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Back 10 years after affair

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gmc94 posted 8/11/2020 21:30 PM

Bewuzzled - Just want to say I am thinking of you and throwing some positive vibes of strength.

Thumos posted 8/11/2020 22:26 PM

I'm really confused by this. There are a lot of vague statements with hazy language that could be interpreted 50 different ways. I'm with waitedwaytoolong on this, and I'm puzzled at the quick demonization of the BH seen on this thread. I'm not saying he's perfectly pristine in this situation - far from it. But the story seems much more complex than some here seem willing to admit.

Most of the open marriages I know about in my own sphere of life (and I do know about a few) aren't marriages at all anymore. The two people are divorced in every situation I'm aware of, because that seems to be what happens to open marriages. While I can't myself pretend to understand polyamorous situations and I believe they predictably fall apart into toxicity after a given amount of time, I'm still very confused about several things you've stated. Perhaps you can clear it up for us.

1. You committed adultery.

2. D-Day happened and you handled it and the aftermath badly somehow -- for many moons, compounding the damage of the infidelity itself and the discovery.

3. You aren't specific here, but it seems likely you're referring to blameshifting and some form of emotional outbursts (attacks) aimed at your BH. Were gaslighting and DARVO involved? Was trickle truth involved? Minimization?

4. At some point in the near continuum to D-Day you offered a "free pass" to your BH and he declined. One can assume that along with the other things you handled badly, this signaled strongly to your husband how you viewed sex. Am I incorrect? While he declined, he likely felt you placed his one and only status with you at less than a premium value.

5. Over the course of several years, you and your BH rugswept the compound ramified damage from all of this. But it now seems obvious he merely swallowed his pain. Was it to mollify you? To prevent more emotional outbursts from you? What? Please elucidate if you can or if you will.

6. Around the 8 year mark you were obviously aware that things had gone poorly and had been handled sloppily and that the two of you were clinging on to the relationship at best. You were obviously aware of the rugsweeping. You decided to arrange for a threesome for your BH and once again revisited with him the offer of a free pass. Only this time you engineered the circumstances. At least that is what it seems like according to your statements.

7. Your BH agreed to your offer, and then you joined willingly and jubilantly into an extended thruple relationship -- one in which you found yourself simultaneously attracted to both your BH and this new woman, a friend. The context seems fairly important here: You'd already broached a "free pass" in the past after D-Day, and now you'd not only offered it again, you'd arranged for it to happen and elected to join in yourself as a cheerful participant for an extended polyamorous relationship. Your BH could be forgiven at this point for being slightly confused, I would think. What do you think? You'll only tell us that "weirdly, somehow" you fell into this new threesome relationship which frankly sounds a heck of a lot like what WS's say when they tell a betrayed spouse "it just happened" or "it was just a mistake."

8. The thruple situation ended, sort of, kind of, and messily and abruptly. Then it started up again, and you said "this time" you didn't want it to be as "intense" as the first time, but that seems a pretty vague word, doesn't it? Again, could you be more precise? Because several people on this thread seem to be hanging their hats on this particular statement of yours as evidence of some sort of betrayal by your BH. What is meant by "intense" specifically? What did your BH precisely agree to? Was it clearly stated or as vaguely stated as you've put it here? Did the BH actually agree to anything? Or did the two of you just "weirdly, somehow" fall back into a polyamorous relationship again?

9. Somewhere along the line your BH grew dissatisfied with this second time around at the thruple bat and he then he invoked an in-home separation from you. And now he wants a divorce. We say all the time here at SI that a spouse is entitled to divorce at any time for any reason. In your case, it seems to be because your BH decided the original infidelity was a dealbreaker, compounded by bad behavior after the fact and then a messy polyamorous lifestyle that you not only encouraged but practically engineered, then began backpedaling out of sort of kind of when it no longer met your expectations.

Could you please let us know where this outline is accurate or inaccurate?


[This message edited by Thumos at 12:05 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

BraveSirRobin posted 8/12/2020 00:11 AM

I agree with DoinBetter.

bewuzzled posted 8/12/2020 00:12 AM

thank you gmc94

DoinBettr posted 8/12/2020 00:44 AM

Bewuzzled - I wonder what else you were doing to fix the marriage after your first affair?
How long did you do these things?
Those 2 questions will help us a lot because it sounds like maybe instead of fix yourself (The hard part) you wanted the crutch of this other woman. Then as I said you wanted to control how that all went. I bet she kind of resents you and your husband feels more a partner to this new woman than you.
He probably isn't going to leave you, but you 2 really need to work things out. The first is to start improving yourself. This is standard boiler plate advise to all WS.
Secondly - What did your therapist tell you about the threesome and how you fix your husband post affair? I ask because she/he sounds like they are not helping you. They are in fact reinforcing you paranoia and not helping you explore how you become stronger. Calling your husband names isn't going to help you heal. Just like him calling you names doesn't help him heal much. You need to try to become more open with communication and more willing to listen.
Good luck, I hope you find a way to get back together. I fear you are hurting your reconciliation more than anything. Your talk with your husband should have been about how the threesome was making you feel. Not an exchange of cuddles for sleeping with another woman. More about how you 2 openly talk about every little detail of each day until you learn what the other person wants to hear about your days. Then go from there (Exercise my therapist gave us.)

bewuzzled posted 8/12/2020 01:10 AM

1. You committed adultery.

Yes, I had an affair 10 years ago which we chose R after.

2. D-Day happened and you handled it and the aftermath badly somehow -- for many moons, compounding the damage of the infidelity itself and the discovery.

there was TT for 3 months. And yes, I admittedly compounded the damage. I have taken full responsibility for this since the first year and R began.

3. You aren't specific here, but it seems likely you're referring to blameshifting and some form of emotional outbursts (attacks) aimed at your BH. Were gaslighting and DARVO involved? Was trickle truth involved? Minimization?

No DARVO,probably blameshifting until I learned everything I did. But not years out. The emotional outbursts I refer to are discussions that devolve into uncontrollable tears and eventually lashing out with anything that's hurting me. This is a big one that I still have work to do to change. I will be bringing this one up in IC this week.

4. At some point in the near continuum to D-Day you offered a "free pass" to your BH and he declined. One can assume that along with the other things you handled badly, this signaled strongly to your husband how you viewed sex. Am I incorrect? While he declined, he likely felt you placed his one and only status with you at less than a premium value.

This came up during discussions in R, when I would offer anything and everything to "make it up to him" I've stated in this thread that I realize the flawed thinking here. But it's what I did. In my mind, it was an attempt to show him that I understood that I took something special (our only status) and threw it away. He explained how that felt to him as a man and I thought " here is a way to give him something to take back, as a man. An experience with someone else, without me. This will help at least with that one issue..." I wanted to give him something that would show how sorry, remorseful and willing to give back for I was. He declined when it was offered, saying that wouldn't fix anything, and we agreed to just put in his back pocket so he would know it was there and to leave it at that. And that's exactly what we did for several years.


5. Over the course of several years, you and your BH rugswept the compound ramified damage from all of this. But it now seems obvious he merely swallowed his pain. Was it to mollify you? To prevent more emotional outbursts from you? What? Please elucidate if you can or if you will.

I absolutely disagree here. We didn't rugsweep this. I answered all questions,I changed the way I interact with people, I became as safe a spouse as I could be. I proved my whereabouts with timeclock proof, mobile tracking...anything I could think to do to help. We went to IC and MC. I read and I posted and none of it was perfect, but there was effort in R. He says he had to make all the changes, and I agree that he's the one who stopped isolating and started doing things with me, he started participating much more in our lives. But there's no way he could have "fixed" us all by himself. I was there too. I was trying too. And we had found some contentment and peace several years in. Up until now. I'm certain he did swallow some pain. I know he did. I know he still had doubts about knowing everything and he always will. He came to me one random day and proclaimed that I was forgiven. I cried and we hugged and I thought we'd actually made it. That happened a couple of years before the threesome. We had R'd completely.

6. Around the 8 year mark you were obviously aware that things had gone poorly and had been handled sloppily and that the two of you were clinging on to the relationship at best. You were obviously aware of the rugsweeping. You decided to arrange for a threesome for your BH and once again revisited with him the offer of a free pass. Only this time you engineered the circumstances. At least that is what it seems like according to your statements.

I did not believe it was handled sloppily, I do believe there are things I could have done better. I do not feel we were clinging on at the 8 year mark, we were doing well.
I did not arrange a threesome. A former coworker he had known a couple of years previous messaged him on FB out of the blue. She was now single. I believe she had always been attracted to him. But they'd been friends,work acquaintances. I did bring up the free pass and I did encourage him to use it. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for him. It seemed like this gift I could give, to show my commitment to my word. (again...flawed thinking). But...that's what precipitated their ONS. we had rules and parameters and everything was open and honest and agreed to.


7. Your BH agreed to your offer, and then you joined willingly and jubilantly into an extended thruple relationship -- one in which you found yourself simultaneously attracted to both your BH and this new woman, a friend. The context seems fairly important here: You'd already broached a "free pass" in the past after D-Day, and now you'd not only offered it again, you'd arranged for it to happen and elected to join in yourself as a cheerful participant for an extended polyamorous relationship. Your BH could be forgiven at this point for being slightly confused, I would think. What do you think? You'll only tell us that "weirdly, somehow" you fell into this new threesome relationship which frankly sounds a heck of a lot like what WS's say when they tell a betrayed spouse "it just happened" or "it was just a mistake."

So when I say wierdly somehow...what I mean is, I absolutely did not go looking for a girlfriend. Thought had never crossed my mind. Following their night, there was to be a discussion regarding what the new boundaries were. They had been sexting and talking every single day for almost a month, and now that they'd had thier date, they wanted to go back to being friends. ( hindsight ) At that time, I said to BH that if he really wanted to keep her as friend, I would feel better meeting and knowing her ( as I hadn't ever before). He told her of our discussion and she readily agreed to a meeting. But prior to the meeting, there was texting, between her and I to get to know each other, as a new friend at first that quickly turned into flirty and suggestive. Again, all out in the open and shared between BH and I. That evolved into a group text between the three of us involving mostly flirting and sexting. At the first meeting, we got along and she came home with us, for a short time to hang out and there we were, all making out on the couch. It was not planned or explicitly stated that this would be happening. but all 3 of us went with it. That's how it started. I did not orchestrate this, I did participate and it was fun and exciting in the beginning. What it would grow to be I could not have known then.


8. The thruple situation ended, sort of, kind of, and messily and abruptly. Then it started up again, and you said "this time" you didn't want it to be as "intense" as the first time, but that seems a pretty vague word, doesn't it? Again, could you be more precise? Because several people on this thread seem to be hanging their hats on this particular statement of yours as evidence of some sort of betrayal by your BH. What is meant by "intense" specifically? What did your BH precisely agree to? Was it clearly stated or as vaguely stated as you've put it here? Did the BH actually agree to anything? Or did the two of you just "weirdly, somehow" fall back into a polyamorous relationship again?

To clarify intensity and how I mean it here....I liked the "dating" part of this relationship. I still wanted a marriage that was separate of the GF. That's not what ended up happening though. It developed into an all day/everyday she was involved in everything and I was left needing "couple time" situation. Among other boundaries he was beginning to bring up and question. That was too intense for me. Seeing someone for dates and flirting throughout the week by text is one thing. But being unable to spend any time without her in the middle with a spouse is another. She started to feel much more like a sister wife than a GF and I did not want that. BH knew my meaning as far as intensity, going into time 2. He didn't always agree with how I felt, but he did know.


9. Somewhere along the line your BH grew dissatisfied with this second time around at the thruple bat and he then he invoked an in-home separation from you. And now he wants a divorce. We say all the time here at SI that a spouse is entitled to divorce at any time for any reason. In your case, it seems to be because your BH decided the original infidelity was a dealbreaker, compounded by bad behavior after the fact and then a messy polyamorous lifestyle that you not only encouraged but practically engineered, then began backpedaling out of sort of kind of when it no longer met your expectations.

So during the 2nd time around, BH was happy. He liked the GF, he liked the situation, he literally told me upon moving upstairs that I had taken something that made him happy, and that even though I had the right to say no more to that relationship...so does he with me. He said he's tired of losing in this marriage and that he needs space to figure out what he wants. The relationship with GF didn't " not meet my expectations" it became something that made me sad, uncomfortable, emotional and maybe a bit crazy. I became constantly jealous and scared that things between them were out of control and would become dangerous ( perhaps I was right?). But I was very torn...I cared about her and didn't want to hurt her. I didn't want to hurt him, but I did in the end, want to save my own mental health. I actually didn't end it the second time myself. GF called me out on the fact that I was different, that something was off and she accused me of wanting out. I admitted to it and that's how it ended. I didn't want to end it because of what he'd said to me about my causing him to lose this would cause him to reevaluate the marriage. I felt like I was completely trapped. Now I'm left feeling betrayed that I may have had the "right" to say no more please, but it caused my H to leave me. Maybe I'm not justified in that, but it's feelings, they often don't make sense.
BH has not stated that he wants a divorce. We have agreed to take this time and space away from each other to figure out what we both want. It's heartbreaking but absolutely necessary at this point. I have no idea what else to do. Maybe for BH the lingering resentment from the affair will prove to be a dealbreaker in the face of my willingness to say no to the GF. And if so, that's his right. And all this will be is one big 'DO NOT BE US' situation.

Please let me know what else to clarify, I value everyone here's opinions.

bewuzzled posted 8/12/2020 01:51 AM

I wonder what else you were doing to fix the marriage after your first affair?
How long did you do these things?
Those 2 questions will help us a lot because it sounds like maybe instead of fix yourself (The hard part) you wanted the crutch of this other woman. Then as I said you wanted to control how that all went. I bet she kind of resents you and your husband feels more a partner to this new woman than you.

I had a very hard time forgiving myself for the affair. BH told me for a long time, repeatedly that I had to do that. I was incapable. I did try but it was never truly resolved. I never truly forgave me, even after he did. So even at 8 years out, that led me down this path of the OW, as one last gesture to show my remorse. I did change my interactions with other people, I did become and stay transparent, I did engage in every discussion with him regarding hows and whys and anything he needed. And yet he says now he went through everything then, alone. I don't get it! I was there, I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, I was trying.
Now, BH doesn't see it (the GF) that way. He sees it as a thing I did for me, to equalize the marriage. There is an element of that, but I never believed or said that this would make us all equal. This was up front and honest, my affair was hidden and wrong. There's nothing that equals that betrayal.
I believe she does resent me, I believe she liked me, she liked the situation, she was happy. I didn't feel the same way about her that she felt about me and that hurts her, I'm sure. It hurt me to feel the way I did.
I absolutely wanted control over that relationship. I do not deny that, and I think that damaged BH and the marriage. He didn't want to feel supervised or babysat. I didn't want to feel like anything was going on that I didn't know or that they were falling in love right in front of my eyes. I was terrified alot of the time, which makes it nearly impossible to relax and just have fun. And BH wanted that for me, but it turns out I wasn't capable of it as he was. I think he does feel more partnership with her than me because I refused to " work with him" his exact words...and be happy in the threesome, when I was getting everything I loved, at his expense according to him. He just can't understand it.

The first is to start improving yourself.

Currently dedicated to this, every single day.

What did your therapist tell you about the threesome and how you fix your husband post affair? I ask because she/he sounds like they are not helping you. They are in fact reinforcing you paranoia and not helping you explore how you become stronger. Calling your husband names isn't going to help you heal. Just like him calling you names doesn't help him heal much.

She was concerned he is a gas lighter because in many communications since March, he tells me " You can't control your emotions" " your point of view is juvenile and simple" " It was never like that" " You can't communicate like a mature adult" among others. She has told me since February that I do have a right to say no to a relationship that didn't feel good to me, and that I must focus now on self care and detachment. We have worked on some emotion control so that I am able to have a conversation with BH that doesn't only focus on my pain and never get anything solved. I haven't agreed with everything she's said or suggested but other things have been helpful. She did try to prepare me months ago for the possibility of a more formal separation
( currently happening)and for the possibility they may be together in the future ( still in denial there, and wholly unprepared)
I'm currently feeling lost and confused and torn and hurt and angry...you name it, on any given day at any given moment.

leavingorbit posted 8/12/2020 03:06 AM

Bewuzzled, Iím so sorry youíre back here. I really hope youíre finding some peace.

Ok, Iím gonna be blunt. Just from my experience and IMO...

I agree with ChamomileTea that you had boundaries that were not respected and that seems pretty clear from your explanation. Your husband wanted to catch feelings after you stated that was a boundary for you and then he complained that you are emotional/crazy/unfair. What exactly am I missing here? Iím a MH. My husband and I pulled wayward shit like this and we were very unhealthy and dishonest. Itís funny that DARVO is being mentioned because to me that sounds exactly like what your husband is lashing out with. Iím not excusing your role in this or your affair. Where were your boundaries, girl? Why is your self worth and identity so tied up in his approval? Where were your values? They are internal to YOU. What does your IC say??

And everyone saying you somehow engineered this? Did your husband fall into this ladyís pants? You just ďwore him down?Ē Then his values werenít worth a shit. Maybe he was still in pain from your affair, but then thatís his chance to 1) dialogue about his pain and 2) get a divorce instead of cake eating and then gaslighting you when you draw a boundary. Betrayal trauma is not justification for any other poor coping mechanisms, ever. I have betrayed my H. He has betrayed me. I reacted like a person with very unhealthy patterns of behavior and so did he. None of it was ok.

IMO, Yíall need to get out of this crazy drama triangle. I believe you may do that on your own. You have the ability to look at your own behavior. It sounds to me like your husband is throwing a tantrum because youíre closing the bakery, not unfamiliar to waywardness. Do NOT go down a path of owning his blameshifting. DO own your actions and behavior. Shore up your boundaries and work in IC. I think I see you struggling with learned helplessness- you were ďincapable,Ē you were ďled down the path.Ē You were not a passive observer here, sweetheart. Why did you stay in a shame pit? Yes, it hurts. Compassion is NOT shame. Empathy is NOT shame.

First and only status is super difficult. But if itís important to him then that comes from inside of him. You didnít value that and you had an affair. Thatís his opportunity to say, eff this, and bounce, because you didnít value being onlies. Would it be hurtful? Yes. Like death. Until he healed and worked on his own recovery and realized your brokenness wasnít within his control, ever ever ever. Remember that your husbandís coping is his and yours is yours. He is not the big bad monster and neither are you. He is imperfect, as are you, as are we all. This is all written based on what you have said, and I understand Iím only getting one side of the story here. Iím giving you a kick in the butt because healthy thinking is nudging you, and you cannot nice your husband out of wayward thinking. You can be compassionate, take ownership, and not enable unhealthy choices in your M.

Btw, this is not a post about coming to your rescue but instead about accountability. Iím not gonna get into anything about how he may be a ďmasterĒ gaslighter. Iím sure he does gaslight but you did, too. You both screwed up. Itís on you both to sort out your wreckage. He may not but youíre here, posting, and you are in IC. Figure out why you thought being the cool wife would somehow help you when you were clearly uncomfortable. Why did you ignore that voice? Why are you so afraid to be without your husband that you would do this? Where were your boundaries? What are your boundaries? Do you weaponize them? Do you avoid conflict? Do you avoid holding your lines in the sand? R is not about appeasing the BS or being a doormat. WS heals WS. BS heals BS. Together, you rebuild the M.

Iím sorry youíre in pain. Iím sorry your husband is in pain. My advice is to process it and try not to get stuck in the hurt. Wayward wiring manifests in a sliding scale of victimhood <óó-> poor/zero boundaries. Be compassionate. Be firm. Know your worth. Focus on your work and not his. Youíre hurt, explore it. IME, madhatters really get bogged down with victim thinking. I know I do. I think DoinBetter gave you some good advice but I think it comes after your husband chooses to be healthy.

((Bewuzzled)), if you need a hug.

[This message edited by leavingorbit at 5:19 AM, August 12th (Wednesday)]

Thumos posted 8/12/2020 09:07 AM

Thank you for clarifying some points.

Seeing someone for dates and flirting throughout the week by text is one thing. But being unable to spend any time without her in the middle with a spouse is another. She started to feel much more like a sister wife than a GF and I did not want that. BH knew my meaning as far as intensity, going into time 2. He didn't always agree with how I felt, but he did know.

So you were okay with dates and sexting ó and being in threesome sex with them? Both the first time and the second time?

It was more of the sister wife aspect that bothered and that was what you meant by intense? Did you BH agree in advance not to have a ďsister wifeĒ type or arrangement? Was that clearly spelled out?

You say he knew your position but he didnít always agree. It sounds to me like perhaps you were clear about some set of boundaries but he was equally clear he didnít agree? And this was discussed in advance of threesome/thruple round #2 so you knew he didnít agree?

I have no idea how these things are arranged and it seems pretty obvious how it could fall apart quickly but had You all agreed to a time schedule or calendar or was it just more general ďI want more time with youĒ but he didnít make any guarantees?

You talked about lashing out ó that sounds quite a bit like DARVO to me. Not trying to be argumentative here but just pointing out a potential blind spot.

Gently I would suggest that if you thought you had Ríd completely after a few years (since R is almost always assumed to be a lifelong enterprise) and at the same time you knew he was swallowing pain, well thatís the very definition of rugsweeping.

hikingout posted 8/12/2020 09:46 AM

I tend to agree with Doinbetter as well on some of this stuff. And, honestly it aligns with what you are saying here:

I had a very hard time forgiving myself for the affair. BH told me for a long time, repeatedly that I had to do that. I was incapable. I did try but it was never truly resolved. I never truly forgave me, even after he did.

I can identify with this because I do think any remorseful WS can struggle with this for a long time. I have gotten to where I choose self-compassion and accept there are things that you do that you do not ever forgive yourself for. You simply understand how they came to be and do better.

I could have easily seen myself get stuck here. But, the reason I did not (and this is not me getting on a soapbox, more sharing something I learned) is simple - I saw the root of my cheating to come from a lack of self-respect, self-love, and self-worth. So, I actively had to work to heal those things. Coming to terms and acceptance of what I had done actually came AFTER embracing myself, healing the shame I had accumulated since I was a child.

In order to love and respect others we have to first love and respect ourselves. It's what helps us form our boundaries.

Early in our relationship, before we were even serious, we tried some swinging. I am going to say this too was proof of my lack of self-worth/self-love. I wanted so badly to be the "cool girlfriend". This is how I felt worthy in our relationship. Later, I was able to recognize it was contributing to me not feeling like I was enough for him so we stopped and never went back. We became monogamous and then went on to get married.

The thing about self-love and worth is you can have it and lose it, and gain it again, and have it and lose it. If you ever had it, I think it's easier to regain, as you have some semblence of what it looks like. I think for some WS there never has been anything there but a fleeting glance of that, and usually it was experience through propping up ourselves in the eyes of another.

So, when Doinbetter posted initially this snapped into place for me. When we are not taking the steps into our own self-worth/self-respect then we are always bargaining with the other person to get it back. And we bargain with our boundaries. I think the threesome situation is that for you.

Think back - where did you learn that you needed to be a certain way sexually to garner and keep male attention? I am going to go out on a limb and say Sexual Abuse Survivor? You need to trace that with your IC if I am right.

I did change my interactions with other people, I did become and stay transparent, I did engage in every discussion with him regarding hows and whys and anything he needed.

This is surface work. I mean, it's good you did those things, but it didn't fix what was really broken inside - letting go of the shame you have carried around and accumulated, your relationship with yourself, your coping abilities, etc.

And yet he says now he went through everything then, alone. I don't get it! I was there, I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, I was trying.

I will say maybe that is true for him, or maybe he is doing the same thing all WS do - rewrite history to keep justifying his behaviors. I would place money on that. Typical WS re-writing of a narrative in order to leave you for this OW. I totally agree he has become wayward in this situation even if he came by it more honestly than you did.

The thing that most of us Waywards have in common is that we all didn't communicate any of our dissatisfaction until things blow up. So, if we explore - okay this is true for him - then he still had a responsibility to say something way before now.

Now, BH doesn't see it (the GF) that way. He sees it as a thing I did for me, to equalize the marriage. There is an element of that, but I never believed or said that this would make us all equal. This was up front and honest, my affair was hidden and wrong. There's nothing that equals that betrayal.

More WS narrative to alleviate/justify his behaviors.


I believe she does resent me, I believe she liked me, she liked the situation, she was happy. I didn't feel the same way about her that she felt about me and that hurts her, I'm sure. It hurt me to feel the way I did.
I absolutely wanted control over that relationship. I do not deny that, and I think that damaged BH and the marriage. He didn't want to feel supervised or babysat. I didn't want to feel like anything was going on that I didn't know or that they were falling in love right in front of my eyes. I was terrified alot of the time, which makes it nearly impossible to relax and just have fun. And BH wanted that for me, but it turns out I wasn't capable of it as he was. I think he does feel more partnership with her than me because I refused to " work with him" his exact words...and be happy in the threesome, when I was getting everything I loved, at his expense according to him. He just can't understand it.

This is a direct result of your lack of boundaries that comes from your lack of self-respect/love/worth. This is what you must build up before you bring it into your future.

I stated at your greeting this is a cautionary tale, I meant it really is for all WS. It's why I think you can never move forward in a marriage in which you haven't confessed (not you, others on this site) because by virtue of lying you never can fully get back your self respect.

You also can't move forward without gaining self compassion/love/respect/worth and the only way to build that up is by exercising your integrity and becoming the best version of yourself that you can possibly be, and accepting this as a life-long challenge.

I do hope you will stick around and really work on yourself deeply this time around. For what it's worth, I think you need to 180 him and focus on your own healing. No pick me dance, no back and forth. If he wants to come back it's without the OW, and its with the typical requirements a BS would put on a WS.

ChamomileTea posted 8/12/2020 14:37 PM

I do hope you will stick around and really work on yourself deeply this time around. For what it's worth, I think you need to 180 him and focus on your own healing. No pick me dance, no back and forth. If he wants to come back it's without the OW, and its with the typical requirements a BS would put on a WS.

Exactly this ^^^^. No BW would be encouraged to share her husband with the OW. In fact, we are encouraged to stand up for ourselves, love ourselves, demand respect, and build boundaries around what we're willing to tolerate. These aren't easy things to do when your heart is broken and you're so scared that you're losing your partner. It's hard to be strong and to stand up for yourself when the stakes seems so high. But that's EXACTLY the time when it matters most, because what happens now sets the stage for the rest of your life. If your WH comes back to the marriage, you want it to be in a healthy way, not with a girlfriend in tow and still thinking he's been victimized. And if he doesn't, you need to be equipped to KNOW that you'll be okay and that YOU are enough. Your therapist can help you build strength, so I think it's good if you keep seeing her/him. But also, I think as you're reading the forums and other resources, it would be good if you could finally see the waywardness of your partner.

People aren't split evenly into either victim or persecutor. If you'll note The Karpman Drama Trianngle (which you can find readily online), you'll see how these roles are changeable within the relationship. Ten years ago, you were the persecutor and your WH was the victim. But notice how you slipped into the rescuer role in an attempt to repair the "first and only" damage, and how your WH's response is to become the persecutor. My point is that you guys seem stuck in this unhealthy dynamic, believing that your roles are always the same. He's always the good guy and you're always the bad guy. But that's not what's happening here. And of course the cure for dealing with the drama triangle is to get out of the drama triangle. We do that by growing into whole, healthy adults and not getting drawn into playing these roles with one another. But even though the end goal is to not play the game, you need to be able to see that there is one. For you, that means SEEING that what your WH is doing is NOT okay so you can react to it in a more healthy way by developing boundaries and by protecting yourself if it comes to divorce.

You're going to be okay. I know you're scared. But we've all been through this in some form or fashion, and we're still standing. You will too.

((hugs))

Thumos posted 8/12/2020 14:58 PM

This also serves as a cautionary tale for all BH's. Don't EVER take a WW up on an offer of "free pass" -- my WW hinted around on this a little bit early on, but never offered it outright. I'm sure glad I didn't take the bait.

Head held high, values intact.

sisoon posted 8/12/2020 15:52 PM

I remember you and SOTF. I apologized to you for one of my early posts on SI.


...my gut is telling me that all of your decision making has been driven by guilt and self loathing, over the affair all those years ago. This all stems back to you not healing.

I agree. The way for a WS to heal isn't to become some sort of subordinate to the BS, it's for the WS to become and be a full-fledged human being in the WS's own right.
If Stuck still harbors resentment, he hasn't healed, either. And IMO, he cheated.
I know it's sad and more to end a relationship that started in HS. It's really cool to meet someone who's 75 and married for 57 years. But it's very rare. And unnecessary. You can heal without Stuck.
I urge you to reread the posts by hikingout and ChamomileTea. I agree with them. Take the risk - face yourself, heal your pain. You'll be glad you did.
I'm very sorry you're going through this.

bewuzzled posted 8/12/2020 20:45 PM

I remember you and SOTF. I apologized to you for one of my early posts on SI.

Hi sisoon, I remember you too!

If Stuck still harbors resentment, he hasn't healed, either.

Agreed, and he admits to past resentments. The question is, is it too late to address that now? I feel like there's little hope.

bewuzzled posted 8/13/2020 19:30 PM

H is with AP tonight. Our first whole day of seperation. He took her to dinner and to pick out his new couch. Lol! I really feel stupid right now. Seriously. I don't even know what to do with all the pain I'm feeling.
I believe he isn't currently sleeping with her, but my gut says its just a matter of time. And here I was, thinking we just need some time and distance and then we can work our way through this. What a joke. This is step one of the divorce for him. That's what this is.

LifeDestroyer posted 8/13/2020 19:45 PM

I'm so sorry bewuzzled.

ChamomileTea posted 8/13/2020 19:50 PM

I'm sorry. I get the same feeling you do though, based on what you've written, that he wasn't going to give up the OW. What were the terms (if any) of your separation? Was there any kind of agreement on dating? Was it supposed to be a "therapeutic" type of separation in order to consider the marriage. Or did he just leave without setting any parameters?

hikingout posted 8/13/2020 20:57 PM

I donít mean to sound hurtful because I know you are in pain, but itís hard for me to believe that he isnít sleeping with her if he is spending time with her. I am not saying he is but you need to be sure you are being realistic and protecting yourself in the situation. He is doing other classic ws stuff, I would not trust anything you are being told right now. He is leaving you for this woman and blaming you for it. Do you have some supportive people who can stay with you? People in real life you are taking to?

bewuzzled posted 8/13/2020 21:56 PM

What were the terms (if any) of your separation? Was there any kind of agreement on dating? Was it supposed to be a "therapeutic" type of separation in order to consider the marriage. Or did he just leave without setting any parameters?

We have a written agreement. No dating for a month, when we will sit down and talk about where we're at. I don't see how you can work on a R, when you're dating others, so that'll be it for me, I think.

He said tonight :
"I can see that you do whatever you want abdicate say literally nothing to me, then justify it to oblivion with any number of reasons why it's perfectly fine for you to just not for me"

I guess he's talking about me seeing my friends, who are married women and friends of the marriage. He's called me a hypocrite for that before.

I want to say so many ugly things to her. I haven't, I know it wouldn't be good. But I reallllly want to tonight. I'm here instead.

bewuzzled posted 8/13/2020 21:59 PM

He is leaving you for this woman and blaming you for it

It's just so hard to believe he would do it. Is doing it, has been doing it.

He says he told her tonight that he took the short lease on the apartment, because he didn't know if we'd work it out or not.

I know I need to 180. Where do I get the strength

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