Questions are good. I am a very deep thinker, and as I have mentioned writing helps me. It always has, and it was a lifesaver as a WS. I get so tangled up inside but writing it all down, it helps.
My emotional exhaustion/nervous breakdown, that is a good question. I am not sure to the extent that played a role, but it has been a discussion point with us and even his IC.
I think between that and my self-flagellation, he didn't want to make me feel worse, he wanted to help me get better. I do believe it caused him to not express all his harder feelings, especially his anger. I think it's ultimately what made him relent on the divorce at the time. He felt like he was abandoning me when I was sick I think, and then I had just gotten stable and he didn't want me to go back to spiraling. Honestly, that might have not been great, but in many ways I think it probably did allow me to get more stable and get on the right path. I just didn't know that was happening at his expense. He isn't putting it in these terms really, but I don't think what he is saying is all that different than that.
But, I don't think that's different than what I see BH's talk about on this site. The MOST common thing I say to a bh is "tell her". I think men in general aren't as good as expressing and processing, it's not what they are often taught growing up. Especially in my husband's generation and above. If you are a BH and reading this, for crying out loud, tell her. Don't sacrifice your mental health for hers.
I think looking back, we did only a really short stint of marriage counseling. I did IC forever, he did IC not at all. I would have maybe pushed for a little more out of our MC that might have picked up more on him holding back. But, at the same time, who knows if he recognized it and if he would have even said anything to her about it.
I don't say any of this explains or excuses his affair, but as you said there is a state of mind, and things you have to dissect. They don't have to be the reason for the affair for them to be important to gain an understanding of each other or to talk about how you want to change it moving forward.
Has your husband shown that he recognizes his need to change? Is he motivated to do so?
It's early, but yes, he seems to be. I am really starting to believe that in the last six months or so he didn't know how to proceed but he knew what he ultimately wanted. I don't believe that all the time, but my gut says that what he is describing rings true. I am trying not to base that on my own hopes but overall yes. I would even venture to say he seems remorseful and I never believed it was possible people gained that so quickly. I thought it took unwinding. I am always suspicious of WS who come here saying they are. Time will tell more on that. He has already fooled me before and I am not going to forget that in the middle of all the other stuff.
I wonder if he is unwilling to look at your affair as a destructive CHOICE you made vs something that you did when you weren't yourself (i.e., an element of it being beyond your control), because deep down he unable to look at himself as responsible for CHOOSING to cheat. To recognize he made a choice to cheat means he has recognize you also had a choice, and vice versa. I am genuinely wondering these things, not telling you they're facts.
I don't think so. I think that I have been very accountable about the fact it was a choice despite my mental state. He has not really tried to blame me for the affair, or even his AP, even though to me some of what happened is so obviously predatory on her part. But, my AP was predatory as well, and that doesn't take away my accountability for my choices.
His joining in order to defend you makes his posts more understandable. That speaks to a protectiveness on his part, but do you think he was stuffing his resentment at the same time, to be able to conduct his own affair concurrently?
We have not pinned down a timeline very well yet, I am not sure what came first the affair or him joining. I think the two things had nothing to do with each other, it's an example of his compartmentalization. It's kind of the same thing for me. I can say bad things about him but when others do I think I do have a tendency want to defend him, at least some of the time. I don't think that aspect is all that complicated. He felt I was here every day just beating myself up. And, I don't feel like I have beat myself up in a long time now but back then I think he was probably right.
[This message edited by hikingout at 3:41 PM, October 28th (Wednesday)]