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Wayward Side :
Im the jerk husband who keeps hurting WarriorPrincess

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Flashman (original poster New Member #76007) posted at 3:31 AM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I guess this is my first post.

Anyway, here's my problem: Iv'e had an online affair in 2015 which wife found out about.

After a lot of back and forth, I agreed to go to Retrovaille with wife.

Let me say, it helped change me and was working towards reconciliation.

Then on 3-22-2019, (my sons birthday) I had an ischemic stroke.

After 5 months of rehab, I went back to work. I thought I was fully healed.

Turns out, I lost the ability to be a kind person. I was selfish, mean, angry at everyone, self centered, vain and just an asshole to my wife and son.

After several huge arguments over the summer, we seperated, expecting divorce.

While I was away, about 18 months after the stroke, my brain created new pathways for me to be my pre stroke self. (at least that's how I understand it to be)

I had feelings of guilt, remorse and sorrow at the loss of my marriage.

Around October, I started to reconcile with wife and was making progress.

On Thanksgiving weekend, my wife caught me using porn.

Now wife is talking about possible divorce.

I need to change several ways:

1. Stop using porn

2. Be honest and stop lying

3. Why do I need to get instant gratification at the expense of MY marriage.

Any help would be appreciated.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2020   ·   location: Central IL
id 8617024
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 4:41 AM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Hey FM, welcome to SI and good for you for posting.

I'm gonna recommend you ask the mods to put a stop sign on this one. Asking for a stop sign means that ONLY WS (wayward spouses) can post on your thread. It's your 1st post and other BS (betrayed spouses) may have words more harsh than you want right now.

Entirely up to you, but I would recommend it - at least for now.

Have you talked to your physician / neurologist about any of this? I honestly don't know if that would be 'appropriate', but I wonder if some of what's happening TODAY could still be related to the stroke/cognitive impairment (my WH attempted suicide & was dead for several minutes, and I often wonder if any of his lack of progress or inability to connect some of the dots could be due to the cognitive impairment from the lack of oxygen).

Aside from that, any lack of honesty is a real problem for a WS and retraumatizes a BS.

In addition, it sounds like finding a good IC (individual counselor) may be in order.

Given a 2015 dday, I'm assuming you've read "how to help your spouse heal from your affair" by MacDonald. There is also a workbook on empathy called Help.Her.Heal by Carol J Sheets that may be helpful (esp if there are "wiring" issues). It's directed at SA (sex addicts). You may - or may NOT - be an SA, but compulsive porn is often at work with SA (esp if you are watching it despite an explicit agreement with your BW). There are online tests you can take. A CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) who works from the relational betrayal trauma model would be a good choice for an IC if there is compulsive porn use (many/most SA are compulsive users of porn, and may also be compulsive users of sex with folks not their spouse.

My WH's CSAT believes that infidelity & SA stem from attachment styles, so that may be another thing to explore.

Finally, I think its REALLY important that you and your BS have some boundaries about you both being on SI. Are you allowed to read each other's posts? Can both of you stick to that agreement? There are often posters (esp WS) who are doing so at their BS' request and can seem to post only to appease their BS and not to truly seek help. Hopefully others who have been in that sitch can share their personal experience (my WH posted a few times and stopped, so our boundaries became moot).

Hopefully a WS (wayward spouse) will be along and post soon.... but I really do recommend considering a stop sign.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8617039
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Neanderthal ( Member #71141) posted at 4:48 AM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Hi Flashman.

Welcome to SI. A couple words of advice from someone who shares SI with a spouse (now ex).

This place can be a great tool to help you work on YOURSELF and then maybe work on your marriage. Please do not try to use it to snowball your wife.

The two of you should discuss boundaries in regards to SI. If she tells you not to read her posts, please respect that.

If someone asks you a hard question, or says something that bothers you, take the time to try and understand why it bothers you. There's probably merit or value in it.

I had feelings of guilt, remorse and sorrow at the loss of my marriage

Did you have these feelings before the stroke? Or only after separation. Since divorce was becoming a likely outcome?

Your post comes across very matter of fact. Not like someone who understands what they've done to their spouse. Like just tell me what to say so she will play nice with me again.

****Edit to add****

I agree, you should put a stop sign up.

[This message edited by Neanderthal at 10:50 PM, December 15th (Tuesday)]

Me: WS/BS
XW: Lifedestroyer (LD)

posts: 433   ·   registered: Jul. 30th, 2019   ·   location: OK
id 8617042
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secondtime ( Member #58162) posted at 5:59 AM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Are you working with a therapist to help you discover your why's?

Re: The porn..do you feel like it's a problem behavior that you need to change...or is your desire to work on that behavior stemming from some external reason?

My husband IS a diagnosed SA, and his MO is porn and compulsive masturbation. It took him 8 years after the diagnosis to accept that he is an addict and he had to change for himself.

The first time he tried to change his behaviors, while he acknowledged he was an addict, I believe his push for change was in response to external "pressures," ie, he didn't want experience consequences for his choices..delivered via my boundaries..

The problem is he pretty much did our marriage in during that time.

posts: 1033   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
id 8617046
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foreverlabeled ( Member #52070) posted at 1:33 PM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Welcome Flashman

I believe instant gratification to be one of the biggest and easiest forms of self sabotage. It can happen so quickly and without any thought given because we tend to live our days on auto pilot. And humans naturally want comfort and seek it out. Even when we are conscious of it, we typically give ourselves permission, because we know will experience uncomfortable feelings.

This was one of the very first things I was able to call myself out on, and tried to understand it better. It ultimately worked its way into much of my healing. Because the work we are required to do is full of uncomfortable feelings.

My friend once told me early in my journey here that you must get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Truer words were never spoken in all of this. You will have to force yourself out of your comfort zone and out of self preservation.

Start thinking about long term gratification/satisfaction. Just sit with thoughts on what that might look like for you. Get excited for it. And start making choices that will take you there.

My first suggestion would be to pay attention to your thoughts, so many go unchecked and who knows how they may be affecting your behavior and actions. You might learn a lot about your motivations doing this. And if you notice they aren't in alignment with what you are trying to achieve, overwrite them, disprove them, whatever you need to do to replace those thoughts to get into a habit of better and healthier self talk and thoughts.

I know you are aware in the moment of choosing instant gratification. There is a small window when we give in and the self talk is pretty loud about justifications we tell ourselves. I hear my thoughts all the time giving myself permission, whats the harm, no one will find out, its my guilty pleasure. Ya know?

I'm sure when you start thinking about watching porn, you might first picture all the consequences, but shortly there after you are well on your way to much of the same justifications and before you know it you gave yourself permission.

What if you made a rule for yourself that when you crave the instant gratification, you give yourself 5 minutes and sit down with some tools to help you really think this through. Maybe you have a checklist of all the long-term gratification that will be much more fulfilling than this particular moment of craving could ever give you. Maybe you write yourself a letter for moments like this. Or whatever will work for you. When that 5 minutes is up, journal about what you experienced. Maybe give yourself some praise so you'll be likely to try again.

If you still feel like giving in, repeat the process.

Try siting with the discomfort, maybe you need incremental doses at first. Maybe not. But you do need to feel it and get used to it if you ever hope to overcome instant gratification.

I'm going to try to find a post of mine and bump it for you. In it I talk of many struggles you face now. The lying as well. It might be helpful.

[This message edited by foreverlabeled at 7:46 AM, December 16th (Wednesday)]

33 divorced Madhatter
Time is no ones friend, nor their enemy. It moves forward at its own fixed pace, careless of our wants to speed it or slow it.

posts: 2513   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8617079
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tushnurse ( Member #21101) posted at 2:16 PM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I need to change several ways:

1. Stop using porn

2. Be honest and stop lying

3. Why do I need to get instant gratification at the expense of MY marriage.

Any help would be appreciated.

So stop using porn. Period. Block it on your devices. Ask her to block it for you, w/ passwords, that you don't know.

There is one thing that is consistent in the 3 issues you raise, that go along w/ neuropathways and relearning things, and getting life back on track. These 3 issues all have some level of impulsivity to them.

Meaning you want it and you do it, lying is easier than having a conflict.

You probably have some level of relearning that needs to happen even still as a result of your stroke, but you cannot and should not use that as an excuse, but rather talk w/ your Neurologist, and see if they have a therapist they have used in the past for this, or if there is some sort of Outpatient rehab to help you relearn these things to be compassionate, and deal with life, and NOT be impulsive.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 18926   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8617089
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DaddyDom ( Member #56960) posted at 2:22 PM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Welcome to SI, Flashman

Turns out, I lost the ability to be a kind person. I was selfish, mean, angry at everyone, self-centered, vain and just an asshole to my wife and son.

While I was away, about 18 months after the stroke, my brain created new pathways for me to be my pre-stroke self. (at least that's how I understand it to be)

These two statements stood out to me personally, as I experienced something very similar in my life and as part of R after infidelity, and I'm wondering if what you went through is for similar reasons?

I experienced severe emotional abuse, molestation and neglect as a child. I never really thought much about it in my adult life, and I felt well adjusted and fine. 6 years ago, all that crap I had compartmentalized as a kid, just kind of "exploded" in my head, and I had a breakdown. The thing is, when that happened, I changed. Like you, I became a mean, angry asshole, which was so very opposite of the "me" I had been (or at least how I saw myself). It was in this state that the affair occurred to begin with. And afterward, it made R almost impossible for us, because I was stuck in that mode.

After a great deal of therapy, hard work, and patience from my wife and family, I was able to begin to turn that around and find the nice, loving, decent parts of myself again.

For me, it turns out, all that abuse as a kid taught me to disassociate, and "go somewhere else" or "become someone else" when bad things happened. In a way, it is similar to having multiple personalities. Imagine that all your emotions... love, hate, joy, anger... imagine that those pieces of you split apart into two (or more) personalities. One of you got love and joy, but not anger and hate, and vice-versa. When the love and joy part is in charge, you become "Mr. Nice". When the anger and hate guy is in charge, you become an asshole. It's sort of like that. With LOTS and lots of therapy, years worth, I am finally able to begin integrating those parts of me, becoming "one person" capable of a range of emotions.

If any of this is ringing a bell for you, then perhaps talk with your IC, and see what they think? For me, it is a whole new world. I needed to deal with that pain and trauma, and my soul is crushed knowing that I allowed my personal trauma to affect me in such a way that I passed that pain onto my wife and kids, but "fixing it" was something that needed to happen, regardless of the state of my marriage, or it would continue to haunt me and everyone in my life until it was dealt with.

One last thing. Bear in mind that, regardless of your state of mind, Mr. Nice or Mr. Asshole, some part of you still chose to allow the affair to happen. I say this to you only because I found myself trying to dismiss my actions as part of my emotional state. It was avoidance really. The truth is, whatever emotional state allowed us to have an affair, is still part of us, no matter who we are, and so it needs to be acknowledge, understood, and dealt with.

It is good that you are here, asking questions, and making the effort. SI can be a tough place sometimes, but it is tough in a good way. More than anything, we WS's need people to be honest with us, and not be afraid to point out when we're blowing smoke up our own asses, or when we're making progress. You will get honesty here, and sometimes, you will get virtual 2x4's thrown at you. Take them all, and learn to appreciate them, and grow. Figure out what inside of you is broken. The marriage cannot possibly survive until you become a safer person to be with, and until you know who you and are in control of who you are. So worry about that first.

In short, go figure out WHY you are who you are, and WHY you did the things you did, so that you can make purposeful, positive changes in your life. And keep coming back and sharing, especially when you don't want to the most.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1156   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017   ·   location: Marblehead, MA
id 8617092
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 10:43 PM on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

I need to change several ways....

That 'need' would fuck me up royally.

Maybe it would help you to keep in mind you have options. WP will D you if you don't become a good partner, but so what? You can live without her.

What do you want? What are you willing to work for?

I believe honesty is the first, best step for everyone. I think a person can't be with others without honesty. With honesty, I believe, a person can find friends and perhaps even a partner. But even so, you can exist, on your own, despite being dishonest - but I'm convinced honesty is more comfortable and friendlier.

So I'd say you/we almost need to be honest - but it's still a choice. I can imagine being honest can look very scary after a life of dishonesty, and it's hard work to get honest, but I think you'll find is was worth accepting the fear and doing the work.

But you have to do it for yourself. If you do it for WP, you're giving her power over you that you need to exercise for yourself.

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 8617213
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MyAndI ( Member #75422) posted at 2:48 AM on Thursday, December 17th, 2020

Seems like there's some clinical narcissism there that isn't stroke related, putting self above everyone else. Think your wife would consider divorcing you over a stroke? She considering divorce because you're a selfish ass. You need to get into IC ASAP.

[This message edited by MyAndI at 8:49 PM, December 16th (Wednesday)]

I failed at R

Survived Infidelity as a BH, WW had a six-month EA/PA, then I had an affair of my own many years later that lasted three-years, never thought I'd ever cheat.

posts: 140   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2020   ·   location: USA
id 8617267
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BluerThanBlue ( Member #74855) posted at 1:07 AM on Friday, December 18th, 2020

You weren’t a good husband to her long before the stroke.

This has been going on for years. You may eventually change, but it won’t be for Warrior Princess and it won’t be enough.

Just so her a favor and give her an amicable divorce. If you really love her, you will accept that you’re not the right person for her and let her go.

BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, tone, and rewording. I'm not being sneaky; I'm just critical of my own writing.

posts: 471   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8617537
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 Flashman (original poster New Member #76007) posted at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 24th, 2020

@gmc94: I have spoken to my counselors about this topic. my weekly counselor had a stroke around th same time I did, so we're both learning how we heal together, and what affects it has on our mood, personality and like and dislikes. ( one thing I used to paint miniature figurines and now I have no interest in most of my previous hobbies)

Not sure about boundaries on the website yet with my BW, but I guess thats fine. Im new to alot of this forum stuff.

The books I have red are:

Lies at the Alter,

The Five love Languages.

and Im reading Broken Trust by Tim Cole and Emily Duddleston.

I will have to look up the titles you suggested.

Thanks for your help.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2020   ·   location: Central IL
id 8619395
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 Flashman (original poster New Member #76007) posted at 12:18 AM on Friday, December 25th, 2020

@tushnurse: About the stroke, certain parts of my brin were destroyed. One of the parts was my ability to realize my deficits, that was from the nuerophysician himself. So I dont feel that im using this as an excuse, but more of a way for people to understand it.

One side affect, is Ive lost my passion for my hobbies and am trying a to find new ones.

My counselor w uprised that my taste in food hasnt changed.

But I guess if mou haven't had this happen, it could be very difficult to relate to it.

I don't mean to sound dismissive, but I'm not trying to use thi as as=n excue, but a reason for my changes.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2020   ·   location: Central IL
id 8619401
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BlackRaven ( Member #74607) posted at 2:04 AM on Friday, December 25th, 2020

Flashman,

You haven't described how frequent your porn use is but if it is harming your relationship and you continue the behavior despite the negative consequences then you have an addiction. I take it from your post that your porn use predates your stroke.

I urge you to read up on porn addiction and if you feel it fits, then consider seeing a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT). You also might consider some of the 12 step meetings for sex addicts. SAL Lifeline has a heavy emphasis on porn addiction (and separate meetings for men via zoom) And, if you can afford it, there are residential programs. The Gentle Path at the Meadows is probably the best respected.

In terms of your need for immediate gratification and lying, a good psychiatrist might be able to help with that. There can be many reasons. Narcissistic traits, borderline personality disorder and others. It sounds scary, but there are ways of treating them if you are motivated and willing to do the hard, longterm work.

None of this is guaranteed to repair your marriage, but I'm pretty sure it will make you a happier individual if you aren't controlled by your harmful impulses that leave you feeling shameful.

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 8:07 PM, December 24th (Thursday)]

posts: 283   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8619417
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BlackRaven ( Member #74607) posted at 2:06 AM on Friday, December 25th, 2020

duplicate

[This message edited by BlackRaven at 8:06 PM, December 24th (Thursday)]

posts: 283   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8619418
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tushnurse ( Member #21101) posted at 6:05 PM on Monday, December 28th, 2020

but I'm not trying to use this as an excuse, but a reason for my changes.

That is exactly what you are doing though. You are excusing your abusive shitty behavior on your brain changes, but you know in your heart it's wrong. So what are you doing w/ your therapist, or even Occupational Therapy to stop the impulsive shitty behavior? The longer you delay the less likely she will be there for you when you do get this right.

Personally I don't blame her. I think she deserves a lifetime of happiness, honor, respect, trust, and whatever else she asks for. Not excuses.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 18926   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8620164
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BigNoob ( Member #75807) posted at 6:54 PM on Monday, December 28th, 2020

Flashman

You need to find out why out of all the options you have dealing with your issues. You chose the one that hurt your wife in the process of you dealing with it. You need to know that your putting your marriage and family on the line!

posts: 207   ·   registered: Nov. 5th, 2020
id 8620175
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 Flashman (original poster New Member #76007) posted at 2:43 AM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

@foreverlabeled,

Thank you for your response. I like your advice and will try some of your ideas. Its good to hear from people who have then same issues and they're ways to help overcome them.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2020   ·   location: Central IL
id 8620300
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 Flashman (original poster New Member #76007) posted at 2:49 AM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

@BlueerThanBlue:

I completely disagree with what you have to say.

I am a huge believer in forgiveness, to a point that if someone can forgive, but not able to reconcile, that person is not a person anymore. Subhuman, if you like.

To err is human, to forgive is NOT devine, but true humanity. Anything less than that is something Im not wasting my time entertaining such a subhuman thought process.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2020   ·   location: Central IL
id 8620302
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Chili ( Member #35503) posted at 2:58 AM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

if someone can forgive, but not able to reconcile, that person is not a person anymore. Subhuman, if you like.

I'm not sure I understand this - are you saying that someone who doesn't forgive and reconcile is no longer human - or that they are sub-human?

2012 pretty much sucked.
Things no longer suck.
Loving flying solo with the co-pilot chili dog.
"Life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough" - Tony Bennett

posts: 2136   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: Reality
id 8620307
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 Flashman (original poster New Member #76007) posted at 3:05 AM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020

@chili.

Yes, they are not being a human, and are therefore subhuman to me now.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2020   ·   location: Central IL
id 8620311
Topic is Sleeping.
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