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Dinomus
Fionarob wrote:
Dinomus

I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that you tried to improve all the things he was complaining about, and yet it seemed to make no difference.  That is exactly what happened with me.  But I see now that it's because the problem is not just with us, the betrayed, it is with them!  So we can go around trying to fix all the things they say are wrong, or do all the things they say they need, or be the woman we think they want us to be, but ultimately if they don't look within themselves then only half of the problem gets mended.

Unfortunately they have to reach this point themselves and no amount of prodding or poking from us will do the trick!  I think the saying is "you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."  They are out of our control.  I used to give my husband articles to read, recommend blogs to listen to, books to look at.....what good did it do?  He was in a different place, he wasn't wanting to fix the marriage, he was wanting his next fix from his AP.  I thought many times he had 'chosen' me but really he was staying because it was the right thing to do, and continued his affair all along.

It is a horrible situation to be in, and I think women especially like to fix things or find the solutions.  We are also very good at thinking we are to blame  - you mention that you worry what you did to make him want to leave.  I totally understand how and why you feel like this but you have to remind yourself that he has made a lot of bad choices, and he is probably now struggling with feelings of shame.  It is much easier for him to leave all of that behind than have to face it every day.  And if his AP is anything like my husband's AP, she will be telling him all the things he needs to hear to make the shame less painful, and she will be doing all the things he thinks he needs to feel loved and appreciated. 

I understand your worry that the longer he stays with her the less likely he is to come home.  I think that would have happened if my husband had left - he would have felt obliged to "make it work" with the AP (he told me that himself).  He would have been far too ashamed to come back home or ask for forgiveness.  I don't know what the answer is to that as I have never been in that situation.  My husband ended the affair before it reached that point (and it came very close)  I suppose if you really want him to come back all you can do is make him aware that you would be willing to take him back and do the necessary work towards forgiving him and working on the marriage.  But as for the rest....that's up to him.  It is unfair for you to wait forever.  I think you have to have a time frame in your mind.  Otherwise, he could try it out with his AP, have his fun and then come back when he's had enough, or stay with her if he decides.  He gets to have all the control and you get none!  So at least have a time frame in your mind and stick to it.  Easy for me to say I know, much harder to do in reality.  I had drawn so many 'lines in the sand' that I told myself "If he does it again then our marriage is over" and I found it so hard to stick to it in reality.  I honestly feel your pain and so sad you are in this situation.





Are things improving with you and your husband?
I definitely have come in and out of moments of wanting to walk away and then wanting to work it out. It seems that always wins. I have hope for a good outcome and want to stay positive. I can see the positive possibilities in my mind of what it could be. I know that's not reality and but I just see the potential. Especially knowing how he was during our relationship and how much I valued what we had.
His AP is reckless. She likes to party. Has a "f$&@ what you think" mentality. I feel like she expects a lot - sees him as someone who can support her. He had said shortly after I found out that she has had a hard life. She wants what she can't have. So I don't know why they are still together then. I think you are right in saying its easier for him. He doesn't have to face things that way. I can tell he has a lot of guilt and emotion behind what's happened. Never seen him this emotional. He has said many times he messed up. It's confusing because he has said he went too far to come back. But also says he loves me and that he is trying to find his way out still. But all the while living with her. He doesn't know that I know. He hasn't told me himself they are living together. I have just put two and two together - her Instagram had been a good source of information. I don't look at it anymore though because its too painful.
I have wanted to tell him many times that I'm willing to work on this. But I recently asked for nc for 5 weeks and feel I need to follow through with that. Because a lot of times in the past I said I wasn't going to talk to him and I still did. I still struggle with that now. I want to reach out to him. I try to just tell myself 5 weeks isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. I don't know.
I know that's all I can do. Tell him I want this to work. And keep working on myself because I know there are things I can still improve. And get myself in a stronger better direction. I know I can't wait forever either. I just don't want to give up hope for him. Even though he gave up on us I don't want to give up on him.
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Kalmarjan
Well, your WS story somewhat mirrors mine.

I'll tell you this. If the AP is as "FTW" as you say, and the life is a "hard one," then your WS is stuck in the White Knight role. (As I was.)

It gets old fast. It won't take your WS long to realize that he has traded a Lexus for a Volkswagen rabbit. Looks good in theory for some reason... Especially if anger drove you to that decision, but I the end...

Just not worth it.

My AP started making more and more demands. Started Withholding her affection, etc. All in order to get her way. The same thing can be happening in your WS case so it's hard for him to get out of that.

Going NC is a viable way for you to work on you. In the end, you will have to be okay no matter what he chooses. Trust me though, your WS will notice that you are okay.

Then he will be with the AP and he will see that he didn't sign up for this. Here is the problem with an AP... It's all based on an illusion. The illusion of a relationship that is meaningful.

It's hard to have one of those when you start off in a lie. When you use deception to keep it going. For right now the truth probably is that your WS got where he is from the heightened feelings of attention and sex. Remember what that was like when you first started going out with him?

That soon dissapear... Then you are left with a relationship, all the good parts, the angel wing, but all the scars and warts too.

When that happens, then he comes to realize just what he lost.

I've been there.

TL;DR you're doing the right thing. It sounds like he will come out of his fog, but take the time to work on you being better.
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Fionarob
Dinomus
Yes we are thankfully beginning to be in a better place, but still a long way to go.  We are lucky to have found some good counsellors who are helping my husband get out of the fog and helping me too.

One of the most important things for me is that I feel the pressure has been taken off me to do all the work.  They made it very clear to my husband that a lot of the work had to be done by him, and he had been leaning on me to be the strong one, whilst he was completely lost.  I just remember a huge sense of relief in feeling that finally I had been given permission to take a back seat.  They were telling him that only he could end the affair, he couldn't expect or look for any support from me.  They asked him several times if he wanted to do it and if he could do it for the marriage. 

I also needed someone else to hear me tell him "this is your last chance".  So many times before I had told him I couldn't go through it again, but then every time a new DDay came along I didn't stick to my previous threat of "if you do it again you will have to leave." He would beg and plead and ask me not to give up......and so I would take him back.  This time he has no leg to stand on - he has told the counsellors he understands this is his last chance.  So that has also given me permission to end the marriage if he starts the affair again.  I don't know why I haven't been able to give myself that permission.  Friends have said to me "you don't need a reason to end it, he's been having a 2 year affair , you don't have to take him back."  But when your husband is begging you for another chance and you know how much it will affect your two little children........it is so hard to refuse. 

I think also, in my mind, if the counselling doesn't work and he goes back to his affair, then at least I know I did everything in my power to save our marriage.  There would be nothing left to try and there would be no point in giving him any more chances.  He has to prove himself now and it's up to him. 

I do admire you for not giving up, even though your husband is living with his AP.  The fact that you still have that hope is incredible.  For me, I don't think I could have taken him back if he had taken that step and moved in with her.  I would feel like second best, like he had tried it, found out it wasn't as much fun as he expected and then wanted to come back.  I also worried about the affect it would have on the children - telling them Daddy has left, then maybe months/years later telling them Daddy was back.  I don't know how they would have handled that and I don't think I would have been able to forgive him for walking away from us.  If you still feel you have it in your heart to forgive him then you are stronger than me.

 
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Dinomus
Well, your WS story somewhat mirrors mine.

I'll tell you this. If the AP is as "FTW" as you say, and the life is a "hard one," then your WS is stuck in the White Knight role. (As I was.)

It gets old fast. It won't take your WS long to realize that he has traded a Lexus for a Volkswagen rabbit. Looks good in theory for some reason... Especially if anger drove you to that decision, but I the end...

Just not worth it.

My AP started making more and more demands. Started Withholding her affection, etc. All in order to get her way. The same thing can be happening in your WS case so it's hard for him to get out of that.

Going NC is a viable way for you to work on you. In the end, you will have to be okay no matter what he chooses. Trust me though, your WS will notice that you are okay.




I think I worry because he was at her place a lot already in the last few months but also had our place to go back to. Now our place is gone due to the separation and other factors and so he has been living with her for a month. If I have figured out the timing properly I know he has known her about a year now. I feel like he is settling because that will be easier. Or maybe he truly likes her more. Doesn't seem sustainable to me but everyone is different. I try not to think about it too much. I need to stop trying to figure it out I think.
It's hard knowing what to do sometimes. Is it worth telling him I am open to making this work but understand he needs to decide what he wants? I have tried numerous times before but haven't said that recently. I'm just wondering if its worth saying so that I am clear or just simply keeping the nc in place. Lots I'm thinking through right now.
I think its hard because even though all this was happening we were still talking a lot. He checked in if I didnt start conversation. Its just a scary feeling moving into this new territory of nc.
Trying to remind myself to just keep myself going forward though.
I definitely feel he is in that white knight role.
Are things good for you and your wife now Kalmarjan?
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Kalmarjan
I can see how you would be worried. Hey, I lived with my AP (she basically moved into my apartment right after I moved out of my house.) in some ways it may speed up the process, especially if your go NC because nothing shows a relationships true dynamic like when you live together.

How are my wife and I doing? I'd say we are in a Better place, and still working towards an even better marriage. We have our up and downs, but we communicate more than we did before all this stupidity.
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Dinomus

Fionarob
I don't know if I'm strong or delusional. We don't have children. Everyone says we are lucky we didn't and I agree because I can see from your story and others how hard that could be. I just was excited to have a family with him. Part of the dreams I'm still holding on to. So many things we had planned. It's hard when you have friends saying things in your ear - because it's always different when you are in the situation compared to outside looking in. They definitely don't understand why I would want him back. I see the potential though. Maybe I'm silly for thinking that way but I've always seen the good in people and because of what we had I know what he was capable of. He isnt the same person right now though.
I'm happy that things are going better for you and your husband. It's good to have the counsellors there to mediate and good that he is open to that. There is something in that - knowing you did all you could. I thought I hit that point already. I really thought I had tried in every way. I guess this is the last way I can try - work on me and hope for the best. I'm happy to hear things are slowly getting better for you. It must feel great having some of the weight lifted.
I remember when things started getting really bad I was waking up with panic attacks. Heart burn too. Our bodies just carry so much of that tension from the situation. I'm thankful I don't get the panic attacks as often now. Hopefully you can pamper yourself a bit more. Release the weight of what you have been carrying.
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Dinomus
Kalmarjan wrote:
I can see how you would be worried. Hey, I lived with my AP (she basically moved into my apartment right after I moved out of my house.) in some ways it may speed up the process, especially if your go NC because nothing shows a relationships true dynamic like when you live together.

How are my wife and I doing? I'd say we are in a Better place, and still working towards an even better marriage. We have our up and downs, but we communicate more than we did before all this stupidity.



That's great to hear. That's what I see as the potential. Working towards a stronger relationship with better communication. That's very true about living together. He has wanted kids for a long time and the ap has a daughter so that also seems to fill some need in him. It's weird because I feel like this is the type of person he dated before we met. It's like he had a quarter life crisis and reverted back to his teenage/early 20s self.
I think it's also scary because at first he sent little messages when I asked for no contact. The night I said no contact he said he loved me and he was sorry. A week later he wanted me to know he missed me. But I haven't heard from him since so that feels really unsettling. Trying not to worry or think about it. Always hard to turn off my brain at night though.
I really hope things keep improving for you and your wife.
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Kalmarjan
Thank you for the kind words. Hey, I just had a huge fight with my wife today. After a cool down period, we talked. I got my point across, so did she.

It's not all roses, that's for sure. But then again, the point is it was never supposed to be. The commitment wasn't in all good times, etc. It's for in sickness and health. Good times and bad.

There were weeks that I didn't speak to my wife. I literally picked my son up from school daycare and that's that. My AP resented any contact. Even when it came to my son.

I once beard a saying about our situation. Until there is another marriage, there is always hope. But it doesn't matter unless you will be okay, whatever the outcome.

Your husband mat have to work through all this. He may even be afraid to come back. I know I was. Knowing that I'd have to eat crow, be wrong, and basically I thought that I'd have to grovel to go back. That's completely not in my character, so part of me resented that too.

What helped was my wife getting better herself. She always let me know the door was open. She even told me she thought I was going through a mid life crisis (God I hope that's not true! I don't WANT to be middle age wahhbh!!!)

I still struggle with depression. I still struggle because this affair basically ended my career. I have to start at square one, and reinvent myself. That part has been tough. But I've discovered family, something I took for granted before. It's like the song, "Full Circle"

Quote:
Got your freedom now boy
Who do you serve
Took for granted what you, should have preserved
No time left, no time left, to make amends
Keep burning bridges while you're buying your new friends
A day of reflection hits, you're a shell, skin and bones, counting costs
Is it worth your soul
A day of reflection hits

It's funny how times can change, rearrange and distance makes
The pain fade away
So important then, doesn't matter now
Both feet on the ground
Come full circle, yeah, come full circle

No access granted now boy, you've been denied
Jump a fence to see what's on the other side
Are you wanted, are you wanted
The question is, could second chances mean another impression
A day of reflection hits, your you're a shell, skin and bones, counting costs
Is it worth your soul
A day of reflection hits

It's funny how times can change, rearrange, and distance makes

The pain fade away
So important then, doesn't matter now
Both feet on the ground
Come full circle, we've come full circle

I got one foot stuck in heaven, yeah
One boot stuck in hell
I looked at God, he winked at me
I made this mess myself
Don't be surprised and don't deny
Hear every word I say
Close the door and don't look back or you will fade away

It's funny how times can change, rearrange and distance makes
The pain fade away

It's funny how times can change, rearrange and distance makes
The pain fade away
So important then, doesn't matter now
Both feet on the ground
Come full circle, full circle, come full circle
We have come, full circle


Truer words were never written.
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Dinomus
Those are definitely great lyrics.
Your story sounds so similar to mine in many ways. I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I definitely want him to know that I am willing to work on this. Im sure he is scared to come back and I know he definitely wouldn't want to suck up. He kept talking about how he was so up and down.
When you are in a relationship there is so much thought about the other person. About "us". So it's very odd for me to shift my focus just to me now. I know that I have to be ok either way. That I need to move forward. Just hoping he will meet me on my path going forward.
It's great you guys were able to talk it out. It definitely is never meant to be all rainbows and butterflies. You are just learning more and more about each other.
It sounds like you are definitely on a stronger path though and that's exciting.
Age is just a number. It's about how you feel. So don't worry about that! At the end of the day your wife and son love you just as you are - no matter what the number is.
I can imagine it would be hard to start at the beginning again for your career. But that also means there are so many possibilities. Who knows what's around the corner! It will get better.
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