minnie16 Show full post »
Sadie
Thrive, beautifully said.   I agree that having an anniversary, let alone celebrating it IS hard won.    
     We have never done much for our anniversaries and for our 25th this year, I am not sure if I am ready to celebrate, but I will definitely acknowledge it.   We have had more good than bad, but man!   The bad is a doozie!    
      Blindcheeta, What you said, made me think of my Mom.   She was a different Mom to each of her kids, adjusting to meet our needs.    It is interesting talking to my siblings, hearing the differences, now that she is gone.    
       We have sectors, I guess, in our marriage.   We had the “dark days” which preempted the affair and now we have after “the fire” which is the affair.   
      I respect everyone’s journey and the path they choose to take.   Different strokes, so to speak.    But I also like to hear everyone’s take on resetting, as I had thought of doing this as well, but I just couldn’t get it to make sense for me.   I don’t discount the reset, but am curious as to how you wrap your head around it.   I mean, when do you reset?  Dday?   That day was so painful.  Maybe I just haven’t found what a good reset day would be.   I wouldn’t want it associated with pain.        Thoughts?
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Keepabuzz
Sadie,
      I’m off the opposite opinion, for me. I’m a firm believer in “to each their own”.  I also view marriage as a contract. My wife broke the terms of that contract, which made that contract null and void.  That marriage contract ended the second she betrayed me, I just didn’t know about it until d-day.   I am married only in regards to the government. I do not consider myself married. I consider myself in a committed monogamous relationship. Should this relationship become non-monogamous, I will end it post haste, in all ways to include legally. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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ThrivenotSurvive
@Phoenix -

I hope I didn't bring you pain - that was not my intention at all.  I pray that the two of you are able to find a path back from the pain and heartbreak - whether together or apart.  Your remorse is so clear, your desire to take responsibility and build something loving and supportive so painfully obvious. 

Unfortunately, you can not will someone to heal.  Forgiveness on this level is so difficult.  But what REALLY takes courage is re-opening that delicate, soft, tender part of our hearts that is central to our being.  That part is mangled beyond belief in the aftermath of an affair.  And it, in many ways, is what makes life worth living.  It is the part of us that truly experiences the transcendental, the magical, the intense joy of being alive, to love and be loved.  The most human part of us.  It is why life feels so gray and flat in the aftermath of an affair.  This part of us that is necessary to experience joy and connection is on life support. 

We all instinctively protect this part of ourselves because we know it is where our will to LIVE (not just breathe) comes from.  Once you've almost lost that part of yourself and have experienced that pain - how life loses meaning and you question the point of existence - it takes enormous courage to put it on the line again.  With anyone.  Ever.  Much less the person who nearly killed it the first time.  

But at some point, most of us come to the realization that in protecting it, we are also not engaging in life anymore.  Not on any substantive level.  In protecting ourselves from the possibility of pain, we've removed any possibility of joy.  Some decide that living in the gray is preferable than living it the black pits of despair (I get that), while others decide that living without the colors, the joy, is not living at all - and therefore it is worth the risk to open that part of themselves again.  I found myself at this crossroads and choose the latter approach. 

But not everyone can, or will want to, make that decision.  And I can't fault them for that.  It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done and a decision that I have to reconfirm every time the fear rises.  And it IS A GAMBLE.  I may get hurt again - by my husband or someone else.  People fail, people are imperfect.  But I'd rather live 10 years in joy for 3 years in pain, then 13 years of surviving.  That is MY choice - and  NOT necessarily right, or good for anyone else.  

Unfortunately, the way I have approached this experience is more about who I am, how I view life, and my personality than any outside force (including my husband).  Even had my husband left, or continued lying which would have caused me to leave, I'd have likely spent time alone healing and then chosen to open myself to someone new when I felt ready.  I've never been particularly good at holding grudges.  I just decide whether the person seems truly remorseful and gauge how apt I think they are to hurt me again.  If I don't think they will, they get a second chance.  If I think they will, I remove them from my life.   But whatever I do, I don't hold a grudge - I just act and move on.  It's always felt like holding a grudge or resentment just took too much of my time and energy.  This has been a lifelong trait.

I share this, because I think it is important to note that it was NOT exclusively due to how well my husband handled it.  I'd have arrived HERE (this emotional sate), with or without him.  I'd be experiencing love and connection with someone else if he had not made the changes necessary to stay in my life.  

So how well YOU are doing (taking responsibility, being loving and supportive, etc.) can HELP your husband.  it can make it easier, or more difficult for him to heal - but you can't "love" him into opening himself up again.  That will have to be a decision HE makes because he's tired of carrying the anger, tired of living half a life.  When that day comes (if it does, no guarantees), he will have to make another BIG decision - can he open himself to YOU?  

Sadly, this is another one you cannot entirely control.  You can make sure that you are as whole, healed and good within yourself as you can be and hope that empowers him to feel safe with you (this is the route my husband took.)  But even if you have done the work - it does not mean that he will be able to fully see it - or trust it - ever again.  

From everything you have said about his past and personality, I get the feeling he very, very different in personality and approach to life than me.  So I worry that if you try to apply my feelings and reactions to him, you will be set up for disappointment.  I am not saying not to hope, but look closer at what Keep talks about needing from his wife to let her in past his walls.  In his words I see wisdom you may be able to apply to someone who may be slower than me to open their heart - but is not entirely unwilling.  

 I am so sorry for your - and his - ongoing pain.  
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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Phoenix
Keepabuzz wrote:


 "My wife certainly wanted to, and still does, but I zero interest. She sees it as she really messed up, but she didn’t lose me. I see it as she gutted me and set our marriage on fire and watched it burn. That marriage is dead, for me.  What we are in now is the same marriage for her, but for me it’s something different. For me, I’m married on paper. In my heart, I’m here with her as long as it suits me. That might be a couple of more years, or it might mean forever. Clearly I know I can’t see the future, and I’m prepared for anything at this point. "

Keep,
Does your wife know this? If you are deciding everyday to stay again why not make the effort to make it into the better relationship and not keep thinking on;y until it suits you? MY BS recently told me " i want you to fight for me, to make me fall in love with you again." That's exactly what I am doing. Everyday I make an effort to show him my love and how much I want him and our relationship. I have in your post that your BS does not put much effort, she is better than before but not enough. I know you spoke to her recently to, did you express this to her? 
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Phoenix
@Phoenix -

I hope I didn't bring you pain - that was not my intention at all.  I pray that the two of you are able to find a path back from the pain and heartbreak - whether together or apart.  Your remorse is so clear, your desire to take responsibility and build something loving and supportive so painfully obvious. 

Unfortunately, you can not will someone to heal.  Forgiveness on this level is so difficult.  But what REALLY takes courage is re-opening that delicate, soft, tender part of our hearts that is central to our being.  That part is mangled beyond belief in the aftermath of an affair.  And it, in many ways, is what makes life worth living.  It is the part of us that truly experiences the transcendental, the magical, the intense joy of being alive, to love and be loved.  The most human part of us.  It is why life feels so gray and flat in the aftermath of an affair.  This part of us that is necessary to experience joy and connection is on life support. 

We all instinctively protect this part of ourselves because we know it is where our will to LIVE (not just breathe) comes from.  Once you've almost lost that part of yourself and have experienced that pain - how life loses meaning and you question the point of existence - it takes enormous courage to put it on the line again.  With anyone.  Ever.  Much less the person who nearly killed it the first time.  

But at some point, most of us come to the realization that in protecting it, we are also not engaging in life anymore.  Not on any substantive level.  In protecting ourselves from the possibility of pain, we've removed any possibility of joy.  Some decide that living in the gray is preferable than living it the black pits of despair (I get that), while others decide that living without the colors, the joy, is not living at all - and therefore it is worth the risk to open that part of themselves again.  I found myself at this crossroads and choose the latter approach. 

But not everyone can, or will want to, make that decision.  And I can't fault them for that.  It was without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever done and a decision that I have to reconfirm every time the fear rises.  And it IS A GAMBLE.  I may get hurt again - by my husband or someone else.  People fail, people are imperfect.  But I'd rather live 10 years in joy for 3 years in pain, then 13 years of surviving.  That is MY choice - and  NOT necessarily right, or good for anyone else.  

Unfortunately, the way I have approached this experience is more about who I am, how I view life, and my personality than any outside force (including my husband).  Even had my husband left, or continued lying which would have caused me to leave, I'd have likely spent time alone healing and then chosen to open myself to someone new when I felt ready.  I've never been particularly good at holding grudges.  I just decide whether the person seems truly remorseful and gauge how apt I think they are to hurt me again.  If I don't think they will, they get a second chance.  If I think they will, I remove them from my life.   But whatever I do, I don't hold a grudge - I just act and move on.  It's always felt like holding a grudge or resentment just took too much of my time and energy.  This has been a lifelong trait.

I share this, because I think it is important to note that it was NOT exclusively due to how well my husband handled it.  I'd have arrived HERE (this emotional sate), with or without him.  I'd be experiencing love and connection with someone else if he had not made the changes necessary to stay in my life.  

So how well YOU are doing (taking responsibility, being loving and supportive, etc.) can HELP your husband.  it can make it easier, or more difficult for him to heal - but you can't "love" him into opening himself up again.  That will have to be a decision HE makes because he's tired of carrying the anger, tired of living half a life.  When that day comes (if it does, no guarantees), he will have to make another BIG decision - can he open himself to YOU?  

Sadly, this is another one you cannot entirely control.  You can make sure that you are as whole, healed and good within yourself as you can be and hope that empowers him to feel safe with you (this is the route my husband took.)  But even if you have done the work - it does not mean that he will be able to fully see it - or trust it - ever again.  

From everything you have said about his past and personality, I get the feeling he very, very different in personality and approach to life than me.  So I worry that if you try to apply my feelings and reactions to him, you will be set up for disappointment.  I am not saying not to hope, but look closer at what Keep talks about needing from his wife to let her in past his walls.  In his words I see wisdom you may be able to apply to someone who may be slower than me to open their heart - but is not entirely unwilling.  

 I am so sorry for your - and his - ongoing pain.  

Thank you Thrive, you are right he is not that type of person. It will probably take a very long time for him to get half way to where you are. I do see a lot of my BS in Keep. Keep's words and thoughts are very helpful to me and my situation.
Recently things have not been as hard as in the beginning. The crisis mode has gotten less and longer periods of time in between. We are having more conversations about our  feelings. He is trying to reconnect with me but it is very difficult for him after all those years of pain. Things are still not optimal but I feel more hope. The most recent therapist is very intuitive and receptive to my BS needs. Even though he does he does not come to therapy with me my therapist is getting a very clear, honest picture from me. She gives me great advice and insight into how he feels and what i have to do. I mention everything to him and he always agrees with her. He still has very hard days and thoughts but he is getting better at not letting them control him. I am getting better at not running away and being more compassionate. I put his feelings first now, put myself in his place. 
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Keepabuzz
Phoenix wrote:

Keep,
Does your wife know this? If you are deciding everyday to stay again why not make the effort to make it into the better relationship and not keep thinking on;y until it suits you? MY BS recently told me " i want you to fight for me, to make me fall in love with you again." That's exactly what I am doing. Everyday I make an effort to show him my love and how much I want him and our relationship. I have in your post that your BS does not put much effort, she is better than before but not enough. I know you spoke to her recently to, did you express this to her? 



I wouldn’t say I decide everyday to stay or go anymore. I have done all I’m willing to do to make it better. We get along fine, rarely ever have a disagreement. When I said I’m here as long as it suits me, I mean after all I have been put through that there is no guarantees. She may cheat on me again, she may decide to stop treating me well, if those things happen, then the relationship will no longer suit me and I will be gone. My wife actually puts in a ton of effort, and has since d-day. What effort she hasn’t done is the work to truly fix herself. So I am only willing to open up so much, she not truly safe for me yet, in my eyes. She hasn’t done the work to fix what was/broken inside of her.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Phoenix
Keepabuzz wrote:



What effort she hasn’t done is the work to truly fix herself. So I am only willing to open up so much, she not truly safe for me yet, in my eyes. She hasn’t done the work to fix what was/broken inside of her.  

I think this should be priority number one. I don't think anything really sticks until you work from the inside out. Until you truly see yourself. You're right, if you don't look at those things that led you to have your affair than the story can repeat. I had to truly look at all the things that drove me to have my affair. I am also working on picking up the pieces of all my own abuse. I can see the anxiety that builds up in me when I start feeling the same way I felt when I had my affair. I need to know exactly where it's coming from and how to deal with it in a healthy way. I realized that I had my affair and I never had another one but it was because I started with another unhealthy behavior. I have a strong addiction to makeup. It might sound dumb but it is no joke. I can say I have spent many thousands of dollars on it. I know now that it is me trying to find the perfect makeup to make me feel pretty on the outside because I feel ugly on the inside. That was one of the reasons I looked for an affair. 
So you see ID is very important in this process. I also feel it is important after any traumatic experience. I see many unhealthy behaviors in my BS spouse now. I know it comes from his PTSD, low self esteem and bad self image he has now. 
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BlindCheetah
Phoenix wrote:

I realized that I had my affair and I never had another one but it was because I started with another unhealthy behavior. I have a strong addiction to makeup. It might sound dumb but it is no joke. I can say I have spent many thousands of dollars on it. I know now that it is me trying to find the perfect makeup to make me feel pretty on the outside because I feel ugly on the inside. That was one of the reasons I looked for an affair. 


This doesn’t sound dumb at all to me. I have always resisted makeup as a young teen when my friends where piling it on like clowns my mom was encouraging me to try at least a little. I’ve never seen the point, if your not attracted to the natural me why would I want to put on a mask?  I have always been the quiet observer I have seen what you describe on various levels in many others. 

Female BS
Married 19 years 
2 tween girls

DDay 10/2019 
Affair 1, 11/2010 to 2/2011
Affair 2, 6/2019 to 12/2019 - Persistent One is still trying to contact him. 

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Keepabuzz
Phoenix wrote:

I think this should be priority number one. I don't think anything really sticks until you work from the inside out. Until you truly see yourself. You're right, if you don't look at those things that led you to have your affair than the story can repeat. I had to truly look at all the things that drove me to have my affair. I am also working on picking up the pieces of all my own abuse. I can see the anxiety that builds up in me when I start feeling the same way I felt when I had my affair. I need to know exactly where it's coming from and how to deal with it in a healthy way. I realized that I had my affair and I never had another one but it was because I started with another unhealthy behavior. I have a strong addiction to makeup. It might sound dumb but it is no joke. I can say I have spent many thousands of dollars on it. I know now that it is me trying to find the perfect makeup to make me feel pretty on the outside because I feel ugly on the inside. That was one of the reasons I looked for an affair. 
So you see ID is very important in this process. I also feel it is important after any traumatic experience. I see many unhealthy behaviors in my BS spouse now. I know it comes from his PTSD, low self esteem and bad self image he has now. 


I agree, and my wife has family of origin issues because she was sexually abused as a child and her parents rug swept it. She has PLENTY to work on. Until she does, and makes some serious progress, I’m holding my position. I think that is more than fair, I would be well within my right to just boot her, if I so chose in my opinion.  I’m giving her the opportunity, she can take it, or not. It’s not up to me. Just like she can’t make me open back up and let her in, I can’t make her work to fix herself. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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minnie16
Thank you all... the day is tomorrow... tonight ( while he was out) I had a major anxiety / anger attack. I’m totally drained now which may be a good thing so I can just numb out and try to get through tomorrow 
D day June, 2016
ws affair: 18 months sexual affair plus 2 years emotional affair after. Ow 20 yrs old; WS 60
live in Texas
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BlindCheetah
Ok, maybe it’s more like software upgrades v1.0-1.7 pretty good v1.8-9 kids added communication and missunderstood bugs pop up. v2.0 installed without my knowledge very buggy crashes often, chronic selfish bug installed. v2.2-2.7 still buggy but mostly stable v2.8 bugs multiply v2.9 total system failure have to decide to start new with 3.0 or trash the whole thing and find a new operating system. 3.0 is in testing with a fine mesh on the bull $h!t filter. 


I shared this with H just 2 weeks shy of our 19th anniversary his response, “So, I’m just a big bag of ones and zeroes to you.”  

Female BS
Married 19 years 
2 tween girls

DDay 10/2019 
Affair 1, 11/2010 to 2/2011
Affair 2, 6/2019 to 12/2019 - Persistent One is still trying to contact him. 

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