drama and in that he's probably right. We just have to move on from it and I have to put it behind me.

VioletElle posted 8/22/2019 11:21 AM

He isn't open with his emotions because he just isn't the type. He talks to me about that stuff, but that's it. With his guy friends, they just watch sports and make bad jokes. They don't discuss personal stuff and they certainly don't let on about any weaknesses. Maybe it's a macho thing, I don't know, but it's just the way he is.

The reason I came here was because of my concern about him internalizing the blame for something I did. He does blame himself for the affair and there really isn't anything that will convince him otherwise. He's not about to start posting on a message board about infidelity and if he did, right or wrong, if anyone said anything bad about me it would be met with a litany of abuse before he logged off for the last time.

Nobody here really gets our relationshop, nor should they. People are more complex than A = A and will always be A for everyone no matter what B, C or D is. What is true for you may not be true for everyone else.

If I no longer have any right to a sense of happiness or expectation for my marriage I would end it. That isn't the case. I would find living that way to be far worse than living with infidelity. The damage would be too great and we would need to move on. We aren't living like that. We have good days and bad days, but more good. Those days wouldn't find me posting a thread here to talk about all the things that are working.

He doesn't spend his time brooding over my affair. I spend far more time doing that. He's told me to cut it out as it only serves as a tool to create more drama after drama and in that he's probably right. We just have to move on from it and I have to put it behind me.

Sanibelredfish posted 8/22/2019 12:21 PM

VE, a high level summary of your time here would break down as follows:

Initial thread: telling your story and pushing back when challenged that you are expecting too much too soon from your BH and blaming the state of the M rather than your own issues.

Radio silence

New thread about relapse: updating everyone on recent developments, but still blame shifting. You and your H are unique and no one can possibly understand all the details of your M.

You’re an intelligent woman. Any guesses on what comes next?

OptionedOut posted 8/22/2019 12:48 PM

You have three choices:

1) Keep lying and cheating, taking advantage of a good man who trusted you once, then gave you the gift of another chance. When he finds out, you're done. He won't waste another second on you. Is that want you want? Do you have some hangup and want to play victim? Do you want to hurt people?

2) Show him the texts, and divorce him. Build a relationship with the guy who knows he's screwing a married woman. See how that works out for you. Meanwhile, let that wonderful husband of yours find a new Mrs wonderful. He certainly deserves it. Trust me. There are a TON of good women who've been betrayed and are now single. THey'll snap him up and treat him right - and she'll be the love of his life. See? Happy ending! I mean, you DO want him to be happy, right? And since you can't seem to stay away from OM, you don't really love your husband. Not truly. And you clearly don't respect him, IMO.

3) Text the OM back with a heart-felt no contact text. Tell him how hurtful and cruel your relationship with him has been and that you are dedicated to your husband who is a good man and didn't deserve such a betrayal. Then, show the text to your husband. Let the chips fall where they may.

Want your self-respect back? Want to do the right thing? You can. Don't? Well, you know the answer to that.

Zugzwang posted 8/22/2019 13:48 PM

If I no longer have any right to a sense of happiness or expectation for my marriage I would end it.

It is interesting that you say that. For healthy normal people cheating goes beyond divorce. So, if you didn't divorce because the sense is that your marriage was happy. You certainly therefor didn't cheat because of the marriage. You were happy enough to be married and not divorced. So, you cheated because you were unhappy with you.

The reason I came here was because of my concern about him internalizing the blame for something I did.
Posters have been telling you that you have been enabling that instead of discouraging it from your entitlement and expectations of a betrayed. Not of a marriage. Of a betrayed person in shock from trauma.

Still according to you, you cheated because of the marriage, you kept the door open to cheating and are relapsing (though you never got out so relapsing is not correct) then you go to say things are good and if it wasn't you would divorce. Well, then why are you relapsing? Your post started out about relapsing and the desire to cheat because things weren't good, then your husband taking the blame for your issues. Things aren't good so it is bad enough to cheat but not to do the noble, honorable thing and divorce. You said it, relapsing because things weren't going your way according to what you felt entitled to despite you betrayed someone. Not his way. Your way.

Where you place cheating in a marriage is all screwed up. It is wayward thinking.

hikingout posted 8/22/2019 13:49 PM


Nobody here really gets our relationshop, nor should they. People are more complex than A = A and will always be A for everyone no matter what B, C or D is. What is true for you may not be true for everyone else.

I understand that. I really do. We can only tell you our experiences and you draw from them what applies to your situation.

But, I will say that you keep using these obstacles to throw out what we are saying. And, it's to your detriment. First of all, many of us have read many, many in depth books about infidelity and there are distinct patterns that WS have in common, affairs have in common, BS have in common. When we say our situation is similar, that doesn't mean it's completely a like, but I don't think it's as unique as you think it is.


AND - many of us have successfully gotten out of fidelity, began to recover, some of us reconciled or are on our way. I would trust people who have some success at this over yourself right now. You are flailing. Don't put more obstacles on yourself by being defensive or throwing up these "we are so unique scenarios". Did you ever read that article I directed you to when you got here? "Romantic infidelity" by Dr. Frank Pittman. I have a feeling you are going to know exactly the things he is pointing out in this article.

If I no longer have any right to a sense of happiness or expectation for my marriage I would end it. That isn't the case. I would find living that way to be far worse than living with infidelity. The damage would be too great and we would need to move on. We aren't living like that. We have good days and bad days, but more good. Those days wouldn't find me posting a thread here to talk about all the things that are working.


This makes sense, but that really wasn't the point we were trying to make (I feel foreverlabeled and I both said something similar here). I am a fellow wayward and I do agree the success of our long-term marriage is now contingent on our ability moving forward to be responsible for our own happiness but treating each other's happiness with the importance we treat our own. So, no one is saying you need to be miserable or you can't do things. What we are telling you is you can't skip forward to doing anything until you have done enough work on yourself that an affair is no longer an option. When that has been done, then you can look at rebuilding but if you don't do that first you are going to keep having these moments where you are at risk of relapse. It should never feel like you are white knuckling or that he could come back and you wouldn't be able to resist him. That you are not ruminating about the "love" you shared.


He doesn't spend his time brooding over my affair. I spend far more time doing that.

You are brooding about it still because you have not really ended the affair. You are still half in and half out. It's impossible that it's not that way. You are fooling yourself if you can't see that.

He's told me to cut it out as it only serves as a tool to create more drama after drama and in that he's probably right. We just have to move on from it and I have to put it behind me.

Your husband is likely still in shock. He is playing the pick me dance. And, if he's over it you really need to ask yourself why. The reason I said that? Because I thought mine was over it too. It went along like that for a couple of months and guess what? Bam, He asked for a divorce. Grieving is not linear, and until he feels like you have let go of this other guy he's not going to feel safe enough with you to make any waves. Your relapse has started over the time on all that.

My husband is the most laid back, emotionally mature and adjustet man I have ever met on the planet. You sound a lot like Pippen when she got here, she kept saying "we are good, we are good". She later learned there was a lot of work do there, her husband was way more angry than she understood, and she finally saw he was doing a bit of a pick me dance because that's all he could do in the unstable situation. You aren't good. He isn't good. I promise. People rugsweep these things and then there is another offense down the line.

[This message edited by hikingout at 1:51 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

Wool94 posted 8/22/2019 16:51 PM

Everyone is reiterating the same things over and over again.

Are you getting any advice here that you can use?

Again, I will ask, what are you doing to help your spouse heal?

You're still white knuckling being around your Piece of Shit AP.

What happens when he contacts you again?

STLLOST posted 8/23/2019 12:20 PM

[This message edited by STLLOST at 2:37 PM, August 23rd (Friday)]

EvolvingSoul posted 8/23/2019 12:25 PM

She did tell him.

VioletElle posted 8/26/2019 16:16 PM

Obviously on the good days I'm still somewhat expecting that other shoe to drop. I'm not sure that's because the way I would have reacted if he cheated on me or because it could really happen. My husband hasn't given me any reason to think it will. He still tells me that he loves me and makes sure to tell me even after a bad argument (we aren't at eachother's throats, but we do argue). We are still making love if that counts for anything and I am even taking a role in initiating it now. I do think he's rugsweeping but how do I just say that's unacceptable. I've raised it with our MC, but really he doesn't even want to go to that and isn't very open with her anyways.

I do love him and want to stay married, but I admit that I am still infatuated with the other guy. It makes me feel awful but it is what it is. I don't love him and I don't want to be with him.

Then there are the kids and I don't care what anyone says they do matter. I don't want them living their teen years with half a mother and half a father. I have awful nightmares about abondoning them. Not that I ever would do that, but I've woken up in tears from the thought. My son and daughter are the most important people in the world to me and they do matter in all this. He is their father and therefore essential to be in these years of their life full time. I believe there are things that, especially boys, need their fathers for.

HellFire posted 8/26/2019 16:46 PM

But they are living their teen lives with half of a mother,and half of a father. Mom is infatuated with a man who helped her wage war on her husband and children. And dad is repressing his feelings, and trying to pretend nothing happened.

Imagine how much it might affect them to have a mom committed to the security of their family. Imagine how it might affect them to have a healthy, whole father.

You still have choices. Choose wisely.

strugglebus posted 8/26/2019 17:06 PM

Do you really believe that people who are divorced and have children are only "half parents"? Will you become half their parent when they grow up and move out? Seriously, what in the world.

You can be a full and involved parent and not live with your child 24/7. You can also half ass parenting with them living with you all of the time. I'm sure you know that but I think when we say things that don't make sense they need to be pointed out.

Sounds like you have decided to stay with your husband and that he wants you to stay, that's great. Here's my advice:

You're still thinking about the other guy because you keep going to the well to have a little peek, a little contact, indulging in thoughts.

Shut off all pathways to you from him - make your social media private and block his (it's pretty darned easy to do and there's no real difference to your family and friends that you have added in what they see).

Block his email address. Block his phone number.

If you look him up online, STOP.

If there are places you frequent he likes, stop.

Change the pathways in your brain.
-OM pops in, take a moment to conjure up a good moment with your husband.
-Keep a gratitude journal and use it EVERYDAY
- Change the routes you take to work or running errands
- Create a playlist of songs that remind you of your marriage and play them often
- Create new traditions - think of fun things for your husband to do with you, new hobbies, day trips for the family

Life is short and kids grow up. Every moment pining on some guy (who thinks so little of you that he would help you throw away your kids' security for literally nothing) is time of this period of their lives you are wasting.

Do you really want to say "I half assed trying to save my marriage" OR would you prefer to be able to say "I went all in and did my best" ? The choice is yours.

VioletElle posted 8/26/2019 17:18 PM

You're 100% right Struggle. I've been horrible in every way and it's up to me to stop being so weak willed. It's just so hard to live with.

VioletElle posted 8/26/2019 17:21 PM

I apologize for my half a parent comment. It was wrong of me to say that. It's not fair to all the hard working parents out there who are there for their kids 100 percent of the time from wherever they are. Sorry.

strugglebus posted 8/26/2019 17:31 PM

VE - you can do this. You aren't weak willed, you are just giving yourself permission to leave these doors open.

Close them. Lock them tight. Guide yourself in the way you would a toddler.

Toddlers want to do crazy dangerous things often. So what do we do as parents? We set our house up to minimize the risk. You've got teenagers, you've probably done this exact thing.

You just need to shift focus to parent yourself. Put on the childproof locks. Lock the poisonous chemicals out of your reach.

When your foggy brain says "BUT I want to drink the floor cleaner! It's purple and smells like lavender!" You can say "No, brain, that will kill your chances. It is poison. Instead look at this good, healthy thing."

You can change, but you have to WANT it.

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