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post #31 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 06:04 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

Sunshinesas I keep seeing the common theme of you trying to understand your husbands behavior and even justify it. You need to stop torturing yourself like this. The guy you married 32 years ago is long gone, this new guy is someone that easily lies to you, easily manipulates your emotions, easily causes you severe emotional pain. This is not a man you would fall in love with today is it? The only way you can stop the emotional misery you are in right now is to wash him out of your life, yes it is difficult, but you keep hoping something bad is going to suddenly seem alright, and that just isn't how it works.

You don't need all the evidence of his affairs, you don't need names and dates, you don't need to be contacting the OW, you don't need to know how his therapy is going, all that does is drag things out. What you need is to go no contact and start moving forward full speed ahead with the divorce.

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post #32 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 06:42 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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Originally Posted by sunshinesas View Post
I guess I don't understand that but its true. But he is in therapy by himself with a really nice therapist and she said its not unusual for latino men not to talk? Yet giving him another excuse. He was in therapy, a safe place, no one else but he won't talk yet can meet some stranger and spill it all I just don't get it at all. Looking from the outside in I think he liked the female attention (and I get that) he even said something to that affect but he swore they didn't talk about "us" and I texted this girl and she said he talked about us and the kids problems. I think he was infatuated getting some female to look at him and talk to him but he crossed the line.
Many men, I imagine that the type that would be a career military man would doubly apply, are not able to open about their personal issues unless it's with their wife & best friend. The bound between man and wife is powerful to a man. The problem is that you relinquished that role 2 years ago. So he got a stand in.

You say he was infatuated with her but I say he was just starved for female companionship and affection. I doubt very much that he would have went looking for it, if he had it at home.

Seems like so many love to cheer on going for a divorce but if there is anything worth fighting for, it's your family. You know in your heart that cutting your husband off is what led to this point. You mention power struggles and alcoholism. I know that many men in military circles tend to drink a lot. Could having a wife that is having "power struggles" with you lead you to drink to escape the emasculation?

Not trying to get you mad. Just want you to consider all possibilities. You shouldn't let pride cause you to head straight to divorce. All those cheering you on to divorce are not going to be there for you when it's finally over.

I know if it were me, who's been married 27 years, together 30, with 4 kids, I would be willing to try again. The single's bars and online dating sites (Yuck) will still be there waiting if I failed.
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post #33 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 09:05 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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.

Yes, he's being unfaithful but come on, you cut him off sexually for 2 years. How long is a man supposed to be sexually cut off before he goes out and finds another for sex and affection?

You say want to salvage your marriage yet you don't want to make the first move. I'd bet my next paycheck that you could snatch his heart in a second. No cheap woman that's willing to sneak around with a MM can compete with what you offer. ONLY with you does he have honor. Only with you can future grand kids come to see grand pa & grand ma TOGETHER.
Wives don't sleep in the spare bedroom just for fun. When a spouse has a history of addiction, are controlling, angry, passive-aggressive, emotionally abusive or are seeking others to stroke that enormous ego we lose the love for our spouse bit by bit. When we speak about how these acts have hurt us and how we want these acts to stop and we are either not heard or lied to, again, we continually step away from this person we now wonder if we ever knew. Sure we struggle, we struggle with all kinds of fears....how will my kids do if I leave, what happens to me and my future, how do I make it, what will my friends and family think, and if we are religious we wonder how we can be forgiven or if it is possible, we wonder if we should just stay and make the best of the life as it is. It takes TWO people....COMMITTED to one another and willing to honestly and earnestly work thru the tough times together. That means that OP's husband should be going to AA meetings but does he want to stop or does he even see it as a problem.

I ran into this same scenario in my own marriage. My ex is an alcoholic who sees nothing wrong with the way he drinks and when I say alcoholic he drinks every day, at least a bottle of wine...sometimes 3-4 other drinks on top of that.....I am surprised his liver isn't pickled yet. He told me he would not stop drinking and he had no problem. That was just a tiny spec of the problem and I suspect the same with OP. My ex would do all kinds of stupid stuff when he was drinking....it got to a point that I would leave the room or even leave the house to get away from his sickening drunken stupors. Like OP, whose OP is/was military, mine was as well and that takes on a whole other hardship with moves and raising kids without the help of your spouse, following his career even when you don't want to and making the best of every situation you are in and every place you are sent.

So did the OP's husband reach other to other women because he didn't like what was going on at home and decided rather than addressing it he would see what thrilled him, did the responsibility towards his wife and family force him to start seeking other women, or is this just something men do and find it harmless to their marriage because he had no intent to leave his wife even though he she spending no time repairing damages or working on making a relationship with his wife?

So you want to ask if it was possible OP's husband started seeking other women because they weren't having sex. Let me tell you, women are very well aware what makes men happy and wives will do their best to keep their husbands and families happy, to a point of neglecting their own needs many times. When so much hurt and damage has happened without proper resolve a spouse will eventually back away to save themselves any more hurt. OP was hurt, she had needs too but she wasn't seeking other men to satisfy those needs. She did, and probably does, still love her husband and is very torn about the decisions she is making right now.

No relationship works if it is one-sided.
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post #34 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 09:10 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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Originally Posted by sunshinesas View Post
I guess I don't understand that but its true. But he is in therapy by himself with a really nice therapist and she said its not unusual for latino men not to talk? Yet giving him another excuse. He was in therapy, a safe place, no one else but he won't talk yet can meet some stranger and spill it all I just don't get it at all. Looking from the outside in I think he liked the female attention (and I get that) he even said something to that affect but he swore they didn't talk about "us" and I texted this girl and she said he talked about us and the kids problems. I think he was infatuated getting some female to look at him and talk to him but he crossed the line.
He's not talking to you BUT he is talking to other women. Think about that! He is capable of communication. Too many times we excuse a man's actions saying they can't open up, they do not communicate well. Any man who is seeking other women is communicating.
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post #35 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 09:17 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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All those cheering you on to divorce are not going to be there for you when it's finally over.

I know if it were me, who's been married 27 years, together 30, with 4 kids, I would be willing to try again. The single's bars and online dating sites (Yuck) will still be there waiting if I failed.
I don't think people are cheering OP for divorce, they are lending support. When a person sits to close to the fire they cannot see clearing thru all the smoke and those of us who have been in these situations, especially those of us who have been married over 20 years and endured years of hurt realize what the path looks like when our spouses refuses to meet half way.

And yes, the dating scene is not alot of fun but is sure as heck beats walking thru the house being ignored by the man who is supposed to love you, all the while he clicks out of windows on the computer or is constantly plugged into his phone and you know very well what he is doing. It just continues to break you down and tear you apart.
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post #36 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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I don't think people are cheering OP for divorce, they are lending support. When a person sits to close to the fire they cannot see clearing thru all the smoke and those of us who have been in these situations, especially those of us who have been married over 20 years and endured years of hurt realize what the path looks like when our spouses refuses to meet half way.

And yes, the dating scene is not alot of fun but is sure as heck beats walking thru the house being ignored by the man who is supposed to love you, all the while he clicks out of windows on the computer or is constantly plugged into his phone and you know very well what he is doing. It just continues to break you down and tear you apart.
Maybe it's not cheering for divorce but It seems like D is advised for to many times. There doesn't seem to be an even handedness. Hammering the square divorce nail into the circular hole seems to be the order of the day here.

Maybe it's the way divorced is glamorized in woman's TV shows, movies, and magazine articles. There is such pressure to break up families. We men are hit on the other direction. We need to man up, honor our word. It's just a sharp contrast to me.

We also need to be careful that we're not projecting our experience on to posters. Do I want OP to stay in a miserable marriage? No, but despite all the negative things she's noted, I still see opportunity.

Maybe it's my idealistic side but I think OPs husband would jump at the chance to be lovingly married to his wife over this OW. I also think that the thought of growing old with the man that she made vows to and raised kids with, and the chance of being involved in future grand kids together is far more enticing than going through profiles dozens of old, divorced strange men looking for companionship, not to mention the loads of married men looking for hookups.

Last edited by jsmart; 01-15-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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post #37 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 11:24 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

We all have our experiences and practices that we bring to any thread, some will meet full success with the poster, some a mix, many may not be successful because if there is one commonality, we are not common, even if it seems so with our eyes.

The ones that do seem to have the best chance for success are the ones that have control of the one thing that can matter... ourselves.

Trust has nothing to hide... but there is a reason it gets hidden and it is doubtful it only surfaced a few years ago.

32 years of pride is going to be very hard to heal from, that is why I mentioned walls.

I am not one who believes divorce here is the only path, or even the best path, but if you keep your walls of pride in place, you may never see another path and your 32 years will end anyways.

Dropping those walls is frightening, it takes courage to be sure... and a lot of pain but is it more painful than what you currently face is what has to be assessed.

One give immeasurable growth while enduring the practice, the other may heal you in a different way but your walls and baggage remain because you never fully leave behind the bad baggage or lower the wall enough to toss it over.

You can't take effective action for a solution if your targets remain obscured... but we hesitate to expose ourselves to that direct fire for fear of being wounded, any military man knows that, lives that, breathes that.

But we forget that in our personal lives, every battlefield is not the same... or a battlefield at all.

So walls are built.

I will personally share they can come down if you want them to, and the better you are to see, the less you are to fear.

Sometimes we have to lead by example...
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post #38 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 06:00 PM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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We also need to be careful that we're not projecting our experience on to posters.

Maybe it's my idealistic side but I think OP's husband would jump at the chance to be lovingly married to his wife over this OW.
First, pot kettle much?

Second, show me where you see that he would jump at the chance. Maybe I missed it in this thread?
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post #39 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 06:08 PM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

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Maybe it's not cheering for divorce but It seems like D is advised for to many times. There doesn't seem to be an even handedness. Hammering the square divorce nail into the circular hole seems to be the order of the day here.

Maybe it's the way divorced is glamorized in woman's TV shows, movies, and magazine articles. There is such pressure to break up families. We men are hit on the other direction. We need to man up, honor our word. It's just a sharp contrast to me.

We also need to be careful that we're not projecting our experience on to posters. Do I want OP to stay in a miserable marriage? No, but despite all the negative things she's noted, I still see opportunity.

Maybe it's my idealistic side but I think OPs husband would jump at the chance to be lovingly married to his wife over this OW. I also think that the thought of growing old with the man that she made vows to and raised kids with, and the chance of being involved in future grand kids together is far more enticing than going through profiles dozens of old, divorced strange men looking for companionship, not to mention the loads of married men looking for hookups.
I absolutely agree, ideally Op and the other couples here questioning if they should stay with their spouse would be much happier in life if the problems with the marriage could be addressed and they could move on as the loving family and couple. What I hate to see is women, especially, that have busted their rears and bent over backwards to please and make everyone in their lives, including their husbands, happy only for them to find out that their spouse was cheating and then they unmask a marriage hurt. It is shocking to find out that a spouse has cheated and I am not saying that marriage can't go on after infidelity because it can but some serious issues have to be addressed. I have seen all too many times women brought up in the church or those with low self-esteem stay in wrecked marriages without the proper help.....they fault themselves, make excuses for their husband's behavior, all to keep them in this trap because they don't want to tear up their family, don't know if they can make it on their own, etc. The brain is quite amazing and it can trick you into thinking you make something work if YOU just give a little bit more, be more understanding, be there for your husband. When a person who has dealt with a cheater blames themselves I think they need to look good and hard at that assessment. What did he/she do that drove their spouse to cheat? Is it realistic to think that any none can drive you to cheat? To me that is completely obsurd..

If OP and her husband can work thru the issues, great! But she cannot blame herself or let him blame her for his actions. He has to stand accountable for his own actions.

As far as projection.....we all come to this board with our own experiences that carries into our replies to people here.

I cannot tell you how many of my friends have gone thru this, or are going thru this. Since my divorce so many of my friends (friends all over being part of a military family) have come forward with their own unhappiness in their marriages. Many of them staying for all the fears I mentioned above but clearly not happy. I hear these women, like OP, and realized I was right there....stuck for many years.
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post #40 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 09:50 PM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

There's tremendous pressure for women in long marriages to stay until the natural end of the marriage -- until either their spouse dies or they do. When I was first contemplating ending my 45 year marriage (due to another round of cheating) I had absolutely no support from family or friends. They were all very unhappy that I wanted out after all those decades but I was beyond tired of being the only one trying to make our marriage work. I wanted peace in my life.

My ex-husband was opposed to the divorce. I'm sure in his own way he always loved me but he needed attention from other women and that eventually killed our marriage. After the divorce, he said several times how much he regretted his "mistakes" and wished we were still together but it no longer mattered. I never looked back.

Can long marriages be turned around? Sure. Does that often happen? Not that I've personally seen in the marriages of my family and friends (all of whom are still together). People admire long marriages and want to see them continue. They think if it's a long marriage then surely it must be a happy one (since you've lasted that long). Not necessarily true. Sometimes it's just long.

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post #41 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:24 AM
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

When both in a marriage recognize they have brought suffering to the relationship and would like it better, the relationship stands a chance... but all it takes is clarity from one to realize how no matter what, success or failure, that they know the suffering in place needs to be removed. How that happens is up our own recognition in where we accept our shortcomings, what we choose to do with them, and how we remain humble to ourselves as we journey forward.

Divorce may be the path lain at sunshinesas's feet, and that path may be deep in motion... she should be true to herself first. In that journey, one must understand the negative actions around them... we can spend all our time fuming about how wronged we have been or we can focus on something better.

The simplest is often not the easiest, and we can trap ourselves in it every time doing it anyway because our egos struggle to let go and want to feel justified. A poster here said the OP doesn't need to prove anything, they are absolutely right... closure is something we give ourselves, akin to forgiveness, and that allows us to be the one in control of all future interactions.

How we live with a disappointment of so many challenged years can either wear one out, or teach a better way.

I would like to see sunshinesas walk through this head held high and understanding there are better things ahead no matter which path she walks. If she leaves this relationship as it lies, the important thing is understanding how we stop sharing pain and disappointment and understand how such attachments fail us.

Love doesn't die on its own and both deserve peace... perhaps it's time to cast aside the tally sheet.
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post #42 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

Before I start responding to post I want to give you a little background. I went in the Air Force a week out of high school, a homebody young girl, terrified but did it. I had low self esteem most my life, grew up in a violent home and had been abused by siblings; mentally, physically and sexually. I met my husband the last year I was in because the general consensus back then was women only went in the military to find a husband, and I surely wanted to prove that wrong. Met my husband and because he was on one side of the world and I on another, I got out and followed him, 24 years I followed him. Three weeks after marrying I find out he had another woman the entire year plus we were engaged, and the ironic part is he knew I was the one because I was faithful the entire time before we were married and I had plenty of chances not to be but I didn't believe in cheating. He was from a strong latin background, his mom loved me the first time she met me because I was a strong independent woman, unlike her who tolerated a controlling mean man who had multiple affairs. His dad begged him not to marry me because he should marry his race, his religion and a woman that would stay home, have his kids and not open her mouth. Needless to say he loved my strength and attitude so he never took his fathers advice.
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post #43 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

We were happy but I look back now and think we didn't have much of a chance. I worked, he was gone all the time and even when home he drank, alot. We fought like cats and dogs. Mostly about money and sex. I was terrible with money and all he wanted was sex. We maintained but those years were some great ones and many bad but I was never going to give up, I loved him and stood by him. He did some pretty awful things to me back then but don't remember the majority because well he was drunk most the time. I held the home together many years alone, I was the strong one. During a extremely difficult time; my son was little and labeled ADHD, we fought terribly every day, the stress was immense, he took a trip home and found someone. Make a long story short, he had a lengthy EA and was planning on divorcing me and moving to Texas. I found out, we stayed together and tried to move forward. I never knew all the details, he wouldn't give them. It was some of the best few months I ever had with him, felt so loved and we talked and we shared. Sadly this was short lived and one sided. After a few months of bliss I gave up, I couldn't do it on my own, he just seemed to sit back and want me to work on things by myself. He reverted back quickly, doing what he wanted, when, with whom, and felt he didn't have to answer to me for anything.

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post #44 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

My kids grew up in a home where they witnessed a pretty unhealthy relationship but they thought their parents were awesome. When times were good they were good but the bad seemed to outweigh the good. I am not sure how we got here today. We still fought alot, he still drank alot. We ran on auto pilot I think for most of the time. Kids got grown, daughter left for college, son is thinking about leaving, I took in my niece. Many changes coming. I told him for years if we didn't work on things there would be nothing left to salvage; I begged, pleaded, talked and got pretty much no where. His drinking slowed down alot and he was home way more but there just wasn't a connection. We seemed to have less and less in common and we were starting to live separate lives. He tried in the last two years to get me to do things, go out, find a common ground, I think I just felt so dead and empty inside I didn't know what to do anymore. We slept in the same bed barely touching for two years; I had an actual aversion to sex and his touch, it was scary to feel that way but I felt I was laying next to a stranger.
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post #45 of 100 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 32+ years coming to an end

So this is by no means all the pieces to the puzzle and yep you are hearing just one side of the story.

Have I hurt him, probably more than I know or will ever know because he wasn't able to share any of his feelings the last two years. Did I relinquish my role easily, nope, this has been true hell. He wouldn't and still won't open up to me nor his therapist.

I too was starved of communication, companionship, warmth and compassion for years. I felt used.

He tells me I emasculated him? When I asked him why he married me knowing I was a strong, independent woman he says "I thought you would change?" Probably not a great place to be when starting off in a marriage.

I am owning my responsibility to where we are now; I was terrible with money for years, I withheld sex on many occasions, I grew to not trust him on all levels, I built walls. I am accountable.

He doesn't want to be accountable, he wants to sweep it all away and start new? How when you don't have the fundamental basics to even begin?

I am not looking for another man, not even in my thought process, not in my plan. I would have much rather worked things out with this one and grew old together but maybe there is just to much hurt, to much in the past, that cannot be reconciled. You have to be able to go back to move forward and he doesn't want to tackle that.

The pain is incredible, anyone been or going through it, knows that.
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