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Wayward Side :
At A Loss

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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 3:33 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Hi ISSF.

Here's what I see. Many folks go into deep depression after they have near death experiences. I think that's what is happening here. Many folks after heart attacks really sink into a deep depression. Could be the same for your MR.

This is not something I considered before I posted. I'm really glad people opened my eyes that this might be a real possibility. We're going to look into this.

Let me ask you. Has he gone to IC throughout this? And has he gone post his COVID experience?

It's over 5 years from DDay. He was in regularly scheduled IC for more than 2 years. I also went to IC and I still go regularly - my sessions are just more spread out now unless I need to address something specific.

Lastly I'd ask if he has forgiven himself. Many times as BS's we berate ourselves for staying as if we are idiotic or chumps for putting up with the person who hurt us so badly. Of course we know that life doesn't quite follow along a binary pathway. But our brains just foist us into that paradigm. I know this was the last hurdle I had to overcome and it was the toughest.

I honestly don't know and I can see this being a really big thing for him. He's a man of integrity and a personal sense of right and wrong. I know he struggled with staying for a long time. Obviously because of me and whether I was remorseful, safe and everything that goes with me being the WW. But also wondering if he could look himself in the mirror knowing that what I did went against everything he believes in and yet he stayed with me. This was a hard thing for him and you raise a really good point. He has not forgiven me (not in words, in action, yes). Maybe has hasn't forgiven himself either like you said?

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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ISurvivedSoFar ( Member #56915) posted at 3:59 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I have heard that for the folks who survived a life and death experience, they eventually get to a place of phenomenal living. It of course comes after the depression that follows such an experience. Both my father and brother survived heart attacks and my brother survived open heart surgery right after. He is changed for the better but certainly much more emotional. I would see if there can be some therapy/support group for such things for him. Or perhaps you can ask him directly about this.

Regarding forgiveness, well, that's a whole topic unto itself. When we forgive we are basically allowing ourselves to understand that we were victimized and understand that it was through no fault of our own. Forgiveness sounds like something you are giving to the wrongdoer but it is actually quite the opposite. It is a gift we give ourselves.

The hardest is to forgive ourselves for what we perceive as allowing ourselves to stay with someone who had such disregard for us as humans. Under other circumstances we'd likely disregard the person who did us wrong forever and cut them out of our lives. And from the outside looking in, we'd likely advise others to leave the very person who was abusive. Many of us, including me, are very surprised at our willingness to stay. While there are a variety of reasons to stay, the voices of nay-sayers gnaw at us and we actually berate ourselves quite a bit. For some reason we don't give ourselves the grace we show our WS's. He deserves at least the grace he showed you in working through this. It isn't weakness to stay although that's the message we tell ourselves. It took me a lot of therapy to stop calling myself a chump for staying. And it took even more for me to understand that it was my compassion for my family and for my WS that showed strength.

I hope he can find peace. I hope you can too. I don't know if this is something he needs to do by himself (like forgiving himself) or if there truly is something between you. I suspect that his COVID experience really rocked him and perhaps he can get back into therapy to sort through it all.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2590   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 4:23 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

For some reason we don't give ourselves the grace we show our WS's. He deserves at least the grace he showed you in working through this. It isn't weakness to stay although that's the message we tell ourselves.

I agree with you. I don't care about me, but IMO he needs to be kind to himself. I know our children and keeping us together as a family were big parts of his reason for staying initially (I'm not that self-centered that I think it was because he couldn't live without me). But that meant he had to stay with me and no matter what I did or how I acted since then, the fact is that I am the one who hurt him and he deals with me every day. There's also a lot of personal history that he hasn't shared here on SI that is a part of that (and it's not for me to share that). Do I think he's happy he stayed? Yes. And I've tried to make him feel that too. Do I think it also eats at him that he stayed? Yes. I think he has conflicted feelings. That he's happy and wouldn't have chosen differently, but it also bothers him.

I hope he can find peace.

It's funny you say that. His go to word is serenity. He's also a geek and a huge Firefly fan. And I think maybe he hasn't found it yet.

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

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id 8616781
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TX1995 ( Member #58175) posted at 4:29 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I read most of the responses yesterday and have been thinking about you both and this post all night.

I think that there is probably a combination of factors at play. Like Tush and a few others alluded to, there is physical health. Like Owl and a few others alluded to, there is the affair. And also as mentioned, some depression.

My story: my husband and I had a 20 year dating history when he had his affair. I was his one and only. We share friends that go back to elementary school. I thought we had a special love story. I was really proud of us. Like Owl said, when I found out about his A, and subsequently the sex, I was shattered. My heart was and is beyond broken. I am in mourning for the life I thought I had and will never get back. No matter what we rebuild, I will never look back and be able to say that my husband loved me our whole marriage. I was never loved that way and even if I got divorced and remarried, I never will be. His A is also a secret and makes me feel like a fraud. Our friends and family think he is the PERFECT husband and father and that our marriage is as well. As a person who values authenticity above all else, it is a struggle to be around others, even my own family.

When I am physically healthy, I have the wherewithall to maintain some objectivity and be mindful of my present. My H has changed. Our relationship has improved in every way. My life is comfortable and we have been extremely lucky in other areas. My kids are happy. When I'm sick, I don't have the capacity to do that. And that leads to bouts of mild depression. I'd suspect your H has some of the same problem, especially with the severity of his sickness earlier this year. His body is still recovering and his threshold for pushing past the grief and loss is probably fairly low. Facing death and aging is hard as it is, and it's probably brought up a LOT of feelings about life and purpose.

Also, as ISSF said, I would suspect that there is a part of him that has a hard time forgiving himself for staying. Even if we WANT to stay and we WANT to love our spouses like before, there is that voice inside that tells us that we are weak for doing so. MrWalloped's words are actually my mantra when I feel that weakness: "Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy." I KNOW that I would not be better off divorced. I have a partner, a great co-parent, a best friend, all rolled into my husband. Who cheated on me and lied to my face about the extent of the affair for two years. I WISH I wanted to leave sometimes, but I absolutely do not. I'd be willing to bet that your husband has similar feelings. It honestly just SUCKS that we want the person who has hurt us and altered our lives in such a drastic way so that WE will never be the same. But there is no alternative, because we don't want to live the rest of any life without you in it.

I think you are doing the right thing in keeping the lines of communication open. I think him getting some IC for mild depression might be very helpful. Not sure if you do this already, but perhaps walks together would be helpful for body, mind and relationship. I also like the idea of the PP who suggested a big change. Maybe a dream or a plan for the future will help. If it were me, I'd just want my H to not give up. If you've ever heard the song by Andy Grammer called "I'm not giving up", give the lyrics a read. I don't doubt he wants to feel better, he just may not know how to get there and it's an exhausting process to try and not succeed and then have to start over again.

I'm the BS. WH had a 3 month EA/PA with a cOW. DDay was 4/17. Working on R. Married 15 years and together 20 at DDay.
DDay #2 and #3 6/19. Grew a conscience and admitted a full blown physical affair. Now in limbo.

posts: 983   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017   ·   location: Texas
id 8616784
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landclark ( Member #70659) posted at 4:40 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

He's also a geek and a huge Firefly fan.

Me too! One of my favorites. He clearly has good taste. :)

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
id 8616788
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Unhinged ( Member #47977) posted at 5:10 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Hi there, MrsWalloped. You know, there's only one person who can explain your husband to you. I'm sure you'll gain a little insight from members who know(ish) and respect Walloped. Still, though... well, you know.

Although I've never come close to death, I do know that it's a traumatic experience and traumas of any kind tend to trigger memories of past traumas. Surviving a severe trauma tends to cause most of us to examine our lives, what life means to us, has meant, and what we hope it to mean in the future.

It's entirely possible that your H is working through some deeply profound existential shit right now.

Personally speaking, the COVID pandemic has severely interrupted my life. I was, and hopefully will be again, in the catering biz. This year was supposed to be a banner year! The economy was sizzling, people and companies were spending tons of money, catering outfits were booked, investing, and the future was so bright, we had to wear shades!!!

I'm really tired of life-interrupted. I did that five years ago and now I'm doing it again.

Makes one think.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 11:12 AM, December 15th (Tuesday)]

Heading towards divorce
D-Day April, 2015

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button."
-Brene Brown

posts: 6361   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8616811
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 5:19 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Hi Unhinged.

You know, there's only one person who can explain your husband to you.

Of course. But there are some things that he won't share too deeply with me. We talk a lot. And he shares his feelings with me. But there's this small island he keeps to himself like it's safe haven where he can retreat to. I sometimes get insight into it by things he lets out but he's protective of it. Maybe it's his last wall that he's scared to let down or maybe it's his last feeling of control where he does not have to be fully vulnerable to me. I don't know. I've asked about it and he shrugs me off. So I don't want to take that away from him if he needs it. That's why I'm here on SI and rarely (if ever) use the stop sign. Because I want BS's insights that can help me see and understand what my BH is going through or might be thinking and feeling.

But I think you're right. There's a lot he's dealing with and stupid me, I never even considered depression or his illness might be contributing to this. Our whole lives has been wrapped around my A for so long, it's the automatic lens I see things through.

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

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id 8616817
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Sanibelredfish ( Member #56748) posted at 5:23 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Mrs Walloped, I wonder if his near death experience hasn’t lead him to question a lot of his life choices. Not that he would necessarily do anything different, but almost dying surely brings a lot of what-ifs to mind. Is the A part of that? Maybe? Probably? Hard to say, but if I had to guess it’s one of the what-ifs that he thinks about. Its not just that though. Walloped has never struck me as one dimensional.

Another thing that struck me was something that Walloped wrote awhile ago. He mentioned he could’ve had his choice of high powered investment banker jobs upon finishing his graduate degree. However, he chose the career he did because he’d be able to provide for his family, but still be home more often than not. In light of what has transpired since, maybe he’s even wondering if that was the right choice. Maybe if he chose differently things would be different, but better overall.

If that’s the case, he shared something with me once that is probably very appropriate to his mindset here. He said, something along the lines of, “You have to make decisions based on the facts and options available to you at the time.” That’s my paraphrasing if it anyway. There was also an element of: it’s easy to play what-if when life changing events happen, but ultimately not very useful.

Let me close by saying, I get why he might feel this way, and he may just need to work through it. It is still very recent and he may still not be feeling 100% physically let alone mentally. IC and other types of therapies (respiratory, etc.) could certainly help with that.

Just my two cents.

posts: 748   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
id 8616820
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 5:55 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

MrsW,

I think Walloped, as a BS, has shown himself in his posts to be pretty strong and insightful. If he says it's not the A, I tend to believe him, as far as direct influence goes. I encourage you to believe him, too.

I am not surprised to read tush's words on how long recovery from being on a ventilator takes. I would be surprised if recovering emotionally takes any less time. What's more, my experience has been that trauma of one kind usually brings up memories of other traumas. So memories of your A may come up for Walloped.

When you don't feel connected, I encourage you to approach Walloped, because I really appreciate my W's approaching me. When she feels unconnected, I probably do, too, but I don't notice it until something reminds me. That problem predates my W's A, and it's my problem - but one of the consequences of the A is that she pretty much has to initiate connection if she feels disconnected, even though I could and should initiate reconnecting myself.

I imagine it's especially difficult to initiate anything after Covid-19, because people who have recovered report having so little energy.

My bets are that your A is not at the top of Walloped's mind, that he does not regret R, that he still wants to be with you.

I get that you doubt that - but it looks like you've asked, and Walloped has answered.

I know it's difficult to take love in, until you've learned that you really are lovable. I hope this will help: perfection and lovability are totally different. People cannot be perfect. We all screw up; some of us screw up in very big ways - but we are lovable despite our imperfections.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:56 AM, December 15th (Tuesday)]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 25999   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8616835
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Buck ( Member #72012) posted at 6:16 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I had surgery in January of this year. It wasn't life threatening or any sort of emergency, but post surgery I had to wear an immobilizer on my right arm that clamped my elbow to my ribs and my hand at my sternum. I could not even use my right hand to hold anything for the first 6 weeks. It was hell using my non dominant hand for everyday tasks. I found myself dependent upon my WW's help. I needed her and I found that to be extremely uncomfortable.

And, don't get me wrong, my WW was great through the whole process. I hated her seeing me as weak and I wasn't completely comfortable depending on her to that extent. The narrative I had running in my head was I could leave at anytime I wanted. I had my ducks in a row financially, a plan b place to live, I knew what lawyer I would use and how the divorce would go down. I thought I was set no matter what I decided, but this experience changed that narrative for me. It's been a mindfuck really. I had the normal post surgery stuff in dealing with the fears, uncertainty, disability, and pain but I also had the worry about how my previously unfaithful wife\caregiver felt about seeing me in that state. I was forced to rely on her and that rang every alarm bell in my head. It's made me question the nature of our M and what I need going forward. I even went back to IC for a few months to try to figure some stuff out.

Anyway, I would wager that's part of what your H is feeling Mrs W.

posts: 331   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2019   ·   location: Texas
id 8616841
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MrCleanSlate ( Member #71893) posted at 6:22 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Buck,

So basically you are saying you are not in R.

Why are you still married then?

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

posts: 667   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Canada
id 8616844
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waitedwaytoolong ( Member #51519) posted at 7:10 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

First off, sorry you are in this situation. My EX was in almost the same one. Second, the advice given by Reality Blows was excellent and spot on. You shouldn’t give up, or offer up divorce. That smacks of giving up. If he comes to the conclusion that it is something he wants, just be fair. If it’s not on the table, don’t put it there.

The situation Walloped is in is so similar to how I felt. My EX did everything in her power to try to make things right. It was me who held back the reins. I’m a stubborn guy. I know those here have worked to make the marriage as good as it was, or possibly better. I just couldn’t do it. It felt like if I did I was somehow rewarding her, or at least condoning what she did. I know it’s cutting off you nose, but emotions are not always logical or smart. I have a feeling that is going on here also.

We also had some good times, laughed, traveled, but it just wasn’t the same. I totally get how the specialness and passion from him are gone. I’m not sure how to tell you to go about getting them back. It really just has to be his decision to put the whole thing in the rear view mirror, at least most of the time, and not dwell about how he got screwed over. He did, but just has to let it go. I couldn’t, but I hope he can.

This will sound awful, but his COVID scare is probably a good thing in your favor about him not throwing in the towel. I had a list in my mind of pros and cons. One of the pros was my health. I knew that if I got sick, she would be there 100% for me. I never had to face it, but he did, and you passed the test. Knowing you will be there for him in sickness is a big pro for him staying. Maybe not the reason you want, but having an intact marriage is, and this will help that. I know you want him to stay out of undying love, but that may not happen. But at least you have your family and possibly more time for him to get to acceptance.

How is he with you. Is his actions the same as before the affair. Does he touch you or give a loving rub as you pass in the kitchen? Does he spontaneously tell you he loves you? Does he look to find activities you both can do together?

I ask as these are the things we did prior to her affair, but not after. I just couldn’t bring myself to do these things, but yet I knew she would be the happiest person in the world if I did. It is a big regret I didn’t. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to do. My stubbornness and anger just wouldn’t let me. But if he is doing these things it will open him up. Love creates more love. Closing down just brings more of that.

I truly hope you can work this out. Not by just staying married, but getting to a level close to where you were.

I am the cliched husband whose wife had an affair with the electrician

Divorced

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id 8616861
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 7:16 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I also had the worry about how my previously unfaithful wife\caregiver felt about seeing me in that state

Bit of a threadjack, my apologies. But it does kind of speak to the thread itself.

H had backsurgery last Christmas. It was pretty major and took several weeks of recovery. I took care of him the whole time. As the WS, the affair really didn't factor in that much for me. I think I am naturally maternal and I was glad to be there for him. He wasn't in a state where death was imminent, so I can't speak for the added layer Mrs. Walloped had on top of that. But for the most part, I didn't look "down" on him, or think it made anything "even". I simply took care of my husband. I don't know if that helps or not, but I thought I would at least try and speak to it. You should ask her.

I also didn't have the added knowledge that he'd done the same for me. But, I don't think (and I could be wrong) it would have changed my focus really all that much. When these things happen I kind of think about some of the other stuff being temporarily suspended to get through it.

I have never asked if my husband had the same concern as Buck, it didn't occur to me. So, it makes sense this might not be an element that Mrs. Walloped had on a list of things to check or cross off.

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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id 8616862
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 MrsWalloped (original poster Member #62313) posted at 7:20 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I know it's difficult to take love in, until you've learned that you really are lovable. I hope this will help: perfection and lovability are totally different. People cannot be perfect. We all screw up; some of us screw up in very big ways - but we are lovable despite our imperfections.

Thank you. I need this on my bathroom mirror so I can see it daily. I am someone who is wired to think of themselves as very much less than. And the way I overcame that for most of my life (until after DDay) was by being as perfect as I possibly could because if I was, then I was worthwhile and like you said, worthy of being loved. And a big part of my IC work was about CBT and changing my mindset, not seeing things through a negative lens and actually believing I am a person of value and I don't need other people to tell me that or show me that. And I think this shows how this will be a lifelong battle for me because go to with Walloped is that I am not worthy of being loved by him and if I feel something is off, well of course that makes sense because it's me and why would he? It doesn't matter how many times he tells me otherwise. It's an internal thing. I did positive reinforcement and daily mantras for a long time. This strikes me as a good one. I am not perfect and that's okay. I am still a person worthy of love.

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

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id 8616866
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jinkazama ( Member #61319) posted at 9:18 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Ok

That wouldn't be fair to him, but I ask myself how is that possible? And I have a hard time internalizing it.

Ok then Mrs Walloped you have to work on it.

Maybe he doesn't like that you dont trust his love. I mean manny WS give excuses like i never thought you loved me . So maybe this triggers him.

And please try to believe his love.

Because there is a misconception with WS who thinks that BS will be really happy without them.So they dont really fight about marriage.

BS loves their WS because before Dday they were noraml husband and wife.but after Dday aside from the pain they are also scared of losing their Husband/wife. So thats why act like his Wife not WW. Of course there will be triggers/Pain/etc. But at the end you are Husband and wife.

Most importantly trust should be build about love.

A few times as a joke. That was years and years ago. We had friends who were going through a divorce and the husband was talking to my BH about all the details and splitting up stuff. And my BH would joke around with me and ask who would get what if we divorced (we were young and poor) so we "argued" over who would get the hand me down couch with the big stain, the dining room chairs with the wicker backs that of course DD1 broke so there were holes in them. Things like that. It became a running joke for a while.

That's it. Never in any serious way.

Ok so it means that divorce was never on the table.

It means both of you never actually talked about it like REAL.

But after Dday it was a very much possibility.

Believe me its a stress that maybe triggers him like "why we have to talk about divorce after some duration( sometimes in anger phase and sometime seriously)."

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id 8616911
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Thissux ( Member #45966) posted at 10:30 PM on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

I haven't posted in quite some time, but your husband and I chatted a couple years ago. My wife and I are about a year ahead of you two on the reconciliation path.

I completely understand where Walloped is. The last four years have been exhausting for everyone even folks not dealing with infidelity. Add a pandemic and several years of wrestling with infidelity and it becomes overwhelming.

I'm sure having Covid just zapped your husband's spirit.

I'm a cancer survivor from many years ago. That experience alone changed me. I'm not sure I could have handled that experience on top of infidelity and the state of things in general the past few years. I think it is perfectly normal that your husband is depressed

I don't know your ages but I suspect we're close to the same age. I too am in finance and decided to quit my job a few weeks ago. 30+ years and I just needed to put down the laptop. I don't know if I'm retired now or have some gas left in the tank, but for now I needed just "stop". I completely understand your husband's state of mind.

I agree with some others that the affair isn't the main issue with Walloped. I think it is just emotional exhaustion and the affair is part of that. He may just need to take a break and just "drift" for a while. Its seems to be helping me so far. I've watched a lot of YouTube and have vowed to take advantage of where I live and hike as often as possible. (I'm actually looking forward to something which I haven't done in a very long time)

Me: BH early 50's at Dday
Her: WW late 40s at Dday
DDay 7/4/2014
Affair with coworker

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id 8616939
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kenny55 ( Member #23014) posted at 12:26 AM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I almost posted yesterday and am glad I waited. I have followed both your post from D-day. I think you are the model WW spouse. I read true remorse in all your posts. Divorce is not the answer for either of you. He does not want it and neither do you. One other poster talked about your husband turning down higher paying jobs so he could have family time. I did the same. I am a BH. I worked hard during the week so my WW could stay home & raise the girls. Weekends were for family. That was what I wanted my life to mean. Walloped once posted about the Old Testament in the Bible. If you look at the story of Job you can see where he is now. Job was tested by Satin and lost his family and all his wealth. Thru his faith in God he was restored to even greater wealth and was given a new wife and children. But one thing the story glosses over is that he still had to walk past the graves of his lost family. That is where I think Walloped is at. He can divorce you and get someone new but he will still have to deal with the family he lost. The pain will always be there but it can be used to develop a new relationship between the two of you. It may not be easy. My WW thought her life would be great without me. In the last 8 years, she has been thru alcohol detox twice. I have been thru anti depressants and counseling myself. One thing I have come to realize is that the lost will always be with me. It is just a part of my life's journey and I can either use the pain to become a better me or let it control the rest of my life. I hope you do not give up. Walloped still loves only you.

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id 8616976
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 12:32 PM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Mrs. W.

I have started and deleted this post several times. I’m not certain I’m getting my message across in an understandable way, but I’m going to finish this and post anyways…

I sometimes think women see us men in a similar light I look at my black Labrador. I see something that is content with life if he gets to sleep 16 hours per day, gets fed regularly, can earn kibbles for simple tricks and is constantly trying to hump the next dog. Surprise! We men can be more complex than that!

Mr. W is of a similar age as I am. In fact, when he started posting I saw several similarities in our lives. I think I might be 2-3 years older, but otherwise we are family-men, career oriented, ambitious and find comfort in our achievements. We might even (not so humbly) think we are intelligent and capable.

Then we reach a certain point in life… That point can vary but we all reach it. The catalyst for that point can be some life-altering event. My first such point was simply turning 40. Last time I reached that point was the passing of my mom 2 years ago. For Mr. W that point was your affair, and probably again his illness.

Now what does turn 40 and then years later the death of my mom have in common? Not much, only it caused ME to pause and contemplate. Turning 40 had NO factor in my mom dying of old-age related issues. Just like Mr. W first possible point (your affair) had little if any impact on his second point (the illness).

What happens at that point? Well… we start contemplating… We realize we will never become CEO’s. Have little resemblance to George Clooney. Are a bit slower in racket-ball and no longer do 200-pound press-ups for 3 reps of 20. That dad-bod is there to stay. We will never get a Ferrari. We look around and worry about our careers: Our colleagues are younger, and we worry what might happen if we are fired. We realize that chances are next Friday our highlight will be watching some show on the TV and maybe doing the home-finances…

Yes – we also contemplate family. Are we happy? Could it be better? Are the kids doing fine? Heck… we might even be trying to accept that our kid will never be the professional football player or go to Harvard on a full scholarship. We realize that the passion in our marriage is not the passion of the dating period, the spontaneity and all that. We realize that the sex isn’t always new physically near-impossible intense over the moon variety.

Whatever… We are adjusting our ambitions and dreams to reality.

So how does this end?

IMHO probably in one of two ways…

I say probably because as I already modestly stated:

We might even (not so humbly) think we are intelligent and capable.

I like to think I managed to react in the better way so I can only imagine the worse way. But I have seen it in some way or form in many of my friends…

The worse way is to become full of resentment and self-doubt. Go lease a Ferrari, get a tummy-tuck and some chemical enhancements and seek validation in external factors… like having an affair.

The better way? Evaluate your achievements and appreciate them. Find your weaknesses and changes and change them. Realize that you are mortal, that death is inevitable. Our role is to a) make the most of the time we have here and AS MEN b) ensure we take care of those we might leave behind.

I tend to focus on the former – the appreciate life and make the most of it. But I started by figuring out that if I were to drop down dead at this keyboard in the next 10 minutes my wife is taken care off for life.

The former is the issue. Mr. W might simply need time to appreciate what he’s achieved and how best to move on to reach his goals. He might need new goals, new interests, to refocus. What I did is irrelevant because that was for ME. But I can share that I worked hard at finding and getting a hobby (tried golf – didn’t work… ended with fly-fishing), increased my reading-time and actively sought out social interaction outside work and my normal groups (am on the board of a HOA and an Angling Association).

One thing that might help Mr. W.:

PART of his issue (and probably not a significant part) might be doubts about the marriage. The affair will never be positive. NEVER. But he can find great pride in how he handled the situation. The pain he took on his shoulders to save his family, the sacrifices he made to his pride and perceived masculinity, the control he showed regarding you, himself and others… The payback for those sacrifices are a lot like accumulated interest: It take a long time to see the payback and I can understand doubts about it. But there is payback. Even IF you and Mr. W eventually divorce for some reason whatsoever then you can BOTH IMHO find some pride in how you handled a terrible situation.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 9858   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8617069
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Olderandhappier ( New Member #75702) posted at 12:58 PM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Mrs Walloped how is Walloped's career going right now? I ask as finance (which I assume he is in) can be a very challenging job mentally. Covid has increased those challenges even if some have done very well during the pandemic. One's whole way of working has changed and this may have created issues too. Does H work in a leadership, production or support role? I ask as this might have some bearing on all of this.

I think you need to look at this holistically and not focus on one specific thing such as A. Look at what might be going on from his perspective. I am now making this up but just to throw something out there and please forgive me as I am new, don't know you but have read Walloped's and your own threads many times as I have learned so much from them.

Your H's career may have stalled or be challenged. The finance pyramid is very steep and it gets very narrow when one hits senior roles or when one gets to ones 50s and faces competition from younger people. The industry is being greatly impacted by technology too. Going up or being thrown out or having one's career stall is very common. Maybe this is something that is bothering him.

Then you add Covid to the mix; its harder to travel and do one's job. H was presumably stuck at home. For some Covid has created opportunities but for others it has been very tough.

Then add your H's health situation. I won't add to tushnurse's excellent post other than to say don't forget test for T and perhaps go to a specialist. Some are mapping T to the wrong levels for a given age and supplementation is sometimes seen as non mainstream medicine (a very backward attitude in my view). And then he has had very severe Covid which absolutely have residual impact. There is a lot of literature on the psychological aspects of suffering from severe illness. This is very important to understand.

And then there is A. My gut feeling is that this is an underlying factor that makes it all worse but is not the specific cause. Maybe contrinutes to H feeling "worthless" in his own mind. (It's not you but maybe his own way of processing all this).

Sometimes you just get hit by too much incoming fire. Career, health, family, W etc. It may not be all at once. But your H has also been seriously ill and had to deal with the aftershock of an major A as well. It's all too much. And starts to get on top on one.

To move forward he needs to test to see if any underlying medical issues which there may well be given what he has just gone through. I would also strongly encourage you not to withdraw but follow his own love language. He may need to be held more and feel secure in your love for him. Bolster his self esteem. Maybe gently have him think about some new objectives for him and for you. It's so important right now to break out of this Covid funk and look forward.

And I would also not keep offering D. I think you need to try to start to move beyond this and remove this as a variable. Not to rugsweep or forget the A. Not to discuss triggers when then happen. But recognise that you both have chosen to R and need to commit to goals within this paradigm. It's like when someone dies. You remember them fondly but don't have a funeral every week. I suspect that you H will never ever forgive or forget the A. But he will also understand the consistent and ongoing contrition and remorse you have always shown which shows your love and commitment to him. We are all flawed and I would hope he has gone beyond examining the detail of A now.

So look at the big picture. Understand the incoming fire your H has maybe had to face and fight. Help him by appealing to whatever his own love language is and don't withdraw. Hopefully he will come round.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Oct. 22nd, 2020
id 8617075
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fooled13years ( Member #49028) posted at 2:30 PM on Friday, December 18th, 2020

MrsWalloped

Our whole lives has been wrapped around my A for so long, it's the automatic lens I see things through

Is it possible that Walloped has had the A and subsequent R attempt at the center of his life for so long that he is not sure what life will be like if the two of you move on totally from it?

I know that at each new chapter of my life I had an idea what to expect as I moved on into another chapter.

Perhaps he has no idea what to expect in the next chapter of his life/your lives.

This can be scarry to some people.

I removed myself from infidelity and am happy again.

posts: 1042   ·   registered: Aug. 18th, 2015
id 8617655
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