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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:26 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

I’m going to suggest something here, and no it’s not because I just want to bash on AP.

Having been here, plus my time as a cop and in the Army I’ve seen a lot.

Have you ever talked to his ex? Do you know anything at about her other than what he told you?

No, I don't. Ive always been curious what she'd say about him. I was close with his kids, though, and they've corroborate what he said about her wrt the way she treated them.

I know you’re going to get defensive here, but hear me out. Do you know how many APs lie about their ex/spouse? Before you even say "he would never", take an objective look. You know for a fact he has no problem being an AP, eating dinner with another man’s family while having sex with his wife. It’s entirely possible that your his first affair. If you actually read, the most common answer is no it’s not. This wasn’t my WWs first affair, it was just the first one where she went all the way. It’s not your first time stepping out, though they were usually sanctioned I know.

I'm actually not going to get defensive. His wife is an addict. He told me he tried to work it out for the kids but she had moved on and then moved on again, had more kids, still addicted, in and out of jail, etc. While I cant know for sure if or how he tried to "work it out" it's true she's an addict and is not a parent to their kids. She lives on the other side of the country. His son has cut her off but his daughter hasn't. Every so often she reaches out to her. He's from this community. He grew up only an hour away. It's a sad story that mutual friends in the community corroborate. "Really nice guy, bad luck, didnt deserve it, etc." That was his only marriage so of course I'm his first affair. He's mine, as well.

Have you even considered that he divorced his ex because he cheated on her? Might explain a lot of her current behavior now.

Again, more times then not, despite how much you want to believe otherwise, APs lie just as much as the cheating spouse

She divorced him. She may have even been cheating on him iirc. I'm not sure what you mean about "her current behavior". Do you mean the woman he was recently with and helped raise his children? Eta now I see I think you mean xw's behavior of addiction and criminal behavior could've stemmed from him cheating on her (?). I mean...Not sure what to make of that line of thought. From all accounts (not just his) she's the serial cheater.

This is what I think. He married someone who turned out to be a huge mistake. He was a marine and he admits that even though he loved her the marriage was one of convenience to get military benefits/housing. The only thing good that came out of it was his kids. Then he met his last gf while he was coaching little league and he moved in with her and they raised their kids together for about 10 years. Then they broke up, he moved out, rented a sublet from a friend of ours and when that was up rented from me for a few years. He moved out a few years ago. During the 2 years he lived here is when he "fell in love" with me. What he saw was a devoted mother, a "good" wife, and a husband who didnt appreciate either. He saw the kids and me as the life he yearned for, that he felt he missed out on. He allowed himself to get involved with me bc he wanted to be for me what he thought my husband wasn't.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 7:34 PM, Friday, June 14th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839750
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 6:54 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Your beauty will not save you, it could work against you as a trigger to your husband.

You cannot figure this out as a puzzle to be solved. You cannot control this.

You must develop new emotional intelligence that you clearly currently lack. You must be honest. You must be humble. You must be loyal, and split loyalty is no loyalty at all.

If I’m right here, what has propelled you in life up to this point has gotten you to this disaster because it lacked these other virtues. Intelligence is good. Beauty is good. They are not enough.

As I search out a new partner, I will be looking for kindness, openness, honesty. I will not fall for a pretty face and I sure as hell won’t be manipulated.

Ik you're right. I see it, too. This is the kind of straight talk I wish i could get in therapy. And also why I feel sorry for ap.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 7:01 PM, Friday, June 14th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839752
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Phosphorescent ( new member #84111) posted at 7:06 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Is there any possibility that your husband also has a double life? Three years is too much for absolutely no sex life of any kind with you... This doesn't add up to me... Just sayin'... And his reaction to the news.... I don't know...

[This message edited by Phosphorescent at 7:07 PM, Friday, June 14th]

Trying

posts: 9   ·   registered: Nov. 8th, 2023
id 8839753
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1994 ( member #82615) posted at 7:18 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

What he saw was a devoted mother, a "good" wife, and a husband who didnt appreciate either. He saw the kids and me as the life he yearned for, that he felt he missed out on. He allowed himself to get involved with me bc he wanted to be for me what he thought my husband wasn't.

I suspect that once the smoke clears, this will have turned out to be a lot of BS. You sound way too smart to genuinely believe this.

posts: 166   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8839759
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:23 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Snark aside, please answer honestly: Why are you here? You're getting amazing insight from people who have earned that wisdom through unbelievable pain and you keep pushing back. If you're looking for a loophole that allows you to do what you're already doing, you're not going to find it.

I came here from a suggestion (not to me) from another forum and to really find out more about myself and things that weren't adding up that ppl were telling me (emotional/verbal/physical abuse for one), which completely discombobulated me and did more harm.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839762
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:30 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

I suspect that once the smoke clears, this will have turned out to be a lot of BS. You sound way too smart to genuinely believe this.

Who will ever know I guess. Doesn't sound so far fetched to me. Sounds like classic white knight behavior, which is a problem in and of itself.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839764
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:40 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Is there any possibility that your husband also has a double life? Three years is too much for absolutely no sex life of any kind with you... This doesn't add up to me... Just sayin'... And his reaction to the news.... I don't know...

I don't know how he'd find the time. I actually thought he was becoming asexual the same as me since sex even before that was really rare... the 2 occasions we had sex that I remember were in 2018 and 2019 bc I got pregnant from those times (ended in miscarriages). He told me porn and masturbating is how he got through the last few years. If I wanted sex, I couldn't do what he did for so long. Maybe he really is just that patient.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 7:44 PM, Friday, June 14th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839765
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:43 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Did I read this correctly? You had sex with 2 other men earlier in the marriage and this would be your 3rd AP? Do you want to be married?

They were not APs. They are friends of ours. I would like to be in an open marriage and I told my husband this when we got married. I was very honest with him from he beginning. He never signed up for betrayal, though.

He also made out with other women.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839766
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:49 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

What he saw was a devoted mother, a "good" wife, and a husband who didnt appreciate either. He saw the kids and me as the life he yearned for, that he felt he missed out on. He allowed himself to get involved with me bc he wanted to be for me what he thought my husband wasn't

I suspect that once the smoke clears, this will have turned out to be a lot of BS. You sound way too smart to genuinely believe this.

I know you just answered this but gosh what 1994 is saying is so true.

This man was lonely and instead of looking for someone available he chose you.

He isn’t married but this was broken behavior probably brought on by the amount of trauma he has gone through in life. This rendered him emotionally unavailable so he chose someone like that, too.

Then like you he became addicted to the highs and lows and push and pulls of an affair. And now he is going through withdrawal.

He did this knowing that this would break up your kid’s home. That’s not loving your kids. Sure, dad might have some issues but dad has been in therapy for a year. Which is more than what we can say about ap, who probably needs it.

This fantasy that you have going on is continuing to serve as external validation for you. Validation your husband can’t give you because you will not find it validating. You see him as a pushover who would never leave you, so you don’t feel insecure enough with him to believe you are winning him. There is no chase, no drama, and due to deep and devastating neglect on your part you have really thrown him away in your mind.

Ellie, I am sorry but it’s time for me to take the kid gloves off. But I am putting forth this effort in hopes of doing what ink has been urging you to do: WAKE THE HELL UP!

So, if you husband said to you today, let’s get a divorce, now really imagine it/ what would be your reaction? Like think about this. Would it be relief, or would you be more engaged?

I think you think it would be a relief but the challenges it would pose would likely make you chase him. Why? Because I have listened to you long enough to know if it has chaos or instability, it is more appealing to you than long term security and intentionally building something real.

If you husband would stand up to you, you would be throwing your panties over you shoulder. Maybe not at first but you would be back in a thrill of the chase scenario. Part of why he isn’t attractive to you is because you know you have treated him like garbage so any validation he now gives you doesn’t mean anything, it gives you imposter syndrome.

Am I telling you this to be mean to you? Absolutely not. I am shining a mirror on your need for validation. If it comes too easily, you don’t want it because it isn’t worth as much without the fire. You are a woman that loves to be close to the fire.

Ask me how I know?

Because our MC explained this once to my husband about me, right in front of me.

And you know what? I learned to light my own fire, I became the fire. I no longer need to stand in the fire created of chaos, because this fire is healthy, it comes with no shame, no guilt, and no added pain. I want that for you, and that’s why I am saying some hard things to you today. I have given you great tools on the soft part, now it’s time to extricate your head from your butt!!!

[This message edited by hikingout at 7:54 PM, Friday, June 14th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839767
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:53 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

I think that element is present here, but thier relationship history is more toxic. She just told a story where her husband had to go home knowing she was going to have a threesome with two guys. Something he did not want her to do. That was betrayal. Doesn’t matter if he knew about it, she took what she wanted regardless of how he felt. This man has been abused - had intimacy withheld for three years on top of that.

His codependency is what you would find more in spousal abuse.

Sorry, Ellie, this is just factual.

It is toxic for sure. We both abused each other but I went one further.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839768
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:56 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

It is toxic for sure. We both abused each other but I went one further

Tough to admit, I give you credit. But you went more than one further here.

It’s honestly no wonder he is cranky and critical. I know you think he has ways been this way because of his father but I bet most men wouldn’t be easy to live with after some of this shit.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839769
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 7:56 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Yes, I will give you credit from your story it does sound like you were open about that you were not interested in being monogamous and he married you knowing that. Fair enough.

Did you guys establish rules/boundaries with this though? Was it just each can do whatever they want? I didn’t read the post about the three way, but from what others said, your BH was not ok with it. I don’t know if I’d call that an affair, but if you knew that he was not ok with you having a threesome, and went ahead and did it anyway then that is a betrayal. It shows a pattern you have. Of making excuses and justifications, of expecting others to hold you accountable but no one ever has, so it seems you never formed your own self accountability.

Me mid 40s BH
Her 40s STBX WW
3 year EA 1 year PA.
DDAY 1 Feb 2022. DDAY 2 Jun 2022. DDAY 3/4/5/6/7 July 2024
Nothing but abuse and lies and abuse false R for three years. Divorcing and never looking back.

posts: 503   ·   registered: Jun. 26th, 2023   ·   location: U.S.
id 8839770
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 8:02 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

It’s honestly no wonder he is cranky and critical. I know you think he has ways been this way because of his father but I bet most men wouldn’t be easy to live with after some of this shit.

My therapist won't let me take the blame for his behavior, which I get. To a point. But I told her, come on, how would you be if your spouse didn't have sex with you, barely communicated with you, and you had NO IDEA what was going on in her head. Like, yeah, when it spills over to the kids that's a problem, but ffs I'm totally complicit!

It is bc of his upbringing but the fact that therapy has helped despite the relationship getting even more toxic tells me that he is capable of changing and wants to and it wasn't totally bc of what's happening at home. Many of his friends warned me about him before we got married bc he was such a moody prick. But I loved him and made the choice and he knew about me and made that choice. Probably shouldn't have happened itfp.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 8:03 PM, Friday, June 14th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839771
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:04 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Of making excuses and justifications, of expecting others to hold you accountable but no one ever has, so it seems you never formed your own self accountability.

This.

And if it doesn’t make you throw your parties over your shoulder then it would make you rebel.

You must have grown up in chaos, I did and it’s how I became comfortable with it.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839772
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 8:07 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Did you guys establish rules/boundaries with this though? Was it just each can do whatever they want? I didn’t read the post about the three way, but from what others said, your BH was not ok with it. I don’t know if I’d call that an affair, but if you knew that he was not ok with you having a threesome, and went ahead and did it anyway then that is a betrayal. It shows a pattern you have. Of making excuses and justifications, of expecting others to hold you accountable but no one ever has, so it seems you never formed your own self accountability.

There were no rules, we just kind of winged it. You're right about the betrayal. I should've respected that he wanted me to go home with him. I agree I've kind of sailed through life and at my age it's getting embarrassing. I need the tools to be a "big girl" and make tough decisions bc I still have a lot of life to live and I can't even see 1 week ahead of me.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839773
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 8:16 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

You must have grown up in chaos, I did and it’s how I became comfortable with it.

No, actually, my life was pretty uneventful. Just me and my mom until I was in jr high and then her mom moved in with us. Got decent grades, didn't really use drugs, went to college, did Americorps, blah blah blah. It wasn't until I was 23 (when I had sex for the first time!) that I realized I enjoy a lot of kink; exhibitionism, bdsm, polyamory, things like that. Got into modeling, orgies, kind of a debauched art scene life.

This is why I feel a lot of this is mid life crisis crap and I fucked up but won't again. It's not going to be want I want or am even into for much longer. Maybe I was chaotic in my head. My brain doesn't turn off.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839775
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 8:20 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

That is a good reflection.

I know this is hard, but I will take progress inch by inch if I can. Seeing is always the first step, and reflecting. You are doing some of that even if there is still a lot of fog around some of it.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839776
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 8:31 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

This is why I feel a lot of this is mid life crisis crap and I fucked up but won't again. It's not going to be want I want or am even into for much longer. Maybe I was chaotic in my head. My brain doesn't turn off.

This sounds so much like my WH after our D-Day. But he continued to lie and withhold information like you are. He kept his "work" to himself and remained defensive with me. And 9.5 years after D-Day, I found him chatting to women online again. He was just as adamant as you are that he wasn't going to be that person, it wasn't what he wanted and wasn't what he was into.

Building character is an all-or-nothing game. You can't just pick and choose options from the character buffet. You are either all in on being a person of good character, or you're still a liar and a cheater.

Edited to add: But you can change. You can improve yourself and make better choices. But it has to be all the way, not half in and half out.

[This message edited by SadieMae at 8:32 PM, Friday, June 14th]

Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF

posts: 1421   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8839779
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OhItsYou ( member #84125) posted at 9:02 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

Just from what I’m hearing, it sounds like your therapist is more concerned about extracting money from you than really getting into it and risking you not coming back.
It sounds like they are giving you excuses and you’re actually having to fight back with them to take responsibility? That’s no therapist at all.

It’s a big problem in the counseling community. So many of them are so worthless, really for anything. Mostly due to the absurdly low bar for getting into the industry.
A counselor should be challenging you. They should be pressing you to dig deeper into why things are the way they are for you.

It’s a rare thing to get hooked up with a good one on the first try. Most go through initial appointments with 3 or 4 before they hit a good one.

posts: 134   ·   registered: Nov. 10th, 2023   ·   location: Texas
id 8839781
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 9:19 PM on Friday, June 14th, 2024

So, if you husband said to you today, let’s get a divorce, now really imagine it/ what would be your reaction? Like think about this. Would it be relief, or would you be more engaged?

I think you think it would be a relief but the challenges it would pose would likely make you chase him. Why? Because I have listened to you long enough to know if it has chaos or instability, it is more appealing to you than long term security and intentionally building something real.

Before the affair i thought a lot about it. During the affair, too. But the night he found out i was really scared, like REALLY scared. Mostly bc if we were going to divorce I didn't want it to be bc I fucked up. I think if we divorced I'd go fucking wild for a bit and then wonder wtf did i just do with my life. The "building something real" avoidance resonates. I've flitted from thing to thing person to person all my life. When I got bored I'd move on instead of cultivating these things and making them grow. Sometimes it amazes me I stayed with my husband this long but I also had kids and they take up a lot of my time and energy (in a good way) and now that they don't need me as much...? Plus the whole stability thing, so I mean I don't really want to throw myself into chaos in that regard. And we are 100% in a codependent relationship.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839782
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