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Madhatters Only Thread

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tired girl posted 5/7/2014 00:48 AM

Good luck EH.

Silver it is good to see that you are doing better. I hope that things continue to improve for you. I know that things are not easy for you, try to remember to take care of you too.

silverhopes posted 5/7/2014 13:27 PM

Hi EH! It's good to hear from you, though I'm sorry things didn't work out and you're going through D. Wishing you a smooth process, and we're here to support you!

Thank you TG and I'm glad you're back! I will remember to take care of myself. I'm trying to learn how. Lots of skills I'm still struggling to learn, but one day at a time, right?

How is everyone doing?

LosferWords posted 5/7/2014 21:48 PM


You all here on SI have supported and taught me so much, and I'm so thankful for that.

Likewise! I feel like I am constantly getting more back than I contribute, and it is such a blessing to be here. I really appreciate you and everyone else here on SI.

You guys all taught me that health really is #1. And yes, my son is my whole world. He's my Number One reason why I'm keeping it together.

Absolutely. Continue to hang on to that. Your health and your son's health are definitely priority #1. No question about it.

I wrote way too much now. Sorry about that. To summarize: I tried to talk to him about his getting angry on the same days I'd given him gifts, but I can't remember the resolution on there. I think he tried to say there wasn't a connection and it wasn't intentional and he loves all the gifts.

You didn't write too much at all, Silver. I saw your original post. It sounds like you had a lot to get off your chest, even if you did end up going back and editing/summarizing afterwards. It's all good!

Maybe there is a pattern with the gift giving that Mr. Silver just didn't see? The key thing is you talked about it, and he'll now have the opportunity to be more cognizant of that in the future. It may have seemed like the conversation might not have had a resolution, but I don't think that means it was fruitless. I think that was still good communication.

My son is doing OK, still working on the hitting, but he knows how much both of us love him.

Good... keep wrapping him in your love and consistency. Kids can't get enough of that.

The suicidal thoughts aren't here now, but I'm still feeling very depressed. In general, but also I have more and more accidents when I'm depressed: the most recent one is that I ruptured my left eardrum last Thursday. Just need my caseworker to give me a nice neat To Do list to keep functioning and feeling like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

Ouch! I'm really sorry to hear about the ruptured eardrum. My eardrum was ruptured a few years back when I got an ear infection, so I do know how painful and uncomfortable that is. Sending healing thoughts in your direction.

I am relieved to hear that the suicidal thoughts aren't there anymore. I am sorry you are still feeling depressed, though. Is it possible for you to start a to do list, and then have your caseworker expand it from there? I know he/she keeps wanting to push things back in your court, so you might have to be a bit insistent on that. A book that helped me with my depression was "Feeling Good" by David Burns. There are some really good tools in there for combating depression. For me, that helped, along with counseling, medication, and the help I have found here on this site. I think it does really take a multi-pronged approach.

Making a list of all the ways to help H. I am having trouble kissing him, dressing up nicely for him, and responding to his compliments and flirting. Haven't gotten past the "not his best" thing. Also worried about the sexual abuse he endured and all the things he's going through in getting his family back but losing both his parents. Worried about how he's healing, need to make this a safe time for him. So simultaneous feelings of upset because I'm not special to him, and also extreme worry about his mental health. Need to NOT be selfish right now. His health is priority. I'm a list person, I need numbered lists or guides with steps to stay on track.

That is very kind of you to help your husband with the struggles that he is going through. Ultimately, his healing is his responsibility. You being willing to support him and help him as much as possible is great, as long as you don't lose yourself in the process.

It sounds like from what you've posted before that some of her family members really hurt her. I can see why any sort of interaction with them would bring up a lot of tension. How do you two cope now, and how is it going?

We're still learning to cope as a team, but the key is, we are doing it as a team! That really makes me happy to be on the same side as her when going through this stuff. I think it takes quite a bit of trust on her part to allow me to be on her side, so this is great progress, and things have been steadily improving in that department this year. There are few bumps here and there, but overall, things are progressing and improving.

That is good stuff! It's hard to quit either alcohol or cigarettes. Sounds like you are channeling your energy in a positive way with gardening and your son! What all are you guys growing? When you were drinking or smoking, was it in response to stress?

Thanks! I haven't quit completely, but I am working on moderation on both of those. I am growing mainly vegetables, but I also have some flowers started. Last night I planted four rose bushes and a cherry tree, and put some mulch down. It feels good to see an immediate result from my efforts and to make the yard prettier. I'm really hoping to get lots of good vegetables this year. My drinking has been twofold. It is something I enjoy, but it is also I do in response to stress. I'm cutting out the coping mechanism part of it, but still enjoying a cold beer after work or doing work in the yard. Typically I only smoke when I drink, so that is naturally being cut down as I cut down the alcohol.

Anyway... I am rambling.

Hope everyone is doing well! If there are any struggling madhatters out there, please feel free to post here. We are here to help.

rachelc posted 5/8/2014 11:30 AM

the only thing we talked about last night is that many people say (including therapists) that our marriage can be stronger/better after an affair.
I certainly can understand that if there was abuse, addiction, etc going on, but there wasn't in our case - just hard work and sacrificing.

So, sure, we are kinda enjoying being empty nesters, we both help out around the house, have some fun, but we have never had substance abuse or emotional abusive issues... so there is really no big change - just us getting back on our track.

tired girl posted 5/8/2014 13:10 PM


Do you feel that there is a big change in you?

rachelc posted 5/8/2014 13:28 PM

ha ha yes! i'm stronger, but I put up with less bullshit. and that makes my world smaller, which is scary for me, as I usually put up with a lot in my relationships. so this may be a scary time for me but as I assert myself I may attract a DIFFERENT kind of person to myself, not men, but like female friends and different family members. And of course, it makes my relationship with hubby different.

And I feel like I'm smack dab in the middle of this change. not nearly on the other side yet.

tired girl posted 5/8/2014 13:35 PM

I see that as a good thing

It will mean that the quality of people in your life will be higher. You will expect more of them, because you expect more of yourself. This is not a bad thing. It only becomes bad when you become intolerant of mistakes and flaws. Everyone is human and we have to be ok with that. But I don't think that is what you are expressing here.

I see your changes as good. So even though the A's were a bad thing, and it has sucked to go through it, it has brought about some positives in you. And in a roundabout way, your M.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/13/2014 20:31 PM


A bit late to the party but I guess I have to face up to it that this is where I belong.

I don't really know where to start.

LosferWords posted 5/13/2014 20:34 PM

Hello and welcome, BBT!

Making your first post here is a great start.

I've been keeping up with your post in wayward today. Hope you and the kiddos are hanging in there.

Definitely make yourself at home here and feel free to discuss anything that is going on right now.

tired girl posted 5/13/2014 20:40 PM

Welcome BBT,

This has been my home here for awhile as well

I am sure that acknowledging your feelings with regards to what your H did will take some time. You have spent quite awhile denying that they exist.

I can relate to that. Take your time. No hurry.

LosferWords posted 5/13/2014 20:42 PM

Looking at your last few posts on your most recent thread in WS, I'd have to agree with TG. It will take some time to even start to process your betrayed side.

Take your time, and know that we're here for you.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/13/2014 20:53 PM

Thank you LW and TG

I'm really resisting identifying as a MH. As I said over in wayward, I have a voice in my head shouting 'you're not a MH' but I think that voice might belong to my husband.

I did feel like he cheated on me. Absolutely no question of a doubt, I went through everything a BS went through. But part of me feels that we were separated and it's only because he continued to have a sexual relationship with me that I felt that way and the fact I allowed him to have a sexual relationship with me after he left me, well that's my lack of boundaries and it's not his fault.

It was five years ago too, I have healed from it in my own way. It was an open wound, now it's healed. I can look at the scar and be reminded of the pain I felt at the time but it doesn't hurt every day, or even every week or every month. Just once in awhile. Although I'll admit, since my own A and all the work I've put in to healing I've realised just how little BH did back then and it upsets me.

I could sit and look at the scar left by that wound, see our M as a MH situation but my husband will never see it that way. He refuses to acknowledge my feelings about it. So I'm a bit stuck on how to move forward from it apart from to have the strength to finally have some deal breakers if we should ever attempt R.

[This message edited by BrokenButTrying at 8:55 PM, May 13th (Tuesday)]

tired girl posted 5/14/2014 00:38 AM

I would agree that the voice in your head is your H's. I think that you have spent a lot of time denying and minimizing how you have felt about it. So while it may feel completely healed to you, if your H were to show you some remorse over what he did, you may have different feelings about it.

My H, HL had his first EA 18 years ago. While I am healed about that particular event, what I wasn't healed about was the behaviors that my H continued to exhibit over the next 18 years that let me know that things were continuing to happen.

The behaviors that your H has continued to exhibit to you is not taking your feelings into account at any point. I believe these are the things that you are continuing to struggle with and are still triggers for you.

As you continue down this path, you will discover your own areas that are not quite as healed as you think and you will work on those. What is really important right now is that you focus on your own healing. Your H has made it clear that he is not interested right now in fixing himself. Don't focus on that. You will know when the time is right to focus on that.

Big hugs. I am thinking about you.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/14/2014 02:46 AM

I think that you have spent a lot of time denying and minimizing how you have felt about it. So while it may feel completely healed to you, if your H were to show you some remorse over what he did, you may have different feelings about it.....

The behaviors that your H has continued to exhibit to you is not taking your feelings into account at any point. I believe these are the things that you are continuing to struggle with and are still triggers for you.

Yup. That's it. Wow.

I still have massive triggers. Reading on here after my own Dday I thought it was relatively normal but now I realise that I'm triggering because of my H, not over random reminders like a song or a place.

For example, the whole separation and limbo situation is very similar to our separation a few years ago. Being intimate with him during limbo was triggering me, he was telling me about meeting girls in clubs and texting them and it was triggering me.

I've fought really hard over the last four months to get rid of those feelings because I kept telling myself it was selfish, wayward thinking and that I wasn't 'getting it' for him.

I'm bit angry that he has never even acknowledged that he hurt me or admitted that he cheated. Is that normal?

I feel like 180 would be a good move for me at the moment, I need to detach. But I'm torn between that and acknowledging that he is still very hurt and might need support from me.

I can bet my life on the fact that the minute I turn away from him, he will come back saying he wants to R.

tired girl posted 5/14/2014 03:41 AM

Being intimate with him during limbo was triggering me, he was telling me about meeting girls in clubs and texting them and it was triggering me.

This was happening during this separation?

You are not alone. During all of our separations HL and I continued to be intimate. It was during this last one that I cheated. I was the one that left, I had never left before, and I was having a very difficult time being away from our kids. We continued to have sex, all the while HL was telling me that it wasn't going to work and he wasn't going to go to MC with me. In a meltdown rage, I texted him what I was about to do and that our M would be over by morning if he didn't text me back. He never texted me back and I went out and slept with someone else. This is why I say that even though you two were separated, you were still M. I was still M, and I had no right to do what I did. I had not filed for D. I had not asked for D.

I think that the 180 has components that are good. That are meant to help a person focus on their healing. That is what I think you should do. Do I think that he will take notice when you start to detach? Yes. Will he want to come back? Maybe. You have to be prepared with a list of your own demands that you hold fast too. He needs to change and fix his own shit. You cannot waver on that. What you have put up with is not healthy for you, it has taken me two years to figure that out and deal with the fact that I did the same thing that you did.

Two years in to our R, HL cheated again. And I busted him this time. That is when he finally decided to fix his own shit and came here and started his own IC and we have been working on it together. But it was a close call of me leaving all together.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/14/2014 04:05 AM

Yes. BH moved out at the end of February, about two months after Dday. He said he needed space to think about what he wanted to do. He came home from work, packed his stuff and left. Later that evening he walked back through the door and burst into tears. He told me he was scared I wouldn't wait for him while he sorted himself out and that I would find someone else.

Ever since then he has been back and forth. He would come round to see the boys, stay to have dinner and then stay the night with me. He would trigger after sex and not speak to me for a few days. Then it would all repeat.

Any time he needed comfort or intimacy from me I would be there for him. He says he continued to have sex with me because he was 'testing the waters' to see if it could be any different without the mind movies and triggers.

Having sex while separated and him not really talking to me about anything was a trigger for me but I tried to ignore it.

He goes out a lot with his single friends. About a month ago he told me that he had met a girl in a club, exchanged numbers and had been texting her, flirting and 'getting to know her'. When she invited him over to her house to 'watch a film', he stopped talking to her.
Then his friends decided he needed to get laid so they introduced him to a girl they knew who had a thing for bedding soldiers. He was snap chatting and texting her for a while but couldn't actually go through with sleeping with her.
I have no idea if he's telling the truth or not. All of that was a huge trigger for me too.

I have no doubt that if I do the 180 and turn away from him, he will panic and want to reconnect with me but if I think about it, the best thing I can do for both of us is to stop enabling him. If I heal myself I will change the unhealthy dynamic of our relationship and then he can either choose to heal himself or not.

tired girl posted 5/14/2014 09:41 AM

You do recognize that the behaviors that he is engaging in are wayward behaviors right? These are not the behaviors of a married man. He is not sorting himself out, he is getting validation from the opposite sex. At this point you are going to have to figure out what your boundaries are regarding him. That will be hard, because you haven't had any. It was hard for me. Figuring out that I was worth saying no to my H, and that I didn't have to put up with it anymore. It wasn't easy, because after all, I had cheated too. When you enter MH status, it becomes very difficult to feel like you have to right to stand up for yourself. But you do.

If I heal myself I will change the unhealthy dynamic of our relationship

You will, but more importantly, you will change the unhealthy dynamic of your thinking.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/14/2014 10:07 AM

After I posted my previous reply I've done a lot of thinking about those girls he was texting.

My A was the more recent one and I have done everything I can to change that part of myself. He is still engaging in wayward behaviour and he won't even admit to himself that's what he's doing let alone admit it to me. I know why, looking in the mirror is really difficult!

At the time he was texting those girls he was telling me he was undecided about R or D, the separation was for space and he was still having sex with me. He only told me about it after he stopped texting them.
I cried when he told me about those girls his response was 'are you fucking serious? You're crying over some texts?' Then he started telling me about how he couldn't sleep with those girls because that would be cheating and that's the difference between him and me.

I've had some huge revelations in the last 12 hours. Part of me wants to tell him what I'm thinking and be angry with him but the other half of me knows it would be wasted because I don't think he'll ever see it as cheating.

Chapman does an apology language test, just like the love languages. It identifies what is important to you when you have been wronged/hurt. The most important things to me are expressing regret (for hurting me) and accepting responsibility (for what they did).
This is really important to me and I don't think I'll ever get either of those from him. I know from past experiences with other people it takes me a lot longer to heal if the person who has hurt me doesn't acknowledge my pain.

He doesn't know how I feel about those girls though, I never pushed the issue because it was so soon after my A.

I don't know whether to talk to him about it and see where I get or just keep quiet and focus on me.

tired girl posted 5/14/2014 10:13 AM

Maybe work on detaching a bit more. Maybe in the future, he will be more open to hearing you. Your feelings on this are very important, and writing them down, such as journaling would be good. Trying to get him to hear you when he is not in a place to acknowledge you is only going to hurt you more.

I believe that he is going to have to do his own work on himself before he can ever really hear you on this. HL had to do that. He couldn't really hear my hurt until he could acknowledge that yes, he was actually doing something wrong. Up to that point, he blamed it all on me. Your H is doing something similar. And it hurts a lot when they can't hear your pain.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/14/2014 12:13 PM

Took your advice, just wrote a long, rather pain filled letter. Then I put it in an envelope and tucked it at the back of a drawer in my bedroom.

I feel better for getting it off my chest. I'm going to read the 180 and write out the bits I feel will be helpful to me.

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