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An update on N and I

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LifeDestroyer posted 2/24/2020 12:58 PM

After the parenting vent thread, N and I spoke. He admitted to going into a deep spiral after reading the comments. We spoke a lot that Thursday night. I tried to empathize with him by telling him that I know what it's like going down that spiral. I shared what I thought he may be feeling. I also shared with him how I broke down at my IC over what he's going through. I helped put him in that dark place and that's not somewhere I ever wanted him to be.

I told him that I was not going anywhere. Even if we divorce, I would still be thinking about him, still caring about him, still wanting him to find happiness, and I would still be there for him if he ever need it. He admitted that he didn't know if the love if he feels for me is real because it feels so strong. He said if it means it's real love, then the pain will never end. I told him what I believe based off of what I've read here. I said that the pain may never end but for some it may become very minimal because of all the amazing true loving feelings they have for one another.

I told him that I believe the couples who have reconciled on here. I believe that there are tons of couples on here who have found their way together. I do believe that those couples worked together to create a new life together. I do believe that those betrayed spouses have been able to find happiness again, even with the one who betrayed them.

He said as soon as he starts thinking like that, a trigger sets him back. I then apologized because I don't know what to say to help through his triggers. I then told him that mine are different and I'm still trying to figure out how to work through them. He apologized for giving them to me. I told him there not all from him, that I gave them to myself too. I told him what my triggers were, and he said all though they are different, they still are painful. Before we ended for the night, he said that he wouldn't mind if I came over early Friday morning, so of course I did.

When I got there, I told him the thing he sent me arrived. (After the parenting thread he texted me saying he sent me something but asked that I not open it and return it.) He walked over to the counter and stared at it. I went and sat down. He came over and handed it to me, he said it was mine but first he had to explain something. He said he had bought the card a few days ago, and even after being triggered so hard Wednesday morning, he still put it in the mailbox. He said that had to mean something. I opened it up, and it was a Valentine's card. He has written inside "Will you be my Valentine?" I asked him if the question was still true, and he said yes. I probably had a huge smile when I said "yes!"

I then asked if I could sit with him. He only had a few minutes before he had to leave, but we sat there cuddling. When he got up to leave, I stood next to him. I was waiting to see if we would hug. He came over and placed his head on mine. After a little bit I kissed him because I knew he had to leave, but he didn't right away. He stayed there with his head on mine. He then asked me if I would like to come over last night, barring any mood swings he may have. I told him that I would be there.

Valentine's night, I went over with a movie to watch. We sat on the couch next to each other. After the movie, he held me and I thanked him for asking me to be his Valentine. I asked him what he was thinking and he said that he wished he could truly enjoy this moment. He then asked if I wanted to go lay down.

We laid there facing each other, just looking. I started getting that guilty feeling. The feeling that I'm keeping him stuck in this limbo. I asked him if he thought he would be happy or find peace in a few months if we divorced. He didn't know. I asked if he thought he would find it if we stayed together. He said he thinks it would be harder to find. I told him if we divorce, then he can't live alone. He needs to find someone to bring that joy. He said then that means that I can't wait either.

He said he had no idea what I look for in a man anymore. I looked him dead in the eyes and told him that "I'm looking for a man like you. I'm looking for you." He asked "Did you really know what you wanted after D-Day?" I told him "yes, I wanted you and that hasn't changed."

We started kissing, but then I started crying. I was only thinking about letting him go so he can find that peace. I had to stop kissing and just cried. He let me cry while caressing my cheek. After I was done he asked what that was about. It took a minute to get the words out. I told him that I know what I should do, but it's not what I want. I told him that if I knew for certain that he would be happy in six months if we divorced, then I would let go now for him. He closed his eyes when I said that, in sadness. We were still holding each other.

Afterwards, he asked if I wanted stay for a bit. He set an alarm so that I would wake up and leave before our daughter woke up. We don't want her knowing and being anymore confused. We fell asleep, side by side together.

We didn't really talk much Saturday, and then on Sunday he asked me to think about what my optimal divorce scenario would be. Then on Tuesday, came a text that I wasn't expecting. After his IC, he texted me that he doesn't want to live with me again. He said she had him envision his future and what it looks like. He couldn't see us living together. I asked him if that meant he wanted a divorce, but he said he's still doesn't know. This weekend he asked me to write up a divorce agreement. Again, I asked if that meant we were getting a divorce. He said maybe, better to be prepared. I honestly don't know what to write in it. I don't know what to think about anything. I've had the flu these past few days, and this rollercoaster ride has gone crazy this week.

hikingout posted 2/24/2020 14:49 PM

I cried reading this. It doesn't happen often, but man it takes me back.

I don't know what to tell you other than when it got to this point with H and I, I think I was afraid to let my feelings be known full force, and I was afraid asking him not to divorce me was selfish.

The people here at that time encouraged me to lay myself bare and to fight. I don't know if that's the right move here or not, but for my husband he needed that certainty from me. When I was not fighting I believe he felt like part of me wanted that too.

In otherways, exploring divorce made him feel more certain what direction he wanted to take. So, for sure, go through the motions of what that would entail. It took some of the fear out of it for him - he knew what it would look like in theory. He felt like he could still do that later if he wanted once that was worked out.

I don't know, I think both of you still have work to do on yourselves and that might be more why he can't imagine it. There has been a lot of work in separating from you and right now that feels safer. There is this thing that I think happens with BS - some call it a vulnerability hangover - that when we get close, they have to pull away because they don't want to send a mixed message and they are far from over it yet. I saw my husband do that repeatedly. And, eventually the pulling away became further between, and the closeness stayed around longer. It takes a lot of time and patience.

I don't want to give you false hope, but I think one of you needs to have the hope and the strength and it needs to be you. Peace and healing for you both. I feel so badly for both of you.

pinkpggy posted 2/24/2020 15:20 PM

I came to say I can relate. We are about to hit 3 years past dday and it is a ROLLERCOASTER. What I can tell you is to stay the course. Keep doing what you are doing, supporting what you can support and honor his wishes. I promise you that what is really down right now will find a way back up. It takes time, a lot of time.

This doesn't have to be the end for you and N. Its the right now. And the right now sucks. I have been there, I have had that conversation, and we are still married (all though my story isn't a shining example).

I would ask him to talk again about the divorce agreement and sit down together and decide if that is how you should proceed. Don't give up hope yet.

GreatWideOpen posted 2/24/2020 16:26 PM

Something for you to think about is whether you have another Dday, big or small, in store for N. The way the last 24 hours leading up to your poly went it seems likely to me that in your waves of disclosure that you forgot to include some words or actions you shared with your AP that you have since withheld from N. That was your MO from the start and I suspect it lurks in his thoughts quite often. Maybe you should offer to take another poly.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/24/2020 20:04 PM

HIO, I'm sorry my post took you back to a sad time. Sometimes, it does feel like the "vulnerability hangover," but other times it feels very strong that he will choose to divorce. This has now been several days where he really isn't speaking to me. He keeps the texts very short, like two words or none at all. He had cut back on the no contact, and we were talking every day. I want to text him all day, but I just don't know what to say. I also don't want to bug him.

I'm not giving up hope, and I will be strong for the both of us. If he can't care about me right now, then I will care about us for the both of us. I know what I want.

GWO, I don't have anymore ddays coming from me. I suspect that will always lurk in his mind no matter what. I have also told him that I will take another poly if he ever wanted me to. Before moving out, he said that if we ever tried R, that I would have to take a poly again after being out of the house for so long.

Justsomelady posted 2/24/2020 20:44 PM

Sorry to hear that. This limbo sounds like agony for you both.

Meant to ask -how is your daughter?

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:51 PM, February 24th (Monday)]

66charger posted 2/24/2020 21:32 PM

He gave you every opportunity to move in a positve direction. You said all the right things, then switched course at the last moment. You told him to find another woman.

I have never seen a BS who loved his WS so much and received nothing for it.

Just let him go. You dont really love him, you just write words on a forum.

[This message edited by 66charger at 10:21 PM, February 24th (Monday)]

Justsomelady posted 2/24/2020 22:31 PM

66 - i saw your earlier post and the latest edited version. You were way too harsh.

I think she knows what she wants. She wants N. She has also noted and been seeking help for her communication issues. I agree there was a missed opportunity for her to reassure him in that moment. At the same time, he also sends mixed signals and they are MHs so i think the dance is different for them - harder to do, harder to read and let go of outcome etc. she is also insecure and wants reassurance, and she goofed in this moment because of that.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/25/2020 06:24 AM

66 I didn't have the chance to see your first message, but I am interested to read it. I never told him to go find another woman. I told him that if I knew he would be happy, then I would let him go. He's miserable. I've made him that way. I've made him have awful thoughts. I've helped him get stuck in this situation. If I didn't really love him, why am I still here? If I didn't really love him, why am I still in this apartment and not back in my home? If I didn't really love him, why am I sticking around for this back and forth with him? Don't you think if I didn't love him then none of this would be happening? I would have filed already. I wouldn't be telling him that there is a chance we can be one of those couples who are happy. A BS who received nothing? WTF do you think I've been giving him? I've given him everything he has asked for. He is the one who has to see if he can live with what I did to him. I am doing everything possible to make him see that, but my words mean shit to him right now. My actions, well I'm here waiting for him.

Iamtrash posted 2/25/2020 07:30 AM


I also didnít see the original comment. All I can say is, ultimately, only you and N know your lives. Only you two will see, firsthand, the changes being made. No one elseís opinion can change what you live.

Even if you discuss divorce, nothing is final until itís final. You can go through the motions, have a plan in place. Discussing divorce and making a plan isnít making it official. Minds can be changed at the last moment. You can have papers filled and never file them.

HellFire posted 2/25/2020 07:54 AM

As I have told you privately, keep fighting. You need to stop offering to give him a divorce. You need to stop giving any indication, at all, that you would divorce him. Until he files, and it's final, KEEP FIGHTING. His walls were coming down,then you offered to let him go. Walls back up.

Now you asked a series of questions, and I'm going to answer them, even though you didn't ask me, LOL. It's going to sound harsh. But as a betrayed spouse, this is exactly what went through my mind.

If I didn't really love him, why am I still here?


If I didn't really love him, why am I still in this apartment and not back in my home


If I didn't really love him, why am I sticking around for this back and forth with him

Shame. Wanting the security of the marriage.

Don't you think if I didn't love him then none of this would be happening?

Oh boy. I get that 66 upset you,and you became defensive. But a WS saying this to a BS is always going to get the same response. If you loved him, the affair wouldn't have happend, then none of the fallout would be happening.

Ok. That said. The Valentine card was HUGE. He was being very vulnerable. He was showing you he still loves and wants you. Lean into that. STOP feeling so ashamed that you offer to let him go . NEVER tell him that. When a BS hears that, it tells them that their WS isn't as invested as they've said they are. It makes us anxious.

LOVE him. STOP offering him anything but love.

hikingout posted 2/25/2020 08:36 AM

Agree with hellfire ^^^ I do think you guys love each other, but this is exactly what was happening at the time H asked for a divorce. I kept wanting to give him outs.

Also vulnerability hangover once lasted two weeks in my house, soooo just because it's gone on for a few days doesn't mean that's not what it is.

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:47 AM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

66charger posted 2/25/2020 10:13 AM

Love is not words on a forun. It is a living breathing thing that wants to survive. When we read your husbands words there is no doubt he loves you very much.

It really doesnt matter what we think. The only thing that matters is what N thinks. He went from giving you a valentine to shutting you down in less than a week. He is going to file and soon.

Do you believe that N thinks all you have done post DDay shows you love him?.

Rage if you want to, but the fact is he has been looking for something, anything, in order for him to turn the page and stay.

That sequence of events was not it.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 2/25/2020 10:28 AM

I too agree with Hellfire - but note, I agree with the words that, as a BS, my thoughts about your responses were the same as Hellfire's - NOT THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY THINKING. If there is one thing I have learned through all of this, there is oftentimes a big difference.

I would also add to the list of things I might think as to why you would say what you say, a few additions...but note, I am telling you this NOT to make you feel bad/worse, but to help give you INSIGHT into what your BS MIGHT be thinking when you say those things. Sometimes, coming from an outsider, it is easier to understand.

Here are some examples of how what you said could be interpreted by a BS:

If I didn't really love him, why am I still here?

If I didn't really love him, why am I still in this apartment and not back in my home

If I didn't really love him, why am I sticking around for this back and forth with him

Don't you think if I didn't love him then none of this would be happening?

I might think: fear of being alone, guilt over how bad I am feeling and about destroying my life, fear of making the wrong choice by leaving/letting him go, alleviation of guilt by trying to make me feel better in the aftermath, not wanting to be seen by me (or others) as a bad person.

What I would want to believe: My WS loves me and wants to change for themselves and for me; My WS has figured out I am really as important to them as they are to me; My WS isn't going to take me for granted anymore; My WS is afraid to lose me because they appreciate me for me and want to make me feel better so we can have a better us.

What my fears would be: That my WS was saying these things to "make it easier for me to leave" but that deep down inside he really wants me to; that he was saying these things in order to keep me on the hook a bit longer while he continues to decide whether or not he wants to stick around; that he was saying/doing these things because he is lonely and misses having someone around and I will do in the interim until he finds someone else or tires of me.

So, how do you combat this? A combinations of words and actions.

I 100% agree that when you talk about divorce, as a BS, my mind goes to my fears - that it's just an easy out (a "see, you will be happier without me so I'm doing you a favor (but secretly I want you to leave)." So, if that is not what you are feeling (and I'm not saying that you do) framing it something along these lines is better for your BS:

Instead of saying:

I told him that if I knew for certain that he would be happy in six months if we divorced, then I would let go now for him.
you could say something like this:

I don't want a divorce. At all. I am 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to make this work, if you want that too, and I am willing to let you have the time you need to come to whatever decision you want to about trying to R or divorcing. Divorce is not what I want at all, but I'm through with disrespecting your feelings, and if that is ultimately your choice, I will understand why and will respect your decision, but I'm not going anywhere unless you ask me to leave.

This conveys the same sentiment (I think - and yes it's way easier to understand what someone is trying to say when your own heart isn't so wrapped up in it), but without any uncertainty (or much less) for your BS. If I had to guess, I would think that you were trying to say "I fucked up, and if you choose to divorce me and leave, I completely understand, and because I want your happiness more than my own right now, although it would devastate me, if there was a 100% guarantee that you would completely happy not only in 6 months but forever w/out me in your life, I would leave, for you, because you deserve that and I want so much for your happiness especially in light of what I've done. While I hope that we can find happiness together, as that is what I want for us more than anything, ultimately I want you to be happy either way."

If it seems like semantics, it's because it is. That's why actions are so much easier to understand than words - because they leave much less open for interpretation - but in the fragile mental state of a BS even those get screwy, which is why it may seem to a WS, especially in the initial stages, that "nothing I do is enough" because until those little moments of consistency add up, nothing you do in the moment is enough.

This is why you have to keep doing the things you think would help - the things you think would be enough - the whole pile of little things have the best chance of adding up over time to being "enough" because they show consistency and longstanding desire - both of which a BS desperately needs in order to move forward with their WS if they can.

If you decide to sit on the couch and watch tv when your spouse comes home from work and say nothing, instead of getting up and hugging them or even simply saying "hello" then the actions are showing your spouse that they are less important to you than watching tv in that moment. And let's face it - sometimes that is the case. I loved my WH madly - I looked forward to seeing him every day for years and ALWAYS said "hey there!" when he came home, at a bare minimum - but I recall a time when I was watching a sporting event on TV and it was an intense moment in the match and I was glued to the TV and he walked in the door and I didn't acknowledge him coming in (heck, I hardly noticed he came in - I was enthralled with what I was watching)...and while I didn't love him any less at that moment, that action showed in that moment that what I was doing was more important to me than saying hello to him. What it didn't show is that he was less important to me in general than my television. But when you are a BS, all that gets mixed up.

Somehow after dday, my WH not saying hello to me immediately when I walked in the door because he was in the middle of paying a bill online and was in the home-office became a personal affront - it was evidence that I was not that important to him, when the reality was that action alone did nothing to support that premise. But my BS mind went there immediately, because, his actions via the A had previously shown that I was not that important to him, so I took everything he did as validation of that internal negative feeling that I had. Everything he did that could negatively support that premise, I interpreted that way, for a long time. That was the work I had to do for me - to stop that crap.

I could go on and on and I'm sorry this is so long, but I think it is a fundamental tenement of the difficulties between BS and WS when trying to R. I would suggest, even if you are not a big self-help reader (I'm not one myself) to look up on youtube an excerpt from Brenee Brown - she talks about "the story I tell myself" when reacting to what someone does or says (I think you can actually search Brenee Brown and that quote and find that piece of her talk) - and it's very illustrative of what I'm saying here.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:08 AM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

LifeDestroyer posted 2/25/2020 10:42 AM

Love is not words yet you can tell that my husband loves me by the words that he wrote, yet you doubt my love for him now.

Does he think all I've done since D-Day shows that I love him? You would have to ask him, but he probably won't be coming back here. If you were to actually see our life, then yes you would see that I love this man. I keep showing him and telling him, but he won't or doesn't want to see any of it because of how badly I hurt him.

I text him, knowing full well I will be completely ignored. I open up and tell him exactly how I feel knowing it isn't good enough for him. When he drops our daughter off, I can't be physical in any way with him because we don't want to confuse her. I would love to be able to give him a hug, but I can't. Everyday I try to talk to him. I ask him how he is doing or ask about anything. He either doesn't respond or writes a quick sentence back and that's it.

Trust me, I didn't want to tell him that I would let him go if I knew he would he happy, but I feel extremely selfish asking him to stay stuck in this shit hole with me. I don't want him to be miserable with me. I want him to be able to look at me and feel happiness. He doesn't think he ever will. How can I honestly sit here and not want better for him? How is that wrong of me? Do I think I can make him happy? Yes, but it doesn't matter what I think.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 2/25/2020 10:47 AM

Lifedestroyer - I hope you read my post - I don't doubt your love in the least - I don't know you, so how could I?

Love is not words yet you can tell that my husband loves me by the words that he wrote, yet you doubt my love for him now.

I was trying to explain as a BS what goes though my mind - right or wrong - to try to give you some insight into some of the things your own BS might be thinking and how to combat them going forward. I tried to make that clear - that I was not judging what you wrote at all and instead was telling you how it could come across to a BS even if that is not how you meant it to sound. Heck, it's not even that you said anything wrong - but just try to keep in mind that what happened - the A and all the lies and deceit that comes with it - tends to take an otherwise emotionally stable BS and turn them into someone who second guesses everything - interprets everything for potential hidden meanings, even if they don't want to. It's a defense mechanism, and the best way to combat that is communication and explanation of what something means, and consistency...it's the BSs job to work on their fears too.

I will also add, as a BS, I pretty much doubted everything for awhile. Everything - about my WH, about myself, about the world in general. You just feel gutted, and like down is really up and left is really right and you've just been wrong about everything. Heck, it applied to just about everything in my life - not just my WH. It's a terrible place to be - doubting yourself - but that's exactly where I was. The shit is really complicated...

What doesn't concern me about your posts is how you feel about your WH...but be careful of your defensiveness as that shit is your (and my) worst enemy. I mean, who cares if some anonymous person on a message board does doubt your love for you BS - what does that really matter? There is a lot of good advice for you on here - so take what you need and ignore the rest. I am not a WS but I have been a very wayward person in my past, and my own defensiveness was my biggest enemy - backing that down was paramount to my change - and change I have...almost everyone is capable of change, and you seem to be someone who is too.

I will also add this: while I may not doubt your love for your BS, your BS most likely doubts your love is the same as it was, or the same as his for your - heck, he may even doubt if he knows what love really is. The doubt that a BS has about everything is really hard to move through - to move beyond - as what you thought was the foundation of your life was truly shaken.

I used to tell my WH this all the time: stop taking it so personally. Help me. If it makes it easier for you, think about the situation w/out you in it. How would you behave towards me if I was raped while walking home? Would you comfort me while I was scared? Would you hold me and tell me you love me? Sure, you would be raging at who did this, but how would you comfort me knowing that I was scared and worried and hurt but you didn't have anything to do with it? Try helping me that way - remove yourself from it and lean in.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:03 AM, February 25th (Tuesday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 2/25/2020 10:52 AM

Read the italicized portion of my first post - as I do try to explain as best I can what may be happening. Your post sounds so much like my WH, when he used to say "nothing I do is enough" and I can tell that you too are in pain here.

I text him, knowing full well I will be completely ignored. I open up and tell him exactly how I feel knowing it isn't good enough for him. When he drops our daughter off, I can't be physical in any way with him because we don't want to confuse her. I would love to be able to give him a hug, but I can't. Everyday I try to talk to him. I ask him how he is doing or ask about anything. He either doesn't respond or writes a quick sentence back and that's it.

All I can say is this: it may never be enough, or maybe, it will - but the only way you will know for certain is to keep showing your BS that you are willing and able and want to make it work. Sadly for me, my WH gave up because the little things he did, in his mind, didn't seem to make a difference, and so after trying for awhile, he decided for us, that the damage was too great to repair. In my mind, it felt like I was not important enough for him to consistently show me for more than a few months, that I was worth it, and for me, it was the biggest heart break of them all.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/25/2020 10:59 AM

Sorry ThisIsSoLonelu, when I wrote my comment, I hadn't seen yours yet. I was writing to 66.

HellFire posted 2/25/2020 11:00 AM

I believe you love him. And I believe he loves you.

Ifeel extremely selfish asking him to stay stuck in this shit hole with me. I don't want him to be miserable with me. I want him to be able to look at me and feel happiness. He doesn't think he ever will. How can I honestly sit here and not want better for him? How is that wrong of me

He's a grown man. He doesn't need you to make decisions for him. If he decides he is really done, he will tell you. The flip flopping is normal. But when he is done, and he allows the divorce to be finalized, then you will know. Until then, respect him enough to allow him to decide what he wants for his future. He doesn't need you to treat him like a child, and decide for him.

Of course you can always decide you are done. But if you want the marriage, stop telling him you will walk away.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 2/25/2020 11:05 AM

No worries Lifedestroyer - it happens (and I thought that might have been it). I am so passionate about this topic as I do wish my own failed R had worked out differently and I think some of it was this huge disconnect that he and I had - some of it mine and some of it his - and in the long run it wasn't sustainable.

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