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Wayward Side :
At A Loss

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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 3:02 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I’ve been very hesitant to post this for a whole bunch of reasons. I’m leaving the stop sign off for now. (Background: DDay was 5 and a half years ago after an EA and 3 month PA. We've been in R)

About a week and a half ago, my favorite SI aunt gave me gentle guilt trip about posting in the Positive Reconciliation Stories thread. And like I told her then, the truth is that I would love to, but I don't know if it's going to happen any time soon.

So things between my BH and I have been feeling off for a while. It's not that there was anything wrong or something but we both weren't feeling very positive. What I mean is that there was nothing wrong specifically but there was this overall cloud or something that has been there. It was emanating from him and as he withdrew, I withdrew because I didn't want to push him. I wanted to respect his space and his moods. I didn't know what it was, but it was there and his whole demeanor was different.

He had COVID back in April and May and it was bad. Long story, but thank God he’s fully recovered. But it took time. Anyway, for the past few months his smile hasn’t been there so much anymore. We have plenty of good times and we laugh and joke and of course we have our youngest at home plus the grandchildren and there are so many things to be grateful for. But when it's just us it's fine. And that's the thing. It's fine and that's about all. We talk, we have sex, we do some things together, but it's like he's going through the motions with me. And I have no one else to blame but myself. I destroyed a perfectly good man, a wonderful husband and father and made him a shell of who he was. His eyes don't laugh along with his mouth anymore. He doesn't tease me the way he used to. He's more polite. Like he's formal with me.

It's not all doom and gloom but we're missing the spark in our marriage. Not the sex type but the connection type. And of course it's my fault and I understand that. But I feel like he's resigned himself to his fate. That because of his COVID scare he's out of options. If he left me, he'd be on his own and who would help him and take care of him? And of course, there's our youngest who's a pre-teen now, but in 5 years he'll be in college and it'll be just us. Maybe he feels trapped. Maybe he always planned on leaving me but now he feels like he can't? Maybe I've been unfair to him? Maybe I should offer him a way out? He deserves to be happy and maybe I'm holding him back from that?

So all of this was going through my head for a long while and I was scared to death and basically paralyzed and my SI aunt (bless her) encouraged me to talk to my BH about it. And I did. It’s just taken me this long to post about it because I’m nervous about the responses I’m going to get. I honestly don’t need a whole bunch of people telling me I should just let him go and D so he can be happy. That’s not helpful. But I do need help and advice and I think I need them from both WS’s and BS’s which is why I left the stop sign off.

Anyway, I broached the subject with him and asked him if he felt this distance too and if he was okay and was there anything he wanted to discuss? Was he unhappy? Was he unhappy with me? And a whole bunch of questions like that. I don’t remember them all.

Yes, he felt it. Yes, he contributed to it. He’s not unhappy, but he’s not happy. He loves me. He’s blah. It’s nothing I’ve done, in fact he went on about me and how I took care of him during his COVID period and how grateful he was (as I said, long story). He feels like he owes me for that. He knows I’m there for him and proved that, but he also feels alone. He’s happy he chose to stay with me but he doesn’t know how he ended up here in life. I asked him if he wanted a divorce? I told him I would give him one without any argument if he wanted it. He deserves to be happy. He said no. He doesn’t want that. I asked if he feels trapped or that because of what happened during COVID he feels like he can’t leave? No. He knows he's withdrawn and he knows I've mimicked that too I gues taking my cues from him. He's blasé about it.

We talked about my A. I wanted to know if he still thinks about it regularly. Sometimes. Mostly it’s just a thought that passes through but occasionally it hits him hard. I don’t think it’ll ever not hit him hard. Wouldn’t he have a better chance at being happy without me? No. He doesn’t believe that. And he’s not sure this is all tied up with me. But it’s impacting us and how we connect and how we are. He sees that too. But he’s not convinced it’s solely about me and my A. It might be part of it, but when he does think about it, he said he doesn’t get angry with me in his head, like he doesn’t rant or anything. Even in his thoughts. He just thinks about it and is sad for a bit and then it passes. So why doesn’t he smile? He doesn’t know.

So we talked about making an effort to spend more quality time together and things like that but I'm lost. I don't know what's going on. I think I messed up badly by not being more proactive. I was giving him his space but maybe I should have forced the issue? I mean I still told him I loved him and did things for him and initiated and thanked him and so on, but I wasn't aggressively so. Maybe I should have?

He says it's not me but in some ways it has to be, doesn't it? He said he loves me. He said he doesn't want to D. But he also said he's not happy. He alternates. I want him to be happy. I want him to enjoy life. He's such a good person. I don't know how to help him. I don't know how to help us. Any advice or guidance would be really appreciated.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 3:24 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Hi Mrs. Walloped.

I am sorry to hear all this. I am going to go back to a period of our marriage far before the A when we actually went through something simliar.

H went through a year long depression. I think maybe it would be considered mild, I mean he was functioning and not in bed all the time. I am not even sure there was an actual external reason for it. He was about your husbands age at the time though. With COVID, this year, the isolation, all of it - your H may very well be having some sort of existential crisis or depression.

I know as WS we relate to causing our husband's downfalls - but sometimes there are other things people deal with and they are less infidelity related than we might think on the onset. It's difficult to connect when one person is going through this. I remember that year we went through it. I thought it was me then too, and I hadn't cheated or any of that.

I am not saying that the cheating part doesn't add to that, it may. But, it may not be the root of it.

Our youngest child is very strong, very together. The lack of normalcy of COVID caused her to lose herself and her happiness this year as well. I sent her to counseling, and she got on a very good road back.

I think that's my answer. I think your husband may feel like HE has lost his spark. He may need a map back to it and therapy could help him. We all need that help or push now and again. I sure wish I would have gone that route the last time around.

I am not saying through that he may not want to change his marital status. But, I think it could just as likely be he needs to find some things that light him up and do some healing of his own. People go through this, even those unaffected by infidelity.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:26 AM, December 14th (Monday)]

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 3:25 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I'm so sorry you and your husband are going through this. I think given the state of the world, it's hard for a lot of people to be happy right now. Even without infidelity, this has taken a serious tolld on my mental health. To me, it's amazing that you recognize he is struggling, and that you want to help him, instead of being content to withdraw.

When you say things have been off for awhile, how long is awhile? Was it before or after he had covid? Sounds like after? I wonder if there is some weird lingering side effect. I have not had it, but I have seen many stories where people continued to not really feel well for months and months after. Maybe it is contributing to his current depression in some way? Has he discussed with his doctor? Maybe his brush with mortality was too much?

He says it's not me but in some ways it has to be, doesn't it?

I totally get why you'd feel this way. However, I think there is a point where you will have to take what he's telling you at face value. You asked a bunch of questions, trying to take the blame, and he repeatedly told you it's not you. Now granted, he of course could be lying, but seems like he would have slipped up on at least one of your questions if that were the case.

I guess my point is try not to get too focused on what you may have done to cause his current state, and instead focus on what you can do to support him through figuring this out, and getting help for it.

He’s happy he chose to stay with me but he doesn’t know how he ended up here in life.

I go through through this a lot. How did I end up in my late 40s with so much debt, being overweight, not having accomplished the things I wanted to accomplish in life, not giving back to the world, etc. Maybe that's normal for the age? It really is all completely aside from WH though, and 100% all about me. My internal voice.

I would very strongly suggest he have a conversation with his doctor. There is no shame in depression at all. It could be something changed in his brain with covid, or it could be situational with the state of the world. Either way, there is help to be had through medication if needed, and therapy. Don't let yourself spiral into depression as well though by taking the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 with TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildren
Together 13.5 years, married 12.5 First EA was 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19.

posts: 1911   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 3:28 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I totally get why you'd feel this way. However, I think there is a point where you will have to take what he's telling you at face value.

I also think this is important. He may feel like he can't talk to you if it adds to your guilt or you blame yourself.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
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Lostgirl410 ( Member #71112) posted at 3:38 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I want to be very intentional in my wording here that I would NEVER give this advice (or perspective) to a fresh wayward, but you are over 5 years out and have done the work.

Is it possible that in this situation you are giving your affair too much credit, and forgetting to see him as a man capable of hurting from things unrelated to the pain your affair caused? To me, it seems as though he is in a general depressive state.

This year has been hell on everyone, and if he was hard hit with covid, is sounds like the perfect recipe for some type of mid-life crisis style depression episode. A hard-hit covid case has also shown to suck the overall energy out of recovered patients for many months in some cases. It may also be something to consider.

I'm in no way saying infidelity pain might not be there too, but it may not be the driver in this particular case, and therefore may be worth approaching from multiple angles. If that makes sense?

posts: 105   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2019
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HellFire ( Member #59305) posted at 3:46 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I think you really need to hear your husband. Not just listen to him. HEAR him. He says its not about you. Believe him.

We have BS all the time who take the blame for their WS affair. If only they had done this or that. You see,it HAS TO BE their fault. Because if it's their fault, then they can fix it. Im getting the same vibe from you. You are trying to take responsibility for how he is feeling, because then you can fix it. Then you can understand what's wrong.

It sounds like he had a near death experience. Something like that can very well bring about a depression. And I think that's what's going on here. He is depressed. Depression doesn't have to have a reason..it just IS.

What you can do is love him. Be gentle. Ask him to go to therapy. Be there for him. Stop blaming yourself. That isn't helping him. Its probably making it worse.

Mrs W, I have followed your posts, and your husband's. I don't believe he is sorry that he gave you a chance. You never gave him any reason to be. That man adores you. Trust in his love.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:47 AM, December 14th (Monday)]

posts: 3706   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
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Jameson1977 ( Member #54177) posted at 4:18 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

MrsWalloped, I’m sorry you and your husband are going through this.

When I read your post, it was like you were describing how I’m feeling. My Dday was just over 5 years ago as well, and I’m feeling very similar to what you described. My WW and I are in R, things are steady. We are very lucky, Covid hasn’t been as financially challenging as it has for many other people, but there is something missing in our relationship.

My WW has mentioned the same thing you describe about your H. My wife says my eyes have not been the same since dday, that she sees sadness in them. It is true, I don’t feel the same as I once did. I don’t know that I ever will.

I think Covid has had an impact on us in other ways. The isolation, the unknowns, etc. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Feels like every day is the same thing, going through the motions.

When I would feel really down, it would usually mean we needed to take a break and get away somewhere. Sometimes a larger vacation (Mexico), or just a short weekend away to recharge the batteries. We haven’t been able to do this for close to a year and it is affecting us. I also feel guilty about this too. So many folks are really struggling to make ends meat during this time. I should be thankful we are in the position we are in, and I am, but this isolation is taking a mental toll.

We won’t be able to visit family this year over Christmas. Technically, we are only supposed to celebrate within our own house/bubble. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas this year. We Haven’t decorated, no tree up yet, all the things we would normally do.

It’s good you spoke with your husband and you’ve nudged me to talk with my wife about where we are currently. It’s so easy to get lulled into this “new normal”. Covid isn’t the reason I’m feeling this way with my wife, but it does add to it. All the most reason to open up the dialog now.

Thanks for your post.

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whatIknowNow ( Member #69015) posted at 4:35 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I would like to offer this thought. I think it is entirely possible to become depressed and REALLY not know why. It has certainly happened to me and I'm sure others.

There is plenty going on right now that has to weigh on people's hearts and minds.

It might be about you and it might not be, and he may know the cause and he may not.

posts: 107   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2018   ·   location: Texoma
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 4:44 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I'm a bit of a mess right now trying to process everything everyone has been saying and not doing a very good job of it.

First, and this is to everyone who posted, thank you so so much.

It sounds like he had a near death experience.

Yes. That's exactly what it was. We were so scared. We nearly lost him. As I said, it's a long story but I refused to send him to a hospital (that was almost like a death sentence in NYC back then) so we converted our den into a COVID ward. He was on a ventilator for a while, we had to get a generator, and doctors and nurses were in and out all the time. It was crazy scary.

When you say things have been off for awhile, how long is awhile? Was it before or after he had covid? Sounds like after?

It started after. I would say end of August was when I first started to feel it. And August is DDay and while he had COVID and during recovery was A season.

Is it possible that in this situation you are giving your affair too much credit, and forgetting to see him as a man capable of hurting from things unrelated to the pain your affair caused?

Totally possible. My A has been part of our lives for so long it's always there lurking in the background. Conversations, topics, entertainment, social media, all of these things bring up thoughts and triggers and more conversations. So really it's always my first thought or go to.

To me, it seems as though he is in a general depressive state.

He is depressed.

I'm not trying to add to his burden. And I'm the furthest thing from an expert in this. But doesn't depression start from somewhere? I guess COVID could be it but there's been this invisible wall between us, if he's taking stock of his life and he's depressed because of it how is my A not part of that or even causing that?

You are trying to take responsibility for how he is feeling, because then you can fix it. Then you can understand what's wrong.

Exactly! But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

He may feel like he can't talk to you if it adds to your guilt or you blame yourself.

Which is why I gave him space to work it out but after a few months nothing really changed so I kinda pushed the issue to at least try and draw out what was going on. To get him to talk to me about it and let him know what I was feeling and thinking.

Trust in his love.

Am I a horrible person that I don't let myself to? I mean, I think I know it intellectually, but I don't know if I believe it. I don't know that I could be like him if our situation was reversed. But maybe he's feeling that? I'm twisting myself into a pretzel here I know. We see it all the time here, love sometimes is not enough. So maybe he does feel trapped because he does love me but maybe he hates the fact that he does and it would be so much easier if he didn't? See? Pretzel.

I would very strongly suggest he have a conversation with his doctor.

Ask him to go to therapy.

This is a good idea. Thanks.

I know this is all disjointed. I'm sorry. I'm just at a loss and I hear depression and therapy and I can't help but link depression to my A and his situation.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
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BraveSirRobin ( Member #69242) posted at 4:48 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I have the same impression that other members do, that what you're describing sounds like depression and midlife crisis. When faced with the fear of death so young, it's normal to take stock and be angry/guilty about where you expected to be when the reaper showed up. If he can't put a perfect marriage in the "win" column of his lifetime spreadsheet, that's going to hurt, but that doesn't mean he wants to leave your imperfect one. It's part of the overall picture he has to work through.

ETA: I meant to comment on the offers of a guilt free divorce. I've had the same fears from time to time that I'm holding my BH back from his best life, that he can't recover if he stays with me as a constant reminder of the pain I inflicted. I stopped saying that, though, because I got the feeling he thought I was the one having doubts, that I wasn't in it for the long haul of recovery. You might just want to be aware of that -- that the more you tell him how easy you'd make it for him to leave, the more you may create the impression that you're the one who wants out.

[This message edited by BraveSirRobin at 11:00 AM, December 14th (Monday)]

WW/BW 51 (Me)
BH/WH 51 (TimeSpiral)

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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 5:15 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I'm very glad you decided to post. You need and deserve support too, and this is a heavy burden to have been shouldering alone.

I don't disagree with the others, who point to the possibility of dysthymia, i.e., chronic mild depression.

But I also agree with Jameson1977. I have said this to you before, and to him as well actually, but... your husband is a man of deep sensibility. He thinks and feels very, very deeply.

I think there are ways, like Jameson implies, that this is connected to the affair. Simply put, I think the affair broke his heart. Heartbreak is different from the pain of betrayal. It is not something everyone experiences. It has to do with a loss of innocence, and with it a loss of a sense of meaning. It is inward, an experience of deep and abiding grief that goes beyond and lasts longer than anger. It can last a very very long time. And, it can predispose the person with the broken heart to experiencing other life experiences through a negative filter -- in other words, to depression.

Heartbreak also comes out of very deep love. When someone has a heart that loves deeply, love remains. It just can't be turned on and off like a light switch. But it can be the work of years really to reconcile the deep love, which continues, with having stared into the abyss of knowing that for a time, one was not seen, not loved, not cared for, by the person you loved without reservation or self-preservation. It leaves -- a sadness. A void of meaning.

So I would take him at his word if he says this is not about triggers, or anger, or still having questions about your affair, and I would take him at his word that there is not anywhere else he wants to be. That is the love, which abides.

But I would be less than honest if I didn't also say, that I suspect this is actually still about the affair. Not about questions, or anger, but about that bone deep sadness and loss of life's meaning. Its about the broken heart.

As to what to do -- I would say it is about healing the heartbreak.

I think how to heal that is as varied as the individuals. It's hard to give blanket recommendations. But I would seek for gestures that create meaning, and intimacy of the heart. And nothing creates intimacy like vulnerability.

I recall you said once that when you were very young, you and he wrote stories together. The written word seems to be something you share, something you are both (VERY) good at, something that is part of your deep history.

So maybe you could try to journal, but, for him, not for you. Write things that come to mind when you think of him. If there is a moment when he surprises or delights you with wit, or grace, patience, humor, or insight, write about that later in the day. When you have a few such moments journaled, share it with him.

Or -- stop when you can, when life permits, and try to connect. Make him stop if you can, and look deep into your eyes if he will, and ask him to see and believe in the love you feel. To take it in. And repeat. Over and over.

Or -- a third idea. Can you draw him out about meaning -- meaning in life, in his life and in your life and in your life together. Can you make it safe for him to try to articulate why life feels meaningless, or joyless. Can you try to process the challenge of finding meaning after grief together -- as a shared challenge that goes beyond perpetrator and victim, blame or blamelessness. You might ask him -- does he still agree with The Doctor, in the quote in his SI signature? Do YOU agree with the quote in his signature?

I don't know if these are the right tactics, or if there is another that would work better.

But I would say, yes, it is not about the affair in the sense of questions or reprocessing the event, and yes, it may be general dysthymia. But like Jameson1977 intuits, I suspect it is about the affair in the sense of heartbreak, of losing an understanding of life and your place in it that gave life meaning. That may not be anything that can ever be wholly healed. But that is not a reason to try to heal as much of it as you can.

And I feel that the road to healing as much as you can is to help him feel your current love, any way you can, and, to help him rebuild a sense of meaning in life, any way you can.

It is not about relitigating the past. But it is about showing a deep, fierce, vulnerable love to and for him now.

I'm sorry this is not more precise, or actionable, or articulate. I feel what I am trying to say very strongly, but I am not satisfied with what I have written. But perfect is the enemy of good, so here it is for what help it may be.

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MrCleanSlate ( Member #71893) posted at 5:20 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I was "at a loss" so many times. So was Mrs. Clean.

The last 5 years since D-Day has taught us that we need to communicate, and to call each other out when we do start to slip back into old patterns.

I have accepted that I do have depression. It comes and goes. It sucks. I don't see that I am withdrawing. I just am. I function, but that is all. It helps when my wife and friends call me out on it. I can make the effort to keep out of the rabbit hole, which for me is not a good place to go. I think if Mrs. Clean suggested D to me at that point I would just slide down further.

Mid-life crises can be a real thing. I was characterized as being there around the time of my A. I don't buy the excuse for my A, but the evaluating where we are, what does it all mean, woe is me for not feeling young anymore, my kids and wife don't need me, etc. was all real. Now add a possible life ending illness (worry of cancer in my case), and poof.

Now Mrs. Clean is going through hot flashes and feeling a change, we are stressing over Covid and our kids, and everything, and she is getting more anxiety about everything, and not sleeping.

We go for a walk and hold hands and talk. I donn't want to walk most days, but I do. Mrs. Clean doesn't want to walk either, but she does. We know that things go sideways if we don't.

He needs support, you both need to talk. Maybe even some MC.

WH 52,my BW is 51
1 year PA, D-Day Oct 2015
Admitted all, but there is no 'clean slate'. In R and working it everyday
“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day

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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 5:22 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I'm not trying to add to his burden. And I'm the furthest thing from an expert in this. But doesn't depression start from somewhere? I guess COVID could be it but there's been this invisible wall between us, if he's taking stock of his life and he's depressed because of it how is my A not part of that or even causing that?

To this day H and I still do not know what caused his depression. It might have been mid-life, it might have been existential, it might not have even been situational. Some depression is chemical, and having had COVID, it would not be weird for his chemical make up to be thrown off.

For my husband one part of it that we narrowed down was that he needed a job change. That meant we had to look at our finances because he had felt stuck to continue that work because it was going to impact our family's finances negatively. I made a career change to offset his. The rest of it? We made some other changes as well, and eventually he felt better.

Which is why I gave him space to work it out but after a few months nothing really changed so I kinda pushed the issue to at least try and draw out what was going on. To get him to talk to me about it and let him know what I was feeling and thinking.

No, I think you should absolutely talk to him about what you are thinking and should continue to.

I am just saying moving forward you can maybe take what he is saying at face value and not feel guilty that he's in the state he is in. It assumes you are the cause. He says you aren't. My guess at this point he doesn't know what it is or what will make him feel better.

It's natural that you talked with him about feeling that way. I am just saying that in some ways, even if this is about the infidelity, he is responsible for his decisions and how he feels about them. I know that sounds careless and unremorseful. It's not that at all. It's more, he says it's not you. So, if you take that at face value, then it frees up other things to be explored.

Sometimes we can't determine the root of the problem, instead we can change how we are coping with the problem. That's why therapy or talking with his doctor may be important.

Even in the worst case scenario - lets say this is a lot about your infidelity. I think he does know logically he wants to be married to you. This is what he has chosen and now has expressed he still wants to choose that. Then, he may just need time or help getting his emotions and some of his thoughts to make peace in that decision. I know that I talked to him around DDAY last year and that did effect him a lot then. But, he was very clear that it wasn't anything you could do more about, that you had done everything that you could have. I can't imagine that part has changed. This is why therapy is probably important.

I suspect it's probably all of it. He's approaching 50, he's probably questioning his life, his next chapter, feeling his own mortality over what has just occurred. Whether he's settled in his marriage after the affair. Whether he wants to live where he does. Needing new stimulus. Everything.

Near death experiences make us realize how precious our life and time is, and maybe it's made him feel like he wants to make some changes but he doesn't know what. He just knows there has to be more somehow but figuring out what is very hard and takes a lot of experimentation. That can be time consuming.

I personally do not think that it's a divorce that is going to remedy this. That's why I think you need to accept at face value that it's not you. He said the same thing last year when he and I had a few interactions.

Keep the lines of communication open, just try to do it in a way where you are not blaming yourself. If you are continuing to do everything you can on your end, that's all you can do. But, I think that depression is a far bigger enigma than you are assuming, and sometimes it has no external origin.

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 5:23 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I stopped saying that, though, because I got the feeling he thought I was the one having doubts, that I wasn't in it for the long haul of recovery. You might just want to be aware of that -- that the more you tell him how easy you'd make it for him to leave, the more you may create the impression that you're the one who wants out.

We haven't discussed getting divorced in a pretty long while. This is the first time in 2 years or more? And that was more of a mutual discussion. So it's not like I offer to regularly.

I guess I can see what you're saying but I know he knows I'm with him for as long as he has me and hopefully until it's our time. I used to think divorce was the worst thing and I think it was a selfish perspective. I do think it would devastate me. Seriously. But I've been doing a lot of soul searching and thinking and watching him and feeling him and if he needs it then I would do it for him and I wanted to let him know that. That I wouldn't hold him back if he felt it was a path he needed to take. I didn't provide a lot of context to our conversation but I did tell him how much I love him and want to grow old with him and how I try to do everything I can so that we can be happy together and with each other. But I was offering D as a gift to him if he felt he needed it. Does that make sense? I don't think I was giving the impression that I want out because that's the last thing I want.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8616527
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Neanderthal ( Member #71141) posted at 5:29 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

He feels like he owes me for that.

I don't know why this stands out to me. A coworker spotting me $2 at lunch, because I forgot my wallet, I owe him.

But a life partner doing exactly what I would do for them in a time of need....I'm not sure I'd feel like there's a debt to be repayed. I don't know if I'm explaining what I mean well. If not, sorry.

I don't have the years or experience in R, but I can tell you a feeling that happened to me. The idea of needing someone who has hurt me that badly made my whole body shake. It was a concept that I couldn't accept. At least not initially. I'm sure through R that is something most couples work through.

He needed you during his covid recovery(whether he liked it or not) and you were there for him. Maybe it's bothering him that he needed you? Relying on your betrayer is probably very difficult.

I could be way off base here. Just offering a different perspective. I'm really sorry you're both going through this.

Me: WS/BS
XW: Lifedestroyer (LD)

posts: 433   ·   registered: Jul. 30th, 2019   ·   location: OK
id 8616530
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 5:34 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

I know that I talked to him around DDAY last year and that did effect him a lot then.

I didn't know you guys spoke. That makes me happy. Thanks for being there for him.

As far as the rest of what you posted, I hear you. You have such a clear and logical way of approaching things - I'm so muddle brained at times things I fall into old habits and go on spin cycle. Thank you.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8616534
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 5:50 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

He needed you during his covid recovery(whether he liked it or not) and you were there for him. Maybe it's bothering him that he needed you? Relying on your betrayer is probably very difficult.

Maybe. I mean we've been there for each other in many ways but this was his life on the line. Without getting into details, this wasn't just like changing a bedpan. Whatever. Point is, I didn't ask him this but maybe he feels like you said? Maybe he even thinks because it was so serious that it balances the scales and that bothers him? Of course it doesn't balance things out. Not at all. Nothing I do erases what I did. It just shows him me now. But maybe he feels beholden to me even though he shouldn't feel that way because like you said he would have done the same for me if not more. I need to discuss that with him. Thank you.

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8616541
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Owl6118 ( Member #42806) posted at 5:57 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Maybe he even thinks because it was so serious that it balances the scales and that bothers him? Of course it doesn't balance things out. Not at all.

No, not this. I can't imagine he would think like that at all.

But maybe he feels beholden to me even though he shouldn't feel that way because like you said he would have done the same for me if not more. I need to discuss that with him. Thank you.

This may provide the seed of what I didn't quite get at in my earlier reply.

I suspect there is something to this, but, its subtle. It seems to me, that it may be something more along the lines of, seeing your devotion in action, but, not feeling as safe or grateful in the dependency on your love and care as he feels a husband ought to be. In short, that the feeling of disconnection comes from turning inward on himself his frustration and self-rebuke that his trust and confidence -- his sense of a shared meaning in life with you -- is not as healed as he wants it to be, or, expects of himself.

In short: your very selflessness may have temporarily exacerbated his sense of having lost something he does not know how to get back, and, that he feels he owes you as his life partner

posts: 338   ·   registered: Mar. 17th, 2014
id 8616544
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NotMyFirstRodeo ( Member #75220) posted at 6:03 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

The man you describe is someone I am familiar with....

Of course it's not fair to say that how I've felt is definitely what your H feels. But I'll share a few words about me and maybe it can help.

The simplest way to put it, for me, is the feeling that I am still mourning the death of what was and what I believed in for so long, mixed with some measure of anger that it was intentionally taken from me. While I can be angry at that someone who was supposed to be in my corner was the one who stole my beloved relationship, it doesn't mean I hate that person. This is much how anyone with children can understand how you can hate a way they are behaving but not hate them. Except this isn't a child that is bound to act on youthful indiscretion, it's an adult who made choices to throw me under the bus.

My responses to your questions would be about the same as what your H said. If I had to guess it's that, like me, he doesn't desire to cause you pain or exhibit acts of bitterness but he still recognizes the raw data of what he feels and must face. At it's core, it's a feeling of being alone while navigating my reality.

If he's like me, he hates the knowledge that you willingly threw him away. If there was unkindness during the infidelity, TT or multiple DD's, that can intensify those feelings even many years later.

I say all of this as kindly as I could. I truly can empathize with you, as I do with my own W. While not the same, I've made mistakes that I wish I could undo and absorb all the pain I've caused someone. We are all human after all and are all prone to great errors that affect those we care for.

I hope the best for the both of you and would, myself, welcome a glimmer of solace while treading through the mud of post-infidelity relationship apathy. But it's so hard when the one you signed up for was tossed and replaced with a version that has so much baggage.

[This message edited by NotMyFirstRodeo at 12:09 PM, December 14th (Monday)]

If, to date it's been accurate, trust your gut and not your ears.

posts: 204   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2020
id 8616546
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 6:30 PM on Monday, December 14th, 2020

Hi Owl.

I have a hard time responding to your posts. I think it's because I usually get too emotional when I read them. I guess that's a good thing.

Its about the broken heart.

I know you said you weren't happy with what you said but I understood it perfectly. You're not the first person to tell me that actually.

Basically, an SI friend said the same thing. He was actually very kind and said that given our pre-A relationship, the 2-5 year timeline may not apply to us and it would likely take us longer (it's more than 5 years now). He really was very sweet and also kind of depressing because he highlighted what he had and what I threw away, but it was also hopeful in a way because I had that to work towards even if it takes longer.

his sense of having lost something he does not know how to get back, and, that he feels he owes you as his life partner

Or maybe his sense of what I owed him as his life partner and through my actions I told him that I owed him nothing? Or, as you sdaid, maybe he is feeling that disconnect and that bothers him because he feels like he shouldn't. Not if we're together. But if he's not feeling it then I can see him having a hard time reconciling our relationship with his feelings or lack of feelings.

I think I'm navel gazing at this point. But I have all these thoughts swirling around and I'm having some difficulty trying to deal with them.

But about having lost something he doesn't know how to get back, yes. Through no fault of his own. He lost me which is not really true either because he didn't do anything. I threw it away. But it makes sense for him to feel that way.

And how do I heal heartbreak? I know you gave me some ideas, but I'm asking big picture. Can you even? Or is it just focusing on the journey and working toward it?

Me: WW 47
My BH: Walloped 48
A: 3/15 - 8/15 (2 month EA, turned into 3 month PA)
DDay: 8/3/15
In R

posts: 682   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2018
id 8616553
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