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Quick summary

12 months of limbo Mar 2019-Mar 2020. ďConfusedĒ WAH; on/off EA, ILYB
Separated Mar 2020, currently 11 weeks, in COVID lockdown the whole time
May 31st 2020 WAH has asked me to take him back. Iím considering what to do and how to handle this.

Last post on Part 3:

So I have seen H today and he has asked if I will take him back.

I asked what has changed in the last couple of weeks. He said he canít explain but something has flicked a switch and he realises he loves me and is in love with me. He says things he couldnít imagine before (us as lovers) he can now see . He wants to be my husband, to shower me with love, affection, be my lover, do all the things to make me feel special. He says heís been so focussed on me and my role in the relationship that he has overlooked his role, and his contribution to making the M work. He wants to be my partner as we grow older.

I said itís not as simple as just taking him back, and I need to think about what I want. I said we have danced this dance (pursuer-distanced) many times before and I donít want to play anymore. He said he can see how it has been, that heís always felt love for me but something missing has held him back. Now he feels like everything he wants is right there.

The cynic inside should be asking how can you just flick a switch to turn on your feeling again, but I can 100% vouch for the fact that it is possible. 15 months ago we went out for dinner, we were at rock bottom, we hated each other, we hadnít been intimate for a year and I was convinced the conversation would be about D/S. What actually happened was we had a brilliant night, I saw the man I had fallen in love with, we ended up in bed for a whole weekend and it felt amazing and I was in love again. Unfortunately he found it hard to,understand how I could go from no sex for a year to wanting him so much literally overnight. ( It was about a month after that that I found out about the EA. )

In spite of that, I am wary. I feel in control, I feel like I have seen glimpses of my original H, the one I loved deeply, not the sh1tbag of the last 12 months.

He got very emotional explaining about how he felt and how he had hurt me. But now he is seeing the me that he fell in love with, the confident, happy person. He wants to be a proper husband, and treat me the way I deserve. He wants to love me and for me to love him in the way he wants to love me.

He came back to the house after the walk and helped me finish the patio heater. I dropped him home and we pecked on the lips and that was it.

I feel a bit giddy, excited perhaps. This is definitely the most genuine I have seen him in 12 months of wishy-washy confusion. All it seems to have taken is a dress and a pair of heels! No discussion or Qs about if I had OM. I feel calm but a little bit fearful of him changing his mind. He said he feels certain. But Iíve heard that before.

So DBers....what next? How do I play this?
Quote
So DBers....what next? How do I play this?


Very, very slowly.

The wisest information Iíve seen on this board is ďbelieve none of what they say, and only half of what they doĒ.

I would tell him you need time and then think about it for a week or two. Then Iíd sit down and very simply and calmly explain that you want the marriage too, but that his actions have broken your trust. The only way back from here is for that trust to be built very slowly, over time - through actions rather than words. Explain you wonít go back to how things were, and something completely new needs to be built from the ground up. Then thank him for listening and get up and on with your day. Donít get drawn into a long relationship talk. His actions from that point forward will show you if heís genuine.
Hi Pommy,

Wow. Big news! smile Some thoughts for you-- you might read or re-read AlisonUK and BluWave's threads. Alison had a similar sitch to you, H with an EA, S for some time, and I know she feels like she took him back too quickly. Blu's sitch was much harder (H had a full-on A, living with AP, etc) and she set very firm boundaries before she let him back, he didn't move back in right away, etc.

For you, I might just spend some time thinking really seriously about what YOU need in order to feel secure about taking this next step. What do you need to see from him in order to feel like this is different from the last time? it sounds different, for sure (though I'd also be annoyed at him telling the kids before talking to you-- that smacks a bit of unclear judgment/desperation). I also wonder if he's really freaking out about the possibility of losing you to an OM. I definitely think that can spark the pursuer in him and he's frantic not to lose you. I guess the big question is did his light switch turn on for real and is he willing to do all the hard work to be the H you deserve, vs once he feels secure again in your R and OM is no longer a threat will he backtrack.

I definitely think you did the right thing in not just taking him back. I know everyone here is going to caution you to take your time, and I agree. However, I do think it is important for you to decide what you will and will not accept, what behaviors you want to see from him, how to protect the kids from too much whiplash. Will he take a local job and stop the traveling? What's he going to do about the EAP? How does he think he can regain your trust after the lies?

When my H finally made his decision, the thing that stood out to me that was really different was that previously it had all been about emotion, what he wanted, how he felt, what he didn't want to miss out on. There was no logic, no real thought put into the realities of S/D, just this fantasy of being best friends and still the perfect dad while living next door with AP. He is logical to a fault in real life and in all other scenarios. (Annoying to argue with.) When he made his final decision, it was very logical, focusing on his responsibilities and the right thing to do by to the kids, me, himself and even the AP. It was one of the main reasons I felt he was serious about his decision-- but I also tried to not put too much stock in it, but to let it be and see if his actions followed his word.

It sounds like you're seeing your H back again, which is great. But he also sounds really emotional and flowery and I just want to ask you-- is this him at the core? Or is he possibly swinging a bit manic into the perfect H and telling you everything you want to hear? I'm not saying this to doubt him or his intentions. I just think he might be reacting out of fear of losing you right now and you know him best to be able to judge how solid this, and what you'll need to see from him in order to have that confidence.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
The cynic inside should be asking how can you just flick a switch to turn on your feeling again, but I can 100% vouch for the fact that it is possible. 15 months ago we went out for dinner, we were at rock bottom, we hated each other, we hadnít been intimate for a year and I was convinced the conversation would be about D/S. What actually happened was we had a brilliant night, I saw the man I had fallen in love with, we ended up in bed for a whole weekend and it felt amazing and I was in love again. Unfortunately he found it hard to,understand how I could go from no sex for a year to wanting him so much literally overnight. ( It was about a month after that that I found out about the EA. )


As an aside-- I had a very, very similar experience with my H last Feb, where I walked away feeling like I *saw* him again for the first time in years, let go of a bunch of resentment, and wanted him again. (My H had a similar reaction to yours as well). So I also totally know how that can happen. It doesn't negate all the hard work you'll both have to do, but I agree it is possible.
Originally Posted by may22
Hi Pommy,
For you, I might just spend some time thinking really seriously about what YOU need in order to feel secure about taking this next step. What do you need to see from him in order to feel like this is different from the last time? it sounds different, for sure (though I'd also be annoyed at him telling the kids before talking to you-- that smacks a bit of unclear judgment/desperation). I also wonder if he's really freaking out about the possibility of losing you to an OM. I definitely think that can spark the pursuer in him and he's frantic not to lose you. I guess the big question is did his light switch turn on for real and is he willing to do all the hard work to be the H you deserve, vs once he feels secure again in your R and OM is no longer a threat will he backtrack.
May, these fears are very real. I am scared of him backtracking again. I am scared that his motives aren't genuine. We are still in lockdown, and even once restrictions are eased, socialising and getting back to work are a long way off. My company has today notified us that we need to plan to WFH until at least end of September. H's company will be the same, and there is no way he will be going to the city for a long time. I do worry if he's coming back through circumstance - realising he's possibly not going to strike up any new relationships, social life any time soon and it's a case of stick with me or be lonely for a long time. That's the side that sees the negatives. Then there are the positives, talking about growing old with me, wanting to love me and be the husband he hasn't been, wanting me to love him back. That's the side I've not seen in any of the pursuer-distancer games. His pursuing has very much been " I dont want you but I cant let you go" up to now.

I do possibly think seeing me happy, confident, knowing that I'm talking to another [successful] guy, being made to feel special, etc has made him realise that I am desirable to other men, and if he doesnt pull his finger out he will lose me. What sticks with me is that he always said before we separated is that he really needs to feel like his lost me in order to know if he wants me. He also said he would only come back if he knew it would be forever as he could never put me through this again. I hope this is genuine.

I've just received the most amazing bouquet of flowers. They are anonymous. But they are my favourite flower (had them in my wedding bouquet) and only he would know that.

Wow, I could get used to this!!


Originally Posted by may22
I definitely think you did the right thing in not just taking him back. I know everyone here is going to caution you to take your time, and I agree. However, I do think it is important for you to decide what you will and will not accept, what behaviors you want to see from him, how to protect the kids from too much whiplash. Will he take a local job and stop the traveling? What's he going to do about the EAP? How does he think he can regain your trust after the lies?

When my H finally made his decision, the thing that stood out to me that was really different was that previously it had all been about emotion, what he wanted, how he felt, what he didn't want to miss out on. There was no logic, no real thought put into the realities of S/D, just this fantasy of being best friends and still the perfect dad while living next door with AP. He is logical to a fault in real life and in all other scenarios. (Annoying to argue with.) When he made his final decision, it was very logical, focusing on his responsibilities and the right thing to do by to the kids, me, himself and even the AP. It was one of the main reasons I felt he was serious about his decision-- but I also tried to not put too much stock in it, but to let it be and see if his actions followed his word.


Do you think my H is showing similar to yours? Up until now it's been about what he wants, what I'm not, what he doesnt feel. Now it's about what he can do for me, what role he wants to play as a husband, what he contributes to the M.

We've got to get the balance right between talking about our boundaries, requirements etc and just actually enjoying each other's company. We are so battle-weary and I think both of us are more than ready to unchain ourselves from the constant negativity of the last year. We are exhausted.

I think Wayfarer mentioned on one of your posts recently that whilst not seeing a MC, to keep to a weekly timeslot to discuss the R, and keep it off the table for the rest of the week. I think I would like to do that. In the meantime, just have some time being in each other's company. Truth be known, I feel completely blind right now - I have no idea how to move forward and potentially end a separation. I need to read my DB book!


Originally Posted by may22
It sounds like you're seeing your H back again, which is great. But he also sounds really emotional and flowery and I just want to ask you-- is this him at the core? Or is he possibly swinging a bit manic into the perfect H and telling you everything you want to hear? I'm not saying this to doubt him or his intentions. I just think he might be reacting out of fear of losing you right now and you know him best to be able to judge how solid this, and what you'll need to see from him in order to have that confidence.
Do you think he sounds flowery? In what way? Do you think his fear of losing me is NOT a good reason to want to come back? I dont think he has ever been overtly emotional, and I think he has struggled through our M to express his emotions, and perhaps that is also my fault if he felt that I havent been there for him in that way. I dont think either of us have been good at expressing our needs or understanding what we can do for each other. We both seem to be in a better place right now of knowing what we want and what we want to contribute to a M.
Hi Pommy,

All my advice needs to be taken with a big, giant grain of salt for a few reasons-- one, I'm projecting a lot on your sitch from my own, and while there are a lot of surface similarities, I don't know your H the way I know my own. They may be acting the same way but driven by different mechanisms... so you need to pick and choose what makes sense in your own situation, with your own R and your own H. Second, I'm really still very much in the thick of it. I do believe that my H has ended his A and is committed to working on our R, but I don't necessarily think that we're "piecing", whatever that means-- we haven't even talked about what our vision(s) of M2.0 would be like, let alone constructed a shared goal; he hasn't fallen desperately back in love with me; he isn't fitting that picture of the remorseful, rock-bottom WH who would do absolutely anything to get me back. Maybe I spend too much time thinking of what things SHOULD look like from what I read here... but I just feel we both have a lot of work to do, and a lot is on his side and not within my control. And I see the repeat LBSs on the boards here and have trepidation about our path... so I just don't want to come off like I know what I'm talking about, because I'm working through all the same things too, maybe just a few months ahead of you.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Do you think my H is showing similar to yours? Up until now it's been about what he wants, what I'm not, what he doesnt feel. Now it's about what he can do for me, what role he wants to play as a husband, what he contributes to the M.


Originally Posted by Pommy99
Do you think he sounds flowery? In what way? Do you think his fear of losing me is NOT a good reason to want to come back? I don't think he has ever been overtly emotional, and I think he has struggled through our M to express his emotions, and perhaps that is also my fault if he felt that I havent been there for him in that way.


With all those caveats in place, I think it is a good sign that he's focusing on his own behavior and what he'd need to do or change in your R, rather than the "you aren't sexy enough" kind of stuff he was in before. And the flowery language may just be a projection on my end because if I heard it from my H I'd be wondering what was up-- I guess I would just ask you to think back and see if this sounds like him and his usual decision-making process, or if there is a chance his pendulum is just swinging back in the other direction.

I generally feel like making decisions out of emotion is not a good way to make decisions, especially big ones. Fear can be a decent motivator but I don't think it is a good basis for such a big decision as S/D or not... just like you don't want fear of losing him to be your primary motivator for staying, you don't want it to be his primary motivator either. There also needs to be the positive of what you're building TOWARDS, not just what you're worried about losing. It does sound like he's talking in that arena which is great. Now, what do YOU want to see in your M2.0 and what will it take for him to show you he's up for it?

In your situation, your H did leave and pulled that major trigger, so I feel like you actually have more control over the situation than I did in terms of navigating him coming back. (I know that was a choice on my part.) So I guess I am just suggesting you take the time to really unpack what you want in an H and what you need to see from him in order to feel secure that his shift is real and not temporary. The work of piecing is difficult for both of you, they'll be ups and downs, and he's got to be personally just as committed to the end goal as you. Up until now, he's been waffling and very much focused on what he wants/needs and how you weren't meeting them rather than what work he needs to do in order to build M2.0 together with you. I think that is a very encouraging move... but you just want to feel confident it is not transient and will fade as he gets less fearful, or as things open up with the lockdown and he is again able to get out and about with other people. Or, when you work through piecing and things get difficult, that he'll give up too easily.

You got this, Pommy. Just take your time, do what is right for YOU and the kids, on your timeline. Stay in the driver's seat. I think as long as he knows you aren't cutting him off completely, he'll continue to work towards R if it is for real. Also, the flowers are a nice touch and cute that he sent them anonymously. smile
I agree with May, Pommy, take your time!

In fact, the longer you take, the more attractive you become to H as he sits with his desire for reconciliation and the question of whether or not you will ever take him back. Not in a 'game' sense, but for you to rest assured that you are now in the power seat and can take your time making the best decision for YOU.

Have you ever created a list, even in your head, of the changes that H would need to make for you to let him back in your life? Are they written down? A good first step would be to write it all out. On Wooba's thread I mentioned how a friend of mine was taught to write her intentions and visions of the future in the present tense. 'I am', 'I have', 'It is', 'I feel' are good starting points. From there you may be able to distill the steps that your H will need to take to reach the present tense future self of yours (oof, that's an existential mouthful, sorry).

One thing that I would request from my H if we were to ever to get to the point you are at is to woo me (good first step with those lovely flowers from your H, BTW). Date me. Convince me that you are truly the one for me. If this is really M 2.0, then why lose the opportunity for the limerence, the flirting, the sexual tension, the heady 'I might be falling in love' feelings? This is an upside to an actual physical S, you have separate spaces and can date again. There is nothing better than a great date night where you go to separate beds thinking about each other and what you want to do to them the next time you see them, right? But we're not 20-somethings anymore and you actually DO know this person, so there is none of the awkwardness of our youth getting in the way. Sounds kind of dreamy, really.

And in your situation (I am in the same) where the (supposed) lack of sexual chemistry has been used by H as an impetus for the decline in your M, milk it for all it's worth. Take advantage of that limerence, the unrequited sexual chemistry and leaving things on that last passionate kiss instead of taking it all the way. For your own psychosexual enjoyment, of course, but also as a reminder to you both that the chemistry it does exist between you two.

And as you have read in all the other returned WAH's, piecing seems to be just as hard, if not harder, than the actual BD and S. So prolong it as much as you can by enjoying the 'get to know you again' phase.

It is a long road ahead, but you have done so much work to get here!
Hi Pommy! Thanks for your thoughtful reply on my thread, I am going to get back on some of those thoughts in a bit. In the meantime, I hope you had a great day yesterday and today!
May, Sage thank you for your thoughts. You gave me a lot to think about last week. So what's been happening since I last posted a week ago? H had told me several times ILY - but I hadnt been able to reciprocate. It didnt feel right - it felt like I would have been saying it because he had said it first. I'm so glad I was able to shake off the pressure to respond in kind. Since then H has stopped saying it. This confused me a little and by the end of the week I felt like he had stopped making an effort, but perhaps he recognised that it was pressure for me. Fri night he stayed over and we spent all Saturday togther, doing stuff in the garden, trip to the garden centre (where he bought plants for our garden and new bird feeders laugh ). It's been very relaxed.

Originally Posted by may22
In your situation, your H did leave and pulled that major trigger, so I feel like you actually have more control over the situation than I did in terms of navigating him coming back. (I know that was a choice on my part.) So I guess I am just suggesting you take the time to really unpack what you want in an H and what you need to see from him in order to feel secure that his shift is real and not temporary. The work of piecing is difficult for both of you, they'll be ups and downs, and he's got to be personally just as committed to the end goal as you.

We havent had any R talks, except one mini-discussion on Saturday where I asked if he still felt the same as the previous week and he said yes for sure, although also said he fully understood that just because he knows what he wants, it doesnt mean I know if I want him back or am ready for him to come home. I said I need to feel that he's really into me, that he really wants me. He seemed to go the extra mile on Saturday with being extremely tactile, hugging me, holding my hand, kissing me etc. I think I am giving off good vibes about wanting to be with him, and the conversations - especially from him - assume a future together (places we would go, things we would do in the house).

I dont feel inclined to push a R talk. At the moment we seem to be enjoying each other's company, and I dont think either of us feel the need to rush things. I do worry if I'm brushing stuff under the carpet (like what's happened with EAP recently), and I wonder if we should be having more serious conversations about "us". I guess I'm trying to weigh up how and when I communicate to him what I want in a husband. Sage, I havent written a list but it a good idea. I know there are things that would need to change - I just dont feel like now is the time to go to him with a 'husband wish list', but undoubtedly there are things that I know we would need to discuss, especially around his work (although thatn is not so much of an issue right now and wont be for some time so I dont feel I need to hurry this one along).

What would you be doing if you were me? Would you be having these deeper conversations or just spend these initial few weeks rebuilding some trust, connection and intimacy ?

Originally Posted by Sage
One thing that I would request from my H if we were to ever to get to the point you are at is to woo me (good first step with those lovely flowers from your H, BTW). Date me. Convince me that you are truly the one for me. If this is really M 2.0, then why lose the opportunity for the limerence, the flirting, the sexual tension, the heady 'I might be falling in love' feelings? This is an upside to an actual physical S, you have separate spaces and can date again. There is nothing better than a great date night where you go to separate beds thinking about each other and what you want to do to them the next time you see them, right

There has definitely been some chemistry and leaving things on a passionate kiss, going home to separate houses. I stayed over at his last night and things do feel better. Unfortunately *that* has been off the agenda as H is on some pretty strong neural pain blockers for a back injury with some unwanted side effects affecting certain body parts! However, he has talked about wanting to *show* me how he feels about me in that way - we're talking about sex and wanting to get that side of things back on track which is a real positive for me. I just crack up everytime I think of this, but Wayfarer once said that her H looked at her as if she was a minotaur with boobs - and that's how I had felt in front of my H for the last year!!
P,

Just keep in light and enjoy one another like you were first dating. Hangout, have fun and hookup. At some point he will start to back away and the key is going to be not to panic and pursue. Remember that you are the prize and he needs to EARN another chance with you.

Also donít be shocked if you get the feeling you want to walk away. If you do make sure you sit with it for awhile.

Iím happy that it looks like youíre getting what you wanted.
Originally Posted by LH19
P,

Just keep in light and enjoy one another like you were first dating. Hangout, have fun and hookup. At some point he will start to back away and the key is going to be not to panic and pursue. Remember that you are the prize and he needs to EARN another chance with you.

Also don’t be shocked if you get the feeling you want to walk away. If you do make sure you sit with it for awhile.

I’m happy that it looks like you’re getting what you wanted.

LH - is that the norm - that he will start to back away? Thanks for the heads-up. Hopefully I know enough by now not to go pursuing him if he does start to retreat.

I am going through my own emotions, some of which are surprising me. I feel remarkably relaxed about taking things slowly, whereas before it would have been a case of getting him back home quickly before he changes his mind! Now I'm happy for us to have some distance and space, especially as we are still in lockdown and both of us expect to be WFH for the next 4 months minimum. Reading all the GAL activities on other threads I'm really going to make use of the time I have to do more for myself. I really feel like I have completely taken the pressure and expectation off H and he is responding in a positive way. I'm not pushing conversations about him moving home, I'm not starting R discussions, I'm not asking to see him every day. Baby steps is the right pace right now. smile
Originally Posted by Pommy99
LH - is that the norm - that he will start to back away? Thanks for the heads-up. Hopefully I know enough by now not to go pursuing him if he does start to retreat.

People generally want what they perceive can't have. When he thought you were interested in another guy he had to have you back. At some point he is likely to have in essence "buyer's remorse". The phenomenon of buyer's remorse has been generally associated with the psychological theory of cognitive dissonance, a state of psychological discomfort when at least two elements of cognition are in opposition, and which motivates the person to appease it by changing how they think about the situation. Buyer's remorse is an example of post-decision dissonance, where a person is stressed by a made decision and seeks to decrease their discomfort. This may cause him to back peddle. At some point he will probably say now that I got her back is this what I really want going forward. You will likely have the same feelings. Probably after the honeymoon phase. Just be aware of it.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I feel remarkably relaxed about taking things slowly, whereas before it would have been a case of getting him back home quickly before he changes his mind!

This is great!

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I really feel like I have completely taken the pressure and expectation off H and he is responding in a positive way. I'm not pushing conversations about him moving home, I'm not starting R discussions, I'm not asking to see him every day. Baby steps is the right pace right now. smile

This is great!

If you engage in a relationship with him again it should only be under the conditions that:

1) He sees you as someone of extremely high value
2) He views a relationship with you as something much better than a life with someone else or a life alone
3) He's willing to work to win you

Without those three things, he's going to walk again down the line, because he really doesn't have the motivation to work with you to change anything, your relationship will keep seeking the same equilibrium it has had because of how your personalities and issues come together.
Pommy, congratulations on getting to this point. It shows that these situations can turnaround. However, you are also at at dangerous point because just letting him waltz right back will set you up for another BD at some point later.

So what are your requirements for his return? What work are you going to require for him to come back? IC? MC? Full transparency? As LH says go slow, methodically, and make sure that there are speed bumps in his way to make sure he is truly committed back to the MR, and not just temporarily falling back on Plan B.
Just journalling.

LH, Steve - thanks for your comments - talking about being at a dangerous point did give me a lot of anxiety but also grounded me a little. It really is hard to know how to navigate this path to reconcilliation. When you are coming from a place of mistrust, resentment, and barely recognising the person you are now contemplating spending the rest of your life with, you find yourself doubting and questionning every comment and action, looking for the hidden motive. Ugh, no wonder everyone says R and then piecing is so hard.

In general, however, it's been a steady couple of weeks. We have spent maybe every other evening together, sometimes as a family, and sometimes just the two of us. We're still in lockdown, so getting out and about is limited, but we do have separate houses which gives us a bit of non-family space.

He is generally being very loving and attentive - I can definitely see a change from the person I disliked and barely recognised for the last year. We talk a lot about future plans (financial planning, leisure planning) but we have not talked about the M at all, or where we go from here. I did probe more into what has happened with the EAP and he said it was a friendship that just fizzled out. (He hasnt seen her for 4 months, doesnt have her in his phone, is no longer in any group chats with her.) I did ask him to tell me the truth about a couple of things that were bugging me about his meetups with her and he has denied any wrongdoing other than that it was an EA. He swears that there was never any PA or even a kiss, even though he has admitted in the past being confused about his feelings for her.

He has dropped a few hints about moving back home. It's very much assumed by both of us that he will move back, but we havent discussed when and I'm not pushing that conversation. I dont know if it's because I'm not sure (I think I am sure but a little scared) or because I dont want to relinquish all the control right now. I guess I'm a little fearful of things slipping back to the way they were, of being ignored, unloved, etc. He has told me that he feels completely different now to how he felt before he left, and that lockdown and being apart has been a valuable life lesson. I asked him what he had learnt and he said that he loves me, that he knows what's important to him in life, that the confusion he felt when he left was for a reason [he always said he didnt understand why he felt the need to leave knowing that he loved me and he now realises leaving was a mistake], that I have stood by him and remained loyal which means a huge amount to him.

I'm not sure if there is any more I could ask for right now, but I still feel really uneasy some days and I dont know why? I think it's maybe insecurity and this is the last thing I want him to see in me - I dont want to be clingy, needy, insecure - everything I was last year, so I'm trying to remain confident, give off good vibes about the R but not overly pursue him.
this all sounds very positive, Pommy. Would he be open to MC? This stuff is SO HARD, expert input could be useful?
Originally Posted by dillydaf
this all sounds very positive, Pommy. Would he be open to MC? This stuff is SO HARD, expert input could be useful?

Dilly, I have thought a lot about this but Iím almost too frightened to ask him. Iím not sure why. There are a number of possible reasons I guess:
1. Our last attempt at MC (led by him) was a disaster and put us both off MC
2. Iím not sure any more what our issues are that need resolving.
3. In some ways MC seems too heavy right now. I think weíre both battle weary and could do with a break from R talk
4. Iím burying my head in the sand or brushing everything under the carpet because itís easy

Iím wondering if we just enjoy this part of reconciliation and then once he moves back, we get some MC to support us thru the process?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Iím wondering if we just enjoy this part of reconciliation and then once he moves back, we get some MC to support us thru the process?


I'm new and I haven't even read the entire thread, but this struck a chord for me. I have not yet had the opportunity to try, and have only read/heard Michele's words, but I think its extremely important to get to marriage COACHING as soon as possible, especially now when there is lots of hope with the rekindling. Get a marriage coach to teach you how to fan the flames just right. Not too fast, don't blow too hard. Build up nice strong coals with your fire, so that you don't flame out.

I've done the marriage counseling before... the one that leads to "therapy" and never quite gets back around to coaching and looking forward. Focus forward. Focus on what you will become.

Just my two cents and lots of hope that I get your opportunity some day.

Best wishes to you both.
Hi Pommy,

I think it isn't a bad thing to let the two of you build up some positive memories together right now. I guess my only worry--- TOTALLY colored by my current sitch-- is that going too long without some professional help might also present its own difficulties, and once you get back into the rhythm of things it can be hard to get the motivation to go see someone if things feel fine. My guess is that he's probably motivated right now, since he wants to come home. Maybe you do wait until he comes home to start something, but maybe make it something you both agree is important before he moves in?

One thing I've been regretting (I know, no regrets, but here we are) is that there are some really positive things you can do with the help of an MC. It doesn't always have to be the horrible digging through the past or dealing with difficult emotions. It can be positive exercises designed to get you both thinking better about the other person. It can also be working on communication such that you can deal with difficult things more productively when they do come up (this has helped with my H even though everything else is going to $hit). If you are turned off of an MC, maybe getting a book like Gottman's 7 principles or something, reading through that, and going through the exercises. Or, assuming you still have questions or issues surrounding his EA, the Shirley Glass book to deal with it (depending on how much either of you consider it to have been infidelity). But there are exercises in those books or that an MC can lead you through to help develop more positivity around your MR, like spending time recalling your wedding and great memories together, or thinking about dreams that you both have for the future. Or even the Gottman book about the questions to fall in love (I can't remember the exact name) but a series of conversations designed to build intimacy. So maybe before you decide to dig into the hard stuff, maybe you can work productively on the positive stuff.

I don't know about you, but I was terrified to sweep everything under the rug. That resulted in me maybe pushing too hard to talk about the A and deal with my own stuff... but now I'm wishing that we spent some time really working on building intimacy and a future vision with a professional. Maybe that wouldn't have helped... I don't know. I have the big complication of the AP sitting out there that you don't have.

xx so happy for you, Pommy. I'm totally rooting for you two. I'll have a G&T and think of you tonight! Thanks for being there for me also-- it means a lot.
Originally Posted by ShaneG


I'm new and I haven't even read the entire thread, but this struck a chord for me. I have not yet had the opportunity to try, and have only read/heard Michele's words, but I think its extremely important to get to marriage COACHING as soon as possible, especially now when there is lots of hope with the rekindling. Get a marriage coach to teach you how to fan the flames just right. Not too fast, don't blow too hard. Build up nice strong coals with your fire, so that you don't flame out.

I've done the marriage counseling before... the one that leads to "therapy" and never quite gets back around to coaching and looking forward. Focus forward. Focus on what you will become.

Just my two cents and lots of hope that I get your opportunity some day.

Best wishes to you both.

Shane, thank you...I think you and May are right- I need to look at as Ďcoachingí rather than Ďcounsellingí , the latter of which seems to have negative connotations of dealing with bad things that have happened, pulling apart the past, and/or each other. I want to be looking forwards, at how we make sure we meet each otherís needs and be of real value to each other.

At the moment things are steady and stable and definitely going in the right direction, but I still have this feeling that it canít possibly be true...he canít really want to come back for me, there must be another reason. I guess this is the insecurity and mistrust that had embedded itself over the last 15 months, and along with that is the fear that it will happen again.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Originally Posted by ShaneG


I'm new and I haven't even read the entire thread, but this struck a chord for me. I have not yet had the opportunity to try, and have only read/heard Michele's words, but I think its extremely important to get to marriage COACHING as soon as possible, especially now when there is lots of hope with the rekindling. Get a marriage coach to teach you how to fan the flames just right. Not too fast, don't blow too hard. Build up nice strong coals with your fire, so that you don't flame out.

I've done the marriage counseling before... the one that leads to "therapy" and never quite gets back around to coaching and looking forward. Focus forward. Focus on what you will become.

Just my two cents and lots of hope that I get your opportunity some day.

Best wishes to you both.

Shane, thank you...I think you and May are right- I need to look at as Ďcoachingí rather than Ďcounsellingí , the latter of which seems to have negative connotations of dealing with bad things that have happened, pulling apart the past, and/or each other. I want to be looking forwards, at how we make sure we meet each otherís needs and be of real value to each other.

At the moment things are steady and stable and definitely going in the right direction, but I still have this feeling that it canít possibly be true...he canít really want to come back for me, there must be another reason. I guess this is the insecurity and mistrust that had embedded itself over the last 15 months, and along with that is the fear that it will happen again.


I agree 100% with what Shane and May said, and I very much appreciate the way Shane put that...with a focus on the future rather than the past. The "coaching" vs "counseling" thing sounds like semantics, but I really think there's something there...I've battled a lot with whether the counseling arrangement in my sitch is really doing much good, and whether a focus on "coaching" with someone else, if we ever get to reconciliation, might be a better path.

As for the battle about trusting stability, I know exactly how that feels, even though my H and I are not as far along as you are, and might never make it to a moment of reconciliation. I struggle a lot right now with whether I'll be able to progress past the insecurity issues I now have, especially given that I've always struggled with depending on someone (in the direction of depending and trusting them, rather than too much trust). I suppose everyone in this situation has to get to a point of acceptance with that fear, because I don't think the fear will truly go away anytime soon. After all, the fear is rational. As the LBS, our WAS did, after all, walk away.
Originally Posted by may22

I don't know about you, but I was terrified to sweep everything under the rug. That resulted in me maybe pushing too hard to talk about the A and deal with my own stuff... but now I'm wishing that we spent some time really working on building intimacy and a future vision with a professional. Maybe that wouldn't have helped... I don't know. I have the big complication of the AP sitting out there that you don't have.

xx so happy for you, Pommy. I'm totally rooting for you two. I'll have a G&T and think of you tonight! Thanks for being there for me also-- it means a lot.
hi May, Iím worried we are in some kind of honeymoon phase and that the bubble will burst. I canít tell the difference between brushing things under the carpet and accepting that whatís heís told me might be as much as Iíll ever know, and moving on. Of course what heís told me might be the truth and everything else (e.g me thinking there mustíve been some physical interactions at some point) is all in my head. I feel like I want to ask the same questions over and over until I get an answer where I can say ďI knew itĒ and I feel like not getting the answers I want is me brushing it under the carpet ( or perhaps letting him get away with never having to divulge more). Iím not sure if that makes sense, but I feel it is very destructive for both me and the relationship if I canít let go of those thoughts and doubts. I donít know how to deal with it.

Iím feeling very hurt today about the fact he thought he was in love with someone else, and that for years Iíve felt like Iíve had to fight for his love and affection, and yet it was seemingly so easy for him dish it out to someone else..

Thanks for being here May. It means a lot to me too x

Originally Posted by beth1112
As for the battle about trusting stability, I know exactly how that feels, even though my H and I are not as far along as you are, and might never make it to a moment of reconciliation. I struggle a lot right now with whether I'll be able to progress past the insecurity issues I now have, especially given that I've always struggled with depending on someone (in the direction of depending and trusting them, rather than too much trust). I suppose everyone in this situation has to get to a point of acceptance with that fear, because I don't think the fear will truly go away anytime soon. After all, the fear is rational. As the LBS, our WAS did, after all, walk away.
I think this is where I am at Beth...struggling to discard the fears because as you say, they are completely rational. I think I need to accept the fears and instead rationalise the behaviours/issues that led up to the EA and work through those with H
Hi Pommy,

A thought. Can you still lean on the same things that helped center you in the awful time during the EA and during the S? GAL, focusing on being present, with the children, etc? I think one of the benefits of DBing is that it allows you to start to rely on yourself for your own fulfillment and happiness. It is OK to be sad that your H had an EA. You deserve it. Let yourself feel that grief and let it move through you. Accept that you have doubts and insecurities about what this all really means and what might happen in the future... and if you can, try to let go of your anxieties about what might or might not happen, when or if you'll get your questions answered, when or if you'll trust him again fully. Sit with where you are right now. Be happy that he's home, happy for your kids, and take it one day at a time.

I also had all of those same thoughts about the A and why and would I ever fully know and trust, and that is why I finally pushed the transparency talk (which wasn't fully transparent after all). I was worried about my own healing and ability to reengage with the R wholly if we didn't deal with these things. But, I don't think my H was ready for it. He just said to me last night that to him, coming to me this past weekend to tell me the full story that he hadn't said before was him WANTING to share it, not him responding to a request (=demand) from me. The difference was that before he felt I was telling him what to do. Now he is making his own decision to tell me these last things, and he's willing to tell me anything more I want to know though he also respects my decision not to need to know more about things as well. I truly don't know if there is anything to this at all. But maybe you can take something away from my failure... continuing to let him come to you on his own terms might still be a good path, and working to manage yourself as best you can.

xx M
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I canít tell the difference between brushing things under the carpet and accepting that whatís heís told me might be as much as Iíll ever know, and moving on. Of course what heís told me might be the truth and everything else (e.g me thinking there mustíve been some physical interactions at some point) is all in my head. I feel like I want to ask the same questions over and over until I get an answer where I can say ďI knew itĒ and I feel like not getting the answers I want is me brushing it under the carpet ( or perhaps letting him get away with never having to divulge more). Iím not sure if that makes sense, but I feel it is very destructive for both me and the relationship if I canít let go of those thoughts and doubts. I donít know how to deal with it.

Iím feeling very hurt today about the fact he thought he was in love with someone else, and that for years Iíve felt like Iíve had to fight for his love and affection, and yet it was seemingly so easy for him dish it out to someone else.


There seems to be a thread among all the spectrums of infidelity thought leaders (I'm thinking Esther Perel on one end of the spectrum and someone like Shirley Glass on the other) and no matter if your school of thought is that affairs are 'normal' or 'abnormal' human deviations, the process of moving on from infidelity includes as much disclosure as the betrayed needs to feel safe in the R again. So you should have a right to the knowledge of what happened. However, what is less defined among these experts is what timeline the disclosure happens on. Some betrayers can't get on board with disclosure until a MC pushes it. Some give it willingly. But what it really comes down to is whether or not you, Pommy, need full disclosure to move further into your trust and piecing of your R. Maybe that needs to go on your list of things you need to move forward or for H to move back in? I don't think it's asking too much and it may help with your healing. But the caveat here is that he can't withhold details. And you have to believe him. Which takes a huge amount of trust on both sides, trust that barely exists after an affair. But if full disclosure will be less destructive to the R in the end, then your H deserves to know that this is an important part of piecing for you.

Also, a small amount of general under-the-rug-sweeping isn't a totally bad thing. You could spend the next 15 months hashing out all the details of who-what-why-when-how your M got to this point and lose the opportunity for some real growth and fun in your M. So maybe creating a list of the big things, prioritizing them in order of importance to you and your R and focus on those? Maybe it's just one thing: the EA. Or maybe it's a few different things. And H should have his own list (although it sounds like many of our H's have spent plenty of time airing their grievances in the M to us, so maybe take those at face value and work from that).

Thinking of you Pommy, thanks for being there for me!

xx
S
May, Sage thank you for your thoughts.

I went away for 5 days last week with the girls ( to see my parents). H was very attentive and sent lots of messages and called frequently. The messages meant a lot, as did the welcome home. My mother is a toxic influence and always has been, and has never hesitated to show her disdain for H. This is her issue...she treats my father the same. Until I started IC 12 months ago, I was never able to stand up to her, preferring to avoid the confrontation. So I stood back and allowed her to belittle, condemn, criticise and make H feel worthless, just like she does her own H. Last year I felt so much hatred towards her for the fact that my marriage had failed whilst hers was still intact. Not just because of her treatment of H but because of how I grew up thinking that was how to behave in a marriage. I have made so much progress in standing up to her in the last year. She will readily play the victim when the spotlight shines on her. She is manipulative and controlling and right now she is telling the children that it will be wrong for me let H move back home. I can see this for everything that it is. I really dislike her and Iím angry at how she still tries to control me (such as begging me not to let H come away with me and the girls for a family trip next week, or telling me that I shouldnít let the children see H during lockdown in case he gives them the virus) and feeding the children with doubts about recon.

I know the old me would have done what I could to appease her, but I feel so much stronger in myself in being able to set boundaries and knowing what I will accept and not accept. I have learnt a lot in 12 months.

So H and I have had a nice few days but today I felt completely flat. I had bad dreams last week Sage, where H told me heíd changed his mind again and I asked if it was because of Her and he said no, but then I found a load of texts on his phone in my dream. This is a replay of what has happened in reality So I explained to H that I was having bad dreams and he did his best to reassure me. H said I seemed distant today and I told him that I am struggling to let go of some of the things from December. I had been thinking about MayĒs situation around disclosure (masking the truth) and WFĎs comments about her H not having protected himself from the possibility for OW to make contact. So I asked H tonight about it. He said he hadnít told me verbatim everything between them but there was nothing that would shock me (May!!!!!!!) that I didnít know already. I asked how he was going to protect himself from that scenario... if EAP reached out and said she missed his company/was having a tough time with her own H/needed advice etc. I know that H is too nice to ignore or not respond. And he said he would just exchange pleasantries but not invite further interaction, not let it become a situation where they shared jokes etc. And that he would tell me if she contacted him. He said previously he encouraged the situation and now he wouldnít encourage it. For some reason I donít doubt for one minute that she will be in touch, once she knows heís spending time back home (and she will know, because they have some mutual friends, and she is controlling and manipulative). Iím not sure how I feel about this response from H. I guess I fear that we get back into a boring routine and she reaches out wanting contact and so it begins again.

It all still feels a bit weird. I havenít invited H back home and he said my demeanour today was making him feel anxious ( hello, welcome to the world of anxiety!!) . I think the pressure from my mum and the bad dreams are making me feel uneasy. I also feel that once he moves back in weíll revert to the old dynamic, whereas at the moment weíre still separated and Iím in control of the R . Thatís not to say I want to control him or the M but living apart stops an immediate return to the old dynamic. We have been more intimate and itís felt natural but today I have these doubts that Iím not all those things he said he wanted (which in some ways I donít care about...Iím me and he either accepts it or he doesnít) but in other ways I think that he made it clear he didnít accept it last year so Iím on a road to failure and setting myself up for a fall.

H always told me Iím an over thinker, and tbh, itís been over 4 weeks since he said he wanted to come home and Iíve avoided the overthinking ,and itís been fun and relaxed. I guess itís the magnitude of the next step ...all or nothing, no going back, etc. Iíve wanted nothing more for the last year than to save my M but now itís on a plate Iím like eeeeeek!!!
Hi Pommy,

Thanks for the update-- it is so good to hear how you are doing!

I understand your uneasiness. Just a couple of random thoughts:

Quote
I guess itís the magnitude of the next step ...all or nothing, no going back, etc.

Don't necessarily think of it like this-- it is a step in your journey. Of course you want to be 110% solid if you let him back not just because of your own mental health but for your children too. I totally get this. But it isn't necessarily the point of no return forever.

With your mom... I think it is huge that you are able to see that dynamic between the two of you and be able to stand up for yourself and your H in this context. It is really, really hard to do that with your mom. I have a much less developed version of that with my own mom, who is relatively controlling and has a hard time seeing things from other people's shoes. When she flips out she flips out big time. But nothing I can do can change her, and I've come to accept that and disengage when she tries to mow over my boundaries. I remember reading in Gottman (I think it was Gottman) that the couple needs to be there for each other, even when in-laws try to interfere. This made me think a lot about both my own R with my mom and my R with my MIL, and how damaging to the R it can be to feel like your spouse is siding with their mom over you. I'm glad you are seeing all this and setting and enforcing boundaries.

On the EAP situation... Pommy of course this is my own situation speaking so please ignore it if it isn't helpful. But hearing him say the exact same thing my own H did about nothing being shocking gives me the creepy crawlies. Also, my H said he would let me know if she reached out and then... he didn't and then calls her when she texts that she's had major trauma in her life. I think my H is in waaaaaaay deeper with his AP than yours ever was with his, but I think there is still that whole fantasy other life element that is just so attractive to them somehow. It was so compelling to your H (even if not really attached directly to the EAP by the time this came around) that he took the big step of MO of your house.

Things will be hard when you get into piecing. And if he happens to be down or sitting in the discomfort of examining his own issues and shortcomings right as she reaches out, are you sure he will have the willpower to turn away? Or will he just check back in to see how she's doing, make sure she's OK, etc... and then what? I just feel like every single book on this subject says that the ONLY way to get past this is 100% cold hard NC, blocking on phones and social. You not doubting for one minute she will be back in touch... I think you have to deal with that worry decisively before you feel OK about inviting him back.

And I would also just say to listen to yourself. Remember how Alison worried she let her H come back home too early? Maybe re-read her thread and Blu's about that decision point if that is helpful. Listen to your own intuition. I'm going to guess that the anxiety about taking that step of allowing him back will never totally go away, but maybe there needs to be a bit more of a solid plan to convince you that things will be different this time, that the EAP is gone forever, that he's committed to doing the hard work before you can feel OK with taking that step? What about a single visit to an MC to help you guys sort out a plan?

You're in such good shape, Pommy. You've got this.
Originally Posted by may22
Things will be hard when you get into piecing. And if he happens to be down or sitting in the discomfort of examining his own issues and shortcomings right as she reaches out, are you sure he will have the willpower to turn away? Or will he just check back in to see how she's doing, make sure she's OK, etc... and then what? I just feel like every single book on this subject says that the ONLY way to get past this is 100% cold hard NC, blocking on phones and social. You not doubting for one minute she will be back in touch... I think you have to deal with that worry decisively before you feel OK about inviting him back
The thought of him being in contact with her is not sitting well with me at all and I do feel I need to have a further discussion on this. I would like him to block her on his phone and whatsapp although I havent yet talked about this. His view is that if she reached out he would exchange pleasantries but keep her at arms length. What does that mean? That it's ok to check in on each other and say hi when they feel like it, or to simply resopnd every time she reaches out? To me that's not OK. I dont see any reason for them to maintain contact at all if he's committed to working things out with me. He should be protecting his marriage shouldnt he, and not worrying about hurting her feelings. In my view it would better to nip it in the bud now (i.e. block her number) rather than wait for a situation to develop whereby it becomes awkward to break contact. She knows full well that she was tapping into a married man, and therefore shouldnt be in any way surprised/hurt if she cant get hold of him.

I have read through Alison's threads from about 12 months ago and I've got as far as November. There is so much good advice and so many great questions in there. I do need to read it more slowly and absorb and reflect on the content however.

At the moment, I'm confused, I'm questionning whether recon is the right thing to do, I'm still heavily clouded by the events of the last 12 months. I dont feel ready to move forward with letting him come home because of my own fear that we will slip into old ways, and my lack of trust. I do like the idea of MC/couples therapy to get us moving forwards.

I really want to feel like I've got this but truth is I dont - I feel like i did 6/9/12 months ago, where every day was filled with anxiety and uncertainty, and the R being on my mind 24/7.

Thanks for your support May x

Pommy, you bring up a really good point.

So when I was in my knowledge gathering phase in the initial months of my sitch, I found a lot of different theories about how to handle As. Some of the 'experts' said to ignore the A, and to just do things that rekindled your connection to your S. Then there was the hardline of "there can be no R while there is a third party involved." And lots of in between.

One of the experts used to repeat a lot that "the problem in the MR is not THE problem". The point being that the A was usually the symptom of deeper issues in the MR. And rather than focus on the A, you focus on the deeper issues and then A will then just go away.

I tend towards the "there can be no R with a third party involved" mindset, because otherwise the LBS trying to work on the underlying issues results in a lot of pressure and pursuit. And by time BD rolls around the time for pressure and pursuit are long passed.

I would guess that there are some folks that are successful in Ring by focusing on the underlying issues, but I think that % is probably a lot lower than the DB approach. I've often stated that if you DB perfectly after BD, from the get-go, then you have about a 50/50 chance of moving to Ring and piecing. Every mistake, setback, and poor DBing move you make lowers that %. The problem is not that DBing doesn't work, the problem is that very few LBSs DB very well.Then we get newcomers that look at all of the active sitches here and go "so few end in R!". Well that is because the people that tend to post here are the ones that tend to struggle with DBing the most.

Lots of good DBers that are able to turn their sitches around by backing off and removing all pressure and pursuit, GAL like crazy, 180ing on their poor behavior (including getting into IC!), and detaching really well usually get what they need to learn from the forum and we do not hear from them again. Kitcat is an example of this. She came here a few years ago, was able to DB her way out of her sitch, only to revert back (180s need to be PERMANENT! which is why IC is mandatory) and find herself back in the same situation.

While KC unfortunately didn't save her MR long-term, if you go look at her original threads you see that once she moved to R and piecing, she left the board. I think this happens A LOT. A few of us that moved to Ring and piecing stick around afterward, but I think we are in the vast minority.

So, DBing, including sticking to your core values, is a must if you are to have any chance at Ring and piecing. Some of the vets here hate when I start talking percentages, but I do it to highlight the importance of DB. If you DB well, you can get yourself close to a 50% chance of Ring and piecing. If you don't and apply a lot of pursuit and pressure then that % drops precipitously to less than 1%.

Note, the 50% thing is the number of sitches that can potentially get a chance at Ring and piecing. In a lot of sitches, by time that happens the LBS no longer wants it and have moved on themselves.
Hey Pommy,
I saw that you were on the other day I was wondering how things are going. Hope all is well with you and yours.
xoxoxoxo
Yes, Pommy, me too! G&T thinking of you!
Steve, thanks for your great advice. It did give me plenty to think about, and I've been musing over things the last couple of weeks. I've found it hard to come back to the boards because I have a tendency to overthink and it really is hard to focus on positivity and foregiveness when so much of what I read brings my guard right back up again and takes me back to thoughts of deception and mistrust. I'm trying to find balance somewhere between hopeful and mindful.

Wayfarer, May, thanks for checking in on me! It's been nearly 8 weeks since H asked me to take him back. Things have been progressing steadily and we have been spending more and more time together. We had a week away last week, as a family, in a cottage in the S.W - back to the land of my grandparents. It was really nice and we all enjoyed ourselves. Since we have been back, H has spent all his time here and has now notifed his rental agency that he will not renew his lease. I guess that makes us fully 'back together' again, although I have not put my rings back on - I want him to ask me to start wearing them again.

We had one big argument whilst away. In the lead up to the holiday, H had mentioned a couple of times that he wanted me to be able to go to the beauty salon regularly, spoil myself. I've never been one to have regular facials, spa trips, etc, but I'd regularly get my hair and nails done (although equally my expensive haircut would often be scraped back into a pony tail - typical busy mum style, I guess). He had also said he wanted to take me shopping to buy dresses and underwear. He had said it was really important to him - I had thought he meant that it was important to him that I put myself first and pampered myself, but the more he mentioned it, the more I started thinking that it was about how I look, etc. H said something on holiday that really riled me about women's looks. He said my reaction showed signs of the old me (someone he didnt like) and I asked if that was the old me who was never good enough for her husband? I accused him of trying to mould me into his EAP, because I'm sure she was everything I wasnt. We talked it through, he apologised if he'd upset me, but ever since then I've been carrying this feeling that I'm not enough. And I've always felt like that in our entire marriage. But I also now have realised that this is something I bring from my childhood, because nothing I ever did was good enough for my mother (and it still isnt - whilst we were away I visited the cemetary and placed some flowers on my grandparents' grave. I sent my mum a photo and she texted back to say the stems were too long and I needed to make them a bit shorter!! I didnt reply and I didnt shorten the stems. In fact, I blocked her on my phone for the rest of the week, as i was getting sick of the incessant texts telling what time high tide was, or where we should go for a day trip, how to get there, what to wear, etc. I definitely have major issues that I need to work through in regard to that relationship.)

I may have misjudged H's motives and it is something I need to talk to him about. He hasnt dared mention salons or clothes shopping since. We patched up after the argument but for the last few days I have been carrying this fear in me that I will never be the wife he wants me to be. Yet I cant fault his behaviour towards me at the moment - he is being loving, affectionate, tactile, complimentary, asks my opinion on everything, we are having regular sex, he talks about our future. He is being the H I always wanted and I'm still scared i'm not enough. Last night I had bad dreams and he held me tight and asked me to tell him what it was about. I didnt say anything. He asked again this morning but I havent told him. It was about him and EAP having secret phone calls and him lying to me about who it was on the phone. I really want to let go of these things and I dont know why I am finding it so hard to move on from the hurt, lies and deceit. I really want to be able to forgive and not throw it back in his face for evermore.

Right now, with the fact that he is 'almost' moved back home, I feel scared that we are going to go right back to where we were before he left, that nothing will have changed. I do know that we have it in our power to make sure that doesnt happen, but I dont know what needs to happen for me to shake off these feelings of insecurity. I dont know what I need from him to make me feel that I am enough - I'm trying to work that out.

All in all, however, I feel that we are in a good place right now.
Pommy try reframing what he ask you - men are attracted to woman who take care of themselves. NOW, don't jump on me as I'm not stating it always has to be physical appearance or always looking 100% on point.

What happens when Pommy does something for Pommy? Whether its your hair, nails, you snuck away and read a book for pleasure, you went on a nature walk because YOU wanted to... when Pommy puts herself first from time to time what happens? Your confidence goes WAY up - that's attractive.

Your husband is making suggestions because he wants you to feel good about yourself. AND, perhaps the fact that he wants to go with you to pick out dresses/underwear... perhaps he finds that to be a sexy activity!!! Its fun, I will say when my H would let loose and pick things out for each other :-)

Its hard to not make your mind go to the first negative but take a moment and reframe --- maybe pick up the Empowered Wife and give it a read. Its quick and you may find it helpful.

Glad things for you are swinging your direction. :-) Happy DB!
Hi Pommy,

KC has a point-- he may not be focused on your appearance, but wants you to feel beautiful and confident, and is trying to support you by encouraging you here. And maybe the shopping thing is some Pretty Woman fantasy he's been harboring all these years. You never know!!

On the thing about your mom... wow. Just, wow. The stems were too long. And I realized that reading it, if it were something dumb your H had said, I would be cracking up and thinking what a dope he was, like the other day in Alison's thread she said how her H flipped his lid because a houseplant had died, maybe many months ago. But when it is your mom that says that, I realized I was actually hurt reading that for you. It makes me sad and angry in a way that these stupid H behaviors don't. Maybe I have something there to work on too... but I just wanted to say you aren't alone, it is amazing and brave that you can see that, and I really hope you can work on detaching from the toxicity of her behavior. It sounds like you did a great thing by disconnecting during your vacation, and I'm hoping you can continue to work through those issues. Are you still in IC?

I know I'm just a random stranger on the internet but I see such a caring, smart, brave, thoughtful, giving woman in you. Your mom is putting her own issues on you and they don't belong there. And your H is incredibly lucky to have you in his life. He doesn't deserve you, not the other way around. It is sounding like he knows that, but you need to know that, in your bones.

I can't help but feel like communication is really crucial for you guys... you need to be able to tell him you're sad about the EA and the trust isn't back yet and he needs to be able to hear that and accept it. I guess, equally, at some point he needs to be able to say he feels he's being pulled back into some dynamics of M1.0 and you need to be able to hear that without bringing the EA into it, eventually.

I'm guessing that a lot of that, at least theoretically, could be managed with better communication techniques and some set aside time to talk about how you're feeling in a safe place. (I would think that MC usually holds this place for couples who are piecing, and ideally can act as a guide to help you navigate the road together, and can reassure you that it is OK you're feeling the way you do, totally natural, etc. so as to defuse some of the anxiety.) And, all this takes TIME. Trust needs to be built back up and you can't expect that it will emerge fully formed like Athena from Zeus's brow. It is probably more like a baby or a plant that gets tended and nurtured and slowly grows back, ideally stronger than before.
You are worried about falling back into the same place . He very well might fall back into those ways . You control you so therefore you do not have to fall back into anyway you do not want to .

You need nothing from him to make you feel enough . You feel enough for you and no one else .
Kitcat, May, Caligirl thank you for your replies and sorry I have not acknowledged them. I had tried not to overthink everything and when I did attempt to write a response it just triggered more negative energies in me.

So we have had a major setback in reconciliation (10 weeks in). H had been a model example of a husband for the first 7 weeks. I did recognise that we were in a bit of a honeymoon phase and was wary of that, and had kept the brakes on a bit in terms of him moving back home. This last couple of weeks Iíve felt him distancing himself again and he has admitted he has felt very down at times, but had realised continued lockdown measure played a part in his feelings of isolation. However, I had been asking for reassurances that he still wanted to work things out as the ILY had stopped and he was showing little interest in intimacy. Twice I said I needed to hear that he wanted to be in this and twice I simply got silence or Ďokí, with no follow up. I had asked him if he would go to MC and he agreed we should do that . We start next week. He has this weekend admitted that he is still struggling to see me as anything more than his best friend, and that he loves me deeply but doesnít feel any kind of sexual connection with me. To him itís been Ďjust sexí. (And he said Iím the one who has initiated it, not him, which I wouldnít say is true, but anyway). Iím so hurt by this and I feel weíve gone full circle , back to where we were 18 months ago. The same conversations, the same tears, the same confusion.

Now for more revelations about EAP. I told H that i was struggling to let go of some things and if he had lied to me about anything then every time he looked me in the eyes for the rest of his life, he would know that he is still lying to me. He said there had been no PA, no kissing, nothing more than hugs. HOWEVER, he admitted that after we separated and went into lockdown, things between him and EAP started to develop more (but this was only a long distance thing as she lives 200 miles away). He said after 3-4 weeks he put a stop to it and broke contact because it just didnít feel right, he had too much of a pull to me still, and he didnít want to be in a position of starting a relationship with her, and me believing that something had been going on all along. He now says he hasnít been in touch with her for nearly 4 months. But I am still heavily bothered by her. I asked him if he still had feelings for her and he said IDK. I honestly donít know what is going on. He says she hasnít contacted him. When he first came back he told me it was a friendship that had fizzled out; now it sounds like it was about to be a raging inferno and he pulled the plug.

All weekend H has been saying he wants to do the MC, he has told me several times that he wants to work things out, he wants to try, is committed to trying. He says breaking contact with EAP was his commitment to me. But right now, again, he still doesnít feel anything sexual towards me. He says it makes him feel so depressed that heís hurting me like this, feels there is something missing still. He says he canít control his feelings, that depression consumes you. And that he feels unhappy. But that he also loves me so deeply and canít imagine life without me. And he said when he came back he really genuinely felt that he wanted to grow old with me, and that we would be lovers again. Now he isnít sure if this is possible.

I have stood for this marriage for 18 months, Iím ready to throw in the towel, even though my heart is breaking. But with MC starting in 2 days, I guess I would be foolish to not give it a go? When I think that this is about EAP I want him to leave; when I think that he is struggling with depression and genuinely does love me, I want him to stay.

Iím so frightened of going back through the pain of breakup all over again, knowing that this time it would be forever. I just feel in despair. What is going on with him? Is it common in reconciliation to be filled with doubt? Can we ever get that connection back - we were having these same conversations 18 months ago?

I'm certain what you are going through is 100% normal. I've about a lot of false starts in recon... picture it as you are dipping your toe in the shallow end of the pool and not jumping all in in the deep end.

Try reading The Love Path.

Also you need to be building more positive interactions that create more bonding and intimacy rather than rehashing the same old same old.

How are you with date nights?

Can you plan something you've never done before??? Go to one if those bars where you throw axes, indoor rock climbing, etc.

Recon will only work if you truly forgive your partner. So for now work on building intimacy and let the affair stuff ride a bit... it will be easier for both of you to discuss the A once you've established more intimacy.

Pull backs would be normal if he is dealing with guilt and shame and those are posing as your road blocks. Perhaps he feels the pressure of you needing all these answers from him when he may just not have them right now.

Ultimately it's up to you... do you invest further because you believe in a stronger M bond and future or are you exhausted and over it???? Again, this is your timeline so take all the time you need.
Pommy, I have some thoughts that hit me as I read your post. In no particular order:

Has H been to his GP lately? I know that the NHS takes a different approach to tests than we do here in the US, but I wonder if he is truly clinically depressed and could use some ADs? And/or has low hormone levels? Something feels off and it doesn't necessarily feel like it all has to do with your R. I would believe the storyline that this is depression, not EAP. Until proven otherwise.

Relatedly, is he open to IC? Or will your MC work with both of you individually as well as together (as it relates to your M) so he can get comfortable speaking to a therapist one-on-one and may find that it really isn't as 'scary' as one thinks it is? Sounds like he has some work to do on himself. But MC is a great first step.

Please don't internalize everything that is happening with your R right now as a reflection of something you have or haven't done in this reconciliation process. I think that is an exercise in futility and will only make you feel worse.

Your H came back when you truly dropped the rope. What if you figuratively dropped the rope again? For your own self-worth and protection it might be helpful to pull back far enough so that you are able to collect yourself and act versus reacting to everything H says and does. I am not suggesting that anything changes in your interactions with H, or that he even knows you have dropped the rope, it is really for you, not him.

And like you tell me all the time, you don't have to make a decision about the R today. Try the MC for a few sessions and see if anything enlightening comes of it.

And finally, what can you do today or this week to take care of yourself? Is there a small pleasure you can grant yourself (a glass of wine in the garden, a walk in the countryside, a new book) everyday this week? Sometimes all it takes for me is getting dressed, brushing my hair and putting on my cool sunglasses for a trip to the grocery store (as opposed to shopping on my way home from a run in my exercise clothes). Whatever floats your boat right now, do it.

YOU WILL BE OK.

(((Pommy)))
Hi Pommy,

I am so sorry you are on such a roller coaster. I would agree it would be worth it for him to see his GP and rule out if he needs support that way.

I know you must be exhausted emotionally, physically, mentally, and Iím so sorry. I hope you can find an activity that is just for you that can recharge your batteries. I hope you can take care of you. (((Hugs))))
Originally Posted by KitCat
I'm certain what you are going through is 100% normal. I've about a lot of false starts in recon... picture it as you are dipping your toe in the shallow end of the pool and not jumping all in in the deep end.

Try reading The Love Path.

Also you need to be building more positive interactions that create more bonding and intimacy rather than rehashing the same old same old.

How are you with date nights?

Can you plan something you've never done before??? Go to one if those bars where you throw axes, indoor rock climbing, etc.

Recon will only work if you truly forgive your partner. So for now work on building intimacy and let the affair stuff ride a bit... it will be easier for both of you to discuss the A once you've established more intimacy.

Pull backs would be normal if he is dealing with guilt and shame and those are posing as your road blocks. Perhaps he feels the pressure of you needing all these answers from him when he may just not have them right now.

Ultimately it's up to you... do you invest further because you believe in a stronger M bond and future or are you exhausted and over it???? Again, this is your timeline so take all the time you need.

Hi KC, I feel like we are back in limbo. We already did 12 months of limbo where he saw me as his best friend but not lover. We are back where we started. I know there is guilt and shame, but the Ďbest friendí thing goes right back to the beginning. He left, but he couldnít let me go, he came back saying he realised what was important to him (I.e. me and our marriage and family, and not his quest for passionate love). Now he is saying he feels empty and lonely and will not be intimate with me (I have gently tried and been knocked back this last week). When he first came back it was every other day - thatís not me holding a gun to his head. I donít know how to establish more intimacy. We do stuff together, go out for dinner, walks, weíve been working on the garden together. We sleep all night touching in some way (holding hands, arm round me etc). I just donít understand what is going on that he loves me so deeply (his words) but is still missing something in his life. Today he has said he canít imagine leaving me, and feels hopeful, but at other times feels hopeless about our R.
Originally Posted by Sage4
Pommy, I have some thoughts that hit me as I read your post. In no particular order:

Has H been to his GP lately? I know that the NHS takes a different approach to tests than we do here in the US, but I wonder if he is truly clinically depressed and could use some ADs? And/or has low hormone levels? Something feels off and it doesn't necessarily feel like it all has to do with your R. I would believe the storyline that this is depression, not EAP. Until proven otherwise.
he has been on ADs for about last 3 years. He says he went on them because of the state of our R. 15 months ago he started to reduce his dose and essentially halved the dose over a few months, to what was basically minimum prescribed level, and stayed on that for the next year. Since he came back he said he wanted to get off the ADs completely, so over the last few weeks has halved his dose again, because at the same time he was on some other medicines for a neck injury, which were ADs but also used to treat neuro pain. So he cut his dose on his regular meds and has now been off the really nasty ones for the neuro pain for about a month. He doesnít want to go back on more ADs but says feels really depressed one day and happy the next. But this issue about only seeing me as his best friend and not sexually attracted has been irrespective of how many meds heís been on!
Quote

Relatedly, is he open to IC? Or will your MC work with both of you individually as well as together (as it relates to your M) so he can get comfortable speaking to a therapist one-on-one and may find that it really isn't as 'scary' as one thinks it is? Sounds like he has some work to do on himself. But MC is a great first step.
he did have some IC but stopped - I donít think he found the IC particularly great. Iím hoping this new MC might be an option for IC. He is also a psychosexual therapist which maybe will help H...I donít know.

I will try and GAL more this week. I have been exercising every day, I am currently drinking wine in the garden. I am in no way detached, and I donít know how dropping the rope will work, but I will give it some thought. I donít feel I can try and build intimacy and drop the rope at the same time, even though I may need to protect myself emotionally.

He is all over the place again. Today heís said he canít imagine leaving me, that he wants to try, but then this morning he was saying he didnít know if he should give MC a try or not, and the conversation had very much been about his confusion in wanting to be in the marriage and what is missing.

Thanks for your support Sage x
Originally Posted by Oceangl
Hi Pommy,

I am so sorry you are on such a roller coaster. I would agree it would be worth it for him to see his GP and rule out if he needs support that way.

I know you must be exhausted emotionally, physically, mentally, and Iím so sorry. I hope you can find an activity that is just for you that can recharge your batteries. I hope you can take care of you. (((Hugs))))

{{{OG}}}!!!! Itís so good to hear from you. I hope you are well? Yes I am exhausted and terrified of the pain of another separation. How hard does this have to be!!
Hi Pommy,

UGH. I'm so sorry. This back and forth is ridiculous and unfair and I think if you want to throw the towel in you are 100% OK to do so.

A few thoughts if not...

I think it could take a long time for him to "rediscover" those in-love feelings, particularly if emotionally it got a little hot and heavy and maybe even scary for him during your S with the AP. I think it is normal to take some time. I also think that possibly the regular sex when you got back together could be part of the so-called 'hysterical bonding' thing and doesn't mean it will last-- think that comes and goes and then eventually you guys will need to re-establish the long-term emotional/physical intimacy. This also happened with my H where we had a lot of sex during the recommitting time and then fairly regularly in the spring, and then he said later it didn't feel like the staring into each others eyes ML that he was looking for (and presumably that he'd had with AP). In your case if it didn't get physical the imagination could be even harder to deal with for him than the real thing. Esther Perel talks about the stolen glances, little touches being more erotic than actual sex when it is forbidden, etc... so that could be part of it. He is imagining this head over heels fantasy that no spouse could ever fulfill. He has to get past that.

I imagine this is going to be two steps forward, one step back for a long long time. My guess is that he's getting scared, feels like he is trying and it isn't happening and OMG DOES THIS MEAN HE WON'T EVER FEEL LIKE THAT AGAIN WHAT SHOULD HE DO!??!? he has got to chill and realize this is a marathon, not a sprint. (just like we do also.) I wonder if going off his ADs completely also might have something to do with it.

As you know my H made a similar decision to stay and then three months in freaked out and reached back out to AP. I think my situation has some real differences, since AP was reaching out to him too, she is unmarried and thought he was going to leave me for her, etc etc., they had had a long PA and he has a huge amount of guilt etc. that he felt like he didn't really need to face if he left me that now he gets to deal with. And my H got scared that the in love feelings didn't come back in the three months of "trying". (never mind that he was still tracking her on find my friends and as far as I can tell made no significant effort to get her out of his head.) My guess is this is going to take a lot longer than three months and your H has got to be able to hang in there for the long term and stop freaking himself out if those feelings don't just pop back up in a couple of months.

All that being said.... can you look at this as his problem, not yours? That he is the one who is having issues, not you, and he will either address them or not? I wonder if you could detach that way-- seeing this as his problem, not yours-- you are an incredible and desirable woman, he is very lucky to have you, and if he can't figure that out-- feels like that is his problem, not yours.

HUGS, Pommy. Glad you are sitting in your garden with a glass of wine. I think you can't go wrong if you continue to focus on yourself and do your very best to not let his problems affect you. Of course they do as he is your H and the father of your children, but remember... you can decide whether or not you want him. YOU are in charge here. xoxo
Originally Posted by may22

I think it could take a long time for him to "rediscover" those in-love feelings, particularly if emotionally it got a little hot and heavy and maybe even scary for him during your S with the AP. I think it is normal to take some time. I also think that possibly the regular sex when you got back together could be part of the so-called 'hysterical bonding' thing and doesn't mean it will last-- think that comes and goes and then eventually you guys will need to re-establish the long-term emotional/physical intimacy. This also happened with my H where we had a lot of sex during the recommitting time and then fairly regularly in the spring, and then he said later it didn't feel like the staring into each others eyes ML that he was looking for (and presumably that he'd had with AP). In your case if it didn't get physical the imagination could be even harder to deal with for him than the real thing. Esther Perel talks about the stolen glances, little touches being more erotic than actual sex when it is forbidden, etc... so that could be part of it. He is imagining this head over heels fantasy that no spouse could ever fulfill. He has to get past that.
We spoke about EAP this morning. He is definitely not over her. She fulfilled something deeply emotional it seems - he made reference to the fact that even though it wasnt sexual, it was still a connection. I said I totally get that, and also acknowledge that often a EA is much more dificult to get over than a PA, and his had been going on for over a year, and he agreed that it is because of the lenght of the "friendship" it was hard and he felt guilty about hurting her. Unfortunately I did lash out a little and snapped that she has her own husband and her own marriage, perhaps she should be focusing on that anyway. In his favour however, he said his loyalty to me was far stronger than his loyalty to her, and that's why he broke contact, and why he wanted to come back.

Originally Posted by may22

I imagine this is going to be two steps forward, one step back for a long long time. My guess is that he's getting scared, feels like he is trying and it isn't happening and OMG DOES THIS MEAN HE WON'T EVER FEEL LIKE THAT AGAIN WHAT SHOULD HE DO!??!? he has got to chill and realize this is a marathon, not a sprint. (just like we do also.) I wonder if going off his ADs completely also might have something to do with it.
It is ALL about the missing sexual connection, but not just that, he said missing emotional connection - he doesnt feel emotional about having sex with me and he doesnt understand if that is normal or not, and he is hoping therapy can help him here. I did try and explain what I know and that recovering from an A of any kind you will have had feelings for your AP that you probably hadn't felt for your spouse for a long time, and it will take time to rediscover those feelings. That you may have experienced excitement, limerance, lust, etc and after 18 years with me probably wouldnt go through those same feelings. (That said, I do feel deeply emotional about sex with him, whereas he says he feels empty of emotion. He can lie in bed with me and feel this huge affection, but nothing more.)

Originally Posted by may22
As you know my H made a similar decision to stay and then three months in freaked out and reached back out to AP. I think my situation has some real differences, since AP was reaching out to him too, she is unmarried and thought he was going to leave me for her, etc etc., they had had a long PA and he has a huge amount of guilt etc. that he felt like he didn't really need to face if he left me that now he gets to deal with. And my H got scared that the in love feelings didn't come back in the three months of "trying". (never mind that he was still tracking her on find my friends and as far as I can tell made no significant effort to get her out of his head.) My guess is this is going to take a lot longer than three months and your H has got to be able to hang in there for the long term and stop freaking himself out if those feelings don't just pop back up in a couple of months.
I mentioned marathon not a sprint, that it might be two steps forward, one step back, that we might have times when we doubt and get scared, or feel hopeless. EAP is married but no kids. I'm sure I would feel more reassured that she wouldnt leave her H for mine if she had a family of her own. And I'm not actually sure H would have gone down that road with someone who had kids. I think part of the attraction for him is her ability to live a fun-filled life, rather than having motherly duties every evening/weekend. I have explained to him that although he has gone NC, by not blocking her on every channel, he is not protecting himself or the M if she reaches out. He already told me he couldnt ignore her if she reached out, and said he'd be polite but not encourage further contact. I said what if she says "hey I've missed you" or "hey, me and H have split up" - you'll be in a complete tailspin. I said I also dont want a repeat of the taxi saga (we were in a taxi on our way to the airport at Xmas for a weekend away together when she started sending texts to him at 7am asking why he hadnt contacted her, and how hurt she was. He tried to hide his phone from me - I yelled at the taxi driver to turn round and take me home! He reluctantly showed me the text, he didnt reply to it, but then the texts kept coming in. It really upset me, and in hindsight I wish I hadnt got on the plane with him.) So he has said he will block her. I havent pushed this further but will perhaps raise it with the MC tomorrow. I know that it wont stop him contacting her if he really wants to, but it might stop contact from the other direction. He went out this morning for an hour and I could see he was on Whatsapp when he had actually told me he was in the car on the way back. I basically accused him of contacting her. I felt so paranoid, I was shaking at the time. He explained he was stopped in a traffic jam...

I said to him if he is in touch with her, he is free to leave and that I'm not going to be part of any love triangle. He just OK, understood. We talked about the MC - I asked if he was going into this with a commitment to try and rebuild or that he didnt know still what he wanted. He said he wants to be committed to rebuilding but sometimes doesnt know if it's possible.

I'm so far off detachment and DBing. I cant keep my mouth shut, and keep asking questions and raising stuff about EAP, showing him I dont trust hm etc. All it's doing is making him feel more guilt about how much he's hurting me.
Pommy,

I am really sorry you are having a setback.

If I remember your story correctly your sitch changed when your H thought you were interested in another guy? Then you moved him back in quickly and jumped right back into a relationship.

I post on here often the reconciliation musts in my opinion.

If you engage in a relationship with him again it should only be under the conditions that:

1) He sees you as someone of extremely high value
2) He views a relationship with you as something much better than a life with someone else or a life alone
3) He's willing to work to win you

Without those three things, he's going to walk again down the line, because he really doesn't have the motivation to work with you to change anything, your relationship will keep seeking the same equilibrium it has had because of how your personalities and issues come together.

Once the threat of the OM is gone he no longer has to work for you. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better and that sometimes means a lengthy separation.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
However, I had been asking for reassurances that he still wanted to work things out as the ILY had stopped and he was showing little interest in intimacy.

This is a lot of pressure.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Twice I said I needed to hear that he wanted to be in this and twice I simply got silence or ‘ok’, with no follow up.

Again, a lot of pressure.

He thought he may lose you and he was attracted to you again. Now he knows he has you and there is no fear in losing you. The person who cares the least is the one in control of the relationship.

Reconciliation requires a level playing field, an even starting line. BOTH of you need to be willing to walk and to believe the other one will leave. That makes you something worth having.

Again, I am really sorry you are going through this again.
Originally Posted by LH19
Pommy,

I am really sorry you are having a setback.

If I remember your story correctly your sitch changed when your H thought you were interested in another guy? Then you moved him back in quickly and jumped right back into a relationship.

I post on here often the reconciliation musts in my opinion.

If you engage in a relationship with him again it should only be under the conditions that:

1) He sees you as someone of extremely high value
2) He views a relationship with you as something much better than a life with someone else or a life alone
3) He's willing to work to win you

Without those three things, he's going to walk again down the line, because he really doesn't have the motivation to work with you to change anything, your relationship will keep seeking the same equilibrium it has had because of how your personalities and issues come together.

Once the threat of the OM is gone he no longer has to work for you. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better and that sometimes means a lengthy separation.

LH, thanks for your reply. I thought I had been taking things reasonably slowly but perhaps this has all moved too fast, he's got me where he wants me. He had asked early on in the recon if he could come away with me and the children to a holiday cottage that I had booked. It was 6 weeks away and I said "let's work towards that and see where we are". He did end up coming with us, because I thought it would be good for all of us to spend time as a family. He mentioned several times in the early weeks about moving back home, but I kept the brakes on, I told him I needed to feel that he was really into me, that this time it was for keeps. He was staying at home regularly but hadnt moved back. After about 8 weeks we agreed that he would tell his rental agency that he wasnt going to renew his lease in mid Sept. He is staying here full time and has moved a lot of his stuff back, but he still has the rental for another month, and as yet, it hasnt been re-let. I honestly dont know whether to ask him to leave and go back to his rental, or to have him at home while we see what MC has to offer. He is being incredibly affectionate, I've had more ILYs in 72 hours than I probably had in the last 2 months. He has said so many times he wants to try, and that before (i.e. last year) he didnt want MC but now he does. This is all so positive, and yet all I can see is last year on repeat, where he is asking for more time. He asked this in August (and November, and January). And all that got me last time was a heap of lies and deceit while he carried on his cake-eating and EA, and ultimately he walked 7 months later.

I dont know if I can give him more time. I do actually feel more in control than I realsied and I feel that I could cope if I asked him to leave now, whereas if I leave everything in his hands again, I'm going to be a complete mess the longer this limbo goes on. I realise now that if he is in contact with EAP I will kick him out in a heartbeat. No excuses this time.

Quote
He thought he may lose you and he was attracted to you again. Now he knows he has you and there is no fear in losing you. The person who cares the least is the one in control of the relationship.

Reconciliation requires a level playing field, an even starting line. BOTH of you need to be willing to walk and to believe the other one will leave. That makes you something worth having.

This is why I'm wondering if asking him to go back to his rental is a good idea - that he can see I'm not prepared to operate under these terms any more, and if he cant be a proper husband I dont want him here. On the other hand, he seems willing to cooperate and try and fix the problems. inwhich case, should we be doing this under the same roof? i think I will see what comes out of today's MC and if that makes things any clearer.
So, first session of MC done. It wasnít a great experience, but I expected that the first one would be to pull out all the negative history of the SSM, EAP, and generally how we feel about each other. When I booked the MC appt it was supposed to have been along the lines of two people wanting to stay married and learn how to be of value to each other, forgiving, healing and looking forwards. Now it is clearly about H and his issues of not knowing how he feels about EAP, not having any desires for me (but we did get to hear about how he found EAP sexually attractive), but that he loves me in other ways. The MC seems very good and sees us focussing on H and his understanding of himself, H and what the EA means to him, and how we deal with the physical side of our relationship.

H is still craving those ďin love ď feelings and deep physical desires . We had a talk after the session. I mentioned that I wasnít sure if we should separate again. He said he didnít see that in his plan, whereas I just feel that he will get to cake-eat for a few more months until he can decide whether he wants me, her or someone else. I said I donít want to be in this triangle any more. He doesnít see it that way. Iíve said that right now I donít know what I want to happen, whether I even want to go down this road of more limbo, more pain, living with half a husband. He says he doesnít want it to be that way, that he wants to be a proper husband, that he is committed to trying to making it work.

I get that he may not be over EAP, but I want to hear that in his mind sheís in the rear view mirror for good. Is that reasonable or not at this stage?

Iím confused right now.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He mentioned several times in the early weeks about moving back home, but I kept the brakes on, I told him I needed to feel that he was really into me, that this time it was for keeps.

Ok. So I am assuming this happened. What do you think changed?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I honestly dont know whether to ask him to leave and go back to his rental, or to have him at home while we see what MC has to offer.

You have time to decide.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He is being incredibly affectionate, I've had more ILYs in 72 hours than I probably had in the last 2 months. He has said so many times he wants to try, and that before (i.e. last year) he didnt want MC but now he does.
Hmmmmmmm.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
This is all so positive, and yet all I can see is last year on repeat, where he is asking for more time. He asked this in August (and November, and January). And all that got me last time was a heap of lies and deceit while he carried on his cake-eating and EA, and ultimately he walked 7 months later.

I think your gut is telling you something.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I do actually feel more in control than I realsied and I feel that I could cope if I asked him to leave now, whereas if I leave everything in his hands again, I'm going to be a complete mess the longer this limbo goes on.

This sentence seems like you are contradicting yourself.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I realise now that if he is in contact with EAP I will kick him out in a heartbeat. No excuses this time.

Good!
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I think I will see what comes out of today's MC and if that makes things any clearer.

I agree. See if he's there to put in the work or he's there to check boxes.

Good luck!
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He mentioned several times in the early weeks about moving back home, but I kept the brakes on, I told him I needed to feel that he was really into me, that this time it was for keeps.

Ok. So I am assuming this happened. What do you think changed?
I dont know. He says when he's not with me he misses me terribly and has this deep need for me, that I'm his rock, best friend, I offer him safety and that I'll never hurt him. He knew in his head what he wanted to feel but there is this big fiery passion missing for him, feelings of intense desire. Married 18 years - he's not sure what he's supposed to feel. Nor am I to be honest. We've had a very open conversation today however, and it felt good to get some of this stuff on the table. Maybe this is progress. He's telling me so much how much he loves me and will not give up without trying to fix this problem.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I honestly dont know whether to ask him to leave and go back to his rental, or to have him at home while we see what MC has to offer.

You have time to decide.
I talked to him about this yesterday. He was upset that I might want him to leave, whereas he really wants us to try. He seems as frightened of S/D as I am. This situation seems so bizarre. He cried yesterday and again today. He is feeling a mess and very depressed.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
This is all so positive, and yet all I can see is last year on repeat, where he is asking for more time. He asked this in August (and November, and January). And all that got me last time was a heap of lies and deceit while he carried on his cake-eating and EA, and ultimately he walked 7 months later.

I think your gut is telling you something.
I'm still not sure how I feel on this - I'm wavering on this - one minute I dont think it's anything to do with EAP, the next I'm paranoid
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I do actually feel more in control than I realsied and I feel that I could cope if I asked him to leave now, whereas if I leave everything in his hands again, I'm going to be a complete mess the longer this limbo goes on.

This sentence seems like you are contradicting yourself.
Hmmm, I think I'm confused! I think I mean that right now I'm probably a little more detached and if he left again it wouldnt hurt as much as it will if I make myself fully vulnerable to him in order to repair the M. My wounds will be raw again.

I feel a little more positive, we are being very tactile with each other, we're talking openly and honestly and he is showing a lot of emotions and sharing his feelings with me. I'm still scared though, I'm on my own rollercoaster of fear, hope, rational thinking, irrational thinking, feeling hopeless and helpless, feeling positive and upbeat. Time to go and ride my bike for a couple of hours in the sunshine and forgot my worries smile
P99,

So if he is being honest with you I am hopeful that it will work out. My MC once told me she had a 100% success rate when two people were working towards a better marriage.
Hi Pommy! How are things going? One question I had-- in the MC session, did you guys talk about EAP being in the rearview mirror for good and how he was going to do that?

Also, thinking about how to balance what your needs are during this time and his-- when you said that the MC session was all about him and his feelings it totally brought me back to our MC/DC sessions which were exactly that, all about H's FEELINGS and not wanting to fake it and blah blah blah, with to the extent anything was about me, was MC validating me being upset about this but also me just needing to be okay with where H was at the time. I feel like I pushed down everything I was feeling in order to have some level of detachment or pretend detachment or whatever it was. Are you still in IC? if not, wondering if a session or two of focusing 100% on what YOU need and want outside of the context of MC could be helpful.

Hoping you got some sunshine and your roller coaster is slowing down! I know exactly how you feel. x M
Originally Posted by may22
Hi Pommy! How are things going? One question I had-- in the MC session, did you guys talk about EAP being in the rearview mirror for good and how he was going to do that?
May, we had MC this morning. H has said this week and again this morning that she is gone, that he has no intention of being in touch and the thought of the deceit and lies makes him feel physically sick. He reiterated this in the session today. He said I didn't deserve to have been lied to, and it makes him feel sick and he would not go back down that road again. He finally gets it that I don't trust him and a couple of times has said that he knows he hasn't earned my trust but please believe him that there is no-one else involved. He took a phone call in the garden the other day while I was working upstairs with the window open, and then quickly moved to the front driveway out of earshot. This sent me into a bit of a spiral - a secret phone call in the garden was how I discovered the EA. He realized afterwards how it had looked and came up to show me his phone and who he had been talking to. It was a good friend of his whom he was confiding in and he explained that sometimes he will want privacy. I said that was fine - privacy and secrecy are different things. Little by little I am believing him that he is not in touch with her. At the back of my mind, however, is your H and the AP reaching out 4 months into NC.

The last few days has been up and down - H has been distant, which makes me distant, and then we feed off each other's negative energies. I said to him that I was finding the uncertainty difficult. His response is that he cant make any promises but he wants to try. That doesn't make me feel so great as it seems very non-committal. I raised this in MC, and said that when two people get married it's not a case of 'I cant promise we'll stay together but I'll try'. When you take your marriage vows you make a commitment to each other with the intention of staying together. Am I wrong? Am I asking for too much too soon? Is it just semantics? H said in the session that he is committed, but he can't control his feelings, and therefore there is no guarantee that this is going to work out. He said last night that he doesn't want S/D any more than I do, that when he left he realised that he didn't want S/D. When I type all this, it seems clear that H wants to try, I just need to settle myself and stop thinking that he's about to leave again. We're still not wearing our wedding rings. I mentioned this to H two weeks ago and he said that he wanted us to be able to put them back on together, I guess that moment still doesn't feel right for him. I know there will be a right time to do this.

We talked a lot about intimacy and what is missing. MC wants us to go back to basics now of non-sexual contact and just 'being' together, naked, etc, just talking, touching (non-sexual), spending time with the other person, no other distractions or expectations. I think this is good because I keep saying to H that although we spend time together, we aren't bonding beyond the best friend thing. There's no middle ground between being best friends and having (or avoiding) sex. In the midst of all this H blurted out that getting intimate with me invokes feelings of the old me (controlling, undermining) and he was alluding to feeling some kind of blocker from the past related to my controlling behavior and withholding intimacy from him, which makes him shut down emotionally when we're intimate. He got upset at this point. MC asked if he saw the old me when we are trying to get close and H said yes. That was near the end of the session but MC recognizes that the past is still an issue that we need to work on. It somehow ties in to my mum and her toxic influence in our marriage - H raised this, and spoke about how much he loathes her, and how she used to make him feel. I fully support him in what he said. I cant defend her in anyway. I have a lot to answer for on this subject also.

After the session H and I had a long, long hug and he said he felt really positive. I do feel positive, I need to keep reminding myself that he doesn't want S/D either. I need to believe that feelings can be switched on just as they have been switched off. I need to not overthink and just live in the moment. And I need patience...please send me some of your patience!!! smile
PM99,

You are in a great position right now that just about everyone on the board would love to be in where I truly believe your husband wants to start a marriage 2.0. I will give you some feedback.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
The last few days has been up and down - H has been distant, which makes me distant, and then we feed off each other's negative energies. I said to him that I was finding the uncertainty difficult.

This sounds like fear to me PM99 which leads to pressure which leads to control. What are you afraid of because what you fear you attract. Does that make sense?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
His response is that he cant make any promises but he wants to try.

He's being open and honest with you.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
That doesn't make me feel so great as it seems very non-committal.

This sounds like fear to me PM99 which leads to pressure which leads to control. What are you afraid of because what you fear you attract. Does that make sense?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I raised this in MC, and said that when two people get married it's not a case of 'I cant promise we'll stay together but I'll try'. When you take your marriage vows you make a commitment to each other with the intention of staying together. Am I wrong? Am I asking for too much too soon?

You are not wrong but what if his feelings don't comeback and he says "I don't love you the way a man should love a woman and you deserve someone who does but since I made this statement (vow) xx many years ago I will stick it out" Does that work for you?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
H said in the session that he is committed, but he can't control his feelings, and therefore there is no guarantee that this is going to work out.

He's being open and honest with you.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He said last night that he doesn't want S/D any more than I do, that when he left he realised that he didn't want S/D. When I type all this, it seems clear that H wants to try, I just need to settle myself and stop thinking that he's about to leave again.

What you fear you will attract and what you look at will disappear.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
We're still not wearing our wedding rings. I mentioned this to H two weeks ago and he said that he wanted us to be able to put them back on together, I guess that moment still doesn't feel right for him. I know there will be a right time to do this.

This sounds like fear to me PM99 which leads to pressure which leads to control. What are you afraid of because what you fear you attract. Does that make sense?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I think this is good because I keep saying to H that although we spend time together, we aren't bonding beyond the best friend thing.

Sounds like you are trying to control the situation
Originally Posted by Pommy99
There's no middle ground between being best friends and having (or avoiding) sex. In the midst of all this H blurted out that getting intimate with me invokes feelings of the old me (controlling, undermining) and he was alluding to feeling some kind of blocker from the past related to my controlling behavior and withholding intimacy from him, which makes him shut down emotionally when we're intimate.

He's being open and honest with you.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He got upset at this point.

Pressure
Originally Posted by Pommy99
MC asked if he saw the old me when we are trying to get close and H said yes.

He's being open and honest with you.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
After the session H and I had a long, long hug and he said he felt really positive.

So what are you afraid of PM99?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I do feel positive, I need to keep reminding myself that he doesn't want S/D either. I need to believe that feelings can be switched on just as they have been switched off. I need to not overthink and just live in the moment. And I need patience...please send me some of your patience!!! smile

I agree!

I think the problem you are having PM99 is that you are still holding on too tight. You should be looking at this as an opportunity to start something new with H. If his feelings come back then great you have a marriage 2.0. If they do not you part amicably knowing you tried everything to make it work and truly mean it.

If you continue to operate from fear that you are not enough he most likely will have no choice but to believe you.

Good luck!
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I said to him that I was finding the uncertainty difficult. His response is that he cant make any promises but he wants to try. That doesn't make me feel so great as it seems very non-committal. I raised this in MC, and said that when two people get married it's not a case of 'I cant promise we'll stay together but I'll try'. When you take your marriage vows you make a commitment to each other with the intention of staying together. Am I wrong? Am I asking for too much too soon? Is it just semantics? H said in the session that he is committed, but he can't control his feelings, and therefore there is no guarantee that this is going to work out.

Hi Pommy,

This resonates so much with me. My H has said these EXACT same words, both in round one and now. (Honestly. It blows my mind how there is a playbook for all of this and it feels like they're getting their lines from it.) And, I have had the exact same reaction as you... it doesn't feel like enough. We have had many talks both in MC and out about this issue. I'll share some thoughts for you to leave or take:

-- first, it was such a weird experience to read what your H is saying and thinking yes! mine says the same thing! I think the same thing! And then to read LH's response to say "he is being open and honest with you"... that really took me aback and made me think. Just a reflection. I think LH is right. It is way better for him to say this to you than for him to think it but verbally say "I am in for good"... it is probably hard for him to say this because he knows what you want to hear and this isn't exactly it.

-- My H has also been on the marriage vow thing-- he feels like the second we took those vows I started taking him/our R for granted. Which has some truth to it (really more once we had kids though, not once we got M). I do think that M is for better or worse and when you make those vows you're committing to the long run through the BS. You don't get to run when it gets hard. But maybe... and I'm talking to myself on this too... when you are starting M 2.0, you have to take as a starting point that M 1.0 is over. Gone. Forever. And you're working on seeing if you can build an M2.0 that is worthwhile. So you probably aren't at a place yet where you can both definitively say yes, I'm in M2.0 for the long haul. You are still dating.

-- I think intentions are important and it is good that your H is being explicit that his intention is to make M2.0 work. I prefer to be optimistic about all this and feel that you can do whatever you really set your mind to, so if his intention is to rebuild a full and passionate M with you, he will. It will take time and all that but you'll get there. That being said, it is also true what LH said about what happens if the feelings don't come back (my H has said all this too)-- that you deserve a H who can love you passionately and you don't want him to stick around just because he made those vows xx years ago. My feeling on this is, cross that bridge when you come to it. Right now, you don't know if his feelings will come back or not. You don't know what M2.0 is going to look like but you have the opportunity to think it out and build it together. These things don't happen overnight and try not to get ahead of yourself (I'm telling myself this too). One step at a time. Your H is there. He is trying. He has cut it off with EAP. He is being open and honest with you about his feelings and his intentions and his fears. That is all really positive. Take it for what it is and try to focus on the now for yourself as well.

-- I think there are a lot of positives in your sitch as compared to mine so I wouldn't take my H's behavior too much into account... my H was in WAAAAY deeper with his AP than yours, he'd built out this entire fantasy life with her, and I think the pull of that (plus her explicit outreach) is a lot harder to overcome than what your H is dealing with. Your H actually left and knows what that is like and doesn't want to go back to it. The things your H is saying about feeling physically ill of the thought of the betrayal against you is big, I think. I don't think my H is ready to even wrap his head around that part yet.

-- re the emotional intimacy blocking and your H's reaction-- I think what your MC is prescribing is the standard, build it back up with non-sexual touching, etc-- but I'm also wondering if there are 180s you can think about that would start a whole new paradigm for you guys when you get there. Are there things you can open up to him emotionally about that don't involve your M or his behavior? Have you opened up to him about how you feel about your mom? Feeling like you're on the same team is important and maybe this is an area where you can really validate if it has been a problem in the past. I have some similar but much less severe issues with my mom and between my mom and my H. I used to get really defensive of her, though, and didn't want to say anything negative about her to my H because I worried it would further exacerbate the situation between them. But more recently I've been open with my H when my mom has frustrated me and how it makes me feel and instead of jumping on the bandwagon, he's validated and been super nice about it and I've felt a lot closer to him after rather than more distant as in the past. I'm just wondering if there are other ways you can work on your emotional closeness/ vulnerability without getting into an R talk every time.

-- re the rings... we decided to put our rings back on for this trip and TBH I am really, really glad we did. My H takes his off all the time for surfing, yoga, etc and so he has a lot of opportunities to choose to put it back on again or not. A couple of weeks into the renewed limbo he didn't put it back on after surfing one day, and I took mine off to go to the beach and chose not to put them back on either. The night before the trip we talked-- I asked if we were going to wear our rings for the trip, he said it was up to me, I thought about it (I had been thinking I wanted it to be symbolic when we put our rings back on)... and then said, yes, let's do it. And whether it means the same thing to him that it does to me, seeing it on his finger really does help me chill out when I'm getting anxious or upset. It is a symbol of his intention to work on our M, even if it isn't a symbol right now of our undying love and commitment to each other. So maybe putting your rings back on doesn't need to be a big meaningful thing, right now, but could help you guys both remember that you're in this together? IDK, I know it is different because your H did actually leave. Just sharing from my perspective on this.

Hang in there, Pommy. I could use more patience too. Deep breaths. I think it was Unchien who long, long ago mentioned the Frozen 2 song "do the next right thing" and I've been thinking on it. We watched the making of documentary and Kirsten Bell talks about her depression and this song being really meaningful to her-- when she was really depressed would just think OK. Need to get out of bed. Check. Now get the kids up. Check. And so forth... so I've been thinking on this too. What is the next right thing? No need to plan out and know everything. Just the next right thing. xoxo M
Originally Posted by LH19
PM99,

You are in a great position right now that just about everyone on the board would love to be in where I truly believe your husband wants to start a marriage 2.0. I will give you some feedback.
With your worldy knowledge and experience, I truly want to believe that is what you see from the outside....thank you, it makes me feel a lot better smile

Originally Posted by LH
Originally Posted by Pommy99
The last few days has been up and down - H has been distant, which makes me distant, and then we feed off each other's negative energies. I said to him that I was finding the uncertainty difficult.

This sounds like fear to me PM99 which leads to pressure which leads to control. What are you afraid of because what you fear you attract. Does that make sense?

Yes, I am still operating from a place of fear...fear that he wishes he had never come back, fear that he wants to leave but cant because of the devastation it will cause, fear that MC will not fix this, fear that he is just ticking boxes. I guess I could find 100 reasons why his behaviours might not be genuine. I think I need to let go of that don't I, and focus on the fact he might actually want M v2.0. Sometimes I feel like I have lived with this situation for so long (18 months), I don't even know what it feels like to feel 'normal' anymore. It's like I don't know how to sit back and relax and just 'be'.

Originally Posted by LH
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I raised this in MC, and said that when two people get married it's not a case of 'I cant promise we'll stay together but I'll try'. When you take your marriage vows you make a commitment to each other with the intention of staying together. Am I wrong? Am I asking for too much too soon?

You are not wrong but what if his feelings don't comeback and he says "I don't love you the way a man should love a woman and you deserve someone who does but since I made this statement (vow) xx many years ago I will stick it out" Does that work for you?

I know you are right LH, I know I need to accept that he is simply being honest. He also said he was being honest when he wanted to come back and said he loved me, was in love with me, wanted us to grow old together, could see us being an intimate couple again. This "I cant promise anything" is new and makes everything feel so fragile. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I've read other recon and piecing threads, and I am trying to be mindful that we are still on different timelines, that we will both go forward and backwards, both have periods of doubt. I keep re-reading Sandi's recon and piecing thread to remind myself to slow down and step back. Thank you for keeping it real for me LH.

Originally Posted by LH
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I think this is good because I keep saying to H that although we spend time together, we aren't bonding beyond the best friend thing.

Sounds like you are trying to control the situation
Really? I never looked at it like that. The conversation came about because H was feeling that every time I hugged him in bed, or stroked his back it meant I wanted sex and I was trying to explain that I just liked being close to him. That not everything had to lead to sex. I thought this would take the pressure off, to explain that I was OK with hugging and nothing more, that I like physical touch in a non-sexual way, and it made me feel close to him. Maybe I have been trying to solutionise too much. It's so hard getting the balance right of demonstrating affection but not applying pressure.

Originally Posted by LH
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He got upset at this point.

Pressure
Ugh!!! What do I need to stop doing?
Originally Posted by Pommy99

Originally Posted by LH
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He got upset at this point.

Pressure
Ugh!!! What do I need to stop doing?



You need to stop pushing the process to go faster than it goes. This is a HUGE temptation for LBSs that end up Ring and piecing. "He/she is making progress, but we aren't being intimate, or we aren't open mouth kissing, etc."

If you read my last couple of threads you will see that it took my W 2 years to start passionately, open mouth (with tongue) kissing me again! I would get worried that meant something (lots of theories out there about spouses, espeically wives, not kissing like that). She started doing that again in the last few months. But if I had started pushing for it verbally it probably would have been a disaster.

So slow down, let things play out. I see you mention fear that it will all stop again. You have no control over that. You have no control over the pace at which he lets go and fully puts himself out there and embraces Ring and piecing in full. You no control over when and how he does that. What you do control is how you react to all of it.

Pommy, you've got this!
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Yes, I am still operating from a place of fear...fear that he wishes he had never come back, fear that he wants to leave but cant because of the devastation it will cause, fear that MC will not fix this, fear that he is just ticking boxes. I guess I could find 100 reasons why his behaviours might not be genuine. I think I need to let go of that don't I, and focus on the fact he might actually want M v2.0. Sometimes I feel like I have lived with this situation for so long (18 months), I don't even know what it feels like to feel 'normal' anymore. It's like I don't know how to sit back and relax and just 'be'.

Never Ever Ever is fear the place to operate from because it makes people needy and desperate. That is why it is so important to work on yourself to become a person only a fool would leave. If you were at that place you wouldn't care whether he stayed or left. Then everything you did would come from a peaceful state which in turn makes you very attractive. I say this all the time that Hollywood and Disney would like you to believe that love conquers all when relationships are more about economics then love. When he thought he was going to lose you to the OM he got interested again. Scarcity creates value. Before anyone else is going to see your value you have to know what it is first.

Do you know when you are 100% most likely to reconcile effectively?

When you no longer care if you do or not.

That's the honest and sad truth. Reconciliation requires a level playing field, an even starting line. BOTH of you need to be willing to walk and to believe the other one will leave. That makes you something worth having (value).

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I know you are right LH, I know I need to accept that he is simply being honest. He also said he was being honest when he wanted to come back and said he loved me, was in love with me, wanted us to grow old together, could see us being an intimate couple again. This "I cant promise anything" is new and makes everything feel so fragile.

PM99 there are not guarantees in life accept you will pay taxes and you will die someday. Right now you are in a waiting game to find out his true intentions. Now you can stay in the fetal position hoping and praying that you work this out or you can start to live your best life and if he wants to be a part of it great and if he doesn't that's ok too.
Originally Posted by may22

This resonates so much with me. My H has said these EXACT same words, both in round one and now. (Honestly. It blows my mind how there is a playbook for all of this and it feels like they're getting their lines from it.) And, I have had the exact same reaction as you... it doesn't feel like enough. We have had many talks both in MC and out about this issue. I'll share some thoughts for you to leave or take:

-- first, it was such a weird experience to read what your H is saying and thinking yes! mine says the same thing! I think the same thing! And then to read LH's response to say "he is being open and honest with you"... that really took me aback and made me think. Just a reflection. I think LH is right. It is way better for him to say this to you than for him to think it but verbally say "I am in for good"... it is probably hard for him to say this because he knows what you want to hear and this isn't exactly it.


Originally Posted by may22
-- I think intentions are important and it is good that your H is being explicit that his intention is to make M2.0 work. I prefer to be optimistic about all this and feel that you can do whatever you really set your mind to, My feeling on this is, cross that bridge when you come to it. One step at a time. Your H is there. He is trying. He has cut it off with EAP. He is being open and honest with you about his feelings and his intentions and his fears. That is all really positive. Take it for what it is and try to focus on the now for yourself as well.
I am trying to sit in the here and now. I am trying to accept this as honesty, but a little bit of me wishes he hadn't come back - or perhaps I shouldn't have taken him back - when he appears to be faltering with his commitment. That said, I've read the 'Piecing' thread again today and am taking some comfort in the statements around the process that the WAS is going through in recommitting to the M. H has said again and again, S/D is a last resort, it terrifies him, but at the moment, his emotions are controlling him and not the other way round. Right now those deeply emotional feelings are still not there for him. But he wants to try. I guess I cannot ask for more than that.

Originally Posted by may22
-- re the rings... we decided to put our rings back on for this trip and TBH I am really, really glad we did. . It is a symbol of his intention to work on our M, even if it isn't a symbol right now of our undying love and commitment to each other. So maybe putting your rings back on doesn't need to be a big meaningful thing, right now, but could help you guys both remember that you're in this together? IDK, I know it is different because your H did actually leave. Just sharing from my perspective on this.
I think I am looking for something symbolic, like a statement from him that we are in M 2.0. It hasn't happened yet. I understand why. we moved him fully out of his rental at the weekend. Again, I was looking for something symbolic, like he'd lock the door for the last time, hand back the keys and there would be a moment where he'd hug me and say that it was just me and him now, back where we should be. I wanted to feel like that chapter had finished. There was no hug, we drove back home, he emptied the van and cleaned his car for 2 hours!!
Originally Posted by Steve85
If you read my last couple of threads you will see that it took my W 2 years to start passionately, open mouth (with tongue) kissing me again! I would get worried that meant something (lots of theories out there about spouses, espeically wives, not kissing like that). She started doing that again in the last few months. But if I had started pushing for it verbally it probably would have been a disaster.
Interesting that you raise the point about kissing Steve. H has been saying that when we kiss it doesn't feel passionate. This of course made me paranoid about how I kiss him but I knew that even if I kissed him differently, it wouldn't change anything. He will have to get there on his own.

Originally Posted by LH19

Never Ever Ever is fear the place to operate from because it makes people needy and desperate. That is why it is so important to work on yourself to become a person only a fool would leave. If you were at that place you wouldn't care whether he stayed or left.
I'm learning to sit with my feelings of fear and insecurity and not bring him into them. I managed this one evening, I felt terrible but acted 'as if'. It did make me feel better and more in control. when I feel in control I don't feel needy. I really need to work on this, however as it doesn't come naturally and I'm not always good at hiding my emotions (I tend to withdraw rather than outburst and H always notices when I withdraw).



Ok journaling...

H admitted 2 days ago that he is feeling really depressed and unhappy. This never makes me feel good, not just because of him, but because of me as well. Being told that your H is unhappy is never a good thing to hear. It has brought me down over the last couple of days. It exacerbates my insecurities and makes me feel like he is about to walk again. In turn, this makes H feel guilty that he is not giving me what I need or being the H he feels he should be. The guilt brings him down even further.

Today we had MC. MC has suggested that H is putting too much pressure on himself for trying to feel what he doesn't feel, or worrying about not giving me what he feels he should be giving me. Predominanty this is about those feelings of intense love and passion that are missing for H. MC says he needs to focus on what IS happening right now and not what ISN'T happening. I was able to speak about the many positive changes that are taking place in our relationship, the better communication, the honesty, the closeness, the trust we are building. It was good to call these out, as H naturally wants to fix what he sees as a problem, but at the moment is not able. But there is a lot that was broken that we are slowly fixing. Some bits are harder than others. MC asked what it would feel like if the guilt about hurting me or not being able to fix everything right now was to disappear. H said it would feel good, it would take some of the pressure off. I see where you guys are all coming from when you talk about pressure. I need to learn more about what is pressure - some things are obvious (like saying "you never tell me you love me"), but what about when I tell him when I feel down. Where is that line between being open and honest about how you feel, and honesty amounting to pressure? This is a difficult one for me, as H will sense when something is wrong and ask me, and sometimes I just want to sit with my feelings awhile rather than tell him straight away "hey I feel really insecure today". It's a lose-lose. If he senses something is wrong (and I don't tell him what is bothering me), he feels guilt that he's upsetting me; if I tell him what's wrong, he'll feel guilt that he's upsetting me. How do I handle this?

After our session we talked awhile about how we both feel that there is no pain-free route out at the moment; that S/D is painful, and a M that we are struggling to fix is equally as painful. He's made it clear again that S/D is a last resort. But he also said sometimes he feels like he is swimming against the tide. I did admit I feel like this too. But again, reminding myself of the 'Piecing' thread has helped - that we're on different timelines, we go forwards, we go backwards, that sometimes we will feel like giving up, but to accept that this is a long process. H got upset during the session again. I think he is really scared that he knows what he wants to feel but feels none of it with me, and he says it's killing him from the inside.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
H admitted 2 days ago that he is feeling really depressed and unhappy.

This is how 90% of the WWs feel and think they need major changes to become happy.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
It exacerbates my insecurities and makes me feel like he is about to walk again.

Ok PM99 what are you afraid of? Losing a depressed unhappy man who is constantly reminding you how he has no sexual feelings for you?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
In turn, this makes H feel guilty that he is not giving me what I need or being the H he feels he should be. The guilt brings him down even further.

I am calling BS on this one. He can't blame you for that?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I need to learn more about what is pressure - some things are obvious (like saying "you never tell me you love me"), but what about when I tell him when I feel down.

It depends on why you are down. Is it because of him? If so then no because he shouldn't effect the way you feel.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Where is that line between being open and honest about how you feel, and honesty amounting to pressure? This is a difficult one for me, as H will sense when something is wrong and ask me, and sometimes I just want to sit with my feelings awhile rather than tell him straight away "hey I feel really insecure today".

What do you feel insecure about?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
It's a lose-lose. If he senses something is wrong (and I don't tell him what is bothering me), he feels guilt that he's upsetting me; if I tell him what's wrong, he'll feel guilt that he's upsetting me. How do I handle this?

You keep you toes tapping not matter how he feels.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
H got upset during the session again. I think he is really scared that he knows what he wants to feel but feels none of it with me, and he says it's killing him from the inside.

Something doesn't sound right to me. Again I truly believe MCs have a almost perfect success rate when both people want to save the marriage. I don't think he is being completely honest with you.
LH, thankyou. Reading between the lines, what are you thinking? What do you think is really going on with my H when you call BS and say he is not being honest?
I think he thinks there is something better out there and doesn't want to put in the hard work. I think his single life got detoured when Covid hit and he got scared when you were talking with the other guy that his plan B was in jeopardy.

That's why you can not show your insecurities. For reconciliation to be possible you need to be on even playing fields. For a relationship to truly work you have to be willing to walk if your needs are not being met. He has to be on trial now too. The problem with most relationships are that both or one persons needs are not being met. You are willing to sacrifice all your needs because you are afraid to lose him. It can't be that way or you will eventually become very resentful.
Originally Posted by LH19
I think he thinks there is something better out there and doesn't want to put in the hard work. I think his single life got detoured when Covid hit and he got scared when you were talking with the other guy that his plan B was in jeopardy.

That's why you can not show your insecurities. For reconciliation to be possible you need to be on even playing fields. For a relationship to truly work you have to be willing to walk if your needs are not being met. He has to be on trial now too. The problem with most relationships are that both or one persons needs are not being met. You are willing to sacrifice all your needs because you are afraid to lose him. It can't be that way or you will eventually become very resentful.

If he feels there is something better then I donít know why he is still here, is still deliberating over what he wants. He is still telling me he is committed and wants to focus on the positives and stop overthinking the negatives (as per advice from MC). I just donít feel good right now. And Iím over-analysing EVERYTHING!

Today he asked if I was still talking to OM. I said no why, and he suggested I could. I asked why and he said maybe to get a different perspective on things. I said I hadnít had those kinds of conversations with him, about my marriage problems. Iím really upset that heís encouraging me to talk to another man about my marriage. Wtf is that all about? Unless the question was really to find out if I was still talking to OM?
Do he think he wants you to be the one to pull cord? So he looks like he is the one who gave it all and tried?

Like LH said, you are over analyzing because you are very fearful of losing him. To have this work in the long run, you need know your own value and worth. If he does choose to walk again, know that is not the worst thing in the world, because you are worthy of a faithful committed partner who loves and values you. And you would not want to be with someone who doesnít .
PM99,

G-money is dead on but I often post the statement below and ask yourself honestly if your H's actions meet any of the three criteria.

As you probably know, the only way he's going to overcome that deeply held belief is for you to open the cage door and completely cut him free. If you engage in a relationship with him again it should only be under the conditions that:

1) He sees you as someone of extremely high value
2) He views a relationship with you as something much better than a life with someone else or a life alone
3) He's willing to work to win you

Without those three things, he's going to walk again down the line, because he really doesn't have the motivation to work with you to change anything, your relationship will keep seeking the same equilibrium it has had because of how your personalities and issues come together.

I am not saying to throw in the towel but what I am saying is you have to let go of the fear. Be your best self and if he walks he walks and just know that you did everything you could to save the marriage.

Truthfully I think your H is a scared little (another name for a cat) who is afraid to make a decision and stick with it. He is searching for happiness outside himself and believes the grass is greener. Unfortunately these people (my EXW is one) will never be satisfied until they find out. That's why you have to open the cage door letting them know they are free to leave if they so choose. I am a true believe that true reconciliations mostly happened when two people have gone and lived separate lives for years and mutually agree that there lives were better together than apart.

There is hope here but you can't force it.
Let me piggy back on to those 3 conditions LH states.

Yes he needs to see you that way. But he is never going to see you that way if you donít see yourself that way first
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Do he think he wants you to be the one to pull cord? So he looks like he is the one who gave it all and tried?

Like LH said, you are over analyzing because you are very fearful of losing him. To have this work in the long run, you need know your own value and worth. If he does choose to walk again, know that is not the worst thing in the world, because you are worthy of a faithful committed partner who loves and values you. And you would not want to be with someone who doesn’t .

Thank you Ginger. I do not even know if he wants either of us to pull the cord. He tells me today that I am acting like it is over and that's not the case. He wants us to have a nice long weekend together. I don't know how much of a factor his depression is and if that is related to us. He says he doesn't know what or why he feels so bad the last few weeks. He is in turmoil and feels overwhelmed with emotion - crying and teary every day- like the last 10 years of emotions are now coming out. This is probably a good thing. Work pressure isn't helping, working from home isn't helping, me being upset isn't helping. But none of those change the fundamental issue that we have been going round in circles over for the last 18 months.

I know he is asking for more time, but I don't know how much longer I can wait, because I do know that I want and deserve more and I told him this today. And he agreed and got upset that I deserve more than he is giving me. I don't actually think he is going to walk anytime soon so I don't really understand why I am in my own turmoil right now, and can't sit with this and shut up and see what pans out over the next few weeks of MC. It's so hard being his 'best friend' when I want so much more. And what he described he wanted to feel at MC yesterday really hurts - I would love to be on the receiving end of those feelings, and that passion that he wants to feel and give.

Originally Posted by LH
the only way he's going to overcome that deeply held belief is for you to open the cage door and completely cut him free.
He did open the cage door, he left and he came back. I am his comfort and security, when I'm not there, he has a deep need for me (his words). I have told him he is free to leave. Perhaps you are right re the Covid thing - I don't know what would've happened with EAP had he not been unable to travel away every week. Sometimes I do feel that the kindest thing would be to let him go. But I just cant do that right now - it's not what I want.
PM99,

Before I forget can you add a signature like mine?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
He wants us to have a nice long weekend together.

Ok so have a nice weekend and be upbeat and positive and mirror his actions.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I don't know how much of a factor his depression is and if that is related to us.

I'm sure it's a least a small factor in it.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
But none of those change the fundamental issue that we have been going round in circles over for the last 18 months.

Exactly
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I know he is asking for more time, but I don't know how much longer I can wait, because I do know that I want and deserve more and I told him this today.

Ok this is where you contradict yourself. If you love him and believe this is due to depression why not give him time?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
And he agreed and got upset that I deserve more than he is giving me.

This to me is WW BS. It's like the George Constaza "it's not you it's me bit" because he is too much of a coward to tell you the truth.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I don't actually think he is going to walk anytime soon so I don't really understand why I am in my own turmoil right now, and can't sit with this and shut up and see what pans out over the next few weeks of MC.

I keep asking you PM99. What are you afraid of and you won't answer me.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
It's so hard being his 'best friend' when I want so much more. And what he described he wanted to feel at MC yesterday really hurts - I would love to be on the receiving end of those feelings, and that passion that he wants to feel and give.

You certainly can and should be just maybe not with your H.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He did open the cage door, he left and he came back. I am his comfort and security, when I'm not there, he has a deep need for me (his words).

Sounds like you are more his Mommy then his W.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I have told him he is free to leave.

Did you really think you could prevent him from staying?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Perhaps you are right re the Covid thing - I don't know what would've happened with EAP had he not been unable to travel away every week.

What does your gut tell you?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Sometimes I do feel that the kindest thing would be to let him go. But I just cant do that right now - it's not what I want.

So is this all about what you want? And what do you want?
Originally Posted by LH19

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I know he is asking for more time, but I don't know how much longer I can wait, because I do know that I want and deserve more and I told him this today.

Ok this is where you contradict yourself. If you love him and believe this is due to depression why not give him time?
I've given him 18 months. He asked for more time 12 months ago (and 15 months ago and 9 months ago) and all he did was carry on an EA and then leave anyway. He was on ADs back then as well

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I don't actually think he is going to walk anytime soon so I don't really understand why I am in my own turmoil right now, and can't sit with this and shut up and see what pans out over the next few weeks of MC.

I keep asking you PM99. What are you afraid of and you won't answer me.
I want the pain to end. I want to know if he's in or out. I'm afraid of more and more pain. I'm afraid of going through the S all over again.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
He did open the cage door, he left and he came back. I am his comfort and security, when I'm not there, he has a deep need for me (his words).

Sounds like you are more his Mommy then his W.
I'm something other than a wife. He doesn't see me as a wife does he. I'm his friend.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I have told him he is free to leave.

Did you really think you could prevent him from staying?
No, but I think sometimes he has felt guilty about hurting me and stayed longer than he would have done. I've told him he cant stay for guilt. Even though he's come back, he doesn't have to stay because he thinks he should, or because of the devastation, the upset kids etc

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Perhaps you are right re the Covid thing - I don't know what would've happened with EAP had he not been unable to travel away every week.

What does your gut tell you?
Don't know - I don't know enough facts, I don't know if what he told me is the truth (about how he ended it). I do know he had feelings for her that went beyond friendship and into the realms of desire

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
Sometimes I do feel that the kindest thing would be to let him go. But I just cant do that right now - it's not what I want.

So is this all about what you want? And what do you want?
I want my marriage to work. I don't want to give up if I'm just trying to push him too fast. I've read about R & P - I know he is on his own timeline. Why am I trying to push too fast - he's back, he's doing MC, he says he wants to try.... What more could I ask for right now? I know romantic feelings might take a while to come back...I guess my worry is if that is even likely. I mean, we were in a pretty bad place for several years before BD. He says he wants those feelings to come back, but at the same time, they've been switched off for so long I don't even know if it's feasible. And he's describing wanting feelings that I'm not sure you even get after 20 years together. But then again, I dont know what's 'normal', or what other people experience in a long-term marriage.
Thank you for adding a signature and opening up about your sitch as I know this isn't easy for you.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I keep asking you PM99. What are you afraid of and you won't answer me.
I want the pain to end. I want to know if he's in or out. I'm afraid of more and more pain. I'm afraid of going through the S all over again. [/quote]
The thing is PM99 the pain will subside in time one way or another. If you stay in limbo the pain will continue because you will constantly wonder when the axe will fall again. If you D him you will have the pain of D and splitting time with kids, finances etc. There is no easy way out. That is why the best thing to do is to give him time and space and work on yourself so you are comfortable with either outcome. Your situation is quite like mine. I loosely reconned after a initial separation. What I always say is I wish I wouldn't have spent one minute trying to figure out what was going on in her mind and 100% focused on myself. Ultimately when she filed I felt at peace knowing I tried everything to save my family.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Why am I trying to push too fast - he's back, he's doing MC, he says he wants to try.... What more could I ask for right now?

Because you think if he hurries up and announces his undying commitment to you that the pain will stop. Unfortunately it will not because you won't have any assurance it won't happen again.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
And he's describing wanting feelings that I'm not sure you even get after 20 years together. But then again, I dont know what's 'normal', or what other people experience in a long-term marriage.

This is what I call emotional immaturity. My ex has/had it. She told me she wants to feel butterflies in her stomach again. Not surprising her favorite show was the Bachelorette. Relationships later on in life are at a different level and are more about familiarity, history and stability. Its funny that all the married women I know want the butterflies and passion and all the singe women I know want the familiarity, history and stability. Can you say Grass is Greener?

I guess the moral of the story is the pain is not going to go away over night and embrace and use it to make changes and become the person you want to be. If he likes that person great! If he doesn't and thinks there is something better that's ok too. PM99 wins either way.
Hi Pommy,

(((hugs)))

I think LH is right... the way forward is really hard, no matter which way you go. Sticking it out. Moving on and going through D. There is no easy way out, unfortunately... though I think our Hs thought maybe there was. (jacka$$es.)

I guess my advice to you would be the same that you gave to me most recently on my own thread--- take a deep breath. Relax. Sit in the now. Focus on what it is that you need and want. Remember that you have the power here. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and try to keep that focus on you, not on him. So what that he isn't feeling the butterflies yet? it will happen or it won't... but it isn't under your control.

You control you. So how can you take charge of your own feelings right now and not let his angst and depression and confusion affect you? my bet would be going back to the basics of self-care and removing all pressure from him... he is on his own journey right now, it may happen to be under your roof and he is trying to find his way back. Let him. Don't push him. Go back to the things that worked in the hardest times and practice them again so that you can maintain your sanity while he goes through this new phase.

Thanks for sharing the piecing thread-- it was really, really helpful for me and I'm sure for you too. I'm sure he sees your stress and concern with his turtle-like progress, and it probably adds to his own worries that he'll never get those feelings back or whatever. Remember-- assuming you still want to stand, you're in this for the long haul. If I put myself in his shoes, I could imagine feeling a lot of pain knowing how much pain he's already caused you and continues to by not snapping back into a passionate H... but conversely, I could also imagine the utter relief if I felt like my W was OK with where we were, taking it day by day, secure and confident in who she is and that this will all work out in the end. Right?

On asking about you talking with OM... that is kind of weird, I agree. My best guess is he was just fishing to see if you were still talking to him and felt like saying it would be OK was the only way he could bring it up without seeming jealous or insecure. He is also probably aware of how keenly he responds to the distancer-pursuer dynamic and the idea of competition for you, so maybe he's purposely bringing it up to see if it still provokes a response like that in him now that you are reconciling. And then the least optimistic reason might be because he is still in contact with his EAP or thinking about it, and tested you. (Seems like WSs often suspect their LBSs of cheating back... my H has been weirdly worried about this. I think it is just projecting.)

Hang in there, Pommy. Can you just have a nice long weekend and put all this stuff on hold for a few days? Just have fun together?
Originally Posted by LH

I guess the moral of the story is the pain is not going to go away over night and embrace and use it to make changes and become the person you want to be. If he likes that person great! If he doesn't and thinks there is something better that's ok too. PM99 wins either way.

I am trying so hard to move my mindset from fear to opportunity. I can spend my days worrying about where we aren't at right now, or the awful place where we might end up. I need to stop worrying about what might or might not happen. I do know (as you have said before) that fear will lead me to the very place I don't want to be.

Originally Posted by may22

Thanks for sharing the piecing thread-- it was really, really helpful for me and I'm sure for you too. I'm sure he sees your stress and concern with his turtle-like progress, and it probably adds to his own worries that he'll never get those feelings back or whatever. Remember-- assuming you still want to stand, you're in this for the long haul. If I put myself in his shoes, I could imagine feeling a lot of pain knowing how much pain he's already caused you and continues to by not snapping back into a passionate H... but conversely, I could also imagine the utter relief if I felt like my W was OK with where we were, taking it day by day, secure and confident in who she is and that this will all work out in the end. Right?
May, thank you so much for this ^^^ . This really made me stop and think about how I could help relieve him of the pressure and anxiety over my pain. I printed off some parts of the Piecing thread and gave them to him on Friday. (The bits about differing timelines, not having romantic feelings right away and various other bits.) I said that these were things I needed to keep reminding myself of and if he wanted to read them, he might be able to relate to some parts of it. I was out all day and he didn't mention anything about it in the evening. When we were in bed I asked if he had read any of it. I fully expected an excuse that he'd been too busy - after all, any M-related article I sent him last year was duly ignored, as had been my requests for MC. I was completely surprised when he said he had read it, and it did make sense to him. I was a bit floored. Talk about having no expectations, then....wow!! I said to him that I was OK with where we were right now, that I recognized that he was in a different place to me, and we'll take all the time we need (we had talked about this in MC, and MC had asked if we felt we were on the same train, on different trains, and that H was perhaps a few stations behind me). He thanked me for telling him that I was OK with where we are.. The rest of the weekend went reasonably well - I tried my very hardest to not to be down or upset or put pressure on. As always, we got on famously going shopping together, cycling, out for dinner etc. (True BFFs!!!). I did get upset at one point - as always, it's that lack of intimacy that is killing me (it's been 2-3 weeks). He did say he is struggling so much with that missing connection, that he is with someone whom he doesn't want to leave, cant imagine life without me, yet just cant find those feelings that he wants.

Originally Posted by may
On asking about you talking with OM... that is kind of weird, I agree. My best guess is he was just fishing to see if you were still talking to him and felt like saying it would be OK was the only way he could bring it up without seeming jealous or insecure. He is also probably aware of how keenly he responds to the distancer-pursuer dynamic and the idea of competition for you, so maybe he's purposely bringing it up to see if it still provokes a response like that in him now that you are reconciling. And then the least optimistic reason might be because he is still in contact with his EAP or thinking about it, and tested you. (Seems like WSs often suspect their LBSs of cheating back... my H has been weirdly worried about this. I think it is just projecting.)
He has never, ever asked a single question about OM up until then, so my hunch was he wanted to know if I was still in contact. It did cross my mind that he might want that challenge again and need to fight for me, but I don't want to play games - it could cause more harm than good. I could easily restore contact with OM but I don't want to. Regarding EAP, I've been a bit paranoid this last week, but I think that is more to do with my over-analysis of everything H does, than him doing anything suspicious. I had a dream last night that they were back in contact...ugh!!


We had MC today. We talked about how we communicate our intimate needs (or how we don't - we are apparently relying on each other to be mind-readers). MC asked how we would've communicated pre-BD days - the answer was we didn't, we just lost that whole connection, for years. MC wants us to try a program of Sensate Focus. I'm quite excited by this actually as I really welcome the opportunity of H and I in a low-pressure environment, just trying to connect sensually without all the pressures that are in place at the moment. For once, I am surprisingly optimistic. Rather than worrying that this might not re-ignite the passion between me and H, learning and growing in relation to my own sensuality and sexuality is something I can take forward with me, with or without H. I do recognize how my confidence has eroded over the years, how I've lost touch with being a woman because I spent all my time being a mum in order to escape the loneliness of my M. I also have spent many weeks/months wondering if what we are trying to create ever existed in the first place, and hence, questioning if we are trying to achieve the impossible, that H and I never had and never will have a good connection. But having read up on sensate focus, I am seeing couples that have taken their non-existent connection to levels that they never imagined (in all areas of their relationship). So for now I'm throwing away my worries about trying to achieve the impossible.
Hi Pommy,

Things sound positive from my perspective, FWIW. I definitely think that you continuing to try to relax and remove pressure from both yourself and from your H will be helpful. As I said in my thread, I think your H verbalizing his desire to want to rebuild the M and intimacy with you, even within the context of the fears that those "feelings" aren't there yet and may not come back, is really positive. I think this just all takes time.

I imagine that the hurt and trust issues between the two of you have built up like a plaque that needs to be cleaned away, and you're gently dissolving that away... but it takes time and intention and making lots and lots of deposits in the "love bank" or whatever for that to happen, and until you're both cleansed and free of all the hurt and pain, it is probably going to be hard to build up the positive feelings and the emotional intimacy between the two of you. Like, adhesive isn't going to stick to a dirty surface, you've got to clean it off first. And/or, imagine the hurt/betrayal as layers of paint... the positive interactions an acts of love between you are slowly dissolving each layer, but you're not down to the bare wood yet, and you're making progress even though it might not feel like you are because you're still seeing that dingy paint.

It just seems to me that those feelings of love and connection and trust aren't going to come back when there is still so much anxiety for both of you-- and if they do, which maybe it did for your H when he had MO and was freaking out he had lost you forever-- that maybe isn't the lasting, deep connection you need in an MR.

I worry about this (for both our Hs)-- that they're seeking the short-term dopamine hits of a new R, the fantasy, wanting what you don't have, limerence-- and that simply isn't ever going to last in the long term. I know my H doesn't believe his R with AP was fantasy and that it went far beyond limerence. He thinks it was true love, this super deep emotional connection and that is what he craves. I think he thinks (or is afraid) that the damage done between us was too deep to ever get that back. Maybe he's right, I don't know. And maybe they did have this amazing connection that is unlike what we ever experienced and would last beyond the A and the honeymoon phase. Who knows... but my hunch is that it is an idealized view of a romantic R, and that reality, especially with me and kids and bills and chores, will never compare. Do you think this this an issue with your H? that he has an idealized view of R and what his "feelings" should be? I think if he's seeking something specific, he's probably bound to be disappointed. If he can also let go of his own expectations on what things should or shouldn't feel like with you and just be for a bit, keep up with the paint remover, you'll slowly dilute the bad feelings and trust and romantic love will come back.

I also wonder if it is redefining love as not a feeling but an action, understanding the ups and downs of relationships and not freaking out on the days you don't feel the in love feelings. I feel like your H is freaking out a bit. How can he relax?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
As always, we got on famously going shopping together, cycling, out for dinner etc. (True BFFs!!!).

UGH. This is my H and me to a T also. It bothers me a little to give into that BFF thing like I'm just showing him that I'm willing to be friends w/o benefits... do you feel that at all?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Rather than worrying that this might not re-ignite the passion between me and H, learning and growing in relation to my own sensuality and sexuality is something I can take forward with me, with or without H. I do recognize how my confidence has eroded over the years, how I've lost touch with being a woman because I spent all my time being a mum in order to escape the loneliness of my M.

This is fantastic-- I'm really glad for you. Super interested to hear how it goes-- please keep us updated! (My H is steadfastly uninterested in anything that smacks of sex therapy, unfortunately.) I'm going to bet, actually, that as you develop your own confidence in yourself and your sexuality, embrace your womanhood again and not just your identity as a mom, that is going to be quite attractive to your H.

Hang in there, breathe, focus on the now, let go of the fear. Things are better, maybe not on the timeline you wanted, but he's there, he wants to be there, he wants to make it work. You got this.
Hello all, Help!!

Things have been painfully slow with H, but reasonably positive. I've had my moments of upset, I've been trying to stop over-analyzing everything that is or isn't happening. I actually have found myself in quite a good place for the last 5-6 days.

Until today. I walked in the room and took H by surprise. The text he was writing was quickly swiped off screen. I asked him why he was acting like he had something to hide. He told a few lies (that he was emailing) but I knew from the screen it was not email. I asked for his phone and he got very agitated.

To cut to the chase, he was texting EAP. He deleted the texts before I asked for his phone. Apparently, EAP contacted him today to tell him she has cancer.

Obviously I'm not that much of a heartless b1tch to not feel sorry for anyone who has cancer. But I am soooo angry that H couldn't tell me she had reached out. And I said if he had nothing to hide there was no reason to delete the texts. He said she asked him not to tell anyone. I said "and that includes me? you're loyal to her but not to me?".

Of course I also don't believe that these texts only started today but I cant prove otherwise. I kindly asked him to be transparent and show me his next reply and everything that comes in from her.

But now he is all mopey - doesn't know what to do, it's someone he cares about (bleugh) AND she has cancer. And she was there for him when he was unhappy. I said "You had an AFFAIR", but apparently that doesn't take away the fact that he cares (present tense) about her.

I am so angry that he didn't protect himself from her reaching out ((((May!!!!))) . We had this discussion weeks ago - I asked him how he was going to protect himself from her reaching out to him for support (e.g. hey I miss our chats, or hey my H and I are splitting up). But I didn't expect her to throw this one at him.

What do I do? If he had been transparent I would not be so angry, but it's the fact he's hidden it from me, then removed all the evidence, then lied about who he was chatting to. If it was THAT innocuous then there was nothing to hide, right?

What should I do peeps? I want to kick him out, and I probably would if it was anything other than she's dropped the C bomb on him and he says he doesn't know what to do.
PM99,

I am sorry this has happen to you but unfortunately this is the life you will lead for a really long time. When trust is broken it is hard to get back. I am wondering why her number isn't blocked?

He has to know what is acceptable and what isn't and that you will walk if he doesn't comply. There are no shortcuts in DB and this is actually very predictable. Human value things they need to work to obtain.

Until you know your own value you can't expect someone else to. I'm sorry.
(((Pommy)))

Dude. These Hs. They need a support group like this of their own, honestly. (Actually, it *is* too bad there isn't something like this out there for them.)

First, I just want to empathize with you so, so much. I know how you feel. I've been there. It is awful.

Second, what does your gut tell you about whether he's telling the whole truth, here? About her just reaching out today? Maybe he just learned about the cancer today but that doesn't necessarily mean that this is the first text. Am I right in remembering that he was in contact with her while you were separated? Do you know how they ended things in that context? I'm just wondering if she was aware that he was choosing to work on his M and that he didn't want to have any level of interaction with her, or was it looser. That was the case in the spring for me-- I was under the impression there was zero contact, he was still in some minimal level of contact, then she shared the big news that flipped him upside down. Of course are situations are different and I think my H was (is) in way deeper with his AP than yours is with his. But it could be that he has been in some minimal level of contact with her and that could also explain his inability to really reconnect with you.

Third, if he is trying to work on the M, he is simply not the right person to support her through this process. He can't be. She needs people around her who can be fully present and he cannot, if he wants to also save his M. He needs to tell her that and disconnect. By the way, were you here when Kristin G was posting? Her wife's AP also had a cancer diagnosis in the middle of their sitch, if you want to find her old threads and read through. It was more like the fall 2019-- i think she started posting right around the same time I did last fall.

Fourth, everyone here is going to tell you to kick him out, full stop. He's lying about this, he's probably lying about more, how can you trust him in the future, etc. Boot him to the curb. (I have to say, we sure are quick to call for kicking WHs out for a divorce busting board.) But, is there a reason to do that today? I'd be more interested in understanding why he hid it from you. My guess is that the immediate lie (I'm doing email) is almost automatic-- he'd been lying to you in the same situation for so long that it just pops out. Would he have approached you and told you it happened after the fact? Is he only mopey because he feels sad that she has cancer? Or did this dredge up all the feelings and their fantasy runaway future together where he could have tenderly mopped her brow and supported her through this? (I don't say that to hurt you but I can tell you one thousand percent that is where my H's head would be.)

If you choose not to kick him out right away, maybe in your next MC session you can explore with a professional why he lied and give him the chance in a neutral setting to say if there is more going on. Best case scenario, they haven't been in contact, she did just reach out, he's understandably thrown for a loop when you walk in-- who wouldn't be-- but instead of telling you what was going on, he spit out a lie because he was scared you would be angry and kick him out if you found out he was texting her. And, this setback is the motivation he needs to truly figure out how to go NC and protect himself from future contact with her. Worst case scenario, well you've read my thread wink

I guess I would just agree with LH about the long road part. You need to decide what you can and can't live with, where your boundaries are and how you can respond when they're breached. if this is the best case scenario, kicking him out might be a little premature. As WF just posted on my thread, recovery is never going to be a straight line and there will be setbacks. But, if you think this is a continued behavior and you simply won't be able to trust him going forward, then you may be ready to toss in the towel. Luckily, it is your call. You are in charge here. I would say no matter what you decide, this is your time to withdraw from him a little, focus on yourself. If any part of his mopiness is due to some wayward feelings, you distancing a bit is going to be a lot more effective than yelling at him.

(((Pommy)))
Originally Posted by may22
Fourth, everyone here is going to tell you to kick him out, full stop. He's lying about this, he's probably lying about more, how can you trust him in the future, etc. Boot him to the curb. (I have to say, we sure are quick to call for kicking WHs out for a divorce busting board.)

May I am really sorry you think that is how everyone on the board views these situations. We are all people who have lived it, researched it and seen 100s and not 1,000s of these play out and can spot liars, cheaters and manipulators a mile away because we are not in deep anymore. Now you can take your husband back right now with open arms if you so choose but I guarantee there will be consequences for that later on. Or you can do what we suggest and ask him to move out (not kick him to the curb) and prove to you that he see you as someone of value.

Right now you do not see yourself as valuable because if you did there is absolutely zero chance you would put up with this nonsense. It's a process. I know because I was in your shoes at one point. I am on this board because I would like to save as many people from suffering as possible.

PM99 sorry for the hijack and May is right you do not have to make a decision today. Time and space are your friend right now.
May, after we separated their communication increased. We were all in lockdown, she was at home with her H but they would speak every day (she would go out for walk to call him). H said that theyí started to get close and were acting more like a couple. He said he started to develop feelings (pretty sure they existed long before that tbh) and it didnt feel right. He said he didnít want to be in a position where we could all turn around and say that he was having an affair all along. He said his loyalty to me was greater than his loyalty to her, he told her he didnít feel heíd really given his marriage a chance and they agreed to stop contacting each other.

I donít know how today has made him feel in terms of his feelings for her, other than heís sad itís happening to someone he cares about. He gave me the spiel about not stopping caring just because heís not in contact.

I guess Iíve lectured him today - about how he was asked to protect himself and his M from this but left that door open, that itís not his job to support her, that in choosing the M he was choosing a certain path and there was no role for her, that he should have been working towards letting go, which is why leaving the door open created a massive risk. I said I know you care and I hope she has friends and family to support her, but itís not his job to be there for her. How many days/weeks/months was he going to continue to support her without telling me? He said he hadnít processed that right now. I feel like he wants to be there for her because of his comments that she was there for him. Heís apologised for lying but said in the moment he was scared of telling me. I said thatís nonsense, you made a conscious decision to hide your screen and then delete the texts and then lie about emailing someone else for a good 5 minutes afterwards, in the hope that I wouldnít keep pushing it. I mentioned the times heís done this before - he whinged that heís never going to be able to get away from the past misdemeanours if I keep bringing them up. I said not if you keep resetting the counter to zero. That I had hoped to be 100 steps down the road from this by now but heís just reset the clock .

Right now he canít separate out the fact that he cares for her from the fact he chose to work on the M.

Yes we are struggling to reconnect - weíve not done our MC homework that was set nearly two weeks ago so Iím struggling to see his motivation, but Iím not pushing it, as Iím seeing small amounts of progress in other areas. Bottom line is he still doesnít see me as a lover and is not initiating the exercises we have been tasked with doing. To be fair, he had an op last week so itís been a hard week/weekend.

Heís been really mopey all afternoon now, trying to appease me with coffee etc but I think he is reeling from the news. Like you say, what impact has it had on him? I think he is back to being torn between us again, unfortunately.
and LH, her number isnít blocked because he chose not to, even though I had suggested it might be necessary to protect himself and me/the M from this very kind of situation.
Texting OW behind your back
Refusing to delete her number
Not doing HW

What are actions telling you?
Originally Posted by Pommy99
May, after we separated their communication increased. We were all in lockdown, she was at home with her H but they would speak every day (she would go out for walk to call him). H said that theyí started to get close and were acting more like a couple. He said he started to develop feelings (pretty sure they existed long before that tbh) and it didnt feel right. He said he didnít want to be in a position where we could all turn around and say that he was having an affair all along. He said his loyalty to me was greater than his loyalty to her, he told her he didnít feel heíd really given his marriage a chance and they agreed to stop contacting each other.

Was the Separation in house or not in house?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I donít know how today has made him feel in terms of his feelings for her, other than heís sad itís happening to someone he cares about. He gave me the spiel about not stopping caring just because heís not in contact.
You cannot stop his feelings but he hasn't done anything to prevent the harm., He is leaving the door open by not blocking her.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I guess Iíve lectured him today - about how he was asked to protect himself and his M from this but left that door open, that itís not his job to support her, that in choosing the M he was choosing a certain path and there was no role for her, that he should have been working towards letting go, which is why leaving the door open created a massive risk. I said I know you care and I hope she has friends and family to support her, but itís not his job to be there for her.


Hmm. Your anger is valid but the truth is when you use "You" a bunch - the other person can't hear you but the defenses are up. He's also not a child. And you can't control him. All you can do is tell him how your feel and then set a boundary around it that works for YOU.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I feel like he wants to be there for her because of his comments that she was there for him.

Mindreading - Don't go there.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Heís apologised for lying but said in the moment he was scared of telling me. I said thatís nonsense, you made a conscious decision to hide your screen and then delete the texts and then lie about emailing someone else for a good 5 minutes afterwards, in the hope that I wouldnít keep pushing it. I mentioned the times heís done this before - he whinged that heís never going to be able to get away from the past misdemeanours if I keep bringing them up. I said not if you keep resetting the counter to zero. That I had hoped to be 100 steps down the road from this by now but heís just reset the clock .
What tools is your MC giving you to handle setbacks?


Originally Posted by Pommy99
Right now he canít separate out the fact that he cares for her from the fact he chose to work on the M

He doesn't have to separate feelings... but feelings aren't actions. He can certainly DO something.


Originally Posted by Pommy99
Yes we are struggling to reconnect - weíve not done our MC homework that was set nearly two weeks ago so Iím struggling to see his motivation, but Iím not pushing it, as Iím seeing small amounts of progress in other areas. Bottom line is he still doesnít see me as a lover and is not initiating the exercises we have been tasked with doing. To be fair, he had an op last week so itís been a hard week/weekend.

Heís been really mopey all afternoon now, trying to appease me with coffee etc but I think he is reeling from the news. Like you say, what impact has it had on him? I think he is back to being torn between us again, unfortunately.



Pommy - Based on your posts - it doesn't seem your like H is ready. He "wants" to do the work... but isn't "doing" the actual work. It also feels like you are accepting the breadcrumbs he is giving you as progress yet at the same time criticizing him when he falls short. Your pendulum swings back and forth. How do you calm that?

The hard truth is Pommy's emotional well being and emotional safety is fully POMMY's responsibility. You keep expecting your H to provide this for you but he can't do that right now (and its truly not his job to). But you can. You have so much power here and yet you give it to him. Why? What are you so afraid of when you choose yourself?

Ask yourself - What can Pommy do to keep Pommy emotional safe? What Can Pommy do to Self Care? Protect her Well Being?Live a life of Honesty and Integrity?

All the answers is within yourself. What will it take for you to look inwards instead of expecting your H to do it for you?
Hi Valeska, he moved out , but a week after, we went into full lockdown . He wasnít able to travel to her city for work, which he had been doing every week.

I honestly donít know why he wanted to come back, we had about 7 weeks honeymoon period, then something happened and he went all distant. I am now thinking perhaps this is when they got back in contact.

The thing with H is he denies everything unless presented with evidence. So today he was caught red handed and now surprise, surprise they have only been in contact since this morning, I donít believe him . Why should I?
They call that trickle truth
Originally Posted by Ginger1
They call that trickle truth

Yes H is a master at it. He has denied so much in relation to OW until presented with evidence. And even then it will be the bare minimum, until caught out again.

At MC last month he broke down when saying he had done something he never thought he would do, and that was lie to his wife, It made him hate himself, filled him with shame, guilt. And yet here we are again.
LH-- I'm thinking a lot on what you and others have said about value and will answer more on my thread once I've put it together in my head. How I feel right now is this-- it doesn't really matter to me at this moment whether or not my H thinks I'm "valuable" or not. What matters is what I think of myself, and then following that what my boundaries are, how I'm enforcing them, and whether or not I'm living my life in accordance with my core values. Each of us has different boundaries and core values. Yours may be different than mine. If I choose to stay, that doesn't inherently make me weak, or wrong, or scared, or demonstrate I see myself as valueless. We're all different and have different boundaries. I think the most important thing is really understanding yourself and what you need and value, then making your own life choices based on that. Not other people's interpretations of what that should look like. And for me (and for Pommy too)-- this is a big decision. Not something to do in a knee-jerk fashion.

Pommy-- I think what Valeska is saying is right on, about your emotional well-being and safety being your responsibility, not your H's. I know know know the pull of wanting to have him help you with this right now, and I think it was a mistake I made in the spring-- I wanted to get to piecing too quickly when we were still in R and my H was (unbeknownst to me) still ambivalent about his decision. I wanted things from him he wasn't ready to give (and may never be able to give.) In fact, he said to me this weekend that the big "transparency" conversation we had probably did contribute to him relapsing and reaching back out to AP, rather than being the springboard I hoped it would be to launch us into piecing. What Valeska says about your H wanting to do the work but not actually being ready to do the work seems to really fit, and I know that was similar for my H (though he was probably a step back from that, felt like he HAD to do it but didn't really want to. At least your H wants it.)

I've been thinking about R and piecing, what is and isn't possible, how people can grow and change, or not. It seems like the most straightforward path to piecing and M2.0 is like BluWave's: full on separation, the WAS goes out to live their fantasy life, hits rock bottom, finally has enough motivation to make real, lasting changes in themselves, comes crawling back, and after a fairly substantial period of time, like months, of repeated demonstration that the changes are real, the LBS agrees to take the WAS back and piecing begins. Reconciliation (or at least the first part of reconciliation) is taking place outside of the marital home, the WAS is full of remorse, willing to do anything and everything to demonstrate to the LBS that they're someone worthy of their love. That WAS will do all the things you need and be the person you can lean on if you need to, because they're going to go above and beyond to support you in healing from the trauma they caused. If you were in this situation, your H wouldn't be whining about not feeling passionate or whatever, and he definitely wouldn't have hid the text from you (it may never have come because he would have blocked her in the first place).

On the other end of the spectrum you have Wayfarer or Steve85, though Wayfarer's sitch is more extreme-- the WAS never leaves, the LBS buckles down and DBs for a long time until at some point the WAS emotionally returns to the M and wants to reconcile/piece. The lines are much, much harder to draw, understanding when R starts, understanding when piecing starts. I think the key for all of this is learning to take care of yourself throughout all of this, taking your own happiness and wellbeing into your own hands and letting him do the same on his own side. If you decide to stay, I would look to Wayfarer for inspiration, I really would. (If I decide to go in for another round, this is what I'll do.) She completely dropped the rope and relied on her H for absolutely nothing. She took care of herself, her kids, expected nothing of him to the point that he continually knocked her off balance when he leaned in instead of the other way around.

I feel like you and I expect that our Hs, once they make the choice to work on the M, should act logically and do the right thing. You don't want to be a liar, don't lie. You don't want to have people say you were having an affair all along-- don't have an affair. You want to build trust with your W, take every opportunity to do that-- ESPECIALLY when your AP reaches out. You want to work on your marriage, you do everything you possibly can to support a positive outcome from blocking your AP to ruthlessly squashing thoughts of them when they pop up. But unfortunately, whether due to some inherent character flaw or a version of an MLC or whatever, they can't do that. Their emotions are ruling the day. Their GD FEELINGS are soooooooo important, important enough to jerk everyone else in their lives around.

I mean, what about your daughters? Can't he think of them when he gets a text from AP? They've already been through the trauma of him leaving and then coming back. He's going to risk their well-being again by engaging in behaviors that are not in alignment with staying in your M?

Anyway...I digress. These Hs are weak and selfish or we wouldn't be here. in a sitch like yours, where your H left, but didn't really get to experience the full fantasy life and have it blow up on him, I think he's probably more in the Wayfarer (or my) H's category-- he isn't fully baked. He hasn't gone through the fire and come out the other side a changed man. He wants that but hasn't made it very far down the path. He can't let you lean on him yet because he's still going through a whole lot of $hit in his head, did he make the right choice, can he ever be happy, how can he be M when he still has feelings for AP, OMG what if AP is dying, but what about Pommy, what about the kids, who am I???? (all things my H has said to me, except the cancer part) You're getting to watch him bake, very very slowly. Or not. You'll have to decide if you can heal and be able to rely wholly on yourself for your own emotional processing and happiness with your H still in your house.

I'd spend some time around Valenska's questions at the end. What do you need for YOU, and then how does that translate into what you want in terms of your H.

(((POMMY)))
Originally Posted by Pommy
I honestly donít know why he wanted to come back, we had about 7 weeks honeymoon period, then something happened and he went all distant. I am now thinking perhaps this is when they got back in contact.

The thing with H is he denies everything unless presented with evidence. So today he was caught red handed and now surprise, surprise they have only been in contact since this morning, I donít believe him . Why should I?

Yeah.... I think you're probably right about the timing of him going distant and reconnecting with her.

I will say, in my situation with my sad lying H, the biggest revelations have come when he has approached me on his own and told me things about past lies, omissions, or what is going on rather than me getting very far in confronting him. (For instance, me in this most recent situation-- are you i contact with her? No. Well, this email. Then a few days later, actually I have been in contact with her, several times, this day, this day, that day.)

I think that they are so used to lying in the day-to-day and they're so scared of the consequences that they just goes to the lie as a default every time, and then they're kind of trapped there because they don't want to admit to MORE lies. My H said every time I had asked him "Is there more?" that he didn't cop to all the final revelations I just got because after the first time he said no, this is it, every time he added more things that he'd lied about it would just make me trust him less and less, so he didn't want to admit to it.

Originally Posted by Pommy
At MC last month he broke down when saying he had done something he never thought he would do, and that was lie to his wife, It made him hate himself, filled him with shame, guilt. And yet here we are again.

I have found that my H has these feelings more when he's actively lying than when he isn't. So I wonder if that expression was him saying how he felt in the present rather than thinking about past behavior.

I feel like your H needs a come to Jesus moment. Or some sort of truth amnesty place like in MC where he can feel OK about telling you maybe things he hasn't said in the past about what he's done. I wonder if there are other lies about the extent of the relationship with OW that he hasn't shared yet, and that is also bothering him. But it feels impossible (even to me) to be in a situation where the only time you learn any truths is when you catch him red-handed. How will you ever learn to trust him without turning into the police?
Pommy, I am so sorry you are dealing with this right now.

I don't know if this is the right thing to do or not, but what if you asked H what he would do in your situation? In a very neutral sense, almost like talking to a best friend. That you are at the end of the road here and need to turn right or left, but going straight ahead isn't an option; there's no road. Which way would he choose? Can you have a deeply emotional conversation like this in a completely unemotional way? Can you make a decision about the next steps together, as if you are not so deeply invested in the outcome?

I get the sense from your posts that H is sensitive and maybe not too confident in his own decision-making capabilities. Maybe he needs to really hit rock bottom before he can truly come back as a whole human husband. And I don't think rock bottom is going to be a tongue-lashing from you, renewed expectations, hours in IC and MC, etc. He needs to watch you walk away, forever. He needs to believe that this is truly it.

As hard as it may be, getting out right now may be in your best interest. Because you may work this out and always look over your shoulder, or you may go through this again and again every 3-4 months and be decimated in the process. In some ways, your last detachment, the one that made H come home, truncated both of your processes: you didn't get to fully 'become' the new woman you were working towards, and H didn't really hit rock bottom and build himself back up to a great place. Who would Pommy be today if H never came home?

And, I know this isn't funny, but I can't help thinking of LH's comment on May's thread about all the boomeranging, wishy-washy WAHs on this board being f-ing weak-a$$ puss!es and how they don't deserve us women. He's right.

But no matter what your next steps are, you don't have to decide right away. Maybe more information will come out in the coming days that give you some guidance into your next steps.

(((((Pommy)))))
P,

Sage just gave you some really good advice.

It's tough when their are hints of reconciliation from our spouses but they aren't truly ready yet. I had that with my exw. After an initial seperation we got back together for a year and a half. We attended some MC but she never did the homework. She didn't want me to have access to her phone because she said it was an invasion of her privacy. I can remember walking in the room one day while she was texting and it was so obvious she was hiding something. Everyday I would come home and the first thing I would do was look to see if her phone was on the charger. Pretty $hitty way to live. 6 years ago Saturday I caught her secretly texting my neighbor. Knowing what I know now anything short of her apologizing, giving me full transparency and complete remorse I would have divorced her right then.
So some updates from overnight:
- I went out for a couple of hours in the evening, didn't tell H where I went, but actually just went and sat by a lake in the evening sun. He moped around me all evening after I got back. We started a R talk late evening and H said that situations like this, where he's upset me, make him scared that I'm going to leave. He said he has this pull and need for me and he is scared that I'll go. However, he is feeling despondent that the feelings he wants to feel are not there, and it's been a few months now since he came back.

- I got up in the middle of the night and searched through his iPad. I guess I'm just looking for answers, something to grab on to that tells me to leave. I found text messages from mid-May. Nothing more than "I'll call you back baby", (ugh) but this is a month later than he said contact ended. There was a txt from him on 26th May as well - "I'll call you back" - 4 days before he asked to come home. He's adamant that he hasn't been in contact since then. When he asked to come home he told me he hadn't been in touch for weeks blah blah, and I believed that he really had had a period of reflection, where he'd broken contact with her for at least 6 weeks - not 4 bl00dy days.

- So I launched this at him at 3am. Said he had an outstanding capacity for lying. His response was just their friendship hadn't ended on bad terms. They'd agreed to concentrate on their respective marriages in April but there was still a little contact afterwards. (Apparently, calling her "baby" is just a friendly term.) Then I asked him to leave. He said ok. sorry.

- This morning I went over again the events from yesterday, seeing the panic on his face when I walked up to him while he was texting, and how quickly he swiped the message away and somehow managed to delete them by the time I'd asked to see his phone. He is still adamant that it was only yesterday she told him the news about the cancer and he hadn't been in touch since before he came back home. (all this overheard by D16)

- I took Sage's advice and asked his opinion on what he would do if he were me. He said he truly didn't know.

- Now we get to the bit about "us" - he still doesn't have those feelings that he wants for me, he doesn't want the pain of breaking up, he wants a simple and happy life and not a broken marriage, he wants those feelings for me. As far as he is concerned, OW has no bearing on how he feels about me. However, he feels that our marriage has always lacked a real passionate spark and is questioning what our relationship is built on - it seems to be friendship and loyalty of 20 years, but we've never had that amazing connection (although he said we did before we were married but we never developed our relationship beyond that into a deeper existence). He doesn't know if we are asking the impossible, in trying to achieve something that never truly existed. He wants to ask MC tomorrow (he has a 1-2-1 session with the MC). He wants the pain to stop as much as I do.

So, that's where we are, more tears this morning, I've said I don't know what I feel right now but I do want to make the marriage work. I just don't understand if 2 people love each other, why is it so difficult. He keeps apologizing and saying sorry for ruining my life, that he never wanted to hurt me like this. He wants to do our MC homework tonight (the sensate focus, reconnecting etc).

I feel like we are still running round in circles. However, I am a believer that this will take a lot of time to heal and a lot of the progress is beneath the surface. But he is despondent that things aren't clicking into place. He says its not the "new love/butterflies" that he's after but that sense of connection that leads to a passionate marriage. We have the friendship and loyalty but not the deep emotional connection, and he's not sure whether we can create that if it was never there.

I cant see the wood for the trees anymore. I don't know where to direct my focus or channel my energy. I know you will all say detach and GAL but I'm also questioning whether I should just give up.
Did he use the term loyalty? Does her understand the definition?

I don't think you need to give up but crystal clear boundaries are in order.

OW is still on his mind and in his heart and he can't reconnect with you until that's not the case anymore.

His actions need follow up with his words.
Originally Posted by LH19
I don't think you need to give up but crystal clear boundaries are in order.

This seems hard right now. He cares for her, she has cancer, he will want to know how she is, and will presumably want to keep a track of her situation because he cares for her.

Where do I go with this? Not going NC is a deal breaker.

Originally Posted by LH19
OW is still on his mind and in his heart and he can't reconnect with you until that's not the case anymore.


He always, always tells me this is nothing to do with feelings for her. That he was out of love with me long before she came along. And that our connection has always been out of sync. That's his truth. Of course she woke up feelings in him (and they had an amazing connection).
P,

Iím not sure what to say to you. You seem like a amazing woman. These things are hard! Hard decisions need to be made. If she is hospitalized is he going to visit her? I mean where does it end?

One of two things is holding him back. Itís either her or heís not attracted to you and likely will never be.

Iím sorry.
We had a talk. He says he needs to focus on his own life and issues right now, that this is bad timing and that he feels he should put an end to all contact but right now it might make him feel worse, in a callous sense.

The attraction thing - it really cuts deep to read that. He said today what keeps him going is how my feelings changed, how I went from not being attracted to him, to totally changing the way I felt. This was all before OW - it had to do with dropping long-held resentments, and again seeing the person I had married. He wants to believe it can happen.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
We had a talk. He says he needs to focus on his own life and issues right now, that this is bad timing and that he feels he should put an end to all contact but right now it might make him feel worse, in a callous sense.

I was going to suggest to stop MC and any relationship talks etc. until the OW issue was addressed. Things will not and cannot get better until she is out of the picture and he has grieved their relationship. Go back to focusing on yourself and really think about how you want to live the second half of your life. If he wants a relationship in the future you will know. If he does not you will still feel like your in limbo and confused.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
So some updates from overnight:
- I went out for a couple of hours in the evening, didn't tell H where I went, but actually just went and sat by a lake in the evening sun. He moped around me all evening after I got back. We started a R talk late evening and H said that situations like this, where he's upset me, make him scared that I'm going to leave. He said he has this pull and need for me and he is scared that I'll go. However, he is feeling despondent that the feelings he wants to feel are not there, and it's been a few months now since he came back.

Whilst I believe he is scared... It doesn't seem like he is scared of losing you... but more scared in a selfish way. If he were scared of you actually going - don't you think he would be doing everything you asked him to? He's not even doing the bare minimum.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I got up in the middle of the night and searched through his iPad. I guess I'm just looking for answers, something to grab on to that tells me to leave. I found text messages from mid-May. Nothing more than "I'll call you back baby", (ugh) but this is a month later than he said contact ended. There was a txt from him on 26th May as well - "I'll call you back" - 4 days before he asked to come home. He's adamant that he hasn't been in contact since then. When he asked to come home he told me he hadn't been in touch for weeks blah blah, and I believed that he really had had a period of reflection, where he'd broken contact with her for at least 6 weeks - not 4 bl00dy days.


Finding this out... did it give you the answers your were looking for?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
So I launched this at him at 3am. Said he had an outstanding capacity for lying. His response was just their friendship hadn't ended on bad terms. They'd agreed to concentrate on their respective marriages in April but there was still a little contact afterwards. (Apparently, calling her "baby" is just a friendly term.) Then I asked him to leave. He said ok. sorry.

- This morning I went over again the events from yesterday, seeing the panic on his face when I walked up to him while he was texting, and how quickly he swiped the message away and somehow managed to delete them by the time I'd asked to see his phone. He is still adamant that it was only yesterday she told him the news about the cancer and he hadn't been in touch since before he came back home. (all this overheard by D16)


He is giving you lots of information here Pommy. Do you see that?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I took Sage's advice and asked his opinion on what he would do if he were me. He said he truly didn't know.

What a BS response. I know you have kids. Have you ever sat a toddle down after they took a toy and said "how would you feel if he took your toy?". Even if the toddlers can give emotions. Even they can say move past their "I don't knows" to "bad" or "sad".

His answer is not acceptable.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
INow we get to the bit about "us" - he still doesn't have those feelings that he wants for me, he doesn't want the pain of breaking up, he wants a simple and happy life and not a broken marriage, he wants those feelings for me.
I agree he doesn't want the pain of breaking up but that's not the same as recon. Everything else after is just more words.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
As far as he is concerned, OW has no bearing on how he feels about me. However, he feels that our marriage has always lacked a real passionate spark and is questioning what our relationship is built on - it seems to be friendship and loyalty of 20 years, but we've never had that amazing connection (although he said we did before we were married but we never developed our relationship beyond that into a deeper existence). He doesn't know if we are asking the impossible, in trying to achieve something that never truly existed. He wants to ask MC tomorrow (he has a 1-2-1 session with the MC). He wants the pain to stop as much as I do.
I know you are having the R talk but jeez... he needs to stop telling you this stuff. He just emotional spews on you without understanding the pain it may cause you

Originally Posted by Pommy99
So, that's where we are, more tears this morning, I've said I don't know what I feel right now but I do want to make the marriage work. I just don't understand if 2 people love each other, why is it so difficult. He keeps apologizing and saying sorry for ruining my life, that he never wanted to hurt me like this. He wants to do our MC homework tonight (the sensate focus, reconnecting etc).


It is not my place to tell you if your H loves you, but both people need to do the work. Alot of folks make the mistake (myself included here) that its couples work or marriage.. and sure there is a degree of that. But IMHO - most of the work is individual work. Your H is showing no signs he wants to do the work.

Yes some of the work is uncomfortable. If fact - I understand the feeling of "this should be more natural, or feelings should just be there". But they aren't - and he has to make the decision to at least try and do the work to see if would change his feelings. The fact that he isn't - is telling you something Pommy - what do you think it is?

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I feel like we are still running round in circles. However, I am a believer that this will take a lot of time to heal and a lot of the progress is beneath the surface. But he is despondent that things aren't clicking into place. He says its not the "new love/butterflies" that he's after but that sense of connection that leads to a passionate marriage. We have the friendship and loyalty but not the deep emotional connection, and he's not sure whether we can create that if it was never there.
He talks to much to stop spewing his emotional doubts on you. He should talk to his IC about it. Gosh - how painful for you. I'm sorry.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I cant see the wood for the trees anymore. I don't know where to direct my focus or channel my energy. I know you will all say detach and GAL but I'm also questioning whether I should just give up.


Perhaps go back to the questions I asked you. smile

It will definitely help with the detachment and refocus you on working on yourself which may give you answers to the question you ask.
Valeska, thank you. You asked me these Qs yesterday:

Originally Posted by Valeska19
Pommy - Based on your posts - it doesn't seem your like H is ready. He "wants" to do the work... but isn't "doing" the actual work. It also feels like you are accepting the breadcrumbs he is giving you as progress yet at the same time criticizing him when he falls short. Your pendulum swings back and forth. How do you calm that?

I also feel like I am still accepting breadcrumbs, and I'm very much not detached. I was more detached after we separated but when he came back and we started MC I started to invest myself more emotionally, and now the M is so unstable and I am also more unstable. I don't know how to calm myself anymore, it seems. I do fluctuate wildly between "this is never going to work", and "keeping the faith". I feel sometimes it depends on what I read on the forum, or the internet. I do know I am constantly searching for answers on the internet - can we ever reconnect, will my H ever find the lost attraction, etc etc. I then read too much and overwhelm myself. It seems the only thing I ever think about is my GD marriage and it's killing me inside. Even in my sleep I'm dreaming about my sitch, or OW, etc.

Quote
The hard truth is Pommy's emotional well being and emotional safety is fully POMMY's responsibility. You keep expecting your H to provide this for you but he can't do that right now (and its truly not his job to). But you can. You have so much power here and yet you give it to him. Why? What are you so afraid of when you choose yourself?

Ask yourself - What can Pommy do to keep Pommy emotional safe? What Can Pommy do to Self Care? Protect her Well Being?Live a life of Honesty and Integrity?

All the answers is within yourself. What will it take for you to look inwards instead of expecting your H to do it for you?
I do a lot to self-care on many levels, I have hobbies that enable me to get out with other people, I keep very fit, I try and focus on work, spend time with the children. But my emotional state is fragile. Even when I exercise or socialize I am constantly thinking about my M. It's unhealthy and I don't know how to break the cycle. Even when H left, he was contacting me or visiting several times a day. It was separation by his rules. I found NC was the best way I could manage myself emotionally. I don't know how to manage myself emotionally, I know I am failing badly, but some days are better than others and I don't know why. Some days I can be happy, upbeat, accept what will be will be, and other days I spiral out of control with little triggers.

I guess the truth is I'm scared, I'm scared he will walk away, I'm scared he wont be in my life. I'm scared of having to start over again at my age! I'm also scared of investing more time for nothing to come to fruition. I just want to sit in the here and now even H is telling me to sit with things now and not worry about what might or might not happen in 3 months. Why do I find this so hard to do?
Originally Posted by LH19

I was going to suggest to stop MC and any relationship talks etc. until the OW issue was addressed. Things will not and cannot get better until she is out of the picture and he has grieved their relationship. Go back to focusing on yourself and really think about how you want to live the second half of your life. If he wants a relationship in the future you will know. If he does not you will still feel like your in limbo and confused.
He has a 1-2-1 with MC tomorrow. I'm hoping something will come out of that in relation to how he deals with OW (or not). Then I can make a call on whether we continue with MC and how I want to move forward. This has to be a boundary for me. I cannot stay in the M if he wants to remain in contact with OW.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I guess the truth is I'm scared, I'm scared he will walk away, I'm scared he wont be in my life. I'm scared of having to start over again at my age!

^^^^^^^^^^^This is what is keeping you from getting what you want in your marriage. Life will present you with people and circumstances to show you where you are not free. If you can overcome this you will eventually get what you want out of a relationship.

May22 writes paragraphs and paragraphs of words when it can be summed up in two sentences.

Thank you for being honest PM99. BTW WWs know this too and use it to their advantage. WWs are awesome! lol
Pommy, just a few thoughts for you. First, we both know that "click" can happen and turn everything around in/re feeling attracted to your partner, because it happened to both of us. If you need a little reinforcement to know you aren't crazy, it happened to me too.

Have you read Esther Perel? You might read Mating in Captivity if you haven't. She talks a lot about attraction, how we want what we don't have, the inherent friction between love and desire.

Finally... wasn't he in touch with her on WhatsApp before? My H told me that they used WhatsApp because it is totally secure and everything deleted gets deleted forever. Wondering if there was some action on WhatsApp that you wouldn't be able to see, not just the few texts. Not to freak you out.

I think your boundary is a great one. Can't work on your M with a third party in the picture.

You've got this.
Originally Posted by Pommy99

I guess the truth is I'm scared, I'm scared he will walk away, I'm scared he wont be in my life. I'm scared of having to start over again at my age! I'm also scared of investing more time for nothing to come to fruition. I just want to sit in the here and now even H is telling me to sit with things now and not worry about what might or might not happen in 3 months. Why do I find this so hard to do?

You're finding this so hard to do because it IS hard! none of this DB stuff is easy. You recognize your fear. that is already a big step. We were all scared at one point. My fear still lingers sometimes. But you can learn to live with it. You can learn to take control of your life and not have fear impact your decisions. What is so scary if he walks away? Why is it so terrible that he won't be in your life? Isn't it scarier to have a liar and a cheater in your life? Just playing devil's advocate.

I always think about the really horrible things that are happening to people around the world, and how marital problems seem so insignificant in comparison. maybe that could be a method of dampening your fear.
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I do a lot to self-care on many levels, I have hobbies that enable me to get out with other people, I keep very fit, I try and focus on work, spend time with the children. But my emotional state is fragile. Even when I exercise or socialize I am constantly thinking about my M. It's unhealthy and I don't know how to break the cycle. Even when H left, he was contacting me or visiting several times a day. It was separation by his rules. I found NC was the best way I could manage myself emotionally. I don't know how to manage myself emotionally, I know I am failing badly, but some days are better than others and I don't know why. Some days I can be happy, upbeat, accept what will be will be, and other days I spiral out of control with little triggers.

There is a ton of pain, and a ton of hurt there. Your struggle makes sense. And suppressing those feelings is hard.. and unhealthy. Is there a way that you can do a version of NC in the house? Create that distance? Obviously a S makes the NC easier as it eliminates the physical part of it.

I get triggered alot so I will tell you what works for me. I have two designated areas in my house that I give myself permission to lose my sh!t in. When I am being triggered and if I can, I immediately go to that room, close the door, and let it out. Cry. Scream. pace around the room talking to myself, etc ( When I'm not home - I look for a space where I can get away. My car, park, whatever.). I give space for my emotion to express itself fully and openly - because what it has to say is so very important. It also calm me down. I'd rather take that 15 mins and do a solid cry - then sob around the house for hours.

Then I set a boundary on myself to not talk about it until the trigger has truly passed. Sometimes this is really difficult as a certain trigger can put me on a rollercoaster for a day or two. . For you - if that means not talking to your H for a couple days.. so be it. If it means you take a weekend away from the sitch - so be it. I feel confident that you can find ways that work for you.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I guess the truth is I'm scared, I'm scared he will walk away, I'm scared he wont be in my life. I'm scared of having to start over again at my age! I'm also scared of investing more time for nothing to come to fruition. I just want to sit in the here and now even H is telling me to sit with things now and not worry about what might or might not happen in 3 months. Why do I find this so hard to do?


This is beautiful honesty and thank you for sharing it. Acknowledging it is the first step because you can now see how this fear is guiding your actions. If you have been in a marriage where Pommy's feelings and thoughts didn't matter (whether to H or to YOU) - changing this is gonna be one of the hardest parts of this whole journey.

Just only H can decide when to change - only you can say when enough is enough.
Hi Pommy,

I don't know your whole sitch but I do recognize something that I went through when my W came back. There seems to be a lot of tension. I would work on detachment (such a DB thing to say)...but seriously just calming down would be huge.

Quote
Even when I exercise or socialize I am constantly thinking about my M. It's unhealthy and I don't know how to break the cycle.


Have you read DR? Do you remember the "stop sign technique"? This is great way to start controlling your thoughts.

Just remember that you control your thoughts. Have that attitude, dominate your thoughts, direct your mind. Be cerebral about this for the time being.

Quote
I then read too much and overwhelm myself.
This doesn't appear to be working. Is it within your power to change it?

Look what you've been through already, how can anything in this life ever scare you after that? You've already shown so much resilience but now you're letting little things get to you? We tell ourselves funny stories sometimes! Tell yourself the story about how strong you are and how you're still learning and growing and pushing and that you will be happy.
Originally Posted by may22
Finally... wasn't he in touch with her on WhatsApp before? My H told me that they used WhatsApp because it is totally secure and everything deleted gets deleted forever. Wondering if there was some action on WhatsApp that you wouldn't be able to see, not just the few texts. Not to freak you out.
Yes WhatsApp was their primary tool for chat. I know there would've been deleted WhatsApp threads. What upset me was that he lied about how long he had been NC with her before he came back. If I'd known he was still calling her "baby" two weeks before he came back (and only a week or so after he'd come back the first time) then I would probably have responded differently.

Originally Posted by wooba
What is so scary if he walks away? Why is it so terrible that he won't be in your life? Isn't it scarier to have a liar and a cheater in your life? Just playing devil's advocate.
I guess like most of us here, we still see some good in our WAS. He wasn't always a bad person (or a person who made bad choices). As much as I'd love to make him a villain so I could detach more easily, I know he's not all bad.

Originally Posted by valeska
Is there a way that you can do a version of NC in the house? Create that distance? Obviously a S makes the NC easier as it eliminates the physical part of it.
I don't think NC is the right approach right now - unless I'm telling him that recon is off the table (which at the moment I'm not).

Originally Posted by valeska
Then I set a boundary on myself to not talk about it until the trigger has truly passed. Sometimes this is really difficult as a certain trigger can put me on a rollercoaster for a day or two. . For you - if that means not talking to your H for a couple days.. so be it. If it means you take a weekend away from the sitch - so be it. I feel confident that you can find ways that work for you.
I do need to manage my triggers better, and find a way to suppress my hurt and anger, and deal with it at an appropriate time. Unfortunately I cannot rest until it is off my chest - that might be 3am or in the middle of the working day. I know Steve85 would say he should be able to tell me he's having an orgy and I will not react. I'm not in that place by a long way.

Originally Posted by ovrrbw
There seems to be a lot of tension. I would work on detachment (such a DB thing to say)...but seriously just calming down would be huge.
It would be huge. I got to the point yesterday where I said I don't want to talk about the relationship, I've had enough talk, I've forgotten what it feels like to have fun and not be emotionally dragged down. I had a nice day and felt calm. During the night I started to feel angry. I rolled over and spooned H and he held my hand - I thought trying to generate some positive feelings in me would help. It did. Early dawn, H heard me sighing and rolled over and spooned me. So that all felt nice.

Originally Posted by LH
I was going to suggest to stop MC and any relationship talks etc. until the OW issue was addressed. Things will not and cannot get better until she is out of the picture and he has grieved their relationship.
H and I had a fight this morning. I dragged up something from 18 months ago. I found new evidence today because it had been bugging me (about whether he had taken a day off work to be with her, which he'd always denied. He had admitted a long time ago they'd met for lunch but had always maintained he'd needed to go to the city for an extra day for an important meeting. For him, no work = no pay). This morning, I looked at his work calendar and sure enough he had taken the day off. I gave him about 4 opportunities this morning to tell the truth and he lied until I showed him. H got angry that I was on his work laptop, and also dragging stuff up from 18 months ago as it was meaningless now. He said he lied because he saw no point in causing more arguments because it was so long ago. I honestly don't know why I needed to do that? Why am I dragging up stuff from 18months ago? Why is it still bugging me? I guess I was manipulating him to test if he is still capable of lying to me, and will continue to do so, unless presented with evidence. I admitted that I had done it to test him. He said it's so far in the past it's not even relevant, whereas I feel that it is still very much part of the present - here we are 18 months later and she's still here. During his solo MC yesterday, he was again told that he cannot connect with me while that door with OW is still open. We haven't discussed it and I'm dropping it for a few days. I just don't want any R talks right now.

H asked me what it means now that I know he lied again. He said he felt like he'd ruined everything again by lying, and it undoes eveything he has been trying to do, he looked completely deflated and beaten down. I avoided answering. He later came up behind me and hugged me and said sorry, told me ILY. (I haven't had an ILY for a few weeks). The good news is that I've managed not to over-analyse. I feel a little bit more in control as I know I'm reaching a make-or-break point. Still struggling to know how to respond to him in the meantime (be loving and try and have a fun weekend, or be more ambivalent and GAL all weekend).
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I guess like most of us here, we still see some good in our WAS. He wasn't always a bad person (or a person who made bad choices). As much as I'd love to make him a villain so I could detach more easily, I know he's not all bad.

Just to say this resonates so much with me, Pommy.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I do need to manage my triggers better, and find a way to suppress my hurt and anger, and deal with it at an appropriate time. Unfortunately I cannot rest until it is off my chest - that might be 3am or in the middle of the working day.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
I got to the point yesterday where I said I don't want to talk about the relationship, I've had enough talk, I've forgotten what it feels like to have fun and not be emotionally dragged down. I had a nice day and felt calm. During the night I started to feel angry. I rolled over and spooned H and he held my hand - I thought trying to generate some positive feelings in me would help. It did. Early dawn, H heard me sighing and rolled over and spooned me. So that all felt nice.

Originally Posted by Pommy99
Still struggling to know how to respond to him in the meantime (be loving and try and have a fun weekend, or be more ambivalent and GAL all weekend).

I've been thinking about this a lot, too. Maybe will post a bit on my own thread. But back to what Valeska posted a couple of days ago on your thread-- Pommy needs to take care of Pommy. You can't rely on your H right now, unfortunately, to lean on. He's half baked and he needs to finish up his own baking before he is whole enough to really help you deal with your own hurt and fears and insecurities (that he caused, yes I get it, it is totally unfair). Waking him up at 3 am might make you feel better in the moment but probably doesn't really help you to feel more secure or trusting or loved in the long term. (note that I did the exact same thing a few weeks ago, woke H up at 3 am to whisper-yell at him for awhile. So, I've totally been there.) It also probably doesn't help HIM to deal with his own stuff if he also feels insecure about losing you if he doesn't respond appropriately in the moment, which is a lot of pressure especially if you're totally confused like he is.

Also, I don't think he needs to finish baking by separating, necessarily, although I know that is the general template here. But whether he stays or he goes, he isn't someone you can rely on to be your support through this right now. So can you think back to the hard days of when he was still going back and forth into the city, and then when he was trying to decide whether or not to move out? And you were able to find calm and centeredness in the face of his mess? What did you do then to find that place? I remember you talking about stopping in the pub for a G&T on the way home from somewhere and just people watching... not sure that can happen today with COVID but what were the other ways you learned to self-regulate? Can you go back to those? Take the spooning and the ILYs when you get them, of course, but don't make his behaviors make or break your mood. And when the anxiety or anger comes, try different ways of managing your distress on your own so that no matter what happens, you are in control, you've got this. Journaling, punching bag, exercise, primal screams-- let it out.

For this weekend, a suggestion-- what about doing both? Spend some time being loving and some time GALing. I bet the GALing will help you to let off some steam and make the time you do spend together less fraught. Or, if you decide you want to GAL and have some space, what if you just told him that? So neither of you take it personally, he doesn't get afraid you are thinking about leaving, but you can focus on you and find your center again? No R talks for a few days sounds like a great idea no matter what.

Finally-- therapeutic disclosure was posted on my thread as an idea, and I read up about it and it might be a good suggestion for your H too. A lie about something that happened 18 months ago is still a lie. It is totally relevant. He's still controlling the narrative by picking and choosing what to be honest about, and that isn't fair to you. Also the extent to which there are still lies between you-- and he is still actively lying about things whether they are past or present-- that is inhibiting the ability of you two to reconnect. He's got to figure out how to be fully transparent and recognize that if he wants to R with you, the consequences of continued lying are worse than the consequences of telling you some things that you may be angry about.

Hang in there, Pommy, and hold your head high. You are holding all the cards. You get to make the choices of how you want to move forward.
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Reconciliation Rollercoaster (part 5)
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