Newest Member: Stillconfused2022

GraceLoves

BW - DDay Nov 20, LTA during LDR.

In limbo with R. WS very resistant to doing the work, so we're stuck

What do BSs really want?

I know I'm crazy posting lately but I think I'm at a crux of deciding to stay or give up and the insights from you all really help me with ny thoughts.

My WS has realised I'm about ready to leave and frustratingly done more to help me feel better in the last two weeks than he did in the 18 months before that.

I find myself just feeling deflated that he didn't do it earlier. Although I think maybe he couldn't have.

He keeps asking me what I want from him and my problem is that I have no idea.

There's a post on here about what all WSs need to know, and what I wish is that he'd done ALL of that right after Dday instead of everything being a nobody battle.

Blocking the AP
Reading HTHYSHFRA and acting on it
Selflessly providing support

He really wasn't any good at doing any of it. Then we just spiralled into a situation of him drowning in self loathing and feeling like a bad person / like I didn't love him anymore.

Now he's STARTING to get it, aand we've finally had conversations that have helped a lot, but it feels in a sense too late. But there's also still so much love there.

He's asking me what I want and I don't know how to answer.

For those who had a really bad start to R, what does it take to repair all the damage? Especially if your spouse (or you as the WS) took a long time to even begin?

The idea of reading those books or going to MC now just feels exhausting.

53 comments posted: Tuesday, October 11th, 2022

I've asked for a divorce

I've been furiously on the boards the last couple of weeks whilst the marriage circled the drains.

We are on our dream vacation together. I cried for three days solid before we left on the plane, because I didn't want to go. I think I knew it was over.

After arriving we fought. The usual stuff. Me having needs, him getting defensive, contempt, screaming. I ended up checking into a different hotel.

Now we are staying in a beachside villa and I've spent the day alone whilst he furiously texted me that he missed me, he's sorry, and please can we go back to "us" because all the instability is killing him.

He's done none of the work.

None.

He broke no contact with AP dozens of times. He screwed her twice during R after fights with me. He refused counselling. He refused to read books and act on them.

When he was finally done, he quit his job and moved to be with me. Then did nothing but complain about the way he had to downgrade his life from the great time he was having during the affair.

I know how bad it is.

He's made me food every day. He tells me I'm pretty. He says he loves me constantly. He'd stay up all night if I was sick or crying.

So it was enough for a long time to make me forget the R was not real R. That he hadn't gotten it.

So I've asked for a divorce now. Which will be easy. 50/50 split of assets. No home. No kids. No shared life really.

I'm feeling all sorts of things right now.

Anger is gone and instead there's a lot of grief for me. For the suffering and losses I've incurred. For how bring traumatised made me screw up my thesis I'd worked a decade for.

I'm sad for the dreams I had, and for how easily he tossed those aside to get a bit of... what? Drunken sex? Attention? Ego boost?

I'll never know really because he didn't go to IC in order to get those whys.

I can't think that I'll regret this decision. I feel calm inside that it's the right one.

There's just a lot of sadness that this is the life I got because of his shitty choices.

I was so young, so innocent, so full of optimism and so selfless through all of this.

I have what's been taken from me.

I wonder what the road is now?

20 comments posted: Monday, October 10th, 2022

The AP with hindsight?

This is a question for WS but also for BS... how do you / your spouse look back at the AP and how did that change over time?

In the immediate aftermath of the A, my WH saw the AP in a very negative light. I think because he was very angry that she'd called me.

His affair wasn't really romantic on his side, more like a FWB dynamic, but it did involve a bond as she was very much meeting emotional needs.

Initially he did everything right and sent her a letter with me saying he loved me and wanted his marriage and their affair was over.

Then after a couple of months, he missed her and started to believe she was his best friend and that they'd shared some sort of special friendship.

He also found it extremely difficult to live with changes to his life. He and AP had been part of a gang of friends and he was now no longer able to have fun.

He started to call it a "friendship", or worse, a "relationship" rather than an affair and gradually it became obvious he didn't really want NC.

He then most certainly felt entitled to break NC many, many times to seek out that friendship and latterly to seek closure with her.

In fact, in hindsight, I feel he more or less felt entitled to engage in a drawn out break up with her, with me watching. He almost acted like he was grieving the end of a legitimate relationship and felt like I should be told how hard it was.

As I've mentioned, we were long distance during the A so it was about 6 momths before he stopped seeing the AP every day and so the above put me through multiple ddays with NC repeatedly broken and the AP repeatedly telling me.

All the while WH would make excuses and cry and beg but in hindsight I realise it was simply that he felt entitled to doing what he wanted.

And at the end of those 6 months, right before he left his job and moved to be with me, he sent the AP goodbye letters fondly remembering their friendship. AP sent these to me to hurt me.

And now in our new life, I can't really move past it. I can't move past that instead of ending his affair decisively, he kept breaking NC or that he betrayed me with disloyal communication or that he actually started our "new life" together by sending AP a sweet goodbye.

18 months on from that, he feels differently. He now regrets the relationship ever occurring. He now doesn't think the AP was ever his friend. He realises he should never have done any of it. And he feels indifferent towards her.

But I can't move on.

Can anyone tell their experience on this?

11 comments posted: Thursday, October 6th, 2022

His life in the A was better

My situation is apparently this. I've been laying here awake all night trying to wrap my head around this reality and just need to talk.

After my WSs A with his coworker, he had to move job / country and change life completely in order to be with me, as we were living in different places due to my studies.

During the A, my H loved his life. He had started a new job and loved everything about it. He had a great group of friends, which included the AP. He got paid a lot more money. He lived in a house twice the size. He had outdoor hobbies that he loved. He was healthy and doing great.

So his recall of his A is basically this: he remembers THAT TIME as the happiest time of his life, because he said it's the first time he had any of those things.

He said he wishes he hadn't had the A and that I'd not been away at college so I could have enjoyed it with him instead of AP... but basically the happiest time of his life...and our marriage...is being long distance with me...and...

.....

cheating on me :(

He now hates his life. He hates his job. He hates city life. He misses his friends and hobbies which he says he can't replace in the city. The city makes him frequently sick, he's developed depression and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

He says he loves me and not AP, so he wants us to relocate to somewhere he likes living; and I honestly believe he feels it, and that his idea of perfect happy is a life with ME but where all the other factors are good.

But I can't understand how he can possibly look at the past like this. Irrespective of other life factors being so good..

How does he not regret those days spent apart from me?

How can he (no matter how great other factors were) look positively on something that caused me so much suffering?

But as things are he basically misses his affair life and says he "can't" be grateful for the life he has with me because its "obviously worse" and says this isn't any reflection on me at all :(

I have asked him how he possibly thinks we can R our marriage while he's telling me the best part of it was screwing someone else with me out of the picture day to day, but he just insists it's not about me vs her but about his life then meeting his needs and his current life not.

His basic view is this: I loved you so much that I'd prefer a life I completely hate if it's with you.

So he thinks I'm seeing it wrongly.

Can anyone just provide me with feedback here. Am I going crazy, or is this the moment I file for divorce?

I can't explain how much pain I'm in. How can he "love" me if he feels this way?

How can he look back on that period of his life with anything but regret and disgust?

Please tell me how you'd feel in my shoes?

19 comments posted: Monday, October 3rd, 2022

Observation on the irony of strengths and weaknesses

This is just something I was thinking of reading the thread on 'would you rather be a BS or WS'. As I thought about that I realised it was asking me if I'd rather be murdered or a murderer. It's a question beyond answering for me because I couldn't conceive of being capable.

But the irony struck me that I'd have been a heck of a lot better at cleaning up the mess if it had been me who cheated.

The last few months I have had a rage problem. Me becoming angry triggered serious defensiveness in WS and the arguments became ugly.

I'm angry. I know I am justifiably angry. My WS didn't do "the work" and I have suffered more as a consequence.

He's been defensive, he's engaged in whataboutery, he's gaslit me, he's even come out with the dreaded "I don't deserve to be punished forever" or my favourite "I can't change the past I don't have a time machine".

I know he was in the wrong. I know his behaviour wasn't okay, but it was setting of rage on me that I didn't recognise. I said and did very cruel things.

I told him I didn't love him anymore. I told him I hated him. I told him he ruined my life. I said things I know damaged him.

Worse, I did stuff that harmed him. I kissed someone else and texted him while I was doing it. On more than one occasion I know he's been literally out in the streets looking for me.

None of that behaviour is even close to the kind, calm, gentle person I've always been. This rage is new.

He cried and told me a few weeks ago that no matter how much I hurt him, that he loved me and he'd try and help me.

Will continue post below as my phone is frozen...

7 comments posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Two years out, deep grief

I'm two years out. Probably a year into "real" reconciliation.

Over time, I've not healed. We have not healed.

He never did "the work".

He wants old us back. He grieves that. He cries and says he wishes I would look at him like I used to.

He never did "the work" though. He still says he hasn't got a full explanation for some of it.

There are good days and bad days but mostly I feel like we are both just sad people now.

13 comments posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

The things that have made me hate WS at times

Im sorry I've started 3 threads in 48 hours, but I've not posted for months. I think maybe I've been depressed. And as I'm letting things out I wanted to share a few things that have made me raging these last months.

If only just to be heard

1. My WS had extreme difficulties stopping contact with AP because he saw her every day and he was in some kind of fog. We were long distance at the time. He betrayed me over and over by breaking NC and over time I realised that hurt me a lot worse than the actual affair. He was finally given an ultimatum to leave his job immediately and remove himself geographically from AP or I was filing for divorce. He did as I asked and as a result missed out on certain things. Like finishing the project he was working on or getting a leaving party. He let me know a few months ago he resents the ultimatum I gave him because he "wasn't ready" to leave his job and our hometown. My rage is trigerred enormously by this. Like WTF. Two years on and he seems to blame me for the consequences of his own choices?

2. He's made it abundantly clear that he feels he has an overall worse life due to changing jobs and leaving. He doesn't like where we live now, or his job. I get ragingly angry as I feel he's saying his life was better having an affair. He denied this but it sounds like what he's saying. No matter how many times I tell him to show gratitude for our life, which he deserved to lose, he won't stop this. He says he's grateful for me but hates the rest of his life. Leaving me to perpetually imagine how much better his overall package deal was with AP.

3. He hasn't done the work. So I never healed. He didn't do any of the stuff I asked, like therapy or anything. So stuff with us hasn't gotten better. Then he says basically that when he gave up his job and our home to save us, he didn't expect "new us" to be him being criticised and shouted at all the time. So zero accountability for him creating this.

4. During an argument a few months ago he actually said to me hedeserved to be treated better. That being hurt and shouted at was damaging hismental health.

There's no point to sharing this other than how crazy it's made me feel.

After he says this stuff he's repentant and sorry and says he loves me and he knows he's the one in the wrong but he can't stop the self defence. He says I've got a right to be upset and that he caused it and he'll repeat.

But it's not good. I know it's not good.

13 comments posted: Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

I have asked for a divorce

I am sorry I am spam posting lately, but my reconciliation has fallen apart completely and I am really bamboozled and shaken. I saw a side of my WH I didn't think existed. Even with the affair, I thought I knew him and that there were things he wasn't capable of - like talking to me the way he did today.

We had a huge argument over the weekend. It was the 1st anniversary of DDay 1 so I was reallytriggered and instead of making it as easy as he could, there was a big argument over AP and Facebook. The gist was:

- I wanted him to block AP on Facebook (he had unfriended but still not blocked and she was tagging mutual friends into posts so he could still see her) and untag himself from all the photos she took of him and posted during the affair (which a year after Dday were still literally there on my own fucking husband's page).

- He refused to do it because he said it might cause AP to act in revenge (she is crazy) and he said he hadn't had contact with her for months and why was I asking him to do something he felt was dangerous and invalidating his "legitimate concerns"

It turned into a huge argument and I threatened him with divorce after which he deleted Facebook entirely which he felt was the only acceptable alternative to facing APs potential ire.

He was definitely the one in the wrong, because blocking her finally was a complete no-brainer, but because it launched off me being awake all night crying and telling him how much what he did traumatised me, he came away from it basically thinking that I was "making" him feel "worthless" and guilty for things he did months ago that he can't change.

When obviously what I was asking him to do was change it!!!!

I told him he makes himself feel all those things by not doing what he needs to do to make amends for the crappy things he has done and if he wanted to feel proud of himself he had to change his actions. The lack of accountability is staggering. In his "poor me" mind right now: me not letting him rugsweep = me making him feel like a bad person, or making him feel worthless.

So since that argument, all week he's barely said two words to me, which has never happened before in all the years we have been together, so I told him I was getting pissed off at being ignored. I told him a few times and he just kept on ignoring. I tried to instigate conversation a lot of times and got one word answers. I pressed him tonight and said I was mad and hurt too, but if he kept pushing me away he was going to make a bad situation really, really bad because I was at tipping point.

He said he was very hurt and couldn't cope with me saying more things to hurt him, so it was better not to talk beyond discussing plans for my birthday weekend (this weekend). I said "so you expect to stonewall me all week for the crime of being upset about your affair and asking you to block your mistress, then go out for a fun birthday?" shocked

He said he wasn't doing anything, he was taking care if his wellbeing. I said "and who's taking care of mine?"

I explained what stonewalling was and screenshotted him message to me after Dday where he said "I feel like it's dangerous for us to stop communicating. That's red alert. We would each scuttle off to our bunkers and come up with narratives that were not true. Please don't stop talking to me".

The hypocrisy that I didn't give him the silent treatment when he had a fucking affair, but now I am getting it for BRINGING UP THE AFFAIR or asking him to block the person he cheated with is blowing my tiny mind.

Then he starts saying out of nowhere, "I am not a worthless human, I am not going to be made to feel like one for mistakes I made".

WTF?! I have literally been the most loving and forgiving person and I swear since I met him have done nothing but try and teach him self-worth (he had none when we met and even less now because he cheated) and I feel so hurt that he is accusing me of making him feel worthless for the crime of actually having feelings for actions he committed to me or needs that he created for me.

He even said to me "I used to admire you because you were such a happy person and I wanted to be around that". Cough! As opposed to me being less fun now since you destroyed my fucking life so you could get laid?! Is AP more fun?!!!

I know this is abuse!

I have never done a single thing to harm him since we met. And this is why this hurts so much. He had an AFFAIR. With multiple DDays. And he wants to tell me that I make HIM feel worthless? How the fuck does he think I feel?

I have asked him for a divorce now and this time I think I really meant it crying

I don't even feel sad right now, just resigned. This past year, I have watched a man I once thought the world of sink over and over again to depths I didn't think was possible. I have watched him mistreat me dozens of times, and watched him make a mockery of our reconciliation. I feel almost like the man I loved is gone anyway, so what's the point of staying with this new, horrible person? I was listening to him talk, and I thought, "I just don't know this person anymore". It was the loneliest feeling.

I used to love a person who was the kindest and most honest person I knew. I loved him so much. He was humble and gentle and clever and he treated me like I was precious and what we had was so good. He destroyed it, and when given the chance to fix it, all he wanted to do was protect himself.

His affair and his insane AP gave him a bonafide nervous breakdown. And now the version of him I live with can't cope with life. He's no longer fit or healthy. He is angry all the time. He is hopeless and can't feel joy or excitement or anything good. She did that to him, but I am here picking up their pieces. Living with a depressed person is hard anyway, but when the thing that depressed them was betraying you, then I think there's probably no greater love than the love it takes to do that.

I am so sad for him that he pissed that away.

I took care of him when he was at his lowest. I told myself he had made mistakes because he was abused as a kid but he really loved me and I loved him and we would be okay. Then he blew every chance I gave him. He turned into the "what not to do" version of this.

I think the mistake I made, was thinking he was better than he really is. He's a good person inside, a person I love deeply and wanted to share a life with, but he's too cowardly to face what he's done.

He had an affair because he has a weak ego, low-self esteem and the ability to only look out for himself because he learned as a kid to do that. He takes what makes him feel good in the moment. For a time, that was me. Then when 5000 miles separated us for a year, he took what was there.

Right now, I think he'd probably prefer to be shacked up with AP telling him how great he was, rather than living the consequences. For about ten minutes while the validation made him feel good-enough so he didn't have to sit with painful feelings. Then she'd be right back to hitting herself in the face and he'd fall even darker into his hole wishing he had never destroyed beautiful, kind Grace, who he always said he didn't deserve.

I betrayed myself this past year by tolerating behavior that wasn't acceptable, and he got comfortable disrespecting me and not keeping agreements. I should have left a long time ago sad

I was afraid he'd kill himself for a while. I was afraid she'd kill him. I was afraid if I left him he would end up with AP and she was bonafide dangerous and I was afraid for him because if he had it would have definitely ruined his life for good. I was afraid he would get too sick to work. The reasons I stayed were mostly for him.

For me, there was the hope that he's rise from the ashes of his mistake and fix himself, because he loved me enough to know he owed it to us both to make sure he became a better, stronger, healthier person who chose to become a man who deserved me.

I loved him, no matter what he did I didn't want to see him hurt. Even if he brought it on himself, I think I knew losing me would permanently destroy him. I think he's a person who sets out to destroy himself, because he hates himself. And cheating on me made him hate himself the worst.

It's my birthday this weekend.

My last birthday was spent with AP calling me over 50 times, messaging, harassing me while I vomited and shook. I remember so clearly the feeling I had was pure terror. Terror for whatever cruel, vile thing her next crazy message was going to say. Terror that if anyone hurt me any more, I would die from the pain.

I am so sad he let me down so much.

78 comments posted: Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Questions for those who have been through R and succeeded or failed or for Waywards who found it hard at first to do the work

Hello all,

I am at a point now where I know (at least now) that my R is really not going well and I don't feel very hopeful that the things promised to do to help me heal are going to be delivered any time soon. If ever. And I need to decide my next steps.

I'd really like some advice, input or guidance from people who have been where I am. Maybe with Rs that didn't work out, or with Rs that went badly for a while and then improved or from Waywards who really screwed up R initially but pulled themselves back.

We had about 9 or 10 weeks of textbook perfect R initially when I was really hopeful, and then it fell apart over the next month. We were 5000 miles apart for eight months trying to R and his AP lived next door and worked in his office closely with him and, so it's not like we had the best circumstances and by about week 10 he had started having severe panic attacks and that spiralled into what I'd classify as a complete breakdown.

His doctor actually called me in concern, it was that bad. The "relationship" with AP was pretty severely abusive, and this has triggered a pretty seriously abusive childhood and to be honest, even without the affair the person he is right now is too much of a mess for even a regular relationship without this on top. I think he has pretty severe depression and trauma.

He is actually a real mess, like a bonafide complete mess. He badly needs IC and maybe medication but he refuses both. But the bottomline is that while he is in this state there is zero capacity for R.

Right now, his attitude is basically that he's clinging on my the tips of his fingers for survival and he thinks just because he's now back together with me physically it's enough. I have asked him what he's doing to move towards R, and he said "I am with you every day, I choose to be here and I try every way I can to show how much I love you", which makes me incredibly angry as if showing up does me a favour.

Sure, he says when he is better in himself he will help heal me, but then it's been 8 months he has been in this state and although he's probably improved 60% in terms of his mental health from when he was at his worst, it's talk about the bad stuff that sends him backwards so I feel too guilty to express my anger and sadness which is no way to live.

If I explode with anger or sadness, he is sick for a week (and I mean seriously sick) and then he says things like "why are you trying to punish me for things I can't change?" or "I can't change the past" or "You make me feel like a bad person" or "I feel guilty and inadequate". I know al this shows he is a wayward who is not ready or willing to do the work he needs to do.

Sure, he does all the nice stuff. Like reminding me he loves me. Apologising frequently and often. The AP is dead in the water now and I feel sure he's out of the fog. I do trust he would never cheat again. I am just not sure we can heal by just acting like it was an anolmaly and getting on with life.

He really ISN'T a bad person, and reading a lot of the stories of waywards on here, none of them are "bad people" either, but he's also not taking responsibility and he's trying to rugsweep or make out that he can just show up home, make new, happy memories and somehow we will be okay.

The guilt, shame, sense of inadequacy which made him a prime target for cheating when some woman chased after him is all the same stuff that makes it hard for him to sort his shit out right now and I don't know really what to do.


Questions I have are:

Aside from someone being sorry and you believing they'd never do it again, what did it take for R to really work for you? I can't explain what I am missing from him and he keeps asking me

Has anyone screwed up R like this and then made changes?

I don't really know what else to ask. I don't really want to leave and end our marriage because I think we'd be happier together once this is all over, but I am scared about the future version of us that I can't yet see.

20 comments posted: Sunday, November 14th, 2021

Taken aback by 1 year anniversary of DDay

Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of DDay 1.

I was completely taken aback by my reaction. I was expecting it to be just another day, and didn't really understand "triggering", but as the day moved on me, I was consumed with anxiety like I was waiting for something awful to happen.

I was in the kitchen the day AP called me a year ago, and spent the night in there crying on the floor. Yesterday I could not go into the kitchen at all - I literally ordered everyone dinner for delivery and just stayed in bed and didn't even wash.

I also flipped out at WH and packed his bags and asked him to leave. My reason being that I feel so bad still and I started to feel like I am never going to feel better, or that if he loved me this would never have happened, or that if I was lovable no one would ever have done this to me and worse, that he will eventually cheat on me again because why the heck would anyone want to be married to such a sad sack?

It was just like regressing into a nightmare and I felt absolutely terrible.

WH refused to leave, although I asked him to a hundred times, he just sat by the bed and said he was never leaving me. He stayed with me all day and night. He sat awake all night while I cried and told him how much I hurt. He cried too.

He reassured me that I never looked ugly, not even after not washing and crying all day and that I was his favourite person and he wanted to be around me no matter how miserable I was. He reassured me that his affair only happened because we were separated by distance and a pandemic for so long, and he had problems inside himself and weaknesses he didn't understand and that that made him vulnerable and it was never any shortcoming on my part or his love for me that caused it. He said he loved only me, had only ever loved me, and never wanted to be with anyone else and that if I left him he would be alone forever just hoping I would come back.

I want to believe him, but I can't understand how anyone could love the version of me post-affair. I used to be fun and sexy and full of laughter and self-confidence and optimism. I used to think I was a pretty great person. Now I am a damaged person who cries and is angry all the time.

He told me today is a low point, and that was to be expected, and it will all be better from now on. I feel like he will just stop loving me because of the mess and the misery of R. He says it's not misery, and being around me makes him happy no matter what and he is just grateful that I am still there.

Our R has been hard.

It started off so well with him energetic and willing to do absolutely anything. We did everything the books say - and started counselling and made great progress and felt closer than ever. But we had obstacles no one foresaw.

1. He had decided to give up his job and move to be with me and get away from AP (I was studying overseas) but it took eight months to find a new job, during which time he was seeing AP every day and working closely with her. Torture for me as she would not stop declaring her love and hassling him.

2. AP was obsessed with him and would not leave him or me alone the entire time, with really bad stalking, blackmail, threats, tantrums, violence and so on. Interspersed with sweet love letters and begging him to help her because she was going to kill herself. The strain on us was immense.

3. There was TT, not in terms of the details of the affair, but in terms of him initially telling me he had no feelings for her when it came to light over time he had a deep psychological dependence on AP brought about by a close emotional bond formed over 6 months of friendship before the affair started.

4. When we had a fight due to AP stalking and him refusing to report her, and I asked for a divorce 8 weeks into R. He got blind drunk and slept with AP again, after which R unraveled completely.

5. He then had a complete nervous breakdown, which took 6 months for him to even be slightly functioning. During which period, R was completely on hold as he could barely get through a day.

6. Before coming to me for our fresh start, he relapsed a third time, by entering into sweet "goodbye" emails with AP, who he was meant to never have any further contact with. This started off on her "checking in" on him at the office as he had been so sick and then her legitimate work emails started getting personal and he responded in kind.

So it has been very, very hard and after a few months with me now he is still only functioning at 60% after his breakdown. "No contact" only began then, and it feels to me like R itself hasn't really begun yet because he is still only functioning at 60%. I feel so many feelings over all of this which have not been processed.

I don't want to start IC and I can't really explain why I am resistant. I think because I feel like it's him I need to work this through with and not a stranger. He's still unfit to start MC, but that's on the cards for future.

I never expected this past year to be so hard or for him to be capable of hurting me so much, and now I see I am damaged, he is damaged and the marriage is damaged and the grief I feel for so many things is overwhelming at times.

I can see how much he loves me and regrets all this, but don't know how I get to feeling okay about it. I read the forum all the time and it's a great help.

Sorry for ranting.

9 comments posted: Saturday, November 13th, 2021

WS is depressed

After a long period of cracking, WS is now diagnosed with severe depression.

Brought on, no doubt, by the consequences of his crappy choices and the crazy AP stalking us both.

I have so much empathy for those with depression. I get how awful it is and I don't want him to suffer.

But is it okay to admit here that I'm sick of this somehow managing to be ALLLLLLLLLL about him?

Now he's depressed he has zero energy for R. He feels sorry for himself, because his life was so much better before D-day and it's consequences.

He keeps saying it's hard for us BOTH. look But I'm not the one who created it.

He's probably had a breakdown of sorts and it's pretty severe so I feel like my feelings and needs are yet again nobody's priority.

I guess this post is just my little pity party. I'm sorry if I sound heartless. It does hurt me to see him suffer and I'm trying to help.

But somehow this has short changed me out of being the one who has wounds to lick and as childish as it is, it feels "not fair".

I can't really have a conversation with him right now. The little he's offering me is all he has to give. I'm not sure where it leaves me.

He says he has no capacity, so he tries to show me he loves me by doing practical things for me. Telling me I'm pretty. Making dinner when he has no energy.

I know he is trying, but it's still so much less than I need. I'm just sad all the time really. Not depressed like he is, but just a heavy kind of sad and a profound sense of aloneness.

13 comments posted: Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Questions for the betrayed who've healed

Hey All

I have posted a couple of times and had great help. I have a few questions I wanted to ask of those who have been where I am standing, and I'd appreciate it so much if anyone can answer some of this for me. I feel like my head is constantly racing with these questions and I thought maybe hearing from those who have been through the same could help answer with any thoughts they have on these topics?

1. If you were drip fed and over time the story just got worse, did you, like me, find this made it much more painful and hard to deal with? Had I known the full extend from DDay I would have left the M immediately without question, but it unraveled over time and by then I had invested so much time and energy into the R I felt almost like I was beaten down and I am not sure how to screw my head back on.

2. Affairs seem to come on different levels, and in my case I thought it wasn't quite as painful because my WS had no deep feelings for the AP. A long time into R, it became obvious that was not true. He is desperate to R and has cut off AP, but the pain of knowing he had feelings for someone who was not me literally eats me up inside. It's a thousand times worse than the sex. Can anyone tell me if they have Rd in these circumstances and how it turned out? I am worried I will just never get over it.

3. My WS seems to be desperate to R but is clueless on what I need and he keeps asking me over and over to tell him. I don't know how to answer and I am getting more and more angry that he doesn't figure this all out for himself. Can anyone tell me what their WS needed to do for them to help them through this?

4. If you forgave something you found unforgivable, how did you make it right with yourself afterwards? I feel like he's trampled my boundaries so many times I don't recognise myself and I feel a deep sense of heaviness inside like it's changed how I feel for myself. How can I re-establish the strong, happy, confident person I once was?

5. How does couples counselling work? Can anyone explain what to expect from this? I feel like WS and I have so much crap to deal with because of this and he's clueless and I am angry and I have no idea what we need, but if a counsellor started trying to tell me I was partly to blame or anything I think I'd go crazy!

6. Can anyone just tell me a bit about how they made the decision to stay or leave? Finances /kids aren't at play in my situation, and his infidelity has left me in a position I feel no matter which way I turn I will be sad. How did you make the decision, and did you make the right one?

Thanks everybody. I am struggling so much right now, as we are 9 months into R but it's really only beginning properly because until recently he worked with AP and we were separated by distance but in the 9 months he has let me down so many times. I am confused about pretty much everything and have no idea how to move forward. I guess I want to be happy again! crying

48 comments posted: Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

When the reconciliation goes badly wrong

HIS AFFAIR SUMMARISED

The short version of my husband’s affair is that he formed an emotional affair (he called it friendship) with a much older colleague who was infatuated with him and showered him in compliments and attention.

I was away studying for my masters, we should have been seeing each other every weekend but that was impossible with the virus situation so we barely saw each other during the period of the "friendship" and affair.

After six months of so-called "friendship", this escalated to a PA that went on for about 3 months.

She told him she was in love with him and wanted to be with him, he said he loved his wife and that couldn't happen.

They had a cycle for the entire three months of PA where he'd tell her "this can't happen again" and that he wanted to be with me, but then he was weak and didn't stick with it and they would renew contact.

DDAY

She decided to call me to spill the beans hoping this would mean he would end the marriage and be with her. It had the opposite effect and he stopped the affair and came begging to me to forgive him.

This all happened about five months ago around Christmas and I was, like everyone else here, absolutely shocked and devastated. I really didn't think he would ever do something like that to me or that he would be capable. I actually thought he worshipped the ground I walked on to be honest.

Initially his "whys" were excuses really. He was drunk. He had been desperate to get out of it but felt trapped. She was manipulative. I was away so long and he just wanted a friend. He was naive. All the classics. Not much self awareness.

After she called me, he was furious at her for ruining his life and he stopped speaking to her completely. She was a colleague but at the time everyone was working from home so he didn't see her for a couple of months.

RECONCILIATION ATTEMPT

He spent a lot of time with me, begging for reconciliation, telling me she meant nothing to him and he would do anything fix things. He did all the right things and said all the right things (counselling and so on) but it was pretty short lived.

I have to be fair in saying he did a lot of great things during R such as communicating, changes of lifestyle, emotionally supporting me, apologising constantly and so on, but with hindsight he really wasn't seeing the full picture or ready to do the hard work.

After two months of perfect R, he lost interest in counselling and didn't keep regular appointments, and I noticed he wasn't really doing much "self development". He was still fawning over me and staying away from AP but I felt like he was almost trying to get on as if it never happened.

TRICKLE TRUTH

The perfect R started to implode over about two months. Over time I found that he had trickle truthed me and underplayed the extent of things and what seemed "not so bad" suddenly seemed a lot worse.

His original story was that she was just a friend he sometimes had coffee with and they had sex when he was drunk a handful of times due to his extreme loneliness at the time. He said she meant absolutely nothing to him and he never wanted to lay eyes on her again.

Over many months this changed into the real story, which was that she was a colleague he spent a lot of time having coffees with, and that escalated to lunch every day, coffee after work, going to the gym together, running together and after a few months of that it escalated to evenings together watching movies and having dinner.

Not dates, but just hanging out in a completely inappropriate way on an almost daily basis like she was his substitute wife for the time I was gone! After a few months of evenings together watching movies, eventually there was drunken sex which then happened every time he had a drink.

CONTACT NEVER STOPPED

Aside from the trickle truth, the other big obstacle with reconciliation was that “no contact” went out the window. When he was working from home, he didn't see her, but she carried on messaging him and trying to get in touch. He replied saying he loved me and to leave us alone and he never responded to her messages, but he wouldn't block her. He made excuses for that, but I see now they were complete BS.

She worked with him, so after a couple of months when he went back to work, he saw her every day too. She would not accept the relationship was over, she said she loved him. He kept repeating he did not have feelings for her, but he didn't actually take decisive action to make her stop, even when I begged him to and explained how much it was hurting me.

Yes, I did ask him to change jobs but it took months to find one (he stops working with her in about 6 weeks) so for a very long time I felt like I was just under daily threat and I started to get sick from anxiety (and actually he also did).

I think initially after D Day he was so angry with her for sabotaging his marriage that he didn't want to see her or speak to her, but over time with her constant messages and trying to talk to him at work he started to see her, again, as emotionally damaged and wanted to rescue her and in his crazy mind seemed to think they could be friends.

AFFAIR RELAPSE

I can't explain how painful that was for me. He was not only having ongoing contact with her, but also acting like her needs were his responsibility. In the end I got so angry with the ongoing mental trauma that I left. I told him I thought the marriage was over.

He immediately got blind drunk, called OW for comfort with his problems and slept with her again. He confessed to me but after that, trust was shot completely and we were barely talking. I could not understand (even seperated) how he could repeat the action that had caused me so much agony.

AFFAIR FINALLY ENDS CONCLUSIVELY

After I left, he was crying all the time and got really depressed and anxious. He said even if it was over with me he still didn't want to be with OW because he didn't love her, never did and didn't want a life with her. He met with her for a closure talk (at her request) and explained to her that even if we were getting divorced, he still didn't have feelings for her and want to be with her and just didn't share her feelings.

THE OTHER WOMAN

After that, she finally moved on and now she is with someone else she is equally madly in love with. WH has no contact with her anymore aside from work things as necessary. Strangely, she phoned me up last week to apologise for all she had done and she explained that he never persued her, that she had just felt more than he did and she wanted me to know he had never kissed her, never held her hand, never sent her a romantic text. She said he was just kind to her and there was sex sometimes. She said he loved me and had always said that. Which makes it all the more crazy to me that he risked everything on this.

THE WORST BIT

Now this is the part that really started to hurt me....

For some reason, the only way I was mentally clinging on to my M was feeling like he didn't love her and had never experienced infatuation romantically with her, so I was incredibly shocked when after completely ending things with her, he entered into a period of grief where he really missed her and he described it to me as feeling like he was addicted to her.

I really didn’t understand this, but it was incredibly painful to hear and watch. It was like he was heartbroken. He Googled “affair withdrawal” and all this stuff but he said himself he was confused why he felt such a strong attachment to her when he wasn’t in love with her and didn’t want to be with her.

I still can't wrap my head around that at all - why he seemed to be grieving this relationship with someone he didn't want, rather than grieving what he had done to me and his M?!!! He said he couldn't understand it himself, that she just made him feel loved and looked after?!!

THE WHYS

With us seperated and her out of the picture finally, he started to do the real work in IC and a lot of analysis and confessions started to come out.

He said he had no intention of having an affair, but he spent a lot of time with her because she was kind, funny, listened to him complain about work, made him feel good and thought he was the best thing since sliced bread.

He said he never wanted her in a romantic way, but the sex thing was quite intense because it would always involve alcohol and her basically being really forward and desperate with him.

He said he'd always intended our R to work out perfectly, and hadn't wanted to ever see her again, but then as things got worse and worse with us, he started craving the “happy feeling” he got with her unbridled adoration of him in contrast to my constant hurt and anger post-affair.

Analysing that with hindsight makes me so furious, because our relationship was in crisis because he cheated and lied and hurt me – and his reaction is to basically want comfort from OW to make him feel loved and heroic again even though she was the cause in the first place!??

Are cheaters all this insanely selfish?!

Over time, the real "whys" came out. She listened to him (don't trip up on my cliche), she was kind to him, she gave him lots of attention, she gave him compliments, he thought it was okay as it was just "friends". He had incredibly low self esteem and FOO issue and he was selfish enough to just want to get needs for validation met by her.

When he digged deeper that that, he worked out she was old enough to be his mother and his own mother rejected him, so feeling loved and wanted by her filled some void of missing mother love. She fed him, cared for him when he was sick, listened to all his problems and made him feel good.

Beyond that, something else was going on. He felt I was too good for him, out of his league and I wanted him but didn't need him and he was insecure about me. Whereas this woman was kind of an emotional train wreck and made him feel like she needed him. Her crying and begging which would seem unattractive to anyone else just re-enforced in his head how much she must love him.

No real explanation was ever given to me about why he was able to be so selfish or why he risked our marriage or my feelings for something that boiled down to just an ego boost. He just said it happened so slowly in increments and it was never his intention.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

So where we are now is really scorched earth. The R we tried, I entered into with so much love and enthusiasm and despite all my pain I put everything into it.

He was too selfish to stop chasing happy hormones from his affair, too cowardly to take decisive action to stop her contact, too weak to do the right thing.

I haven't even had an opportunity to really even begin to heal from DDay, much less all the other bombshells dropped on me and I am left in doubt that WH really loves me.

I am trying to figure out what to do and where to go from here. We had a great M, I can't believe or understand how this really happened. He says "most affairs are a relationship problem, whereas this was entirely a me problem. You and our relationship are perfect, this is my stuff".

I just don't know if too much damage is done now for there to be any hope, or what would be needed for us to find a way back?

16 comments posted: Sunday, May 9th, 2021

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