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I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39

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Merti ( member #72842) posted at 11:58 PM on Thursday, March 18th, 2021

Your action or inaction is no excuse for his behavior. So, no, you didn't contribute to anything. That's his poor behavior, poor integrity, and all that.

I agree, and I agree with gmc94 as well, but there is a reason for my confusion.

I moved out of our house for 4 months recently, and went to another city where I had a friend. I told him that he should leave by the time I am back, and take his belongings with him. His family has an empty house (parents passed away) bigger than ours so it will cost $0 to him. And we both own our house so I am not trying to claim full ownership, he knows that. Then I went NC with him for 4 months. I had bad times too, but I felt free of worries and was really happy at times. I realized how much energy I was wasting on him in my head.

When I returned, he had not gone anywhere. When I questioned him, he told me how much he missed me, he regrets that he screwed up a beautiful relationship we once had, he cannot live without me and is starting to come to his senses etc. You might say because he wants attention from me and wants me to do the pick me dance, but in fact I rarely see him or talk to him during the day. He comes home and I immediately go to my room. He absolutely gets nothing from me.

When he saw me first time after 4 months he sobbed like a child. I know he is genuine. But he doesn’t end A. He tells me he feels guity, it’s all his fault, because he ran after AP. He doesn’t know how to end it. I believe tgat he is not lying.

He never suffered any consequences. I know that only when he suffers consequences, might he see what he did clearly. That is why I think I should have left long ago. It is not for him to get back to me, don’t misunderstand me, but I really think it’s only fair for him to suffer the consequences he is avoiding.

[This message edited by Merti at 10:45 AM, March 19th (Friday)]

posts: 111   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020
id 8643025
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 10:53 PM on Friday, March 19th, 2021

Are you saying your WH is still involved in the A? That he is still in contact with the AP?

As to consequences? Of COURSE they should have consequences. The problem is that IMHO there are no consequences to a cheater that doesn't also impact the BS, whether its a revenge affair (BS blowing up their own integrity) or D (BS loses the same things WS does, from kids to $), or anything in between.

I can only speak from my own experience, but the bottom line is that I had to come to a place of acceptance about the injustice of it all. I honestly believe there is NO justice for the BS when it comes to infidelity. No amount of lovebombing or $ or "shiny new R" marriage will change the trauma or the disrespect or any of the harm the cheater caused. It happened and no one can change that. The best I can do is be the best version of me that I'm able to drum up at any given moment (and I no longer give a damn if that includes my WH).

As to him continuing the LTA bc you didn't leave? I would again disagree, and for pretty much the same reasons as before in that you can't control him and you / your actions have NOTHING to do with his choice to continue to cheat. His refusal to move out to a FREE home is yet ANOTHER example of your WH not respecting you or your boundaries.

IIRC, one reason you didn't want to file for D was health insurance - is that still an issue?

The thing is that for whatever bullshit wayward "reason", sounds like he's not going to move. Which means either you move out or you file for D and hope you can keep the marital home (assuming you can afford it). I suppose you could ask his permission for YOU to stay in his parents' empty home, which may provide some relief.

Personally? I would probably file for D (or legal separation if that will enable you to keep his health insurance) and get the ball rolling. IF (and I think that's a really huge "if", assuming he's still in contact/having sex with AP) he pulls his head out of his arse, you can always stop the proceedings. IIRC, you do not have children, so that should make it easier.

Have you met with an attorney?

Sorry - I just went back and read a couple of your recent posts, in which you say you are not ready for D. I'm in year 4 but I had to find a new job that pays enough to support myself, which only happened a month ago (and I have told my WH I am ready to file for D once I find a home I can purchase), so I understand that it can take a long time to wrap your head around.

If you aren't ready to file for D, I'd see about moving into his parents' place, or telling him that if he won't move out you will find your own apartment and move out. That can give you time/space to work on yourself and your healing. If he continues the A, then so be it. Those are his choices. You didn't cause it. You can't control it. You can't cure it.

As effed up as it sounds, the ONLY person that can get your WH to stop the A and start working on whatever is broken within him to cause him to be so selfish is ..... your WH. And he's shown you repeatedly for the last year that he is NOT going to change.

Hugs to you, Merti.

ETA: I noticed you described your WH as "not an arrogant" person. The problem is that cheaters LOVE to be the "good" guy, the "nice" guy, etc. Mine is the same - EVERYBODY loves him. The thing is, that what he is doing is ABUSE. Listen to the "Helping Couples Heal" podcasts, esp the interviews with Dr. Omar Minwalla. Eventually, those rose colored glasses will come off and you will be able to SEE your WH for the person he is, and not the facade he's very cleverly put on. Put simply, "nice", and "not arrogant" people don't cheat. They don't lie. They don't spend their time drunk. They don't stay in the marital home after being asked to move out because they are "only" having sex with their side piece a couple of times a week. What you describe is a child, not a functioning adult. You didn't make him a child, you can't control his being a child, and you can't cure it either.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:58 PM, March 19th, 2021 (Friday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3369   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8643403
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Merti ( member #72842) posted at 1:47 AM on Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Thank you gmc94, these responses help me very much.

Are you saying your WH is still involved in the A? That he is still in contact with the AP?

That is correct. His excuses are he doesn’t know how to end it, he is depressed, he drinks too much...

One reason you didn't want to file for D was health insurance - is that still an issue?

I like my job but the insurance is horrible, and I still use his insurance. I have met an attorney as well.

As you suggested I have to move into a new place because he is dragging his feet for months not to move out. He tells me he loves me and cannot lose me. I know he is not lying, he perhaps does in his own way, but this is not what love means to me. Separation will make it real for him and he is avoiding it like hell. He needs to think about what love is, and why it is so scary to lose me. Love is not betraying your wife (who was going through cancer treatment) with someone who doesn’t care about sick spouses or marriage commitments. It is horrible to treat someone who he called “my only family, only real friend” like that. You cherish such people, you do not traumatize them.

He told me he was unhappy and convinced himself that he deserved to have an A. To this day, he doesn’t know what he was unhappy about. Most importantly, I never thought he was unhappy. Because I would move the world to change it.

Because he was such a “good” person, I questioned myself so much as to what I did to lose him. Everyone loves him, his relatives, my relatives, neighbors, total strangers. If a good person does this, it must be something I did or didn’t do, right? Thanks to my friends, they reminded me of the reality. I always put him in front of everything, minimized my needs, outside of work he was always busy with his hobbies and projects and I never complained. I loved him very much, showed my love in any way possible, I never lied or deceived him. I felt that he treated me the same way, until A happened.

He could have ended things, not every married couple should be together forever. But instead he put the trauma of infidelity on my shoulders while I was dealing with cancer treatment.

I will perhaps never fully recover from this trauma. You do not do this to another human being. It is cruel, it is selfish.

Sorry for venting.

I will listen to "Helping Couples Heal" podcasts. Thank you 🙏🏻 gmc94.

[This message edited by Merti at 8:10 PM, March 19th (Friday)]

posts: 111   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020
id 8643447
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 11:55 PM on Saturday, March 20th, 2021

Vent away.

If a good person does this, it must be something I did or didn’t do, right?

Oy vey! I went through this as well, and thank goodness your friends helped you see this differently. I then struggled for awhile just thinking he was a "bad person", which comes with it's own issues.

Ultimately, I just see him as broken in ways that do not work with the life I want to live or the person I want to be. I somehow managed to confuse his arrogance for confidence, his "good deeds" for empathy, and his silent demeanor for humility. I was wrong on all counts.

Today, I see arrogance - not confidence - and view it as a clever cover for deep self loathing and a LACK of confidence

The good deeds are the only way he feels the world (including me) could value him

And the silent demeanor is nothing more than his way of maintaining an emotional distance from everyone - including me.

If he had confidence, empathy, or humility.... I don't think he'd have cheated (in one form or another) for 25 years.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3369   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8643633
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 7:50 PM on Sunday, March 21st, 2021

Merti I hear you - the debate. Is he a good person who did a bad thing OR a bad person deep down. That question can drive you batty.

Very gently - he could end it - he should end it but he doesn't want to. He also probably wants to end things in such a way that everyone is happy and that just isn't a reality. If there is an OBS please tell them ASAP and don't let WH know you are going to I'm sorry I'm not as familiar with your story as I should be for such a response].

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decadesChildren (1 still at home)Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBSBrandishing a sword, channeling my inner Inigo Montoya and saying "Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3269   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8643807
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 12:44 AM on Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Merti

He told me he was unhappy and convinced himself that he deserved to have an A. To this day, he doesn’t know what he was unhappy about. Most importantly, I never thought he was unhappy. Because I would move the world to change it.

They always say this or something like it. To be blunt, it doesn't matter - it's a non sequitur. If the marriage was unhappy then it should have been worked on. Cheating is not a solution for an unhappy marriage. It does not fix an unhappy marriage.

Because he was such a “good” person,

Good people don't intentionally harm other people they 'love' - your partner was not a good person, full stop.

I questioned myself so much as to what I did to lose him. Everyone loves him, his relatives, my relatives, neighbors, total strangers.

You didn't lose him, he betrayed you. That's an important distinction.

If a good person does this, it must be something I did or didn’t do, right?

Your question is nonsensical. It's like asking 'If person X is a good person then there must have been something that caused him to kill all those people'... Good people aren't serial killers. Good people don't cheat.

He could have ended things, not every married couple should be together forever. But instead he put the trauma of infidelity on my shoulders while I was dealing with cancer treatment.

That's particularly cruel of him. He traumatized/abused you while you were most vulnerable. That's something cruel people do.

I will perhaps never fully recover from this trauma. You do not do this to another human being. It is cruel, it is selfish

You can recover from this. That said, the rest of what you've said is true.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8645696
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Merti ( member #72842) posted at 2:03 AM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

gmc94, TheLostOne2020, Chaos I appreciate your answers.

If a good person does this, it must be something I did or didn’t do, right?

Your question is nonsensical. It's like asking 'If person X is a good person then there must have been something that caused him to kill all those people'... Good people aren't serial killers. Good people don't cheat.

I disagree that it is a nonsensical question. On the contrary, I read that many BS struggle with the same question. I will not make a list of how horrible it is to deceive a loved one, it’s quite obvious. What he did to me was disgusting but is he a disgusting person? I have a hard time with this question because he is not a horrible person. 10+ years of marriage and he sacrified so much for the family before the A. When I try to remind myself that he is a bad person it doesn’t quite work for me, I can’t deceive myself, because I have the memory of so many good years. Instead I remind myself that he has changed a lot, has become extremely self-centered to a point that he doesn’t care about the damage he is willingly inflicting on me, therefore, I don’t want this newer! version of him and I choose myself over him, just as he is doing.

[This message edited by Merti at 8:06 PM, March 29th (Monday)]

posts: 111   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2020
id 8646530
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 1:50 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Merti

I disagree that it is a nonsensical question.

I'm saying it's nonsensical because good people do not conduct affairs, not because the questions don't arise in the betrayed's minds.

On the contrary, I read that many BS struggle with the same question. I will not make a list of how horrible it is to deceive a loved one, it’s quite obvious.

I initially struggled with a similar question until I realized that my ex's affair was not a reflection of me at all.

What he did to me was disgusting but is he a disgusting person? I have a hard time with this question because he is not a horrible person. 10+ years of marriage and he sacrified so much for the family before the A. When I try to remind myself that he is a bad person it doesn’t quite work for me, I can’t deceive myself, because I have the memory of so many good years. Instead I remind myself that he has changed a lot, has become extremely self-centered to a point that he doesn’t care about the damage he is willingly inflicting on me, therefore, I don’t want this newer! version of him and I choose myself over him, just as he is doing.

I guess it depends a lot on the nature of the transgression and what's occurred. People can do horrible things and still do good things. That said, what's the metric for a bad person? To me it's willingly and repeatedly engaging in actions you know will hurt the people you love the most.

So the person who helps orphans, who sacrifices his time and energy helping people, but who sexually assaults his spouse is a bad person. John Wayne Gacy, who owned a business, helped out his community, and entertained kids with his Pogo the Clown persona did some good things - however he abused and killed 33 young men, thus making him irredeemable in my eyes.

The good mother who raises her kids to the best of her ability, but gas lights and abuses her husband for decades is a bad person.

I could go on. I think my metric is the ability to consistently treat another human being like dirt (particularly one that you love) is the metric I use for a 'bad person'. Your metric might be different and that's okay.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8646651
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 3:55 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

I met my wife when she was 17. She’s 53 today. We’ve been married almost three decades. She’s been a good mother to our kids. Our marriage has had good, better, bad, best and worst phases. With the exception of the period of time immediately before and during her affair, she’s been at least a good wife and since the affair a great wife. During her affair she was wretchedly bad to me.

I don’t find this effort to define who is or is not a "bad person" particularly helpful. By some of these definitions, my wife’s three year affair inescapably makes her a "bad person." I don’t believe that to be true. I believe she is a good person, flawed like the rest of us, whose weaknesses did not rise to the very difficult circumstances we found ourselves in when she began her affair. It was her fault, her choice, and it was a terrible series of choices every day for over 1,000 days.

But if I accepted the definition and the result, that my wife is a "bad person." What do I do with that? Divorce her? Because she met the criteria of "bad person?" Divorce her in spite of the fact we now get along well, we have a wholly different relationship with transparency, honesty, good communication skills, great sex, and a lifetime together? None of that matters, because she’s a "bad person?" Would the persons who define her as a "bad person" entertain other results besides divorce? How?

Likewise, if observers with their definition yielded to my conclusion, that she’s a "good person" who, did the proverbial "bad thing." Then what? Would I exalt this definitional "good person" status above future bad acts, future transgressions and give her a pass because she’s a "good person" who once again did "a bad thing?" Hell no. She has no more passes, no more margin for error. She can be a good person and still not deserve to be in a relationship with me.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote that "The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart…even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained." In other words, every human has both good and evil within them, no one is all good or all bad.

We are all both good and evil.

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8646683
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 4:46 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Wiseoldfool

I don’t find this effort to define who is or is not a "bad person" particularly helpful. By some of these definitions, my wife’s three year affair inescapably makes her a "bad person." I don’t believe that to be true. I believe she is a good person, flawed like the rest of us, whose weaknesses did not rise to the very difficult circumstances we found ourselves in when she began her affair. It was her fault, her choice, and it was a terrible series of choices every day for over 1,000 days.

In my opinion it depends on what has happened since then. Has she been remorseful? Has she tried to make amends? For me, in order to turn around and get on the road to being a good person it takes more than just the cessation of bad activity. It would take a lot of effort. Can a person turn around? Yes, I think it's possible. It's not easy.

So it would depend on the timeline and the effort.

But if I accepted the definition and the result, that my wife is a "bad person." What do I do with that? Divorce her? Because she met the criteria of "bad person?" Divorce her in spite of the fact we now get along well, we have a wholly different relationship with transparency, honesty, good communication skills, great sex, and a lifetime together? None of that matters, because she’s a "bad person?" Would the persons who define her as a "bad person" entertain other results besides divorce? How?

Of course - but it all depends on the actions. Someone who has physically abused their partner can turn around too. They can get counseling, they can change who they fundamentally are. Does that erase the evil they've done? No, of course not, but it updates the metrics. To put a little perspective on what I believe, I think that it would take a lot more doing good for a person who has done wrong to cross the line into the good category than it would for someone who has done neither good nor wrong.

Likewise, if observers with their definition yielded to my conclusion, that she’s a "good person" who, did the proverbial "bad thing." Then what? Would I exalt this definitional "good person" status above future bad acts, future transgressions and give her a pass because she’s a "good person" who once again did "a bad thing?" Hell no. She has no more passes, no more margin for error. She can be a good person and still not deserve to be in a relationship with me.

You are the one that has to live with her, that knows her, that she transgressed upon. It's your definition that matters, not mine. That said, according to me (who's opinion doesn't matter with regard to your wife), my opinion is that her effort can never be 'neutral', she has to continually try. This is because she actively committed an action she knew that would harm the person she loved. She's already shown that's in her, so, again, IMO, she would have to continually show that she's actively fighting that instinct.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote that "The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either – but right through every human heart…even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained." In other words, every human has both good and evil within them, no one is all good or all bad.

We are all both good and evil.

Maybe. I would say that we all fall short of proper action. I think we are all capable of abusing the people we love - but the capability and the actuality are two different things. At least in my opinion.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8646693
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 6:45 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

...it updates the metrics.

Agree with all you said, especially if the "good person" vs. "bad person" metric is not immutable. Redemption is possible, and so is regression.

As to my wife, I quite agree: standing still or considering her efforts for reconciliation to be anything besides an ongoing effort would be unacceptable to me. It is a Sisyphean endeavor. If she ever quits, I quit.

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8646721
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 8:50 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Wiseoldfool

Agree with all you said, especially if the "good person" vs. "bad person" metric is not immutable. Redemption is possible, and so is regression.

Right - it's contextual and depends on a lot of factors. The bigger the abuse the more continual effort there should be. In my head I'm thinking of the cases where the abuser stops the affair and then says stuff like 'I haven't done it since', 'you need to forget about it', etc.

My issue with this is that what the cheater has done has shown the betrayed just how little they mean to them. Cessation of cheating is putting a cast on a broken leg. The person still needs to be rehabbed. The cheater has to show, through sustained effort, how much the betrayed means to them.

As to my wife, I quite agree: standing still or considering her efforts for reconciliation to be anything besides an ongoing effort would be unacceptable to me. It is a Sisyphean endeavor. If she ever quits, I quit.

That seems reasonable to me.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8646758
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 9:44 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

I struggled plenty with that "good person, bad thing" vs "bad person". The first time it REALLY smacked me was in year 2 when WH was getting a bunch of accolades/awards, and I had to be the dutiful wife at this side at a bunch of events to "honor" a man I believed had some real issues with integrity, esp in light of ALL the secrets I was (and still do) keep for him (starting with the "heart attack" actually being me finding him hanging from a rope in our garage and having the EMS tell me he was dead).

At that time, the question I asked myself was: What if he had cured cancer? Despite all the awful WRT to me and our M, what if he had fucking cured cancer? And for some reason, that helped me break out of the "bad person" mindset. He can be an AWFUL human being when it comes to partnering or to me personally. But still do good for others and in the world.

There are still times I struggle with that aspect of things. Thankfully, it's not that often anymore. He can be a "good person" that is still not worthy of R. He can be a "good person" that is downright harmful to my emotional well being. I agree that redemption is possible, but you have to REALLY want it and be willing to REALLY dig into it. My WH is not that person.

And FWIW, it sure doesn't seem like Merti's WH is either.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 3:45 PM, March 30th, 2021 (Tuesday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3369   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8646774
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 10:00 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

gmc94

I struggled plenty with that "good person, bad thing" vs "bad person". The first time it REALLY smacked me was in year 2 when WH was getting a bunch of accolades/awards, and I had to be the dutiful wife at this side at a bunch of events to "honor" a man I believed had some real issues with integrity, esp in light of ALL the secrets I was (and still do) keep for him (starting with the "heart attack" actually being me finding him hanging from a rope in our garage and having the EMS tell me he was dead).

Jesus I'm sorry to hear that. I'm not trying to be mean or anything AND I don't know your story but the first thing that came to mind was that not only was he selfish enough to cheat on you, he selfishly attempted suicide as well. I'm sorry if that's hurtful, i'm not trying to be but it's what's going through my mind at the moment.

At that time, the question I asked myself was: What if he had cured cancer? Despite all the awful WRT to me and our M, what if he had fucking cured cancer? And for some reason, that helped me break out of the "bad person" mindset. He can be an AWFUL human being when it comes to partnering or to me personally. But still do good for others and in the world.

True - one can do good as well as bad. For me though I'm not really looking at this as an objective question, I'm looking at it very subjectively. For me a bad person is one that does X or Y.

There are still times I struggle with that aspect of things. Thankfully, it's not that often anymore. He can be a "good person" that is still not worthy of R. He can be a "good person" that is downright harmful to my emotional well being. I agree that redemption is possible, but you have to REALLY want it and be willing to REALLY dig into it. My WH is not that person.

And FWIW, it sure doesn't seem like Merti's WH is either.

Maybe I'm conflating 'good' with 'someone who should be reconciled or given another chance' (whether that means friends or partners) with. I'm looking at it this way; I define a 'good person' as someone I would ideally like in my life in some capacity, a 'bad person' is someone I do not want in my life in any capacity.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8646779
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Dranth ( member #72561) posted at 10:04 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

My issue with this is that what the cheater has done has shown the betrayed just how little they mean to them.

This messes with me and is something I continue to struggle with. That the WS in many cases (and most certainly in mine) actually thought what they were doing was harmless. What?!?!?!?

Not only had she sold out morally but she had blinded herself to the damage she was doing to the M, to herself and me. That my WW really thought she was “there for me” during those years. That she couldn’t see how she had changed, how it altered the ways she treated and interacted with me, that she didn’t notice the distance it created or what a shallow, sad person she had become is absurd to me. All of that is bad enough but that it just kept going for years... It pisses me off.

What’s more absurd is that I didn’t notice. I feel a special level of dumb for not noticing it sooner or more specifically, when I did recognize things were off, eating up the lies I was told instead of trusting myself. Holy hell.

Trying to rebuild trust in yourself after buying the lies for years is proving to be harder than I ever would have thought.

Apologies for the vent, didn’t mean to veer off there when I started writing but it just started coming out.

Me: BH, 43 on D-Day
D-Day: 1/10/2020

posts: 66   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2020
id 8646783
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 10:18 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Dranth

This messes with me and is something I continue to struggle with. That the WS in many cases (and most certainly in mine) actually thought what they were doing was harmless. What?!?!?!?

I think that my (ex) cheater knew it was harmful (perhaps not how harmful) but she thought she was entitled to do it.

Not only had she sold out morally but she had blinded herself to the damage she was doing to the M, to herself and me. That my WW really thought she was “there for me” during those years. That she couldn’t see how she had changed, how it altered the ways she treated and interacted with me, that she didn’t notice the distance it created or what a shallow, sad person she had become is absurd to me. All of that is bad enough but that it just kept going for years... It pisses me off.

A part of me thinks that if she realized this then she'd have to admit how awful she was. No one wants to be the villain in the movie that is their life.

What’s more absurd is that I didn’t notice. I feel a special level of dumb for not noticing it sooner or more specifically, when I did recognize things were off, eating up the lies I was told instead of trusting myself. Holy hell.

Nah dude, this isn't on you. I'm sure you were like me in that you thought your partner was on the same sort of moral level that you were. I certainly wouldn't take action I knew that would hurt my partner - surely my partner would be the same, right? Wrong.

Trying to rebuild trust in yourself after buying the lies for years is proving to be harder than I ever would have thought.

Apologies for the vent, didn’t mean to veer off there when I started writing but it just started coming out.

No worries, let it out.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8646784
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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 10:27 PM on Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

Vent away, Dranth. My WH was very similar. Thought it would be A-OK so long as no one ever knew. Unfortunately, that requires trusting someone willing to sleep with a married person to keep their pie hole shut... not very wise IMHO :)

Now, I DID notice. I knew something was off before the EA went PA. And w/in a week of the 1st time he and POSOW had sex (according to WH, not sure if I believe it), I was in IC. About 6-8 weeks after that, I had what I thought was a heart attack while standing in line at Best Buy, and then went through a battery of tests to determine if my heart was functioning (it was - the episode was a panic attack, and unlike anything I'd experienced.... until dday). So, I went to IC and he went along his merry way. I went on antidepressants, and during that round of IC I did confront about several issues in the M, and then backed off. None of it felt like "enough" to D over. I was not happy about whatever was going on with him, but (in hindsight naively) believed him when he said he was "just" under a lot of stress at work. I remember the IC saying it could be he was having an A. I believe I talked to him about it, but don't have any specific recollection. I do have specific recollections of me OFTEN asking him what the heck was wrong and him becoming very angry and saying it was all work (bc the A was long distance, I now believe he just acted like a royal effing arsehole when he and AP had contact).

Anyhow, our ddays are 2 years apart, and I have spent a LOT of time beating myself up about what I did -and did not - notice, how I responded to the "off" things, never, ever, never even dreaming he could be having an A, etc. TBH, I think shifting from that thinking to finding self compassion is part of the process of healing.

I just read on another thread:

The goal is to love yourself so much that you will institute your own boundaries and make healthy choices for yourself.

I think that finding compassion for being a trusting spouse is part of that territory.

Godspeed.

ETA: as to the thinking they "were there" for their BS during the A. I've always called bullshite on that front. My WH still believes he "loved" me throughout the LTA, throughout the lies, etc. I'm just not in that camp. He gets to feel however he wants, but if you equate lying, cheating, and robbing YEARS of your spouse's life with "love", in the words of Florence + the Machine - "what kind of man loves like this" ?

And LostOne:

not only was he selfish enough to cheat on you, he selfishly attempted suicide as well.

Yeah, that was quite the doozy. He says it was VERY spur of the moment & doesn't remember anything in the 30-90 min before he did it (he was DEAD when I cut him down as the police/EMT arrived, then revived, then coma for 48+ hours, etc). So, I am surmising, but the way in which it came about was a giant FU. Knowing I'd be the one to find him, not leaving a note, etc. I thought he was on a walk to burn some steam (we'd been having a pretty heated convo), and just happened to hear a weird noise from the garage (like if you swallowed really loudly) and went in there to find him hanging. Thank GOD for EMT(for him) and EMDR (for me).

He had NEVER - not once in [at that time] more than 25 years together - EVER shown any signs of suicidality, even after dday. It was completely out of the blue.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:39 PM, March 30th, 2021 (Tuesday)]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3369   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8646786
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TheLostOne2020 ( member #72463) posted at 3:19 PM on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

gmc94

Yeah, that was quite the doozy. He says it was VERY spur of the moment & doesn't remember anything in the 30-90 min before he did it (he was DEAD when I cut him down as the police/EMT arrived, then revived, then coma for 48+ hours, etc). So, I am surmising, but the way in which it came about was a giant FU. Knowing I'd be the one to find him, not leaving a note, etc. I thought he was on a walk to burn some steam (we'd been having a pretty heated convo), and just happened to hear a weird noise from the garage (like if you swallowed really loudly) and went in there to find him hanging. Thank GOD for EMT(for him) and EMDR (for me).

He had NEVER - not once in [at that time] more than 25 years together - EVER shown any signs of suicidality, even after dday. It was completely out of the blue.

I feel for you. You should never have had to have witnessed that. Especially ON TOP of everything else. I find the stirrings of anger welling up in me on your behalf, I can't even imagine what that's like to go through.

D-Day 1: New Year's Day 2020
D-Day 2: Jan 21 2020
There was no D-Day 3.

6/12/2020: Moved out.

3/02/2021: Officially divorced.

I'm 42 and just starting to have the answers to the universe...

posts: 892   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2020   ·   location: NoVa
id 8646907
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 4:43 PM on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

What’s more absurd is that I didn’t notice. I feel a special level of dumb for not noticing it sooner or more specifically, when I did recognize things were off, eating up the lies I was told instead of trusting myself. Holy hell.

I feel this pain exquisitely. I am a professional finder of truth, a professional interrogator, a person who deals professionally with infidelity every single week if not every single day. And I missed my wife’s three year affair happening right under my nose.

However, I haven’t had the problem with feeling like I can’t trust my instincts in the present. Now, I feel like my compass has been recalibrated and if anything it is more sensitive to course drift or deviation.

And the "I was there for you......" My wife and I had a very difficult conversation about this yesterday. She has steadfastly maintained that in the last year of her affair, she "was working on our marriage......" I challenged her - "How? What did you do to ‘work on our marriage’?" Needless to say, that narrative collapsed pretty quickly, but not before I came to the conclusion that she has yet to actually grasp the depth of her betrayal and the corresponding gashes in my heart. I told her that what I heard her saying was that in the last year of her affair she developed cognitive dissonance, that she felt conflicted, and that she actually just set me up repeatedly to fail so she could justify returning to her AP with a fresh complaint of my failure to be a good husband. That hit her hard.

We have MC Thursday. This will be the topic.

posts: 92   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8646931
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 5:04 PM on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

gmc, thanks for sharing the painful details of your H's suicide attempt. What an absolute nightmare and another layer of mindf*ck for you. As to having no clue he had that in him, it is maybe part of the package of all the things they do that they don't think they have in them, like cheating, lying, living a double life....

Honestly one of the things that is making R harder for me as I push for what I want/need/deserve in order to heal and stay is seeing how much more is going on under the surface of my H than I knew, or maybe more than he is able to process in a healthy or mature manner. I have had a few scary glimpses behind the curtain of my normally rock solid, steady unflappable man, both the angry one who won't be cornered during a conversation, and the desperate one who can't control the situation around him. Everything is internalized, and it took a lot for him to even admit he was struggling and hurting and crazy too. He said that when I talk to him about his A, usually trying to clarify or sift the lies from the truth of the year plus of trickle truth, that I make him overload and static fills his brain and he can't even figure out what words to use. I have a ridiculous command of the English language and use ALL the words I know and it that plus the reality jolt of admitting what he has done and how effed the situation is overwhelm him maybe? That plus my unchecked emotions, mostly sorrow with a splash of resentment overload him too. He can't handle his system overload with talking or distractions like I do, so he has to shut down so he doesn't do something desperate. I'm trying to pay attention, because I have to worry about his limitations and damage now too. Which kind of makes sense, because his limits and damage are what brought us to this point and brought me to this website.

Maybe it's a personality type thing, where they are so buttoned up and unable to deal with their emotions and the consequences of their actions that they go lizard brain and instead of fight or flight, they go temporarily insane. I have had suicidal thoughts, but they come on slowly and have specific triggers and reasons. Maybe some people just freak out when forced to face their emotions, demons or whatever and they hit an eject button they didn't know was there? Me, I analyze everything. It took a long time to realize how much of what I was doing was fight, flight or freeze. They should add freak out to that list....

Just wanted to say that I've been scared a few times when realizing he's not as strong or stable as I always assumed and that I tread lighter now because that's how I am conditioned to interact in my marriage now. The list of accommodations keeps growing and my resentment embers glow too. I have to moderate when I talk, how I talk, what words or phrases I use so I don't set him off. It's like petting a dog that bites randomly, I'm on guard now in year three. Years one and two I was reacting, venting and just being 100% however I felt or needed to be at the moment. I can't do that now, because it is risky and I know what the outcome will be - anger, stonewalling, silence or him asking if he should just leave for good. I push too hard and he thinks giving up is the right answer. I hope we are past the point of him making crazy decisions as the crisis stage is behind us, but I'm still in the wreckage stage, and still in the mindset that if he could do some more work on himself to understand the connection between emotion and action, then I would have some stable ground to stand on.

Merti, I'm sorry for your membership in this club. I can't wrap my brain around the good/bad person question. I just want to know if I am dealing with honesty or lies now. I have to know who this person is or has become and if they are in control of themselves now. That your WH is continuing his A and dragging you along with him makes me both sad and mad for you. As long as he tries to stay married to you and continue his affair, he is just plain bad. For us, I don't care about the larger circles of other people as comparison, or other facets of his life where he does good things because this is not about the other facets of life, this is about us, about morality, integrity, marriage, trust, friendship, loyalty, and our spouses have done very badly where it matters most to us. I remember after the first discovery, and the lies that kept unravelling, I told him that if he were anyone else, I'd be too disgusted to stay in the same room with him, let alone try to stay married. At the core, his choices and behavior are repulsive to me on a fundamental level and maybe that's why I struggle so much. Good/Bad? I just want to know who he really is and what he really thinks and feels. Maybe when he figures it out he will share it with me. Hugs.

Wise, I'm with you. If he can't try harder, I'm gonna quit trying. And if I quit trying there is nothing worth staying for.

Dranth, I relate to much of what you said. My WH actually told me his lta was a win-win for everyone, believes he loved me the same all the way through and that his A had no impact on his happy marriage. yup, he believed we were happily married and i was happy with the scraps i was getting. And I feel a special level of stupid in hindsight too, but i comfort myself with the fact that the reason I was able to be deceived is because at my core i am an honest and trusting person who had no basis to suspect the level of lies and deceit that were surrounding me. I'm more mad at myself for the stupid long process of discovery that I allowed to happen because I had not found this support site yet. When I did, I was in crisis, and i still couldn't process the truth that the kind souls here were gifting me with. The will to believe in something against all evidence can be hard to overcome.

Lost one, spot on. Entitlement and rewriting stories so they are not the villain is so much a part of my WH's story. And assuming our partners were on the same moral page as us was maybe our first mistake. I have peeled back so many onion layers on my WH that I know now how much i was projecting onto him, and how much he kept hidden. Going through a false recovery with fake remorse, gaslighting, promises of love and fidelity and a marriage reboot to authenticity and honesty, being led to believe it was a short, long ago affair, while being looked straight in the eyes and told there were no more lies and no more secrets, while he was still actively meeting and having sex with her and hysterically bonding with me is my particular horror story to process. I asked after the truth came out, why he would even choose to stay in a relationship filled with lies and deceit. He says because he loves me. Such empty words now.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 259   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8646938
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