Lookingahead Show full post »
anthropoidape
Lookingahead wrote:
I think my very low self esteem is what makes me want to do well, follow the "rules" of affair talk and not "fail". Of course I have many times expressed how unfair it all feels to even have these rules/strategies. When I lose it and lash out I just feel so horrible about myself the next day. To have both my H and our MC reassure me that I am not failing at anything was so helpful. 


Well, your H certainly hasn't helped with that self esteem thing.

For what it is worth, I think you are showing exceptional character in trying to make it work and you should be proud of yourself for taking the high, hard road of reconciliation and compassion, rather than the easier road of simply leaving him. 

However you get through this is your own way and will be the right way for you. You won't fail, you just might not be able to fix his failure.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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Lookingahead
Thank you for the kind words anthropoidape!
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Allthatremains
I find keeping the triggers under control really difficult. I like you also feel badly after I have lashed out on my WS. I have read all the posts below and can easily relate. This ability to reach out to others in the same position as me is a great help. My husband and I are working towards reconciliation but I use 'we' cautiously. He is patient with me and does not seek to rush me or belittle my feelings but does not seem to wish to address what made him stray. In his mind, it was an awful thing he did, he has no desire to ever hear her name or even look back at what happened. He does not believe his moral compass will ever lead him astray again after seeing the devastation and loss to our family that his affair has caused. That's all good and well but I struggle coming to grips with it all. It was a three year emotional and physical affair. Emails were sent calling her the 'love of his life' two days after our 23rd anniversary. He wrote her the evening after his father's funeral and asked her if he was 'bad for looking about her throughout the entire funeral'. I don't understand how a person can say those things and then when the affair is discovered push all those feelings away and try to act like it was a mistake and that he will never do it again. It is not helping me to understand him and to trust him when he doesn't talk about it. It took about 6 weeks after discovery for him to hit rock bottom and fully let her go and stop lying. I know I am lucky that I only lived in that limbo for a short period but now the flashbacks of emails seen and times and gifts he gave her haunt me. Am I wrong to ask him to explore more in depth what caused him to betray us? I give him handouts to read and write letters to him to read when he has time. But he never brings the subject up. I think I would feel safer and I have told him so if he could get to the core of what allowed him to betray us. Myself, I cannot imagine ever pledging my love to another all the while keeping it secret from my spouse and family. It is inherently wrong and I could not see where I would have the ability to allow myself to cause my family such harm. How is it that he could?
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Keepabuzz
I think it is absolutely fair to expect your husband to explore and identify why he was able to make those terribly immoral, and destructive decisions. For that was non-negotiable for my wife. If she had refused, I would have left. To me, that is a "requirement" of reconciliation. If this key piece is not done, then it's just rug sweeping, and you will never be able trust him again.  I have good understanding of the why's and the how's for my wife, although they are still bullsh*t excuses, and I still will never trust her fully I fear. Without some understanding of the thought process, etc, I would trust her to leave the room.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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blyrobin51

You are not failing.  You MUST let him know that your need to discuss the affair is for YOUR healing and not to shame him.  It took me telling this to my WS several times before he understood...... he is finally getting from behind his shame enough to really focus on me emotionally- he has become far more present, available, and emotionally in tune with what's going on with me......its been a shift.   this month makes 18mos since D-day.......I realized that it took a while for him to come to the harsh realizations of his behavior........the scales started dropping progressively as we began the recovery process.........it seemed he got depressed as I was coming up out of the mud.......it was strange....I was gurgling for air, and he began taking on water...........My grown children know nothing about his affair...however, my daughter has called me several times in the last 6 mos to tell me how she has noticed such a marked change in my WS,..he is even treating her differently, better, he's more present and attentive......I can honestly say, he wants to save his marriage, I believe he has serious and true regrets.......the problem is, can we fix this mess??  ......idk...

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surviving
blyrobin51 - my daily question is "can we fix this mess?"  After going through a crappy marriage for over 34 years to find out the reason is his multiple affairs.  Now that the last one rejected him, he says he wants to work on our marriage.  First, there is no marriage.  When you leave someone on your honeymoon, who/where are your priorities?  Then you continue your sex addiction for 34 more years.  Then you want to work on the marriage.  Why?  I just don't know if there is anything worth fixing.  It wasn't worth it for over 34 years, why start now?  So confused.  Still wondering, after all this time (four years from DDay).
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blyrobin51

Surviving:   I feel for you so much.  I had those same questions...and I allowed myself to have them with no answers, ,..and I had to stay that way for a while.     YOU have to take time to figure out what you can and cannot accept in little baby chunks,..not even chunks, morsels.   Piece by piece.   Its so necessary.  Infidelity rips the fabric of your relationship, and only you can determine if it can be sewn back together, or if the tear is so grotesque that the garment should be scrapped.   It isn't easy.....but its necessary.    Are you in counseling?  if not you should be.  and Im not talking about marriage counseling necessarily, ...sounds like individual counseling would be helpful.

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anthropoidape
surviving wrote:
It wasn't worth it for over 34 years, why start now?


I do think that people who are living these double lives don't necessarily realise that one is interfering with the other. I know that is obviously ridiculous, and I can't understand how they can be so blind, but I think there can (in some cases) be a genuine disconnect. In other words it is possible that, however stupid it seems, your husband really thought that his "outside" life had nothing to do with his life with you.

I am not saying there is anything worth saving. I honestly don't know. I am dealing with less than you are and I don't know if that is worth saving. I am just saying that I think there are people who really do put things in compartments that way. Some keep them like that until the day they die, others might realise they are insane after a month, and I suppose that any time period in between (like 30+ years) is possible too.
Maybe it is okay, maybe it will be okay.

BS, d-day Feb 2017, 16 mth affair.
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surviving
Thanks, Anthro - yes, my husband says that in his compartmentalization, he didn't think of me when in his affair, and when with me, he didn't think of his affair partners (yes, with an 's').  He also said that he didn't think he would ever get caught, and I would never find out.  But, he did get caught, lost his job, lost our home, and lost all respect from me and our children.  If I had a job, a place to go, and there would be no hurt to anyone (yeah, right), I would be out the door in a flash.  However, I stay for those reasons and the children (6 of them) and the grandchildren (10 of them).  My husband is trying very hard to change, but is that enough.  I keep saying in the back of my mind, that he is changing until the next partner comes around.  He says, no, but his track record says differently.  How can I tell if there is real change?  I guess time will tell!
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Laurajean83
Dear Surviving,  that's so tough!  I do understand the compartmentalizing, as the WS myself.  Also the fact that he got away with it for so long just reinforced in his mind that fact, and probably gave him a fairly continual "see she won't get hurt" justification.  However, the question of permanent change is an important one.  I think the long standing "success of hiding" (not success but horrible deception) could put him at risk of reoffending.   But maybe not.  Just thoughts to consider maybe.  

Also a couple questions about the decision to leave or to stay.  I don't wanna give any advice because you are living your situation and I know so so little.  just thoughts to ponder maybe...  

Do your adult children and grandchildren know the degree to which you husband was unfaithful?  It may be (I don't know just a thought only) that staying does more harm by modelling what you don't want it too.  Maybe deep discussions with them about how they feel about this, and what they feel is best for you would be beneficial.  With so much family you may have more support (where to go.. etc.) than you realize.  Also with seperation their is always hurt, but with staying their can be hurt as well...  to you most importantly.  Your hurt needs to be weighed in priority to others hurt in this sort of situation I think.  I know every situation is unique and challenging in its own way so I don't know what's best.  I am sure you have thought of all this and I hope for the best for you.  
WW, Dday 7 months ago

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it.  Jer 17:9
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surviving
Laurajean83 - Yes, my children know what my husband did.  They don't know details, just the basic gist.  They also don't know how I was treated.  Any discussions or problems were always discussed in our office behind closed doors.  The grand children know nothing about what I have been through - they were all too young (9 and under).  BTW, I love your verse at the bottom of your comments.  I am a believer.  My husband was a pastor for 11 years and an administrator of a Christian school for the next 9 years.  His last "victim" was his secretary.  My husband thought he was a believer, but it was a checklist salvation, not the real thing nor a heart issue.  He has since become a true believer (a few months after the trickle truth was out).  There is a change in him.  His anger is almost completely gone.  He has learned through counseling that he had more problems in himself than his sexual addiction.  He is working on all of those.  I have to decide whether it is a true change, or is it a change to get me to reconcile.  It has been over four years and I see progress.  I just don't know if that is enough.  
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Laurajean83
Hi Surviving,  so sad to hear your husband was a pastor.  Mine also worked in that role, and we jointly served as pastors to the youth group for several years.  The amount of this kind of thing in ministry is shocking and so sad.  

I am glad that God is working in both of you to draw him closer to himself.  I know because of what I have done my husband has no requirement whatsoever to stay.  If it was to painful or challenging for himself or he thought I might do it again.  So remember if you ever feel you wanna leave never think you have failed, or didn't show enough grace, or are a bad christian.  But my husband has so far made the choice to stay, for the kids but more so cuz he felt we could have a happy meaningful relationship again.  That may be your story as well.  I hope and pray it is.  [smile] 
WW, Dday 7 months ago

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it.  Jer 17:9
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