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.
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]