I hope you understand that the time I spend with you and the work I do here on this site is not out of some obligation to be here. Technically I could just stop posting and go away and I am under no requirement either to read or to reply every again--shoot I'm not even an associate with the parent group, Family & Marriage Counseling, because I don't have a state license and instead chose to train as a coach and nouthetic counselor! My point here is that I take the time to write to people out of love and care for the people and families and marriages that are in trouble.
After reading about your weekend and your "friend" I have to tell ya--I was so upset (like...emotionally stirred up) that it took me most of the day just to settle down enough to put into coherent thought what I feel and what I want to say to you. There are SO MANY things going on, all at the same time, and they intertwine and criss-cross and are tangled together. So, after being grousy and unsettled all day I'm going to take a stab at this, and this one time I'm writing to you person to person--woman to woman...and not as a counselor or coach.
In summary this weekend was pretty much an implosion and a demonstration of all that can happen in PLAN A--CARROT & STICK if you take your focus off of YOU and what you should be doing ...and put your focus on the disloyal.
Here's what happened on Saturday night:
Well, I should of seen this coming.....my husband was asked by my son to spend the night at his birthday sleep-over tonight. He said yes several days ago to this. Around 2 hours ago he tells me he is uncomfortable being in the house and is going home . He says he doesn't want the kids use to him being in the home.I reminded him that this was about a request by his son and he should of said No when asked. He made every excuse to leave and he did leave. He just had to get back to her. This fog has not lifted and now I dont think it will. This hurts me on a level I didn't think was possible. He just wants to be the good guy, my son will be upset in the morning and he could care less. I could have used help with all the kids here but he did not care enough to stay for one night. I dont know if I can continue with Plan A, he doesn't seem to care at all, I feel he will always return to her after getting his family time. He denied leaving because of her but yet he didn't stay . I cant keep doing this, it's been going on too long now. I am very discouraged, I really needed his help and my son just wanted time with his Dad. Time he cant spare. He made his choice- to not end his relationship.
This went from not so great
, to bad
, to worse
, to horrible
, to a GIGANTIC FLUSHING SOUND
in just one evening. Let's review:
First, your son asked his dad to spend the night at your house for his birthday sleep-over. So you had the expectation that your fogged-in, disloyal, evil twin would "think of the children" ahead of himself and maybe help you. Right there--that is "not so great"
because it is illogical to expect your fogged-in, disloyal, evil twin to think of ANYTHING ahead of their affair-drug. Will a drug addict steal from his blind great-grandmother to get his heroine? Then why did you expect this addict to be any different? See, cmf? This is where it began to go wrong; however, it's not the end of the world and could have been adjusted.
Second, your disloyal says to you he wants to return to his affair-nest. This hurt YOU because you had expectations, but you were the one who put the "should" on him...and he didn't know that he was wearing that burden. So he actually said what he wanted to do, and a respectful reply would have been something like, "I personally strongly disagree with hurting your son on his birthday, but if that's what you choose to do, please go talk to him." The reason it's respectful is that you state what YOU believe and why...and you also allow him to choose what he's going to do and allow him to be the one to deal with the fallout of his choice. So this part is bad
, but again could have been brought right back on track by stating it's not okay with you but also recognizing he is an adult and able to make choices that you disagree with...and HE is the one who has to deal with the results of those hurtful choices, not you! Then let him deal with it, let him wake up your son, tell him goodbye, see the tears or whatever--you keep your nose out of it. Don't rescue him but also don't punish right? So the fogged-in, disloyal, evil twin thought of himself (nothing new there)--let him deal with the natural consequences and your job is to keep cmf out of it!
Third it went to worse
when you didn't keep your nose out of it but rather vented here and plastered him with a bunch of Love Extinguishers, like: "He just had to get back to her..." "He just wants to be the good guy, my son will be upset in the morning and he could care less..." "he doesn't seem to care at all, I feel he will always return to her after getting his family time... " "...I really needed his help and my son just wanted time with his Dad. Time he cant spare." "I cant even remember the last time he was an amazing person." "... he gets the family time and then the double life /affair all in the same day and that seems to be what he wants now." "He had no intention of staying here tonight, he knew he was leaving after the kids went to bed."
Please take a moment and review those statements--as objectively as you can. Maybe change the "he" to "she" and think of me not him--or think if they were said about you. Do you notice how each one is you assigning a thought or feeling or motive to him? And that we know of, he has not indicated that he thought ANY of those things. So you are supposed to be in Plan A. PLAN A--CARROT & STICK would be showing him that you are working on the issues you had that contributed to the marital troubles, being the woman you have the potential to be, ending all Love Extinguishers, and if he makes a choice to continue the affair don't enable him but rather let him experience what the affair could cost. How EXACTLY did those statements fit into PLAN A--CARROT & STICK? They didn't, did they? In fact, they were the exact opposite of Plan A and pretty much did massive harm to any Plan A progress you may have made! Why? Because you had an expectation of him that was not a mutual agreement but rather you wanting him to do what you wanted, you didn't communicate the expectation ahead of time, he communicated what he wanted, when it didn't "jive" with your expectation, Love Kindlers went out the window and Love Extinguishers flowed
. Even if you didn't say a single one to him (and correct me if I'm wrong...I think you said that you did say them to him), just from the venting here I see a LOT of disrespectful judgments
, a LOT of angry explosions
, a LOT of scorekeeping
, attack dog
and now passive-warmongering
cmf, I don't point these out to you to judge you--I hope you'll bear with me!--but rather as a way to sort of indicate where it started to go off track, where it was somewhat off track, and now here...where it REALLY started going off track! If this is how you respond to situations, then I can see fairly clearly some areas that you need to work on in your Plan A--Carrot & Stick before it will be effective. Namely, I would suggest that you work on ending disrespectful judgements and start to learn how to state what is or is not okay with you, but give the other person freedom to be different than you and still be valid! I would suggest working on angry explosions--possibly find some self-help books about anger and start actually practicing some of those techniques. I would recommend practicing Mutual United Understandings, and that is that when there is a decision that both parties keep negotiating until they find something they can both agree to enthusiastically--otherwise it's one person trying to control the other. When I say to you "work on yourself in your PLAN A--CARROT & STICK" this is what I mean. Look at the things you do (not them...YOU) to make the marriage painful for them and work on becoming a better woman and marriage partner! That doesn't mean you should become a doormat, but it would be good for you, as a human, to learn how to handle your expectations better. Capice? Then it became HORRIBLE
!! Take a look:
I has contacted by an old college friend of mine about 2 months after my separation - we have talked about once every three to four weeks since. Usually for 2-3 hours at a time. He just called me out of the blue tonight. We talked for 2 hours. He has always had feelings for me, he was one of my best friends before I married. We have not seen each other and he is not pushing anything, he is aware of my situation and knows the risks of getting involved with someone coming out of a long term relationship. I know I am very vulnerable right now- he is meeting my emotional needs and my husband is meeting no needs for me and really doesn't care. I feel so much better after talking to him and smile when I see it's him calling me. I know that this is probably how it started for my husband too. I have rejected this man before, I don't want to lead him on, I have only called him once since my separation. I know this is dangerous to my marriage- but at this point it just gives me hope that I can move on . His timing tonight was incredible. I have an opportunity to see him in a few weeks. It is very tempting. |
I struggle with this now, it would be soo easy for me to just put effort into a new relationship because I would see results and feel I mattered. It would take my focus off him. I do know that once I start with someone else, there will be no looking back. I have a lot of history with this OM and he is everything my husband is not right now. There has always been an attraction, but he lacked the passion my husband had for me and was not as open about his feelings. Maybe that is what I need , who knows. I am at a crossroads with this.
So let me guess, cmf: You two are "just friends." Now that you think about it, you haven't been happy with your husband for a long time. When we tell you this is dangerous, we are exaggerating or making a mountain out of a molehill. You think, "Well what about me? Don't I deserve some happiness?" The OM has nothing to do with how you feel about your husband now. You are confused and can't decide what to do. You need some space to figure out if you should follow your heart. He (OM) is everything you've ever wanted!
... Do any of these statements sound familiar? Like...HAUNTINGLY familiar?
Dear friend, do not feel embarrassed or bad or defensive that you slipped a little. Shoot, look at me--I know all about affairs and marital troubles and even *I* slipped! It's easy! And the funny thing is, I bet almost anyone could slip in the right situations and almost every loyal spouse thinks, "No way--there is NO WAY I would every have an affair!" Dear cmf, you are a human, and a woman, and you WANT to be loved and valued and cared for! Doesn't take a genius to see that. No I think this was moreso as a lesson to you to hopefully soften your heart just a little to see how easily your own hubby slipped into it and how it doesn't feel or seem dangerous at all ... and yet it is. Now you can see for yourself that it wasn't an evil, lacivious plot for pain and torture, but something that "just happened" and then felt good enough that he didn't want to stop that good feeling. Do you want to stop talking to your "friend" now? No of course not! Even if it's just a little, with him you feel like you mean something.
But cmf I'm going to ask YOU to do exactly what you've asked your hubby to do. I'm going to ask you DIRECTLY to send a no contact letter to your "friend" and tell him that you can never, ever contact him again because you need to either learn to turn to yourself for love or to dedicate ALL of your affection and loyalty ONLY TO YOUR HUSBAND. See the idea is that either you feel confident and valuable and loveable because you've learned to love YOURSELF...or if you are in a committed relationship the only other person you turn to in order to have needs met is your spouse. (That's not to say you don't have relatives who love you or have real friends...but that rather when it comes to "getting needs met" you either fill them from our own self-worth or turn to your spouse.)
Next, I'm going to ask you to use this experience as a little wake up call to understanding and forgiving your husband. Are you going to miss your gentleman friend? YES. Will you it hurt to lose that contact with him? YES. Do you want to do it? No not really. Is it the best thing for your marriage? YES. So if you do what you know is right, will it be easy or painless? NO. Now imagine your husband..how he just started to slip a little but then didn't want to really give it up, sort of fought giving it up because it feels good, and now you're asking him to end his friendship for you. I'm not saying this is good or bad or whatever--just that this little lesson may help you to have some clue what he went through, what he's going through, what you are asking of him and how hard it would be. When you give up your friend, you may hurt for a few days and really miss him and think of him...want to just pick up the phone and call and get that little feeling of being happy and loved again so you feel better...right? Yeah that's how he will feel x 10! Can you do it while it's still relatively small? Can you explain to him that you sort of understand what happened and how?
Finally--now it is a GIGANTIC FLUSHING SOUND
Well, everything has taken a step back for sure. He called the kids tonight, no longer asks to speak to me. Will no longer pick them up in the house, will meet them in his car again in the driveway. Same old stuff. Thinking of doing some damage control on my end- normally I would just refuse to speak to him but that would accomplish nothing as he doesn't want to talk to me either. My instints are to punish him for not keeping his word- I know not very productive. Thinking of trying something new to see if changing how I resond to disappointment improves our communication. Have to think about it..then again nothing may matter as long as the affair continues.
I'll be honest with you. Do you really want to get this back on track? You need to start with YOU then and not worry about him at all. I mean it--not one wit! Focus on sending No Contact to your OM and then delete your email, your facebook, block him on email and cell etc. Focus on working on the Love Extinguishers mentioned above. Speak to your husband and admit the areas where you went wrong this weekend (heck that alone will take a lot of wind out of his sails). I'm not blaming you here--he clearly did some pretty heartless things--but the way things went chances are good that right now he's thinking something like this: "...and THAT RIGHT THERE is why I'm leaving her, love the OW, and will never, ever go back!!" Now he has the "excuse" he needed to fuel his affair.
So you do the right thing. Always--do what you know is right. In this instance you lost it, and that's okay you are an imperfect human being as we all are. Take responsibility for the areas where you messed up and set those areas right...and do it tonight, right now. Apologize to him and use some detail, and then tell him what you're doing to work on yourself and what your plan is to never do that again! Then ask for forgiveness--because even though he did do things that were hurtful, that does not justify your actions (two wrongs don't make a right...two lefts do).