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Reconciliation :
Rules in place? Live together? Help!

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 isthisreallyhappeningaga (original poster new member #80901) posted at 2:42 PM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

Good Morning all,

I am fairly new to this forum, I posted a couple weeks ago about how I had just found out about my husbands 2nd affair while we have been married.

In the weeks since then, we have had lots of ups and downs. He's been in counseling (individual and group) for about 3 weeks now, and has come to the realization that childhood trauma led to various coping mechanisms, none of which were healthy. He has apologized profusely, is doing counseling to heal that trauma, and as he says he wants to be the person he's always wanted to be. He is doing literally everything (this time) that you "should" be doing as a WS. He is extremely remorseful, shares location, etc. I just started my own individual counseling last week (a totally separate counselor than him) and we have not begun couples counseling, yet. I think they're more concerned with healing his trauma for now.

I'd just like to know from your experiences, as I feel lost and don't know what to do.

I have set boundaries, which he is respecting, but as to not disrupt the lives of our children, am letting him stay upstairs on the sofa. He participates in all aspects (putting kids to bed, bath, dishes, laundry, cooking, etc)of our household and is amazing in that sense. This is where it is confusing because it's just like life was before.

I think since he IS still at home, we are having trouble on how to navigate life right now "not" as a couple. Or should we be acting as a married couple? Or do I tell him to find a place to stay for the time being?

This is all so incredibly confusing!!

What did you do, what was your experience? And are you still together?

[This message edited by isthisreallyhappeningaga at 2:45 PM, Tuesday, September 20th]

posts: 6   ·   registered: Sep. 9th, 2022
id 8756181
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smitty82 ( new member #80920) posted at 5:02 PM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

Hi,
I really struggled with the same things as you are. When my WH first told me he had come home from working away and had tested positive for Covid so we were able to use this as the reasoning for us sleeping in different rooms. Honestly, I found the time on my own like torture and all of the inevitable images and thoughts were magnified when I was on my own all night.
After a couple of weeks we were back in the same room as I have never told anyone about what happened.
It is almost too easy to fall back into the same old routines and I worry a lot of the time that he thinks because I chose to do this and to the outside world and most importantly, our children, nothing has changed that I am not thinking about it all the time. I am......
My instinct was that I didn't want anything to change for our children but also that I didn't want us to separate. It has been really hard when my thoughts and questions have built up and we can't talk about it until we have the right time and place to do it. Even after all the kids have gone to bed and we have closed the door I am hugely paranoid about one of them overhearing.
I think that what you feel is OK for you can change on a daily basis and it's super important that your husband understands and reacts accordingly.
DDay for me was 10th March and we are still together. Noone else knows so I suppose this dictated what I/we did but my WH would have done whatever I wanted him to do.
Everyone's situation is different and everyone's reaction is different. I totally get that you want your children to be happy but it comes to a point when YOU being happy has to take priority too. My kids are a bit older (my youngest is 9) and so it was maybe easier for me to cope with the madness without them being affected.
It is really tricky and I hope that you can find a situation that makes you feel as comfortable as you can.

posts: 8   ·   registered: Sep. 13th, 2022   ·   location: UK
id 8756212
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 isthisreallyhappeningaga (original poster new member #80901) posted at 9:12 PM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

@smitty82, I totally get it! My kids are 7, 4 and 8 months so it is VERY hard to not think of them in my decisions.

On the plus side, he is literally doing whatever I ask and is constantly reassuring me and finally talking to me about ANYTHING, so that helps.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Sep. 9th, 2022
id 8756244
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 9:33 PM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

I'll be honest with you, your WH has no history of not cheating. Already, you're hearing sob stories about his traumatic childhood, and yeah.. I get it, people have trauma, life is hard, yada, yada, yada, not your problem. Lots of people have trauma, depression, anxiety, bipolar disease, what-have-you, but not everyone cheats. I've become convinced over the past eighteen years of study on the subject that cheating is about character. It's about a person's values system and what they actually believe rather than what they claim to believe. We see it in ACTIONS. A cheater stands up in front of family, friends, and even God, and vows fidelity, but when push comes to shove, they've got a "but..." in their values system, an out-clause. ie. "He believes in Fidlelity, but... not if he needs to cope with some difficult feelings". Their actions tell us that their values are weak or nonexistent. YOU can't fix that. Only he can.

You're here in the Reconciliation section, so obviously, you want to try, but all you can do at this point is to assess whether or not you've got something you can work with. His mouth is moving and he's saying all the right things. You've got some actions from him in terms of going to therapy and participating in family life (something he should have already been doing). So, there's that at least. But you've got no way of knowing what the end results are going to be and whether he can achieve actual change or not.

In my own situation, I swung for the fence on D at my dday. I was done. It was everything my fWH could do to stop me, so he was coming at it from an extremely motivated perspective. Like a lot of BS's, I got bogged down for awhile in sympathizing with him. In retrospect, that's largely about control and pain avoidance. If I could step back and look at my WH's cheating clinically, I didn't have to sit in my own feelings and I had the illusion of "fixing" to stave off my insecurity. Even though I had been prepared for divorce though, I very quickly reinvested in the relationship, which in hindsight, I believe slowed my progress. I didn't even start IC for myself until two years later when I felt like I was hopelessly bogged down.

My advice to you would be to stop focusing on your WH and on R. That's a really tall order, I know. It's like your coffee table burst into flames and I'm saying "ignore it". But your healing is going to come from within and while you're worried about making the best decision for your kids and your family as a whole, you're putting YOU on the backburner. It's too soon to know if your WH is going to make it or not, and frankly, his track record is terrible. If it was me, I'd leave him on the couch and work on healing my own injuries until he had had time to prove he's at least starting to get it, and you've had time to think about what you really want for your one and only life.

((big hugs))

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 9:37 PM, Tuesday, September 20th]

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

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5927   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8756245
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