Intuition77
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AHMember44
I am also a very black and white type person. My (and I'm guessing your but I do not want to assume) belief system cannot fathom this type of behavior, no matter how bad things in the marriage gets. I am new to this forum, am a BS, and have been reading quite a lot of posts. I am also trying to work on my marriage, forgive and learn to trust again. Although I did judge, and perhaps punsih to some extent, in the beginning I do not think I am there now. That is not my job. I guess I would need to ask my WS if she believes I still do. One thing that was said to me in a support group was " you need to turn her debt over to God for His repayment plan". I have tried to do that. She is aware of my " non negotiables" when it comes to us and is sticking to them. There are however still some behaviors that occur that do frustrate me. I bring them up and it usually turns into a cycle of arguing/defending/etc. As my therapist said I cannot be anyones "moral compass" so I should stop as that is holding me/us back. In the last few days, mainly do to those arguments, I have tried to see things from her point of view more than I have in the past. Let me tell you it is hard, but I also see some of my inner peace being restored. Some of the comments user "Grace" said in my threads yesterday are making me think as well. Have I forgiven? Not yet, but I do believe these last couple of days I've made substantial progress. What I want more than anything is a happy marriage. Is my wife trying to make amends, yes. Perhaps I've put too much of "fixing us" on her (something she has brought up to me). Maybe she is right, if I did that it is not fair of me and I see that now. I am not excusing the choices she made. Having an affair is wrong, there is no way to ever justify it. But perhaps I do need to show more grace to her for the efforts she is doing. Maybe because of this "moral code" I have it is hard for me see all of this not playing out the exact way I want it to, or how I think it should based on my belief system. I can be stubborn,she is trying to make things right. I do see that and should tell her that more often. We both have triggers,setbacks and get frustrated. Those can be rough. What I do know is deep down I want to forgive & trust her, but that will take time. I have my faults, I was not the perfect husband nor was she the perfect wife pre-affair. But I think we are trying more now than ever. Deep down I think my wife does love me more now than pre-affair. I know I love her. I also know I cannot and will not go through this again. We have this one final chance to restore a marraige, a marriage that was not good even before this event happened. This process is just long, hard and sometimes ugly. Like I said we have had some major setbacks, but we are still together trying. I hope that answered some of your questions.



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Intuition77
AHMember44 wrote:
I am also a very black and white type person. My (and I'm guessing your but I do not want to assume) belief system cannot fathom this type of behavior, no matter how bad things in the marriage gets. I am new to this forum, am a BS, and have been reading quite a lot of posts. I am also trying to work on my marriage, forgive and learn to trust again. Although I did judge, and perhaps punsih to some extent, in the beginning I do not think I am there now. That is not my job. I guess I would need to ask my WS if she believes I still do. One thing that was said to me in a support group was " you need to turn her debt over to God for His repayment plan". I have tried to do that. She is aware of my " non negotiables" when it comes to us and is sticking to them. There are however still some behaviors that occur that do frustrate me. I bring them up and it usually turns into a cycle of arguing/defending/etc. As my therapist said I cannot be anyones "moral compass" so I should stop as that is holding me/us back. In the last few days, mainly do to those arguments, I have tried to see things from her point of view more than I have in the past. Let me tell you it is hard, but I also see some of my inner peace being restored. Some of the comments user "Grace" said in my threads yesterday are making me think as well. Have I forgiven? Not yet, but I do believe these last couple of days I've made substantial progress. What I want more than anything is a happy marriage. Is my wife trying to make amends, yes. Perhaps I've put too much of "fixing us" on her (something she has brought up to me). Maybe she is right, if I did that it is not fair of me and I see that now. I am not excusing the choices she made. Having an affair is wrong, there is no way to ever justify it. But perhaps I do need to show more grace to her for the efforts she is doing. Maybe because of this "moral code" I have it is hard for me see all of this not playing out the exact way I want it to, or how I think it should based on my belief system. I can be stubborn,she is trying to make things right. I do see that and should tell her that more often. We both have triggers,setbacks and get frustrated. Those can be rough. What I do know is deep down I want to forgive & trust her, but that will take time. I have my faults, I was not the perfect husband nor was she the perfect wife pre-affair. But I think we are trying more now than ever. Deep down I think my wife does love me more now than pre-affair. I know I love her. I also know I cannot and will not go through this again. We have this one final chance to restore a marraige, a marriage that was not good even before this event happened. This process is just long, hard and sometimes ugly. Like I said we have had some major setbacks, but we are still together trying. I hope that answered some of your questions.






Thanks. You made some good points. I like the moral compass thing made me realize how true that is. I have the difficulty with my husband always said I was throwing his cheating in his face. I didn't see it that way. If he had owned his behaviors and made positive changes I don't think we would have gotten to that point. To me when I would say you cheated and lied it was usually in response to his downplaying what he did minimizing or lying and cheating more. So to me I was stating facts he was trying to sweep away. I kept stating them because he kept sweeping them away. I read some
Of the WS comments here & think wow if my spouse had approached it in that manner or had that kind of personal responsibility a lot of my anger would have dissipated.

It's good your wife is working at it. I'm curious (but please don't feel you have to answer) when you say certain behaviors frustrate you & your therapist recommended it was holding you back, what did you decide to do to deal with these frustrations or your wife with the behaviors?

Oh and yes you we're spot on in my own belief system this was unfathomable.
I believe even on dday I said why wouldn't you just ask for a divorce? It's what makes the lies everything so difficult. None of it is even imaginable in my "system" I suppose. Even after all I've read on how it happens the places people are in even seeing our own issues it's still just a why would anyone do that. I can have a level of understanding & empathy but yet not to the point of forgiveness.

It's more likely forgiveness will come later on it's own when my and my kids lives are back on track and as more of a bittersweet just able to let go kind of forgiveness. As opposed to something shared or to help make something stronger. I think when a marriage can be saved the forgiveness becomes a building block in the marriage itself.
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AHMember44
I do understand the source of your pain. At the time of our Dday I was not chosen, there was no remorse shown and she did not ask for or want forgiveness from me. The remorse, and asking for forgiveness, took months and months (and a physical seperation) to appear. I do think, had I been picked over her AP and remorse shown immediately, we would be much further along than we are now. But my wife has now owned what she did and how devastating it was to me and our family. She is trying to make the necessary changes in her life and our relationship to "fix" it. And for that I do appreciate her. She probably does not know this and I need to let her know more often.

As far as what behaviors are causing me frustration, at this time I do not want to go into much detail (sorry) but it does not involve any communication with her AP ( that is one of my non negotiables as I do believe any communication, or attempted commmunucation, with the AP would be disastrous and be an ending event). We are working with a Marriage Counselor on those things. Even though we (the BS) were betrayed we really cannot force any type of behavior by the WS no matter how logical we think that behavior is. The WS needs to make the decision on their own. If we try to force it, and they don't want to do it, I know it will not last. Or if they do it then it will just cause resentment which is never good. Now I will be honest and say this is a new way of thinking about things by me (last few days) and it is tough. The struggle is (for me) am I being a pushover by not being bothered by some things, or am I being supportive of her and because of the 10 things she is doing right allows some grace on other things? Maybe/maybe not, I don't know. Am I expecting perfection from an imperfect event? Again this is new territory for me. I do not have all the answers but I think some of the ways I reacted (previous to a few days ago) were pushing me away from her and vice versa. I need to change too as if our marriage was exactly like it was before the affair we will not last and neither one of us will be happy.

But on the other side of the coin, I am no longer naive, or have blinders on. Forgiveness may be mine to give, but trust is hers to earn.
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Anna26
AHMember44:

Am I correct in thinking that your spouse chose her AP over you at first?  If so I would like to ask how you felt when she eventually decided she had made a mistake and decided to work on your marriage. 
The reason I'm asking this is because, as I said in a post on the forgiveness thread, I'm currently separated from my WS, who couldn't decide what to do, which one of us to choose.  In the end he more or less pushed that decision on to her by giving her an ultimatum, and she chose to stay with her husband. Obviously, he is still trying to sort his head out, but he couldn't understand why I said, that because he'd given his AP that ultimatum, it felt to me that he had actually chosen her over me anyway.  That's because if she'd said 'yes' he would have gone.  I told him that he has made me feel like second choice, in fact, second best and he said that simply wasn't true, I wasn't second best. But I just can't get my head round the fact that if and when he came home, I feel I would still be thinking I wasn't 'the one', I wasn't good enough, or that he was only with me because she didn't choose him and was only back home because it was a solution to a problem. 
I know he would need to be committed to NC with her, and also to working on our marriage, but how do I stop feeling like the 'last resort'?  Did you feel like this?  How did you adjust?  Can you give me a little insight into how you felt?   I know I'm probably asking for an answer to an impossible question here!  [smile]
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AHMember44
Anna26:
I felt those exact same emotions you described-how could we not? And they sucked and still do. We also became legally separated ironically the same time her AP had his Dday with his wife where he chose to stay. We decided to continue with the separation. We have 3 kids so still saw each other alot and it was months before we really attempted to reconcile. For me it was the fact I still loved her and a conversation I had with my pastor who said " Just because God says you can divorce does not mean you always should if she is willing to change. Keep your heart guarded, don't go in blindly, but give Him a chance to change her".

I was skeptical of course if she could change and prove to me I am not "door #2". I will be honest I still feel that way at times and it has been almost 1 year since our Dday. It has taken alot of humility on her part to continue to show me I'm not. She has had to build me up both as a husband and as a man, something she had not done in a long, long time.

As you mentioned No Contact is a must for me too. She knows that any contact, or any attempted contact of him, and I am done for good.

The other thing that changed on her was only visible to me in the last several months. She sees her AP not as the "perfect man & love of her life" but of one with very questionable character. She also realized that the affair time was a fairy tale and that any relationship that started with lies (each person betraying their spouse) would have ultimately failed (at least that's what she tells me). My wife also has said her only goal is to have a happy marriage with me. I would say until your husband can do all that, and think that way about her, it would be difficult to move forward. But that is just what I think.

We still struggle with things and each of us still has setbacks and triggers. I still do feel sometimes like she's only with me because he chose his wife. I think those feelings are natural, but not necessarily true. In my opinion when our WS's are in an affair they have this "fog" about them. They can only think of all of our bad qualities, and see only the AP's perceived good qualities, in order to justify what they are doing.

I also need to change as a person, and as a husband. I know that I need to build her up as a woman and as a wife. She understands that right now it is not as easy for me due to the betrayal and lies. She says she can be patient on that. Believe it or not even with all that has happened our marriage right now, today, is better than it has be a very long time. I am trying to focus more on that than the past. We are seeing a marriage counselor and each of us have separate individual counselors as well. The cost is a lot but I think vital to move forward.

I hope that helps you a little bit hearing my story. I commend you for trying or at least considering it.
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Intuition77
AHMember44 wrote:
I do understand the source of your pain. At the time of our Dday I was not chosen, there was no remorse shown and she did not ask for or want forgiveness from me. The remorse, and asking for forgiveness, took months and months (and a physical seperation) to appear. I do think, had I been picked over her AP and remorse shown immediately, we would be much further along than we are now. But my wife has now owned what she did and how devastating it was to me and our family. She is trying to make the necessary changes in her life and our relationship to "fix" it. And for that I do appreciate her. She probably does not know this and I need to let her know more often.

As far as what behaviors are causing me frustration, at this time I do not want to go into much detail (sorry) but it does not involve any communication with her AP ( that is one of my non negotiables as I do believe any communication, or attempted commmunucation, with the AP would be disastrous and be an ending event). We are working with a Marriage Counselor on those things. Even though we (the BS) were betrayed we really cannot force any type of behavior by the WS no matter how logical we think that behavior is. The WS needs to make the decision on their own. If we try to force it, and they don't want to do it, I know it will not last. Or if they do it then it will just cause resentment which is never good. Now I will be honest and say this is a new way of thinking about things by me (last few days) and it is tough. The struggle is (for me) am I being a pushover by not being bothered by some things, or am I being supportive of her and because of the 10 things she is doing right allows some grace on other things? Maybe/maybe not, I don't know. Am I expecting perfection from an imperfect event? Again this is new territory for me. I do not have all the answers but I think some of the ways I reacted (previous to a few days ago) were pushing me away from her and vice versa. I need to change too as if our marriage was exactly like it was before the affair we will not last and neither one of us will be happy.

But on the other side of the coin, I am no longer naive, or have blinders on. Forgiveness may be mine to give, but trust is hers to earn.


Oh I completely agree about not forcing change it has to come from them. Our stories are similar my husband "chose" the OW when given the choice to stop all contact with her or leave who then dumped him. And there was no remorse. He was cold and cruel even to the children. Months later he did say he only chose what seemed easiest at that moment and I can believe that somewhat. So as Anna said I also felt like last resort. For me that was why in the beginning when I wanted the marriage so badly it was me trying to force him or convince him to give me what I needed to feel like his only choice and like he truly had remorse. So even though he was saying he wanted the marriage the actions weren't there. And it took me Sadly months to realize the right way of thinking was he had to willingly of his own free choice want to meet my needs to save the marriage. That me demanding anything wasn't going to satisfy me. And that I only truly wanted the marriage if he did make those choices willingly.

I guess that's more what I was asking about your frustrations was getting an idea the methods others used to get over the bumps, not personal details because sometimes I do wonder if I expected too much to soon. Like do those in counseling have these bumps & it takes discussion and a period of time before change is seen in the WS? Although mine wasn't willing or offering to do counseling so there was no real working at it involved. For example even saying he wanted the marriage and to rebuild trust he would hide and be elusive about trivial things. He would say can't see the kids today I have other things to do. And never elaborate. Which to me isn't building trust. When I would hear later All he did was go to visit his parents. And this was after no contact with OW. And in 16 yrs of our marriage that was never natural for us. Neither of us ever just said did some stuff today. It was more natural to say oh went to the grocery store and stopped to visit so and so.

This complete sudden desire for secrets however trivial to me seemed a defiant I don't care if you trust me or I don't care to tell you anything which was a deal breaker for me. One of many. Especially because never in our marriage had this existed. And especially after an affair. It was never about control it was just that being open came natural in all our years together. I never felt I "had" to tell my husband where id been just why wouldn't I you know? Nothing to hide -you hide nothing.

So it's sudden appearance to me was a show of him definAtely not being all in
For the marriage. So I guess I answered my own question. Lol I wasn't expecting too much it was just a deal breaker. If you don't care that you destroyed my trust in you then there's really no marriage. Had he wanted to rebuild or cared about my feelings he would have worked on his own at building trust.

For Anna I do believe had my husband wanted the marriage and willingly chose to put my feelings first and worked at rebuilding the trust and marriage then that work & commitment could have helped ease that 2nd best feeling. Because no one works hard for a last resort. They just figure well it's there i guess I'll take it-no effort or work to show commitment. When they're all in it will show. So I think if your husband decides to be all in for the marriage and really works at it then I think eventually those feelings will subside. Just my opinion of how I would have felt. I notice in the marriages that the WS is working hard there's always an obvious remorse and moment of omg what did I do to you how could I etc. Even if it comes later after no contact with OW is established. There's like a sudden awakening it seems and in it I think is what many of us need-the remorse the validation for our pain the actions that show how they hurt for hurting you. I hope your husbands awakening happens soon for you. I know how painful it is.
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Anna26
AHMember44 wrote:


And The other thing that changed on her was only visible to me in the last several months. She sees her AP not as the "perfect man & love of her life" but of one with very questionable character. She also realized that the affair time was a fairy tale and that any relationship that started with lies (each person betraying their spouse) would have ultimately failed (at least that's what she tells me).



Thank you for your thoughts on this.  It's good to know that I'm not alone in feeling this way.  I have to say though that part of the reason I feel like it,  is that, having already told my WS that if he 'chose' her, there could be no safety net, meaning I wouldn't be hanging around waiting for him to turn up at my door later.
In essence, it feels like that is exactly what I am doing and also I feel that by taking him back (should the chance arise) I'm letting myself down because I couldn't stick to my guns and follow through. 
I guess this is something I'm going to have to deal with more at the time, should it happen.

I've always wanted to work at repairing my marriage and it was my WS's indecision that held me back in any efforts to do so.  I suspected early on that things were still going on between them despite him knowing I knew, and that was mostly the reason I asked him to move out. I couldn't bear the thought that he was sloping off to see her and coming home to share my bed (albeit grudgingly on my part, no spare room you understand, or he would have been in it!).  I suddenly thought, hang on, why am I still, cooking, washing, ironing etc, for you, and you can't even choose who you want?  So out he went.  Frankly, I think he felt he needed the space too, and things have been a bit calmer lately.

I think the point you make above about there being a change in how the WS begins to view their AP is a valid one.  Until they begin to doubt their own wisdom, and their faith in the glittering insular reality of the affair begins to crumble, things will remain the same.  When they are still wrapped up in each other, they see nothing but perfection, and any time they spend together feeds the positive feelings about the affair but at the same time negates anything good about the marriage.  Like you say, until he sees her for what she truly is , with all her faults and flaws on show, change could be a long time coming.  At the moment though I am still hoping that we get the chance to salvage something from our marriage.
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Stashh
AHMember44:

Am I correct in thinking that your spouse chose her AP over you at first? If so I would like to ask how you felt when she eventually decided she had made a mistake and decided to work on your marriage.
The reason I'm asking this is because, as I said in a post on the forgiveness thread, I'm currently separated from my WS, who couldn't decide what to do, which one of us to choose. In the end he more or less pushed that decision on to her by giving her an ultimatum, and she chose to stay with her husband. Obviously, he is still trying to sort his head out, but he couldn't understand why I said, that because he'd given his AP that ultimatum, it felt to me that he had actually chosen her over me anyway. That's because if she'd said 'yes' he would have gone. I told him that he has made me feel like second choice, in fact, second best and he said that simply wasn't true, I wasn't second best. But I just can't get my head round the fact that if and when he came home, I feel I would still be thinking I wasn't 'the one', I wasn't good enough, or that he was only with me because she didn't choose him and was only back home because it was a solution to a problem.
I know he would need to be committed to NC with her, and also to working on our marriage, but how do I stop feeling like the 'last resort'? Did you feel like this? How did you adjust? Can you give me a little insight into how you felt? I know I'm probably asking for an answer to an impossible question here! [smile]

Sorry....my first post reply: think I managed to get the type wrong when posting. Apologies.

What I wanted to say was that like you, AHMember 44, I have a similar situation even though WS (wife) opted for me not AP (someone, it transpired, that I know). This is because of how I perceive the impact of the trickle truth. I explained at the outset, that complete honesty and full disclosure was necessary otherwise I would consider her "choice" to be AP and his family over me/our family even if she wanted to continue a relationship with me. She knew the situation BUT she choose, nevertheless repeatedly to lie and to "protect" the AP and his family and she admitted that had she "got away with it" she would never have revealed his identity. I posted a thread asking for comments under the heading "What next?" on this point. Like you, I also feel "second best" even though WS insists that is not true. Her AP returned to his unknowing wife so I was left thinking was it a case of him not being an option to her that she decided to stay with me/children? How will I know? Like you, AHMember 44, I too just can't get my head round the fact that even though she opted to stop the affair, I am still thinking I wasn't 'the one', I wasn't good enough, or that she is only with me because she didn't choose him and is only back home because it was a solution to a problem. My solution? Time will tell but, in the meantime, Disclose to the APs spouse (N.B. other reasons exist for that - see other post). WS's response will no doubt be informative.
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Anna26
Intuition77 wrote:
 

I do believe had my husband wanted the marriage and willingly chose to put my feelings first and worked at rebuilding the trust and marriage then that work & commitment could have helped ease that 2nd best feeling. Because no one works hard for a last resort. They just figure well it's there i guess I'll take it-no effort or work to show commitment. When they're all in it will show. So I think if your husband decides to be all in for the marriage and really works at it then I think eventually those feelings will subside. Just my opinion of how I would have felt. I notice in the marriages that the WS is working hard there's always an obvious remorse and moment of omg what did I do to you how could I etc. Even if it comes later after no contact with OW is established. There's like a sudden awakening it seems and in it I think is what many of us need-the remorse the validation for our pain the actions that show how they hurt for hurting you. I hope your husbands awakening happens soon for you. I know how painful it is.


 Intuition, your post is full of common sense, something I pride myself on, but something which seems to have been scattered to the four winds right now lol..
Just that small sentence that I have highlighted in bold gives me some hope.  Of COURSE they don't do they?  Why would you bother if you didn't really care about the person you were with?  This is how I am sometimes though, a seemingly insignificant problem, or one that I needn't really worry about right NOW, can go round and round in my head for days.

I guess that none of what I'm feeling will actually be resolved fully anyway until we are living together again as a couple, but sometimes I am so angry. With him for putting us into this situation and with myself for 'overthinking' things so much.  I'm always 'planning' ahead.  I seem to have little scenarios worked out in my mind for every eventuality...what I need to say if someone stopped me in the street and asked where he was lately, what I need to do about finances if separation became permanent or divorce loomed, where would I live, what about my job, and the big one...what would I say to his AP  if I bumped into her one day (and would it be before the punch or afterwards? [biggrin])   I jest there of course, I am not that kind of person, but I sometimes wonder if she is managing to put things back together with her husband or if she is struggling as much as me. and does she know or care what she has put me and my children through.

It's amazing how the mind can play tricks on you when you are feeling that way out, that's why I am so grateful for the support of people like yourself in this community. 
Thank you all so much, just a little of your kindness and caring goes such a long way...
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AHMember44
Intuituon77:
Sorry have not figured out how to copy/paste on my smart phone...
For the "tips" I have to get over the bumps, well frankly, they start with my wife. I have to see that she is making the changes in her that lead her to have the affair. If she was not willing to go to an individual counselor (and switch when we both knew 1st one was not helping), if she was not willing to do marriage counseling and if she could not build me up like I talked about before then I don't think we would be back together. Also for me it took months and months of those things to get to a better place with us and for me to start changing hiw I am thinking about things. Even with all that I mentioned we still struggle at times but they help me get through tough days. I still have 2nd choice doubts, and I still sometimes wonder what she is doing while I am at work, but those thoughts no longer consume me like they once did.
I am sorry you are going through this. It's just my opinion, so please don't take it as the only way, but if your husband can't and don't do those things for him and for you then no matter how much you want it to work I don't thunk it can. I certainly do jot have all the answers as my wife and I still a work in progress. I wish you nothing but peace during your journey.
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Intuition77
AHMember44 wrote:
Intuituon77:
Sorry have not figured out how to copy/paste on my smart phone...
For the "tips" I have to get over the bumps, well frankly, they start with my wife. I have to see that she is making the changes in her that lead her to have the affair. If she was not willing to go to an individual counselor (and switch when we both knew 1st one was not helping), if she was not willing to do marriage counseling and if she could not build me up like I talked about before then I don't think we would be back together. Also for me it took months and months of those things to get to a better place with us and for me to start changing hiw I am thinking about things. Even with all that I mentioned we still struggle at times but they help me get through tough days. I still have 2nd choice doubts, and I still sometimes wonder what she is doing while I am at work, but those thoughts no longer consume me like they once did.
I am sorry you are going through this. It's just my opinion, so please don't take it as the only way, but if your husband can't and don't do those things for him and for you then no matter how much you want it to work I don't thunk it can. I certainly do jot have all the answers as my wife and I still a work in progress. I wish you nothing but peace during your journey.



Thank you and no offense taken I 100% agree with you! In the early aftermath I was so hurt and shattered I wanted him to do those things. There was a desperation in wanting my marriage to survive. I've changed and realized I don't want a marriage where The marriage isn't his top priority. Now my mindset is I only want you as my husband IF your first choice & desire is to do whatever it takes to rebuild. He's not there & I'm moving on. Life is too short & I'm not wasting it on those who don't deserve my love & loyalty. Thank you again for your kind words.
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