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Newest Member: notsureifishouldbehere

I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39

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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:38 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Hi Laura, I appreciate you checking in and understand the struggle. I am not as far out as you are, but the six years I have worked to uncover the the truth of my M feel like a lifetime. I have been trying to make sense of my life and our lives looking back to 2008, and still wonder how I could have ever been so naïve, trusting or blind to the obvious. I gave my WH so much grace and leeway and always made excuses for him, and now I see my role in enabling this mess to unfold in such a terrible way. I am trying to be a better version of myself, but this time it is for me, not for him or for us. I could be perfect but that can't fix what is broken in him, the parts that let him break me.

I talked with my IC last session about how I finally feel like I am reaching something that looks like acceptance, but it feels like ambivalence. How do I stay connected or in love with someone I feel ambivalent about and will I eventually outgrow him or fall out of love with him as I continue to grow and he does not.... So many questions and so few answers.

My WH is being kind, loving, attentive and very present in daily life. We do more together now than we ever did, but the physical proximity is not providing me the emotional or intimate connection I had hoped to regain in R. I am struggling with this next chapter of moving on, but I can at least see personal progress in huge and small ways in myself. I don't have panic attacks anymore, I am not crying for hours at at time anymore, and have barely cried in months now. I don't have fear for my future, or a desperate need for my WH to make me feel safe or loved. All of this is good, and in the nick of time, because I was truly worn down from the struggle to move forward with a spouse who can't give me what I need. The irony I see in our M now is that I am where he was when he started his A, frustrated with unmet needs, unable to talk about them, unable to find solutions to make us both happy... the difference is I won't act out in foolish or hurtful ways. I just state my case, and go on with my day and try to find a groove where things feel manageable.

Right now, he is in a very loving place and I am not. I am comfortable in the friendship and partnership aspects of our M, but I am not feeling reciprocal to him right now. I am being as honest as I can be, and he is being as understanding as he is able. He may be a little hurt, but I am committed to my radical honesty program and won't sugar coat how I am feeling. He has asked me to get help "getting over" this for years, and I don't think he really thought through what getting over this entails. I have had to face some really hard truths about myself in this round of IC, and some hard truths about him and our M. I am still processing and growing, but I feel like I am finally turning a corner in my recovery from the damage and the trauma. I don't know how to come out intact and still romanticize anything about our relationship. I appreciate a lot of things about us, and where we are now, what we have built together, but I don't have any illusions about true love or soul mates or fate... we are just two people who are trying to keep having a life together worth living. It's an emptier and scarier story than the fairy tale I used to believe and I miss believing in that story. My story now is learning to believe in myself and letting go of the rest.

I feel a little defensive sometimes when questioned why I stay or why I still check up on his digital life, and the root of that may be due to some self judgement, or regrets about how I dealt with him in the early phases of discovery. I am learning how to let go of the emotions at the root of that defensiveness and trying to let go of needing to explain myself. I'm here because I'm choosing to be here, and I do what I do because for now, this is what I need to do. I am working really hard not to judge myself harshly. I keep coming back to SI looking for answers, understanding, advice, or just to offer support and advice to others. But I also see that I really don't have any answers, just warnings to the newly heartbroken to stop trusting or hoping in the face of deception. I can only tell my story moving forward, and each of ours is unique.

My IC has helped me see how to cut through so much emotional baggage and advocate for myself and the life I deserve. She's really cheering for me, although she has never had a client salvage a M after so many years of cheating and lying, complete with the gaslighting, DARVO and underground A during recommitment and rebuilding, and a spouse incapable of doing the work to heal. She's helping me see the beauty in choosing to do the hard thing, to try and salvage the life I've spent decades building with this man. Her recommendation to me was to be careful spending too much time here online, due to the pain triggers and the potential to stay stuck in a sad mindset. She's not wrong.

I keep coming back anyway, if only to say I hear you, me too and offer hope for a better future for us all. Thank you for popping back in, I hope it was helpful to be heard, and I hope you check in again someday with updates. Also, I hear you about your daughter. I look very differently at my grown kids significant others now, and feel like you do, very protective and I'd do anything to spare them this pain.

Love to you too.

[This message edited by whatisloveanyway at 3:40 PM, Wednesday, May 8th]

BW: 64 WH: 64 Both 57 on Dday, M 37 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays from 2017 - 2022, with five years of trickle truth and lies. I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, or trying to.

posts: 569   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8835892
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Fantastic ( member #84663) posted at 2:39 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

Never blame yourself. The fault does not lie with the BS, it lies with the WS. You trusted - which is what married people are supposed to do. Trust is when you believe someone will act/be a certain way, when they have the same boundaries as you, when you can count on them having your back. Your WS betrayed that trust – took it for granted and used it against you. That is THEIR fault and not yours for giving it in the first place.

This is perfectly worded and each BS should tattoo that on their chest!

[This message edited by Fantastic at 2:40 PM, Wednesday, May 8th]

posts: 132   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2024
id 8835893
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Laura28 ( member #28997) posted at 9:54 AM on Saturday, June 1st, 2024

whatisloveanyway

You sound like you are making great progress towards the life you deserve.

However:
I don't know how to come out intact and still romanticize anything about our relationship

will I eventually outgrow him or fall out of love with him as I continue to grow and he does not

I suspect that in most healthy marriages the "romance" evolves into affectionate partnership. I would happily settle for that.

My F?WH says and does all the romantic stuff but he did that the entire time he was involved in his LTAs. He thinks it will "fix" things. It is not what I need or want now. For me it is utterly meaningless. Sadly (for us both) he continues to lie and hide things from me. It is who he is and the ingrained habits from years of deception I believe are an integral part of who he has become. He assures me that I am wrong but I keep seeing evidence of it. So the romantic stuff just feels like more deceit.

In my case, I actually doubt he is having affairs again. His opportunities are limited and there are no red flags that I can see. But it doesn't matter.

Each day I do what I want to do. He is considerate and kind. He tries to be affectionate. I don't reject this but I don't reciprocate. I am polite and helpful. Consult him about things. But not affectionate. I don't bring up his LTAs unless he triggers me. Sometimes he slips back into old habits - makes snide remarks, is critical or nasty about something small or tries to bully me over little things. For years he did this and I fell into the habit of trying to placate him, even to the point of admitting fault when there was none or apologising when I had done nothing wrong. He was a master manipulator and I now know I was an abused wife. Hard to imagine but I was desperate for our marriage to work. On the rare occasions when he slips back into old habits, instead of crumbling I become a raging monster and he immediately apologises and backs off.

Yes, I have changed. He can't manipulate me. I also know that if I become too dissatisfied with where we are I will be done. Apart from all the inconveniences of divorce (moving, finances etc) and heart ache for the children, I could walk away easily.

In my worst moments, I wonder what I would do/think/feel if he became seriously ill or died. (He turned 70 a couple of weeks ago). I think I would struggle to FEEL much.

I also often wonder if I made the right decision 14 years ago - staying. Life would be easier in some ways but harder in others.
Even though it has been so horrible at times and I realise that I never had a real husband, most days I don't think it was a mistake. It was what I needed to do at the time and I am relatively OK. I think the quiet anger, sadness and occasional boiling rage I feel would still be part of my life. I know I could never trust anyone again so another partner would not be an option. My life would not be a great deal different from now except there would be no one to make me cups of tea! laugh

It's an emptier and scarier story than the fairy tale I used to believe and I miss believing in that story

Yes. I think we all hoped for/believed in that but they let us down. I suppose that's what makes us so sad.

I'm here because I'm choosing to be here, and I do what I do because for now, this is what I need to do.

Me too!! And that's OK. We are not accountable to anyone. It's OK to do what we need to do. Those on the outside don't get it. We didn't until it happened to us. Live your life in the way that works for you.

She's helping me see the beauty in choosing to do the hard thing, to try and salvage the life I've spent decades building with this man.

What a gem. Unfortunately in our little town I couldn't find anyone like that. Just be sure that doing the "hard thing" doesn't take too much out of you.

As for spending too much time here, yes it can be less than helpful. I was here for years. But then I knew I had to leave.

I come back from time to time (more in the last few months I guess) but rarely post.

Take care. Always do what works for you. Be selfish. We spent our lives denying our own needs in the service of our husbands and children.

You have earnt the right to put yourself first. Whatever that means.

HUGS

Laura

Married 42yrs Me BW 68Yrs Him F?WH 70yrs OWzero 1988 EA?/PA? Gaslighted. Dday May 28 2010. OW1 1994(6mths PA, EA 16+ years). OW2 2002(8yrs PA). OW3 2009(1Yr PA). Others?? Status: Not Divorcing..but.."You can't unfuck 'em"

posts: 2785   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2010   ·   location: Australia
id 8838440
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NoThanksForTheMemories ( member #83278) posted at 6:58 PM on Saturday, June 1st, 2024

Laura, thank you so much for checking back in. I find it really valuable to hear from people who are long past dday and what their lives are like.

It is who he is and the ingrained habits from years of deception I believe are an integral part of who he has become.

Lately I'm realizing that my WS has ingrained habits of omission and avoidance from managing his mother's emotions since he was old enough to do so. I think over time, and after we became parents, he started to project that onto me, and it got a lot worse during the years of his affair since he was keeping secrets and lying to me. It's very interesting that in his professional life, his coworkers (especially the people who report to him) have a very different kind of relationship, one that is founded on integrity and communication.

I'm not really sure what to do with these insights. They're not helpful to reconciliation, especially since he doesn't show any inclination to work on this particular aspect of himself. I guess it's just more to add to the "divorce in a few years" column.

WH had a 3 yr EA+PA. Dday1 Nov-22. Dday4 Sep-23. 30 years together. Allowing space for R without commitment.

posts: 96   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2023
id 8838456
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