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Wayward Side :
Is it fairer to end the marriage

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 8:01 PM on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

Something that has been in my thoughts recently is the concept of "is it fairer to end the marriage"?

When we’re in difficult places or BS is utterly devastated by my actions. Times when my actions are not consistent with my words, where I feel I cannot do anything right. I’ve felt the lowest that I have ever felt in recent months and during these times I am doing a lot of self reflection. I do feel I’m moving forwards, but see that the marriage is not. Primarily because I chose to still be very selfish in may ways. It has been very dark for me and obviously this is having a major effect on BS. She is falling deeper into despair and, there are times I cannot see a way forwards.

I realise that this is often me feelin g depressed and allowing negative self talk to be the driver of my feelings. I realise that positive actions will help with growing a positive mentality. I try this, but it’s a fight I feel I’m losing sometimes.

Do you ever feel it would be fairer on your BS if you were to end the marriage?

I get that the damage to the marriage is all my fault and that I am the one with the responsibility to fix myself and in doing so give the relationship any chance of survival. I am struggling with some of the most basic asks and my BS is beyond breaking point. I don’t want to leave, but am currently suffering from some extremely negative thinking that I cannot shake off. I understand the concept of negative self talk and realise this is what’s happening. I also know that I feel awful thinking about the concept of leaving. I was wondering if you feel like this sometimes and what you do to return to a better place. As things stand right now I’m not feeling like I want to leave, I certainly have done recently. I think I’m feeling hopeless and am struggling with turning this around.

How do you get your head out of your ass when in this place? I want to be the man BS deserves and know that "just do it" is how. Even writing this I’m feeling more hope. I wrote on another post about feeling constantly criticised over the weekend. I need help in breaking this cycle

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 364   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8779848
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foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 8:29 PM on Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

I hate to see you still struggling.


What was the newest dday all about?

posts: 2597   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8780086
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Stolenpast ( new member #82225) posted at 12:10 AM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

If you want to leave for yourself because reconciliation is more than you can handle, that's understandable and that is your right. If you want to leave for your BS's sake, you'd once again be denying her agency and making choices for her, once again taking away her voice.

I think understand where you might be coming from, but your actions wouldn't be coming from a desire to spare your spouse. They'd be coming from a selfish desire to spare yourself from seeing her pain when you stumble.

I've read your posts from the very beginning. I've seen what good progress you have made. I don't think any of us BS expect perfection, we simply want to see a commitment to improve. If you stumble and fall, we want to see you get up and keep pushing forward.

You've got this. Keep on keeping on.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Oct. 24th, 2022
id 8780145
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Survivingaddiction ( new member #82988) posted at 12:36 AM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

Thank you heartfelt share and question. I am in the same boat as you but I am working hard on myself and hoping without expecting any positive outcome rather than end to the relationship

In Recovery

posts: 1   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2023   ·   location: California
id 8780153
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 3:44 PM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

foreverlabeled

This was not related to a d-day. This is more related to the work I'm doing and then the conversations around the work, yes there are new things coming to light (therefore a new d-day?). I feel as low as I ever have done. and really struggle with the impact of this. I suspect this is a possible cause of my constant feeling of criticism. When BS is at her lowest and I am struggling to do the work, this is when this question pops up most. At a similar time to "Will I ever be able to do enough" or "She will never be happy with me, I'm too much of a trigger just being here" and "I don't want BS to be living like this, she will be better off without me"


Stolenpast

I agree, this usually comes from a selfish perspective. Again, something I'm working on and given recent events, I need to do a lot more work. My IC asked me yesterday if I appreciate the level of pain I've cause BS. I said "If you had asked me that question two years ago or even 6 months ago, I would have said yes. Now, that's changed. I really don't, I'm trying to be empathetic and trying to see the world from her eyes. Each time I do I fell more pain. I don't know if I ever will fully appreciate it damage I've done. Maybe given some time and some better listening from me. I think my thoughts do come from a place of not wanting to see my BS in pain, but there is a lot of me not seeing it rather than her not feeling it. That is, of course, empathy and doing the work and becoming a better person is the only chance I have of her not constantly feeling the pain.

Survivingaddiction

Good luck on your journey, welcome to SI and please keep posting

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 364   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8780263
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DaddyDom ( member #56960) posted at 10:02 PM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

I've read your posts from the very beginning. I've seen what good progress you have made. I don't think any of us BS expect perfection, we simply want to see a commitment to improve. If you stumble and fall, we want to see you get up and keep pushing forward.

I know I've said similar things to you, however I'm glad to see others stating that they've seen the progress in you. When your BS's voice gets stuck in your head, it can be hard to hear the good stuff, so I want to make sure you hear it.

You are asking the right questions Bulcy. You are having the right doubts. If nothing else, I want you to know that the question of whether or not your BS's life would improve without you, while knowing that it is not what you want at all, is an unselfish and empathetic-leaning question. It is not something you asked yourself during your affair(s) because you were only worried about yourself then. You've gained a LOT of skill in being able to recognize your own thoughts and feelings and I've seen you catch yourself, or call yourself out on your own thinking, many times. I know you also brought this up with your wife, and did so despite the fact and the fear that such a conversation could have ended badly for you. It's just my opinion, but I see a lot of progress from you Bulcy, and no matter how this turns out, you are different person today than the day you first posted here, and if you continue with the dedication that you've shown so far, I know you will continue to change and grow, for the better.

I agree with others that ending a relationship should, when possible, be a joint decision. If you brought it up and your BS didn't think she was at that point yet, then there you go. If she couldn't take it anymore, she would have asked you to leave. So if you can, hang in there. Despite the things she says, her actions also speak volumes.

One last thing. You know this but I'll remind you. We all heal at our own pace and in our own way. You are working hard on your recovery, but your wife may still be working through her pain and might not be ready to move forward with anything else right now. I know she has some strong feelings about your truthfulness, and those fears are keeping her walls up real high for now. It might take a while for those to come down. Each time you get angry or defensive, the walls get raised a little higher.

I think your biggest challenge right now is that last part... you have to find a way to stop getting so triggered, or rather, changing how you respond to those triggers. Have you ever seen those monks that train themselves to ignore pain by having someone beat them with a stick daily until they master overcoming the pain? It's a little like that. When triggers come up, they signal trauma, pain, anger. But triggers live in the past. The pain and anger you feel from a trigger, is also in the past. It no longer exists. You are still suffering from something that no longer exists. In other words, you have become your own abuser by hanging onto the trigger. In order to stop the triggers, and thus stop the self-abuse as well, you need to learn to put the triggers (and moreover, what caused the trigger in the first place) into context. "That was something that happened to me years ago. It's not happening now, and I don't have to get bent out of shape over it. It may hurt but I'll survive, and the hurt will subside in time. Today, I choose to simply acknowledge the trigger, and then tell it to go jump in a lake, because I'm going to respond differently from now on". Sounds corny and overly-simplistic I know, but it works it you try. It's reprogramming 101.

Keep coming back Bulcy, we've here for you.

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."

posts: 1434   ·   registered: Jan. 18th, 2017
id 8780361
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 11:28 PM on Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

If you want to leave for yourself because reconciliation is more than you can handle, that's understandable and that is your right. If you want to leave for your BS's sake, you'd once again be denying her agency and making choices for her, once again taking away her voice.

This right here.

And I'll add, if you run away simply because you can't handle it and/or you feel it would be "doing her a favor" - that's a cowards move. You, Bulcy, don't strike me as such a coward.

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: 3775   ·   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   ·   location: East coast
id 8780380
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:49 AM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

Bulcy,

Our actions don’t match our words when our words don’t match who we are or what we want.

I too see progress but I am going to take this in a different direction.

First, of course it has to do with the day’s of added revelations. Foreverlabled asked the right question, but your answer has a disconnect.

Every time you show you have been omitting details everything starts all over again. Are the details significant? Or can you relate to them being significant to her?

Normally the discovery phase would ne about over in a year or two when the bs is sure they got everything. That hasn’t been her experience so So now she is in an endless loop of "what else don’t I know."

That is very relevant to your wife’s state of mind.

Now let’s look at yours.

No one can stand criticism for years on end even if it’s accurate. Maybe it makes a big part of you not vulnerable in the relationship and therefore you are not invested enough to prioritize improvement. I just think if you wanted to you would especially if the things being asked of you are simple.

What if you framed the criticism as a reaction to a lack of trust rather than a statement of your worth? How can you frame this with her that it’s you and her against the problem? And then hold and protect that as your constant position.

One technique is to think of the person that you were when you did this thing. You don’t like him either. So can you look at it as ganging up against that character? And feeling so adamantly that it’s true you start aligning that behavior to protect her from having to ever see that guy again?

I am not saying include her in that exercise but make it a mental exercise so you can stay in her side during the tough discussion.

Is it kinder to divorce? I think that question is a bit of a cop out. She is an adult and can leave the relationship if she wants to. The same goes for you.

But in my experience, we fight for what we want. I think deciding what that is for you and going all in on it is crucial. That means being brave enough to make the changes you should. Whether that’s in your character or in your marital status.

Don’t ever frame leaving someone as better for them. Divorce her if that’s best but put nothing on her in terms of assigning responsibility. Saying it’s better for her makes it sound like the end of the relationship her is her fault because she was so sad she couldn’t heal. Do you see where the focus here is faulty?

Also, staying somewhere to be criticized about things you don’t feel are important to you means you aren’t even caring for yourself correctly. It sounds a little like you have major differences in values and while the affair exposed that, it was always there and is unlikely to resolve.

[This message edited by hikingout at 5:52 AM, Friday, March 3rd]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 6963   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8780435
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 Bulcy (original poster member #74034) posted at 1:53 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Thanks again for the responses. I appreciate what is being said. Apologies for not responding sooner, BS and I were away for a long weekend together.

DD

Thank you for the feedback, I do find it difficult to accept positive responses somethings, especially time like now when I know BS is hurting and not seeing the progress she wants to see. I’m trying not to see positives where there aren’t any or positives that show progress, but not in the areas wanted by BS. I’ve been very guilty of this and certainly feel that this is the source of some of the "unfair" criticism that I have felt was coming my way.

I hear your comment about the walls. Maybe this is also where I need to be thinking more, I see these walls as impenetrable sometimes and this pushes me backwards. Of course, this is still in my head. The only person who can decide if the walls cannot be breached is my BS. They are up for good reason and I’m working on understanding this at all time, not just when I’m feeling "sensible"

Again, great point on triggers. I’ve spent time looking at the triggers which impact BS and me. Places, names, time of year etc. I think I’m getting a handle on these and am more aware when they are likely to trigger. More work is needed on predicting or dealing with the more random triggers. I’ve not spent much time on my own though. BS raised a great point recently when I got annoyed about something quite small in the grand scheme of things. It did trigger me, but I did not see it owing or indeed recognise it as such until much later.


Hiking


First, of course it has to do with the day’s of added revelations. Foreverlabled asked the right question, but your answer has a disconnect.

Every time you show you have been omitting details everything starts all over again. Are the details significant? Or can you relate to them being significant to her?

You are of course right, Our conversations are about working through the parts of my timeline that do not make sense. I’m thinking about ANY detail that would have been omitted previously as well as thoughts and feelings at the time. Doing this is going to create new d-days even previously thought "irrelevant" details create additional worries and doubt in BS. While I am trying to be empathetic about this (with varying degrees of success) I do not consistently see how these new details are effecting BS. I’m trying to "stand in her shoes" and accept that no matter how insignificant I see something, it might not be for her…Therefore it is significant.

I’ll try that new approach, BS and I have often said it is us v my affairs NOT me v BS. Something that I do forget when I’m focussed more on my own feelings that those of BS. Thinking of it as criticism of the man I don’t want to be might be helpful. I’m battling him, I hate that person so why can’t BS join me in that?

Everyone is correct in saying that I cannot put the onus on her, especially in a cowardly way of ending the marriage for her benefit. I know it’s bullshit. Rational me sees this and dismisses these thoughts. I struggle maintaining rational sometimes, hey probably more often that I care to admit to myself.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 364   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8781123
Topic is Sleeping.
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