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I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39

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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:31 AM on Saturday, March 26th, 2022

Hi WILA

I before I unpack your response, a few thoughts. my only qualification is that I have been through some of this stuff and I had a husband with some similarities.

I want say that you are a kickass woman that I have nothing but admiration for. And you did not deserve this.

So, two questions are - who are you? And, who do you want to be? These questions are important as you proceed on this difficult journey.

To respond to some of your points.

what good talking about my H's inability to talk to me will get me

Talking to someone will help you figure out what to do with his lack of ability to take accountability for his actions. He wants to rugsweep. He says that he wants to move forward but on his terms. Avoiding is not moving forward. He is a coward, he just doesn’t know it.

how I can't feel that he is invested in or choosing this relationship? How can I take him seriously when he wants to take the Oops I made a mistake, it's all good now approach? How can I find him worthy of what I am offering?

He is not invested, at least not yet. Watch his actions and behaviour. Nothing in your post shows that he is willing to do any real work. Words are cheap. He is a business man, accountability is something he understands. Think of it in terms of a RACI, role of a husband, support and love your wife, the capability is trustworthiness. He did not do his job. He did not make an oops, he made a choice everyday for 9 years to continue his affair. Choice. His choice. And every day for 9 years he kept it a secret. He lied to you for nearly a decade.

I need to understand what went wrong, and get to the nut of his reasons. He has only given me one, that my parenting style

I know the why is really important at the start, it is actually more important for him to know why so he can make better choices. the why he gave you is a symptom. He felt like a failure as a parent, you were good at it. He wasn’t. This you can’t fix, and he has to reconcile with it. This reason should be rejected, it is irrelevant. You are a better parent, so I had sex with this woman for 9 years - no one says this ever. Maybe he didn’t feel like the father or the man, this is his issue. Maybe he had a bad childhood, again his issue. He needs counselling. He is showing that he is emotionally immature.

So I am left with the one thing I tried to do right and do better for my family cost me my marriage? I'm not sure I can live with that or let that go. I need him to understand that our parenting disagreements was the excuse he used to cheat when he was actually having a mid life crisis and dealing with some financial problems he created with investments I did not support.

Please tell me that you know being a good mom is the right thing. And you know that your loving and protecting your kids is not the reason he cheated. This man does not like to be wrong. Not sure if he feels shame, or less of a man, or like a failure… parenting is not the reason he cheated. how he chose to deal with his feeling is. He chose this. He could of partnered with you, but he didn’t nor could he get past his own issues. His problems. You own NONE of this.

I look back at all of this with utter confusion and now, growing resentment of my own. My life doesn't make sense anymore now that the data set has been revised. I asked him what I was supposed to do with my resentments and unmet needs now? What about all the fun I missed out on while he played behind my back? Write it off like bad debt?

Sweetie, your life does make sense, his choices do not. Life is not a data set, it is messy, wonderful, hard, and has awesome calories. You have done great things, a business, kids, and I am sure there is a lot more. Please don’t look at your life as lost, nonsensical. Yes it may feel that way, but you have made a difference. Tell us your resentments, put them out there in the universe, put them on the table so they can be assessed, dealt with and put somewhere so that they no longer eat you up. You have done a lot, go have some fun. Without him. Do something for you, love yourself.

Maybe what's happening is me pushing back against feeling controlled.

How are you going to take your power back?

He blames me for being broken, not himself for breaking me. In the heat of an argument I said I'm trying to recover from what you did to me. He was livid, and yelled WHAT I DID TO YOU??? He does not own that he is responsible for how I am now, he said he didn't think I would take this so badly, or be so hurt. By a nine year affair? Gaslighting, rugsweeping, allowing the MOW to fill me with more lies? Really?

so what would he do if you had had the 9 year affair? This man is not living in the real world, he refuses to grow up and be accountable for his choices. This is super typical, read my profile and the shit my ex did. He too is afraid, and cowardly. My ex responded with anger when he felt he wasn’t getting the respect he deserved, or if he didn’t feel validated. This feels similar. Our mc told him my ex that he was a coward often. And that He heard what he wanted. In many sessions, the Mc asked, what did your wife say? He got it wrong for months. Your husband isn’t seeing or hearing you. You can’t talk to him, what is the point?

Ugh I'm venting and whining here because there is no easy solution, only really hard choices. The kind you have had to make. I wonder how did you decide what you had was not worth saving? Was there not enough love to make it worth trying? We have lots of love, but one of us doesn't have compassion or integrity and is telling me now that the healing that is important to me is not important to him. Literally the words out of his mouth, repeated for emphasis. It is not important to me. You are and our future is, but nothing about the past matters.

It is ok to vent, better to get it out. None of this is easy, none of it.

I had not been happy for years but I was too busy to notice. I stuck my head in the sand, and pretended he loved me and that we could fix our marriage. Love conquers all. We did not have a lot of happy years in the bank. After he confessed the first time, my knee jerk reaction was to save the marriage, he was mine. So I believed him when he said that he ended it. He didn’t want to talk about the affair. He got angry every time I raised the affair topic even punched the wall once and he threatened suicide - not the first time. I did pick me dance, I trusted him (stupid I know now). I was on this site, people told me he was still cheating which he was. One night I asked him if he was really committed to R, his answer was that he didn’t want to be married. It was not the first time he had said this either. Later That weekend, he called me (I went to see family) and decided to tell all. Omg, it was awful. So 1 year later after me not getting over it, I found out that he didn’t tell me all, he lied by omission. I insisted he move out. I felt better. He hung around, after a bit of back and forth, finally I saw that he was not the man I thought he was, and that I didn’t really like or admire him.

I have moments of regret, but I sincerely don’t miss him often, I am happier now than I was before. When I was married, I’d often rock myself to sleep. Being in a lonely marriage is harder than being alone.

Do I just let go and pursue separation, hoping either he finds his way to maturity in handling this, or I grow enough to be ok without him in my life?

Maybe. It seems unlikely to be successful, it is not working for you now. I read often that couples who rug sweep experience issues in the future - repeat cheating or significant resentment. He won’t find the maturity, he isn’t remorseful. He isn’t even trying. Words are cheap, watch his actions. Your girlfriend is right. My ex was at least remorseful and he did some work.

So tell me Tallgirl, does the benefit of breaking away offset what is hard? Does the sadness just shift to a different level that is more manageable because it has clear borders now?

I can only speak for me.

Yes.

Here is why. ….

My husband was selfish, often mean to me, and hurt my kids with his betrayal. he chose to spend hours away from his kids for a prostitute. 5 years. They needed him.

I no longer cry myself to sleep multiple times a week.

I didn’t have a loving marriage, But one where I often felt hated. That is all gone.

Yes I am alone, but being alone in a marriage is much worse, I know that far too well.

And, I have the respect and love of my kids, that means everything. He does not.

So WILA I have one more question, can you be the person you want to be if you are married to your husband?

I rarely type such a long response, mostly because I hate typing on my IPad. Apologies for the errors that are here. I felt that you deserved validation, maybe to hear a bit of my story and to be assured that you deserve more than what your husband is offering right now.

You have been heard and you are so so worthy. Own your future.

Like you I am an analytical driven business woman, not some silly twit on an infidelity site that doesn’t know what she is talking about. There are many brilliant people here, your husband should be smarter.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 7:38 AM, Sunday, March 27th]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1978   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8725944
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 5:34 PM on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

Tallgirl,

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk through this with me and offer your insight and support. I have so much to think about and work through, but I know it is past time to focus on healing and moving forward instead of answers and understanding. If I can focus on myself without defaulting to me = us, and work through and let go of the anger and frustrations, maybe the path forward will reveal itself with clarity. It's the inbetween part that is so confusing, and the wishing for the outcome I wanted instead of the one I got. I realized reading your response that I have been so hung up on my needing him to do things to make me feel safe, when I am the only one truly in charge of my safety. And thanks for the coward insight, I always saw it as stubborn or uncaring, but I can see now that it is cowardly to refuse to face your choices and their outcomes. I am many things but a coward was never on the list. It's an interesting reframing of how I view his actions, part of the emotionally immaturity that let all this happen as it did, and it helps somehow.

I did a lot of what you did too, the head down, keep plodding, believing things were ok and we were good as a couple, and a family unit. There were signs, I wasn't able to handle what they were pointing too, during his cheating and his horrible false reconciliation. I have to own that I chose to believe a known liar in the face of evidence to the contrary, because of love and hope and fear of loss. I don't think I could ever be that version of myself again.

The who I am part is so confusing, because I've started to change in ways I don't recognize. I need to realize the setbacks are temporary, and I do get to choose how I live my life and who I want to be. Thanks for the really important reminder. There's so much loss here, the relationship I thought we had, the life I thought I was living, and then the loss of myself and maybe my self respect for a while. There's a lot left worth appreciating and celebrating about my life and I'm going to keep trying to focus on that now. And thanks for the reminder that I was the best mom I knew how to be, and I never let selfishness drive any of the choices I made as a parent, only love. I did my best and that is all I need to understand about that.

As to your last question, no, I can't be the version of myself I can respect if I stay in this marriage as it stands. I kept holding out hope he would have an epiphany or at least a slow coming around and be the man he needs to be to earn his place back in my heart. We are about to hit year four of the MOW slinking away, and the clock is running out, if it hasn't already.

Best to you on your journey, and I hope the alone part gets easier for you, and maybe if you choose, in time you end up not so alone after all.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 432   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8726213
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 6:43 PM on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

Just one more thing to share. I identified as a mom, a business person, and his wife for the last 30 years. Not as Tallgirl. When I found out about his cheating I felt my identity had been ripped away. I had tried so hard to be what he needed for so long - I put myself on the back burner. I lost me. I felt he stole years of my life. He didn’t. I gave them, he was a bad investment.

I felt so raw, it was exceedingly hard, still do sometimes. And I feel awkward being single. Because I am not comfortable being alone with me, I don’t know Tallgirl well enough.

This for me is my growth, it is also why I am sometimes angry.

It may be my uncomfortable gift from infidelity.

Id much prefer a silver John hardy ring or to fit in a size 12. But it may be what is right for me now.

Hope this helps.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 3:01 AM, Monday, March 28th]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1978   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8726226
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 1:36 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

I put myself on the back burner. I lost me. I felt he stole years of my life. He didn’t. I gave them

I feel this very much. I want me back, and it's a strange feeling since I thought I had already worked through my empty nest identity crisis, leaning into our golden years together, happily ever after.

I hope we can learn to enjoy getting to know ourselves better and becoming our own best friends. I like to believe that periods of growth are preceded by discomfort and chaos, at least that's how I handled the kids as they went through rough patches, especially the teen years. I told myself that this is the time to love them the hardest, when it is hardest to, because that is when they need it most. I will try to remember that and to love myself as well as I love my children.

And thanks, I did not know about John Hardy rings and now I want one too! I hope you get the ring and the size 12 someday!

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 432   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8726611
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 3:30 AM on Friday, April 1st, 2022

I LOVE John Hardy jewellery

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1978   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8727203
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 7:56 PM on Monday, May 2nd, 2022

So Tallgirl - tell us about the pieces you have.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3533   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8733183
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 8:45 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Well this thread has been very quiet....

I need to post something and couldn't figure out where, and this seemed a little safer for this confessional. Oops is all I can say. Last April, on the 4th Anniversary of the End of the Affair, I emailed MOW and begged for some of the details my WH can't or won't divulge. The not knowing was/is making me crazy. She answered, gave a very rough outline and several gut punch surprises, plus a few snide remarks and questions that stung, like why would I stay with my WH if he won't answer my questions....

I thought today, on the fifth anniversary of discovering the existence of the A and the MOW that I would write out my response to her last email. I have written no less than five so far, but they were bile filled and angry, and I managed some self respect and left them all saved but unsent. This time, I took each line she wrote and gave it a follow up response, asking for clarity, more detail or offering the best answer I could give to her hardest question, why stay with such a man? I also asked her why she would stay with a man she claimed to hate?

I told myself this was an exercise, I hadn't sent the others, and I was just putting my DDay anniversary angst on paper, with no intent to send my oversharing sob story about how hard this has been for me. Well, my email or computer or I glitched and the email minimized and when I clicked on it to open, I got the email sent message.

You know that panic racing heart that comes with discovery? I got that. I freaked out and tried so hard to unsend but there was not an option that I could find. The email ended abruptly, and oddly I'm relieved I fixed all the typos before it went. But. I WAS NOT planning to send it, and hadn't decided what to do, beyond get my issues and concerns out on paper. I even asked myself it this was a Freudian slip, but I know it wasn't because I have been fighting this computer and that email server all week. An honest and highly embarrassing mistake. But still, that is zero comfort to me right now.

I don't really have a question or need beyond confessing my stupidity and my weakness in controlling my thoughts.

But, a relevant detail, he is currently on his first business trip in over two years, to the same city she accompanied him to many times, and we had quite the sad and angry fight about my being triggered over this trip. He doesn't even realize what this day is, DDay1, and he can't fathom triggers or intrusive thoughts because he doesn't work that way. So I forgive myself for the weakness of this spiral, but am very disappointed in myself for managing to send something I didn't know if I even wanted to send. I sat for a while thinking I would send a follow up oops email, but managed to walk away from my computer and freak out somewhere safe and then come here so you can tell me it's ok, let it go, and let her go!!

I feel like an alcoholic who can't stop relapsing. I want this in my past, not my todays and tomorrows, but I keep cycling back through the same shit. My WH is right on one count, this is like groundhog day, because we are stuck in a very repetitive and unproductive cycle and we can't get it right. Initially, I agreed to stay until our daughter graduated college and moved out, but Covid strung that out way too long, and I got good at the pretending part. Now I tell myself, as I tend to our 15 year old, slowly dying dog, that this is the next hurdle we jump together before I figure out what to do next. I know this is no way to live, I know there are options, and I know I will be painfully slow to decide anything, agonizing every inch of the way before and after. Incidentally, I think part of the reason I wanted to email her is to ask about my dog. WH swears she never met our dog, but in one of her texts she said something that made me think otherwise. I asked what he did with the dog when I travelled and they stayed at her house and he said maybe the dog went with him? I asked then why did you say she never met him? I don't know, I can't remember, maybe I took him there maybe I didn't. The old backpedal, cover your ass, can't remember program that has blown my reasoning to bits. But my what about the dog questions have been a chronic sticking point in what I need to know about their logistics. And now that he is so old and frail, I wonder more and that is the question I most wanted to ask her. Eh. Maybe I'm just looking for excuses for my weakness.

Anyway thanks for letting me share this latest upsetting event. I'm petrified to look at my email now, the last one was very hard to accept, as it was the first time she told me the truth and I learned how much longer their relationship lasted. Knowing what I do know of her, she will probably respond, if only to tell me to leave her alone. I already promised her a good riddance card in 2027 to mark her absence from my marriage as long as she trespassed in it. It's on the calendar. I have a dumb bitter streak.

I hope when I'm done freaking out I can find some humor or better yet give zero fucks about the stupid email. I hope all of the LT gang is having a better go of things than I am.

Also.... Tallgirl, Chaos' questions about the rings! I'd love to know too. I was thrilled to see Hardy jewelry at Costco, but sad they don't come in half sizes. Another also, last week I almost bought myself an open or split wedding band, they have a gap and can come plain or with stones or pearls at each end. If I can find my path to staying, I just might buy myself one, because the gap symbolizes the broken years of my marriage. It would be quite the blatant reminder of what I have lost, but maybe a testament to - something?

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 5:31 PM, Saturday, September 17th]

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 432   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8755424
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 9:20 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Well that didn't take long - she answered, gave me almost as many I don't remembers as he did, but she did say she met my dog.

Why do I resent that so much? It is kind of a violation isn't it? Well at least this is over with and I can go shower off the sweat and shame and reboot. Thank goodness for a place to spill all this....

Edited to add that when I calmed down, I went back and started re-reading Living and Loving After Betrayal, and I'm starting to understand a little better some of the places I am stuck and the things I need to work on to heal. It is really hard to unstick a stuck brain, but I want to try.

Further edited to update that I am oddly, calmly ok with this after a little distance. I have told my WH what I did, and discussed what I wrote and her answers with him, and for the first time in ages, we talked, I was able to keep calm and I think I was heard and maybe I see him starting to understand some things. So I guess my mistake helped me more than it hurt me. I've never felt more like she's not worth my brain space than now, so I'll call this progress. I'm going to keep working on me for a while. Thanks SI for a place to put this.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 5:38 PM, Saturday, September 17th]

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 432   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8755429
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Emptyglass ( new member #80295) posted at 9:00 PM on Monday, September 19th, 2022

Hi WILA

I believe anyone that can keep their head above water and show kindness deserves a medal when put in this situation… and you have done that. I know it’s torture to wonder and not know everything… And the simple truth is the betrayed will never fully know everything… it’s a reality we have to live with. We’ll get bits and pieces but will never know everything that haunts us every day.

I thought of when I first watched wizard of oz and how amazing it was when the movie turned to colour… I feel like my life is the opposite.. my world was full of colour and since discovery has gone dark. I honestly am unsure if I’ll ever see the vibrant colour again.

Learning to move through this life after discovery of affair especially a LTA is devastating. So if you can find courage to do it and not turn completely bitter you are doing great! And your advice to others who are hurting in this subject are thoughtful and extremely helpful.

I’m glad you had a meaningful discussion with your spouse after your email. That’s all that matters really.

posts: 22   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2022
id 8756073
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 8:59 AM on Saturday, September 24th, 2022

WILA,

Focusing on the MOW on the 4th Anniversary and the 5th Anniversary, and ruminating about the details you don't know, searching for answers. What this tells me is that you are stuck in trauma.

Have you worked with a trauma therapist? Have you and he done a full therapeutic disclosure with polygraph? That would be the big reveal, and then you could both move on. If. If. If, he's willing to do it. If he's not, that tells you something.

You are strong, but that isn't enough to heal and move forward. EMDR might help. A support group might help. Boundary and trauma work might help. If you have done that work, then maybe it's time to try someone else, because you deserve to reclaim your life. You deserve to be happy.

I say this with compassion. I totally get your comment about the dog. I had a similar reaction.

If I can offer one more comment, about something you said a few months ago:

There are some of us in the LTA club that seem powerless to force our WH's to do what we need: read, talk, get counseling, unless we are willing to end the M.

We can never force anyone to do anything. We can tell them what we need and want, but it's up to them if they chose to provide that. Your WH has chosen not to provide what you need. He didn't during his LTA and he isn't now. You can still get closure, but it might not be possible with him. Speaking for myself, sometimes closure comes in realizing that we didn't marry the person we thought we did. Letting go of a stranger is easier than letting go of the illusion they created for us.

It's better to be alone with reality than to be with someone who has us constantly questioning our reality.

posts: 338   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8756875
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