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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry you won't find my backstory directly, my WH saw my old screen name and flipped because he said it could identify me too easy. Quick breakdown.

I had an EA 5yrs ago. Didn't know it was a EA because I truely only saw it as someone to vent about my marriage too. After reading some books and advise from TAM ppl I know I was wrong and feel horrible that I betrayed my husband that way. Jump to this past summer my active duty military husband deployed and cheated with a co-worker. He fell in love and had a EA/PA. When they came back he left me saying he couldn't give her up. Then came back 3days later begging me to take him back when she made it clear she wasn't leaving her husband.

I love the jerk, so I took him back because I do love him and when he was gone our 2 small kids cried everyday wanting him to come home. But since then it's been so hot and cold between us. He's going through the motions of a good marriage but still says he doesn't love me. He's trying to find a spark.

So last night we had our MC session (we've been going a couple months now) and I feel we were finally getting into the meat of this. The therapist originally trying to find things early in our marriage that would lead to a dissolve. Well last night we finally went head on into his affair and my WH was not happy. It went like this:
Me- I don't think you fully realize how much you have hurt me
Him (getting visable ****y that he was goint to win, that's his mentality when we argue) - Oh I know because I felt that way everyday you talked to your friend.
Me- I know you, if you honestly thought I was cheating on you, you would've left me.
Him- WHen you have kids, that changes things
Me- Really so your stance that you shouldn't stay just for the kids magically changed? You always said that and even said that again when you asked to come back.
Him- *Quiet jaw clench*
Me- How do you think I feel everytime I close my eyes I see you and her together intimately and you saying I love you to her
Him- Oh I know because that's how I felt about you and your friend! How do you think I felt seeing you always talking to him, playing that stupid game, thinking that you were setting him up as your plan B if our marriage didn't work?
Me- I was never setting him as plan B because I love you. I had no intention of ever leaving you for him. How do you think I feel KNOWING I am your plan B? That the only reason you're with me is because she wouldn't leave her husband for you and you didn't want to face your fear of being alone.

He just sat there opened mouthed fish out of water because he really thought he was going to "win." I looked at the therapist and he had a hot damn she nailed you, look on his face.

I feel good that I finally was able to verbally smack down the man who always has a come back to make it always someone else's fault. But at the same time I don't like it because I want us to work through our problems, not just one up the other in the war of words. Why do I feel guilty that I actually got one on him for once?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh and to add to my confusion about him "not loving me" a couple nights ago I woke up to him holding me so tight that I could barely breath. When I shifted so I could get a full breath, he realized I was awake and started passionately kissing me. When we stopped I asked him what that was about he said he had a bad dream that we separated.

I brought this up in that therapy session and my WH tried to brush it off like it wasn't that big of a deal. Our MC basically said at that point that my WH has some serious walls up that need to come down or he is going to lose me. He then asked ME to set a deadline date for my WH to start feeling something instead of him setting a date to find that spark. If he doesn't actively try to push thoughts of the OW out of his head and really give our marriage an honest shot instead of lip service then I need separate from him.

My WH looked PISSED and very visably upset with the idea of me setting a separation deadline. Is this just him upset at the power shifting to my hands, him finally being forced to face his mistake head on or him afraid he is going to lose me? I admit I have been a doormat through most of this because I did feel guilty about my past EA but he's beat that topic so hard, it's dead to me. He brings it up to try and avoid talking about what he did and I just don't care anymore. And that's not to say I devalued his pain because I haven't, I'm just sick of him not owning up that what he did is wrong. That because he fell in love does not in anyway make what he did okay.
 

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The 'tit for tat' thing won't help fix it. When we get in to that mode, it really escalates out of control. At some point, you each need to acknowledge and apologize for what you did to the other and the hurt.

All questions should be asked and answered to satisfaction and then focusing on what needs to be done now to start rebuilding the trust. What do you need him to do now to help you start to feel that you can trust him? What can he do to make you feel loved?

I cannot go back and undo the lies or deception. I cannot go back and undo the hurt. I can acknowledge that I did it, that it was wrong and apologize for what I did and how I hurt my husband. I can open my life and heart to him. I can explain what went through my head. I can commit to what I am doing and will do differently to prevent this from happening again.
 

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Agreed he doesn't seem to admit his A as wrong. Perhaps it started as a revenge A, I don't know. But you have to stay strong with the deadlines, or it will likely happen again.
Has the MC discussed appropriate boundaries in the marriage? It sounds as if there are problems in this area on both of your parts.
And I understand wanting to "get one on him" during therapy, but for what purpose? You won the argument but it doesn't appear to have sunk in on you WS.
 

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I think that, while the affair is a horrible thing to deal with, you have much deeper resentments of him that aren't going away. He minimizes you, probably the way he acts with other men, who WILL respond and fight back (it's fun when it's two guys). He doesn't realize how it hurts to treat a woman that way.

IIWY, I would focus on THAT for the next couple months and deal with the affair later, once you see if he CAN lower the walls and just be a husband, and not one of the guys, with you.
 

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Sorry you won't find my backstory directly, my WH saw my old screen name and flipped because he said it could identify me too easy. Quick breakdown.

I had an EA 5yrs ago. Didn't know it was a EA because I truely only saw it as someone to vent about my marriage too. After reading some books and advise from TAM ppl I know I was wrong and feel horrible that I betrayed my husband that way. Jump to this past summer my active duty military husband deployed and cheated with a co-worker. He fell in love and had a EA/PA. When they came back he left me saying he couldn't give her up. Then came back 3days later begging me to take him back when she made it clear she wasn't leaving her husband.

I love the jerk, so I took him back because I do love him and when he was gone our 2 small kids cried everyday wanting him to come home. But since then it's been so hot and cold between us. He's going through the motions of a good marriage but still says he doesn't love me. He's trying to find a spark.

So last night we had our MC session (we've been going a couple months now) and I feel we were finally getting into the meat of this. The therapist originally trying to find things early in our marriage that would lead to a dissolve. Well last night we finally went head on into his affair and my WH was not happy. It went like this:
Me- I don't think you fully realize how much you have hurt me
Him (getting visable ****y that he was goint to win, that's his mentality when we argue) - Oh I know because I felt that way everyday you talked to your friend.
Me- I know you, if you honestly thought I was cheating on you, you would've left me.
Him- WHen you have kids, that changes things
Me- Really so your stance that you shouldn't stay just for the kids magically changed? You always said that and even said that again when you asked to come back.
Him- *Quiet jaw clench*
Me- How do you think I feel everytime I close my eyes I see you and her together intimately and you saying I love you to her
Him- Oh I know because that's how I felt about you and your friend! How do you think I felt seeing you always talking to him, playing that stupid game, thinking that you were setting him up as your plan B if our marriage didn't work?
Me- I was never setting him as plan B because I love you. I had no intention of ever leaving you for him. How do you think I feel KNOWING I am your plan B? That the only reason you're with me is because she wouldn't leave her husband for you and you didn't want to face your fear of being alone.

He just sat there opened mouthed fish out of water because he really thought he was going to "win." I looked at the therapist and he had a hot damn she nailed you, look on his face.

I feel good that I finally was able to verbally smack down the man who always has a come back to make it always someone else's fault. But at the same time I don't like it because I want us to work through our problems, not just one up the other in the war of words. Why do I feel guilty that I actually got one on him for once?
I agree that tit for tat mode is very damaging.

Nevertheless, you had an affair, an emotional affair, and you are trying to minimize a five year emotional affair.

Of course your husband was hurt and had an affair of his own.

You need to accept that you changed the rules of the marriage FIRST, when you had your affair.....a five year affair.

Minimizing your actions is going to cause further harm.

It does not matter that his flourished into a Pa. Most likely your EA at some point would have evolved to a PA, too.

Also, If your husband was kissing you passionately, the spark is there. Me thinks, he wants to hurt you some more by putting doubt in your mind as your five-year affair put doubt in his mind.

You both screwed up, you both have the ability to make it right.

Are you up to it?

Please admit to him that you realize how much harm your emotional affair caused and that it was no less painful to him than was his affair to you.

If you don't do this, you will probably both remain stuck in tit for tat mode.
 

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I think personally that the 'smackdown' was necessary. He's obviously used to being right and on top and in charge and, thus, has probably never even THOUGHT about what it's like to have it done to HIM.

I believe that no former cheater can ever be good marriage material again without humility. He desperately needs some. That was a good first start.
 

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Good luck with the therapy.

I am guessing that your EA had more of an impact than you're believing. No excuse for your husband's affair, but guessing there's still a lot of unresolved resentment and stuff surrounding your EA. Even for yourself. Just a guy to vent about your marriage? Is that honest? How did you deal with that at the time?
 

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Have you and him worked through the Wayward Spouse Instructions? I think its in the newbie post. I can give you a link if you can't find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Because I had to get rid of my other name here alot of my stuff is lost. I have apologized till I was blue in the face and unfortunetly because I do not remember specifics of my conversations with the OM, my husband feels I am trickle truthing him, that I haven't told him everything. And my EA was not 5yrs long, it was 5yrs ago. I only talked to the OM for about 9months but because I continued to play the game I was addicted to (with my parents who played as well) my husband immediately assumed and is still convinced I was talking to him for over a year.

I have fully apologized and owned what I did was wrong. I was playing that game with the OM (and my family) more than I was spending time with my husband. I should not have talked about my marriage problems with the OM but with my husband instead. When my husband asked me to stop talking to the OM I should have. Instead I was immature and selfish not seeing the hurt I was causing my husband with my friendship. When I finally pulled my head out of my butt and stopped talking to him, I should have stopped the game too. But again I was selfish and thought what harm could I do if I'm playing with my family. The harm was the everyday retraumatizing of my husband who like I said just assumed I was still talking to the OM.

That gaming addiction and volatile friendship are my burden, my cross to bear. I was raised better than that, as my father put it when I threw myself under the bus to everyone in my family and his. I apologized to everyone for not being a good person then and for hurting my husband.

To the other side of all this. My husband during the first 4 years of our marriage (we've been married 9) was a vicious jerk. My job was not as important as his. Because he was working 12-15hrs a day and I was only working 10hrs, I was still expected to do all the house work. That I couldn't possibly be as tired as him. Also he would come home and just start playing his xbox because he needed to unwind and also may I add he was just as addicted to the game as I was. Until he got a bad taste in his mouth about it because I was playing so much with the OM. He would rather yell at me the laundry wasn't done then help me do it. When I would try and talk to him about how his anger issues were making me feel, it would instantly be reversed back on me and that I was just doing it to myself. He would go on deployments and not call me because he was going to the bars with his buddies or if he did call it was 5min tops before "I'm going into the bar, talk to you later." He would spend so much money while deployed on new clothes, going out to drink/eat and hotels. I would tell him to stop because there is a household I need to take care of and at the time our infant daughter. But in one ear and out the other. So yes I do have a lot of resentment issues to work out with him.

The past 4yrs since I have become a SAHM he has changed so much. His anger swings have stopped, he's been a better father and husband. He still plays his console games alot but not nearly as bad. I have changed as well. I don't play games at all, unless it's a concole game we do together. Because I am a SAHM I am able to keep up with and stay on top of all the housework. So with everything being so different now and seemingly a healthy relationship it completely blindsided me when he cheated on me.

Not only cheated on me but plan B'd me because she wouldn't leave her husband. He says because he fell in love he didn't think what he was doing was wrong. He says he is sorry for the pain he has caused but has not apologized for the EA/PA itself. When I actually asked him how he could do this to me his response was "You know what you did and what happened to get us here." I wish I could just turn off loving him because it would be so much easier then dealing with this pain everyday. To know he is probably thinking about her right now as I type this makes me ill.
 

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I had an EA 5yrs ago. Didn't know it was a EA because I truely only saw it as someone to vent about my marriage too. After reading some books and advise from TAM ppl I know I was wrong and feel horrible that I betrayed my husband that way. Jump to this past summer my active duty military husband deployed and cheated with a co-worker. He fell in love and had a EA/PA. When they came back he left me saying he couldn't give her up. Then came back 3days later begging me to take him back when she made it clear she wasn't leaving her husband.
"I had an EA 5yrs ago. Didn't know it was a EA because I truly only saw it as someone to vent about my marriage too."
What was so bad in your marriage that you had to vent to someone about it?

"He fell in love"
This is important, not whether or not he was truly in love, but that he at least thought he was in love. If he truly thinks he was in love then those feelings don't just disappear, they dissipate over time, on their own.

"He left me saying he couldn't give her up"
At the very least, this tells you two things:
  1. He really believed that he was in love with her and was caught up into it so much that he was throwing caution to the wind.
  2. He was being honest, blatantly honest, about what he felt.

"She made it clear she wasn't leaving her husband"
No matter what your husband does, did, or said, this took a major toll on his emotional psyche and that won't fix itself anytime soon.


The MC suggested to you, "to set a deadline date for my WH to start feeling something instead of him setting a date to find that spark." I'm no marriage counselor, but I personally don't think that's good advice, that's just telling your husband what date he needs to start lying to you.


So let me ask you this, do you think your husband would have gotten involved with his co-worker if you had not become emotionally involved with someone online? Obviously there were other issues in your marriage, you point that out, but were they bad enough that you think he would have strayed, regardless if you had the EA or not?

T
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tony you asked the $50mil question. If I had not made my mistakes I don't know if he would or not? But I will own it because I would like to think that if I had not screwed up that he would never had done this to me. I know there is still the good man I married in there who is just human, made a mistake and is hurt and confused. Just as there is still the good woman in me he married that made mistakes as well.
 

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A lot of this sounds immature to me, almost like the two of you have growing pains together. The quid pro quo is playground stuff. I would question whether your H is/was really in love with the OW mostly because of the note of immaturity, but also because of his desire to 'win' when it comes to you. If you've had an EA, he's really eager to one-up you, it seems. It's hard to tell from what you write whether you sense that he knows what real love is or not.

Because of the question marks here, I can see why you're plugging away. If it were me & I was sure that my H was in love with someone else, I would not stay. Given the uncertainties, though, it's understandable that you want to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A lot of this sounds immature to me, almost like the two of you have growing pains together. The quid pro quo is playground stuff. I would question whether your H is/was really in love with the OW mostly because of the note of immaturity, but also because of his desire to 'win' when it comes to you. If you've had an EA, he's really eager to one-up you, it seems. It's hard to tell from what you write whether you sense that he knows what real love is or not.

Because of the question marks here, I can see why you're plugging away. If it were me & I was sure that my H was in love with someone else, I would not stay. Given the uncertainties, though, it's understandable that you want to try.
It all feels immature and playground stuff. It feels so high school. You're right I do question if he was really in love with her because there are so many contradicting things he's done/said. Like when he was crying for me to take him back he kept saying I need you. My emotions are so messed up right now, I need you.

A couple days later I joked with him that if I get anymore gray hairs from this I'm gonna kill him and he just said then I will always be here to dye your roots.

His constant need to be touching me or be in the same room with me when he gets home from work. Calling and texting me whenever he can from work throughout the day (that's something he's never done before).

Another big sticking point was when I found out I pulled phone records and called her. Something she told me that he didn't was that after things had gone physical between them she said he sat at the end of the bed just saying "how could I do this to my wife. She's such a good person. I don't want to hurt her." She then told me he actually broke things off with her right then but then the usual couldn't stay away from eachother happened.

Another big one is that his twin brother is also in the same branch of service. His brother is extremely anti-cheating after his first wife cheated on him while he was deployed. Me and my husband were there through all his pain to help and support him. But after my husband's affair came out, the brother called me. He said he's seen this a million times while on deployments, the exact things my husband was saying about her. My brother-in-law said I don't know how you stay with my brother because I would've left but I know he loves you, he's just being a stubborn idiot.

When it seems like he forgets everything that's happened and we're in the moment of just having fun together and he calls me honey again. There are also lots of little things here and there. I know alot of you think I'm getting what I derserve because of past mistakes. But I am just so damn hurt.
 

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No one deserves to be hurt. Are you able to give each other a turn to talk about what is bothering you/hurting you (without being defensive) and get it all off your respective chests?

Once you've unpacked all the emotional baggage, then it's a matter of establishing what you need/want now (both of you) and starting to do those things every day. If one of you starts to get off track, then you have a chat.

It takes a while to get past the hurt and betrayal of the past but you do have to start the process some place.
 

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Because I had to get rid of my other name here alot of my stuff is lost. I have apologized till I was blue in the face and unfortunetly because I do not remember specifics of my conversations with the OM, my husband feels I am trickle truthing him, that I haven't told him everything. And my EA was not 5yrs long, it was 5yrs ago. I only talked to the OM for about 9months but because I continued to play the game I was addicted to (with my parents who played as well) my husband immediately assumed and is still convinced I was talking to him for over a year.

I have fully apologized and owned what I did was wrong. I was playing that game with the OM (and my family) more than I was spending time with my husband. I should not have talked about my marriage problems with the OM but with my husband instead. When my husband asked me to stop talking to the OM I should have. Instead I was immature and selfish not seeing the hurt I was causing my husband with my friendship. When I finally pulled my head out of my butt and stopped talking to him, I should have stopped the game too. But again I was selfish and thought what harm could I do if I'm playing with my family. The harm was the everyday retraumatizing of my husband who like I said just assumed I was still talking to the OM.

That gaming addiction and volatile friendship are my burden, my cross to bear. I was raised better than that, as my father put it when I threw myself under the bus to everyone in my family and his. I apologized to everyone for not being a good person then and for hurting my husband.

To the other side of all this. My husband during the first 4 years of our marriage (we've been married 9) was a vicious jerk. My job was not as important as his. Because he was working 12-15hrs a day and I was only working 10hrs, I was still expected to do all the house work. That I couldn't possibly be as tired as him. Also he would come home and just start playing his xbox because he needed to unwind and also may I add he was just as addicted to the game as I was. Until he got a bad taste in his mouth about it because I was playing so much with the OM. He would rather yell at me the laundry wasn't done then help me do it. When I would try and talk to him about how his anger issues were making me feel, it would instantly be reversed back on me and that I was just doing it to myself. He would go on deployments and not call me because he was going to the bars with his buddies or if he did call it was 5min tops before "I'm going into the bar, talk to you later." He would spend so much money while deployed on new clothes, going out to drink/eat and hotels. I would tell him to stop because there is a household I need to take care of and at the time our infant daughter. But in one ear and out the other. So yes I do have a lot of resentment issues to work out with him.

The past 4yrs since I have become a SAHM he has changed so much. His anger swings have stopped, he's been a better father and husband. He still plays his console games alot but not nearly as bad. I have changed as well. I don't play games at all, unless it's a concole game we do together. Because I am a SAHM I am able to keep up with and stay on top of all the housework. So with everything being so different now and seemingly a healthy relationship it completely blindsided me when he cheated on me.

Not only cheated on me but plan B'd me because she wouldn't leave her husband. He says because he fell in love he didn't think what he was doing was wrong. He says he is sorry for the pain he has caused but has not apologized for the EA/PA itself. When I actually asked him how he could do this to me his response was "You know what you did and what happened to get us here." I wish I could just turn off loving him because it would be so much easier then dealing with this pain everyday. To know he is probably thinking about her right now as I type this makes me ill.
Nine months or five years. It was a long term EA.

Your rationalizing and minimizing your affair.

All cheaters try it. I did, briefly, but woke up quickly.

If the rationalizing and minimizing goes on too long though it becomes entrenched and the cheater starts to see themselves as a victim rather than a cheater. It also enrages the loyal spouse.

I didn't rewrite my marital history. My wife is and was a good person and did not deserve what I did.

I don't know if you are rewriting history,

Nevertheless, if your marriage was that bad divorce was the better option.

His revenge affair is wrong, but you need to get off your high horse. You first changed the rules of the marriage by cheating. Just like I did.

Your counselor was not looking at you with a "high five" expression either when you made your stated point to your spouse about his cheating. He was likely looking on in wonderment and how people can so easily rationalize and blame and act like the pot calling the kettle black.
 

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You have both cheated & if you want a chance for a future you need to stop the childish competition. You need to step back and think about what you feel and want individually & what you want as a couple. If once you do that, your H can honestly say that he loves another woman, I would have to ask you why you want to stay. There's already a mountain of bad behavior and hurt between you; why add to the damage and pain?

If you both think you still have love for one another - the married person type of love - then you would have a foundation to build on. As I said before, it's not obvious that he has stopped loving you. You should try to discern this, I think, though.

But the first order of business is to start acting like grown-ups. This is a serious thing the two of you are doing & isn't for the faint of heart. Lose the thrill of competition & approach your future like adults.
 

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I feel good that I finally was able to verbally smack down the man who always has a come back to make it always someone else's fault. But at the same time I don't like it because I want us to work through our problems, not just one up the other in the war of words. Why do I feel guilty that I actually got one on him for once?
Because you love him and you don't like seeing him hurt; it hurts you to hurt him.

T
 
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