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Wayward Side :
Drowning......

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 ramdogette (original poster new member #80439) posted at 4:22 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

So this is my first time posting and I truly do appreciate any feedback as I try to move forward. I'm really struggling to figure out what is normal anymore. If this is too lengthy, sorry in advance.
My husband and I have been married almost 20 years (Oct). About a year ago, I cheated on him while at a work conference with a guy that I have known for about 18 years. In all the years I have known this guy, I never ever considered cheating with him...until it just happened last August. It was as if something finally just broke. I have to add that the AP and I do not live in the same area. We are hundreds of miles apart and in the entire 10 month time period, I saw him 10 times total. For us, it was all about texting, emailing, facetiming. I enjoyed his company and he "acted" as if he really cared about me (yes, he was married as well).....About 5 months into the affair, my husband found out. He had gone through my computer...noticing an email from a girlfriend of mine...not the affair partner. He then proceeded to pick apart all my emails, text messages etc. When he finally confronted me, I didn't deny it. I ended up telling him pretty much everything. At the time, I asked to separate. He refused. I asked for space alone, he refused. My reasons were not to run to the affair partner...it was literally for me to have time to try to figure out if I was staying or leaving. I never asked my husband to stay with me or accept what I had done. I told him flat out that I was still talking to the AP, that I had to work it out on my own. For months, my husband tracked me, screamed at me, belittled me etc.

Finally by May, I had had it with both the AP and my husband. The AP kept telling me he loved me, but couldn't be with me. Then he kept saying he couldn't say no to me. I asked multiple times for him to let me go.......all kinds of crappy lies, that I knew, but I guess I didn't want to believe. My husband was acting crazier by the day. He has said a ton of really really horrible things. Maybe I deserve it, maybe I don't.

The end of May, I finally broke again. I called the AP's wife and I told her...I knew he never would, and I ended all of it. I apologized to her over and over, yes, I know I sound pathetic, but it was important to me. My intent was NOT, I'm now running back to mu husband. I told him I didn't feel the same and I didn't know if I could get back to where we used to be years ago. After my husband found out I broke it off etc., he of course acted as if life was good again. No, it's not! I found a marriage counselor and I scheduled sessions. Off and on, things were going "ok" between my husband and I, but I knew it wouldn't last. He is a huge proponent of digging up everything. He is very controlling, always wants to be the center of attention, thinks about himself before other, and has major anger issue. Oddly, I didn't ask him to fix it all, I only asked him to give me space.

For weeks he has tried to have sex, hold hands, act like a happy couple. It's hard for me as I don't know how I feel. Then the other night, all heck broke lose, he freaked out on me...screaming, yelling, jumped in his truck and went screaming away...all in front of our 13 year old daughter. I could care less about me, but to do it all in front of her. Unforgivable!
The next day, he tried to apologize, brushed it off and said he didn't know why he was so mad. I told him what he did was atrocious. He then showed up at my office, unannounced. No, there was nothing to find at my office, but a couple months ago, the AP came to my office when he was in town for an hour or so. My husband had asked if we were together then...I told him yes. Again, I haven't lied about any of it. My husband freaked out and told me he has demons and had to know where the AP and I were together. I said no, thats insane. What does it prove. To me its just more to throw in my face.
I can't take the back and forth. Yes, I cheated, yes, I was unfaithful, but when is enough enough? I am so tired of being verbally abused and not to mention, what he is doing to our kids is beyond excusable. Yes, I would love to pack up and leave, but I can't uproot the kids right now...and I won't leave them. No way!

For reference, my husband and I were having problems for over 5-6 years. Multiple times, I asked to go to counseling, he refused.

I'm not looking for anyone to say what I did was right. No, I know it was wrong, but I don't know how I feel anymore and I feel like I'm drowning every day.......any advice would be appreciated.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2022
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Buck ( member #72012) posted at 5:21 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

Based on your post, you don’t seem to love, respect, have empathy for, or even be attracted to your husband. Why are you still in the marriage?

From my experience, it takes years and I mean fucking years to recover from a betrayal. It’s gut wrenching and painfully difficult work to repair the damage. Some important things in my marriage never returned and many bad things took their place. It forever changed our relationship. If either one of you is not fully invested in R, you’re doomed to fail. And don’t get too comfy, like you, your husband can file for divorce at any time for any reason.

And to be fair, I did file for divorce in August of last year. I’ve been separated since then too. I was hoping the divorce would be done already, now I’m hoping it’s finalized before the end of the year. I was never completely invested in R. Looking back, I wish I would have left decades ago.

You really do need to do some serious soul searching.

posts: 369   ·   registered: Nov. 4th, 2019   ·   location: Texas
id 8747285
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 8:26 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

First let me say welcome. You posting here is a very good first step.

Second, try to view all the comments you receive, at least most of them, in the spirit of folks trying to help. Some may be harsh and hard to hear but it would be well worth your while to really hear what is said.

It really sounds as if you’re putting much of the blame on your H. You seem to be rather incredulous that his anger is at the level it is. Imagine if he was cheating on you and kept talking to his AP despite how upset it made you? Really try and put yourself in his shoes and see how big of a fuck you that was to him.

There really is no excuse for cheating despite how Hollywood tries to portray it. My A was the single worst decision of my life. I convinced myself that my wife didn’t love me any more and I had a right to be happy. Does any of that right true for you? What I found out later on was it wasn’t my wife who was the problem, it was all me. You see, I had turned my back on the marriage not my wife. Can you honestly say you didn’t do the same thing?

To echo what Buck has said, if you’re not invested in the marriage, do your H the courtesy and give him a D.

I wish you the best and hope you keep posting.

Me -FWS

posts: 1957   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8747312
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 10:20 PM on Tuesday, July 26th, 2022

My take is that it was neither reasonable nor realistic for you to ask your BH for time to think over whether you wanted to stay with him while continuing the affair. You don't have any claim to victimhood while continuing to violate your marriage vows, regardless of whether you stopped hiding what you were up to. Yes, your husband lost his temper, but the person who made deliberate and repeated choices to expose them to the consequences of infidelity was you.

I guess it sounds like I'm up on my high horse here, but there's plenty of dung on my shoes. After D-Day, I insisted on staying friends with the OM and was open and unapologetic about doing so. My BH was blindsided and traumatized, and I use that term in the clinical sense. He followed the same pattern of pick-me dancing and rugsweeping that you describe. He knew that OM was constantly angling for the chink in my armor that would restart the A, and he was tortured by mind movies of what could happen without warning. That kind of vigilance rewires the brain. It was many, many years before I understood how much damage I had done to him.

There's not the slightest chance of a healthy reconciliation while you see the world through a lens of what you believe you're entitled to. No one here is going to see your BH as crazy or his roller-coaster behavior as atrocious. What we see is the damage you did to the people who trusted you most and whom you promised to love, respect and protect. We see it because we had to turn and face that ugliness in ourselves.

WW/BW

posts: 2835   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
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TryingToFixWhatIBroke ( new member #80391) posted at 12:36 AM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Welcome to the place none of us want to be, but we made decisions that led us here.

I don’t have much advice. My BH and I are reconciling, but after D-Day I had a similar attitude as you. I can kick myself now for my reaction to BH’s pain.

Please take the advice given to you from some of the folks here… They know what they’re talking about.

As for you BH’s reactions- they are a very normal reaction to what happened. You are the one that put your child(ren) in the crossfire when you had your A.

Whether you decide to stay and try to R or get a D, I recommend you read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. It’s a great read and I found it very beneficial. It was recommended to me when I joined this site.

Good luck and please understand your BH did not choose this, you did.

[This message edited by TryingToFixWhatIBroke at 12:36 AM, Wednesday, July 27th]

posts: 13   ·   registered: Jun. 24th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 1:50 AM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

ramdogette,

Welcome SI, and to the WS forum in particular. All of us here have been in your shoes, felt the feelings and asked the questions that you are, so this is a good place to bounce feelings off of others. First, the boilerplate advice. At the top of this page is a link to "the healing library". That might be a good place to start, as well as the "things every WS needs to know" post which is pinned at the top of the WS forum. Additionally, there are two books I strongly recommend. One is called "How to help your spouse heal after your affair" by Linda MacDonald. You can find it on Amazon or even free in PDF form if you search for it. That is essentially "the handbook" for post-affair damage control. It's a quick read, I read it in 3 hours. The other is called "Not just friends" and it really opened my eyes about my own affair, and about how my spouse was reacting.

Now the hard part. Let's have a frank talk. One thing most every WS who comes here shares in common is a lack of empathy and self-awareness. We walk in the door feeling as if WE are the real victims here, as if we had little other choice than to cheat, and as if our actions were "bad but forgivable" and completely tired of our spouse's inability to just "get over it" and/or really "see us" and OUR pain. And yet, why is that? WE cheated, not our spouses. So why are we "done and over" with them, and why do we expect them to just get angry and then get over it?

Infidelity is a trauma. Not only is it a trauma, but it's actually more painful, damaging and difficult to recover from than other severe trauma's, such as the death of a loved one, war/military actions or a severe car accident. Why is it worse? Because in every other trauma, there was no betrayal. If a loved one dies, they don't do so with the intention of screwing you over or hurting you. Cars don't get into accidents because they don't care for the way you drive them. But with infidelity... it's personal. 100%. Not only did the other person hurt you by cheating on you, but they did so with a complete lack of regard for you WHATSOEVER. When you marry a person, you promise to love that person and forsake all others, and to be that person's primary source of love, trust and support, for better or worse. So what happens when the person you trust most in the world betrays you? Your entire sense of safety falls apart. Hell, your entire sense of reality falls apart. Suddenly, the person who is supposed to love you and have your back at all times, stabbed you in the back instead. Instead of loving you, they hurt you. Instead of talking to you and trying to work things out, they just kick you to the curb and then go do whatever the hell they please with whoever they please, and if that makes you angry, then they label you as the asshole, as if you've got some nerve being pissed at them when all they every did was lie to you, betray you, gaslight you, live a double life and fuck someone else. And when your whole falls apart, who do you go to? Who is your support? Normally, that's your spouse. But your spouse IS the enemy here, the one that hurt you. And worse? If THEY could betray you instead of loving you, then can you really trust anyone? The truth is, once betrayed, your entire sense of trust and safety goes out the window, and you are left feeling alone, hated, tricked, unloved, unsupported and like a complete fool and failure.

I don't know your husband, but it doesn't matter. He could be the biggest asshole in the world, and if he is, then you had every chance to leave him. You could have divorced. You could have insisted on counseling or threatened to leave. You could have suggested an open marriage. There are tons of things you could have done and still have retained your own dignity and respect. But you didn't. You chose to cheat. And that is on YOU and only you. Cheating doesn't reflect the other spouse's value. It reflects your own. A person who loves themselves, who has dignity, self-respect, authenticity, vulnerability, empathy and honesty... would never cheat in a million years. NOT because it hurts the other person, although that's part of it. But because they would never hurt themselves in such a way. They would never allow themselves to sink so low as to do something that disrespects and devalues themselves. They respect themselves too much.

he freaked out on me...screaming, yelling, jumped in his truck and went screaming away...all in front of our 13-year-old daughter. I could care less about me, but to do it all in front of her. Unforgivable!


Here's a great example. You aren't wrong about his actions here. But you are wrong for blaming him as if he's the bad guy. He didn't do this "out of the blue" as you seem to imply. YOU cheated, and when you cheat, your actions affect your whole family. You don't seem to understand that you cheated on your kid as much as your husband. Your husband would not be freaking out, screaming and driving off IF NOT FOR you cheating in the first place. So let's get clear on what's unforgivable, who did the unforgivable thing that was the catalyst for this, and who exactly is hurting the family including your daughter. That would be you.

Let me take a beat here and let you know that it is not my intention here to berate you, belittle you or even be angry with you. That's not the case. Bear in mind, everything I just said about you, I lived, because that was me too. That's how I felt walking in the door here. That's how I treated my spouse and my kids and my family. I cheated and lied too, and I cannot even begin to tell you how much damage I did to our three kids who will be in therapy for most of their lives at this point and who will never really trust in a relationship. I hate what I did, and more than that, I hate how I acted afterward and how fucking self-deceiving I was. I'm not here to tell you that you are a bad person, but you do need to pull your head out of your ass and start seeing reality and not some fantasy land where your life is hell and it's someone else's fault. If you don't, not only are you going to lose your marriage, but you will do permanent damage to your family, and worst of all, to yourself. Is it your hope that your daughter grows up, gets married, and gets cheated on? Will you tell her to just get over it? If not, then why the hell are you modeling this behavior for her? Do you not understand that seeing your mother cheat on your father destroys a child's sense of safety and love? Because that's literally what is happening right now, even as I type this. Do you think being pissed and acting like the victim here will show her how an adult handles things when they harm others?

Adults take ownership of their bad choices. They do their best to make things right. They take steps to make sure they make different choices next time. They don't get angry and defensive and tell their victims to "just get over it already".

We can't change others, we can only change ourselves. So what you need to do is to figure out what you were trying to get from cheating. Lying, hiding, living a double life... these aren't fun things. Nobody says, "When I grow up, I want to be a liar and cheater". So why even go down that path? We go down that path for a reason. You have to figure out YOUR reasons for having an affair, because if you don't, then nothing changes. You'll probably cheat again, or cheat on the next person you connect with, because if nothing changes... then nothing changes. This is an opportunity for you, a chance to make different choices, to become someone you can respect, that your daughter can respect.

I would recommend seeing an IC (therapist). Tell them your story. Figure out why you did what you did and why you feel the way you do. You can't fix what you don't understand. So get cracking.

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1300   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8747347
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 5:03 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

the other night, all heck broke lose, he freaked out on me...screaming, yelling, jumped in his truck and went screaming away...all in front of our 13 year old daughter. I could care less about me, but to do it all in front of her. Unforgivable!
The next day, he tried to apologize,

2x4 time, you cheated on your husband and your daughter. Time you spent texting, calling, or otherwise being in touch with your AP was time that you took away from your family, be it your husband, your daughter, your parents, your in-laws, etc. Your husband isn't the only one that you cheated on, you cheated on the whole family. You are the one who threw a bomb into the middle of the house, the bomb went off and the whole house is a mess. Your husband gets mad at you blowing up a metaphorical bomb in the middle of his life and suddenly he is the guy in the wrong and owed you an apology? You are the one who owes him and your daughter endless apologies for your infidelity is the far more egregious. That is not to say that your husband has the right to cross lines into physical violence or other dangerous ways of acting out, but if he is yelling and screaming at you, just remember that without a bomb going off in the middle of the house, there would be no screaming or yelling.

What you are doing to your husband is limbo. You are sitting on the fence and cake eating. You have your husband who is desperately searching for safety and trying to understand his world that you just blew up. Here you are sitting here on the fence still stringing your AP along and not providing any truth to your husband. You need to make a decision, it is either you have a husband and you are going to spend the rest of your life dedicating yourself to him and your relationship, spending every waking breath and minute until the day you day trying to repair what you have broken, or you do the honorable thing and leave him and let him have his peace. Either way, the decision to stay or go is needed, because as you sit right now, you are torturing your husband in limbo. His goal should be to get out of infidelity, and there are only a few ways to do that, divorce or reconciliation.

Listen, as a MH, it's a strange world for us, but I will tell you this, your post got me viscerally angry, the BH side of me, because my wife did this fence sitting thing for a few weeks and each moment is agonizing. If you do truly love your husband and want to stop hurting him, you will make a decision so that he can at least get his bearings and pick up the pieces of his life and take them that direction, because right now, your BH is a rudderless ship at sea needing a direction to go.

Myself - BH & WH - 35 years (05/24/1985)Her - BW & WW - 34 years (05/25/1986)<P>D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 237   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
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 ramdogette (original poster new member #80439) posted at 7:28 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

I was scared to post anything for months and months and now I can see why. I have been through more harsh words, more verbal abuse and more hatred then one goes through in a lifetime. I never once said I wasn't to blame. I never once said the A wasn't my fault......it was, but I also know I would have NEVER done it if there wasn't a huge hole in a marriage that I begged for months to fix.....
You all say I have no empathy, I have no shame, I have no care. Those words cut because I do. I have all of that and I have spent years being broken down into pieces. Never good enough, never smart enough, my opinions didn't matter, my existence didn't matter.
Yes, I HATE what I did to my husband, but I also hate what he did to me before I even had the affair.
I never expected anyone to agree with me, to agree with my choices or decisions. I was hopeful this forum would help me dig out from a dark hole I'm in. Thinking I don't deserve to be happy, I don't deserve to have a life...not after what I did.
Your presumptions of me are harsh.
I apologize for posting and for anyone taking the time to read it.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2022
id 8747416
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ff4152 ( member #55404) posted at 7:36 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

RG

I urge you to take a breath and really read what was written and the meaning behind it. Yes you encounter some anger here but I did not see any malicious intent in any of it.

I have been here for a little over 6 years and was raked over the coals for a good portion of it. Yeah it hurts and a percentage of folks were just mean spirited. But there were some who showed me incredible grace; one of which I believe I owe my life to.

So stick around, post and try to absorbed the words and the help behind them. It can help. I know it did for me.

Me -FWS

posts: 1957   ·   registered: Sep. 30th, 2016
id 8747417
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sundance ( member #72129) posted at 7:38 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

Hi ramdogette,

perhaps you will find comfort in the following words from a professional therapist associated with the Gottman Institute--

BY: Taylor Irvine, M.Ed., Ed.S., LMHC. Co-authored with Dr. Paul Peluso

Infidelity is a tale as old as time. This form of betrayal exacts a significant toll on a couple’s relationship and often emerges as the symptom of a larger disease: disconnection. Yet, despite its prevalence, infidelity continues to be a widely misunderstood phenomenon.

Affairs can be viewed as the warning light that flashes on a car’s dashboard; it indicates the presence of a leak or larger problem that needs attention. Just as with cars, it is by becoming aware of the underlying issues that precipitated the affair (and implementing corrective strategies) that couples can begin to rebuild their relationships.

When partners begin to pull away from one another (whether it be emotionally, sexually, or both), the potential for an affair to occur increases. With the natural stressors that accompany any relationship, recurrent conflict can become the wedge that drives couples apart. In an attempt to rekindle this connection, one partner may turn to a third party.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Following an affair, the betrayed partner experiences a rocking of their world and may be left wondering, ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ Although recovering from infidelity poses many hurdles, it does not necessarily mean that a couple’s relationship is doomed.

In returning to the car metaphor, an affair is often the flashing light that says, ‘Help, our relationship can no longer continue this way!’ When faced with the discovery of infidelity, couples will need to determine if they want to look under the hood (see where the leak began and make the necessary repairs) or choose to throw in the towel.

In jointly making the decision to work on the relationship, a good first step is seeking couple’s therapy and examining where cracks developed in the foundation. These cracks are often the result of destructive patterns of interaction.

Patterns of Interaction
The means through which couples interact during instances of conflict are highly telling of long-term relationship functioning. According to Dr. John Gottman, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are considered to be the proverbial destroyers of relationship satisfaction and can be the slippery slope that leads to infidelity. These four negative communication styles include criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (which occurs when one partner shuts down in response to emotional flooding).

Through his research, Dr. Gottman determined that newlywed couples who displayed the Four Horsemen were, on average, more likely to divorce 5.6 years following the wedding. In contrast, couples who didn’t have escalating conflicts but exhibited emotional disengagement divorced 16.2 years after the wedding.

Couples who present to therapy following an affair often display the Four Horsemen during conflict discussions. Certified Gottman Therapists are specifically trained to help couples find more adaptive means to communicate during these occurrences. In the face of the Four Horsemen, these therapists help clients learn and implement the antidotes to these destructive patterns of interaction:

Criticism – Gentle Start-Up
Defensiveness – Take Responsibility
Contempt – Build Culture of Appreciation
Stonewalling – Physiological Self-Soothing
Once couples have learned the necessary strategies to help them communicate more effectively, they can begin the process of healing.

Rebuilding After the Apocalypse
An affair is a cataclysmic event in a couple’s relationship. For the betrayed partner, the initial shellshock response may include anger, sadness, pain, and humiliation. These symptoms closely mimic post-traumatic stress disorder and can even linger long after the infidelity was discovered. Despite this, it is possible for couples to rebuild and move forward.

Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum; therefore, a necessary step to rebuilding after an affair is for both partners to commit to preserving the relationship. In order to do so, the betrayed partner will need to determine if they are able to forgive. This act is crucial to the long-term functioning of the relationship. Of the Four Horsemen, Dr. Gottman determined that harboring contempt is highly predictive of relationship dissatisfaction and ultimate divorce.

Moving forward from an affair is no simple task, but it can be achieved! This process will be contingent upon the couple’s willingness to examine the ways in which they interact. Some questions to consider include:

Are the Four Horsemen most prevalent during conflict discussions?
Can the couple defuse arguments? Are they able to access humor or playfulness?
Is the couple able to respectfully accept one another’s differing perspective?
In rebuilding after an affair, Certified Gottman Therapists work with couples to help them engage in healthier conflict discussions, turn towards one another, and increase emotional attunement. By strengthening these areas, couples significantly increase their chances for long-term relationship satisfaction and growth.
by: Taylor Irvine, M.Ed., Ed.S., LMHC

Taylor Irvine, M.Ed., Ed.S., LMHC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and counseling doctoral candidate at Florida Atlantic University. Her primary research interests are studying couples and infidelity. She is currently collaborating with The Gottman Institute and Dr. Paul Peluso on an international study to validate the Gottman Method for couples recovering from an affair.

------------------------

i am sorry to read that you are in pain and that your marriage is currently suffering. i do hope that you are able to find some comfort and support. best of luck! in kindness, sunny

Rusty: You scared?Linus: You suicidal?Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 142   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 8:58 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

You all say I have no empathy, I have no shame, I have no care. Those words cut because I do. I have all of that and I have spent years being broken down into pieces. Never good enough, never smart enough, my opinions didn't matter, my existence didn't matter.

I'm sorry you feel/felt so broken down. No one deserves to feel that way, that is a valid complaint, and possibly a good reason to end the marriage. But how did having an affair make any of that better? How did it prove him wrong? How did it make you a better person? If you have empathy and shame, then how could you have possibly had an affair? You didn't have enough shame to not cheat. You didn't have enough empathy to not hurt your family and yourself, and the AP for that matter. Bear in mind that several people here have stopped to point out to you that WE TOO felt the same way, said the same things, faced the same backlash... these are not judgments, they are observations. We are here trying to help you. You haven't been happy and it hasn't been working, so you asked people who have walked in your shoes to help, and suddenly, we're the bad guys too? Everyone is out to get you? No one understands you? Seems like an awful lot of people take umbrage with your attitude and choices, both those who know you well and those who don't. Might want to ask yourself why that is? Might want to consider that it's not everyone else?

One thing I can tell you for sure, and I'm sure others here will echo this... Being a WS sucks. It really feels as if the whole world is against you. I know for me, all I kept hearing was, "You are a bad person... your feelings don't matter... you are a POS... your BS is golden and you are shit..." I too thought the people here felt that way about me. My home life was pure hell. I just wanted someone, anyone, to give a shit about ME and how I felt and what I needed. And all I got was shit on. At least, that's how I saw it at the time. I could have echoed your entire reponse here. It took me a while to realize that the people here actually wanted to help and were willing to stick with me through the entire painful process. All they asked in return was that I remain open minded enough to look at myself when they told me to, even when every bone in my body was screaming in anger and frustration. I discovered over time that I was my own worst enemy. We are here for you too, the whole way, but you have to make the effort. You have to be brave enough to face the consequences of what you did. Let us help.

Let me make this clear to you. You ARE NOT A BAD PERSON. But you did do the wrong thing. I understand that your husband made you feel worthless, and that feeling that way can cause us to make choices we might not otherwise make. But we did, we all made the same bad choice, and had the same bad consequences. Let me ask you something... are you proud of cheating? I assume not. So if that's the case, then why are you getting so angry and defensive when others mention it?

Imagine that you are in a parking lot and backed into another car. The other driver gets out and says, "Hey! You hit my car!". How would you respond? Would you say, "Fuck you buddy! I don't need this crap from you! You shouldn't have parked where I could hit you! How dare you ask for my insurance! What do you mean you're calling the cops?" Most people would say, "Oh, crap, I did, I'm so sorry! Here, take my info. I'll call the insurance and a body shop I know. Don't worry, I'll pay to get the car fixed. Again, so sorry, I should have paid more attention." You can either take ownership or get pissed but you can't do both. We're trying to get you to see the ownership path. It's not our goal or our job to pet you and tell you that you're a good person. You have to do that for yourself. But we can point out when you are doing things and thinking things that aren't true or aren't helpful. We can offer resources to help you.

You did the wrong thing here. It makes no sense to get pissed at other people for being pissed at you when you're the one in the wrong. That's how life works. The way you get others to back off is to take ownership of the actions. You take actions to make things better. Getting pissed is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. It doesn't work that way. We aren't berating you. We're telling you what you need to know in order to get out of this hole you are in. What you've been doing so far hasn't worked. Why not listen to some folks who've had better outcomes?

I was hopeful this forum would help me dig out from a dark hole I'm in. Thinking I don't deserve to be happy, I don't deserve to have a life...not after what I did.


Who said you don't deserve to be happy, or to live? No one here said that? I re-read the above posts and it seems like everyone here says that you need to go work on yourself so that YOU CAN be happy, so that YOU CAN have a life. Because right now, you're in hell. Again, ask yourself, if no one here said those things, then why is that what you heard? The answer to that is really important.

Owning your affair is more than just admitting it happened. There is no situation here where this "just goes away". There are a thousand BS's here that will tell you they NEVER fully get over it. And those same BS's will tell you what it would take for them to even consider a future relationship. It takes work, and that work starts with being honest with yourself and wanting to change. And part of that is being open to help, and to new points of view.

The point is, there is NOTHING that excuses an affair. Nothing. Because an affair isn't an obligation. It isn't a solution. No one ever has said, "I simply had no other choice but to cheat".

Look, if you don't want to have anyone point out that you have work to do, fine. Go enjoy your life as it is. Enjoy divorce. Enjoy your kid not trusting you ever again. Enjoy feeling like crap forever because you refuse to do anything about it. What is it you want to hear? That you're a great wife for cheating? That you're a great parent for exposing your kid to this? That you're a real peach and everyone else has a problem? Sure. That's you. You go girl. Feel better now? If not, then maybe try something other than what you're doing now that isn't working out so well for you.

Your presumptions of me are harsh.


What about you have we presumed? We're responding to what you told us, and yours is the only story we have. If we have a picture of you, it's the one you offered us.

Yes, I HATE what I did to my husband, but I also hate what he did to me before I even had the affair.


Well now you hate yourself AND him. And your innocent daughter will get caught in the middle. Now would be a good time to start doing things that you LOVE about yourself. And that's the entire message here. The way to stop feeling shitty is to do things that make you feel good, and making changes in your life for the better is probably the best way to do that. Who cares what he says about you, or what we say about you? How do YOU feel about you? If the answer is, "Shitty" then what are you going to do about it?

Me: WS
BS: ISurvivedSoFar
D-Day Nov '16
Status: Reconciling
"I am floored by the amount of grace and love she has shown me in choosing to stay and fight for our marriage. I took everything from her, and yet she chose to forgive me."

posts: 1300   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8747430
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 10:24 PM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2022

I was scared to post anything for months and months and now I can see why. I have been through more harsh words, more verbal abuse and more hatred then one goes through in a lifetime. I never once said I wasn't to blame. I never once said the A wasn't my fault......it was, but I also know I would have NEVER done it if there wasn't a huge hole in a marriage that I begged for months to fix.....
You all say I have no empathy, I have no shame, I have no care. Those words cut because I do. I have all of that and I have spent years being broken down into pieces. Never good enough, never smart enough, my opinions didn't matter, my existence didn't matter.
Yes, I HATE what I did to my husband, but I also hate what he did to me before I even had the affair.
I never expected anyone to agree with me, to agree with my choices or decisions. I was hopeful this forum would help me dig out from a dark hole I'm in. Thinking I don't deserve to be happy, I don't deserve to have a life...not after what I did.
Your presumptions of me are harsh.
I apologize for posting and for anyone taking the time to read it.

This forum is a very important resource for those in the infidelity community, be they a betrayed or wayward. This forum is specifically for waywards and really focuses on the cheating. The focus should be quite largely on you and how we can help you see things in as an objective and clear manner. The way you framed your first post, especial the part I gravitated towards, was because it was textbook wayward mentality. Sure, you are upset and rightfully upset that your husband had a blow up the other night and yelled, screamed and drove off in a fit of rage. It would only be human for that to be upsetting. My point was simply that the reaction from him was because of a previous action.

As a Madhatter, or another way of saying it, as someone who has been both a wayward and a betrayed spouse, I can tell you from experience, that your husband is going through a whole hell of a lot of hurt and mess. His entire world has been shattered. I hear you on the issues in your relationship through the years, and I, nor anyone else here will discount legitimate issues, but let's be honest, the infidelity bomb has exploded in your marriage, and you are in the fallout stage.

The suggestion about the How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful is a good one. That book is a short read and an excellent resource for you to begin to try and understand the situation you are in.


I would also ask you this. What exactly do you want out of this forum? Do you want this to be an exit affair and you are leaving your family behind? Are you still in contact with your AP, if so, why? Are you keeping the AP on the line just in case things fall through with your husband? This is quite literally a topic that the book deals with in good detail. I'm not excusing your husband's outburst(s) and again, would never support him turning violent, but I also cannot sit there and say he has no right to be upset.

If you want to take a shot and rebuilding your marriage into a Marriage 2.0 that is better and addresses some of the issues you have touched on, then you need to start the work on yourself to get there. It really means that you start working with a therapist on yourself. Your stated value is fidelity and faithfulness to your husband, but you allowed your values to be brushed aside so you could pursue a relationship with the AP. It is important that you work on yourself and dig deep to figure out why your fidelity was conditional.

As for happiness, you and only you are responsible for your happiness. If you are truly unhappy in your marriage and you wish to end it, you are by all means entitled to taking that path. What I stressed in my first post and will emphasize again, you need to be decisive and give your husband peace. If you are done with the marriage, be done and walk away, because staying in limbo prevents his healing and it would be an act of love to let your husband begin healing with or without you in the picture, but his outbursts are coming from the pent up emotions that come from being trapped in a limbo situation.

Myself - BH & WH - 35 years (05/24/1985)Her - BW & WW - 34 years (05/25/1986)<P>D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 237   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8747446
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WalkinOnEggshelz ( Administrator #29447) posted at 3:51 AM on Thursday, July 28th, 2022

Bor9455, you have a pm.

Me: WS late 40’s
Him: BH (HoldingTogether)
D Day: 7/24/2010
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

posts: 15349   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2010   ·   location: Texas
id 8747467
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 3:59 PM on Thursday, July 28th, 2022

ramdogette,

If you are still reading here, hear me out.

Yes it does get harsh and 2x4s are used. This isn't meant to bring you down further. Its about changing your perspective. I think with little knowledge its natural for your go to reaction to be very blameshifty, to not understand the gravity of your actions both the cheating and your behavior in the aftermath. We all have to start somewhere. What helps is reframing the situation in your mind to match more closely to reality. For me what helped was acknowledging that my actions traumatized my BH in every sense of the word. I didn't really understand trauma and how that may effect someone so I learned. I studied the grief process, PTSD, and various other things that come with it.

Let me ask you this. How would you want your BH to react? Where do you think he is in his healing and trauma?

Have you considered your reaction if the betrayal was reversed?

posts: 2589   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8747511
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