Anna26

I'm asking the question I guess no-one can really answer but me, but I'm so confused right now and just need to vent.
So where do I start.  Today my husband came to the house and we managed to talk some more. Not really made any headway here though as he tells me he still 'really loves her'. This is despite her choosing to stay with her husband and my husband also thinks she won't leave her husband for him.
So what is he waiting for, is he hoping she still leaves her husband or is it just an excuse not to make a decision?

I didn't get why someone would want to wait around like that, in case she changes her mind. and then I thought, hang on a minute, isn't that what I've been doing?
He truly believes he loves her and says that I think he can just switch those feelings off.  If only!!  I wonder also how much of his feelings have been revived since things started up again between them and how he felt prior to this.

He told me that he'd considered coming home two or three times, but decided he couldn't and that he was kind of getting used to living on his own, which doesn't sound very optimistic to me.
We were discussing finances if we should split up properly and he said he didn't think we could afford to do this, especially if we both had a home to run and bills to pay.  So my question here should have been, well how come you could afford to set up with her if she decided to leave? But of course I didn't think of it at the time.  I know that they, hypothetically speaking, would have her wages too but it seems, and it is, unfair that I should lose out.

Everything he says seems to be so negative in regard to our relationship, he's indecisive and constantly weighing up the pros and cons of everything. 
He says things like 'if he came home there was no way he would put up with me throwing everything in his face every five minutes, a year or even six months down the line.  I've tried to explain that it's a process we both have to go through and work at, but because he reads very little about how this works, I'm sure he thinks I'm making it up as I go along. And he's said, could I put up with the moods and general flack that I'm likely to get because he is missing her? It almost sounded like it would all be taken out on me because he was in a bad place.
So what about me, when do I get to vent all my pain and frustration, all my fear and uncertainty?  I just feel that if he did come home he would just think I ought to 'get on with things'.  How can I do that if he won't let me understand and process what has gone on?  He doesn't seem to think this is necessary and when I think back to the first time this happened (I found out when it was over) it was quickly glossed over and maybe that in itself is a contributing factor to the second one.

He's also said that he doesn't really deserve to come back and what if it happened again? Of course I do have my own misgivings about too, but feel that if we had got the core of our marriage solid again it would pave the way for further improvements.  I don't really know what he wants, he talks about just being on his own and also, a fresh start somewhere else, either with or without me.

To some extent I'm talking in the past tense here too, because I feel that there is not much point trying anymore.  As I've said in another post I've told him things need to change after Christmas and we need to review things then. I told him I deserve a better life than one where I'm just waiting around for him to come to his senses.  I don't believe he even values his marriage enough to try to save it, so I feel like I'm wasting my time.  I could write lots more but can't really get my head round some of the stuff we touched on. Perhaps this just confirms what I've been thinking lately in that the time may be right for me to move on.  Because it's right for me and I want to feel happy again one day.  Sorry to be so pessimistic.  Would really value some input right now.
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Graceandhope
I'm sorry you're in a bad place right now. I wonder if you have consulted a lawyer simply to get a game plan if you move forward alone.

You mention Christmas . Is this a point of evaluation? If so I would expect to see some behavior changes along the way leading up to that.

He can't expect you not to mention anything(not throwing it in his face ) but be able to "take it out" on you that he misses her. You need to be able to talk through everything that you need to in order to feel "comfortable" with the new course the two of you are on, if it us the two of you together . He should not be in the house if he is still involved with her in any way .

Lastly, I think it is ok to not only decide that you're tired of being angry, sad, confused, like you're living on a roller coaster . The next step is to figure out how you can get there knowing you have no control over your spouse.

You deserve to be treated better.
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Guiltguilt
Sounds like he's still In the pea soup, Anna. You'd be better off banging your head against a brick wall.
Such a shame, but you can't say you haven't tried, or been patient.
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GenevieveO
Anna, I'm so sorry you're hurting. A lot of what you've written is familiar territory for me. What has helped me, personally, is focusing on improving myself. For me, that's included going to the salon and getting a more polished hair style (I used to always go to the cheap hair cut shop and just wad my hair in a messy bun for work), getting my nails done (first time I've done that), doing new activities, going to the movies with friends or by myself, exercising more and eating well. All these things have refreshed my relationship with myself, so to speak, and have made me come to a place where I actually appreciate and like myself more. Like I'm more in-tune with myself now, and less focused on the less than stellar state of my marriage. Also, this might sound silly, but a good massage can change your whole life outlook, if only for a day or too - get a masseuse who knows what they're doing, and it's like a spiritual awakening - I HIGHLY recommend it. After my first massage recently, I was so zen that I really didn't care about my husband's doings afterward. I was kind of neutral on him, in terms of thinking "eh, he's gotta figure out his own stuff; that's not my job." It was like a natural high. So worth it! You're dealing with a lot of really heavy garbage at the moment, and it's so very important that YOU take care of YOU. I know you have kids that love you (based on your earlier posts) and there are people in this community that care about you, even if we don't know each others' faces. You sound like a gentle, beautiful soul. Please take care of yourself.
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GenevieveO
P.S. You already know you're right about you being the only one who can answer "Is it time to give up?"  But I will also reiterate that you do deserve better.
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Kalmarjan
I can understand where it seems hopeless to go back because you don't want to face the consequences of your actions. You sell it to yourself that things have gone to far to be saved, but the truth is that he is not mature enough to pay the price for his actions. Instead, he seems like he wants to pay the easy price. Start over.

I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. You deserve better treatment than this. I hope he gets his act together before you yourself move on.

Wither way, know that you will be okay. You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you and work through that. This relationship you are in will work out, but maybe not the way you wish, but what has to happen will.

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Anna26
Thank you for all your supportive and considerate words so far, I really appreciate them.

Graceandhope:  I've not spoken to a solicitor yet but feel this should be my next step in the coming few weeks.  It would be good to find out what my entitlements would be and get some general advice.  I just need to gear myself up into going!  From what I've read so far I believe I would be entitled to some kind of spousal maintenance (I think you might call it alimony?) for myself.  This is because as a really low wage earner and someone who has spent the best part of her marriage bringing up children and working part time, I may be entitled to some kind of support from him.  I believe all these kind of things would be taken into consideration over here, but it would be helpful to get the facts properly.

Yes, Christmas is supposed to be a re-evaluation of how things stand, but I don't really see things being much different.  That was when I originally said that I would be consulting a solicitor, but I think he means it as a point where we decide if we go
for a legal separation and sort the finances out fully or not.  
It's a year now since Dday, and we have been temporarily separated since March as the affair was ongoing.  All went quiet for a while and now things have started up again.  If he couldn't get his head clear enough to decide during that time, it says to me that he isn't really interested in his marriage anymore.  Perhaps it would be better to say, 'just go, get on with your own life and I will get on with mine', because the constant indecision is driving me crazy.
He did say he didn't want to decide to come home and then be taking his moods out on us, (by moods I mean that he is literally that, withdrawn and moody, always been this way, so nothing new there!) and my response to that was that if he had wanted to recommit to me, it might have been beneficial for him to have some further time out to get over the worst of it, but with no contact with her (again).  But of course that doesn't help us reconnect as a couple, and there is still always the chance that he sees her.  At times I feel that he just wants to be on his own now and if thats the case there is nothing else I can do apart from getting on with my own life and leaving him to it.  But if this was the case I just wish he would say!   How much time does he need and how long am I supposed to wait?  That's why I think that maybe separating finances etc would help me feel independent and not beholden to him and everything he does.

Guiltguilt:  I agree, he is still in the 'pea soup', how I like this phrase, much better than 'the fog'!  I am doing an awful lot of headbanging, perhaps it's just time to let go.  Pehaps I should be thinking of just separating legally but not divorcing yet, as, if it took him forever to get out of the pea soup, there might still be a chance of reconciliation. In the meantime, I would feel more of an individual and not just an extension of him, as I have become used to being.

Gen:

Some of the ideas you have sound really good ones, I guess we all become used to just doing whatever is easiest or saves money and it would be good to splash out a little on myself. It would give me a much needed boost of my confidence.  I think I've spent so long living in his shadow that I've almost forgotten who I am and what my aspirations were.  This will sound silly too, but I really enjoy singing, and if I say so myself was reasonably good at it, or at least could carry a tune and had a good sense of rhythym. Even though I couldn't read music I could pick up things by ear really easily.  I'd always wanted to have singing lessons, but never been able to afford them.  I also wanted to write, was always quite creative at it, perhaps now is the time for that novel!  Both of these things would be something to perhaps get into again, get the creativity going again and do something for me instead of doing things as a couple.  I have already been trying to do more for myself, I went to visit a friend (first time on train by myself -scary!) and the more I do the more confident I feel, but as I live in quite a small village and am a non-driver things are a bit limited for me.  The massage sounds a great idea though!  And I was really touched by your last sentence, as it's not how I view myself. I rather like being a 'gentle and beautiful soul' as I've only been as grand as 'quiet and unassuming' before!  According to me anyway...

Kal:  As always you are spot on.  This is how I think he feels, the old 'tail between the legs syndrome'!

I really hope he comes to his senses in time too, but I feel that I need to make a pathway for me now whatever happens.  I'm a great believer in things sometimes happening for a reason, and that sometimes we need to go through these horrible experiences because we come out stronger at the other side.  That life is just one big learning curve...although I could think of better ways to teach somebody something!  I need to help me to be happy now...
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TimeToFly
Hi Anna,

I'm sorry I'm a little behind in responding to what you posted. I had to work the past few days & am still not feeling like myself. Going on week 3 with this lingering cough....anyway....back to you and what is going on.

Let me just say that I lived through a horrible back & forth situation for almost 3 years. We had 2 periods of separations, 2 rounds of counseling with each lasting several months & much more but in the end I finally realized that their affair (which after 3 years was more of a relationship) wasn't going to end. She wasn't ending it...mind you she's still married to her husband & I don't believe she will divorce him (she stands to lose too much I think) & my ex husband wasn't ending it so it really left me no other choice but to find myself a good lawyer & begin the divorce process which took another year. 

I knew I had tried everything possible to work through the issues because at the core of things we had a long & overall good marriage. However after the time & effort that I put in, I knew it was never going to work because my ex wasn't able to completely close & lock that door with her. 

The divorce was very hard for me & still is (I'm now 8 months from the date the divorce was final) but I knew I couldn't keep living the way I was since I didn't have a husband who was committed to loving only me. What kind of life is that? I'm better to be alone than live like that. Mind you this alone life is no picnic but I've just had to come to terms with the fact that it's my new life. Not the one I would have chosen at this point in time. I think it's hard when you've been married for so long & then you are on your own. Everything is different. 

I'm getting alimony because of the length of our marriage & also he earns more money than I do so I need the help. I will say this whole divorce has hurt us financially & I've had to take on extra work as a result. Who would have ever thought that in my mid 50's I'd be faced with all of this but there we are. I still have many days where I'm angry, sad, & a range of other emotions that seem to appear. I suppose that's all part of the process. 

Above all you need to think about what is best for you. It's important that you respect yourself & feel worthy because you definitely deserve better than what you are dealing with right now. I hope some of this has helped.
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Anna26
Hi TimetoFly,

Thank you so much for your supportive response. I have to say I can't believe how many similarities there are between us. Right down to the length of marriage, him earning a lot more than me and even our ages! Even my husbands AP is married, still with her husband and won't leave him because like your ex husbands AP, she has too much to lose.
Her husband built the house they live in, she has kids, grandkids, expensive holidays and everything she could possibly want. She also has a husband who works away all week, maybe she got a bit bored..
She has lost nothing, apart from maybe her self respect and the respect of a good few people now, as the story is slowly escaping. Nothing remains a secret in this village for long.
I on the other hand have a life in turmoil, as I know you must have experienced, but I'm guessing that you,like me kept your own dignity and self respect.

I seem to be having a similar problem to you in that my husband is still so deeply mired in the pea soup ( thanks Guiltguilt ) and absolutely convinced he loves her. She is supposed to feel the same way about him but what I don't understand is why then, are they not together completely? Why won't she leave her husband? Is it because she knows that mine will never be able to keep her in the style to which she has become accustomed and just prefers to keep him dangling, to make her feel good? I've been told by my husband that she seems to be concerned about things 'getting out' but why would they care if they want to be together? Anyway, I need to stop worrying about them and concentrate on me. I want him to understand that for my own peace of mind we need at the very least to have separate finances and separate lives, more so than now. I need to let him get on with whatever he needs to do, and me too, and if that means eventually it is too late, then so be it. The more I try, the more frustrated and angry I am becoming and I don't want to turn into a screaming harpy. I am fed up of this game of human ping pong, so I'm taking my ball home and refusing to play!

If the worst happens I am under no illusions of how hard it will be, but know that it probably wouldn't be quite what was expected either. The difficulty for me at first will be financial, and I guess that holds true for many of us. It seems like the rules regarding financial assistance for the lower earning spouse are similar in both our countries. I don't think that my husband would file for divorce himself, that would likely be left up to me, but sometimes I think it would make more sense for me to stay put as paying the mortgage for the next few years would be so much cheaper than paying rent! But, if I moved somewhere else I may have more opportunities to make a better life for myself. It's all about as clear as mud at the moment and I have a lot of thinking to do.

A lot of what you have said has helped me immensely, so thank you once again. I really hope you feel better soon!
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Anna26
Intuition77:

A great deal of what you say makes perfect sense to me.  I agree with you when you say that the longer time goes on the more difficult is is to believe there will be anything even worth saving or that the work you put into it it may not even justify the end result. It's not all about me being able to trust him either, I think he has great difficulty in believing that he can trust himself not to do it again.  That doesn't sound good and unless he is willing to try and figure out where he is going wrong with all this, and fix what is broken in him, is it worth it?  He's even said, 'what if I do it again'?  and even inferred that it might be me next time!  What the.. (deleted expletive)?  He seems more bothered about not being able to afford to split up fully, whereas I know things would be tough, and neither of us would be able to live as we were used to (even though we are not able to be extravagant anyway, who is?) but that may be what we have to do for my peace of mind.  I may have contributed to this feeling though when I told him that he may end up supporting me financially as the lower wage earner, at least until I got a full time job or could manage financially myself.  He asked how I knew this...well, I read things, and find out information duh..rocket science?  Nope!!

I thought I had sorted out in my head what I wanted earlier, and then he comes and says a load of stuff and makes me doubt what I want to do all over again.  I am trying to think of what is best for me and my kids.  Although they are adults they are still my kids and right now need my support in (partly a financial sense) but mostly emotional and practical, ie: a roof over their heads, but I know that (hopefully!) they won't be at home forever.
I just can't seem to get round the fact that he doesn't seem to be able to 'extract' himself from this relationship, that he seems to be unable to stop himself, but it's okay for me to be waiting around, while he does it?  He comes to visit, to make sure we are all okay, and then trundles off into his other little world again.  It makes me so angry, and I've told him that each time he comes it builds up false hope and then he dashes it again when he makes no decision.  Even if we don't divorce, I feel like I just want him to leave us alone.  I want a life back, one that doesn't involve hanging around waiting for a foolish spouse...

The saddest thing is that I know he does care, about me and the kids, and we actually get on, in fact you wouldn't think there was a problem. But he doesn't seem to care enough to save his marriage.   I think of the millpond, all calm and serene on the surface, and just, 'normal', but below in the murky depths is the thick black mud, clinging and dragging you down. 
Eventually your hope and desire for reconciliation begins to fade and those feelings of love and affection start to die, it's like a fire, bright and raging at first and then starved of oxygen, it glows valiantly, flickers and goes out.  And all you have left is a cold grey pile of ash. 

At this point, the fire isn't quite out, if suddenly there was a huge change of heart, it may be possible to repair our marriage, but the question for me would be, do I really want to?  Only his actions and time would tell.
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TimT
Intuition77 wrote:
...I didn't want to be 20 years older and feel like i had sacrificed it all and got nothing in return but pain. This is going to sound impersonal but suddenly he was a sunk investment. He wasn't just a fixer upper he was the fixer upper that was upside down on equity AND had burned to the ground and needed rebuilt from scratch. I couldn't keep investing in it...

That's a great way to put it. Every betrayed spouse has to weigh their choices carefully. "Saving the marriage" is not mandatory. When vows have been broken, everything changes. Choices are made from a very different perspective and the decision to leave is just as valid as the decision to stay. Thanx for this perspective.
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