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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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Mene posted 8/29/2019 18:34 PM

Having to see the AP on regular occasions because your respective children are in the same class is possibly a major factor in the reason your R has hit a wall. This is totally untenable.

The AP has to be out of the picture COMPLETELY. I understand the logistical and other problems to have your son attend another school would create but this is not healthy for your marriage that your child attends the same school as the APís child and PARTICULARLY the same class.

Doesnít the asshole AP have ANY shame? You need to address this issue. How can you possibly continue seeing the AP regularly? It would massively trigger me and R would be impossible with my spouse because of the trauma Iíd have to deal with regularly. I donít know how you do it. Itís like heís rubbing your nose in it. Thatís what it would feel to me.

[This message edited by Mene at 6:39 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

Mene posted 8/29/2019 18:47 PM

Donít want to introduce bravado in this whole thread but I couldnít possibly function normally if I was seeing the AP regularly. I wouldnít be able to contain myself.

The AP in my situation wanted to meet with me to talk about the situation and defuse any tension. I said to him he seriously needs psychiatric help suggesting that and I warned him if he ever tried to come near me I would not be able to guarantee he doesnít end up in hospital. I later learned he is petrified of me and wanted to ďbroker a peaceĒ. What? What the fuck are these delusional assholes thinking? No, heís not OK. I want him to keep away from me and my family. Forever. I gave him a stern warning. I couldnít have made it any more clear.

I may be off the mark here, but the situation with your respective sons being in the same class is seriously hampering your R cause youíre constantly reliving trauma.

Of course I understand you simply just canít move kids out of school at the drop of a hat. It punishes the boys. This is a difficult situation.

Marz posted 8/29/2019 18:55 PM

Iíve been very angry and said impatient and unkind things, letting my anger bleed through the keyboard at people I donít even know who have done me no wrong.

It happens.

I suspect you want this to work more than she does. Which is causing your angst.

Thumos posted 8/30/2019 12:59 PM

I wanted to let those following this thread know that my wife has come to me with a plan to get an STD immediately after a clinic opens after Labor Day, she is making an appointment with an IC and she is in the process of writing out a detailed written timeline (with as many details of the texting she can recall).

She has also said she wants to do a polygraph although she fears her chronic anxiety (which is real) might make her fail the polygraph. She is still willing to do it, however.

In addition, she has been researching Retrouvaille and betrayal trauma retreats and has been putting together our calendar and pricing options.

In any event, I wanted to provide a quick update. I find this encouraging and I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm taking a wait and see attitude to see how this actually plays out.

This is a fairly quick turnaround from where we were earlier this week when she angrily blasted me for sending her a podcast about betrayal trauma.

I guess it took looking into my dead eyes and seeing that I was ready to walk for her to begin "getting it." Still it's progress.

[This message edited by Thumos at 12:59 PM, August 30th (Friday)]

Thumos posted 8/30/2019 13:03 PM

Having to see the AP on regular occasions because your respective children are in the same class is possibly a major factor in the reason your R has hit a wall. This is totally untenable.

I agree, but right now it's not in the cards for us to change this situation in the short-term/medium-term. She and I both know this continues to be deeply traumatizing for me. However, I'm willing to gut it out with this particular aspect medium-term (meaning *not* years and years) if we're making substantial and measurable progress in other areas.

1492 posted 8/30/2019 13:29 PM

I sincerely hope that she follows through with all she has promised. Life after an affair is the most difficult thing we have all ever done, we all feel the same pain and struggles. I wish you the best.

OneInTwenty posted 9/1/2019 15:16 PM

When young after I had my first bad argument with my mother, I went to my grandparents and consulted them about it. They took my side and my grandfather replied;
"Ahh, (my mother)'s a proud one".

He meant proud in the biblical sense, proud as in a sin. Proud as a defining and ugly central component of her personality.

Your wife strikes me as a "proud one". Perhaps you'll ever get full admission and accountability but maybe you can work with that?

Maybe she is doing all she can, she might
be earnest and committed to you but incapable of expressing it.

Thumos posted 9/1/2019 15:40 PM

Your wife strikes me as a "proud one". Perhaps you'll ever get full admission and accountability but maybe you can work with that?

I have had the same thoughts. I donít know why it is, could be related to FOO issues of abandonment and the like, and feeling that she must preserve a certain ďhard borderĒ on her self-image at all costs. ďThis far and no fartherĒ kind of thing.

I can only say that Iíve struggled mightily the past three years with a number of huge glaring issues. The lack of transparency and giving me the full truth, the hard gaslighting, and the unremitting continued triggering Iíve had to endure. So if I feel that sheís fudging or just not willing to give me the level of accountability and admission I need, then Iím walking. Iíd like to stay, ideally, and work it out. But itís untenable the way things are now.

She is working on her timeline today.

[This message edited by Thumos at 3:41 PM, September 1st (Sunday)]

ISurvivedSoFar posted 9/1/2019 19:13 PM

Your wife's reactions to all of these requests will tell you where she's at. Polygraphs are not the be all and end all. Neither is having passwords for any time access. Anybody can game the system if they want. I think the point is how willing is she to do what you require for R and to heal for R.

Nobody is perfect and nobody will perfectly get through all of these requests. But the willingness to dig in and try counts a lot - at least in my book. Good luck - thinking of you and hoping for the best for you.

Thumos posted 9/1/2019 22:36 PM

Polygraphs are not the be all and end all.

I agree - itís more to see how she folos thru (just like the STD test) and whether it prompts more truth or information.

To be honest, with where my head and heart are now after how she reacted to the betrayal trauma podcast, Iím not sure it will all be enough.

Just the facts of the adultery and gaslighting are a pretty open and shut deal breaker. Add to that how she has rugswept (which I went along with but now Iím waking up) and her obvious sense of entitlement.

Iím going to need to see a lot of substantial change.

Marz posted 9/2/2019 01:51 AM

People for the most part will only do what they have to. Upfront you told her by your actions or lack of, rug sweeping and her hiding the full truth was ok.

If you want R to succeed then lay out firm actions (which it seems you've done) you want to see from her and don't back down. Never make ultimatums you won't keep. That'll just reinforce her to do nothing.

[This message edited by Marz at 2:10 AM, September 2nd (Monday)]

Butforthegrace posted 9/2/2019 07:16 AM

She is working on her timeline today.

It will be interesting to see if she details when she decided to have sex with him, and why, and what lies she planned to tell you with respect to what she was doing at that time.

psychmom posted 9/2/2019 09:51 AM

Thumos, I read your intial post and the last few pages of this thread. Some parts resonate with me, being 5 years out and still thinking daily about my H's double life (3 OW over a 3 year period). There's so much I could write, but I'll just jump to what I think is my main point to share with you. Your W may do everything "right" and yet the reality of the betrayal (including all the manipulation she pulled on you after you discovered but she refused to give up the full truth of things) can be too much for some of us to "get over" sufficiently to move forward in this M.

Some days still I wish my H would just have another affair so I can leave without a second thought. Sad, isn't it? But instead he works hard to be a better person, to prove his commitment and love for me. He is attentive and generally calm when I question him still about the OW and his relationships with them. Sometimes he gets angry, but I honestly don't blame him after all this time and all we've done to get this far in our R.

But I can't let it go. And at this far out, I have lost hope that I will ever fully let him off the hook for what he's done, for being who he was/is. I feel myself tethered to someone I love, yet also someone I don't respect or like when I allow myself to go back to what he did for so long. I just cannot make peace with it. And there is not anything he can do to change that. It's ME.

So my point is simply to not be too hard on yourself, and while I sincerely hope that your W can give you something that will help ease your mind and allow you to move beyond this, it is also possible that this truly was a deal breaker for you and a part of you will not be able to let it go. It's a sad and frightening realization on my part, because I truly wanted to make this work and have a "successful" R. Now I'm not certain that can happen. 5 years (or 3 years in your case) is a long time to spend doing something that ultimately doesn't give you the outcome you had hoped for. But there is always a chance it will work out for you. Wishing you good luck with this and hope that you find the magic combination that opens the door to a happy relationship with your W that no longer feels clouded by her infidelity.

Thumos posted 9/2/2019 13:37 PM

Your W may do everything "right" and yet the reality of the betrayal (including all the manipulation she pulled on you after you discovered but she refused to give up the full truth of things) can be too much for some of us to "get over" sufficiently to move forward in this M.

Really perceptive. I hope this is not the case for me, but there are lots of days when I feel like it is. Like you with your husband, I do love her. But Iím also increasingly aware that my loving her doesnít mean I need to stay with her necessarily. I can love her and live a life that is on the path to healing without her. I was aware of this from day one and have told her that from the beginning.

psychmom posted 9/2/2019 19:36 PM

I can love her and live a life that is on the path to healing without her. I was aware of this from day one and have told her that from the beginning.

Funny, but my H has this notion that if I choose to leave it's because I don't love him enough. Even though I've said numerous times that while I love him, love is not enough to fix all that has been broken. He see things more plainly in black and white, and really struggles with the shades of gray. He believes he has changed, he "feels" different than he did before -- apparently I should be able to see all of that as clearly as he does, and that knowledge should make all my fears go away, and somehow also minimize the pain I feel from the past. Maybe that's just wayward magical thinking.

You are in a good place to realize that you can love her yet leave because it's not enough to keep you in a M that isn't working for you. But I REALLY hope that you get the outcome you are working toward, Thumos. I still have a small glimmer of hope that my head will allow me to stay in the place where I understand his motivations and truly do see why and how he did what he did. In that space I feel compassion toward him, see him clearly for the broken man/child he is. It's when I slip from this vantage point that I look at things from a much darker lens and spiral into thinking that this is just unsustainable. If you find that magic potion, be sure to let me know!

Thumos posted 9/2/2019 21:30 PM

As Iíve mentioned before my wife is a very sweet and gracious woman, and continues to be. Thatís an additional reason this has been so traumatic for me - because how she acted during the affair ó cold, gaslighting, resentful, lashing out ó and afterwards did not add up with the person I thought I knew, the person I married.

We had an interesting conversation tonight where she openly admitted for the first time that our marriage was a good one before the affair, and she's mourning the loss of that good marriage. She talked about all of the things she could have done and should have done to make our marriage even better than it was, and she deeply regretted turning away from marriage and to another man instead.

This was the first time she'd ever said something like this to me, and it was unsolicited. She all but copped to the rewriting the history of our marriage to justify her adultery. When I pointed out that she was basically saying she has spent the past three years inaccurately rewriting a false narrative of our marriage before the affair, she agreed.

I found it encouraging, and as I've said Iím trying to be cautiously optimistic. I'm also not jumping in with both feet in a hopium spree, because I feel like I've done that before in the past three years only to have my hopes crushed. I don't want to get my hopes up too high because I worry some of this may simply be because she is seeing the writing on the wall and mourning what she should have appreciated.

This conversation tonight happened after I told her about an insight Iíd had reading here on SI - that instead of me saying our marriage 1.0 was over, she needed to realize instead that she had unilaterally divorced me by having her affair and I was now in the position of having to decide whether I wanted to be married to this person in a new marriage in light of what I knew now. I think this really shocked her and got through.

We will see.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:10 PM, September 2nd (Monday)]

sisoon posted 9/3/2019 13:21 PM

Shirley Glass believed that As happen in good Ms when the WS has poor boundaries.

It doesn't mitigate the pain you're experiencing and have experienced, but it does point to the work your W has to do to heal - and if she does the work, you can have confidence that she won't betray you again, IMO.

But the outcome for your M remains: first, you decide what you want. Even if R is possible, if you don;t want it, so be it.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:56 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]

HowIsThisReal posted 9/6/2019 18:32 PM

I just made a post that kind of relates to this. I was stuck in anger basically our whole attempt at R. It's a horrible feeling. I hope you can come out of it.

Butforthegrace posted 9/7/2019 08:29 AM

How is the WW's follow-through on her plan coming along?

Butforthegrace posted 9/22/2019 08:32 AM

On the ďmeaningless sexĒ topic, I put quote marks around it bc my WW used that exact phrase. Unfortunately for me, I just donít have a grid for understanding it. Yes, I can conceptually ďgetĒ that people have meaningless sex, or tell themselves thatís what they are doing. But my own experience as a human is, I guess, lacking in this area. Iíve never had meaningless sex. Iíve only had meaningful sex. The only woman Iíve ever had sex with is my WW. It was always meaningful for me. My WW has told me she believes this makes me ďimmatureĒ about sex, and ďthatís your problemĒ that I was a virgin before her ó but I donít really believe thatís true. It makes me different, but not immature. I also felt that having sex with another man in our home was FRAUGHT with meaning: it defiled the family home, it was willfully planned with a series of deliberate choices, and it was a purposefully emasculating act.

Thumos, I've copied this from your post on another thread to avoid a TJ over there.

The "it was just sex" phrase is uttered very commonly by WW's as a part of their effort to minimize. As I said on the other thread, this is one of the most harmful things a WW can say to her BH. There is in my observation a gulf of understanding about this. For a woman, the availability of sex is about as all-encompassing as the availability of air to breath. In fact women are beleaguered by sexual overtures, to the point where a quotidian part of life for them is fending them off.

This is where empathy, or lack of empathy, matter. A WW with empathy would not ever say this to her BH. Never. The fact that yours not only says it, but uses it to demean and belittle you, indicates that she has no empathy.

Further, in the case of your WW, I don't believe her. I think she is lying about this part. As you note, the circumstances suggest she was excited for the sex with him, she planned for it and anticipated it, and it was part of a bigger emotional relationship that would have likely grown even larger and stronger if you had not caught them out.

The way she treated you post-DDay is most consistent with the thesis that she was angry and resentful toward you for catching her and putting a stop to her romance. You were the fly in her Vaseline.

On the sex part and the gulf of understanding, I often use a cake metaphor. Assume you like it when your wife bakes a cake for you. You enjoy eating the cake, and you feel flattered and affirmed when she invests the time and effort into doing this for you.

If she does this for another man, you are hurt. She promised you, when getting married, that she would bake these cakes only for you, for the rest of your lives together. You trusted her and made yourself emotionally vulnerable to her in reliance on this promise.

It doesn't matter to you whether she got pleasure from baking the cake for another man. You assume she did, because you know she enjoys cake baking generally, and because she chose to invest the time and energy into baking this cake for him.

What hurts is that she did it, that she invested time and energy giving this pleasure to another man. It doesn't make it better if, for her, it was "just cake". If it was "just cake", then when she got married to you, she should not have stated expressly that "I will not ever bake a cake for anybody else but you, until we are parted by death."

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