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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long Time Lurker - First Time Poster -

I'm looking for guidance and some tough leadership from the veterans.

I'd like to share my situation, my early grasp of the 180 (and how I failed just like you vets said could happen), but also the good things that I accomplished. I'm going to crank this in bullet points to remain objective and make it easier to digest.

WARNING: I'm posting to an Infidelity forum regarding a marriage that started with Infidelity (the irony / karma is not lost on me). I'm also "No Prize" : Years of alcohol, victim status, and general poor behavior on my part contributed to the demise of my marriage; there is no amount of "coals on my head" that I have not done to myself already.

- Marriage -
* 16 Years Together - 14 Years Married
* She was Married and 24 years old when we met (I'm 5y older)
* We worked together / I knew her husband
* I was single but in a 5 year live-in relationship
* Infidelity in Vegas during a Trade Show is how we started
* We returned home (Oregon) and quickly planned mutual exits
* She moved out. I moved out. Her divorce was swift
* I proposed and we relocated to New Zealand for work
* Married in NZ and had our first and only child
* Moved back to the states (Boston) 8 years ago
* July 2012 - She starts an affair
* Nov 2012 - I discover affair
* I was gaslighted into believing it was Emotional Only
* Radar engaged, I hacked into her technology and found truth
* Jan 2013 - She confesses physical affair and plans exit
* I pull a stunt and propose an Open Marriage
* She continues with OM. I begin to Date (my heart not in it)
* We enter intensive IC and MC
* Last erotic union (sex) was in Sept 2012
* May 2013 - I'm told she cannot be romantic / intimate w/ me
* Jun-July 2013 - We begin discussions of separation / assets, etc
* Things are Civil; we are best of friends w/ broken hearts

- Her Background -
* Daughter of Diagnosed Mother with Borderline Personality
* Issues with not setting proper boundaries with others
* Would rather give up her needs than disappoint others (me)
* Was unhappy for 2 years previous - Never really raised a Flag

- My Background -
* Son of an alcoholic and closeted homosexual
* Discovered Dad in bed with another man @ age 11
* Never told anyone until his death (19 years later)
* Control Issues; Codependency; Enmeshment; you name it
* Unnamed fear / Victim Status / Self-Medication (reason below)

- The Wake Up Call -
* Nightmares and Ocular Hallucinations started after discovery
* Diagnosed with PTSD
* Affair was a trigger for repressed memories of child abuse
* Prescribed mountains of pills - Flushed them down toilet
* Self-Medication (alcohol) stopped immediately
* Unnamed reason for victimhood revealed - Recovery now

- The 180 : #Fail -
* Despite reading / re-reading the 180, I was pathetic
* I begged and pleaded for her to come back
* I tried to compete with OM - Proving I was less valuable
* I allowed myself to be an option or a convenience
* I became a paycheck and safety net enabling her decision
* I placed all emphasis on the marriage and reconciliation
* I tried to control her framework of reconciliation and atonement
* I made everything heavy
* I was so very jealous
* I spied and obsessed and hacked
* I lied to her and told 1/2 truths
* I played games to get her attention
* I was passive / aggressive
* I did not let her go
* I gave her space, but filled every non-OM moment I could find
* I didn’t "man-up" and take control of my household
* I made concessions proving I lacked boundaries
* I was inconsistent as the tension between letting go and obsession caused turbulence every day
* I attempted to change her feelings with arguments and logic
* I tried to change her mind about how she “felt” about OM
* I threw away any intrinsic value I had of myself
* In short, I did everything possible to make myself unattractive

- The 180 : #Success -
* But I did do somethings right
* I recognized my insatiable desire to self-medicate for what it was
* I came to terms with child abuse and sexual trauma
* I understood and pushed thru (am pushing thru) an associated fear of intimacy / detachment
* I found presence in erotic union with others; bucked disassociation issues stemming from childhood sexual trauma
* I confronted my mother on her role (or lack thereof) in protecting me as a child
* I found hatred for my father
* I found forgiveness for my father
* I quit drinking
* I focused on me
* I fell "head-over-heals" for my son
* I recognized that work doesn’t define me
* I re-found key passions from my youth
* I lost over a 110lbs
* I’ve gotten in the best shape of my life
* I’ve come to understand the levels of toxicity that have existed for at least 5 years
* I’ve made new friends
* I’ve gotten off the couch
* I’ve dropped the negativity and constant nay-saying associated with fear
* I’ve recognized the role of Fear in my life as a self-made construct
* I realize that my wife is human and flawed and beautiful therein
* I understand the pain and humiliation I put her thru
* I understand the true depths of loneliness she had
* I recognize and accept how sick I was
* I realize now that it's not ALL my fault
* I have started to lead with my heart rather than my head

- Next Steps -
* The 180 is not for the timid and requires great discipline
* The lessons are great, but assume you are strong enough
* Silver lining is that I'm not the first to hear "I told you so..."
* Net : I've offered a new life with her. It's on the table
* However, I'm strong enough now to know I will survive divorce
* We are working towards getting her out of the home
* I'm considering buying her out of the house
* We continue IC but have halted MC
* We are working with a Divorce Financial CPA (recommended)
* She is not budging from her position. She's all set ....
* She's in love with the OM and I would argue a Fog of Addiction
* We have yet to tell our son (10yr) until we have things lined up

Thanks for reading this far. I can answer any questions folks may have as there are nuances and details missing. Questions on Open Marriages or PTSD or Addiction (substance or people) or Sexual Disassociation disorders are also welcome.

I still wake each morning alone asking what the going rate of pain will be today ..... Yes, I know how dramatic that sounds, but the point remains that I love my wife and my family unit and would PREFER (not need) to keep us together ....

Here's my ASK : I need help in LETTING HER GO...

Cheers - -

(ps - Geworfenheit is a German philosophical term meaning roughly to be "cast" of "thrown" ... this meaning is not lost on me)

1,360 Posts
Long Time Lurker - First Time Poster -
It’s a clusterfvuck...

I could be wrong (we’ll see how this thread develops) but I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of advice on here mainly because 1) your initial post is four pages long in MS Word. Although your story is a personal one – that’s a whole lot more text than most have patience or attention spans for on the Internet. To put it bluntly, if you want to read a while, you read a book, not a website.

And 2) (Quoting you)
WARNING: I'm posting to an Infidelity forum regarding a marriage that started with Infidelity (the irony / karma is not lost on me).
The fact that your marriage started out of infidelity is going to be a trigger for the majority of the users of this subsection of the site and their sympathy will not be in your favour.

As for your wife’s affair... not to sway the topic but despite my personal circumstances (I’m a BS); I’m an objective person and I have worked in the legal sector where personal opinion is of no consequence. Nonetheless, the fact you were cheated on in a marriage that started in deceit, the words “no duh!” come to mind. Further, seeing as she’s done it with you, and is now doing it to you, I’m not motivated to give any advice on how to move forward in terms of a reconciliation with your wife as it seems she’s a serial cheater. I don’t believe, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” However, if she’d learned about herself and cheating the first time, (when she cheated on her ex-husband to be with you) she wouldn’t be doing it now.

Further, the fact that she was 24 then (when she and you cheated to be together), makes no difference. Character and character flaws, like integrity, bravery, wisdom and other fine attributes aren’t something attributed to age alone. You either have it or you don’t. Not to sound like Yoda but there is no “when”, when it comes to fidelity and age. You’re either a cheater or you’re not, or a serial cheater or not. People have married at eighteen and died past eighty without infidelities.

Still, I did read through and dwell on your entire post... I’m glad I did by the way as I’d be more judgmental if I hadn’t. Especially as a BS reading this, I wasn’t as sympathetic in the beginning.

Even not knowing you, I am so sorry for the issues you had with your dad and the abuse you suffered as a child. I have no problem with homosexuality but the way you found out about his sexuality was traumatic and the child abuse you said you suffered from is also inexcusable. I’m not a fan about everything you’ve written about yourself so far but that you’re getting help now is great and I hope you continue.

As for your wife, (and perhaps still you but for different past reasons) being the child of a bipolar parent might have something to do with her issues now but there is only so much one can blame on their childhood (I’m not speaking out of my ass, my childhood was ****e and you may PM me for details if you so desire). You are never to blame for what happens to you but you are responsible for what you do about it. There may be dysfunction, illness or abuse etc. in the past (something that needs to be addressed/healed from) but once you’re aware of it, it’s up to you to address it and seek ways to heal. If you don’t, it becomes a crutch – which is also a nice way of saying “excuse”.

I know I don’t know you but going by your thread here in regards to what you’ve written about PTSD, childhood sexual trauma, substance abuse and codependcy etc. I would advise you not to make saving your marriage post infidelity a priority right now... There is far more at stake than (“just”) a marriage. I’m not saying that it can’t be saved but I think that the priority here should be you and your well-being so that you can be a good father to your son. Your marriage at this point shouldn’t really be on the radar (at least not yet.)

Make your health, (physical, emotional and mental) the top priority in addition to being a rock for your son. He didn’t ask to be here, but is here and it’s because of you and your wife. Your childhood sucked but his doesn’t have to totally suck – even if a divorce takes place. At least one parent needs to be his rock and by focusing on your wife/his mom right now, you’re letting him down considering all of the issues you’ve been dealing with very recently. Further, as the same-sex parent, you are more important to his development than you might think.

While you shouldn’t discredit the improvements you’ve made thus far in your personal development, (you should be proud of them considering your past) don’t lull yourself into a false sense of security over the strides you have made to the point where those become non-issues in mind and your wife/marriage becomes the primary focus. I’d suggest continuation with IC because the benefits/strides you make personally will be benefits for your son.

1,427 Posts
How do you let someone go more easily?

I suppose dissasociate yourself more. Create some distance. Start withdrawing your love in order to protect yourself. Know that if you care for her, and you can survive without her, then life without her may not be so bad. Might even be good. If you love her, and she doesn't want you, let her go to where she will be 'happy'. And don't be her doormat. Don't be anyone's doormat.
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1,508 Posts
Letting her go.. That is easy.

If you read through my 20+ pages of posting titled mymistakes in my sig you will see the roller coaster of letting someone go.

But I will give you the very short answer.. It just takes time.

You will have break throughs. For me it took about 7 months. Not that I have let go completely but enough to survive and live a healthier life, thats for sure.

Therapy helps as well and sometimes the first therapist isn't the best one. I go weekly now and its been extremely helpful.

Having real true friends you can lean on as well is very helpful.

933 Posts
It’s a clusterfvuck...

I could be wrong (we’ll see how this thread develops) but I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of advice on here mainly because 1) your initial post is four pages long in MS Word. Although your story is a personal one – that’s a whole lot more text than most have patience or attention spans for on the Internet. To put it bluntly, if you want to read a while, you read a book, not a website.

I'm sorry, but that was my exact behavior. Bullets to me make more of a college term paper not someone's story. I got to the first part where you were unfaithful and the OM and she was OW and my Giveafvck factor went to basically nothing.

Brother, you don't seem to have 1 care about what you did to the other people in your initial relationships but you do seem to be a very selfish little man.

My advice to you is to stop being so selfish and learn to give back. You aren't OWED anything in this world. You should start by making amends for your behavior and stop the me me me me me me me attitude first.
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