Topic is Sleeping.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 5:36 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
1st wife: thanks for your note.
How frustrating is it when we are the ones to be wronged and need to know something, anything solid in order to process and make movement and they are the ones seemingly managing the pace?
I’m sorry that your spouse asked for so much time, and he did so while you guys were living apart and he was away with his AP. That must have been really difficult to navigate. I’m glad you have made it through.
8 weeks sounds like a lot of time and not a lot of time simultaneously. Maybe I am being too generous, giving him too much time to sort through things. But I suppose that this may be one of if not the biggest decision either of us makes in our lives, and if there’s not a "real" rush then why rush it? I’m just looking for more to go on. He keeps coming back with the same talking points that he is. Sorry, he loves me, he doesn’t know why he was weak, and did what he did, he wants to try to make it work and wants me to learn to trust him but he doesn’t yet know how to do that. He will say that he wants to be with me and be a family, but in the same breath say he doesn’t know what’s best. It’s the "do I truly desire to be in this" vs. "is this what I am supposed to want." In my eyes.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 5:43 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
Lea: thanks for your input and sharing your story.
I am so sorry that your WS betrayed you again. Just when you think it can’t get worse, it gets worse, right? I hope that you are in a much better healing space now with some distance and decisions behind you.
I mentioned the book yesterday and think he downloaded it. He has therapy today and was going to ask his counselor for book recommendations. I’ve skimmed a little of it and will likely read it too, at some point.
I was perusing books for the betrayed on Amazon this weekend and clicked on one only to realize I’d purchased it 9 years ago when his infidelity before we were married came to light. What a kick in the seat that is, huh?
I am very measured and scheduled so putting timeframes and limits is a core thing for and to me. Maybe a better approach is to set my own internal timelines? In 2 weeks I want to have done XYZ, in 4 weeks I need to know ABC. And see what measures up. Likely it is reinforcing disappointment if he and his decision making aren’t following a similar timeline. But it’s something I suppose that may be a benefit to me.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 5:53 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
Cooley and Nekonomida: thanks for your messages.
Yes, I can see how men and women often face issues differently, particularly when it involves something related to the career.
He has been conditioned to put career/country first and I understand how that is at the forefront now. His career is ending, his support for his country will no longer be needed. And he is facing a very challenging legal situation he could out on the wrong side of. In many regards, I get that THAT is what is most pressing. It was for me too the first week or two of the aftermath of all of this to get defense counsel hired, logistics sorted, make and reply to messages about his career.
But now it has been several weeks and he is in a holding pattern for work (administrative leave), holding pattern for the legal issues, and has stemmed the communications and inquiries, and settled the horses so to speak. So what he is left with now is confronting himself and having to answer to me. He has nothing but time to be introspective, to get therapy, to read about making repairs or changes, to do or say anything to make me feel safer. If he is motivated and interested in doing any of that. My gut is he is clinging to being a victim so he doesn’t have to confront what he did to me and our marriage. And I think he thinks that he has screwed up so badly that he will never be able to make repairs and I’ll never accept it so it’s either not a true priority or can or should just be walked away from.
His career and the fallout he is facing is devastating. To both of us. But it’s not an excuse for sure for not making effort. The frustrating thing it comes down to is I think he thinks he is making an effort, and I’m just not really seeing or feeling what I think that should be. Maybe he is trying to work on himself and his focus on it and thinks he is making steps, or maybe he’s just pushing it all to the left and buying time and lying to himself and me. I just don’t now.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:00 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
ThisIsSoLonely: what an insightful post. Thank you for sharing your story.
I see a lot of parallels. Our spouses are saying one thing ("I want to try to make it work") but their lack of progress or action is undermining what they are claiming.
I’m really sorry you were kept in limbo for so long. I am very matter-of-fact and absolutely detest uncertainty, so I know how difficult it must have felt for you to have to live in the unknown for so long. I am glad that you gave yourself parameters, and I hope that during the progress, you found that to be helpful and grounding and kept you moving towards something instead of swimming in circles. That is encouraging to hear.
It’s also encouraging to hear that when you spoke up and made your intentions known that he snapped to attention. I am really sorry that it was too little too late, and I feel that is likely going to be what happens here with me. That putting up with so much unknown and being on the fence is going to kill any interest on my side to really make an effort. I feel in a lot of ways that I want my spouse to be the one doing 100% of the work. For now. We both are in agreement that we did not have a broken or unhappy marriage. I’m not bringing 50% of the problems to the table for us to have to sort out together on a new path. Maybe at some point we would need to, because we both obviously would need to do work to make it work. But for now, I did nothing wrong and he did everything wrong. It’s on him to be the one who is taking action and steps, seeing if I am amenable to any of it.
I’m glad that you are moving on. I am so sorry that you were in such a difficult and dark situation, but I am encouraged that you found a new path and are forging it with strength and hopefully happiness too.
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 6:56 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
Fold. Sorry if I was unclear but we were not apart during his affair. I was the lucky winner of "Can You Watch This?" By having to watch him flaunt his affair in my face for a few months. Then it ended.
Then it resumed but I was not aware if that fact until dday2 4 months later.
I think you made some good points that your H is playing victim and he’s hesitating on the issue of putting forth 100% effort to R.
It’s almost as if they expect the BS to do all the work for the CS to R and heal from this trauma.
I’d like to also add I wish I could make a movie with every cliche about affairs - mid life crisis and she/he is "the one" and the whole "we are different " affair mentality.
I would force cheaters to watch it just to show them how ridiculous they look and act and behave (or misbehave) during an affair.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 9:18 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
1st wife: mea culpa re: being apart in your story. Ugh, that must have been dreadful if he was flaunting it in front of you on the daily. Still, you obviously both dug deep to turn things around and I’m glad for you that you’ve weathered the storm. It’s rare on these forums and nice to see some happy endings can come from these terrible situations.
A movie would be easy to write from all of the posts on SI, huh? I know a few people who have been victims of EA/PA that lasted months or longer. In each case they divorced and the relationships with the APs ended too. Lots of cliches all around for sure.
As a natural fixer I tend to do the majority of heavy lifting. But I can’t here. That’s why when I realized that I was doing too much handholding and structured conversations with him at first that it was detrimental to myself. I can’t make him do or say anything to change or commit to the necessary work. It’s up to him alone and I suppose on whatever timeline he works it on, unless I set parameters (eg, 8 weeks out).
But I think there will come a time where I just harden completely to the idea of trying because the effort is not where I think it should be. Maybe it’s too soon now as it’s only been a few weeks. But I can see that happening.
TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 10:34 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
That absolutely can happen Fold and I'd say will happen in most cases. It can take a BS a longer time to get there but WS' have this very brief window of opportunity to pull us back from the ledge. In that brief time we still want to believe... until they fail to act or worse, act even worse and we are forced to deal with reality. Truly it hardly ever ends in the WS' favor.
Sorry but they are truly stupid in this regard. Still banking on our love and loyalty despite the ongoing evidence that they don't deserve it.
I just wanted to pop in and say that if you need more, RIGHT NOW, that is perfectly legit. His crisis is very real but he made this mess with multiple fires and he can't let his marriage burn while he tends to the others. Enough time has passed for him to give some focus and energy to you and yours.
I get the sense you are rational and somewhat methodical. It has served you well so far in that you have taken steps to try and protect yourself and your children. Now, your feelings show up. He has been blessed with your pragmatism so far. If you are now on phase 2 which is "fuck pragmatic, here is my bleeding heart," then that is where you are (and 100% yes, this is ok. He had a grace period he did not deserve).
All I want to say is, do not edit yourself. You have done what you can to think ahead and protect yourself (keep going on the job hunt), but you have an absolute right to express you feelings and have them addressed by him. If you want to give him some therapy sessions, well, ok, sure I get that. But don't you suppress yourself. You have been severely wronged. His shit choices and the career fallout impact you as well. Go on and express yourself and demand what you want or need to move forward.
He needs to put as much if not more energy into saving his marriage and family. If he can't or won't, that is on him. Fucking painful to you but you aren't his therapist or his mother. You are his partner. You have the right to demand he step up as quickly to and for you as he did his career. He can man up and shoulder ALL of the burdens he created.
Express yourself. Release the pain and anger. Set and express your needs and expectations. Then let him figure it out.
[This message edited by TheEnd at 10:38 PM, Monday, June 12th]
SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 10:59 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
You'd think he'd realize he burned the career bridge down. The relationship bridge is on fire and there's still possibly something he can do there if he'd care enough to do it. This is what I don't get with some men, my fwh included. They pour everything into a career or a job, when that job will replace them in a hot minute if they need to. If they are sick, if they die, if they screw up - they will be replaced next week while the spouse will stick by if only they will tend to and nurture that marital garden. Why do we tend to pour so much of ourselves into work while taking spouses for granted?
Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013
And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 11:50 PM on Monday, June 12th, 2023
I understand your frustration, I have been there ( and still there). I tried to set up deadlines in the hope it will help WH get into action. Besides looking for a therapist there has not been as much progress as I would like to. It’s been more frustrating for me, so I have decided to work on myself for now, be more independent financially/emotionally.
Like your WH, he claims he can’t let me go, he respects me, he is sorry etc etc but I have been tearing my hair out thinking "then why the F are you not putting in the work?????". I have clearly laid out my expectations, so no mixed singles or confusion there. It’s like he has been handed step by step directions to a destination but he is still in the car ( with his seatbelt on) and hasn’t even turned on the ignition. Meanwhile I want him to go at 100 miles per hour
Are you sure your WH is capable of doing the work? This could be his limit. My WH’a first reaction for a major DDay was to end the marriage , rather than work on making things right. I suspect he might do the same again if I want him to put in more work. This is beyond his capability, so I have to keep that in mind and plan accordingly.
It’s not healthy to have that kind of mental turmoil . It’s like screaming into the void. So prioritize yourself for now and don’t expect much from him. The accusation and the legal mess around this is probably a good distraction for him. He can fight this because it’s his reputation and career at stake and also he is not guilty there. He’s the good guy. He might not be able to handle the personal mess he has created where he is at fault. It’s more sexy to be the good guy and not so fun being held accountable . Don’t be surprised if once the legal issues are done he decides he has suffered enough and takes the cowardly way out. The feeling of being wronged weighs more on his mind than remorse for hurting you.
I wish more strength and healing for you !
ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 3:38 PM on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023
I think that part of the reason I have responded to your post so many times is your posts now remind me of me in the early days. I can't reiterate enough how I wish I had just put my foot down and saved myself so much earlier. You can't logic your way through this - trust me.
It’s also encouraging to hear that when you spoke up and made your intentions known that he snapped to attention.
I'm fine now - really - but just to be clear he did not snap to attention when I made my intentions clear with words - I had to actually change jobs and pack (and leave) for him to grasp that I was not playing. I do think that the more you make deadlines and then do not stick to them, the more your WS will take advantage of that. Crying wolf one too many times and all that...
That being said, I think part of my loss of interest stemmed from taking a step back and looking at my WS's behavior. Who wants to stay with someone that had to be begged and prodded and pleaded with to do the right - and SO OBVIOUS - thing?!?!?! It was like dealing with a spoilt child or someone who had missed out on some basic fundamentals of decency course and really had zero clue how to behave. I would ask myself "why would you not comfort someone you hurt?" and my logical answer would be "because you just don't care that much" when in reality the answer (in his case) was: because he didn't even know that's what people do/how to do it. He did not come from a family of people who gave comfort, and he is very uncomfortable with being comforted. We tend to treat others as we want to be treated - when he is in pain he wants to be left alone to self-soothe. To me, that is just the shittiest thing you could do when someone you love is hurting - especially when you hurt them. This reliance on self-soothing is not wrong - it's just very self-centered. And it finally occurred to me about 2 years after d-day that self-protection was the baseline driver in my WH's life. When all else fails he was going to look out for him first...
When I grasped that, he became pretty unattractive to me. Being an empathetic person, I also thought "how sad for him" . . . but I was unwilling to throw myself under his bus anymore. It was so clearly not worth it. So long as I had to "lead" him to do the right thing - point him in the direction of how to proceed - it was worthless. He had to find it on his own and all that time I spent negotiating with him - inadvertently spoon-feeding him things he could use to placate me - was a total an absolute waste of my time.
As I was leaving something happened - something snapped in his head - and he realized that a large part of the problem really was him and that my leaving was not going to make him any better. So he decided to try to figure himself out - and he has come a long way - on his own.
[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 3:41 PM, Tuesday, June 13th]
You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.
Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 8:16 PM on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023
TheEnd: Good input as always. Many thanks to you for your time and attention to a stranger's problems.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I can feel that my window for entertaining R is going to shorten as time goes by. Because I'm aggrieved, because I'm just hardwired to make a decision and execute on it, and because I feel that he has had a solid grace period of self pity and crisis mode for his career, legal situation, and inflated ego, and now all he has is time ahead of him to find introspection and address his faults and sort out what he wants to do from here.
He is truly at a crossroads. So long as he is not convicted, he has two paths ahead of him: a pivot to a different career and attempt at having a family, and a pivot to a different career and life as single person. I'm sure there are tantalizing aspects of both routes for him to consider. As much as it would hurt if he takes the easy path -- to divorce, to not address his faults, to not work to become a better person, to not address, truly, what he did to me and our children, maybe he will find that that is the best path for him to a freer existence. He is free to do what he wants, with whomever he wants. He doesn't have to answer to a wife. He doesn't have to deal with young children, except every other weekend if he desires. He can be a swinging single and a Disney Dad. And if he tries to R, maybe he gets a chance at reforming a marriage, maybe his kids are better for being raised with both parents present. He definitely would save money and his image would be buoyed by having a family. But maybe he can never get his wife to trust him, maybe they never have a sex life again, maybe he just bides his time until he can cheat again.
I took good advice here and told him last evening that I didn't care if he didn't want to rehash things. That I have been traumatized and am trying to get my brain to understand how this could happen and how to process it, because the person I am would never do this to him, and so I am intellectually struggling to grasp the fact that he had the ability to do what he did. And I talked to him about the window of my potential for being open is going to be closing. I didn't care if it did not match his timeline for healing or discovery or whatever. It wasn't my problem. He said he understood and it made sense. He ordered the book recommended here (How to Heal ...) and it comes today. So at least it is something I suppose.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 8:26 PM on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023
Sack of Sorry: thank you for taking the time to write. Love your username and appreciate your feedback.
Yes, he has put effort his entire life into his career, and that is still at the forefront now. He has over the last several weeks managed to get to a place of a reality that his career is over and he will have to change industries, if he walks away from this. I am not concerned about his career path. Unless the legal situation goes against him, he will be able to qualify for work in various industries. It may not be exactly what he wanted to do in retirement, but he will have options and they will be high paying. If he is convicted, then I don't care what he does, which may be nothing in the end, because none of it will be on my watch.
His priorities were legal and career, and both are in a holding pattern with nothing else to do for now. The investigation is ongoing. He has not been charged with anything yet. He has a temp office he can go to each day. He can't make decisions about post-military careers or apply for jobs as he is in the holding pattern. For now, there is nothing more he can do for the legal situation and his career. So now all he has is time to self reflect and confront what he has done to me. If he chooses to.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 8:35 PM on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023
Abalone: your post is spot on. I really can identify with everything you have said and are going through too. I am so sorry you are in the thick of it too. How giving of you to take time to try to help me when you have so much weighing on you as well. I don't take the kindness lightly.
I am so sorry that you are in such similar shoes. It appears that your WH is very similar to mine. They can be smart about some things and dead stupid about so many others. Your phrase about being given step by step directions is so incredibly true. This is EXACTLY what I have felt with my WH. That I was essentially guiding him through his decision processes, future options, attempts to apologize, and ideas on how to make progress. I think he has been stunned/shocked, and paralyzed in a way, but so have I and I have not stopped moving, researching, working to try to figure out how I got in the middle of this shitstorm and what I can do to extract myself and my sweet babies from it.
I know what you mean about capabilities. I have questioned it and asked him to address it with soul searching. I don't know if he the ability to truly change and make meaningful changes. It would be nice to say yes, of course, but the slow response to putting out this dumpster fire he has set is making me think he does not have it in him. He is too tired, too scared, too stressed, too focused on himself. And in the ways that only support him and his victim status. My gut is that he decides to walk because he doesn't have it in him to do the work needed and none of it is guaranteed. Too much of a gamble to take perhaps. So maybe walk away because it is the easiest thing to do. For him.
Wishing you continued strength. You seem to be doing a really great job of making important decisions and moving in a positive direction. Big virtual hugs to you.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 8:43 PM on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023
This Is So Lonely: it means a lot to me you keep replying, so thank you again. I can tell you are so empathetic and it says a lot that you are willing to help so many other women who are walking through something akin to what you have walked through.
I know it is rare to get to full R and that is what makes your story so unique. And inspiring to many here, I am sure. Those who can and do put in the work and know it is a forever thing to keep working. I am so happy for you and your husband that you have gotten over the divide, and are continuing to make things work. Some people can change, and meaningfully do so and it is nice to see positive stories like yours where that has happened.
I don't have much faith at present that our outcome will be positive. I don't think like I mentioned to Abalone just now that he is capable of doing the work, nor do I think I can readily accept it or believe it, at least anywhere in the near term. It could be years and years of effort and work for it still not to be to the level where we could have a normal marriage with mutual love and respect. I know we are both afraid of what it could look like it. My request of him all along has been to determine if he really wants that or if he thinks he should want it.
I met with an attorney today to discuss a post nuptial agreement and a divorce proceeding. The terms we have agreed to would readily port from one to another. I will post more in the divorce forum so not to muddy the waters here, but now my next decision is which to execute: file a post nup now, or prep the divorce paperwork, retain the firm, and be ready to press go when/if needed.
Topic is Sleeping.