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Hopefully I'm on the right track...

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doninvaun posted 9/3/2020 16:58 PM

Sometimes I feel like a blind man trying to cross a busy 10-lane freeway, not sure which way to go, not sure if I should stop walk or run... I can't even see what's in front of me so feeling like I will never be able to get to the other side...

Hello everyone,
I'm going to try to be brief with the introduction: I'm a WS, been with my wife for 30+ years (generally a happy marriage, financially stable), children are practically young adults. Dday was 3.5 months ago. It was not an affair, I saw a prostitute for about 2 years, no emotional connection.

I've been doing the following since Dday:
- Bought and read several books about Infidelity recovery.
- Listened to a lot of online materials (Samuel from Affair Recovery, Esther Perel, Hasani from Couples Academy, etc.), still listening to all those youtube videos everyday, some clips several times.
- Been in IC for over 2 months (still am)
- I was transparent about it, told my wife everything (answering all her questions even though I knew some of questions were more damaging than helping, more on that later)
- About a month after DDay (after doing a lot of research including the thread "Things that every WS needs to know" in this forum), I finally understood that I had to "own it", I stopped blaming (things that drove me to it like porn addiction, midlife crisis, etc.) and accepted/admitted that I selfishly made the bad choice to satisfy my own desire. I've been haunted with the remorse of my unfaithful action that caused the trauma for my wife and I'm hoping on the right track to help easing the pain.
- I've changed all my routines, just work and be there for her. I've been taking over all tasks and chores around the home so she doesn't need to lift a finger as I know she's drained of all energy. I've quit all my activities (hobbies, sports, etc.) so I can devote my time to be there for my wife, helping her to deal with this trauma.
- I've been trying to be extremely patience with all her outburst episodes (even when she gets a bit physical, frequently). I constantly apologize to her for all the pain that I caused her.

I understand that it's going to take a long, long time (years) for things to get even a little bit better, and probably much longer in our case because my wife refuses to get any kind of help (IC, couple therapy, etc.) she just wants to soak it in and deal with it herself (not talking to anyone). It's her choice and I can't do much about it (I made suggestions a couple of times about seeing therapy together and the suggestions triggered her to explode with anger both times).
I know it would be extremely selfish of me to wish for things to get better soon, and I'm not expecting that. It just feel a bit exhausting because despite all my effort I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, and I feel more like we're going backward, getting worse everyday, not better.
I think I know what I need to continue doing (confirmed by couselor in IC). But I also need to constantly reminding myself of being patience, it's a mess I created so I deserve to live in hell to pay for it.
I just want to vent a little because from time to time I feel so lost, so alone, and so exhausting... Vent over, back to work...
Thanks for reading

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 9/3/2020 20:43 PM

Welcome to SI. It sounds like you have been trying to do a lot of positive work. One thing did pop out at me, though.

It was not an affair, I saw a prostitute for about 2 years, no emotional connection.

How do you define an affair? Is it the same definition your wife has for an affair?

That one sentence might be a huge reason your wife is struggling.

JBWD posted 9/3/2020 23:30 PM

Yeah, to echo WOEZ, regardless of if you call it an affair or not, you CHOSE to lie to your wife about a sexual betrayal for TWO YEARS. That’s a lot of days spent lying, building alibis, covertly arranging schedules, and all at the expense of the truth you owe her after having pledged it.

While we do have to accept this as a fundamentally selfish act and some people will tend to shelter behind excuses- You invested A LOT of time and money in this. Giving yourself the out by saying “There was no emotion so no affair” is unlikely to survive long.

I suggest you set time aside to really really examine this, and get to the bottom of how you could be this selfish.

and I feel more like we're going backward, getting worse everyday, not better.

Separate yourself from a notion of progress. The “living in hell” and “patient with her outbursts” also highlight that this needs work. Yes this is what you get, but most of what you’re sharing is how bad you feel. I think any BS reading this would likely smash something to read you mention how patient you’re being.

Linda MacDonald is a great reference, and if you read her ATTENTIVELY you will learn a bit about how you’re doing in addressing what merits attention. I skimmed it, thought I had it all nailed, and look at me now. Getting divorced.

Yes this is hard, and yes you need to find a way to square up with what you’ve done. But if you continue to notice a lack of progress, you’re halfway to blaming her for a lack of progress. You may think you’re living in hell but even if she won’t tell you what her hell looks like, I submit you’d be hard pressed to say she has it easier.

pinkpggy posted 9/4/2020 07:51 AM

Was it the same prostitute or multiple? If it was the same one for 2 years, that's a relationship. How did she find out? You said you were "transparent" did you come clean or did she find out on her own?

MrCleanSlate posted 9/4/2020 11:01 AM

doninvaun,

I remember back about 6 months after D-Day and my BW and I were attending IC and MC weekly and doing a lot of talking and really trying to get to R. And I started to get frustrated because I wanted to move forward with us and put the A behind us.I just didn't get why my BW was so hung up on it. My IC pointed out to me that I was in a different place than my BW. I may think I am ready but my BW is still going through the trauma of it all and I need to listen to what her pain is.

That was the beginning of my real work to get to R with my BW.

3.5 months - your BW is probably still in shock. Man take a minute and put yourself in her shoes. What you need to do is put work into figuring out why you went off to hookers. What was it?

doninvaun posted 9/4/2020 15:51 PM

Regarding the question about my statement "It was not an affair, I saw a prostitute for about 2 years, no emotional connection."

I didn't mean to say if was better or worse, to me we cause the same trauma when we betray our spouse.
It's just a different type of betrayal where there was no relationship, no complicated ending with the AP, etc.

"That one sentence might be a huge reason your wife is struggling."
My wife is struggling not because that statement. She said over and over again that never in a million years that she could imagine I could do something like that, for days after Dday she still thought it was just a nightmare. We have a happy home, happy family, for 30+ years I've always been a good husband, a good father, also a role model in our community that people look up to, she could never comprehend how someone who always seem to have high moral value can be such a devil. Until now she's still struggling with it.

The “living in hell” and “patient with her outbursts” also highlight that this needs work. Point taken. The reason for that statement is actually coming from my wife. When I admit to her that I screwed up and I'm going to do everything I possibly can to make it up to her and recover our marriage, my wife said that there are reasons that she can't divorce me yet, in the mean time she's going to make my life a living hell and will torture me the best way she can every day. I told her I deserve it and willing to take whatever she wants to throw at me, which also include physical (I've had days when I'm black and blue all over).

"Linda MacDonald is a great reference, and if you read her ATTENTIVELY you will learn a bit about how you’re doing in addressing what merits attention. I skimmed it, thought I had it all nailed, and look at me now. Getting divorced."
Thanks for this, I will read it carefully.

"You said you were "transparent" did you come clean or did she find out on her own?"
She found some evidences and I came clean and told her everything.

"3.5 months - your BW is probably still in shock. Man take a minute and put yourself in her shoes."
I never said anything about expect things to be better soon. I even indicated that I'm expecting years for the recovery, especially in our situation. I know it's a long journey, 2 steps forward, 3 steps back.
It was an introduction, I merely expressed my feeling that I feel like we're going backward, and I just wanted to vent a bit. But I do realize it's taking a long, long time.

By the way, I just want to thank all of you who provided your response and suggestions. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn, it's the reason why I joined this forum.

[This message edited by doninvaun at 4:08 PM, September 4th (Friday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 9/4/2020 16:14 PM

doninvaun,

I'm glad you are here and are wanting to vent and get help. Don't take the 2x4's thrown your way too personally.

We are not wanting to push you into a corner to defend yourself, we are trying to get you to open up.

So, back to my last post:
What you need to do is put work into figuring out why you went off to hookers. What was it?

doninvaun posted 9/4/2020 16:15 PM

I'm sorry for being a bit vague in my story as I believe my wife would not like to have our story to be plastered all over the internet so I can't get into a lot of details. I would provide more specifics in private messages.

doninvaun posted 9/4/2020 16:20 PM

"So, back to my last post:
What you need to do is put work into figuring out why you went off to hookers. What was it?
"

Sorry I did't mean to ignore your question, or some other questions posted above; however as I explained in the previous post, there are some specific details that I can't really post in the forum.
The issue is I can't send private message either, I think it's a dumb rule to have at least 50 posts before I can initiate a PM.

doninvaun posted 9/4/2020 16:32 PM

"We are not wanting to push you into a corner to defend yourself, we are trying to get you to open up."
Thanks for this note, and I'm sorry if I was a bit defensive. My issue is that I can't talk to anyone, just my counselor in IC so far, so I'm joining this forum so I have other people to talk to, especially those who have gone down this road so far, so I was hoping to get some sympathy (as you've all been through where I'm at) and advises, I've been doing a lot of reflection on myself and beat myself up daily, and also getting it from my wife every day, so I got a bit irritated to see some criticisms (even though I deserve it) and went into defense mode.

NeverTwice posted 9/4/2020 17:28 PM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:10 PM, September 4th (Friday)]

JBWD posted 9/4/2020 23:36 PM

...When I admit to her that I screwed up and I'm going to do everything I possibly can to make it up to her and recover our marriage...

This also points to something- Do you think she doesn’t know you “screwed up?”

I told her I deserve it and willing to take whatever she wants to throw at me

This as well. Will this make you even?

It's just a different type of betrayal where there was no relationship, no complicated ending with the AP, etc.

Here again. “Different type of betrayal?” What do you think?

...she could never comprehend how someone who always seem to have high moral value can be such a devil.

Seems like you’re attributing your wife’s pain to you not being as awesome as she used to think. Once again you’re misplacing this pain. It’s not cause you aren’t the upstanding citizen you portray, it’s because you’re the crappy citizen who murdered his wife’s soul. You’re convoluting this to make better sense of how you’re not that bad a guy.

All of these passages highlight different ways you’re generally minimizing what you did. Got it you don’t want to put info out on the forum. No prob. But start letting this stuff sink in.

Bulcy posted 9/5/2020 14:36 PM

Hi Doninvaun,

Welcome to the site. As mentioned above, you will get some comments which are hard hitting on here. They are not (always) meant to hurt. Please don't take offence and stay on the site. It will help. Open up as much as you can. We don't know you and will therefore not judge. There are guys on this site who are great guides in helping self discovery and truly "getting it". I think, like me, you have work to do. Stick with it and hopefully you can really get the help needed and use this to help your BS in her recovery.

It was not an affair, I saw a prostitute for about 2 years, no emotional connection.

Crikey, think reminds me of when I was first caught. It's been said above, so I will not labour the point. This is an affair, don't get caught up in semantics. This is infidelity and you seem to have accepted that. Please accept it was an affair. It does not matter if it were physical, emotional, on line whatever. It was an affair. There are threads on here that define what an affair is or is not. This is (or was).

Keep reading, Linda MacDonald is a great book (I need to read it again). Keep communicating and trying to understand and empathise with your BS.

Please try and not get defensive (especially with BS). It really does get you nowhere (trust me, I've been that man and it got me nowhere at all...In fact, it pushed out recovery backwards in a big way).

Stick with us. This site is a great help for both WS and BS.

doninvaun posted 9/8/2020 16:59 PM

Hello Bulcy,

Thanks for your message, I really appreciate the helpful advises and supportive comments, I look forward to hearing more.

I'm here because I want to do the right things save my marriage, I want to be a better person, I want to learn from those who have experienced it and can help me.

Sorry I got defensive on some other messages because of the condescending tone. I know I screwed up, there's not a single day that I don't think about the trauma I'm putting my wife through, and I'm beating myself up constantly with regret for my despicable action, but I'm here to get help, not to get a kick in the head when I'm already down. I know I still have a lot to learn, a lot to change, a lot to improve, and I would welcome all the helpful advises, but please spare me with the condemnation. Thank you.

BluerThanBlue posted 9/8/2020 20:15 PM

WS Only

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:21 AM, September 9th (Wednesday)]

Bulcy posted 9/10/2020 13:05 PM

Don,

You will not get condemnation from me especially after what I have done to my BS. That applies to most BS on here too. We will however ask direct questions and call out what we consider to be bullshit or denials, justifications, defensiveness etc.

I hope you get benefit from this site.

doninvaun posted 9/10/2020 14:45 PM

Hello Bulcy,
Sorry for the misunderstanding, your message was very supportive and helpful, as most others.
I was referring to some responses that were more patronizing. I felt like I was already got beat up badly, dropped to the ground, crawled to this forum hoping to get some help but got a kick in the nut instead.
Maybe they didn't mean to, or maybe they did, it just felt like getting a punch in the face where I least expected.
Anyway, it discouraged me from asking for more advises at this point.
Thanks again for your note.

suftum19 posted 9/12/2020 04:34 AM

Hi doninvaun

Thank you for post and for being honest. We are in a similar situation, I am also trying to reconcile after a 2 year on and off affair.

Your quote about the blind man really struck home for me.

The post from MrCleanSlate is true for me too. I have always been an impatient person so not making progress frustrates me. I have had to work on this a lot and accept this will take a lot longer to heal (D Day +80 today)

Sounds like you are on the right tracks and taking Extreme Ownership (Jocko Willink) for your actions is the key. Whatever happens in the future, reconciliation or divorce, we made the decision to do what we did and now must accept the consequences, whatever they may be.

Stay strong brother. This forum will always be here to support you through thick and thin.

sundance posted 9/13/2020 07:54 AM

Hi Don,

Welcome to SI.

I can certainly understand why you needed to vent-- everyone needs a safe place to share the negative feelings associated with infidelity (even the WS).

Even though we caused the pain, we are still allowed to have opinions and speak-out on our frustrations and what angers us.

I truly believe that being vulnerable enough to share every feeling, thought, and emotion is the epitome of having a solid relationship.

As to your wife's angry outbursts, I hope for her sake and yours that she soon realizes that continued, escalating outburts do little to quiet her inner turmoil, or help her to heal (if that is truly what she is after). That being said, she is still "very young" into this process. I personally would continue to gently encourage her to seek counseling and/or read-up on infidelity.

This all really sucks, right?? Hang in there.

doninvaun posted 9/14/2020 09:43 AM

Thanks Suftum19 & Sundance for your posts, I appreciate the support.
When you have no one to talk to (like a friend, not IC), it feels suffocated a lot of time. I was hoping this forum would be as close of having a friend to talk to (until I got my head bit off).
Anyway, I still believe this site and this forum are still great for people who are struggling in dealing with this trauma (BS as well as WS).
Thanks again for the encouraging and supportive responses.

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