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Newest Member: Julesanne

Wayward Side :
It's almost been 3 years and it feels like nothing has changed

stop

 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 7:41 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Hello.
My DD for my affair was in 12/2019. He found out through searching my internet history and google maps history instead of me telling him myself. His searching opened up many other things that I have hidden from him that showed that I am a hypocrite. Since he has found this out, I have been honest with him. Since then, I have been in therapy trying to navigate everything. At first I tried to explain what I was learning through therapy and refleciton. I was open and honest about who I was trying to be friends with at work. My affair was with an ex-coworker after I transferred to a new department. The affair itself lasted about 2 months and the most physical it got was 1 kiss in the beginning. That 1 kiss, the move he made, triggered the 2 month long weird relationship that I was in. It ended after spending 45 minutes together in a public setting outside of work (which is where the other contact was made). Hanging out with him outside of work made things weird and put things into a perspective for me. Since nothing else happened and it didn't go anywhere, I justified it and wanted to forget it ever happened. I never put much reflection into my actions and patterns until I was busted. Other things have come to light that have made me such a hypocrite. I held him on such a short leash with anxiety and control, afraid that he was going to do something to me, while I was crossing boundaries that I would never want him to cross.

So since I've been busted, I've been on this journey to try to fix things. I want to be in this relationship and I want to be married to this man. I started being honest, trying to explain when he wanted to talk, trying to be there for him, giving him my passwords, deleting all social media accounts, giving him GPS location on my phone, checking in constantly, not spending much time. with anyone else. A few months after he discovered this, I gave my number to 2 guys at work. I did not view them as a threat but instead of saying no, I said yes. I then felt guilty about my actions and tried to hide it. I was busted again and all the credibility I was working on was lost again.

I have apologized thousands and thousands of times. He refuses to do any counseling, both marriage and individual. He to this day doesn't believe what I say happened. He's mad when I bring it up and he's mad when I don't bring it up. He thinks I'm going to forget and just pretend everything is fine. We don't talk things through. It's always insults and accusations. Everything he wants to talk about is based on my actions and then I'm told to fuck off with barely getting any words in. Usually, I just try to accept what he is saying and be there for him. Sometimes, I can't take it and have to talk back (which I know is counterproductive) but I feel like I have to fight to explain the truths.

We're in this loop of good and bad. The good days are nice where we can talk about future things and plans. We can enjoy our time together. But I feel like I'm walking on eggshells, like at anytime, anything said, heard, or seen may trigger him and change everything. I feel guarded and cautious all the time. Then something triggers him and every ounce of love is gone. When I try to talk to him about moving forward or what I can do to help earn any sort of trust, he tells me its not his problem. He tells me that I put us in this position and I need to figure out how to fix it.

When he's triggered or upset with me, he tells me he's done. He wants a divorce. He wants to throw me in the trash. He tells me to drive my car into a tree or smash my face in the mirror. He calls me bad names. He tells me to fuck off. He says we're just wasting our time. He will then go silent and give me the silent treatment for days and usually sleeps on the couch. No communication and I'm invisible.

So I give him space and hope that he comes back around and we might have a good day again. It's a vicious loop. And every time he does this, I am afraid that it might actually be the end, that he might actually mean it and that I might be losing him.

I'm not sure what to do anymore. It's been 3 years. Shouldn't there be movement towards more good than bad? How do you talk about buying a house and moving with someone and then one argument and you say you want a divorce?? When there is a decision that needs to be made that affects both of us that should be talked about but you are not open to communicating at all whatsoever, what am I supposed to do? It's like our life is on hold most of the month.

I'm reading so far into everything. He's hurt and confused or He's punishing me? He uses the silent treatment as punishment. Does he love me or does he hate me? Am I not showing the right amount remorse? Am I not saying he right things? Am I not showing him love? I just don't know what to do anymore.

I keep reading that reconciliation has to take place on both parts. Am I just blind to it? Is being here in the house and still married a form of conciliation?

I think I am going crazy. I'm told to fix this situation but I don't know what to do.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: California
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 2:06 AM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

I'm sorry that you are here, but at the same time, glad you found this place.

Kindly, I think the reason that your husband has a hard time believing your story is that it just isn't plausible. Adults who have access to each other physically do not just kiss. One suggestion that I would do is that you sit down and write out a timeline of the affair and all other affairs or boundary crossing that you have had and share it with him. An honest timeline. You have devastated your husband and completely up-ended his world and yes it has been three years, that doesn't make it any easier.

What have you done in that three years to become a safe partner that he can trust? We cannot make someone else trust us, but we can put in the work to give them reasons to trust us. It starts with being truthful and not having anymore lies. If you truly did not sleep with any of the men you have mentioned, that is all well and good, but your husband may very well believe that is a lie. You can start by being truthful about what your affairs were and were not. They were not a mistake, they were something that you choose to do step by step over a span of days/weeks/months/years.

Obviously we are only getting your one side to this story, but from what I'm seeing, having been in the betrayed and wayward seats, he seems to be struggling with what has been done to his life. As a betrayer, it is very much important that you go from being the one who wrecked his world to trying to be as supportive as you can in his healing. Again, what work have you done to become a safe partner? Have you spent time in IC figuring out why your boundaries were conditional and not absolute? If I were your husband I could think that you were serial by your comment about giving out your number to a couple of guys at work. Now, as the nature of my job in management and I have men and women on my team, so I understand and appreciate that there are plenty of valid reasons for my team and myself to have each other's phone numbers. So I could also see you sharing your number with colleagues as just something that happens, but I get the sense it is more the former a loose boundary or boundary crossing instead of a more routine business contact thing going on.

I will leave you with this, because hopefully others will along to help you here, reconciliation takes two committed partners. The Wayward is asking the Betrayed for forgiveness and a second chance, which is not owed, it is a tremendous gift that should be treasured. My wife and I call it Marriage 2.0 being our forever. But it took both of us being committed to it for it to work. I could've wanted to reconcile and give us another shot until I was blue in the face, but if she didn't want to, there was nothing I could do to make it happen. Do you know why your husband doesn't want to seek some IC for himself? He has been through a trauma that is difficult to navigate, even for the best of us on here, it has been a difficult journey for all of the BS and frankly a lot of WS. It seems like he is sort of checked out, but I genuinely wonder if it isn't because there are cues or clues he is picking up from you that don't make him feel like pushing all in and making himself vulnerable is the right call.

At the end of the day, marriage takes two people to be successful. If you are not happy with the marriage as it is and you don't see a future with him, you are free to file divorce yourself. Just because you are a wayward does not mean that you have to stay married to someone who frankly sounds like he is making you miserable. Don't punish yourself more than you have to for your infidelity. If it isn't working for you, you can be done with it and move on with your life.

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

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thatwilldo ( member #59326) posted at 2:17 AM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

There's a book you should read that would help you to understand your husband's reactions to you. The title is, How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair by Linda McDonald

When I read it (and it took several readings for me to get it), I began to understand that I severely traumatized my husband and that I had a huge amount of work ahead of me to even begin to help him heal.

It's not for the faint of heart.

Edited for spelling.

[This message edited by thatwilldo at 2:18 AM, Thursday, November 10th]

Don't do as I did. Do as I say.

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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 4:01 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Thank you for your responses.

You’re right maybe I’m not creating the most safe environment for him. I’m inconsistent with him. I go between patient and inpatient, reactive and defensive to calm and accepting. If I bring it up he’s mad and if I don’t bring it up he’s mad.

These are something’s I should continue to work on in IC.

My affair wouldn’t have started at all if he didn’t make that move on me. But I did cross boundaries to get there by allowing him close to me and having friends that he did not know about. I was open about things I shouldn’t have been. I would have never pushed the boundary to cheat myself but once he made that move, I allowed myself to chase that high and pursuit a closer relationship. The most physical it got was one kiss and I’m sure that’s hard to believe since I went through so many hoops to lie.

My pattern is having relationship boundaries for him and crossing them myself with the opposite gender. What I mean is that, I tend to become friends with anyone and everyone and not tell him which has included me sharing phone numbers, snap chats, social media. I’m not as strict with myself as I am him.
Since my slip up after DD, I have set strict boundaries for myself not to share or get to close to any other men.

Im a people pleaser and don’t like when others don’t like me so this is especially hard.

I can’t believe I did this to him and turned out to be this person.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: California
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 4:47 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Based on your last post, I can see why you feel like nothing has changed, you are still in your wayward mentality. Your affair was a series of choices, death by a thousand cuts if you prefer. Your AP kissed you, but like you stated, there were many actions or inactions on your part prior to that which lead to the kiss happening. I will choose to believe you that nothing more physical occurred and that is fine, good on you for enforcing a boundary there, but your boundaries still need a lot of work. But the way you state that you wouldn't have cheated if not for this man kissing you, that just doesn't sit well with me and that is the line I picked out that just screamed "wayward, wayward, wayward" to me like a blinking red light. It sort of implies that you were helpless to cheat and that it just happened, you were a victim of time, place and situation. I think even you recognize that is not true. You were not a victim in the sense that you were a willing participant in previously made choices to cross a boundary here and there that lead to an unwanted kiss.

A great rule of thumb is if you wouldn't say it in front of your spouse, don't say it all. I think that is probably one of the best mantras for boundaries with friends, colleagues, etc. I have a friend from high school (been out of school over 2 decades now) that I still keep in contact with. Yes, at one point in our teenage years, her and I dated for a brief period of time as sophomores, but we realized that we were better off as friends. Even with her, she knows that there are clear boundaries. Sometimes boundaries have to be explicitly and deliberately stated or made clear. It's funny, because when my wife had her affair, I reconnected with this friend because I needed a female perspective that I couldn't get from my two close guy friends and it was before I had found this place, she was the one who first suggested it sounded like my wife had someone else. My point there is not to dwell on me, but to point out that there can certainly be safe and boundary enforced opposite sex friendships. I keep my wife regularly apprised of my texts with my friend and we probably call on the phone about once a month to keep up with each other's lives.

Where you got off is that you had friends and kept secrets with those friends from your husband. If I had to guess, based on what you've told us and my extrapolation, you've probably had some at the very least inappropriate friendships over the course of your relationship with your husband. This affair came out of a friendship that you had and you then proceeded post affair to continue to keep secrets and cross more boundaries. It is really hard for him to let his guard down and find safety and comfort in a relationship with you if you have not fundamentally changed your mindset and found a way to enforce solid boundaries around your interactions with the opposite sex. Look, it's a fact of life that men and women have to co-exist in many spaces of life such as workplace, church, our children's activities, etc. In your husband's eyes, every man you meet in the course of a day could be your next AP because you have a pretty good track record of boundary crossing and having inappropriate friendships.


There is a book, Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley Glass that I would also recommend you pick up and read. I think it will help you and open your eyes a little bit to some of the things I'm trying to hammer home here. I am of the mindset that the inconsistency and up/down aspects you described in your first post is probably a symptom of your behavior and your husband's instincts of self-protection more than anything else.

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

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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 4:52 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Also I will reread that book. I read it over a year ago but should refresh.

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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 4:59 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Thank you.

I am acting like the victim when he is the victim. I need to change my mindset.

I made those choices and have to own them.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: California
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 6:53 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

When he's triggered or upset with me, he tells me he's done. He wants a divorce. He wants to throw me in the trash. He tells me to drive my car into a tree or smash my face in the mirror. He calls me bad names. He tells me to fuck off. He says we're just wasting our time. He will then go silent and give me the silent treatment for days and usually sleeps on the couch. No communication and I'm invisible.

So I give him space and hope that he comes back around and we might have a good day again. It's a vicious loop.

It’s a vicious loop because it’s called "the cycle of abuse." OK, he’s justified in being upset about you kissing another man and in general having poor boundaries (the giving your phone number to the other men you referenced). I would never say he shouldn’t be angry and upset about that. But the back and forth push/pull of saying horrible things, not letting you talk, the silent treatment, etc., then a period of relative "normalcy" then the whole thing repeating itself again is the cycle of abuse. Google it.

Also, his refusal to even consider getting therapy for himself is a red flag. People who behave as he does usually feel they are completely justified and everyone else is the problem.

I hope you are in therapy for yourself, at least. I say this gently: possibly consider that the poor self-image, low self esteem, and other similar related factors that may have contributed to your getting too close to/kissing another man might also have something to do with why you would choose to stay in a marriage with a man who behaves in the way you have described.

I wish you the best.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 8:37 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

I can see how this looks like abuse. But I figured the trauma of my actions keep him so up and down. He has told me if I don’t like how things are then I can leave. Take it or leave it. This isn’t normal for others with infidelity? I always wonder what a normal fight or normal discussion would look like.

I’ve never really come to him with problems or issues. Whenever I have in the past, I always feel foolish because I don’t have exact detailed time, dates, examples, or facts to back my feelings. I’m not good with confrontation. So coming to him to this day, knowing I’m getting the worst version of him, is really hard. I try to talk to him and explain but I don’t think it’s ever received.


"I say this gently: possibly consider that the poor self-image, low self esteem, and other similar related factors that may have contributed to your getting too close to/kissing another man might also have something to do with why you would choose to stay in a marriage with a man who behaves in the way you have described"
This would be a harsh reality and I will bring it up to my therapist next week.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: California
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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 8:53 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

I’m not sure what actions to take to show him that I have changed my behaviors in a lot of ways.

I don’t talk about work much because it is a major trigger for him. If I mention a guy coworkers name, it is thrown in my face for months. So maybe mentioning who I worked with might help??

I’ve become more aware of my boundaries at work and now do not make friends with males. I don’t participate in the jokes. I’m quiet. I’ve been asked for my number a few times for various work related reasons, but I say no. I’m selective of which female friends I spend time with. I have GPS. I check in throughout the day. I call or check in at lunch every day. I don’t have social media anymore. I also gave him a list of my passwords.

What else do you guys do?

posts: 30   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: California
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 11:28 PM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

I do not know what is normal after infidelity because my BH and I divorced and then remarried a few years later. I’m sure some on this site will say everything he is doing is justifiable and even healthy (for him). I know enough to know the up and down rollercoaster of emotions is normal, yes. But screaming at you to get the fuck out, fuck you, if you don’t like it you can leave, the silent treatment, refusing to talk about what it is he needs – after three years – after your act of unfaithfulness was a kiss? When I look at all of that added up it doesn’t seem so normal or justifiable to me.

That’s just my personal gut opinion, though—I’m not an expert at this— and one of this website’s most valuable axioms is to take what you need and leave the rest.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 1:10 AM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

I agree with DarknessFalls.

He has told me if I don’t like how things are then I can leave. Take it or leave it.

He's right, you can -- and probably, you should. It doesn't sound like this is a healthy or hopeful situation for either of you.

WW/BW

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soulstuck ( new member #82357) posted at 4:10 AM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

I believe you that nothing physical happened (I also did nothing physical, but it rocked my world nonetheless). I also think three years is a very long time, and you are in an abusive relationship. What others said about strengthening your boundaries is spot-on, but I think it takes both people acting in good faith in order to reconcile.

My EA exposed my own weaknesses (no boundaries, submissive to men, codependent), my husband's weaknesses, and our weaknesses as a married couple. All three. You only have control (and blame) for yourself and what you bring (your half only!) to your marriage. He definitely sounds like he needs IC. My husband and I both had IC and MC. My husband has continued with IC, and our next MC appointment will be our fourth. Just the few we have had have been immensely helpful.

One of three outcomes seem to be the norm:
Your husband will never truly forgive you (unhappy marriage or divorce inevitable)
You both sweep it under the rug (forgiven-- never forgotten-- but nothing is learned from the experience, marriage is never again what it once was, but it's adequate)
You *both* do the work and come out stronger on the other side.

Y'all seem to be in the first category. Honestly, if you have been acting in good faith all this time, I think (if I were you) I would ask him to choose between counseling or a divorce. You need to be working as a team. His pattern of hot and cold will go on as long as you allow it to. He sounds stuck.

I wish you all the best.

[This message restored by Webmaster at 12:00 PM, Wednesday, November 16th]

[This message edited by soulstuck at 4:21 AM, Sunday, November 13th]

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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 1:20 PM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

kccalifornia

There are a lot of things going on here. I think there are few things you need to accept, and to understand, about where you are, and what's going on in the marriage.

As a wayward myself, I struggled mightly with accountability. It's not that I didn't "admit" my transgressions, it was that I didn't "own" them. I see you struggling with this as well. For example:

My affair wouldn’t have started at all if he didn’t make that move on me.

It's not that I don't believe you, I do. Same here. I never went looking for an affair, she walked up to me. So that's good, right? (No)

The problem is, this is not only an excuse, but an attempt to trick yourself as much as anyone else. Imagine someone walks up to you and smacks you clean across the face, with no warning and no apparent reason. When you inquire as to why they did that, they say, "Gosh, I never would smack anyone, but my friends dared me, so I guess I had to." Does that make you feel better now? Has your respect for that person returned now? Do you now trust that they will never smack you again for no reason?

The truth is, regardless of their reason or motivations, they smacked you, for no reason. Their intentions have no bearing on the pain, trauma and shock they caused you. Saying they had no real reason to do it doesn't make them safer... if anything, it makes them LESS safe, because they don't even seem to indicate that they've learned an important lesson and will never do that again. Instead, they just they brush it off... rugsweep it. "I didn't really mean to do it in the first place, so I'm a good person regardless of my actions" is the message being sent. Your husband hears the same message from you loud and clear.

Yes, he came up to you. Great. But you made a choice, of your own free will. No one put a gun to your head. You also could have told that guy to F off and go away, but you didn't make that choice. So you need to own that. By making that statement, you've also shown him that you don't "really" feel that you did anything wrong, and worse, that nothing has changed. The same person (you), has the same unhealthy boundaries as you did 3 years ago. Nothing about you feels "safer" now to him than you were then. He can't be sure what will happen the next time a guy walks up to you.

Imagine that same scenario, someone walking up to you and smacking you. Now, imagine that person came back and was horrified at what they did to you. They fuss over you, ask if you are okay, offer to take you to the hospital to make sure you are okay, is willing to pay any medical bills, offers to reimburse you if you miss work. They call every few days, not to talk about themselves but to see how you are dealing with the trauma. In the meantime, they take anger management classes, and get therapy to try and figure out what about them allowed them to smack another person. They turn themselves into the cops and accept the charge of assault. They offer to pick up groceries or run errands if you are too traumatized to deal with those things. They start a donation and raise money for services that deal with abuse. They bend over backward to make things right, even at their own expense, because they cannot live with themselves knowing they did something they abhor.

Is that person now someone you MIGHT consider forgiving? Would you at least consider them a little safer, a little more aware of what they did, how it affected YOU, and feeling that they will never do this again? THAT's the person your husband needed after the affair. It's still the person he needs. He isn't getting that person however, and so he feels he has no reason to trust you because there isn't anything about you at your core that feels different to him. If you can still say, "I didn't start this", than who did? How can he trust you when he can't trust that you really understand and own your actions?

Im a people pleaser and don’t like when others don’t like me so this is especially hard.

Again, we have this in common. Tattoo this phrase on your forehead. You need to understand it.

Generally speaking, waywards don't love or respect themselves. Instead, we get our sense of self-worth, self-value and self-respect from others. When other people tell us that we're pretty, smart, talented, funny, whatever... we eat it up. Having other acknowledge us makes us feel loved and valued. But what happens when that flow of positive energy from others... stops? For people who love themselves, it doesn't matter. They don't need external validation in order to feel good about themselves, they make it for themselves. But for people like you and me... we crumble. Our self-worth is like a gas tank with a hole in it. Keep pouring gas in, and the car keeps going along. But turn the gas off... and the tank is empty within seconds. Useless. WS's "love tanks" are like that. When we don't get the external validation we need, we suffer, greatly. Deeply. Since we can't make ourselves feel loved without that external source, we do the only thing we know how to... we look for it elsewhere. We find someone or something else to pump up our egos. Which is why, when that guy made a move on you... you went for it. He made you feel special, desired, and important. He put you on a pedestal and made you feel as if he couldn't live without you. FULL LOVE TANK BABY!

We can't live like that however. Never mind your marriage, YOU will never be happy, never be fulfilled, never be "enough" for yourself, and if you cannot love yourself, then how could you possibly, truly, love another? We cannot give to another what we do not own ourselves. Do you love your husband? Or do you love how he made you feel? How did you make him feel? How did you show him he's special?

What else do you guys do?

Final thing here. Understand that the very concept of "doing something in order to make him feel a certain way, or act a certain way" is still 100% manipulation and abuse. Your AP lied and manipulated you in order to get from you what he wanted. When you do things with the end goal of making your husband love you again, you are doing the same thing to him. You have an outcome that you want, and you are trying to force him to give you that outcome. That's about YOU, not him. It's what YOU want... what does HE want? Why aren't you supporting him in what he wants if you love him so much? How is him loving you again good for him in any way? It's not. It's good for you. He's still stuck with a cheater.

Get it in your head that the marriage is already over, regardless if you are married or divorced, regardless of whether you live together or not. It ended the day you said yes to the AP.

You can't, and shouldn't try to, "Save the marriage". It doesn't work that way. In the same way that you can't get "un-smacked in the face" you also can't "un-cheat" and make things better. The only path forward is to create something new together, a new relationship... or, to move forward with no relationship at all. That IS a possibility. But you cannot do either of those things while you still have an empty love-tank and no way of filling it.

The first step is to patch the hole in the tank. Then, you learn to fill it yourself. To love yourself. To develop healthy boundaries, self-respect, decency, values, integrity, humility, empathy... people who have these things in their lives, who love themselves... don't cheat. They don't need to, and they wouldn't do so even if a gun was to their head. When you become someone who loves themself, then you also become someone that someone else could love, truly love. Your husband will never "forgive you" in the way you want him to. But he might... maybe... learn to love the new you. But that has to exist first. YOU have fix that. You can't fix him or the marriage. You can only change you.

Last thing... sometimes, infidelity is a deal-breaker. Full stop. You could change and become the most wonderful person ever... it might not be enough. And that's a reality you need to account for.

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."

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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 4:21 PM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

Thank you for your responses.

Why can’t my therapist tell me things like this? I feel like I’ve learned more in just this post than I’m 3 years of therapy.

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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 4:46 PM on Friday, November 11th, 2022

Hi,

I've been thinking about this post for a couple of days now. Not really sure what to write. In that time, many people have responded and added some fantastic advice. Some of the points you made in your opening post were triggering to me. It is how I used to think, it took me years to start taking some personal responsibility for what I chose to do. I did not really blame others (although I did have a ton of justifications which were untrue and ways in which I reduced the levels of self responsibility).

I read posts like the one above from DD. I read them and they made sense...I then ignored them, as my story was totally different to any other wayward and the people on here had no idea what I was going through. I also came on here looking for answers, a way of getting it and finding my whys, without doing the work. That did not and rightly so.

So, I'm now starting my actual journey. My advise id needed or wanted:

1) read the books recommended. Then read them again. Then ACTUALLY read them. The words written make sense the first couple of times, but often don't sink in until you're had a chance to read and believe.

2) Write a time line. Maybe even write a time line for yourself. A timeline that is honest. Then read it, ask yourself after every paragraph.."Is this true, is this minimising, have I blame shifted, have I omitted? Correct anything which is not entirely correct. When you're happy with this, then share with BS (if interested).

3) journal and think. Write thoughts down. Occasionally go back and read what you wrote a few months ago and see what changes you've made. Recognise progress you've made. I would not necessarily bring this up with BS, unless interested, but mention it on here or with counsellor.

4) Stay on here and take the advise. Again REALLY take the advise.

5) Don't try and control the outcome. If you BS heals and wants to stay married and start a new relationship with you, that is their choice. Live your life as a healthy safe person, make BS your priority, lose all wayward thinking and acting. Do this for you and this will come over into your BS.

Good luck

There is a lot of support on here for you.

WH (40's) Me. Emotional affair (2017), Physical affair (2003) and online affairs, Two physical affairs (2000). D-Day's 2003, August '17, multiple discoveries through 2018,19 and 20, Jan 21 and 2022

posts: 245   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8764789
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BraveSirRobin ( Guide #69242) posted at 12:49 AM on Saturday, November 12th, 2022

Great post, DaddyDom.

WW/BW

posts: 2952   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8764854
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 kccalifornia (original poster new member #82360) posted at 5:56 PM on Saturday, November 12th, 2022

Thank you for your responses. You've given me a lot of great advice. I need to continue to work on myself. I thought I was doing well in therapy but I feel that I easily get side tracked and focus a lot of my sessions on how to handle the state of relationship currently instead of what got it there in the first place.

So I will start digging even deeper. I feel I have a good sense why, when, what, how everything happened. I think that by my trickle truthing and him having to pry things out of me that he doesn't have a clear picture of what happened and never will. At this point, he does not want to talk about it very much anymore except when filled with anger by it. The only feelings and thoughts communicated to me are hatred, reminders of my actions, and accusations of what he thinks happened at this point. But I'm not going to give up, I need to be persistent but also respect his wishes. If he doesn't want to talk to me, then I need to give him space, but also be available.

This whole experience has been very eye opening for me. I think I've exposed a lot of problems that I have that I lacked self awareness about. Actually, I never spent much time reflecting on my thoughts and actions at all before being exposed. I lived in the moment and didn't think through things.

I do need to accept more responsibility for my part in this. While I did have the inappropriate friendship with my coworker in the first place, I knew that I would never make the first move to push that boundary, but I did allow myself to be put in that position to push it. I lack ability to create, maintain, and enforce boundaries.

I also don't mean to manipulate my husband by asking what do you guys do. I meant what are examples of things that are being done in a normal reconciliation. What does your day look like? What do your discussions look like? What is the dynamic like? What actions are you putting forth? I need a comparison because what I feel like I am doing doesn't seem like enough. He won't tell me what he needs other than to "fuck off" or "doesn't want to talk to me" or "that's for you to figure out". So my actions have been: bringing it up on occasion, apologize a lot, ask about how he is feeling almost daily, check in with him multiple times a day, consistently call/text at lunch break, consistently text when I'm getting ready to leave work and when I am driving home, GPS locator on 24/7 for past 3 years, list of passwords for all accounts, deleted social media accounts, given access to phone anytime he wants, open to answering questions as much as possible, don't spend time with people outside of work hardly ever, developed boundaries for talking about relationship with others, stopped excessive complaints about marriage, stop nagging about him doing chores around the house, supportive of career change and support him almost 100% financially (used to be 50/50), more selective over who I am friends with.

Not going to lie, I'm inconsistent with some of these actions but overall this is what I do.

I can continue to work on fixing myself but I feel selfish. I feel selfish trying to make myself feel better when he is the one suffering from my actions.

posts: 30   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2022   ·   location: California
id 8764916
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:50 PM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

Hi, you have had great advice already. I am a fellow wayward (about 5.5 years out) and fellow people pleaser (reformed, but always a work in progress)

What stands out to me in your initial post is how you are taking his temp and changing your behaviors based on that temp.

Don’t get me wrong, we do need to pay attention to our relationship and spouse. But if all you are doing is looking at cues from him then you aren’t doing the work you really need to do for yourself.

What most affairs boil down to is a wayward is an escapist looking for external happiness and validation. What you need to do in order to recover is become your own true north, your own source of happiness, constant eye on improving coping mechanisms.

Truth is you have no control over your husband. What you can control is who you become. Sometimes we have to accept we will be okay no matter the outcome of the marriage so we can take out some of the desperation and codependency out of the equation. Based on your posts and my own experience, you are still in full blown people pleasing mode rather than getting to the root of your issues and finding a healthy balance of boundaries and showing your husband your love and desire for him and to heal the relationship.

In my opinion changing your focus is your best way to save your relationship, and if not the only path to finding a healthy relationship down the road. Your inconsistency surely isn’t helping matters with him, but you would not be as inconsistent if you had spent this time focusing on yourself on a deep level. Good news is it’s not too late to start that today.

5 years of hard work
Reconciled
WS & BS

posts: 6203   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8765400
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