Here’s another question for everyone – why do I feel like I’m giving up on my marriage?
I know that I haven’t closed any doors here, he’s closed doors on me. I’m merely choosing myself and my health / safety / wellbeing right now, but I can’t help but feel like a failure. I feel like I’ve been forced into this life that I never wanted, and while I’m working hard as hell to get out of infidelity, I still have this ‘caretaker’ thing. It goes completely against how I’m built to take care of myself first … especially since I’ve supported and taken care of my WH and his PTSD for years. Why can’t my mind and heart get on the same page already!?
And I know I can’t expect remorse or change my WH. I refuse to play the ‘pick me’ dance. But, why can’t he see how much pain I’m in? Do wayward spouses know how much pain they cause and they just don't care enough to put someone else first? ie, it's just a selfish, self-interest kind of mentality.
I think you're answering your own question here. You're hanging on because you think this is just another kind of illness, like his PTSD, and you're hoping he'll snap out of it, realize what he's losing, and come back. And you know what?... it's normal to feel that way, to wonder which face is the false one, the one you knew before or the one you're seeing now.
It's also normal to want the WS to understand the pain. But they don't. I honestly believe that there are very few who are capable of truly understanding it unless it's happened to them. It's like depression in that way, you think you get it, certainly you have sympathy for it... but you find out when it happens to you that you were way off. Almost all of us, R or D, want that kind of understanding from our WS. We want them to know what they did to us, how they changed us, but only a very small minority even come close to really getting it.
No matter how imperative these emotions might feel to you right now though, they do fade. The pain is temporary and finite. And the big question remains... "Is this relationship good enough for you?" We can't MAKE people do the right thing or behave like decent, caring people. So, you can only answer that question based on what IS... what he is... today. And you know that the person he's become is NOT worthy of you, so you're allowing your imagination to provide you with "what if" scenarios. Totally normal. All you can do is turn your dial back to Reality and try to keep your focus on you and what's ultimately best for YOU. It's not easy. Every particle of our being wants to live in denial when faced with the betrayal of a loved one.
Grief is a process, and just as if he had died, you'll go through the Five Stages... denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Denial in particular is going to keep your brain playing games with you. It's going to keep those "what if's" going, like "what if he comes to his senses and comes back?" It's open-ended... and it can keep you in emotional turmoil for years.
As messy and as uncomfortable as it is, all you can do is just keep on plodding through, dealing with the reality of what's in front of you rather than what you wish was there. When you're going through hell, you keep on going, right? You will come out to the light again and you will feel stronger when you do. It's a matter of TIME, time for your heart to catch up to your brain.
Our friend EllieKMAS posted this once and I bookmarked it, it's so apropos....
It takes TIME, sweetie. Be patient. You'll get there.
[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 5:12 PM, March 15th (Monday)]