Although I respect your oppinion about being friends thing not working, or isn't right. I respectfully disagree, Even Michele talks of a woman who did just that, was a safe place and a friend to her husband who she was going through the D process with and having an affair that they ever talked about the OW as friends would and they ended up back together as she has reminded him of the friendship they had etc. I also have had a family member who went through just about the same thing as the story i keep mentioning and her husband and her have been together happily ever since for 45 years, it was within the first 5 years of marriage it happened to her.
I think you are comparing apples and oranges, Artemis.
Its one thing for a partner to have an affair. It's another thing to be a serial cheater, which usually indicates a mental health disorder (Narcissism).
I've been here since 2013 and was able to get my ex back 3 times before she split again, and this is what I know to be true.
1. Almost everyone here does not take the advice given to them when they first arrive. 2. Almost everyone here regrets not taking the advice given to them when they first arrived.
If he crosses a boundary it will have to depend on what the boundary specifically is... I am still currently working on figuring out what the boundaries that need to be set are (without being controlling) and what the consequences may be.
And thank you Very much CWarrior that link is Very helpful. And I appreciate it very much.
I gave you the link to my thread. I really, really think you should go read it. I was raising my H's daughter while he was having an active affair in our home. He was also my best friend prior to the A. He believed I was his best friend. He wanted to be friends after he left me for another woman. I wasn't wiling to give him that. I asked him to tell me where he was going so I could come up with a suitable lie for our children while we live in an IHS. He agreed to this and then never followed through. Eventually I gave up and said IDK until I couldn't any more and then would say where do you think he is. People in this state of mind could give 2 sh!ts about your boundaries or requests. They don't care. You can keep saying all you want about how he loves you and he's your best friend. But if he cared about your boundaries He wouldn't have had multiple EAs and have one currently while stringing you along. You can live in denial all you want. He doesn't respect you or he's never respected your relationship. It's one or the other. Neither of those things means you can't stand for your marriage. Nor does it mean there's nothing in the marriage worth saving. But it is the reality of the situation whether you want to face it or not.
I'm not hung up on respect. A lot of people here are hung up on respect. Respect is completely subjective and if all of us demanded the utmost respect from our partners at all times and they of us literally no one would be in a relationship. So if you want to stand here with or without respect from your H it makes no difference in my opinion. Where the difference lies is self respect. Listen, this guy I'm sure has some admirable qualities. And I'm sure for your son you would like what ever is about to happen to be as amiable as possible. I respect that too. But we are asking you questions and saying things, and you just keep saying the same thing over again as if it's a justification for letting him walk all over you.
So he wants the D and you want to save the marriage. What's your plan here? Being his friend while he leaves you? Are you going to help him pack his bags to live with another woman?
The biggest mistake I made when I first read DR is that as I was reading it I thought my MR was on the most hopeful end of savable. That we just needed to work on our MR a little bit. That I needed to change some habits and if he could agree to try in our MR and maybe get counseling everything would be ok. I was completely delusional. I was deeply in denial. He was already only steps away from his EA becoming a PA. Look I managed to recon. So once again I'm not telling you this is a hopeless situation but you really need to get on board with reality. Your H is a serial cheater. He has done this more than once with more than one woman correct? If that's true whether is be EA or PA it was an affair and if it happened more than twice it's serial. If your H wants a D you cannot nice him back. The kinder you are to him, the friendly you are to him the more he thinks his behavior is acceptable to you and he will keep stringing you along endless. Weeks, months, years, decades if you allow it. Why would he give you up when you allow him to have you as his best friend and what ever else he wants if he pushes hard enough or makes you feel loved enough AND he can still have other women as he pleases? I'm not saying don't be kind or considerate to the man you married, the man you're co-parenting with, your room mate. You should be. But you aren't his wife any more. He fired you as his wife. He does not want you as his wife any more and while you don't need to give up on him, you need to accept he's given up on you and your marriage.
I am probably one of the most pro-marriage people on this board and I'm telling you if you want to stand we're here for you but you have to start accepting what is actually happening in your life. You can't wave a wand and things will go back to the way the were when you thought you were happy. Nothing will be the same. Nothing was the same after the first 2 times he cheated. You just thought it was. If you pursue this path and you're successful you aren't returning to the MR you had. That marriage is dead. Honestly to your husband it was probably dead long before you even noticed. If you were to stick this out and things turned around you have to completely start over with your H. You would have to start an entirely new marriage one that carries the scars of his dalliances. Both of you have to carry that. You need to accept that if you're successful here the success hinges on your acceptance of a lot of things that you're not accepting right now.
Starting with your H is already out the door. And he will drag you along for the ride as long as you allow. He is going to hurt you more than you hurt now. He is going to say and do worse things than already have been said and done. And the entire time he will expect you to be waiting there for him to choose when to bestow some kindness on you like a kicked dog. It's the nature of these situation. I won't ever tell you that you should give up if you don't want to give up. But you need to accept sooner than later exactly what you're situation is and what you are going to have to put up with if you choose this road. It's not pretty. It's not fun. And it's not easy. There is no quick fix here. There's no magic bullet. There's no magic words. There's no grand gesture that will fix all this. It's a long and arduous process and if strangers on the internet are interpreting your situation the exact same way people in your real life are there's a good chance we're right and you are in deep denial about what's going on here.
Look no body wants to feel like a fool. We've all had to get through that. How deeply we've lied to ourselves to convince ourselves things were fine. We're fine. Everything will be fine. This is just a bump in the road. No one wants to feel heartbroken or blindsided. But every single one of us felt that way. So you can dig your heels in here and say we're being mean and not helpful or you can help us understand your situation better. You have to give us more information to work with, and you need to start accepting that it is possible that everyone around you can see things in your relationship that you can't. Love gives us blinders. It's a thing. There's no shame in it. You also need to not be having R conversations for the sake of having an R conversation. We're not going to tell you what to bring up because we know so little about what's happening there's nothing of use for us to say. And there's no conversation to have. H wants a D ok fine. He should feel free to start that process. It needn't involve you. He can have you served and then you can work on there. If not it's just a declaration. It's just words. But that also doesn't mean he's all in the marriage either like you are and you need to accept and understand that. He may tell you your his best friend and he doesn't want to lose you but what that means to him and what that means to you are two very, very different things.
Most people who post lurk for weeks or months in a couple of cases years before they start posting. They understand the general motion of these things. They understand how the boards work. They kind of get used to the personalities. They get used to the short hand lingo. You kind of jumped in head first. Read more. Please read more. Stop actively trying to talk or think your H back into the MR for like 5 minutes and just read through what some people have gone through. Things they had to do or learn. No your situation isn't exactly the same as any one else's. But there's common themes, actions, reactions. They mean something. Every newbie thinks their situation is completely unique and no one has ever had anything like this happen before ever in the way it is happening and it's simply not true. While you are unique people and your marriage isn't identical to any one else's what is happening in your marriage isn't unique. So right now in the beginning isn't the time to be digging in about how different you are as a couple. That comes much later. For now just read and learn. Slow down. Try to understand yourself, your situation, and the place you came to for help.
You are going to have to slow down, you are posting all over the place. I get it, We get it. You are trying to solve this. You are looking for the advice that will solve this and save your M.
The advice is right in front of you in the advice given by the posters on your thread. Slow yourself down and read and interpret what's being provided to you. You world is spinning, we are trying to get you to slow it down, take the focus off of trying to save the Marriage and focus on yourself. You can't control your Husband. All the control is with you controlling yourself.
If you want a chance to save your Marriage, than you have to start figuring out what you are willing to accept and not accept. You must come up with clear boundaries and consequences, and once you decide on your boundaries, you must adhere to them.
Nothing we are telling will be easy. You won't ever say the right words, or give him enough sex, or be friendly enough for him right now.
The best way/giving yourself the best change to save your marriage, won't be you focusing on the marriage, your husband or your relationship with your husband, it will be you focusing on you.
Also please, read up on the lingo and all the stuff Sandi and the other Vets have provided. I printed off most of that stuff and read it daily to reenforce my actions.
M:37 W:37 T:11 M:10 S17, S13, S10, S4 BD:06/28/17 OM confirmed 07/20/17 Recon the M 10/29/17 Working hard:2gether
Onward and forward
This process is not a sprint it's a marathon! Patience, Patience, Patience.
Hi Artemis, I think the "friend" thing when it comes to a wayward is often misunderstood or misinterpreted from Michele's books. I don't think Michele or anyone here would ever recommend that you be the "best friend" of a cheating spouse. Being the lighthouse, taking the high road, setting an example for your children, those are all things you should absolutely do. But those are not the same thing as being your wayward spouse's best friend, or even being a friend at all.
When I went to Retrouvaille, one of the coach couples were an example of what I believe Michele is espousing in her books. The husband went wayward, it was completely out of character with who he had been before in the previous 10 years of marriage. He started staying out late or even all night. He partied, he had affairs with multiple women. He owned a business that started falling apart. He drank heavily, he dabbled in drugs. He begged his wife to leave him and kick him out of the house. They had 3 kids, throughout the ordeal she was an amazing mother to the children. She refused to kick him out or leave him, she told him that was his decision to make but that she was not going to abandon the marriage no matter what. And she was not going to make that decision for him, he would have to do it himself if that's what he chose. She took care of the home, she took care of the children, she never complained about her H, she never said one word about his activities to others or disparaged him in any way.
But she was NOT his best friend. When he would come home smelling of booze and women she did not welcome him into the master bedroom. She showed him love without validating his poor behavior. She made it clear the door was always open to reconciliation, but she also made it clear his behavior was going to have to change before that could happen.
Eventually he hit bottom and begged her to forgive him and take him back. And she did, but not until he had done a lot of hard work on himself and on the M. The husband was the one that told the story through tears, it had been 15 years before that it all transpired and he still felt terrible about it. He said he didn't know who or what he had become, and even at his worst he couldn't help but admire and respect his wife for her ability to hold it together and conduct herself with dignity and respect even while he was trying to drag her down to his level. That was what eventually brought him back.
I think that's the real message of DBing. Conduct yourself with dignity and respect but don't be a doormat. Your H has to go on this journey and all you can do is step back and give him the time and space he needs for that journey. It may bring him back or it may take him somewhere else, that's outside of your control. But if you DB properly then you will be prepared no matter the outcome.
FYI, AnotherStander is a veteran with incredible advice who rarely posts anymore. You have a ton of people here supporting you. I hope your today feels a little less crazy than your yesterday. ((Hugs))