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Newest Member: rmf2rmv

Just Found Out :
DDay #3; I'm just broken by it all


Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:22 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

Put aside your faith and look at how old you were when you bonded with her. You were 15 or 16 years old and your brain had not even completely developed. We forget that we are animals and that little lizard brain in the back of our head controls almost all of our emotions. We think that we are very rational human beings all the time. We are rational human beings, some of the time, but our emotions go right back to controlling us in ways that are mysterious to us and sometimes drive us crazy. The reason you’re having such a hard time giving up your wife is you are literally imprinted on her and she on you. Y’all were babies when you got together – much like a tree, and a vine you have grown and twisted together. It’s going to take an enormous effort, a very emotional effort, for you to untwist yourself from her. It is completely understandable why are you having such a hard time letting go. If you have ever read about people who leave their spouses and go back to the high school sweethearts, it’s the same thing. Sometimes that imprinting is so strong that nothing else can get through. You have this group of extremely supportive friends here who are trying their very best to help you untwist and move on.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3807   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8781479

ibonnie ( member #62673) posted at 2:34 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

Your wife is a liar and your wife is a cheater. Don't listen to whatever crazy, nonsensical story she's throwing out. Believe what you can see with your own eyes or prove. Stop letting the crazy confuse you.

Now your daughter is getting looped into this mess? Oh. Hell. No.

Could you imagine ever putting your children in this position? I bet not.

Save yourself. Save your kids and provide them with a happy, healthy parent they can rely on. Wishing you strength and peace.

"I will survive, hey, hey!"

posts: 2078   ·   registered: Feb. 11th, 2018
id 8781532

realitybites ( member #6908) posted at 4:12 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

For the BS, besides the pain of betrayal, the lingering doubt and the knowledge you will NEVER know the truth is a burden you will have to accept and carry.

It's a monumental stack of shit and pain and it just never goes away. You will hear BS's say on here over and over again, "if you would just tell me the truth I could......XYZ" name whatever you want that makes someone feel they can find some closure or move on, but you won't get it. Very few do on here.

I do feel they have lied so much, big lies, small lies, manipulations, etc... that they don't even know where it begins and ends. They cannot help you in a healthy way that you want because they are not healthy people.

Someone a long time ago once said very simply that you will finally come to a place where you realize it will never end until YOU leave.

I hated that at first, I also did not really understand it when I was so sure I knew my WS so well and we could work it out and all that stuff. But the pain for a BS will not end unless you leave, OR they do. But they won't, that's the sad part, cuz to continue to do what they do they need the BS to take care of them, to be their shield, to be able to sneak around and do whatever their "fix" is, so the BS will suffer and continue to carry the burden, until they themselves decide to leave.

I know you are getting there, so very sad and hard with children involved as well, I am sure your thought was to try to stay together for the family, but she is now wrapping in your children to assist her in her lies, cuz she can't or won't stop.

My feeling is that she is "white knuckling" it right now, just saying anything at all to you to hope she can stop you from leaving, she may even mean it somehow, but until she gets REAL help, not just with the addictions but with so much of what she has done, there really is not much you can do. Except put the life vest on yourself, put the oxygen mask on you first and figure out how to get out of infidelity.

Stop expecting loyalty from people who cannot even give you honesty.

He stopped being my husband the first time he cheated. It took me awhile to understand that I was no longer his wife.

posts: 6928   ·   registered: Apr. 16th, 2005   ·   location: florida
id 8781606

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:23 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

Does '1345marine' mean USMC? If so, were you not taught to aim before firing? You've got a big decision to make, one that will impact your life for decades. Are you stuck in indecision, or are you gathering the info and resources you need to carry out your decision?

Consulting a good lawyer doesn't sound like indecision to me - it's a strong step toward making your choice (and it doesn't mean your choice will be D).

My reco is to put all your preconceptions aside and figure out what you want. Once you know that, bring back your preconceptions and test them. Figure out how you can be happy in yourself with your wants. If you want R, figure out if your W is a good enough candidate. But start with knowing what you want.

As Bigger points out, a poly will tell you only if your W is telling her truth WRT a few 'yes/no' questions. Your doubts don't really lend themselves to that type of questioning. I don't think a poly will help you right now, but I'm biased against polygraphs....

Have you thought about what info will resolve your doubts? What have you come up with?

Have you talked with your W about your doubts? What will be different this time? What has she said?

I now it's hard to make yourself vulnerable to her, but doing so will give you a lot of info. If she exploits your vulnerability, that's probably negative for R, but she may give you honest, loving support, and that's positive for R. Or you can just throw in the towel on your M.

I agree that in good Ms the partners feel loved and cherished. After an A, however, I think a WS who is a good candidate for R will accept the offer of R as proof of love. If that's not enough for your W, perhaps she's not a good candidate.

I think lawyers finance a lot of Ds. I know my son built up a big bill during his D and paid it off after it was complete.

I've written about R, but on the whole, your W doesn't look like a good candidate for R.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:27 PM, Friday, March 10th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 28409   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8781628

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 6:10 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

And so that leads to the other big issue with R. In the past before the A, a huge part of our problem was always that I wasn't a good friend. I took her for granted. And I know that the answer to all this is for me to pursue my wife and make her feel desired. Perhaps if I'd done that from the start, the A would've never happened. So now that we're at this rock bottom, I feel like in order for her to be fulfilled in our marriage and create the life we both want, she needs me to pursue her and love her and make her feel desired in body and mind.

I think you're still putting some kind of credence in the "unmet needs" model. I do understand the draw of it. If you read my profile post, you'll see that I've been there and done that. It sounds so reasonable. We love our WS's and the thought of them suffering because we failed to provide something they needed to be emotionally healthy within the relationship actually gives us hope, hope that if we start giving them what they need, that the problem will be solved. Our worry then becomes about making sure that we are enough, etc, etc., turn the angst in on ourselves, etc.

Here's what I've learned about that though... we don't do things that have no payoff. The payoff on all those self-recriminations is that we can hang on to the illusion that we are in control of what happens next. In your example above, the solution is to be a "good friend", and if you're a good enough friend, maybe your WW won't have reason to cheat on you again. The problem though is that you've legitimized her "reason to cheat". You've declared it to be valid, but it's NOT.

When I was young and stupid, I got drunk with some friends at an outdoor party and we decided it would be fun to jump off a bridge into the water below. Now, none of us had the brains or forethought to check and see if the water was deep enough or if there were rocks or anything smart like that. We just lined up and jumped off. shocked We got lucky and everyone swam away in one piece, but the lesson for me was this... there is a moment of choice and that moment is tangible. You are standing there, considering the outrageous, and then... you select it. In that moment, there is no one else. It's just you and your better judgment, in conflict, in indecision, and then YOU DECIDE, and you're able to make that decision because there's nothing strong enough inside you to say a firm enough 'no'.

Your WW cheated because she wanted to and there might be myriad reasons why she wanted to, but underlying all of that is the lack of an interior hard 'no'. Meaningful boundaries. Integrity. Unassailable core values. These things are NOT about you. It's not possible for other people to choose our values for us. We protect what we value. Fidelity, honesty, even friendship were not worthy enough in HER values system to defend. That's not about you. It's about her.

That's not to say that people can't change. I really, truly believe that they can. It's not until we really accept that the cheating is 100% about the cheater that we can see whether or not those changes are happening. How can we evaluate the relationship with any kind of confidence when we can't measure change?

Your temptation to pursue and prove yourself as an attractive partner are normal. I think many, if not most, of us can identify with it. But the underlying energy is clearly about control of the outcome. Just like self-blame, it's about controlling whatever we can in order to try and fix what's broken. "Dating" your wife might be a handy tool for livening up a stale routine, but that's NOT what's happening here. What's happening here is that you're waiting to see change from her... real, meaningful change. Change that's so complete and so convincing that you won't feel like you need to file for divorce. That comes with TIME and with WORK. She's got to do the work and you've got to SEE that work getting done. Tempting as it might be, you can't get out and push like it was a car stuck in the mud. She's got to drive this thing out of the ditch because you need to SEE that she can do it.

Don't get me wrong, you can still clean up your side of the street if that's what you're talking about. But you can't do more than that and still stand as an observer. It's kind of like being a wildlife photographer, you can't rescue the antelope. That doesn't mean you have to litter the park instead of using a trash can after lunch. Your job though has to be to watch. That way, you can make the best decision when you feel like it's time to make that decision.

How do you find safety in being intimate with someone if you feel like you're being compared to another man, or worse yet that perhaps you're just the available option at that time when she'd really rather have him if he were available then? I cannot get out of my own head and just enjoy any moment with her, even non-sexual, because I constantly wonder if I'm being compared and coming up as lesser than AP.

As BS's, we have our own work to do, and this is part of it. When you've become successful at allowing your WW to be responsible for her cheating, you'll be further down the road on that. It's normal to want validation, particularly from our spouse. Who doesn't, right? But when we consider the roles that flattery and validation have had in the affair, we begin to what a false and hollow thing it is.

The AP is a mirror for our WS, regurgitating back all the frippery they put into it. In so many cases, the WS craves this kind of dopamine band-aid in their lives because something is broken inside. The attention and excitement are a distraction from the fact that they are incapable of real self-fulfillment. We all like validation, but there are those among us that need it at any cost, like a sickness. These are people who have become so self-involved and self-serving, enslaved to their inner flaws, that their own feelings blot out any meaningful empathy for the ones they're hurting. They rationalize and justify like it's an Olympic sport.

The point is though that the affair is largely a fantasy.. garbage in, garbage out. The WS gives up copious amounts of flattery, attention, and even sex, in order to get that validation regurgitated back. It looks really real from our perspective of hurt and betrayal, but you know what? It's serving a FUNCTION. At the point where we understand that though, we need to evaluate whether that's a dynamic in our own relationship with the WS, because this too is a measure of the change we need to see. If our relationship transactional? Are we married to a vending machine who judges what we will get by what we will provide? Are they capable of changing that dynamic?

I'm not talking about reciprocity. Reciprocity is free. Transactions are payment. We reciprocate generosity, affection, honesty, and all the good things. It comes from a place of wholeness and emotional stability. Transactional relationships, OTOH, are about patching up the voids within, fixing upon what we think we're missing or owed and then giving up what we think will get us that which we crave. In order to be a good partner for the future, the WS has to learn to be self-fruitful in terms of validation. And so do we.

If the norm has been to achieve our validation through each other, we are suddenly bereft of that source. The trick isn't to recapture the unhealthy dynamic though. It's to replace it with a better one.

Like you, and like so many of us here, I really CARED what my spouse thought of me. What I didn't realize though is that at some point, I had slipped into a pattern of giving him more credence in terms of validation than I gave to myself. Now, that's not in every aspect of life, of course. But in a lot of things, yeah, I valued his opinion more than my own. My self-importance was viewed through that lens. So, on dday.. bug meets windshield. I was wrecked, and I had no idea I had lost so much of myself in that relationship. I would have said that I was highly self-reliant because I'm incredibly capable. That doesn't equate to emotional self-reliance though as I painfully found out.

Part of recovery, if not MOST of recovery, is about rebuilding our own self-reliance. It's not enough that the WS learns to self-validate. We have to learn it too. The goal has to be two healthy people choosing to be together, rather than two needy people choosing not to be apart, right?

I think that once you're feeling stronger in your sense of self, once you have confidence that you ARE enough, and that you've got your own back no matter the outcome, you won't worry so much about this other stuff. Affection and sex will be a more organic outflowing of your authentic feelings, and the insecurities you're feeling now will dissipate. Right now, every instinct tells you to focus your energy on your WW, but the key is actually to invest in YOU. Yes, you need to observe her changes, but nothing will move you further along in healing than developing new faith in yourself. smile

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6623   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8781630

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 6:49 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023


This. All of this. Our SI community is so fortunate to have you.

Me: BS. Him: WS. Together 16 years.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two kids) into R. Happy.

posts: 1319   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8781638

flang ( new member #82908) posted at 10:25 AM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

" My home feels like I'm living with a betraying enemy. My best friend is my betrayer. It's brutal. "
I understand wanting to work things out, just a word of caution, even if she were to stop now these feelings you have about what she did are going to be very hard to forget. Best wishes.

posts: 27   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8781695

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 12:16 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

It’s miserable to be in limbo, not knowing whether to reconcile or divorce. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing to take your time and really figure out what you want. You have been together a long time, and it sounds like there have been some really wonderful times and aspects of your relationship. And I was raised in and around the conservative Christian circles you speak of, where divorce/remarriage is not considered an option, so I understand that too. I also don’t think you’re in a state of permanent passivity/stuck-ness. You are thinking long and carefully about your relationship, and you have taken concrete steps to see what separation and divorce would look like and what steps you need to take to follow that path.

From an outside perspective, I don’t think your wife is a good candidate for reconciliation. From what you’ve shared, I think she’s too dysfunctional to be a full partner in recreating a relationship that is healthy, fulfilling, and safe enough to allow you to heal. And I think CT’s post about unmet needs is very wise.

But it’s ok to take the time you need to figure out what you actually want and where your wife is truly at beneath all the surface noise. If it takes you more time to figure it out, that’s ok. It’s your life, and you have a lot invested.

Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 394   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8781698

Hurtmyheart ( member #63008) posted at 7:02 PM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

First off, your WW is an addict. Until she genuinely works on this, you have nothing to work with.

I've been where you are. It is a tough road you are on. My lh (late husband) was an addict. When he was young, he had obsessive/compulsive tendencies. I thought they were fixable. Then he turned to alcohol and women to feel better about himself. Always looking for outside validation to prove that he was worthy.

This is your WW. She needs outside validation for her to feel better about herself.

Unfortunately this is something you cannot fix and like another poster said:

I hated that at first, I also did not really understand it when I was so sure I knew my WS so well and we could work it out and all that stuff. But the pain for a BS will not end unless you leave, OR they do. But they won't, that's the sad part, cuz to continue to do what they do they need the BS to take care of them, to be their shield, to be able to sneak around and do whatever their "fix" is, so the BS will suffer and continue to carry the burden, until they themselves decide to leave.

As long as you are there to shield her from her downfall, not only will you pay the price, she won't have any reason to try and better herself. Because at this point she knows that you will be there to catch her when she falls.

Looking back, the best thing that I did for myself was to attend Alanon meetings. At the time I wasn't able to accept the reality of my situation but it sure did help to know that there were others out there experiencing the same things as I was going through.

I think my best bet back then was when HE was divorcing me, was to allow the divorce to go through and continue on my path of leaving him and allowing him to sink or swim. Hindsight is always 20/20 though. We got back together.

I also think we spend so much time trying to "fix" what is broken in our spouses that we end up loosing our own way.

My biggest concern is for your kid's. They don't have a choice in this matter. And whatever you end up deciding to do, it will be their decision too. I know it is difficult but try and choose wisely. You have a lot of support here on SI, from those who also have walked the path that you currently are on. Wise advise from our own experiences.

It sucks to be in your shoes. Unfortunately though, as long as you stay where you are at the damage continues on.

I opted out of the poly because I wanted to believe my late WH when he continued to tell me lies and that he was really changing. His actions showed me that he was just white knuckling until he was able to convince me that he suddenly became this saint of a man. I also admit to sticking my head in the sand because I wanted to keep the fairy-tale 🧚‍♂️ of who I wanted him to be alive in my mind.

Today, and almost 3 years out (next Tuesday) from his death, I am able to see clearly who he was, a very broken man who had never emotionally grew up. He was not the man I conjured him up in my mind to be. He never was. I wanted him to be faithful, honest and true to me. But that is something he was never able to give to me. And I also couldn't fix that about him and to make him into someone he was never capable of being.

My late WH had some WONDERFUL qualities about him. He was a great provider. He was fun to be with ( until he wasn't). I actually thought we were good friends and had each other's backs. That was a myth I made up in my mind.

This is just another part of who he was never going to be. It just wasn't in his makeup to be the person I wanted him to be. And I think this is also true about your WW. I believe you only want(ed) to see the loving side of her and ignore her faults.

Your WW is who she is, the good and the bad. And the truth is she is the only one who can fix herself and her shortcomings. You can't fix her. You never will be able to fix her.

It is hard to love an addict. I am sorry that you are having to go through this too.

[This message edited by Hurtmyheart at 7:56 PM, Saturday, March 11th]

posts: 890   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2018
id 8781737

josiep ( member #58593) posted at 6:12 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

You've been in this Limbo for more than a month now so let me throw a few hard truths at you. I wish there was a way to do this more gently because my heart breaks for you, it really does. But I think you're going to stay mired in this misery until you get that AHA moment so here goes:

Your WW is an addict. Whether it's to alcohol or drugs or whatever, she's an addict and she's going to chase the dopamine and whatever other chemicals give her brain that feel good sensation. She has to chase after it, she has no choice. And while it won't make sense to those of us who are not addicts, to her it feels like she can't survive without it. None of this is because she's a bad person, it's because she's an addict, she has a disease. And, at least IMHO, the only way she'll ever get better is to get help and go to meetings and have a counselor and work very hard every single day to break that addiction.

She's addicted to alcohol and/or drugs and you're addicted to her. It's called codependency and it's a real thing and it can cause us so much unhappiness and difficulty if we don't recognize it and learn ways to overcome it.

As you've probably noticed so far, nothing about your situation has improved. And while it might feel like you make a little progress once in awhile, it's 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Which is exactly the typical pattern for addiction and codependency; untreated, it only gets worse, never better.

Although many wise and experienced people here have told you this, I'm not sure you're hearing it yet. But the fact is, you didn't do anything to cause all this. And if I thought you were ready to hear it, I'd explain about how false pride leads us to believe we have a bigger impact on other people's beliefs and behaviors than we really do. So tuck that thought away for another day but in the meantime, please realize that your WW had a lot of choices if she thought you weren't being the perfect husband. But I can guarantee you that cheating is not on any list of "things to do when my spouse is disappointing me." It is just absolutely not possible for you to cause her to cheat.

I don't pretend to interpret the Bible for anyone, but I don't believe it says anywhere that you must continue to live with a person who is using and abusing you. Long term legal separation can be a thing. And it might be the very thing that protects your assets and protects your family from the ongoing pain while you find clarity about what to do.

BW, was 67; now 73; M 45 yrs., T 49 yrs.
DDay#1, 1982; DDay#2, May, 2017. D July, 2017

posts: 3217   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2017
id 8781995
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