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Wayward Side :
Old tale of infidelity and breach of trust... Looking for hope!

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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 6:47 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I have been living separately from my wife (8 years) for 4,5 months now and she has clearly communicated that she is not coming back. We have two small kids (2,5 and 5,5) and just built an amazing family house together.

Last years have been extremely tough for her (and for me as well). In her own words, long process of almost 2 years, but now she’s is sure that staying / reconciling was making her utterly unhappy. She got into depression staying in a relationship that was damaging to her.

I am her second husband. She is great partner to be together with. Smart, good looking, ambitious, great conversationalist, devoted to family – and most importantly, she loved me like crazy. We both told to each other that we also are best sex partners (true). We have very similar life goals and set of values, as well as common social background. She has some problems with anger control and fear of abandonment, but nothing that would undermine the core of relationship (in my resentment I thought that it is big deal, but now I see that it was my inability to deal with it/help her).

So what went wrong – or rather what I did?

I always considered myself one of the good guys – smart, educated, rather charming towards her and respectful to others. But boy, oh boy, I was so oblivious to my shortcomings and emotional unavailability that held back my love towards her.

Well, the honest version is that in many aspects I was crappy partner for definitely last 3-4 years and abused her trust. We also were not the best in addressing the conflicts between us (either ignoring or escalating to unnecessary level; I played big part in ignoring calls for help). To come to this conclusion was an extremely hard and painful for me. I never even considered that there is something actually wrong in how I communicate (with contempt and resentment).

Even if my wife multiple times signalled that things are not ok –I ignored that completely. And I took it as an insult to myself (‘an objective person’) and in turn emotionally hurt her through resentment to the impossible extent. On the other hand, over the years I also voiced my concerns about all the emotional outbursts, as well as the lack of warmth towards me sometimes and felt that it was not being addressed. We never addressed this properly. That also built the resentment in me.

Core our relationship become very dysfunctional. Now I realise that my response to her worries was to bury and never talk about them and make a breakfasts on weekdays or try to be positive and nice so she forgets about her worries. That was my way of solving problems – the positivity and moving things aside (it kind of works for me). At that point in time I truly thought that I was helping her and had a hard time understanding why you would not like it (as this was the only way I knew).

I see how much resentment and contempt it has created in me and her. I got meaner and meaner overtime (no violence, no screaming, but small remarks, manipulations of truth and signs of contempt on quite a regular basis). It poisoned all the other aspects of our relationships. I tried to compensate for it by building a house for family and taking her and the family to our small trips or making breakfasts, working in the garden, etc. "If I put all this time into making a nice garden, then for sure my wife will see that I really care for her and love her". I dedicated crazy amount of time for all of this.

Sounds stupid, but that was my thinking about many things in our relationships. As somehow this compensates.... Instead of 'house and garden' I could have invested hours in sitting down and really listening to what she wanted to say – that would have been a much better choice. Unfortunately, at that time it was my only way that I knew to show that I care. All of these actions did not address the main worry that she was trying to communicate me – to be heard and acknowledged as own person in our relationship. Not an extension of me or not someone who is just a living co-buddy.

I thought that by putting an environment around her, somehow she would see that I love and I care for her. Which again – it did not address the main worry that she was trying to communicate. And it created in me some terrible response ('she does not understand me and rejects my help'. It is terrible how the brain finds a way to excuse oneself...).

I took it as some kind of insult to all of the things that I thought I tried with all my heart. I just felt it was a rejection of my ways and rejection of my love (which it obviously was not). It sound so stupid when I speak it out/write out loud. In the end, I did not recognise myself – how I could become this person, full with resent and contempt. My wife also felt that towards me in return.

On top of that – I cheated her with prostitutes (4 times over 3 years – 2018, 2019 and early 2020 on business trips. It happened literally during the best years of my life (having kids and building a house). I could not held the guilt and spilled the beans to her in summer of 2020. That kind of was start of downfall and ended in me moving out October 2021 (I apologised in 2020, but if I am honest to myself – at that time I did not feel a real remorse for what I did. I did apology just because. We also did not process my cheating at all and somehow treated like it was nothing). It was terrible and I cannot believe that I was so shallow to pursue this as some kind of ego solution to my own problems. It was a conscious decision that I blamed on her (in simple terms, I created an image in my head that she is some kind of villain towards me, we are not having much sex, life is terrible at home, she would not care anyways). The reality is much worse – I was absolutely ignorant about anyone else besides me, weak to admit to myself my own problems, and simply not-man enough to give her respect that she deserve. I acted with a mind of an insulted teenager, not a fully rounded person ('it is me that feels crappy, I am entitled to have some fun in my life'). There is 0% of BLAME ON HER. I can only partially imagine what kind of trust-breaking and heart-breaking experience it was for her and after understanding that - it hurts me terribly every day to think of the suffering it brought.

Around 4 months ago I had complete emotional breakdown / kind of catharsis. I was showering and it hit me - how much pain I have put on her and kids shoulders. I felt this pain so vividly that I just sat under the shower and let the pain take over. It was so terrible that I ended up crying and weeping for more than 2 hours. It felt it like I broke into million pieces. It was a moment when I decided that I have to mold this new person that will come out of this pain and guilt. I do not want to be my previous self and no matter how hard it will be, I will work to not be that person ever again.

What I did:
- 3,5 months ago started therapy, that helped a lot to acknowledge my responsibility and not subconsciously blame my wife for my own actions;
-Observed my actions and emotions around my wife to change communication patterns. Both in terms of respect and acknowledging my role and my actions;
-For 3 months made an inventory of my feelings/communication with her every day. There still was contempt and some blaming, but now it is almost gone;
-Really paid attention to listening to her (when possible). Still struggling not to enforce my views, but much, much less than before.
- have read 10+ books on the psychology to understand my own issues;
-changed diet habits and am in the best shape of last 10 years;
-restored relationship with my and my wife’s family.

We tried to reconcile around New Year, but we took it too fast and the nasty things came out (in a small amount, but enough to hurt to come out). After that the door was closed. Now she is clear that there is no way forward.

I still follow all this process of recognition with the doing right actions, day by day, by day, by day (being present with kids, helping her with taking our dog, household chores, communicating with respect etc. there are harder moments of battling with my old self, but new one is winning most of the time). But I think she was already partially disconnecting by that time and became more distant and resented me for doing all this demonstration to her in last two months (she was looking for conflicts without a reason; I felt that she still is angry with me).

I do see myself as a different person in the future. Rebuilding is an extremely nasty process, as I had to come to terms to damage that was done, what pain caused to my family and what were real reasons behind. It still will take a lot of time.

Two days ago she told me: "I understand you think you can be different and better - but I do not want to check it by trying anymore. I did that for many years and I am not interested anymore."

Now we are kind of done. As for the kids, we have zero conflict – they stay two days / week at my new place and I am taking them 3 out of 5 days to kindergarten in the mornings. We exchange/talk about them almost on daily basis. I do not intend to pursue my legal interests for the common house and I clearly communicated that to her. She was very cordial and was even open to discuss the sale and reasonable split of profits (towards end of the year; that gives me some time window). We both still have our pictures on social networks. I see that she is recovering from being unhappy – and I told her that I am happy for her to see that she is having yourself back - smiling, happy with herself and being in a good place. That is worth a lot.

I said that I plan to work hard on earning back the respect, even if for co-parenting, to which she is ok with.

Is there any positive experience of coming back from situations like mine?

There is too much bad things to restore them right away. What we had in last years, has to be destroyed and rebuilt into something totally new and totally different. So it does not poison anything that might come in future. But she is very clear where she stands. So I do not have any other choice to respect that.

I suppose the first step is to accept her choice of not wanting to try and not having respect for me, focus on parenting and be supportive in the communication occasions with her? And then what?

What could be my plans for say, next 3 months?

I know it is an extremely long shot, but I would like to take my chances and draw some positive experience, if there is any.

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8725111
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Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 8:07 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

There is a lot to process here. Not dealing with the issues or infidelity. Not recovering from that at the time, I imagine would build a lot of resentment in her toward you. I know I would. For the most part, I'd say we're 75-80% recovered, 3 years post DDay. But, we've BOTH done some very hard work. It isn't a linear process. Frankly, I can sympathize as a betrayed spouse with what you said about her just not wanting to try anymore. It is grueling. In the midst of a trigger days ago, I would've said the same thing. It is devastating. Not to compare difficulties....but I don't think a wayward can truly understand how life shattering this can be....unless it happens to them. You felt bad and didn't do the work....and got caught up in the affair fog. I keep thinking sometimes that he drank the champagne and I live with the hangover. I think your brain just wants to make things better as quickly as you can. And, it is difficult for waywards to see the utter devastation that the betrayed spouse experiences. In many ways, I know I'll never be the same. There is a mourning process for who I once was, who I thought we we were. I think that will always make me a little bit sad.

I commend you for doing the work on yourself. At the end of the day, you and your family will totally benefit from that. You won't have any control over how she responds to your actions. I think you have to let go of that outcome. Working outcome sounds KIND of what you've been doing by not really addressing the elephant in the room. I'm certain it will take time and effort for your wife to not only see the changes, but also believe that they are genuine and come from a place of integrity rather than pushing for a desired outcome. I wish I could tell you a path toward success, but I don't have one. If she can't see your efforts, it is likely a combination of "I don't have the energy" and "why is this worth the effort".

My FWH said something striking to me this morning. We've been dealing with a DDay anniversary and some pretty hellish triggering stuff lately. When times like this happen, he can tell me how hopeless he feels and how deeply he regrets his actions. Though, what waywards probably cannot fathom is how utterly hopeless the betrayed partner is. I'm either an full on idiot for trying and taking him back knowing full well that my life will never be the same, that this will always be a fear...etc.....OR, I tap out and move on - which I never wanted. He's the one who danced with that concept....

I can see that he has been changing. He is also the emotionally unavailable type. He told me this morning that he feels better about himself when we shows up for me in a different way. We f- this up royally and frequently.....though less frequently now.

We benefited from MC. We got it early on.....and despite what many write here....it was VERY helpful to us. Our MC was trained through the Gottman program.

Hang in there.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 302   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8725145
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 8:12 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

It certainly sounds like you got it now. All you can do is continue what you are doing, be the best co-parent possible, and hope for the best. Part of her resentment and refusal to continue trying may rest in your infidelity. It's not clear from your post how much that has played a role in her feelings toward you. I don't know what you can do about that if it plays a monumental role in her decision to end things with you.

Don't backslide regardless of what happens. Use what you have learned and apply it to your future relationships. You sound quite introspective so I think you will succeed in that regard. Good luck to you and continue to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.

posts: 683   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8725149
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 9:52 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Thank you! What a colossal prick I was/am..... Well, probably the best course of action is to accept the fact, continue to work on myself and on every occasion we meet to communicate with kindness and respect. It is hard to be not triggered by the fact that I have to let go the role of husband, but it is not like I have any other option. Since she is ok with me spending time with kids also at he home, I will use these occasion to show that I am serious about changes.

Has this ever worked in restoring not only respect, but also restarting love - well, looking for experiences...

I give myself the end of the year to continue actively working with rebuilding myself. Do not intend to jump in another relationship as it simply does not feel right. Installed Tinder and deleted it. Not yet, not just yet... And it would be a disrespect to her as well. I simply can not hurt her anymore.

But if there are more perspectives out there, would be happy to learn about those.

P.S. Coming back after business trip and super excited to have breakfast with kids and her tomorrow!

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8725177
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 2:16 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

No one can predict the future. People do remarry or what have you.

But I think it's best you focus on YOUR work and becoming the best man you can be. For yourself and for your children. Doing it for her is a way of trying to control the outcome and that will not work. For any of you, in the end.

As a betrayed I think what you are facing is your wife's acceptance of what happened and who you are (were). It can take time for most people to get there and until they do, they stay. But once acceptance comes, the betrayed finds themselves at a cross road: do I walk or do I wait for change?

Which do you think represents the greatest risk to your wife's happiness?

Betrayeds, once they have reached acceptance, cannot unsee it or unknow it. You have become a stranger to her in some ways. She has mourned the "old you" she thought she knew and sees the cheating, resentful you in full color. It is very, very difficult to overcome that. She looks at you and sees someone she likely wouldn't have married so why slug through the marriage while you work on changes that might not take? It's kind of a bum deal.

(Having said all of that, her perception of you is not likely the full story. No doubt you are or always were partially who she thought you were. But right now, all she sees is the guy who betrayed her and treated her with hostility.)

Keep working on you. Show her your devotion and change by accepting where she is at right now and making it as easy as possible for her and your children.

posts: 280   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8725272
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Crushed7 ( member #41129) posted at 4:01 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Has this ever worked in restoring not only respect, but also restarting love

I'd drop the restarting love for a while -- not because it can't ever happen, but because it is the wrong focus for you right now. I could be wrong, but it seems like that is a core part of your motivation right now and (1) your W will detect it and (2) it won't help you get to where you really need to go.

The "right" focus is to continue to understand, in depth, the roots of why you were the way you were, especially the part that allowed you to choose to betray her. Once you find your "Why?", you'll most likely be faced with something(s) from childhood that led to false assumptions, poor coping mechanisms, etc. and you'll be tempted to place the blame there. But that is exactly the moment when you'll need to own the fact that you alone are responsible for the choices you made and, even more importantly, that you have the choice of what you can do to change those assumptions, patterns and habits. Then it will be a lot of practice and hard work to actually implement it. More than likely, you'll need a really good IC (individual counselor) to help you down that path.

If you do all that work, you'll find yourself having healthier patterns and feeling way better about yourself. Your kids will pickup on that and will benefit from a healthier you in how you can better love on them, but also in how you can model for them. What path your W takes is up to her, but a healthier you is, at a minimum, going to be something she appreciates as you both co-parent the kids.

Who knows what the future will hold, but the only thing you should be focused on is making sure that you are healthier and stronger so that you will be able to enjoy the future and help others experience that enjoyment too whatever the path looks like.

Me-BH
Her-WW
Last DDay-2012 (several month EA/PA)
Married 30+ years

posts: 3788   ·   registered: Oct. 27th, 2013
id 8725294
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 9:37 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

I will use this as kind of diary :)

Just came back after breakfast with kids and my-ex. It is very clear that she means what she says about parting ways.

Was following through with being respectful and kind, she brought up the topic of my infidelity once again. She really struggles to understand why and that the whole relationships in her view were based on lies and that she can not go back to the lies anymore. Painful to admit to myself that in a way she is right. Did not argued at all on this, acknowledged my actions, the pain I caused and re-confirmed by wish to rebuild her trust and be good co-parent with day-to-day actions, as my words hold no value for her. The pain that rests on her shoulders must be overwhelming....

Also offered to address my cheating so that it helps her to move forward / helps with the co-parenting whenever she feels is the right time. It really hangs like black cloud over here (and I put it there, which makes matters even worse).

On the flip side, the permanent lump of guilt/hope in my stomach bit eased, as it was another clear signal that she is set in her ways. So it is clear where I stand and that the only path is regaining respect. I can't build anything else in my head, otherwise backslide from improving myself would be immense.

[This message edited by Spaceman at 9:47 AM, Thursday, March 24th]

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8725322
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 11:20 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

  Moving to Wayward Side

posts: 10009   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8725325
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 11:30 AM on Friday, March 25th, 2022

5 months after moving out and especially now after reading DaddyDom's amazing articles, concepts floating in my head slowly take more concrete form.

It really has been a slow burn and I am nowhere near to being a different person, but at the same time the sky is clearer. It took months to fully internalise, weeks of anxiety, lack of sleep and vivid pain in chest to accept the harm that was inflicted by me. Only now further honest reflection is possible. Ready to continue the good fight for loving myself!

One tiny example of awareness... Just yesterday my mother-in-law's asked a simple question about my struggle looking a new apartament. Half a year ago this question I would perceive as 'why she is meddling in my affairs', whereas now I saw it as her real concern of my wellbeing. Surely, there is too much tenderness with my self-inflicted scars, but when internally understood that I have recognised a small kind gesture like this, gave me so much warmth and motivation to continue on the path of being a better person.

Now on to discovering real whys ....

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 2:59 PM on Friday, March 25th, 2022

Just wanted to send you a line of encouragement. Looks like you're doing the work. Don't feel bad or discouraged if/when you crawl into a shame hole.

Wishing you the best.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 899   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8725741
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 4:20 PM on Friday, March 25th, 2022

Thank you :) Couple of hours every day still...

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8725809
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 11:41 PM on Friday, March 25th, 2022

A better way of keeping a diary, if you want to use SI, is to use the 'Journal' feature. You can find it in your profile, in small letters towards the middle of the 2nd line down from the top. You an make it public or private.

The problem with using a thread like this is that threads roll off the first screen and roll off the whole thread list eventually. The journal sticks around.

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: 27903   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8725932
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 5:30 AM on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

UPDATE.

It has been a crazy weekend of sorts. Was taking care of the kids since Thursday's morning and had realisation that I have not been completely honest with myself. If to be serious about changing, honesty has to come first.

The truth is that my ex has moved on. She was courted by a work colleague for a while (she was clearly told me: "finally somebody will give me an attention, care and understanding that you were not able to give me.") and once she decided to give a green light, it has went to 100 mph. So since Thursday, the kids are with me and she went out for a 4 day weekend and in a few weeks she has booked full-week holiday with the guy and one other couple from her work.

It has been additional layer to my anxiety and lack of sleep, but the fact is that I haven't had a blaming thought about her. And this the part where I am satisfied with my-self work. And why would I blame her? The truth is that I did horrible things that hurt her deeply. If she is has truly moved on and ready to risk be vulnerable again - especially after being burned twice, opening yourself to someone takes freaking balls and integrity and I can respect that.

Now on to the challenges - the confirmation of future without happy family of 4 is a freaking heartbreaker that adds to the guilt part. I grew up in a good family and the fact that I will not be able to give my kids the same is just gut-wrenching. And on top of that it has instilled fear about a new person in kid's lives (whenever time comes) - but I trust her to be a good person in choosing a right person. Though we already put the kids once through the ringer and I can not accept it for the second time... (especially when she made a wrong choice with me, so to speak).

Most awkward is being in the middle of terrible rift between her and her mom. They have this really awkward dynamics of resentment(?) between themselves. Her mum has been nothing but kind to me during all this period. Once the news of me moving out reached her, I drove to her apartament, told what I did and acknowledged that I would understand if she would not like to continue our relationship, as I have hurt her daughter. If I would be so upfront with my ex... She has been through nasty divorce herself and mostly sees things from both-sides perspective. So I made a commitment to myself to improve relationship with mine and her parents. And things between are really great in an honest kind of way. She (and funnily enough view shared also by my mum) has many times said that I tend to over-idolise her daughter (this does not have anything to do with my actions though). Which maybe is a statement about me and my attachment/self-worth issues, if to think about it....

The way how my mother-in-law thinks about relationships and adulthood when you have kids - is that first you have to ensure safe environment for the kids' and ONLY THEN comes everything else. So my ex was honest (she has the integrity, I applaud that) to her mum about her trip with the new guy (and she went away for previous two weekends as a self-care trips with her girls; and overall this has been permanent rift between them), but I see that her mum is just livid as she takes it as her rejection of motherhood/family.

And now I am doubting about myself being there in the middle... I do not think that I play a manipulative game (my relationships with exes parents are good for the kids, especially because grandma is helping with the little one on daily basis; we have healthy boundaries; ofc we also talk about relationships, but there are no bad intentions), but because of my guilt/shame the doubt is there.

I mean, I barely get by on day-to-day basis with work, taking care of the kids and finding time to work with myself. It is kind of really, really scary and more often than not I find myself on the edge of closing what I have opened with my desire for change. This permanent feeling of being uncomfortable because of my betrayal of her, betrayal of my kids and betrayal of myself is a big burden. But I use it to know me better and I know that I will get there.

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8726157
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 7:27 PM on Sunday, March 27th, 2022

It is kind of really, really scary and more often than not I find myself on the edge of closing what I have opened with my desire for change. This permanent feeling of being uncomfortable because of my betrayal of her, betrayal of my kids and betrayal of myself is a big burden.


It sounds like you'd do well to start working on shame. Shame is a double-edged sword when you think about it. It can get you up off your butt and make you want real change for yourself, but it can also exhaust you to the point of giving up. Better to take on the message, and then process the shame out of your mind and body. Try Rising Strong by Brene Brown to get some ideas on how you can get started.

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: 6181   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8726235
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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 3:57 PM on Monday, March 28th, 2022

It's good to hear you have such a positive relationship with your MIL. She's also likely interested in keeping positive as your are her grandkids' father. Smart lady all around.

I'm glad you're being honest and open with her and her family about the situation and your A. Keep going, you're going to get to a place some day that you're the person you want to be.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 899   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8726382
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 3:20 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

2 WEEK UPDATE:

It has been an interesting period. Since we have the agreement with my ex on helping each other with kids - used my opportunity to take a 10 day break from the mess back home. It was well needed to slow things down, relax and be easy on myself. Took a slow read of Rising Strong by Brene Brown (thank you for reccomendation), made notes and mental map of future - pretty good holiday!

Managed to do some reflection of our past relationship dynamics - and I did not liked what I saw, both from me and my ex. In Covid years too much blaming and not enough support (big part on me), it feels like we were somehow lost in helping each other. And me cheating just killed any possibility that was to save the relationships. It pains to think about it, as every reasonable point of view tells that we should be really good couple. Anyways...

With all that being said - I came back more relaxed and better equipped to communicate with my ex. But - as with things like these - the progress is not linear... And with all that awareness I managed to make a terrible argument with my-ex. And to be honest - it was 100% my own fault and pain raising the head and saying: "Hi! It's me and I am also hurting".

Actually there was a good experience and bad one. First, we had a discussion and my ex unnecessarily attacked me in front of the kids. I took it calm and later told her that I will not accept this behaviour (for me setting boundaries is something new that I promised myself). She acknowledged it, promised to respect boundaries - it felt pretty good!

Worst came next day, when I was triggered by her totally neutral SMS and just went into the injured animal mode. That day was absolutely worst in a month or two - especially the guilt part after the argument. When I saw in my ex-eyes that she is really trying to be civil and actually I was the one who is emotionally attacking her, it just killed me. The whole day was like in the mist - I came home and walked around like a zombie, sobbed in the night and then tried to sleep for an hour. But not of my misery, but rather the pain that is there and the pain which I caused to her. So it was not all for nothing - I took it as a sign that at least I am aware of my own wrongdoing and promised myself not to repeat this anymore. Especially have to pay attention to the fact that I knew what I was doing is wrong. This can not happen anymore.

The more attuned I am with my emotions, the more aware I am how much I was lying to myself about my values, my boundaries and in general my approach to relationships. If I needed half a year just to get to the recognition and awareness part - it shows how fucked-up I was. I do not think that I was an evil person or a devil, probably I was not a terrible partner as I did many good things in our relationships. BUT I can not be that person anymore that lies to himself about so many things.

Anyways, back to the practicalities - according to my journal, approximate period of calm/storm in this period of separation and divorce has been three weeks. And once three weeks has passed I am subconsciously looking for the outlet of my frustration - now this is something i want to look into and try to break that pattern. Probably a bet with myself or detailed journaling could help...

Now the one moral dilemma left - how to deal with our house. My wife stated that she wants to keep the house and is willing to pay back me my investments. The value of the house obviously has skyrocketed in past years and getting back my investment would be small part of the value. But I am not sure if I want to go to court with that, it just does not feel right (the big mental obstacle is that if wife keeps the house and somebody else moves in at some point...but i guess the building is the building, no need to attach myself to it...) Would be happy to hear experiences on this (not legal ones, but the moral ones).

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 7:37 AM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

MONTHLY UPDATE with some saucy bits.

In last weeks I try to assess my emotional state each 3-4 days. With all daily ebbs and flows, each new period on average is better than the previous one. Still, every day I think about the loss and the fact that I was the one who caused it. But it gets easier, when you truly internalise this as a very real consequences of your actions and start draw conclusions for the future. If eaten properly, humble pie is very powerful! I have great arrangement with ex about kids (they are 2,5yo and 5,5yo) - they stay 3 days at my place and 4 at my ex's. I think I am a really good dad (not a humble pie :D), and that makes me very, very proud, I must say. And it has been good 2-3 weeks.

Now, after doing work with myself - I also revisited all our communications prior to my disclosure - oh boy, we had so many issues on both sides. I recall so many times when my wife was screaming at me in front of the kids and afterwards having hard time to admit it to herself, when I pointed out the boundaries. So many times of building blaming stories in our heads and not communicating. So many times, when I was saying some small mean shit just 'get back' at her about that. And all of this was solvable with the communication, or maybe not... Well at least before my disclosure. But I will never know whether it was curable, because I cheated and that is a cold fact. Honestly speaking, we never reflected on our issues together - I was so hell bent on accepting the blame that forgot about my boundaries. No I'm lying, we reflected a bit - prior to disclosure, when we tried to talk - I remember asking her whether she thinks that all what is going on is only because of my actions, and she said "yes, i think so". I do not think that I have heard in her narrative anything that is self-reflective. But that is really not my concern and it is dangerously close to blaming. And I do not want to do the blame game. Boundaries - a lesson for the future. EDIT I think the honest version is that I often manipulated my ex into conflicts and the took the 'high road' just to stick it to her. That is more truthful version of the events, imho.

For the sake of moral argument, I played with the idea that maybe i should not have disclosed the whole truth (just that I cheated, but not all 4 times when slept with prostitutes), in order to preserve the future of kids and family? Maybe these would be so called 'good lies'? But, no - it was not possible for me, the lies were already eating me away. I recall the moment and there was no shred in doubt in me when I told. So there where two options for me - either be quiet and fix all you can, or be truthful and accept the consequences. And I chose the atomic bomb solution and maybe very self-indulging/egoistic?...

And now the saucy bit. my ex confirmed that she is dating someone - for time being, nobody else knows, no he parents, not her friends, but it is out there. The funny part is that this contact started already in the end of the last year, when we went for separation and then tried to reconcile in January. When it did not succeed, my ex moved fast. And she speaks about it as: "finally there is someone who accepts my for who i am and appreciates". Never commented on this, never made any drama, never made any mean remarks or comments and in general went gracefully as I could about it. And I am proud about it. Even internally, I feel some bitterness, and have hard time understanding how it is possible to jump from something so life-changing as a divorce into a new relationship so fast; and I am freaking hurt, i am angry and lost and worried about kids, but these feelings are ok - they come and they go. The truth is that maybe she moved on much faster than me and maybe she already was in a different stage of processing the relationships. Or maybe i just over-idealise what we had and also over-idealise her. EDIT - this feels too bitter from my side. Honestly, she made a choice that is right to her and that is ok. And I mean it. I said it.

Now, I would be lying that it was easy to accept. But to my ex I was kind - I collected enough strength as this is her life and I have not control over choices in it it. And that was not hard to be kind towards her - another result of self-work, improved kindess. Small, but proud moment :). I really love this woman and wish her all the happiness. Though, it was extremely hard to come to my new, empty home that evening.

I am nowhere near of being ready to date, but starting to see friends more and I feel that finally there is something else in my life then just being a cheater who tries to fix his ways. And it is a good feeling (even though it does not feel fully right yet, my head is mostly still full with divorce stuff). And I also realise how anxious I have become, like someone at the bar clanked the beer bottles and - boom anxious muscle twitch, here i come. And the need to scream in the void - I was the one who cheated and destroyed the family. Healing will be a long process...

But the fact that there are people out there that care - it gives me strength to see the life in front of me and what kind of person I want to be.

[This message edited by Spaceman at 8:50 AM, Sunday, April 24th]

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8731576
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 7:27 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Never commented on this, never made any drama, never made any mean remarks or comments and in general went gracefully as I could about it. And I am proud about it. Even internally, I feel some bitterness, and have hard time understanding how it is possible to jump from something so life-changing as a divorce into a new relationship so fast; and I am freaking hurt, i am angry and lost and worried about kids, but these feelings are ok - they come and they go. The truth is that maybe she moved on much faster than me and maybe she already was in a different stage of processing the relationships. Or maybe i just over-idealise what we had and also over-idealise her. EDIT - this feels too bitter from my side. Honestly, she made a choice that is right to her and that is ok. And I mean it. I said it.

I think it's okay that you have some feelings about that, but more importantly, give yourself some credit for handling it in such a healthy way. You've acknowledged your feelings. You've given consideration to whether or not they're accurately reflecting events, and you've opened yourself up to accepting that things won't always go your way and that it's okay when people don't conform to your expectations. More importantly, you're not making it all about you and that's HUGE. We see so many WS who just can't seem to make that leap. From their first decision to cheat, right on through to the aftermath, often they believe EVERYTHING is about them.

I think you're really achieving your goals here, Spaceman. It might be painful, but you are getting there. Kudos! smile

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: 6181   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8731666
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 7:07 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

MONTHLY UPDATE.

It has been pretty good month so far - IC, reading, notes and all the work has shown some results. I have posted a separate longer 6-month WS update post on achievements and struggles.

Now - I am in a really strange conundrum what considers my ex-partner. By the end of January, once she decided we are done, she started new relationships with her work colleague. Now I am not being naive and understand that they started contacting each other while we were trying and struggling to reconnect. It is just big mess.

I do not have anything bad to say about my ex, but I really do not know how to move on further.

I am extremely involved with our two kids (taking them to school every day, they stay with me three nights per week) and we meet on almost daily basis with ex-partner, have ocassional (2-3 times per week) breakfast together with kids. Even though she previously said that all 7 years of us together was a mistake and I am an emotional monster, she is fine with me being involved with kids so much and we spend also one day each second weekend together with kids. So it is kind of mixed signals - if I am such a monster why she would agree on some common time and allow to have breakfast with her and kids, for example? As long as we keep conversation about kids, actually we have very warm and civil exchanges.

The big unspoken issue between us is the house that I built - I would like to agree on 50/50 split, but whenever I raise this point for a normal discussions she sends me off pretty rudely.

At the same time, she is still meeting her ex-colleague and seems to be absolutely ok with this set-up in her life. She jumped right after her first marriage into relationships with me (unfortunately I hurt her very much) and right when we ended, she decided on starting new relationships. There is no signal that she would like to introduce the guy with kids, but I am worried still.

This morning I saw his car parked outside my house (but did not react at all; apart of some mean thoughts :D). I have hard time believing this guy is serious about her, as i still have all my stuff at home and she never asked me to take away my staff etc. She pretends that she is almost single and never mention him to me or her parents, but actually it is going on further (i noticed his stuff at 'our' home). Fortunately, I have not made even a smallest comment about this guy to my ex-partner, but I am afraid that she will get really hurt in those relationships (again, after being hurt by being together with me).


For now she still acts like it is only and exclusively her house, kids are well taken care of, I am really civil and kind to her in our communications (pity that I started to work on this already too late), etc. so i guess she get's the best of two worlds.


The problem is that I do not understand whether I should build some hope on a long-term rebuild of relationships via our parental links (and actually pretty good time that we spend with kids) or am I just too naive and should understand that my role is that of a parent, we should have clear discussion and final agreement on splitting the house and thats it?

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
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redrock ( member #21538) posted at 11:43 PM on Friday, May 27th, 2022

She made her decision and is moving forward with separating your lives. That means new arrangements with kids and finances, Talk to a lawyer on next steps.

What’s best for you now is to keep working on you and move forward with legal separation. You can’t fight for someone who has moved on. She may not want to face the very real decisions/ divisions that are part of ending a relationship. Don’t hesitate on hoping to nice her back, it’s tough to navigate something you don’t want, but tougher still to let things happen in that hope that cause you to lose your claim to the home or other assets .

Get some advice and make some decisions.

I don't respect anyone that can't spell a word more than one way:)

posts: 3505   ·   registered: Nov. 6th, 2008   ·   location: Michigan
id 8737560
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