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I have tried everything I read on SI, now what can I do?

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Whatisnow posted 6/24/2020 15:23 PM

Hello everyone,

I have been following SI for a few months now, and reading the healing library, your stories and comments. Thank you for your suggestions in advance.

I thought I had a special relationship like some of us here. My husband and I loved and cared for each other so much that everyone we knew was inspired by our connection. Of course there is no perfect relationship, but even after 13 years old marriage we treated each other with love and care, we were best friends and confidants. We have no kids.
I cannot explain the hurt I felt after I found out that he was with someone for 12 months, who is 20 years younger than him. He told me he’d never ever thought of doing such a thing in his life (and I know he is not lying) he still loves me very much and he doesn’t know why he did it but he knew that he was unhappy at the time (He never talked to me about anything). We had some very tough times prior to that (deaths in his family) but I always supported and loved him to go through those hard times.

After I found out he did things I could have never imagined. He would go on vacations with her, but still write to me non stop and call me frequently while he was on those trips.
(As if to prove me that he was alone, which wasn’t the truth) He was not spending much time at home and I knew that our relationship had to end. I did everything suggested here in the comments and the healing library. I believe it helped to a certain degree in my case. I can tell you that a few months after I found out he has changed almost 180 degrees, he started spending more time with me and in the house more than ever, and he now tells me he finally remembered how much fun he has with me and how good our relationship was. He tells me he started seeing things more clearly now but he is afraid to break up the other thing. But he also knows that I will not continue like this. I treat him nicely but we stay in seperate rooms, I look strong, I try to enjoy my life but I was hurt deeply. Some people might say he is cake eating but I don’t do anything for him anymore (cooking, cleaning, shopping, constant attention,showering him with love and support, there is none of that) unless my presence and rarely spending time with him still counts as cake eating.

I have known this thing for 5 months now. I want to just move away and leave him but I can see that he is slowly changing. If there is an opportunity for us to work this out I don’t want to miss it by leaving as I still love him. He tells me he cannot think of a life without me and I see that he is confused and scared as well. What should I do?

[This message edited by Whatisnow at 3:32 PM, June 24th (Wednesday)]

beenthereinco posted 6/24/2020 15:58 PM

Hi Whatisnow,
I am so sorry you are here. It is a painful time I am sure but when you say you have tried everything you have read on SI I don't think that is entirely true because you have stayed in Infidelity now for 6 months.

Gently as I know this is hard but

He tells me he cannot think of a life without me

is complete BS. If he really felt this way then he would end the Affair. He does not. He is gambling that you will not end the Marriage and he is continuing in this state because you allow it. Have you spoken to an Attorney yet?

My advice is to speak to an attorney, file for divorce and ask for sole access to the home during the separation. You have to kick him off this fence he is sitting on. You also have to be prepared for whichever side he falls on.

This0is0Fine posted 6/24/2020 15:59 PM

He has to go no contact with the AP right now. He needs to send a NC letter with you looking over his shoulder and approving it. You need to tell the other betrayed spouse if there is one and it's at all possible.

Other people might come in with the bulleted list of BS demands for R. I don't have them memorized. But this is where you start.

aussiemel posted 6/24/2020 16:05 PM

Welcome to SI Whatisnow,

I just read your post, and some of what you say resonates with the way I was feeling early doors BEFORE I found out the whole truth of what was going on.

I want to just move away and leave him but I can see that he is slowly changing.

I'm sorry to say that he isn't changing. If he is still having an affair and hasn't gone no contact then you should kick him out.

He isn't respecting you, he is shoving this damn A right in your face.
Clearly he is happy to continue the A and have you at home so he can come back and mope.
Please don't put up with this.

Are you seeing a counselor Whatisnow? Have you told any friends or family what is going on?

Sending you hugs :)

paboy posted 6/24/2020 16:19 PM

Gently... That marriage you previously treasured, no longer exist. He did not treasure it in the same way that you do. He has been wearing a mask for who knows how long.

An old sage counsel..'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'.

Great things do not come easily. It takes effort and hurt. Especially the 'real' great things.

What I am leading to, is that you do not have to live with this. You are choosing to. Value your self more. Get angry. Either kick him off the fence, or kick him out of your life.

You may find that you both will appreciate this move. Unfortunately, morally you married below yourself.

nekonamida posted 6/24/2020 16:43 PM

Some people might say he is cake eating but I don’t do anything for him anymore (cooking, cleaning, shopping, constant attention,showering him with love and support, there is none of that) unless my presence and rarely spending time with him still counts as cake eating.

He is cake eating because he's betting on you being his fall back plan in a few months if things don't work out with OW. He's getting his ego kibble fix every time you respond positively to him and every day that you don't pack up and leave. He thinks he can string you along a little more by spending time at home and reminding you of the past. You may not be showing him as much attention and support as you did but you're also not demanding anything of him or actively making moves to leave. On some level, he still believes he has you as an option and that is the aspect of his behavior that is cake-eating.

I have known this thing for 5 months now. I want to just move away and leave him but I can see that he is slowly changing.

He's not changing into a safe partner otherwise he'd be NC with OW and he'd be in IC making sure he never pulls this crap again. The only progress he's making is further into being a man who lives with his wife and has a girlfriend on the side where neither one appear to be taking concrete steps to dump him.

He tells me he cannot think of a life without me and I see that he is confused and scared as well.

He has a funny way of showing it by carrying on the A in front of you! The only thing he's afraid of right now is being alone. Not your marriage ending. Not the pain he's causing you. He's afraid for himself that he may come out of this with no wife and no girlfriend.

So what if he's changing up his tactic in order to keep you and OW right now until he's comfortable making a choice? If there is a chance of this being fixed, it sure as hell isn't while you wait around for him to get bored or make a choice. So get your ducks in a row and leave. If he truly pulls it together, gets rid of OW, and commits 110% to making this up to you and fixing himself, then you can change your mind and move back in if you want. But right now he has no real motivation to do that. You're telling him with your actions that he has time to keep messing around because you're waiting for him. So stop waiting and see what he does.

Whatisnow posted 6/24/2020 16:47 PM

Thank you all. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your responses. During the time I found out about it, I asked for separation and made him move out. He didn’t stop calling me and texting me- though I didn’t answer to him- and in less than 6 weeks he came back saying that he does not want to live without me. But little did I knew that he was planning to carry on with his behaviour in secret.
I confronted him and went through the same trauma and several months passed. I carried on with my life, work and plans. Then the change I am talking about happened. He is spending a lot of time with me and in our house and he is genuinely close to me (He used to treat me as if I was an enemy) I know him well and I can see there is some change, not to the degree that I expect, but it is remarkable compared to what he was like.
Nekonamida: Just posted this before I read your comments. I feel that I might miss an opportunity by leaving, but I completely understand everything you said.

[This message edited by Whatisnow at 4:52 PM, June 24th (Wednesday)]

gmc94 posted 6/24/2020 16:54 PM

WIN - gotta echo others here.

You can't change him -only he can decide if he wants to change. You can spend a lot of time & energy trying to twist yourself into a pretzel to please him, but in the end it probably won't matter.

Your WH is still having an A. Why is this tolerable to you?

Focus on you. What do you want to do about a spouse who is not showing you respect? decency? honoring his vows?
How do you want to grieve the loss of your "special" M?

Buster123 posted 6/24/2020 17:03 PM

Listen yes, this IS cake eating to the 10th power, right now your M is a sham, tell him his got 10 secs to send OW an NC FOREVER text in front of you, if he refuses, just file for D, right now you have absolutely NOTHING to work with while he's in an active A, you have shown him you will be there waiting as his plan B while he eats more cake, EXPOSE him with all family and close friends and get tested for STDs, yes he's been playing russian roulette with your life, others will chime in with more advice, keep posting frequently.

shareonhearts posted 6/24/2020 17:05 PM

Hi Whatisnow
I would suggest taking some time alone. If he is not willing to end his affair I'm sorry but you are the second string if his relationship doesn't work out. I've been in your postion.....It hurts to think you are number two.....especially after years of marriage.
I think you may benifit from some space away and time apart to decide what's really in your best interest...I'm so sorry you are going through this heartache....S

sisoon posted 6/24/2020 17:06 PM

To R, you heal you, your WS heals the WS, together you heal/build/rebuild your M.

You're living with a WS who is conducting an A. SI's standard view in that case is that your H is not willing to do the work necessary to R. He's not a candidate for R. Is there any reason to change that view in your case? Is it possible, for example, that ow has pulled away from or dumped him?

D – Don’t
E – Even
T – Think
A – About
C – Changing
H – Him.

He might turn himself around and become a good candidate for R, but right now, your best bet is to heal yourself.

You do not want to take him back if he'll continue to look for someone that he thinks is better....

I'm really sorry you've been betrayed. You didn't cause it by action or inaction. This is something your H chose to do all by himself.

But you're focusing on him and his whims, which are none too healthy at this point.

Heal yourself.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:11 PM, June 24th (Wednesday)]

EllieKMAS posted 6/24/2020 17:10 PM

I feel that I might miss an opportunity by leaving,
This is pretty normal thinking for a BS I feel. I felt it too. But someone said this and it has stuck with me - changing who they are with does not change who they ARE. He is still someone who cheated on his wife. Lied to you repeatedly. Used times of extreme emotional upheaval as a flimsy excuse to get a side piece because he was soooo unhappy (poor muffin). So what 'opportunity' exactly would you be missing out on? Another dday? Another mistress? Another time he bails on you when he should be being there for you? Also it must be said here that YOU were also dealing with all these tough times... was your remedy to find a strange penis to fall on to?

Conversely, what opportunities might you be gaining by leaving?

I think flipping the script on that is important.

nekonamida posted 6/24/2020 17:42 PM

WIN, listen to Ellie. You think you're going to miss out on an opportunity but really the only opportunity you would be missing is one where you get burned again or dumped. Or worse, everything stays exactly how it is indefinitely.

I've highlighted this because I don't think it fully sunk in:

If he truly pulls it together, gets rid of OW, and commits 110% to making this up to you and fixing himself, then you can change your mind and move back in if you want.

That is the opportunity you want and you can have that if he makes a big change while you are in the process of leaving. Your options aren't just stay and accept sharing him with OW until one of you breaks or leave and never look back. Read around more and realize - many posters here did not get the opportunity to R until they told their WS they were leaving. Leaving can possibly create that opportunity for you but staying and doing just as you are now is a recipe for more of the same.

thatbpguy posted 6/24/2020 18:17 PM

I have known this thing for 5 months now. I want to just move away and leave him but I can see that he is slowly changing. If there is an opportunity for us to work this out I don’t want to miss it by leaving as I still love him. He tells me he cannot think of a life without me and I see that he is confused and scared as well. What should I do?

In my opinion, you need to separate yourself from him emotionally- at least for now. You now know that he is not, and will not be the true source for your joy in life. You have to find your own sources of joy. It may be in church, working out, other female friends... But not him.

Also, true blind trust & faith has died. That doesn't mean there can't be some level of trust, but a betrayal like this burns certain inter-marital bridges.

For now, be honest with your feelings. Let time scar over the wounds. Be honest with yourself in if this is the person you want to be with in 3, 5, 10, 25 years from now. He needs to prove himself to you. If that's truly possible.

Lastly, don't be afraid to call it quits. I'm a fan of R, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. I wish you well.

HellFire posted 6/24/2020 18:25 PM

What else can you Do?
You stand up,and walk away from this man who is openly abusing you. You show yourself some much needed self respect.

aussiemel posted 6/24/2020 18:44 PM

I know him well and I can see there is some change

He wants you to believe that he can change, so you don't kick him to the curb, which is all that he deserves.

Don’t ignore the reality Whatisnow. He stepped out on you when he got into bed with someone else.

squid posted 6/24/2020 19:38 PM

He says, he says, he says....

Talk is cheap. It's way too early to offer R. Wait another 6 months (if you even can) and see where things are.

The fact that he talked the talk and still cheated before is very telling.

Be cautious. You are being played.

The1stWife posted 6/24/2020 20:07 PM

What he says and what he does are completely opposite.

He can’t imagine a life without you

He doesn’t want to give her up


The truth? You are allowing him to continue disrespecting you. While you have taken major steps in doing the 180 (and good for you!) - he continues to lie and cheat.

I was in your shoes. Your exact shoes EXCEPT I did not know my H resumed the affair. At dday2 I blindsided him with these words (stayed in a calm rational matter): I’m divorcing you. You have left me no choice and I’m sorry it has come to this. You are free to go and be with the OW or anyone else you choose.

And then I left the room. It was NOT a discussion. It was a statement of fact. I had my plan B in place and was in execution mode. I had saved money over the past few months. I had a plan (he had to leave) and a counselor in place and mediator lined up.

In your case I suggest you have given him all the time necessary. It’s now he ends the A immediately or you separate or D. You either live as a married couple or he cheats. He only can pick one - he cannot continue to disrespect you and live with you or be with you and cheat.

No! No! No!

Don’t allow this one more second. I guarantee you if YOU don’t put a stop to being subjected to this it will continue. He’s doing it b/c he knows you will allow it. He throws you a bone by “slowly” changing. Hmmmmmmm that could take years if you allow it.

It’s time for him to pick one. You and your marriage or OW. If he stalls or tries to negotiate then you look him in the eye and tell him “thank you for choosing the OW”. And leave the room. No further discussion necessary. Your rationale that he’s spending “more time” with you is not good enough. He’s trying you out and comparing you to the OW. He doesn’t get to “date” you.

Ask me how I know. I was in that boat. Stupidly allowed it. My H wanted to spend time to “help him decide”. I stupidly allowed it. I was being compared. I thought we had a great week. Until a few weeks later he says he wants a D. I heard that four more times (as the OW was still around). Until I finally told him I was D him.

Do not be me. I learned my lessons the hard way and I did not have SI at the time. Wish I had though.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 8:17 PM, June 24th (Wednesday)]

Whatisnow posted 6/24/2020 21:25 PM

I wanted to tell each one of you that I read your messages twice. Thank you, I was sad and miserable lately but I felt hopeful after a very long time as I read your messages. My problem is that he has never done anything to hurt me before, he was always loving and caring. Even when he was acting crazy months ago, he would tell me he will never leave me alone, and be there for me always. Why does he even bother? To feel good about himself? I keep thinking that right now he might be playing with me sometimes, to guarantee that I will not leave, but in reality most of the time he is very confused. He looks in pain, and I don’t think he is acting.

Am I being a fool? Does it even change the fact that I should stop this maddness by leaving him? I almost feel sorry for him. (Yes, I put him before myself in many cases and it is a difficult habit to break)

[This message edited by Whatisnow at 9:44 PM, June 24th (Wednesday)]

Cooley2here posted 6/24/2020 21:57 PM

Here is an analogy. You and he have a lovely furnished house. He buys another house without your approval and your name is not on the deed. Every day he takes something from your house and puts it in his new house. Lamp by lamp, table by table, piece by piece he takes everything but the bed. Every time you tell him to stop he says he will think about it but he continues. Finally he takes the mattress from the bed and you are left with nothing but the empty house. There is no food, no clothing, no furniture. You can’t make yourself see that he has robbed you blind because every day he promises he cares for you. You are left with nothing but an empty house and empty promises. That is your life right now. He is a cheater, a liar and a thief. You deserve better.

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