Newest Member: chaoticdreamer

lessthinking

Silent ultimatums...

Bs - do you all ever give silent/secret ultimatums? It goes something like this, "if my WS does XYZ one more time, or doesn't do this by XYZ by XYZ, it's over"!

I'm finding myself doing this repeatedly, and when WS does "it" again, I say something to myself along the lines of, "Well you didn't verbalize that so it's unfair to expect it."

Talk about crappy mind games I'm playing with myself!

My current one is, "One month to get a polygraph scheduled at some point in the future, or it's over" but I never really gave that ultimatum verbally. They know I want a poly to feel some basis of trust. I guess maybe I am hoping my WS will do the work on their own w/o the reminders, and then when they don't I get too afraid to stick to my boundaries.

It's exhausting. Thanks for listening to my random thoughts of the day.


edited for terrible spelling and grammar

11 comments posted: Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

Update and Doubting the way I've been handling limbo....

I have not updated for a few weeks, (the last post was in Reconciliation under Mental Gymnastics). We signed the final D papers but have not turned them in. After we signed them we both (me especially) freaked out and decided to hold off turning them into the lawyer for another month. When we signed I immediately felt crushing grief and despair followed by intense fear of regret and my head was filled with all the positives in our relationship. WH decided to lay off pressuring me to make a decision and not hijack my emotions. He has done better. We both continue to feel so sad about the state of things.

Anyway, one thing I’m in my head about is this…
Filing for D in November obviously gave the message, "I’m halfway out the door." Could that be the barrier of reconciliation for us? This is what he is focusing on, only one small action (as in turning in the paperwork), and our marriage will be officially over. Is holding this in the air too much of a barrier to work and focus on R? I think what made me think about this, apart from his comments, are advice blogs/forums I’ve read encouraging those who are working on deciding what is best to take D completely off the table for at least 6 months and make it a safe space to work on true reconciliation without threat of D looming over the relationship.
So, I’ve been in my head thinking I am the one that ruined any chance of R by filing for D, or then us meeting with the mediator, then reviewing the paperwork, then signing. Taking steps to D all along while being "on the fence" doesn’t sound or feel much like limbo.
With that being said, each step towards D has been initiated due to a mistake on his part (hijacking my emotions, stupid fantasy story, etc.). That seemed fair at the time but was it? It almost seems he has been destined to fail no matter how hard he is trying. It’s probably more complicated that our marriage was really struggling prior to D-Day. Perhaps proceeding with D was my last resort to get his attention? Thoughts?

19 comments posted: Friday, May 17th, 2024

Don't think I can take the mental gymnastics anymore....leaning towards signing the papers for D :(

Just a rant in the safe place of the SI community.

I don't know even where to begin. duh I feel like I have a yoyo brain. I take responsibility for a lot of it because, well, I AM an overthinker. However, he is giving me mixed messages constantly and it feels too much. I am starting to feel the physical toll from it as well.

One minute he is grateful and appreciative that I'm still "in it". Admittedly I'm just riding the fence and can't make myself go either direction still. The next moment he is not sure how much longer he can give his 100% effort for so little in return. That is a HUGE red flag right?! I already feel awful riding the fence, in limbo, in relationship purgatory. BUT him saying one thing/love bombing and then literally in the same sentence saying he feels so down with getting nothing in return, then next breath saying "But I know you are letting me stay in the house, spending time with me, trying MC, etc. so I am not saying that is nothing". He's calling CSATs frantically right now to get better support and to accommodate my recent need but I'm just not sure I'm going to make it honestly. I feel like I'm dying a little inside. I was so sure yesterday on a walk that it was over I came home and read a poem about letting go and was so overcome with grief I just sobbed. crying I don't know where I thought I would be 9 months post-DD but this is NOT it. I think my brain has gotten addicted to the pain of thinking about it and being in limbo.

Just when I settle I feel the strong urge to reread my thoughts or reread the texts he sent to her. AGONIZING!
Additional recent red flags...
1. Thinks 10% of me is asking him to do a poly or not be intimate is from a place of me wanting to punish him
2. Every insight he has had took SO MUCH EFFORT and was me that initiated it (reminder for those that don't know my story - he had ADHD, low executive functioning, and low emotional intelligence). I don't think he has the capability of even understanding what work needs to be done. But am I giving him a pass with this thinking? How much of this is codependence, over and under-functioning?
3. When talking about doing a formal disclosure and poly he has 2x said that maybe he should ask me to do one. Seriously, wtf. I'm chalking that up to major emotional maturity but still a mind fuck for me when I'm on this rollercoaster.

I know I still have love for him but maybe I AM holding back the romantic love out of punishment. Maybe he is right?! If that's the case then why does it feel so AWFUL to not be able to turn to him with that love? I would think there would be a small part of me that would feel good to "get him back" or have control. I don't feel ANY of that, just sadness.

If there wasn't so much good in him and our relationship I would think this would be easier but maybe it wouldn't.

Am I romanticizing our relationship out of fear? Am I gaslighting myself? Is he manipulating me? Am I just obsessed about these indiscretions and about to throw away an otherwise very good relationship?

People here, in books, and podcasts, encourage the betrayed to work on the self, and self-concept, build a sense of self, return to who they were, focus on what they want, etc. I'm completely blocked in this area. I've done a lot of work knowing WHY we found refuge and safety in our relationship when we did but I think since we have been together for so long when I was just 16 yo, I never got the chance to fully develop my sense of self independently so maybe the fear and confusion is because returning to who I was is a 16-year-old? I don't know how to answer WHAT I WANT.

As always I welcome honest feedback, no censoring is needed.

19 comments posted: Thursday, April 25th, 2024

Apsats, Csats, spite, codependence, Oh my!

I decided to schedule with an APSATS coach. I’m tired of bad advice from professionals who don’t seem to get it. My WH provided me a disclosure letter early on and it was helpful but there have been some new insights (porn, fantasy story) since and the two of us don’t know what we are doing in this healing process, so I sought out professional help.

The APSATS recommended full therapeutic disclosure and poly. A part of me still doesn’t trust him, rightly so, and I feel like this would help me in the process of making peace with the past.

I talked to him about it, and he said he would do it. The next morning, he seemed put off and sad, teetering on avoidant but he shook it off. I, on the other hand, sat with it all day and felt incredibly sad/guilty/ashamed that I am still on the fence and asking him to jump through all these hoops when I don’t know if I even will end up choosing to reconcile. We talked about it when I got home, and he validated my feelings and did much better than he would have in the past.

The next day he seemed a little put off by it again. We talked about it….
Am I subconsciously being spiteful or vindictive? He said 10% of him thinks so (for the first 3 months after DD he thought 80% of me was spiteful). That I’m making him jump through hoops, so he must pay for his transgressions. He verbalized how this sounds in his head, imitating what I might be thinking, "You lied so you have to pay" and hearing him do that made me so sad. I saw him in a different light. It reminded me of when he played out how I sounded to him in his head all those years ago when I was pushing him to do things (spend time with kids, finish college, plan dates). I own that and see now I was trying to change him, mold him, into something I wanted. I am working on this myself with my therapist and have made good progress in acceptance.
As I’m typing this what I’m thinking is that it may be his own internal voice, his own self-flagellation. I mean wouldn’t a small piece of me feel good and not incredibly sad if I was being spiteful?

I filed for divorce in November 2023 but put it on hold to think things through. I feel so incredibly stuck, in agony when I consider either direction. It’s almost like once my brain considered divorce and filed I can’t stop thinking about it. Almost like an obsessive thought, I don’t want to be having. I want to WANT to reconcile and put my wall down but then my brain thinks about divorce and ruins any piece of hope I was trying to ignite.

All that to say my questions are;
-Has disclosure/poly brought anyone a sense of reconciling the past so you could focus on reconciliation?
-Has anyone had this obsessive divorce/exit thought and worked through it? If so how?
-I’m a realist so I know the grass isn’t greener on the other side but perhaps a part of me wants to make sure. Or do you think it could be my gut intuition?
-I'm pretty sure this guilt I feel is a piece of the codependence showing up but sometimes I question if I myself am a narcissist. I was so incredibly controlling and manipulative when I was younger (married him at 20). I did eventually mature, especially when I was far away from my volatile controlling dad. But for a long time, I was a nag and eventually became mean from untreated ADHD spousal burnout. I've been working on that for several years and JUST when I reached a level of growth I was proud of DD hit. Not sure if there is a question here just a side rant.

11 comments posted: Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024

Any travelers? Helpful for processing and healing?

I've met with Daphne Rose Kingma 2x now and she suggests an experience to help me get unstuck. Wondering how many traveled during the affair process? Either during reconciliation, on the fence/healing/processing, or after separation/divorce? Was the experience helpful?

I live in the midwest USA and have never traveled outside of the US apart from all-inclusive resorts. I would be a solo female 50-year-old traveling with no experience and speak no other languages. I'm very aware of how much people hate Americans and I often don't disagree. grin

I want to do something for myself and have an experience. I would love to travel solo but with a group however, from initial research, those group travel agencies are expensive. Any alternative suggestions?

I would love to see the sights, the basics (Paris, London, Rome, for example), maybe for a couple of weeks in Europe. I'd love to travel with someone or alone with a well-laid-out plan. I'm not fancy and am fairly go-with-the-flow. Safety is most important as I'm naive and not at all travel-wise. I love to walk and am in standard shape for a 50 yo. Sleep is important to me but I don't need fancy accommodations and can share space with a non-snorer or an occasional shared space with a snorer. I would consider nice safer hostels.

I would love any feedback, information, suggestions, and advice :) Since trust and safety are so challenged during this time
I feel like the SI community could have their own "couch surfing" program for something like this laugh

16 comments posted: Wednesday, April 17th, 2024

Red Flag or am I overthinking?

WH is open and provides free reign of GPS tracking, social media, phone, journals, etc. He has mentioned a handful of times both to me and IC and MC that he doesn't know what's "his" anymore. Explaining that he doesn't even know if his thoughts are his own anymore. This feels like a red flag to me. This is on the heels of our counseling session after discussing the fantasy story.
One of the texts I found 8 months ago read, "My spouse does not know all of this, I have a few things like this I don't share. It's my thing and it's fun." He was referring to talking about porn and masturbation to a female coworker. I feel like 8 months later him still referring to "not having anything that's just his" could be a red flag. Am I overthinking? I have my first session with APSATS in 2 weeks, and of course will discuss it.

We have discussed that obviously, his thoughts are his own and I can't do anything or know everything about that. Beyond just thinking I feel like anything intimate like this needs to be shared going forward. He is agreeing but I'm not sure he gets it. I also don't like that he is sad that he can't have this part of himself anymore. I guess it's grieving your secrets? Yuck.

Any help to validate or see this differently would be appreciated.

6 comments posted: Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Rant about MC, Fantasy Story, and WH worry about getting his needs met

Just need to rant to my SI community!
This picks up from my posts on "Fantasy Story"
Part of my boundary set after the discovery of my WH's fantasy story was to resume MC along with scaling back on the non-sexual touch besides hugs goodbye/hello, pat on the shoulder, etc. I described this as I'm comfortable with what would be comfortable with the kids.
So we had our first session of marriage therapy after several months on Wednesday night. This therapist has an EFT background, trauma experience, and states has betrayal trauma experience specifically. All that to say we won't be seeing her again and I finally found an APSATS Coach within our price range that will be starting on 4/18.

The session started with me expressing some of my goals and pivoting from our previous work of EFT to more specifically navigating expectations. My husband then updated her on how much better things were going and all that is he doing, growth, work, and on and on. She was so happy for him and he was so happy for himself. It bothered me to see how happy he is with his growth and for her to validate this and be so happy for him, although I don't expect that to be different. He has been working hard and made a lot of changes so he should be happy with his growth and she should validate that. What bothers me is I'm the downer. I have to come in and say that's all great but I'm feeling triggered and bothered about this fantasy story. I explained why/what was triggering and my trust is not there. She validated me as well and so did my WH. Then that was that. No guidance or support on healthy boundaries and expectations. I needed to hear a confirmation that writing a fantasy story about a fictional coworker is concerning and that the fact he didn't disclose that story nor the fact that he didn't seem bothered about entertaining another co-worker situation is concerning. I broke down later that night in tears. I am the downer, he celebrates his accomplishments and is so optimistic, and then when I bring up concerns he is deflated and dejected and so the toxic cycle continues. I am doing a much better job not consoling him when he is dejected so that is a good step. But what I need is actual guidance and a plan so hoping coaching is a better fit for this work. I will do trauma work individually. He did a good job not avoiding and listening to my breakdown and asked how he could support me, all good....until the next day.

I had an annual physical and talked to the Dr. about my nightly heart palpitations (getting a monitor) but we discussed this is likely due to stress because my blood pressure and EKG is normal. Told WH about this and he was concerned, let me help limit stress, etc.
I told him I found an APSATS coach and he was happy. He started talking then about if maybe she would encourage us to have sex at least on occasion so help with needs/expectations. I didn't engage. Later before bed, he said he misses the non-sexual touch and he is feeling like he is losing his libido. I didn't engage.
SO MUCH for helping me reduce stress. He is so preoccupied with sex and my getting his needs met. I know it's been 8 months but I am not ready nor attracted to him yet.

Anyway, not sure if I'm asking anything or just venting. I vacillate between wondering if I'm being stubborn and punishing him or holding the power to understand I've been betrayed and this is a normal response and I need to listen to my body, heart, and mind. I've been having duty sex, obligatory sex, and managing his mood sex for years. While it was always enjoyable for me I just can't have sex for those reasons anymore, ever, at all. He is moping and dejected today and I'm working very hard to stay grounded in myself.
I heard him grunting while lifting weights and felt so irritated and disgusted by it.
I feel like a different person now. I just feel sad a lot. I'm trying to pour energy into myself and am working as hard as I can on myself but it's not translating into healing the relationship yet. Not sure it can if that is what he is preoccupied with.

End of rant for now.

2 comments posted: Friday, April 5th, 2024

Random - Language to describe different types of cheating...

Question about how you may phrase certain types of cheating...
Texting with someone about sex and masturbation but not about doing that together. "What movie should I get off to?" for example...it's more than flirting but not sexting necessarily. Just Texting inappropriately?

when I describe the type of texting nothing seems to fit.

12 comments posted: Friday, March 29th, 2024

Anyone regret getting divorced?

Is anyone here either going through or Divorced that regrets it? Is that what the fear vs. reality thread is for? I think someone said they never saw anyone on here regret D. Is this true?
WTH am I on the fence if that's the case other than my own shit?!

18 comments posted: Friday, March 22nd, 2024

Fantasy story Part 3 with a new 2nd Story

Picking up where I left off "Fantasy Story Part 2). I had a conversation with WH that I wanted to slow R down, start MC and a new IC, and potentially a polygraph based on the fantasy story wasn’t disclosed and was about a "fictional" co-worker. I confirmed that I have seen a lot of consistent growth, and this was more about slowing down vs. a huge step back.
His immediate response was major dejection, tail between his legs. In the past, something like this would have made him stomp off and throw a little fit. This time he was very down and dejected. He had to take a drive and became very depressed that night, stating he was feeling hopeless and full of despair.
The next morning we had a follow-up conversation and I explained it feels like a pressure cooker situation, he is white-knuckling, and it’s too fragile if I’m stating boundaries and this is the response. I explained I had asked him to be transparent, honest, focus on himself, be authentic, and only do what he can and wants to sustain in the relationship. He is working too hard to pursue me, say the perfect things, blah blah blah. It’s too much.
Anyway, his spirits were much better as the day went on and he was happy and hopeful. He agreed the boundaries were not unreasonable and that he would do anything needed.
Last night he asked if he could read me something. It was a new (his 2nd) sexual fantasy story, but it was about us. He read it, stating how vulnerable this was for him, he was nervous but OH so proud of himself. He wants to go on a friend's date with me this weekend too.
My thoughts are ….
He just doesn’t get it
His executive function may be even worse than I realized
He is so focused on sex
He is trying so hard and just keeps missing
I feel pity for him
It seems all actions are externally motivated for him. It took me telling him the story was triggering. He didn't feel bad about the story until I set new boundaries.

Thoughts on this sexual fantasy storywriting? I've asked him to be honest and vulnerable so he is doing that but I don't know, this isn't what I was thinking. Maybe I'm expecting/hoping for too much or more than he is capable and I will either have to accept this or D. I'm trying not to see things so black and white but just when I have more flexible thinking shit like this happens.

8 comments posted: Friday, March 22nd, 2024

I had the amazing opportunity to have a session with a highly respected author and Oprah guest...

I wasn’t sure where this post would belong, it’s more than "The Book Club" and not really "Off-Topic" so I felt "General" to be the best fit.
A couple of weeks ago I had the immense pleasure of having a 1 ½ phone call with Daphne Rose Kingma. It was like 50 therapy sessions in 1 session. The amount of personal insight I've had since the call has been so impactful that I’ve just been basking in the reflection.
Since DD I have been reading non-stop books on love, infidelity, attachment, etc. One book I found extremely intriguing was "Coming Apart" by Kingma. The book details WHY we are in certain relationships and basically how to survive the ending of your relationship. For the most part, we all experience "childhood deficits" and I have been doing a lot of IC and reading to understand my deficits as well as my WH. The next part discusses "development tasks" we need to complete and how certain relationships offer us the ability to complete these tasks. Those of you who have done IC, researched attachment, family of origin, etc. will appreciate the importance of this. I was struggling to understand the relationship between my deficits and what tasks I was intended to be completing.
Daphne did a wonderful job of asking questions, holding space, and never "telling" me any insights just very skilled at asking the right questions, in the right way, in the right sequence.
This may sound odd to some but we often repeat our childhood patterns (unknowingly) and end up in similar dynamics to learn from. Hence "daddy" and "mommy" issues or marrying the dad/mom you never had. I saw some of this, my WH is very different than my father, but I think I was more fulfilling another need and so talking to her REALLY helped things click into play. I am an only child and worked with older adults for many years. I HATED being an only child and felt so isolated and immersed in my parent's toxic patterns. To add to this lonely/sad distorted belief I worked with older adults and my experience very much was around individuals dying alone and miserable in aging. My WH (raging ADHD) was ignored/neglected given no direction or nurturing.
We saved one another. I provided direction, nurturing, and patience and he provided the companionship and passivity my dad did not, basically, I was a maternal figure for him and he was a sibling figure for me. I know that can sound really weird, I’m not talking sexual dynamics at all, this is subconscious stuff.
I’ve been on the fence…for months, years really. Leaving him subconsciously feels like going back to an only/lonely isolation, losing a family member/sibling, and abandoning my husband like his family did. This knowledge and insight provide me an understanding I hope to allow me to see my fears for what they are, and that the subconscious story doesn’t have to be the truth. I know that sounds obvious to some but your own shit can be so damn confusing. What am I going to do now? Start making decisions based on this information. Making sure I’m not staying, choosing R, out of fear, inappropriate guilt, or over-responsibility.
If I get another chance to have a call with her I will jump because I'd love to process my insights with her and focus on what's next.
I’m sure there will be more to come on this….
Thank you all for being here and working through this with me.

5 comments posted: Wednesday, March 20th, 2024

Fantasy Story Part 2 - Struggling Today

So we talked about the fantasy story I discovered (see fantasy letter in Reconciliation forum).
I brought up that I had been Sherlocking and saw his notebook where he was listing goals and his goals/thoughts concerned me. Seemed more like SA, "no more erotic stories means no more, no masturbation, no porn, focus on partner, appreciation, etc." I am concerned it may be more of a sex addiction so we talked that through. He said he did have a period a couple of months ago where he was looking more than he liked and that was why he wrote that down but since he has been doing very well. I mentioned how much I hate that I snoop from time to time and he told me he wrote about a fantasy. He shared some of it but didn't mention it was with a coworker at first. I asked where it started and he reluctantly told me it was at work, he saw how this would be very triggering but promised it was a fictional person and that he just copied a story he had read from literotica. He wasn't mad I went through his stuff but stated he didn't realize I was reading his thoughts. I don't WANT to do this but feel like I almost can't help myself. He understands why, I understand why. He kept a secret from me for 15 years.

I just don't know. I'm struggling with it all. I now am rethinking maybe a poly would be helpful. I need to know if he is the fantasy was about a fictional or real person. I can't take the lies and discoveries. He says he didn't think this was something he had to share, his thoughts. I normally agree but I feel like given our history he should have disclosed he had been writing as an outlet.

I will post more later on this thread.

18 comments posted: Tuesday, March 19th, 2024

Sex??? Yes? No?

July of 2023 was the last time my WH and I had sex or were intimate physically. DD was 8/7/23, I'm still fence-sitting on my decision to R or D. He is primarily doing all the right things, honestly trying his best. He is trying to be vulnerable and open up rather than compartmentalize. He stated that he is sexually frustrated and is working on this and has no expectations of me.

I'm also sexually frustrated and have started thinking about having sex with him again. I'd like to hear others' opinions on how sex has impacted you and your relationship, especially if you were undecided. I'm worried about it causing rug sweeping, false R, a new expectation, etc. I've explained this and he understands that having sex wouldn't mean anything about the future of our relationship. I'm worried about the impact it might have on my ability to make a decision. We have not had sex for this long primarily because I wanted to avoid hysterical bonding but that feeling/desire subsided after a few months and now I feel more stable.

Thoughts? Opinions? Experiences?

6 comments posted: Friday, March 15th, 2024

Fantasy Letter

Hello all, new info looking for thoughts and feedback. Trigger warning potentially
Quick recap - DD#2 7 months ago, WH inappropriate texting to a long-distance coworker July 23 and also discovered met a different coworker 15 years prior a few times for kissing sessions. DD#1 was also long-distance communication with a classmate 12 years ago. WH doing all the right things, remorseful, IC, etc.

Anyway, of the things he is working on is porn. He has stated he wants to stop looking at porn altogether (not requested from me) because he doesn't like how it makes him think and he gets obsessive (ADHD/OCD diagnosed). We have not been physically intimate at all since July 23. So in part of his transparency efforts, he is letting me know what his habits are in taking care of his sexual needs. He has mentioned listening to stories and reading stories and stated he fantasizes while self-pleasuring and has thought of me during.
Well, today I snooped while he was at work. I've been doing much less of this and making progress with not being so consumed but I still "snoop" about 1x a week and look at his phone 1x a week (this he is aware of).
I found a letter, which he labeled at the top "sexual fantasy letter." I'm not sure if this is something he is working on in therapy but my guess is he wrote out a letter to read back vs. looking at porn. I will spare you the details except what is very triggering for me is it was with a coworker, not a specific name, not even sure if it's a real or fictionalized coworker, but still a coworker! The infidelity was with a coworker so it's very triggering that his fantasy involves work at all.

I'm still on the fence about working things out but have come to a more comfortable "on the fence" place in the last month. I'm doing a LOT of inner work and have some insights I'm going to post on a different thread.

Thoughts, feedback, support?
TIA as always!

20 comments posted: Friday, March 8th, 2024

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?

3 comments 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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