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Madhatters Only Thread

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LosferWords posted 3/13/2016 10:18 AM

Hi ktez!

My situation is similar in the aspect that neither my wife or I knew of each other's affairs. I agree with the others, that both affairs need to be acknowledged and dealt with separately. It is very common for people in madhatter situations to turn around and throw the other person's affair in their face when they don't want to acknowledge their own wrongdoing, or if it is difficult to acknowledge the pain they have caused their spouse. The blame game is also very common. The only person that can be blamed is the person that had the affair.

Hang in there and keep posting.

ktez posted 3/13/2016 13:51 PM

Thanks everyone for your really valuable advice. It has been so difficult through our recovery process because of the complexities however it has also been important to acknowledge that if we hadn't both had affairs, I'm not sure if we would have understood at all and maybe not been able to R, who knows. I just know it hurts like hell and my pain isn't any less because I did it too; in fact it adds to my pain thinking of what we became and how broken we BOTH were.

AngelFlower posted 3/14/2016 10:00 AM

You're welcome Melozia. I hope it helps. It works for me and my H.

ktez...it is not easy. Hang in there.

[This message edited by AngelFlower at 10:00 AM, March 14th (Monday)]

Melozia posted 3/14/2016 13:27 PM

I have had a few slips attempting to implement 180 with WH but, for the most part, I feel (slowly) empowered.

His behaviour continues to be very passive-aggressive and the mixed messages are everywhere. We have managed to at least agree that neither of us necessarily *want* D, but that this limbo can't go on indefinitely - that we are both spread very thin....something has to change. He volunteered last week that he was going to make an appointment to get back to IC and, without prompting (I simply asked if he'd made the time to look at them) he *promised* to read Not Just Friends and How to Help Your Spouse Heal (I put copies in his bags when he moved out 11 days ago). So I have some hope.

But I'm realizing that I may have to make a decision for myself and my future sooner rather than later. I have decided that the "end date" for this limbo is the end of April. Has anyone set a similar date for themselves/their spouse and how did you know if there'd been enough for you to be confident in your choice? I have decided that, between now and then, if WH goes NC with OW, makes a concerted effort in IC and the homework involved in that, that I may consider moving back my end date.

Just for the record, the only people who would know this end date would be me and my counselor. I don't want it to be an ultimatum to WH.

AngelFlower posted 3/14/2016 14:01 PM

I don't have any good advice on that one, as my MH/WS ended it long before I knew about it (7 years actually). But I THINK had I discovered it then, I would have blown the lid off the secrecy immediately...gone to the boss, her SO, her parents, his parents, my parents, etc. in hopes that it would have shed some light on it and he hopefully would have seen it for the roach it was. He did what he did for as long as he did bc no one knew and he could get away with it. When I got close to discovery, he ended it. He knew it was wrong then, he just didn't have to face it bc it was in secrecy.

Melozia posted 3/14/2016 14:08 PM

He knew it was wrong then, he just didn't have to face it bc it was in secrecy.

This! He's acknowledged it was/is wrong. Then flip flops and plays the "I'm not doing anything wrong, she's just a friend" bs...yet is VERY secretive about it and has told no one. And I mean NO ONE.

If nothing changes and his A is ongoing, I will have no option but to file. And it will be very tempting to blow the lid off of all of this.

AngelFlower posted 3/14/2016 14:43 PM

Oh, I heard that too. Maybe show him some other MH posts? Show him what the future holds for him? I don't know. I really think I would have blown the lid off had I discovered. And he would have ended it. Of course, that is hindsight, but I blew the lid off to our parents and her parents since DDay even though it was so long ago, so I am pretty sure I would have then also. I have to tell you...blowing the lid off, even this many years later, has helped. MH/WS can't run to his enabling mother and tuck his head in the sand again (she unknowingly assisted him in his A then, and has chronically enabled his bad behavior...not this time, my love!). AP steers far away from me now (she was a chicken shit coward...when I found a suspicious email from her then, she cowarded out and didn't fight when he ended it and I think if I had discovered then, she would have run like hell from the A to get away from this "mean, hateful wife" ).

[This message edited by AngelFlower at 2:45 PM, March 14th (Monday)]

Sadlady14 posted 3/15/2016 18:16 PM

As for setting a date, I was not in your specific situation but when I found out about H RA, he had ended it but there were a few specific immediate demands I had. One was to get us back in with MC ASAP. HE did. Another was he had to start working on his part of the marriage problems that preceded my A. That started very slowly at first but has been pretty good in the past 6 weeks. Full transparency, etc, etc.

I think setting a date is reasonable, but I would keep it between you and your counselor. You can adjust if he is making some headway. He might turn around in good ways you don't expect or anticipate so you might not want your criteria to be too narrow. You will have to see how you feel about where he is at then.

And I think if he starts to blame you for what he did any more, I think you should say something like, I'm going to have to stop you right there. We are each responsible for our own actions. It would be a good place to start.

As for putting it out in the open, I think that is a very personal decision. On one hand, I do agree with AngelFlower, who has given me great advice in the past. I think this is necessary when nothing else works and you want to try to R. Some way wards don't seem to snap out of it without this. If you no longer want to R, why tell? Revenge? On the other hand if he continues A and you want to R, it depends on your families, friends, etc. We agreed at one point that any of our parents knowing would have made it more stressful for us, Several of them can't move forward from anything. Also, for non family, the A situations just become a story to some of them and people who have not been through it really don't get it IMHO. So I would say do what you need to do and if that ends up being outing him, choose carefully.

Believe it or not, I think his mixed messages may be good news. If he didn't care at all, he wouldn't spend any time and energy on you yet he needs to be transitioning back to you or he might be stuck cake eating.

Hang in there!!!

Melozia posted 3/16/2016 07:45 AM

Thanks Sadlady14.

I agree with everything you said, and it's what I feel in my gut.

I have some criteria in mind in terms if what WH will have to be doing/working on in order for me to consider staying in the marriage. Actions speak louder than words and I've got to see some action.

I also sort of view his mixed messages as a bit of a reason to be optimistic but, the truth is, that his actions are simply beyond what I can or will continue to accept. And I have already done a good job asserting myself when he attempts to blame me and put it right back on him. I've told him I will no longer allow or accept him trying to blame or make me responsible for his choices.

This SO HARD. I do love him but I deserve better and I am willing to let go of my husband and marriage if it is an unhealthy place for me to remain. I know, now, I am getting strong enough to do that.

[This message edited by Melozia at 7:46 AM, March 16th (Wednesday)]

Sadlady14 posted 3/17/2016 12:29 PM


It sounds like you are working hard. Getting stronger while using healthy coping skills is a good sign of change. Yes, you deserve better than the current situation.

Also, I see you are six months out from the original d day. I think at that point a lot of us, waywards and/or betrayed are so tired emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is important you keep taking care of yourself but dig deep if you feel any hope still with WH. There were some points at six months when although things had slowly started to get better, one little setback would send me reeling emotionally. I realized no matter what happened and with hearing the 2-5 year timeframe to heal here, I knew I needed to take care of myself and build up some stamina and resilience. This has helped a lot with my own growth BC I used to just react so quickly to almost everything. Now I can sit with things and think and then react, most of the time.

Sending strength, keep us posted.

Melozia posted 3/18/2016 08:32 AM

WH hasn't bothered to follow through with IC, despite his saying he was going to do that. Unprompted by me. He is a terrible communicator and has alot of work to do on himself. If he can't even make a IC appointment when he claims to want and need to, I've had to accept that his capacity to work on our marriage is doubtful. I've stopped suggesting IC or reading about infidelity. I've tried too much to manage him and his behavior. It's time for me to step back. He is unable to deal in a mature way with even the most minor issue and simply retreats/shuts down mentally and emotionally.

I sometimes wonder if it's even worth me digging deep or holding onto hope. I ask myself if that energy and effort would be best invested into myself. How do I continue to support him from a distance, while protecting myself?

[This message edited by Melozia at 10:44 AM, March 18th (Friday)]

Sadlady14 posted 3/18/2016 22:32 PM

Melozia, you are in a tough situation.

I think working on you is the main answer, taking care of yourself and your needs. I know my H definitely has grown more when I step back. Just let him sit with and manage whatever is going on. And he may not manage it how you would and he may or may not come around. You have likely heard this already, but someone else on here said you have to be willing to lose the marriage to potentially save it.

I think continuing the 180 since you are the betrayed in your current situation. That has got to be difficult but you sound strong and unfortunately it sounds like his behavior is making your current decisions easier.

Take care of yourself. (((Hugs)))

tired girl posted 3/19/2016 11:00 AM


Right now, you doing the 180 involves you getting stronger for yourself and doing what you need to do for you so that you can heal.

You need to let go of the outcome regarding your H. Right now he is in full on Wayward mode, and you cannot control nor guide his behavior. Let go. If he decides to stop his affair and go NC and be remorseful and do what it takes to be back in your life,at that point you can decide if you want to have him in your life.

You have your own work to do. You need to focus on you now.

This was what I had to do after I discovered my husbands EA when I thought we were in R after my ONS. And my husband was remorseful. But I was not jumping back in. I took care of me and watched to see if he was going to do what it took to get healthy. And I let go.

Four years out we are R'd.

Hugs as this is not easy and it goes against what you want to do.

Melozia posted 3/20/2016 07:01 AM

Letting go is very difficult. Because I'm a "fixer" by nature so accepting this is something I can't do alone is hard. WH is also not a decision maker and avoids anything that requires him to be thoughtful and considerate of long term consequences. I know I'm resistant to not being invested in the outcome simply because it means facing the probability that WH can't or won't be the man I know I need and want.

And I have to be committed to the decision I make on my end date. Meaning that it's a permanent decision, which is why I can't help but hope WH will somehow wake up and start acting like an adult (so far his behavior is very immature) and get REAL about what's going on in his life. Because being D is not what I want for myself. ..but I feel I'd have no other options.

I just struggle in terms of the specifics of our situation; we own and operate a business together so I am trying to be cooperative to make that a success, we have an established pattern where it's always ME that makes the decisions for us when WH inevitably drags his feet, etc. How do I let go but also hold onto hope? My counselor believes there's reason to be optimistic....do I just let go of that optimism? I feel like I should know the answers but I have never felt so directionless in my entire life.

I am working REALLY HARD on my own well being and it hasn't been easy. And I'm now feeling alot of anger towards WH and it's tempting to pack up the rest of his personal things and just throw in the towel some days. When I talk about the 180 I'm referring more to a much simplified version (with the terrible title of 'winning back your wayward spouse') from the Affair Healing site. They talk about no longer attempting to manage your spouse and refocus on yourself: let go of the need to control, be less available emotionally - physically - mentally, focus on your own growth. It's creating less anxiety for me not having to worry I'm doing something against the loooong list of rules of the 180, but of course the principle is the same. For me there's a battle between my head and my heart. I know I can't make decisions based on emotion, which is what makes the path I'm on so much more painful. I feel like the stronger I get, the more my heart aches.

[This message edited by Melozia at 4:27 PM, March 20th (Sunday)]

tired girl posted 3/22/2016 11:17 AM

I feel like the stronger I get, the more my heart aches.

This could be because of this


with the terrible title of 'winning back your wayward spouse'

And it isn't working.

The 180 is about you. Just you.

Melozia posted 3/23/2016 10:10 AM

Oh, for sure. It IS about me and it has absolutely been the best choice for myself to refocus my energy and intention. I know this isn't about playing games with WH. The title of the article actually makes me chuckle...but the rules are for ME. And I guess that's what matters.

I've been thinking about why I'm hurting, why I feel so much pain. I think it's because it's tempered with alot of disappointment. Grief, too. This self centered self care has allowed me to see what it is I want and need and just how much I've settled for so much less overall over the years. I am doing better. But it brings with it a realization of what won't be, and what WH is and isn't capable of. And it's a truly painful realization. I have to accept what I can't change or control. And it's empowering and challenging.

I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

forever.haunted posted 3/29/2016 17:08 PM

Just wanted to say hello. I am a madhatter, a remorseful madhatter that hates what I have done.

Quick history: Dday 11/09, discovered fwh LTA, we've been in R for 7 years. But I've always been jealous of the "fun" he got to have.

I had my own A this year, lasted 2 months, turned PA 3 times. I have ended it but feel like crap about it because I hurt the AP. He wanted me to be with him, but I affaired way down and did not want to be with him in real life.

I have not disclosed the A to fwh yet. I am disgusted at myself and wish I had not had a revenge affair, it didn't help anything.

Sadlady14 posted 4/1/2016 00:40 AM


Thank you for your honesty about your situation. How are you feeling now that you have ended A? Do you have any support right now, a counselor or??? The shame and guilt can be pretty bad and once the remorse hits it is too BC the depth of pain to your BS becomes apparent.

It sounds like you are not in the fog or at least it is clearing from the tone of your post. You May know this but I would read the how to help your spouse heal from your A book. It is very helpful.

Have you made a plan to tell your H?

I confessed to my H. I think over time he has seen this as in our favor for R as he feels most people hide it. You may be scared to confess but I think it is necessary if you want any hope of true R. And I would not wait too long after ending it, that will likely raise more issues with trust and he will wonder why you waited, what you got rid of or deleted.

I am sure this is very difficult for you as you were a BS in the past but maybe that knowledge will help you be there for him in a more insightful way.

Please let us know how you two are doing.

benny1210 posted 4/18/2016 09:20 AM

I guess I'm what's called a mad hatter. it's all new to me. my cheating days are long behind me, hers are very recent. she has told me that she let herself down. I recently had the chance to have a revenge affair. I walked away from a sure one night stand because I didn't want to be that guy anymore. I hope she never cheats again and I never do either.

OneInTheSame posted 4/26/2016 18:15 PM

Is a MadHatter anyone who has been betrayed, who has any history of having also cheated in their past . . . or is it specific to cheating with this partner/spouse?

I have never cheated on WW. Ever. Not even an inkling of a thought about it. No desire to have a revenge A. None.

Not that I have never cheated on anyone, however. I had an exit affair (actually two brief exit "flings") before divorcing my first spouse after 23 years of marriage. I was already emotionally gone from the marriage when I had my first A, which lasted between 4 and 6 weeks, and was with a much younger,single/divorced man. He was almost 10 years younger, but wiser than me at the time, and broke it off because I was married. His excellent advice to take care of my marriage first (be it divorce or counselling or whatever), and then live by myself for a while . . . and then see if we might have something, was spot on. I have cherished how he handled breaking it off, as it was excellent advice.

When I confessed the A to my then husband, he in turn shocked me when he suggested maybe I needed a lover, since at the time he was not interested in stepping up to my new needs for more active live-style, adventure, and more adventurous sex.

My first A was purely physical, and I loved the attention. My second exit A was because I missed my first lover, and felt I needed a replacement. I actually did the most idiotic thing, and moved with lover #2 ... over 2500 miles away. Big mistake dragging him along. We fell apart after a year.

I have never apologized to my ex, but plan to soon, in a simple note, telling him I am sorry about how badly I behaved, and that he did not deserve that. I know, through my daughter, that he was very hurt and broken, even though he was the one who had initially suggested I take a lover: I will never know if he was serious or sarcastic that night! Since my current spouse (my wife, as I came out when we met) had her A I have had a lot of time to reflect. I realized in my A's I was cold, cruel, and quick to leave my ex.

During the three years between my divorce and meeting my WW, a little over a year of those living with lover #2 who I moved with, I not only cheated on him, but I had a few short A's with a couple of married men. Oh, believe you me, I am not proud of this fact! In fact, I viewed them as safer, because there was no chance of developing a permanent relationship in which to be hurt or disappointed. That is a false belief, i found out later. It pains me to reflect on how reckless and promiscuous I was! I even had one partner who did not disclose that he was married, which I did not care for! I have, in my past, been quite the hypocrite. I was also just getting acquainted with the local sex-positive community, and was exploring kink: however looking back, I was not following my own guidelines about safety in my lust for new experiences. Let's just say, I have been very very lucky to not get hurt, or worse.

So . . . I am guessing this makes me a MadHatter, eh? Let me add, I am fully remorseful for my past, and when I met my WW she was the stabilizing force in my life, probably preventing me from what could have been disaster. Besides, learning that what I was looking for all along was not necessarily what I had known, but something deep inside that had never been explored or even recognized, was life-changing, to say the least. When I fell in love with my WW
it was with my eyes open. I even did my research, and I knew that exes can become an issue in lesbian relationships. And her ex, of her long-term relationship before me, is why I am here.

I came here to this MH thread today, because it is becoming obvious to me that being a MH complicates how I see the situation I am in right now. I did not still love those I cheated on, and I had no desire to work to help them heal or to work toward reconciliation. I was a much worse cheater than my WW has been . . . and I guess the painful destruction of our marriage has made me realize I have a few issues to deal with of my own.

Wanna know what started it all way back when? I went from dowdy, overweight, invisible housewife and mother to fit, trim, gorgeous, confident, adventure-seeking outdoors-woman in less than 6 months: I lost over 60 lbs and for the first time in my life felt truly beautiful. In 23 year my ex had not once told me I was beautiful however, and during my almost overnight transformation he did not compliment me or give me a moment's notice. But the guys at my gym did. I was even warned about this effect as I was losing the weight and gaining a new body, but it was intoxicating to feel so attractive after a life of feeling unattractive and less-than. The new attention, however, did have a hidden sharp edge to it: I learned that there is prejudice against overweight and ordinary people the night I was out for dinner with a gym-mate and he acknowledged he had not noticed me before my transformation. It is all a bittersweet blip in my past now . . . .

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