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Is it time to end R?

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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 5:10 PM on Monday, May 1st, 2023

When do you know that it’s time to end R?

WH is remorseful, claims he wants the best for me and fix things. Also claims he respects me and feels horrible that I look sad and feel sad.

He attends IC, tells me what his therapist suggested right after. Then total silence and there is no follow up on conversations she wanted him to have with me. I wait and then get agitated. We argue, he says it’s difficult for him to talk when I am angry. I am angry because he doesn’t bring up what we need to work on. The cycle continues every week. He does not seem to learn.

He will not read anything suggested by either the therapist or me. If it makes him uncomfortable it will be shunned.

I gave him a deadline to work on things ( one more month left) thinking it will help. Helped with him finding a therapist right away but no progress further.

My therapist thinks this is his limit of emotional vulnerability and he cannot get his "head out of the sand ".

Did anyone reconcile with a WH like this? Any suggestions would be helpful, mainly for me. It’s impacting my mental health. I am turning into a mean spouse and sad person overall. I am struggling.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8789173
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 9:05 PM on Monday, May 1st, 2023

For me, it was at about a year after dday1 that I could see XWH wasn't doing the work. I didn't see him doing any homework, wasn't reading what the therapist suggested (I saw a list of book titles once), and he didn't say anything about his sessions except it was "good."

Around 15 months, I had talked myself into telling him that I didn't see enough changes and I was done. But - he said his IC said we could do MC. So, I thought I'd do MC to see if there were any changes. Well, in our last MC session, he confessed to the boundary-crossing inappropriate contact that I had said would be no more R, straight to D.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3575   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8789191
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 9:20 PM on Monday, May 1st, 2023

I think if you want to know if there's still a chance at R, then stop trying to R (even if you're not yet ready to pull the plug on divorce). If R is going to succeed, he needs to be the one driving it.

Start with this conversation: "WH, you haven't followed up on any of the therapists suggestions. You haven't read the recommended books. So what are you willing to do help me heal and rebuild our marriage?"

If he comes up with nothing, then file.

If he gives you an answer, decide whether his suggestions are sufficient. If they aren't, then file. If they are, then let him know you're willing to try but that you expect to him to put his plan into action. Don't give him an ultimatum, but decide for yourself how long you're willing to wait to see if he can follow through and how successful his plan is. If you see sufficient progress for you to want to continue R, you can extend your internal deadline. If he doesn't follow through or isn't willing to go above and beyond if his plan isn't working, then go ahead and file.

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 2011   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8789194
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Edie ( member #26133) posted at 1:32 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

I wait and then get agitated. We argue, he says it’s difficult for him to talk when I am angry. I am angry because he doesn’t bring up what we need to work on. The cycle continues every week. He does not seem to learn.

And maybe neither do you, if this cycle is being repeated. Surely if he is volunteering the therapist’s agenda then is it not possible to at that point just schedule when would good to talk or whatever and both of you commit to the appointment together. Or create circumstances, walking and talking for example, that make it perhaps an easier prospect for him, as he does sound avoidant, or conflict avoidant at least. I can see you are frustrated that he’s not being proactive and can understand that frustration yet without any further information it sounds like the frustration and agitation and his defensiveness might be part of a dynamic that could be looked at, in MC for example.

posts: 6646   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8789387
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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 4:26 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

@leafields thanks for your response. I was thinking of MC together but our one or two MC session got more traumatic for me and my IC thinks it’s a bad idea.

@BluerthanBlue : thank you! This really helps. I am going to stop pushing or working for R. It seems like I am driving it while he coasts along with bare minimum. Had my IC session yesterday and her suggestions were similar, he did the damage and he needs to put in the work. Realizing that deadlines don’t really work here considering how fluid and unpredictable this whole process is. I think I will know for sure one fine day when I am truly done. I want to walk away with no regrets. Until then I will wait and watch.

@Edie thanks for your response. You got it right . He is conflict avoidant and I realize so am I. Took me 20 yrs to truly address our issues and it was a third solid Dday that pushed me to confront. The walk sounds like a good idea. My IC suggested scheduling a date night a day after his IC where we discuss instead of me seething in anger the whole week. The irony is we get along fine otherwise with similar interests and lots of humor. Of course, my IC says we use humor to deflect from the major issues at hand ! In any case I am tired of being the one putting in the efforts. At this point my hope is either I have an awakening at some point and end the marriage or he does and puts in the work.

[This message edited by Abalone123 at 4:30 PM, Wednesday, May 3rd]

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:27 AM on Thursday, May 4th, 2023

How long do you want to stay in a marriage where you are thus unhappy?

Accept he won’t change.

Then decide if you can live with him or if he’s just a lazy selfish cheating jerk.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13977   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
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Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 10:25 PM on Thursday, May 18th, 2023

My husband is similar, in that he does not have the same emotional depth or capacity as me, so even though he wants to do the right thing & make it all work, he literally cannot offer anything more. It's not enough for me and I am slowly accepting this, even though he is actually a nice person & I wish he could give me what I need. You may also have to accept this about your husband & then decide if you can stay with someone like that.

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8791479
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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 6:52 PM on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

The1stwife, thanks for your response. Yes it logically makes sense, but emotionally difficult to do. As easily as I respond to others here to leave their scumbag of a cheater spouse, I do understand it’s not always a cut and dry process. Wish it was though,

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 6:55 PM on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

Devon99uk, thanks for your response. I am glad you understand this, it’s exactly what I feel right now.

This is his limit of emotional vulnerability most likely. I will have to work with this if I want to stay.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8791848
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 7:54 PM on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

I remember thinking, "Why does he say one thing and do another? Why does he say he will do things differently and then do nothing differently?"

And I kind of stopped in my tracks.

I thought, "Why do YOU say one thing and do another, OwningItNow? Why do you say you won't tolerate his behavior while you continue to tolerate his behavior by not leaving?"

I think that was when I truly realized that I only control myself, and my:
Explanations
Directions
Begging
Tantrums
Tears
were just me trying to control him. I was trying to control the outcome. It didn't work.

If you are becoming angry and bitter, you really only have two choices: detach to stay married or divorce. Either way, you train yourself to stop the arguing, explaining, waiting, hoping, obsessing, begging, crying because you accept this is who he is, flaws and all, or because you are D and not around him to be triggered.

You do need peace, so which is it going to be?

(Note: when I chose D and let go of all conversations and instruction, my H started to do much more work. But I was truly done and he knew it. It took years of him changing and being different to convince me to try again. But when we got back together, I decided to accept the remaining flaws. I never returned to the "trying to control this M." I have given that approach up, and I feel more peaceful.)

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5886   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8791851
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WonderingGhost ( member #81060) posted at 8:31 PM on Saturday, May 20th, 2023

@Abalone123 I see from your profile you're on multiple DDays with evidence that your WH has been cheating in one way or another your entire relationship.

You may be asking "When do you know it's time to end R?" But I want to ask you: Why do you want to try to R with this man? He's putting in 0 effort and that should tell you what you need to know. Namely, you deserve MUCH better than this.

Please do not view this as losing your one shot at a happy life. As long as you are living there WILL be more opportunities for you to create that happiness.

EDIT: I just had my DDay2 6 months ago. I had been with my WS for over 10 years. I can't say I ever really healed after the first DDay. I don't think I ever would have gotten better. To be honest? This second DDay was a godsend. I asked myself why the hell I was letting myself be treated this way. There are people who cheat, and there are people who never do. Why didn't I think I deserved someone who never would cheat on me? I decided to end my relationship with WS and begin moving on. I can't describe how freeing it's felt.

[This message edited by WonderingGhost at 8:40 PM, Saturday, May 20th]

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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 4:56 PM on Saturday, May 27th, 2023

I gave my WW 6 months after Dday#2 to prove to me that she was capable of doing the work. Shecdid have an IC for a bit, but did notcralk about her sessions. I think her IC just validated my WW'S bad behaviour, but who knows?

She did not read books or articles, she did not watch videos, she did nothing.

After 6 months, I took a week away to think and then returned to ask her one simple question: "What are you doing to help me heal?"

She responded that she could not becthere for me, until I was in a better place, because I made her feel too guilty. That was all I needed to know. I realized that she was either unwilling or unable to change. It didn't matter which, as the effect on me was the same. I announced we were done and filed the next business day.

It's been 5 years and I don't regret my decision. In fact, my life has been getting steadily better as my EXWW's life has deteriorated and she has spun into depression. It was only after I separated from her that I began to detox and realize just how much of a millstone she was to my peace and happiness.

Infidelity is a traumatic event and it takes a special wayward to step up and do the long hard work. It takes precisely the opposite characteristics that made them cheat in the first place.

I'm an oulier in my positions.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 20

posts: 1835   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8792839
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 1:36 AM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

It takes precisely the opposite characteristics that made them cheat in the first place.

Exactly this ^^^ and unfortunately most waywards are not capable of it. I know my xWS wasn’t and I spent too many years in limbo waiting to see it. It came to my demise and I finally had to leave. Though life isn’t easy being D it is far healthier, I am happier and have the peace of mind I have been seeking all these years since leaving and have never regret my decision.

fBS/fWS(me):51 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(21) DS(18)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8834   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8792860
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secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 3:25 PM on Sunday, May 28th, 2023

I think largely it depends on what you can live with in your marriage.

Your post really resonated with me. And, my therapist reminds me that a 12 step group does not address repairing the marriage.

My husband really does not like sharing out much about his SA. I think it's the shame component.

He also "did the work" outwardly. Did the readings. We had some talks, etc. He never addressed the shame he felt. And he didn't surrender to the fact that he's an addict. So, even though he "did the work" he still relapsed.

One thing that stuck in my craw for a long time is that DH never wrote me an amends letter as part of his step work.

Then, we had a bit of a family crisis last summer. DH told my older two kids flat out that he hurt me, and that was one of the reasons why I was so upset.

I told him after that, I didn't really need an amends letter. The way he presented himself to the kids, demonstrated that he understood me and what he put me through. And he was sorry for it. I think it helped that I was open to having my needs met in a different way than I had assumed would happen.

That was 5 years after his relapse. And. That's when I decided that maybe I could commit to the marriage. It's been almost a year since I was comfortable committing to R again.

When I didn't know what was going on with DH, I just told him that I wasn't getting my needs met and he shouldn't be surprised if I want to exercise my option to legally separate in the future. And then I went about my life. Lots of opportunities to find happiness and peace even with having a less than spouse.

posts: 1104   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8792878
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 8:38 AM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

secondtime.

Thank you for validating my point. You have to either accept your spouse for who/what they are OR figure out this isn’t the marriage I want and leave.

Some things just don’t change and trying to force a square peg in a round hole is exhausting.

What is funny (sarcasm here) is that I never tried to change my husband. I accepted him for who he was. The only boundary I had was (besides not cheating duh duh ) was to let me know your whereabouts and if you will be late.

He refused to do that. After 20 years of arguing I finally stopped asking him and just accepted it.

He NOW understands the disrespect he showed me. But only after I decided to D him. But I can tell you he decided to change that pattern on his own. And he hasn’t been MIA in 10 years. Finally.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13977   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8792941
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 2:46 PM on Monday, May 29th, 2023

Since I did not confront my ws had no idea I knew. I was too young, with very young children, so I did an epic rug sweep and just got on with life. When he stopped traveling he stopped cheating. We own a business so I know where he is. Once, several years ago, I blindsided him by telling him I knew. He could not think of an answer fast enough so he admitted it. We both matured so we moved on BUT I have a husband who cheated. You don’t forget, but I only think about it when I get on SI.

Every single person I know who cheated left their marriages. Not a single one was any better than the one they left. People take themselves wherever they go. They don’t get brain transplants so the personality they had they still have.

If you opt out of R what are your plans? Don’t settle for a dead marriage. If you have laid out what you need and nothing was done you have your answer. Sometimes what you see is what you get. That might mean he is very deficient in empathy. He might be a quiet narcissist. They get their way by being water dripping on stone.

Take care of your health. You have been waiting a long time for change. It affects your ability to thrive.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 2:47 PM, Monday, May 29th]

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 2:36 AM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

@OwningItNow: If you are becoming angry and bitter, you really only have two choices: detach to stay married or divorce. Either way, you train yourself to stop the arguing, explaining, waiting, hoping, obsessing, begging, crying because you accept this is who he is, flaws and all, or because you are D and not around him to be triggered.

This! I needed this. Thank you. I hope to find the peace that you found some day. Some days I am ok and I feel detached. Other days I am enraged and feel I deserve better. Ambivalent is what I would best describe what I feel.

[This message edited by Abalone123 at 2:37 AM, Wednesday, May 31st]

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 2:45 AM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

You may be asking "When do you know it's time to end R?" But I want to ask you: Why do you want to try to R with this man? He's putting in 0 effort and that should tell you what you need to know. Namely, you deserve MUCH better than this.

@WonderingGhost : I don’t know, honestly. I have been asking myself why I have not pulled the plug yet. What am I waiting for? I blocked out the first two Ddays. I was naive. But I am not anymore. So I am not sure why I cannot just leave. Thank you for the reassurance. I hope you are doing well and healing.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 2:59 AM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Infidelity is a traumatic event and it takes a special wayward to step up and do the long hard work. It takes precisely the opposite characteristics that made them cheat in the first place.

@Justsomeguy : Yes this is so true. It’s not that difficult to be faithful. It is a lot more work to cheat and lie.
My WS’s IC is very good. I sat through some sessions as a guest and secretly wished she was my IC. It’s a pity my WH is not taking advantage of the help offered. I do hope I get to a point of clarity about the whole situation. I hope you are doing well and healing.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
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 Abalone123 (original poster member #82896) posted at 3:05 AM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

@crazyblindsided: we seem to have a lot in common. Multiple Ddays and cheating the entire 19 yrs ! I am glad you had more clarity than I do to leave. I am sure it wasn’t easy and took a lot of strength to walk away. I need both clarity and strength, hopefully soon.
I hope you are doing well and healing.

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8793199
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