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Newest Member: PMSandvig

Reconciliation :
Feel like I’m fumbling in the dark

Topic is Sleeping.

 DrowningZombie (original poster new member #82813) posted at 7:41 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I’m not even sure where to start. My story starts years and years ago. My husband and I were living in our home with our 3 kids at the time. I was in my thirties. During the spring my husband invited a work friend to rent our basement. He was still in college and 24 yrs old. I found him to be an annoying, self-Involved and infuriating human being. He was always smug and would talk to people like they were stupid and he held all the answers. Sufficient to say I disliked him immediately and immensely. This 24 year old let slip after he moved in (disclosed prior to my husband) that he had a history of breaking up marriages in the previous homes he "couch surfed". The most recent being not only the home he was in prior to ours but the neighbors marriage as well. I may not have liked him but being he was my husbands friend and I, wanting to be a good host and good wife to my husband, behaved graciously around this narcissistic ass. The kid then starts telling my husband when I’m not around that I’m hitting on him. COMPLETELY UNTRUE. That we’ve slept together. Uses incorrect information describing me nude inaccurately, clearly states I like things that I never ever had shown an interest in ie. conspiracy theories about the royal family? Just weird things that don’t make sense out of left field really. So my husband starts coming home livid and yelling. Understandable. I can easily discount most of the information this idiot has tried to pass off as truth. I was already sharing my location so my husband could see where I was. And the kids could vouch for me being at home as well as the people who had come to visit. I made sure if I wasn’t home to call from a phone other than my cell phone to prove I was indeed in the location I said I was going to be ( visible on caller ID)and had those I was supposed to be with say hi. I even went as far as taking videos and pictures of where I was and who I was with. At no time was I ever alone with this 24 yr old monster. This seemed to do the trick at first to assuage my husbands fears. But then the 24 yr old jerk upped his game. He started to tell me that my husband would do nothing but complain about how much of an awful wife I was, horrible cook, just laid there in bed and would make fun of how stupid I was and how I’d never know what he was saying behind my back and how many girls he flirted with at work. It became very clear to me that the 24 yr old was eavesdropping on conversations I was having on the phone and one night when my husband was still at work I woke up to find him standing in my bedroom door watching me sleep in the dark! I was terrified. I shared my concerns with my husband who kicked him out finally. This was a relief. We went back to our normal lives after this. Until one day we were talking about the crazy mess this man leaves in his wake. (The neighbors of his previous home husband came to our door livid and looking for this man-child and his wife) and I said I was just flabbergasted that anyone could behave that way. That for the life of me I couldn’t understand why if I was nothing but a good host and my husband a good friend why he would actively seek to destroy our marriage. I couldn’t understand why he would lie so much. I also said that I realized with people like this 24 year old that you’d never get the truth because they lie so much. This prompted my husband to suggest I invite this jerk out to coffee and confront him. I said no. No point liars are going to lie. I wouldn’t believe that man even if he was telling the truth. After a week of my husband getting mad at me about not going I finally agreed to go. THe 24YO picked me up at the house, then drove to a bar. I said no I wanted to go for coffee not sit in some seedy darkened bar. He said too bad he was going to need a drink for this. Since I hadn’t drove I really didn’t think I had much of a choice. I sat refused everything but water and once the drinks arrived he said ok shoot. What are your questions? So I asked Why would you constantly tell my husband how much of a slut I was when you knew that to be false? Why did you eavesdrop on my conversations? Why did I see you at my bedroom door late at night? What could you have possibly stood to gain by turning my husband and I against each other when we were nothing but kind to you? Knowing full well it was all going to be met with lies. And it was. He never called me any names in fact it was my husband who kept insisting that I was sleeping with the 24 year old because I was polite and kind to him while he resided with us. He never eavesdropped (although funny how my husband knew what I had said to my friend the next day without me having disclosed that info) and it must have either been my husband at the door ( H is 5’4" 24 year old was over 6’) or better yet a shadow figure looking to harm me. Then proceeded to tell me I suffered from Stockholm Syndrome and that my husband had been essentially holding me captive and ruling my life and I fell for my captor. That my loyalty to my husband was wrong because my H was abusive and manipulative and the 24 yr old was looking out for my best interest. Yeah. So exactly like I thought more nonsense. After 40 minutes of his babbling and back peddling I said I had enough and was leaving to get baby formula. When I got home I was met with an incredibly drunk over the top husband screaming and yelling at me about being out with my boyfriend. All because some old friend whom my H didn’t tell why I was out and that he was the reason behind it showed up at the house while I was away and said he always thought I was the type to be unfaithful. Side note I knew this former friend for over a year before I met my husband and we worked together and went out together after work. At no point did I ever have a BF during that time, nor did I date, when he kept trying to set me up with his male friends I’d decline, I never flirted in front of him nor behaved in any way sexually inappropriate. So I’m not sure what this was based on. When he met me I had just gotten out of a long term relationship that was devastating and was looking to work of myself and have some me time. I met my husband through him a year and a half later at a party. A month and a half after meeting we started dating. We didn’t sleep together until another two months had passed. We got married 1 year and 5 moths later. At no point did I have any affairs online or otherwise, emotional or physical. I made sure I did not flirt because although my husband wouldn’t maybe admit it he got jealous hurt and angry easily. I was always conscious of how my actions would impact him. So I came home that night to a drunk husband screaming at me that I was a whore and that he was leaving. He was stupid for not seeing that the former tenant and friend was my boyfriend I was a liar etc etc. Long story short I cried begged and pleaded for him to stay all night. I cried so much my face was completely swollen for two days after. Noticeably swollen. Once he calmed down he apologized told me what the former friend that had come over while I was gone had said ( same friend said to me on the way out oh I’m so sorry. I couldn’t see how much you loved him. I thought you’d be happy he was gone. I didn’t mean to do this to you. ) we worked it out. I suggested possibly he may have trust issues due to the way he was brought up. Very abusive environment. Neglected, mommy’s little husband, dad a raging alcoholic, moms unstable, brother and sister would gang up in him and use him then throw him away. All his ex gf dumped him or cheated on him. Just heartbreaking stuff. I suggested he work on that and anger management. He agreed. Didn’t do the work though beyond googling anger management courses. A few month later he moves the same 24 year old back into our house! I have trouble understanding why and the only explanation my husband gives is he seems to have learned from the errors of his ways and deserves a second chance. So guess what happens? Same thing different lies. This time though my husband is yelling and screaming at me daily. Calling from work to be cruel in a passive aggressive manner. Every day I’m crying caught between a rock and a hard place. I do everything in my power to have to prove where I am who I’m talking to etc all day every day. Not helping. I can’t outright start arguments in front of my young children with the tenant because I fear for their and my safety because something felt off about him. So I didn’t want to trigger anything. But if I’m not cruel and cold my husband gets livid and sees it as me choosing him over my H. I finally get upset in the end of October and say something has got to give. My husband and I spend about a week going over things and I suggested he sleep on the couch that we need to work on ourselves and to kick the guy out. That I would always love my H but that at present it was hard to be in love with him. The way he was acting out was too much and I didn’t think it healthy for our family. So we agreed on 3 months of not sleeping in the same room and we would still do everything related to the children together and work on ourselves. Once that was settled I started working on bettering myself with the understanding that it takes two to tango and I didn’t get to the point we were at without have contributed to it and proceeded on my journey. I got healthy and fit. Invested my time in doing things right by my children to not pass down whatever cycle of trauma their parents currently were in. I would do my husbands laundry, cook his meals, make his lunches, try my best at having open and honest communication, and positive moments. I’d go to his room to just chat and check in on him and how he was doing. In hindsight I should have noticed he wasn’t checking in on me. And that he became supper secretive with his laptop and phone. And that all the sudden he made plans to hang out with his brother. After months of not mentioning his brother at all. In December I got a FB message from former tenant saying that he had left textbooks he needed here and that he had something for my husband and I for Xmas. As an apology. I said we had not gotten him anything but now I felt obligated to get him something. He said don’t worry about it it’s not about that. Ok. So I tell my H about the message. H says get it done. So I set the date he comes by grabs his books gives me the present I don’t give him anything gift wise and he leaves. Pretty uneventful. A couple weeks later though my H breaks into my FB and says this message is prof I was cheating! Firstly, I had told him about it. He had already used this man’s gift. I’m not sure wth that was about. But secondly why are you logging into my FB. I had given him the passwords to all my accounts but still odd. Turns out the guy is still talking crap to my H at work about how we are having an affair. I was utterly frustrated. Meanwhile a friend of mine was pregnant and her baby daddy left her so we made plans to hang out on the day after Xmas because she was feeling hormonal and alone. The day came where I was to meet up with her brother who was going to drive me to her house. I get into the vehicle and before I can say anything other than hi my phone starts to ring. It was my husband. He’s losing his crap because my friend called him high on drugs after an emergency c-section looking for me. And he’s now convince I’m with the former tenant. So I say what!? And her brother says hi to my husband then tells me when I’m off the phone that he will explain what happened. So I let my husband go. He lets me know that his sister had to have an emergency c-section and there was something wrong with her new daughter. The baby had suffered brain damage during birth. The whole family was losing their collective shit and my friend kept asking for me. So I call my husband to let him know what has happened. He accuses me of being out with the 24 year old and calls me a cheater. Again, not at all. I call from the hospital phone to prove with caller ID where I am. Anyhow once all this is over with I head home and we hash it out.Things seemed better. I’d send him emails saying how much I loved him. I’d tell him things like our 3 months sleeping apart was soon almost up. In hindsight he never really seemed too happy about it. Apparently he was telling everyone in our mutual friends and acquaintances circle that I was cheating. The only thing anyone could corroborate was that they had seen me once having a cigarette on the front porch and that the 24 year old was standing in a close proximity. That I didn’t look unhappy. So that was the evidence that my husband used against me. The 24 year old was smoking a joint. He was trying to hide it from view. But you know I was not angry so I must be sleeping with him. This friends husband suggests my husband creates a dating account on a hookup site. And he does!! No hesitation! No consideration nothing. First girl who messaged him with hi is the girl he then decides is where he should go. He chats with her for 20 minutes gives out his phone number. They talk for about two hours a day for a week then decided to meet up for coffee. He told me he was going to spend the night at his brothers. So the plan was to spend the night together. I hugged him and told him her deserved a boys night out and to have fun. I know. Stupid. His brother was complicit in the lie. The cover up as well. He goes to coffee. Goes to restaurant. Go to a friend of hers place way out of town. Party then have sex. Side note I have fainting spells. That night while getting my youngest a snack I fainted and smacked my face on the ground. It scared the kids so they called their father. He had them yell at me til I woke up and when I got on the phone he essentially said could I cope because he had been looking forward to a night out with his brother? I felt awful about potentially ruining his evening and I said I would manage. Told the kids if it happened again call an ambulance and my mom. I had a bloody nose and bruise by my eye from the impact. I later was vomiting and had a headache. But I powered through. I wasn’t going to be the wife that ruined his boys night! He was supposed to call later to say goodnight to the kids but he didn’t. I tried reaching him so they could say goodnight but I was sent straight to VM. I went to clean the bathroom my husband used before bed and found pubes everywhere as in he had manscapped. Then I found blobs of semen on the floor and toilet. I thought odd? Who grooms and releases before a boys night but felt too ill to really give it much more thought. In hindsight I feel incredibly stupid and worthless. He came home the next morning looking the happiest I had seen him in years. And relaxed. So I was stupidly glad that I hadn’t ruined his night. We go about our day much as before, me with no inkling. Him total different person. Seemed more sure of himself. At one point mid week I looked at him and said I know we agreed not to but could I get a hug. It was a couple weeks before the three months were up. He looked surprised but said yes. So I hugged him. It made me a little teary eyed because I missed him. I mistook his serenity and happiness to have been indicative of him having worked on himself like I thought we had agreed to do and him turning a corner. I didn’t realize what had took place. What the reason was behind this newfound happiness. That he had been picked up by his GF at work the night before. That they went to his brothers house. That they made out in front of my niece and SIL. That the weekend previous they had had sex. That that morning he asked me before leaving for work for some pictures that he needed me to get on the PC and send him pictures of himself, of his family growing up and our children. That he emailed promptly to her as soon as he got to work. Followed by a slew of emails from him with selfies from work, contact at work, descriptions of our children, his life growing up calling her Babe and gorgeous. Sending her kisses and hugs. To which she responds only 6 hrs later with the line. Sure. Send me pix anytime handsome. He jumps right back with a brand new selfies less than 5 minutes after she responds. (This was all sent to me by the AP after discovery) anyhow, One thing led to another and my H and I had sex that night. Unprotected sex. From which I get the worst and only yeast infection from hell that just wouldn’t go away and baffled my GP later. Until the affair was disclosed and the GP said it was likely transmitted to me by my husbands AP through my husband. He choses to tell me the next day that he had met someone and they had gone for coffee before he went to his brothers the night I fell ill. Nothing happened. Then over the course of the next week it became he had a dating profile on a less than reputable dating site used for hookups. Then it was she kissed him. They had sexted. He had masturbated with her on the phone. Then it was he didn’t go straight to his brothers after coffee but to a restaurant where he didn’t drink and met her friends. But then he did drink. The intent was never sex. He was just trying to go along with her. She validated him and made him feel good. BUT HE WAS Placating her. She was needy clingy and bossy. She started talking loudly about how he didn’t need to use a condom with her because she was fixed. And her work required her to be tested for HIV. And she was clean. But they never had sex. Just made out and she gave him a HJ and he groped at her in the car. Then his brothers. Then the story became no they went to her friends house but he asked to go home. She said no. She mauled him on the stairs. At first the story was he couldn’t preform. Then later when he drank too much he starts talking about how great the sex was with her (unprompted) that the all the friction made him so hard and how she felt different and was exciting and fun and soooo tight and she wasn’t too wet so the grip ah the grip. And she was dominating. He loved that. This was devastating as it was 11 years after the first D day. Needless to say the story is still changing to this day. Now he claims to not remember anything about it at all. Everything is foggy. He claims to have never been attracted to her, no liking her at all nor wanting a relationship with her and it was all him just placating her and feeling pity for her because she kept saying things like don’t do to me what all the other guys in my life have done. That she smelled like fishy garbage that made him near vomit and wore too much makeup and generally looked dirty. She knew he was married. I mean I don’t know what to think. After he disclosed the original multiple versions of this relationship I asked for a month apart. So I could think. So he stayed at his mothers. Who was in full support of his affair. (She had had multiple herself before her husband got fed up and left her) during this month apart his AP starting parking outside my house a few times a week for hours. Once I noticed and found out what she looked like I was scared. Why was she at my home? What did she want. He finally disclosed that she would often brag about how dangerous her family was, how they were "connected". How she encouraged her kids to fight. I legit became terrified that she would try to murder me. A week later she started sending me emails that he had sent her with no explanation. So I blocked her email. She found me on FB and starting messaging me her version of events. Where they laughed at how stupid I was. How I was a whore. Essentially how evil I was. Given the amount of information she had that was 100% accurate it was safe to say that he had said these things. Then gave a completely different account of what had happened. That he has professed to having feelings for her. TBH I figured it was her last ditch attempt to get him away from me. So she could keep him. So I asked her outright what she was hoping to accomplish by hurting me further? Over the next week she eventually responded but was now taking a different stance. I was no longer the villain that was awful to him but he was the jerk that did this to us! Proceeds to trash him and tell me how bad he was in bed that he came too many times and too soon and she was left in an unsatisfactory state. I asked her to stop. I did not want to hear this from her. Then another day she messages again and says her and I could be good friends that we should meet for coffee. At this point I asked to be left alone and that I did not want to meet for coffee( she really wasn’t my type of person. Just unkept her profile was highly sexual publicly on FB. Violent family. Not my cup of tea) and blocked her on FB. The next day an account I was not familiar with messaged threatening me for me being cruel and "fucking" with her friends head. I asked who it was. They said didn’t matter and I should leave her friend (my H’s AP) alone!? I was scared and confused and blocked that account too. How had I done anything to HER?? Why was I being threatened? This happened from other accounts for a few days after until I realized I could change message settings to not receive any messages from anyone other than my friends list. Finally happy to have blocked their ability to reach me on FB I went about my day. My husband calls from work livid. Said he got into my FB again and saw that she had messaged me. Was really mad I had responded at all. Accused me of being 100% to blame for the affair. If I hadn’t done xyz then it wouldn’t have happened. That all of the sudden we were separated headed for divorced and that’s why he cheated. Even though no talk of divorce was ever had nor had any contact through lawyers been made OR any paperwork filed. Anyhow, eventually we talked it out and he apologized. We decided to stay together. But this lead to me burying my pain over time. Not addressing it. Any time I tried to bring anything up it led to me being yelled at. Threatened with being left. Told to go back to my BF the 24 year old? Fast forward to where we are now. We got into an affair recovery program. He has been diagnosed as having BPD in his IC. And he’s now actively trying and managing to keep his cool and actually help when I’m struggling. My problem lies with we are having to re-do discovery. So many years later so that I have one congruent story. One thing to process instead of 6 different versions. All missing pieces. However, due to the length of time that has passed he claims to not remember most if not near everything that happened for real. I also have this gut feeling that he is still holding something back. I don’t know if it is something due to the fact that there were soooo many lies and so much truth withheld that I no longer believe anything out of his mouth is the truth anymore or maybe that it’s I don’t trust my judgement but something feels off. But stuff he swore was the truth and was always consistent in his versions are now the total opposite. He claims that his distorted thinking due in part by his BPD caused him to create this alternate reality where I was in fact a malicious cheating spouse and allowed him to jump in bed with the first available thing based on she was the first message out of half dozen that he didn’t bother looking into once he read her message which simply read "Hey". He says when he looks back from his vantage point now he sees I was always me. Always loving. Never faltering. Always obviously in love with him. He says nothing I did ever showed him anything but I was a loyal wife but his distorted thinking caused by others suggesting I was up to no good and his upbringing caused him to split me black and create a false narrative to justify his behaviours. I’m not sure what to do or think. I’m in IC and still following the affair recovery courses. I’m just having a hard time. Any help or suggestions, words of wisdom or opinions would be appreciated.I just really feel lost. I don’t know who to trust as family and friends have their own agendas and not all the information. Could use a hand clearing my mind. Thanks for your time and sorry for the length of this post.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8775420

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:25 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

Hi DrowningZombie,

Welcome to SI. I'm sorry you're hurting.

I'm not going to lie. Your story was long, scattered, and difficult to read. I barely made it through it. I'm not 100% that I got it all, so let me see if this is an accurate summary:

1. Many years ago, your H accused you of cheating on him or at least having an inappropriate relationship with a 24 y/o friend of his who lived at your house for a period of time. You denied that this ever happened but due to his anger you and his abusive treatment of you over this, you decided to go on a 3 month break.

2. During this 3 month break, your H joined a dating website and met his AP and had an A.

3. You found out about the A. In the aftermath of D-day he spent quite a bit of time lying about what actually happened and received multiple different stories from him and his AP.

4. Ultimately you and your WH decided to try to stay together but every time you raised the issue of the A, he blameshifted and starts yelling about your apparent relationship with the 24 year old. This lead you to stop asking about his A and you rugswept quite a bit.

5. More recenlty, your H was diagnosed with BPD and is in IC. He now acknowledges that you didn’t actually have an A with the 24 y/o and were always a loving wife. He blames his prior bad actions (both his false accusations of you and his own affair) on his false beliefs. He now sees he was wrong.

6. You are in IC yourself and struggling. You are not sure whether to believe that the story you have of your partner’s A is real or not. You do not feel you can trust friends and family and are looking for support.

Does that sounds right?

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775423

 DrowningZombie (original poster new member #82813) posted at 8:45 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

Yes that pretty much sums it up. Everything is accurate with the exception that we didn’t agree to a break per se. Simply to sleep in deferent rooms for three months to work on ourselves when the kids went to bed. Mainly because in the past my husband would "love bomb" me after getting into a rage and would use sex to appease things. So we felt we would be better able to focus on doing the work and checking in with each other without the distraction sex causes. If that makes sense. Everything else remained the same. Sorry I’m scattered most days and I guess it comes across when I write too. Thanks for your patience.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8775427

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 11:06 PM on Monday, January 30th, 2023

I don't have any experience at all dealing with someone with bipolar personality disorder but from what I understand, people with this personality disorder are extremely volatile, difficult to live with, and are unlikely to change. I know there are posters here who DO have this experience though so I wonder if it might be useful to make a post asking for others on their experience trying to R with someone with BPD.

That said, it sounds like this man was extremely emotionally abusive to you even before his A. You don't mention timelines of when D-day occurred but you did say something about learning new information 11 years (!!!!!) after your original D-day so I'm guessing the A was a LONG time ago. That's a lot of years of abusive behaviour? What has changed? Why is now different than before. What about this relationship is worth saving to you?

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2134   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8775441

LIYA13 ( member #62026) posted at 12:01 AM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023


Longest post ever on SI for sure.

I managed to read it all and also understand it. Emergent8 did a great job summing it up.

I dont think you will like the advice I will give. Personally if i was giving advice to myself in this situation it would be to leave. Nothing great will come from staying with this person in the longterm. It does seem like you have been in the dark for a long time. I dont usually advise people to leave a marriage but I have to admit after reading your story I think your H is the worst. Hes so horrible. Even after knowing that the 24YO was a trouble maker he still brought him back into your lives. He didnt trust anything you said. He believed complete idiots over his own wife. He clearly does not hold you high. He taunts you and manipulates you and then blames you for everything. All the while you did nothing wrong. He just seems like a horrible piece of work and i dont say this often but i feel extremely sorry for you for having someone as awful as him in your life. He clearly has mentally exhausted you to the point where his made you feel like everything he has gone through has been down to you. He basically blames you for him checking out of the marriage. You did not cause him to cheat and you are just soooooo much better off without him. You have a volatile and unstable marriage with someone like him. Please do not stand for this. Please live your life. Sometimes its better to start again then be treated like this.

You cannot all of a sudden be this loving wife. You were always loving and you did your best to hold this matriage together. He just chose not to see it so he could blame all his wrong doings on you. He used you as an excuse to cheat. He is extremely unstable and if you do not free yourself from him you will always be trapped and drowning.

[This message edited by LIYA13 at 12:08 AM, Tuesday, January 31st]

posts: 231   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8775446

Tren0R201 ( member #39633) posted at 12:42 AM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

A bit bizarre that your husband who knows this guy has a history, then invites said man to live in your house, who then proceeds to lie about an affair and after your husband kicks him out then demands you two go off somewhere to "confront each other" then gets mad you two were out?

posts: 1840   ·   registered: Jun. 22nd, 2013
id 8775451

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 1:25 AM on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

It's happens more often than one might think that BS's (betrayed spouse's) get retriggered years and decades later and then have a hard time dealing with betrayal trauma. I don't have any science for you on that, but what I've come to believe is that when obsession with the details reemerges like this, it's a signal that the trauma is unprocessed somehow. My theory is that when we experience a traumatic event, the brain can misfile the information in such away as to have it come back fresh as ever. Our brains make weird connections when we're stressed so that sometimes totally disparate snippets get banded together somehow. Sometimes we don't even know what triggered us, but suddenly the past feels present, and it's this description "the past feels present" which makes me believe it's about trauma.

Your story is a painful read. You've had to deal not only with your WH's (wayward spouse's) betrayal, but also an abusive amount of bullying. It's no wonder that you're having trouble sorting through your feelings about R. That's typical, but the emotional abuse factor in your case really does ramp up the difficulty level.

If I were to give you advice though, I'd say to focus less on recreating the story of the past and more on building up your self-esteem and identity. I know that's hard. Every impulse screams that we need more details to flesh out "the story" of our trauma because that's the way human brains tend to deal with traumatic events. Feelings aren't facts though, and the facts are that you already know enough about what happened to divorce that guy six ways from Sunday. You chose R instead, and part of healing is taking ownership of our choices and learning to revel in our own agency. You are powerful and you have choices. It's very liberating to acknowledge your own authority.

There's a good book on trauma called, The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk. He's arguably the world's premier expert on trauma, and reading his book helped me so much. Once I understood the physiology of how my mind and body were reacting, I was better able to cope with what I was going through. "Knowledge is power" as they say. Your IC can probably refer you to a trauma specialist if necessary.

Once you've achieved some progress in trauma therapy, I think you're going to be much better equipped to hold your WH's feet to the fire in R. You'll feel more confident that you can handle whatever outcome in the marriage and that you can provide your own emotional safety net. Have faith that you'll get through this. smile

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 7060   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8775455

 DrowningZombie (original poster new member #82813) posted at 6:03 PM on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

Thank you all for the advice. My H does not have bipolar disorder. He has borderline personality disorder. One of his issues is an intense fear of abandonment. When triggered (like when I am being nice or polite with someone of the opposite sex) he becomes hyper vigilant and looks for signs that I’m going to leave him or that I’m cheating etc. At the time this all went down 12 years ago approximately he was undiagnosed and unaware that he was doing this. I myself had been conditioned by his behaviour over the first 10 years of our marriage to then just give him what he wanted. Which was reassurance. They « test » you to see if you love them unconditionally because when he was young his parents taught him that love was conditional and if you fail you are split to black. It’s a cycle. Easy enough to see in hindsight but when you are smack dab in the middle of it it’s a different story. At least this is what was true in my husbands case. No two people are exactly alike. Since then though he has been diagnosed and has been working with a psychiatrist, group therapy, a trauma bond specialist (as BPD often is a direct result of a highly abusive childhood) doing dbt and couples counselling and MC. He is improving. It’s not quick but he is doing better. As are we. Just some days I struggle with still being triggered quite a bit. He lied so much about the affair and so I got repeated discoveries throughout the years. His AP is literally the mirror image (personality and all) of his histrionic pushy controlling promiscuous mother. He’s come to that realization. He’s also recovering memories of his mother having sex or making out with her sisters husbands and sticking her tongue in his mouth « as a game » in her bed with him when he was between 3-5 years old. When he is regulated he is the sweetest most attentive husband. That’s why I’ve stayed. When triggered it’s a real case of Jekyll and Hyde. The last two years have been pretty uneventful. But as he’s working through things he’s remembering things he had blocked out about the affair. Which means more d days for me. Which are triggering. As he’s working on himself he is seeing the whys. He seems to be truly remorseful and trying his best to help me. His defensiveness and anger haven’t reared their heads at all since we’ve been with our recent counselling team. I guess I’m just scared and apprehensive. I want to believe the change is real but I have my reservations.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2023   ·   location: Canada
id 8778737
Topic is Sleeping.
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