Adrift Show full post »
sunflower07
Adrift wrote:
No it's not. I am angry today.  Very angry.  I just came over me like a wave.  I don't know what to do with it.  No one in my life cares if I'm angry or hurt.  Not one soul.  Because of what I did I am not entitled to the feelings and emotions of a person.  I'm not entitled to be treated like one.  I am to accept what occurs and just deal with it.  EVEN if it dredges up memories of standing in her hotel room (she brought the key home in her purse) and holding an open box of condoms with one missing, looking at the messed up bed. All of those feelings of a BS THAT I HAD TOO.

I don't want her to go back to online dating. I HATE IT. I HATE IT.

I don't know what to do with this anger. I haven't felt it in months.  Not since the last time.

I have bared my soul to everyone.  I've confessed every sin.  I've been stabbed with needles, hooked up to machines, judged, ridiculed, hit, insulted, cast aside, pulled close, cast aside again (repeat x30).  All that I brought on myself.  But THIS.  This just seems foolish, reckless, and ****ing heartless.

She says she is legitimately looking for a new love.  She plans to hang around here.  She won't divorce me, but she won't commit to me either.  If I can't stomach my stay-at-home wife that is dating, then I can just tell her an we'll divorce.  If she finds someone, she'll let me know.  If I show her the man she needs, then she'll reconsider investing in me again.

In the meantime I should do what?  Just suck it up? Just PAY to make it happen?


My WS husband had horrible anger too at times. He also said that my not allowing him to have emotion was a theme between us. I often think his anger is covering up some deeper emotion he has trouble figuring out.

When I was at this point with my husband, what I really wanted was for him to fight like hell for me and our marriage. That's really why I kept leaving. I wanted him to come after me. I didn't try to date but I did look at Tinder once. (And was immediately nauseated and got off).

So I would say woo her and seduce her. She wants to date? Ask her if you can date her too! Why not. What do you have to lose? Yes, it is you making yourself vulnerable but your vulnerability will speak to her heart.

Just my thoughts!
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Adrift
sunflower07 wrote:
My WS husband had horrible anger too at times. He also said that my not allowing him to have emotion was a theme between us. I often think his anger is covering up some deeper emotion he has trouble figuring out. When I was at this point with my husband, what I really wanted was for him to fight like hell for me and our marriage. That's really why I kept leaving. I wanted him to come after me. I didn't try to date but I did look at Tinder once. (And was immediately nauseated and got off). So I would say woo her and seduce her. She wants to date? Ask her if you can date her too! Why not. What do you have to lose? Yes, it is you making yourself vulnerable but your vulnerability will speak to her heart. Just my thoughts!


Thanks Sunflower.  I'm doing just that.  She is beyond Tinder and has a profile on Match.com.  She says she has started talking to a couple of guys.  Like Kal says, the attention from men will flood in.  All women have to do is turn on the light online and the guys swarm.

I will keep my chin up and continue to pursue her.  This is just so much like what I went through last year.  I was so relieved until February when I thought I found evidence that she was still active outside our marriage.  I raged over that, decided to end the marriage, then had a revenge affair before she could convince me to let her back in.  Now that is one more affair I have on my record.

I was much MUCH worse than her.  There has been a cheating event every few years for our whole marriage, and the pace was accelerating when she cheated on me. The marriage was just a prison of resentment, anger, and unmet needs for us both.

I know how to love her better now, but she is too hurt to let me in or begin to trust me.
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Adrift
Guiltguilt wrote:
Notice no BSs are commenting? I'm sure they're all there with their popcorn watching you have a tantrum because she's dishing out your own medicine. Surely you can see the irony! If this happens with my wife, and I'm sure it will, I'm not sure how I'll go. It's her life, and I've put us in this position, so apart from parenting there is no us. I have forfeited the right to "us". What she does with her life is none of my business. Excruciating, but hey, if it weren't for my actions, we wouldn't be here in the first place. *edit* looks like we were posting at the same time, Anna.



My wife takes your view. I don't agree.  I see an us still. We are in the same house. I am supporting this family in every sense while she recovers from the trauma I inflicted. There are things expected of me in this process. Openness, accountability, honesty, empathy, intimacy.  That and more is asked of me and I am providing them all.  I have had trouble with a lot of them but have seen my way (or been dragged) to complying in every way.

Openness: When this started I was not open enough. There were still some electronic doors closed to my wife. Not because I was still cheating, but because I was thoughtless. They are open now.

Accountability: I kept things hidden and trickle-truthed. I expended a lot of effort to avoid the consequences of my actions. You can't be accountable if you have secrets.

Honesty: Well...I lied. Then I lied. Then I lied to cover the lies.  I am working with a therapist to address honesty issues and get to what has driven this behavior.  In the meantime, I am working hard to be honest at ALL times.

Empathy: Early on in our recovery I was still hiding things, and I also made a habit of pointing out my wife's indiscretions when we would discuss my affairs.  I felt that we should be meeting each other as equals that had both wounded the other.  But, the reality is that my affairs and lies far exceed hers by a wide margin.  So, while it has been easy for me to set aside what she has done, it is much harder for her. 


I have come light-years forward in all the areas above.  It has only been a short time since I really complied with everything.  In this environment where I am working very hard to be the man she needs and support her, I ask very little.  Really, what I ask is not that she specifically DO anything.  The only thing I want her to do is to take the time and space she needs to heal.  I also ask that she knowingly take no action to hurt me.  I don't see that as compatible with reconciling.  

What I discovered last year hurt me deeply.  Yes I had cheated. But, I never stopped loving my wife. I became depressed. I lost 25 lbs. I couldn't sleep and had to be medicated for anxiety & depression.  She saw all of that.  She did what she did anyway.  At the time, without knowing what I had done.

Now in this fragile time, she elects to repeat this?  To inflict this trauma again? I am sure she sees it as "Just a profile", "just emailing", and "just a date".  But what she is not considering is how much old pain is attached to these actions.  I don't agree with it.  It's something she clearly needs.  She is doing it regardless of what I say.  I have been very clear that I am not ok with her chatting online and eventually dating.  I will continue to do my part and hope that one day she will acknowledge my effort and make a commitment to me & to our marriage.
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Adrift
Anna26 wrote:




So, you've both been through this horrible situation before.  And if I have this right, you knew about her past indiscretions but she didn't know about yours, until now?

And she's angry and rightly so, but how did you react when you found out about her back then?  I ask because you could have an empathic approach to her here, you know how she feels.  Couldn't you say to her 'Look I know how this feels, because I felt like it too'?  You both need to try and draw a line and take just that one step forward, towards each other.

She seems to have a bit of a 'higher moral ground' attitude  towards you, when she has done this to you as well, although I know you said you'd moved on from that. But it seems a bit confusing as she clearly has empathy towards you, and she's already shown you this, by inviting you back home from your parents.  That was a generous and caring  gesture from someone who was in a lot of pain.

You already know you are doing everything you can to make things right, showing remorse and being prepared to do whatever she needs for her healing. And by the way,you are entitled to those feelings you mentioned too, you feel pain just like a BS and already have, as a BS.  Even this time round it DOESN'T mean you have to be the doormat, despite the pain she's in.  ( I'm not trying to pat you on the back here, I've already noticed you're unaccepting of any kind of praise..lol.)


I do think Kal's right, you may be the WS this time round, but you still need to tell her what's not okay, and speak up. Set your own boundaries.  She may be doing this out of revenge or to cause you as much pain as possible but you don't have to accept it. 
You can't help her if she won't let you, but tell her that her behaviour is unacceptable for you too, and then do whatever you would normally do (whatever normal is these days).
She may come to her senses, or she may not, but all you can do is be there, for as long as you want to be.
You might feel that no-one in your life cares, but for what it's worth, we, this community, do.

 





Anna,

Apologies.  I missed your reply until this morning. Our situation is so complex.  Suffice to say that the difference between my wife and I is that my wife chose to cheat as a final act in a failing marriage.  Her needs were not being met.  She finally did exactly what I did in one instance.  She went online to feel attractive and that led to sex.

I, on the other hand, began lying about indiscretions before our wedding and have carried secrets for 14 years.  I cheated in an escalating pattern every few years while really drunk, then did it sober once, then freaked out one day recently while she still had active internet profiles. I thought I'd found evidence of continuing PAs.  I told her we were through, went online myself, and had a very short revenge affair.

Then my wife approached me and was able to break through the fog. She pleaded and begged, and asked that I give us a chance.  While she was pleading she didn't know most of what I was hiding.  I agreed and we made a pact to immediately stop all contact with people and eliminate all profiles.

So if you look at the imaginary scale, my offenses far outweigh hers.   We are not equal. That is why she feels she holds the moral high ground, because in a sense she really does. I am ok with that.  I have a LOT to help her heal over.

I have forgiven her for her EAs and PA.  I know where she was when she made that choice, trapped. She thought she'd get her needs met and keep her family intact.  If was a desperate act that she feels terrible about.

On the flip side, she has a very long way to go before approaching the concept of forgiveness for me.

Last- I am a compartmentalizer. It is something that a lot of men are good at, and very few women.  It's one reason i was able to function and maintain my self-concept while carrying the knowledge that I'd done these things.  I just put them away.  When it comes to recovery, it's a GREAT tool. specific to her cheating- I am ready to move on, to start fresh, to put it behind us. I know I can put this away in my mind and barely ever think of it.  She cannot.  She thinks of this constantly and can't start fresh.  She mentioned considering it, but its just not in her wiring.  I am hopeful that some therapy and cognitive techniques taught there will help with that.
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Anna26
Adrift wrote:


Anna,

Apologies.  I missed your reply until this morning. Our situation is so complex.  Suffice to say that the difference between my wife and I is that my wife chose to cheat as a final act in a failing marriage.  Her needs were not being met.  She finally did exactly what I did in one instance.  She went online to feel attractive and that led to sex.

I, on the other hand, began lying about indiscretions before our wedding and have carried secrets for 14 years.  I cheated in an escalating pattern every few years while really drunk, then did it sober once, then freaked out one day recently while she still had active internet profiles. I thought I'd found evidence of continuing PAs.  I told her we were through, went online myself, and had a very short revenge affair.

Then my wife approached me and was able to break through the fog. She pleaded and begged, and asked that I give us a chance.  While she was pleading she didn't know most of what I was hiding.  I agreed and we made a pact to immediately stop all contact with people and eliminate all profiles.

So if you look at the imaginary scale, my offenses far outweigh hers.   We are not equal. That is why she feels she holds the moral high ground, because in a sense she really does. I am ok with that.  I have a LOT to help her heal over.

I have forgiven her for her EAs and PA.  I know where she was when she made that choice, trapped. She thought she'd get her needs met and keep her family intact.  If was a desperate act that she feels terrible about.

On the flip side, she has a very long way to go before approaching the concept of forgiveness for me.

Last- I am a compartmentalizer. It is something that a lot of men are good at, and very few women.  It's one reason i was able to function and maintain my self-concept while carrying the knowledge that I'd done these things.  I just put them away.  When it comes to recovery, it's a GREAT tool. specific to her cheating- I am ready to move on, to start fresh, to put it behind us. I know I can put this away in my mind and barely ever think of it.  She cannot.  She thinks of this constantly and can't start fresh.  She mentioned considering it, but its just not in her wiring.  I am hopeful that some therapy and cognitive techniques taught there will help with that.




Ah! 

Thanks for clarifying that Adrift, it's certainly a very complex situation for you and I can now see why she has reacted so badly. 
And I agree about the compartmentalizing, my husband seems to be good at this too, throughout his affair, it was almost as if he were playing two different roles. Of course, I only see this with hindsight.
In a similar way I can do this myself. I believe this largely how I manage to deal with the aftermath of the affair.  I put everything I can't handle right then, in box and shut the lid,  get it out now and again to give it a shake and check it over, then pack it away again.
Not quite the same..but  I digress..

I can see how your wife is in quite a retaliatory mode right now, but I get a sense that deep down she still cares, so can only say that I hope that her anger and pain begins to subside fairly soon, so you can both begin to work things out.  She is very fortunate that she has someone who realises the value of what he has, and I'm sure she will come round to seeing that.

Really hope it works out for you...
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UrbanExplorer
I can't imagine she is honestly planning to date and find a new relationship now, while she is still furious at you and yet not separating or divorcing. How well could a date with her possibly go under these circumstances? There would be so many red flags for the man that he is entering a hot mess of drama. She is only trying to hurt you. You are a WS but are still entitled to have input into your marriage.
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Kalmarjan
From what I gather from the history written, it looks like a viscous cycle between the two. One cheated, the other cheated to get back, now the original wants to re cheat.

One has to ask, when will they focus on the relationship, and not winning against each other? I went through the same thing with my wife. I cheated with one woman, and while I broke her heart, she also was with 3 others while I left.

At first I held it against her. Then we realized that we were being asses to each other. This is what I mean when I said before that we both had to decide to lay our guns down and focus on each other's healing.
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Adrift
Kalmarjan wrote:
From what I gather from the history written, it looks like a viscous cycle between the two. One cheated, the other cheated to get back, now the original wants to re cheat. One has to ask, when will they focus on the relationship, and not winning against each other? I went through the same thing with my wife. I cheated with one woman, and while I broke her heart, she also was with 3 others while I left. At first I held it against her. Then we realized that we were being asses to each other. This is what I mean when I said before that we both had to decide to lay our guns down and focus on each other's healing.


Listen guys, I don't know about all that.  I know I've been a dirt bag. A major piece of crap.

I accepted physical favors paid for by a friend at my bachelor party, then lied about it for 14 years.

I made out with my wife's sister while we were both really drunk, and concealed it for 12 years.

I made out with a girl at a tailgate while drunk, and concealed it for 8 years.

I met a girl at a bar while drunk and made out with her in an alley, an event that included manual genital contact. I hid that for 3 or 4 years. (so drunk I'm not sure what year it was).

I had sex while drunk at another tailgate party, and hid it for 3 years. (pattern....?)

I met a woman on experience project in a forum dedicated to sexless marriage (and it was, for 2 years). Instead of working hard to repair the marriage or divorcing, I chose to cheat.  We talked online for a long time and it escalated.  We met once and had sex.  I was not drunk. We never met again, but I started talking to her again when my wife cheated on me because...get this:  I needed support.

My wife did what she did in 2015 over a period of a few months. It's what led me to owning my role in our spiraling marriage.

Finally after nearly winning my wife back from separation in January of this year, I became enraged at her continued online dating profiles, and I encountered several other things that I interpreted to mean she was sexually active outside the house. She was adamant nothing had happened, but I had entered the fog and stopped listening. I responded by texting with multiple women & having a short revenge affair with one that culminated with oral sex.

I concealed most of this.  Then I trickled it all out over months.  I only spilled the beans when my wife smartly insisted on a polygraph.  Then I gave it all up under duress. I have not done anything right.  As smart as I thought I was, I am stupider than most.

The fact that she has all this knowledge & is still with me in any capacity is a miracle to me.  I have one small chance.  One breathless whisper of hope, and that involves navigating this situation correctly and not letting pride interfere with my end goal.  I love her.  I want to be the husband she deserves.   I have to make a fundamental change in myself so that I will not cheat on her ever again.  It will be hard, but I am committed. I just wish I could show my wife my heart and she could see that I am truly contrite and working to change.

How do I change?  Well, I am searching for that.  I know that many people try and most fail.  I know that in my whole life, you strangers are the only people with one ounce of faith that I will be successful & you don't even know me.  Still, I will move forward.  I will keep up with IC, I am going for psychological testing to understand better what makes me tick.  I am looking for concrete steps I can take to effect change.  I will do anything and brave any obstacle if it means reaching my goal of having her as my loving committed partner again.

I can say the word CHANGE as loud as I want though.  It's what I DO now that matters.  Honestly, I am not sure what to do.  I am searching for a path that will produce the fundamental change I seek.  Any advice or resources on that kind of change are very very welcome.

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sunflower07
Adrift wrote:


Listen guys, I don't know about all that.  I know I've been a dirt bag. A major piece of crap.

I accepted physical favors paid for by a friend at my bachelor party, then lied about it for 14 years.

I made out with my wife's sister while we were both really drunk, and concealed it for 12 years.

I made out with a girl at a tailgate while drunk, and concealed it for 8 years.

I met a girl at a bar while drunk and made out with her in an alley, an event that included manual genital contact. I hid that for 3 or 4 years. (so drunk I'm not sure what year it was).

I had sex while drunk at another tailgate party, and hid it for 3 years. (pattern....?)

I met a woman on experience project in a forum dedicated to sexless marriage (and it was, for 2 years). Instead of working hard to repair the marriage or divorcing, I chose to cheat.  We talked online for a long time and it escalated.  We met once and had sex.  I was not drunk. We never met again, but I started talking to her again when my wife cheated on me because...get this:  I needed support.

My wife did what she did in 2015 over a period of a few months. It's what led me to owning my role in our spiraling marriage.

Finally after nearly winning my wife back from separation in January of this year, I became enraged at her continued online dating profiles, and I encountered several other things that I interpreted to mean she was sexually active outside the house. She was adamant nothing had happened, but I had entered the fog and stopped listening. I responded by texting with multiple women & having a short revenge affair with one that culminated with oral sex.

I concealed most of this.  Then I trickled it all out over months.  I only spilled the beans when my wife smartly insisted on a polygraph.  Then I gave it all up under duress. I have not done anything right.  As smart as I thought I was, I am stupider than most.

The fact that she has all this knowledge & is still with me in any capacity is a miracle to me.  I have one small chance.  One breathless whisper of hope, and that involves navigating this situation correctly and not letting pride interfere with my end goal.  I love her.  I want to be the husband she deserves.   I have to make a fundamental change in myself so that I will not cheat on her ever again.  It will be hard, but I am committed. I just wish I could show my wife my heart and she could see that I am truly contrite and working to change.

How do I change?  Well, I am searching for that.  I know that many people try and most fail.  I know that in my whole life, you strangers are the only people with one ounce of faith that I will be successful & you don't even know me.  Still, I will move forward.  I will keep up with IC, I am going for psychological testing to understand better what makes me tick.  I am looking for concrete steps I can take to effect change.  I will do anything and brave any obstacle if it means reaching my goal of having her as my loving committed partner again.

I can say the word CHANGE as loud as I want though.  It's what I DO now that matters.  Honestly, I am not sure what to do.  I am searching for a path that will produce the fundamental change I seek.  Any advice or resources on that kind of change are very very welcome.



Seems like alcohol was involved in a lot of this. Just an observation.

I think you have to keep working on YOU ! It's easy to try to fix yourself for her but what you really need to do is fix yourself for you.

I know you are doing this by what I read on your posts. I think you are already on the right track. It just takes time, sadly enough.
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Adrift
Alcohol for sure. I am not an addicted alcoholic in the sense that I have to have it everyday.  I am a binge drinker and I realize that I cannot trust myself outside the house to have just a beer or two.  For that reason I have eliminated it.  No more booze!

There.  But, still a liar and a cheater.  Those are some serious character issues.

Sadly the one luxury I do not have in terms of my marriage is time.  I've used it up.
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hmichelle
It sounds like you are looking to fix things as fast as possible.  One thing I can say for sure as I ride this ridiculous roller coaster is that there is nothing that can be fixed quickly.  I don't know if when I wake up tomorrow I will love or hate my husband more that day.  Honestly we are still having wonderful days and still having crappy ones.  It isn't quick.  Nothing about this happened overnight and it wont be fixed overnight.  I keep telling my husband (who loves to speak in metaphors) that he must let this wound heal properly.  He has a tendency to want to gloss over the hurt and focus only on the good.  I told him that is not helping and that (again with the metaphors) our wound will fester if we heal from the outside and not the inside.  He has to be willing to sit with the hurt and pain too.  Its ugly and not fun and we are leaning on each other to repair what he broke (yes, he broke a very happy home).  We have had long, difficult conversations that led to minor breakthroughs in the WHY department.  We have a lot of discussions about boundaries and how he compromised his in the initial stages of the affair.  After months of hurting, I can finally say that I think he is "getting it" and trying to heal and not just ignore the issue.  Give it time, it may feel like you don't have any left but really its all you do have in the existential sense.  I am coming to believe that forgiveness is not as easy to understand as I once believed.  For instance, my husband began his affair 6 days after I gave birth by emergency c-section to a baby of only 29 weeks.  The affair had continued for a year (59 days of which I spent my days in the NICU beside our son).  He claims that he tried to end it multiple times and that the OW became manipulative and threatened to tell me if he left her.  I have since confirmed that.  I once believed that under no circumstances whatsoever would I ever dream of forgiving a crime so heinous.  However, just this weekend I told my husband I forgive that he slept with the OW initially.  I don't forgive that the affair lasted as long as it did or that I was fed a mountain of lies over the last year.....but that may come in time.  I am no longer sure what forgiveness, time and love can help me do.   

And another thing you wrote about being a blubbering mess.....I prefer that every time.  When my husband actually shows hurt and shame over the affair that ends in tears it is healing for me.  Not because I want him to hurt but I want him to understand.  When he "puts on a brave face" I feel very alone.  
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Kalmarjan
One of the best quotes I have heard regarding this situation (fixing a marriage marred by infidelity) is:

"Steven Covey" wrote:
In this case, fast is slow, and slow is fast.


Don't rush things, and seek to understand first, before you try to be understood.
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