Shayla
I came to the realization that the second affair with all the blame shifting was easier for me to move forward, this time with my husband taking full responsibility for his actions. I know that sounds crazy, it's just that when my husband blamed me for his affair, it gave me something I could work on. Something I could fix, that would hopefully make our lives and marriage better. There was a part of the whole mess that I could control. This time there is nothing I can do. Rationally I know that him taking responsibility for his actions is a good thing, but when I hear him say there is nothing I did or didn't do. That he knows he couldn't find anyone who would treat him better or love him more. It makes me feel hopeless. If I'm am giving my all and doing the best I can and he still can't be faithful, how will we ever be ok? I guess it all goes back to trust and right now I don't have enough trust to believe he will figure out what is broken inside of him and do what needs to be done to fix it.

I see him trying, and after a really good conversation this past weekend he finally got how much he has really hurt me and I've seen a small change in him. Maybe this will be enough to motivate him to do the work he needs to do.

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TimT
Shayla wrote:
...It makes me feel hopeless. If I'm am giving my all and doing the best I can and he still can't be faithful, how will we ever be ok?...
Well, you're right. Even if one spouse is absolutely perfect (theoretically speaking, of course), the imperfection/brokenness in the other can have consequences. If love was a guarantee, there would be no need for trust.

But it's harder now because you now how badly you can be hurt. We all want to grasp onto ANYTHING we can do to assure not being hurt again. But life is messier than that. And in the cracks, there is room for grace.

When I read your post, I was reminded of the biblical story of the Adam & Eve. God created a paradise, a place of perfection for them. They had the perfect place and the perfect father... and they still blew it. I guess we can't assume we'll get better guarantees.
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Shayla
I don't think I'm perfect but I do try to look at myself and fix the parts of me I don't like.
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Anna26
Shayla wrote:


.. he knows he couldn't find anyone who would treat him better or love him more. It makes me feel hopeless. If I'm am giving my all and doing the best I can and he still can't be faithful, how will we ever be ok?



I can see where you are coming from here, it makes you feel so hopeless and helpless to know that there is nothing you can do to stop the mistakes they make.  Ultimately it is down to them, as the decsion to cross the line is a choice they make at the time.
First time for me..I managed to put it behind me and eventually, the thought that it might happen again didn't really cross my mind.  Second time, I couldn't believe how naive I still was!

If it's any consolation I know my WS is just as disbelieving that he has done it again after swearing to himself that he wouldn't.  He is really ashamed of himself, to the point that, for example, if I said, I'd had enough of his indecisions and thought it was best that we divorced, he would let it happen because he felt that he deserved it. 

But he still can't seem to learn that he needs to look within and find out what is missing in him and what he seems to look for elsewhere. 
He always bottles problems up, has never been a 'talker' and it's almost as if he feels, to show your emotions is to show your weaknesses.  With him, I think problems really drag him down until he can't cope and somehow looks for something else to extinguish the pain, whatever that might be.  I don't feel I can explain this to him as it will probably just be taken as as my solution to the problem, and any 'advice' ignored.
I can see it, but he needs to figure it out for himself and that I think is the key...
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TimT
Anna26 wrote:
But he still can't seem to learn that he needs to look within and find out what is missing in him and what he seems to look for elsewhere. He always bottles problems up, has never been a 'talker' and it's almost as if he feels, to show your emotions is to show your weaknesses. With him, I think problems really drag him down until he can't cope and somehow looks for something else to extinguish the pain, whatever that might be. I don't feel I can explain this to him as it will probably just be taken as as my solution to the problem, and any 'advice' ignored.
In the Affair Healing manuals I'm writing (hopefully the first one will be available by the end of this month), I address this issue in the last two chapters, with instructions & worksheets to guide individual/couples through considerations of the importance of connection/communication and what gets in our way of those things. Of course, if he's not curious enough to want to figure that out about himself, it won't help him.
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Shayla
Anna26 wrote:

If it's any consolation I know my WS is just as disbelieving that he has done it again after swearing to himself that he wouldn't.  He is really ashamed of himself, to the point that, for example, if I said, I'd had enough of his indecisions and thought it was best that we divorced, he would let it happen because he felt that he deserved it.


This sounds a lot like my husband. He told me that if I decided that this is too much to deal with a month, 6 months or even a year from now, he would have to accept that and let me go.


Anna26 wrote:

But he still can't seem to learn that he needs to look within and find out what is missing in him and what he seems to look for elsewhere. 
He always bottles problems up, has never been a 'talker' and it's almost as if he feels, to show your emotions is to show your weaknesses.


This sounds like my husband too. I'm hoping we can figure this all out in counseling.
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awaggoner1999
This is such a comfort to know that I am not crazy. My husband is in such denial as well... so much that he too will take the separation and eventual divorce because he sees there is no going back to do the work to fix what was broken. It seems to daunting and scary to him...as he too would need to do a lot of introspection to see how he crossed over the line.

Well, I can inly hope one day he sees a glimpse of his true self and realizes he needs to get some sort of help.  
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surviving
No, you aren't crazy.  If you are, we all are.  The "affair fog" lasted 14 years for my WH.  Now that the 14-year affair is over, he wants to work it out.  All I can say is, "That is because you don't have someone else in line for another affair."  That isn't what he says, but how can I think otherwise.  However, through counseling and "Setting Captives Free" (a free program - http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/), there have been huge changes in my WH.  Yes, there have been changes, but is it enough to forgive the affairs (yes, I said affairs with an "s')?  I am not sure yet.  Give your WH time, work on yourself, and hopefully, things will improve. 
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Anna26
TimT wrote:
Anna26 wrote:
But he still can't seem to learn that he needs to look within and find out what is missing in him and what he seems to look for elsewhere. He always bottles problems up, has never been a 'talker' and it's almost as if he feels, to show your emotions is to show your weaknesses. With him, I think problems really drag him down until he can't cope and somehow looks for something else to extinguish the pain, whatever that might be. I don't feel I can explain this to him as it will probably just be taken as as my solution to the problem, and any 'advice' ignored.


In the Affair Healing manuals I'm writing (hopefully the first one will be available by the end of this month), I address this issue in the last two chapters, with instructions & worksheets to guide individual/couples through considerations of the importance of connection/communication and what gets in our way of those things. Of course, if he's not curious enough to want to figure that out about himself, it won't help him.



Tim, those books would be a great help to ME, but like you say...can't make the horse drink the water!  How I wish he would see how helpful it would be to him.  Instead he is so set in his ways and I do think that has a great deal to do with how he was brought up...parents quite unemotional (well father more and mother probably went along with it for the sake of a quiet life - anything he said was law) and also never showed affection much. Not in my opinion anyway, who knows what went on before I came along.   It's like I said, they just don't let the feelings show, very old school, stiff upper lip and everything very private.  I think my husband might talk if he knew how to let go, but it's getting through those ingrained ideals, (you know, you just SHOULDN'T have to get emotional under any circumstances!)   He wouldn't consider books, communities like this one, counselling...but there is a book I am currently reading 'His needs, her needs, by Willard F Harley, that I might throw (at him? did I say that?) his way and hope for the best with it.  Some of it could have been written about him!



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Anna26
Shayla wrote:
Anna26 wrote:

If it's any consolation I know my WS is just as disbelieving that he has done it again after swearing to himself that he wouldn't.  He is really ashamed of himself, to the point that, for example, if I said, I'd had enough of his indecisions and thought it was best that we divorced, he would let it happen because he felt that he deserved it.


This sounds a lot like my husband. He told me that if I decided that this is too much to deal with a month, 6 months or even a year from now, he would have to accept that and let me go.


Anna26 wrote:

But he still can't seem to learn that he needs to look within and find out what is missing in him and what he seems to look for elsewhere. 
He always bottles problems up, has never been a 'talker' and it's almost as if he feels, to show your emotions is to show your weaknesses.


This sounds like my husband too. I'm hoping we can figure this all out in counseling.



Shayla:  They do sound remarkably similar, I'm so glad it's not just me having these kind of problems.  One good thing with respect to your husband though is that he IS prepared to go to counselling with you and that has to be a huge step in the right direction.  I wish you luck with it...
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Anna26
awaggoner1999 wrote:
This is such a comfort to know that I am not crazy. My husband is in such denial as well... so much that he too will take the separation and eventual divorce because he sees there is no going back to do the work to fix what was broken. It seems to daunting and scary to him...as he too would need to do a lot of introspection to see how he crossed over the line.

Well, I can inly hope one day he sees a glimpse of his true self and realizes he needs to get some sort of help.  


No, you are definitely not crazy, and I agree that they are probably thinking how overwhelming a task it is going to be to get the marriage back on track, and then they look at themselves and realise (if they realise at all) that all the soul searching they will have to do is part of the deal and that's even more frightening because it exposes all their insecurities and vulnerabilities.
I don't know if my husband would be able to do it, I honestly think it would take something like the fact he was about to lose everything to make him open up...
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Anna26
surviving wrote:
No, you aren't crazy.  If you are, we all are.  The "affair fog" lasted 14 years for my WH.  Now that the 14-year affair is over, he wants to work it out.  All I can say is, "That is because you don't have someone else in line for another affair."  That isn't what he says, but how can I think otherwise.  However, through counseling and "Setting Captives Free" (a free program - http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/), there have been huge changes in my WH.  Yes, there have been changes, but is it enough to forgive the affairs (yes, I said affairs with an "s')?  I am not sure yet.  Give your WH time, work on yourself, and hopefully, things will improve. 



Surviving;  I know what you mean when you have doubts about what he is thinking. That's part of the trust issue isn't it and it's difficult when you want to believe them but that nagging voice in the back of your mind is telling you otherwise.  I imagine all kinds of different reasons he could give or other answers to questions.   I'm glad the counselling is helping both of you though...
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Kalmarjan
Anna26 wrote:
awaggoner1999 wrote:
This is such a comfort to know that I am not crazy. My husband is in such denial as well... so much that he too will take the separation and eventual divorce because he sees there is no going back to do the work to fix what was broken. It seems to daunting and scary to him...as he too would need to do a lot of introspection to see how he crossed over the line.

Well, I can inly hope one day he sees a glimpse of his true self and realizes he needs to get some sort of help.  


No, you are definitely not crazy, and I agree that they are probably thinking how overwhelming a task it is going to be to get the marriage back on track, and then they look at themselves and realise (if they realise at all) that all the soul searching they will have to do is part of the deal and that's even more frightening because it exposes all their insecurities and vulnerabilities.
I don't know if my husband would be able to do it, I honestly think it would take something like the fact he was about to lose everything to make him open up...


Oh, I cannot even begin to describe how right you are on this.

The premise that you are the one that is completely messed up, that the fantasy you have sold yourself to justify your actions going in (and believe me, I don't believe for a second that anyone in a LTR would just "fall into" an affair... There is an underlying want/need despite any circumstances, be it drugs/alcohol, or "momentary" lapses of judgement.) is really, really scary to face.

It means that you are going to have to be honest. Not only to your spouse, the world, but most of all to yourself.

I almost didn't go back because of this. But, I also "framed" it in my mind as "going back would be the easy way out."

The way I looked at it, I would have to go back, grovel, say I'm sorry to everyone. I didn't want to do that because it's a MAJOR loss of face and ego.

What smartened me up was the realization that where I was headed, I was to be alone. Like, really, really alone. For what? The OW? I knew instinctively that it just all didn't add up.

(Lucky for me I keep a daily journal. I can look back and see all the points where I was starting to wake up from the fog.)

Unfortunately, I have to put it like this. My AP didn't play the cards right. Meaning, she could have just let things go, instead of insisting that she be #1 priority. If she hadn't pushed for all the things she did, as quickly as she did, I don't know if I would have come back.

I'd like to say I would, but I'm not so sure. I think what happened was I started listening to that little voice in my soul again. The one telling me this was all kinds of wrong.

That's what prompted me to look at myself. At first it's easy to blame the AP or the BS. Trust me, It's hard to look at yourself as the bad guy in this story.

But totally worth it!

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