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Tit for Tat?

keepinghope posted 2/3/2020 14:56 PM

Now that my husband has admitted to A, he and his parents are both pushing me to give him another chance. They keep saying that he gave me one 8 years ago. It hurts so bad. It makes me feel like they think what he did is okay, since I've done it before. I feel like they won't let me feel hurt. It hasn't even been a week, and they've all brought it up to me. Let alone the affair, he is in rehab for opioid addiction, and I found a letter saying he despised me and regretted having a child with me. He says he wrote it when he was on drugs and doesn't mean it. I don't know what to do. I'm in IC and he is willing to go to MC, but I am just exhausted and hurt.

I guess I'm not really asking anything. Just needed to get some feelings out.

hikingout posted 2/3/2020 15:08 PM

I think it's too soon for you to decide what you are going to do. Especially with the opiod addiction on top of it. A lot of what happens moving forward will depend on whether he can step out of that life, because at the moment you still need to protect you and your kids from that lifestyle.

I have thought about if my husband had an affair, would I have more compassion for him sooner now?

And, while it's speculative, I would say that it would help me in the way that I understand that his affair wouldn't be about me. It would be about his own issues. I would understand how justifications can become so strong and I would recognize the thinking patterns and they would not be as foreign to me as someone who hadn't had them herself.

BUT - I would also know how important it was that he got his life together for me and proved to me he was willing to become R material. In your case, I would say the first thing would be the drugs, that's it's own entity and while he lives that lifestyle he can't be a safe partner for you.

There is nothing stable about this man right now. You can certainly wait on him if you choose to. But, you do not owe him anything at this point just because you cheated. Opiod addiction and recovery is going to require him to stand on his own two feet for a while before he can be stable enough for you.

And, of course it hurts that he cheated. You are allowed to feel about that however you want to feel about that. You might could understand that you also said and did some things that you didn't mean and you wish you could take back. But, it was part of the justifications that you were making to yourself at the time. My guess is between that and the Opiod thing there is a fair share of financial infidelity at play here as well. That's a lot to overcome, and makes the situation a lot more complex than if it were infidelity on it's own.

[This message edited by hikingout at 3:09 PM, February 3rd (Monday)]

BluesPower posted 2/3/2020 15:09 PM

You know, you are in charge of your decisions...

So first thing is this: You don't have to do anything you don't want to do.

Is standing on your own two feet a hard thing for you to do? Have you ever been on our own. Do you work.

If you give us some more details we could help.

Are you an addict as well, because if you are not, and maybe if you are, being with an addict is hard.

IT IS REALLY hard.

Can you handle that? And the infidelity. You get to decide what is right for you...

ChamomileTea posted 2/3/2020 15:44 PM

I think you'd be well within your rights to dump him based on the drug addiction alone. Not all marriages are worth saving and not all BS's are great partners.

You might have been a cheater once, but apparently that's not who you are today. And your WH didn't cheat on the girl you were 8 years ago, he cheated on the woman who's been faithful and at his side for 8 years. If he'd done it then, one might make a case for a rash decision based on the turmoil of the moment, but no... this guy has had plenty of time to think it through.

No cheater is owed a second chance. Not even if they've given one previously. Every case of intimate betrayal stands on its own, because everyone has a right to feel their own feelings. It's only been a week. Your feelings might eventually include some compassion for your WH, but then again, his betrayal after all you've already been through together might result in a loss of love for him. It's okay to take some time and see how you feel and to decide what it is that YOU want for this one and only life. And if the in-laws are up in your grill about it, avoid the in-laws.

Peace as you process.

DoinBettr posted 2/3/2020 16:18 PM

KeepingHope - Think about how you felt during and immediately after your affair.
You didn't know what or why you did what you did during your affair.
You were trying to fix things anyway you could.
You probably begged him not to leave you.
After your A is exposed WS tend to just try to hold things together.
So hold him accountable, but understand where he is coming from and where you need him to go.
Stop worrying about what his parents think about you or him. Your parents probably blamed your mental issues for your cheating. This is more about the 2 of you.
He probably has similar mental health issues as yourself. Be glad you both aren't dead and try to find ways to push people outside of your relationship away. It will help you pull in together better.

Chaos posted 2/4/2020 07:14 AM

BS here so take that into consideration. I'm also a bit pragmatic by nature. With all that said...

They keep saying
- "they" are entitled to their opinions. "Their" opinions should have no basis on your decision. Bottom line. "They" have no say in your thoughts, feelings, decisions, etc. "They" can say WTFever they want. You don't have to listen.

he is in rehab for opioid addiction

This alone tells you everything you need to know. R or D he will always be in recovery. Always. Are you prepared to handle that [I'm not being snarky but sincerely answering]? You need to be
brutally honest with yourself. R or D your child will need IC to deal with that aspect [a parent who is an addict/recovering addict].

Bottom line - when it comes to Infidelity and its aftermath - the Betrayed has a lot of decisions to make without any outside attempt at influence. And that decision is the betrayed's and the betrayed's alone.

No cheater is owed a second chance. Not even if they've given one previously

Exactly! Well said ChamomileTea

nekonamida posted 2/4/2020 12:29 PM

KH, put all of that aside. Chamomile is right. No one is OWED a second chance after infidelity no matter what has happened in the past.

Ask yourself honestly, is he a good candidate for R? Has he given you the full truth, gone NC with OW, and given you transparency for all the avenues in which he used to communicate with her? I'd ask if he was remorseful but if he's pushing for a commitment from you and using your A as justification then sorry, he's not winning any points there. But he has a chance of getting there is he's being honest, transparent, sober, and is working with an IC and AA to fix himself.

Is the letter a deal breaker for you? Do you suspect it's true because he's acted resentful, disrespectful, or depressed before the betrayal? It's okay if it is or if you don't think you could come back from this knowing that this may not be the life he wants to come home sober to.

Buck posted 2/4/2020 13:26 PM

You cheated with a man you knew was married when you were engaged to your now husband. You chose to marry this man while in a lull in your A. You let him make huge life altering decisions while lying to him. You continued your A during the honeymoon phase of your M and now you're stumped why that phase didn't meet your expectations? You admit to the A only when you knew the OM was going to tattle on you. You really don't know why you cheated, except you like attention and extra sex, oh and your father cheated so it's all you know. You had no idea cheating with a married man was wrong or possibly traumatic to some innocent folks. I have to admit, this exact shit came out of my WW's mouth post A. I am also a MH and I was the one betrayed first.

You say your H was the only man to treat you with respect and love, yet you put the poor guy through absolute hell? Why did you marry him? You, and most of the people posting in this thread, think none of your behavior impacted him or his choices. What the actual fuck? You're reaping what you've sowed.

Being a MH has a bunch of layers, facets, and other just plain ole shit versus a single betrayal. If you think MH affairs happen in a vacuum, you're delusional. My WW's A completely changed our relationship and how I saw and felt about her. I too regret having children with her, it means I am forever shackled to a cheater even if we divorce. There can be no clean break. I understand that's a painful thing to read when it comes from your spouse; I can also assure you it is incredibly painful to come to that conclusion. I think the main question is what kind of person accepts grace without giving it, especially if the person needing grace is the one that initially gave it?

ChamomileTea posted 2/4/2020 15:16 PM

I think the main question is what kind of person accepts grace without giving it, especially if the person needing grace is the one that initially gave it?

If a BS needs to get his pound of flesh in order to stay in the marriage... that's not "grace". It's not Reconciliation. It's not recovery. And yeah, I get it... some folks stay for practical reasons, kids, mortgages, etc. And that's their choice. But EVERY betrayed spouse gets a choice. Not just some. Not just the ones whose WS offended first.

I'm a BS myself, and NO ONE gets to tell me about MY pain. No one can minimize another person's pain and be in any way authoritative on the subject. Pain is unique to each person. And each person has a choice as to what they're willing to tolerate in their lives. This former WS now BS has just as much right to CHOOSE her future as anyone else. Every case of infidelity is separate. NO ONE deserves to be cheated on, and no one MAKES their WS cheat. The choice to cheat is always 100% on the cheater.

Zugzwang posted 2/4/2020 16:59 PM

So, your husband has been having an EA? For how long? Same woman that he had one with right after your Dday?

You are totally entitled to be hurt and betrayed. To feel pain.

Though I agree with Buck on this. It has been 8 years since you had your multiple affairs with the same man. Your husband gave you Grace. He has a drug addiction and an EA for reasons just like you had your own personal reason to cheat multiple times. I have to wonder where your Grace is too.

This doesn't sound like a RA. It just sounds like he has had his shit and had an affair too in a marriage where he may never have healed since the first affair because he was already dealing with his own character deficits.

You are certainly entitled to what ever choice you make as a betrayed. No choice is wrong. I just have to wonder why you think giving him a chance to earn R is considered ... saying what he did is okay? Did he think the same for you? Probably not. He chose to give you grace and mercy. To extend forgiveness. To earn a second chance. They have a family better than your own (cheating parent) so you probably aren't used to a loving family matter rooting for their child to fix things and get a second chance. Giving someone a chance to fix a wrong doesn't mean you say that what they did was okay. If anything, you can use this experience to understand how he felt through your multiple PA over the course of your early marriage. Use the experience for empathy.

Though I really can't get a handle on what type of marriage you have. Your write one thing. How great he is. Then another post makes it sound like he stayed for the money. IDK.

To me, expecting some grace and mercy does not mean that pain is being minimized. It just means that one person hopes you can give the gift that was given to you for a chance to earn it. The parents are probably just baffled.

TwiceWounded posted 2/4/2020 17:22 PM

Buck had some harsh 2x4s for you--harsher than most of the other posters here. But he does have some points. Others do too... staying is YOUR choice. You have every right to demand not to be treated in ways you don't like, and every right to leave.

However--affairs don't happen in a vacuum, as Buck said. Reading your story... it sounds like your H has recently had an EA. You had a PA 8 years ago, but began while you were engaged... you then let H MARRY you without knowing about the A, and continued the A afterwards. I don't see very much about the work you've done--nothing on your "whys" or acknowledging your H's pain. Most of your profile story is about you, the reasons you cheated, your OM, and what you want. Nothing about how you trapped H into marrying you, the damage you left in your wake, or why you chose to "instantly run to the comfort of your OM" after a single fight with BH.

I guess this is my way of saying, it sounds like there are a TON of unresolved issues from your A 8 years ago. Speaking as a BH I doubt he was thinking he "wanted a pound of flesh" but he likely never felt the issues were resolved, especially considering you had ongoing intimacy issues (again looking through your posting history). That would indicate you both rugswept. Of COURSE this kind of PA leads to intimacy issues, and your H has probably ALWAYS felt like your 2nd choice, your "backup plan" or your security blanket instead of a real partner. Yes, pain is pain and I don't usually like talking about "degrees" of betrayal but a PA where you allowed him to marry you without knowing probably left a HUGE amount of damage in your relationship, and an EA is honestly less damaging than that.

I am not saying it's ok--pain is pain. You can leave. You have every right to. The opioid addiction is completely separate, but again, a valid reason for you to leave.

If you don't want to leave, you BOTH have to engage in some very difficult work about your "whys" and I'd imagine many of his "whys" stem from unresolved issues surrounding your A. An EA is not an acceptable response, obviously, but you're in MH territory now and that means you're BOTH going to need to talk about your pain, your whys, and your needs in a way that acknowledges your joint contributions to wrecking the M. And you both need to hear each other, because you both have valid feelings.

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