BlindCheetah

My monster in law creates stress and anxiety with every breath, especially since our conversation about 3 weeks after Dday. She was convinced the only way to save our marriage was with her help cleaning and redecorating our house, I also have no business asking H questions like who he’s been screwing after 18 years of marriage, that’s his problem not mine. So things have been a little tense since then. So this weekend she’s criticizing my relationship with my parents, after dropping my jaw I left.

This weekend we’re taking the RV camping (purchased by my MIL partly to save our marriage 🙄. ) H was planing on going a day early and have everything set up for us when we got there Friday. So, all week I’ve been trying to figure out why he wants to spend the night alone. There are the logical obvious reasons like He’ll wake up Friday morning virtually at work and gets to sleep late. But my brain couldn’t leave it alone and the anxiety kept getting worse. So after I suggest staying with him tonight and leaving the kids with MIL he says he thought of that too. So tonight I’m going camping and will also wake up slightly closer to work Friday, he’s picking the kids up after school Friday and taking them grocery shopping for the trip.  We talked about my anxiety and the fact that what he did is constantly in my mind. Eventually he tells me he invited the guy he’s working with Friday to come tonight and have a few beers but forgot to invite his wife.   I didn’t expect to be this freaked out about him traveling alone this close to home but it snuck up on me. He’s taking this amazingly well and taking all the responsibility for my stress but I think he’d prefer I just yell at him occasionally. 

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BlindCheetah
I also looked up the lyrics for all the songs in H’s YouTube history that his AP sent him. They back up his claim that he was trying to end things in October, and she was pushing to continue. She claimed it was the other way around when she contacted me on Facebook. 
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ThrivenotSurvive

You handled it very well.  Asking for what you want and need rather than hoping your SO is sensitive enough to recognize it is huge. 

In the beginning I sometimes struggled with that.  Kind of a version of “ If he really loved me , he’d know”. Then I realized that if my husband had that level of emotional IQ and ability to put himself in someone else’s shoes he’d never have made the mess of his life (and mine) he did.  So I just started being up front about what I wanted, why and if it stemmed from crazy triggers that barely made sense to me, I told him that too.  I shared that it pissed me off to feel crazy to my OWN self, but that didn’t stop it from being my reality.  


As I gave him a play by play of the crazy, painful, poisonous thoughts in my head, I think it helped him to begin to develop the very lack of empathy that had originally required it.  After a year or two he became so good at seeing triggers coming that they rarely blindside us anymore.  And when they do, he doesn’t get angry.  He gets sad, but he holds me and shares in my pain over the stupid decision he made that we both have to live with.   


The two of you are approaching things like a team now - meeting the difficult challenges that come with recovery and reconciliation.  Take a moment and really SEE and FEEL what a big step that was for you - and for him. It is easy to only focus on the dips and set-backs - make sure to give as much notice to the wins. Well done. 

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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Broken2018
In the matter of your Monster in law, well her nose should be where it belongs when it pertains to marriages that are not her own. But the fact that she is siding with a lying, cheating, homewrecking P.O.S. says a lot about her own lack of morals. If I was her spouse I would be on high alert. This kind of disrespect is inexcusable. I am dealing with immoral in-laws like yours. Are your in-laws church going hypocrites also? That seems to be a pattern when it comes to infidelity.
I know one thing if I would have cheated on my wife, my Dad would have put his foot in my ass, no questions asked. And that's how it is supposed to be when you have in-laws with morals. And the family dynamic shouldn't be a factor when you understand, right is right, wrong is wrong.
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BlindCheetah

Thanks for the encouragement, it’s hard freaking out over stuff that I could normally easily dismiss. Of course I dismissed too much too easily for a long time. I knew from the beginning that this would never work without both of us being brutally honest and not holding things in.


I have had some of the “Why doesn’t he know I want this?  I could go get him and tell him, but I want some space right now.” Moments this week. 

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BlindCheetah
Broken2018 wrote:
In the matter of your Monster in law, well her nose should be where it belongs when it pertains to marriages that are not her own. But the fact that she is siding with a lying, cheating, homewrecking P.O.S. says a lot about her own lack of morals. If I was her spouse I would be on high alert. This kind of disrespect is inexcusable. I am dealing with immoral in-laws like yours. Are your in-laws church going hypocrites also? That seems to be a pattern when it comes to infidelity.
I know one thing if I would have cheated on my wife, my Dad would have put his foot in my ass, no questions asked. And that's how it is supposed to be when you have in-laws with morals. And the family dynamic shouldn't be a factor when you understand, right is right, wrong is wrong.


Fortunately she is single and intends to stay that way. I will also have to watch closely and make sure my girls never get relationship advice from her, I think (hope) I’m still a year or 3 from that being an issue.  H has told her to let us worry about us.
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BlindCheetah
And this week has been harder. Tonight is 2 months from the night I almost ended it all. I was a crying, yelling, throwing stuff mess earlier and he was still responding by telling me how hard things are for him. So yep tonight he’s a stupid $h!t head, hopefully tomorrow will be better. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
he was still responding by telling me how hard things are for him. So yep tonight he’s a stupid $h!t head, hopefully tomorrow will be better. 


I hope so too!  He’s definitely going to have to stop that noise.  It’s like “ really??? Too f***ing bad!.  You are the idiot that got us both in this sh*thole so forgive me if I am struggling to feel sorry enough for you!”  Oy!
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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Crushed
I dont think it ever stops.  They feel sorry for theirselves.  The selfishness never goes away.   I'm having a really hard time right trying to stomach the well I dont do that anymore.   Translated to me as I am such a good  person you should forget how I treated you and what I did to you because I  deserve not to have to feel bad about it or make my image of myself look bad.
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BlindCheetah
First he was annoyed that he was the only one bringing up that we needed to discuss our “homework” he’s really trying to plow through our online courses, I want to slow down. Then after telling me repeatedly about his happy hour thing after work he gets mad because I didn’t want to go, but he never actually invited me. He just wanted me to want to be there and invite myself. So he called me on his way home and complained about how hard I’ve been on him lately and wined about never getting any positive feedback from me, then hung up on me. He’s also been defensive all week because I decided to check all the social media accounts he “doesn’t have” and he was getting emails flagging the suspicious logins.

When he got home I asked what the hell the b!tching was all about and he’s still defensive and argumentative. I take off and go for a walk, I come home after about 1.5 miles because my toes are cold. He’s ready to talk when I gets home but still not getting the problem I put shoes on and go back outside miss the bottom porch step and twist my ankle (it’s still throbbing) so add physical pain to the mix I’m sitting on the steps crying and he’s still talking about his problems and complaining about me not wanting to work on our marriage. Eventually he tells me he wanted me to go to the happy hour with him and upset because I was home folding laundry instead. After more yelling throwing things (the fake Yetis they sell at Walmart are really sturdy) in frustration he tells me he’s trying to relate to me and explain it’s hard for him too. I know this isn’t easy for him but he’s obviously missing that it’s harder for me. It reminded me a lot of the pre DD conversation where he asked if I would consider quitting my job to save our marriage. Yeah, I’m worried about becoming a single mom it would be a great idea to start that new life unemployed. 🤬

He’s really too smart to be this stupid! Why does intelligence not come with at least enough common sense to be functional?

So this morning I told him when in doubt to just shut up and give me a hug it’s almost always a safer option. I did get an apology this morning.  
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surviving
I don't know why they are so smart, yet so stupid.  My WH was a straight "A" student and has two masters degrees and a PhD.  Yet, he cheated for over 34 years.  For years I thought he was so smart, but had no common sense.  I was mistreated for all those years, but yet, I am still here.  Maybe it is me I don't understand, ha!  

If the wayward spouse is still being mean, I would be seeing plenty of red flags.  Is the affair over?  Is there still contact?  Makes me wonder.  

I will never trust 100% again.  

So sorry you are having a hard time and a hard week.  I hope things look better soon.
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ThrivenotSurvive


First he was annoyed that he was the only one bringing up that we needed to discuss our “homework” he’s really trying to plow through our online courses, I want to slow down.   Subconsciously (or maybe even consciously), he equates getting through the courses as the "finish line" where everything will be done and okay.  As calmly and with as non-confrontational language as you can,  I would sit him down and explain that it doesn't work like that.  This will be a marathon, not a sprint.  He will get to discuss this many, many times over the next few years.  It will be more frequent at first, but there isn't a day you will hit where it will never be spoken of again.  If he thinks that, he will stay angry and disappointed

In
addition, you will go through periods (sometimes for months) where everything has settled down and feels "normal" - and then YOUR subconscious will freak out and stir the pot because it will fear letting you get too "comfortable" will put you in a compromising situation.  This is a NORMAL process of healing from trauma.  If each time it happens, you can both work through it gently - him not being angry/resentful that he has to "deal with it again" and you being cognizant that it isn't a sign of him doing anything wrong (now) but instead a survival mechanism run amok, they will happen less and less frequently - until they go away for good.  But if he reacts like this each time - it will cause YOUR resentment and alienation to SOAR.  Resentment on one or both sides of a relationship is a death knell.  You will HAVE to find a way together to work through your needs and his that make you both feel heard and understood.  Otherwise, this will be a painful exercise to go nowhere.  

Then after telling me repeatedly about his happy hour thing after work he gets mad because I didn’t want to go, but he never actually invited me. He just wanted me to want to be there and invite myself.  Look him in the eye and explain that THIS is something that is unacceptable if you are to have a future together.  This is non-negotiable.  This was the sh^t my husband used to do pre-DD and led to wells of feeling rejected and hurt - that then became resentment and entitlement. 

It cannot be a part of any true reconciliation efforts.  I get that it is hard to be vulnerable and state your needs - it is hard for all of us.  But you BOTH need to own your needs/wants and have the balls/ovum to state them (with love, compassion and firmness.)  He cannot expect you to be a
mind-reader

In addition, he will have to accept that you may not be prepared to be around people in cheerful, happy circumstances right now.  I was FAR too volatile to be around anyone but my closest friends and family - ESPECIALLY where alcohol might be involved - for the first 6-8 months.  I never knew when a trigger would hit and I worried constantly about embarrassing myself or my husband.  One thing many WSs seem to miss is that their ability to compartmentalize that allowed them to have the affair is MISSING in most BSs.  We don't have that particular coping mechanism.  Which allows us to be more fully integrated (a healthy thing) BUT it also means we cannot just put the bad feelings in a box and proceed to have a good time.  


So he called me on his way home and complained about how hard I’ve been on him lately and wined about never getting any positive feedback from me, then hung up on me.   God, help me here.  I mean, I get that it must suck to feel like the bad guy all the time - but really?  You are the one that sh^t the bed - so why are you complaining to me that you hate the stink?  You don't get to emotionally beat someone to a pulp and then be "good" for a few months and it is all good. 

As calmly as you can (I know this one is hard...) explain that you can imagine it must suck to deal with the fallout of poor choices, but there isn't a darn thing you can do about it.  That you are doing the best you can.  That someday you'd like to imagine feeling  happy, lighthearted again too.  That it is not as if you ENJOY feeling crappy for your OWN SELF.  You aren't choosing to be miserable to punish him.

He’s also been defensive all week because I decided to check all the social media accounts he “doesn’t have” and he was getting emails flagging the suspicious logins.  Has he actually READ the Linda MacDonald book?  This is a natural consequence of his actions and while it likely creates shame since he KNOWS that it is because he was proven untrustworthy, he will need to suck it up for a LONG time to come.  At first this made my husband feel sad/scared because he associated it with meaning he was doing something "wrong".  Once I explained to him that sometimes he could be doing EVERYTHING "right" and the fear could still boil up.  Sometimes it was a trigger in something I saw, heard. read.  Sometimes it was my OWN subconscious messing with me in dreams etc.  Once he stopped seeing it as a judgement about whether he was doing the "right" things, but instead a sign of where I was at, he started being loving about it.  He'd ask me if I needed to talk and reassure me how happy he was that I had given him a chance to prove himself and that he wouldn't ever fail me again.  When he was able to start handling it like that - I found that the periods between the fear bubbling up started getting longer and longer.  

When he got home I asked what the hell the b!tching was all about and he’s still defensive and argumentative.   Truthfully - I don't blame you.  This is exactly where my head would have been at too.  But I have found that even when it took IMMENSE willpower, when my husband and I were starting to come undone and retreat to old, unhealthy patterns, if I could stop myself and start again with less anger and defensiveness, he often realized what he was doing and calmed himself as well.  Slowly this retrained us to a whole new way of interacting that has become habit now (on both our parts), but in the beginning took a LOT of effort. 

When he was pissing me off, rather than react in anger or defensiveness, I would say something like.  Look, I am really confused by what is happening right now.  You are clearly really angry/hurt/whatever with me and I don't really understand why.  I want to hear you out and try to understand where you are coming from - and explain why I saw/see it differently, so you can understand where I am coming from - but I don't think we can have a helpful, meaningful discussion until we both take a moment to calm down and remind ourselves that we are actually both of the same team trying to solve a
problem TOGETHER.   Otherwise in our defensiveness, we just hurt one another, which resolves nothing.  Remember we are choosing to work through this because we LOVE one another.  So even when we are hurt or angry we need to act out of LOVE.

I take off and go for a walk, I come home after about 1.5 miles because my toes are cold. He’s ready to talk when I gets home but still not getting the problem I put shoes on and go back outside miss the bottom porch step and twist my ankle (it’s still throbbing) so add physical pain to the mix I’m sitting on the steps crying and he’s still talking about his problems and complaining about me not wanting to work on our marriage.  That wasn't fair and at another time when you are both calm, you need to address it.  Every day you don't get in your car and drive away is a day that you are "fighting" for your marriage.  You were mauled by a lion.  He's that lion.  Every day you get up and don't try to run away from the lion is a day that you are working to overcome your NATURAL impulse to get away from the thing that hurt you.  EVENTUALLY, when you are MUCH farther away from DD and he's been able to demonstrate REPEATEDLY he is trustworthy and committed to your relationship, you won't see him a the lion anymore.  But right now, the "lion's share" of the work on healing the marriage is on him.  He will need to accept that (see Linda MacDonald's book) or he's going to stay on a selfish/resentful place which will kill your reconciliation efforts.

Eventually he tells me he wanted me to go to the happy hour with him and upset because I was home folding laundry instead. Information that would have been helpful BEFORE he decided to get pissed.

After more yelling throwing things (the fake Yetis they sell at Walmart are really sturdy) in frustration he tells me he’s trying to relate to me and explain it’s hard for him too.  Someone has to learn some patience and self-regulation.  If he really thinks yelling, throwing things, pouting and hanging up on you (something I haven't done since I was 16) is "understanding" you, some significant IC and MC may be in order.  You can't bully someone into feeling happier/better.

I know this isn’t easy for him but he’s obviously missing that it’s harder for me. It reminded me a lot of the pre DD conversation where he asked if I would consider quitting my job to save our marriage. Yeah, I’m worried about becoming a single mom it would be a great idea to start that new life unemployed. 🤬 Smart move on your part.  Why doesn't he quit and find something that matches YOUR schedule?

He’s really too smart to be this stupid! Why does intelligence not come with at least enough common sense to be functional?  I asked myself this so many times when looking at my husband like he had two heads... it is a remarkable thing to behold.  But probably not that different than those people who are "book smart" but lack common sense.  One form of intelligence does not automatically make you smart in other areas.  And frankly, there is NO focus on emotional intelligence in our culture or school systems - so if your family didn't have it, you will be the exception to the rule if you developed it on your own.

So this morning I told him when in doubt to just shut up and give me a hug it’s almost always a safer option. I did get an apology this morning.  That's good.  Hopefully he will reflect on his reaction and make adjustments.  I've never seen a WS that got it ALL right from Day 1.  If they'd had that level of emotional intelligence you and they, wouldn't be here.  But focusing on growth and consistent effort vs. perfection will tell a lot over time.
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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BlindCheetah

@ThrivenotSurvive 
Thanks, I was the one yelling and throwing stuff. I’m normally the calm one and it was making things worse when he couldn’t figure out what he was saying was making it worse.

My job works with everyone’s schedule I’m almost always off when the kids are out of school. I leave the house before anyone wakes up so he doesn’t see me in the mornings if he doesn’t see me in the evenings I’m taking the kids to various activities he is always welcome to come along or he’s doing something with friends. Any illusion that my job is the reason we weren’t seeing enough of each other was all in his head. 


I’m thinking he needs to reread his book, I even asked him if he really read it last night because he just wasn’t getting it. 

I have been looking for a qualified counselor on our insurance that is at least a little local. I may google every one on the list while I’m sitting with my foot elevated. 

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BlindCheetah

surviving wrote:

If the wayward spouse is still being mean, I would be seeing plenty of red flags.  Is the affair over?  Is there still contact?  Makes me wonder.  



I’m pretty sure it’s over, he hasn’t had an opportunity to see her (I’ve actually been a lot closer to where she lives than he has in the last 2 months) and if he’s had other contact he’s hidden it well. I think he’s just frustrated and handling it badly.

It did briefly cross my mind that he was being an a$$ because something happened but the frustration over me not reading his mind is very much him.

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BlindCheetah

Not really a good excuse for being an a$$ but, I have been reminded he is in nicotine withdrawal. He admitted to bumming 3 cigarettes since his his quit deadline, he was supposed to be done in January. 


Yesterday I left his Kindle app open to the summary of Linda McDonald’s book with the parts highlighted that he needed the most. He didn’t comment on any of it but about 4 am he started acting less distant. We talked some today about why I was so mad Friday. He was a little defensive but mostly quiet.

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