Newest Member: zurichtime

Wayward Side :
is there any point in trying?

Topic is Sleeping.
stop

 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 2:56 AM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

I have bipolar disorder, and during a manic episode, I ended up sleeping with someone who is not my partner. When the episode ended, I crashed really hard, and not just from the inevitable depression that comes after, but also from the shame and guilt from what I did. We were together for nearly three years.

He (rightfully) broke up with me once I told him. We are long distance, so I couldn't even beg for forgiveness in person or to his face (he ended it over text). It's been a week since then (I know it hasn't been very long, but I am so broken over this and desperate to talk to anyone who may know how I'm feeling). I am starting to feel better but the pain is still really bad. I still wanted to try and work on things, I was (and am) still willing to do anything that could help us. We did couple's therapy before my episode and before he moved for work to another state, I wanted to try therapy again.

He said he still wants to talk, but I've been completely cut off from really bringing up anything emotional. We have only kind of discussed what happened, but I guess it doesn't really matter anymore as we aren't dating. I guess my worry is that I'm making a fool of myself hanging on. I have no friends so no one I can really talk to besides my therapist.

Is there even a point in trying to reconcile after what I did? Am I just being selfish? I still love him so much. But I don't think he holds anything like that for me anymore. I lost everything, and I know it's what I deserve after what I did. But I still want him to be with me and love me again. He keeps saying he doesn't know the future and implying we have a chance. I just don't want to keep hurting over and over holding onto any shred of hope. Should I just cut contact so he can heal and move on? The thought of not being able to talk or have to see him move forward and eventually meet someone and love them is unbearable.

In case anyone asks, I have been getting treatment for my illness for years. I had to go without my medication for a time earlier this year, and was working up to a higher dose before my episode happened. I have not had an episode like this in many years. I thought I was doing okay in terms of coping with my illness. I have a therapist, but they were unavailable during that time. I have their next available appointment.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8676329
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 3:07 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

Welcome to SI sissil898. You've come to a great place to find some help and support. Whether or not you can save your relationship is something no one here can tell you unfortunately. Infidelity is often a deal-breaker for many people.

What I CAN tell you is that there is no point in trying IF you do not offer one. In other words, what about you is different now than you were just a few weeks ago that makes you a safer person to be with?

Let me put it to you this way. Suppose you are running errands when a mugger jumps out of the bushes, physically assaults you, steals your purse and runs off. A short time later, the mugger comes to you and says he's sorry and wants to be friends instead. He tells you he grew up in a rough neighborhood and attacking people and stealing from them is just how he's always been. But he feels bad for attacking you, and hopes you can be friends.

Would you want to be friends with this person? Because they literally just beat the snot out of you and stole your purse recently. Why the hell would you want to be friends with them? Are they still mugging people?

Now let's change the story a bit.

Let's say the mugger comes back to you and says,

"Look, I had no right to do that to you. You didn't deserve what I did to you and that's all on me. I want you to know that I've taken steps to try and make this right. First, here's a new purse to replace the one I stole. I went ahead and replaced the cash and put twice as much in as I stole. Don't worry, I found a legit job to make that money, I'm never stealing again. In fact, I joined a support group for muggers who are trying to quit so I can change my ways and stop being a mugger and live a more authentic life. I've arranged and already paid for a therapist for you and I will work three jobs if I need to in order to pay for that. I want to make you whole from the damage I caused you. In fact, I was able to track down several people I mugged now, and have done my best to try and make amends with every one of them. I dropped all my mugger friends, moved to a safer neighborhood, got involved in the community watch so that no one, not you, not anyone, has to feel unsafe running errands again. I'm going to be part of the solution. And for what it is worth, I realize that all of this doesn't take away the fact that I hurt you. I don't expect us to be friends, but I hope that one day, if I continue to work hard at being a better, safer person, that maybe you'll consider it."

Now would you at least be more likely to consider it?

On a personal note, there is one thing I'd like to impart to you. Bipolar disorder is a harsh disorder to deal with, I get that, and when people go manic, they do and say things they sometimes regret. That being said however, there is nothing specifically about being bipolar that "makes" a person do anything. Being bipolar doesn't cause a person to cheat, and that's really important to understand. You didn't cheat because you are bipolar. You cheated, AND you are bipolar. In the same way that growing up in a bad area didn't cause the mugger to mug you, being bipolar didn't cause you to cheat. The mugger mugged you because in his head, he decided that what he needed was more important than your right to safety and security. Lots of people grow up in bad neighborhoods and don't become muggers. These are personal choices.

When people hurt others and then pass it off with an excuse, it pisses off the vitcim. Why you think you did something wrong is irrelevent, it doesn't help your victim at all, and it removes any and all reason for the perp to own their actions and choices, and to change.

Telling your partner that you cheated because you were manic is basically washing your hands of the problem. So now what? Suppose he comes back? What happens when you go manic again? Because last time that happened, you cheated, right? So what's different now? How does he know you won't cheat the moment you go manic? He didn't expect that to happen last time, and yet it did.

Look, if you want your partner to even have a reason to come back, or more importantly, if you want any future relationships you have to be safer, then YOU NEED TO CHANGE FIRST. Figure out why you cheated and stop blaming the mania. The mania only helped let the unsafe urge take over. It didn't create the urge. So figure out why you thought it was okay to cheat at that moment. Take steps to be a healthier person.

TL/DR; Don't ask your partner to come back, give him reasons to. If you can't give him reasons to, then don't expect anything more.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1162   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8676394
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 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 5:05 PM on Saturday, July 17th, 2021

DaddyDom, thank you for your in depth response, it is greatly appreciated. I am not trying to excuse what I did, but I also think part of me does want to blame my illness. I know there are many people with bipolar who never, ever cheat, and that it's also unfortunately something that some people do when they have an episode.

I am trying to journal and do more self-reflection on the why of what I did so I can talk to my therapist about it and work through it and not put myself in this situation again/make this kind of choice again. I think I was feeling really insecure in our relationship (we had a bad rough patch before all this and he discussed breaking up) and with the distance. I also think I engage in a lot of self-sabotage because I don't believe I deserve happiness. I have a lot of baggage and stuff from my childhood that has really affected me. I did not try to excuse it/blame my illness when talking to my ex. I tried to not talk very much at all besides answering what he asked of me. He is just aware that it happened during an episode. He's said he forgives me, but I don't know if he was just trying to be nice.

I think at this moment, my ex is a bit sick of me bringing up trying to reconcile. I think his method of coping right now is to keep it out of his mind. I don't want this to ever happen again, and at this point I really am doubting my ability to form lasting relationships with others (as of now, I have one close friend. The person I cheated with was one of my only friends and I've cut off contact with him and our mutual friend). I do worry and am afraid of the future, while I think my ex is more open to the possibility in the future.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8676419
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 4:09 PM on Sunday, July 18th, 2021

Sissi1898. You say you’re writing a journal. Have you written a timeline too? Detailing what happened, when it happened and what you were feeling at the time? Consider also the justifications you told yourself during and after. It is helpful to both you and maybe your partner should he consider R

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs. Two ONS (2000) D-Day's 2003 August '17 and Jan 21

posts: 93   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8676558
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 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 3:18 AM on Monday, July 19th, 2021

Bulcy, thanks for responding. I have been writing about my feelings in the aftermath of the breakup, but nothing about the actual event. I didn't know if I'd find it helpful to relive it. I know it sounds like another excuse, but because of my mental state at the time, I can't think of any justifications I told myself at the time, and I felt very much outside myself and out of control. It was a really scary experience for me, especially once the episode was over.

But I think I could find benefit in writing a timeline, and especially writing about how I felt at the time. The more I think about it, the more I am realizing I was internalizing a lot of our previous/current issues as a couple and not really discussing them enough with my ex before it happened. It's pointless to think of all the should'ves and would'ves, but going forward I know it's better for me to get over my fear of hard conversations and rejection and anger from whoever I'm talking to, than ruminating.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8676636
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 7:39 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

Sissi1898

Apologies for not coming back sooner. The time line can be just for you, but having it ready for when you do talk things over with BS will be valuable. I would recommend that you write it, read it, re-write it.....rinse and repeat. I have had multiple attempts at time lines and each time I have made them more accurate. The first time I wrote one I was still lying to myself as much as my BS.

They really do help, but you do really need to own what you have done, accept it and chose to make yourself a better person again. Everything I have done was my choice. The justifications I believed while in the affairs were bullshit. The minimising, rug sweeping, TT and downright lies only hindered out progression towards R. I only came fully clean in January 2021 after over three years. DON'T DO THIS.

I have worked hard at fixing me in these last six months. I have not posted on here too much, but have been reading and getting help from some of the other posters.

Good luck

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs. Two ONS (2000) D-Day's 2003 August '17 and Jan 21

posts: 93   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8677296
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Wester1 ( new member #79164) posted at 7:38 PM on Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Your question was is there any point in trying! The short answer is yes. It’s not going to be easy and it seems like you have a lot of obstacles but it’s the only choice. Work on yourself, work on your mental health and don’t forget to still be there for your spouse

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2021
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Wester1 ( new member #79164) posted at 6:10 PM on Friday, July 30th, 2021

You ask if there’s any point in trying. The answer is a definitive yes! Oh you can do is improve, stay the same or get worse. Those are your only three choices. But rest assured this has put you at the cross roads whether you like it or not. I know the hopeless feeling I believe you are going through. And the truth is your actions likely ruined this relationship. But all is not lost. Now is the time to really understand and to make a decision to get better. Understand what you would like your better to look like and just point that way. You need to give yourself a break and move forward. There was a time in my life where I was hopeless where I single-handedly fucked everything up they meant anything to me, myself my wife and my children. But you can’t give up. Good luck

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2021
id 8679895
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Wester1 ( new member #79164) posted at 6:10 PM on Friday, July 30th, 2021

You ask if there’s any point in trying. The answer is a definitive yes! All can do is improve, stay the same or get worse. Those are your only three choices. But rest assured this has put you at the cross roads whether you like it or not. I know the hopeless feeling I believe you are going through. And the truth is your actions likely ruined this relationship. But all is not lost. Now is the time to really understand and to make a decision to get better. Understand what you would like your better to look like and just point that way. You need to give yourself a break and move forward. There was a time in my life where I was hopeless where I single-handedly fucked everything up they meant anything to me, myself my wife and my children. But you can’t give up. Good luck

[This message edited by Wester1 at 12:11 PM, July 30th (Friday)]

posts: 19   ·   registered: Jul. 23rd, 2021
id 8679896
Topic is Sleeping.
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