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post #46 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 03:31 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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....Yes, Legend, I 100% think that my depression was a contributing factor...

No! You absolutely cannot accept blame for his cheating.

There are lots of things I'd like to say here, but I want this one to stand out loud and clear.

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post #47 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

Dear @turnera,

This is a really good question. A big part of my focus at the moment is in dealing with the past hurts ... never mind ensuring that future ones don't happen. But, we both agree that any possible future requires that measures be put in place. (Our old marriage is dead. Long live our marriage.)

I've been thinking about my behaviour around my husband's relationship with the OW, this SECOND time. At some level, I was so eager to prove that I trusted him (after the long-ago affair) that I ignored the rumblings of my own intuition. In December (before the affair started, or at least before either of them knew they were doing something overtly wrong) I mistakenly intercepted a WhatsApp from her to him. There was nothing at all improper about it, but I remember thinking that her tone was ... familiar. Like they were better friends than the picture of their relationship that I had in my mind. But I kept quiet. I wasn't really happy about them spending time together (initially they did this openly as they were part of a running group), but I felt like I couldn't object because this was for my WH's health... exercise is good etc. And I didn't want to remind my husband about his past infidelity - as in, it's done and over and we've moved on. I didn't want to drag up old feelings.

Now, I have no compunction about this. It is like he is an alcoholic and always will be one. (He is the one who has used the addiction analogy.) That means that he can't have a none-couple based friendship with a woman, ever. No exceptions - always our friend. Never just his. Work colleagues are a bit more complex, but we've already discussed strategies for him managing any working relationships. We've agreed to follow a version of Dr Harley's Principle of Joint Agreement The Policy of Joint Agreement. I've made it clear that if I raise an issue in this context, it isn't (necessarily) because I'm accusing him of infidelity. Even if I'm uncomfortable, this makes it a critical issue because of his history. Honestly, I'd be happy for it to work the same the other way round. I don't want any other relationships (no matter how innocent they may be) to make my husband feel uncomfortable.

Total transparency on all electronic forms of communication. Indefinitely. My husband is a pretty private person. Even when he doesn't have anything to hide. Me, I really couldn't give a continental. I know that this is probably artificial and that if he wanted to he could get around it, but basically for the next 50+ years if I want to read his phone, then I read it. Look at his email, then I look. Unless he can give me a really good reason. (Then see above). Location tracker on his phone - always on.. Although, this is the same for me. We have security concerns in our area, so this is pretty much a no-brainer from that perspective. It also means that if my husband is out riding his motorbike then I can worry less. (Or at least in a more geographically precise way.) Regarding these last two - I could have done them before. But I didn't look. Didn't even think to look. If I had, I would have seen the affair almost immediately it started. Now I do this already and will continue to do so. Like checking oil and water on my vehicle. Oh, and finally in this vein. My husband sometimes travels a lot during the day from client to client. So now (after recent, very stressed out check from my side) he has to log all off-site meetings in his work calendar - who, were and why. Helpful for tax purposes and also addressing "why were you here" concerns from a working-herself-up-to-angry wife.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
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post #48 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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I suppose I try to be though in the past I have knowingly dabbled in the gray expecting that if I get burned again, I had no one to blame but myself.

In my youth, my line was an PA. I let my ex get away with a prior EA and in hindsight it was a terrible mistake. The EA was just a prelude to more pain. Despite my repeated warnings on numerous occasions that I would leave if she ever had a PA she went and had one anyway. Later on, I discovered it wasn't her first. I should of left after the first EA and I assure you I will never make that mistake again.
If I am correct in assuming that you will never get into a relationship with your ex again, then why should her behaviour towards you decide how you treat anyone else that you have a future relationship with? I completely understand the "once bitten, twice shy" thing, but why should a future spouse/partner be treated worse than you treated your ex (i.e. not be given at least the same chance)? Future partners/spouses ≠ clones of ex (and therefore maybe deserve a second chance)? "Those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it" can be read in many different ways (at the risk of sounding a bit too philosophical).

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A TRUELY remorseful spouse is worth giving a second chance to. They are just exceptionally rare people. If the affair was very brief (less than say a month), not physical, the person fully confessed on their own without prompting, and they put in massive work to fix things then yes that person might be worth hanging on to.
Yes, exceptionally rare. No argument here. Lottery winners too. Still buy a ticket, sometimes. When I feel lucky. (And now I can't get rid of a small, excessively grumpy Clint Eastwood in the back corner of my mind.)

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In your specific situation? Absolutely not. You are too intelligent not to realize it is solely your codependence that is keeping you with him. That is not healthy for anyone and it's an issue you should seek counseling for. You are using the rationalization hamster in your brain to engineer an outcome that you can live with. If you spent half as much energy moving on from him, you would be in a far better place and a much stronger person.
Possibly codependence + 2 kids + in general, I actually really quite like him (infidelity aside he has been a damn good husband for almost 12 years). And also that fact that he really did only kiss the OW (during the second affair); although he had means and opportunity, he didn't have sex or fondle anything - polygraph proof. The first time, he had an even easier opportunity that he didn't take up. So, these were not PA's (as I understand them, anyway). And I was depressed, so was pretty much checked out for almost two years. And ... That's the bummer with mitigating circumstances - once they start, you just can't stop them. It's like an avalanche.

Anyway, thank you for your words BetrayedDad. I hear them (I think) in the spirit in which they were intended. I appreciate your honesty and forthrightness. I hope that your relationship journey is easy and your way is clear.

My husand just brought me a cup of tea and now I need to go to sleep (for we are currently on the Darker Side of the Earth).
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post #49 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 08:38 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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If I am correct in assuming that you will never get into a relationship with your ex again, then why should her behaviour towards you decide how you treat anyone else that you have a future relationship with? I completely understand the "once bitten, twice shy" thing, but why should a future spouse/partner be treated worse than you treated your ex (i.e. not be given at least the same chance)? Future partners/spouses ≠ clones of ex (and therefore maybe deserve a second chance)? "Those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it" can be read in many different ways (at the risk of sounding a bit too philosophical).
Understand where I am coming from. I would never project the person my ex was on anyone else. My current girlfriend, whom I adore, has more decency in her pinky than my ex does in her entire body. I learned never to trust my ex again. I trust my current girlfriend implicitly. As long as she never gives me reason not too, I will continue to. There are other fish in the sea who don't need 2nd, 3rd, or 4th chances. No ones irreplaceable. In fact, QUITE the opposite. Sometimes the grass IS greener.

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And also that fact that he really did only kiss the OW (during the second affair); although he had means and opportunity, he didn't have sex or fondle anything - polygraph proof. The first time, he had an even easier opportunity that he didn't take up. So, these were not PA's (as I understand them, anyway). And I was depressed, so was pretty much checked out for almost two years.
Sigh.... minimizing his behavior and blaming yourself is simply setting yourself for a false reconciliation. If you choose to pursue this course of action, you MUST accept the heinousness of his deed and NOT assume responsibility for HIS actions. HE HAS FREE WILL, NO ONE FORCED HIM TO TAKE THE COWARDS ROUTE AND CHEAT.

FYI: Kissing his considered a PA (it involves physical contact) and to go one step further adults have sex. Polygraphs can duped and are certainly NOT definitive proof.

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Anyway, thank you for your words BetrayedDad. I hear them (I think) in the spirit in which they were intended. I appreciate your honesty and forthrightness. I hope that your relationship journey is easy and your way is clear.

My husband just brought me a cup of tea and now I need to go to sleep (for we are currently on the Darker Side of the Earth).
I wish you luck. You seem to be a good soul, I'm sorry you are experiencing this pain. I know it all too well. My cure was to remove the tumor. YOU DESERVE SO MUCH MORE THAN HIM. I sincerely hope one day you will realize it.

I visited England on vacation a few years ago. Fantastic trip, enjoyed it immensely!

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #50 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 09:25 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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So I can tell you with reasonable confidence that my husband's second affair used up less than 100 hours of his life (this is an exceedingly generous estimate.)
Really? Like really really? I am as much as a numbers nerd as anyone, but to conclude that his affair took up to less than 100 hours of his life is deluding yourself. Lies, damned lies and statistics. That stat, assuming it has some sort of feasibility, is only representative of direct or tangible time spent with the other woman (talking, sexting, sexing, what have you). This doesn't include time spent thinking about her. Imagining her. Desiring her and fornicating thinking of her (whether it was by himself, or with you). Odds are, most of his day was consumed with her. He probably has a notebook with WS:hearts:OW. This time also does not include the time it takes for him to justify to himself hurting you AGAIN. Or really, ignoring the lack of integrity he has. It took him 10 years to get to a point where yo caught him a second time. He had integrity that whole time? Or he just got away with it. Whatever the case, his lack of morals and his love for you were the last two things that took up a significant amount of time.

Now, if you want to imagine that this is best for you, go ahead. The thought of not being with the guy you have is scary. The problem is that you aren't with him now. You are with a turd and he keeps on smearing himself all over you and you refuse to take a shower.
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post #51 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 01:57 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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It is like he is an alcoholic and always will be one. (He is the one who has used the addiction analogy.) That means that he can't have a none-couple based friendship with a woman, ever. No exceptions - always our friend. Never just his. Work colleagues are a bit more complex, but we've already discussed strategies for him managing any working relationships. We've agreed to follow a version of Dr Harley's Principle of Joint Agreement The Policy of Joint Agreement. I've made it clear that if I raise an issue in this context, it isn't (necessarily) because I'm accusing him of infidelity. Even if I'm uncomfortable, this makes it a critical issue because of his history.
He IS an alcoholic. But his drug is ATTENTION.

The inherent underlying truth here is that if he doesn't feel enough 'fuzziness' from you, if he doesn't get enough of a 'high' from you, doesn't get his ego stroked enough by you, HE WILL CHEAT.

It's an addiction, it's an illness, and IT DOESN'T GO AWAY.

Not unless HE starts going to therapy - and LOTS OF IT. To figure out what, in his childhood, caused him to need to keep having his ego (or his 'fun sense') stroked continuously or else he 'has to' seek it out elsewhere.

We don't change who we are. Not without LOTS OF THERAPY. Without it, he will ALWAYS seek out a stroke of some sort, and it will have nothing to do with you.

There was a woman on a forum awhile back whose husband 'needed' a pretty, petite, sexy wife. Literally, he NEEDED it, for whatever reason was created in his childhood and childhood psyche. There was literally NOTHING she could do to remain this ideal he had created in his head. Because, guess what? She was human and she aged!

Until you two address what the hell's going on in his brain that causes him to seek out 'more,' you will continue to deal with one affair after another.

Unless, of course, you grow a pair and just move on. THEN, you just might become the woman of his dreams.
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post #52 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 07:57 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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The inherent underlying truth here is that if he doesn't feel enough 'fuzziness' from you, if he doesn't get enough of a 'high' from you, doesn't get his ego stroked enough by you, HE WILL CHEAT.

It's an addiction, it's an illness, and IT DOESN'T GO AWAY.
100% god's honest truth here OP and to go one step further.

It's a standard that is IMPOSSIBLE to live up to. He chases the exhilaration of a "new" relationship. He chases lust. The undying love you have to offer is boring to him and lacks appeal.

Do you want to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder? Playing warden? Trying to "keep him happy" so he doesn't leave you? That's not a relationship. It's a prison sentence. I personally would rather be alone. Seek help for your codependency OP. If he made you so happy for 12 years, why is he pursuing multiple women? That doesn't add up.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #53 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 08:27 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

To each his own but do you really want to spend the rest of your life looking over yours and his shoulders, that is no way to live, I would rather be divorced. Sorry.
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post #54 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

@turnera , @aine and @BetrayedDad - you are all correct. I cannot spend my whole life looking over my and his shoulder. It isn't in my nature; neither is it what I want my marriage to be. I had a very fruitful IC session since my last post which gave me a lot of clarity. Herewith some secondhand therapy + other updates:

#1. I had been thinking about my future in a very binary way. My choices were either divorce or a full commitment to my marriage with no future possible exit/reassessment. My therapist challenged me on this - actually, I don't yet know whether I will be able to get over the hurt my husband has caused me. I don't yet know whether, with the best will in the world and him doing everything he could possibly be asked to do to regain it, I can ever trust him again. I also believe that trust is an integral part of marriage. So a third choice is to just see whether we can reach a place of forgiveness and trust that would enable us to grow a healthy marriage going forward. It still requires a full commitment on my part (and obviously his) to trying, but it doesn't presuppose/pre-assume that all is forgiven and that things will work out in the end. Which is, I guess, actually just real life.

#2. The measures that I spoke of in my last post - these are currently ongoing. They are a product of my response to my husband's recent behaviour and choices. If I still need them to be in place in 5 or 10 years, then clearly I haven’t been able to trust him as I should have. I settled on the analogy of these measures being a trellis/support post over which our marriage can grow. They are necessary now, not because I actually think there is even the vaguest chance that he is currently having an affair, but because they represent a commitment to redeveloping my trust in him (on my part) and earning back trust (on his).

#3. @turnera - I think I spoke earlier of the significant difference in my husband's mental state compared with that following my first DDay. He has been in IC now for some weeks, addressing why he had the affair and how he convinced himself that what he did was OK at the time. Several things have surfaced that reassure me that he is not just going through the motions. We've been more honest with each other in the past few weeks than ever before in our marriage - frankly, it sometimes sucks. Is it weird that this can be in a good way? I am in no doubt that, if it is possible to understand and control this part of himself, he wants this and will try with everything he has to do so.

#4. My mental state - I won't deny that we are currently in circumstances that make it difficult for me adjust to the concept of divorce/separation. They are numerous and life-impinging. But I dispute (with great vigour) that I am unable to imagine a life without him and don't have the strength to live it if necessary. (Although, as he is the father of my children, I would never actually be entirely free of him, anyway.)

Recently I challenged him with the fact that he hadn't actually chosen me over the OW; but rather that the path to her (two divorces, four children in broken marriages, considerable judgement from his family, a lot of financial and administrative mess, reputational damage) was actually just too much effort. He asked me if I thought that the path that he was currently on (IC; confronting this very weak and immoral part of himself; addressing all my questions about the affair, over and over again; dealing with my parents knowing about the affair, the polygraph, the intense electronic surveillance; starting to change the way that we interacted in the past (with him conflict-averse, at best passive-aggressive) to something a lot more functional) had been easy for him. He was quick to assure me that he would do all this all over again and anything more I asked; so this wasn't resentment. Just him wanting me to know that he was trying. Really, really hard.

So no, it isn't that I can't imagine life without him, but more that I just can't imagine walking away as long as he is genuinely remorseful and willing to try to do everything he can to ensure a reconciliation. For the first time, we're both openly acknowledging that this doesn't guarantee that we'll still be married in 5 or 10 years time; but it has a far greater hope of it than just rug sweeping, closing our eyes tightly and hoping for the best (which I can say, based on personal experience, is not a good way to go).
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post #55 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 07:58 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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My husband has cheated on me … again. I don’t know what to do. Even if I did, I don’t know whether I have the energy to do it. I love him very much. He says that he loves me very much. He wants our marriage to survive this; and is willing to do whatever he can to save it.

The first OW was someone he met online – the relationship started before we were married and then morphed into an EA that he carried on via email for the first year of our marriage until I fell pregnant with our first child. He had told me about a very passionate kiss before we got married (we took a break to rethink things before recommitting ourselves to the relationship), but I only found out the full story later by chance. There were actually secret meetings and phone calls, a ONS (stopping just short of sex) and, even after our marriage, a very emotional and romantic email exchange. When I found out by accident, I was devastated. I told him that I wanted a divorce, he (as non-confrontational as he is) fought back with how sorry he was and how he wasn’t going to let me throw away our relationship and family on something so stupid that he’d done. We went to MC and he went to IC. It was painful, but we grew up and grew together, had another son, and the affair became something of a badge that we had collected as a couple. Our experience together had made us stronger, more real and honest with each other. I can honestly say that I trusted him completely again.

More than ten years later (after I was treated for a major depression that went on for almost two years) I found out that that, for a few months earlier this year, he had another affair. This time, the OW was someone known to me (son’s school friend’s mother). My WH says that he has never had sex with another woman since he met me. He admits to a lot of kissing and hugging, secret meetings, flirtatious texting with this second OW. I found out about the affair when the OWH contacted me on a family holiday. (It had already ended by then – mostly due to OWH’s suspicions.) The OW had apparently come clean and finally confirmed the EA and that there had been “kissing”. My WH first tried to minimise things - a few weeks later he was finally more honest about the extent of what had gone on. He says now that he doesn’t have any real feelings for her at all, that he is deeply ashamed, that he felt “out of control” and “in a fog”. He says that he deeply regrets what he did.

In my calmer moments, I believe him. Sometimes I don’t. Mostly I try not to think about it at all. This second time is much worse. All the forgotten and forgiven hurt from the first betrayal has risen to the surface again. I am sad a lot, then I am angry and bitter a bit. Then I try to function normally - as normally as I can. My husband sits and holds my hands and says that he is so sorry, that he would do anything to save our marriage. He cries about how much he has hurt me, , then he holds me while I cry about how much he has hurt me, and he worries about the impact of his behaviour on our kids. I think he is genuinely remorseful (but then I think – what do I know?). I know that my depression wasn’t easy for him and that he did so much to keep our family functioning and healthy when I was getting well. I don’t know if I can trust him, don’t know if I should trust him. Am I stupid for even thinking of trying? He is a good dad and a good man. I want so badly to believe in him again.

Anyone got any wisdom for me?
Sorry you have gone through this again Mizzbak. No one deserves to be treated like you have.

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post #56 of 56 (permalink) Old 02-24-2017, 08:04 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

How are things now?
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