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strength1 wrote:

Thank you BorealJ.   H is putting a lot of emphasis on his heart, as opposed to his head.  For the first time in his life, I should say.   I don't see how he can consider any prudent factors at the moment.    

As for edging closer to choosing divorce, it's because I feel humiliated, I'm tired of walking in the road with my head down to avoid having to see anyone because no one except for a couple of friends know about the fact that we've separated (let alone about the affair), and because I don't want to be the 2nd choice, and because I am afraid that he will ultimately choose the affair partner.   I have spent the 6 last months thinking NON-STOP about "what made him want to separate?", and the last 3 months added on the "how could he have an affair and be in love with someone else?". I am mentally at the end of my capacities. 

This is exactly why you need to remove yourself from the triangle, completely.  I know exactly how you feel, as many of us here do. Remove yourself, and focus solely on your own healing, and self care. Be single minded in beginning to rebuild your life without him. You can always choose in the future to allow him back into your life if you want, but he is abusing you, and has been for some time. Stop the abuse, get off the pain train. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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strength1 wrote:

 H is putting a lot of emphasis on his heart, as opposed to his head.  For the first time in his life, I should say.   I don't see how he can consider any prudent factors at the moment.    

  Yes.  Emotions can lead us astray sometimes. Are you sure yours aren't doing the same to you?  As long as you are looking at him and being swept up in his instability, your emotions which are already running high are going to be so tumultuous you won't have the ability to make good decisions for yourself.  You seem torn in your decision making.  You have expressed you want your marriage but also that you are thinking about divorce.  It's normal to believe you need to make a decision right now before you can move on.  But if you have been listening to the Recovery Room podcasts or reading Tim's manuals, you'll see one of the big pieces of advice in the early reactionary stage is to delay permanent decisions.  You don't need to choose your marriage or divorce right now.  You need to choose you.  When you are more stably you, you can make a good decision about that. Can you put that decision in a box and store in the attic somewhere? 
There are some actions you can take right now and one of them is as Keep said.  Remove yourself from the situation.  Your husband expresses that he's torn.  That's common.  Have you listened to the Recovery Room episode on the Ping-Pong Effect?  Follow the advice there.  There's good guidance for you in those podcasts or other resources on this website. Make use of them.  It helped me to focus when my emotions kept me swirling and I was handcuffed and spending energy in all the wrong places.  At some point, I made a decision to trust in certain resources to help guide me.  It took a lot of decision making out of my hands because I had guidance and something to focus on. 
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BorealJ wrote:
  .  It's normal to believe you need to make a decision right now before you can move on.   

Thank you BorealJ. There is one BIG factor which is influencing me so much.  H's affair is shrouded in secrecy: no one knows except a couple of good friends here.  Many of our friends don't yet know we've separated.   Yet he lives in the same town in a rented room, where his lover goes most days.  We also work in the same office with 400 people.  Surely people are going to see them together.  Our own parents (living overseas) don't even know he's no longer living in the family home.  For me it's humiliating, and I feel ashamed, and this is why I feel I need to end it soon. 
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Strength1, you are so obviously feeling the strain. I hope you can find a way of giving yourself a break from this turmoil. If you can, try taking an away day or even a few hours somewhere you don’t normally go, just to be in a different environment and find the opportunity for some enjoyable distraction. I find that it works for me. Just to give your emotions a break from this fever pitch state and find some calm. 

I also agree with BorealJ. I’m not sure that this is the best time to take the decision to divorce. There’s so much confusion on both sides and emotions are running high. Most therapists would suggest a minimum of 12 months, by which time you may be able to discern whether you still have a viable marriage. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t begin to put your life back together, more as an autonomous and independent individual rather than as a wife. Taking a 180 approach is probably the best way to go. If your marriage survives this, you’ll be coming to it with new strengths, skills and perspective. If your marriage doesn’t stay together, you will have built the foundations for a new life. Always remember — your relationship may not survive, but you will.

The secrecy issue is a strange one in that once the secret is out, suddenly it loses its lustre. Secrecy can be part of the buzz, what makes it so exciting. When the secret is out, sometimes these affair partners begin to look ordinary and not this dazzling, sparkling personality or whatever it is, because really, it’s all going on in their heads, this chemical soup in the brain. They get high on the buzz of someone feeding their ego, even if it’s only the equivalent of emotional junk food. Going public can sometimes break the spell. 
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I would file for legal separation at the very least. Then I would put his affair and AP out in the light of day. Then start building your life without him.  No longer concern yourself with what he is doing, feeling, or thinking. Focus solely on you, your healing, and building a life that brings you joy. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Jasmine is right. The secrecy adds to the high. It becomes more exciting. More intoxicating.

I hear you on feeling humiliated. It’s like by cheating, they are telling us we weren’t enough. That they wanted someone else more. That their AP is more and better than us.

The fear of others finding out and judging us for the choices our WS made is real.

Here’s the thing though... and I KNOW it’s really hard to believe. Because if we were enough, surely they wouldn’t have cheated? 

YOU ARE ENOUGH. IT WASN’T BECAUSE OF ANYTHING YOU LACK OR AREN’T. Your husband made his choices because of his own issues. You have nothing to feel inadequate about. It wasn’t you. And his AP is not better than you. Not in ANY way shape or form. Why is he with her? Because she makes him feel good about himself.

I hid what happened from many people. I lost friends because I was too scared to open up and tell them what happened. I didn’t think I could hold it together, seeing them and having them ask me how he was going. So I isolated myself. I lost people who were important to me by cutting them out of my life. I was humiliated and scared of how they would see me.

it has taken a long time, but I’m more open about it now. I recently told a friend I hadn’t seen in about 3 years. I did not feel judged. She listened, she was supportive of me, and she opened up to me about her own issues. 

There are still others I would like to reconnect with but haven’t had the courage to do so yet. I don’t know if that bridge is burnt and I’ve lost those friendships for good by ghosting them. But I’m still not quite ready. It’s funny how strong the fear of being judged and feeling inadequate is, even though I know it was not me who was inadequate. 

What’s more, I can hold my head high and tell them that yes, I was treated terribly. I suffered. But I also didn’t put up with it and I GREW. I changed. And I am stronger for it.
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I know there are many prisms people look through including religious, social, cultural that offer different views on what divorce actually is.  I personally have a religious prism that that colors my own view of it and I'm sure everyone here has their own.

Since I went pretty heavy on immediate divorce in this case, let me offer a little practical background that illuminates that path a little more clearly addressing two things: a) divorce is not permanent and b) every marriage where this happens is ALREADY over.

Divorce Not Permanent
Many people seem to view the act of divorcing a cheating spouse as a permanent choice, and caution betrayed spouses against crossing that line in a rash manner, when emotions are running high and they haven't thought through every angle.  I see where they are coming from, especially considering all the religious, cultural and social baggage that supports this image that divorce is permanent and final and there is no coming back from it.  Especially with religious practices, this may be the case for that particular marriage in that particular religion.  In my particular faith there is an acknowledgement of at least a dual nature of marriage being the religious one and the civil/secular one.  Let's ignore the religious marriage for a second and dwell on the civil one that people of all backgrounds enter into when marrying.  Ignoring these religious provisos, it is ALWAYS the case that two people that divorce each other can remarry each other.  Although it is rare, I personally know a couple did this (they were married to each other - TWICE.  Sadly, they also divorced each other TWICE.).  So, remarrying your reformed cheater is ALWAYS possible.

Marriage is Dead
It goes without saying this civil marriage implicitly and explicitly contains an agreement of exclusivity: heart, body, mind and soul.  It also suggests an agreement about reciprocity, the couple support one another, have each other's backs in every way, and that is bi-directional.  When someone cheats, that is a breach of contract and the contract is no longer valid, because the exclusivity and reciprocity have been pierced (literally in most cases).  

I am still working through this myself, given the duration of limbo I myself have been in, so, as I've said before, when I offer this "advice" it is from the stance of wishing I had applied it myself, not because I myself have been so exemplary at its implementation.

But to me, divorce upon an event of cheating is 1) merely an acknowledgement of the breach; 2) the best way to clear the decks/wipe the slate clean and have an authentic mindset to make even a solid decision about whether to re-involve one's self with the cheater/former cheater; and while yes 3) it delivers severe natural consequences to the cheater and can have the highest probability chance of making them aware of the fire they were playing with and wake them up, it is not actually the punishing aspect of this one is really aiming at in doing this but rather the space achieved (yours), the introspection (yours), the ability to de-clutter your mind from the FOO and marriage partner messaging bouncing around in your head that allowed you to take subtly increasing amounts of abuse from your spouse that ended in them going all the way to cheating and still believing they were entitled to take those actions AND keep you (and I believe they UNIVERSALLY DO THIS -- their actions [not their words] say this loud and clear: "I CAN do this AND I STILL THINK YOU SHOULDN'T/WON'T LEAVE ME AND IN FACT SOMETIMES I WILL BLAME YOU FOR IT.").

That is all generalized for both "active cheater" situations and "adultery is over" situations.  It seems even more urgent to do with an active cheater, and if not DIRECTLY that then AT LEAST present two options post-nuptial agreement RIGHT NOW, or divorce -- RIGHT NOW.

I am not saying this to invalidate other's choices about "refueling in flight" and resuscitating their dead marriage or building a new one while still inside the legal/civil marriage, and there are many reasons for doing so.  I just think the mindset that divorce i permanent coupled with betrayed spouses frequent view (based on nostalgia)/knee jerk reaction that their marriage is precious and God forbid they end it (and God why can't I just have what I had before I knew about this, I would give anything to be transported back in time and have that) leaves them not only carrying too much of the downside of their partners' cheating but makes them fear exercising their option to blow it up legally (after their partner blew it up in every other way) and causes them to not be negotiating the process of rebuilding with their full power and authenticity in play.

I don't know if I'm making any sense here and trying to contribute while juggling a bunch of other stuff today so sorry if I'm not getting it across well.

Strength1 I really feel for you.  My spouse had several instances of continued contact while pretending it was totally over and I knew it (in some cases) or felt it (in others) and that ALONE was hell.  Can't imagine if she were going somewhere daily with my knowledge and using me as her counselor to decide what to do through all that while I' supposed to stay committed and live a normal life on top of it.  And I totally get that weird feeling of pretending normal while this atrocity in your life is taking place and no one knows so no one can help or support you.  That's the worst. 

Whether you divorce him right away or just separate or whatever I hope you find relief.  I'm not saying divorce him, but I do hope you keep that in mind as an active option knowing that you can remarry down the road.  And remember if you get to a point of discussing that with him that he has to earn every inch/centimeter of proximity he gets to you because he has destroyed the uniqueness and specialness of your union.  The way I described it to my spouse was that "you were the most precious human on earth to me, but in doing this you made yourself.... like ANY other random person.  Worse, in fact, because any random person would not have this track record with me.  Why would you abase yourself this way?"

Every time I read your posts I want to get on a plane and come strangle your clown-husband on your behalf.  PM me if you find that useful... and I only say that PARTIALLY in jest.   

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