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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:17 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Is there a correlation that you and AP start becoming really close friends and you and your BH stop? Look, it’s not a coincidence that prior to your Affair being in no doubt an affair, lines where crossed long before that and it happens to coincide with you rejecting BH for sex and built up resentment.

No, we weren't really close until 2 years after I stopped having sex with my husband. There was absolutely no attraction at all on my side. This is when I realized it wasn't the friend who had gotten between my husband and me, it was already broken.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839030
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 7:23 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I was monogamous for 17 years of marriage but I'm not sure if I want to continue that life or if the reason I'm feeling it again is bc I am disillusioned in my marriage. My husband and I have talked about having sex outside of marriage so I suppose it's something we can explore. I just feel like that is itself a whole other issue that isn't really the one to focus on rn.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839033
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 7:54 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I don’t think you can probably open that door back up is what I am saying. I am a bit confused though. You say he is abusive but he found you kissing another man in his house and he was able to keep it together enough the kids didn’t see? You say he is not controlling. You don’t seem afraid of him, maybe weary of him. It’s hard to hear abuse in some of these narratives. Abusive men typically are jealous and would not allow other people in the mix unless it was driven by them and used for their own gratification. Abusive people are insecure and therefore usually controlling.

It sounds like you gave up on the marriage three years ago and did nothing to repair it. Some of the things you are saying highly contradict each other and I think that is what I first said- staying in a state of cognitive dissonance for so long you don’t know what end is up.
L

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839036
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 8:50 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

If I say to wait on marriage counseling will that make this all seem worse, like I don't want to work on it?

Yes, there are risks on every side for you right now. It does indeed send a bad signal to your BH if you are not immediately desperate to reconcile. But the truth is, you are clearly not immediately desperate to reconcile. And the longer you remain indifferent or unsure, the more he will notice.

However, if you engage him with ANYTHING other than humility, empathy, and complete honesty (we like to call this remorse), it will be utterly disastrous. Silence is infinitely better than this.

I thought we could go together and talk about the affair and the therapist could give us tools to reconcile or...?

Why do you need a therapist to tell him about the affair? It’s expensive and one hour a week at best. Just tell him. Give him an accurate and evidence backed timeline. Calmly and patiently answer all his questions. Comfort him as his heart and soul break. Resist all temptation to lie to "spare him". You MUST be fully honest.

And a therapist can only work with what the people in front of them bring. If you aren’t bringing a desperation to reconcile, and your husband isn’t bringing at least a sliver of openness to consider reconciling, there isn’t a damn thing a MC can do.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839037
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 9:20 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I don’t think you can probably open that door back up is what I am saying. I am a bit confused though. You say he is abusive but he found you kissing another man in his house and he was able to keep it together enough the kids didn’t see? You say he is not controlling. You don’t seem afraid of him, maybe weary of him. It’s hard to hear abuse in some of these narratives. Abusive men typically are jealous and would not allow other people in the mix unless it was driven by them and used for their own gratification. Abusive people are insecure and therefore usually controlling.

I agree but he was willing to discuss it. He's not physically abusive, except to our middle child but it is not on a regular basis. He has anger issues. He is critical, makes fun of me in front of friends, and forbade my mom from coming to the birth of our 1st child. He is verbally abusive to our kids telling them to shut up. They do not seem afraid of him but it can't be healthy. He is not verbaly abusive to me, but uses words that I suspect are supposed to hurt me. I'm not afraid of him but did walk on eggshells for about 10 years when I didn't know when he was going to be in a mood, made sure the kids were quiet, snd rarely went out bc i worried he couldn't handle them. The fact that he agreed to counseling was enough for me to stay. All I'm saying is, he has his own reasons for staying with me as do I with him and some of them may be different. I do care about him and I hurt when he hurts. I can't imagine what he thought seeing us. I just with he could've been spared that image.

In general, I think he's a good person. He is a hard worker, supports his family, and loves us very much. And he would never in a million years cheat on me. He's a partner for life. Makes me sad bc I can't even give him that.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 9:32 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839039
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 9:24 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Why do you need a therapist to tell him about the affair? It’s expensive and one hour a week at best. Just tell him. Give him an accurate and evidence backed timeline. Calmly and patiently answer all his questions. Comfort him as his heart and soul break. Resist all temptation to lie to "spare him". You MUST be fully honest.

I don't mean use the therapist to tell him, he obviously already knows, I mean be guided to talk. My friend's husband is actively having an affair and they went to counseling and she said it was very eye opening to see his side and even though they talked, it was different with a therapist. So I guess that's where I'm coming from in terms of getting somewhere. Therapy is dirt cheap. $20/session. There's no reason not to try unless it will do more harm than good. I don't want that.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 9:26 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839040
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 9:46 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Here is my belief about marriage counseling. It is can be very effective, but usually only after the two people involved have had time to heal and work on themselves.

I would say that it’s a good step to take when both petiole truly desire to save the marriage. But people without enough individual therapy can make the marriage counseling go a lot harder.

I think reconciling starts first with recovery. The ws works on themself and when they get to a place they can start taking accountability for their life and healing, their new perspective can be beneficial in MC. I went to therapy for almost a year, but we did have a few sessions early on, they just weren’t productive.

One thing you may not be able to see, and I hope is true is the longer you stay away from the ap and work on yourself the clearer you will become on everything. It’s from that place of clarity that will be most beneficial in the marriage counseling.

I will also say again that the relationship didn’t make you cheat. Yes, the relationship might be bad, and might have been for a long time. But he didn’t cheat. He was in the same circumstances as you, sex starved, missing connection.

I am not saying this to shame you but MC goes so much better if you know your whys and they are all internal to you. There is a good article pinned here about whys, written by daddy dom.

I don’t think MC is a bad tool at all, but I think that you need to get your head on straighter than it is right now. You can always go to the first session, mention that you think maybe you should do some IC first, see what they say. Mine did agree with that and that’s why am we stopped going for a while.

I do give you credit that you are still here reading and responding. That’s not easy from where you sit. This site helped me more than any of the therapy did.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:47 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839046
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 9:57 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

My friend's husband is actively having an affair and they went to counseling and she said it was very eye opening to see his side and even though they talked, it was different with a therapist.

Oh man, that there sets off so many bells. They went to MC while he was still active in an affair? And the active cheater got to tell "his side"? I really hope it isn’t your expectation that MC is somehow going to be a place that makes what you’ve done somehow sterile or at all understandable if only your reasons are understood.

I tried using MC as a forum to discuss and disclose the details of my wife’s affair. I found it incredibly frustrating as it created a bottleneck as she refused to talk outside that time, and many sessions got consumed by other burning fires. It is going to take many many hours of talking to get this all out. Don’t throttle it back. Get him this info reasonably quickly, let him be the one that determines the speed. You can take breaks if you get overwhelmed, but come back soon. Like in hours, not days or weeks.

So I guess that's where I'm coming from in terms of getting somewhere. Therapy is dirt cheap. $20/session.

That ain’t the going rate for therapists in my neck of the woods, but good for you if that is true.

[This message edited by InkHulk at 9:58 PM, Sunday, June 9th]

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839050
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 9:57 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I don’t think MC is a bad tool at all, but I think that you need to get your head on straighter than it is right now. You can always go to the first session, mention that you think maybe you should do some IC first, see what they say. Mine did agree with that and that’s why am we stopped going for a while.

I do give you credit that you are still here reading and responding. That’s not easy from where you sit. This site helped me more than any of the therapy did.

I think this is a good compromise wrt to mc. Also, yeah, I'm here and getting way more than therapy bc it feels like just a lot of validation, which I'm sick of hearing. I don't want to prove I'm in an abusive marriage; I don't feel that way and I think that's my truth. Whether my therapist thinks I am isn't important to me bc it's not the reason for the cheating it's a reason to divorce if I so choose. My only reason for divorce at this point is if the kids are being harmed. I have the middle child in therapy and we'll see how that goes. My therapist wanted me to bring up him grabbing our child so she's not thinking ot is only for the affair. I'm not going to do that ftr.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839051
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 9:59 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

I do give you credit that you are still here reading and responding. That’s not easy from where you sit. This site helped me more than any of the therapy did.

I second both points.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839052
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 10:02 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Oh man, that there sets off so many bells. They went to MC while he was still active in an affair? And the active cheater got to tell "his side"? I really hope it isn’t your expectation that MC is somehow going to be a place that makes what you’ve done somehow sterile or at all understandable if only your reasons are understood.

for.

Yeah, idk...She said it was good for her to hear...

No it's not my expecration that I will be handled gently. I asked her bc I wanted to make sure she got something out of it before I asked if my husband wanted to go.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839053
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 10:07 PM on Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Yeah, idk...She said it was good for her to hear...

If her husband was in an active affair, she was in a state of profound shock and didn’t know what direction was up. She sounds like she was doing the "pick me dance", feeling rejected and like she was a piece of garbage that she hoped her cheating husband would pick up off the ground. I would treat that data point with some skepticism.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839054
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 12:25 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

If you don’t think you’re in an abusive marriage, why was that your first line in your post?

You basically stated due to verbal abuse you hit a breaking point and had an affair. Now, you’re saying you’re not.

I was highly skeptical of the abuse allegations from the get go, as too many things didn’t add up, especially for what a male abuser is. He definitely needs some serious work, but he isn’t an abuser at all.

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 8839064
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:14 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

I was going by what I've read and what was reinforced by my therapist. He definitely has abusive traits but I'm not afraid of him. Our middle child, however, gets the brunt of his anger and that's why he's in therapy. I'm not sure what to make of their relationship. It's not healthy to say the least. I do feel like my therapist is complicating things for me so I might just move on from her. She said you can be be abused without feeling like a victim so that gets me all over the place. I honestly don't even want to talk about that with her anymore.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839067
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HellIsNotHalfFull ( member #83534) posted at 1:38 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

It sounds very much like your therapist is not only validating but also justifying your affair. It’s a common occurrence. A good therapist with infidelity is hard to find. My first IC told me I created the environment and had responsibilities for my WW affair, to include unmet needs crap. That was the end of that.

You should look into a different therapist, research someone who specializes in infidelity. Ask them point blank what they think about it. I did with my second IC. I asked her if she believed I had anything to do with WW cheating on me. She told me no, I’m not responsible for the actions of others.

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 8839069
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 1:49 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

And just to put a check point into this, you really should be thoughtful about a group of internet strangers convincing you your therapist is wrong about abuse. We are well meaning, but we are not omniscient and you need to be the judge of this for you and your children’s good. I really don’t know either way at this point, I’m just saying you should really examine this carefully.

I really do hope you use this vulnerability and curiousity you are showing right now to propel your life forward in a good and healthy direction.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839070
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:50 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

It sounds very much like your therapist is not only validating but also justifying your affair. It’s a common occurrence. A good therapist with infidelity is hard to find. My first IC told me I created the environment and had responsibilities for my WW affair, to include unmet needs crap. That was the end of that.

Yeah, I've asked a few friends who have therapists and they also said it's weird what she's saying. One also said she felt validated too much so she left. I guess I should see about someone else. I talked to my husband about what she said and he's not sure about her. Of course I thought he would say that bc it's not very favorable but...that, coupled with never being in therapy before I just don't know what's going on. Ik I hurt my husband and I've got issues and I just want to focus on that.

[This message edited by Elliebellie at 1:52 AM, Monday, June 10th]

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839071
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:06 AM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

And just to put a check point into this, you really should be thoughtful about a group of internet strangers convincing you your therapist is wrong about abuse. We are well meaning, but we are not omniscient and you need to be the judge of this for you and your children’s good. I really don’t know either way at this point, I’m just saying you should really examine this carefully.

I agree with this totally. I only pressed on you about it because it wasn’t making sense. We can only mirror back to you the things you say for you to consider, but we are not some jury on the matter, we don’t know you or your husband.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8839079
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 Elliebellie (original poster member #84918) posted at 1:41 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

This is also why I wanted marriage counseling. I understand that the affair is supposed to be the only thing we're addressing right now but there are so many other issues that should have been addressed and my husband would rather address those issues in order to stay together then the affair anyway. And I'm not saying that's the way it's going to go or that's the way it should go but he has expressed the desire to just move on. I know it's going to come up and I know he's going to want answers and I can definitely give those to him but I'm wondering if this counseling should be what he wants it to be which is rebuilding the marriage into something that it wasn't before.

As far as is it or is it not abuse, I think that's just something that I need to figure out for myself if it's going to be worth staying if that is a trait that just cannot be therapied out.

posts: 174   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2024   ·   location: New England
id 8839091
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 1:57 PM on Monday, June 10th, 2024

This is also why I wanted marriage counseling. I understand that the affair is supposed to be the only thing we're addressing right now but there are so many other issues that should have been addressed and my husband would rather address those issues in order to stay together then the affair anyway.

If you had chosen to go for MC before you had an affair, then you could have gone after the faulty marriage dynamics, including the parts that you were contributing.

But you didn’t do that. You had an affair, so now that option is off the table, at least for a long time. Your husband, like the friend you mentioned, is in profound shock. He is having a very normal reaction of trying to preserve the life he sees going up in smoke. What you see from him is temporary. If he is in IC and getting any decent advice (and maybe you should just check with him and make sure he isn’t getting "unmet needs" shoved down his throat) he is going to wake up with strength and anger to the grave injustice of the situation. This is the only thing that will be on his mind, it will haunt and consume his thoughts until the affair is processed AND his mind has had the time to incorporate the information, which can take years. There is no mental bandwidth to work on marriage dynamics.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2190   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8839093
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