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Newest Member: Papi

Divorce/Separation :
I guess it’s over

Topic is Sleeping.
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 4:58 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

So I was doing the 180, and then WH and I got to talking and we started having dates, just spending a couple hours together watching a tv show and hanging out. It’s been good and we have enjoyed each other’s time.

Yesterday, I couldn’t get a hold of him, so I drove to where he is staying, and…him and AP were hanging out. We talked and talked, and I told him to end it with her, or get a divorce. He chose divorce and he is firm in his decision.

I really thought things were improving. I can’t help but blame myself, "maybe if I didn’t move out for 2 weeks, we wouldn’t be here," "maybe if I didn’t kick him out, we would have spent more time together and wouldn’t have drifted apart," "maybe if I didn’t give him an ultimatum…"

We used to be so connected, and now it’s just gone. I’m so sad. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do. We have to divide our assets and we agree that we just want to get it done and not get ugly. I don’t know wtf I’m doing though. Can a mediator help us navigate through this process of dividing our assets?

I guess I’m just looking for someone to tell me that he sucks and I’ll be okay.

[This message edited by LostandBroken900 at 4:58 PM, Tuesday, May 17th]

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8735708
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 6:09 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

I really thought things were improving. I can’t help but blame myself, "maybe if I didn’t move out for 2 weeks, we wouldn’t be here," "maybe if I didn’t kick him out, we would have spent more time together and wouldn’t have drifted apart," "maybe if I didn’t give him an ultimatum…"

You did everything correctly. He didn't care and let it go. Please know you did not cause any of it, him to cheat or to not fight for the M. That is all HIM! He is not a candidate for R and probably would have continued to cheat anyways. I'm so sorry you are here but you are in the right place!

Oh and yes he does suck and you rock for having the resolve to not let him walk all over you!

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
Was Married 19 yrs
DD(19) DS(16)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl
Legally Separated 3 years, Divorcing

posts: 8299   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8735726
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 8:18 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

What a jerk. Mine did similar. i am so sorry.

D sucks. But him continuing to cheat sucks worse.

Even if you use a mediator, get a lawyer to make sure you are getting what you are entitled to.
So many stories here where the WS gets nasty even if he hadn’t been before.
And how knows what the AP is whispering in his ear.

And as for the ultimatum - all you did was speed up the inevitable. If he couldn’t handle a couple of weeks, he can’t handle R.

Go see a lawyer ASAP for knowledge. Ask any friends who have D’d to give you advise. And take care of yourself. Your are going to be fine.
Really.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4893   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8735745
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 10:15 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

We were NC for a while and we reconnected. He told me, "I am really enjoying talking to you again. I’m understanding how much I love you and miss you." He was going to finally end it with AP. He even brought me a Mother’s Day card from our dogs (we don’t have kids).

I opened my heart to him. I was happy. I felt like we were slowly moving in a positive direction. Now I’m heartbroken and I have to start the healing process all over again. I am in IC, but I was not able to get an appt this week.

At least I can say that I tried my hardest to get this to work. He admitted to me that he’s worried he’s going to regret divorcing me in the future. Then get your head out of your ass and don’t do it!

I was reading more of "The Journey from Abandonment to Healing," and it says that people who were not getting their emotional needs met when they were younger turn into adults who need immediate gratification, and this interferes with major life goals.

I think that’s my husband’s issue. He faced some emotional abandonment as an adolescent. He doesn’t want to do the work that it’s going to take to heal from the infidelity, so it’s easier just to divorce. He’s even said as much. This is not a justification. It helps me take it less personally. It’s not me, it’s him.

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8735757
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:24 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Can a mediator help us navigate through this process of dividing our assets?

Which one of you makes more money? Do you have any assets you need to protect? If you make more, than yeah.. a mediator or financial planner might be a cheap way out. But if he makes more, get an attorney and make sure you're getting what you're due. That might sound vindictive until you consider this....

So I was doing the 180, and then WH and I got to talking and we started having dates, just spending a couple hours together watching a tv show and hanging out. It’s been good and we have enjoyed each other’s time.

That was nothing but cake-eating. He knew he was still seeing the OW and he messed with your head anyway. You don't owe him a damned thing, least of all a considerate divorce.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8735763
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 10:28 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Even if you use a mediator, get a lawyer to make sure you are getting what you are entitled to.

I have a lawyer, but I’m honestly not sure what I’m entitled to. In my state, everything is divided equally and it’s a no-fault state. My confidence has plummeted, so at the moment, I don’t feel entitled to much. I’m also dealing with (TMI) pre-period hormones, aka PMS. That’s so not what I need right now.

So many stories here where the WS gets nasty even if he hadn’t been before.
And how knows what the AP is whispering in his ear.


After I found him hanging out with AP, we went outside to talk. Shortly after, she came out of the house rather quickly and drove off. I hope she’s whispering in his ear how much of an asshole he is. Honestly, I’m sure she’s telling him exactly what he wants to hear.

I am a little worried about the nastiness. He’s being pretty cold in his texts. He has to stop over quickly tonight to help me with something. I need to be able to hold it together no matter how he behaves toward me.

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8735765
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 10:59 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

That was nothing but cake-eating. He knew he was still seeing the OW and he messed with your head anyway.

I’m a pretty smart person, but this situation has turned me into an idiot. Why can’t I kick him to the curb?? I feel partially responsible. I was dealing with depression and kind of checked out of life for a while, and COVID made that worse. He felt isolated and like I didn’t love him. I feel like I let him down as a wife. I was critical of him sometimes, I let the house get messy. I didn’t try. I know I could have been a better wife.

The thing is, he never told me how unhappy he was. He didn’t tell me that he felt unloved and isolated, that he would like if I went on errands with him. Of course I would go! He never told me that it bothered him that I left stuff laying around. If I knew that, I would have picked it up! What he is asking for is completely reasonable. We got into a rut. I took him for granted. I should have cuddled more. I would give anything to go back to the times when I slept instead of cuddled. I would love to cuddle!

The thing is, I recognize what I need to improve, and I am committed to making it better. But, he doesn’t believe that things will change, and he doesn’t want to wait around to find out. We have never gotten professional help before. He has admitted that if we would have gone to MC before his A, we would be in a much better place right now.

So, I feel like a terrible person and a failure as a wife. I took him for granted, and now I’m paying for it.

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8735770
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 11:19 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

L&b, please dont blame yourself for what happened.

All the things you listed as his complaints and the, "if only I knew" are on him. Sure, noone enjoys a messy house and many people were depressed during covid. However, did your WH reach out to you or ask you directly for what he needed? NO.

Cant fix what you dont know is broken. Why did your WH think it was ok to let needs go unvoiced? Why did he think it was ok for him to walk past the mess on a regular basis and not clean it himself? Or invite you to clean together?

I dont know your whole story, but from this, it sounds like you WH was happy to be passive during a time when you likely needed him to take charge.

If onlys dont help. If only us WSs werent such broken people we thought an A was the solution to our unhappiness.

If he was unhappy, HE was responsible for taking charge of the change he wanted. His happiness is his responisbility. Your happiness is now yours. How do you want to take charge of being happy going forward?

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8735773
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 11:20 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

He has admitted that if we would have gone to MC before his A, we would be in a much better place right now.

Well isn't that nice Captain Obvious rolleyes

(((LostandBroken900))) of course we are not always 100 percent stellar spouse I'm sure he wasn't either. I bet you have felt some of the same things, but you didn't use the nuclear option. Your thinking will change with time. I did the same thing with blaming myself. It's a way to control the situation if you can find what the issue is. The thing is that the issue is with him and why he was able to step out and you didn't.

fBS/fWS(me):49 Mad-hattered after DD1
XWS:51 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
Was Married 19 yrs
DD(19) DS(16)
DD1 (2008) COW, DD2 (2012) MOW, False R (2014) Same MOW. DD3 (2019) Webcam girl
Legally Separated 3 years, Divorcing

posts: 8299   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8735774
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Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 7:37 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

He doesn’t want to do the work that it’s going to take to heal from the infidelity, so it’s easier just to divorce. He’s even said as much. This is not a justification. It helps me take it less personally. It’s not me, it’s him.

Reread this over and over. Even if you did do MC, with this kind of mindset of his, it wouldn't have stuck. You could have been a better wife, but it also sounds like he could've been a better husband.

He got to cake-eat. He got 2 women vying for him and giving him all the attention. Why would he have changed anything? And now that you caught him once again with AP, he chose the one who would keep giving him that validation. Of course he feels he won't have to do any work, because AP doesn't expect him to. But he'll still be taking that same person into his relationship with her (or anyone else, for that matter), because it's the path of least resistance that gives him what he wants at everyone's expense. Wish AP the best of luck with that.

Time to shut the bakery down on your end. Put yourself first now.

[This message edited by Forks027 at 7:41 AM, Wednesday, May 18th]

posts: 412   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2017
id 8735814
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 11:12 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

I am sorry that you are going through this
It’s devastating and painful
My ex also left for his AP after he waffled back and forth between me and her
He said R is an "uphill battle" with a slim chance of success so why bother.
He also said he wasn’t happy in the marriage but he never told me so while we were married
My ex and yours must be reading the same playbook
They are selfish cowards
i too went through the self blame. I should’ve, could’ve , what if, what if, what if
I still have days where I beat myself up
The betrayed do this futile exercise of self blame because we are trying to gain control over a situation. If IT were our fault the affair happened, marriage broke up, then WE can change and make things better. WE have the power to make thins ok again. But the truth is we don’t. The cheaters are inherently broken people who didn’t value their spouses enough to be honest about their unhappiness, needs, whatever. They chose to cheat. They chose to break their marriage vows because their happiness is the most important thing
What you are feeling is all normal
Write down all the terrible things your cheater did and said to you and read it as a reminder to yourself
You will go through good days and bad days but you will find clarity as time goes by
What happened to you is earth shattering
It’s hard to accept the reality but with counseling, talking to trusted friends, and getting support from SI folks here, you will get better
Be kind to yourself
I recommend "The Gift" by Edith Eger
A wonderful book that I think you will find helpful

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 310   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8735817
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 3:43 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Thank you all for your advice. I really really needed to hear your words. I don’t have time to comment on all of the messages right now, but I thank you.

The important message I’m getting is that he is incredibly selfish, and it’s all about him. If he were not so selfish, he would be here for me and I wouldn’t be hurting like this. I need to remember that. Everything he is saying is about him and he is not concerned about me and my feelings. His feelings matter to him, and that’s it. He is not being a husband, even though he vowed to be with me in good times and bad. He’s not with me.

It’s hard believing somebody I have loved so much and for so long could be so damn selfish and immature. I need to keep coming back and reading your comments. They keep me grounded. I’m grateful for this place.

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8735848
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LonelyHolidays ( member #79775) posted at 3:51 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

We are trying to divide things too. I’m trying to figure that out. Emotionally I feel the same as you. I wonder what I could have done differently and feel like we loved each other and it immediately switched off and became about her. I’m very sorry and totally understand your feelings. People here have been great and advised me to just give it time. It is getting better but hurts still. Good luck. Take care!

Tired of her games. BH. Married 20 years. 2 sons 16 and 20. Going through divorce since September, 2021.

posts: 99   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2022   ·   location: Santa Rosa
id 8735850
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 5:18 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

I’m a pretty smart person, but this situation has turned me into an idiot. Why can’t I kick him to the curb?? I feel partially responsible. I was dealing with depression and kind of checked out of life for a while, and COVID made that worse. He felt isolated and like I didn’t love him. I feel like I let him down as a wife. I was critical of him sometimes, I let the house get messy. I didn’t try. I know I could have been a better wife.

The thing is, he never told me how unhappy he was. He didn’t tell me that he felt unloved and isolated, that he would like if I went on errands with him. Of course I would go! He never told me that it bothered him that I left stuff laying around. If I knew that, I would have picked it up! What he is asking for is completely reasonable. We got into a rut. I took him for granted. I should have cuddled more. I would give anything to go back to the times when I slept instead of cuddled. I would love to cuddle!

Ugh! These are all excuses on his part. NOTHING that you did (or didn't do) could cause him to cheat. Do you hear what he's saying to you? He's saying that his fidelity is predicated on YOUR behavior. shocked

Look at that again... His fidelity is predicated on YOUR behavior. shocked shocked shocked

You can't work with that. It means that he's got NOTHING but fluff inside. He's got no integrity and nothing inside which is capable of saying 'no' to perfidy. No character. No boundaries.

You can't MAKE someone cheat. They CHOOSE that for themselves. When we truly honor our core values, things like honesty and fidelity, we can't just toss those things aside because we were momentarily stymied by a sleeping spouse or underwear in the floor. If that was the case, hell, nobody's perfect and you'd have been fucking his friends whenever he left the cap off the toothpaste or the toilet seat up. But you didn't because that's not who you are, right? But that IS who he is. He's a guy with nothing inside to stop him from cheating, lying, and general assholery. Don't believe his excuses.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 5:20 PM, Wednesday, May 18th]

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8735871
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 10:13 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Thank you, Chamomile.

I’m struggling today. He gave me hope and then took it away. He says he doesn’t want a divorce, and he never wanted a divorce, but he doesn’t see any other option, because he can’t give me what I need right now. If I don’t want a divorce and he doesn’t want a divorce, why should we get a divorce? There ARE other options.

Then I think more about it, and I think that he CAN give me what I need, but he WON’T because he’s too selfish. Being around me makes him anxious because of what he did. I guess his feelings are more important.

He’s messing with my head. Today, I can’t get out of this headspace. It’s PMS time, and that just makes everything awful. Next week, I’ll be myself again…I know in my head that I should not put up with this. I know that. He gives me a nugget of love, and I turn into a quivering mass of goo. I’m a smart, educated, professional woman, and I am a freaking mess. Today I am not okay*, but writing this all out actually helps. It’s when I have time to think that I start ruminating.

Thank you all for your advice. I keep reading your responses over and over, because I know what you’re saying is true.

*I have an IC, and I’m exploring support groups. I’m not planning to hurt myself or anybody else. Just a disclaimer.

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8735917
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 11:09 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

He gives me a nugget of love, and I turn into a quivering mass of goo.

But it's not even real genuine love. Do you see that? It's just a kibble. He's got kibbles to spare apparently, what with both you *and* the OW neatly triangulated, all the better for him to enjoy cake. It's not love because it's not a loving action. A loving action would be intended for YOUR benefit. The attention he pays you is for HIS benefit.. to keep that cake coming. He's feeding his ego at your expense.

He says he doesn’t want a divorce, and he never wanted a divorce, but he doesn’t see any other option, because he can’t give me what I need right now.



He's LYING. Of course, he's lying. He damned sure could give you what you want right now, because what you want is a faithful husband not a gold-plated yacht or your own private island. And he DOES want a divorce because he's not willing to dump the OW and be faithful. He's a lying liar who lies, but he hopes you'll observe the hang-dog looks and buy into his nonsensical excuses because... cake.

Ignore his words. An active cheater's words mean nothing. Watch the actions.

((big hugs)) I know you're having a down week, but things will get better. Believe it.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8735925
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:38 PM on Thursday, May 19th, 2022

Just sending some support— it WILL get better.
The kibbles and then him pulling back will end up being a gift because he showed you who he is and who he isn’t. He isn’t a man of honor or integrity. He CAN do what you need— he just WON’T. And getting yet more evidence will help your heart catch up with your head (but it hurts, I know).

Hang in there—

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4893   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8736018
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Charity411 ( member #41033) posted at 4:58 PM on Thursday, May 19th, 2022

I'm sorry you are going through this. There is nothing worse than what he is doing to you. My EXH did all the same things. The cruelty of pretending it could work, only to have the rug pulled out from under you again is worse than the first time. I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he'd do that. The stronger I got the more I began to understand.

What everyone else has told you is true. This is not about how he feels about you, it's about how good he feels having more than one woman wanting him. It's the ultimate ego trip. Seeing how hurt you are every time he pulls the rug out feeds his ego. Telling him you can and are willing to change, and become everything he needs is an even bigger ego trip. Logic would suggest he'd be thrilled and come back because you are so committed. And you think he would no longer need the OW. I came to realize that in their heads it's the opposite. It was you discovering the affair that made you fight for him. He has manipulated you into taking all responsibility for everything that wasn't perfect in your relationship in order to save it. What he sees is that as long as he has OW, you'll keep trying to figure out what you did wrong, and he keeps sleeping with her while you make apologies for not being good enough to him. Once I got strong enough, and angry enough, I actually got my EX to admit that to me. He literally said to me that he loved having two women trying to earn his love instead of just one. Then he told me he wanted to marry her and wanted me to be his mistress.

There is nothing wrong with introspection about the pros and cons of your relationship. None of us are perfect. With time and distance you'll slowly stop seeing only the things you didn't do or what you took for granted, and you'll start seeing the flaws in him as well. In my case, the evolution was interesting. His complaint about me was that I was no longer any fun. After we had a kid he was no longer interested in me sexually because I wasn't exciting enough. Mind you, OW had three kids and was his best friend's wife. Once I was free of him putting stuff in my head, I realized he was right. He had a real issue with drugs and alcohol. Once we had DD I became the responsible adult. I didn't party with him because someone had to take care of the kid. OW was the exact opposite. Half the time she couldn't tell you where her kids (all under age 10 at the time) were at 9pm. Once I realize exciting in his view was synonymous with bad mother, I chose unexciting and good mother.

You will get there too. Right now you are in the perfectly natural stage of thinking this man in front of you is not the man you married. In time you will come to realize that this man was there all along. The person who chose to cheat rather than work on anything. When he's taking up too much of your head space, remind yourself that he wants you to dwell on him. Not because he wants you, but because he thinks he deserves your mental energy, even if he hasn't done a thing to earn it.

posts: 1618   ·   registered: Oct. 18th, 2013   ·   location: Illinois
id 8736023
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 LostandBroken900 (original poster member #80201) posted at 5:23 PM on Thursday, May 19th, 2022

((big hugs)) I know you're having a down week, but things will get better. Believe it

Thank you for the hugs and for your kind words.

He's a lying liar who lies, but he hopes you'll observe the hang-dog looks and buy into his nonsensical excuses because... cake.

It’s so damn easy for him to lie; he doesn’t even have to think about it. Some of his excuses are so lame it’s insulting.

Ignore his words. An active cheater's words mean nothing. Watch the actions.

This is so important. His actions don’t match his words. The thing is…my second top love language is positive affirmations. It’s hard not to listen. I just realized that now, as I was typing.

He put air in my tires on Tuesday (my car told me to check the tires). He dropped off a Mother’s Day card for me from the dogs. Are those actions, or are they kibble? I think his second top love language is acts of service.

I think that was one of the problems in our relationship; he would do acts of service for me, but that’s his love language, not mine. I thought he was just doing things because they needed to get done. I thanked him and told him I appreciated them, but I didn’t see them as loving gestures.

Sorry I’m going off on a tangent. I’m realizing things as I type. If he wouldn’t have had a damn affair, we could have worked on this stuff together!! He didn’t f-ing communicate with me! That ruined our marriage! Well, so did the affair.

Sigh….

D-Day 3/4/22-3/6/22 - Ongoing

Me: 40F WS: 36M Married 2012 - Currently separated, working on divorce.

posts: 73   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2022
id 8736026
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 10:10 PM on Thursday, May 19th, 2022

I'll be honest with you.. I really do believe that "love languages" are just another spin on the "unmet needs"
fallacy. I think it's meant well, and certainly, it's made a lot of money and notoriety for the author, but it asks us to play Miss Cleo and be responsible for our spouse's perceptions, not facts but feelings. Worse, it doesn't come out overtly and say his fidelity is predicated on YOUR behavior, but emotionally manipulates us into believing it's our fault. NOTHING we do or fail to do can make a person who truly honors the core value of Fidelity cheat. That value is either not there at all or is too weak and permeable to stop the behavior. As adults, we are each responsible for our own feelings. Marriage doesn't mean that we get to turn all our difficult emotions over to someone else and let them manage them for us.

I'm going to reprint a post that I made for someone else about "unmet needs" because I've been burnt before on them. I was a true believer once, and I remember how it felt to think that I was responsible for not doing enough. People on the outside, meaning people who have never experienced this kind of intimate betrayal, might think that it would be the most horrible feeling, and it kind of is. But it's also kind of NOT. Because underneath the belief that we somehow caused the cheating is the belief that if we exert ourselves and make changes in how we interact with our WS, we can also change the outcome. It's about control. And being IN control feels so much better than being a victim of things which are beyond our control, right? So, we cling to the notion that we have somehow caused it, because if it's our fault, then surely we can fix it. It's a self-delusion that I think most of us have probably experienced. It hurts to let go, but it's also the fastest path to recovery. You didn't cause it. You couldn't have stopped it. And you can't fix it.

((even more hugs))

My own WH went on a Craigslist binge six years ago, multiple partners, various degrees of emotional attachment. He even thought he was in love at one point. But ten years before that, I'd caught him out in some online shenanigans, porn, cybersexing, emotional affair, etc. In fact, I caught him out only two weeks before a planned meet-up. I'd already seen an attorney before I confronted him and I was bent on divorce, but he pretty much cried his way out of it and I settled on MC. As you might have guessed already, we too were bamboozled with the "unmet needs" model of therapy, which sounds so reasonable. I upped my wife game, and did my best pick-me polka, but within a couple of years, he was right back at it behind my back. By the time we reached the ten year mark, he had screwed up his nerve to go live and in person on Craigslist.

Of course, I was pretty shocked as you might imagine. I thought we were good. I thought his "needs" were met. Damned if I hadn't been turning myself inside out for a decade to make sure, right? The more I thought about it, the more I revisited what I knew about the "unmet needs model", the less it made sense. I was doing everything right and he still CHOSE to cheat.

Here's the fly in the "unmet needs" ointment...

Healthy ADULTS don't need to be validated. They validate internally. Healthy adults are self-fruitful in the matter of contentment and life satisfaction, and when things come up which make them unhappy, they address the cause and solve the problem. OTOH, the vast majority of cheaters cheat because they're seeking external validation. They are NOT emotionally healthy. They can't do it on their own. They've got a hole inside them and no amount of external validation will fill it. Certainly, the old and familiar validation of a spouse doesn't get the job done. Our "kibbles" are stale and boring. They don't create enough adrenaline anymore to make the cheater feel special. It's like getting an "atta boy" from your mom, right?

This is old pop-psy which is still being taught in schools and still selling books. But it's bullshit. NOTHING you can do (or fail to do) can MAKE another person throw away their core values and do something that's in this kind of opposition to good character. If you're a person who BELIEVES in fidelity, who VALUES fidelity, you don't cheat. End of story. Because when we truly value something we protect it. The cheater has a "but..." in his values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my needs aren't being met." For people like you and me, we have a "so..." in our values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex." This is the BOUNDARY we create organically. We don't sit around planning it out. It just happens, because it's innate to our character to protect what we value. The cheater doesn't have those boundaries because he doesn't really honor his values. He only claims to.

I'm not saying that your marriage is over or that your WH can't change. What I am saying though is that this "unmet needs" model is NOT going to challenge him to clean up his flawed character. In fact, it allows him to offload responsibility onto the marriage and onto YOU. It's not your job to MAKE him feel (fill-in-the-blank-here). It never was. It's his job to control his feelings. You could have been doing everything exactly perfect for the entire length of your marriage, and he would still have cheated... because there's NOTHING in his character stopping him and he has no coping mechanism to fall back on when he feels unvalidated, inadequate, unappreciated, etc.

It's HIS job to see that his "needs" get met. Sometimes that might mean negotiating with you, say if it's about sex or about the division of labor in your home, etc. But sometimes, it might mean that what he sees as a "need" is unhealthy in an adult, like external validation through attention and flattery.

MC's are there to treat the marriage. The marriage is the client. So, of course they're going to talk about communications, resentments and expectations. The MC doesn't want to alienate anyone, so s/he's looking to find balance on both sides. But marriages don't cheat. People do. The only way your WH is going to make a change that safeguards against further perfidy is by correcting his need for external validation and becoming an emotionally healthy adult whose deeds are as good as his word. No excuses, just honoring the things he claims to value. For that, I would recommend IC (individual counseling) with a therapist who is well-versed in adultery.

The last thing any newly-minted BS needs is to walk into an MC's office, believing that they've come to safe harbor, and being handed a copy of The Five Love Languages or some other "unmet needs" gobbledygook. It would be really nice if we actually did have the power to control our mate by giving them "acts of service" or "words of affirmation", but sadly, we aren't gods who can stop a cheater from seeking out his/her choice of adrenaline rush and new kibbles. Although, this kind of pop-psy suggests that their behavior is somehow our responsibility. The more you dig into this ridiculous line of thought, the more absurd it becomes.

Anyway... sorry for the lengthy post. Nothing fries my ass more than seeing new BS's being sold this bill of goods.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8736055
Topic is Sleeping.
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