Blessedby7
Why do I struggle saying anything when I know it will hurt him?

Why do I find it so easy to just bottle it all up and walk on eggshells so he isn't upset, and I don't upset things?

Why do I find it so extremely difficult, nearly impossible, to ask for his cell password, or let it be known I check his computer? Why do i feel guilty when i do check up on him?

Why can't I just get a backbone. Why can't I get angry? Why do I feel guilty for being angry, or hurting?
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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ThrivenotSurvive
Is it only in your relationship with him that these patterns of placation emerge?  Or are you the one always "backing down", "smoothing things over", "swallowing your words"?  If it is something that happens in more than one relationship in your life - it is likely a pattern of behavior you learned in childhood that needs to be unlearned for your own well-being.  If it is only with him, then it is a pattern you have created between the two of you.  I would hazard a guess that there are two reasons for this (at least.)  First, after looking back over your story, it appears that there has been a LONG period of time that there has been a significant power imbalance in your marriage.  He's made you feel "less than" and like you had to earn his love (which he would not state or show in overt ways) since he came back twelve years ago (forgive me if I've messed this up.)  

In addition, forgive me but the version of a biblical marriage you have described in other posts is one that ONLY works if the man at the head of the family is a strong, emotionally healthy, compassionate man filled with integrity.  If he is that man, than he would place so much value on his wife and partner that he would never a) cheat b) make your wonder how he felt c) be emotionally distant from his children.  The few men I have known that really lived this model treated their wives with respect, value and care.  But taking that position in a marriage with a man that isn't emotionally healthy is a recipe to take you for granted, devalue you, and basically treat you like a loyal dog.  I fear you are trying to put him in a position that he isn't prepared or capable of.  

While this is not the view of marriage that I personally subscribe to - I know that it can be successful so it is not the structure that I am finding fault with - it's the fact that he isn't "man enough" to fulfill that role right now.  And he may never be - because HE is the only one that can chose to grow in the ways necessary.  

I think you have taken the Field of Dreams "build it and they will come" approach to this marriage - but it isn't working.  It is only enabling him to stay closed off and emotionally stunted    

If you are ready to leave, than start your planning in secret as suggested.  You need to protect yourself more than most as you are more vulnerable with young ones and limited income.  

If you are not 100% done - than try a different approach.  I have no idea if it will get through - but it might be worth a try.  Sit down and decide what you REALLY need to move forward.  Try to keep it to a workable number for now (you can expand later if you make any progress.  For instance, 1) he removes himself from any online sources that the former AP is part of - the leaders can email him if they need to reach him.  2) He attends some form of therapy agreeable to YOU.  3) He chooses ONE thing a week that is important to you (your hobby, family gathering, etc and does it - whether it is his cup fo tea or not.  THIS is a PARTNERSHIP - not indentured servitude.  

Tell him that these are things you NEED, not want.  That you are sorry if these feel uncomfortable - but your marriage isn't going to make it otherwise.  He's free not to do it, but if he doesn't you will take that as him telling you that you and he are too far apart on your needs to make this work.  

Then make the first appointment - tell him the time and place and see if he shows up.  Don't nag him, remind him or anything else.  Be polite, but distant.  Draw some boundaries and DON't buckle.  Boundaries are worthless unless they are enforced.  Lack of boundaries = lack of self-value and self-respect.  Nothing God would EVER want or expect of his children.  

If he doesn't show up or meet your requests (not demands) - than he HAS told you everything you need to know.  This is the only life he's prepared to give you.  Then you need to figure out what you are going to do with that information.   

I am so sorry that he is still hurting you with his insensitivity.
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
I'll try to respond to this more in the morning, but you hit the nail on the head. I'm very nonconfrontational. I've only recently discovered the nature of the abuse I suffered as I child. I have no memories of it, so I really never thought much of it, but knowing what I know now, I would bet that little child that was me did everything she could to please the people around her to stop being hurt. I know from some things other family.members have said about me that I've always been that way. I never put two and two together because I just didn't know. I definitely need my.own therapy, and plan on seeking that again. 

As for the other, well, you're right there too. I even told him at one point after Dday that all I was to him was a loyal dog, something you just kick out of the way when you are tired of it. Heck, most people treat their dogs with more respect than he's treated me, and I've told him as much. But yes, it's going to have to come from someone else. He will do whatever I ask of him, of that I have no doubt because he's been great at doing everything I've asked and trying to "make me happy". That's pretty much the only thing that gives me hope. However, theres just so many years of pain to get past, I'm not sure anything will ever be enough at this point. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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AnywhereButHere
"Why do I find it so extremely difficult, nearly impossible, to ask for his cell password, or let it be known I check his computer? Why do i feel guilty when i do check up on him?"

Maybe a different attitude and understanding can help. My wife's emotional affair was carried on through texts and emails and, so, the fact is that her phone doesn't make 'ding' without that voice in the back of my mind saying, "Is she talking with her old AP?...or a new one?" I think it will always be this way. Full and complete trust is never coming back. There is no way I could trust my wife more than I did when she was cheating on me and I realize, now, that the prolonged appearance of fidelity and faithfulness is no proof of fidelity and faithfulness.

But I don't snoop, monitor or police her behavior very much at all because of a somewhat detached attitude, grounded in some hard truths, that I worked at acquiring. The truths are these:

 1. In this age of varied electronic communication, snooping is pointless because communication is so easy to conceal. Our WSs can open new email or texting accounts and easily hide them from us. Your getting your husband's phone and reviewing the gmail account he's had for years doesn't really accomplish or mean anything.

2. Snooping is pointless because it doesn't really matter if I know about whatever my wife is doing with whomever. The tragedy is the destruction, the loss - not my wife's deception or my ignorance. In our new environment of a betrayal-damaged marriage, I'm taking care of myself - not biting my nails in fear and worry about her falling again.

3. And the bottom-line is, if my wife is again willing to risk the destruction of our marriage..then maybe I shouldn't be so concerned about stopping her - through snooping, policing or anything else.

These can be some hard, ugly things to think about- but they may help you in some way. I pray that they do. Maybe you need to let the desire to snoop, along with the guilt you feel about it, just fly away from you.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Keepabuzz
"Why do I find it so extremely difficult, nearly impossible, to ask for his cell password, or let it be known I check his computer? Why do i feel guilty when i do check up on him?"

Maybe a different attitude and understanding can help. My wife's emotional affair was carried on through texts and emails and, so, the fact is that her phone doesn't make 'ding' without that voice in the back of my mind saying, "Is she talking with her old AP?...or a new one?" I think it will always be this way. Full and complete trust is never coming back. There is no way I could trust my wife more than I did when she was cheating on me and I realize, now, that the prolonged appearance of fidelity and faithfulness is no proof of fidelity and faithfulness.

But I don't snoop, monitor or police her behavior very much at all because of a somewhat detached attitude, grounded in some hard truths, that I worked at acquiring. The truths are these:

 1. In this age of varied electronic communication, snooping is pointless because communication is so easy to conceal. Our WSs can open new email or texting accounts and easily hide them from us. Your getting your husband's phone and reviewing the gmail account he's had for years doesn't really accomplish or mean anything.

2. Snooping is pointless because it doesn't really matter if I know about whatever my wife is doing with whomever. The tragedy is the destruction, the loss - not my wife's deception or my ignorance. In our new environment of a betrayal-damaged marriage, I'm taking care of myself - not biting my nails in fear and worry about her falling again.

3. And the bottom-line is, if my wife is again willing to risk the destruction of our marriage..then maybe I shouldn't be so concerned about stopping her - through snooping, policing or anything else.

These can be some hard, ugly things to think about- but they may help you in some way. I pray that they do. Maybe you need to let the desire to snoop, along with the guilt you feel about it, just fly away from you.


While I agree that if they want to cheat, they will. They will find a way. I have not snooped my wife’s things for quite sometime, but I will always reserve that right. But, I think you’re missing the point. He is ACTIVELY DENYING her access to his phone and online accounts. That is NOT honesty, that is not TRANSPARENCY. Both of those things should be required before even an attempt at reconciliation. If my wife had denied me access to her phone, email, social media accounts, etc. I would have divorced her. Having access to all of the WS’s things and accounts is only half about verification, the other half is about living transparently. That is the more important half. I’m more than 4 years out from d-day. If I found my wife had changed the passcode on her phone, and I asked for it, and she refused, I would be at the lawyers office the next day. It will be that way until one of us leaves or one of us dies. I will never budge on that, ever. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Blessedby7
Keepabuzz wrote:


While I agree that if they want to cheat, they will. They will find a way. I have not snooped my wife’s things for quite sometime, but I will always reserve that right. But, I think you’re missing the point. He is ACTIVELY DENYING her access to his phone and online accounts. That is NOT honesty, that is not TRANSPARENCY. Both of those things should be required before even an attempt at reconciliation. If my wife had denied me access to her phone, email, social media accounts, etc. I would have divorced her. Having access to all of the WS’s things and accounts is only half about verification, the other half is about living transparently. That is the more important half. I’m more than 4 years out from d-day. If I found my wife had changed the passcode on her phone, and I asked for it, and she refused, I would be at the lawyers office the next day. It will be that way until one of us leaves or one of us dies. I will never budge on that, ever. 


I wouldn't say he's ACTIVELY denying me access, more like PASSIVELY denying me access. Let me explain, and then I look forward to hearing opinions. I went out with a close friend the other night, a friend who knows a lot more than what is posted here because 1. It's just so much easier to give detail and nuances face to face and more of it, 2. She has seen both of us, so even though she doesn't know my husband well, her and her husband have gotten to know him some, something that is rarely possible here, and 3. I tend to comment and post more in my spiraling downward moments or when I've hit low. 

He really has done a lot to try to make me feel safe, telling me where he's going, sending me pictures while on the job, letting me know when he's on his way home. He no longer stops for a drink on his way home or goes out with anyone, and as long as he takes a lunch, almost never goes out for lunch. In fact, even when he doesn't take a lunch, most of the time he simply doesn't eat versus going out for lunch. His phone is ALWAYS in the bedroom, and he almost never checks it, and he's rarely on the computer. If he is on the computer, I'm typically sitting right next to him. Knowing all this, she asked me if he simply doesn't understand the importance of me being able to see his phone? Especially given that I've never come right out and asked. When I have checked his computer, there's no evidence of wrongdoing (except for the dirty memes in the group that OW is in). Again, she asked me if maybe he was just emotiotionally stupid and didn't realize how hurtful that would be, especially since he thought I'd never see it. I'm not trying to justify it, believe me. But I do notice military guys tend to "talk dirty" to one another more, and that's what the majority of that group is. Juvenile and objectifying,  yeah, I thinks so. Being in the same group she is in? Yeah, that's hurtful, but he has been very careful not to do any trainings, classes or deployments where she might even possibly be. He flat refused to go to the holiday party both this year and last because there was a small possibility she would be there. Maybe since she doesn't interact with the group, he didn't see the problem. 🤷‍♀️  Stupid, yes, but deliberately hurtful and hiding things, maybe, MAYBE not. There were a few other things that we discussed, but these were sort of eye opening in they got me thinking in a different way. 

So what I plan on doing is digging through his computer again monday while he's at work and getting whatever evidence I can find. Then, at some point this next week I will sit down with him and tell him how important it is that I know EVERYTHING, past and present. This will be his once chance to come clean. No trickle truth, no past affairs coming back to bite me, even if only through my own doubt on whether or not they happened. I will let him know that if I don't get the truth, once and for all, I will begin pursuing seperation. After that is done, I'll go to the bedroom, get his phone and ask.for the password. I will then take the baby and the phone and leave, so that I can have a few hours to check his phone.  I don't think he will have cleaned it up since its locked, and me leaving immediately with it will not give him a chance to do anything. If he refuses, well, that tells me everything I need to know, and again, i will begin pursuing seperation.

Granted, there may be things I will find from the past that are extremely hurtful, there already have been, but he told me back in 2007 that there were things he could never tell me because I'd hate him. That tells me he's been hiding things for a very long time. But if we've gone a year now without anything significant happening, that shows me true change is possible. I'm willing to see. If true change is possible, and with therapist helps, maybe, just maybe we have hope. For the sake of my.children, I hope so.
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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AnywhereButHere
"... you’re missing the point. He is ACTIVELY DENYING her access to his phone and online accounts. That is NOT honesty, that is not TRANSPARENCY."

Well, my comments were directed more toward her feeling guilt at checking up on her WS. I couldn't agree with you more, Keep. While my wife was still in combative defense mode early on, she told me that the details of her relationship with her AP were none of my business. Of course, I came unhinged and thundered back that I have a RIGHT to know the details of ANY relationship, platonic or otherwise, that she has with ANY other man...and that she has the same right regarding my relationships with other women.

BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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Keepabuzz
"... you’re missing the point. He is ACTIVELY DENYING her access to his phone and online accounts. That is NOT honesty, that is not TRANSPARENCY."

Well, my comments were directed more toward her feeling guilt at checking up on her WS. I couldn't agree with you more, Keep. While my wife was still in combative defense mode early on, she told me that the details of her relationship with her AP were none of my business. Of course, I came unhinged and thundered back that I have a RIGHT to know the details of ANY relationship, platonic or otherwise, that she has with ANY other man...and that she has the same right regarding my relationships with other women.



My God! If my wife had said that to me, Lord knows what I would have done!  You’re 100% right!
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Keepabuzz
Blessedby7 wrote:


I wouldn't say he's ACTIVELY denying me access, more like PASSIVELY denying me access. Let me explain, and then I look forward to hearing opinions. I went out with a close friend the other night, a friend who knows a lot more than what is posted here because 1. It's just so much easier to give detail and nuances face to face and more of it, 2. She has seen both of us, so even though she doesn't know my husband well, her and her husband have gotten to know him some, something that is rarely possible here, and 3. I tend to comment and post more in my spiraling downward moments or when I've hit low. 

He really has done a lot to try to make me feel safe, telling me where he's going, sending me pictures while on the job, letting me know when he's on his way home. He no longer stops for a drink on his way home or goes out with anyone, and as long as he takes a lunch, almost never goes out for lunch. In fact, even when he doesn't take a lunch, most of the time he simply doesn't eat versus going out for lunch. His phone is ALWAYS in the bedroom, and he almost never checks it, and he's rarely on the computer. If he is on the computer, I'm typically sitting right next to him. Knowing all this, she asked me if he simply doesn't understand the importance of me being able to see his phone? Especially given that I've never come right out and asked. When I have checked his computer, there's no evidence of wrongdoing (except for the dirty memes in the group that OW is in). Again, she asked me if maybe he was just emotiotionally stupid and didn't realize how hurtful that would be, especially since he thought I'd never see it. I'm not trying to justify it, believe me. But I do notice military guys tend to "talk dirty" to one another more, and that's what the majority of that group is. Juvenile and objectifying,  yeah, I thinks so. Being in the same group she is in? Yeah, that's hurtful, but he has been very careful not to do any trainings, classes or deployments where she might even possibly be. He flat refused to go to the holiday party both this year and last because there was a small possibility she would be there. Maybe since she doesn't interact with the group, he didn't see the problem. 🤷‍♀️  Stupid, yes, but deliberately hurtful and hiding things, maybe, MAYBE not. There were a few other things that we discussed, but these were sort of eye opening in they got me thinking in a different way. 

So what I plan on doing is digging through his computer again monday while he's at work and getting whatever evidence I can find. Then, at some point this next week I will sit down with him and tell him how important it is that I know EVERYTHING, past and present. This will be his once chance to come clean. No trickle truth, no past affairs coming back to bite me, even if only through my own doubt on whether or not they happened. I will let him know that if I don't get the truth, once and for all, I will begin pursuing seperation. After that is done, I'll go to the bedroom, get his phone and ask.for the password. I will then take the baby and the phone and leave, so that I can have a few hours to check his phone.  I don't think he will have cleaned it up since its locked, and me leaving immediately with it will not give him a chance to do anything. If he refuses, well, that tells me everything I need to know, and again, i will begin pursuing seperation.

Granted, there may be things I will find from the past that are extremely hurtful, there already have been, but he told me back in 2007 that there were things he could never tell me because I'd hate him. That tells me he's been hiding things for a very long time. But if we've gone a year now without anything significant happening, that shows me true change is possible. I'm willing to see. If true change is possible, and with therapist helps, maybe, just maybe we have hope. For the sake of my.children, I hope so.


I like your plan, but you have to follow through. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Blessedby7
Keepabuzz wrote:


I like your plan, but you have to follow through. 


And therein lies the catch, I'll have to follow through, and because of the situation with my kids, it will be the hardest thing I'll ever have to do.
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Kalmarjan
@Blessedby7 ,

You don't have to feel guilty about anything. If your WS is making it so you feel this way, then that's just part of the manipulation. I speak as a WS here, and no matter what your WS thinks/feels about the demand, too bad, as they were the ones to break the trust in the first place, and it's up to them to fix it. If they don't like it, well, they can walk. 

You have to do what's right for you and the children here, not for your WS's ego. Don't feel guilty, feel justified in your demand. There's literally no other way, and that's because your WS put you in this situation, not you.
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Blessedby7
Kalmarjan wrote:
@Blessedby7 ,

You don't have to feel guilty about anything. If your WS is making it so you feel this way, then that's just part of the manipulation. I speak as a WS here, and no matter what your WS thinks/feels about the demand, too bad, as they were the ones to break the trust in the first place, and it's up to them to fix it. If they don't like it, well, they can walk. 

You have to do what's right for you and the children here, not for your WS's ego. Don't feel guilty, feel justified in your demand. There's literally no other way, and that's because your WS put you in this situation, not you.


I'll give him credit, he hasn't tried to make me feel guilty for anything. He's said some stupid, hurtful things, but I really believe it's because he's an emotionally stupid man, and really doesn't get it. Me feeling guilty I think is more a lack of my own feeling of worth and value, in part (large part) because of him, and partly because of other things.  Me and him both seeking therapy is one of the boundaries I'm getting ready to set. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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ThrivenotSurvive

Blessedby7 -

There was clearly a lot of nuance that we were missing.  I do think there is a good chance your husband doesn't think about how those meme's would seem to you 1) because he's posturing to the boys 2) He doesn't think you'd see it.  I think it is likely more a symptom of low self-esteem and a need to be accepted by other men (in a stupid, immature way.)

As I've mentioned I had to walk my husband through what it felt like to hear him say a stupid "man" joke, etc. after DD.  I had to help him learn to put himself in my shoes and how it would sound/look to me after having been betrayed so deeply.  Things that would have been funny or only a bit off-color were suddenly full-fledged triggers.  

Through MONUMENTAL effort, I kept my calm and walked him through what it be like if the shoe were on the other foot.  Once he started imagining HIMSELF as the betrayed one and him having to hear me say similar jokes in front of our friends and family (ESPECIALLY those that knew), he started to "get it".  It makes him sound stupid - and he's actually a very intelligent man - just not about emotions.  But he's also a quick learner when motivated and after this happened 4-6 times over the first year and we discussed it, he kept getting better and better at seeing it from my perspective and being able to stop the joke from even forming in his HEAD, much less saying it out loud.  I can't remember the last time HE triggered me. Now, if I am triggered it is mostly about outside things (places, etc.)  

It appears (if I've understood correctly) that all the "flirty" texts he sent were in the pre-DD era.  While it definitely shows a pattern of behavior - it also tells you more about who he was then.  People do change.  NOT all by any means, and there is reason to be VERY, VERY cautious in creating a future with a WS.  But some people do change - significantly - in response to seeing the harm they have caused themselves and others.  For instance, I know I am not even remotely like the woman I was 10 years ago.  My values have changed (I put family and relationships above work and success now) and I am FAR more vulnerable and compassionate with friends and family.  I value honesty more than "making things easy" - and have had some very difficult conversations that I would have avoided in the past.  I also know real change happens because it is something you want for yourself, not because you are forced to by others, so it is important to gauge how motivated THEY are to change.  They don’t have to do everything perfectly, but they do need to be trying – regularly – not just when the pressure builds to a point that you explode.  I saw a quote that said, "We change when we are tired of our own bullsh*t." I would agree with that.  

You seem like you want to give your marriage a chance and he has been doing more than we were aware to try and show you love and care.  But not enough.  

So now it is on you to be CLEAR and unwavering about what you need and expect.  Do not assume he knows what to do - or even how to do it.  Look at his parents - that is the emotional IQ he was raised with.  It was probably limited at best - and most men were actually told by words and actions NOT to spend time on emotions and self-reflection.  It was considered "girly", "weak" and a "woman's domain."  Dumb, but true. 

So unless he is was of those exceptionally rare individuals who decided to place value on gaining a higher level of emotional intelligence and skills after leaving home - that is STILL his level of emotional IQ.  It doesn't make it okay - it just IS.  But it is perfectly within your rights to demand that for you to stay and rebuild - he needs to learn a lot more - ASAP.  This is one of the places therapy and coaching can really, really help.  

I also think you need to grow some ovum (in place of balls that wouldn't suit you, lol) and start having the hard discussions.  By your own admission this is something you have avoided.  But it is keeping you stuck, and you’ve clearly come to the same conclusion yourself. 

The night you take his phone, I’d have him hand it over – but before you leave with it – give him a last chance to come clean.  Have a list of prepared questions that you want answered – with some open ended ones as well (for example: Is there anything that I haven’t thought to ask about that YOU KNOW would upset me?  Any lies of omission that are still there because I just haven’t thought to ask about it?)   

My suggestion is to use as much compassion as you can - it will help keep him from going into fight or flight.  Remind him that you HAVE seen positive changes and that they are the only reason you are still there or why you still have hope that you guys can get past this. 

Remember that your goal is to get to the TRUTH – and to do that, he will need to have reason to believe 1) that it is REALLY the only way forward 2) that it is safer to tell you the truth than not to.

Since you have no clue what these things are that he feels are so “awful” that you will immediately leave him – you have no way of knowing what your reaction will be.  So rather than try to calm his anxiety by assuring him it will be okay if he tells the truth (because it might not be), instead explain to him this:

 

“We are at a crossroads.  In order to move forward I need to know the truth of what I am forgiving.  I need to know that I am safe from some new awful piece of information dropping out of the sky when I least expect it. To that end, I have some questions I need to ask.  Do not say the first thing that pops into your head – really THINK about these questions and answer them truthfully.  I will wait if you need a moment to compose yourself.  I don’t expect that this will be easy for either of us. 

IF you tell me the complete and unredacted truth to any questions I ask – AND OFFER UP any information that I don’t ask but YOU KNOW would impact my desire to stay with you – we MAY have a chance at staying together.  I know that every impulse in your body is telling you to lie right now.  Your head is telling you to shield me by lying or telling me the smallest amount you possibly can.  But let me assure you – that is the absolute WORST thing you can do right now. 

The truth is, I cannot guarantee that I will stay when I know everything.  But I CAN 100% guarantee that if you lie or “forget” to tell me something important and I EVER find out about it from anyone other than YOU – I will leave you.  Not because the specific act – but because YOU weren’t the one to tell me.  It is the SUREST path to the 100% destruction of this marriage.  Please believe me when I say that and take a minute to really let it sink in.  Yes, I MAY leave you over what you tell me – but I will DEFINITELY leave you if you aren’t truthful.  Telling me – coming clean - is the only way you CAN protect me now.  The deeds are done and there is no taking them back.  BUT you CAN protect me from finding out from someone or somewhere else.  You CAN protect me from the devastation I would feel if I rebuilt this marriage on a lie and found out 10, 20 years from now that there was more.  Truth NEVER stays buried so don’t make that mistake again.  Stand in the light, come clean and let’s see if together there is still a path forward.”

 

Then let him think about that for a minute before you start.  Consider stopping and doing deep breathing exercises both before you start - and several times during your talk.  It will help you stay calmer and more present.  At the end of the talk, tell him that you realize that this is scary and hard – and that he may realize that in a day or two that there is something he INADVERTENTLY left out.  Stress CAN make this happen.   Let him know that if that happens and HE seeks you out to clarify or add something he forgot – you will understand that this was an unintentional oversight.  BUT again – if you find out things through any other source – your digging or someone else – all bets are off.   

Have the conversations you need to “clean the wound” as Keep suggested.  Yes, he will likely get depressed and down for a while - that is a NATURAL consequence of self-reflection when you've done something awful.  I would be more worried if he DIDN"T. 

Your plan is a good one and may help you put some of these questions/doubts to bed in your mind.  

I hope some of this helps and that you get what you need to make an informed decision.  Feel free to PM me if you need anything.

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

Blessedby7 -

There was clearly a lot of nuance that we were missing.  I do think there is a good chance your husband doesn't think about how those meme's would seem to you 1) because he's posturing to the boys 2) He doesn't think you'd see it.  I think it is likely more a symptom of low self-esteem and a need to be accepted by other men (in a stupid, immature way.)

As I've mentioned I had to walk my husband through what it felt like to hear him say a stupid "man" joke, etc. after DD.  I had to help him learn to put himself in my shoes and how it would sound/look to me after having been betrayed so deeply.  Things that would have been funny or only a bit off-color were suddenly full-fledged triggers. 



I KNEW there was someone here who continues to talk about the emotional IQ, I just couldn't remember who. Thank you for responding. I plan on sitting down with notes because I know words will fail me in the moment, so your words help me a lot. I've taken the last few days to reflect on what my boundaries are going to be, and what I want from him. I'm very nonconfrontational, so this will be extremely hard for me. However, as I've been in a bad place physically and mentally, and once again he's been stepping in to help, it really does put me in a better place emotionally so I'm not already approaching him like a basket case. 

Maybe one of these days I'll come here when I'm NOT in a funk and give a more balance view of him. 😒
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Blessedby7
Update: well, I did it. We just talked. He didn't have anything to give me, said there'd never been anything else going on. He definitely didn't see the issue with "hitting on" other women 🙄

I did get the password for his phone and looked through it. I haven't looked back through all the texts, but what I did see was all clean. I wrote down a few things I'm gonna double check tomorrow though, and as I have time I will dig some more. 

Part of my gut wants to react and doubt because it was too easy. Too clean. But at some point I have to let go and accept that I can't police everything he does. If he wants to do something, he'll find a way. At some point I have to trust God again that all things will be made known if needed.

He was leery of a therapist though. He basically says we were doing pretty good on our own, which, on my good days, we kind of were. But when I say I need to know what's going on with him, how he's feeling, he says it doesn't matter. If I'm happy, he's happy, and that's all that matters. Ugh, that's a heck of a burden to put on me. 

Anyone got any podcasts or videos on that issue? Yes, in a way he needs to focus on me and my healing, but I want to work on us, and he doesn't see how that's different. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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