Newest Member: Restlessnbroken

lessthinking

Insights and Reflection during 6 week Trial Separation - Would love some opinions/feedback

Aside from the infidelity I've been reflecting on our relationship overall. A short recap of background and FOO stuff that is important.
My dad was volatile, intimidating, and sometimes downright verbally abusive. My mom was emotionally unavailable to me because she was having to manage my dad. She taught me how to walk on eggshells and be a caregiver of an adult child.
I have been with my WH for 34 years and when we got together I was only 16 yo. He has ADHD/Low executive function. He was very passive and calm, opposite of my dad, and that attracted me. I didn't want to be with anyone remotely close to my dad so he seemed like the opposite. Well for the first 10-12 years of our relationship, I acted and behaved in some ways like my dad, controlling and overpowering. I was over-functioning and he was under-functioning. Once we had kids I put that caregiving more into them and slowly over the last 20 years I have let go of the control and become more passive within our relationship myself.
I understand people get in relationships often to fulfill childhood deficits. His parents had no patience with him and didn't show love at all (never hugged him or told him they loved him). He was treated like an annoyance. So I understand our relationship served him in a way to be properly cared for, nurtured, and mothered. Once we had kids and the attention wasn't focused on him he became a pouty pants, felt neglected, etc.

My question is this...What was this relationship fulfilling in me?
What childhood wound, or deficit, am I attempting to resolve?
What is the developmental task for me to have achieved?

Any insights, opinions, thoughts welcome!

6 comments posted: Thursday, February 1st, 2024

Should I Stay or Should I Go by Lundy Bancroft

I read this 5 months ago and enjoyed it. I'm rereading it now and going to work through the exercises. Anyone read this?

1 comment posted: Thursday, February 1st, 2024

Has anyone experienced something like this…

When we are around each other I feel irritated, not attracted, disconnected from him. When we are apart I think of all the positives, miss him, and can easily overlook annoyances.

Has anyone had this happen? What helped or how did it turn out for you?

9 comments posted: Thursday, January 18th, 2024

Too much to overcome?

It's been 6 months since DD#2 and I don't feel any more hopeful than I did 3 months out. Spouse is now FINALLY going to psychiatry to talk about meds for untreated ADHD but I fear it's too late. I am incredibly hurt and resentful that he didn't take action until his security was threatened (me leaving). Seeing me in pain, and hearing my cry didn't do it. His own shame and fear of losing me is what did it. I've been asking him to get help for a decade.
I have asked we live apart for a therapeutic separation for 6 weeks. I'd say longer but we can't find anything in our budget.
What are the telltale signs it's not going to work or that it's too late, too much to overcome?

8 comments posted: Monday, January 8th, 2024

I'm exhaused. Set me straight so I stop overthinking....

I've posted about my ADHD spouse and being on the fence. I'm in observation mode, waiting to see how long and if the work will die out over time or if there is sustainable change. A couple of red flags in which I couldn't tell if I'm being manipulated I would love cleared up...

1.) My business has been slower than normal since the Fall. I was talking with my H about it and he asked about my marketing efforts. I said I haven't been doing anything with marketing for a while now. He asked why and I replied, "8/7th" (which was DDay). He responds with, "The blows keep coming". I asked for clarification and he explained, "More things I've ruined".
2.) For a while my H was using the kid's bathroom to give me space. Well, it was causing too much stress for my son so H started using our bathroom again, my suggestion. Now he asked permission to go in there even though I've said I don't care. It's like he tiptoes around me and I have barely even raised my voice these last 5 months.

I feel like these responses make it so hard for me to share any hurt I'm experiencing from the cheating because he just goes to shame and there is no space for me. He also acts like a scolded little child all the time and it makes me feel horrible about myself. We have talked about it but he just can't seem to make a change in this area. Am I overthinking his response? This is one example of many.

I think we fell into the parent/child dynamic common among partners of those with ADHD/low executive functioning. I'm so tired of feeling like a mean person, especially when I haven't been intentionally mean. I believe to heal and reconcile we would need to share in this together. With these responses, I'm not healing at all. I'm bottling it up to manage his moods like I did before.

He is considering medication for his ADHD but it would probably take an ultimatum from me (I had to do that for him to get tested). Turned out ADHD and 1% on the executive functioning test. I am done with being the one to push...it makes me hate myself because he just looks so broken and hurt when I do.

I'm just not sure I can heal while simultaneously handling the ADHD spouse burnout I've been facing for 33 years.

Thank you for any thoughts.

9 comments posted: Tuesday, December 19th, 2023

Help?? WH has Adhd, very low executive functioning, Ocd....Anyone else?

So a couple of years ago my spouse, finally, went in for psychological testing. He was diagnosed with ADHD, very low executive functioning, and OCD from these two diagnoses.
The psychologist he has been working with has discussed how cheating could be attributed to these diagnoses. My WH believes this is the case for a variety of reasons and for the sake of discussion let's assume this is true and accurate.

My WH has been focusing on our relationship since DD, discussing his feelings, and is very remorseful, doing the couple's work, etc. My concern however is he has not consistently done the individual work (journaling, attachment theory work, mindfulness practices, etc.). He is also refusing to take ADHD medication, the reason being he is worried about symptoms (his OCD is around health/aging/germs). Mind you he is perfectly okay that a couple of years ago I went on hormone replacement therapy and an antidepressant to try and feel better about my marriage and libido/hot flashes.

If his diagnoses are what caused cheating and he isn't working on himself to resolve this, nor willing to take medication I fear he will cheat again. Also, he is very stressful to live with due to these diagnoses. I've been thinking about reconsidering if I want to reconcile because of all of this. That brings guilt and a whole array of feelings.

Any advice, experience, suggestions, or thoughts are welcome!

10 comments posted: Wednesday, December 6th, 2023

Still on the fence

I wish there was an "On the Fence" forum because I'm really one foot in and one foot out. I'm 4 months out from DD2, 12 years out from DD1. I filed for divorce last Monday but still doing couples counseling and we are communicating a lot (still reside together). It's exhausting to be on the fence but I've finally accepted that is exactly where I need to be and that has brought me a lot of peace and pride the last week.
What I have come to realize is that I'm split because I see two different people when I look at my husband now. On one side I see my best friend, my life partner, the father of our kids, a person now trying his best, etc.
On the other side, I see a coward, liar, betrayer, and fraud.
I set boundaries this last Friday and I'm happy I had the courage to do it.
1.) Have the best Christmas possible and focus on the kids
2.) Don't hijack my despair and share your hurt and pain with me at this time. It's like he punched me and now he's asking me to hold an ice pack on his hand.
3) Do not bring up "the spark, rekindling romance, sexual needs, kissing, etc." Only focus on friendship and co-parenting for the next 4.5 weeks.
After the Holidays it will be 5 months DD2. If I have made no progress on being on the fence, progress means leaning one way or the other for a solid 2 weeks or more) then I will move forward with the next step in divorce.
Sometimes too much has happened to continue on with the person. I know I can move on from the affair (sexting and kissing) but I'm not sure I'll be able to move on from the deception and lying to me for so long.

Posting is helpful in processing and accountability.
Has anyone else experienced this "on the fence"? Any insight or other ideas are welcome.

13 comments posted: Friday, December 1st, 2023

Thoughts on a short (like 3 months) Therapeutic Separation

I'm sorry if this has been discussed in great detail before. Feel free to direct me if needed.
Has anyone done a shorter therapeutic separation? We are under the same roof and working on things however, I have made no promises that I'm completely set on working things out, just taking it day by day.

I would love feedback, pros, cons, benefits??

9 comments posted: Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

Am I just destined to look at the negative side?

3 months out from DD#2, but this DD hit differently than the first DD 12 years ago.
He is doing ALL the work, on his own, unprompted. I feel like I'm successfully working on forgiveness, except struggling with the tone of his cheating texts (wife is too busy for me, I don't tell my wife - it's our secret, etc). That stuff is like a knife still. I'm also struggling with the crap before DD#2 more now.
Prior to DD#2, I was pretty miserable in our marriage, and he knew it. He refused couple's counseling, ignored my pain and requests to try and connect, guilt-tripped me, and I really felt resentful for the last 5 years.
So now that he is working on all of this I'm feeling increasingly angry and resentful that it took a near-death experience for him to prioritize the marriage. NOW he is okay with no intimacy until I'm ready, whereas before DD#2 he would mope and pout if we didn't have sex every week or two. When I look at him I'm slightly less disgusted than a month ago but still not at all attracted to him unless I've been drinking blush . I can't even imagine kissing him, the thought of his lips touching me grosses me out (he had one physical kissing cheat 15 years ago and I found this out DD#2).
Now I know it's only been 3 months from DD#2 BUT is this enough progress to keep trying? Why am I feeling disappointed that he is working so hard? Is it because I feel like I can't be as mad now? Or is it a sign I can't forget? Or am I just destined to be unhappy?
Why is my brain looking for an out when he is doing all the right things? Then when he is screwing up I'm looking for reasons to have hope? Codepentant anxious attachment I guess.
Thanks for reading!

8 comments posted: Friday, October 27th, 2023

Felt better undecided, now feeling down

Has anyone else experienced this? After DD#2 I was HEAVILY considering divorce and going over all the ways he has hurt me and our family. Now trying to reconcile, I'm feeling meh, down, depressed. He is doing all the right things, it's been a couple of months. I almost feel like the reality of working on this has hit me. Also wondering if I'm missing the terrible anxiety rush of considering divorce. Not sure this makes any sense 🙁

4 comments posted: Thursday, October 12th, 2023

Intimacy

2 months out from DD#2. We are not being intimate, my choice. We rushed that with DD#1 and I don’t want to make that mistake again. Have any of you held off for a while? How long? How did you handle the void of so little human touch 😞🥺 I’m really missing the contact but don’t feel ready.
I can't tell if I'm not feeling it with him because I'm not ready, out of spite, or I just am not romantically in love with him anymore. I'm definitely in the mood sexually but just don't want to engage with him. Also, when I'm with him I don't feel it but when we are apart I long for him. UGH!

2 comments posted: Thursday, October 12th, 2023

WS Search History - Honest thoughts please

So, things have been progressing, or so I thought. WS doing the work, sincerely remorseful, etc. I have mentioned the idea of a polygraph so we can move toward repair together. Anyway, I looked through his search history and found the following searches "questions in a polygraph test" "how to pass a polygraph" and "how to cheat a polygraph".

He has mentioned being nervous about the idea of discussing something so sensitive in nature with a stranger but said he was more than willing. Could this just be nerves? Nerves he is embarrassed or forgot something from decades ago? Or is this as bad as my head is thinking?

As always thank you all for your support!

8 comments posted: Saturday, October 7th, 2023

Loyalty Test?

Has anyone tested their WS's loyalty? I'm sure it's not a great idea but I'm really fighting the urge to find a way to do this. WS has deleted all social media so it would need to be a direct text from a different phone number....maybe then asking WS to download WhatsApp for something?

13 comments posted: Friday, October 6th, 2023

Questioning Loyalty? Good idea? Tips?

Has anyone tested their WS's loyalty? I'm sure it's not a great idea but I'm really fighting the urge to find a way to do this. WS has deleted all social media so it would need to be a direct text from a different phone number....maybe then asking WS to download WhatsApp for something?

1 comment posted: Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Would Love suggestions for boundaries/expectations while in Limbo

I'm two months out from DD#2. DD#1 was 10+ years ago and was over-the-line flirty texts. I chose then to reconcile. With DD#2 I'm unsure if I want to reconcile or divorce (DD#2 was inappropriate texting and finding out about one physical contact of kissing 15 years ago).

I'm hoping for guidance on how to best handle this stage of limbo. I'm working on patience and not rushing to a decision, and he is being patient as well. I'm not wanting anything more than an occasional hug during this time. He would like to plan a date night (something I asked him to do for years) but I'm not sure I want to. I also don't know if it's good for either of us if I ask for him to jump through a bunch of hoops while I'm in limbo. For the record I'm not talking about IC or couple's counseling, those we are both doing and sharing our insights. I'm talking about intimacy and additional repair/trust-building exercises.

Thoughts?

4 comments posted: Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Would Love suggestions for boundaries/expectations while in Limbo

I'm two months out from DD#2. DD#1 was 10+ years ago and was over-the-line flirty texts. I chose then to reconcile. With DD#2 I'm unsure if I want to reconcile or divorce (DD#2 was inappropriate texting and finding out about one physical contact of kissing 15 years ago).

I'm hoping for guidance on how to best handle this stage of limbo. I'm working on patience and not rushing to a decision, and he is being patient as well. I'm not wanting anything more than an occasional hug during this time. He would like to plan a date night (something I asked him to do for years) but I'm not sure I want to. I also don't know if it's good for either of us if I ask for him to jump through a bunch of hoops while I'm in limbo. For the record I'm not talking about IC or couple's counseling, those we are both doing and sharing our insights. I'm talking about intimacy and additional repair/trust-building exercises.

Thoughts?

4 comments posted: Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Help!! Am I overreacting?!? I'm so confused how to proceed.

Edited to add married 29 years, together 33

I'm so confused and at a loss, I need clarity and help.

I found out by discovery (not disclosure) 3 separate "indiscretions". These were all in secrecy, my spouse didn't disclose anything, and I found all this out on my own. There are such heartbreaking stories on here and I feel like I may be overreacting but I also might be in denial/numb stuck in what Michelle Mays calls "betrayal blindness".

#1) About 10 years ago I found a few inappropriate texts between my spouse and a classmate (over-the-line flirty connection stuff). We discussed it, they promised it wouldn't happen again, I forgave, and moved on.

#2) Then recently I found texts between my spouse and a coworker that were inappropriate. Lots of talk about relieving stress (pleasuring self) and if they weren't in relationships and in the same state, they would pick each other to have sex with. My spouse asked this person to "relieve stress" at the same time (they said no). What should I do? I'm bored, do you have any recommendations, lots of winky faces.

#3)In looking through these texts I found ANOTHER text with a 3rd different person, "Thinking of you, I'm at that park we met at and made great memories". I found out that 15 years ago my spouse met this coworker and made out a few times in the car (nothing more happened). I actually called this person and their stories align, neither knew I was talking to either of them.

My spouse said there are no more secrets (willing to do a poly) and is very remorseful etc. I know they are not true affairs but definitely in the cheating category but am I making a big deal about this if I'm considering divorce?

11 comments posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

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