violet

My story: My husband and I have been together for 18 years, 12 of w/c married. We have 3 kids 12,9,7. We’ve been up and down financially. My husband was born with an easy life, I not so much. So we have different approaches to finances. In our quest to have a better life, we lost touch of what was important- our marriage and family. Fast forward 2013, at that time we had 2 coffee shops that got totally wiped out by the typhoon. My city was in chaos, life was hard. We were left to start over, with business and personal debt in tow. My husband asked permission for a 1 time quick fix solution (he said his good friend offered to help). I stupidly agreed, what I did not notice was that the onetime became 2, 3x worst part with the easy money came major changes; he treated me and the kids differently. He was rude, disrespectful, always out etc. this caused me to leave him. Later I found out he was in an affair and this 23yr. old girl with a family of her own she was the one who got him in this illegal business (her uncle is the big time boss).

My husband comes from a respectable family; he is well mannered with good old fashioned values. He has changed overnight. I did not recognize him. When I found out I went to the girls husband, he already knew and did not do anything since she was the boss. A few days after we got back together. Then I asked help from his parents about the business, after so much chaos he stopped immediately. But it took me almost a year to decide to pay the balance left because I was waiting for him to find a way to pay himself (he didn’t- I wish I paid earlier, because their connection became deeper). He broke up with the woman several times.

I did the typical begging, crying, pleading, moral words etc. his parents even helped me but trust me it doesn’t work. He said the classic I’m not in love with you, she understands me, It’s all your fault because I loved you and you pushed me, there’s no hope, She loves me more than you have . I always threatened him with the “I’m leaving you speech”, which I was not able to do, I told the children, I did a lot of things in my desperate attempts and I lost a lot of respect and probably prolonged the affair.

However it’s the vacillation and ambivalence that confuses and kills me because its happens on a weekly basis, we would go 4 days of no talking it became 3, 2 then now 1 or half day and then back again. At first he gave me false hope saying we won’t make if the business is still here, when we paid he said I’m letting her go slowly and I believed him, I don’t know if he feels he owes her or he’s protecting us or he’s just so in love, He won’t let me go either and he won’t discuss anything. I also know hes been on and off with her. But it's like when I push him he runs to her.

 When hes sane he talks about our past, he remembers even my clothes and the brands from 12 yrs ago. He talks about our future, He gets jealous all the time, asks permission to go somewhere, people make mistakes etc. Our sex life by the way has never ever stopped. He is always the initiator. Note: He is the one approaching me all the time, despite my desperate ways, I do have my pride.

Being financially strapped I researched the net and learned so much about affairs and have availed of free newsletters, ebooks, blogs- all have given me strength. My husband never left so I tried to experiment, I did a combination of Mort Fertel, Coach Jack Ito, Linda and Doug- emotional affair journey, Katie Lersch, Dr. Joe Beam- Marriage Helper, Divorce busting- do the 180, Love languages, Dr. Huizenga and a whole lot more, I also prayed a lot-

I tried the charging neutral, leave the problem behind focus on connection and communication, being calm, acting happy. I tried to closed my eyes on his ongoing affair, just the stand back fake it till you make it, surprisingly we started to connect and he kept coming to me and I found out he ended the affair but since he did not take the -steps to protect himself from communicating with this woman, after a traumatic event It started again. I don’t know what to do, I’m so tired, but he denies the affair now, his nights out from 6, then 3, then now he is almost always at home. His treatment of the kids is so much better, in fact he has become a better father than even before the affair, he has single handedly made their family business successful again, He is very close to his parents now.  We are communicating better, he is starting to treat me with respect and he is starting to take back or act like he forgot all the hurtful words. Even our sex life where it used to be hot but I felt used has become very passionate. But that’s the thing he won’t stop.  I am always trying to use the sex as a boundary and it’s the one thing we fight about. It’s just hard to impose the boundary because  he won’t accept. He follows me around for days, cornering me then when I give in a few days of daily physical contact and there he goes again, we fight 2-3 days then back again. Lately I have been giving speeches about me feeling used and I have fallen out of love and that he is more suited with the girl, I'm just so drained. He has withdrawn, our sex life has also declined. I hit a nail I guess, it just won’t work with this affair present. He can’t have his cake and eat it at two. I am totally broken yet I miss him, I’m afraid I’m losing my family, my husband and myself. I just can’t understand why he says he’s trying and I can see the changes yet I know despite his denials she’s still there. He is not transparent and accountable yet.

I know about Limerence and the Affair fog, well it’s been almost 3 years, 2 of which I fought so hard for. My heart is barely breathing, I have lost a lot of love for him but am trying hard to give positive vibes and compliments. I am also human and I can’t stop losing my cool reserve every now and then.

Is there hope? Why too much vacillation? Any thoughts? Please help.

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Fionarob
Violet

Well, what a story....sorry you are feeling this way but know that all of us betrayed spouses know exactly how you are feeling and you are not alone.  Your story has many parallels with mine, I often threatened that I wanted our marriage to end, but he would beg for another chance and I would let him back.  Deep down I didn't really want him to leave me, but I used the threat because I thought it would bring him to his senses and he would end the affair for good.  It didn't work.

He kept ending the affair and then going back, for two years that's how things carried on.  I, like you, never withheld sex as I thought that would just make him choose her.  I also did some online counselling - for example the Mort Fertel one.  It actually worked for me in terms of bringing us closer and bringing me to a better place in my mind.  But still I had suspicions that he was still in the affair, and it turns out he was.  In the end I couldn't keep it up because I was so angry that he got to have the best of both worlds, never have to talk about the affair, have me showering him with compliments, gifts, arranging date nights and all the time he was sleeping with someone else.  It makes me mad just remembering it!

It wasn't until the last DDay in December 2015 that I had finally had enough.  I had truly reached a different point where I realised that life without him would be BETTER than life with him.  Yes it would be incredibly hard for our children, but I had become clear in my head that I no longer needed him, wanted him or loved him.  I could begin to imagine a life without him that would be so much better for me. I felt strong enough to be on my own and knew I would still be a great Mum and give my children a fantastic upbringing.

I think he saw that change and that's what finally made him end the affair.  He is very different now - more like the man I used to know before all of this began.  I still have plenty of days when I wonder if he is still in touch with his AP, but I have stopped checking his 'phone or emails.  At the end of the day, if he chooses to start his relationship with her then he knows I have given him all the chances I can give (8 in total.)  He knows it will mean the end of our marriage and that this time I mean it.

So there is hope, but I suppose only you can get to that place where you decide you have had enough and know it is genuine and not just an empty threat.  Then it is in his power to decide whether to take the chance you offer him or risk loosing you forever.  It doesn't sound like his AP is available and likely to run of into the sunset with him??  She is married?  My husband's AP was single, so it would have been easy for him to leave me and start afresh with her. 

Now I feel I am coming out the other side of this I can only look back and wonder at the amount of time I put up with his behaviour.  I am angry at myself for letting him do it for so long, it's like I lost all my self-respect.  It wasn't until I started to feel stronger and that I was a good person, capable of being without him that I finally put my foot down!  Incidentally, after the last Dday I stopped having sex with him for quite some time, until I felt 'safe' enough.  And instead of running off back to her, he has actually stayed and been a lot nicer!  So, there is proof that it can work if THEY really want it to! 
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violet
Hello Fionarob,

Thank you sooo much for your reply. It instantly made me feel better. The other woman is living in with someone and they have children. Ever since my husband has always said If I loose you, she will never be the one, we will never live together. He has not really introduced her to important people in his life. I believe, that should we lose our marriage he would choose to find someone else. She is shiny and new now. But eventually my husband will see her for what she is values and all and this would not sit well with him.

I have so many questions: How did you act towards your husband when you finally reached that point? Did you truly fell out of love with him? I feel this way but I'm still confused at why I'm hurting and very paranoid, can you give me some tips to detach. Did you ask your husband about details of the affair? Is he transparent and accountable now? Do you think/or did he mention feeling guilty, hurt and ashamed? Did you ask him if he really still does love you, If he had love for you during the affair or is this just sympathy? Did he tell you what you have done that made him wake up from this fog? I'm sorry Fionarob, my husband doesn't talk about it. He tried before when I just found out. I freaked out, and he has been quite since.
Does your husband get mad/hurt if you deny sex? Does he ask for it often? Why do you think he wants physical contact when he was in love with a readily available OW.

We don't have the resources right now for counselling and all. Can you point me to some  good websites that give free advice, ideas, self help.

Thank you so much.
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Fionarob
Hi Violet,
Shall I send you a private message with all the answers to your questions??!  It will probably be a very long reply to talk about all of these different aspects, but trust me, I am more than happy to respond!
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violet
Sure I'm looking forward to that. Thank you.
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Chiquitina
Hi Filnarob,

I found out my husband affair last December, right after Christmas. She lives in another country ( I'm from Europe) and my husband travels a lot, because of his job. He tried to break up with her several times, but they kept in contact (for two months) until last week that they met. I was alert and found out right away. He told me they met to say good bye because they broke up over the phone. I said that was stupid of him. Now I just accepting what he chose and he is outside of the house. I love him and I know he loves me back. But I need some self respect, so I did the letting go letter.
I would like you to tell me how you did show your husband that you didn't need him, that you were happy without him and still leave the door open...
Thank you. God bless both of you, we need so badly his strength...
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Fionarob
Hi Chiquitina
I told my husband very calmly and extremely tearfully that I did not want to stay married to him anymore.  I told him that I realised that although I didn't want it for my children, and although I would be very lonely I had come to a place where I realised my life would be better without him.  I lived for two years with his betrayal and constant relapses back into his affair.  It just became too much to bear anymore.  And I came to realise that I deserved more and was worth more than the way I was being treated.  I also knew that someone had to break the triangle - me, him or the AP.  It was clear they were never going to do it, so it had to be me.

At the time we were having counselling (he agreed to it even though he was still having the affair, which I didn't realise.)  He asked me if I would just come to one last session with him before deciding to end it so I agreed.  At that session he told the counsellors he didn't want the marriage to end and recognised he needed help to end the affair - he had tried before and didn't know how to do it.  They asked him several times if it is what he really wanted, if he was willing to do the work to put things right.  He said he was 100% sure.  They asked me if I was willing to give him one last chance, to see if he could really end the affair so I agreed.  I made it clear I was very reluctant, and that I had no confidence he would be able to end it as he had gone back so many times before.  I said it was up to him this time and I wasn't willing to help him in anyway.  They agreed that it was his choice and he had to do it, he couldn't rely on me to help him through. 

This helped me enormously as finally someone had given me permission to take a back seat and let him do the work.  They helped him end the affair by giving him 'phone support and he could email them anytime if he was feeling the urge to call or text his AP.  It was like they were helping an addict to give up drugs. 

The first few weeks were hard - he was missing his AP, he was angry, he was ashamed, he was going through all sorts of emotions and he still had bouts of taking it out on me, getting angry, defensive, still not taking the blame.  But gradually I am starting to see a different person emerge.....more like the man I used to know.  I am far more hopeful now than I was just a few months ago.  I still don't trust him, not sure if I love him again yet, but I have hope which I had completely lost.
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Chiquitina
Dear Fionarob,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. The problem is that we didn´t find the right counseling here. When he finally agreed and had the first visit the therapist told him to meet different women (and have sex with them) in order to forget the AP. I got really upset and tried to make an appointment with her, but she refused because she wanted to see him again without talking to me. That time she told him to stay alone because he was incapable to make anyone happy and he would be happier on his own. Then I really got upset and five days after that my husband met the AP in another country. I knew it was going to happen because he couldn't sleep the night before. Then he lost his plane connection on purpose because I told him that if he was going to meet her it was over (no because I would punish him, only because that was his choice). Finally he took the plane the other day. Now he regrets doing that, but its too late. He is not in the house anymore. But he is telling me that he wants to fix it and to be with us. Now I feel like I don't want to divorce him, but he needs to see what would mean to be divorce. So he needs to make up his mind on his own. I was helping him and now I can´t. He is going  to see our children once in a while (like if we were divorced) and that is going to open his eyes to reality. But still I want him back. It´s so hard... I lost weight and my professional life is a mess. So now is my turn to organize my life and if he wants to stay he needs to do some changes. 

Thank you again for your help. I hope your husband keeps in the right path. But I know our husbands need to pray and ask God for help and strength... 


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