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Discussion Starter · #5,381 ·
I'm posting on @VintageRetro 's thread by answering @Diana7 's post. Here's the thing: when a person is an unfaithful spouse, the focus at that time is on the thrill and how it makes you feel. There's little or no thought of the faithful spouse, what it's done to them, or how they feel. And it's not like a faithful spouse can articulate this very well. "How did you feel a year ago at the lowest point of your life?" "Well... it hurt. I was devastated." That just doesn't cover it!!!

In real life, what this will do is allow Ex-MrsVR to read his anguish poured out "in real time"...which was also a time where that's not where her head was. Being as kind as I can, I suspect her head was much more in the mode of not wanting to lose XYZ over "a mistake" -- again, the focus being on her and what she was losing, not on VR himself or what he was going through.

Ex-MrsVR, I'll speak to you directly (assuming you're reading)--you ARE going to see some pretty harsh, judgmental posts. You are probably going to feel like a) defending yourself or b) you are lower than dirt on a shoe. Please bear in mind that all this was raw and that many people who posted were just as triggered as your ex-husband was...and they projected their hurt onto you. Hurting people hurt people. However, your ex-husband had a wonderful quality of sorting through the malarchy and finding the kernels of truth and solid advance. I hope you have the kindness in your heart to help him on his recovery journey. (Edited to add: It is my experienced advice to recommend to you that you not defend yourself or take it personally, but rather, allow your actions to show "who you are" and how you've grown. Show us rather than tell us. Not every unfaithful spouse faces themselves and becomes a better person, and I think it's conceivable you may have.So prove me right by reading these words with a grain of salt and using these words as a help to VR and not as some sort of description "of you." We know it's not.)

@VintageRetro , to you I'll say this: Ex-MrsVR has had some time and counsel to face, accept, and deal with/cope with the ending and death of the marriage. Partly because she was the one who began the end of the marriage through her actions--that put her a few months ahead of you. In the same time period, you've also had to deal with the sudden and shocking loss of your father, and now the death of your friend J who ended his own life dealing with the very pain that you also endured! I don't think you've really had time to face, accept and deal with/copy with the ending of your marriage AND the loss of your father AND the trigger of the way your friend J passed. Ex-MrsVR had kind of "one" thing to focus on, and she had the help of a therapist to guide her. So far, that has not been the case for you. So work with your pastor, maybe consider a grief support group, and take the time now to fully face this perhaps with the help of a therapist of your own.
I am copying this and sending it to her in a text. I think she needs to read this to prepare. We promised not speak about this except when we meet next weekend with the pastor. We all agreed this is her journey to travel alone. But I think a little advice is needed and as usual you said it better than I can.

Believe me when I say this. I absolutely do not wish her any more pain. We really tried to dissuade her. But she is absolutely convinced that only by reading it will she better understand that time period from my point of view. Pain shopping? Maybe a little bit I sense she genuinely wants to fix something she broke and has no other motivation. At least I feel that way right now.

I also want to take the opportunity to say your insight has been so valuable to me. Thank you so much.

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My ex has proven that she is further along in this recovery process than myself. Her request to read this thread comes on the heels of a meeting between the two of us and my/our pastor (she occasionally attends the church with our son when it's her weekend and sits with my mother. Who is ok with this).
Simply put I'm struggling in a couple of areas and she was asked to assist since they overlap with our old relationship. She knows and has known about the thread for awhile so it's not new. Her reasoning, and believe me we tried to talk her out of it, is that only by reading it she can truly understand the damage. And with the understanding help us navigate a path through defining our new relationship. One that is void of her pinning away for R and me drifting aimlessly between anger, hurt , and self-pity. It's that simple.

I get that people have strong feelings about this and the above is a very simplified version of about ten hours of talking and high emotions. But this is a path she is choosing and I'm ok with it. While I value everyone's input ultimately it's our lives.

Now once again let me say this...

I am not looking to R.
I have no clue if R is in the future but my answer today is the same it has been.. no. And I cannot see a path that leads me there. So again. No R.

What I am looking for is peace. I'm not myself and I'm acting in a manner that while it may seem normal to some of you is not normal for me. Infidelity changes people. I get it. But I don't like what I have changed into. The ons with OBS was the proverbial straw. If working with my ex helps them I'm working with my ex.

Thank you all. I'll try to let you know how things are going and if I seem rude or angry then I apologize but I'm just not looking to be nice about personal attacks on myself or even my ex any longer. She's an adulterer. A liar. But she's also my child's mother. I cannot be that guy that allows his son's mother to be constantly attacked especially when she is owning that bad behavior and attempting to right the wrong. Please give your honest advice but try to remember we are real people.

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You say no now. So did I. My FWW proved her worthiness And so here I am 7 years of R. Instead of no, consider saying highly unlikely. No means forever. You are also a gentleman and defend your ex as you should. On my original thread my FWW was treated brutally by others, even when we decided to R, it got worse. I was the target of barbs as was she. TAM folks can be brutal at times.

One night almost 7 years ago I fell asleep with my iPad on my original thread. My wife’s ipad died so she grabbed mine to look up a recipe, and there was my thread. She started reading what i and others posted and it hit her hard. She could not understand how I could have offered her R.

I wish you the best.


She will not even set up account on here due to what she experienced.
 

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I don’t know if this applies but it’s what I did after leaving a 45 year marriage with a serial cheater. I forgave myself for not handling everything perfectly — and that was very hard to do, and took awhile, because I have extremely high expectations for myself. But I eventually got there and if that’s at all an issue for you then I’m sure you’ll get there as well. You’re a very strong person and have handled this better than anyone. Hopefully, there are no lingering issues related to OBS. I felt from the beginning that she wanted to add you to her string for a number of reasons and I also felt at some point that would happen. Now it has and if it’s done and dusted and you’re past it — good for you. As for your exW, always remember that there are a fortunate few who do manage to change after destroying their marriage. Maybe she’s really one. You’ve done a great job of keeping an open mind as you’ve navigated all of this and obviously no one knows what the future holds. As always, a step at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,385 ·
You say no now. So did I. My FWW proved her worthiness And so here I am 7 years of R. Instead of no, consider saying highly unlikely. No means forever. You are also a gentleman and defend your ex as you should. On my original thread my FWW was treated brutally by others, even when we decided to R, it got worse. I was the target of barbs as was she. TAM folks can be brutal at times.

One night almost 7 years ago I fell asleep with my iPad on my original thread. My wife’s ipad died so she grabbed mine to look up a recipe, and there was my thread. She started reading what i and others posted and it hit her hard. She could not understand how I could have offered her R.

I wish you the best.


She will not even set up account on here due to what she experienced.
Wow man. I am happy for you. It's admirable that you two are working on R and I really pray it continues to be successful.

And maybe you're right. Maybe I should at least change my wording. I thought on your post for a few minutes after I read it and initially thought to myself that no way I would change the wording. But after dwelling on it I see that it is a small change in wording what harm could come to saying it that way instead of just no.

I think right now that small change closes a huge gap between myself and my ex that I'm not ready to narrow. Yes it's a small change but it's ramifications in my world are huge. Maybe I need to sit and think how much of my position on R is truly about what she did and my pain and how much of it is just another way to punish her.

I believe the decision not to R can and is made by the betrayed because it's the correct thing to do to heal and improve our lives. But just as I have been cognitive of people overtly attacking her for her infidelity it is possible I have so tightly shut that door as a form of punishment.

I went through this before. And still made the decision I was doing the right thing. And will I don't foresee a different decision it's possible at sometime in the near future I will need to give this a final honest consideration. Her hard work and the changes she has made haven't gone unnoticed. And when she reads this I know I run the risk of giving her false hope and I do not want to do that. But it is at least something I need to one day really think and pray about and have one last conversation with her about.

For the record, that won't be while I'm dealing with my current issue which is definitely spiritual issue. My spiritual well being is very important to me. It's a very personal thing and I'm having to learn to navigate this without the man I trusted most in the world. My father. I have lost an example of what I truly see as a strong caring God fearing honest man. Never spoke ill of anyone and that includes my ex. When my mom and sisters became so angry with my ex it was my father that counseled restraint and working toward forgiveness.

Anyway, thank you for the post. I will file this away and at the right time evaluate if I can make that change.



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My ex has proven that she is further along in this recovery process than myself. Her request to read this thread comes on the heels of a meeting between the two of us and my/our pastor (she occasionally attends the church with our son when it's her weekend and sits with my mother. Who is ok with this).
Simply put I'm struggling in a couple of areas and she was asked to assist since they overlap with our old relationship. She knows and has known about the thread for awhile so it's not new. Her reasoning, and believe me we tried to talk her out of it, is that only by reading it she can truly understand the damage. And with the understanding help us navigate a path through defining our new relationship. One that is void of her pinning away for R and me drifting aimlessly between anger, hurt , and self-pity. It's that simple.

I get that people have strong feelings about this and the above is a very simplified version of about ten hours of talking and high emotions. But this is a path she is choosing and I'm ok with it. While I value everyone's input ultimately it's our lives.

Now once again let me say this...

I am not looking to R.
I have no clue if R is in the future but my answer today is the same it has been.. no. And I cannot see a path that leads me there. So again. No R.

What I am looking for is peace. I'm not myself and I'm acting in a manner that while it may seem normal to some of you is not normal for me. Infidelity changes people. I get it. But I don't like what I have changed into. The ons with OBS was the proverbial straw. If working with my ex helps them I'm working with my ex.

Thank you all. I'll try to let you know how things are going and if I seem rude or angry then I apologize but I'm just not looking to be nice about personal attacks on myself or even my ex any longer. She's an adulterer. A liar. But she's also my child's mother. I cannot be that guy that allows his son's mother to be constantly attacked especially when she is owning that bad behavior and attempting to right the wrong. Please give your honest advice but try to remember we are real people.

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VR, you don't owe any explanations to anyone. It's your life, if this is what you need, regardless of the reason, no matter what happens in the future, so be it. People who don't like it can simply stop reading, your life is not entertainment for the rabble.
 

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I am copying this and sending it to her in a text. I think she needs to read this to prepare. We promised not speak about this except when we meet next weekend with the pastor. We all agreed this is her journey to travel alone. But I think a little advice is needed and as usual you said it better than I can.
I think that's a wise idea!

Believe me when I say this. I absolutely do not wish her any more pain. We really tried to dissuade her. But she is absolutely convinced that only by reading it will she better understand that time period from my point of view. Pain shopping? Maybe a little bit I sense she genuinely wants to fix something she broke and has no other motivation. At least I feel that way right now.
It's true she may be pain shopping a little, and I hope her motivation here is not "to help fix you" because in real life she can't do that. Only you can fix you. BUT...if she does take it in with an open heart and listen to what you wrote more than all the jibberjabber, I think it might help her to understand (to some degree) what you went through and understand you more. She knows you fairly well, so she may be able to say "Oh now I can see why he did that...!"

The other thing that's just 100% true is that this ongoing debate about whether to R or not is just background noise. For some people, adultery just IS the end of the marriage. It's a DEATH and you can't bring something back from the dead. For other people--a very select few, really--adultery is like a catalyst to grow and from that growth an entirely new relationship can be built. In your instance, I would say Ex-MrsVR is one of the few WS's who took the opportunity for personal growth, and good for her! But that doesn't suddenly bring life back into something that was declared dead. For you, @VintageRetro it sounds like that's how you are hardwired: betrayal on that level is just not something from which you are able to recover...and that is reasonable. No matter how much she grows or you grow, you may not ever be able to recover intimate, trusting love. Forgive her? Sure it sounds like you've done that already.

I also want to take the opportunity to say your insight has been so valuable to me. Thank you so much.
Nose Cheek Skin Lip Mouth


Okay, if Ex-MrsVR needs a compassionate ear and/or wants to talk, tell her she can PM (private message) me.
 

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It's a very personal thing and I'm having to learn to navigate this without the man I trusted most in the world. My father. I have lost an example of what I truly see as a strong caring God fearing honest man. Never spoke ill of anyone and that includes my ex. When my mom and sisters became so angry with my ex it was my father that counseled restraint and working toward forgiveness.
VR, not true. You STILL can talk to your Dad (just not like he is sitting there). I talk to my Dad all the time and he's passed over 20 years ago.
You didn't lose the example -- he set that example and gave you guidelines your ENTIRE LIFE! You know how he would help you or say to you -- you just have to listen. For issues you have you need his guidance, think about what he would say to you (and you KNOW what he would say -- he's been that example for you forever).
I know it's not the same as him being here, but he still can guide you in life by the example of HIS life.
 

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How will his former wife being subjected to all this vitriol help him heal? Surely better for him to tell her himself what it did to him?
Diana, I totally agree about the destructive force of the vitriol but I sincerely hope she can skirt past that and draw out the key parts. As I said before, I do think VR has been relatively fair in his posts about his wife. Maybe she should just read his posts in full and be selective about others.
 

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I think your XW reading this should be fine. Also, you might encourage her to post here. There might be some useful penance for her to lay out exactly what she did, why she did it, how she is working on herself, and how she feels about what she did to you.
 

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I think your XW reading this should be fine. Also, you might encourage her to post here. There might be some useful penance for her to lay out exactly what she did, why she did it, how she is working on herself, and how she feels about what she did to you.
I disagree, I am thinking any sort of penance would be between VR and his XW, not throwing herself on the mercy of the crowd (y) (n)
VR is handing his situation with a helluva lot of grace all things considered.
 

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I appreciate your responses. And I have really not read a single thing I disagree with. But I need to clarify what I'm feeling because I think I may have associated it too much with OBS.

There is something deeper here that is troubling. It really goes beyond my ex or other betrayed spouse. I'm willing to admit it has been triggered by Jim's death but it's beyond that too.

Ons with OBS was everything I imagined it would be but afterwards it was very empty. I see my ex twice a week. Everything had gotten to a point where we were as good as we would get being exes. No real longing or missing her on my end. No puppy dog sad eyes on hers. Now there is fear when I see her. I can't put my finger on it. I'm not afraid she will find someone else. The same with some friends that have drifted away. I fear their not being here. I believe another death in my circle so to speak may have me dwelling on finality. Not just death but the finality that comes with things coming to an end. I realize this is not making a lot of sense and is starting to sound really esoteric but maybe this will help .. in a way I am struck by my own mortality right now. But it extends to... Friendships ending... Relationships ending... Hell even jobs coming to an end .

I apologize I just don't have the words to express it. That's why I believe this is more a crisis of faith right now than anything. These are conversationa I would have had with my father.

Thanks everyone for your opinions and input. I just needed to get this out no matter how chaotic.

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Well part of this is obviously coming to terms with ending, probably because of the story of the friend dying. Thing is it's as much a part of life as everything so you have to come to terms with it. Everything in life ends, even if your ex didn't cheat your marriage would still have ended one day. Year later I am sure but it would have. It's also probably some of the unresolved trauma from everything that happened to you.

Personally I think you had sex with the ONS as an excuse so in your own mind you would be on the same level as your ex, not that I think it's the case. Thats probably really why you feel guilty, because yeah it was using her. I think deep down you really want to get back with your ex, you just can't get over what she did. I have read a ton of these stories, like a ton, and anyone who is as far out as you are and has not really moved on is usually not going to. At this point I think your best bet is to go all in with R, it's what you want. I seem to remember writing the same thing almost a year ago though. Maybe it will work out, or maybe you will get it out of your system. But at least it will truly be over after that. You should deal with whatever is blocking you from doing that in your head, and do it better then having meaningless ONSs to even the playing field or whatever it is you are trying to do.

Thing is at this point you have stopped. Emotionally your life is not growing. By deciding you are not going to R when I think it's pretty clear you want to, your progress has stopped. So either do it, or really move on. I mean if you were trully moving on, given you are divorced, then feeling guilty about being with someone else and trying to help your ex understand you pain makes absolutely no sense. No way you wouldn't feel guilty having a ONS, what is it more then 2 years out? Besides, it makes no sense to keep picking at the wound.

You two should have totally separate emotional lives at this point and really only be interacting about your child. Instead you have continued to create situations where you invest emotionally in each other, from moving her in when your kid was coming to now going to see the pastor together. Stop lying to yourself and just go for it already.

You can't be "lukewarm" about this. You either move on or you need to focus on fixing it. Don't end up like one of these people who just lives with the ghosts of the past. It's a waste of time and causes you to suffer.

One thing I would say is it's troubling that she needs to read this thread to really understand what she did. Like most WS she really struggle with empathy that much is obvious, but it was obvious when she thought her boyfriend had tried to kill you and she went to see him to yell at him.

Between you an me character is a hell of a lot more important then history or familiarity but it's your life. I suspect you won't hear a lot of voices warning you as much and people like your pastor are going to be pushing the healing narrative and all that. Again reading tons of stories like this have made me cynical.
 

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Well part of this is obviously coming to terms with ending, probably because of the story of the friend dying. Thing is it's as much a part of life as everything so you have to come to terms with it. Everything in life ends, even if your ex didn't cheat your marriage would still have ended one day. Year later I am sure but it would have. It's also probably some of the unresolved trauma from everything that happened to you.

Personally I think you had sex with the ONS as an excuse so in your own mind you would be on the same level as your ex, not that I think it's the case. Thats probably really why you feel guilty, because yeah it was using her. I think deep down you really want to get back with your ex, you just can't get over what she did. I have read a ton of these stories, like a ton, and anyone who is as far out as you are and has not really moved on is usually not going to. At this point I think your best bet is to go all in with R, it's what you want. I seem to remember writing the same thing almost a year ago though. Maybe it will work out, or maybe you will get it out of your system. But at least it will truly be over after that. You should deal with whatever is blocking you from doing that in your head, and do it better then having meaningless ONSs to even the playing field or whatever it is you are trying to do.

Thing is at this point you have stopped. Emotionally your life is not growing. By deciding you are not going to R when I think it's pretty clear you want to, your progress has stopped. So either do it, or really move on. I mean if you were trully moving on, given you are divorced, then feeling guilty about being with someone else and trying to help your ex understand you pain makes absolutely no sense. No way you wouldn't feel guilty having a ONS, what is it more then 2 years out? Besides, it makes no sense to keep picking at the wound.

You two should have totally separate emotional lives at this point and really only be interacting about your child. Instead you have continued to create situations where you invest emotionally in each other, from moving her in when your kid was coming to now going to see the pastor together. Stop lying to yourself and just go for it already.

You can't be "lukewarm" about this. You either move on or you need to focus on fixing it. Don't end up like one of these people who just lives with the ghosts of the past. It's a waste of time and causes you to suffer.

One thing I would say is it's troubling that she needs to read this thread to really understand what she did. Like most WS she really struggle with empathy that much is obvious, but it was obvious when she thought her boyfriend had tried to kill you and she went to see him to yell at him.

Between you an me character is a hell of a lot more important then history or familiarity but it's your life. I suspect you won't hear a lot of voices warning you as much and people like your pastor are going to be pushing the healing narrative and all that. Again reading tons of stories like this have made me cynical.
I get what you mean. And I understand your view point. The only thing I would push back on is that there has been no R talk and no push to R by either though I'm sure the ex does want to R still.

As for needing to read my thread, I don't care what her motivation is at this point about I absolutely have no desire to hurt her or anyone for that matter. She's been warned and still has chosen to read it. If it helps either if in some way great if not ... I have not lost anything.

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I get what you mean. And I understand your view point. The only thing I would push back on is that there has been no R talk and no push to R by either though I'm sure the ex does want to R still.

As for needing to read my thread, I don't care what her motivation is at this point about I absolutely have no desire to hurt her or anyone for that matter. She's been warned and still has chosen to read it. If it helps either if in some way great if not ... I have not lost anything.

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I know you are not TALKING about R, it's not really about R at this point, it's about moving on. Your actions kind of show you don't want to. Again you continually set up things in your relationship that keep you emotionally connected. I think you both are kind of hanging around each other looking for a way. My point is if you refuse to move on, then maybe you should try to R and see what happens.

At this point, I think you are hoping for a fresh start, but I just don't think there is a way because neither of you have really worked to disconnect enough that you let go of all the baggage. The baggage is still ever present, and that is clear because of how much it motivates both of you still. If you really move on, and your motivation changes then life just cycles to your present concerns. When that happens this stuff gets pushed into memories and it's not the cloud around your life as it is now. At that point if your path puts you together in a few years later, maybe, maybe it's kinda like a reset, but even then the old doubts can also creep in. I think much of that depends on if the old red flags show up again. But at least then it is somewhat fresh.

In your case you have been and really still are in an extended separation with her. This is why many of us didn't think living with her was such a great idea. It's no wonder you are suffering. You just have never really moved on, you won't even allow the possibility of hope in moving on. That's the thing, moving on isn't just saying you don't want to R. It's also having hope there is the potential to find love, joy and a life with someone else. You won't allow for the possibility, and being someone who was cheated on, after I purposed by the way, I know until I really gave up on that relationship. You even have a ready made women who you like and is into you and you set up artificial boundaries to make it wrong in your mind to even pursue that. Why do you think that is?

Honestly not allowing yourself to hope can be a crutch because secretly you still want to be with your ex still. I get it, for a long time I was still imagining what might have been, for instance, while I was driving home from work. Something would happen and I would think I wish I could tell her. I wonder what she would be thinking at this moment. When I had an image of a relationship in my minds eye, she was the default person I was with. Until I really gave up and started to believe that when she cheated our relationship died with no possibility of any future, I had no chance to move on. I was stuck. Even though I cut contact it was almost a year before I was truly read to let it die. And like I said, I CUT CONTACT, if I was still interacting emotionally with her, not a chance. I, like you, didn't date to hook up. I dated to find a wife, so I get it. The whole thing was sacred to me, and very hard to give up.

So since you don't seem willing to do that, I think you have two choices. You try to R with your ex and see what happens, but in that case you need to really forgive and not sulk for years like a lot of folks do. You don't want to be one of these folks writing 10 years later that it's the first thing you think about, or still asking how she did it. Just accept it, truly forgive, in a Christ like way. As in the old has passed away and she is a new person. Then you need to pursue your life and her with passion, not trepidation. You need to hope and believe in the potential for joy.

Now even as I am saying that I would still warn you, that you need to be sure she really has changed and gets it. The truth is people who cheat, and in the cold and calculated way she did are able to do that because they are missing something in them emotionally. It's really hard to fix that and in a sense they may well grow to understand that intellectually but I think for most they just don't have it in them to emotionally.

The second choice is just to do what you are doing, which is you just remain stuck, and unfulfilled. I think it's clear that you still have the dream of a family and wife, you just don't want to believe that is an option for you. I get it, I felt the same way for a time. It's your life and if you want to stay stuck forever you can, but I would remind you that time is one resource we can't get back.

You are stuck because what you really want is something you can't have. The marriage to the person she presented herself to be is the only option you see as a potential happy one. You want the young family with the new and faithful wife. For a time she may have felt like that before she cheated, but she was always far from faithful. Maybe she didn't even understand her nature, but the ease in which she pursued he affair shows who she was and what her mindset was. This is the part of her nature she will need to spend the rest of her life fighting against. But it also illustrates that you are chasing someone thing that never was. So you can't go back to it anyway.

This is what you got. Look at any infidelity site, and if there over 20 pages you will find an OP whose real problem isn't even the cheating, it's that refuse to accept what they got.

So you can still have the young family with the faithful wife, but it will be with someone else. Or you can have a marriage with someone who cheated on you but reformed. The cheating will always be a part of the relationship, doesn't mean it can't be one that you get joy of, but how much joy will be dependent on her but also you.

Most of all VR you've got to find your courage here. You have it in you, you have shown it all through this thread, but you want a good life you need to find it and act on it either way. There is not cavalry. You can pray in the garden, but the burden isn't going to be lifted. It sucks, but it is what it is. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS. IT'S A CHOICE.
 
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