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It's been a while

ChangeMe1 posted 10/1/2019 05:58 AM

I haven't posted for months, a lot has happened, and I think i just need to get some of it out.

My wife and i separated, been a couple of months now, we're coming up to three years passed the affair and this is where we are now.

It's been incredibly tough, on both of us and especially on the kids.

I moved into a rented house in the same town, we arranged a custody schedule and....got on with it. My wife has always been a pragmatic person and when she's made a decision she gets on, it happens.

I failed her, failed my kids and failed myself. She seems to be picking herself up and moving forward, as much as I want her to be happy, want her to move forward form the pain and mess I brought her, I also don't know how to handle it. How do you reconcile what they want and what you want, when neither of them is happening - she wants this to have never happened, wanted a husband who didn't fuck around with her best friend, wanted someone to show up and be by her side, to have seen remorse for what i did to her, she wanted me to be there with her though this, to do whatever i could to fix it. She doesn't want this, but this is what it is.

I don't want to be who am I, I desperately want to be the man she needed me to be then, but then is gone - there's just now.

I don't understand how to accept that - I can't.

It's so easy to predict the responses to that sentiment - "You have to focus on being better", "Accept that you caused this, she is doing what she needs to" etc etc - but I can't - I can't accept a future without her.

I try to focus on my kids, to make the most of the time i spend with them, but even then I'm failing them - they don't want to be here, of course they don't - their stuff isn't here, their friends aren't here, as much as I try to make it fun and good for them, they are kids, time with dad at a place they don't want to be is a chore, that's not what their childhood was supposed to be like.

My wife, my beautiful wife..living through a nightmare because the person she should have been able to trust, focused on himself, trod all over her just to make myself feel a little less shitty about ... well me.

This is the true face of infidelity - there is no good in or from it, only hurt. My wife has to try and piece together and move forward in a life, that not only did she not want, but that was an inconceivable consideration until i forced it down her throat. My kids get to grow up in a broken home, they still have two parents who love them dearly - but they don't have what they were supposed to have. From here on out it will always be less than it should have been.

A family ruined by one person's selfish actions.

I'm trying to figure out how i navigate now - my wife always made it clear that i didn't make her a priority, she didn't matter, she was a bit part on the stage of my life. I never saw it, I thought she was the centre of my world. I was blind, intentionally naive, just too damn self absorbed to see that that was only what i thought, and not her reality. But now what do i do - do i pull back, stop trying, let her go live a new life, a new chapter - is that right? It sure as hell doesn't feel right, all she really wanted was for me to show up - so how in hell does walking away look anything like showing up? I failed to show up, does that mean it's too late to do it now.

I'm sure this reads like a pity party - and it's true that I feel incredibly shitty, of course i do, just look at the destruction i brought to those around me, you can't look at that and not feel shitty. But honestly this is more trying to work things through, to figure out what comes next.

What i truly want is to make the choices that are right for my wife and for my children. But when you have spent years making choices that just make things worse, how the fuck do you even see the right choice, let alone recognise it to make it.

One big thing i really struggle with, my wife does not want to be with me because of the way i treat her, and I do want her to be happy, want her to be treated in a way that she feels every bit as special, unique and wonderful as she is, and i'm not an idiot - she is able to self validate, she doesn't need a partner, and there's also many other people in this world who as a partner could treat her the way she deserves, who she would find happiness with, but i also know that family means everything to her, that our kids me everything to her and I truly honestly believe that what would be best is a future where our family is whole and together, where I treat her in a way that makes her happy, secure and being loved, if i can somehow, i don't know, just not be me?

I guess all in all I'm feeling lost, alone and completely unsure. I don't even know what if anything i look to gain from putting this all out here - but SI feels like a safe space to empty my head, and if you read all this, then thank you, and if you have anything to say, anything that might help....have at it.

Justsomelady posted 10/1/2019 07:05 AM

Sorry to hear that. It is a very sad story. Sometimes it is hard for people to know what they had until they no longer have it.

Regarding pushing for connection - I am not sure, I guess you can try to show her how important she is to you and let her set the boundaries. She may be done, she may be receptive, hard to know unless you try and communicate with her. I would think double betrayal is a pretty hard one to get past. But I would not date and I would work on myself to be who she needs to be and who YOU and your kids need you to be. However, you never know where your remorse and improvement and life will lead; I have heard of folks getting back together after divorce.

No matter what happens, you can persevere without her and can find your way in life again. Donít take yourself out of the equation and always be there for your kids. Are you in IC? Seems like now is an important time for it. Go to church/temple/etc or to a community you can draw strength from. Let yourself feel the true remorse and the pain, donít let it break you but do let it change you and but grow from it.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 7:07 AM, October 1st (Tuesday)]

JBWD posted 10/1/2019 12:51 PM

Sorry this is hard for you- Youíre heard and certainly felt.

Gotta ask what you understand your BWís future decisions looking like. You say you want to be there and you say sheís ďgetting on with it,Ē but it seems like youíre making a lot of assumptions. And those assumptions are going to remain valid in your own head until you ask this woman what she wants and needs. My BW has answered me in the recent past that she has no idea what she wants or needs, so thatís why Iím content to bide my time and be present for her and our children.

But you need to assess that, and I get the impression that itís been a while since youíve done that- Iím willing to bet that one of the obstacles to asking these questions is the fear of the answer. You can long and regret and blame, but none of that removes the facts that occurred and are now shaping how she sees herself and how she sees you. But by quietly moping, I expect you are subconsciously hoping to demonstrate just how badly you feel- And that wonít work.

I would suggest building a plan- Have the discussion and pre-game your response to the answers you hear. If she says thereís still decisions to be made, great. If she wants to reconcile, even better!

If she wants to be free of you, prepare and offer to discuss the concrete steps that will require. That might be too much, but recognize that silently hoping is also prolonging pain for her. You canít decide for her (You did that at least once, and look how that turned out!) but it seems a discussion is in order to remind her youíre here to back her play, whichever direction it takes.

hikingout posted 10/1/2019 13:24 PM

So, I forget who said it but something to the effect of rock bottom being the firmest foundation of all?

You right now are living out the worst fear of many WS on this board. I began living out my worst fear as well, it just didn't continue or go through. But, I was there long enough that it caused me to really see what I was losing. Really ask myself some hard questions. But it also let me see that it was doable. I didn't want a divorce or a full on separation, but when you look at the logistics and see how you can make it work...and then come to terms with the idea that these are consequences of your own actions...and also recognize that in time you will form a new life and be able to heal from the loss of this one. There is a freedom in that a WS doesn't allow themselves while we are still focusing on controlling the outcome.

The freedom knowing we don't control the outcome will allow us to stop trying to manipulate, we can stop minimizing, and we can see that something needs to change in our lives as we never want to find ourselves in this spot again.

I have often said that I think the most powerful motivators for change are selfish ones. Wanting better for oneself. By not having control of the outcome, you can only choose to work on yourself as to not repeat these patterns in the future. To learn to self soothe and become good company for yourself.

Some people in your situation choose just to continue to act out. They get a new bf/gf almost straight out of the gait because they can't stand the empty feelings. I encourage you not to look for external distractions, and really spend this time turning to yourself and sitting with some of this. It's really hard to do. I wasn't in the in home separation very long. But, I know when my husband says something he generally means it. So, I had many a night or times he was was out of town to have to sit in my own shit. And, it takes some of this pain to recognize how we shaped our current reality.

This might sound like 'you made your bed now lie in it". I don't mean it like that at all. I am just really wanting to encourage you to dig deep now, there is a lot of power in this time you are trying to get through. There is a lot of wisdom and self knowledge to be gained.

In the chance that changes the outcome with your wife, that would of course be a wonderful outcome. But, our longest relationship is with ourselves, so work on that. Nothing else will fall into place the right way until you do it.

I am truly sorry to read this and hear your pain in it. I am sorry for your kids and your wife also. But try and look within. I hope you are in IC, I think there is a lot that you will need to process during this time.

ChangeMe1 posted 10/4/2019 13:05 PM

So right now I'm a mess, and with no where else to put I'm going to use the thread to get it out of my head and out it down somewhere. Maybe that will help.

In 30 minutes I go to pick up my kids from my wife. This time always just hammers me. I don't want to do it, not because indont want to see my kids but because it means she has to spend a weekend without them which I know she doesn't want. They don't want to have time away from their friends.

And I don't know what she needs, I don't know how to be. When i get there I want to grab her, hold her and not let go. Want to flood her with live and affection, but I don't know what she wants or needs from me.

I feel like in her place I would want to know that I'm in love with her, but I don't know if she just wants me to let it be over. Let her move on.

I can reconcile that she told me ibwasnt doing enough, that she didn't feel loved with now doing nothing. The idea that the only way to show her love and care would be to stop showing that I desperately want to be with her just doesn't make sense to me.

But I don't want to hurt her more by being a constant presence, if she needs to be done then by constantly showing that I'm not, is that just worse.

I want to do what's right for her, but I can't seem to see what that looks like, or maybe I just don't want to accept what that could look like, or maybe I just don't have a clue about anything.

I was wrong this isn't fucking helping.

ChangeMe1 posted 10/4/2019 13:25 PM

Okay take two.

I'm now sat in the car in tears and I need to get a handle on it. The last thing my wife or kids need is me turning up a mess.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/5/2019 13:09 PM

I'm so sorry, Change. As hikingout said, you're living every wayward's nightmare, one that any one of us could have faced as a result of our toxic behavior. I wanted to reach out through the internet and hug you after reading some of your posts on this thread.

But... and I hope this doesn't come across as "you just have to be better"... what I'm seeing here is still an early wayward viewpoint. No matter how dedicated you are to making it all up to your BW, the script is the same. You want to show her that you see and hear her at last, that she's important, that you're ready to change. But the tools you have to actually change... you're not using them, or if you are, it's not evident here.

I haven't read your early posts, they may be before my time, so I basically know what's in your profile and a random sampling of comments I've read in the last several months. In those, I haven't learned your whys. What was broken in you that enabled you to doubly betray your wife? To hide it from her until you had no other option? I understand that you deeply regret it. But truly, if you haven't dug for those whys, aggressively and through many layers... then no. You are not what's best for her. You are, in fact, the worst possible person on earth for her. You wield a potentially destructive power over her fragile self-rebuild that is unmatched by anyone else in her life. Allowing herself to be open to you, and then having you betray that on any level, will crush whatever is left of her. Hence the separation.

What you are contemplating, trying to pry that door back open, is a huge responsibility, and one that a wayward cannot possibly take on if they're still too scared to turn and face their shit. It's like she's drowning, and you're on the beach waving the lifeguards off, saying that you're the only one who can save her... even though you can't swim. Yes, you're the father of her children. Yes, what she wants is for none of this to have happened. That doesn't make a difference in this drowning situation. If you go out there trying to grab her from these choppy waves, without training yourself as a strong swimmer, both of you will sink.

So if you want to save her, turn that energy inward. Face your own shit. If she's not 100% done with you already, she'll be watching, and it won't be for grand gestures or pleas for another chance. Maybe you'll get to where you can talk or write to her about what you've learned about yourself. By the time you get there, it might be too late, it might not. But I think it's your only chance, if you still have one at all.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 1:12 PM, October 5th (Saturday)]

ChangeMe1 posted 10/5/2019 15:01 PM

Thank you for that response. It truly put some context around some stuff I've been trying to understand.

I've been begging to rebuild without demonstration of change. Essentially because I feel different I expect that to mean something to her.

ISuferedToGrowUp posted 11/17/2019 12:41 PM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:07 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)]

ChanceAtLife35 posted 11/19/2019 13:16 PM

Sorry this is so hard for you. I hope you took a lot of from you expressed here and the feedback you received. I can relate on how you feel and how you truly don't know what you got til it's gone. The fact that you had it in to post here tells me that you have not given up on yourself, BS, and kids. Please walk with your head up today and put your words into actions. Give it all you got and some self care too.

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