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Iíve lost it all and I donít even know how it started

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Itsallmyfault posted 9/26/2019 15:00 PM

@Leavingorbit
I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to tell me your story and experiences. It does really help to hear from people with similar experiences.

Your experience resonates with me. I slept with my rapist and former abuser almost three years ago, after the funeral of a mutual friend. I then lied to my BH about it for 1.5 years. while occasionally reaching out to my rapist via text message. It was the most destructive decision I had ever made in a lifetime of destructive decisions. I had an extensive history of shit - early CSA, FOO crud, you name it. I ran away from my BH- my high school sweetheart from 14 on- and chased down all the bad stuff I could to supposedly escape. Sex, drinking, drugs, moving to Texas for no reason. For years prior to sleeping with my rapist, I ran and ran. My philosophy was: deal with my issues? What issues? And if they do exist, well, theyíre not my fault, so YOU deal with my entrenched victimhood. All of that avoidance and pain and anger that I chose? Right back to my rapist. I broke my husbandís heart. And sleeping with my rapist, after representing to my BH that I had finally gotten my shit together and we should get married, was the cherry on top

Yes, this is very much like me. I was on self destruction path. I had been SA at 8 by family member, SA in early teens by boys in my school, blamed for that same SA by my own mother and told I probably enjoyed it... It doesn't justify or excuse what I did to XBS but I am starting to let myself realise I wasn't this well put together, strong woman who wants the best for herself and her family. I was outrageously resentful for my life and instead of dealing with it, I seemed to just run away from it. Or even worst, run away from the one person who had stuck around in my life, and run into the arms of my rapist. That's something I'm working on as much as I can. To be done with the self destruct button and face my shit head on for once.

I love my husband. He blamed his choices on me for a long time and that was really fucking hard. It fed a lot of shame. I had engaged in a lot of justifying and victimhood, too. Our relationship didnít start to improve until I stood up for myself and started working on my codependency. Risking the marriage to save it, I guess? Because when I started to get healthy, one of the first things I worked through was that itís not up to other people to save or fix us. This lesson was really difficult for both of us. My husband just recently started digging into his own individual trauma, which is extensive, too. Itís been a long road but weíre starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

IAMF, my point is that your actions hurt your husband, and you can and should strive to show him compassion. Empathize with him and walk in his shoes as best you can. However, I feel that to say itís okay for your husband to do ďwhateverĒ is crappy for both of you. My husband regrets every day his justifications, his blaming of me, his eagerness to occupy a space of victimization in an attempt to avoid dealing with his real hurts. No one has the power to make someone else cheat and eventually, your husband will need to make the choice to own up, clean up his side of the street.

I guess that's a perspective I've never really tried to look at it from. To me I am the WW, he is the BH simple as that. Regardless of his hotel visits with another woman, his dinner dates, his running straight to her after splitting with me, I still see myself as the betrayer and everything he does as justified for the most part. There's only slight moments where I feel any kind of betrayal on my part and I normally give myself a mental beatdown for feeling that way. Maybe I will get there one day. Your post has helped me look at things more openly, especially hearing that your Husband regrets his time punishing you.

When did your Husband decide to do IC? Was that after his own actions? Did he decide it alone, or did you ask him to? Only reason I ask these questions is I feel like XBS could really benefit from his own IC. I know how much mine is helping me make progress and understand myself better. Understand what I did better. I'd love for him to find a space where he can make his own progress through the pain I inflicted on him, and how he can move on, with or without me, in a healthier, for himself and his future relationships if we don't R.

I am really happy to read your story and that you are in R and both recovering and healing together. Some hope for the future. Thank you.

[This message edited by Itsallmyfault at 3:16 PM, September 26th (Thursday)]

DoinBettr posted 9/26/2019 15:30 PM

I will tell you, I probably would have recommended that he go out and see what being single would be like. The problem is that he is supposed to decided to either be with you or her.
So, mention how you don't want him to keep hurting you by seeing this other woman. That if he wants to keep coming and trying to fix things over the weekends, he needs to be single. That he should drop this other woman now that he is trying to make this work. He will thrash about a bit, then respect you for talking to him about what you need and feel instead of hiding it.
Don't be scared of talking to him. That is how you got into this problem in the first place. Maybe start by writing out all the things you are doing for him and ask if he wants to add anything. Then ask him to do the same for you.

leavingorbit posted 9/26/2019 22:29 PM

IAMF, thank you! I agree, it helps to hear from others. I am so sorry those things happened to you, that people made the choice to hurt you. I totally identify with the feeling of lying to yourself- I was in deep, deep denial about who I was and my capacity to inflict harm for a long time. I hated my history and hated myself. Resentment, running, yup yup, all of that. I romanticized, lied, hid, raged. But my husband wasnít my abuser, he was my partner. It didnít matter to selfish, vengeful me. I dragged him through my crap and told myself his choices were my punishment, that he didnít really love me. And absolutely, he was broken and hurting too, so we both werenít giving our best. However, we wanted to build something better. So far, we are hanging in. Thank you for your kind words.

As far as your situation goes, it may be a bit different because you have said that your BS has definitively ended the relationship. However, if he wants to R, he canít be involved with someone else. If he doesnít, then he shouldnít be sleeping with you. And thatís a really bitter pill to swallow for our BSes when they are hurting so badly, because that pain is just blinding. Add into it the mindfuck of the genesis of the A, sexual assault... yeah. Healing doesnít have room for dishonesty and escapism though, which is part of why itís so damn hard. You have to dig into all of that crap. It took me a long time to stand up for myself- my husband always tried to shut me down because of what I did. I let that happen because I shut myself down. Giving yourself a mental beatdown? Thatís shame, for sure. You are not responsible for his choices. You are responsible for the person you became and the pain you have caused. Thatís why infidelity is so destructive. We cannot control or predict the trauma our actions cause. We can develop empathy and compassion, and do better. I agree with DoinBettr: stand up for yourself. You donít need to blame or shame your XBS to set a healthy boundary. Thereís the risk he may want to cut ties, which existed from the first lie and betrayal anyway.

As for IC, my husband knew immediately after discovery that he would have to go. He had gone a few times before and bullshitted the therapists. Me too, for that matter. We both knew it had to be for real and that we didnít want to behave that way anymore, regardless of how our marriage turned out. Being MH is a weird and awful mix, thereís hurts on both sides. We both required it of each other to consider R anyway, and Iím pretty sure weíll both be in IC for years to come. However, he spent a lot of his time until the past couple of months blaming my choices for his actions. Heís only recently started to dig into his whys. I hurt him so much. I added a bunch of crap to his already full pile.

IC for your XBS would definitely be beneficial but thatís something he has to come to on his own. What are you doing for yourself besides IC? Are you reading? Building up healthy hobbies? Journaling? Support groups maybe or CODA?

Strength to both of you.

Ganondorf posted 9/26/2019 22:55 PM

Isnít it crazy how strangers on the internet can see things I couldnít see right in front of my eyes in reality.
Reading the responses about XBH wanting to spend time with me, reconnect physically etc made me feel awful for feeling like he was using me rather than holding out a branch for us to find something together.

Unfortunately, I do not think the people that said those things actually read what you wrote. I think they skimmed a bit. I skimmed a bit as well but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Basically he is done. He says he's done. R is not possible.
He continues to sleep with you.
He says sleeping with you is to comfort you, because you need it.
There's another woman that's visiting his hotel. Currently you're unsure of what may or may not be going on.

Anything I'm missing?

With that as my basis, here are my thoughts:

What he is doing is insensitive. I don't feel it's a healthy thing to do.

It's a type of limbo. And the justification is "It's because you need it" That's a definite mind fuck if you ask me.

I was in that limbo with my XGF. You don't heal. It's basically doing hopium. He's not necessarily doing it to hurt you, but it's definitely hurting you, and since you're aware of how it's making you feel, you need to be the one that sets a boundary for yourself. It doesn't matter that he's still your H. If he's done, if he's very clearly said to you he's done, what he's doing now is cake eating. It doesn't even matter if there's another woman involved, but if there is, it just makes the situation that much more convoluted.

As a BS. As a male BS. I never once thought of having sex with another woman during my efforts to R. To clarify, I was very curious prior to D Day and shared these thoughts with my XWW. But after D Day, I was focused on her.

And as badly as she hurt me, I don't have any intention to try and "hurt" or "use" her out of any sense of revenge. My XWW didn't try to R with me. My XWW hurt me spectacularly. Even now, my instinct is to protect her and to love her. I wish you were my XWW. If you were my XWW we'd probably have a shot at R.

So I don't agree with anyone that says your husband needs to play the field. He needs to be your husband, or he needs to not be your husband. He shouldn't be using sex under the guise of "comforting" you. Even if it's true, even if that's exactly what he's doing, it's not healthy.


As for forgiving yourself.

That will take time. But I mean, if someone else was writing this story wouldn't you feel some empathy for them? Maybe trying to look at your story as though you're not the one in it may help you toward forgiving yourself.

You were in a bad situation. There were other options, but we all fail to see those other options in the heat of the moment. You're not working hard toward being a safe partner. Not only do you never want to be in that situation again, but you want to be able to see the other choices if you ever are. I think that demonstrates quite a bit of self awareness and even if you can't forgive yourself now, continuing to be honest with yourself will help you learn to forgive yourself.

[This message edited by Ganondorf at 11:02 PM, September 26th (Thursday)]

Itsallmyfault posted 9/27/2019 03:11 AM

That if he wants to keep coming and trying to fix things over the weekends, he needs to be single. That he should drop this other woman now that he is trying to make this work. He will thrash about a bit, then respect you for talking to him about what you need and feel instead of hiding it.
Don't be scared of talking to him. That is how you got into this problem in the first place

The problem is, if I keep my mouth shut, he invites me to hang out. Visits me, caresses my hair, hugs me, kisses me on the forehead, sleeps in my bed.

When I ask, any question around making it work, he shuts down, says he should have been confusing me, that he thought it was clear he didn't want to be together (Definitely not clear if you take his actions into account)

So it's almost made me scared to say anything. I really do enjoy his company but he goes cold if I ask him or insinuate it's ever going anywhere. So yeah I know it's what got me here in first place, i'm just terrified of his reaction.

I let that happen because I shut myself down. Giving yourself a mental beatdown? Thatís shame, for sure. You are not responsible for his choices. You are responsible for the person you became and the pain you have caused. Thatís why infidelity is so destructive. We cannot control or predict the trauma our actions cause. We can develop empathy and compassion, and do better.

No, I am not fully responsible for his choices. And I don't want our relationship to be about revenge or a score card if we ever did decide to R. I don't think we will get there. I'm still too damaged, i thought I was healing but I had a breakdown in early hours of morning. Ended up driving to his Mum's house to talk to him because he was rejecting my calls etc. Got there and he's not even at home, he's out for the night. I told him I was driving to see him, he read it and didn't even let me know he wasn't there. So then came the abandonment issues I have in the form of about 60 messages, an email and 10 phonecalls (all rejected) I know... I know... I am out of my mind. So I've probably given him even more reason to run away from me entirely now.
I still have alot of work to do on myself to be ok on my own. I grew up with this man, with nothing really there with family support. He's been the most stable and present thing in my life. I adopted his family as my own, and I even miss them dearly. We've been together since I left school so I really don't have a clue on adult life without him. But that's my issue not his.

As for IC, Ok well don't think theres much hope for XBS. I don't want to force him. I'm not going to suggest it to him again I know he's getting bored of me praising counselling.
In terms of me, I have weekly therapy, I write my journal every day, and I have a wellbeing notepad I write in every day. Try to write things that I've enjoyed, or things I like about myself. This is a vast change to 6 weeks ago where I would write myself letters about what I monster I am and how I deserve all the pain and I should die. So progress! Hobbies, I need a hobby. I don't know how to even start. I have one night a week without the children now where XBS is having them, so going forward i'd like to use that night to do something I enjoy possibly.

Itsallmyfault posted 9/27/2019 03:37 AM


Basically he is done. He says he's done. R is not possible.
Correct. He said he tried for a year, and he was still so angry he felt like he'd never be able to forget it. It was very out the blue and sudden one day. The day before he told me he's never loved me as much and we were making plans for our future. But I guess that is what betrayal does to a person, I messed him up and he wanted out
He continues to sleep with you.
Correct. It's stopped right now but I think that's because I'd started to pull back because I felt used. He still tries to initiate it with flirty/provocative comments or gestures or trying to "sext" me after we've been together.
He says sleeping with you is to comfort you, because you need it.
Yes, he said he was trying to be sympathetic and supportive towards me because he knew how I felt. I did call him out on this comment and he said he didn't entirely mean it and that he does still care for me
There's another woman that's visiting his hotel. Currently you're unsure of what may or may not be going on.
No clue if he's being intimate with her at all. He's said there's nothing more in it than being friends. Having dinner, drinks and talking about the stuff they're going through together. Her ex cheated, I cheated, they've found a common ground and solidarity through that he says. They connected during R, but were friends and hung out before D-Day. I can't actually even confirm to myself if there's more to it. The visiting her in her hotel room seems suspicious but hey ho, I'll probably never know.

Anything I'm missing?


As a BS. As a male BS. I never once thought of having sex with another woman during my efforts to R. To clarify, I was very curious prior to D Day and shared these thoughts with my XWW. But after D Day, I was focused on her.

And as badly as she hurt me, I don't have any intention to try and "hurt" or "use" her out of any sense of revenge. My XWW didn't try to R with me. My XWW hurt me spectacularly. Even now, my instinct is to protect her and to love her. I wish you were my XWW. If you were my XWW we'd probably have a shot at R.

Thanks for your take on it. It's helpful to hear from a BH.


As for forgiving yourself.

That will take time. But I mean, if someone else was writing this story wouldn't you feel some empathy for them? Maybe trying to look at your story as though you're not the one in it may help you toward forgiving yourself.

You were in a bad situation. There were other options, but we all fail to see those other options in the heat of the moment. You're not working hard toward being a safe partner. Not only do you never want to be in that situation again, but you want to be able to see the other choices if you ever are. I think that demonstrates quite a bit of self awareness and even if you can't forgive yourself now, continuing to be honest with yourself will help you learn to forgive yourself.

I do have empathy for myself. Rarely but it's there. I told my therapist I sat in my car a few days ago and I cried for myself for the first time in my life. Let myself feel hurt about all the people that hurt me. That broke me as a person. I cried for the lost little 8 year old girl in her bedroom being tricked into sexual activity that she didn't understand. I cried for the girl who lost a parent. I cried for the girl who had to grow up too soon, that got assaulted in school, the place kids should feel safe, I cried for the girl that made catastrophic mistakes and choices after another sexual assault that I just couldn't handle on top of everything else I was trying to block out and not think about, because she wasn't mentally strong and stable to be able to deal with stuff head on. I I am starting slowly to have compassion for myself. But it's a day by day thing. Some days I still get that urge to tear out a sheet of paper and write a letter to myself about why I'm a bad person and I deserve to be alone and in pain forever. Some days I think I'm no better than my abusers. Some days I forgive myself for what I did, regretting it and hating it, but forgiving myself for being so lost. It's a long journey I guess. Thanks for your kind words.

[This message edited by Itsallmyfault at 3:39 AM, September 27th (Friday)]

Justsomelady posted 9/27/2019 06:55 AM

Hugs - youíre having a hard time right now and it is no wonder. You are better than your abusers. You arenít even remotely in the same category as them.

Regarding trying to find your husband - You lost your cool and flipped. That stinks but take a deep breath. How can you stop yourself the next time youíre flooded with emotion? Can you turn to your journal and write there? Maybe save an email to him as a draft as well, that you can edit later after youíve calmed down? And yes he needs IC but it is definitely hard to get another person to go. I had to bring it up several times to my husband and learned to do it in calm moments as he saw it as punitive to bring it up. Like he did something wrong.

It sounds like he is still in free fall with his feelings, too, and is pushing and pulling a lot. This relationship is so painful. What does your counselor advise? You can keep on the path of taking what he is willing to bring and seeing where it goes - I am not sure I believe him when he says it is never going to R yet he is caressing you etc. or maybe it is time to tell him you want to be with him but this in-between is too painful and you need to stop any romantic contact unless he wants to try again with you? I donít know if I have the best advice for his aspect.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 6:59 AM, September 27th (Friday)]

Itsallmyfault posted 9/27/2019 10:11 AM

JSL I apologised for my manic episode last night. He was pretty cold about it, which I guess is understandable. I donít know how to turn my feelings off anymore. Iíve done that all my life and at the moment I really want to I physically canít. I just wanted to tell him I love him. But heís pulled back now I can feel it. Heís not talking to me and being cold if he has to. Heís entitled to his nights out and shouldnít need to talk to me during these. I donít know why I canít just let him go. I felt like I was about to lose him completely and panicked.
Yes I need to write things as a draft or just write it down in journal rather than acting on it. I told him I just needed to tell him I love him. But really could that have waited until Saturday when I drop the kids off? Probably.

Honestly my counsellor has advised I need to just focus on me and let him be. That I need to work on my own issues. Sheís not team R from seems of it. But next week I will talk about my issues of not wanting to let him go.

I can bare the pain of him pushing and pulling vs the pain of him disappearing on me like this. I donít think anything can be worse than feeling like all is lost. Maybe one day, maybe, I can be what he needs. What he wants. Maybe one day we can R. For now all I can do is wait and try to stop being so crazy and manic.

Justsomelady posted 9/27/2019 10:45 AM

Those are good goals. What else can you do to help deal with your anxiety over potentially losing him? Now you can see that the intense/smothering approach isnít working and the best path forward is like your counselor said - focusing on you, and as you are able then being responsive to him when he reached out. The more you reach out the more counterproductive it will be, it seems, at this point.

Are you exercising and eating right? Not drinking? Seeing friends?

Itsallmyfault posted 9/27/2019 11:09 AM

Yes so I need to take a step back. I asked him to tell me what he needs from me. How do I love him in the right way. The way he needs. Until he tells me I will give him his space. I pushed too hard thinking it was right, I distanced myself when I thought it was right. All because I was still trying to control the outcome. I need to let it just fall into place naturally for him.

Exercise- about the same as before split. Mild to moderate. I walk everywhere I can.
Eating - yes, im able to hold food down now, trying my best to eat balanced diet, Iíve lost noticeable weight since split but thatís probably more to do with stress
Not drinking - went sober after he left. One of first changes I knew I needed to make as it became a coping mechanism.
Seeing friends - during R I felt uncomfortable to go out or speak to friends, I didnít want to trigger him and knew he had no trust for me, so I pushed them all away. Iím trying to get that back. Seeing a friend tomorrow that I havenít seen since July 18 while kids are with him.

WTFOVER posted 9/29/2019 02:15 AM

Just a few thoughts from a BS here trying to R.
As someone stated previously, the pain from this is blinding. It is disorientating, confusing and crushing ... more so than all the physical and emotional pain I have ever experienced, put together. It is relentless. I'm sure your husband is feeling the same way. His life as he knows it has been crushed by your decisions. His future with you has been destroyed. He will deal with this daily and live with this forever. I say this not to make you feel bad but to help you understand that his emotions are all over the place. He clearly loves you but mentally cannot be vulnerable or reconcile how you could have done this to him. It is like trying to put together a puzzle that the pieces don't fit ... and his sanity depends on putting it together. That said, I think you still have a shot at R if you handle this right. Let him know that you love him and will do whatever he asks or needs. For me, connecting with my FWW sexually has been one of the only things that keeps me somewhat sane. During those moments that we are one, (other than occasional mind movies) I am not in emotional agony. She is mine and not someone else's. We have a chance.
Do what feels right for you and just know that he is deeply traumatized and anything you can do to help and support him will probably ultimately help both of you.
Best of luck.

Buffer posted 9/29/2019 08:10 AM

Hi IAMF.

How are you and the children doing?

First off it isnít all your fault, you and your Ex are victims.
As for your IC suggestions work on yourself, one day at a time.
Your former spouse knows that you are working to heal yourself and prove to him, that you want to work to show him.

He was hurt and angry during the separation, I believe he just didnít understand his anger as well as how to communicate these to you so to generate the healing you both needed.

Re introduce yourself back into you mutual friends circle, so to show him how safe you are, donít pressure him. Communicate, communication etc but donít harass.

Due to your children your lives will be intertwined for years to come. I really hope R is achieved.

Please heal from within.

Big cyber hugs

B4

Itsallmyfault posted 9/30/2019 03:15 AM

I say this not to make you feel bad but to help you understand that his emotions are all over the place. He clearly loves you but mentally cannot be vulnerable or reconcile how you could have done this to him. It is like trying to put together a puzzle that the pieces don't fit ... and his sanity depends on putting it together. That said, I think you still have a shot at R if you handle this right. Let him know that you love him and will do whatever he asks or needs. For me, connecting with my FWW sexually has been one of the only things that keeps me somewhat sane. During those moments that we are one, (other than occasional mind movies) I am not in emotional agony. She is mine and not someone else's. We have a chance.

Thanks WTF, this is very helpful to hear from your side. I'm trying to handle it right, not push him away, talk when he wants to and give him space when he needs that. We had a really wonderful day and night together this weekend. Instead of making him decide what he wants right here and now I just let him know I still love him, miss him, and we fell back together for a while which was amazing. I totally get what you're saying about being one, not that your FWW was yours. I *think* it's the same for him too.

Itsallmyfault posted 9/30/2019 03:30 AM


How are you and the children doing?

We're doing pretty good. Luckily children are young enough to not really understand what's going on right now. My XBS worked away regularly so him not being here isn't out of the norm for them, and when they do see their father it's much more quality time than our usual weekends of running errands and visiting family etc. XBS and I took them for a fun day out together yesterday and they seem very much happy in themselves. We have been enjoying doing things together as much as possible, for me I think i told myself they needed more distraction, but It's been great for me too.

He was hurt and angry during the separation, I believe he just didnít understand his anger as well as how to communicate these to you so to generate the healing you both needed.

Re introduce yourself back into you mutual friends circle, so to show him how safe you are, donít pressure him. Communicate, communication etc but donít harass.

Yes, I believe that too now. We spoke and by the sounds of it all (the anger, the confusion, hurtful comments etc - yes, all justified) I think most of it is just frustrations at his conflicted feelings. I wants to hate me. Believes he should hate me. But can't switch off the love we have. Can't stop caring. Doesn't want to "go there" right now, but also doesn't want to walk away completely. What a mental battle to be going through. I just need to put myself in his shoes and understand he is going to push and pull, i just need to hold his hand throughout the ride.

I am trying to just be his safe friend. I know he wants to connect intimately and I have enjoyed having him in my life that way, but I'm not going to push him for R, to come home anymore. I'm still very close with his family, surprisingly despite them knowing the whole ugly truth about me, and it's been nice to spend time with them alone when they come to visit or we go out for dinner, and also to spend time with him and his family together. We don't have any mutual friends so I guess this is as close as it gets?
I'm not going to harass him anymore. I was dangerously close to pushing him away altogether with my last little charade. I'm taking some advise from a User (Justsomelady) that suggested when i have these feelings of wanting to talk, call, go and find him, I am writing in my journal or even sending emails to him straight to my own inbox. Learning slowly!

Due to your children your lives will be intertwined for years to come. I really hope R is achieved. Please heal from within. Big cyber hugs

thank you so much for taking the time to read, and to reply. It's all really helpful

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