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Originally Posted by wayfarer
Next you want AP out of his head and out of the MR. Ok reasonable expectation. Unreasonable is the time line and the way you want it to be. He had a serious relationship with someone else for 2 years. That person is a part of him and his history now. In the same way an old bf of yours would be. The fact is if you want this MR you have to accept that that relationship for him was a real and valid relationship and she doesn't simply disappear from his psyche because you will it so. She will always be there the way any of your exes are there. But that doesn't mean he can't commit. It doesn't mean he isn't willing to do the work. It doesn't mean he isn't trying or wanting to try. You can't have a M 2.0 that is completely devoid of everything it took to get there.

okay. I think you're right, especially that last part. We are where we are, can't erase the past.

But, I'm struggling with how to do this. Where I've been this whole time is that I'll be okay with the fact of it having happened once it is completely in the past. But maybe my definition of "completely in the past" is not reasonable. I don't know. Even you saying he had a serious relationship with another person ... which I know to be true.. validating it with the term "relationship" makes me want to vomit. Still. I hate it.

Or if he was doing what your H is doing. Calling you beautiful, telling you he loves you, telling you over and over how glad he is that you stood. Then, I also think I'd have an easier time feeling more generous about what happened in the past.

We talked more tonight. He says some of these things. That he loves me, he never stopped. that he knows we'll be okay, that he wants to do the work. That he is so sorry that he hurt me, that he lied, that he betrayed me. [He is NOT saying he is sorry it happened.] That he's getting over her, he doesn't think he's "in love" with her anymore. But he isn't saying it was all a horrible mistake, he never really loved her, all the fantasy reconciliation apology words.

He said he thinks we need to take steps towards each other. He suggested that his work is first empathy, then remorse. Mine is understanding, then forgiveness. Is it wrong that I don't want to do this until I get the words I want to hear about her being dead to him?

He said, maybe we need more time before we do this, then. He's really uncomfortable with my anger and said it completely shuts him down. That he can't be the one that I dump my anger on.

I said I was scared of going back to M1.0. He said immediately... this isn't M1.0. And we can't go back there. We need to see a MC or something, maybe. I said I agreed.

He wants to talk about the SSM. We talked about it a little, I'd previously told him I didn't want to discuss it with him anymore (because he ran to it so quickly every time the A came up). He talked a little about how he felt. I think I've underestimated how much it hurt him. I could see it in the lines of his body when he talked about it even just a little, he tensed up, his voice, everything about him got tight and upset. He said he isn't over it, how it felt for me to take my love away from him for so many years. I'm debating whether or not I'm open to talking about this now. I think i am. It is separate from the A.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
Everything H says and does isn't about the A. And that thought process is on you. That's not on him. I know I've brought this up before. You will get over this long after H has decided he's over it. So you can keep punishing him so as long as you feel bad he feels bad. Or you can start working through some of this on your own. May I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is not your job to make H forget about AP. And it's not his job to heal you from your hurt and anger. You have individual work to do.

I have been working through this... I think I just have a lot to get through. I told my friend a couple of months ago I was scared of the anger because when I let it in it was like a raging fire, not an emotion you can feel and it peaks and goes on its merry way. She said, maybe it is because there is just so much there. I feel I'm stripping it all away a layer at a time. I have felt way better until today on all of this. And I truly don't feel bad or sad or angry right now. But it was still there, today.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
You haven't forgiven him or AP at all here. Not even in the sense of pity. The longer you hold on to the anger the longer it's going to eat you up inside. It won't just destroy your chances for a M 2.0 it's going to destroy your chances at healthy relationships in the future. Forgiveness doesn't require the transgressor to be 100% remorseful. It's doesn't require the affected person to forgive all either. Forgiveness isn't a zero sum game. It's a step toward happiness and wholeness. Gifts you deserve to give yourself after all of this. The longer you grasp tightly at the what if scenarios, the because of scenarios, and the pain this has cause you, the long you will drag the A on into the future. The longer AP will hang over you. The longer it's going to take you to get down a road where you're working on M 2.0 or your moving happily down that road alone.

No matter what path you choose here, if it's the right one for you I support it. But I can't just sit back and watch you wield your rage like weapon. Rage isn't always fire. It very easily can be ice. You need to be careful here. And maybe do a little self assessing.

I know I haven't forgiven him. I don't think I can, yet. I know I can when this is in the past. It is like to me, the spark of the A still exists, infidelity at some level, in the feelings he still harbors for her in his brain. When that is totally over and in the past, I know I can forgive. But today I don't think I can because there is still a kernel of the A happening, at least in my mind it is. Am I being totally ridiculous on this? I know my H would say so, that I'm trying to control how he thinks and feels. Am I? But regardless, I don't think I can reach forgiveness until I still work through my own feelings about all of it. I see it in the future. But not yet.

I feel worse about the record, now. I know I minimized it even to you guys. It was Jack Johnson's new christmas album, who is my very very favorite artist in the world. We danced our first dance at our wedding to one of his songs. The record store had 10 signed copies and he drove down to get it. When he got there, the guy said they were sold out. H was disappointed, chatted with the guy and browsed a bit, and then the guy went to the back and came back out and said I found one last copy, they hadn't put it out because one corner was a little smushed. He came home and he was all excited and said, I have a present for you, a Christmas present, but I really really want to give it to you early okay? And gave it to me.

I do feel badly about this.

Yail... so good to see you. I'm thinking on your advice and tried to keep it in mind tonight... easier said than done though!


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May, hang in there. It is very difficult to get over infidelity, even when we think we can. I've told about an uncle that cheated on my aunt when I was young. She struggled with it for years. Still does and it has been over 35 years! I think what happens is we see the OP as competition, so our competitive nature kicks in. We aren't going to lose to another person taking our spouse!

Then when we win, we are left with the after effects. Dealing with that properly is important. I forget, are you in IC?


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Originally Posted by may22
That he is so sorry that he hurt me, that he lied, that he betrayed me. [He is NOT saying he is sorry it happened.] That he's getting over her, he doesn't think he's "in love" with her anymore. But he isn't saying it was all a horrible mistake, he never really loved her, all the fantasy reconciliation apology words.


He apologized for hurting you and his lying and betrayal. How is that different from "saying sorry that it happened?" Sorry, I'm not really understanding this part.
He didn't say all those things (it was a mistake, he never loved her), but are those the things what you want him to say?
What if he never sees the A as a mistake because he actually fell in love with her, but at the same time he feels remorse for the hurt that he's caused you?

Also reading about your anger, it reminds me of what my S11 told me the other day - "When a teacher yells at me at school, I just turn stone-faced." What he meant was that he would do nothing and say nothing. he would have zero facial expression. This is my son's defense mechanism when he's in a hostile situation. Which I think works sometimes (you do not add fuel to the fire), but other times it can be unhealthy. There is a lack of communication. So when you say "I don't care" to your H, it definitely translates to way worse than "I don't care about the dirty spoon".

How will you ever know whether he is over A or not? even if he states so, will you believe him 100%? Sometimes it takes blind faith.

I also like what Yail said.

Thinking of you and I can't believe you live where you live!! Wish I could visit you one day! smile


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Hi, May. I never read your thread though I have seen and loved your posts in MLC. I just took a quick gander and do not know all the details so take my words with a grain of salt.

I stood for seven years, ten if you count when I started feeling unloved. I was basically a saint in the face of his infidelity, lying, stealing, etc. I kept believing in the man I thought he was and laying my grief at God's feet.

I don't regret that but I did discover what I had been told all along was true. That some things can't be talked out, and you can't expect healing to come from your spouse.

To me it seems like you are straddling three fences. There is a financial fence, and the part about the kids, as a post nup. There is the reconcilation fence. And then a divorce fence.

I think you need to commit to one side of one fence for a time. And it seems like you want to keep the marriage.

So my advice would be to declare a moratorium on R talk and just do IC. Make an actual rule not to do that and just to have fun for a while.

When the thoughts of the AP come your way, remember that they are from the darkness. They are a very real wound but your H is not going to be able to heal that wound. I don't know how you heal that wound without God, but if you don't have a faith life, I think you just have to keep giving over that pain to time and the universe. Expecting that your H will be able to say or do the right thing to heal your wound is a pipe dream. You can only hope that you build a new history with him.

If you don't trust him, you can't think he can fix that. He can destroy your trust further but only you can decide to trust again. In faith world we say that we don't have to trust the straying spouse because we trust God. In a secular sense I would say that this means making peace with NOT trusting him and knowing that you will be okay no matter what he does, and deciding if you want to hang out with this guy and go on dates and enjoy the kids together and then COMMIT to that and keep your doubts and fears and the rest between you and your journal, your IC and a daily hike into the hills overlooking the sea where you literally talk out loud the entire time and give all that pain away. If you don't think you can do that until you are sure he is done with her, then commit to that instead, tell him you can't wait to see him when he is at that point and you will put things on hold til then and just work on yourself and your independence.

A post nup might seem like a good security blanket but it seems like you are imagining it will fix a lot of things, and I am not sure about that. Maybe you can just divide all your finances for now and work on that when you know more.

I used to imagine murdering the AP. I hated her so much. I didn't get rid of that feeling. I just kept asking God to heal it. I think he did, a little, but they also I think broke up, and my H became so monstrous that I can't ever R with him again so I almost feel sorry for any woman who would get sucked into his vortex. But I do pray for him to be healed, and I wonder if you can just keep giving that responsibility for fixing your H and for healing your very real, very deep, very painful wound to the universe. It's too big for you, for any of us. I don't know if you saw this in my thread but a priest once told me that the pain I felt should not scare me, the way that when you have a broken arm and it throbs, you don't think it is breaking again. You know it's already broken, and the pain is coming from that already broken place. This helps me a lot to deal with my pain and not expect that any human being can fix it for me. It just has to heal.


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May,

I am busy at work but I just wanted to add how amazing I think you are. We are throwing opinions and advice at you form all directions and you handle it with such grace! I mean this when I say that your posts and threads are the ones that keep me coming back here. I have so much to learn from you. You take so much on, remain open-minded and really want to understand others, even when we write things that are painful to read! You also give very thoughtful and wise feedback to others.

It would be very interesting (telling) if XOW does reach out to him at some point and how he handles that. In my sitch, she certainly tried and in hindsight, the way he handled it helped us in our process. It was a couple months after he left her and came back to me. He bought a new phone and I think all the apps transferred over so I guess she got an alert that he tried to access a private acct that they had shared. She texted him asking had he tried to login in to it because she got an alert. He showed me the text and we agreed on a response. "That must have been an error. Please never contact me again." ... of course she did .... then she got blocked. And that was it. It helped me to trust him further, even tho my sense was that he really did not miss her or think about her. But hey, maybe those were lies I needed to tell myself (shoulder shrug).

There is a lot going on with your thread, so maybe I should post on my thread, but I have not seen folks talk much about what M 1.0 verses 2.0 actually means. We all use those terms, but is someone breaking down what it looks like? I have not seen that thread on the boards. Of course I have some thoughts on that. lol. I can certainly explain the difference between my own M 1.0 and my M 2.0 now. It my surprise people to know that they are not drastically different ...

Blu


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MR 1.0 is the marriage with the dynamics it had before BD.

MR 2.0 is a new marriage forged with all new dynamics after your WAS has decided to recommit to you and the marriage.

Last edited by Steve85; 12/16/20 07:48 PM.

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Originally Posted by May
We talked more tonight. He says some of these things. That he loves me, he never stopped. that he knows we'll be okay, that he wants to do the work. That he is so sorry that he hurt me, that he lied, that he betrayed me. [He is NOT saying he is sorry it happened.] That he's getting over her, he doesn't think he's "in love" with her anymore. But he isn't saying it was all a horrible mistake, he never really loved her, all the fantasy reconciliation apology words.

Gerda makes some good points. When my lady and I split for 3-months, I had a 1-month relationship. I'm not in love with her. I wouldn't go back there. I did feel some love, I don't feel it was a mistake. I do feel it challenged my GF to be a better partner--it's clear being with her is a choice and I have options. I, of course, don't harp on that point or volunteer the presumed benefits of that 1-month GF. wink



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Originally Posted by CWarrior
I do feel it challenged my GF to be a better partner--it's clearer than ever being with her is a choice and I have options.


Hmmmm. Not sure what to do with this statement. CW, I am not sure this is a healthy way to look at this. I mean, what happens when your GF feels secure again in your R? Will it take you dating another woman to straighten her out again? And would you stay with your GF despite the toxicity and problems if you felt that you had no options?

Wow.


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Originally Posted by Steve85
CW, I am not sure this is a healthy way to look at this.

Maybe? What happened led me to where I am. I like where I am.

Originally Posted by Steve85
I mean, what happens when your GF feels secure again in your R?

I believe she feels secure. I hope she never feels so secure she ignores me for an extended time.

Originally Posted by Steve85
Will it take you dating another woman to straighten her out again?

If she stopped meeting my needs, and after communicating that enough time passed without her making an effort, I'd leave. Steve, Love will give her time, but I no longer believe in staying "no matter what". If she is my life partner--and I hope she is, we'll both make efforts when the other feels their needs are unmet.

Originally Posted by Steve85
And would you stay with your GF despite the toxicity and problems if you felt that you had no options?

Nope! It'd be an adjustment, but I can do well on my own. smile



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Originally Posted by Yail
You are looking at your H as if he is your H. You are seeing someone you may or may not be with in the future, and you are trying to figure that out, and how he fits into that role you see him in and if he is doing the right or wrong things.

Who is this man in front of you? Who is this person, ignoring ALL titles (husband, father, friend etc.) and your titles as well. Who is this real person in front of you with emotions and a life as deep as your own?

I say stop looking at his actions as things you should respond to, and try to see who this person is with fresh eyes every day, and try to learn something new about him through your observations.

This is harder than it sounds for me, I think. So much of my reason for standing is about H's role as the father of my children, and what it would mean for them if we split up. That was my driving force all along and I was able to manage/shove down a lot of the feelings I had about what the infidelity meant for me personally, because I was so fixated on doing everything I possibly could to protect them from D (and selfishly, to avoid giving up any time with them).

It was also the part that I could understand the least of H's actions. I could see how the A could have happened, given the issues with our R, H's personality, how good it must feel to have an AP who is head over heels in love with you and thinks everything you do or say is AMAZING. I think I shared when I snooped and found some text threads early on, before it was something serious (I think he moved it over to WhatsApp when it became an EA) and she was just pushing every single button for my H-- listening to a podcast he was on (which I was guilty of never doing), wanting to set up a call to ask him for career advice, sending flirty selfies. Gross. But also... understandable.

What I never, ever understood is his willingness to pursue the A to a place where it could have affected the children. I'm reading on some of the newer LBHs' threads about that same bewilderment, that a parent would do something so drastic to a child and pretend it is NBD. Yes, I know children are resilient and they'll all be just fine if you handle the situation appropriately... but for most kids, this will be the biggest disruption of their lives. What he will say is that-- he didn't do it. He got to the very edge of leaving. Had a great apartment secured. And looked over the edge and decided he couldn't do it. And he's here now. (He says this to me a lot. I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.)

He thinks it is not really fair for me to be angry with him for something he actually didn't do... but I am angry, angry that he considered it, angry, really, that he put me into a place where I had to consider it too, and build out custody plans and rethink what retirement might look like and worry about health care and imagine what my life would be life if my girls didn't jump into bed and snuggle with me every single morning. These things were never on my radar screen of things I needed to worry about. It feels like a wound to me, a hole inside, that I had had to come to grips with the idea that my girls wouldn't have a HOME anymore, but mom's house and dad's house. (Again. I'm not trying to say these things are not perfectly okay and kids don't deal with this perfectly well and two Christmases isn't better than one... I am just saying it was really hard for me to wrap my head around it, and I think I would have been perfectly happy in my life to never have had to think this all through.)

So.... peeling back those labels is hard. The husband/friend labels are easier, because the things he did are not things that a husband does, or a best friend does. But the father-of-my-children label will be hard for me to get around (possibly because if that label was taken away, I don't know that I'd still be here.)

He wants this of me, btw. He wants me to listen to him and understand him as a person today, not the person I met 17 years ago. I know he thinks I stopped seeing him as a person a long time ago. I told him that when I had that breakthrough in Feb 2019, the weekend away where I got my sex drive and love for him back, what happened that weekend was that I saw him again as a person, not just the husband-father labels I'd been slapping on him, and that somehow dissolved all the built-up resentment I'd carried for years.

He's actually been angry about that experience, in fact, too little too late-- that finally I was ready to reengage with him sexually after he had moved on (I did not know about the A at that time), and he felt like the weekend was one where we got a lot of stuff out in the open and were moving towards D. This continues to be a source of difficulty for both of us, resolving how we had such different takes on this one shared experience.

So I will work on this and think on this. We talked last night about setting some ground rules of engagement though nothing about what those might look like, whether it is we don't talk about R stuff at all for another couple months or we do set aside a regular time to talk and what topics are OK for now and not OK (I am not OK talking about his feelings for AP, still). Maybe we do end up having some non-A related conversations about each other, not our R. I honestly don't know if he is capable of doing the same for me-- understanding ME as a human being, not the mother of his children and impediment to his A. (Blu, you talked about this earlier, and I truly don't know his capacity on this front, though it makes me sad to say that.) Truth is also that this whole experience has been so encompassing for me, I feel like I'm in the process of re-figuring out my life in light of this knowledge and how it has affected and changed me-- so I don't know that I can talk about who I am or what I want outside of the context of the A and the trauma I feel like I'm still experiencing, to some degree. I don't believe he's in a place where he really wants to hear and understand that part, how much I've been hurt, yet.

Originally Posted by Steve85
May, hang in there. It is very difficult to get over infidelity, even when we think we can. I've told about an uncle that cheated on my aunt when I was young. She struggled with it for years. Still does and it has been over 35 years! I think what happens is we see the OP as competition, so our competitive nature kicks in. We aren't going to lose to another person taking our spouse!

Then when we win, we are left with the after effects. Dealing with that properly is important. I forget, are you in IC?

I am, have been since July; H now for almost two years. The IC though just is running into some trouble with our insurance and is pausing sessions (she was going to pause anyway over the holidays as she doesn't have child care). So no IC at least through the holidays and may need to find someone else.

Wooba, Blu, Gerda (yay!)-- thank you also-- I will respond more later to your thoughts as I need to chew on them a bit more.

xx M


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
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