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Just Found Out :
Do you think my marriage is worth saving?

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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 12:19 AM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

MC suggested during our recent/3rd session that we should have date nights.

to echo others, IMHO this is likely not helpful. Before I found SI, I read books & got MC / IC advice suggesting to "make new memories" after dday. We did a bunch of getaways, dinners, etc. didn’t help. And sure as s**t did NOT do jack to encourage change from my WH - change which I believe is necessary to even consider R.

If you believe that infidelity causes trauma (I do), that advice - at least before trust is restored, before healing happens, before the WS finds REMORSE and empathy - is like sending a combat vet with active PTSD back to the battlefield.

For the reasons already posted, I’d stop MC altogether. If I wasn’t able/willing to stop MC until WS and BS have both done some work, I would only continue with an MC who works from the relational betrayal model.

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: 3789   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8724749
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 hi2super (original poster new member #80112) posted at 4:32 AM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Thank you all for the great advice! I will definitely bring up some of them to our next MC session. Honestly, I don't even know how to work with my own MC/life coach sometimes. I still don't have a clear idea about how to heal or get emotionally stronger. I do need to point out to our MC that my husband needs to be patient and let me vent at least. I don't think I can just heal on my own. It's a mess caused by him in the first place. He doesn't have a lot of options on the table except to leave and go back to that mistress. He knows he won't be able to see the kids as often in that case although we both know custody will be 50/50 regardless infidelity. But I don't want to use the kids to "threaten" him to do something for our marriage either. He keeps saying they are very important to him. But why did he betray and lie over and over if they were that important? Even if he didn't care about me, he should know that the kids could be ended up in a broken family before he went out to see that woman?!

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2022   ·   location: New York
id 8724794
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 5:50 AM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

He keeps saying they are very important to him.

IMHO, the think about cheaters (or unreformed / unhealed cheaters) is that the only thing that's REALLLY "important" to them are... themselves. Cheating is a selfish act. It removes agency from the betrayed, and the family. It's also pretty effing cowardly, cuz the WS doesn't have the courage to come out and say they are unhappy or they want or need something different, or whatever is going on.

I don't know that there's a roadmap for a BS to heal. We are all different. I was a complete basket case for over a year (now, my WH DID attempt suicide in that time, which I'm sure set me back pretty far). So, for ME, one of the first things was recognizing it as trauma and needed to stop kicking myself for not being able to "snap out of it". It also took me a LONG time to really see my WH for who he was and not who I thought he was / thought I married (you may be further along on that front smile ).

I read a TON (too much, actually) about infidelity. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably separate things into "infidelity" and "healing".

On the infidelity front, I recommend two infidelity books: Macdonald's How to Help Your Spouse Heal" (which is short - like a couple of hours to read it), and "not Just friends" by Shirley Glass (which is longer and much more detailed about affairs, types of affairs, etc. I personally LIKE research, but everyone is different). I think I already posted about it, but I'm a fan of Helping Couples Heal podcast, and the 2-part interview of Marnie Breecker on Duane Osterlind's "the Addicted Mind" podcast (that last one is all about the trauma of being a BS - again, it was REALLY hard for me to see or accept that this was real TRAUMA and that I had PTSD). I loved the Stan Tatkin interview on HCH, and all the Omar Minwalla episodes.

On the healing front, there is sooo much more. Rick Hansen's "resilient" was a game changer that I got about 6 months in. I got it on audiobook (something about the trauma of dday kind of blew my reading comprehension on paper, so I now do audio), which turned out to be a great thing, as he has exercises that are easier done w/o looking back at a book. His theory is the neurons that fire together, wire together, so the focus is finding & incorporating JOY into your day-to-day life, which builds resilience to the pain that we all experience, no matter the cause.

I'd read Brene Brown, but probably start with her audio lecture "the Power of Vulnerability" (got it on Hoopla via local library), which is 6 or 8 lectures on one audio and a great synthesis of her early books (also had great parenting stuff).

For trauma/PTSD, I'd delve into The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk (also a kind of "bible" on that front, and long and detailed - for the research nerd in me).

I also really recommend the Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. I think I got all of those books from the library and ended up buying each one to keep (except the Brene Brown audio - I can't find it to purchase - but I did buy all of her books).

I also worked on mindfulness w/in (I think) the 1st 6 months. I used an app called Insight Timer that was free and allowed me to customize (time, gender, music or not, etc) and that helped me sleep and relax.

If the trauma symptoms are non-existent, passed, or managed, I may start with Stosny's "Living & Loving After Betrayal", which is not focusing on the infidelity or changing the WS, but about the BS moving on and living their best life. And given your situation, that one may be a good place to start.

Anhow, those are MY suggestions - your mileage may vary.

Are you eating and sleeping OK? is your mind spinning all the time? I'd work on the mindfulness and make sure to get some exercise, etc as much as possible to try and help on that front (and if you are eating & sleeping, you are doing great).

Godspeed.

ETA:

I don't think I can just heal on my own

I spent a TON of time somehow convinced that if my WH would 'just' put in the work, become honest, restore trust, become empathetic, etc., then I would be OK. And what I've come to believe is that all of those things can HELP and SUPPORT the BS' healing, but none of them do the actual work. My analogy is always you are a passenger in a car that your WS drives into a brick wall. The WS has some cuts & scrapes, maybe even a broken bone. But the BS... well, they have internal damage, broken back, everything from head to toe is impacted. So - can the driver/WS heal the passenger? I mean, it IS their "fault" that the car crashed and the BS is critically hurt. But no matter the fault, ONLY the BS can go to physical therapy, ONLY the BS can undergo the surgeries, etc. The WS can - and SHOULD (tho I don't think a BS can count on it) - SUPPORT the BS through all of that - like driving to the PT appt or showing up with flowers after surgery. But the heavy effing lifting is still on the BS.

As gently as I can say this, the bottom line is that we all kind of have to heal on our own. And as harsh as that may sound, the good news is that if we put in that hard work of healing from this shitshow, we really do come out stronger and wiser. Infidelity changes us... trauma/PTSD changes us on a cellular level. Infidelity is a huge blow to ego, self esteem, etc. Many BS feel shame and guilt about the infidelity, or about not filing for D. I spent quite a bit of time being royally effing pissed off about that. Today, while I am NOT grateful for being married to a cheater, I AM grateful for the work I've put in and the ways (or most of them) in which I've changed, starting with being a better parent.

I hope that's not too harsh or devoid of hope...

[This message edited by gmc94 at 6:08 AM, Tuesday, March 22nd]

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: 3789   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8724813
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 11:37 AM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Hi2super

I am sorry you are here. You deserve better. You have been given some really outstanding advice here.

Can I suggest a few things.

1. Really think hard about do you want to live out your days with him? Reconciliation is a hard journey, and not guaranteed. So make sure that he is the prize you want at the end of this long journey.

2. It takes 2 to 5 years to recover from infidelity, I am at the longer end of that spectrum and still working on it. Share that with your husband. He needs to understand that he has damaged the foundation of your marriage. Trust and love.

3. Do not trust the words that come out of his mouth. Trust what his actions tell you. It is really easy to say I am sorry I will never do it again. Those words are meaningless without commitment and actions that support them.

4. You have just gone through incredible trauma. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Go for a massage, do something that really makes you feel beautiful. make sure that you do self care. At least once a month. I find women get so busy that we sometimes forget that.

5. Know that whatever you decide to do is okay. It is your decision. And if you change your mind at any point, that is OK too. You will get a lot of different advice. It’s always good to listen, but you decide what you will do.

I wish you the best

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 1:20 PM, Tuesday, March 22nd]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1945   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8724824
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 hi2super (original poster new member #80112) posted at 3:29 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

Thank you again for all your support and advice. I honestly didn't know that there were so many books out there about infidelity or healing...I will have to spend more time on them. But my husband doesn't love me at the moment, like one of you pointed out before, it's not something that he can talk himself into. If there is no love from him, I don't know if I should stay just for the kids or how long we could sustain the relationship. I don't want to fake or pretend to be happy in front of the kids when we are together. I had done that for so long and look what I got now. He hasn't done much to repair our relationship so far. If things stay the same the next few months or so, I probably shouldn't wait too long but file for D. It's just not fair or healthy for me although I have been eating healthy and exercising as I always do. I can mostly sleep (no good quality) but have weird nightmare sometime. Last night I had a dream that my WH slept with one of my best friends which never happened. I really want the normal me back first!

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2022   ·   location: New York
id 8724848
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:38 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

With what you have written it sounds like your husband has no ability to love deeply. It sounds like his only attachment is to his children and not to any of the women in his life. If that’s the case you’re going to live in purgatory as long as you stay with him. It isn’t as if he doesn’t love you as much as he can’t love you because he can’t love anyone deeply. You need to think about that because at some point in your life when your children are grown you are probably going to be alone because he’s not going to stick around. Please take this as somebody trying to be kind to you, even though I’m pretty blunt about it, but we cannot make ourselves love someone and it does not sound like he loves you, or has ever done so. You are lovable and deserve someone who feels that way about you.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8724849
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 3:53 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

It sounds like your WH has emotionally detached from you long time ago. I wonder if he ever truly loved you or if he’s even capable of love.
Read up on narcissistic traits as well. I think your WH might have some of them and it will help explain a lot about his behavior and his prognosis as a safe partner-very slim!

posts: 211   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8724850
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 hi2super (original poster new member #80112) posted at 4:02 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

He actually loves that woman...they never had the closure 20 years ago when he left her. They never did...They started the EA then PA when they found out both of them were miserable with their own marriages. WH said this woman and he tried to stop each other many times but just couldn't. He said he knew it was morally wrong. But what he didn't say is probably they felt so right about each other since he said they are compatible in many ways. I guess none of us are cheaters here so we can't think like them.

Now he said he is trying to forget her and trying to love me again like he once did in the beginning of our relationship. But is it even possible? Like you guys said, he didn't truly love me. Even he said he never gave me a fair chance. In the past, I didn't know this woman but now I do. Plus, it feels like she will keep haunting me even we have never met. I can just be easily triggered by anything about her. Like a few weeks ago, WH told me it was the mistress' suggestion to use the electric toothbrush with an app so it would help our young kids engage and brush teeth on their own. He told me to buy it a few months ago and I thought it was his idea. Now every time my kid uses that stupid toothbrush, it just reminds me of her..I told my kid that I will buy her a new one to replace that. How can I ever get a peace of mind?

[This message edited by hi2super at 4:23 PM, Tuesday, March 22nd]

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2022   ·   location: New York
id 8724852
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 6:58 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

He is going to try to love you like he did 10 years ago? When during those 10 years he did not love you? How is he going to find this love for you?
Especially while he’s simultaneously trying to forget the other woman? It’s like trying/forcing myself to love chocolate ice cream when I like vanilla. You can’t force love. Forced love harbors resentment and will not last.

Don’t get me wrong. I am FOR marriage. I believe marriage is sacred. I believe marriages are worth saving-if both parties are willing to commit and work together. But not all marriages can or should be saved.
Please protect yourself. Pay close attention to his actions. See how he acts when you are struggling with emotions. See if he shows empathy and genuine concern for you. See if he is patient with you as you go through these dark days. His actions toward you can be the guide you use to decide your next steps.

I read this somewhere:

" Contrition means to be broken into many pieces. So with genuine contrition, cheaters know that the onus is on them to prove they have changed and done everything in their power to become a better person. The bottom line is this: If someone is truly contrite, you won’t have to do a thing. They will be responsible for doing everything in their power to change. In other words, the betrayed spouse doesn’t have to find just the right therapist, the right group, the right anything. The ball is solidly in the cheater’s court."

posts: 211   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8724888
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 hi2super (original poster new member #80112) posted at 7:22 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

WH actually wanted to tango with me. He said it takes two to tango now while I had tried to do that on my own. He even asked me to read one of the books you guys suggested the other day. I told him based on the book title, it's for cheaters, not BS. He said he would read it. But it just doesn't seem to show he has done much studying.

I know I don't deserve the way he treated me the past 10 years. He said I didn't treat him well emotionally either. But I always cared and loved for him. I never stopped. Even after we had our fight back then, it was always me who started to talk to him first. But he just pushed me away most of the time. He made himself miserable, now we are both miserable especially after his PA. The more I talked to you guys, the more I don't feel right about this relationship.

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2022   ·   location: New York
id 8724894
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 9:58 PM on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

He said I didn't treat him well emotionally either.

FWIW, this is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts... the old 'whataboutisms" that cheaters like to use (I guess it makes them feel better about their choices and the pain caused, helps fuel the entitlement needed to have an A to begin with, and removes the need for them to be accountable for THEIR behaviors cuz, you know, the BS wasn't perfect either). The point is that there may be a time and a place for his grievances to be aired, and IMO, they MUST be aired in order to R.

I agree with the folks on SI who believe that the work of R happens after there is healing / change by both the BS and WS (and - full disclosure - I am not in R and have not committed to it). It's like someone sets a house on FIRE and then tells the fire dept that there is a cat stuck in the tree that needs to be tended to before they pull out the hoses.

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: 3789   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8724944
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:03 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

He said I didn't treat him well emotionally either.

So he expects you will treat him better after he’s cheated?

ROFLMAO 😂!

Please read up on the 180 and institute that whenever you can.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11852   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8724970
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:10 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

It always stuns me how stupid cheaters can be.

Your husband gave you a recommendation from his affair partner on how your children should brush their teeth??? OMG. I have two words that should be passed on to him. Fuck off.

Unbelievable stupidity.

Is he new?

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 12:11 AM, Wednesday, March 23rd]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1945   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8724974
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 hi2super (original poster new member #80112) posted at 3:18 AM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

About the stupid electric toothbrush, I didn't know it wasn't his idea so I bought it and my older kid still uses it these days. But I just bought her a new one so I don't need that old one his girlfriend/mistress suggested anymore. He even told me a few weeks after dday that this woman was sweet and a nice person. He said if not under this circumstances, the two of us could be friends. How ridiculous does it sound? I don't care if she is a vert good human being or not. I just know she is someone who stole my husband and ruined my marriage.

I honestly don't know how to work with WH. It just seems like he still expects me to work on the relationship for at least the same amount in order to show that I have desire to fix the relationship together. I honestly want this toxic man to be out of my life and have sole custody of the kids. Why do cheating partners still get to have custody of the kids after all? What kind of stupid law is that? They are not even decent enough or know better to teach the kids!

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2022   ·   location: New York
id 8725000
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:15 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I honestly don't know how to work with WH.

I suggest using an approach based on knowing what you want and acting to get it. Monitor yourself, and keep making choices that get you closer to what you want and farther from what you don't want. I know that's much easier said than done. sad

[This message edited by SI Staff at 4:17 PM, Wednesday, March 23rd]

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: 27082   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8725067
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 hi2super (original poster new member #80112) posted at 5:18 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Yes, I will wait and see. I don't know how long I will wait though. I feel like I have actually waited for a long time for him to come to senses all these years. I don't know how much patience I have for him. And I do know what I know - a loving and responsible husband. I don't know if he will become one. Time will tell.

posts: 40   ·   registered: Mar. 20th, 2022   ·   location: New York
id 8725090
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 6:50 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Your H seems to have quite a long list of expectations and demands from you. WOW!!

🤪🤪

It’s enough to make your head spin.

It boils down to this:

You now see him in the light if day without those rose colored glasses. And you have to decide if you want the marriage to last. But that had to be based in the marriage YOU want. Not the marriage you have or had.

If your H changes and becomes the guy you need, that’s great. If not, you need to decide your next steps.

I don’t think staying with a "toxic guy" as you called him is in your best interest or your children’s best interest. Just my opinion.

I also don’t think it is easy to stay with someone who doesn’t admit that they treated you terribly for the past decade Will work out either. Again, just my opinion.

Even if your H turns around and does everything right, it might just be too late. This "long lost soulmate affair" will always have you wondering, despite what he says.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11852   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8725112
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justabrokendream ( member #3075) posted at 7:15 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Do you think my marriage is worth saving?

NO

posts: 483   ·   registered: Jan. 3rd, 2004   ·   location: CA
id 8725124
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 7:46 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I feel like I have actually waited for a long time for him to come to senses all these years. I don't know how much patience I have for him. And I do know what I know - a loving and responsible husband. I don't know if he will become one. Time will tell.


On what basis do you think "time will tell"? The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. So, unless you are actively seeing changes, chances are really good that nothing will change. The fact that your WH continues to harangue YOU for change is flabbergasting. You're not the cheater. You're not the one who is lacking in character and whose integrity is defective. When he tells you that you need to "work on the relationship", he's essentially blame-shifting his CHOICE, his FREE WILL, to cheat and making it about YOU. It's just not possible. I don't care if you were Attila the Hun in this marriage... the only person responsible for cheating is the one who CHOSE to cheat. You can't make a person who actually honors his core values act against them. That choice happens when the core values AREN'T THERE.

You didn't do this. You can't fix it. And you don't owe that guy a thing.

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5414   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8725132
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Fof9303 ( member #70433) posted at 12:35 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Hi there... I am so sorry that you are going through this. Sometimes broken things can be repaired and become wonderful. However, your husband needs to be doing everything and anything to win you back. You do not need to give him an answer as to what the future holds for the two of you. Take it day by day and see how he acts... see is remorse... see how he makes you feel safe... The most important thing is that he makes you feel safe. Counseling is key. Take a beat, no need to rush out the door yet or renew your vowels... In the meantime, take care of yourself and your little ones... Take a walk, put on a pretty dress, eat off a fancy plate... do little things for bits of happiness right now. May you be blessed in this week ahead.

posts: 130   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2019
id 8725235
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