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If I could walk away from everything right now, I would
Context: I have filed for divorce from my WH already.
I'm so tired of the heartbreak. I'm so incredibly weary after trying for 2 years for R, working on my own healing, getting through the pandemic, supporting our young adult kids in their own life transitions, working on my business, work work work work working on absolutely everything without rest.
Being persistent and not giving into my impulse to escape is something I have learned over time. It's not a natural characteristic for me, it's something I had to develop because I was the sole support of our family for 20+ years. If I wanted my kids to not be homeless, I had to keep at it. So I did.
But WH, while appearing to be a "solid, stable guy" has never actually been that. He didn't work and provide; he indulged himself with cam girls, sex games, prostitutes, an online EA, etc. He deliberately held himself apart from true partnership with me, because he believed "marriage is combat." So he couldn't agree with me, work with me, compromise with me, or even be honest about his own feelings or obstacles or issues--because you don't do any of that with an enemy.
I wish I had seen it before so I could have walked away earlier without wearing myself so thin for so many years. I didn't realize we had truly opposing viewpoints on marriage. I didn't realize that his secret sexual life was so extensive. I didn't realize his FOO issues and trauma were enough to torpedo our entire relationship.
So now I feel like a total failure. I have lost what I had, I never had what I truly wanted, and I've lost my future dreams with him...because I didn't realize what was really going on in his mind. (That marriage is war and I'm the enemy.) It's not my "fault," but it still feels like I have failed.
I dunno. I just want to run away today!!! But I can't do that, because I have to keep taking care of myself, I have to support my family, I have to finish remodeling the house so that we can sell it. Etc etc etc etc into infinity.
Mostly this is just an exhausted vent. I don't know if there's anything I could do "better" or more so that I can stop feeling like a used dishrag. STBXWH is being fine, we're doing in-home separation and we are not having conflict, so none of that is an issue. All of this is just inside of me...I'm burnt out. I want to be healed and through all of this but there is still a long way to go.
9 comments posted: Friday, April 15th, 2022
I filed today
2+ years post (huge) DDay (one of many many many), I filed today. STBXWH has done absolutely fuck-all for recovery, repair, and reconciliation. I gave so many chances. He knows what he needs to do and because it makes him feel "trapped" (read: he will be unable to continue cheating and acting out), he won't do it.
When I got home from the courthouse after filing, I went to him to tell him in person, as a courtesy--instead of letting him find out when he is served. He had the gotdam audacity to tell me that the divorce is my fault. Because somehow I caused him to have to have sex with prostitutes, and then also caused him to fail to engage in recovery work. OK buddy.
Then I told the kids (3 young adults and one wonderful daughter-in-law), by a letter I had pre-written for them. They've been expecting this since last year but I told them at the time I was still trying to see if their dad would engage in recovery. I think they are probably very sad, but they are pretty stoic like me typically. They know that his cheating and lying is the cause of the split because I am for sure not keeping STBXWH's dirty secrets anymore.
Told my BFF and sister as well.
Ugh now I have to finish creating the process of service package. I hate paperwork in general, and this is the worst!
I've been weeping so much since yesterday, taken over by heaving sobs at times. Other moments I'm just so mad. Other moments I'm like "bleh, what a jerk."
I hope I can finish my own healing now. I hope this is the beginning of that, because that's what I need.
Postscript, STBXWH in an email to me after I told him I filed:
"I love you, <name>. And I want you. I want you more than anything. And I want our future together."
"...ok?? As I've said before: Prove it. Show me. Otherwise these are completely meaningless words. That you haven't taken action in the recovery process to show me that you feel this way means that your words are just words. Words words words words words.
I simply believe nothing you say. I believe only what you do, and thus far what you do is lie, cheat, cheat more, and lie more. I don't believe that you love me. A person who loves does not do what you have done. A person who loves takes responsibility, becomes accountable, makes amends, and improves themselves so they can stop hurting their beloved. You don't do those things, therefore you do not love me. I know you think you love me, but by any objective measure you do not. I think what you're feeling is fear of being alone and abandoned, not love.
I'd like to tell you to stop claiming "I love you" and other bullshit, but there's no point. You're going to say whatever you think will make me come running back. So I guess you will keep doing it until you realize it's not going to work this time."
13 comments posted: Wednesday, April 6th, 2022
Executing my plan to leave WH, but I could use a "sanity check"
Context: The biggest DDay was 2+ years ago, in Feb 2020, when I discovered that WH had been having sex with prostitutes. This came after many other instances of cheating--an online EA, cam girls, etc.
I worked with a betrayal coach for 2 years and tried to get WH to do anything, really, to recover himself and the marriage. Nothing worked, he has literally accomplished nothing but did make some weak efforts so he can now claim (as he frequently does) that he "tried."
A couple weeks ago I sent him a letter telling him my minimum, bottom-line needs in order to remain married. This is where I need a "sanity check," because WH is acting as if what I need is outrageous and impossible. None of these are new needs, I have communicated to him throughout "recovery" that this is what I need. That is, none of this was a surprise. But this was my final attempt prior to filing for divorce and physically leaving him.
Here's what I said, in shorter form:
1. Continuous real-time accountability - transparency and openness on all his devices. Password sharing, etc. (This is super important because every one of his instances of cheating or sexual acting-out has involved the internet in some way.)
2. Full therapeutic disclosure covering all of his cheating and sexual acting-out. With him to arrange for and pay for everything, except for me finding my own therapist for the process.
3. Permanent accountability and monitoring.
4. Individual counseling for him, with a therapist who deals in PTSD (he has lots!) and/or betrayal trauma.
5. No more lies.
6. No more "open relationship" bullshit.
7. I will not re-marry him if we proceed all the way through divorce, so any future relationship would be as unmarried partners.
8. If we aren't partners, we are not going to have any relationship beyond acquaintances and co-parents to our 3 young adult kids.
9. If it's too late, it's too late. I'm not waiting around to see what will happen, if he wants the relationship he will do the work in a timely manner.
And that was all my points, although I was more verbose and pointed. He is reacting as if I don't really need what I say I need, and/or I shouldn't need these things, and/or I should just get over it, and/or because he didn't get something he needed in the past then I can't ask these things of him. He has said he "might be able to do some of the things on the list," but he has flat-out refused to even consider password-sharing and internet activity monitoring, saying on more than one occasion that the idea makes him feel "trapped" and that he will become "resentful."
I think he's rug-sweeping, blameshifting, and refusing to become accountable. I also suspect that he doesn't want to do #1 because he is again currently acting out in some manner. (Which he denies, but that's been his pattern--when things are hard in his life, he goes back to cam girls, sex games, porn, and surfing dating or fetish websites for possible sex partners.) But I haven't snooped because I'm just too exhausted.
I've told him that I will be leaving the house within the week. He says he "doesn't want that," but hasn't given me any alternate suggestion. He just says "this is not the way to fix the marriage," and I agree with that! But he doesn't want to actually do what is necessary to fix the marriage; he wants to rug-sweep and then have us both tolerate the misery we're in together. But while we live together, I cannot find peace, because I am always tempted to try to "talk to him one last time." And that just leads to arguments. I fully accept that it's me causing the arguments, and that I have to stop. Leaving is the way that I can give him peace and get peace for myself too.
Anyway...am I the crazy one???
16 comments posted: Tuesday, April 5th, 2022
In this purgatory of grief
I'm the BS. 2 years ago I caught my husband with a prostitute in our home, they were "just talking" but my assumption is preparing to have sex. He had been seeing prostitutes for at least 6 months, it was at least 5 times. I don't know even close to the whole truth because he "doesn't want to trickle truth" and "will wait for disclosure." (Disclosure is never going to happen because he has made no effort to get there.)
Last year he went back to video chatting with cam girls on OnlyFans or wherever, again I do not know the details but the behavior had gone on for months when I found out.
Basically he weakly tried "reconciliation" for a few months and then went back to his patterns. This is how our entire marriage has gone; it started with obsessive porn use, graduated to cam girls who got "I love yous," later he had an online emotional affair (again "I love you," and plans to meet), then he wanted an "open marriage." Finally the prostitutes and who knows what in between. He has never been fully honest with me about any of this, and has deliberately hidden his activities for our 25 years together. So I have no idea about the real extent of his activities.
He really has made no effort to fix himself at all. He's remorseful and apologetic and feels sad and wants to stay married to me. A month ago I told him that to have any possibility of staying together, he'd have to be willing to implement safety protocols like device monitoring etc. I've been telling him that for 2 years. He says it makes him feel "trapped." So he won't do it.
Mostly what I feel anymore is just deep, exhausting grief. I love him and I have worked so hard and sacrificed so much in order to create a life together. Throughout our marriage I have been the sole provider, first so he could stay home with our kids and then so he could pursue his passion for writing. I've always been the "fixer" of any problem, whether it's something around the house or in our relationship, sex life, whatever. I'm the "strong" one, the do-er, the caretaker.
I just need to be able to say that I'm so, so, so deeply sad (and I have no one else to say this to since there's no point saying it to my betrayer). It's mind-blowing to me that he can say that he loves me and wants to have a life with me, yet he is unwilling to do even the basic things that I need to help me feel safe. Last night I had disturbing dreams, thought he was out of bed at some point, and woke up feeling like he must be cheating again, somehow. He says he didn't leave the bed. But whether he did or not--I do not feel safe. I am not safe. And he won't change anything to make sure that I feel safe.
I just don't understand. If one of my loved ones did not feel safe, I WOULD FIX THAT. If I was doing something to cause any of them to feel insecure, I WOULD FIX THAT. How can he be OK with throwing our life together away, when what I need is not difficult or extreme in any way? All I'm asking for is security and safety.
These are rhetorical questions, I know that no one has answers. He has significant childhood trauma (abuse) that he has never dealt with, so he acts out and enacts his trauma on me. I understand that intellectually. I just don't understand how someone can choose to NOT FIX IT when they are going to lose everything they say they love.
And I'm going to have to live in this purgatory of grief for a while because for financial reasons we can't get divorced yet. (We live in California, the cost of living is excessively high, and my new business is not paying me what I need yet.) I think we'll have to live together for at least another two years.
20 comments posted: Friday, March 18th, 2022