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A Message from Michele
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#2920431 06/25/21 06:13 PM
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Ok I'm here and I'm hoping the handful of us that are out there will follow. Granted I know Steve is here already. I'm probably going to post in rapid succession just so I can establish a decent thread here that's easy enough to follow should some one show up a while down the road. Basics, the recon list with my answers, and where I'm at right now.

First up the basics:

Here's my original thread: https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...ain=62699&Number=2878654#Post2878654

Timeline:

H38 Me 37
T 8 M 4
D17 H's from previous relationship
D18 from my previous relationship
EA started in mid Oct 2019 became a PA in late Dec 2019
Late Nov 2019 ILYBNILWY
IHS
H planned to leave MR for life with OW In Apr 2020
OW dumped H Mid Feb 2020
Covid lock-down Mar 13, 2020 - H couldn't leave no matter how much he wanted to
April-Jun 2020 H slowly let go of leaving the MR ASAP and started trying with me without ever saying as much
July 2020 H returned to MBR, and finally said ILY
Piecing since

This is the requisite piecing disclaimer since sandi doesn't seem to be around to make sure it gets posted:
Originally Posted by sandi2
"If anyone is coming here from Newcomers or MLC or any of the other forums... and you think that the advice here is different...it is.

It is different. DO NOT take advice from Piecing and apply it to a newcomer situation. Do not apply it to god forbid an MLC situation.

Piecing is when both parties are (or say they are) committed to working on the relationship and even then? Give it a few weeks or months to see if that is true.

wayfarer #2920433 06/25/21 07:01 PM
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This is the WW recon list. I had a WH but I'm guessing it's a pretty universal list. Just sub she for he and her for him.

1). Consequences! And taking a hit with hard, maybe a painful loss of some kind.
Well he told his family. I can say disappointment is a kind way of explaining their reaction. Both of our girls rejected him for a long time. Friends just avoided him entirely until the A was over. He had to show his face around my friends and do so knowing exactly what they thought of him and his actions, and that all their spouses knew. The freedom he had he threw out the window on his own. Even passing up on out of town work opportunities early in the recon simply because I said I wasn't ready yet. He checks in all the time. He's explicit about where he's going and who he's going to be with and I'm always invited even though I decline more often than not.

2). Realizing the connection between her decisions with the consequences/loss.
3). Accepting responsibility for her decisions...and for every loss, and every hurt she caused those she loves and who loves her.
4). Accepting and dealing with the consequences, without blaming anyone but herself.


Ugh, this took longer than I would've liked. But he got there eventually.


5). Making a conscious choice to end her wayward direction and turn around.
I don't really know how to answer this. I wish H was the one who ended the A. I think I would feel better about things in general if it wasn't ended because OW decided months too late IMO that the A was fruitless and she wanted to be with her long time bf. I think he made a conscious decision to reinvest in the MR after he mourned the A. But it does hurt knowing that even if ending things crossed his mind he was so much further gone than OW that he really didn't see things ending the way they did.

6). Seeking guidance and/or spiritual counsel to guide her in how to cleanse her heart of the wrong attitudes, selfcenterness, resentment, rebellion.......whatever she carries that is unhealthy.
I genuinely don't know how to answer this. H discussed these things with the people he loves and trust the most and they all did their best to advise him in the right direction and things he needed to correct. But we aren't particularly religious and he's still not participating in IC.

7). To be remorseful. If necessary, even seek spiritual help, pray, whatever......to feel remorse for the destruction her decisions and feelings has caused her H. She has to feel true remorse in order to emotionally reconcile and heal properly.

He is absolutely truly remorseful.

8). To completely forgive her H for everything in the past.To release the blame,anger, and hurt she held throughout
their M.
This took more hard conversations to get there than I would've liked but we got there.


9). To be wiling to do whatever it takes for the MR to heal.

Absolutely, minus professional counseling. Which is a hurdle I'm not sure how to get past. He has such vivid memories of being "attacked" and "put down" in DC. But none of that actually happened. It was a very traditional DC session. She asked for some back ground with both of us present. Assessed where we were both were at separately. She then sat us down together to talk about what DC looks like going forward and then we began to discuss our positions. There was nothing pointed in any of it. He's holding on to this "memory" and using it as a basis for why he won't seek IC and isn't ready for MC. A lot of his memories from the time period of the A are foggy or not really based in reality. While a lot of it has cleared up on it's own with time this one particularly memory is just stuck.

10). To agree and cooperate with the H's choice of transparency plan (accountability), sending a NC letter, having any medical tests, ending any friendships out of his request, (and of course, any contact with OM), place of employment, giving him requested information, attending MC, or anything else the H may request in order to ensure the success of their reconciliation, and the safety of the MR.
This was easily agreed upon.


11). Accept/agree, without resentment, that she is in no position to give her H any "conditions" to her going back into the MR. And, to accept without resentment, that the greatest level of work in piecing the M back together, must come from her.
I was very worried about this. H spent so much time comparing me to OW and dissecting our M and relationship history that I was sure this was going to be an issue. But it wasn't much to my surprise.

12). To accept that it will take time for her healthy emotions to be restored. To realize and accept she cannot measure the success of their progress by her feelings.
We had to have conversations about this. More than once. But H does understand that fully now.

13). To be informed, and accept, that she must go through withdrawals from her AP, and could experience depression. She needs to understand this is normal, and not a sign that she will have never have feelings for H.

We talked about this at length before he even had any inkling of trying to rekindle what we had. I had been a WW. I knew what this felt like.

14). And the hardest one of all.........learn to forgive herself.
This has been a journey. I think for some things it's taken him longer to forgive himself than it took me to forgive him.

wayfarer #2920435 06/25/21 07:18 PM
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So where we are at. I guess piecing like any other time in a MR has it's ebbs and flows. With the new house a lot of time, energy and focus is going into that. It's big undertaking, especially going from an apartment to a house with a decent sized yard. I know I'm not focusing as much on my healing either. And I can feel the anger and sadness rear their ugly heads when I take the time to think about things for more than a couple minutes.

Right now one of the things that's getting me is house related. As much as I love the house and the significance of how gung ho H was about making this happen sometimes I feel angry about the lost time. I get frustrated that all of this should've happened 2 years ago but he was dragging his feet because he was already checking out of the MR. I get frustrated that we should have a baby in this house but as everyday I'm closer to 40 than I was the day before and our girls are one day closer to 20 I know any baby in the house won't be ours. I'm trying accept that. I'm trying to be ok with that. For some reason, that stealing time from me seems to be the thing I keep getting hung up on. I keep letting the whole mess go little by little but this seems to be a big hiccup in my giddy up.

I don't even know that I'd want a baby right now if we decided to try. I'm really enjoying the freedom I have not having a infant or even a school age kid. Still I feel like he and OW robbed me of that dream. I wanted the wedding, house and baby. I wanted that nursery to decorate. I wanted the chance to do things "the right way" that I never got the first time around. And I'm happy with where we're at. I'm happy with him. This is what I want. And like I said I don't know that I want that baby any more any way, but I can't shake the anger over feeling like he stole something I can't ever get back.

wayfarer #2920462 06/26/21 03:42 PM
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I'd love to hear you expand on that last paragraph. How much of it is the feeling that time is running out on the chance? I know that was big for my W, she wanted to try back 8-10 years ago and I wouldn't entertain it because of the state of our MR.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
wayfarer #2920513 06/28/21 01:36 PM
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The conundrum lies in how young H and I had our kids. I was barely 19 when my daughter was born and my H was 21 when his daughter was born. So at 37 and 38 we are nearly at the end here. D18 will be 19 in September and D17 will be 18 in March. One of my very best friends from childhood just had a baby, which is part of the reason I think I'm struggling to move past it. Her H has 2 kids from a previous relationship. She was pretty unsure about kids until she hit her 30s, and then she met her H and he wanted at least one more. So the idea of having a baby at let's say 39 isn't completely crazy but when you have a 20 and 19 year old, a newborn seems pretty out there.

Honestly we had a pretty tight window, and do think we've passed it. I think if this was something we were going to do it would've had to been done like immediately after our wedding at the latest probably 2 years ago. Which was the plan. And honestly it was a plan I didn't think he'd ever get on board with. He was pretty adamant that he didn't want any more kids. I told him I was. I wanted a houseful of them. That wasn't EVER going to happen with my exH, but I'd be satisfied to have one baby with a person who loved me and would be a dedicated parent. It would be a refreshing change. We circled the issue over and over. I resigned to no more babies about the time we got engaged. I didn't want to be in a marriage where he felt trapped by a child. And I didn't want a child who would ever so much as have an inkling of being unwanted. So I let it go, I grieved my dream, and accepted that my new dream would need to be enjoying in my 40s all of the stuff I missed in my 20s because I had a little one and no money. Shortly before the wedding, however, he kind of woke up one day and was like ok lets focus on saving to buy a house and then we can have a baby. It was the strangest thing. Then as we got closer to the fruition of that that's when he started getting weird and distant. That was about a year before the A.

He never said that had anything to do with it. I don't know that I believe that. And it was his plan at that point. Not mine. I walked away from the idea. I can say that adds to my angst over the situation. Like he purposefully ran out the clock so he could get his way. It's very likely that wasn't ever his intention. The likely explanation is it was just a perfect storm for him struggling with growing older and less wild, struggling with me, struggling with our MR and running into his ex, and the baby clock like other things in our life just happened to be part of the fall out.

I also understand with how bad my depression was why he probably felt like having a baby with me was crazy and he wanted to back out and just never said it. But this is one of the very few things I don't bring up in regards to the A. I brought it up once in the middle of the A. When it was an EA and he was in deep denial his whole thing was she has a bf and she wants to have kids. When he was preparing to go I flat out said "so do you plan on giving her the kids she wants?" He said something to the effect of " I don't know I don't plan everything years into the future like you." I said well she just turned 35 you don't have time to make that decision you need to know now. I find it funny that you keep telling me you have all these conversations with her about this new life you're going to build together, but neither of you thought it would be prudent to bring up the kid conversation seeing as her body is literally running out of time." He kind of stared at me blankly and I said "I'll forgive you for all of this some day, so I can have some peace in my life. But if you give her kids I'll never forgive that." And left it at that. I am not always as enlightened as I would like to be. Frankly I can be down right nasty if I'm pushed far enough.

I leave the kid thing totally alone because I know it's my hang up. It just doesn't feel like something H needs to fix for me. I already let the kid thing go once. And I would never have wanted to bring a kid into the mix when we were falling apart at the seams. I know that I want to enjoy my 40s. I don't want to do 3am feedings or cleaning up blowouts. I don't want to do school drop offs or PTA meetings. I've done all that. And I think with what little sanity and resources I had with my exH I did a pretty d@mn good job. I read her books every night. I volunteered as much as I could. I was present as much as I could be. I devoted hours upon hours of my life to sell cookies, making projects, and running all over the planet for birthday parties. Home work, applications, editing papers. All of it. She's an amazing kid. And I'm so proud to be her mom. But motherhood is the one thing in my life I excel at that I never really felt like I was an imposter at. It's the one thing I've never lost interest in, or deeply doubted myself (all parents doubt themselves). Motherhood is something I'm phenomenal at and I wanted at least one more opportunity for it. And as much as logical me doesn't want to do this in my 40s. Emotional me is p!sssed that even if I wanted to I can't. It's just too late.

wayfarer #2920530 06/28/21 03:02 PM
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Thanks WF. I think most of what you said is pretty typical. The biological clock is real and even women that said they never wanted kids feel it and suddenly want a baby. As evidenced by your friend! So I think it is natural at this point in your life to be struggling with the idea of not being able to have kids. Though I believe we are all provided, eventually (with patience) what we crave. I have a feeling in a few years when your daughter has kids you will find your maternal instinct turn into being a grandma. And you are going to be a phenomenal grandma!!

And it is interesting this comment from your husband: "I don't know I don't plan everything years into the future like you." This is TYPICAL WS thinking!! Or lack of thinking. They are literally leaving moment to moment, feeling to feeling. I find it interesting because he had previous said this: "he kind of woke up one day and was like ok lets focus on saving to buy a house and then we can have a baby." HAHA! That is planning years in the future! Oh, the contradiction of the wayward mind!

My wife is a planner. To minute details. Long lists of things to plan even the smallest event or function. Yet in the middle of your waywardness she became haphazard and took on a "I'll wing it" mentality. She knew she wanted a job, wanted an apartment, and wanted a divorce. However, the steps necessary to get there was all unicorns and rainbows. "I'll find an apartment!" Uhh....how are you going to afford that? "I'll get a job!" Uhh, are you even looking? "Oh we can get this quicky online divorce for $200!" Uhhh, our state is much more complex when minor kids are involved.

Nothing was thought through and planned like she used to, and like she does again now. I guess that is why dealing with a WS is described as dealing with an alien. It is so surreal. It is like someone has taken over their body.

Anyway, I have digressed! I did want to point out: "I am not always as enlightened as I would like to be." All I can say to that is that despite so many today trying really heard, you really cannot fight biology. Those natural hormones that say "reproduce!" are real, and come on stronger at various moments throughout the biological processes of growing and aging. So the mind can say "I shouldn't feel this way" but the body can be screaming "But you DO feel this way!" So I wouldn't be too hard on yourself.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
wayfarer #2920544 06/28/21 05:48 PM
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Yeah I really did think the biological clock thing was a myth. I can say if you have a terrible partner like I did for the majority of my 20s it is a mind over matter thing...lol. But like you said biology. It wasn't safe for me to reproduce with exH again. He was an unsuitable father. So maybe you're right my mind and body may have had some congruency there.

And I can say once I was free of him and I hit 30, when I hadn't thought about another baby for years I got baby fever. I can genuinely say I don't have it any more. So my logical mind and body are in agreement. I held my friend's sweet tiny little bundle of joy and for years every baby I held I immediately thought "I WANT ONE!" When I held her and all I could think was "I'm so glad I don't have to wake up with her."

I think that's where my anger at myself in this lies. I don't even want this any more. I want to travel. I want to day drink. I want to do all the stuff 20 years do but with the money 40 year olds have...lol. But I still can't convince myself that H and OW didn't steal this thing I wanted so bad from me...it just sukks and I hope it's something I can move through with time.

wayfarer #2920564 06/29/21 01:52 AM
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Wayfarer, that's all understandable! It's kind of where I was when my wife came to me 10 years ago. One if her good friends had got pregnant after years of trying and not having success, and she got the bug. Our daughter was ~9, and I couldn't see having a baby that would almost 10 years younger and then be 60 when the child graduated and went to college. But more important our marriage was not good and I couldn't see bringing a child into that.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
wayfarer #2920581 06/29/21 12:55 PM
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WF,

You suppressing your feelings won't lead to healing, if you are that bothered by some of the thoughts of your time being robbed by your husband, you and him need to find some quiet time and discuss, what and why it's bothering you. If you don't it will lead to resentment and anger. And the worst kind bottled up resentment and anger. You have a right to feel the way you do. And it's ok to feel that way. What I hear you saying, is you don't won't to bring it up, because you think it will cause a problem between ya'll two. But you keeping it in, is causing a problem for you, which in the end will, end up being a problem for the both of you. The best way to heal is to talk about the problem in a logical and safe place.

Healing is, "giving up the fight, of trying to change the past". In your mind you are grappling with trying to understand what the outcomes, "WOULD HAVE BEEN" IF your husband would of made different decisions.

If you believe in the LORD, the universe, lets look at both sides of this equation.

You husband could of not had an A and got you pregnant and you both could both be happy with a beautiful little buddle of joy.

Or you could of gotten pregnant and the reality was, you said it yourself you were depressed. And having a baby could of lead to more depression.

Or you could of gotten pregnant found out your husband was having an A and had a hard pregnancy. Or, Or, Or.

In the world outside of feelings, we are faced with a reality that our brains and hearts tend to run from and run back to thoughts of blame and pain.

That road of, "what if" is a painful one to drive down, and us LBS in Recon can stay there for a long time. I'm still going down there sometimes, but I have found ways to get back on my path. Healing is clean and a straight, neat little box, it can be dirty and painful.


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.
wayfarer #2920582 06/29/21 01:20 PM
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It's not so much that I'm swallowing the feelings just to keep the peace. Trust me that's a big 180 of mine. I'm keeping this part to myself because I don't know that it concerns him. It concerns me being "crazy" for lack of a better term. Because I can logically understand all of the things you listed. I have acknowledged all of those paths and more on my own. Even in a more existential/spiritual way I feel like everything happened as it should. We needed to fall apart to come back together. The house we have now is the house we were meant to have. The paths we are on now with our careers, our kids, everything is as is should be. It all fits. So even on that level I know we could be no where else but here. However some lizard version of my brain or maybe it's the 20 year old petty brat, I have no idea, can't get past seeing that time and that dream as stolen instead of seeing it as things are and they way the should be regardless if most of me sees it another way.

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WF,

Sounds like acceptance is your struggle. I just that stolen word makes it super personal for you. You see that time as belonging to "YOU" and not your H? Was it your stolen time or your lost dream? Your non fulfilled expectation?

Stolen, implies that someone TOOK something from you. Something that only belonged to you. But that time you are speaking of was for the both of you. Seems to me like you are also adding the OW subconsciously, because you think she took it as well, or maybe you believe your H, "GAVE" her something your believed, belong to you, his time, which was part of your "life", that you can never get back. Do you think your H TOOK your time? Or did he not fulfill your expectation?


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.
wayfarer #2920687 06/30/21 02:46 PM
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Great post joejoe.

WF I know it takes time to stop looking back, and start looking forward. It took me a good year post R starting to stop looking back and having a feeling of a sense of almost resentment about what she put us through. While I was a pretty terrible husband, I was pretty disappointed that she didn't try to work through our problems instead of pulling up stakes. This forum helped me see that her pulling up stakes didn't happen overnight, and that she used subtle ways to try to "wake me up", but even into R I was kind of miffed that she didn't sit me down and explain to me the seriousness of our situation and what it was making her contemplate. Eventually, I moved past it, but there was a feeling of being given up on.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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Steve,

I know I still have some of that rear view mirror thing going on. I know I'll get past it eventually. The baby thing is one of the things that sticks. Definitely the feeling of being given up on is still there too. Maybe just in a different way.

I feel like he gave up on me and us. That it was easier to pull up stakes than even so much as bother to tell me what was going on in his head. That he was able to pretend that he did all he could to try to stay when I repeatedly asked him what was going on, what was on his mind, why he felt so distant, what I could do for us to be better and his answer was always nothing I'm fine, we're fine. And then we weren't. I saw the stakes being pulled up, recognized it, called it out and I was shrugged off. That's the giving up on us that I get stuck on.

He has since recon apologized a lot for internalizing my depression and not doing any research on it at all. I know how hard my depression made loving me, and being with me. I've repeatedly apologized for not getting help sooner, but I'm still carrying a lot of anger that it wasn't until recon started that he even attempted to understand that depression isn't just being sad and isn't fixed by eating right and exercise and smiles. Like 2 min google search, the absolute bare minimum in hoping to find away to make things better was too much prior to the A. He's apologized for that too. But that is the part that makes me feel like he just gave up on me. He had to put up with a depressed yet functioning wife. Was I miserable to be around. Yup. But I wasn't making his life miserable on purpose. I wasn't doing anything to undermine him, or hurt him, or control him. I was just trying to survive and that's all it took for him to want to walk away.

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Oh, and the other thing I have had a hard time getting past was that this woman who puts such a premium on honesty, could blatantly look me in the eye and lie.

Like when I found sex toys hidden. I asked her about them. "I was hoping that they would increase my desire and help our sex life." That was an out and out lie. It was because of her interest in sex, just not with me, and trying to find an outlet for it. If she had been honest with me I would have started trying to do things that would help our situation. But the lie robbed me of that. The defensive part of my brain WANTED to believe it. Even though the logical part of my brain didn't think it made sense.

And then all of the lies I caught her in during the thick of our sitch. Even now, 3 years later I still wonder what lies she is capable of. sandi talks about the WS being completely different than the person we thought we knew. But there are always lingering doubts wondering if the WS side was more true to who she really was/is? Those thoughts have eased as time has passed, but I'd be lying to say they were completely gone.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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I get that part. Not so much with the honesty thing but he basically told me 8 years ago I was the plan B OW was plan A but she decided another guy was a better option than my H so instead of continue to juggle us and eventually ghost me he decided to keep me around and then actually fell for me entirely by accident. Fast forward to the A and I'm told I was plan B, and that I've always been plan B, I was basically a place holder, this is kismet, this is the universe putting his life into the place it should've been 8 years go and I just need to accept it. God it hurt, but even in my logical mind I was like he's full of it. Deep in the A once I let go and acted like I couldn't careless what he was doing or that he wanted to leave he'd follow me around the house to talk to. All I could think was why don't you go talk to plan A. I'm sure she actually cares. I knew the full plan B thing was such crap. If she was always plan A why wasn't she around our whole MR? But your intention with the this relationship is to keep me around as your bff?? Oh come on.

Then after the A when OW dumped him and he started to come around and try I was constantly fighting the feeling that he was only coming around because I'm the secondary plan. We're in lockdown he doesn't have other options. She dumped him he's desperate and lonely. Now he's apologized profusely for say those things to me. He's called him sell an a$$ for behaving like that. That I am his best friend and he's and idiot. All of the remorse stuff. But I still wonder all the time am I really the path that you want or am I just comfortable and safe?

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Originally Posted by SteveLW
Oh, and the other thing I have had a hard time getting past was that this woman who puts such a premium on honesty, could blatantly look me in the eye and lie.

Like when I found sex toys hidden. I asked her about them. "I was hoping that they would increase my desire and help our sex life." That was an out and out lie. It was because of her interest in sex, just not with me, and trying to find an outlet for it. If she had been honest with me I would have started trying to do things that would help our situation. But the lie robbed me of that. The defensive part of my brain WANTED to believe it. Even though the logical part of my brain didn't think it made sense.

And then all of the lies I caught her in during the thick of our sitch. Even now, 3 years later I still wonder what lies she is capable of. sandi talks about the WS being completely different than the person we thought we knew. But there are always lingering doubts wondering if the WS side was more true to who she really was/is? Those thoughts have eased as time has passed, but I'd be lying to say they were completely gone.


I struggle with this too Steve. Much less so than I used to, something that I will never understand, so I have stopped trying. I can't imagine how I would deal with it if we had reconciled. My STBXW had always said she hated liars and cheats. Her and her two BFs are a trio of women who have cheated on and lied to their H/STBXHs.

Has your W gone back to being the person you remember? HAs she ever made comments about the importance of honesty since?


Me: 39 W:41
T: 14 M: 11
S: 5

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

"What happened happened, and couldn't have happened any other way...because it didn't"
wayfarer #2920748 07/01/21 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by wayfarer
I get that part. Not so much with the honesty thing but he basically told me 8 years ago I was the plan B OW was plan A but she decided another guy was a better option than my H so instead of continue to juggle us and eventually ghost me he decided to keep me around and then actually fell for me entirely by accident. Fast forward to the A and I'm told I was plan B, and that I've always been plan B, I was basically a place holder, this is kismet, this is the universe putting his life into the place it should've been 8 years go and I just need to accept it. God it hurt, but even in my logical mind I was like he's full of it. Deep in the A once I let go and acted like I couldn't careless what he was doing or that he wanted to leave he'd follow me around the house to talk to. All I could think was why don't you go talk to plan A. I'm sure she actually cares. I knew the full plan B thing was such crap. If she was always plan A why wasn't she around our whole MR? But your intention with the this relationship is to keep me around as your bff?? Oh come on.

Then after the A when OW dumped him and he started to come around and try I was constantly fighting the feeling that he was only coming around because I'm the secondary plan. We're in lockdown he doesn't have other options. She dumped him he's desperate and lonely. Now he's apologized profusely for say those things to me. He's called him sell an a$$ for behaving like that. That I am his best friend and he's and idiot. All of the remorse stuff. But I still wonder all the time am I really the path that you want or am I just comfortable and safe?


Yeah, the doubts are real. And I can say that I still struggle with doubts 3+ years on. But the one thing I've continued to do is to be self-differentiated. I feel that self-differentiation is key to success in Rs. You just cannot react emotionally to every mood and whim of your SO. That doesn't work. It never works. And if you allow your SO to affect your emotional well-being then you are way too overly attached and setting yourself up for problems down the line. This is why I try to get LBSs to understand that their spouse could be taken from them at any moment through accident or disease, not to mention to D. So being happy and fulfilled independently as part of an R is as important as the work that needs to be put into the R itself. I try to remind myself that I need to be internally happy and fulfilled in order to be happy and fulfilled in my MR!

But yeah, the doubts are real............


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
OnlyBent #2920749 07/01/21 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by OnlyBent
Originally Posted by SteveLW
Oh, and the other thing I have had a hard time getting past was that this woman who puts such a premium on honesty, could blatantly look me in the eye and lie.

Like when I found sex toys hidden. I asked her about them. "I was hoping that they would increase my desire and help our sex life." That was an out and out lie. It was because of her interest in sex, just not with me, and trying to find an outlet for it. If she had been honest with me I would have started trying to do things that would help our situation. But the lie robbed me of that. The defensive part of my brain WANTED to believe it. Even though the logical part of my brain didn't think it made sense.

And then all of the lies I caught her in during the thick of our sitch. Even now, 3 years later I still wonder what lies she is capable of. sandi talks about the WS being completely different than the person we thought we knew. But there are always lingering doubts wondering if the WS side was more true to who she really was/is? Those thoughts have eased as time has passed, but I'd be lying to say they were completely gone.


I struggle with this too Steve. Much less so than I used to, something that I will never understand, so I have stopped trying. I can't imagine how I would deal with it if we had reconciled. My STBXW had always said she hated liars and cheats. Her and her two BFs are a trio of women who have cheated on and lied to their H/STBXHs.

Has your W gone back to being the person you remember? HAs she ever made comments about the importance of honesty since?


To your first question, yes she has. But your second question is a good one. I don't think she has verbalized like she used to before our most recent sitch. I think she knows that her deception through all of that means that her integrity now is based on actions, not words. I will give her credit for trying to live up to the honesty standard rather than giving it lip service.

Last edited by SteveLW; 07/01/21 11:58 AM.

M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
wayfarer #2920774 07/01/21 07:15 PM
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Steve,

It's crazy to see a person transform from one emotional state to another. My W was definitely in a WW space. I got to read some of the text between her and her AP. I could see the change in her through those text. I also got to view her searches and saw her that matched her verbal output doing that time. She lied a whole hell of a lot. And I know, I will never be able to fully trust her again. But, I won't be able to trust any person other than myself 100% ever again. I navigate our Relationship and Marriage thru boundaries and actions. If my boundaries are being encroached upon, I calmed inform that I'm uncomfortable with whatever is happening at the moment. If my W actions aren't in line with her communication with me, I let her know.

She has worked hard to make me feel secure and safe. Will she ever betray me again. I DON"T KNOW, but that's not my concern anymore. I can't control any person's actions. I can only control mines, and understanding that about myself has given me the confidence to know, that I can trust myself to respect myself to do what's best for me and my boys no matter the situation. And I carry myself that way.

My wife knows, our Marriage isn't a guarantee and neither is my commitment. And I think her and I knowing that makes our M stronger. It makes us work harder to ensure that we are staying vigilant and keeping the Relationship between us strong.


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.
joejoe1 #2920787 07/02/21 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by joejoe1
Steve,

It's crazy to see a person transform from one emotional state to another. My W was definitely in a WW space. I got to read some of the text between her and her AP. I could see the change in her through those text. I also got to view her searches and saw her that matched her verbal output doing that time. She lied a whole hell of a lot. And I know, I will never be able to fully trust her again. But, I won't be able to trust any person other than myself 100% ever again. I navigate our Relationship and Marriage thru boundaries and actions. If my boundaries are being encroached upon, I calmed inform that I'm uncomfortable with whatever is happening at the moment. If my W actions aren't in line with her communication with me, I let her know.

She has worked hard to make me feel secure and safe. Will she ever betray me again. I DON"T KNOW, but that's not my concern anymore. I can't control any person's actions. I can only control mines, and understanding that about myself has given me the confidence to know, that I can trust myself to respect myself to do what's best for me and my boys no matter the situation. And I carry myself that way.

My wife knows, our Marriage isn't a guarantee and neither is my commitment. And I think her and I knowing that makes our M stronger. It makes us work harder to ensure that we are staying vigilant and keeping the Relationship between us strong.


Good stuff, Joe! Very relatable to my situation too.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
wayfarer #2920840 07/03/21 09:22 AM
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Hi dearest Wayfarer,

Thank you so much for these posts. I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear you talk about the more difficult parts of your piecing and healing. That you still have anger and sadness rear their ugly heads, the doubts come sometimes, the worry about whether the MR was just the safe and comfortable path, not what he really wanted.

If we can make a space here on this board where it is okay to express the doubts and concerns without having a poster or two pile on and exacerbate those concerns, I think that would be so fabulous. Also, I share what you and JJ both mentioned about feeling like it wasn't totally okay to be posting about this stuff when others on the Newcomers board were in such crisis. So I'm really hoping we can all feel comfortable talking about the difficulties of piecing.

Anyway... I just wanted to share that I feel all those same things that you do. I'm getting better at dealing with it but I still think there are things we will need to heal together, not just heal on my own. And I guess I'd push you on that a little. you are so independent and have been helping me see and take my own responsibility for healing myself throughout this whole mess. But when it comes to your relationship with your H, there are things you're going to need to heal and work on together. I would put the baby issue in that category, and the Plan B discussion. In our MC session today, she really pushed us both to focus again on the relationship and supporting the connections between us, rather than things that either one of us is looking for individually. (We had said we wanted to spend the next few sessions on building before digging into the hard stuff.) I think I shared with you that last week she asked me to reframe the A into something that happened to our M, not to me... and it made me realize that in the beginning, I was seeing the A and his behavior as a threat to my children's well-being, but that the thing that would hurt them hadn't actually happened yet. I spent all my energy focused on saving the M with a primary focus on them. Then, as the fear for their well-being receded, I started to focus on what he had done to ME, the betrayal and the trust and all that, and I've still been sitting in that even as things have become better and better between us. Those feelings are still there, less painful than before, but I don't think they'll totally go away until I have more trust. But, being able to take the focus off of me and place it onto the M was actually kind of revolutionary for me as it has given me permission in a way to put those feelings on the side-- but I think you said you'd always kind of looked at it that way.

My question to you is... do you think you've spent enough time focusing on how YOU were hurt in all of this? What you lost and what you're grieving? Maybe the opposite of what I needed to do-- you might need to actually pick those feelings back up and spend some time processing them? Can he play a role in helping to give you back that emotional safety you need around believing that you're Plan A and always, actually, were? I think you can ask him to help you in this as your H and your partner in life. you don't need to just shoulder this one too and figure out how to heal yourself on your own. There are probably things he can do or say when you have those feelings crop up, if you can be vulnerable with him and let him know, that can help you feel safe again.

For the baby question... I do think you need to talk about this with him at some point. You can't let this fester and I know know know how something just gets stuck in your mind, something that the A took from you, and this is a big enough thing that I don't think you just figure it out on your own. I was thinking you maybe don't have to deal with it right away, though. Have you read Unchien's thread lately? How he's been meditating through all of this and learned to just observe and acknowledge his feelings without the need to act upon them? I wonder if you can sit with the baby thing for a bit in that way without pressuring yourself to get over it yesterday. Because it svcks. Even if 99 percent of you intellectually knows you don't want another baby, that last percent that did can't let go of the fact that if your H had dealt with the issues going on in your lives a bit differently, that baby might be snoozing in the other room right now. (Or colicky screaming, if that helps. wink ) It's a big and valid loss even if you weren't sure about it.

And finally on the MC... what if your H picked the person? What would it hurt him to go to one session and try it out? What if you guys spent a lot of the first session going over his fears and concerns so that the therapist can be extra sure he doesn't feel attacked? Maybe he'd be more comfortable with a male therapist-- would feel more on his side? IDK. It does seem like you guys would benefit from having some time with a trained third party.

You always put everyone else first, you know, WF. You shoulder the entire burden. Just like you're letting your H pick up his end on the house DIY stuff, let him pick it up on the emotional side too. Don't just call it your hangup and deal with it on your own, or not bring up MC because he's being weird about it. At least, I offer you that as a possible path for consideration.

xoxo M


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
wayfarer #2920843 07/03/21 04:37 PM
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Hi - are you just the more comfortable path? I struggled with this for quite some time . My only advice I can give you is almost 2 years later is Im very comfortable with is hes an idiot if he even thought another path was better . And my husband would agree now . But getting there was not easy . I grew more than him . This will come with time . The stronger I got the weaker he looked to me . Eventually it can balance somewhat .

Also wanted to say hi to may !!! Xoxo

wayfarer #2920844 07/03/21 05:16 PM
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Caligirl!!! Hi hi hi!!! It is so good to hear from you. How are you?? Will you please post your story in this Piecing section even if you don't check back in very often? I feel like you are the queen of DBing and it would be really helpful for people to have the benefit of your story. Plus, I'd love to hear about how you are doing now. Thank you for popping in xoxo M


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
Caligirl #2920924 07/06/21 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Caligirl
Hi - are you just the more comfortable path? I struggled with this for quite some time . My only advice I can give you is almost 2 years later is Im very comfortable with is hes an idiot if he even thought another path was better . And my husband would agree now . But getting there was not easy . I grew more than him . This will come with time . The stronger I got the weaker he looked to me . Eventually it can balance somewhat .


God, this made me laugh. On most days, I'm very much in camp "I'm a catch you're a moron"....lol. It's the bad days that that insecurity creeps in. Sometimes totally out of no where. There are days where we feel disconnected and I start to wonder. There are days when he looks at me like I'm magic and I wonder any way. But I can't control anything here. His feelings, the long term outcome, if I've made a mistake wanting to keep the MR in tact. It's all totally out of my hands and I just focus on that I have to put the work in and what will be, will be.

The growth thing is the thing that probably makes me question my own loyalty the most, I guess that's a good way to put it. The waiting to catch up. I've been light years ahead from the get go because I dealt with my trauma head on. I've been in a position since my 20s to want to actively change my trauma responses and conditioned behaviors because it effected my relationships with other people romantic, platonic and familial. At this point in our lives I can see him actually trying to catch up. Prior to BD and the A I'd say he would refuse to move forward out of spite, like some how he was sticking it to me by digging his heels in and acting selfishly, childishly or irresponsibly. Every once in a while "this is how I am" rears it's ugly head. And I have to remind him that being a self focused d!ck isn't an inherent personality trait. That care and consideration for his feelings ends the second his "feelings" make people around him uncomfortable, anxious or miserable. He isn't always responsive to that as he's a catch more flies with honey guy, but there are points in time where I have zero patience to cater to his ego and I couldn't care less if I sound like his mother.

The weird thing is even when I was deeply depressed, even when he was having an active affair while living in our home I never saw him as strong. I forced myself to function and be productive while I struggled to shower and get out of bed. I went on with my life when he decided he wanted to have a life without me. He'll even admit he would've never had the wherewithal to have done what I did. Honestly, I still struggle to see him as strong. The harder he tries to be emotionally evolved the more I see him in that light. But he hides behind machismo, dry wit and physical strength. I think we're finally in that place where he willingly wants to grow, and we are finding our way to that balance we're just not there yet.

may22 #2920927 07/06/21 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
My question to you is... do you think you've spent enough time focusing on how YOU were hurt in all of this? What you lost and what you're grieving? Maybe the opposite of what I needed to do-- you might need to actually pick those feelings back up and spend some time processing them? Can he play a role in helping to give you back that emotional safety you need around believing that you're Plan A and always, actually, were? I think you can ask him to help you in this as your H and your partner in life. you don't need to just shoulder this one too and figure out how to heal yourself on your own. There are probably things he can do or say when you have those feelings crop up, if you can be vulnerable with him and let him know, that can help you feel safe again.
I did spend a lot of time talking with my IC and my best friend about my pain in all of this. I've share with H too, that this wasn't easily overcome. And had my heart told me otherwise I probably would've walked away and never looked back, because no one deserves to be treated the way I was. Especially not for who I was in the MR. As you stated I always put me on the back burner to assure everyone's physical and emotional needs were met. Even to a detriment of myself. The waxing and waning insecurities seem to be a a common thread with piecing. It's not that he doesn't have any responsibility in assuring me, it's more so he isn't doing anything in particular to cause it. He's just living his life, he's still very remorseful and reassuring and because of that I don't feel it's his responsibility to fix it. It's just kind of getting out of my head and moving on. Sometimes he catches it and feels it even if I don't say anything, and he'll poke, but I don't want to or can't spill because we're doing something. My IC suggested that when I'm in a moment like that to just request a hug. That physical touch kind of just relaxes me and puts to bed the anger, fear, what have you. It's a way to help me get through it with out dumping on him.

Originally Posted by may22
For the baby question... I do think you need to talk about this with him at some point. You can't let this fester and I know know know how something just gets stuck in your mind, something that the A took from you, and this is a big enough thing that I don't think you just figure it out on your own. I was thinking you maybe don't have to deal with it right away, though. Have you read Unchien's thread lately? How he's been meditating through all of this and learned to just observe and acknowledge his feelings without the need to act upon them? I wonder if you can sit with the baby thing for a bit in that way without pressuring yourself to get over it yesterday. Because it svcks. Even if 99 percent of you intellectually knows you don't want another baby, that last percent that did can't let go of the fact that if your H had dealt with the issues going on in your lives a bit differently, that baby might be snoozing in the other room right now. (Or colicky screaming, if that helps. wink ) It's a big and valid loss even if you weren't sure about it.
So we did talk about the baby thing. In the middle of the A, obviously, and then again when we finally started talking about everything during recon. He apologized and understood where I was coming from. Assured me that in the forefront of his mind it wasn't a cause, but that he couldn't entirely rule out that maybe it was something in the recesses that he wasn't focusing on intentionally but the the thought was there. I think maybe the meditation and the sitting with these feelings for a while instead of pressuring myself to hurry up and move on is a really good suggestion. Giving myself permission to have a hang up over something illogical is a totally ok and not a completely unreasonable thing to do.

Originally Posted by may22
And finally on the MC... what if your H picked the person? What would it hurt him to go to one session and try it out? What if you guys spent a lot of the first session going over his fears and concerns so that the therapist can be extra sure he doesn't feel attacked? Maybe he'd be more comfortable with a male therapist-- would feel more on his side? IDK. It does seem like you guys would benefit from having some time with a trained third party.
I think this is the route were going to take when we we get there. Letting him pick, addressing his concerns, not focusing on the A out of the gate. Right now things are just kind of getting back to normal here. Also with the new house we are inundated and busy all the time. We are still unpacking. I just finally got the last of our stuff out of the old place and spent 3 days kicking myself for not hiring someone to do the move clean. We're both just running and running I don't know that either one of us has had much time to sit and think about ourselves much less in depth of moving forward in our MR. We had a big blow out this weekend which I'll update on later that's made it incredibly clear that we need to do something and I can't let him put this off forever. But every single extra dollar and minute are going into the house right now. When this calms I think it'll be a good time. We've been at this pretty much a year now. Not focusing on the A will be easy. I think a lot of his hang-up lies in that.

Originally Posted by may22
You always put everyone else first, you know, WF. You shoulder the entire burden. Just like you're letting your H pick up his end on the house DIY stuff, let him pick it up on the emotional side too. Don't just call it your hangup and deal with it on your own, or not bring up MC because he's being weird about it. At least, I offer you that as a possible path for consideration.
I always appreciate the reminder it's not my job to make everyone's life easier.

wayfarer #2920940 07/06/21 05:03 PM
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WF,

Emotions, emotions. When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong. I didn't let her in, blah blah blah. Well, I had a hard time, letting her in after the A. Over the years, I have become more emotionally available. She talks and tells me literally everything. I use to get so annoyed and frustrated listening to all her girl gossip, gripes and complaints. And I would zone out of the conversations, when I wasn't annoyed. But I had to work on being an active listener. But before, I became a better listener, I had to tell my wife how I felt about talking about all that stuff, now, when she see's me zoning out are getting anxious, she doesn't get mad, she has found ways to bring me back in.

Also my W is very head strong, and likes to take charge, so we but heads a lot. I'm very head strong as well. We have had to learn how to compromise. She grew up watching her mom, cut the grass, be a referee, and a pastor/evangelist. And her dad did all the cooking. But, her dad is a retired SGM in the Army after 29 years of service and he was a cook. Her dad is very social and love doing things for people. So my W has this weird dynamic, about her, she likes making people happy, doing things for people and being social, but she fights me when I tell her to do something, she don't like men telling her how to feel and what to do. So she pushes back, when she thinks, I'm being to masculine. But, now she has actively work to catch herself when she's about to get upset about me just telling her to do something. We both fight the urges to push back, and that has been a huge growth in our relationship. The first few years of recon, we really struggled with this. Over the last year or so, we have done a lot better with relenting and lifting our foot out the sand of what we think our PERSPECTIVE is. And, after we smile and laugh and go on like normal.

Originally Posted by wayfarer

God, this made me laugh. On most days, I'm very much in camp "I'm a catch you're a moron"....lol. It's the bad days that that insecurity creeps in. Sometimes totally out of no where. There are days where we feel disconnected and I start to wonder. There are days when he looks at me like I'm magic and I wonder any way. But I can't control anything here. His feelings, the long term outcome, if I've made a mistake wanting to keep the MR in tact. It's all totally out of my hands and I just focus on that I have to put the work in and what will be, will be.


I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods. But, over the last year, I have just been there in a none judgmental or emotional way. It took almost three years to get to the point of, she is human and has a right to be moody, upset, sad, and not be my fault. And understanding that she's her own person and has to work out some of her feelings and emotions on her own.

So now, if she's moody, I say, "is there anything I can do". If she says no, I sit next to her and just be there. Sometime she says, she just needs some time to deal with her emotions. So, I've made myself a safe place, and I'm still working to make myself safer, and my wife is also still working to make herself safer for me. But the most important part of being a safe place is communicating, when an action or comment, is making the other feel uncomfortable. It allows the other person to learn and grow in the relationship and for you. It took me a while to understand this, and maybe it will take your husband sometime as well.


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.
joejoe1 #2920949 07/06/21 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by joejoe
When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong. I didn't let her in, blah blah blah. Well, I had a hard time, letting her in after the A. Over the years, I have become more emotionally available. She talks and tells me literally everything. I use to get so annoyed and frustrated listening to all her girl gossip, gripes and complaints. And I would zone out of the conversations, when I wasn't annoyed. But I had to work on being an active listener. But before, I became a better listener, I had to tell my wife how I felt about talking about all that stuff, now, when she see's me zoning out are getting anxious, she doesn't get mad, she has found ways to bring me back in.
You honestly sound a lot like my H, no offense intended. He would get very frustrated with the gossip, gripes, work stuff all of it. But had zero problem just completely unloading on me when he had things to complain about and expected me to actively listen. He also has a bad habit of still being angry and annoyed even after he unloads. Since recon this dynamic has gotten much better. He understands now that he can't be annoyed at me for talking to him the way any W talks to her husband about her day, work, friends etc., especially if he does the exact same thing. He's also gotten much better at understanding my daily dump is just that. I word vomit my day and then I'm done. If it was a bad day and I'm crabby I said it, I need a hug and I'll move on. Because of that he's become more conscientious of not unloading and continuing to brood.

Originally Posted by joejoe
Also my W is very head strong, and likes to take charge, so we but heads a lot. I'm very head strong as well. We have had to learn how to compromise. She grew up watching her mom, cut the grass, be a referee, and a pastor/evangelist. And her dad did all the cooking. But, her dad is a retired SGM in the Army after 29 years of service and he was a cook. Her dad is very social and love doing things for people. So my W has this weird dynamic, about her, she likes making people happy, doing things for people and being social, but she fights me when I tell her to do something, she don't like men telling her how to feel and what to do. So she pushes back, when she thinks, I'm being to masculine. But, now she has actively work to catch herself when she's about to get upset about me just telling her to do something. We both fight the urges to push back, and that has been a huge growth in our relationship. The first few years of recon, we really struggled with this. Over the last year or so, we have done a lot better with relenting and lifting our foot out the sand of what we think our PERSPECTIVE is. And, after we smile and laugh and go on like normal.
Honestly your wife sounds a lot like me...lol. But no military daddy here. Just a complicated upbringing with a single working mom until she married and then I also had a really, really awful step-father. I do find myself trying to actively avoid fighting when H says or does things that get my "you aren't my daddy" hackles up. I'm a relatively quiet person, with a very long fuse. But my fuse isn't one that should be lit, like ever. So I've been working on trying to not snap and instead to ask myself why something is getting under my skin and to make it a conversation and not a blow up. H is trying harder to ask me what he can do to help. What I need him to do, because he rarely tells me to do things because I do everything. And not in a sitcom mom kind of I do everything. I literally do everything but yard work. And even that isn't finite.

Originally Posted by joejoe
I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods. But, over the last year, I have just been there in a none judgmental or emotional way. It took almost three years to get to the point of, she is human and has a right to be moody, upset, sad, and not be my fault. And understanding that she's her own person and has to work out some of her feelings and emotions on her own.
My H could've written this. He took all of my moods personally. He would actually tell people I would take my bad mood out on him when that truly wasn't happening. Like at all. If I'm in a crappy place emotionally I tend to kind of collapse into myself or have an incredible short fuse, but I avoid people at all costs when I'm like that because I don't want to snap or cry. This apparently was me taking my bad mood out on him. And /or getting irritated at the H show of him actively trying to cheer me up in the way he thought I would cheer up, never actually asking what would cheer me up. We've only very recently gotten to the point where he understands the whole I'm human I'm allowed to be moody, upset and sad and it's neither his responsibility for it or for making it better. What we do need to work on is him making his negative feelings and bad days everybody else's problem.

Originally Posted by joejoe
So now, if she's moody, I say, "is there anything I can do". If she says no, I sit next to her and just be there. Sometime she says, she just needs some time to deal with her emotions. So, I've made myself a safe place, and I'm still working to make myself safer, and my wife is also still working to make herself safer for me. But the most important part of being a safe place is communicating, when an action or comment, is making the other feel uncomfortable. It allows the other person to learn and grow in the relationship and for you. It took me a while to understand this, and maybe it will take your husband sometime as well.
He's getting there. But it's a process.

wayfarer #2920962 07/06/21 08:42 PM
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I just have to pop in quickly to say that this:

Originally Posted by joejoe
When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
You honestly sound a lot like my H, no offense intended. He would get very frustrated with the gossip, gripes, work stuff all of it. But had zero problem just completely unloading on me when he had things to complain about and expected me to actively listen.

This is exactly my H. The part about not being able to be wrong, taking over rooms, wanting me to listen to his day dump but getting super frustrated about mine... to a T. Both are are better now, especially the being supportive listening to my day parts, without trying to fix it for me.

Originally Posted by joejoe
I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
My H could've written this. He took all of my moods personally. He would actually tell people I would take my bad mood out on him when that truly wasn't happening. Like at all. If I'm in a crappy place emotionally I tend to kind of collapse into myself or have an incredible short fuse, but I avoid people at all costs when I'm like that because I don't want to snap or cry. This apparently was me taking my bad mood out on him.

My H also could have written this. He has said word for word what WF says above about me taking my bad moods out on him by just being quiet. If I'm quiet for an evening because I'm down about the A he'll get upset and says I'm being "horrible" to him and "ruining the night." In MC this past week he said my being quiet makes him catastrophize what's going on in my head. It is getting better, slowly. Instead of totally sinking into himself and getting upset, he'll generally try some non-verbal reassurance like a hug or squeezing my leg or arm. But if that doesn't solve it, he can still spiral down. I also recognize that I'm still looking for something more from him in these moments than I'm getting, and need to either be able to better communicate that to him or be more patient with myself and focus more on the present, rather than dwelling in the past. He wants to be able to focus on what we have now and building our relationship.

Anyway, I'll write more later, just wanted to say how familiar all of this was to me too!


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
wayfarer #2920975 07/07/21 02:40 PM
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So what I had wanted to post about is that this past weekend H and I got in a big blow up. I had mentioned before that DIY stuff got under H's skin and would usually result in him being in a bad mood and taking it out on us. However he's since gotten better at that. Cleaning or any real care task outside of cooking put him in the exact same disposition. If we deep clean as a family let's say in Spring or right before the holidays he's psychotic. Like literally crazy. He starts screaming at the girls because they aren't moving fast enough for his taste or they aren't working hard enough for his taste. He will literally grab handfuls of papers and just shove them in a garbage bag without even so much as glancing at what he's tossing. He will just throw anything away if it feels like clutter to him in that moment. I've seen him donate like an entire season's wardrobe because he was in this whole like household duties hulk mode. And then on the other side of this he wants to know where things are or why he can't find them. Like he rage cleans but he's raging because he's cleaning. I put up with this for a little while when we first moved in together but after losing like hours of time and helping hands because he'd have both girls sobbing I stopped asking him to help. Just completely. I would actually arrange serious cleaning around when he wasn't home so he wouldn't feel compelled to get involved. Even if he's in the house and I've asked him to do absolutely nothing because he gets like this. But I've made accommodations. I've worked through it and it's honestly easier for everyone in the house if I just do it with the girls help. And sometimes it's easier to just do it alone entirely.

Now I had planned on hiring someone to clean our old place but as it took us longer and longer to get out of the old place due to the crazy hot weather and no a/c. We ended up getting to the line and after a bunch of calls there weren't a lot of people available especially with the holiday. And those who were were asking like way more than I was willing to pay since I sort of had the time. I made a plan to get it done in 2 weekends. I was basically on track for that but H decided he wanted to help so we could speed the process up. I was particularly hesitant to allow him to help given his lovely track record. And as expected he did exactly what I thought he was going to do.

D18 got to the old place first finishing out her closet and her storage tubs in the basement. She was there more than 2 hours before H had gotten there. I got there only maybe 30-40 min after H did as I was coming from work. He was already in a mood the second I got in. Now typically when H "helps" I once upon a time would tell him he was doing a bad job and to please do a better one. I wouldn't say it like that but that was the gist. Probably something along the lines of "Hey babe you missed dusting the top of the book cases and the ceiling fan. I left the pillow case for the ceiling fan on the counter for you. Can you just get to those before we wrap up? Thanks." And then I'd go scrub some grout with a toothbrush or deep clean the oven. Just something like that would cause him to pout like a child and be angry and not helpful. So then I would just leave it alone if it was a clean to just clean. I'd leave it and chalk it up to one step close to not trying to control everything. If we had guests coming I'd go back over what he did when he was out getting drinks or paper products or what ever I could send him out for. H rushes, H hates care tasks and household chores so he tries to get through them as quickly as possible without doing quality work. And I say this not as a micromanaging mom, but as a normal human person with eyes. The way he does household tasks is the way a middle school boy does them so they can be done and he can go play with his friends. It drives me absolutely up a wall. If he could clean like a child and remain jovial I probably wouldn't care. If he could clean like an adult and be a brooding monster I probably wouldn't care. But he does such an awful job and is such a bear to every one around him in the process it's miserable. It puts me in the position of doing 3x or 4x the work, my work, fixing his work, finishing the girls work, and emotionally supporting them once he's reamed them for no good reason.

The blowup happened because as I said earlier he behaved exactly as I expected him to. He was speed cleaning. Doing a half-a$$ job, got mad at my kid because she wasn't doing as much work as him in his opinion. Getting mad at me because I wasn't moving fast enough, and I wasn't yelling at D18 to do more work faster. I tried to ignore him. I made no comment about the job he was doing, but his fuming was starting to fill every room in the place. I just absolutely had enough and told him "Let's just be done." D18 was done with what I needed her to finish. He had taken the last of the boxes out. He had done a terrible job dusting and sweeping but he started the process and it would save me time in the end to just finish it up and mop the floors. It probably wouldn't take me more than a couple hours to do on my own the next day. I said that I was tired and hungry and I'd just finish up the next day. He kept pushing that no we should just finish it. Just one more hour and we'd be done. I'm thinking, yeah right I'll be here at 7am actually finishing. So I kept insisting that we just go home. I'm tired., I'm hungry, I'm hot. He finally snaps on me and starts yelling at me about why I'm dragging this out. This should've been done weeks ago. If it were him doing it, it would've been done weeks ago. What's wrong with me? What am I acting like this? I wanted to scream at him and said calmly "Today is the first day you've helped me over here since the big move. I work full time just like you. I would've been more than happy to let you do this yourself but we both know that wasn't going to happen. So here we are. I'm not dragging it out. I just want it done right. She already gave us the deposit back. I don't want to end up in small claims. I'm coming back tomorrow ...alone. Can we go now?" He finally willingly left with no further argument.

We had to take some furniture by his aunt who does refinishing. It was a mix of pieces that were left by the tenant before us that the landlady didn't want to deal with and a couple of our things that don't fit in the new house. On our way there I apologize for snapping and being b*tchy, but I threw a "but" in there. But I wouldn't have gotten like that if he could just be a normal person when we do household chores like everyone else on the planet. He sukks all the oxygen out of a room and it's too much. I can't focus. I can't be productive. And I can't ignore it forever. He then goes into a litany of reasons why he was like that, mostly because of me and D18 and D17 who wasn't even there. Which I said he sounds crazy because D17 wasn't involved. He started saying he gets like that because none of us have a sense of urgency. Why don't we just want to get things done like him? Why don't we do it the way he does it? We'd have been out of the old place, blah, blah blah. I don't get to be mad that he isn't helping "the right way" if I want his help. I can't be picking about needing help. Blah, blah, blah.

I told him 1) we aren't his co-workers he needs to stop acting like we are; no one is getting paid to do any of this and neither are pretty much any of the other families on the planet who do this and only a small minority have to deal with some one like him making it harder than it needs to be for everyone else, and at any time he can choose to not put us in that minority 2) still not his co-workers he gains absolutely nothing by micromanaging our time or tasks so why is he making his own life harder and everyone else's by doing so 3) if he appreciates how well the girls do things when it's just me maybe it's time to stop thinking his is the right way to do things 4) I do get to be mad that he doesn't help and be mad at the way he helps, I said I wasn't telling you how to sweep, I was telling you if you're going to sweep with smoke coming out of your ears I'd rather you not help at all.

He responded with well you can't tell me how to feel. I said yes actually I can when it's completely unreasonable. You can have your feelings and they can be valid but that doesn't make them reasonable or appropriate. He desperately wanted me to validate his feelings and I did multiple times. I said I understand exactly what you're saying. I can see how that would be frustrating. I know you don't want to do the work, but you can't say no one likes work, no one wants to do this and you just want to get it over with when you put in 60-70 hours some weeks because you want to. I know you're not getting paid for this and you're getting paid for that, but you need to understand contributing to the household is doing your part. Just like the girls. And as much as I'd like them to do things differently it's a waste of my time worrying about it. They understand it's the price you pay for a nice clean house to live in, so they do it, just as unhappily as you, but they don't make all of us pay for it. Can you see how this is frustrating for me? Can you see how making all of us as miserable as you are cleaning because we aren't doing it fast enough for you is you trying to control us not me trying to control you?

We had to go in this circle about 3 times before he got it. Like really got it. He did get there eventually. But this is one of the big pushes where I'm thinking OMG we need to get into marriage counseling. I can't constantly be doing this kind of emotional labor showing him he's acting more like an adolescent than the adolescents in the house. When we have these moments I know he's asking himself if he made the right choice because I'm not being particularly kind or serving to him. I know in these moments I'm also wondering if I made the right choice because I don't know that I can constantly lead the horse to water and then force the water down his throat because he just keeps staring at the water wondering where the water is. I do feel like he's all in. Even when we're fighting. I don't have that terrified feeling any more. I think it's helping me find my voice with him.

Prior to BD I'd just let this stuff happen, and happen, and happen until he did something that would tip the scales and I would absolutely go b@tsh!t crazy. Screaming kind of crazy. I would just swallow the crappy behavior until I couldn't any more and then respond with a super explosive reaction to something that seemed innocuous so I would look unhinged, and like I was controlling and manipulative. I decided I don't want to do that any more. That I will pick my battles because every little annoyance isn't worth a fight so I ether have to let it roll off my back or address it immediately. However, doing this is soooo uncomfortable for me. The strange thing is I have no problem confronting strangers for their bad behavior towards others. But with him I get a pit in my stomach thinking about it. Which is probably something I need to work out in IC.

Piecing is hard even when you take the A completely out of the equation. At the end of the day you're still 2 totally different people with totally different world views and FOOs. Marriage is hard work and I'll never understand people who think love is supposed to be easy.

wayfarer #2921025 07/08/21 02:19 PM
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Wow wow wow,

First, I will say, you can't tell a person how to feel. But, you can tell a person how their actions are affecting those around them. Focus on actions not feelings.

It's crazy the parallels. Our counselors told my W, that she will most likely have to tell me things more than once, and that I will do things that won't be up to her standards.

My wife has also told me on multiple occasions, "we aren't your soldiers".

My wife and I had this situation yesterday. She likes this barn yard look, so we have been buying things to put up around the house, I try to do as much as I can myself. I'm not the handy dandy man, but with YouTube, I have got quite a bit done around the house. During COVID, I was able to finish a bunch of Honey Do list items. But since everything has went back to normal. I work two jobs and my W have stuff planned out for every weekend until 2026 (just kidding) it feels like it thou. I don't care, because, I like just going along and not having to think about planning that stuff much. I'm not a great planner anyway. Back to the topic (Writing what I think in the moment). So I decided to call a handy man. He came by yesterday and completed somethings on the list. He was an older gentleman and he really wanted me to watch him and learn, so I could learn how to do some of the things on my own. And he was slow, fell down the ladder twice, caught him once. Just a wild experience.

But when my wife came home and looked at all the projects, the first thing she did was start to critique. I was like huh! First, she said, "I'm not going to say much, because I wasn't here and I would of done things differently". One of the things he put up was a shelf with the industrial pipes, but looking at it now, one of the sides is crocket. She went upstairs and saw just one set of blinds was put up, and one tv mount was put up. She said, "why didn't he just finished?" I told her, he was slow as hell, and he was hell bent on me learning, I didn't mind learning. She was on this front of how she would of had done things differently. She then complained about the TV mount and how the old guy, (who I tried to contact) did it better.

I told her look, I came home early from work to watch this guy get this done, and now that I have seen him and shouldn't be that hard. She went on about not wanting to see this go undone, because we have a problem finishing things. I told her I would get it done. I got the other two blinds put up last night. Now, those two other TV mounts, who knows. LOL! Just kidding, looking for a TV mounting person now.

Before, those type of interactions would of sent me into a worldwind. And I would of lashed out, I did go into a mini fit, but she just calmly told me, I wasn't coitizing you. I just don't want all this to go undone. We tend to bounce back a lot quicker from these moments. I really think our Marriage Counselor, that just disappeared on us two years back, gave us great information on how to interact with each other. We have used those tools so far and they have worked.

I think it will benefit you and your H greatly to get into MC. It was a place that my W and I could air out our feelings. Please screen for a MC that's pro M. My first IC, wasn't pro Marriage, and she kept asking me why I wanted to stay Married and why don't I just leave her. Our First MC, spent all three of our sessions (We moved on after her last griping session), talking about her pain, and what caused her trauma. But, our last MC, that disappeared gave us the best info, was pro M and was big on living in the present, and if we forgave each other, growing from the past.


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.
wayfarer #2921165 07/10/21 08:20 PM
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Hi WF,

God. So many similarities. My H is not as extreme but many similarities.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
He sukks all the oxygen out of a room and it's too much. I can't focus. I can't be productive. And I can't ignore it forever. He then goes into a litany of reasons why he was like that, mostly because of me and D18 and D17 who wasn't even there. Which I said he sounds crazy because D17 wasn't involved. He started saying he gets like that because none of us have a sense of urgency.

So.... this is basically what we spent most of our MC session yesterday, and I don't think we got all that far. Your H, like mine, is blaming his actions and inability to control his temper or behaviors on you and the girls. And that is total BS. Our situation was that my H got mad at D11 for getting into the (new) Tesla covered in clay and slammed the car door so hard it broke and was stuck closed. He was furious with himself and her. He texted me to tell me about it and my 180 was... I let it go. I said nothing except that svcks. Because it did and he was clearly beating himself up about it. That evening we had a family discussion about it and H apologized to D11. He said he overreacted and shouldn't have slammed the door that hard. All good. Then he said... but it wouldn't have happened if you hadn't gotten into the car so dirty. I stopped him and said NO. This is not her fault. She bears zero responsibility for this. This is on YOU. Yes, she shouldn't have gotten into the car so dirty but that is a separate issue that we'll deal with that with her.

Anyway, the reason this really bothered me is that it feels in the same category as the A. He takes responsibility for his actions BUT also maintains that it wouldn't have happened if we didn't have problems in our M beforehand. Agreed... but also I feel that is some level of blameshifting ("It wouldn't have happened if we were blissfully happy") and he still needs to 100% own that his actions were wrong and not excusable, no matter what the state of our M beforehand. And, that the state of our M before the A was not just my fault b/c of the SSM but we both contributed to the dynamics that led to the SSM as well as the breakdown in connection between us. No matter how angry or sad or whatever he was, he still made the choice to have an affair and he still made the choice to slam the door. That is on him, no one else.

And even outside of the A, in our day to day lives-- this kind of BS is simply not okay. You can't blow up or be an @ss and then pretend it is because it is just in response to other people around you. Take some responsibility for yourself! And the other thing my H doesn't understand is when he gets angry, it does exactly the same thing that you say about your H-- it pulls all the O2 out of the room and the focus becomes 100% on H's anger and behavior, not on whatever had happened before that (kid being messy or whatever). He thinks this is just how he is, he tends to yell/blow up quickly and then apologizes and is done. Whereas I feel like he needs to learn to control himself more and the damage done to the people around him with the explosion, short as it may be, is not glossed over with an apology later.

Sorry for blathering on, but I feel like there are a lot of parallels here. All down to the fact that as you say, yes, M is hard even without the A in your history. I do feel like because of what we've been through in my M at least, we can address this kind of thing better than we could have before. I would have either blown back up at him or ignored it completely rather than call him out on it. I'm not okay with tolerating this $hit anymore because if we went through what we went through I want a GD amazing M on the other side and it does not include tolerating temper tantrums from my H.

Some of this is on me and our interactions, and I know I can contribute or deescalate depending on how I respond. Sounds like you do too and you've mostly focused on deescalating and avoiding situations where your H can be a duck. But I also truly think this is work that your H (and mine) need to do for themselves and the relationship. It isn't enough for our Hs to end their As and come back to the M. They need to look hard at their behaviors and patterns that contributed to the difficulties in your M to begin with, and make those hard changes themselves in support of the M.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
I do feel like he's all in. Even when we're fighting. I don't have that terrified feeling any more. I think it's helping me find my voice with him.

This is great. You got this, WF. I guess my main advice to you is you keep speaking up, to stop doing all the emotional labor for the entire family, get into MC so that there is a third trained party helping him to see that he may need to make some changes too for the good of the relationship, that Ms are hard work and he needs to own his behaviors, stop blaming others, and also understand the impact that his behaviors have on other people. You've been so good at focusing on yourself, your 180s, your own struggle with depression and growth and forgiveness. But for an R to work, he ALSO has to do all the hard work not just to repair the rift between you caused by the A, but to be a better partner and H in the future. (I think so at least.)

xx M


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
wayfarer #2924092 09/29/21 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wayfarer
At the end of the day you're still 2 totally different people with totally different world views and FOOs. Marriage is hard work...
OMG yes. One of my issues during my marriage was conflict resolution. None of our issues were ever resolved. I was a confronter, she avoided. We never discussed/resolved any issues.

Now, when either my lady or I get into an argument and our emotions start to get out of control, we take a break and talk it out after we have cooled off. Do you and your H have a calm, safe way to come to agreements on issues like the house cleaning?


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by wayfarer
At the end of the day you're still 2 totally different people with totally different world views and FOOs. Marriage is hard work...
OMG yes. One of my issues during my marriage was conflict resolution. None of our issues were ever resolved. I was a confronter, she avoided. We never discussed/resolved any issues.

Now, when either my lady or I get into an argument and our emotions start to get out of control, we take a break and talk it out after we have cooled off. Do you and your H have a calm, safe way to come to agreements on issues like the house cleaning?

My W and I just had conversation about how bad at conflict resolution we were. During 2 years of dating, and 15+ years of our marriage we would both freeze the other out. We never resolved conflict it just faded away, and never all the way away. I was more of a confronter than she was, but once I got push back then I would just internalize it, go cold and distant and stay that way for a period of time. She did the same except she NEVER confronted.

Our dynamic now is very similar to yours. We realize we are starting to get emotional, we calm down and discuss the issue. One of the other things people are so horrible at these days in all relationships and walks of life, is that it okay to disagree! Agreeing to disagree would go a long way in this world. My W and I now know that we can at least understand the other person's viewpoint even if we do not agree with it.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
wayfarer #2924410 10/06/21 03:12 PM
Joined: Feb 2018
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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by wayfarer
At the end of the day you're still 2 totally different people with totally different world views and FOOs. Marriage is hard work...
OMG yes. One of my issues during my marriage was conflict resolution. None of our issues were ever resolved. I was a confronter, she avoided. We never discussed/resolved any issues.

Now, when either my lady or I get into an argument and our emotions start to get out of control, we take a break and talk it out after we have cooled off. Do you and your H have a calm, safe way to come to agreements on issues like the house cleaning?

My W and I just had conversation about how bad at conflict resolution we were. During 2 years of dating, and 15+ years of our marriage we would both freeze the other out. We never resolved conflict it just faded away, and never all the way away. I was more of a confronter than she was, but once I got push back then I would just internalize it, go cold and distant and stay that way for a period of time. She did the same except she NEVER confronted.

Our dynamic now is very similar to yours. We realize we are starting to get emotional, we calm down and discuss the issue. One of the other things people are so horrible at these days in all relationships and walks of life, is that it okay to disagree! Agreeing to disagree would go a long way in this world. My W and I now know that we can at least understand the other person's viewpoint even if we do not agree with it.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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