Illinigirl
I'm 2.5 months out from d day. H voluntarily disclosed. He told me 14 months ago the whole I love you but I'm not in love and moved out 7 months before d day. He's been home about 2 months and says he's trying but he's grieving and loves her too. She ended things and chose her family. It's awful. We have 3 kids. I'm trying to be patient. He seems to think he doesn't know if he'll ever be ok. What advice do you have? Thanks.
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Fionarob
So sorry to hear your story, it must be incredibly painful for you and I can't even begin to imagine how you are explaining all this to your children.

At this stage I would advise you take one day at a time.  Don't try to look too far ahead, although very difficult I know.  Just get through each day whilst your husband is grieving the loss of his AP.  I have watched my own husband distraught at ending his affair and it is the most painful thing to experience because you can see they are hurting, but it's because they have loved and lost someone they should never have been involved in.  I don't believe it is your job to help him through the process, he is just going to have to suffer the pain and get through it.  You could suggest he sees a counsellor to help him in the early stages?

Although it seems unfair, I think when they are in this 'grieving' stage then you can't expect much from them emotionally.  It shouldn't be like that, but it is.  Trying to force your husband to start working on the marriage or healing your wounds just won't work.  But hopefully as his feelings for the AP fade, then he should start to see things more clearly and know if he wants to recommit to the marriage or not.

You don't mention your own feelings.  Do you want him back?  Are you able to forgive him and work on mending the marriage when he is ready?  Maybe you would also benefit from some counselling to help you.  After living without him for 7 months when he left I assume you had maybe started to move on?  Now he is back because it didn't work out with the AP - how are you really feeling about it all?
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Illinigirl
Their affair was on again off again.
I want to make it. I want to be a family.
I'm ready to move forward. He says he's trying but how can that be?
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Fionarob
My husband often used to say he was 'trying' but I saw little evidence of that.  I think his 'trying' was more about getting over the AP, trying to appear happy when actually he was really down, trying to be nice to me when actually her really wanted her, trying to do the right thing by not leaving, trying to get through each day without texting or emailing her............

If the affair ended without your husband wanting it to, then it is going to be a while before he is really able to think about putting in a committed effort to mending your marriage and moving forward.  If he was in love with the AP then it is going to be tough for him, and you for a while. 

If it is what you really want then you will just have to be a bit patient until he is ready.  However, I would urge you to be cautious and not make the mistakes I made.  Don't be the one to take on all the work and do all the fixing and carry him along.  I have been doing this for 2.5 years, thinking I was doing the right thing and it would all be fixed and everything would be great again one day.  I can see now that my husband never had that same drive or desire to fix the marriage - he happily let me find ways to heal my own pain and try all sorts of different things to mend our broken marriage.    And all that time he just carried on his affair.

Hopefully if he is having no contact with the AP then his feelings will gradually fade and he will start to want to put things right for the both of you.  But if he is having any contact with her then he won't ever get over his feelings for her.  This is not something you can control, he has to do it because he wants to (or maybe has no choice if she has chosen her family.) 

Give it a bit more time and see what happens......make it clear that you want the marriage to work, but don't do it all for him.  He has to do if for himself.  I hope he can, he is extremely lucky that you have been willing to take him back.
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Guiltguilt
I'd echo the above, but I would say to go out and make a life for yourself.
That's what my wife has done, not out of spite but because that's what she needs to do. If he wants to be a part of your life, he won't be able to help see your progress.
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Illinigirl
Thank you. They work at the same place though in different areas now. He's trying to find a job elsewhere. So there is still some contact.

So just keep going with a life for myself and kids? Any sort of timeline I should focus on? Any other advice? I'd hoped to do phone coaching or a retreat with Tim but I don't think there's a point right now. I've been in individual counseling for over a year and he started seeing someone after he moved home to help with grief. We have had one joint session and can have more but I'm
Wondering if there's a point? Thanks for all your wisdom.
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TimT
Illinigirl wrote:
Their affair was on again off again. I want to make it. I want to be a family. I'm ready to move forward. He says he's trying but how can that be?

From his perspective, he may believe he's doing all he can. Emotionally, he still has strong connection with the other woman. That can (will) diminish as time goes by IF the time is filled with the right stuff (no contact with the AP and attention given to choices that move him in the prefered direction).

But make sure you're not taking the lead in doing the recovery work. You should not be working harder at it than he is. If he is not able to invest yet, focus on keeping you & your family healthy and wait for him to assume the appropriate responsibility. As long as he is not renewing contact with the other woman, let him know you're ready to work on things when is ready to do so. Don't drag him to counseling; don't insist on making connections; don't try to make him on anything. Rather, invite him to join you in the effort but wait for him to take the lead.

The attached article (originally published in the New York Times) does not specifically mention an affair, but it does talk about one woman's response to a husband who was no longer emotionally connected. I think it is a strong response as long as (1) there is some sort of time limit and (2) he continues to have no contact with the former affair partner.
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Illinigirl
Thank you for your reply and this article. I think I have a very long road in front of me.
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Illinigirl
I'm still struggling. I don't know what the right thing to do is. He's on a trip to find answers but he's such a mess. He feels like he has to make all sorts of choices RIGHT NOW. I finally gently asked him if I could make a suggestion. I said why do you have decide about our marriage right now? Maybe you're not in a position to do that yet? He is still grieving and dealing with job stuff. I said why can't we put the marriage in the back burner and focus on being friends and building a life with our family and taking care of ourselves individually? I figured this is the direction we'd need to take if we were going to reconcile anyway? Did I totally mess up?
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TimT
It sounds like a reasonable, gracious offer. It's similar to Tim & Lori's approach of focusing on their friendship first: http://www.affairhealing.com/vc160410.html
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Illinigirl
Thank you. I pray that we can find friendship again and move forward. I just don't know. I wish he would choose to do the right thing. We have 3 small children, 7 and under, to think about.
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Negarcia
Illinigirl my husband is still with his AP but really based on his wants and needs. This is his 3rd time cheating and I would like to work things out but we have been fighting so much because he hides so much. My 10 year old daughter asked him not to text her in front of her, he has no shame at all. It's crazy. My husband has no remorse and he is mean about the situation, I asked him to go to counseling but he won't. I also want it to work but I have been impatient, I need to back off. He went to a lawyer last night and I'm not sure if I leave it or fight it.
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GHB
TimT wrote:
It sounds like a reasonable, gracious offer. It's similar to Tim & Lori's approach of focusing on their friendship first: http://www.affairhealing.com/vc160410.html


@TimT
Just wondering are Tim and Lori still together and how is Tim doing now?

Thank you 
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TimT
Yes, they are still together. I touched base with them both before moving from FL last year and they continue to grow/learn and invest in the lives of others.
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