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Can anyone explain this? Why does a WS stay in a relationship if they no longer care?


 Dreamdaisy (original poster member #67729) posted at 10:18 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Hi SI community,

I already posted here yesterday (in reconciliation) but feel this post is more suited here (please correct me if I am wrong)

So,I have been through the betrayal (5 years ago-emotional affair) although the alleged truth was drip fed and 18 months ago I discovered text messages on a spare phone, so this was all ignited again for me, he went to therapy and on the basis that he put the work in to heal the hurt, I accepted a reconciliation with him.

I have also been experiencing emotional abuse from him for many years, though at the time I did not know that is what it was (discovered through research and therapists explanations)

The reason for my post in reconciliation yesterday was that he has made very little effort in making me feel safe again and is once again using disrespectful behavior towards me by ogling/checking out other females right in front of me, I spoke to him twice about it already and it has not stopped.

From the support I have already been given yesterday, I am now facing the acceptance that he just does not care

So the purpose of this post is to ask, why is he still here with me? why does he not leave? surely if you do not care about someone anymore, you would not continue in a relationship with them?

posts: 121   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2018   ·   location: Uk
id 8807544

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 10:54 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

why is he still here with me? why does he not leave? surely if you do not care about someone anymore, you would not continue in a relationship with them?

I have no idea if any of this is true and I'm just spitballing here but... lots of people stay in unhappy relationships for reasons that do not involve love, particularly if that relationship provides some sort of ulterior benefit. Sometimes its easier to stay than leave even if you're not happy where you are - we see BS in this situation ALL THE TIME.

People stay at jobs that we don't like because we need to pay the bills and it would be a lot of work to go find a new job. Lots of people are lazy (your husband included!!!) and as long as the status quo is acceptable and he is comfortable enough, he may be hesitant to rock the boat. Presumably by living together, your husband receives some benefit that would not exist if he left. Maybe you bring in income, do work around the home, cook or clean for him, pick up his drycleaning, take care of his children or his parents or something, empty the dishwasher, etc etc etc. If he was to leave, he would miss out on all of that. At the very least, by staying he avoids litigations costs, duplicative living costs, potential child support or spousal support obligations. He gets to keep his house (or at least avoid looking for a new rental), he doesn't have to explain all of this to friends and family.

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

posts: 1633   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8807549

FunHouseMirror ( member #80992) posted at 10:56 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

It's comfortable for him. He has you to do all the mundane "life maintenance" type things, and has a verbal punching bag for his nasty personality. He is able to ogle to his heart's content, and who knows what else? Why should he leave?

The real question is what is keeping you with him? You deserve SO MUCH more!

posts: 163   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2022
id 8807551

EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 10:58 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

So the purpose of this post is to ask, why is he still here with me? why does he not leave? surely if you do not care about someone anymore, you would not continue in a relationship with them?

This is going to sound kinda blunt, but just go with me.

I remember in the early days of my situation, I spent a LOT of time thinking about xwh's motives and his whys. I spent a lot of time deciphering this text or that conversation or his tone of voice in this phone call.... so much wasted emotional effort. Because here's the thing that I know now - who cares why he did what he did? Who cares why he is selfish and entitled and a giant mantoddler? Who cares why a 37 year old jobless douchcanoe found it appropriate to "fall in love" with a fucked up child half his age? (No, seriously, she was barely 18 - how gross is that?) The question I really had to grapple with is why was I tolerating the intolerable? Why was I so hell-bent on making excuses for his bullshit? Why was I so determined to not really look at his behaviors and accept the truth of what I was seeing? Cus I can guarantee you that he didn't lose one damn wink of sleep wondering about why he did what he did - he just went right on doing it.

In my case, why would he put forth any effort? I was so accommodating of his bullshit, really. I didn't push for difficult conversations, I didn't deny him affection, I didn't really change anything except to make sure I was petting his ego more. (so barfy, so so SO barfy looking back at that now) I was doing that because of my own fear - fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of change... All normal ways to feel btw. But once I got to the 'no more' point, I was doooooonnnnnnne. DONE. Cus it didn't matter one whit how scared I was, I just knew that living for one more second with someone like him was not something I was willing to do. None of that was easy or quick either - took me months of agonizing to get there.

So same questions to you (and I know they are scary and sucky and not easy ones to ask yourself). Who cares why he's doing what he's doing - why are you tolerating his nonsense? Why do you not deserve a partner who wouldn't continue to engage in behaviors that hurt you? Why do you not deserve a peaceful and joy filled life? What are YOUR whys? Cus those are far more important than his.

Hang in there - none of this is easy and we all process through it at our own pace.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3865   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: Louisiana
id 8807552

TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 11:47 PM on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

I have nothing new to add but want to back up what has already been posted.

People tolerate all sorts of situations because they get something out of it. Something. Your WS is no different. He gets something out of being with you. Whether that's a wife-bot or simply the punching bag he needs to release his frustration and feel superior to someone, I can't say. But he gets something out of staying with you.

You are describing acts that do not denote love or respect or commitment. Is that good enough for YOU?

You can twist yourself in knots for years trying to figure him out but what you're really doing is refusing to accept the reality you're living (no judgement here, this is damn hard stuff!). His why doesn't really matter in the end. He is not treating you with the respect and love you deserve. It's your move.

I know how freaking hard it is to give up on a person that you love (or thought you did). I know it's impossible for our brains to really believe that that same person isn't who we thought they were. But believe it you must if you want to get to a happy and healthy life.

Whoever he is, is not your fault. But believe what you are seeing and experiencing. This is who he is. You can stop this nightmare at any time. The power is yours. Love yourself the way you wish he loved you.

[This message edited by TheEnd at 11:52 PM, Tuesday, September 12th]

posts: 452   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8807560

annb ( member #22386) posted at 12:08 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Ditto to Fun House Mirror

It's too comfortable for him.

posts: 11966   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8807562

survrus ( member #67698) posted at 1:32 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Possibly because it's hard to fake sincerity, but WS's keep trying when they know they have lost all passion or love for the BS. I wonder how often they are just competitive people who refuse to lose at anything.

Possibly they believe it will come back "someday" but often it never does.

Empty kisses gifts purchased without thought or speciality the BS knows it too.

posts: 1355   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8807570

Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 1:51 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Reread post & think my old comment isn’t applicable

[This message edited by Stillconfused2022 at 2:35 AM, Wednesday, September 13th]

posts: 195   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8807572

Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 3:24 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023




False hope (as Survrus said, that there’s still "something there")



(False?) Pride

Shame and/or embarrassment

Don’t want to be the one who officially pulls the plug

I’d say they’re the same reasons as a BS who is over it but stays in the marriage anyway.

Married -> I cheated -> We divorced -> We remarried -> Had two kids -> Now we’re miserable again

Staying together for the kids

D-day 2010

posts: 6490   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8807578

hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 4:25 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

I don’t know your husband so I can not speculate for your situation. People have already pointed out many things that make someone stay in a marriage where they don’t care about another as they should.

I will only add this to the conversation. Affairs are usually not about the bs or the relationship.

All relationships we have externally are a direct mirror with the relationship we have with ourselves. So many factors go into shaping that, everything from early formative stuff clear up into the present.

Someone like your husband doesn’t respect himself, likely it’s because he doesn’t have a firm grip on boundaries or integrity. He likely tries to compensate for his inability to have emotional vulnerability by propping himself up with other people.

He likely enjoys the security you provide, and may even believe he loves you, but isn’t self aware enough to see he doesn’t understand what love really is.

[This message edited by hikingout at 4:27 AM, Wednesday, September 13th]

6 years of hard work
Reconciled WS and BS

posts: 6474   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8807579

Adolfo ( new member #79193) posted at 4:53 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023


Reread post & think my old comment isn’t applicable

I disagree.. I think your original post is very informative and one of the best answers to the question.

posts: 42   ·   registered: Jul. 28th, 2021   ·   location: NC
id 8807580

 Dreamdaisy (original poster member #67729) posted at 10:18 AM on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023

Thank you everyone,

Sometimes it takes others to point out the reality of a situation that is hard to accept yourself! That is why it is so comforting to be here at SI,the wisdom and experience of others has helped me put this plainly in perspective, yes, it is hard to deal with, particularly when you have shared your life with someone for the best part of 20 years.

When you are also a person of integrity and have respect for others, it is difficult to understand how someone can treat another human being with such contempt, I guess that is another cold dose of reality.

The only place I feel "safe" right now is here in the community of SI

posts: 121   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2018   ·   location: Uk
id 8807591
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