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Soft 180 for MH's?

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 3:39 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

In a situation I'm not going into detail about, but does anyone have tips for soft 180 while part of MH club? I am working for R, H says he is too, but have had some backsliding lately. Not sure if it's because of A season and triggers (most likely is), but there's no ownership over behaviors and justification/attention/validation seeking going on that are only getting worse.

How do I preserve my sanity while sill being loving and healing the M?

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: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8754095
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hurtbs ( member #10866) posted at 2:12 AM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Hello friend. First, I'm sorry you are going through this. Am ambivalent WS is incredibly painful. One thing about the 180... it's not about manipulating your spouse or trying to get them to act differently. It's about prioritizing and working on yourself, regaining your self-esteem, and detaching from the experience and behaviors that are harming you. You cannot unilaterally fix your marriage. If your WS is not invested, then use the 180 to work on yourself, gain independence, and find happiness again. If your WS comes around, then you can decide what to do then. If they do not, you are in a better place to start anew.

Me - 40 something.WXH DDay 2006, R'd (or so I thought), then discovered more problematic behavior. Divorced 2012WBFDDay 9/4/2022 - Partner of 8+ years confessed to ONSStatus - Day by Day

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate" Asimov

posts: 15645   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2006
id 8754163
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 11:55 AM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

How do I preserve my sanity while sill being loving and healing the M?

Are you trying to emotionally detach to some level?

Without much background information, you might be better setting new boundaries as opposed to detaching.....if you are still trying to be loving and healing to the marriage.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married almost 30yrs.

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

posts: 4078   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8754185
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 12:15 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Yes, its more about boundaries and enforcing them than detaching. There are certain hurtful behaviors going on that I have no control over them stopping or not. I need to find a way to enforce my boundaries without walling myself off.

Detaching is not going to be helpful here, but there are some unacceptable things going on that I find myself unable to be vulnerable amd present to H when he is doing them.

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: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8754186
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hurtbs ( member #10866) posted at 2:14 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Can you share what boundaries you are trying to enforce?

Also, if you're comfortable, can you share why detaching won't be helpful?

Me - 40 something.WXH DDay 2006, R'd (or so I thought), then discovered more problematic behavior. Divorced 2012WBFDDay 9/4/2022 - Partner of 8+ years confessed to ONSStatus - Day by Day

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate" Asimov

posts: 15645   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2006
id 8754196
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:20 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

We are trying for R, so detaching won't be a good thing and could set us back.

H has poor boundaries with other women (multiple past EA's and lingering fascination with another WW and pining for past "friendship" with EA partner).

His boundary violations are escalating and his ... vindictiveness has increased too. As well as his disrespect. I did have an A, I did have shit boundaries and poor relationships with other male friends. I've worked very hard on myself to change that and am in a position where I'm now proud of the work I've done and the person I'm becoming.

H drags me back to who I was in my A. Compares my reactions to his outbursts and boundary violations to his. Wants me to do the same thing he did, only, he was unhealthy back then and put up with more bullshit than he should have.

Either way, I'm a different person now, and a different person from him. H hasn't taken the reins on his own healing, but it's coming to the point where he needs to heal or else he's going to keep acting out. His acting out is damaging to our M, to our R, to me and to himself.

I don't want to detach because I still want to be supportive. I enabled a TON in the past, so I don't know how to enforce boundaries without detaching.

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: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8754209
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 4:57 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

The behavior you described does not sound like R.

He has to want to change just like you did.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2914   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8754215
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 5:16 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

I don't want to detach because I still want to be supportive. I enabled a TON in the past, so I don't know how to enforce boundaries without detaching.

You can't enforce boundaries on someone else. Boundaries are for yourself. A definition of the line of what you will or will not tolerate.

We tell BS that the pick me dance doesn't work. That's what you are trying to do. To find someway to nice him back within the boundary. Deep down he knows what he is doing is wrong and is damaging your chances of R. The only way this stops is if you stop accepting the behavior. Unfortunately the only way to do that without his participation is to start detaching. Without him deciding to prioritize healing and R over his "self soothing" with his EA chicks, your marriage is doomed. It would be better off to end it now than continue on damaging each other for a few more years until one of you decides enough is enough.

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 6:16 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

MIgander, I don't know of any way to preserve one's sanity while trying to reconcile alone. It's like banging your head against a wall and hoping the wall will crack before your skull does. You know, the definition of insanity...

A few years ago, or so it seems to me, there were more MHs active on SI than there are these days. One of the things I often read from those members was that each spouse had to treat their own infidelity as a separate issue. To link the two, to compare or contrast, was, quite simply, blame-shifting. Be careful when you tell yourself that you are in any way, shape or form, responsible for his decisions to seek out external validation from other women. There is no justification for infidelity. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch-Nada!

Married 2005
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown

posts: 6587   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8754224
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 6:25 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

MIgander,

I appreciate this doesn't answer your question, but I am very concerned that you are putting up with completely unacceptable behaviour from your spouse. Reading between the lines and recalling previous posts of yours, your husband is in an active affair right now. The fact that you had an A previously does not mitigate his actions. It doesn't mean you should accept a toxic, vindictive, gaslighting, justifying, cheating spouse. You are not less worthy than any other betrayed spouse. I mean that wholeheartedly.

I see that you are working on being healthier. That is great. I don't think there's any way to do what you're asking though. You cannot save yourself without detaching from this. You cannot nice him back. He either gets his sh*t together or he doesn't.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8754225
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 6:48 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

I’m sorry you are going through this, I can’t answer from a MH point of view, but right now you are a BS. You cannot have R and EA at the same time. So just like any BS you have to put your foot down and be done. Detach and push him off and the fence.

He will not stop as long you accept his excuses and blame shifting.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 1795   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8754228
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 6:54 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Thanks everyone for the input.

I guess, growing up in a toxic cesspool has made me unaware of how much bullshit is too much bullshit. Like, I'm used to living in it, so I can probably live with a higher amount than most? Although, as I'm getting healthier, I'm seeing more and more what is actually unhealthy. It's like the emperor's clothes- once you stop ignoring what you've been told by everyone else for years, you see things more clearly for what they are.

H does have some decisions to make. A lot of what he was "planning" may just be bluffing. However, the fact that he's openly disrespecting me and ok with carrying on despite my clear boundaries set, it's really unhealthy for me to remain emotionally engaged.

How does this look in practicality though? Like this: H wants nice, positive companionship from me. We're looking at doing a nice restaurant this weekend together. I would like to get out too, and I do like going out with H where we can forget our problems and just be together. However, I really don't know that I'll be able to do that this weekend without taking some form of recreational MJ to ease my anxiety and stress beforehand. I really don't like the way I've been increasingly using it to relax enough to have positive times around H. H has made it clear how much more fun and lively I am when I'm on it. I look wasted in pics, and am afraid I have embarrassed myself using it.

Do I decide to go and just keep everything topical and pleasant? The tension is going to be apparent. Unless I get high. sad

Or, maybe I go out with my girls instead?

H will be disappointed, will feel abandoned and unloved and like I'm doing something to punish him for denying him my company and disappointing him in his plans. Really, I want to relax with him, but I don't want to have to get high each time to do it.

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: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8754231
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Sally24 ( new member #70794) posted at 7:53 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

H has made it clear how much more fun and lively I am when I'm on it.


This right here triggers me. My h used to tell me how much fun I was when I was drunk. I hate getting drunk. I hate being told the next day how much fun I had and I don't remember. I hate the way I feel the next day. I haven't been drunk in years.
If you don't want to use MJ, then DON'T. This is your boundary. It's about you controlling your own actions and reactions.
Then you can decide if you want to brave going out with him without it. Set your expectations beforehand about what the evening will look like.

Never let your fear decide your fate

posts: 28   ·   registered: Jun. 18th, 2019
id 8754238
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Thanks, the MJ is ok at times, but I don't want it to be the only way I can enjoy time out with H. It's the habit/dependency formation that is frightening to me.

I have an IC today, so I will have to sort this out with them and go from there. On more than just the whole going out thing.

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: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8754239
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:13 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

multiple past EA's and lingering fascination with another WW and pining for past "friendship" with EA partner

So he's a serial cheater, still wanting one particular OW, and boohooing over another OW.

And you're going on a date with him?

I get that your past actions make this messy. But..girl. Come on. Because you are a FORMER WS, who has actually done the work, you KNOW what you did doesn't give him a single excuse for what he's been doing. You know that. Right? So why are you allowing this? Infidelity is abuse. You are letting him abuse you.

Soft 180? Uh..no. HARD 180.

Your dday was 3 years ago. If he isn't healed,or trying to, having multiple affairs isn't going to heal him. He knows that.

Plainly..he is using your affair as a free pass to cheat.

Why are you dating him? He's an unremorseful serial cheater.

The man needs consequences. Stop acting like his wife. Stop tolerating this shit behavior from him.

Look,if you were a WS who hadn't done the work, my answer would be different. You have. He chose to stay married. That means he has to heal himself,and work with you to rebuild. He's not rebuilding. He's setting fire to everything.

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8754241
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 8:23 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Thanks HF, I think I need your clear cut words to snap me out of it.

Yeah, I'm doing the pick me and trying to nice him into staying/ stopping his behaviors. He's gonna change only when he's ready to. I have to let go of the manipulation of doing the pick me... I mean, really, isn't that what I'm doing? Hoping we will have such a good time that he will decide to stop hurting me and allow me back into the center of his life now that I've proven myself good enough? Trying to control the outcome by manipulating him with my "fun" and "nice"? I'm nice and fun enough on my own, he'll either see it or not.

UGH. I've read this so many times here. It's like my brain knows it, but the heart/emotions hasn't caught up.

Thanks guys.

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: 839   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8754243
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:51 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

I mean, really, isn't that what I'm doing?

Yes. That's exactly what you're doing.

It shows weakness. And that is something you aren't. Stop.

Tell him there will be no dates. No sex. Until he pulls his head out of his ass, treat him like you would treat an annoying roommate.

He prefers you high,because you're more fun. He needs you to be drugged up,in order to have fun with you. Read that again. And again. Know what else it does? It makes you more compliant. You're more willing to look over his bullshit treatment of you.

I'm not knocking MJ. I'm a fan. At one point,I preffered to be high,if I had to be around my husband. But,eventually, I realized once the high wore off, he was still an asshole.(shortly after dday)

You've read it here..there isn't anything you did,or didn't do,that turned him into a serial cheater. And there is nothing you can do to make him stop, or reach remorse. He has to want it. You KNOW that.

Hard 180. Respect yourself..because he's not.

You deserve better.

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8754245
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 9:15 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Just sending you hugs MI. I can't imagine how hard it is to learn how to set healthy boundaries in your situation.

A few things that made me hmmmm.

How do I preserve my sanity while sill being loving and healing the M?

You let go of 'healing the M'. YOU work on YOU (which I know you have done a lot of), you work on figuring out where your boundaries are and how to clearly and unapologetically set them, you love... YOU. The healing of the M has to be a team effort, and right now your team member is busy damaging things and not healing them. You can't do that alone honey.

Also, I empathize with your BH, I do. I know how much being a BS sucks. But at some point he needs to decide on taking charge of his own healing, which it sounds like he has not done. You can't make him do that, as much as I know you probably want to.

His boundary violations are escalating and his ... vindictiveness has increased too. As well as his disrespect. I did have an A, I did have shit boundaries and poor relationships with other male friends. I've worked very hard on myself to change that and am in a position where I'm now proud of the work I've done and the person I'm becoming.

Regardless of what you did, you do NOT have to put up with vindictiveness and disrespect and abuse from your husband. Period. This applies to you just like to any other BW - HIS choice to cheat is 100% on HIM. Yes in MH cases there is the reactive angle to the BS cheating, but regardless of that he could have chosen any other way to handle things than in engaging in his own affair. One doesn't cancel out the other.

Also, the second part of that. Yes, I do think you have done a LOT of work on you. I think that you have come a long way. And that is awesome that you are getting to a point where you are proud of you and liking who you are. But maybe the true part here is that you've grown and changed and learned and he just hasn't. While I would never have asked for my xwh to cheat on me to learn the lessons that I did, it really did teach me a LOT about myself. I choose to use the lessons to make me better and to teach me how to set boundaries and to not settle for less than I deserve ever again. Despite the pain involved in my situation, the personal growth I have experienced from it is amazing. But learning and growing from adversity are choices. And some people don't choose to do that.

Either way, I'm a different person now, and a different person from him. H hasn't taken the reins on his own healing, but it's coming to the point where he needs to heal or else he's going to keep acting out. His acting out is damaging to our M, to our R, to me and to himself.

You are allowed to say when. As is he. You do not have to put up with this to be supportive and loving. That's just more enabling.

How does this look in practicality though? Like this: H wants nice, positive companionship from me. We're looking at doing a nice restaurant this weekend together. I would like to get out too, and I do like going out with H where we can forget our problems and just be together. However, I really don't know that I'll be able to do that this weekend without taking some form of recreational MJ to ease my anxiety and stress beforehand. I really don't like the way I've been increasingly using it to relax enough to have positive times around H. H has made it clear how much more fun and lively I am when I'm on it. I look wasted in pics, and am afraid I have embarrassed myself using it.

Sooooo, IIRC, in order to have a date with your husband, you are having to take drugs. Do I have that right?

Just reallllly step back and LOOK at that thought MI. If you had a friend that said to you "well I love going on dates with my SO, but only if I'm drugged up"... Would you think that friend had a healthy relationship? Would you think that was a loving and supportive environment for your friend to be in?

Look I have no prob with recreational mj if that's your thing. But just like any other addictive behavior, it starts being a problem when you're doing it to check out or using it as a cope. Just my 0.02.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3561   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8754248
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 10:25 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Ugh MIgander,

This is the same guy who let you (and your kids) stress about being able to afford bread to eat while he purchased ANOTHER $7k watch right? And now he wants you drugged all the time because you're more "fun" that way?

Girl......GIRL.....

You're like the frog in the pot of boiling water who doesn't notice how hot the water is because it got hot gradually. Only instead of hot water, it's a deeply toxic relationship and I promise you MIgander, you're going to burn alive.

What is keeping you in the pot? I seem to recall you saying there was a religious aspect - am I wrong about that? What is it going to take for you to leave? (I mean this sincerely, not rhetorically).

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8754251
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:42 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Sounds like your H is still acting out as a response to your A. He obviously hasn’t healed from it and is taking pleasure in making you suffer - giving you a dose of your own medicine. Sounds like he’s having revenge EA’s to me.

This is obviously extremely unhealthy behavior his part. Until he heals from your A unfortunately it doesn’t sound like his poor behavior will stop.

I think another poster said you need to separate the two Affairs - yours snd his. I’m assuming once your WH is comfortable in R from your A his poor behavior will end.

Do you think you have driven R from your A to the point where there is nothing more you can do, or do you think there is more work you can pursue towards R and to help your WH heal?

posts: 507   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8754277
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