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@Openminded - In our case it would not be suitable for us to separate as we wouldn't be able to work on our marriage as effectively that way. It's almost as if "out of sight, out of mind", not to mention the boundaries set or not set. If she's upset enough to separate, what's to stop her from seeking companionship or more with another man? I appreciate my wife working hard to help rebuild our relationship. I just wish I could go back in time and undo what I have done. At this point all I can do is step up like you said. I understand this betrayal takes time to recover from. I do appreciate that she is willing to take the time, no matter how long it takes, to help me make amends.
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@See_Listen_Love - I agree that I need to be changing my way of thinking to make her feel at ease that I will never do this again.
There were no pictures sent between me and OW. Our texts were graphically descriptive depictions of what we imagined doing to one another.
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@MattMatt - No, I have never done this before and believe me I will never do it again!!!!
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@Catherine602 - I did not talk about my wife with the OW as I never told her I was married. I agree with the rest of what you have to say. My wife has done nothing but give me unconditional love for the past 25 years, and I threw it all away for nothing. It makes me want to throw up when I think about it. I wish I gave it this much thought before I did what I did. I need to give my wife the same unconditional love for the rest of my natural life. Even though I know it's not really about me, it does pain me to see my wife hurting from this. I know she is justified in being upset. I took what I had for granted for nothing. The whole idea of this makes me feel empty inside for putting her through this.
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*@citygirl4344 - I never thought about her trust as a gift. It was just always there. It wasn't my intent to squander her trust. I was just thinking of myself and I should have stopped to take my wife's feelings into consideration and I definitely would have stopped myself. I don't know if I would say that I am skating over everything and doing the bare minimum, but I am stepping up my game and that will be for my wife to decide. My wife and I both agree that we have an open line of communication that will keep us out of limbo. I appreciate that you not advising her to leave me. I do love my wife and I only want to work on our marriage so we can be happy again.
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@blueinbr - No, I did not fantasize about OW. The fact that she was in Wyoming made me feel safe that nothing would ever happen. I had no picture of her so no image in my mind to think of.
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@PhillyGuy13 - you are right. I only think it would be easier for me because I avoid conflict. But it would probably eat me up inside if she did what I did.
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@Satya - I'm sorry if my posts come off as callous or unfeeling. I'm not trying to minimize what I did but I'm not always good at expressing myself. You are right that I need to be able to put myself in her shoes and understand what she's dealing with instead of what I think she should be dealing with. Before all this, our bond was very strong. If you've read our story you would understand but I have come to understand that what I did has shaken our bond to the core.
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@Pluto2 - having sex with my wife was not a solution, nor did I think everything was fixed because of that. Lying next to her in bed and making love for that moment gave me a sense of normalcy. I think I was also trying to show her that I still love her, find her attractive, and sexually exciting. I don't want anyone else. She made me understand that this is all about love and respect and at that time I just wasn't getting it. You're right. It's not her job to make it easy on me. Afterall, I've made it hard on her.
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@She'sStillGotIt - tell me how you really feel LOL. Yes, my wife does work her fingers to the bone and she does give 110%, but I wouldn't say she doesn't get anything in return. I do try to do my part to help make a nice life for all of us. After reading all of these replies, I can see the bigger picture now and how my actions were disrespectful to her and how ungrateful I was. That was not my intent but I can see it for what it is now.
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@silex - making this worse is the last thing I want to do.
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@straightshooter - Thank you. I think what you say is direct and to the point. All cheating is wrong because of how it hurts the spouse. But if a wife who bangs 8 guys can reconcile that gives me hope.
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@BetrayedDad - cancer or no cancer I would not be on my way to Wyoming. I made no attempt to get to know OW so there wouldn't be any emotional attachment on my part. My wife does deserve better and I will be that man from now on.
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@Blondilocks - Yes, flirting is not ok for married men, and what I did was worse than flirting.
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@turnera - Yes. I see that. I don't want to hurt her anymore. I just want to ease her pain.
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@GuyInColorado - thank you for your comments. You are right that this is the best it will ever get, but I am ok with that because I have it pretty good. I will love her with everything I've got.
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@mistakesweremade - Yes...ditto. thank you.
You are saying all of the right things but are you living them? Your actions seem to indicate that you don't take what you did seriously enough to suit the deep hurt you caused. The title of your thread says that.

In reality, your wife's pain has effected you only because you are not getting all of the free goodies she gives so freely. I doubt you would get impatient, demanding and entitled if you were.

If your friends and family knew what you did, what would they think of you? Betraying a kind and good wife and then afterwards ignoring her pain, would not make you a man worthy of respect.
 

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If you playfully pushed your wife into a pool and suddenly she was drowning.....taking on water.....struggling to break the surface to keep herself alive......would you jump in and save her? Or would you throw her a floatie and hope she caught it?

If you jumped in to save her and you had to give her cpr to revive her, while hoping and praying that she lived - would you look at her and said "oh yeah, you almost drowned, but I didn't MEAN for THAT to happen, so what I did wasn't that bad!" Or would you hold her in your arms and apologize profusely for your mistake of not meaning to hurt her but instead severely hurting her and her almost dying?

That's what you did OP. You weren't thinking and you pushed her in the water. As she's choking on her tears, you're trying to throw her a floatie, hoping that's enough to save her life. And you're laughing at her saying "oh just buck up, I didn't MEAN to almost kill you, get over it!"

You're letting her drown, at your hand.
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OP was asked by his wife to come here to learn.

He came. He gets points for that.

He told some really heavy stuff, eye rolling stuff. He gets points for that.

He responded to most of replies. He gets points for that too.

Even if he never "gets it" it is important to W that he at least makes a real effort to try to understand.

Good job for day 1 MrHB50.
I agree with this. The OP and his wife are here asking for support and help. So let's be careful about the 2x4's. They cause a lot of bruising and make healing a lot harder.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
@silex- Thanks for the advice. In the beginning I was trying to minimize hoping this would go away but you are right all this did was make W more upset. I wasn’t getting it. With all these new posts I’ve been reading the only sensible thing to do is own it and do what I can to make things right.
@NobodySpecial - First of all I do have a Therapist, and second when you piece all of the passages together like that, it makes me want to throw up too. I am truly here trying to work on myself and the only way to really do that is to put it all out there, I could gloss over the really uncomfortable parts but then I wouldn’t really be accomplishing anything. I really don’t want to do this ever again!!!
@uhtred - You’re right my wife does have the right to leave but after 20 years of marriage I am thankful she is willing to work with me, just as we have done through all of our hardships- the kids illnesses, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and my stage 4 colon cancer. We have to at least give it a shot, we are worth that. I have never stopped loving my wife.
@Blondilocks- I am sleeping on the couch in the living room, she reminds me everyday what I did, walking around in a funk, crying or red-faced and an unhappy look on her face. I created that, me alone, isn’t that punishment that I can’t do anything to change it. I say I am sorry over and over but it just seems to make her madder, I help more around the house and she’ll say why are you not trying to make things better.
@MattMatt- Agreed
@nolight - Thank you for your post - it seems as if you’re a bit angry and I’m not sure if you had a partner who did this same to you, but I believe every relationship is different and unique and cannot just be chalked up to one simple answer- divorce. If both partners in a marriage want to work to make things better, it is their right to do so, that is why I’m here I am hoping to become a better husband and man. I don’t understand why you think I have a low sympathy for my wife. I can see she is truly hurt by what I did and I’m trying to make things right as best I can, with the help from all of you.
@CantePe - I am truly sorry for what your going through, I have seen first hand the impact it has had on my W so again I say sorry. My question to you, is this the first and only time your WH did this to you? Is there even a shred of happiness you’ve found in this marriage that might find you forgiving him? Hopefully you can, I am here working on my marriage because I do love my wife and I regret what I did. I am not interested in anybody else and I don’t want to throw away 20 years of marriage. Why did you stay for 7 years, if your husband is truly looking for something or someone else, why wouldn’t you just let him go, so you could move on and find happiness?
@turnera - I do alot within the house. W has her business in our house so we are here 24/7 we occasionally go on a date night or do errands outside the house but other than that we are home, my 3 boys go to school, I drive them back and forth daily, I take care of all meals or order in on occasion, I take care of the finances, I clean the house (well I try, not always the best job) but generally it functions. Now, I am doing the same, but just trying to step up my game and do more and better.
I believe I understand my wife fairly well after 20 years of marriage, we all say things we don’t mean in a fit of rage, for which I don’t blame her. This is my mess, I need to clean it up the best way I can, and be sure that my W is comfortable moving forward the best that she knows how. For now I am working on myself and giving her the space she needs to be able to get past this or not.
@LifesTooShort - I definitely find what I did as wrong, my W does not deserve to be treated this way and you can be sure I will never do this to her again. I keep trying to apologize but it just reminds her of what I did and she gets more upset. It sounds terrible when I see it written. Hard to believe that’s what I did.
@Affaircare- Thank You for the sane advice. I feel like you are giving me advice that I can take and use to let my wife know how much I appreciate and adore her. I understand my past actions do not convey this at all, in fact, I did everything I could to destroy what I have. If my wife does find it in her heart to forgive me, I will never ever again take it for granted. And yes, it does make sense!!!! Again thank you for the acknowledgment, but what I did is terrible and my thanks will be when I have my wife back and we are moving forward together towards a better life than the one we had before D-Day.
@blueinbr - That’s a tough one, best not to go there!!!
@blueinbr- I am trying to be truthful and open, so as to never have the desire to do this again, there are many other coping skills I can use that don’t involve cheating on my wife or destroying my marriage. Thanks again for seeing that I am trying not just for her but for myself as well.
@CantePe - Coming forward with the whole truth means I have nothing else to hide. I would never want my wife to be blindsided by this ever again, I’ve done enough of that already.
@Ceegee - Trust me I was aware of everything right from D-Day to today I heard every word of what you had posted first hand several times and my W even asked me to read her thread the first time she sent it. Don’t worry I get it, I have heard from many others on this site that what I did was cheating. Growing up I always thought cheating was the physical act of sex happening between a man and woman against the others spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend. I was questioning the fact that I never had sexual intercourse so how could it be cheating. Now I understand!!!!
@BetrayedDad- I really am trying to work thru this, I am not interested in doing this again. My wife really is an amazing woman if you were to meet her and she did not deserve any of my crap. Thanks for saying what I would have said about the Patriots. No need to be so bitter, again I not only read her first thread, I heard all of it on D-Day and a few days after that.

@TaDor - Agreed, It is that bad!!!

@CharlieParker- Yes she let me read her first thread and I saw first hand when she was crying and feeling broken-hearted
@Idyit - What you described is what I want to do. Reconciling what I did, and paying back in spades to my wife before I go.
@Catherine602 - W wanted me to tell my sister what I did, so I told her, I thought she would have been harder on me, but that’s why I’m here to hold nothing back, to lay all of it out on the table and to get the harshest feedback to learn and grow from.
@LosingHim- I’m jumpin in!
 

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OP, why do you believe it wasn't a big deal? Was it because you did not have physical contact?
Are you starting to understand that the betrayal was just as deep to your W without that element? Whether you agree or not is pretty irrelevant.

I'm sharing a link to ChumpLady, and one of her posts about real vs, fake remorse. I think you may see some- but not all- of you in there. I honestly don't think you are engaging in a full blown "fake" remorse. But the fact you sleep on the couch should be enough for you to realize what ever you are doing is simply not enough.

Real Remorse? Or Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse? - ChumpLady.com
 

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@nolight - Thank you for your post - it seems as if you’re a bit angry and I’m not sure if you had a partner who did this same to you, but I believe every relationship is different and unique and cannot just be chalked up to one simple answer- divorce. If both partners in a marriage want to work to make things better, it is their right to do so, that is why I’m here I am hoping to become a better husband and man. I don’t understand why you think I have a low sympathy for my wife. I can see she is truly hurt by what I did and I’m trying to make things right as best I can, with the help from all of you.
The reason about sympathy is quite clear, your wife is deeply hurting and confused and here are your quotes

just texting of a sexual nature, that’s all I was really looking for.
for which I looked at as meaningless banter and for my W to look at as the desecration of 25 years together and 20 years of marriage.
I don’t think what I did was that bad. She made me tell my sister, our clergy, and W told 2 friends and my FIL. Isn’t that enough of a penance? She kicked me out of my bed... our dog has better accommodations! We are in MC, and I’m trying to do everything she asks, I even wrote her an apology letter that my therapist assigned. And every day she reminds me because of how crappy she feels that this isn’t over. How can I get her to forgive me? I’m not good at reading hints, but is what I did really all that bad? I know my W is concerned that when the dust settles I may do this again, but I have no desire to do that, because I’ve seen how much it hurt my W and the image of horror on her face when she discovered me is ingrained on my brain forever. I do regret what I did, but she doesn’t believe me. I think I understand where W is coming from but she doesn’t feel that I’m getting it.


I'm sorry if i came across as angry, i was just being straight forward and from what i've read from your posts, it's still all about you. And no, i'm not married and haven't been cheated and cheated on but i've seen multiple times both in my inner circle and environment the effects that cheating bring to someone who got cheated on and here you are talking that you don't get laid and sleeps on sofa. Recovery is not penance or punishment like you've said, it's impossible to expect someone who got cheated on not to behave at least cold toward the cheater
 

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To me the fact you have to ask that question in the heading says it all. YOU have not come to the full realization of the damage you have done to your wife and your marriage. It's like a tornado went through your home when your family was sleeping upstairs, you were in the basement, get up the next morning, the sun is shining and wonder what all the fuss is about. You are either in denial, very selfish or plain unsympathetic, maybe all three.

I wonder how you would feel if your wife were to talk the way the OW talked with you but with another man. Would you be ok with that if if went on for a period of time? With him telling her all the things he wants to do to her and her reciprocating likewise, her telling him how hot he was, etc. You get the picture?

A woman is not like a man. A man can often compartmentalize the sex from the emotion, a woman cannot. To her you have decimated her world and everything she believed about herself as your woman and about you as her man. You are not the man she thinks you are and that is something difficult to come to grips with. You have lost a part of her heart, and you will never get it back.

The way you talk is of someone who is minimizing, no remorse and it's all about poor me, poor me, how can she be making this so difficult for me..........as I said no sympathy, empathy or realization of what you have done.
 

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It sounds like you are doing your best here, OP. I feel kind of sorry for you. I believe you when you say you love your wife. I don't think you were trying to hurt her, though that is certainly what happened.

Please be as honest and open as possible with her, including why you did it, why you hid it, and why you did not, or possibly even do not, really understand why she is so upset by it. If you feel she has overreacted, you need to tell her that. Humbly and gently, for sure. But if it is your genuine feeling, she needs to hear that, and why.

You both need to give honesty, and be able to hear it, no matter how painful. That is how you will both grow from this incident. Transparency is powerful, and can heal. But it is often painful at first.

FWIW, I don't think you ever loved that woman. I do think you love your wife, and are showing her that love in a way that you consider meaningful. But she wants to be loved in a way that *she* considers meaningful. You two could have an interesting talk on how she feels you could best do that for her.

And please do not feel you have to say what TAM wants to hear. Say what you genuinely think, as you did with your title. Or feel free to say nothing. You do not need to please anyone here. You certainly do not owe us anything.

Thanks for being willing to come here and share your thoughts with us. You did not have to. I hope it helps you and your wife somehow.
 

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MrHB50, you are interpreting your wife's reaction to the situation as punishment. It is not her intent to punish you by crying etc. Her behavior is a consequence of having her world blown apart. Referring to it as punishment smacks of self-pity and manipulation. You are not the victim here.

What you did was a crime against the heart. You cannot make amends for emotional pain by doing physical things. Yes, it is nice that you are being more helpful with the day to day tasks of living but that doesn't cut the mustard. You need to find a way to make your wife feel emotionally safe with you. Read those books again until her pain resonates with you. And, stop increasing her work load by buying flowers and ordering in. She needs more rest - not more work to pay for them.
 

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You need to find a way to make your wife feel emotionally safe with you.
This might be a good focus, OP. Ask your wife what could make her feel emotionally safe with you. Really listen to what she says. Make a plan together for how to do this.

And then work on how she could do the same for you.
 

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I stay for the kids. He has not done it again but he has never truly acknowledged what he did.

He said sorry, sure. Many times in the first year or two. He never did the heavy lifting, he never truly appreciated the pain he caused and rug swept it (but that means I rug swept it as well).

We don't fight though (never really have to be honest).

Can I forgive him? Enough to co parent our children in a civil manner for the sake of the children - absolutely.

Can I forgive him enough to trust him 100% - unfortunately, that answer is no.

He said the same thing - he wasn't (and isn't) truly looking for someone else or something else and yet he did what he did.

His actions did not reflect his words. 17 years together. I gave up and sacrificed my career, my 20s (a career I went to college for) ...we have a special needs child ourselves (autism spectrum).

So many similarities between your household and ours. I usually don't or try not to let a poster affect me directly but I have to admit both your wife and you have resonated so many similarities between your situation and mine that I can't help being affected.

Do the work, heavy lifting, don't rug sweep, acknowledge it to its fullest - acknowledge her and her pain and ask how can I help you today, this moment. Listen to what she is both saying and not saying.

When a woman gives up, she stops asking/speaking and goes silent. When a woman goes silent she has given up the fight.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

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When a woman gives up, she stops asking/speaking and goes silent. When a woman goes silent she has given up the fight.
Worth reflecting on.

Fortunately for you, OP, your wife is not there. She is still very much trying.
 
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