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Soft 180 for MH's?

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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 1:53 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

I am so sorry you are going through this mess. It certainly looks like your husband's behavior is a reaction to your PA of three years ago. He is far from healed and that is unfortunate. It's interesting that he has not elevated his EAs to PAs. He seems to not want to cross that boundary. Unlike most people on this and other such forums, I see a hell of a difference, except in rare instances, between an EA and a PA. I think your husband may be of the same opinion. He wants to hurt you but doesn't want to completely nuke everything. But you are aware of the details and are best to make that call.

What to do? Counseling? Your husband must be open to such an approach. Ride it out? It's been three years since your PA. Not a hell of a lot of time. Long enough for the shock, fear, and sadness to dissipate but maybe not the hurt and anger. Ultimately, if his behavior continues and escalates, you will have to make it clear you won't tolerate his behavior and will move on. He needs to want to save the marriage. It just can't be a vehicle he uses to hurt and disrespect you. But, unfortunately, affairs have severe consequences that cannot be air brushed away. I never felt the same about my ex-WW after her first affair. After the hurt and shock receded, I was left with a dead feeling for her. I faked being a loving husband while feeling nothing. I used to say to myself I was simply play-acting being her husband. Thankfully, she had another affair and I was released from my self-imposed hell. I committed to staying with her after her first affair, and stupid me, I lived up to that commitment. But no one told me I would feel nothing for her as the years passed.

Your husband is conflicted. He loves you but can't handle your PA. Some can and some can't. It's still relatively early. Maybe he will tone it down and recommit to the marriage. He has to understand that there will be severe consequences if his bad behavior continues. How much rope you are willing to give him is your call. Again, you know the details of his behavior, especially the nature and extent of his EAs.

posts: 677   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8754290
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:04 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Hi Dude, I really liked your question:

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?


I have driven R on my side as hard as I believe I can without compromising myself. I really truly f'd up the beginning after Dday. There are soooooo many things I wish I could go back amd do differently (like, ya know, not having an A in the 1st place?). That said, I am rather limited in my knowledge of healing relationships. I mean, if I were any good at mending things, I wouldnt be here in the 1st place.

So, in the end, I am out of ideas at the present that I havent already tried. MC may be able to give more? I dont know. Even he is at a place where he thinks H has to make a decision.

H is intimacy avoidant, so most of his EAs involved aplroval seeking from other women who, "get him better than I do." Women who end up getting praise and whom I get compared negatively to, for not being like so and so. H has cut out the negative comparisons, but has done so reluctantly and with much sighing. Positive rellacement behavior is... well... I dont know where it is.

The current EA is with a woman 8ish years younger, dating a divorced man old enough to be her father. H told me not to worry since, "she told me Im to young for her."

H also lied about texting her and calling her per my request during our family vacay. Still small voice in my head said to look at the phone records... and yeah, Ive been using excel a long time and figured his bullshit out in less than 5 min. H was genuinely sorry about lying amd was relievdd I caught him.

Hes still texting her amd claims its not an EA since he lets me know about it and they dont discuss their unhappiness in detail.

Anyway, sigh. Youre right, H doesnt feel for me the way he did before my A. H also believed our M to be a good one before the A despite much evidence to the contrary. I dont think that genie will ever be back in the bottle- his fantasy of who I was.

Thing is, our previous M was such a shit show that the improvements we have made since my A make it look liveable. Except when its not.

Really, I see he is not a monster, hes very hurt and lashing out and clutching to the same security blankets he has always done. Except, like my poor coping skills, his chosen go tos are now maladaptive and need to go.

Thats on him and not something I can do for him. He has to want to for himself.

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 8754300
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:22 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Ugh HF, you are spot on with this:
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?

The religious aspect... talked to IC today and I really dont want to do something that would be against Gods plan. He hates divorce, and I am pretty certain that is the only thing that kept H in the M as well. Its just... I cant keep doing what I have been and yet dont want to nuke the thing again and D in case Gods got a redemption of this in His hand, so long as I cooperate with it.

So, short of D, there are several options that would honestly cooperate more than my acceptance of his bad behavior when he is triggered. I am working on detaching for now and going to take more time for myself.

Really, if he takes his EA to PA, thats really what will tell me we need to S. If he is not going to work his healing on his end at this point, theres not much I know what to do.

If my PA was too much for H to live with, I do hope he can sort that out and be honest about it to himself and me.

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 8754303
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 4:45 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Is the job and proximity to AP thing still a big issue? You were discussing that before you took a break I think. Perhaps you could work out some kind of compromise, mediated in marriage counseling. He needs to cut these other women out obviously as part of that. Even if he were to concede it gives an ‘impression of an EA’ he should be prepared to take fair steps to allay that concern.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 167   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8754304
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prissy4lyfe ( member #46938) posted at 4:58 AM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

I rarely post anymore. The "groups" have gotten to die hard for me.

And in full transparency MIgander...I don't think you have done as much work as you state. when i read most of your posts it comes across as someone saying the right things while ensuring that everyone knows your husband is REALLY the bad guy. You wont come right out and say but its from my perspective its always present.

I wanted to say that before I say this...

God created no one to live in misery. He wouldn't give us a new chance every day to get it right if the the only result we had was misery.

God doesn't hate divorce. The moment adultery occured (on either side) biblically the marriage was over. Divorce is a man made concept that came long after God.

Whether I believe you're remorseful or not, your husband is remorseful, etc. I have full faith that God/universe loves you and doesn't require your eternal suffering. You DESERVE all that is promised to you. TAKE IT. I know that's hard to heat when you love him but sacrificing yourself wont save him.

posts: 2072   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2015   ·   location: Virginia
id 8754305
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 2:05 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Your MH status has always been confusing for me. From my recollection, you originally gave yourself a WS label here and later decided that your spouse had an EA before your affair with a woman from your church. Did (or does) your husband consider that relationship an EA?

If he doesn't and that relationship pre-dated your affair or was concurrent, I don't think that relationship or his current ones have anything to do with "healing" as a BS.

It sounds to me like your husband doesn't find anything wrong with his friendships/ relationships with these women. I'm not saying you're not a MH or that these are not EAs. The label doesn't matter. Are you willing to live with this behavior? And while he is not verbally comparing you to these women, it sounds like your husband still does that in his head. Can you live with that in your marriage?

Why would your husband change behavior he doesn't consider wrong? He's starting to hide it. I can see his motivation for that.

When you discuss your marriage, I get the impression that you both haven't figured out how to be a team or even if you are or can be equal partners. I'm not saying you're not trying. I would personally not be able to be an all in team player if my husband were behaving like yours.

A 180 could help you detach and get a better perspective.

posts: 564   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8754327
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 2:42 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

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

Gently - you focus on the preservation of your own sanity. This is why when you fly they tell you to fasten your own oxygen mask first. You can't help or save anyone else while dying in the process.

The M will fall into place [whatever that looks like and that would be R or D or anywhere in-between] once you have restored your sense of self.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home) Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS 2018 Cease & Desist sent spring 2021"Hello–My name is Chaos–You f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3532   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8754333
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 2:54 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Are you willing to live with this behavior? And while he is not verbally comparing you to these women, it sounds like your husband still does that in his head. Can you live with that in your marriage?

I can't and that's the behavior that needs to stop.

Prissy:

when i read most of your posts it comes across as someone saying the right things while ensuring that everyone knows your husband is REALLY the bad guy

This is related to what HT said:

It sounds to me like your husband doesn't find anything wrong with his friendships/ relationships with these women. I'm not saying you're not a MH or that these are not EAs. The label doesn't matter.

This is the cognitive dissonance in my head, where my distress has stemmed from. I can't square how someone claims to love and actively care for your good and yet see nothing wrong with pursuing hurtful behavior. It may not have been EA's with these women, but I have such a hard time justifying my own boundaries and allowing myself my own standards in a relationship that I needed to find some sort of label for what was going on. It's maddening when I'm married to someone who, for years, saw nothing wrong with their behavior and thus didn't stop it, but escalated it. How do you feel like a team when your side of the M is disrespected and your requests invalidated? When H does comply with my requests, it's with resentment and a "poor me" attitude of, "Since you pushed me into it, I did THIS for you and you are now obligated to feel grateful to me, so I can feel magnanimous and generous." Rather than the attitude of, "I care about you and want to make this M a safe environment for you from that love, I have done as you requested out of that love."

There's a world of difference between the two- having to push someone (via nagging or escalating anger and resentment) vs them giving it freely. I want an M with the latter- not the former.

I'm done pushing and nagging. I'm detaching and differentiating myself through pursuing my own pursuits. As my friend told me- "You need to be Switzerland- neutral." I'm going to let H drive his own recovery and the recovery of the M from here out. Done pushing the rope.

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
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:51 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

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.

I don't think that's a safe assumption at all.
I think all of us fall somewhere on a spectrum of predisposition to infidelity from I'll die first to just waiting to find a willing AP. Conditions at various points in our lives combined with opportunities and where we lie on that spectrum determine whether or not we end up straying. The condition of being cheated on creates the circumstance for many BS to cross over to infidelity themselves. Even those closer to the rather die first end of the spectrum than the middle. Not every BS is capable of a RA. Most of those that do, quickly realize that that RA was counterproductive. The fact that MI's husband isn't one of those means he was on the wrong side of the spectrum from the start. Yes her A may have triggered an escalation, but that brokenness was in him all along. Likely from FOO scars. Waywardness is part of him and one thing we know of waywards is you can't nice them into not straying. That's doing the pick me dance.

posts: 1301   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8754345
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 3:56 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Prissy:

when i read most of your posts it comes across as someone saying the right things while ensuring that everyone knows your husband is REALLY the bad guy

This is related to what HT said:

No. Sorry for the confusion. I was trying so hard to stay away from a discussion of right/wrong and good guy/bad guy. I think it just doesn't matter here, but it is important to understand how your husband thinks about the situation. You are hurt and feel disrespected by these relationships. He feels and thinks...? If I had to guess I would say he thinks they're appropriate adult friendships, and you are jealous and can't understand because you cheated and don't know what a healthy friendship looks like.

Again, I'm trying not to put my judgement here on either side.

You don't need to be neutral in my opinion. It's your opinion that matters here. And your husband's. Not mine or anyone else's. Its what each of you wants and can accept. I feel for you. That is a difficult situation without adding infidelity into the mix. My advice would be to decide what marriage and life you want to create, and move forward with that. He will decide if he wants to be there with you or not. If he's not coming along, then let go.

posts: 564   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8754346
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:26 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

He feels and thinks...? If I had to guess I would say he thinks they're appropriate adult friendships, and you are jealous and can't understand because you cheated and don't know what a healthy friendship looks like.

Wow, HT, you hit that nail on the head there.

And I didn't mean to misconstrue your comment. I found it helpful in connecting to what prissy said about my filter always set to "H is a bad guy" by default. I couldn't put my finger on what was going on and what my own needs were. I felt like I had to justify my needs by labeling his relationships under something that we all understand to be "wrong," rather than owning that I was the one with the problem with his overly intimate, fantasy based relationships with other women.

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 8754353
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 4:42 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Ok. You have an issue with him have these fantasy emotional relationships outside of his marriage.

Umm, yeah. No shit. I can look around and see women who make more money than me, women who seem smarter and more interesting, women who are better-looking than me, women who seem more fun than me, women who seem like more charitable or kinder people than me, women more sub-survient. It doesn't hurt my feelings. It's reality.

If my husband wants to pursue any of that, well ok. We all have to come to terms with that. He can't do it and be with me. He can't lie to me if i find out about it.


So again, does this mean you are wrong or bad? I don't think so. Maybe you need some reframing around this.

posts: 564   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8754359
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 4:53 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Hah, yeah, there's always going to be someone better than myself! I mean, everyone has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, but deliberately looking at OTHERS' strengths and then COMPARING them to your spouse's weaknesses... and then holding them to account for those? How is that loving and supportive?

As a human being, I'm learning that I am someone that WANTS to SEEK the good in others and encourage them in developing that further. Not to focus on their weaknesses only. I also desire to surround myself with people who are like minded on that aspect.

It's a hard thing to put my finger on- constructive criticism and voicing your desires in a relationship. H can have his preferences and mourn the fact that I won't be as XYZ as so-and-so, deficient in his mind in those areas. I can work on strengthening my weaknesses. But I can't do that for HIM to earn his favor. And I certainly can't do that within an M where H's joy and love and respect for me is tied to me being "all that and his particular favorite bag of chips." And if he refuses to look within and examine why he feels entitled to the perfect woman who has all the best of everything... instead of finding satisfaction with the one HE has chosen... I don't want to be married to someone like that.

Like, certainly don't ignore and rugsweep my faults. But FFS, can we please abide by the Gottman 5:1 + to - ratio for a neutral 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 8754360
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prissy4lyfe ( member #46938) posted at 5:48 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Migander,

My WH had issues with boundaries. I don't. So I can have appropriate friendships with the opposite sex. He doesn't like it. But will admit he had never seen me do, say anything inappropriate. And if it came my way I ended the friendship because it was disrespectful to me.

Brutal question: why should he be satisfied with the women he chose...when you aren't satisfied with her either?

There is no one better than you. We are all in a league of our own. The moment you truly understand than you are worthy the path becomes clear. It doesn't become easier but it does become clear.

[This message edited by prissy4lyfe at 5:50 PM, Thursday, September 8th]

posts: 2072   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2015   ·   location: Virginia
id 8754372
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 6:13 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Hi prissy,

Thanks again for the engagement. I'm glad you're really pushing me on these things. I feel like I'm waking up in bigger ways to how I am a woman worthy of respect. It's been slow coming because it's taken me such a long time and a long fight to get to the point where I can say, "Yah, I've got warts. I'm working on them. But dang, there's a lot of good in me too!!" I'm tired of being with someone who is focused on my warts and is actively disrespecting me and blaming me for their choices.

why should he be satisfied with the women he chose...when you aren't satisfied with her either?

I'm finally getting satisfied with myself, stopping changing myself for him, changing me for ME. If he can come along for the ride and drive his healing, maybe he can come to place where this question will no longer apply to himself as well.

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 8754376
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 6:22 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Did he have an EA before you had an affair?

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8754379
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 6:31 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

H had a series of inappropriate relationships with women he was sexually attractive to from the get go:
-L in Boston who he would complain about me to. Who also offered him a BJ his freshman year. Who he also still thinks back to (on a rare occasion) as one who got away. Her BF cheated on her, so he wanted to talk to her again after my A so they could reconnect.
-Meg in our early marriage. H wanted me to be like her- she's so cool because she does xyz and she knows how to decorate a house and she's so religious/spiritual
-Del right before my A. Gave spiritual intimacy to her he wasn't sharing with me. Shared with her how he regretted his vasectomy as he now knew it was against God's plan and wanted more kids and wanted to get it reversed. Yah know, Del who came to me to ask about what sex was like with other men because she'd only been with her H and wasn't sure if there wasn't more to life? Oh, and the same Del who complained to me and H about how her H wasn't paying enough attention or taking enough interest in her. The same woman who H now regrets as another woman who got away. I only learned about him wanting the reversal after my A came out and I shared that his unilateral decision to vasectomy was what drove a lot of my despair/rejection/acting out. That I wanted more kids and felt deeply rejected and judged. H would rather castrate himself than have any more kids with me.
-Trish who had her own A on her BH and wanted me to keep the secret for her. H misses hanging out with her because, "she's so much fun and we have so much in common." To be fair- that one was going on a bit before, but mostly after my A.

And now J. The one he says isn't an A because, "It can't be an A because I know about it." And the one he refuses to schedule a meetup at a bar with her BF because it would be too awkward. Sorry, but if it's too awkward to spend time with someone of the opposite sex with your spouse present, that's seriously fucked up.

H likes to project fantasies of perfection on these women, pretend that he's in control of their relationship. Pretend that since he'd NEVER sleep with them (because he wouldn't feel moral superiority afterward), he wouldn't be truly having an A on me.

So yah, H has piled much belittling, negative comparisons of me to other women and infatuation/fascination/fantasizing and outright affair like behavior (sharing spiritual shit and BIG marriage shit with the vasectomy???!).

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 8754382
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prissy4lyfe ( member #46938) posted at 6:51 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

What is the outcome you see for yourself? Not your marriage, your children....for yourself?

posts: 2072   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2015   ·   location: Virginia
id 8754387
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 6:59 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

For me, I see myself holding firm to my boundary for respect in regards to being his exclusive romantically intimate female relationship. I will also be respected in regard to my boundaries. And held as a person to be loved, not perfected.

Whether I get that or not from H, that is the outcome I will hold to in my life and future.

Ball is in his court on that one, we will see.

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 8754390
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:35 PM on Thursday, September 8th, 2022

That's what I thought. What you call inappropriate friendships, most would call emotional affairs. Some of the women may not have felt the way he did,that doesn't change that he felt the way he did. One sided emotional affairs are still affairs.

So..I asked that question, because many members are saying he's doing this because you had an affair. Some have subtly hinted that this is your fault. When the truth is, he had affairs long before you did. So..I wonder if they will now say you cheated because he did? Lol. I also asked the question, because many are saying he hasn't healed from your affair, and he is lashing out, or using these women to get back at you. When,the truth is, he has ALWAYS had emotional affairs.

This is not your fault.

I also think you should consider that he's had a physical affair. I mean,if a new BS showed up in jfo,and posted what you have,without being a MH, the overwhelming majority would tell you to dig deeper,investigate, get tested for stds, because the chances he hasn't had at least one PA,would be very slim. He has no boundaries. I will venture to say the only reason you believe there's been no PA is because you haven't caught him.

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8754396
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