Heartbroken2015

Hi Everyone, I'm sorry to hear we are all going through this!

A bit about my story…my husband of 6yrs (dated for 14yrs) asked for a separation in April.  I talked to him about what would happen if we decided to separate, i.e.: custody of our 5yr old and finances etc.   He kept becoming more distant and very cold.  I had to travel for a conference in June and upon my return I suggested a trial separation as it felt like he was being cruel so I would leave.   He was very cold and cruel when I was leaving.  It was so horrible that I ended up taking my son to my apt with no furniture and we had to sleep on an air mattress.  

He said he wanted to work it out and we went to therapy.   Over our therapy sessions he began to pick me apart from everything from using a certain word that irritated him to how I was compulsively clean one minute to the next minute I never did anything around the house.   It all seemed so bizarre to me like he was hiding something.  Both I & therapist asked if he was seeing someone else.  He got mad and said no and swore on his mother's life.   So we went over and over the problems in our marriage. My complaint was he was never home, never spent time with me or our son, he took separate vacations and we were always last on his priorities.   His was I never had time with him as I was always taking care of the house, our son, working full time or going to school.  I said I needed his help with our son as I was exhausted (our son has behavioral issues and high energy).  He said I didn't need help we only had one child and it was my job.

So long story short…I went to therapy, read books on how to please my husband, and was willing to do anything I could to save our marriage.   He complained we only had sex 1/wk and he wanted 5-6x a week.  I was willing to save our marriage at any cost.

We started spending weekends together again as a couple and as a family.   I had been gone since June and Sept 28th I was going to give my notice at my apt and move home in Oct.  That morning, he kissed me goodbye, said he loved me, said he was so happy we were starting this new wonderful life together.   As he left, he FB messaged her stating he wanted to meet her before work to kiss.   She replied and the msg popped up on his computer at home…I was getting our son ready for school and the message came up.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  He had been having an affair all summer and it was still going on.  I was sick to my stomach.  He said in his messages I was fighting over support and custody (I never once disagreed with anything), that I was popping in to see him and he asked me to leave…this was not the case at all.  He was begging me to come home awhile he was making a relationship with her.

So another long story short…I did not move home.  He said he ended it and wanted to work on his family.  Said it was a big eye opener and he realizes that I needed help so I could have time & energy for him.  He was willing to do whatever to save the marriage. He says he lied as he was scared to be alone and thought I wasn't coming home.  He said she meant nothing and they only had sex once and he felt disgusted with himself.  He said he cut off all contact and would be willing to give me all his passwords and emails etc.

I always believed he was my soul mate and it broke my heart!  

Here is my dilemma I am in now…when I think about moving on without him, I miss him.  When I miss him I spend time with him (usually as a family), when I spend time with him all I can think of his affair (as I feel he gave all this joy away for her).  It consumes me and I get into a rut of sadness.   I constantly replay everything and question everything.  Then I get over the rut by thinking about moving on without him, then I miss him again. REPEAT UGHHHHHH!   When I think about reconciling I think I'll be jealous and  never feeling confident in us.  I don't want to be like that.  I want to feel I am the only woman for him and that I can trust him.

I've lost weight, I don't sleep well and it's starting to affect my work.  How do you know what to choose?  I feel that I can't just take a chance our poor son is in therapy as he is upset that we are apart.  If I go back and it happens again, he'll be so messed up.  But do I give it a chance because we both love him?  Do you ever get over those thoughts, can you forgive and most of all forget?  

He thinks I can and says in a few months I'll be so happy with him I'll never think of her again…my question is will he be happy that he doesn't?

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TimT
People may not be responding to this because it is REALLY hard from our perspective to have any idea of how sincere his change is. His pattern makes me suspicious, but maybe something finally DID click for him. The proof of that will be in his diligence to help you heal and assure you of his intent to love you well.

That does not obligate you to go back to him. Much has been damaged. You need to make a choice that is consistent both with your character/values AND being healthy. You need to understand that if that choice is to separate from him, you WILL things about him and your marriage. You will need to grieve what is lost, but grief only needs to be for a season.

If you decide to work on restoration, please find help. There is too much going on here (in my opinion) to expect that either of you is equipped to do this on your own. Get some objective input from someone who understands what your marriage is going through.
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Heartbroken2015

Thank you Tim for replying [smile]  I know it is really hard to respond LOL

We are both seeking counseling separately right now.  I had such a bad experience with our couples counseling (he had us both fooled) and I wanted to be able to decide whether I wanted to continue as a couple or to get healing as an individual.   He says his Therapist believes a lot of the marriage troubles stem from his past & family values.   He grew up in a very non-emotional family; no physical displays of affection, no arguments, no discussions and a very traditional family; woman in the kitchen and man in the garage.    He says that he had to reach rock bottom to open his eyes.  My therapist says people can change and marriages can be stronger.  I think they absolutely can but like you say if it doesn't change who you are or your values.  I feel it will change me and change our relationship.   I'm not a confident person but never once didn't trust him & felt so secure in our marriage (this SHOCKED me to the CORE!!).  To reconcile and no longer feel secure and trust him...will I change??

We had a good talk yesterday, I told him I needed space to get over the pain before I could think about reconciliation and if he couldn't give me the space nor wait - that again was his choice.   He just feels if we act like a happily married couple again then it will help me heal faster...I feel there are still too many triggers to the pain being around him to proceed to fast.  I also told him our son is better off seeing/thinking/feeling us separated with joy of our reconciliation then the opposite ...seeing/thinking us together but us ending up continuing the separation (if that makes sense).   

He says he convinced himself that I didn't love him anymore and wanted out of the marriage but his actions to me don't make sense.   If he loved me and thought I didn't love him, you'd think he'd fight for me - not push me away and find a replacement??  

Part of me wants to believe him but with the lack of trust now I question everything he says & does.

Thank you for this community and all the support...good not to feel alone (even though you wish this on no one).

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Brandi
I went and had an individual appt with our mc and told her that my ws was lying to her. That he paints a great picture of our relationship and that it was all lies. That MC may not work for you but one will. Ours told us to hold on on individual counseling so we did and it was super hard on me. I had no one to talk to about my pain, anger, hurt...it was very rough. I have come to believe that actions speak louder than words. Make him prove to you that he wants you. (my ws has lunch time sex with his ap and told me i could call him at lunch. umm no YOU call me. I didnt cheat) have him leave his phone with you for a day. But dont give him a warning. Just one day say "i'd like your phone today" and see how he reacts. If he gets all pissy-thats a red flag.
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VoodooChild
Heartbroken2015 wrote:

Thank you Tim for replying [smile]  I know it is really hard to respond LOL

We are both seeking counseling separately right now.  I had such a bad experience with our couples counseling (he had us both fooled) and I wanted to be able to decide whether I wanted to continue as a couple or to get healing as an individual.   He says his   

He says he convinced himself that I didn't love him anymore and wanted out of the marriage but his actions to me don't make sense.   If he loved me and thought I didn't love him, you'd think he'd fight for me - not push me away and find a replacement??  

Part of me wants to believe him but with the lack of trust now I question everything he says & does.

Thank you for this community and all the support...good not to feel alone (even though you wish this on no one).



OMG!! Heartbroken2015, my hisband said, used the exact same excuse. He convinced himself that I was leaving him, even though I kept reassuring him that I wasn't going anywhere and continued to invest myself (much more than him) in our family. What I suspect was happening is that he was "projecting"!his feelings into me. IProjection is a defense mechanism where we believe that other people think/feel as we do. I.e. He had thoughts of leaving, but projected his thoughts onto me that I had thoughts of leaving. It's a mess. He does it in other areas of life too. I was so foolish during this time that he continuously asked me if I was leaving that I took this as a sign of his investment in me. You know, if he's that scared of me leaving then he'd never think of leaving himself. But, as I've learned, as he became closer with that wretched other woman, he found greater flaw in me and our marriage. Our marriage wasn't perfect, we have 4 children collectively, and had little time together as I didn't get much help, certainly not consistently with any of the daily tasks. Wouldn't it be nice to simply work, then Come home and have no responsibility?
Anyway, now it seems that my continual negative feelings resulting from the affair, my need to check his phone and dig through text messages, is an inconvenience to him. There is never a good day for me have issue with something or be untrusting. Every time I hear, "this is my what I expected," because apparently I'm supposed to be able to look past all my hurt and devastation just so he doesn't have to fee guilty or scared, it pushes me farther towards divorce and away from any hope of reconciliation.

How are men, who were already in need of repair, thus looking for an attention fix from an affair, supposed to help their spouses heal? To date, 80% of any of my feelings after the first week of my learning about the affair have ended in catastrophe because he can't handle his feelings about my feelings.
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kaleidoscope7
It might help anyone here to seek counseling (MC and IC, but MC especially) through an addiction recovery center. There's so much shame and trauma going on for both parties in the marriage, and we know EXACTLY where that is for the BS, but getting to the WS's core shame and holding that safely is a trickier task. A counseling environment that specializes in treating addicts is more likely to have a structured approach with defined timelines and rules of engagement for full disclosure, as well as support and trauma treatment for both parts of the couple.

I'm suggesting it because I agree with TimT, that your husband seems a little erratic. I think this is normal given what he is coping with (shame, guilt, internal conflict, probably a healthy dose of panic). A structured approach with other couples or men in the same predicament may help steady the boat, and help with accountability, weekly group reflection and feedback, and sense of safety and progress for you both. I think when we are going it alone in recovery, both parties overlook a lot of solutions because they either don't occur to us or they seem extreme. The addiction/trauma treatment arena has seen it all and it may be eye opening and foster more honesty if your WS sees on a larger scale that "this is how we handle this".
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