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Feeling Stuck in Anger/Plain of Lethal Flatness Phase

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Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:23 AM

If i could hit you, @thumos, with the men in black mind eraser flashy thing and had you read your own thread what kind of advice do you think you'd give yourself? I think you'd throw a few 2x4's your own way

Of course I would! Please feel free. The 2x4ís always sting but they are necessary. I donít think I can step outside myself enough to quite do as you recommend, so Iím relying on others like you to do it.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/19/2019 11:24 AM

No, I'm saying that you should tell her that you believe she will only fail the polygraph if she lies, so failing it is a deal breaker, but coming clean in a parking lot confession might not be. She needs to believe that honesty, not dishonesty, is her only hope, which is the reverse of the current scenario. If you really think that failing the poly is the only path to R, cancel it, because WTF is the point in taking someone in for a test that assesses their honesty and then disregarding the proof that they are dishonest?

I agree with Neko that you are grasping at straws out of terror when you argue that divorce will have multigenerational dynastic consequences. You are afraid of starting life over without your W. That's completely understandable; she's been your one and only. My husband is in the same boat. But you have to face that fear and decide what the marriage is worth to you, not your descendants.

I also don't object to you taking a hard line in JFO. Both my BH and I wish he had gone nuclear after D-Day 1. My problem isn't with "Do as I say, not as I did," it's with "Do as I say, not as I plan to do." What would you say to a guy in JFO who announced that he was done if his WW refused to take a poly but possibly ok with her failing it? If the test proved she was still lying, what would you tell that guy to do, and why?

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:28 AM

you are making too much of your decision.

I really donít think Iím making too much of it at all, but the rest of your point is well taken. Maybe itís because Iím a Gen X former latchkey kid and experienced the Ď70s that I see things through that lens - the lens of how the Baby Boomers and their Silent Generation compatriots throughout that decade made so many terrible decisions, dragging kids along for the ride. But, as you say, the same could be said about staying locked in an unhappy marriage. As I always say (and I think I came up with this phrase) ďno one is obligated to remain shackled to the source of their pain.Ē

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 11:29 AM

BFTG -

I don't think there is a cheating person alive that doesn't compartmentalize. That is common to all of us. So, I am not sure I understand your point. (I am not debating you here, I am truly asking)

Affairs are typically about proximately, opportunity rather than contempt. Though, I do think that most of us have built up contempt that fuels entitlement for an affair. I certainly had done so, but what I was feeling contempt about ended up being about my own creation. It had nothing to do with anything my husband actually did/didn't do, was or wasn't.

And, lastly I feel like you are putting all the responsibility on her for the rugsweeping -when Thumos has stated over an over he was complicit there too. I feel like their rugsweeping was recommended and that both of them agreed to it. You can't get to a remorseful place without understanding what you did to the other person.

So, in many ways until they got back in therapy this last time, by both of them choosing to rugsweep she was really not in a position to learn all the thousand cuts of the infidelity. And, honestly for most people who have not gone through infidelity it would be the misconception that we would all buy into - go to marriage counseling, be a better wife, minimize damage, etc. I did contemplate not telling and just working on myself, but I didn't see how it was possible to do that. Thus, the reason I waited two months.

Again, I am not defending her, I just think that what you are saying doesn't sound any different than the rest of us.

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:33 AM

I agree with Neko that you are grasping at straws out of terror when you argue that divorce will have multigenerational dynastic consequences.

We will just have to agree to disagree on this aspect. I really donít think I am. Iím not trying to talk myself out of it. I feel this very strongly. I feel that divorces, like adultery, have an impact that is felt for generations. Look, no one would argue that the death of a parent is not felt for generations after in a family. It absolutely is. My own biological father died when I was 2. I was without a father until I was 10. That stepfather turned out to be a tremendous disappointment - a malicious drunk and rageaholic. You donít think this impact of these two fathers - one a ghost I only have flashes of, the other a traumatizing influence - is now felt in my own bones? You donít think it influences my decisions, which in turn influence the course of my childrenís lives and how they will live decades from now? Of course it does. It would be facially absurd to argue otherwise. Yes, Iím terrified by divorce. And Iím not using my kids as a shield on that issue.

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:34 AM

You are afraid of starting life over without your W. That's completely understandable; she's been your one and only. My husband is in the same boat. But you have to face that fear and decide what the marriage is worth to you, not your descendants.

This is correct.

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:37 AM

What would you say to a guy in JFO who announced that he was done if his WW refused to take a poly but possibly ok with her failing it? If the test proved she was still lying, what would you tell that guy to do, and why?

I donít know, honestly. Wow, when you put it that way, thatís some pretty illogical bullshit Iíve been laying down.

Although, look, the line in the sand on taking it is just that. She wouldnít be doing it if I had not been a hard ass and ready to walk. Everything that sheís done since August has been because I was finally a hard ass.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:38 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Butforthegrace posted 12/19/2019 11:40 AM

Hiking, I'm suggesting that, here, there was little or no compartmentalization. That she was engaging with her AP while looking Thumos square in the eye.

Hiking, added later, see BSRs post below. "Thumos, I need you to call AP and thank him for the gift he gave me in thanks for the pussy I gave him"

Like you said, a lot of As, maybe most, do involve compartmentalization. Often lots of it. What strikes me about Mrs. Thumos is the almost complete lack of compartmentalization. Hence the logical conclusion, bolstered by the surrounding behavior, that this was a middle finger in Thumos' face.

As to her post Dday behavior, I disagree with the easy get out of jail free card you want Thumos to give her. She affirmatively belittled and demeaned him. She I insulted his manhood. Thumos did in fact try to protest his injury to her, and she told him to piss off.

The bad therapy advice is a red herring. She is even now forum shopping for therapist advice supporting non disclosure (specifically now, non-poly). She uses therapists as a shield to avoid helping Thumos.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 12:28 PM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:45 AM

Divorce is not a multi-generational curse. It's a little insulting to even read that which I'm sure is not your intent but it stings a little none-the-less since my own parents have been divorced since I was a baby

I didnít mean it was literally a ďcurseĒ - I meant you hear this phrase in evangelical circles all the time, and I myself find it weird and offensive (my parents are divorced, which Iím relieved about). I meant also that if I think about the phrase, maybe what theyíre getting it is what I would describe as the ripples on the pond moving outward from such decisions. I should have explained better but was typing fast.

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:51 AM

So stop worrying about how many votes need to be accounted for at the table. It's not helpful. It's not useful. You're the CEO. You make the call. And that call needs to be what you think is best FOR YOU. Ultimately, your happiness will reflect in every voter. Your happiness will bring more to the table than your misery. Your misery alone can tank the entire panel. It's not fair to place the burden of your happiness on those voters so that they can make the choice for you.

This was helpful. Thank you.

Yes, I am with an IC. My wife took the initiative after August to locate two therapists who practice together and treat betrayal trauma specifically. The two therapists work in tandem while weíre each in IC, helping us with such things as the disclosure process and hopefully things like emotional restitution, etc. My IC has been helpful. I see him once a week for an hour. Most of our sessions thus far were in getting oriented and preparing for the disclosure. He supports my desire for a polygraph.

The two therapists are not rugsweepers and do not enable blameshifting.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:54 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Thumos posted 12/19/2019 11:54 AM

it's pretty out there to try and come up with imaginary votes for your great great grandkids who will not even know you as a reason to doubt yourself.

Maybe it is, or maybe itís just something that used to be common and now is not in our current society.

Letís stipulate Iím a pretty rare, old-fashioned bird for my generation. I canít think of too many men my age who were virgins before their wives.

Butforthegrace posted 12/19/2019 12:01 PM

That stepfather turned out to be a tremendous disappointment - a malicious drunk and rageaholic. You donít think this impact of these two fathers - one a ghost I only have flashes of, the other a traumatizing influence - is now felt in my own bones?

It's interesting you raise that example. I know a person with the obverse: bio dad was the drunken rageaholic who beat up his wife and kids until she divorced him. Stepdad was the supportive, loving, kind, supportive presence. All kids face a sort of lottery when it comes to parents.

The daughter of a very good friend, a WW whose BH divorced her, is a senior in high school choosing among several highly prestigious universities after an amazing high school trajectory. Mom & dad worked hard as co parents to accomplish this. Both are remarried, and both respective step parents have been loving and respectful.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/19/2019 12:19 PM

I rarely disagree with hikingout, but Mrs. Thumos deliberately pressed her BH to call the AP and thank him for the wine refrigerator that AP brought to the house the day they had sex. She may regret that deeply and sincerely now, but sure looks to me like at the time, they both got a charge out of secretly rubbing the A in his face.

Buck posted 12/19/2019 12:20 PM

BFTG, virtually all affairs have a bit of "fuck you to the betrayed" in them. Thumos' situation is no worse than 90% here at SI. It's pretty damn typical. I've read about OC, screwing your brother, some dude had an A with his son's fiancť, her A wasn't for years and years, there's no lifelong STDs, the AP wasn't a bunny boiler, there are way fucking worse stories here. His story is fucking horrible, it's so similar to mine it's a bit scary and triggery, but it's damn sure not one of the worst I've read here at SI. I don't see how sending that message to Thumos is helpful.

Thumos, here's a very gentle 1x2, your WW is simply in self preservation mode. I've said this before. She has found herself in an absolute mess and she doesn't really know what to do now. She's staying the course of bullshitting you because you've allowed it. She thinks she can weather the storm for a bit longer and your relationship will stabilize and return to "normal". She is terrified that the next piece of information she doles out is going to be the tidbit that breaks the camel's back. She's trying to preserve some of her self image and not admit just how fucked up she it to herself. That is an incredibly difficult thing to do and you've given her no motivation to do anything differently. You seem to be waffling a bit on the failed\inconclusive poly.

You seem to be doing all of the recovery work. I can tell you from experience, that won't work long term. You can't force her to tell the truth. You can't force her to feel remorse. You can't make her figure her shit out. You seem 100% focused on her. You need to address your issues and process all of what you've been through. Focus on you.

nekonamida posted 12/19/2019 12:23 PM

I feel that divorces, like adultery, have an impact that is felt for generations. Look, no one would argue that the death of a parent is not felt for generations after in a family.

Death and divorce are two completely different things. My mother died when I was a child too. I've experienced both and let me tell you - the divorce was "meh" but the death was devastating.

Here's the thing - divorce isn't the death of a family unless the people involve choose to make it one. Your kids will not be losing you or your WW as parents if a D happens unless you or your WW choose to abandon them. NOTHING EVER can take the familial bond away from you other than you. That's why a divorce doesn't even come close to having as much impact as death.

The other big difference is that you have control over the divorce. You choose how to handle it. You can make it hell on your kids or you can make it a successful transition. You have NO control over someone dying. NONE. You can't control the aftermath about it. The two situations aren't even comparable when it comes to impact on a child.

Go back to the last page re-read hikingout's post at the bottom again. That's what a family looks like after a divorce done right. That's a positive impact on your kids after a divorce has happened. When I read that post, I saw how much love and care hikingout and the parents involved have for their kids and that love says a whole lot more than "the only good marriage for the kids is an intact one" ever could. Did you seriously read that post and think, "Wow, what an awful situation! Those kids must be miserable!"? I hope not!

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you're not trying to say that divorces are big, life ending tragedies that mess kids up no matter what.... But in essence, you are. That's simply not true and there's tons of evidence, statistics, and testimony by experts to back that up. The idea that divorce is always bad for kids is a myth that's been disproven.

Divorce isn't how it used to be - the rare scandal that everyone knew with dirty laundry airing out all over the place. It's a fact of life. It's a reality that nearly half of all people face and most of those people have kids who didn't grow up to be criminals or forever damaged. The amount of resources out there for children of divorce now is immense and if it comes to that, if you know you will be better off D'ing, you can take those precautions. You can prevent that damage. You have OPTIONS.

Furthermore, if you think divorce is a multi-generational curse, why in the world are you giving people advice that pushes them in that direction?

Thumos, none of this makes any sense. You're catastophizing. Please Google that and understand what it is. You're coming up with big, bad reasons to doubt yourself and convince yourself to continue the status quo in the face of what could be a huge change in direction for you. It's not grounded in reality. It's grounded in fear. And that could be fear of not being with your WW too but that may be too hard to admit when logically, you KNOW it would be terrible for you to continue some variation of how the last 3 years have gone. So you find a more acceptable reason - the kids. The family as a whole. Future generations. That's easier for you to admit and accept so you're clinging to it even though from the outside looking in, it's a little ridiculous.

I hope that for you this is just a frenzy you've worked yourself into by focusing on one bad thing, then another, then another, until you have this philosophical crises on your hands that you've created. I hope that you calm down and realize that this is the fear talking and you don't need to listen to fear anymore. You shouldn't listen either. Fear got you here. Fear will keep you here. And when you realize that, you will see your own strength and know that the future is firmly in your hands on this one and whatever choice you make will be a good one because YOU make it a good one.

BraveSirRobin posted 12/19/2019 12:29 PM

Although, look, the line in the sand on taking it is just that. She wouldnít be doing it if I had not been a hard ass and ready to walk. Everything that sheís done since August has been because I was finally a hard ass.
Exactly. But just because you force her to do it doesn't mean that's of any real use to you.

Again, let's say our imaginary newbie in JFO demands NC. His WW keeps breaking it. Newbie says, "I told her that I am walking if she takes the A underground, and so she just admitted she's going out with AP on Saturday night. I'm glad I was finally a hard ass." The BSes would answer, "WTF? Who cares if you forced her to admit that she's still seeing him? The problem is that she's still seeing him!"

If you force her to prove she's still lying to you, but that's all you accomplish, it's a pyrrhic victory. The problem is the continued lies.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 3:50 PM, December 19th (Thursday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 12/19/2019 12:32 PM

Excellent post from (edited, I was referring to Neko's post, though Buck has good points, too). Just because I agree with BFTG doesn't mean you "have" to D any more than you "have" to R.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 1:58 PM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Striver posted 12/19/2019 12:43 PM

Maybe it is, or maybe itís just something that used to be common and now is not in our current society.

Letís stipulate Iím a pretty rare, old-fashioned bird for my generation. I canít think of too many men my age who were virgins before their wives.

I was.

Like you, ex was my first. Not for her. Did it matter? It might have. Can't go back now. I was not expecting a virgin by the time I started a serious wife search. If I had to do it again, I would have been different earlier in my life. Probably dealt with my issues earlier. I did try, it took me years to get to the point of connecting. Did my best.

Even people from intact families have issues. I did. My mom loved my dad, I could see that. She and I did not get along. She just laid way too much on me at an age I couldn't take it. But the partnership model was fine.

My ex's parents are still together. I think she wanted everything to be like her parents with no work on her part. That's not possible, times change, we are all different people. But it was probably her expectation.

crazyblindsided posted 12/19/2019 12:48 PM

(((Thumos))) I had the same fears about D. So much that it was the driving force in my limbo.

My STBX was diagnosed with strong NPD tendencies and his continued lying, silent treatment, and not allowing me to discuss the infidelity when I triggered finally pushed me over my fear of leaving.

Only you will know when you are ready. I truly believe this because I thought I would never be ready. I never wanted a S/D or to split up the family for many of the reasons you provided. I grew up in a blended family and watched all my cousins grow up in them. Lots of infidelity and Exit A's. It terrified me for my kids.

It will come to a point where your mental health is more important. That was the point I needed to reach to be ok with leaving. It's still very hard. I'm in IHS and dealing with strong cognitive dissonance and trauma bonding over 23 years together.

I really hope that your WW will take this test. Do you know what you are going to do if she doesn't pass the test? I became very resentful over continued lies which further put me into limbo.

hikingout posted 12/19/2019 12:58 PM

Ah BFTG, that makes sense about the compartmentalizing.

I will say though, for years my H traveled and worked long hours as Thumos reports doing. In some years it felt like he "visited us" on the weekend. It actually is how our marriage got to a place where I felt we lived separate lives. Depending, there could have been compartmentalizing, and I could still see that. I could have had someone in my home and still not think about my husband during that time.

But, I think you are correct having them in the same place at the same time does take something I don't relate to. So I can now see what you are saying. If H and the AP had any interaction I probably would have needed to be peeled off the ceiling.

Though I am not sure we can call the other thing a red herring when Thumos believed enough to try and follow it too.

[This message edited by hikingout at 12:58 PM, December 19th (Thursday)]

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