Newest Member: cobblerock

MIgander

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

Sitting with the others pain

Something I struggle with for sure. The areas I struggle with this the most is when the pain is caused by me. If there’s a pain from any other area of H’s life, I have no problem being right there with him. If it’s caused by me, it’s harder to sit with it since my hurting for him is warring with my shame from having caused it. I’ve worked on this and can sit with him in his pain in most of the A related things. However…

When his pain is over something that both of us screwed up on, then my rage comes and it is so hard just to battle that. Example: rings. H never wore his before my A. Ever. I would beg him, ask him to, open myself up on how I felt like our marriage to him was just like that dusty ring he left last month on the workout bench. Uncared for, unwanted and inconvenient and uncomfortable for him to be in. This morning he expressed to me that he is hurting about our rings because I still wore mine during my A. The ring I wear now was given to me by him not as a sign of him wanting me to be his wife still, but as a sign of brotherly care. I liked the ring and wanted it to wear in place of a wedding band as a "leave me alone" ring so I wouldn’t get harassed as much by men. It was from care and concern, that of a brother. Which is good.

It comes down to this: I was hurting that my rings meant so much to him, yet he couldn’t be bothered to wear his as a sign of his own faithfulness even back when I was faithful. I felt alone in holding the marriage as valuable then as I was the only one bothering to wear our rings. In my mind a man who doesn’t regularly wear his wedding band is open to fucking around on his wife. That’s not always the case, but that is how I see it. And H knew it as I had told him how deeply unhappy and insecure I was when he refused to wear his. He claimed it was too wide and uncomfortable. We could have bought another band.

So this morning, he was opening up to me and being vulnerable about his pain and I was feeling rage from the years of loneliness and abandonment I felt because he couldn’t be bothered to wear HIS ring. I screwed up and made it about me. I have apologized and expressed to him that I want to do better and be down there with him in his pain.

Anyone else struggle with this? Not really looking for advice, but to know I’m not alone in struggling.

8 comments posted: Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Opening back up to a future?

Sorry for the 2 topics today, but these are separate things I’m struggling with today.

My H came to me last week about not feeling like a team, that our long term goals don’t feel aligned and like we don’t have a bigger mission in our M for the future. He said that it doesn’t just have to be things going his way. Which was really surprising coming from him.

It hit me that I don’t feel comfortable sharing with him my deeper wants and desires for our life together. That I don’t trust him with that information. That sharing that would give him the power to devastate me all over again as he did with the vasectomy all those years ago.

I have a hard time believing he truly wants to take my desires into consideration from the time early in our M when we over reached so often in our finances and we were in foreclosure and having power shut off. Then the vasectomy. I wanted more kids and wanted to follow our faith (Catholic) in being open to life. I became Catholic and sacrificed my relationship with my family for the faith and we went through the whole RCIA process together, even though H was a cradle catholic and already confirmed.

I sacrificed and risked a lot following in the faith and felt he destroyed that with the withholding of all physical touch and affection that year I was pregnant with DD and the 9 or so months after her birth before he got the vasectomy.

I was so clear on not wanting a house we couldn’t afford, a car we couldn’t afford (Mustang got repoed) and dead serious in following our faith in our M the way we both agreed to when we said our vows.

After all that, my deepest hopes and dreams shared with him for faith and family, my deepest needs for security financially and in our home expressed… his decisions and my enablement… how do I take steps to open up again? I haven’t really dared to dream much further than planning the next month or so, and that mainly around what the kids, family and work need from me. And what H and I are going to do for outings and companionship. I don’t trust myself to hope for deeper renewal in our M.

I don’t trust H to actually put his money where his mouth is on not having to have everything in our future life go his way. We struggle to decorate the house together to his satisfaction even. It’s so uncomfortable for him when we decorate to my liking that he struggles to relax and has built an entire basement to his satisfaction and own peculiar liking just to have an area totally to his own liking to relax in. I take his desires into consideration and seek his advice on everything I do in the decor. But… I like color and pattern and having decorative objects around and my grandmas quilt on the couch because seeing it reminds me of her and brings me comfort. H hates the multiple colored squares on it because it’s not strictly blue or white like the rest of the room.

How can we plan a life together where he can take joy and comfort in my satisfaction? It’s almost like I need to see him actually get off his ass and reverse the damn vasectomy before I can have security trusting him that he really means what he says. That my heart and our relationship with God actually physically matters to him again. That our M may actually have a snowballs chance in hell of having a Lazarus resurrection.

H has made enormous effort in the finances and we are doing much better now. H has stayed even with my A. H has severely limited contact with his "friend" J and keeps an open window into their friendship and genuinely seeks my opinion on things she tells him. He doesn’t see her alone or hardly ever.

H is still not divorcing me even though I have to go into work 3 days a week on the same campus and building as my fAP. This has been gone over as nauseum on this site, with the financial shenanigans and HR action, several job moves and campus move I made, and EA’s of my H, I’ve done all that I can honestly do and remain honest and unresentful if I’m going to remain in the M in regards to my work situation.

I feel like it’s all a big game of chicken and we are waiting for the other to blink.

Oh and reversing the vasectomy wouldn’t likely result in an unplanned pregnancy. I’m in menopause and on birth control now to control hot flashes, brain fog and intense labor like cramping and bleeding. At the ripe age of 40. I wanted more kids and haven’t had an ovulating cycle in 5 months now- even before the hormones. That door of fertility is closed and I have been mourning the loss. Now H is struggling with that too as he wants another baby himself. He knew going into the M that women in my family go through menopause early- we are done by 45. His actions have punished him indeed. At this point, if we do want more kids, it’s going to be adoption.

This is a brain dump. Thanks for hanging with me if you read this far.

What helped you to move forward with R and rebuilding when your M had struggles?

11 comments posted: Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

How do you know when there’s no hope?

At a low point and thinking there’s no hope for R with us.

What did you do to get through these places?

For those who D, when did you know it was hopeless?

56 comments posted: Friday, June 30th, 2023

MH here... am I a failure in my recovery if we head to D?

MH, H had series of escapist EA's and one final EA/spiritual affair with a close friend. I had EA/PA with MCOW.

Not really sure whether this should be in WS forum, but I don't see myself as a WS any more- more fWS. 3 years of IC (going on 4), medications, MC, nearly D (told H when he was abusive in his rage, IC or D, I have papers and can file- he chose IC... for a short while). Did a lot of work on myself and our relationship.

So, for various reasons, we're really struggling right now. I'm a bit exhausted from it to really go into detail right now. I guess what I could use help sorting out is whether I'm a failure as a WS if my H decided to D. Like, is all the work I did put in not enough? Am I still the crappy person who cheated? Or is this a case of H not being able to reconcile despite our best efforts?

It sucks. We can have great times that feel like "dates" and then go back to roommates. Every time I go into work or have a work day trip (one overnight coming up), H is enormously triggered. Those who know my story know I changed job roles and campuses (OEM w/ multiple job sites) after the A and have been NC with AP. I discussed with a few lawyers a sexual harassment complaint (no grounds due to different places in org). I put in several complaints of hostile workplace over AP becoming belligerent in the hall (at prior campus before move) after H told OBS. AP moved campuses to mine, HR didn't tell me (like they promised they would) and I ran into him in the hall. Had a panic attack, called HR and reamed them out... to no avail. Told H that same night. Haven't left job as I'm 80-90% WFH (even though we're supposed to be back in office), love what I'm doing (I'm aspie and it's my "special interest"), and am paid very well for it. I have also figured out where AP's area is in my building and take paths to avoid it. So far we haven't run into each other.

I do want to add that the job security is extremely important to me due to H's financial abuse during the long course of our M. He even said this morning that the only happiness he had in our M those years (and even now) came from being able to indulge himself materially. So, thinking about that, makes me feel even worse... like a cash cow. Fun.

I can empathize though- I had untreated post partum depression for years that made me exhausting to be around. Didn't help that the joint MC that I begged for over the years and years and years during that time were denied me as, once my PPD was diagnosed after 3 MC sessions, "I was the problem, not him." I was left to fix it alone. My counselor was not versed in treating PPD, we didn't have mental health coverage, I was at home with the kids and we were getting foreclosure and tax auction notices... so I only got 3mos Zoloft at a MINIMUM dose and was deemed "treated" and sent on my way. Yah, nope, not enough. But it was my problem, I was the problem and that was the shit sandwich I got to dine alone on for years.

All this to say... the thing wearing on my H is that I still work for the same OEM. I call and text him regularly during business trips and days on campus, tell him details about my day and who I talked to and overall have built and kept excellent boundaries with my coworkers. All of which he acknowledges. Still, there's the knife in his gut that I firmly planted and twisted with my A. It's draining on him. It's draining on me to be shut out for a whole 10ish days before anything work related and a good week after. Basically we're roommates with physical intimacy about 1-2x per month. We're both exhausted.

H says that my work (going in) is a hard boundary for him... but he doesn't say what that boundary is. I ask and ask him if it's a deal breaker to the point of D. He says he doesn't know. Then walks it back the next day. "I love you and I always will. I didn't mean when I said that your job was a hard boundary that I want a D." I asked him what it did mean then- what the actual consequence was, he didn't know.

It's like the detain and torture path that the "How to Help your Spouse Heal" book talks about. Except, I think now we're detaining and torturing each other.

I think he could heal better if I quit... but that would be giving up a HUGE part of me. It's my boundary from all the financial abuse I endured earlier in the M. He could still decide to D anyway and where would that leave me? I'm trying to decide if I'm being incredibly wayward selfish in keeping the job vs. quitting it for the sake of H and our M. Is it selfish or self-preserving? I've endured so much unending criticism from H in our M, that really, between the financial security, the joy of the actual work itself... sigh. I don't know.

So, not asking whether it would be better to D or not... were at a low point for sure, but things have been better over the past 4ish years, and have been worse.

Just, if we do end in D, does that mean that I'm a failure as a WS?

Thanks for sticking with the novel. Needed to get that out.

24 comments posted: Wednesday, April 5th, 2023

Universal Studios Orlando?

Hi guys, I'm so psyched to say we're going to Florida next month! We've booked a day at Universal with the 2 park pass. My kids (and me, hah) are really into Harry Potter. We only have one day at the park and have the deluxe fast pass thing, but I still would like recommendations from anyone that has been there recently about things to do, eat, etc at the park that your family liked best. We have an upper elementary school kid and a middle schooler, so anything that might interest them would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

1 comment posted: Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Exhaustion

I'm exhausted today. I've been exhausted a while. H's ambivalence and the stuckness of our MC is draining.

H is exhausted too.

Low in morale and tired.

Thanks for listening.

4 comments posted: Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

triggers

Not going into specifics, but am triggering really badly today around a discussion of whether or not our M was better before my A or not. The same M that produced my mental breakdown, suicidality, emotional and financial abuse, endurance of EA's and spiritual A's. This was considered better than the M we have now. I'm expected to have empathy for H and his pain and I just can't bring myself to do more than acknowledge, take responsibility for what I did. H has still only accepted that his comparisons of me to HER were wrong. That his spending was out of control. It would heal me so much just to hear him say that, "Yes, I realize now that I abused you financially, emotionally and spiritually. I am so sorry that all I did in my ignorance caused you immense suffering in our M. I'm incredibly sorry I hurt you by all the times I refused to take ownership and refused to participate in healing our M. I wish I had more compassion, patience and courage in the face of our struggles to take responsibility for my share in them. I truly see now that our M was irreparably broken before your A, that the suicidality and mental illness you struggled with for so many years were only exacerbated by my actions. Our M is no where near where I want it to be now, but I see now that where we are is truly on a path to healing and that we have more real hope now we are honestly doing the work together."

Is that too much to ask? Yep, yep it is.

So, what kind of person does that make me, that I think honestly that our M is in a better place now than before my A? Does it make any difference that I don't believe that it's better for my A? Rather that my A put it out of its agony and now there's a shot at birthing something that truly is an M in the first place?

I wish I didn't have my A. I wish that I had written D papers at that time instead. It would have been more honest and a more integrity-preserving thing to do.

I don't want to write D papers now. The person I am and the person H is now are different. The relationship is different. We've grown and our M has too. I just wish that it didn't have to come at the cost of me devastating him with an A.

Sometimes I really don't know how to get through to him? I'm learning now that that's in part what my A was about- screaming and trying to snap him out of his fantasy that he was this fantastic husband and good father and great Catholic and wonderful son and righteous God-fearing man and pillar of the community. How can you be all that when you're financially and emotionally abusing your wife?

I had to do my work getting my head out of my ass. Some days I feel like my H has not done any of his own. That's how I feel, and not necessarily the truth, but here I am.

7 comments posted: Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Good Quotes for Healing

Hi everyone, I'm not going to mention the unmentionable here. I'm looking to start a thread on things you have read regarding healing yourself and your soul in all aspects of life.

I've struggled with boundaries in pretty much all aspects of my life. This quote I heard today was especially good:

"Boundaries are not about pushing the other away. The boundary violator CHOOSES to PUSH you away when they violate your boundaries."

What quotes have helped you in life?

7 comments posted: Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Taking a break

I'm taking a break from the site. Something has come to light and I need to focus on WH and my M.

Thanks for all the help and advice given.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. And something's gotta change big now.

12 comments posted: Saturday, July 23rd, 2022

MH question to fellow BS's: to 180 or not to 180?

Long post with background of the sitch. Posting here because I'm WW/MH and don't know if it goes in General? Definitely not JFO. Kinda a similar situation as Sammich, but complicated more by my A.

My A has complicated work life *world's smallest violin* rolleyes . Monday I had to go in for meetings and lab stuff. H was triggered. Then he had lunch with his "gal pal" J and unblocked her. Now they're texting like teenagers over one of her colleague's sexual harassment lawsuit involving... her COW's A with the CEO of J's company (she doesn't work with my H anymore- not for over 2 years now)!! barf H got his lawyer sister to send him the filing, which contains all the gory text messages, cringey emojis and all. Ugh. Talk about a trigger there with my A. H and J started texting back and forth lines from the filing to each other and laughing emojis... after H made it clear he had left the window open on his screen hoping she would text him. Like they were starring in their own little fantasy play. The kind of banter we don't have and haven't had in like... never. mad

H needs to read, "Not Just Friends."

Younger, blonder, childless, early 30's, teeny tiny petite well dressed designer label woman. Who likes to trash "friends" behind their backs, makes "friends" with people in A's (there's another gal from her work who ran off to Mexico w/ her lover duh ) and then MOCK them to H as a way to gain ego kibbles. Typical play from the mean girl playbook. What a B. Likely had an A with her BF and broke up his M. They started dating RIGHT after he D'd his wife... he's in his mid 50's. Talk about a sugar daddy- she lives rent free with him and he buys her purses when he hits her (according to what H tells me she shared w/ him). I've told H to be careful- if she's mocking them, she'll be mocking you. He's not too emotionally invested in her, it's more a banter thing to keep his mind off us and himself entertained. Thing is, she's like instagram- the more he's talking to her, the more discontent he is with his life and situation. And the less invested in the M he is too.

Doesn't help that H is displaying the same behaviors my dad did with his A with our family friend- right in front of my mom. Also, J doesn't know he's married to me. Or at least she didn't while they were having their 3 vodka tonics at weekly lunch just the two of them the year after Dday. H doesn't mention me at all. Not badly (which is a HUGE red flag for an A), but not positively either (orange flag). I've asked him to drop me into their conversations so I could feel more respected and safe, but he doesn't.

H is defensive around his relationship with her. Just like I was prior to my A's with my "friends." Am I paranoid? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

I've communicated all this (mirroring my dad's A, her unkindness, my unhappiness with him texting her). He disagrees that there's anything wrong with it. Reverse back to me (anyone play Uno here?).

Says I still go to work in the same building as my AP, so he understands where I'm at but doesn't see a need to stop talking to J since I haven't stopped going into work. I have a responsibility to go in maybe 1x/2 weeks, AP works in a lab away from my areas that I can avoid. Oh, and AP disgusts me. And I've let HR know that on no uncertain terms is he allowed to contact me. They said he will be disciplined if he does. Also made it VERY clear to HR that by them moving him to MY facility (I moved campuses 1st to get away) and NOT TELLING ME, they created a HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT. Basically, if AP crosses a line, I'm going to sue. And probably have a good chance at success blink But I'm not... until he does. I like my job, company and creative freedom I have. It's definitely what I've worked my way up to my entire career and not something I'm going to let go of in the absence of equal or better work. Oh, and I have looked.

Anyway, deflection on H's part- well played, manipulation there, well played. H hasn't worked with J in almost 2 years, and he's attracted to her (has told me he likes her figure, her blonde hair and how she dresses and SMELLS). Also wants me to BE MORE LIKE HER: wear heavy perfume, designer clothes and be more snarky and "fun". But, yeah, no reason to worry or be jealous. Or for me to be concerned after he told me 2 weeks ago that he wants me to compete against other women for his attention like I apparently did in college. SOOOOO... he has absolutely no responsibility to be with her at all. He's deleted texts from her before (several months ago was the last time to my knowledge) and has started hiding his phone when I approach with guilty, furtive movements.

Hmm... yeah... and he's told me a month ago that I've got to December to make him happy in our M. duh

I'm not my mom. As much as H likes to compare me to my mom negatively, I'm NOT her. I'm not a narc and I sure as hell am not going to walk around like her in perpetual victim mode. I'm not going to end up like my mom- disrespected, betrayed and a laughing stock of my father.

Yeah, I'm not doing too well either. I've decided to temporarily 180 him until he gets his head out of his ass, off his phone, into a book (NJF is a good start) and back into IC and MC. We were doing well for a while, but seems like each time we have a few good days and some good sex sessions and some laughs and bonding on dates and good communication around finances and kids... yeah. Brick walls up, and now he's throwing grenades. His emotional brain is equating my work with his EA.

But it is my fault, per H. I was the one who went to work and I know how that feels, so even though I have a responsibility to my job... I could just get a new one. After all, EVERYONE says I need to go full NC with AP. Well... I did. Switched campuses, positions, WFH 90%, nearly sued company for hostile work environment, made it clear to HR that he's not to talk to me (HR made it clear to them) and I WILL SUE if he so as much as TRIES to talk to me.

But you know, H can still get all chatty chatty with blondie because it's no where near as bad to me as my going into work is for him. Yah, you know, starting an A with a younger woman isn't as bad as the 2x/ month I have to go in to DO MY JOB and pay bills that BUY YOU WATCHES. Whatev. duh

Doesn't help that I went to MC alone today because H wanted to visit his old watch salesman in his new position selling lab equipment to a plant he doesn't have direct responsibility in. Priorities. I enabled him though? Maybe? I told him I would prefer he come, but understand he wants to see his friend. They really are friends, and he's a great kid who was selling watches to get himself through college.

Old strategy: blow up, tell H what to do and make demands.
New strategy: talk calmly, tell H how I feel, why I feel it and let him make his own choices.

I'm in this to fight for it. I'm doing the work, showing up, going to counseling and making bids for time and attention. H is not doing that. Frequently when I offer to do things he wants to do with me (basement refinishing, shooting clays, going to fancy places), H either finds himself too tired or it's too expensive or he'd rather take the money and buy a go-pro with it. Then goes back to me and expresses his discontent with us not going to the expensive places and complains about how MUCH he DOES for EVERYONE and how he just WANTS to be TAKEN CARE OF. And how LONELY he is. UGH, get out of your own way!

He tells me he's where I was at the year before my A. I know the territory very well. This time... I know myself much better and know what I will and will not tolerate.

Ugh. I don't want a cold war. I don't want to 180. I'm afraid if I do, he's going to go further into his hole and have less reason to be in the M. If I don't I'm going to keep trying to compete with a 30something woman with no financial or family responsibilities, a nasty personality and few morals for my H's attention. Just writing this makes me wonder why I'm hanging in here anyway if HE is that kind of prize. What do I really do? What kind of things? Soft 180 for a soft EA?

I have no fucking clue what to do with this here. I'm trying to let go of the outcome- let him carry his own weight, see what he can can learn on his own about himself and me too. He has to decide what he wants out of life. Right now that looks like flirting with J and avoiding internal reflection or MC.

I'm so torn though- I am 100% both oars in the water wanting to fix this. BUT, when H is bantering about and entertaining himself with J and distancing himself from me, do I have anything to really R with? We are offered R as a gift and I've definitely done what I could to trash that gift. Isn't doing a 180 a contradiction to that? Or will this be a good way for me to let him grow and do what he can do for himself (and get us out of codependency)? I've pushed rope a lot lately. Doesn't help it's A season either.

I told H the only competition I'm going to have for him is a competition to be better than my old wayward ass self. I'm seeing more and more that I am a very flawed individual, yes, but I AM A PRIZE. I'm 40 years old, have proven myself as a mother, career woman and am now proving to myself what kind of human being I can and want to become (with LOTS of work to go!! UGH- that's a post for another day). I'm smart, sexy, pretty, got a low tolerance for mean people, enjoy building others up and making connections between people, a good mom (now my wayward head is out of my ASS) and gosh, I think I may just be a good friend too.

See how demoralizing this is? I have to use my anger to build myself back up. Sucks. I'm sorry all you BS's out there that had to go through a triple decker club sandwich of what I'm having right now.

Sometimes I think God is asking me to stay in this because I need to learn empathy for the other side to truly heal and truly "go and sin no more." That and a huge helping of humble pie too. You are what you eat. Humility and patience are virtues, right? And empathy is a good thing to have more of, so... bring it on? Sigh.

Please give me some perspective here, mind is spinning and didn't get jack shit done today at work.

For now, I'm going to do things for me for a bit and do what I can do for H during A season... without condoning or enabling the J thing. What ever the hell that looks like in action.

36 comments posted: Wednesday, July 20th, 2022

Old demeaning of spouse- how to take it back?

Before and during and recently after my A, my best friend (RW) was my main support. Her family has kids our age and our H's get along. They're good people and I do miss having them in my life. We had a falling out when a mutual friend revealed her A. RW was sworn to secrecy about it (their H's are good friends). The friend swore me to secrecy, but considering my past, I decided to tell my H. The friend was beyond hurt (of course) and RW was upset too. RW decided not to tell her H. The "friend" was just going to heal on her own and never tell her H about her A. Well... this was about 2 years after Dday and really... I know better now what a crock of shit that is. My H and I agonized together over what to do about it. RW said that I would wreck their family if I told. I told her, "friend already wrecked her family with her A." Eventually I told RW's H about it. RW cut me off and stopped speaking with me. "Friend" told her H a month later- I credit RW's H with giving her an ultimatum- tell by x date or I will.

Anyway, all that to say... A's completely suck and I lost a good friend to not just my own actions (I'll get to that in a min), but the A of another.

ANYWAY... My actions... I would bitch and complain about my H for HOURS. All the stuff we had trouble with- finances, his lack of respect, selfishness,v lack of affection, comparisons of me to our mutual friend "D" and on and on. H was very hurt by this, knowing that one of my good close friends must have thought that he was a horrible person because of what I told her. H was uncomfortable to be around RW and her family. RW insisted that she didn't have a completely negative view of H, that she knew him herself and saw him as both good and bad.

Thing is, no matter how I justified my complaining to RW about H, it hurt him and he felt disrespected by it. My complaining and my resentments around H's behavior were what I used to justify my A. Now I'm VERY careful who I talk to about what and VERY careful about saying ANYTHING negative. Going forward, I'm working hard to build friendships that are positive for BOTH of us. But that doesn't fix the past.

Current day- we saw RW and her H at a mutual friend's kid's grad party. It brought up a TON of pain in H. It took him right back to the days I was bitching about him to her. He was hurting too since he misses their friendship. Thing is, I don't know what to do to make it right to him. Do I go and talk to RW about what I said and did (and apologize for how much of her energy and time I sucked out of her life?)- that's really needed any how. But, I'm not sure how to help heal H and heal the friendship. My family isn't good at mending fences (and really neither are H's), so I don't have a good example to go on. I don't want to make things worse than they are and don't want to have unrealistic expectiations either.

2 comments posted: Monday, June 13th, 2022

bad news comes in threes...

What's going on lately? 2 of H's coworkers died- one of cancer, one of heart attack at 50.

Then, another coworker at his company is getting divorced and I talk to the developer of the sub next door (he's looking at where to plant trees for privacy of his residents) and he's getting a divorce too!

I'm just waiting for the 3rd of each... shocked

All in the past 2 days too!!

2 comments posted: Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Another kind of dream

Last week has been a very good week for BH and I and last night was one of the better nights. Felt like we were companions and hanging out in our bedroom together as a cozy team. I blew it a bit today with a selfish comment I made... but, that's the ups and downs. Going to make it up to BH and show him a really good time out tonight.

Anyway, I had a really interesting dream last night. I dreamed I went to Russia and was in the desert- a barren lonely place with nothing but rocks and sand surrounding me. Then, I had to drive alll the way to China (yeah, it's a dream all right laugh ). The road was just being paved, under construction, rocky and terrifying. Funny enough, I was in my own car (guess my Acadia is my dream car? laugh ) In China, I was guided around by a Chinese person around some of the most beautiful places and gardens, seeing things my soul had longed to see. I was crying for joy in the dream. All the while, being mildly terrified of being a stranger in some very strange land, where I barely spoke the language and knew no one. I had to rely on my guide to get me where I needed to go so I could get home. Thing is, I never went home and never looked back.

I've been thinking about the dream all morning. It's a pretty good metaphor for my life. Starting out in a dangerous wasteland emotionally with my FOO. Then, a long and perilous road to a place of beauty, life and joy. A land I barely knew, but was joyful to be in. First time I remember crying tears of joy in any of my dreams.

Maybe things are shaping up in my life? I know BH isn't anywhere near satisfied with our M yet. Things are better. The good days are getting longer, the bad days shorter and father between.

Anyway, thought I'd share and maybe give somebody hope today.

4 comments posted: Friday, May 13th, 2022

May the 4th Be With You!

Thought I'd post this for all the Star Wars fans out there. For some fun, what's your favorite character and why? From any of the Star Wars series.

Favorite character?
Least favorite?

Favorite: Yoda of course! Wise, doesn't rise to the bait and really funny to watch with a light saber :).
Least: Jar Jar Binks. Need I say more??

4 comments posted: Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Parental narcissism

Ohhhh the DARVO was strong with this one! Disclaimer, this is a topic involving abortion but NOT ABOUT abortion. Whatever your opinions are, I promise you I will give you more respect than what I got from my own mother.

My mother is firmly in the pro-choice camp. Had 2 abortions. I am prolife for various reasons, main one being, I could just as easily been one of the kids aborted by her.

ANYWAY, there's some stir in the news about Roe v Wade. Whatever, it will be decided as it's decided. Nothing I can do about it but offer my opinion. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one.

So, mother decides to send a loving group text to me and my sisters where she blames me for future women dying in back alleys because the "tax exempt organization" I belong to (Catholic) is pro-life and actively speaks out against abortion. look My sisters (also pro-choice) even chimed in on the group text telling mother that she's out of line blaming me for future deaths. Mother even outed me and shared content about the forgiveness letter I sent her about the abortion situation. Looking back, I should have wrote it but not sent it (I did under my therapists advice... therapists are human too rolleyes ).

I wrote a heartfelt response telling her how her behavior has affected me over the years and how I can't allow her to be an intimate part of my life. I told her how I felt sorry for her that her reactions got in the way of her having a relationship with her own daughter. I told her that I have spent many hours in therapy, prayer and mourning over the loss of our relationship.

She responded, "My hurtful behavior? That's rich coming from you."

So yeah, I proceeded to block her, ask her husband to only contact me regarding their health and told my sisters that I won't be seeing mom when she's in town and to only tell me if something of a health emergency comes up.

SOOOOOOO.... who's with me in the NARCISSIST parent club? My misery could use some company right now. mad

21 comments posted: Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022

Stuck in the same place again.

Just don't trust BH or myself or really anyone.

Past week or two felt like I was a walking trigger.

I'm trying so hard and working so hard to be what I need to be to make him happy. I just wanted to hear that I was the woman that he compared others against. Not to be the woman he compared negatively against others.

Now I have to deal with the fact that 90% of my triggers come from childhood abuse and only 10% from him. Do I even like him? Do I even trust him? How much is he going to have to do to prove to me that I can trust him? To trust that he is a good person. Why is he having to pay for how I was raised? Why is he in this when all the triggers keep coming up from my A?

Why? Why are we doing this to ourselves? Why am I narcissistic? Why are we so stuck? Why do I always have to keep working to get better? When can I just take a break and be good enough?

When will I ever be good enough?

6 comments posted: Monday, April 25th, 2022

Bullying, teasing and conformity

Wellll... we watched the Netflix Abercrombie documentary last night. Very interesting.

Anyhow, H and I got on the topic of exclusion, he doesn't think it's a bad thing when you know, a store is targeting a certain audience. I didn't think much about that- it's one thing to market to a demographic, but completely another animal when you base your hiring practices off that exterior "look" you're going for.

H also talked about bullying and teasing. He said there's nothing wrong with teasing if it makes you conform. That if you're getting bullied because you're different in some way, maybe you should change that thing about you so you fit in. He said, "everyone gets bullied and everyone bullies someone else!" shocked

Well, I got bullied (and abused) and DIDN'T bully anyone else. I knew what it was liked to be picked on and decided not to participate in that game. It also makes it easier not to bully others when you're at the bottom of the middle school social food chain laugh .

Anyway, with my sister abusing me heavily from the time I was 6 on, and being bullied heavily from 5th-8th grade (went to an all girls high school to escape, thank GOD!), I didn't have a core group of support to rely upon. H had his parents who basically adored him to fall back on and didn't have to listen to his sister remind him he's a piece of shit every day.

So yeah, H and I have a VERY different perspective on this. rolleyes

I still can't help feeling like I'm married to someone who's justifying their own bullying they participated in during school. mad

14 comments posted: Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

The be kind to yourself thread

I am stuck. And I know I am not the only one. Lets share one positive thing about ourselves here. Its my goal this lent to post here every day.

We cant accept from or give love to others, especially our spouses, until we can love ourselves.

Ok. This is awkward, but here goes.

I am resilient and determined. Every time I put myself in the black hole, I evetually determine to pull myself out of it and dont give up.

There. Your turn now.

63 comments posted: Friday, March 4th, 2022

Soooo.... here we are again

It seems like the OT forum and one post (soapt's) in Wayward are giving me particular trouble. Just tried logging out, clearing cache history and logging in and the problems are still there.

I just tried to reply to my own threads in OT and it makes me start a new one...

0 comment posted: Friday, February 25th, 2022

still having problems...

So, the problem is still intermittent for me. Some threads work, some don't. I can't get to other pages on other threads- sometimes. I can't reply to my own thread here still.

1 comment posted: Friday, February 25th, 2022

Looking within and feeling safe

Something that recently came up to me in our counseling is the ability to look within and feel safe. Like, can I look within myself when I'm doing hurtful behavior and feel safe seeing the truth? Can I feel safe in knowing that no matter what ugliness born of hurt I find, I can see, accept and work to heal?

Something different happened to me in MC the other day. BH was guided to look within himself to see how he was hurt (by FOO). He discussed it with me and shared his pain over it. It was the first time in, well, I don't even know when (maybe ever?) that he's done that with me. I suddenly felt safe. Like, here was a man I had thought incapable of internal reflection and ownership of pain that I hadn't caused, reflecting on it and owning it. He acknowledged woundedness from FOO and how that exaggerated his responses to my wounding me. For the first time I experienced relief of the burden of being the cause of ALL his pain and the source of ALL his suffering. That he saw that his parents were flawed humans too, and had hurt him too, and that maybe it's ok to love people who are flawed and hurt you.

Well, I shared that with him driving home from my IC and it triggered him and now we're back at square one with me being perceived as someone who takes pleasure in dragging down his family and only wants to bond over pain.

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted. Maybe next time I'll learn when is a better time to share my relief and happiness that he could be vulnerable with me.

Really though, this makes me wonder why I feel safe around people who are open with their own hurt and damage vs those who bottle it up or pretend. The pretenders just seem more dangerous than those with poor coping mechanisms (and hurtful behaviors) who own up to being hurt people. The pretenders remind me of my sisters who would abuse me at home and enjoy great popularity at school. People who pretended that they're fine and their shit don't stink in my mind are the ones most likely to abuse.

8 comments posted: Thursday, February 24th, 2022

Manipulator vs Manipulative

I'm making a new thread here because I think this is an important topic to separate from my own personal work in my other thread.

My BH has a hard time accepting the actions he does as manipulative. I have a hard time seeing him as someone who is not a manipulator. It's only recently that I'm open to considering him as MANIPULATIVE and not as someone who is a MANIPULATOR.

There's a fine distinction, but one I think would be useful to make.

MANIPULATIVE PERSON:
-participates in manipulative behavior
-is in denial or unaware of the effects the behavior has on those around them
-is genuinely contrite when it's pointed out and can make efforts to change
-has the ability to show some empathy for those targeted by their manipulations
-horrified that their means obtained their ends.

A MANIPULATOR:
-intentionally manipulates
-doesn't care about the effects their behavior has on others
-has no contrition when pointed out, doesn't bother to change
-cannot/will not show empathy for their targets
-satisfied with the results, ends justify their means.

It's so subtle. I'm only now starting to call BH on his manipulations. He has a hard time accepting, but when he does, he is truly sorry and is TRULY working to change. There's hope.

What do you guys think? Is the subtle difference in the terms enough for you to be willing to work with manipulative people who can and are changing? Or are the manipulations themselves enough to make you walk away?

I'm willing to stay with mine, as I am a manipulative person myself. I'm humbled by how much work I have to do and hopeful from the amount I've been able to get done. BH is making progress too, which in turn, is enough for me to continue on with him.

19 comments posted: Thursday, January 13th, 2022

New year, new me?

So, BH and I were discussing what we wanted in 2022. The major things like trips, home renovations, etc that we wanted to accomplish.

It got me thinking more about the person I wanted to be. In our MC the topic of gratitude and validation came up. It is something BH has to try very hard to be conscious of- the need for others to hear good things about themselves from him. For me, it's something that comes more naturally. Validation, appreciation, just a sense of being seen for my contributions is a huge part of my love language. Since that's important to me, it's something I am more willing to give to others, as that's a core part of who I am.

Which got me thinking: what are the core aspects of who I am anymore?

The affair really made me hit rock bottom. I had to confront that there were many dark things in my character and psyche that needed to be corrected and healed. I have had to break out of my "identifying with my pain and shame" and get out of the "victim" mentality I used to justify my A. It's SO HARD TO DO. As evidenced by my recent crawled-under-a-rock-and-hope-to-die shame spiral post. So now I have to rebuild myself from the ground up in a positive manner. It's not enough for me to stop the negative self-talk. I have to fill it with something new and positive.

SO, who wants to join me this year in discussing the core positive areas of our character we would like to rebuild? Anyone up for some accountability partnerships in this? I tried the losing weight thing, but then me and my friend were depressed about COVID and just gave up laugh . Hopefully this will be more successful.

I'll start:

What are 3 main positive traits in your personality/character you would like to emphasize this year?

1. Generosity of spirit.
-I tend to be compassionate and understanding of others who struggle with their mental well being. Since I make many mistakes myself, I can more easily relate to those who do as well. This leads me to be less judgmental of others.
-HOWEVER, I have had a tough time applying this to BH in the past as his mistakes were frequently impacting ME. I had a hard time finding empathy for him as he was hurting me and then blaming me for being hurt. His lack of empathy and self awareness curdled my generosity of spirit.
-This year, I need to keep extending that same generosity of spirit toward my BH.

2. Honesty and accountability.
-I am good at being honest and accountable in my career life. My job rests on me giving honest answers about whether or not design choices are good for the safety of passengers, good for the health of the program commercially or even realistic for the ability of our suppliers to manufacture the parts. This means I often have to speak uncomfortable truths, face pushback and those who would rather inconvenience others than own up to their poor choices or lack of oversight. This makes me unpopular from time to time, but in the end, I'm usually right. laugh
-HOWEVER, I have a difficult time applying this in my family life. It's often difficult or inconvenient for me to own my personal failings to those closest to me whom I am accountable to. My personal failings and difficulties stir up a lot of shame within me. This tempts me to hide (like not telling about speeding tickets in the past or maybe I don't know, MY AFFAIR) or to gaslight and DARVO.
-This year, I intend to work on finding the courage to be completely honest about my failings or actual needs and wants is something critical to my recovery from my affair.

3. Good work ethic
-I am good at tackling complex problems and bringing a lot of energy to them to resolve them. I can do this at work, with house projects and even volunteer things around the school/church.
-HOWEVER, I struggle to apply this to my personal life. Shame, again, and lack of concrete reward hold me back. With shame, soon as I procrastinate on a promise, fall off the wagon (and get another speeding ticket AGAIN) or in general have a bad day, I beat myself up. Then I get ashamed. Then I give up. Also, in a relationship, I can do everything "right" and still not get a commensurate "reward." There's no concrete evidence that doing the right thing has resulted in a positive reward. I get paid well for my work. The school gets money when we run a fundraiser, my friends enjoy a well cooked meal at my house when we entertain, my garden and home are more beautiful after I complete a project.
-This year, I intend to put the same amount (if not more) effort into my marriage as I do my work.

2 comments posted: Thursday, January 6th, 2022

What does this mean? I am so confused

So, I'm confused. BH asked me as we are going to bed how I was feeling. (Shitty- the last week of our break was spent cancelling plans and the entire family being flattened by COVID.) I shared honestly about how I was down since we didn't see anyone and I didn't have enough energy to do anything I really wanted to do around the house.

The conversation went downhill from there where it was discussed that I should have done more of this or that and I wouldn't feel that way and THEN that he was feeling low. BH went on to how difficult it is living with a perpetually depressed person and how if it's not one thing, it's another and it's exhausting.

At this point, I'm thinking "What?? I just said I was bummed about missing out because of COVID..."

I asked him what I could do about it, he said, "I need space, I need to be with other people who make me happy. I just need time apart." To which I said, "I will give you space, I'll sleep downstairs tonight."

There followed complaints about it always being about me and how I need to get him out of his hole and how exhausting it is to be around me and how he needs joy in his life. How he's been with me through fallout with another acquaintance's affair (I told her to tell her BH and my best friend didn't agree and my best friend and I aren't talking) and how he just needs me to pull him out of his hole now. How awful I am to be around because I'm depressed and how draining it is. How I always have to make everything about ME.

All because HE asked ME about MY feelings and I answered him succinctly and honestly.

I'm very confused at this point because, 1. the conversation started off about me and 2. I was being honest and 3. I now feel manipulated/punished for sharing openly (being told how difficult it is to live with a depressed person, how I always make things about me (implying selfish- probably accurate) and how he doesn't want to be around me).

Thing is, if it's not going to be about me (conversation), then why ask me about me? If he doesn't want to hear about me talking about me (and yeah, I get sick of me...), WHY ASK?

I'm also confused as this is obviously NOT the conversation BH wanted to have. I THINK he meant me to ask more the following:

Him: how are you feeling?
Me: bummed about our covid and break being over without doing much that I wanted to do.
(What I would like him to say): That does stink, it's been a bummer week.
THEN ME: What about you?
Him: really depressed about our break being sick. It's adding on to all the other stuff I'm dealing with being around you when you're depressed and I'm really in the hole now.
Me: what could we do when we're feeling better to get out of the slump?

Or even just him starting off with how he feels? The way the conversation went, I just feel ambushed and manipulated into a fight. It's obvious he was hurting, needed some cheering up and wanted to talk about how difficult it is dealing with me when I'm in a depressed mood. Why can't he lead with that? I would love to hear him and comfort him. It's so DANG HARD to do that when it's this DARVO shit- ask me about me, and then turn the whole thing around about how I suck because I'm feeling down?? That he needs to distance himself from me because I'm being honest about being down and then how selfish I am because I pause this tirade to say, "Woah, this was supposed to be about me- you asked me how I felt and I shared honestly."

I get that he's had my entire affair thrown in his face, he's had to go through hell and back. Can he just be honest to me though when HE's the one in need of comfort? This is not the first time this has happened. This is a pattern that has existed and been exacerbated by my affair. And yeah, being vulnerable with the bitch who ripped your heart out is VERY difficult to say the least.

Should I even answer honestly anymore when I'm feeling down about something very rational- being sick and tired of being sick and tired? I'm trying to be very honest, and answer honestly and not just blow it off.

Or should I just say, I'm ok, what's going on with you? You seem like you need to talk.

Thanks for listening to me vent. Just hurt and tired and sick and just tired and sick of the hurtful games. Feeling manipulated, frustrated and really all I want to do right now is cry and hold him so he can cry. Instead I'm crying because I'm frustrated that I don't get the opportunity to comfort him when he needs it. He's hurt me and the minute I react to being hurt, I am rejected.

Happy fucking new year.

66 comments posted: Sunday, January 2nd, 2022

Holiday pressures- performance anxiety

Any one else here have struggles around the holidays with performance anxiety?

We're trying to salvage our M and I'm trying to show my BH he means something to me and I'm trying to make the holidays positive and joyful for everyone- BH, kids, in-laws, my own family, friends. I feel like I'm on a tightrope. I spent Thanksgiving up north with my in-laws and was so stressed out I got a mild case of shingles (and I'm not yet 40! WTF).

All while trying to reconcile the shit childhood I had and emotional triggers of my BH and myself around the affair, divorce, work, finances, gift giving (long story for another post) and in general, the every day struggles of life.

Had a panic attack last night, and looking down the barrel of a few more (they tend to feed off each other).

So, am I alone here or is there anyone else struggling with this too?

Holidays suck.

5 comments posted: Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Stay NC w/ AP! Post it here!

In the spirit of madoldbat, I'm starting a thread for WS's to stay NC with their AP.

Rules of thread:
NO BS's. I don't even recommend they read this- it's going to be too triggering.

WS's:
-Post here if you're tempted to respond to AP's contact.
-Post here if you're grieving the loss.
-Post here your "Dear John" letter.

NO complaining about your spouse
NO comparing AP to spouse

THIS IS NOT FOR WS's WHO WANT TO GO BACK TO AP's. WE ARE ONLY SAYING GOODBYE, ROASTING AP, OR GRIEVING THE LOSS OF THE HIGH WE GOT FROM THEM.

This is a triage thread for addicts in withdrawal.

16 comments posted: Monday, November 15th, 2021

2021-already fun (vent)

SOOO...

-boss has stage 4 cancer- went in for gallbladder surgery and found WAY more than he bargained for...

-friend's mom may need another leg amputation from injuries from a bad fall

-HR investigation into my reporting of hostile interactions with AP post affair stirred up a lot of shit and didn't yield any guarantees on us not being on the same campus ever in the future. basically said (as lawyers told me last year) that there's nothing they can do, work w/ boss to not have to go on my old campus and report any further misbehavior on his end. so much for easing BH's anxiety when I do have to go into work.

-inability to focus on anything and it's affecting my work life

-kids are unhappy with my lack of attention to them and depression

-IC and meds not doing it for me anymore- stepping up exercise, prayer, reading, sharing w/ friends and sisters, still not enough as this pandemic drags on

-BH entering lethal plane of flatness. multiple "tennis serves" over net in form of positive interactions are not returned. Stirring up insecurities in me on our marriage healing and thriving.

-Added to insecurities and anxiety over my job situation now I've reported my affair (and bad judgement and all the fun that comes from being a female and the subconscious judgement that comes with it- really does put my job in jeopardy next round of layoffs).

-Need job if BH decided to D me, which would be just as I deserve after my actions. Don't think he will though, he's been really supportive in the best way he can be lately.

Basically, my basket is empty, my well is dry and it's very hard.

*world's smallest violin playing*

But I'm still alive, healthy and the sun is out in MI in the winter- got a walk with the dog to look forward to today.

In the words of Caddy Shack, "so at least I've got that going for me."

Anyway, how's y'all's 2021 shaping up?

27 comments posted: Thursday, January 21st, 2021

See you in a while

BH and I had a discussion tonight. Looks like I've been bitching about him on an online forum instead of to my friends. It's so blindingly obvious and I wish I had seen it before.

A lot of you will say, DUH .

So, anyway, I'm off.

1 comment posted: Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

guilt and more shame

BH shared his pain, disgust and visions of me with AP again last night. Something finally clicked with me and now I'm feeling the shame and guilt I should have felt from the beginning. Maybe finally I'm in a place where I can deal with it.

Anyway, it's a hard day and he's still being nice to me and I don't understand why. Don't deserve him and don't know if I can ever make it up to him or ever be good enough for him after what I've done.

I don't understand someone who's felt so much hurt and disgust (visceral disgust with me during sex and yet still persevering in holding me at night while we sleep) can be nice to someone who's done that to him. He's a better person than I am.

So yeah, finally starting to get it.

7 comments posted: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

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