Blessedby7
So, I've been waiting to post this because I always seem to post on my "down" days. I wanted to post when I'm actually in a decent place for once. 

Quick recap, H's affair started Sept 14, 2018.  They had a week while he was deployed, then carried on in their relationship (sexting and "making plans") through video calls and messenger until he planned a weekend with her Oct 5th-7th.  She called it quits Oct 9th because her husband was getting suspicious, H said he was moving out on the 11th, and I found out and confronted him on Oct 12th.  

For whatever reason, probably because it's our anniversary, the 5th through the 7th of every month are my hardest days, and the 7th, our anniversary,  feels like my Dday, not the 12th when I actually found out.  

To complicate things this year, on the first anniversary of Dday, our 24th anniversary, I am also due on Oct 1st. This being a girl, she'll probably be late, so we could very literally have her on our anniversary,  which has already happened with one of our older kids (his 18th birthday was totally ruined last year for obvious reasons).  

I told him at one point that he gave her our anniversary, and I wasn't sure if I ever wanted to celebrate it again.  Now, with everything going on, hormones and everything, part of me wants him to redeem that for us, but i don't know how he could possibly do that, or if i really do want him to. I think of the old marriage being dead, i don't wear my rings, and because he has just compartmentalized things and has put it away, I don't feel fully committed, even though otherwise things are relatively "good".

Should I spend the next two months asking him to do some real work with me, and try to reclaim our day, especially considering we will either have or be welcoming a new baby, or would it be best to just forget it and see what he does? I know no one can really answer that but me, I guess I'm just thinking out loud, and looking for insight. 
Tired of working on us, so now I'm working on me. 
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UrbanExplorer
D-Day for me (WS) is my husband's birthday. I can never undo that, but I always make an effort to schedule something special for us that day to keep us distracted and make some new memories. The first year, we flew to NYC. 

My advice is to tell him what you said above, that this anniversary is looming for you and does he want to make it easier on you?
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ThrivenotSurvive
I think the first thing is to figure out what you want.   Then make sure he is aware of it. 

Do not assume that he is like UrbanExplorer and will try to make a plan to make it easier for you both.  It does not sound like he has a high level of emotional intelligence, so it is likely that his way of "dealing with it" is to put it in a box and bury it in the backyard.  Which will mean that he either acts like it is just another anniversary like any other - or will not celebrate it at all for fear of upsetting you. 

ASSUME he does not know how to please/help you and give him the tools to be successful.  If he then doesn't follow through, it is on him.  But far too often they just don't know what to do - and are afraid to ask.  So they handle it like THEY would prefer (which is usually burying it.)

As far as what you want... explore lots of possibilities to see what feels good to you.  For instance, many forum users have, like you, determined that their first marriage was dead and chose to get all new rings (or none), renew their vows, etc.  In that case, maybe it would feel better to you to choose a NEW date.  One that means something GOOD to you.  I've known people who actually CELEBRATED the day the WS came clean because for them it was when TRUTH and HONESTY became a foundation in their relationship again. 

Others choose a different date that reminded them of a good time in their relationship... you see where I am going.  

I felt a bit differently.  I did not view my marriage as having died and then a new one started.  I still wear my wedding ring (through I did remove it for a while.) Rather I took the Eastern approach of seeing it as something beautiful, but fragile, that was not treated with care and broke.  It was repaired with gold - and now shows the marks of BOTH the damage - and the care with which it was repaired.  

So we still celebrate our original anniversary.  However, the first year it felt like a lie.  I  was still setting 6 month increments to determine if I would stay and was very undecided.  So I told my husband the truth.  I didn't want to celebrate it.  I hoped to want to someday in the future - but that year felt false and forced.  

By the second year, I was ready and told him so.  And asked that he plan something nice.  He was happy to - but was clearly waiting for my cue to know what would be acceptable.  He did not want to appear presumptuous - which was wise on his part.  I would have seen it as a sign of rug-sweeping if he had NOT wanted to see where my heart and mind were at.

So figure out what feels right to you - and then explain to your spouse why you would like to handle it that way and the emotions/thoughts behind it.  Let him understand where you are at - and don't be shy about asking for what you need/want.  This is NOT selfish.  It is being honest and educating your spouse on how to love you in a way that makes you feel valued. 

As far as the work on your marriage, understanding why, etc.  You really need to think about your boundaries around this.  What you can live with and what you can not.  I think a large number of WS would LOVE to just forget it all happened, promise to never do it again (with full intention, or at least hope, of keeping that promise) and just try to invest more in the marriage without looking at ANY of the reasons why they choose that particular solution for whatever they were feeling.  Honestly - does anyone really WANT to look at the reasons behind the mistakes they've made?  Self-reflection is rarely fun - and can sometimes bring to light things they've spent their lifetime trying to outrun.

So while I WISH that they all realized that this was critical to preserve the marriage - and for their own growth and happiness - and just DO IT with no prompting... it is rare at best.  And most of those were women who already had at least some comfort level with therapy/contemplating emotional habits/patterns.  Men are just NOT taught to do this.  In many cases, they are SHAMED for doing it.  

So if seeing your husband examine his particular "Whys" and learn more skills for understanding and communicating his emotions is critical to you being able to feel safe and fully recommit - then TELL HIM SO.  And don't use flowery language - be kind but be blunt.  And tell him what you need.  

I had to do this with my husband.  I believed him when he said it killed him to see what he'd done, that he regretted it, that it wasn't worth it, that he never, ever, ever wanted to hurt me like that again.

But I'd known him wayyyyy too long - and I knew that until he addressed some childhood issues and passive/aggressive tendencies, he wouldn't be able to SEE when he was going down that path until far too late.  His trouble was that he wasn't even honest with HIMSELF.  So even if he never CHEATED again - it would come out some other way... and I wasn't going to be by his side for the next time the voices of resentment and hurt got so loud that he acted out.  

I told him that he had choices in HOW he did it... he/we could go to counseling, we could read books and discuss it together (or he could read it alone and then share his thoughts), we could take online course, or go to retreats... he had all the freedom in the world about how he got there.  But the only way my 6 month increments were going to become a real commitment was if I saw TANGIBLE changes that ran deep AND were the product of self-reflection and insight that he could share with me.

It had nothing to do with making him into someone different - I just wanted him to be the most authentic version of himself.  One that I could trust to be honest with ME about his needs, because he could could be honest with himself.  It also had nothing to do with controlling him - it had everything to do with protecting ME.  

This was not one conversation.  I had to hold my ground on this MULTIPLE times over the first two years... when he'd start something and want to stop when it was getting too emotionally uncomfortable.  Or the appointments were hard to work into his work schedule.  etc. etc.  I would always say, fine - we don't have to do it THIS way - but I don't feel safe yet.  So you need to pick a different way.  And we switched it up SEVERAL times. 

I tried to be as flexible as I could while protecting MY interests.  I did not condemn him for his discomfort.  I even told him I understood - I wasn't enjoying everything I was having to look at either.  But I held my ground.  It was still necessary.  I don't like getting cavities filled either - but I do it because the price for not is far, far greater in the long haul.  Same concept.  

So figure out what you need.. . in his self-growth/understanding, in your marriage and about your anniversary.  Then be honest and clear about it.  

Sorry that you are having to deal with this while you are creating a human being - that is doubly unfair.  
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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hurting

ASSUME he does not know how to please/help you and give him the tools to be successful.  If he then doesn't follow through, it is on him.  But far too often they just don't know what to do - and are afraid to ask.  So they handle it like THEY would prefer (which is usually burying it.)


Everything said above resonated with me. But this paragraph really stood out.

I always WANTED my husband to do many many things to help me. They seemed SO OBVIOUS to me. Blatantly so. So much so that it was beyond belief for me that he couldn’t think up even ONE of the one hundred ideas that would occur to me in one second when I thought about what he could do. It was like I felt like he was purposefully being stupid and refusing to help me.

unfortunately, it’s more like his brain just doesn’t work like that. What seems like common sense to me and ridiculously basic just doesn’t occur to him. It isn’t for lack of trying. He just literally has NO IDEA on how to approach a difficult situation, particularly where he is in the wrong and feels shame, where I am angry and hurting. 

The most helpful thing that I can do is actually probably just TELL him what I need. I hated doing this (it felt like he cheated by not coming up with what to do by himself)... but I’ve had to come to the conclusion that without me telling him, he just has no idea. So I’ll tell him. What DOES SHOW EFFORT thereafter, is how firmly he takes my request to heart. If he just does it once or twice for a few days after the request, then that’s pretty poor. But if he continues to do it thereafter... well then I think that effort is a sign of change itself. 

For example, I have told my husband that one of the things he can do is ASK me how I’m going. I asked for this once before. He did it for a few weeks then stopped as we seemed to be getting better, and he found it hard as it was a constant reminder and trigger for shame. I went backwards. I lost it one day and told him again, very firmly what I needed. Since then he has asked me several times a day and has done this for the last few months. 
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Blessedby7
I think the first thing is to figure out what you want.   Then make sure he is aware of it. 

Do not assume that he is like UrbanExplorer and will try to make a plan to make it easier for you both.  It does not sound like he has a high level of emotional intelligence, so it is likely that his way of "dealing with it" is to put it in a box and bury it in the backyard.  Which will mean that he either acts like it is just another anniversary like any other - or will not celebrate it at all for fear of upsetting you.  Yes! He has done a few things for me, and ended up triggering me, and we have talked some about how this could be an extremely rough time, so I can definitely see him being scared to upset me. 

ASSUME he does not know how to please/help you and give him the tools to be successful.  If he then doesn't follow through, it is on him.  But far too often they just don't know what to do - and are afraid to ask.  So they handle it like THEY would prefer (which is usually burying it.)  Oh my goodness, yes!  And he handles things by clamming up or walking away.  He's said often that if he's the source of my pain or anger, then he will just remove the source.

As far as what you want... explore lots of possibilities to see what feels good to you.  For instance, many forum users have, like you, determined that their first marriage was dead and chose to get all new rings (or none), renew their vows, etc.  In that case, maybe it would feel better to you to choose a NEW date.  One that means something GOOD to you.  I've known people who actually CELEBRATED the day the WS came clean because for them it was when TRUTH and HONESTY became a foundation in their relationship again.  This really resonates with me.  I've really been in the dead marriage, need a new one camp, but have really been struggling with what "new" meant for me.  Quite frankly, in a lot of ways we had a good marriage, and I would be happy with that, but better, which is almost what we had now.  The rings, on the other hand, represent a vow to me that he broke.  Maybe the right thing for me is a mix of better marriage, and new rings to represent that, and maybe that's a good way to reclaim our anniversary, as a new commitment from each of us.  This is going to take some thinking and soul searching, but thank you so much for the perspective!!   I don't feel like I can choose a new date because he didn't have a period of "coming clean".  I found out, though he never denied, and took full responsibility.  However, I still feel like second choice because of that.  That's something we will definitely have to talk over.

I felt a bit differently.  I did not view my marriage as having died and then a new one started.  I still wear my wedding ring (through I did remove it for a while.) Rather I took the Eastern approach of seeing it as something beautiful, but fragile, that was not treated with care and broke.  It was repaired with gold - and now shows the marks of BOTH the damage - and the care with which it was repaired.  I like this approach

As far as the work on your marriage, understanding why, etc.  You really need to think about your boundaries around this.  What you can live with and what you can not.  I think a large number of WS would LOVE to just forget it all happened, promise to never do it again (with full intention, or at least hope, of keeping that promise) and just try to invest more in the marriage without looking at ANY of the reasons why they choose that particular solution for whatever they were feeling.  Honestly - does anyone really WANT to look at the reasons behind the mistakes they've made?  Self-reflection is rarely fun - and can sometimes bring to light things they've spent their lifetime trying to outrun.  

So while I WISH that they all realized that this was critical to preserve the marriage - and for their own growth and happiness - and just DO IT with no prompting... it is rare at best.  And most of those were women who already had at least some comfort level with therapy/contemplating emotional habits/patterns.  Men are just NOT taught to do this.  In many cases, they are SHAMED for doing it.  

So if seeing your husband examine his particular "Whys" and learn more skills for understanding and communicating his emotions is critical to you being able to feel safe and fully recommit - then TELL HIM SO.  And don't use flowery language - be kind but be blunt.  And tell him what you need.  

I had to do this with my husband.  I believed him when he said it killed him to see what he'd done, that he regretted it, that it wasn't worth it, that he never, ever, ever wanted to hurt me like that again.

But I'd known him wayyyyy too long - and I knew that until he addressed some childhood issues and passive/aggressive tendencies, he wouldn't be able to SEE when he was going down that path until far too late.  His trouble was that he wasn't even honest with HIMSELF.  So even if he never CHEATED again - it would come out some other way... and I wasn't going to be by his side for the next time the voices of resentment and hurt got so loud that he acted out.  

I told him that he had choices in HOW he did it... he/we could go to counseling, we could read books and discuss it together (or he could read it alone and then share his thoughts), we could take online course, or go to retreats... he had all the freedom in the world about how he got there.  But the only way my 6 month increments were going to become a real commitment was if I saw TANGIBLE changes that ran deep AND were the product of self-reflection and insight that he could share with me.

It had nothing to do with making him into someone different - I just wanted him to be the most authentic version of himself.  One that I could trust to be honest with ME about his needs, because he could could be honest with himself.  It also had nothing to do with controlling him - it had everything to do with protecting ME.  

This was not one conversation.  I had to hold my ground on this MULTIPLE times over the first two years... when he'd start something and want to stop when it was getting too emotionally uncomfortable.  Or the appointments were hard to work into his work schedule.  etc. etc.  I would always say, fine - we don't have to do it THIS way - but I don't feel safe yet.  So you need to pick a different way.  And we switched it up SEVERAL times. 

I tried to be as flexible as I could while protecting MY interests.  I did not condemn him for his discomfort.  I even told him I understood - I wasn't enjoying everything I was having to look at either.  But I held my ground.  It was still necessary.  I don't like getting cavities filled either - but I do it because the price for not is far, far greater in the long haul.  Same concept.  

So figure out what you need.. . in his self-growth/understanding, in your marriage and about your anniversary.  Then be honest and clear about it.  

Sorry that you are having to deal with this while you are creating a human being - that is doubly unfair.  


Wow, just wow!!  I think this is the BEST thing I could have heard right now. Every single thing resonates so much!!  I think I will definitely take the next few days to think about exactly what to say and how to say it, and pick a not-so-emotional day to try and talk with him, or at least start the process.  
Tired of working on us, so now I'm working on me. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
You are very, very welcome 🙂
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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Blessedby7
Everything said above resonated with me. But this paragraph really stood out. 

I always WANTED my husband to do many many things to help me. They seemed SO OBVIOUS to me. Blatantly so. So much so that it was beyond belief for me that he couldn’t think up even ONE of the one hundred ideas that would occur to me in one second when I thought about what he could do. It was like I felt like he was purposefully being stupid and refusing to help me. 

unfortunately, it’s more like his brain just doesn’t work like that. What seems like common sense to me and ridiculously basic just doesn’t occur to him. It isn’t for lack of trying. He just literally has NO IDEA on how to approach a difficult situation, particularly where he is in the wrong and feels shame, where I am angry and hurting. 

The most helpful thing that I can do is actually probably just TELL him what I need. I hated doing this (it felt like he cheated by not coming up with what to do by himself)... but I’ve had to come to the conclusion that without me telling him, he just has no idea. So I’ll tell him. What DOES SHOW EFFORT thereafter, is how firmly he takes my request to heart. If he just does it once or twice for a few days after the request, then that’s pretty poor. But if he continues to do it thereafter... well then I think that effort is a sign of change itself. 


YES!!  It seems so obvious to me,and then when he doesn't do it, I'm hurt, and he doesn't understand why.  Or if I just mention something, and he doesn't do it, I'm especially hurt because then I've told him, and he's not doing it.  But now I'm realizing that just mentioning it isn't enough.  Maybe I need to tell him how and why it's important to me.  And then, you're right. Where he takes it from there is on him.  All this time I've expected him to want to do what I needed him to do, and just assumed any person in their right mind would know what that is.  I never once thought maybe he really doesn't know what the "right thing" is, and those things he has tried has often triggered me, so he is scared to try other things.  

Wow, just wow, again so many different perspectives that I honestly hadn't thought of.

Also, I was talking to two of my daughters yesterday.  Most of my kids are older, ages 12 to almost 23, and they do all know.  They don't know all the details that I do, obviously, but they do know about the affair. One of the mistakes that I did make after Dday is talking with them a bit much about what I was going through.  Yesterday I was in the truck with my 20 and 16 year old daughters.  I asked them their opinion on the anniversary question, and my 16 year old told me that she can see her dad trying, and she feels like discounting our anniversary will make him feel like all the work that he has done was for nothing.  It really got me thinking, and I'll have to talk to him but I do wonder if, during the affair fog, he really just didn't think about it being our anniversary.  For him it just happened to be the weekend that his class was scheduled, she was going to be at the class, so it was a perfect opportunity to meet up. As hurtful and gut wrenching as it is to me, maybe to him at the time it was just another day, and he really would like a way to get that back for us.  I have to say, I think my daughters are very wise in some ways. ðŸ˜‰

I feel like I'm just thinking out loud now, but thank you all so much!!  I think for the first time I really and truly see some hope for us, and a direction to move in. 
Tired of working on us, so now I'm working on me. 
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