Hi Alison,

I know I'm such a slow learner on the dropping of control thing. I am trying to figure out if in previous iterations I did actually accept zero control and then it snuck back in? Or if it was all just an illusion?

I think, putting myself in my shoes from back in September, that I did really have that flash of understanding, the A made real, him walking out was actually happening, and none of it was up to me. It was freeing, really, to have this glimpse at the life in front of me, on my own, not needing to deal with H's BS anymore. And the rage that must have been there all along just roared into life and has been simmering ever since.

I think if he had left, the control part, continuing to let go, would have been much easier. He threw me off when he decided to stay.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
This is the heart of it, isn't it May? I am sure sociopaths and narcissists exist, and I am also sure that many normal people - including you and me - have various personality traits that fall on this spectrum. You chose a human capable of human things to father your children. Someone as imperfect as you. And you don't have to accept those imperfections, and you don't have to stay married to him. But I do think you need to accept that you have no control over him, his healing process, or the past. He will always have done this. That's the work, and it totally stinks and you didn't choose to have to do it. And that stinks too.

I don't think he is a sociopath (though reading Scout's post-affair book has me thinking that all cheaters are sociopathic narcissists, incapable of being in a healthy relationship). I think I'm just finally working through a lot of stuff about myself and my expectations for my life. I don't think I'll feel defeated for too long... at least I hope not.

As an aside, in retrospect, I totally saw signs of my H being in love with another woman. He turned into a resentful alien @ss and did everything he could to push me to ditch him. It was just that cheating was so outside of my worldview that it never occurred to me that could really be what was happening. I actually asked him a whole bunch of times if there was another woman and he always said no. (With a good dose of gaslighting for sport.) I read enough about ILYB to learn that 99 percent of the time, there is another person involved, especially if the WS is a man. For a while I actually toyed with the idea that he was gay/in the closet and was having a long-distance affair with a gay friend who he was working on a project with and talking to a LOT. (I told him this when he finally told me of the existence of AP but in the mildest of terms and he took that as "this is how little you know me," but I had been so focused on seeing him as an honest person that it was the only thing I could think of that he'd lie about.) Anyway, I felt so vindicated through all the lies and gaslighting I honestly think the very first words out of my mouth weren't I hate you or how could you-- it was "I *knew* it!!!"

And one enormous benefit to DB for me has been learning to practice validation on my kids. I have a way closer and more intimate relationship with them now then I have in the past. I feel like they're getting to know me as May, not just Mommy, in these conversations, and I'm learning so much more about their inner worlds. I have read a ton about child psychology and communication and D. So hopefully I'm more prepared in supporting my kids through all of this and observing their psychological states than I was with my H.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
I do think if you can get past the idea that to accept the reality of the situation is to be defeated, you will stop working on the things that you can't control, and have loads and loads more energy to either work on your marriage, or a happy single life. Maybe if you thought about what you can control, and put all your energies into that, then the defeated feeling will go away?

Yes, I think I'm on the path to that place. Not trying to force anything. I think sitting in the defeated feeling isn't a bad thing for me-- it helps cement the letting go of control. I feel like if I immediately launch into my next set of projects, it perpetuates the illusion of control... and, I think, I still need practice in identifying that which is outside of my control. I'm OK to be here for a bit. I feel rather peaceful about it today.

Yesterday, H went on a hike in the morning and I hung out with the children. They made a restaurant for me with menus and place settings and cooked me my lunch to order. We set up the punching bag and had a ball. I left with the kids right around the time H was returning from his hike and took the kids to meet up with a friend and her children at the beach (H I could tell was a bit disappointed not to be invited, but we said "girls only" and he went home and mowed the lawn, so we all won).

I was quiet and tired when we got home, and let H make dinner, clean up, watched a TV show I liked and then got a full eight hours' of sleep-- this morning H closed the bedroom door to let me sleep in and got the children ready for school, breakfast and lunches made. (I normally take care of this.) I do think having a good nights' sleep helps a lot of things.

But in any case... thank you, I think I'm moving in the right direction. I don't know that I would call it defeated how I feel this morning, maybe just that it is okay to let go, okay to be sad. Just okay.

Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing