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When your heart and brain can't agree

Topic is Sleeping.
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 P0ppy (original poster new member #82913) posted at 11:29 AM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I asked my therapist at one point not too long after DD how you decide whether or not to stay and she asked me which was the softer landing. Staying has always seemed like the softer landing, it's comfortable and familiar when we can look past my WH's transgressions. But now 9 months from DD progress feels excruciatingly slow and a big part of me wonders if it would be easier to heal myself if i wasn't trying to heal a relationship as well, if i wasn't having to deal with his sadness and despair over what he's done.

So I guess my question when you knew what you wanted to do did you know with your whole being? Or at some point do you take a leap of faith one way or the other?

posts: 17   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8807745
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FunHouseMirror ( member #80992) posted at 11:43 AM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

In my case, my ex had cheated on me more than once. I looked into my future, ten...twenty years down the road and knew I didn't want to be living the life I was living in the future. I had to take a leap of faith and find the person I wanted to be.

posts: 235   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2022
id 8807747
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 12:20 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I think you either heal the relationship or grieve the relationship and for me, the latter would have been harder and more painful.

What I think makes the difference is how much you value it.

I envy in a way people who's cheaters left for the AP or said they loved the AP or who did other things that made it possible to feel anger or even hate strong enough to walk away feeling nothing.

It's a lot harder when you love your WS and they're clinging onto your legs and begging you to please not go.

You won't want to hear this (sorry) but 8 months is nothing. You're in survival mode still, shock.

I knew will my full being that I wanted to not lose us, but there wasn't a day that I didn't *also* want to leave.

There isn't any right way to do this or any rush either. It's probably the hardest thing you'll need to do and you didn't ask for it.

If you feel like being alone for a while would be easier, then you owe nobody anything and you can go

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8807751
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Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 12:56 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Hello Poppy,

I read that you are dealing with an OC from your husband’s brief affair. Has paternity been established? What does your WH plan to do with his relationship with the OC and OW? If paternity has been confirmed then all the nuisances of dealing with that situation would certainly effect my decision on whether to stay or go…

My heart goes out to you and your son who are victims in this. Do what is best for the two of you. Perhaps take some time away to help you decide.

posts: 132   ·   registered: Jul. 3rd, 2020
id 8807756
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:49 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

My reco is to see figuring out what you want as different from what you will do.

Is your WS changing from cheater to goof partner? If not R is not likely, no matter how much you want it it. If he is changing himself, R is possible if you want it.

The first couple of years of R are very difficult, so feeling awful at 9 months out seems par for the course to me. But what do you see your WS doing? Is he or is he not changing fast enough for you?

Personally, I didn't take action until my head (thinking), heart (desire), and gut (intuition) all aligned on the next course of action. It'seems slower that way, but I actually think it's faster - fewer wrong turns or false starts.

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: 29800   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8807784
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AintDatSpecial ( member #83560) posted at 3:58 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I can really relate to how you’re feeling. My therapist had me journal about what it would look like if I stayed and if I left. It was really eye opening for me.

Me- BW/ Him- WH, both early 40s/ D-day June 2023/ working on healing me

posts: 55   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2023   ·   location: United States
id 8807787
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 4:12 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

For me, a little over a year out, I could see that XWH wasn't doing the work to be a safe partner. Then his IC said he could do MC, so we gave MC a try. But, XWH couldn't keep his hands to himself and confessed to an inappropriate interlude. (A nice way of saying he basically sexually assaulted somebody.) At that point, he'd crossed the hard boundary I'd set, and I pulled the plug.

My XWH is a covert narc, and trauma bonding was an issue for me. We were married over 30 years, but I couldn't see myself staying to be treated the way he treated me for the next 20-30 years. Needless to say, I am much happier now.

If you think you've invested too much time in the relationship to let it go, search "sunk cost fallacy" for information. This helped me to understand that I was stuck on the sunk costs and it was hurting me.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3314   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8807790
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BigMammaJamma ( member #65954) posted at 5:19 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

For me it was pretty simple, it was when the pain of staying became greater than my fear of leaving. My first (mini) dday was in October of 2017, and my divorce will be final next month so you can see it took a while to get there.

Me- born in 1984Him- born in 1979We both have 2 kids from previous marriages and we share a four year old. I might be a BS, but at this point, I don't know if I'll ever know.

Update: As of 5/8/2020, my WH confirmed I belong in this club

posts: 297   ·   registered: Aug. 23rd, 2018   ·   location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
id 8807797
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 9:14 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

For me it was pretty simple, it was when the pain of staying became greater than my fear of leaving.

This is what is was for me as well. I was also trauma bonded to my xWS which made it hard for me to leave for many years until I fully detached and found the strength and support to leave.

fBS/fWS(me):50 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(20) DS(17)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8736   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8807824
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 P0ppy (original poster new member #82913) posted at 10:10 AM on Friday, September 15th, 2023

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses. It is very much appreciated.

My WH is incredibly remorseful but so filled with shame and despair it makes it hard for us to move forward. And as some of you read there is an OC. We have had to redo the test which the OW dragged her feet on but should have results anyday. Assuming it is his it definitely complicates things a lot. The OC should get to have her Dad in her life but I have no desire to have the OW in mine. I'm not scared to be alone but I do want another child so much and I think all these details just add to the noise in my head which makes no path clear.

posts: 17   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2023
id 8807891
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 12:37 PM on Friday, September 15th, 2023

Poppy:
I realize you don’t know yet about the OC but had a thought. Maybe stupid. But, you know how sometimes a little bit of anger/revenge can end up weirdly being good. The metaphor is when you’re so angry and jealous that you work out extra hard and start eating really healthy and then later even though the motivator was kind of a mean thought the results and your health and feeling and looking good become so positive that you no longer really care why you started because its become this positive healthy thing in your life. So what if your relationship with the OC started out as a bit of revenge, you forcing her to share something with you she probably doesn’t want to. Just like the APs out there horrifically forced us to share our most precious thing. You know it is going to bother her intensely if you choose to have a positive relationship with that child. And then maybe some day it ends up becoming a positive thing in your life and it overwrites the history that you got to know and care for the child partially as a dig to her in the beginning. I’m not sure…. Maybe right now it is just this horribly painful reminder you can’t even think about it. But IF it comes to pass that you have to think about it, and IF you end up deciding to stay with your spouse, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing to keep in mind that when you spend time with this child it is going to absolutely torture her. Just a thought, feel free to discard.

posts: 354   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8807895
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 11:52 PM on Monday, September 18th, 2023

I am going to go out on an limb here and say that a lot of it is temporal.

I think you either heal the relationship or grieve the relationship and for me, the latter would have been harder and more painful.

If you are looking for a softer landing RIGHT NOW, then trying to heal the relationship is likely softer today...ask most of us on this site who have done the long haul of R (or even a half-assed version of R like I have done) and I think you will get a different answer than what MCC wrote above.

If you are looking for a softer landing NEXT YEAR then at least in my experience grieving the relationship is easier. A year is a quite a decent amount of time to heal and feel better IF the WS is extricated from your life in every way possible. A year is NOTHING if you are trying to R, and it's a very very very hard year for most.

For me it was pretty simple, it was when the pain of staying became greater than my fear of leaving.

I think BMJ said it well above.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 11:54 PM, Monday, September 18th]

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

posts: 2301   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8808391
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 12:08 AM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

P0ppy - I just read your post and I think the path is more clear than you see:

The OC should get to have her Dad in her life but I have no desire to have the OW in mine. I'm not scared to be alone but I do want another child so much and I think all these details just add to the noise in my head which makes no path clear.

If you make one of those infamous lists so many of us in IC have made.

Breaking it down (based on my reading of your comment):

OC should have WS in their life.

Being involved with OC means WS must have continued contact with AP for a long time - at least until OC reaches adulthood and likely longer on a smaller scale.

If WS is involved with OC then he is involved with AP.

If WS is involved with AP and I stay with WS then I will be involved with AP.

I don't want AP to be a part of my life.

I am not scared to be alone.

I want to have another child.

So looking at those statements if OC is WS's child you think he should be involved in OC's life. As being involved with OC = being involved with AP then either you have to decide if your statement "I don't want AP to be a part of my life" ends with a period e.g. "I don't want AP to be a part of my life, period." Which really means "AP will not be a part of my life." Which is what we like to call a dealbreaker here on SI - If AP will not be a part of your life - if that is a boundary you have to have, and if OC is WS's child, then there is little negotiation for you to remain.

Or is there is a comma after life e.g. "I don't want AP to be a part of my life, but I want to stay with WS more so I will deal with AP anyway."?

It isn't lost on me that the one thing you could have put in that list that you indicate staying is an option for you isn't there - the second clause that I added.

To me, not being scared to be alone is great for you as it's not dictating whether there is a comma after life or not. WS is not the only person who can give you another child, which I know you know as well. So it really comes down to: "AP will not be a part of my life." OR "I don't want AP to be a part of my life, but I want to stay with WS more so I will deal with AP anyway."

I don't envy you - it is a horrible choice to have to make and I'm so sorry you have to. sad

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 5:11 AM, Tuesday, September 19th]

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

posts: 2301   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8808392
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Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 10:40 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

Poppy,

I think ThisIsSoLonely has summarized your options well. You must also ask yourself if the OC turns out to be your husband’s how will you feel about part of your income going to support the child? The OC is of course, innocent in all this, but so are you and your child.

I truly hope that the paternity test is negative for your sake, even if you decide to leave your husband anyway.

posts: 132   ·   registered: Jul. 3rd, 2020
id 8808512
Topic is Sleeping.
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