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at a crossroads

kaon99 posted 2/22/2021 21:37 PM

I am at a crossroads. My wife has issued a decree. She says she refuses to have any further discussions about her multiple affairs over a 10-year period. For the past 18 months I have dealt with trickle truth. Every conversation reveals something new. At this point I don't trust her and cannot live with her decree. We have been married for a LONG time and I cannot imagine a future life without her. At the same time I cannot imagine a future life as it is now. Please, please give me your advice on how to move forward in a positive way. Thank you.

JanaGreen posted 2/22/2021 21:45 PM

I'm so sorry. This is a very cruel move on her part. Have you read about the 180? I suggest emotionally detaching from her, as she is not a safe partner.

The1stWife posted 2/22/2021 22:33 PM

That sounds pretty harsh IMO.

I would read up on the 180. And start emotionally detaching. And financially protecting yourself.

And maybe start sleeping in a separate bedroom.

And let her know things won’t change unless and until she decides to be open and honest.

She’s basically telling you to shut up and she can do what she wants. I would never accept that.

So sorry this is the state of your marriage. You deserve better.

This0is0Fine posted 2/22/2021 22:47 PM

I don't mean this to be mean. I suspect you have been very kind and understanding in the face of all sorts of bullshit from your WW.

Have you told her something is bullshit yet?

Not implied, or sort of suggested it. I mean saying, "That's bullshit".

You must be willing to lose your marriage to get out of infidelity. Has she gone to therapy? Read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald?

She is trying to rugsweep. That doesn't work.

brokenInDenver posted 2/22/2021 23:50 PM

I'm probably not the one to give advice, I'm only 2 years in... but here I go anyway. Early in my reconciliation I had a realization that my recovery would be on my terms and mine alone. I, alone, would decide when we were done 'discussing it'. She would have the option of shutting down and saying she didn't want to discuss but if she did I would no longer be in R. I'd like to believe that if my wife gave me that kind of ultimatum, that she refuses to discuss the affairs any more that i'd be done with R. My therapist and I discuss this a lot, its common for WS to decide their own timetable for 'healing'. Truth of the matter is, its not up to the WS. My wife can't tell me that I 'should be over it', only I can do that. If you need to discuss it then you need to discuss it and she should acquiesce. If you still hurt then you still hurt. Healing is not on her timetable for chrissake. I for one know that if I simply decided 'not to talk about it' that I would never heal. I would be forced to endure the pain of her decisions in silence for the rest of my life which I'm absolutely unwilling to do. Anyway, I think I understand why WS give the ultimatum though, they feel shame and pain and want to put the experience behind them. My opinion... that shit isn't up to them. What do you think?

jb3199 posted 2/23/2021 05:46 AM

I'm probably not the one to give advice, I'm only 2 years in...

No.....the advice that you gave above is perfect.

Kaon,

Read brokeninDenver's above post. It is short, concise, and directly to the point. YOU are the one that has to heal yourself. Either your wife is going to contribute greatly to that healing, or slow it down. But you have choices----you do not have to accept her conditions. You may not like the possible steps needed to take to get yourself out of infidelity, but they are there.....and if you get to a good headspace, those options won't seem as scary.

But Step 1.....ALWAYS.....is to take care of yourself. You can not, and should not, tie your happiness to someone else. You are responsible for your own happiness, and your wife is there to compliment your happiness.....as you should compliment hers. You say that you can not imagine a future without her. Well, what if you learned today, that she will NEVER speak to you about this again. PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION. What options do you have?

--You can end the marriage.
--You can stay in the marriage, shut up, and 'take it'.
--Or, for starters, you can work on preparing to end the marriage if your wife refuses to open up and communicate with you.

Which one is the most realistic option for you? the last one? If so, you can get started on that today. One of the easiest....and I use that word to show you that everything doesn't have to be insurmountable....ways to get yourself to a better place is to work on emotional detachment. The1stWife mentioned reading up on something called the 180. You can find it in The Healing Library, or on the first few pages in The Just Found Out forum. Read it several times, because at first, it won't make much sense to you. But it is a very effective tool, and it helps put a little emotional buffer in your current situation. As it progresses, you will more than likely start to see things a little clearer. You will be more open to suggestions from the other members. Concepts that may seem impossible to you today will make much more sense. Basically, it will help you demand more from yourself, and accept less poor behavior from your wife.

Anybody can say just 'dump her ass'. It's NEVER that easy. But, as oversimplistic as that advice may be, it may not be incorrect. Instead of leaping to divorce, if you were to slowly work yourself in that direction(assuming that your wife does not change), then your situation won't look so severe.

But let's not put the cart in front of the horse. 180. Today. Read up on it, along with any topics in The Just Found Out forum, on the first few pages, with a bullseye next to the topic. These are threads that are recommended to any betrayed member that finds oneself here....no matter when the infidelity occurred.

Chaos posted 2/23/2021 06:26 AM

I don't trust her and cannot live with her decree.

This is the bottom line here.

She has no right to make any decrees of you in regards to her infidelity.

Hippo16 posted 2/23/2021 06:29 AM

kaon99

10 years? multiple ???

Yikes!

a bit of reading material for you to help find yourself -

Why people cheat:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=329523

They always affair down:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=326449

20/20 Hindsight--What I wish I'd done:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=161389

Coping with life after dday:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=303084

Assorted Articles courtesy of UnicornSearcher:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=164576&AP=41&HL=912

How I as a BS contributed... and how WW did...:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=191768&HL=14400

Infidelity - The Funhouse Mirror of Fools - for BS's:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=159280

Fill in the Blanks:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=311895

Tactical Primer:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=235051

Communicating with a foggy spouse:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=255670

Boundary Setting:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=231851

Negotiation:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=246366

More on the "Fog":
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=261192

10 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=196811

How to play "The Game" and win:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=266197

Rational Situational Analysis:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=280155

Understanding the 180:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=232785

The Two Most Powerful Words:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=291070

The Problem with the "Dear WS" Letter:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=295222

Why They Leave:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=206895

Will the Affair work out in the end?:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=267238

What does this mean?:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=275740

Crisis Management:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=319692

The Single Toughest Thing About Infidelity:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=327044

The Four Pillars of Reconciliation:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.net/forums.asp?tid=328962

Some hard truths:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=126844&HL=1246

Archetypes for infidelity:
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=246103

Feeding the Shame Monster
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=324596

The Process of Self Delusion
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=286950

Compartmentalizing
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=276342

Some Insight Re: Reconciliation
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=241326

Post infidelity Stress disorder
http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:lj5L4VQBCxwJ:www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp%3Ftid%3D175680+post+infidelity+stress+disorder,&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us


The Process of Self Delusion
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=286950

Compartmentalizing
http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=276342

SlapNutsABingo posted 2/23/2021 09:18 AM

You are in a tough situation as she is a Mad Hatter and painted you into a corner so to speak. Does she still want to discuss your affair?

sisoon posted 2/23/2021 09:27 AM

I don't agree that you call the tune. IMO - and I think it's more fact than opinion - R must be negotiated; R must serve both partners.

The corollary is that the partners must split unless they negotiate something that does serve both. ETA: Another corollary is that you need to do what is best for you. Most of us think the more answers you get, the easier it will be to know whether you want to R or not, and the more answers you get, the easier it is to heal.

What's so bad about splitting?

If you're looking for something that will change her behavior, I don't think you'll find it. The best you can do is determine your requirements, ask your W to meet them, and act on her response.

Or do you know that and just need help detaching?

You say your M has been long. My W's A was in full swing on our 43rd anniversary.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:53 AM, February 24th (Wednesday)]

Booyah posted 2/23/2021 09:30 AM

So not only has she cheated on you multiple times but she's now going to treat you like a dog and tell you to "sit" (in this case keep your mouth shut) and expect you to obey??

Yes you are at a crossroad. Are you a human being or an animal?

She's already been abusing you for years.

Now she's demanding you shut up and obey?

What do get out of this relationship? I mean seriously??

You know what to do you just don't want to do it. Either have enough dignity to say "no more" and leave or continue to let her treat you like an animal.

thatbpguy posted 2/23/2021 09:38 AM

I say this mostly in jest as I have lived thru the same nightmare in that I loved my XWW so much I couldn't imagine life with or without her- Walmart, isle 39, mid-shelf, for $39.99 you can buy a set.

I finally left and even though I miss her after all these years, it was the best decision I ever made. I had to reclaim my self-respect and find purpose in life again. And so I did. Look, it's a dilemma for sure, but you have to fight for you. Lord knows she never will.

hikingout posted 2/23/2021 09:57 AM

Can you tell us a little more about your story? I saw the brief in your profile. You cheated, and then she cheated and you found out years later?

I am a WS. I had a two month affair, and 18 months later my husband started an 18 month affair. We both have the right to ask questions, to make requirements for R, and the right to leave if the other doesn't respect our personal boundaries.

A safe partner is one who no longer wants there to be lies between you. A person who respects you, has empathy towards your pain. They should turn themselves inside out trying to figure out what is wrong with them that they could do this to you.

I will say that reciprocity can be key in madhatter situations. I am still early out - almost 5 months of finding out about my husbands affair. I feel like I have led by example in how I expect him to proceed. I wasn't perfect, but I did work hard on myself and hard to show him the love and respect he wasn't getting. So, I do think that if you haven't done any work on yourself, become truthful, answer every question ad nauseum, and feel/demonstrate remorse, she may not have the generosity to do something that you haven't. I am not accusing you of not doing those things, but I am putting that out there for you to evaluate.

Regardless, the marriage is not going to bring joy or be healthy until the two of you both address your issues and address them with each other. It sounds to me that she is not remorseful of her behavior towards you and without that I don't see how you have love or respect. Without love, respect and trust, how do you have a marriage? I would submit to you that you do not. You have a living arrangement and maybe a friends with benefits situation.

It is natural to fear the unknown. I would suggest reading in the healing library, specifically about the 180. I would also suggest you get your ducks in a row for a divorce. You do not have to execute the divorce, but by putting those steps together you will find it takes out some of the fear because you can see a path.

I agree with you, you can not trust her or live with her decree.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:58 AM, February 23rd (Tuesday)]

crazyblindsided posted 2/23/2021 11:03 AM

She says she refuses to have any further discussions about her multiple affairs over a 10-year period. For the past 18 months I have dealt with trickle truth.

She does not get to drive R or your healing YOU do. Her decree is complete crap and I would tell her so. Infidelity is a MAJOR trauma that takes approximately 2-5 years to heal from. That means at the very least still talking about the A at 5 years out not 18 months with trickle truth. It makes her uncomfortable and rightly so, so she wants to rug sweep it. That never works and you will find yourself resentful and stuck over the years. And it was a 10 year period LTAs are a breed of their own. I'm sure it would come up for the rest of her life. When a majority of your M is a lie you don't get over that. It is a huge betrayal.

She has some major work to do on herself and in understanding what she did and how it affected/traumatized you.

kaon99 posted 2/23/2021 12:23 PM

Dear hikingout, for a long time, I blamed my cheating for causing my wife to cheat. Finally, mainly because of this forum, I realized her cheating was not my fault. On my cheating I was totally open and honest. I had to be in order accept myself as a decent person. Strangely, she told me she did not want to hear any more about my cheating! But I continued to be an open book, hoping she would be too. I know I have not heard the whole story from her because whenever she says a little about her affairs, I learn something new. Now she will not discuss anything more about her affairs. (It crosses her personal boundaries!) Her boundary crosses my self respect boundary. I will not live as the suffering husband with no respect for myself. I am looking for a place to live, at least for awhile. The more I put her out of my mind, the better I feel. Unfortunately, I love her and really don't know where this is all going. Right now I just want to sleep at night.

hikingout posted 2/23/2021 12:42 PM

Dear hikingout, for a long time, I blamed my cheating for causing my wife to cheat.

Oh, how I understand that. It's mind bending sometimes how we can carry shame for something that isn't ours to carry. I still go back and forth on that sometimes in my own situation. I do not think that anyone deserves to be cheated on however. There are always a lot of better options than that.


On my cheating I was totally open and honest. I had to be in order accept myself as a decent person.

I understand that as well, I really do. You can't return feeling you have your integrity without trying to do the right thing moving forward.


Strangely, she told me she did not want to hear any more about my cheating! But I continued to be an open book, hoping she would be too. I know I have not heard the whole story from her because whenever she says a little about her affairs, I learn something new. Now she will not discuss anything more about her affairs.

I understand how there would always be new things because it would be impossible to disclose 10 years of affair details without some sort of organization to it. Have you ever asked her to sit down and create a detailed timeline? This would be helpful for your reference. I know that she is stonewalling you, but this is just an idea for later if there is movement.

We had that some on my affair too. He didn't want sexual details to begin with, but almost a year out he decided he did so we sat and I gave those to him. It really sent him back, and that was difficult to see all the new pain returning. That's why it's hard to separate that just a few months later some boundaries started to be crossed with his AP.

(It crosses her personal boundaries!) Her boundary crosses my self respect boundary.

Is she willing to talk to a third party on this? Like a MC?

I will not live as the suffering husband with no respect for myself. I am looking for a place to live, at least for awhile. The more I put her out of my mind, the better I feel.

Wise steps.

Unfortunately, I love her and really don't know where this is all going. Right now I just want to sleep at night.

I do understand how hard that must be for you. I will say, and maybe you know from your own experience that affairs are addictive. One of the things I was concerned with when I got out of mine (and a big reason I initially went to IC) was because I was more aware than ever of a void I had inside and I was really afraid that if the AP didn't come back I would look to replicate that high in another person.

It sounds like that's probably what your wife did. But, to go on like that for 10 years and not be devastated about it makes me think there are deep rooted issues here. I was devastated in the aftermath of my affair from about all angles. There are some high compartmentalization skills there in her, and I really wonder where her conscience would kick in.

Do you feel she has been faithful since that time, and how much time has elapsed since then? How did you discover her affairs?

I think you are doing the right thing, you have to get to where you have some sanity. Staying attached to someone who doesn't seem to have any empathy for your pain is robbing you.

Bor9455 posted 2/23/2021 13:33 PM

I blamed my cheating for causing my wife to cheat. Finally, mainly because of this forum, I realized her cheating was not my fault. On my cheating I was totally open and honest. I had to be in order accept myself as a decent person. Strangely, she told me she did not want to hear any more about my cheating! But I continued to be an open book, hoping she would be too. I know I have not heard the whole story from her because whenever she says a little about her affairs, I learn something new. Now she will not discuss anything more about her affairs. (It crosses her personal boundaries!) Her boundary crosses my self respect boundary. I will not live as the suffering husband with no respect for myself. I am looking for a place to live, at least for awhile. The more I put her out of my mind, the better I feel. Unfortunately, I love her and really don't know where this is all going. Right now I just want to sleep at night.

This really hit me hard. December 04, 2020, I try to initiate intimacy with my wife and she not only proceeds to shut me down, she proceeds to tell me that we need to have a serious talk and that she has made up her mind, no changing it, that we are getting divorced. Her reason, that I had been having a long term EA with an AP. She claimed that when she confronted me about it in April 2020 that I deleted the whole conversation with this woman before handing my phone to her to block her. We were both 3 sheets to the wind, so I have no reason to doubt my wife for what I did that night. That being said, we made mistakes by allowing this woman to still be able to reach me through Facebook, something that was finally rectified in September 2020. She claimed to me that December night that I alone killed our marriage in April of that year when I lied to her by deleting my WhatsApp conversation. Like a fucking sucker, even though it made no sense to me in a lot of ways, I blamed myself for our marriage being in a bad spot and her on her way out the door. Of course, at one point during one of our early fights, she brought up the name of the guy that she had been having a long term EA with in the recent past. She brought it up in a way that just didn't sit well with me at all, but I dismissed it for almost two months before I grew some stones about it.

Like yourself, I began to realize that yes, as a WH, that I had my responsibility for what damage I did to our marriage. However, I didn't make things so bad for her that she had to cheat, she choose to do that. She was choosing to remain in infidelity whereas I was getting my out one or another. When I finally had enough, told her that she is welcome to continue her what I thought was just an EA, but she couldn't do it under my roof, she actually came clean a few hours later. That night she spilled it all and told me. I've been tough and firm about her trickling stuff out at this point. So I think the answer is that you have to be firm about your boundaries. Communicate them to her and if she won't respect them, it is time to move her out of your life.

DIFM posted 2/23/2021 14:07 PM

Unfortunately, I love her and really don't know where this is all going

I suggest you deconstruct and analyze what love is and what it looks like and does not look like, to you. Love is one of those comforting words and thoughts to lay back in, but you need to be very clear and satisfied with what exactly this thing, love, is and means to you. This, so that you are never confused about it's use or application or even genuine existence in possible future relationships.

Lot's of things feel like what we think love is. Best to make peace and a commitment to yourself about what this love concept acts like, looks like, responds like, to be sure you are not conflating something that is not really love, to be love - based on something you dearly wish was but may not be.

I am sorry for what you are having to deal with.

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