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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have other threads on here, and just posted about this "aha moment" and thought it deserves its own thread. Brief background - WH had a 5 month cyber/phone and 5 day PA beginning in October 2012. It is all coming full circle now calendar wise. This week has been extremely tough due to specific dates and circumstances. Bottom line - we have been in R since March and are doing very well. I am happy. He has yet to forgive himself but is doing everything else he should as best as he can. I am able to look at the big picture and see that he is dealing with triggers too.

My moment from my other post: Yes - This whole week is making me a bit emotional. I know that. I know it will pass - that is the good thing. Yesterday, I grabbed a pair of jeans out of my closet that used to be way too small a year ago. I forgot they were there and I told myself for the last few years that I was going to fit in them. Well, they are way too big now. Happy - yes, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

From the time I was 18 - 26 I was a size 5/6. Then I had 3 miscarriages, 2 babies, 5 moves, an army spouse life and was a full-time working mom for he last 10 years. While reasons, no good excuse to not stay "me". Since then, I was a size 12 after pregnancies and then to a size 10. Those are not high numbers, but they were high for me and I have been carrying around the extra weight since I was 27. I should have known the jeans would have been too big - I'm now a 4/5 and 30 lbs lighter. That all happened 5 weeks after dd (you don't eat or sleep, and you lose - rapidly). Since then, I have been working out doing various programs and love the new "old" me - how I used to be. It was NEVER the way I had hoped to lose weight, but ithappened, so I took advantage of it.

But yesterday, I broke down. I went to my hubs and told him that I know he thought I was fat before the affair, that he was not attracted to me anymore, and aked if he was now. He got mad and said yes he was, but don't put words in his mouth. I told him I was not stupid, and he said to look at him - he is 30 lbs heavier now and still - has been for many years as well. It never bothered me. He lost about 20 this summer when we were working out together but has slipped back into a funk and put it all back on. I have not.

I told him I didn't want to be the person I was, that I wasn't, and that I would never put weight back on again. I told him I was mad that he never said anything to me, that he led me to believe that I looked good, that when I cut my hair after both pregnancies (hormones), he told me to do it, that it was just hair, but it looked horrible. I told him it made me mad because he just didn't care anymore and he should have. I looked at others around me, and instead of looking in the mirror, I compared myself to others and justified myself. I hate that. I am smarter than that. Why did I sabotage myself?

He told me that I was not that person anymore, that I looked great and asked why I was doing this now. I told him that it is all coming around. It is an emotional time for me and he knows that. Then it started getting to him. He was getting upset. Although it was not my intent (I can see it now), I was basically telling him how shallow he was. That he failed me as a husband to support me and went outside our marriage because of his selfish, shallowness.

I kept going on about how we are supposed to love each other enough to be honest and care about ourselves and each other enough to want to look good - for ourselves and each other. We should want to be healthy for us and our daughters. Physical attraction is important, but we have to be honest to each other about what is working and what isn't and keep it fresh.

I told him the truth doesn't hurt me - it is trickle truth and lies. I can handle the truth - I am a different person since this, and he needs to realize it. I told him I am not going back, and I want his support and I want him to jump on board with me.

Tears, and more tears, from me and it made him upset too. We didn't argue, but it brought up a lot and he looked at it partailly as I was pointing out his failures. It wasn't my intention, it was about me. I never said "I don't care if I gained 100 pounds, you still had no right to step outside the marriage and betray me". That wasn't my intent. I would never blame myself for what he did or feel that I need to justify his behavior in any way. I physically changed from the person I was and so did he. I had my aha moment yesterday that the physical change in me also changed my attitude and my once "outgoingness" and happy attitude all the time and willing to try anything once, not afraid of anything, fun to be around persona.

I always liked myself - my heart and soul. I am a good person. I care about others. I try to do what is right. That never changed. But I think where I let my physical side go, I took away from myself (time and money) and fully put it into our children and family - and even let hubs spend money when I wanted it for myself to do something for me. I pointed that out - that I always did and gave to others before me and he told me that I needed to find balance. I wish he had encouraged me along time ago. What happened? What went wrong. The same thing that happens in too many marriages, I am sure.

I am owning my 50% of the marriage problems. It wasn't that I did not love or care about us. I just didn't love and care about myself enough that led me to where I will never go again.

I want my husband to get healthier. Healthy is what is important to me. Physical attraction is important, but I have always been attracted to someone more for their mind and spirit. However, for me personally, I know what I want to be physically, I know how I was, how I am and I will not go back to being a second or third priority in my life. I have found my balance.

Bottom line - (and I am not shallow by any means), but I think we women (many, not all) refuse to admit this because we say our husbands should just love us for who we are, but we get too comfortable with ourselves and put everyone else first - we forget to take care of ourselves and let ourselves go. Then one day we look in the mirror, don't like what we ere, but accept it as good enough.

We think we are doing everything right - being supermom and superwife and working and paying the bills and doing the cleaning etc, and demand respect, but we let ourselves go without even realizing it and we are slowly less happy with ourselves and find ways to justify it and keep getting in deeper and deeper. THAT IS OUR FAULT. WE DO NOT HAVE TO DO THAT.

Partly where our husband's fail us - they don't encourage us or participate with us. They get too comfortable and start justifyiing their own behaviors and their routines. They say - yep, she's a good wife and mom. I have no room to tell her any different.

Where spouses fail each other - they stop communicating. They stop caring about the things that once attracted them to their spouse in the first place and accept what has become the norm. The norm then gets boring. It can either stay boring, or in very sad situations, one spouse deides to cheat and put the energy into something toxic instead of something that is good and real. Something that just needs some watering to grow.

Physical attraction is important - let's not kid ourselves. But what I have realized as a BW who let herself go farther than I am comfortable with, is that I let my body and my spirit go together. My self worth is about being the best I can be. If I am not takng care of myself, I am failing. There is time for balance. You have to make it and not make excuses.

We make excuses and get lazy in marriage. Why? My family is the most important thing to me. I am part of my family. I am important. I won't get lazy or too comfortable any more. I won't lose sight of what I need to do to keep me a happy and healthy person in my marriage. I will not fail myself ever again.

It is a hard reality to admit, but I accept 50% of what were our marriage problems.
 

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I have other threads on here, and just posted about this "aha moment" and thought it deserves its own thread. Brief background - WH had a 5 month cyber/phone and 5 day PA beginning in October 2012. It is all coming full circle now calendar wise. This week has been extremely tough due to specific dates and circumstances. Bottom line - we have been in R since March and are doing very well. I am happy. He has yet to forgive himself but is doing everything else he should as best as he can. I am able to look at the big picture and see that he is dealing with triggers too.

My moment from my other post: Yes - This whole week is making me a bit emotional. I know that. I know it will pass - that is the good thing. Yesterday, I grabbed a pair of jeans out of my closet that used to be way too small a year ago. I forgot they were there and I told myself for the last few years that I was going to fit in them. Well, they are way too big now. Happy - yes, but then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

From the time I was 18 - 26 I was a size 5/6. Then I had 3 miscarriages, 2 babies, 5 moves, an army spouse life and was a full-time working mom for he last 10 years. While reasons, no good excuse to not stay "me". Since then, I was a size 12 after pregnancies and then to a size 10. Those are not high numbers, but they were high for me and I have been carrying around the extra weight since I was 27. I should have known the jeans would have been too big - I'm now a 4/5 and 30 lbs lighter. That all happened 5 weeks after dd (you don't eat or sleep, and you lose - rapidly). Since then, I have been working out doing various programs and love the new "old" me - how I used to be. It was NEVER the way I had hoped to lose weight, but ithappened, so I took advantage of it.

But yesterday, I broke down. I went to my hubs and told him that I know he thought I was fat before the affair, that he was not attracted to me anymore, and aked if he was now. He got mad and said yes he was, but don't put words in his mouth. I told him I was not stupid, and he said to look at him - he is 30 lbs heavier now and still - has been for many years as well. It never bothered me. He lost about 20 this summer when we were working out together but has slipped back into a funk and put it all back on. I have not.

I told him I didn't want to be the person I was, that I wasn't, and that I would never put weight back on again. I told him I was mad that he never said anything to me, that he led me to believe that I looked good, that when I cut my hair after both pregnancies (hormones), he told me to do it, that it was just hair, but it looked horrible. I told him it made me mad because he just didn't care anymore and he should have. I looked at others around me, and instead of looking in the mirror, I compared myself to others and justified myself. I hate that. I am smarter than that. Why did I sabotage myself?

He told me that I was not that person anymore, that I looked great and asked why I was doing this now. I told him that it is all coming around. It is an emotional time for me and he knows that. Then it started getting to him. He was getting upset. Although it was not my intent (I can see it now), I was basically telling him how shallow he was. That he failed me as a husband to support me and went outside our marriage because of his selfish, shallowness.

I kept going on about how we are supposed to love each other enough to be honest and care about ourselves and each other enough to want to look good - for ourselves and each other. We should want to be healthy for us and our daughters. Physical attraction is important, but we have to be honest to each other about what is working and what isn't and keep it fresh.

I told him the truth doesn't hurt me - it is trickle truth and lies. I can handle the truth - I am a different person since this, and he needs to realize it. I told him I am not going back, and I want his support and I want him to jump on board with me.

Tears, and more tears, from me and it made him upset too. We didn't argue, but it brought up a lot and he looked at it partailly as I was pointing out his failures. It wasn't my intention, it was about me. I never said "I don't care if I gained 100 pounds, you still had no right to step outside the marriage and betray me". That wasn't my intent. I would never blame myself for what he did or feel that I need to justify his behavior in any way. I physically changed from the person I was and so did he. I had my aha moment yesterday that the physical change in me also changed my attitude and my once "outgoingness" and happy attitude all the time and willing to try anything once, not afraid of anything, fun to be around persona.

I always liked myself - my heart and soul. I am a good person. I care about others. I try to do what is right. That never changed. But I think where I let my physical side go, I took away from myself (time and money) and fully put it into our children and family - and even let hubs spend money when I wanted it for myself to do something for me. I pointed that out - that I always did and gave to others before me and he told me that I needed to find balance. I wish he had encouraged me along time ago. What happened? What went wrong. The same thing that happens in too many marriages, I am sure.

I am owning my 50% of the marriage problems. It wasn't that I did not love or care about us. I just didn't love and care about myself enough that led me to where I will never go again.

I want my husband to get healthier. Healthy is what is important to me. Physical attraction is important, but I have always been attracted to someone more for their mind and spirit. However, for me personally, I know what I want to be physically, I know how I was, how I am and I will not go back to being a second or third priority in my life. I have found my balance.

Bottom line - (and I am not shallow by any means), but I think we women (many, not all) refuse to admit this because we say our husbands should just love us for who we are, but we get too comfortable with ourselves and put everyone else first - we forget to take care of ourselves and let ourselves go. Then one day we look in the mirror, don't like what we ere, but accept it as good enough.

We think we are doing everything right - being supermom and superwife and working and paying the bills and doing the cleaning etc, and demand respect, but we let ourselves go without even realizing it and we are slowly less happy with ourselves and find ways to justify it and keep getting in deeper and deeper. THAT IS OUR FAULT. WE DO NOT HAVE TO DO THAT.

Partly where our husband's fail us - they don't encourage us or participate with us. They get too comfortable and start justifyiing their own behaviors and their routines. They say - yep, she's a good wife and mom. I have no room to tell her any different.

Where spouses fail each other - they stop communicating. They stop caring about the things that once attracted them to their spouse in the first place and accept what has become the norm. The norm then gets boring. It can either stay boring, or in very sad situations, one spouse deides to cheat and put the energy into something toxic instead of something that is good and real. Something that just needs some watering to grow.

Physical attraction is important - let's not kid ourselves. But what I have realized as a BW who let herself go farther than I am comfortable with, is that I let my body and my spirit go together. My self worth is about being the best I can be. If I am not takng care of myself, I am failing. There is time for balance. You have to make it and not make excuses.

We make excuses and get lazy in marriage. Why? My family is the most important thing to me. I am part of my family. I am important. I won't get lazy or too comfortable any more. I won't lose sight of what I need to do to keep me a happy and healthy person in my marriage. I will not fail myself ever again.

It is a hard reality to admit, but I accept 50% of what were our marriage problems.
Dear LFTS,

I like this post very much. There are really two very important points here.

First, that it is important for both spouses to work at keeping their marriage "fresh," as you put it. Part of a healthy marriage involves making oneself attractive, indeed, sexually attractive, to one's spouse. Far too many married couples do not appreciate the importance of this and it is probably a contributing factor in many instances of marital infidelity.

The second is that, in order for there to be a real and lasting reconciliation, the betrayed spouse must, at some point, own up to the fact that he or she is not perfect and be open to changing in ways that improve the marriage. This is not to say that one should ever accept blame for one's spouse's adultery, but it is necessary, as you put it, to "own" 50% of the problems in one's marriage. Another way to say it might be that, if there is a problem in the marriage, in order for there to be true reconciliation, each of the marital partners is responsible for recognizing, addressing and helping solve the problem.

Now it needs to be acknowledged that owning 50% of a problem does not mean that one is 50% (or even 1%) responsible for it. If one's spouse is an alcoholic or a drug addict, owning that problem means not enabling continued substance abuse and exhibiting tough love in order to encourage the other to seek help. But if one is the cause of the problem, owning it means having the courage to acknowledge that one is the cause and taking the necessary steps to correct it.

In your example, this means accepting the fact that controlling one's weight and in general keeping oneself attractive will strengthen one's marriage and that we are therefore responsible for it. At the same time, and here's were I think your "aha" realization is especially insightful, it is also our spouse's responsibility to be honest with us about it's importance to them and to encourage us (in a gentle way) to look after our appearance. One need only read some of the threads on TAM to realize how many people (both husbands and wives) realize after it is too late that they 'let themselves go' and now wish either that their spouse had said something to them before going outside the marriage or that they had done something about it after their spouse complained but before their spouse cheated.

Anyway, that's what I got out of your post and it was helpful to me to read and reflect on it.

All the best to you and your family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry - correction - affair was Oct 2011. Today a year ago was the last time WH saw OW in person. It started out a little rough, but we ended up doing family things together and it ended on a good note. I'll post more tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have actually learned a lot about myself and respect and value myself much more these days. It is unfortunate that an affair is the catalyst for that, but I will take all of the good I can with the bad.

It was a very emotional week for me, and I think most of it came from my own struggles. Dates of the affair were difficult, but really opening my eyes and accepting my own faults was extrememly tough. I took care of myself, and I was presentable, but by my own standards, I was just that - nothing more. I didn't spend extra time and money on me. I was always a tom-boy with girly-girl looks, but when I look back over the last 10 years, I was more tom-boy than anything. I started working from a home office 11 years ago, so I didn't have to go out and buy nice clothes any more or get up and spend an hour getting ready for work. I threw on jeans and a sweatshirt, and until this spring don't remember the last time I wore a dress was. Crazy thing is I like being girly too and looking sexy - I just didn't feel sexy, and after putting on those jeans this weekend, I know I wasn't.

On the other side of the coin, hubby let himself go. He is 30 lbs heavier, and not rock solid like he was when we married. I noticed, but I loved him. I figured when he was ready he would do something, even though I asked him a bunch of times to start working out with me and it just never happened.

I won't get into our whole story on here - this thread was meant as more of a BS's self discovery.

To keep a marriage exciting and fresh, you have to keep yourself exciting and fresh. Love is not all you need. You need respect. Respect for yourself and for your spouse. It goes both ways. If anyone is reading this and sees themself in a rut like this - GET OUT! Get off the couch, look in the mirror and work on yourself because you deserve it and your spouse would like to see it. Encourage them to do the same. Don't expect your spouse to do something if you are not willing to do the same, and certainly don't wait for your spouse to encourage you to do something you know you should or want to be doing.
 
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