Lula_Bell
Hi, my name is Lula and I'm a BS.  It's been 18 days since I found out, 20 days since he left me (for her, which I didn't know at the time) and nearly 3 months since he first told me he was "done" and wanted a divorce.

We have been together for nearly 15 years, married 14 years in August.  We met in May of 2004, started dating in August.  He proposed new years eve and we were married August 2005.  We knew what we wanted and decided, why wait?  Nothing is going to change so lets go for it.  

When I think of our marriage, I only think of good things.  We rarely fought, we always saw eye-to-eye...everyone said, and I agreed, we had a near perfect marriage.  We drove each other nuts, sure, but we always figured it out pretty soon.  

We moved cross country to be closer to my family and back in my home town about 5 years ago.  We were barely surviving where we were before, dead end jobs, no health care, minimal family and friends...it was time to start over and try for more, so we moved.  We both found jobs, him doing what he always did and me something entirely different which I've been so grateful for the last few weeks.  My co-workers have been so supportive.  

He started a new career about two years ago.  It required graveyard and rotating shifts.  We knew it was going to be hard, we knew there would be sacrifices, not the least of which was that he wouldn't be able to attend church anymore.  But, together, we decided it would be just a few years of sacrifice for a great payoff in the end.  He could finally love his job and be proud of his work.  We both thought we were strong enough to withstand not seeing each other but one night a week, not being in church together, sleeping on different schedules and all that.  

We were until two months ago.  

Two months ago he comes to me and tells me he is suicidal.  Of course, I freak out and go through all the questions I should (do you have a plan?  Have you attempted before? Have you told anyone else?)  He was open and honest and said he'd seek help.  

One week after that he comes home and tells me he is done with our marriage.  He wants a divorce.  I don't have a choice.  For a solid week, I talk to him and try to convince him we will be ok, we need to make some changes and work together, but we can get through this.  He tells me he doesn't love me anymore and he's done.  He tells me I've gained too much weight and he doesn't love me anymore.  Following the advice of people I trust I told him if he is out, then be out.  Move out of the house and stop this painful co-habitation.  I am a wreck through all of this.  

One week after all these declarations he comes to me on his literal hands and knees and begs me to take him back.  Begs me to forgive him.  Begs me to let him back in our home and back in our lives.  He promises to get counseling.  He promises to make a priority of getting more sleep (shifting schedules seriously f*ck with your sleeping patters...sleep deprivation is real people).  He promises to meet with our Pastor, read his bible and get the help he needs.  He promises me that my weight isn't an issue, but he sure would like it if I would try harder.  (P.S. my weight is a life long struggle, something he is fully aware of and knows how deep and how hard I fight with myself on this topic). 

About a month after that he starts hanging out at a new friends house for drinking and shenanigans.  

On May 28 we have a fight because someone on a game we both play together sent me a private message dick pic.  I was appalled...my husband thought it was hilarious.  I admit I lost my temper and left the room.  Given his work schedule we didn't see each other to talk again until May 30.  He refused to hug me or kiss me, refused to talk about it.  I told him that on his day off, May 31, I wanted to talk to him about why I was upset at his response.  (The short story to that is I didn't feel protected, or cherished.  It seemed like he was fine with me being solicited).  

May 31 I tell him why I am upset.  He just says "whatever, the internet isn't real."  To which I respond, "so if I sent him a pic of my boobs that would be ok with you?"  He just laughed.  We continued the discussion which lead to this revelation by him "Hey, if someone wants to suck me off, that's their business."  I immediately call him out on that bull and tell him that anyone, other than me, touching him in anyway sexually is an affair.  He seems surprised by this definition.  But then shrugs his shoulders and tells me he's going out drinking all night and will not be home.  I do not like that at all and tell him he can go out, but he has a home and he should sleep in it.  I'll come get him at anytime of the night.  Nope, he's staying out drinking and I'll see him tomorrow.

June 1 he doesn't answer any of my calls or texts.  I get a weird call from my high school best friend.  She's just checking on me.  I didn't have time to talk to her at the moment, but I thought it was a weird call.  In hindsight, I should have known what was coming.  

He finally responds to my text about 5 in the afternoon that he will be home soon.  He doesn't come home until 8 PM.  He walks in, sits on the couch and tells me "Yeah, I'm done."  He wants a divorce and he's done.  I try to talk to him, ask what this is about.  Remind him it's only been a few weeks and he hasn't done all he promised to do yet.  He looks and me and says "Nothing has changed, you haven't changed."  I pause, then respond "If this is about my weight, you can pack a bag and get the f*ck out of my house."  He smiles, stands up, gets a bag and damn near runs me over in the driveway getting away.  I went out to try and talk some more to him, but he wouldn't.  

June 2 after church my friend from high school calls again.  She wants to make sure I'm safe.  She askes if we are getting a divorce and I respond that things aren't looking good.  She asks if I know that he is dating someone else.  I ask her how she knows that!  She tells me that she and her husband went to do a kid swap with her husband's ex and the ex introduced my husband as her new boyfriend.  My husband did not recognize my friend from high school or her husband (who we have had dinner with several times).  I asked if the ex lived at the location my husband has been going to for drinking with buddies and they confirmed she did.  I asked if the ex knew he was married and they responded that she told them we have been separated and getting a divorces for months.  

So, every time over the last month he was out drinking with buddies he was with her.   When he left, he left for her.  They have been together ever since.  They call each other babe and lover and all the nicknames we used to have.  He treats her son like the child we were never able to have.  

I filed for divorce on June 4.  I feel very strongly that this marriage has been murdered and there's no coming back. I still hope for a new relationship, I can't stop loving someone after so long!  But this one is over.  

He has since lied to his family, and our friends about everything.  He tells them we were already separated and planning to get divorced.  He isn't having an affair, because we already decided to get divorced.  It's my fault, because I didn't lose weight, didn't pay attention to him anymore and didn't listen to him anymore.  All lies.  I'm working on telling the truth to the people that matter.  

So, here we are.  In the midst of betrayal and trying to heal as best I can, knowing it's a long and difficult road ahead of me.  Knowing life will never be the same.  Knowing I will carry this with me forever.  Knowing that love and trust will never be the same.  Knowing that life is always going to be just a little bit worse than it was because this scar, thought I know it will heal, will still be visible to me.  I will always have it, and so I will always feel it to some degree.  And it's all so much worse, because it's not just a one night stand, or sex...it's a relationship with a woman who is everything I am not.  She's everything he wants, that's what he tells people, and I just wasn't anymore.  (Although, the weight thing I know is a lie because she is a chubby girl, too).  

That's my story, as it is now, 18 days later.  Only God knows what tomorrow will be.
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hurting
Lula, I’m so sorry you’re here too. Your story makes me so angry for you, and the hurts echo what many of us here have suffered.

One thing I have to say first and foremost- it is NOT your fault. No matter how much he may lie and say to everyone including you that it’s because YOU didn’t lose weight (that’s both cruel and superficial), YOU didn’t pay enough attention to him etc it was NEVER because of you. It is not because of what you are, or what you are NOT. It is ALL because of him and what poor choices he has made to deal with whatever his issues are. If there is one single thing that is true in this mess, know this. It is NOT because of you. It never was. 

These are the pathetic lies he has come up with to try to excuse his own inexcusable behaviour and to try to make what he is doing seem ‘ok’, when anyone with half a brain can see what he is doing is WRONG. He is not taking ANY responsibility for his part in the choices he has made. He is seeking to blame you for what HE has chosen to do. He is trying to make himself seem like the good guy, when he’s anything BUT.

Please continue to surround yourself with those who will support you. Come here to share your burden with us. Unfortunately, many of us have also been betrayed on the deepest level by those we loved the most. 

The road ahead of you is longer and harder than anything else you have likely experienced before. I certainly find it 10000x harder than anything I have ever had to do. But there IS light at the end of the tunnel. I’m just starting to glimpse it myself now, but it’s there. You CAN heal from this, as impossible as it seems right now. You will surprise yourself with your strength many times over before it’s done. You can be ok again. It’s also ok to cry and scream and rage. It’s ok to feel betrayed and lost. You can recover... with or without him. He has made his choice. You don’t have to rush into making any firm decisions, but make whatever choice is right for YOU. 18 days in is fresh into this mess. Your world has just been ripped cruelly apart. I remember the disorientation, the pain, fear, rage, betrayal and LOSS. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Do not believe his lies. You are NOT responsible for his cheating and lies. Do not add to your burden by believing what lies he is trying to feed you and everyone else around him.

He may say to everyone that she’s ‘everything he wants’. Don’t listen. What he wants is an escape. A fantasy where all they do is drink, have sex and have not a care in the world about real life problems. He is trying to run away from his problems by hiding in the pretence of a ‘new’ life. He is trying to tell himself (and everyone else) that you were the source of his problems and his acting out. I think he will find soon enough that that isn’t the case at all... and he will be far worse off without you. His real life problems (depression, job- I’m a shift worker too who frequently does night shifts. I have been for over 7 years... and yeah it’s tough. But lack of sleep certainly isn’t a reason to cheat and lie!!) aren’t going away. He’s just trying to escape them by acting out. By doing that, he has lost the person who would’ve supported him through it all. A stupid choice indeed... 


Look after yourself. Big hugs!
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Keepabuzz
I know it’s hard if not impossible to see the bright side, but at least he left, and left you in peace as opposed to dragging it all out. Unless the WS is fully invested in healing their marriage and no contact ever with their AP, then it’s honestly good riddance.  I know you can’t turn the love off, but you will be able to much faster with him gone. Please read about the 180.  It’s all about self care, and that is exactly what you need to do right now, self care.  
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Lula_Bell
hurting wrote:
He may say to everyone that she’s ‘everything he wants’. Don’t listen. What he wants is an escape. A fantasy where all they do is drink, have sex and have not a care in the world about real life problems. He is trying to run away from his problems by hiding in the pretence of a ‘new’ life. He is trying to tell himself (and everyone else) that you were the source of his problems and his acting out. I think he will find soon enough that that isn’t the case at all... and he will be far worse off without you. His real life problems (depression, job- I’m a shift worker too who frequently does night shifts. I have been for over 7 years... and yeah it’s tough. But lack of sleep certainly isn’t a reason to cheat and lie!!) aren’t going away. He’s just trying to escape them by acting out. By doing that, he has lost the person who would’ve supported him through it all. A stupid choice indeed...


O.M.G.  I can't even tell you how deeply this resonated with me!  What I didn't mention is that in May, in the middle of all of this, was the 20 year anniversary of him becoming a felon, something he is deeply ashamed about.  I failed to see it was part of the problem because I just don't see him as the bad guy his record would paint him out to be.  It never crossed my mind until someone else told me he talked to them about it and was really upset.  He never once mentioned it to me though.  Never once sought my comfort.  But, by this time  he was already having an affair and seeking comfort elsewhere, I guess. 
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Lula_Bell
Keepabuzz wrote:
I know it’s hard if not impossible to see the bright side, but at least he left, and left you in peace as opposed to dragging it all out. Unless the WS is fully invested in healing their marriage and no contact ever with their AP, then it’s honestly good riddance.  I know you can’t turn the love off, but you will be able to much faster with him gone. Please read about the 180.  It’s all about self care, and that is exactly what you need to do right now, self care.  


I've looked into the 180 and it looks hard, but worthwhile.  I wonder if I want my husband back, though.  It seems people say in one breath that the 180 is all about healing and empowerment and self-care for the BS and in the next breath it's a way to get your WS back.  I don't know if I want that next breath!  I just don't.  

And yet...I do.  I mean, this marriage is over.  gone, dead and murdered.  But, I would consider a new relationship with him under very specific circumstances. 

I feel like I'm contradicting myself all the time.  Welcome to the new reality.  
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anthro
If you do the 180 to get your WS back, you aren't doing the 180. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Fionarob
Yes, as stated by anthro, the 180 is all about yourself and getting you to a good place.  It takes the pressure off of you trying to fix things, doing all the work in saving the relationship etc.  It is very empowering.  It does not automatically mean your WS will suddenly come running back to you.  And even if it does, it puts you in a better place so that you can then decide how to go forward.

I did the 180 as a way to distance myself from everything that was going on in my marriage. I had had enough of trying to fight for our relationship, trying to help my WS, trying to do everything I could to keep our family together.  I just stepped away from it all.  It was a huge relief.  It was also very revealing, because once I stopped fighting for the marriage, it fell apart.  It also helped me to realise that I did not need my WS, that I could go it alone. 
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Fionarob

"Knowing I will carry this with me forever.  Knowing that love and trust will never be the same.  Knowing that life is always going to be just a little bit worse than it was because this scar, thought I know it will heal, will still be visible to me.  I will always have it, and so I will always feel it to some degree." 

Just wanted to quickly add........I know it feels like you will always be hurting from this, you will carry it with you forever and love/trust will never be the same.  But honestly that is not the case.  You will move past it all one day, but it does take time and healing.  But there will be a day where you no longer think about it and it's not really a part of you.  And you will love and trust again. It is possible.
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Keepabuzz
Lula_Bell wrote:


I've looked into the 180 and it looks hard, but worthwhile.  I wonder if I want my husband back, though.  It seems people say in one breath that the 180 is all about healing and empowerment and self-care for the BS and in the next breath it's a way to get your WS back.  I don't know if I want that next breath!  I just don't.  

And yet...I do.  I mean, this marriage is over.  gone, dead and murdered.  But, I would consider a new relationship with him under very specific circumstances. 

I feel like I'm contradicting myself all the time.  Welcome to the new reality.  


Like Anthro said, if you do the 180 to get your spouse back, you’re doing it wrong. That is manipulation, and will do nothing more than to further your pain. The 180 is completely about you.

You taking back your power.  
You letting go of your WS.
You focusing on your future.
You taking care of yourself.
You practicing self care.
You doing things that make you happy. 
You focusing on your healing. 

It really has nothing to do with your WS. But he will notice. He will very likely react. That doesn’t mean you do anything different. He may do nothing different, he may realize that he is finally really going to lose you. He may finally pull his head out of the fog. None of this matters unless YOU choose to let it.  As you grow stronger, and you heal, IF he turns back towards you, you can CHOOSE to allow it, or move on. The decision is completely up to you.  There is no need to decide now. Just focus on you, and cross that bridge if/when you come to it. 

I felt the same as you do about my marriage after my wife’s confession. After a lot of effort on her end, and her doing all the right things, and her not violating any of my boundaries. I started “a new relationship” with her under very specific boundaries. I felt very conflicted as well, for a very long time. I still do at times.  I had to view that marriage as dead, and burry it to move forward with her.  I couldn’t view it any other way.  Many other people can and do. They view it as fixing the marriage that they already have. There isn’t a single thing wrong with that, we all have to find the way that fits us best. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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hurting
Agreed that the 180 is all about you. It sometimes has the effect of getting the WS’s attention and bringing them out of the fog, at which point it is totally up to you whether you want anything to do with him at all. If you don’t that’s absolutely fine. This is about you. Focusing on you, your healing, your life and moving on. 

Funny how he felt like he was a ‘bad guy’ before. Because now he has TRULY made himself into the worst kind of person...
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ThrivenotSurvive
Lula_Bell wrote:


I've looked into the 180 and it looks hard, but worthwhile.  I wonder if I want my husband back, though.  It seems people say in one breath that the 180 is all about healing and empowerment and self-care for the BS and in the next breath it's a way to get your WS back.  I don't know if I want that next breath!  I just don't.  

And yet...I do.  I mean, this marriage is over.  gone, dead and murdered.  But, I would consider a new relationship with him under very specific circumstances. 

I feel like I'm contradicting myself all the time.  Welcome to the new reality.  


I can only add a few thoughts to the great advice you've received above.  Focusing on yourself right now as suggested is by far the best thing you can do.  In the aftermath of something like this, it is hard not to spend all your time in the OTHER person's head - what were/are they thinking?  Why have they done this?  What do they want?  etc... 

But that will only drive you crazy, keep you in the past and more importantly - it is an impossible task.  They don't even know what they want or why they've done what they've done right now - and unless they do some serious self-reflection, may never.  

So focus on the one and only thing you actually CAN change/effect - YOU.  There are some good materials on this site - and I recommend the book "Living and Loving After Intimate Betrayal".  It will help you understand the processes that are happening in you right now - mentally, physically, emotionally - and give you tools to start controlling them.  

I can tell you that the more effort you put into working on yourself right now (eating right, light exercise to control the stress hormones flooding your body, reconnecting to old hobbies, etc.) the better you will begin to feel.  It will be VERY hard and take commitment because everything in you will want to just give up to the depression and anxiety.  Believe me - we ALL have been there.  But try to focus as much as you can on taking care of yourself body and mind.  It WILL pay off.  

I am three years out from DD and I can tell you that if you focus on YOU, you can and will heal.  I highly suggest getting some individual therapy to help you through this - or if you can't afford it - READ, READ, READ about rebuilding self-confidence, self-love and self-acceptance after betrayal and trauma.  This is for YOU - so that you don not carry this experience into future relationships (with your husband or a new partner.)  

We are here for you.  It's the world's crappiest club - but there are a lot of awesome members because unfortunately we are not special - this pain has been delivered to many, many people's door.  
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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Lula_Bell
@hurting @Keepabuzz @anthro @Fionarob 

Ok.  I get it.  Truly.  This is for me.  I need the 180.  I'm certain now after a brutal weekend of trickle truth.  I have to let go or I simply will not make it another day.  There really aren't words, are there, to describe the depth of torture?    

Here's my question:  As I've been delving into the 180 it seems to have the option of starting with a "letting go" letter.  They all seem to state leaving the door open for reconciliation and wanting the marriage to last and grow.  However, that is not the case for us.  Our marriage is dead and we are getting divorced.  Is doing a letter a must?  Is it for my benefit or his?  What are your thoughts?    Below is the draft I've come up with based off of other's I've seen and from the affair healing manual.  I'd like some advice on that, too, please.  I've edited it to feel true for us...but I'm wondering if it's even necessary.  I can do the 180 with just my actions.  Does he need to know my intentions?

<I>I love you; I am certain about that.  However, I know you are not in the same place I am.  I am afraid for a future without you.   So afraid, in fact, that I have probably tried too hard to hold on to you.  I’m sorry for overreacted at times out of fear and pain.  

 

Our marriage needed to change. I know that. I wanted to be a part of that change, which is why I sought therapy.  I know that you are not in the same place as I am now.   What I CAN do is let you make up your own mind about what you need. You need to be sure about your future.  What I CAN do is let you go. 

 

I am going to quit trying to change you and I am going to focus on me. There is a lot I need to learn through all this. I want to be a better person, whether or not you are with me.  I want you to know that if things change and you decide you want me — if you want us ― I am willing. I’m leaving that door open, for now.

 

Moving forward, interaction with you will be limited to issues that require our cooperation. These include paying bills, managing the things we own together and divorce proceedings.  Please respect my desire to refrain from conversation. 

 

I hope there is a good ending to our story. I love you.</I>

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ThrivenotSurvive
I think it is entirely up to you.  There are no rules, only what works for you. 

But I personally would not give him any information about what I was doing.  
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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Keepabuzz
Yeah, I would be a hard no on the letter. He doesn’t deserve to know anything, in my opinion. I also think the letting go letter, can pretty easily be seen as manipulative.  You say the marriage is dead, and you’re getting divorced, then just move ahead with that plan. You have ZERO obligation to tell him a single thing.  

I did the 180 with my wife, even though I had never heard of it. I had no idea she was having an affair, but I knew I was done getting treated like garbage. I didn’t leave, but I became very cold to her. Not mean, not angry, not unpleasant. Just civil, and I didn’t text her, didn’t call her, didn’t try to appease her, didn’t try to make her happy. I just quit really.  Looking back, I can see she picked up on it VERY quickly.  She ended her affair, and tried to be super wife and super mom, but I wasn’t  buying it. I knew there was something off still, so I didn’t change how interacted with her. 30 days after I pulled the 180, or in my mind “quit”, she confessed, and destroyed my world, my heart, and my soul...
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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anthro
Same. Doing the letter means you aren't doing the 180 in my view. 
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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