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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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Thumos posted 8/16/2019 14:00 PM

You should inform her other mans wife. It's a mistake to help hide affairs it just enables bad behavior.

OM's BW already knows. I talked to her about a year after D-Day. She didn't confirm for me whether the details I knew were accurate or not, but she confirmed she knew what happened at least close enough that it devastated her. They are still married. She also didn't want to get in a long drawn-out discussion. She wanted to move on. So I never got any confirmation from her on whether the narrative I have is true or not. She simply didn't want to address it.

Also, to be clear, I didn't just rugsweep this initially. I outed her to her sister and my MIL. They were supportive of me, but it's also their sister and daughter. So.

They would be surprised, I think, that I'm still struggling. I've done a pretty effective job of masking my pain.

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 14:02 PM

Have you confronted her about this?

No, not yet. It actually just occurred to me while I was responding to things in this thread. One of those retroactive epiphanies you see in movies sometimes.

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 14:04 PM

Except when you don't, like when she is extreme gaslighting you to enable an affair with some asshole she knows from the neighborhood.

That made me laugh out loud. So true. We actually do live in the same neighborhood. No kidding.

[This message edited by Thumos at 2:05 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

waitedwaytoolong posted 8/16/2019 14:18 PM

I know she'll be devastated if I decided to call it quits. I know she loves me. I know she's sorry, but I just can't tell myself she's 100 percent sorry or that I'm not seeing classic symptoms of regret vs actual remorse

In the end for me it didnít matter if she felt remorse or not. Mine absolutely did. She lost the most important thing in the world to her which was her family. It was everything to her. She was a great mom and wife and loved that role. What set the whole thing in motion is she felt she lost a bit of that when our youngest went off to school. She was a little lost and her AP preyed on that

Remorse or not,it wasnít going to ever change what she did to me by bringing him into our lives. No matter how bad she felt about it after, it was never going to erase what she did in my head. He didnít help in the way he used her sexually to get back at me which is a whole other story

Itís been a couple of years since the divorce, and more since the separation. I have a pretty good life. Iím in shape, and am well off financially, so meeting women has not been a problem. Itís awful to say, but my EX has let herself go which dovetails with the depression, so the women I see are more attractive than her now. I wouldnít say that if comparing her pre affair as she was a beautiful woman and in amazing shape.

The women I date now donít mess around either in terms of sex. If they want it, they go for it and donít play a lot of games. The thing is they all have baggage. Of course Iím packing enough to go on a worlds cruise.

It can be lonely at times. Without a doubt if I could have turned back the clock and stopped her, my life would be far better to have the old her, the old me, my family, and the other half of my money. But that wasnít the choice I had. The choice was staying with someone who humiliated me and destroyed our marriage, or moving on to what hopefully would be a better life

I donít know about you, but I really disliked me after her affair. After the first year where I was just a huge prick, after that I was a passive aggressive prick. She would go to hold my hand, but then I would start thinking how long before I could let it go. I wasnít mean, I just wasnít a loving person anymore and didnít like this version of me. So a big reason I left, was not to be that person anymore. When I explained that to her she said she could live with that after what she did, but isnít she entitled to find someone who truly loves her, even after what she did?

So the answer is facing my choices,I made the right one. Itís just so fu*ked up I had to make the choice.

I do still grieve for what we had and no what we will never have

Butforthegrace posted 8/16/2019 14:35 PM

We actually do live in the same neighborhood

I deduced that from the fact that the kids are in school together and the mention of the neighborhood walk.

As to the panties, does she still have them. Aren't they another horcrux of the A? Would you feel weird if you were getting ready for sex and she had them on?

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 15:01 PM

does she still have them.

Don't know. Don't think so. But not 100 percent sure about that.

I hadn't thought about that until you asked. It's interesting the little mental blocks we set up for ourselves without realizing it.

[This message edited by Thumos at 3:02 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 15:06 PM

I donít know about you, but I really disliked me after her affair.

A thousand times yes. I'm maybe a little better at hiding my feelings than it sounds like you were, but the anger comes out. But I don't like the increasingly cynical person I feel like I'm becoming.

There have been times where I felt close and wanted her -- and also plenty of times where it felt like you described, empty, going through the motions.

I can't process or understand how a woman could possibly think things could ever return to normal intimacy with a BH after they gave themselves to another man. It just baffles me because it seems such an obvious consequence, and yet they really don't seem to get it. Time after time.

Butforthegrace posted 8/16/2019 15:15 PM

I can't process or understand how a woman could possibly think things could ever return to normal intimacy with a BH after they gave themselves to another man. It just baffles me because it seems such an obvious consequence, and yet they really don't seem to get it. Time after time.

In threads where couples succeed with R after an A, one of the things we generally see is that they reinvent the marriage. They don't return to the pre-A status quo.

Further, it only works if the WS shows a great deal of consistent, humble empathy toward the BS.

Even with empathy, R sometimes can't work, as WWTL's thread shows. Sometimes the insult and trauma from the A is just too great.

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 15:51 PM

How long will she remain an enthusiastic initiator if Sir Topham Hat continues to betray your true inner thoughts about her and sex?

In fact, we've already arrived at this juncture.

At worst, she may decide that her efforts at R have fallen short, she may feel she has wasted her pearls before swine, and she may start up again with some other neighborhood asshole. Or, passion ebbs and you become roomates waiting out the high school graduation of your youngest.

Yep, this is pretty much my fear. I'm still doing drive-bys of her work, phone monitoring etc. because I'm worried about that. And then I ask myself, "dude just how long can you live like this? All wound up and twisted around inside, a basket case? You don't even trust her even if it's unlikely she'll betray you again."

[This message edited by Thumos at 3:52 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

Butforthegrace posted 8/16/2019 16:04 PM

I've read a lot of threads here on SI. I gather you have too. There are some wounds that are just too deep to be able to heal in the presence of the person who caused them.

In the case of WaitedWayTooLong, the sexual humiliation inflicted by his WW's highly sexual affair was the final nail.

There is a high degree of humiliation in your WW's A as well, which resides in the extreme degree of gaslighting during the A, followed by the arrogant and flippant way she tried, in the year or so following DDay, to bully you into rug-sweeping. Where you were asking for transparency, full disclosure, a return to honesty and intimacy, she was offering obvious fabrications and deflections, she was protecting the cocoon of intimacy she created in the A against your marriage, and she was belittling you and demeaning you over your view that extramarital sex is wrong.

She couldn't even re-set the process now if she wanted because all of the texts are gone. That ship has sailed. Though, based on your comments, I don't think this is a regret of hers. Rather, her regret is even acknowledging sex with him, at all. In other words, her wish, if she could have a do-over, is that she had lied to you after DDay even more than she already has.

Which sort of brings us full circle. A WW with empathy would wish there was some way to give you all of the truth you desire. Do you live the rest of your life looking yourself in the mirror as the passion and love of your marriage drip, drip, drips slowly away? Or do you cut the head off the beast and put both you and your WW out of the misery?

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 4:24 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

waitedwaytoolong posted 8/16/2019 16:40 PM

can't process or understand how a woman could possibly think things could ever return to normal intimacy with a BH after they gave themselves to another man. It just baffles me because it seems such an obvious consequence, and yet they really don't seem to get it. Time after time

My EX in the beginning got that she did something truly awful, but I think she thought the fact that she felt no real emotional connection mitigated the damage. I heard the t he meant nothing. I was going to end it, you are the one I want to spend my life with. ď. I think to her it might have been just sex. She really thought that I would get over it. I knew she had sex with others before me and that wasnít a problem. Most WW just donít get the concept of emasculation.

She didnít think that very long as I could barely touch her let alone have sex for a long time. And even then it was just physical.

They just donít know

Butforthegrace posted 8/16/2019 16:44 PM

How old are your kids currently?

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 17:11 PM

One is nearly in college. One is about to be in the 4th grade. I'm less worried about the older child - divorce is never good for any child, but the older child has nearly flown the nest. The younger child has many more years. It weighs on me, especially considering all of the overwhelming empirical research that shows harm to children from divorce.

nekonamida posted 8/16/2019 17:59 PM

Thumos, I think you should reconsider that research as new research says otherwise. Having a happy, stable environment is better for kids with separated parents than having parents together who are miserable. As it stands, your child has one parent who is anxious and unhappy. There is no way you could have possibly been able to emotionally invest in your 4th grader as well as you could over the last 3 years as before the A.

Children learn from the marriage their parents have. Children of cheaters are more likely to cheat themselves. Children of parents who abuse are even more likely to become abusive themselves than children who are abused by their parents. That's how much the marriage impacts them - greater than even their own experiences.

Would you want your 4th grader to go on and have a marriage like you have or do you want them to know it's okay to strive for better? Do you want them to see cheating as something that just happens in a marriage or that there are consequences? Sure, they may not know about it today but there's no guarantee they won't find out and glean whatever message you send about the situation later.

A better example for your children may not even be D. It could be R if your WW can rise to R with you. But if she can't or won't, showing them that marriage is just where you're miserable and anxious for the rest of your days is unacceptable and damaging. You can show them better and they deserve it. You deserve better too.

Butforthegrace posted 8/16/2019 18:05 PM

Fall of '19 going into 4th grade. Summer/fall of '16, going into first grade. You've mentioned that she works outside of the home. When a child enters first grade, as you know, it is a bit of a liberating moment for the parents, and mostly the mother. Infancy and early childhood impose a lot of time demands on the mother. Sleep deprivation, etc.

I'm guessing she met AP in connection with Kindergarten or first grade. As she found the freedom that comes with first grade, he swooped in, showered her with attention and saccharine flattery. She decided that she would go with that rather than turn back to her marriage. Really, really bad choice.

You have about 9 years of school until high school graduation. Basically, the next decade of your life. You'll be the better part of 60.

Yes, there is data to the effect of, all other things being equal, children of parents who are divorced and living apart potentially face emotional hurdles that they otherwise may not. However, I think you can't view these things in a vacuum. All other things are not equal. Children of parents who are married and living together, but highly dysfunctional, also face issues. You mention that you are plagued by gnawing doubt and worry about her, to the point where you do drive-bys at her work. You're facing difficulty in the bedroom. Kids pick up on these resonances, often subconsciously.

Both of my kids have attended extremely prestigious universities, meaning they did extremely well in high school. They both have university classmates that come from divorced parents. It can be done if the parents will co-parent in a way that puts their personal issues aside for the interests of the child.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 6:06 PM, August 16th (Friday)]

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 18:53 PM

I'm guessing she met AP in connection with Kindergarten or first grade. As she found the freedom that comes with first grade, he swooped in, showered her with attention and saccharine flattery. She decided that she would go with that rather than turn back to her marriage. Really, really bad choice.

Nailed it. Made her "feel like no man has ever made me feel."

Ever.

ramius posted 8/16/2019 19:07 PM

I grew up in a home touched (damaged) by infidelity. Although I did not find out about my Mom's affair until I left home. But now I can see it was always there. I lived day in and out with parents that were not happy, ever. Sometimes it was arguments. But most of the time it was smouldering anger and a lack of real affection. If there was a moment that approximated joy, it was very short lived. I just did not know it was the ghost of Penis-Past causing it.

I would see how my friends parents interacted. They laughed, joked, even flirted in front of their kids (aww gross mom/dad, get a room) In short they liked life and each other.

I wondered why my house was not like that. Not at all. Short answers. Watching TV in different rooms. Road trips were particularly fun with the lack of conservation. I could go on and on.

So, IMO, as someone who lived it. I would rather have had separated parents who here at least somewhat happy. Even if one was happy and the other was miserable, that would have been a big improvement. My dad got a second chance at life when my mother dropped dead unexpectedly. And he is happy now. Like a new man.

Consider saving yourself. Don't spend the next 2-3 decades of your life like this.

P.S. On another note. Again just my opinion, your wife is not R material. Not with those insults and actions.

I wish you all the best. I hope you find some peace.

waitedwaytoolong posted 8/16/2019 20:06 PM

Nailed it. Made her "feel like no man has ever made me feel."

Did she tell you this, or did you pick it up another way. This would be hard to come back from. Did you confront her on this?

Thumos posted 8/16/2019 20:42 PM

Did she tell you this

She told me. It is something she said during one of our discussions. I revisited it a few times to make sure it wasnít thrown on the table out of spite. She backed it up. She later amended it by saying she understood this was part of the fantasy of the affair, but itís how he made her feel. She also said that she missed him, but later amended this to say her feelings had changed.

But yeah itís very difficult to come back from. I mean where do you go from there? Itís so absolute. And the bar is so high after that.

I want to say something else: I know this sounds odd but our household is not a frigid setting of two wounded parties camped in different corners. We donít behave that way with each other and certainly not around the kids. We talk all the time about many different things, not cold curt discussions about the weather.

Thereís genuine affection between us. My ability to be attracted to her and feel affection is still there, and she initiates and I receive physical affection from her in front my of our kids all the time. Itís just that inside my feelings have changed and all of the other critical analyses and ďalgorithmsĒ are running in my head behind the scenes, calculating on all the factors Iíve laid out in this thread.

crazyinlove1995 posted 8/16/2019 21:30 PM

Ah man sorry your here.. I'm over 3 years out..You're getting the best advise possible.Listen to it absorb it make a decision. For you!!.Your gut will tell you

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