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Where to go from here

Bandolero posted 11/9/2019 22:40 PM

I have been married 5 years and was in the service when I met my wife. We dated for a little then got pregnant and got married right before the birth of my daughter. I was received orders to go to South Korea and unfortunately couldnít take my family. While in Korea I had 2 affairs one just sex and the other a little more, I donít know why cheated I think I just wanted someone to have sex with and the second one was seeking companionship I couldnít get from my state side wife. After being release from the army for rehabilitation failure, I returned to the states with my family. I got a job and things were looking okay, after a year and a half my wife caught me texting a coworker slightly inappropriately. We were then pregnant with my latest child and I donít know why I was texting some one else at that time in my life everything seemed to be going well. I know now that I have a problem with boundaries and women showing interest in me. A few months after I got offered a new job offer in the same industry and took it, about this time I adopted her son as my own. At a company retreat I drank too much and had a one night stand that I donít remember having. About a year later I met a receptionist through work and she showed interest and I didnít exercise boundaries. The affair lasted 6 months the only reason we stopped is because she was fired and lived in a different state, convenience. Towards the end of that affair I met another receptionist and started another one. My wife received a anonymous message through fb, a very descriptive message about the first receptionist. I confessed to one of the affairs in Korea. She was hurt but seemed like she still wanted to work through it and keep the relationship going. On one of those days where the relationship seemed like it wasnít going to make it, I confessed to all but the last affair. By now we had started counseling to fix our/my problems. After a session I called my wife after to tell her that I was feeling hopeful for it all and in the middle of a sentence I stopped and confessed ďIím still ******* lying to youĒ to my latest affair. Since then she has filled out divorce papers and is planning to divorce me. Due to financial issues we cannot afford to have 2 separate house holds, we also donít want to disrupt the childrenís lives. I canít stand seeing her hurt it tears my heart to shreds. I know I deserve all that she is hitting me with but I love her and would like to stay married. I donít know what to do. I have shown her loving gestures, I have told her that I will continue to fight for her and will fix myself. There are days where all of this seems hopeless and I really donít know where to go from here. I would appreciate any support or advice.

Barregirl posted 11/10/2019 06:28 AM

I'm sorry you are here with us. The first thing I would suggest doing is finding a counselor to help you figure out your whys. Saying you don't know why you cheated is a slap in the face to your BS and if you don't know why, you will never be a safe partner. Please read here all you can, and research affairs and healing. There are so many great resources out there. I definitely recommend "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an Affair". Other WS will likely be along soon with more advice, but learning as much as you can about your past behavior will help you alter your future behavior.

Broken4good posted 11/10/2019 11:49 AM

I am new to this all myself and my first step is going to be IC to try to figure out what it is Iím missing. I canít help much but sending prayers and support your way.

JBWD posted 11/10/2019 12:06 PM

Bandolero we could start a club- I even began my OEA while deployed to Korea.

Hereís a very important point to bring up- You willingly did the (ultimately) right thing and told the truth. I fully understand too little too late, as the TT of things I kept hidden for fear of blowing up were what really stopped R for us. SO. What that says to me is you at least started to understand what really giving freely looks like- It means you donít pick and choose based on the consequences to you. Itís a sign of growth that will serve you no matter the outcomes here.

Now, that growth needs to happen for you regardless. I donít think understanding your whys should be too far off, once again they may serve only you for a while.

The most important thing to understand is that your love for her may someday include the realization that sheís better off without you. My BW still doesnít say that and still doesnít tell me to F off, so we check in. But thereís no way weíre not divorcing. And she might come to the realization that she IS better without. But I am also eager for her to know that after all of this I donít want to discard her like I once did.

This comes down to respecting your BWís decisions. How you manage the in-betweens is fairly individual and falls to understanding how much space she wants/needs. Ask her if what youíre doing is helping. Ask her if she has a clear vision of the future. Of any portion of it that maybe you can help her get to. But itís her decision first and foremost.

Look for joy. Reflect on your children. Be grateful for one thing a day (at least.) PT. Avoid booze.

One foot in front of the other. Weíre here for you when you need help.

DaddyDom posted 11/10/2019 13:13 PM

Welcome Bandolero, and I'm sorry that you find yourself here. You are however, in good company.

I wish I could offer you more than a pat on the back right now. You've been married 5 years and have cheated through most of them, even when your wife was pregnant. Whether or not you can save your marriage is a question I can't answer for you, however I can tell you this much. This relationship, or any other you may have, is going to continue to be at risk until you fix what is broken inside of yourself. The only constant in this equation is you. So that is where you must start.

Why do YOU think you had so many affairs? Was it really just about wanting sex? Or was sex the excuse for a deeper need? Did you need someone to validate you, to comfort you, to make you feel special and wanted? Did it make you feel more "in control" or more like a man? Did it simply take away from all the responsibility of being married and being a father? Did you feel entitled (e.g. I deserve affection and intimacy and since my wife isn't here to do it for me, I'm justified in getting it where I can).

One thing my wife said to me shortly after finding out about my affair was that I clearly did not love or value myself. She was right. Those words have been the basis of my recovery, and many other waywards have discovered the same thing.

For now, I suggest you start with some basics. There is a book called "How to help your spouse heal from your affair". You can buy it online or if you Google it, it can be found for free in PDF format. It is a very quick read, just 2-3 hours for most people, and it is "no fluff", just what you need to know in order to help you give your spouse what they need in this painful time. I suggest you start there.

There is also "The healing library" which you can find in the top left of this website. Read the sections for both Waywards and Betrayeds. Hopefully you will begin to find some answers there as well.

Lastly, if you can, please find a good therapist, and begin to explore what it is about yourself that allows you to keep making these poor choices, why you lack healthy boundaries, and have poor coping skills. Once you understand your own motivations and needs, it will go a long way towards helping you heal.

Once you are no longer someone who is a danger to the marriage, then maybe you can begin to go down the road of trying to save it.

To put this in terms you might understand better, if you see an enemy soldier with a live grenade in his hand, and he wants to talk about trust between you both, the can really be no trusting him until such time as he puts the grenade down, and stops being a threat to you. The same goes for your marriage. You must first become safe. Otherwise, why would anyone even consider it?

Bandolero posted 11/12/2019 08:34 AM

Thank you guys for the support and the references to literature that will help me understand and help me help my wife. We have spent sometime together since clearing my conscience completely and I have realized how much I enjoy spending time with her. Not that I didnít enjoy it in the past but I am savoring it so much more now. I have realized that she is(and always was) my best friend, along with being the mother of my children she is just an amazing person. To my knowledge D is still the course of action, she has told me that she loves me and she doesnít want to D. However I have forced her hand and understandingly know why sheís doing it. Thank you for your support again and any advice you have from here will be appreciated. Thank you all

JBWD posted 11/14/2019 01:50 AM

Howís it going Bandolero?
That uncertainty and confusion in her head- Not wanting to D but needing to D- are going to be there for a long while.
Just recognize that youíre the one who stabbed her in the back and so she is likely to resent her own familiar feelings of affection for you. Space when needed, comfort if needed. The most important thing you can do is let her know that her decision is hers and you will support it.

I found the biggest challenge early on was that adolescent feeling of rejection, like I was simply ďbeing dumped,Ē but after nearly a decade and a half- So infinitely more painful. But what I frequently reminded myself was this was the most logical response to the pain I put her through. That understanding is pretty constant for me now- And thatís its own pain of course.

Remember that the pain and uncertainty you feel is but a fraction of hers. You KNEW what you were doing, sheís stuck trying to make sense of all of it at once. Keep that perspective and once again recall that while your shared future is unwritten, her ideal future might have you as nothing more than a loving co-parent. Do whatever it turns into with a joyful heart, living as you have learned to, which is better than where you were.

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