Happy Monday (there is such a thing right?),
Grateful this conversation is still going. Hopefully it continues to be helpful to those who may come upon it.
Many more interesting thoughts being shared. And I appreciate it.
I think I can begin to see where I could come to some kind of terms with "it wasn't about me at all"...at least BEGINNING to see a POSSIBILITY of being able to embrace that is part at least.
But I'm not sure that's my silver bullet (if there is such a thing with all this) anyway.
I have written in some detail about other parts of this insanity that I am struggling to "accept"
The sex itself shared between my wife and AP1. The belittling engaged in with AP2. Mountains I must climb (and I know I'm not the only one) that I just can't imagine being able to pull off.
Rambler's short but pointed questions I guess seem pertinent here. I will readily admit that one of the most disorienting things in my experience of this has been that my wife adored me for 2 decades prior to going off the rails. Logic would seem to point to this being nothing but a nucelar powered positive. But, ironically, it seems I have experienced it as more of a setup. I was 1000% convinced it was true. I unconditionally believed that infidelity, let alone outright direct cruelty and callousness towards me was utterly and literally IMPOSSIBLE and beyond my wife's wildest most extreme abilities. Like, she did not have the literal abilty to do it. Like running a three minute mile, or bench pressing 1500 pounds IMPOSSIBLE. (Brief 'religious' talk coming...warning) As a pastor, I have had my tussles with God...and trust issues with Him...but...strangely not my wife. I think I trusted her with my life/heart/soul maybe even more than God. (religious stuff over). And that level of trust was earned in the previous 22 years of knowing her/being married to her. And then, almost in a relative instant, OTHER MEN. OTHER F*CKING MEN for my shy, boundaried, moral, ethcial. loving, literally adoring, family focused, Elementary School/Sunday School teaching, loving mother of 4, wife. As I sit here...nearly 12 years after initial discovery (albeit with more a more recent DDay twist) I think I STILL CANNOT BELIEVE IT. I mean, it happened, I lived it, I am not in ACTUAL denial of it...but I still CAN"T BELIVE IT. I am STILL STUNNED. And that's largely because I could not have been more convinced that the love and ALL of its accoutrements (happiness, sex, joy, safety, security etc) was REAL. She was an amazing wife and mom for the 20 years prior to the year from hell. She has been in the 10 years after...but that one year which divides the other 30 or so...has done unspeakeable things.
And, again, you'd think all that good behavior would be a HUGE PLUS. But you know what my mind/heart reasons? THIS:
She pulled off the wonderful wife thing for two decades before degrading herself and you and showing you who and what she really was and could do. So 10 years after the fact of the same great behavior? Means nothing.
I know that's not rational. I know that's not fair. But it is what I feel. For better or worse.
So, all that wordy stuff to say...maybe *I AM* trying to accept if my wife REALLY respects and loves me? I wrote about that very thing in a post about "when it was all a fantasy doesn't help"...where I shared my struggle with passing off demeaning and degrading things inflicted upon BS's by their WS's in words and deeds during their affairs as not really carrying too much meaning because FANTASY. It's A COLOSSAL JERK AROUND to think...
20 years...my wife adores me!
Wait...now she despises me, degradres herself in every way with OM! and loves him...
No wait! She doesn't love OM1 anymore ...no...he ghosted her so...she actually loves family friend OM2...and tells him all manner of terrible things about me...
No wait! One more time! She REALLY LOVES me now. She no longer loves those 2...but me again...whew. So glad.
And I will tell you...even with 30 or so years of great wife behavior, what I just described above has been akin to a teaspoon of rat turds in the monster cookie dough. Yep. 98% of that dough is just fine...but it is now just.....tainted. And you can pick out the turds...but you will always wonder what is REALLY in those cookies once they are baked.
So yes...I'll admit maybe I do wonder what is real in terms of my wife's respect and love. But it's only because she utterly convinced me what my reality was...for a looong time...before she showed me it wasn't.
And, look, I've gone to therapy, I know the path that is often the way out of this. You accept people change. As Oldwounds often says, his wife is not her worst choices. Remorse can flip the script. I get that. I get grace. Truly I do. I also know that people do and say things in affairs that can be argued that they don't mean. Hell...sometimes they aren't even emperically or FACTUALLY true. And I get that people are sexual beings...and maybe there should not be as much SCANDALOUS DISGUST at the thought of my wife being sexual with someone else. She likes sex. A lot. So...why so serious? Why such an impasse in my mind? IDK. But all I know...is that I know I have not accepted these things. And I am having a hard time believing that I can.
Man. I love my wife. And I believe deeply in grace. And redemption. And I can hear how seemingly pathetic that sounds and can hear the quiet rumblings of astute SI'ers thinking "codependency". And there may be at least a partial truth in those things too...
And I'm pretty sure I'm not ready to accept that either.
Thanks as always for all of your investment(s) here