Newest Member: Armyman9196

Reconciliation :
BH claims he wants to R, but no effort after 4 years

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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 1:22 AM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Part of my issue pre A was not speaking my mind, going along with things I didn’t agree with and not being my true self.

Conflict avoidance. It messes people up. I mean, it helps to think of conflict ss opportunity, but when you're feeling beaten down and less than confident in your ability to be heard, it's tough to pull the trigger and confront. I'm glad you're working on that with your IC.

There's a really cool book called The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. This is going to sound like a weird recommendation because this book is mostly geared toward people who have been deserted by their partner. But, I think it can give you some insight maybe into how your psyche has been shaped by the previous abandonments in YOUR life, like when your father cheated on your mother and ruined your family dynamic or when your BH revenge cheated. Even now, while he's using porn and webcams instead of being emotionally intimate with you, you'll be experiencing abandonment. And I think it can also give you some insight into how he's feeling too, because whether it was for a day, a month, or a year, infidelity IS an abandonment. BS's tend to do a good job of vocalizing their feelings of rejection, but abandonment is much more primal than that, tied as it is to our first instinct at birth to connect with our mother. The primary relationship eventually serves that instinctual need for connection, so you begin to see how problematic it is when that connection is withdrawn. The author also does a beautiful job of explaining how our brains and our bodies are affected by these wounds, so you end up understanding WHY you feel the way you do and how we are ALL hardwired from birth to FEAR abandonment. Here's what I like the most about this book though, there's an exercise in it called "Big/Little" which can help you to connect to your most primal emotions by having you reconnect with your inner child. I know. Sounds silly and dissociative. But I was shocked after trying it at what kind of things it opened up in me and how all my earlier wounds were brought back, compounding the infidelity wound and making it seem so big and so intolerable. Anyway, I think it might help.

One more recommendation if you're having trouble breaking codependent patterns and setting boundaries with people, try Unhealthy Helping by Shawn Burn. This book can also help you improve your confidence because the author makes a great case about how we create dependency when we over-help, which is really no favor at all. I found it easier to say 'no' more often after I finished this book and to not feel bad about it. Just remember, you don't have to give up empathy to start setting boundaries. It's good that you can see your BH's side of things; you don't want to change that. What needs to change is how you allow yourself to be treated. You can't pull a time machine out of your ass and change the past. The past is gone. What happened happened and it was NOT okay. All you can do about that is learn from the experience, dust yourself off, and get back to living with better integrity. This is all a process and it takes TIME, but you can accomplish it. Start investing in YOU. The dividends pay out to your whole family, including your BH.

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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 2:02 AM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

ChamomileTea thank you for the recommendation I just bought the book about abandonment. This speaks to me as I’ve had a really hard time digging into my childhood issues so I’m looking forward to the exercise you mentioned. It’s good to fill time with something productive.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2021
id 8690958
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guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 2:56 AM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

BH says that while he wants the family because it’s everything he worked for and thinks it’s best for the kids, he can’t get past what happened, he can’t see me the same way

He told you his purpose in staying married. It's not a request for R.

Ive been trying to be patient and endure for the kids sake and to give him time to heal, but it just isn’t happening and I feel like I want to give up. I’m scared of wasting more years of my life just for him to realize he can’t forgive me and then move on himself. I get so confused since I’m the WW I feel so much guilt but I also feel it’s more damaging staying together at this point. He just won’t budge.

And these are not a request for R either.

Actually, in all your writing, I didn't see any indication that you loved him.

You had an affair and then you justified it. And now you say you're in R, and all you're talking about are justifications to give it up. This seems like the optimal solution. But he was the bad guy when you cheated, and now he's the bad guy because you can't R. Do what you want to do, but stop portraying him as a villain. So much so that some of the members here have become insulting to him and to members who approach him with empathy. Based only on the portrait you drew. This is not faire.

The words you say here are shown as proof that you love him and that you did all the right things to reconcile but he didn't react properly. How can it be so easily accepted that reality is the way you see it, even if you're probably not lying?

If your story was shared on JFO, it would be said you are "rewriting the history of marriage," but here you are proven right.

We are expected to believe that a person who has cheated on her husband, despite all his warnings, truly loves her husband.

Your expressions still reflect the wayward mind.

You just want to stay in a marriage out of guilt. You have emotionally killed your marriage, your family, your husband, at least finish what you started, do it legal.

That's pretty much what I wanted to say. Actually, I was going to write a few days ago, but I didn't get the chance. Everything I wrote this morning on the phone was also deleted accidentally, this is a sloppy summary of it. Meanwhile, I saw Booyah write exactly what I was thinking. I don't understand why he was warned, when there are others here who disrespect every opinion they disagree with.

I will not finish without writing a few things that I want to mention.

The actual A did not last long (few months total) but the lead up to it was longer. There were times when my BH could see it coming based on texts he saw and warned me that things could go wrong if I didn’t put up some boundaries. I was initially good at those boundaries and thought I was able to navigate the situation.

Here you wrote as if he saw something you couldn't see and warned you. And you wrote it as if something you never thought of had happened to you. See what I mean with expressing wayward mentality?

It didn't happen, you did it.

These were decisions that were made deliberately and voluntarily from beginning to end. And what does "navigate the situation" mean? At what stage were you thinking of returning; from the side of the bed?

To what extent do you think it was right, where did the wrong start?

I don't expect you to go back in time and undo what you did. But you have to own the responsibility and the consequences of it.

You say it but you do not. Otherwise, you wouldn't have come here and complained about your husband's inability for R. Instead, you would question yourself what you were missing. Because, if that's possible (and it might not), it's your job. And if it's not, you are the one who must to take responsibility for it and admit that YOU CAUSED ALL THIS, not blame your husband for not being able to reconcile.

The other thing I want to mention is that contrary to what others have said, RA is not always cheating. Sex with someone else is not always equal to cheating. Cheating is what you do. Your BH did this not secretly, but specifically to let you know, to hurt you. I don't find it right but don't consider it as cheating either.

If I were him, I would have divorced you already. Not after DDay, when I saw you ignored me and continued your inappropriate communication with AP even though I warned you. Actually, depending on the degree of impropriety, it might have been enough for you to do so, and I might not have expected you to not continue. So there would be no need for RA.

Am I really like that? Yes, I've been like this for a long time, I don't tolerate being disrespected.

posts: 520   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8690968
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 4:22 AM on Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Guvensiz - I thought I addressed much of what you said in my most recent long thread, not sure if you saw it but assuming you did I guess you still feel the same way. I understand the instances you point out where BH says why he is staying are not requests for R, but he does tell me he wants to R, though I agree we’re not in R right now. We’re not even close. I don’t blame BH for the A, what i meant by thinking I could navigate the situation with AP is this. BH saw some texts from AP, at this point there was nothing overtly inappropriate but just the mere fact that he was texting to that extent BH saw as a problem, thus his warning. Since he was my boss, I had a hard time setting boundaries around that because texting was how he communicated with others, and it seemed like I should go along with that. At that point I thought I had AP under control. I felt like I knew him enough to play his game but keep things on my terms. Again, nothing other than work talk at this point. Over time that continued to slowly erode and I made the choices I made. I allowed those boundaries to get knocked down. I went along with things I never should have. I won’t get into all the details surrounding it but there’s a huge element of self sabotage in what I did.

I do love my BH, I really do. I don’t want to stay in the marriage out of guilt at all. In fact it’s the opposite. I tell BH all the time that I only want us to stay together if we both truly want to be here.

His RA is not something that troubles me much, I’ve come to a place of peace about that and I understood right away what it was. It was less hurtful than some other things he almost did. The current internet issues trouble me more than the RA. I don’t feel a deep need to rehash the RA at this point.


I’ve asked BH many times if there is something I didn’t do properly or some unresolved piece of this that I can help with. He’s told me many times it’s nothing I’ve not done or explained, that it’s him who just can’t get past it.

Lastly, I’ve admitted I caused all of this many times. I’m trying to figure out how to move forward in a more healthy way than what we’ve been doing.

posts: 19   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2021
id 8690982
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 6:50 PM on Friday, October 1st, 2021

Ash, I think others are probably right in their assessment that your H is staying for the kids and doesn't want true R. Are you willing to do that? If you are, that's a valid choice, but I don't think it's going to come with a side of happiness for you. If you decide to stay for the kids, I think you need to work on detaching from your H as anything other than a roommate and co-parent.


The other thing I want to mention is that contrary to what others have said, RA is not always cheating. Sex with someone else is not always equal to cheating. Cheating is what you do. Your BH did this not secretly, but specifically to let you know, to hurt you. I don't find it right but don't consider it as cheating either

Ash said in her first comment: "(I forgot to mention he’s a mad hatter and he had revenge sex with a distant mutual friend of ours several months after DD). I forgave that right away because he confessed it right away..."

If it wasn't agreed upon ahead of time, it's an A. Thankfully, it's not a point of contention with Ash.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 570   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8691240
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 3:11 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

A is not always cheating. Sex with someone else is not always equal to cheating. Cheating is what you do. Your BH did this not secretly, but specifically to let you know, to hurt you. I don't find it right but don't consider it as cheating either

Why then is it called a Revenge AFFAIR?

Here's a standard definition of 'adultery':

Consensual sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than the spouse.

How is a revenge A outside of that definition? And how does telling the BS2b ahead of time make a difference?

[This message edited by sisoon at 3:12 PM, Saturday, October 2nd]

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: 26161   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8691316
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 5:52 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Regarding the RA, he did not tell me ahead of time. Prior to the RA he was entertaining escorts openly but ultimately never went through with it and when he went out of state for the trip that resulted in the RA, he actually assured me he wasn’t going to do anything.

13YrsR - I do think it’s possible to have a happy life with BH again, but it would involve a lot of work on both our parts. Im worried about always feeling like he’s not really happy being with me, since I know at his core this is a dealbreaker so if it weren’t for the kids he likely would never even try to R.

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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 7:06 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

FWIW, the definition of adultery posted by Sisoon would also apply to those living in polyamory, in which the sex outside the M is 100% above board and consented to by all parties. I would not categorize that as an A.

Personally, I guess I'm more ambivalent about the RA. I'm confident my perspective is biased by being the BS, yet I view the ONS RA as directly related to the trauma response vs what we'd on SI call "wayward thinking", which IMO is different. Now, anything beyond the ONS puts the BS/MH in a different realm, as to continue to knowingly engage with the AP switches things from trauma response to wayward thinking. One could argue the wayward thinking derived from the trauma response, but not sure the cure is any different.

In my view of the ONS RA, of course it's painful to the WS/BS - and I'd bet that in many cases it's meant to be. I absolutely entertained the idea, and viewed it more like a twofer in that having a ONS RA would have both hurt my WH AND boosted my confidence. I guess for me the confidence boost of knowing I COULD if I WANTED to, was enough to bring me to my senses / get executive brain online and out of the trauma response. Which I suppose is why I give a LOT more compassion/empathy to the ONS RA in that trauma brain throws everything into a tizzy, BS acts on that, then realizes it is not who they are/want to be and never does it again, and it's clear that BUT FOR the trauma response of dday, it would never have happened to begin with (which was 100% my sitch - I'd had plenty of opportunities for a PA prior to dday, always shut it down and NEVER gave it a second thought - indeed, I told my WH about at least 2 such instances even when [unbeknownst to me] he was balls deep in his LTA PA).

To me, saying a ONS RA is the same as the original PA that prompted Dday, or a longer RA is like saying a Rolls Royce is the same as a Yugo.... Yeah, they are both vehicles that get us from one place to another, but they are NOT the same (and the repair bills are significantly different, just as the "work" to change is different in that recovering from the trauma and moving out of the trauma response is not the same "work" as changing from a WS to safe partner).

Just my $0.02, which, when coupled with another $3.50, just may buy a cup of coffee.

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: 3441   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8691330
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 7:59 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

GMC94, I totally agree with you that it’s different and a trauma response. Maybe this is why I’m not bothered by it and I was able to forgive it right away. I honestly am not rugsweeping it, I just see it for what it was and I can move forward without issues on that. I know it was not in his character and he never would’ve done it had my A not happened.

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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 8:45 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

I can't agree with that. For me, you either have a "but..." in your values system or you don't. ie. "I believe in Fidelity, but... not if I need some extra attention" or "I believe in Fidelity, but... not if my spouse cheats first." It's a little like being pregnant, right? You either are or you aren't. You either BELIEVE in what you say you stand for, or you don't. I can see how people who have never really been challenged on their boundaries might think they're one way and turn out to be another. I can even see how people who have failed to live up to who they thought they were in terms of values can learn to truly honor them. But tossing what you KNOW to be true about yourself away? Nope. That's toothpaste that can't leave the tube without our CHOICE. When we are cognizant of our values, when we're true believers, we can't un-know what we know. I'm sorry, but the revenge cheater is the same as any other as far as I'm concerned. They have a "but..." in their values system.

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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 8:52 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

BA,

I get why you say the RA does not bother you.

It really sounds like his RA had very little emotional connection, possibly wasn't even all that good. It was with someone he likes but does not even thinks he loves, possibly just someone he is attracted to. The RA didn't even evolve over time.

If I recall correctly the OW was in an open marriage so he was just another number, although my W told me she couldn't blame me if I had cheated on her I would have felt pathetic doing so with some emotionally vulnerable or lonely woman or a prostitute.

I suspect that even while he was with the OW he thought that the OW knew the secret his WW knew that he was not attractive or desirable or had worth as a person.

Did your BH have a difficult time finding women to date when he was younger or did he feel rejected by women generally. Even if you believe it is not true, it may be true to your BH, and your affair affirmed it.

How much do you understand your BHs childhood issues?

posts: 1056   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 9:24 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

I'm sorry, but the revenge cheater is the same as any other as far as I'm concerned. They have a "but..." in their values system.

100% agree.

I know it was not in his character and he never would’ve done it had my A not happened.

It's not in most BS's character to do it after DDay, either, unless they've decided to leave the marriage. In the limbo between DDay and R, my H was actually urging me to have an RA. No thanks. Not interested. Homey don't play dat.

...when he went out of state for the trip that resulted in the RA, he actually assured me he wasn’t going to do anything.

He betrayed you. You're feeling guilty so you're cutting him a ton of slack, but you're not doing him or your marriage any favors by doing so. He needs to own all of his bad behavior if you have any hope of truly reconciling and having a healthy marriage. This was inexcusable, just like your A was inexcusable.

And how does telling the BS2b ahead of time make a difference?

If the WS agreed ahead of time to allow the BS to have a freebie RA, you could still technically classify it as adultery, but it's not really cheating because there's no deception. It's extremely unhealthy, but it's not cheating, IMO.

If the BS told the WS "I'm going to have sex with someone else," the WS objected, but the BS had the RA anyway, that's cheating. That's my take on it.

I do think it’s possible to have a happy life with BH again, but it would involve a lot of work on both our parts.

Do you think he's willing to do the work? So far, he hasn't shown you or relayed to you that he is. I hope that changes.

ETA, because it hit me as I was rereading what I wrote: If you want to try to save your marriage, I think you need to come at this from a place of strength instead of a place of guilt. Strength is extremely attractive. Being a martyr is not. I always say this and I think it really applies here: Take care of yourself first and everything else will fall into place.

[This message edited by 13YearsR at 9:32 PM, Saturday, October 2nd]

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

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gmc94 ( member #62810) posted at 9:40 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Do the "ONS RA is the same" folks agree with the legal concept of the insanity defense? IOW, if someone is "insane" while committing a crime, should they get a life w/o parole or similar prison sentence (or death) along with someone who does not meet that definition - the person who spent weeks/months/years planning, calculating, and executing their crime(s)?

What about juveniles? Do you agree that we should hold adults to a different standard, bc their frontal lobes are more fully developed than someone age 12 or 16 (or, if we actually look at the science, 25)?

I think those defenses may not mean much to the victims of the crimes, any more than the "whys" of a WS will mean much to a new BS (eg the parents of the kid killed by their 15yo classmate may want to burn the child-witch, just as the spouse of the man murdered by a schizophrenic may want the death penalty vs commitment to a mental institution), yet there is a reason these defenses exist in the law - because society understands a "crime of passion" is different than a calculated, cold blooded, act.

So I suppose one could say that I apply the "insanity defense" to the ONS RA that occurs in the midst of the trauma response stemming from the aftermath of dday. There is solid research about the ways in which the trauma of Dday alter our mind/capacity (tho I think its a spectrum in which some BS may have a very mild response compared to others, who may be suicidal and are in full blown PTSD with a limbic system gone wild). I'm not saying the BS/MH after a ONS RA isn't responsible for their actions - they are (as are the 15yo or schizophrenic murderer or robber or whatever). I'm saying that is NOT the same as the cold blooded/wayward thinking of a longer A (whether the 1st A or an RA beyond a ONS).

What about the BS who basically drinks to a stupor those first weeks/months after dday, but by the end of year 1 (when executive brain comes back online) have returned to the little/no alcohol routine of pre-dday. Are they now an alcoholic? Do those who cannot eat for weeks/months after dday need treatment for anexoria? I view both of those (I believe) common responses in relation to dday trauma. Now, if I got way drunk after dday and then hit someone with my car, I'm still RESPONSIBLE for that action, yet I still I don't think it makes me an alcoholic (tho, obviously, that cannot be said if the behavior does not change as the BS works on HEALING the trauma, getting executive brain back online, and working to manage the limbic system, which is the VERY unfortunate situation OP describes).

The "but" isn't about the rationalized "exceptions" to the rule that we don't sleep with others while married.

The "but" is about the well documented ways in which trauma can manifest in the human brain, that includes the (also well documented) executive brain being outmaneuvered by a limbic system gone completely haywire in direct response to the trauma of the original infidelity.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 9:41 PM, Saturday, October 2nd]

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

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id 8691347
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 11:13 PM on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021

Don't get me wrong, GMC. I'm not saying that wanting to get even, wanting to punish, wanting to prove that we also have options isn't normal. It's absolutely normal to feel that way. Acting on it though is something different. Yeah, maybe one could use the insanity defense. I dunno. I think it would be a rare thing though among those who are otherwise solid in their values. You literally have to throw away something that has real meaning to you in order to do that. You have to actively choose against what you value and be willing to become that which you despise. And that sounds to me like a whole other set of problems.

posts: 4599   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
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 BrokenAsh (original poster new member #78473) posted at 3:43 AM on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Survrus - his RA was not a married woman. Possible she had a boyfriend at the time but definitely not married. He told her the story of my A after they broke off from the larger group. He says it wasn’t that great and I tend to believe it as I don’t think he’s ever been strongly attracted to her, plus the obvious emotional trauma he was going through at the time. He claims she felt really bad snd awkward about it, I guess from knowing she just screwed me over. She still "likes" my Facebook posts and I’m still friends with her on Facebook. My BH has said he was not super popular with the girls back in his teenage years, but by the time I met him in grad school he seemed to be doing pretty well in that regard. I pursued him initially and he wasn’t interested in me at first. I’m more extroverted, he’s an introvert.

I know his childhood issues very well. Alcoholic father, emotionally unstable and unavailable mother. I know all about how these issues made him feel and how he was suicidal at 16 but met up with a great therapist that clicked for him snd turned his life around.

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Bezuidenhout ( new member #79375) posted at 9:32 AM on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

After reading your thread I think it's likely that you would cheat again. You definitely not a safe partner for R. For example your husband clearly warned you ahead of time that things would go wrong, but it would seem like you wanted things to go wrong?. I noticed you said that your husband has depression or anger issues, you were feeling disconnected at the time so you cheated? (Yes, always the BS faulted?) I think the first step in moving forward with reconciliation is to admit to your husband that you cheated because you wanted to not because of issues in the marriage. Your husband doesn't want divorce because of the kids, he doesn't want reconciliation because he can't forgive the one person he trusted the most not to stab him in the back.

Your husband needs help, and I know who can help him. This forum can. You should point him to this website, so he can tell us his side of the story. Many people come on SI seeking help and they get it. It's always nice to hear both sides. So if you are willing, tell him about this site. He will get all the help he needs and a right path to D or R.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2021   ·   location: U.S
id 8691396
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 3:58 PM on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

You should point him to this website, so he can tell us his side of the story. Many people come on SI seeking help and they get it. It's always nice to hear both sides. So if you are willing, tell him about this site. He will get all the help he needs and a right path to D or R.

I just want to point out that this is the exact opposite of advice commonly given to BS's to keep this site private as a resource for their own healing.

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Bezuidenhout ( new member #79375) posted at 4:40 PM on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Many WW come on this site seeking advise, Many point their BS to this site and they find healing. I think it would be great for Brokenash to tell her BS about this website so he can find healing. SI provides great documentation for BS. It's been 4 years since DDay and nothing has been resolved in their household. Many broken BS found healing after visiting this website. I've seen it myself.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2021   ·   location: U.S
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Bezuidenhout ( new member #79375) posted at 4:47 PM on Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

@BrokenAsh, There are many BS on this website that can give your husband great advise. You mentioned that you have been walking on eggshells since DDay. It's a terrible way to live. I've seen BS that healed after visiting this website. Send your husband here, and he will figure out if he wants R or D after speaking with others in similar situations.

posts: 13   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2021   ·   location: U.S
id 8691433
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throwawayabay ( member #55912) posted at 12:40 AM on Monday, October 4th, 2021

I scanned through most of this thread.

My takeaways are that the two extremes of view in this thread are just that .. extremes. OP's BH is clearly broken by OP's affair. 4+ years later and he's still this traumatized? I think this is mostly to do with OP's decision to cheat, but a huge part of it is also due to BH's baseline mental and emotional health. My ex-WW's affair nearly destroyed me, and I was of (relatively) sound mind. If I had had depression issues prior, I very well could be dead right now.

Also, OP (and anyone else making this statement) stop saying you know how much you destroyed your BH. I understand that he chose to cheat in retaliation, and even though that is morally wrong and a reflection of his character, it is not the same thing as the initial breaking of vows and going outside the marriage. The truth is, you have no idea how much you destroyed him. You can't possibly know .. not unless he was the first one to cheat in your relationship (he wasn't, he cheated after your bond was already destroyed). You can (and should) continue to try to understand, to listen, and to attempt to empathize with the pain he carries, but you will never understand it (not unless you end this relationship, remarry, settle in for years, and are then cheated on by your new spouse).

I agree with what both sides are saying here though. I do think your husband, because of the trauma you caused him and his prior mental health issues, seems incapable of doing what is necessary to reconcile. You cannot control or change anything he does, so I don't believe you should be focusing on him so much as yourself .. since you only able to change and improve what you do.

What does that mean? That means you need to continue to work on yourself. I agree with others .. why the commitment to this one therapist? I recommend searching for a therapist who specializes in infidelity and relationship trauma, and begin doing IC with him/her. Get to the bottom of why you chose to cheat .. most likely it's rooted in your FOO stuff with your unfaithful father. Simultaneously, your goal should be to come up with a clear idea of how best to move forward if your BH is unable to improve. What do you want? What do you need? Maybe discuss the idea of a trial separation with your BH and MC and see if that makes sense for you all.

Best of luck.

Me: BH ~ 30y/o
Her: EX-WW ~30y/o
~5y marriage
0 children (thank God)

WW cheated with lesbian coworker early 2016
Divorced early 2018
Trying to go NC, but ex-ww reaches out trying to be friends (or something like that)

posts: 107   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2016   ·   location: CA
id 8691477
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