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Wayward Side :
He went on a date.

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 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Sorry to post again so soon.

He told me about it today. It happened a few days ago, and he said it was a great date. I looked her up, she's really beautiful. He said she was pretty. He was understating it.

I'm deeply confused because I thought he wanted to work on things. He told me, after mentioning the date very casually, that he wanted to still do couple's therapy and he sent possible availability he would have in the coming months (he currently lives in another state). He said I wasn't allowed to be upset, and that he is single and isn't "going to wait around" (I think he means either that he won't wait around until he moves back to my state, or if he decides he just wants to cut me out and move on). He said he isn't actively seeking out anyone, but he got asked out by this woman and said yes. Doesn't that mean he doesn't want to reconcile?

Am I being weird for thinking that his actions don't really match up with his words? I had no plans to try to date, it didn't even occur to me. But he said I can date too since we are both single. That working on things and dating other people apparently are totally separate things. I know I'm the reason he ended things, and I'm the one who betrayed him. But now I feel like a fool. Am I not allowed to feel hurt or surprised by this? Or insecure? Are these not mixed messages? Should I just shut up, not question it? Should I just try to date too? Wouldn't it make everything worse if I was dating around? I am now thinking I'm just a backburner option in case he doesn't meet someone in his current area that he likes enough.

I can't really shake the feeling that this is the death knell of everything. Or I guess it was my betrayal that was the death knell.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8676974
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leavingorbit ( member #69680) posted at 3:41 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Hi sissi, I’m sorry you’re here. I saw in your last thread that you had a therapy appointment lined up. Has that taken place yet? I think getting some IC for you is the next step at this time.

Are you married? Have kids, pets, financial entanglements? I’m not trying to minimize your desire to try reconciling. I am concerned about the current status, it sounds traumatic for both of you. So, I’m wondering, why stay? And why do you want to start dating?

You’re allowed to feel hurt and so is he. It’s really tough. I really hope you have a supportive IC because they can help you unravel things and gain some perspective.

When we drop fear, we can draw nearer to people, we can draw nearer to the earth, we can draw nearer to all the heavenly creatures that surround us. - bell hooks

posts: 233   ·   registered: Feb. 7th, 2019
id 8676986
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 3:42 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Am I not allowed to feel hurt or surprised by this?

You are definitely allowed to feel hurt. This is not what you wanted.

But I don't think that you should be too surprised by this. I think that you are holding onto the hope of reconciling, so therefore taking any of his opportunistic talk and leaning heavily on those words. He has also told you that the two of you are broken up, so obviously, he hasn't stated that he is committed to reconciliation.

Should I just shut up, not question it? Should I just try to date too?

IMHO?

I think that you should take a little time off dating and focus on yourself. As stated in your other thread, manic or not, that was not the cause to cheat. You need to start digging here, and build some strong boundaries. If you are just looking to casually date, maybe NSA sex, then you may explore this. But I really think that you should get yourself to a better headspace first, then look at your options.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 3820   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8676987
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godheals ( member #56786) posted at 3:50 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

My opinion might be highly unpopular here.

Choosing to R or D is always hard. It’s normal for a BS to be on the fence of making a choice. We should give them the time to decide what they want.

However it seems to me it’s very common for a BH to want to date or seek other women. To me it’s kinda like “you did it first now it’s my turn but you don’t have the right to get upset well since you did it first”.

I think it’s time to let him go. He says he wants to R but then goes out on a date. How does this work. Says we are both single but wants to work things out. R is hard enough but adding dating to the mix just makes it even harder.

Sorry but he says now you can date but if you did I have a feeling his not going to be happy with it if you do. It could be a test. Idk. I also think his trying to hurt you like you did to him. It common for a BS to feel this way.

Sounds like he just needs time to figure out what he wants and you work on you. Maybe down the line you can R. But for now I would let him go. Sorry. It’s not like I am saying you don’t want to wait around for him or your not willing to fight but I just seriously don’t know how two people can try to R when one is going on a date.

H: BS
ME: WW
Dday December 2015 (PA for 15 months)
Confessed to H about the A
4 kids together-M 14 Years now.
Happily R.

posts: 1068   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Nebraska
id 8676990
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 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 4:02 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Hello leavingorbit, thank you for your insight.

I saw in your last thread that you had a therapy appointment lined up. Has that taken place yet?

I had my therapy appointment yesterday, but before he told me about the date (which happened a few days ago apparently). It was really helpful and we worked on the causes of why I made the choice to betray my ex, and I'm going to do some journaling until my next appointment next week. We are both in our twenties (he's a bit older), and have no real entanglements at this point like kids or anything. We had discussed marriage, but his last visit he dismissed it as something he never wanted to do, which surprised me. After he dumped me, he threw it in my face that he probably would've married me. Which I was confused by, since he said he would never marry.

So, I’m wondering, why stay? And why do you want to start dating?

I still love him a lot. I never felt as loved and certainly never as respected (in terms of my illness, my personality, my interests, who I am as a person, etc.) as I had with him. I don't want to date. It never even occurred to me to start dating. It's been about two weeks since d-day and when he broke up with me. So I was really surprised he is already flirting with women and agreeing to go on dates with them. He said he is lonely, and I made him more alone by cheating and his subsequent choice to end things than he's been since he moved for work.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8676996
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 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 4:11 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

jb3199, I think you may be right. I think he is probably trying to hurt me. We have still been talking a lot since he broke up with me because he said he still wanted to. I think he may just want the familiarity of our bond/friendship with none of the commitment.

He is repeatedly telling me I'm overreacting by being upset about him dating. He said he doesn't want me to wait around. But wouldn't it make things worse if we try counseling and we've both been dating in the meantime? He won't be in this state until late September.

And thank you godheals. I really just think I'm being stupid hoping for him to take me back and R. He keeps insisting that I'm overreacting and we can both date and still work on things. He said he's lonely. I do think he is probably trying to hurt me back and isn't being honest about it. I would almost prefer he just tell me that, as I think that would show more investment or care for me than saying "well I'm single so it's fine."

I really thought I was being crazy and irrational for being upset over this. So I really appreciate everyone's responses.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8677002
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Apparition ( member #75755) posted at 4:23 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Am I not allowed to feel hurt or surprised by this? Or insecure? Are these not mixed messages? Should I just shut up, not question it? Should I just try to date too?

Being told you can’t feel doesn’t work, nobody can tell another what right they have to feel. Its more like saying, “I won’t listen to your feelings on “xyz”. Its a strange parallel to my WW’s response to my feelings. I think its a poor place to start with rebuilding communication. Feelings need heard, thats the starting place.

You’re being offered a half hearted reconciliation, which means it may have some sincerity and it may have some

insincerity mixed in. Personally, even on my side, all I want to do is work on myself. I’ve gotten looks and the beginnings of opportunities with women, but regardless of what happens I want to find me and my center and not have my self worth or personal progress become based on dating. I think this is the decision you have to make, and how he is handling it is beside the point. What do you need to do to get your own self ready to be happy in whatever life brings?

You’re basically single and talking to an ex that may or may not be interested in R. That’s limbo and you won’t find peace in dating, you may move on, but you won’t have done your own work. Long way of saying, he is doing what he

wants and not negotiable, so thats the hand you’re dealt. Deal with that reality and not fantasy. I think working on you is priority. If you still want R, then the priority was a rebuilding communication- it takes two for that.

Me: BH
Her: WW (expert serial cheater)
Status: Divorcing

posts: 220   ·   registered: Oct. 28th, 2020
id 8677005
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godheals ( member #56786) posted at 4:36 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

“ we can both date and still work on things.”

Working things out but still dating? Yeah that don’t work.

What happens when you two are trying to work things out and he actually meets someone he likes. Then what?

Again I don’t think he would be ok overall if you did date. He says that now but his not going to be ok with it. Sorry I have seen this too many times when the BH seeks out another women but thinks it’s ok because the WW did it first. But also wants to work things out.

It takes two people to R. But it also takes two people to put 100 percent of the effort to try to R.

H: BS
ME: WW
Dday December 2015 (PA for 15 months)
Confessed to H about the A
4 kids together-M 14 Years now.
Happily R.

posts: 1068   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Nebraska
id 8677010
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Jambomo ( member #74853) posted at 4:40 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

As a BS, I would say that if you are to reconcile you need both of you to be in and committed to doing it. Dating other people whilst going to counselling, is the definition of mixed messages and probably a waste of money. You cannot save a relationship whilst testing out other options.

I agree with Godheals, I think you should consider letting him go and letting him know you do not feel that he is committed to reconciliation at all. Even if he considers himself single, as BS we need to still consider whether what we are doing is helping or harming our goals - you cannot both live a single life whilst also reconciling a marriage, whatever pain or feelings we have about hurting the other person.

posts: 240   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020   ·   location: Scotland
id 8677013
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 sissi1898 (original poster new member #79120) posted at 5:11 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

What happens when you two are trying to work things out and he actually meets someone he likes. Then what?

I actually asked him about this. He said he would tell me. I guess that means he would tell me and then cut contact or cut me out of his life completely so he can move on and be with them.

So I guess I am just on the backburner and definitely not a priority. I think I was just holding onto every possible phrase or word that could be taken as a sign that he wants to R. But I think now that all of that was just wishful thinking on my part. I don't really understand why he is testing me or playing with me like this. He's pissed I even brought up concern about him dating or was upset at all. He said I'm not "allowed" to be upset. I got the appointment scheduled but I don't know if there is a point if he's going to be dating in the meantime because he's lonely.

You cannot save a relationship whilst testing out other options.

I agree with this. It hurts a lot, but I think you're right. I know I don't have any right to, but I'm so hurt and upset. It's been two weeks. Dating never even occurred to me. If I got asked out on a date like he says he was, I would just say no.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2021
id 8677024
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 5:31 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

If he's broken up with you, you're now both single, and if he's dating other women, then there is no reason you should be discussing couples counseling or future reconciliation.

In fact, I don't think you should be talking to him at all. I'm pretty sure you don't want to be friends with him so you can hear about his dates.

Here's what I suggest you say to him next:

"I recognize that I betrayed you and you had every right to end the end relationship. If you want to see if reconciliation is possible, I am willing to try. But we can't try to reconcile while dating other people. If you decide you want to be single or try seeing what else is out there, then I understand and will let you move on. Unfortunately, that means we shouldn't speak anymore."

I know this isn't what you want and that you probably think it's unfair to place any demands on him given what you've done, but the current state of limbo that you're in will not do you or him any good. If he's unwilling to cut ties so he can move on with his life, then you need to be the one to do it.

Cutting contact is especially necessary for you because you have serious mental health issues that you need to address and the current situation will only exacerbate them. You talking to your ex about his beautiful dates while at the same time contemplating couples' counseling is akin to a person with a broken leg trying to climb Mt. Everest in the middle of the blizzard.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 11:32 AM, July 20th (Tuesday)]

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

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 474   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8677028
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 5:42 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

If he's broken up with you, you're now both single, and if he's dating other women, then there is no reason you should be discussing couples counseling or future reconciliation.

Agreed.

I don't think what he is doing is necessarily wrong. He broke up with you first. He's allowed to date around while he figures out what he wants. He's allowed to offer you a chance to figure out if R is possible while he's undecided. You also don't have to accept it, like it, or put up with it.

Personally, I think you should let him go and spend time working on yourself. You have too many things working against this relationship. The LDR, the infidelity, his now active dating life, etc. And you don't have a long history, marriage, or kids to fall back on as a reason to try. It's not worth it.

posts: 4969   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8677034
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 9:13 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

I agree with Neko. Work on yourself so that you will be a safe partner in your next relationship. Both of you should move on.

posts: 417   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8677083
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 9:30 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

If he's broken up with you, you're now both single, and if he's dating other women, then there is no reason you should be discussing couples counseling or future reconciliation.

Agree.

My H did the same thing, FWIW—said he was interested in trying to R after the divorce was final, but then started having sex with one of my friends. Needless to say, I did not consider potential R a viable possibility after that, although a few years later we did eventually remarry (dumb mistake in our case).

Y’all are broken up and thereby are each single. He’s not doing anything wrong, per se—he’s just on the rebound and trying to salve his wounds with another wom(e)n—but ethically he’s not doing anything wrong. What’s wrong, though, is still dangling a carrot of possible R while he’s dating around. I’d recommend shutting those discussions down and only listening to it once he’s been truly single for awhile and has figured out what he actually wants.

[This message edited by Darkness Falls at 3:30 PM, July 20th (Tuesday)]

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6312   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8677092
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 9:42 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

First, you're allowed to feel hurt. You may be the cause of the breakup, but it doesn't mean emotions just shutdown overnight. However, couple's therapy and dating other people do not go together. If he's dating others, or looking to, it seems he's already checked out.

It's ok for a wayward to go NC. You're not obligated to hear about his dating life. You're no longer together.

If he's broken up with you, you're now both single, and if he's dating other women, then there is no reason you should be discussing couples counseling or future reconciliation.

This. Take anything couple off the table, and focus on yourself.

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: 1915   ·   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8677097
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 9:53 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

I agree: you feel what you feel.

I think he's doing something unethical if he's trying to use his date(s) as a way of hurting you - and it's very negative for R.

He's reacting in an unthinking, unfeeling manner. I guess it's understandable, but his actions no longer show you love.

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: 26037   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8677102
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Buck ( member #72012) posted at 10:52 PM on Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

As a guy, I get what he is doing. You screwed up and he's pulled back. He made it clear you guys are no longer exclusive after your cheating. I don't think he's punishing you or trying to hurt you either. You said he mentioned the date casually and understated her looks. That doesn't sound like someone trying to get even.

Honestly, he sounds like he's merely considering his options and not doing a damn thing shady or unethical. You are the one that made yourself an option. You can remove yourself as an option too.

If you truly want to get back together, fix yourself. Get your bi polar symptoms under control, demonstrate for some period of time that you've changed, and see where you stand with him.

posts: 331   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2019   ·   location: Texas
id 8677123
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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 12:19 AM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

I agree you are allowed to feel hurt. I also agree it doesn't appear he is doing anything wrong or unethical, especially since he told you about the date. He's being upfront with you after you betrayed the pair bond. That said, it seems like your best course of action is to focus on becoming the best version of yourself moving forward so you will be faithful when the right man comes along (which could always be him). Focus on yourself.

[This message edited by Thumos at 6:19 PM, July 20th (Tuesday)]

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH (me): 50, WW: 49Married: Feb. 1996DDAY: Dec. 20

posts: 4249   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8677146
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fareast ( member #61555) posted at 1:43 AM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

I agree. Take time to work on yourself. Move on and let him go. As a BS he has been deeply hurt, and his desire to hurt you back is very normal. So let’s get this straight, he knows how much you wish to R, and he tells you that is what he wants as well, but then he just happens to let it slip that he has gone on a date, but tells you, “Oh, you have no right to be upset!” Right! This is definitely done to hurt you. Of course he has the right to date. You are not together. Your best bet to avoid future pain is to move on. He will keep doing this as long as you let him. Move on and become the best version of yourself and strive to be a trustworthy partner in the future.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 2797   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8677159
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denwickdroylsden ( new member #51744) posted at 12:28 PM on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

You're 100% entitled to whatever feelings the situation triggers in you. But to me every indication is that he's checked out and not coming back (no matter how much he hints otherwise). You'd be protecting your own heart by letting go and moving on. Good luck.

Me: WH frequent flyer
Now on straight and narrow
"What's the secret of a long term marriage?" Amnesia.

posts: 18   ·   registered: Feb. 9th, 2016
id 8677208
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