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may22 #2900389 07/22/20 08:11 AM
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Thank you, Sage! I heart you.

On the WhatsApp... I KNOW! Only I wish I knew that earlier as I totally snooped on his phone multiple times back in the fall (bad I know but oh well) but in my head, WhatsApp was *only* for communicating with people outside of the US so I didn't even look at it on his phone. I researched communication apps to see if I could find some sneaky app on his phone and no luck. Oh well. He told me the other day that WhatsApp is encrypted and messages only exist on the two devices that are used for the communication, and when you delete a message it is gone forever. Maybe part of the reason WASs like it. Anyway. I know my H was kind of embarrassed once he told me they primarily communicated via WhatsApp rather than phone/texting like non-cheating people. It made it feel a little dirtier, I think. Good.

I actually proposed to him the other day that I not go on the first week of the trip. (Assuming that he does what I'm asking.) That he take the girls and I work and we have a week on our own and then I'll meet up with them, which I actually think would be good for both of us. If we did that, though, I'd want to change the itinerary as the hotel I really want to stay at the most is at the beginning. I told him he'd probably be mourning to a certain extent and maybe that would be good to have a little space.

He said, he didn't want that. That if we were trying to work on our R he wanted to be together. That he'd been mourning for (one or two weeks? IDK... time is not moving as it should.... but whenever they stopped communicating) and he didn't think more time would be helpful for that. He said that every time we've been on a family vacation it has been a lot of fun and he's really enjoyed it, but always felt a little guilty knowing that AP was so angry/upset about it. (He said she HATED when we went on family vacations). And that one of the things that was really positive about the spring was that he didn't feel guilty any more for having fun at home with me, and so that is something he is really looking forward to on this trip. So, we will see. But I think you're right that I need to have some plans in place for when he does inevitably go downhill.

I am studiously avoiding bringing up the situation. I don't think he did it today or he would have told me. I really want to ask but I haven't. We're sitting across from each other now, he asked if I wanted to share a nice beer, we have been chatting and working on and off. We were talking about chatting apps, the value of Slack etc., and I asked him who else he talked with on WhatsApp. It is really not anyone he couldn't move to text or email. I said nothing about that but said I think it is possible, by the way, to block someone who has already blocked you-- you just need to type in their phone number... and he said OK and then got all quiet. So I guess I didn't not talk about it... oh well. wink I'm a slow learner!


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2900416 07/22/20 05:01 PM
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may, I am glad to see your H seems to be moving toward really trying on his own terms. I am always rooting for you. I wonder if it puts too much unnecessary pressure on yourself to try to decide whether trip is more DBing or piecing? Is this the point where you would sort of throw that distinction out the window for a bit and just focus on what feels right to you, for you moment by moment? Or would it maybe put too much pressure on the both of you if you had it in your head you were, like, officially in the piecing stage as soon as the car let the driveway? Maybe in choosing to accept or agree with your H's perspective that if you're working on your R, you're on the trip together--maybe that tells you enough? Obviously, my role here is to just ask a bunch more questions I don't have the answers to. smile


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Originally Posted by FlySolo
May - I have to say that even if he deletes all her contact information, if someone wants to find someone, they will. FB, Instigram, Twitter. As long as he has her name, he will find her. I'm not saying he will. I'm just saying this type of thing takes self motivation. And there's a reason it's called 'self' motivation. He controls it. Not you. Trust him or don't trust him. But you have to commit to the trust. You have to not assume the worst every time he looks at his phone or is gone a little too long.

I missed this post yesterday... yes, you're absolutely right. The six weeks of limbo in Jan-Feb when he was "deciding" last time was total h3ll on me for that reason, worse than in the fall because by then I *knew* they were in touch and it really bothered me. I felt a low-level anxiety all the time. I assumed the worst every time his phone buzzed. Once they got back in touch and I found out in June, it was the same, and one of the reasons I needed more solidity before agreeing to the trip. I just hate not knowing and wondering all the time.

That being said... I do think I'll trust if he says he isn't in contact with her. I already feel better this week than I did before as he is telling me they aren't in contact any more and he doesn't intend to be in contact with her again... I'm just waiting on him telling her he is blocking her and then actually doing it.

I think the telling her is important, because right now she was the one to block him on WhatsApp and I think it is important that this is his choice too. Also, even if she is a total head case, he can't have told her he'll be there for her if she has suicidal thoughts and then just not respond if she does reach out-- I don't think that is right. I feel like she really, really needs to have someone other than my H to help her if she is truly in a bad place. Relying on him to help her through any of what she is going through is not healthy for any of us involved.

And as I said.. i'm a trusting fool. I trusted last time and I think I'll trust again this time. I do believe we got through all the rest of the lies that one night he decided to unload everything else on me (UGH BECAUSE HE READ HE SHOULD IN SHIRLEY GLASS'S BOOK... IDK why that bothers me so much, that I said over and over I need total transparency and yet he only decides to do it when he reads it for himself) and it feels like the slate is finally clear between us. So with my optimistic mind I am thinking these are the steps we need to make it work this time, alllll the lies are out in the open, nothing still festering, no lingering questions on my part. I think, assuming he blocks her etc as I've asked, that I just need to let go and trust at that point. Otherwise, why bother doing any of this?

Originally Posted by FlySolo
So used to being in charge, they come back and feel lost, no-one is deferring to them, or even worse, they come back and get hit with four days worth of problems at once "the dishwasher's broken" or "X did this in school".I understand know how hard that must have been. Throw in unconscious resentment on my part - he gets to go away for four days and leave me at home with two young kids, his job is viewed by everyone as more amazing (god I hated how everyone fawned on him when he told them he was a pilot) even though its my job that pays most of the bills and what you get is him feeling emasculated when he gets in.

I wish I could talk to him about this now. But it is too late. It is not too late for you.

I do think about all of this, sometimes, and how it must have been hard for him. And I know I'll have to revisit this time if we move forward together as in his mind the damage is all still there and not healed over. I feel I didn't see him anymore as a human being but as a container for what I needed from him and focused more on what I wasn't getting than how he was feeling or needed from me as his W. But that all being said... I mean, so the F what that he didn't get fawned over at home? You have a right to some resentment when your partner isn't pulling his weight and you have to keep up everything, work plus family plus house while he's off getting his ego burnished. Not every person takes that set of circumstances and decides to give up on their M and go find someone who kisses their @ss a little more. Your H (and mine) are flawed and stunted people in that they made that choice. It is totally the easy route. And it is not your fault, nor mine, that they didn't have the emotional capacity or fortitude or whatever to deal with what was happening and get over themselves rather than run away.

Cardinal... wow, yes, I think you're so right. And it is what he is actually asking for, a month to relax and have fun together with the kids and travel around exploring our state. I guess that I have been worrying about what went wrong last time and what needs to be different this time. *I* need to have a fun and relaxing time, for me, and maybe that is all I should focus on for now.

Assuming we go. To my knowledge he has not yet done what I've asked. Trying to detach and not worry about it. It happens-- great. We go on this trip and have a long road ahead of us. He doesn't-- less great, tbh (that 50/50 feeling sure is slippery!!! all the child custody talk and my inability to really go there, yet, has scared me away) -- but still, a long road ahead.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2900507 07/23/20 04:15 PM
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Hi may !

Long time and long road I see for you . Go on the trip for you and for the kids . Itís amazing how are husbands are alike . Egos need brushing . Going through some of the same at home here. I actually live on the opposite coast as my name . I am a nurse and in the center of covid everyday since March . Been a ghost to everyone I know outside of work . I have seen things I donít wish for anyone to see yet my other half has been working from home with little worry . Tells me I donít show enough appreciation. Just holding my footing here . Not jumping on his roller coaster . Marathon girl .You hang in there . The real May is deep down in there . Strong and confident!

may22 #2900522 07/23/20 08:53 PM
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In speaking with the IC today I think I'll add one more to the list of his major flaws: entitlement, lack of empathy, and inability to take responsibility for his own actions. I was talking about this with my good friend today, who knows H well, and telling her these have always been personality traits of his I don't love. in fact, I feel I can trace most of my beefs with him to these three things. She asked-- has there ever been a time where you saw H really take responsibility for something major, something he did wrong, and admit it and work to rectify the situation? This stopped me cold. I couldn't think of a single time. Now I'm still thinking and I'm sure I have some level of confirmation bias going on here, but MAN. It really made me think that I'm barking up the wrong tree to think this man will suddenly sprout wings and come out of this chrysalis a butterfly.


May, this isn't sitting well with me. I don't think of these as simple flaws as much as I do a possible personality disorder. When I read this, my first thought was that he sounds like the most corrupt leader our country has yet to see. #45. And he happens to be an egocentric sociopath. Of course I do not know your H, and I hope he is not Trumpy, but this is concerning to me. In fact I would go as far as to say that the only reason I have been able to reconcile my own M and forgive my H, is because he has been able to take responsibility for his actions, demonstrate empathy and remorse, and because he humbled himself before coming back. Even with his commitment, it has still been the hardest thing I have ever done. There are so many built up triggers and emotions that didn't surface until after I had the safety of believing he was really back in it. It is years of work/processing/understanding/forgiving/changing on both ends. If you truly believe that your H has those character flaws, then I can't understand how you can want him back. He cannot do the work without them. It will not work. .... Maybe it's time to really look at the kind of person he is and is showing you and not the M or family you imagine it could be. It is easier to focus on the details -- did he cut off contact, will it stick this time, should you go on this vacay, etc, etc -- but those are just the little trees in a vast forest! I think it's time to cut your loss and plan a beautiful life without him. You deserve a man that cherishes you for you and all your greatness. In the mean time, you can start to rebuild your own self worth and confidence and nurture your more healthy relationships. I know this isn't what you want to read, but you have spent a very lone time analyzing him and what he will do next, but that is not moving you forward.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
may22 #2900532 07/23/20 11:35 PM
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Caligirl!!! So great to hear from you. I have been thinking about you recently and wondering how you are doing. I'm glad you're well. You have been such an inspiration to me in the whole detaching thing, staying off his roller coaster and putting one foot in front of the other. xoxoxo. I was just telling Wayfinder about you, she's in that same place you were where your H wanted back and you weren't sure how to trust it... if you have a sec to check in on her thread you might.

And both you and Blu nurses... I have so much respect for you both and what you're doing while I just sit around and feel sorry for myself because my H is an @ss. There are so many tragedies happening out there and maybe I just need to get some perspective. I am so fortunate in so many ways. I will get through this, regardless of what happens, anyway. I know that to my bones. I just don't WANT certain things to happen.

Blu... so good to hear from you too!! I'm in this weird place where half of me wants to magnify his flaws, focus on the worst of him, and use that as fodder to get me to the next phase of my life without him. The other half wants to see him as a flawed human being who has made mistakes but is capable of change. I have probably been leaning more on the bad parts of him here than the good parts.

He is absolutely nothing like 45 and if the words I'm using here makes it seem that way, then I'm really remiss. I know I do focus there in these pages, because it has been a helpful tool for me in detaching. But if I was to plot out those character flaws on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the worst possible (45), he is probably, honestly, like a five on the entitlement, four on the empathy (he is good at it when it doesn't involve making him feel like he was doing something wrong-- then it is harder for him), seven or eight on the not being able to take responsibility for stuff. This last one is the biggest. He has a really hard time with this-- even little things, like breaking a glass, his first instinct is to yell "MAY!" like I did something wrong. (In the old days, he would have found some reason to blame me or whoever was closest-- glass was put away in the wrong place, etc. Now, actually, he can control that and doesn't do it anymore.)

I talked to the IC about that conversation I had with my friend and my concerns around it. I'm not trying to minimize it-- in fact, I do think that if we split I will lean heavily on these character flaws-- but I also think I was being a bit dramatic when I posted this. I did spend some time and thought of a bunch of situations where he did, in fact, take responsibility and apologize for his behavior and make a concerted effort to change. Not just with me, but with others too-- his family, friends, friends-of-friends, etc. The kids, even. I guess the enormity of this current betrayal is just so great that it made it hard for me to compare to anything else. In the end, I do believe he is a good person and worthy of forgiveness, if we should go that route.

The other thing I have seen change in his words, starting back in May but with a lot more fleshing out and detail now-- is how hard he thinks the work will be in forgiving himself, reconciling his own behavior with his values, forgiving himself for the damage done to me and the potential damage to the children. This sits very heavy with him, as I think it should. I believe he had set up a perfect narrative that worked well for leaving (and would also work well if I boot him to the curb), where our R was unfixable, I didn't really love him anyway, and so he had no choice/ was fortunate enough to find love the second time around.

Whereas-- at least in his head--staying and working on the R means he needs to face all of this. (I believe he should face it regardless of where we end up, but that is what is in his mind.) I think it is a positive sign for his own growth and understanding that he at least realizes the work in front of him and how difficult it will be. I know he's worried he can't do it. Scout said at one point I was stopping him from growth by staying with him. After a lot of thought, I actually believe that by leaving him I'd be enabling his continued fantasy and stopping his potential growth (unless he hit absolute rock bottom). I think the only way he actually does learn and grow from this experience is by making a decision, sticking with it, and doing the hard work that it will entail.

I have to say that the fears I have around D, particularly 50-50 with the children, have magnified dramatically over the past couple of weeks. I talked yesterday with the IC about putting my own fantasy D to bed this past week. I think even while I was pooh-poohing his polygamous fantasy world, I was believing the parts I wanted to believe-- that he'd be OK with the girls sleeping here six out of seven nights a week, supporting me financially, etc etc. As I have been reading through a bunch of other threads where S has already happened and the tide is moving inexorably towards D, I realize that once we move into the "non-team sport" D arena, there is absolutely no way he would give me everything I'm asking for. And it probably also wouldn't be best for the kids either. So I'm back to the "it is worth the shot" to try to work it out with him, assuming he wants that too, because even if the chances are slim the reward is so great compared to the alternatives. And, what's the worst I lose? Time? So what?

I know I deserve the best. And I'm not getting it right now. But I still think that the possibility of M2.0 with my H, who is the only human being who can both be my partner and the father of my children, is worth the shot.

Took a bath and went to bed last night without really talking much to H. Haven't talked much today. Still don't know if he has done what I've asked, assuming no because I feel he would have told me. He's been tactile, hugs and leg touches and hand holding. I am trying soooooo hard not to ask. If we go, we're pushing back the date a couple of days (originally thought Saturday now probably won't be till Monday or Tuesday) so there is that too. I could use moral support in not GAF and not asking what is going on if anyone is around (and thinks that is the right path... I know many of you think I shouldn't even be contemplating this step at all, but that is where I am).


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2900533 07/23/20 11:36 PM
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HI May - until he moves past the OW he is not thinking clearly, don't expect him too - he knows what he is doing is wrong and is justifying this within himself. You described him with "entitlement, lack of empathy, and inability to take responsibility for his own actions" that is probably EVERY H that is in the midst of having an affair (and I also would say pre and post). You have alot to lose by giving up on him though...you still love him, otherwise you would not still be involved here, he is the father of your girls, you have history, etc - maybe its because you still see a marriage with him as a possibility and really ... because you still love him.

You know the saying, behind every great man is a great woman, I would dare say this as well... behind every broken woman is a broken man. That is going to be my new tag line, because its so true, especially here on these boards. Do not expect alot from him while with an OW, actually expect nothing - because he will lie, drop breadcrumbs, whatever it takes to keep you on the line, sadly. But I have the belief that you can win him back with a word.

Do the DB, be kind, don't engage in R and absolutely go on this trip with the mentality that you will enjoy it, you will bond with your girls, and ...he will be in contact with OW. Did I tell you that on my trip the OW was trailing us with a girlfriend, same places down the coast? (all later found on her social media - though I didnt know at the time). Just decide now that you will not bring it up or spend any effort/time on arguments (especially about the ow).

I will always encourage you to hold out, and when you feel like you can't - hold out another 2 weeks. Here is the 2x4 I guess: we did not get to this spot because we were awesome wives, so in some way you need to make your changes, and show him in actionable ways so that he can see that you did make changes for the better, that being married to you is a possibility. Engaging in cr@ppy behavior is only going to make the ow look that much better.

I am rooting for you and your marriage! Not to say that it won't take work. I still cry when "new" things come up with him (check my thread, I wont hijack) but be positive - IF you still love him, this is hope. I truly believe that.


M:50 H:49
D:16 S:13
M:23 T:25
BD: Feb 25th 2020
EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
Behind every broken woman is a broken man...
may22 #2900537 07/24/20 02:11 AM
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Growth is one of those things that just takes time . Unfortunately itís not overnight and sometimes one grows away from the other . Or you grow together . I do not regret stepping off his crazy roller coaster because honestly sometimes they do need to learn on their own . He looked back often . I think I learned more about myself in the end . I have almost too much patience now . Where he says Iím oblivious to a lot . Itís not Iím oblivious I just donít invest time into non sense .

The reward can be great. My children are way happier not watching us go to war and having both parents in the home . Overall Iím happier . I just have learned to not sweat the small stuff . The big stuff is what needs more attention . The continuation of your husband and this leech is a big thing . Sweat how you feel about that not a vacation with the kids .

may22 #2900539 07/24/20 02:21 AM
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Hi BlueSea,

I hear what you're saying... but... I've been doing this for so long now. He told me about the EA last August, 11 months ago. I had read DB and started implementing some of the strategies (180s, GAL, etc) about 15 months ago, after I got the ILYB. I have changed and he has had plenty of time to see and experience that (and he knows it is true, even as he says he's scared it won't last.)

In the last almost year I've been through all of this, pretend family fun time knowing he might be in contact with her on the DL. We did a staycation actually the weekend before he cut things off with her back in Feb. and it was all I could do to have fun and focus on the children while dealing with my anxiety about whether or not he was actually going to cut it off, etc. Honestly? I'm just really done with that. I don't want to go and keep extending this limbo. He is not going to make this decision on his own without some sort of push. And if this trip is the push he needs... in either direction... so be it. He can rail against me for pushing an ultimatum or being selfish. I don't care. I'm totally at ease with my decision and now it is up to him.

I think it was Alison who said (and I've really held onto it) that you don't get to do the things that happen in a committed M if you aren't, and a family vacation is one of those things. It is continued cake eating, enabling his waffling to the detriment of my own mental health. I'm tired of this. It isn't ok with me. Either he blocks her completely and tells me his intention is to be done for good-- which I think I will be able to trust-- or we don't go. Maybe I'll take them for a week on my own and have a blast just the three of us. We will see.

Thank you, though... I'm rooting for you too... and I am honestly rooting for my own MR as well. I do still love him and I believe him when he says he loves me too. I want to look back at this time as a horrible rough spot that launched us into M2.0. But I can't do that alone. He needs to want it too... and I don't know that he does, at least not enough to make the changes I'm asking. Or, whether he wants to or not, if he is capable of doing it. We will see. Trying to just keep steady.


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
may22 #2900541 07/24/20 02:33 AM
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Hi May!

I love love love the spectrum of advice you receive here and each person has so much great, true and RIGHT advice. But only you know your H and your situation and only you can trust yourself to make the right decision for YOU.

Because I love looking at things from all angles (which can get me in trouble in my own situation, so thereís the warning), I have been thinking about your H and wanted to share this thought, take it or leave it:

What I believe you are wanting H to do (correct me if Iím wrong) is to communicate with OW and break things off for good, tell her he is blocking her/deleting her number and never wants to hear from her again (sheíll have to reach out to someone else when she is feeling depressed/suicidal). But what if he canít do that? Not from a standpoint of living up to your expectations, but from the standpoint that his last communication with her was 1 or 2 weeks ago and he has a certain level of detachment that further communication will just open up his head/heart to more attachment? What if he is not able to deal with her feelings right now? He may just need to be focusing on his feelings and your feelings and reaching out to her would just be too much?

If he were to delete WhatsApp, would that be enough for you? I know at one point you were concerned about her and her suicidal thoughts, but really?!? I highly doubt that she has NO ONE else in her life she could reach out to if she was truly in crisis. I mean, this woman was planning a trip with her exBF, FFS. Sheís not alone in this world.

The tough thing in your sitch is that H didnít fly off to fairyland and explore the potential of their R, fail and then come home remorseful and begging you back. Which is fortunate on one hand, but unfortunate in that you are not going to get the fairytale return of your H. Youíre going to get WFís return, best case scenario. Where you have to suffer his indecision, witness his mental anguish IRL and wait for his slow slow slow return to your M. Are you OK with that? If so, go on this trip and trust the process (add in your boundaries as needed). If not, boot him to the curb and move on with your mighty life. The choice is yours.

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