strength1
I need the help of all you wise ladies and gentlemen on this forum.

In the last couple of weeks, H is spending more time in the family home, and is engaging more with us.  He has said, multiple times, that he is looking for the strength to leave OW, and that he is committed to trying to rebuild our relationship, including moving back home once he breaks up with OW. We have also spoken about some ways we would improve our relationship.   


Here's the crux: he is still spending a lot of time with her. My feeling is she's spending more and more time in his rented room. He has asked for time to end his relationship with OW because she is in a difficult personal situation, he doesn't want to hurt her, etc etc. So how, just how, does this square with the fact that he wants to reconnect with me?  He's clearly worried when I am withdrawn, and tries to engage me.  He also acknowledged that the longer he takes to end the story with OW, the harder it is for me to continue stoking the fire of our relationship, and the harder it will be to begin to rebuild it.

If it helps the analysis, my feeling is that OW is going back to her country mid-next week (for visa issues she can then only come back as of January). 

What does this look like to you?  I've reached breaking point again. I can barely be in his presence sometimes, and he knows just how hard some days are for me at the moment because he told me.  But knowing he is going back to OW once he leaves the house is killing me.  I can't understand the situation, because I am not like that: it might take ME time to reach a decision, but once I do I implement it fast.  He looks like he believes in what he's saying, but is that really the case?  H was, until MLC fog hit, an empathetic man.  Is this really why?  Does he not see that by being empathetic with OW he's destroying me and reducing our chances of reconnecting?
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TimT
Don't spend too much time trying to answer the WHY right now. Focus on what's happening and what responses are healthy for you.

2 thoughts...

1. You should be his first choice, not the default choice (once she leaves). If you get him back that way, you will remain vulnerable and insecure.

2. Why let him come back to you while he's still keeping her in the picture? IMO, you should keep your interactions focused on the business-of-life issues and remain relationally disconnected as long as she's involved and until he has an obvious change of heart.

What's happening now is a recipe for ongoing heartache. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
I second everything Tim said - those two questions are ones you should REALLY spend some time with.

Everything your WH doing right now still comes across as VERY self-centered.  He isn't "ending" things with the OW - he's enjoying the last days of her VISA and then hoping to return to his family home.   You are already talking about how to improve your marriage, so once he comes home he will have a wife focused on him, reconciliation and the relationship.

So he won't spend one moment lonely, or feeling unwanted or uncertain of how those he loves feel about him. Instead he will go from the "high" of the OW wanting to be with him, to the "high" of you fighting for the marriage.  And how do you know that she and he won't stay in touch long term?  That she will visit again?  Or that he will visit her.  He's NOT going no contact even though you've asked him to.  

Until he makes an unequivocal decision to end ALL contact  - and HUMBLY work on himself before asking you to look at one thing in the marriage (that should come later), I would begin to build a life without him.  This is the time to remind him that you are more than capable of building a life that does not include him that can be happy and full.  I am serious about this.  

If you try to rebuild a marriage on the grounds of you feeling second best and always trying to be "good enough" for him to want you instead of her (or someone else) - than you are signing up for pain, anger and resentment.  

He needs to put YOU first - his loyalty needs to be with YOU, he needs to worry more about what is causing YOU pain than what is causing her pain, He needs to be thinking about how to save YOUR relationship, not how to make her happy until she leaves the country. 

THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.  i don't care how he is justifying his actions to you, or himself.  I am sure he's telling himself it's because he is being kind - she came all the way to your country, right?  I call BS.  Kindness isn't leading people on - her or you.  Right now he seems more concerned about not causing HIMSELF pain than with either your or her long term well being.

I would separate myself on every emotional level and let him know that I was re-evaluating how committed I was to the relationship.  That I was beginning to have my own doubts about its long term viability - because from the outside looking in - I do have doubts that without a SIGNIFICANT change of heart from your WH that this marriage is not viable.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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ABCOneTwoThree
He’s waiting for her to be forced to leave, so he in essence doesn’t need to end their relationship. 
He’s playing you both. 
Once her visa is up and she goes home, what guarantee do you have that he won’t keep up a remote relationship with her? That he won’t exit the family home (or keep the rented room) so he can take another vacation from his family once she’s able to return? 
Mid he’s not willing to end things now and FULLY recommit, it’s because he’s counting down the days until this is completely in his control again. 
Think about it, what’s going to be more painful long term for the OW - being told honestly and frankly in person that he needs to end things in order to save his marriage and family, or being told remotely once she’s home that it’s over? This isn’t about her, this isn’t about him sparing her feelings. If that’s what he was worried about this would have never have gotten this far. 
This is about him, what makes HIM feel good. 
You gave him a deadline and didn’t stick to it, I did that for years with my ex husband. All it did was prove to him that he could walk all over me and continue having affairs, because I wasn’t ever going to follow through. It’s a dangerous standard to set because once you’ve reached your breaking point (for me it took ten long years) it seems “out of character” for you to follow through, for you to draw hard limits at all the boundaries you put into words and never followed through on. 
HE IS PLAYING YOU. Plain and simple. He’s counting on your intense desire to make this relationship work no matter what, and he’s taking his time to make sure things go exactly how he wanted them to go. 
Formerly EasyAsABC 
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strength1


Think about it, what’s going to be more painful long term for the OW - being told honestly and frankly in person that he needs to end things in order to save his marriage and family, or being told remotely once she’s home that it’s over? 
 


Oh my.  It never occurred to me that he would want to break up with her remotely, rather than in person before she leaves.

What type of man has H become? 
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triplehooks
Strength1, all sides of this equation have offered input and it is nearly unanimous. At a minimum boundaries and a greater withdrawal on your part are what’s required.  

He has yet to be hit with any meaningful consequences and he is behaving predictably as a cake eater.  

The more aggressive among us (me, lol) would blow your cheater out of the water and force him to live with himself and the consequences of his choices here.  It’s likely that over time you will come in closer contact with your own judgment of what has happened here and it won’t be pretty.  Aside from that he doesn’t deserve the protection you have provided him thus far.  His behavior as a destroyer of his own home and turncoat on his own wife and children are astoundingly unimpressive and unattractive.  Not that I get a vote but I’d recommend considering telling him to just move on and shack up w his mistress and make a go of it.  He’s ruined what you have.  Is that track record better for you than someone else?  Or solitude?

after this why would you just hand him back the keys to the kingdom.  He’s not the king any more.  He needs to earn you back through a MASSIVE transformation that has not even begun, so EVEN if he does the right thing here tread VERY carefully with him.  He is not who you imagined him to be or who he presented himself to be all this time...
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ABCOneTwoThree
strength1 wrote:


Oh my.  It never occurred to me that he would want to break up with her remotely, rather than in person before she leaves.

What type of man has H become? 


I would say this is the thing you should be worrying about least. I only presented it as a hole in his reasoning for not ending things with her immediately if he truly wants back in your good grace. 
I think the most likely reasoning he’s dragging his feet is to eat up the rest of the time she has there, and to continue the lies to both of you while you are under the assumption you’re working on things (and at the same time doing everything you can think of to keep him interested), and she is under the assumption that you’re still separated. 
I know the consensus on here has always been to never contact the AP, but in this case I see far more positives. Your husbands AP has been duped, big time. Yes, she obviously knew a wife existed at one point, but when she was far away her understanding was that the relationship was over, when she came to be near him he was even living by himself. If you let him string you along until she leaves, I guarantee she won’t know of your reconciliation. She will likely carry on believing she has a loving and doting boyfriend that is only geographically unavailable. 
Formerly EasyAsABC 
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jasmine

Strength1, you have my sympathies. This must be truly awful. Everyone has been unanimous in their advice and I would be telling you the same if I had logged on earlier. His behaviour is not acceptable and it’s no foundation upon which you can rebuild your marriage. Believe me, if you take him back you are in for some very stormy weather once you begin to reckon with what has happened. I don’t want to make wrong assumptions here but I’m wondering if the reality of this horrible situation has hit you yet? 

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You gave him a deadline and didn’t stick to it, I did that for years with my ex husband. All it did was prove to him that he could walk all over me and continue having affairs, because I wasn’t ever going to follow through. It’s a dangerous standard to set because once you’ve reached your breaking point (for me it took ten long years) it seems “out of character” for you to follow through, for you to draw hard limits at all the boundaries you put into words and never followed through on. 


Take heed of ABC’s words. I know from experience that if you set a limit or a condition, or a boundary, and if you don’t take action when it is ignored or “forgotten” you’ve effectively given permission for it happen again. And you WILL reach breaking point eventually if you ignore being ignored. 

Strength1, this is the time to put yourself first. Don’t settle for being “second best” or being his Plan B. Don’t put your life on hold while he makes up his mind. Put your own self care first, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s hard when it’s something this huge but keep doing for you and you alone, other commitments allowing. You are worth more than what this experience is putting you through. 

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anthro
Just a few thoughts from me.

1. Your partner should treat you like a queen, not like the family dog. You are currently sitting on the patio, staring in through the glass door and hoping for some table scraps. This should make you angry, and you should embrace that anger and let it be part of your motivation. It's justified anger.

2. A person's true character is the character they reveal when tested. It's not the character they are able to put on display when things are going well. The weak, selfish, dishonest person you are seeing now is the real guy. 

3. There is a big "be careful what you wish for" element to reconciliation. While he is still vacillating, it is not at all unusual for us, the betrayed spouses, to be focused mainly on restoring the marriage. We think to ourselves (maybe unconsciously), "first I'll get the relationship back, then I can worry about dealing with what he has done". But dealing with what you now know about him is much, much harder than what you are doing now. The stage you are currently in is actually the easy one. If he does come back, that is not the end of the painful stage, it is the start of it.

4. (Related to #3) - It is 99% likely that it is already too late. Once you are no longer preoccupied with the immediate crisis of "what is he actually going to do", you will begin to digest the full magnitude of the wrongness of his actions. It is distantly possible, but very unlikely, the you will be able to see any sign of a person you want to be with. 

I think what I am getting from your posts is a sense of someone who, a bit like me, has learned over a long period not to ask too much of the world and to see virtue in erring on the side of fairness, stepping back from selfish motives, etc. That is all well and good for most of life in a civilised situation. But it is not the right way to be when you are under direct attack and when others are being profoundly uncivilised. This is actually a time for self-defence and that means tapping into a very justified rage.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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ABCOneTwoThree
Take a look at the title you gave this post. Read it very carefully. And then read it again. 

How can he be committed to reconnecting, and at the same time refuse to give up his AP? Both things cannot be true at the same time. 

His actions are telling you you he is most definitely not ready or willing to reconnect, or rebuild. He can say anything, but what is he doing?? 
Formerly EasyAsABC 
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hurting
I’ve said it on your other threads and I’ll say it again. 

Actions are all that count here. Not words. He is keeping you as his back up and default option. Is this ok with you? He is NOT backing up his claims with the right actions. 

This is heartbreaking... I’m so sorry he’s still behaving like this.
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strength1
Thank you all.  I am feeling stronger.  Angry enough to want to do something about thinking about myself for a change.
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hurting
Be strong and look after yourself. Start putting yourself first here. Not him. He is not in any way, acting like someone who is even worthy of being called your ‘husband’. If you have kids, he really isn’t acting like a good father either... 
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Keepabuzz
As others have said he is using and abusing you, period. You need to consult a lawyer, at the very least to know what your rights are. What you can and cannot do. I would personally change the locks on the house, and he would not be allowed in the home HE abandoned. All communication would be via email or text, so there is a record. All conversations would be only in regards to seeing the kids, NOT in YOUR home, or separation issues. It’s very easy to listen to his words and think he is changing, when in reality he is just telling you what you want to hear, and continuing to DO whatever HE wants to do. Embrace the rage, right now you need it.  We have rage for a reason, USE IT!  YOU need to do “the 180”! 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Fionarob
All good points and advice.......please, please listen.  I held on far too long also, but all the evidence was right there in front of me and I didn't want to look at it.

My ex also told me he was going to end the affair, but that he couldn't do it yet because the AP was on holiday, and that would be too unkind to her.  it shocked me into reality ........he had been cheating on me for over 2 years, I had suffered the pain of numerous D-Days, I was in a state of anxiety and worry all the time, I was worried about how it was affecting my children..........and yet, there he was worrying about her because she was on holiday and he didn't want to hurt her??  But he was happy to continue hurting me and our children.  That was the point I snapped, that was the thing that made me so angry and realise I really did not want this man anymore.  It opened my eyes.

Keep in mind also that you have no idea what your h is saying to the AP.  He may not even be hinting at the relationship ending, they may be discussing how they will keep in contact when she leaves and planning how they will keep things going.  He might be planning to end it, he might not.  And she might be as much in the dark as you.  Only he knows what he is planning to do, he is pulling all the strings and is totally in control of everything. Take back some control for yourself.  Don't wait around to see what he is going to do next.  Stop talking about your marriage, reconciliation, future plans etc and just keep your contact to a minimum.  If I was you, I wouldn't even be allowing him to spend time in your home while he is still involved with the AP.
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