AHmember113 – I have been in individual counselling. It’s been a long road these past 3 years when his deceptions and double life first came to light and while he has made some changes in certain aspects of life anything truly meaningful or beyond surface level still seems to be a ways off, if ever. Mostly now I am focussing on becoming peaceful with the fact that I have certainly given him every opportunity despite what he says/thinks and reaffirming that while I am certainly not perfect it is not my shame at being cheated on and lied to and creating healthy boundaries for myself.
How does him not getting enough attention cause multiple breaches of ethical behavior? How can what YOU do control HIS behavior?
Flight: I have tried to ask that...I can explain/ask these types of things but cannot make him understand them. I am not dependent on him financially. The way he wears me down is with his guilt trips and constant verbal manipulations. I am simply calling them as I see them now as it is becoming one big old pity party with him constantly rewriting “the past” to ensure he doesn’t have to own his behaviors. I am not dependent on him as he has not lived with me since the start of the year. So I am doing the 24/7 parenting thing and he doesn’t understand what that entails or the additional resentment attached to that and simply throws that in my face as my choice to not have him live here – when the reason he is not back living here is he chose to continue with the double life, the lying, the betrayals etc.
The first order of business in recovery from an affair is taking responsibility and ownership of your actions and taking steps to ENSURE THAT YOU NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.
Kalmarjan – I am constantly being told it takes “forgiveness” or “trust” on my part... yet I still do date do not even have full disclosure. He figures the countless lies he tells are “little lies” not major things like another full blown affair and seems to think I should just get over it, to me that is minimizing. To me until there is a full stop to any lying, deceptions, omissions, drip feeding etc there is no forward movement. Then would come full disclosure etc. I can’t “forgive” when every few days there is another issue, or when I don’t have full facts on what I would be forgiving. I am coming to peace with walking away because I do not believe I will ever have full disclosure because I am beginning to believe he is incapable of being truly honest. The way I hear what he says is he expects me to commit “or else” he won’t do the work. Well I was committed and present and doing the work and he was the one off living his double life. So again the “threat” doesn’t compute.
Here's the thing: remorse & sorrow aren't enough. Unfaithful partners can be genuinely sorry & remorseful for many reasons (including the regret of hurting others, shame, and the pains of being caught). But those responses only bring about temporary change if they do not move deeper, becoming the kind of repentance that leads to permanent change.
And sometimes it's hard to tell the difference at first. That's why time is a necessary ingredient for healing. (Trust = Time + The Right Stuff) If he has a pattern of returning the the same behavior, than that is the clearest evidence that his remorse does not go deep enough. He is sorry for external things, not for who he has become. And until he becomes desperate to change himself, you will be at risk.
Since this has happened repeatedly, you likely require a long period of consistent trustworthy behavior until you can even begin settling down emotionally. The work of rebuilding trust is his, not yours.
Has too much been broken by now?
TimT: Yes the pattern of returning to the same behavior is my biggest clue. Thank you for stating that the work of rebuilding trust is his not mine as he constantly is going at me to just believe the latest version of his supposed full disclosure.
I do think it is at the point where too much has been broken. He expects me to commit to continuing to be faithful, to reassure him, to support him through his “breakdowns”, and all his emotions, ....and he doesn’t get that the bank is empty. He truly shows zero insight into the emotional toll 3 years of his betrayals have taken on me and even that he throws in my face expecting me to turn to him for support - why would I do that when he is constantly letting me down? When he lies to my face all.the.time. I have nothing left to give/offer because he has depleted all the resources with the crap he has pulled and continues to pull....but that too becomes more manipulations in me not caring about him or his “feelings”. Those feelings generally come across as deflections, blame shifting, a pity party, attempted guilt trips or thinly veiled innuendos or accusations. It is almost laughable when he tries to get me to continue to “commit” to him/us because he hasn’t been committed to us/me – so regardless of what I do/don’t do, say/don’t say he still lies, cheats etc. The word “Time” is a bit of a trigger for me as he is constantly saying well its been 3 days or 1 week etc since the last lie...well the last lie I called him on or he somewhat came clean on after much drip feeding. He constantly tells me he needs more “time” and after time passes I will see things have changed. Or that somehow it is my flaw for not putting enough weight on the changes he has made in x amount of “time” and I guess ignore the affairs, the lies, the porn, the extra emails, the double life sneaking around etc. It’s truly just one big old mindF**k. I do get what you mean though...yes it would need to be a massive amount of time passing at this point with proper consistent behavior being demonstrated for me to even begin to trust again.
At this stage I have told him I won’t read his texts/messages unless they are about our baby. There is no point covering the same ground over and over again. I simply cannot wrap my head around how he sees things. If he wants to write a final full time line and go over it with his IC and then perhaps arrange a joint session to review it once and for all if there are things that need to be discussed than fine. I don’t need the constant texts/calls/voicemails/emails where he drip feeds, then offers up an insincere apology, and if he doesn’t get the response he wants instantly starts in on the attempted guilt trips, blameshifting, deflections, excuses, justifications or sending baiting texts in an attempt to get me to respond and then he can go after me for not responding correctly or for being angry or for not believing him.
He insists on couples counseling, but to me that is useless as we have tried (obviously by we I mean me as he was still living his double life and cheating and lying the whole time), and there are things I needed to see before even considering couples counseling as I don’t agree his infidelity or dishonesty or other issues are joint issues/communications issues...they are things to be address in IC first. I am starting to feel like he is using the time he is to see the baby as another venue to carry on his manipulations as well and his interest in the baby is no more real than his interest in anyone else.
Sorry, all over the place again. This is why I am taking time away to focus on other parts of my life. Establishing as much peace and calmness and happiness as I can.