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Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Mark1952] #419111
02/03/17 08:23 PM
02/03/17 08:23 PM
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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Thanks again for your wise and heartfelt words, Mark. Very inspiring.

"What keeps a couple going together is being committed to solving the problem when the feelings aren't there, because there are days when being in love isn't even on the radar once a relationship is beyond the first few years."

I've told my wife over and over during and after the affair that romantic love isn't a permanent condition in marriage. It's just not the natural "state of things," particularly after 11 years of being together. But she cannot seem to wake up to this reality. She still wants the limerance of the affair, that chemical rush. It's similar to how part of me still wants the dopamine rush provided by my porn addiction.

And, yes, as a recovering alcoholic I am fundamentally aware of the addiction of the affair. And that is why I am always mentally preparing myself for the possibility that she may attempt contact or even -- shudder to think -- restart the affair, emotionally or otherwise.

My short term plan this weekend is to remain positive, spend some quality time with my son and try not to mope, hover, or in any way overcompensate with my wife. I'm going to give her space without it seeming like the cold shoulder. I'm not going to ask her to cuddle, or have sex, or anything. Just go with the flow like a twig on the arms of a mighty stream, to quote the immortal John Candy.

If she wants to spend time with me, great. If she'd rather be alone, go to her room and isolate, fine. If she wants to go to bed early with our son, fine. If she wants to rush to work in the morning, fine. If Saturday night she doesn't want to go out with me (we're supposed to be having a date), fine. If Sunday she doesn't want to go anywhere or have her mom watch our son (which she's supposed to do), fine. I'm going to concentrate on keeping things light, functioning, and positive. I want to relax after a long week and in preparation of next week.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: betrayedhusband] #419120
02/03/17 11:16 PM
02/03/17 11:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,309
Colorado
LovingAnyway Offline
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Hi, BH...

Originally Posted By: betrayedhusband
Last night got home and wife was very upset. We got to talking...

In short:
1) She wishes the affair never happened Share with her that wishing isn't real. If she wants to save herself and the marriage, she has to search out the path, the real steps she has to take. Just as you have to take steps to heal and save the marriage.
2) She's feeling suicidal, hopeless Instead of telling her to get counseling--agree with her. Tell her you understand, that you imagine you'd feel the same way. Which is why redemption is vital.
3) She thinks she is a "flawed" person who "loves too much and needs too much love" Share with her that her chosen perspective of herself may be what is flawed, not her. Ask her if maybe she uses infatuation like a drug?
4) She can't understand why I am being so nice to her and so forgiving... she "doesn't deserve it Agree with her. She doesn't deserve it. No one does. Real love is a gift we give each other every single day. Tell her that you being nice to her is about you, not her. It's the code you live by that she can't earn your treatment of her. You act from your choice to love. If she doesn't earnestly get started on the redemption road, you can choose not to love and will no longer love her over time.
5) She is committed to the marriage but doesn't know what the future holds Tell her you don't believe she is committed to the marriage and you understand she thinks she is. Commitment takes action, searching out the way to heal you, her and the marriage. When you experience those actions, her plan, you'll believe her.
6) She thought she could just "skate over" the affair and its repercussions but she is having a difficult time doing so Express your gratitude for her realizing this. Share how her perspective doubled the pain and betrayal...because it did and compounds the pain, ongoing.
7) She sees hints of my "old" personality bleeding through and it scares her Tell her you get that she still chooses to believe you could be a source of fear for her, for her choices. And that terrifies you.
8) she thought that sex would help bring us together but because of my ED it is only driving us further apart
9) she gave me the ILYBINILY speech AGAIN (almost verbatim to false reconciliation speech)

I told her, with regards to the sex, that my PA was due in part to what she told me about the OM. That it had created a mental block, perhaps moreso than the PIED. That I would need time to recover from this.
I also told her that I was concerned about her suicidal ideations, and I didn't want her to hurt herself. I asked her to talk to her therapist about this pronto.
I told her that I wasn't going to give up the marriage and that I was fully committed to making this work.

She shut down. I had to go the library to take care of some fines, etc. Brought her back a couple of books. As she was preparing to put our son to bed, she said good night and I looked at her with hurt in my eyes. She asked what was wrong and I said, nothing other than you don't love me and don't want to be intimate with me any longer. She said that neither of those things were true.


I'm sorry I can't remember if I'm doing this right. I haven't quoted in years!

smile

I made part of your post in read to highlight the red flag for you. WW is still in the fog, for real. You know that. Do not attempt non-verbal communication of what is your obligation to verbalize. And when you verbalize, own it. No "you" statements...that generates more fog. Do you want to example love? Requires ownership, honesty and trust.

What you want most from your partner is what you must ensure you are giving. You may have thought you were doing an honesty driveby--instead, you were attempting to make her feel, believe, change what is yours--which is exactly what she does.

Stop. Put in your code that you will not react to her--you will act from your code. Make it true. This part of healing is essential and all yours. She can't do that part for you.

What you said--could it be you meant "I miss feeling loved by you in many ways?" Am I close?

When you feel resentment, frustration, make those simple sentences that you mention in between, "Is tuna okay for dinner?" and "How is the book you're reading?"

Own it. It's yours anyway. Fight the fog. Seems like it has sucked you in and taken you over.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: LovingAnyway] #419122
02/03/17 11:30 PM
02/03/17 11:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 159
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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Tonight got home from work. Gave wife hug and told her I missed her. She said nothing. Instead she went to her bedroom laid down and wept. I tried to comfort her and she didn't respond. I asked her if she wanted to be alone. She said she didn't know. I have a 7 yr old to take care of, so I put a blanket on her, dimmed the lights and left her. Made some tea, grabbed a book, and say down with my boy.

No idea what to do. What to say. She doesn't want to talk right now. She is in the throes of affair withdrawal and depression. Apprehension and doubt about the marriage. I'm just sitting here waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Trying to stay positive. Trying to stick to my "code."

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: betrayedhusband] #419130
02/04/17 02:58 AM
02/04/17 02:58 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,980
holdingontoit Offline
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Less talk. when she wants to be alone, leave her alone. Stop thinking that it is your job to fix her or heal her or make her pain go away. It isn't your job, and it hurts your chances for reconciliation when you try to assume ownership of her side of the street.

When she rejects your attempts to connect, walk away with a smile on your face and say "OK, I'll go play with the kids" or "OK, I'll go do a load of laundry." Do not continue interacting with her. If she pushes you away, have the pride to go away and leave her to her own devices.

It is not your job to make her withdrawal pains go away. It is her job to work her way through them. Yes, you can try to help. If she accepts your help, great. But if she rejects your help, respect her decision. If she wants to work through it on her own, let her.

I know it is terrifying to not intervene. To not try to help her. To not try to control the outcome. But that is the key point. You cannot control the outcome. Stop wasting energy pretending you can.

Trust us, she will respect you more and is more likely to choose recovery with you if you are strong enough to resist the urge to intervene. That is your job. To summon the strength and courage to leave her alone in her pain if she chooses to walk her path by herself. You aren't proving your love when you try to overcome her rejection. You are only proving your weakness. Your inability to resist trying to save her. Be strong. Resist.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: betrayedhusband] #419132
02/04/17 03:03 AM
02/04/17 03:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,063
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline
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The rush, the addiction isn't romantic love. It was once called infatuation. It is basically what is called limerence.

Romantic love, on the other hand, is something else and isn't really about dopamine rush and obsession.


Triangle Theory of Love - Robert Sternberg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangular_theory_of_love


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Mark1952] #419195
02/05/17 04:02 PM
02/05/17 04:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,084
SFB Offline
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BH:

She is talking to the OM again.

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: SFB] #419226
02/06/17 08:12 AM
02/06/17 08:12 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 1
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nativeborn Offline
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58, married 20 yrs, One DD age 11 soon to be 12, suspected affair last March 2016. Was just gut instinct at first.

I made 3-4 confrontations from July which were met with denials. I didn't have funds for PI, but got VAR and GPS in mid August.

Over 300 recordings, some more incriminating that others. e.g. Seems she liked public sex in his truck. While she didn't have relations with him in vehicle, she did it in a parking garage, it was like an echo chamber where I captured her climaxing.

Still denying it was her, tape caught her saying "Dude" multiple times, "you better have that big thing ready for me" she can't explain who dude is or why passenger sent in her car was in reclining position or why I found pubic hair in seat?

When I initially confronted her in July, she went from giving me sex every two weeks to sex almost every day. While enjoyable, it was what she said during sex that disturbed me. She said "go down there and look, I know you like that because you said you did". Only problem is after 20 years of marriage, I may in fact enjoy that, but I never said it.

This went on for a couple weeks and she would say, " and don't be thinking I tried this on anyone else" Damm, what else am I supposed to think?

We have seen MC together, not too productive. I gave her MB questionnaire on emotional needs at least 6 months ago and never received it back.

I went as far as telling OMW about their A and he has since moved to different job, but same company. He still lives less than 10 minutes from previous job with my WS.

I am conflicted about whether to stay for the sake of my daughter or leave WS?

WS has never admitted a thing, never shown remorse and from November up until mid December seemed to put A on the back burner and committed to working on us. I only placed a new VAR and same GPS device back in her vehicle last week.

I made that decision after changes in our sex life, instead of full menu since Oct, she now only wants penetration, no foreplay, nothing else. After a shopping trip, we placed bags in back of her car. There is a blanket folded up. I didn't think anything about it until she goes overboard explaining the reason it is there.

I plan on capturing data later this week to verify my suspicion that she has resumed A.
edit reclining seat and found pubic hair discovered pre VAR and GPS placement.

Last edited by nativeborn; 02/06/17 08:14 AM.
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: nativeborn] #419228
02/06/17 01:48 PM
02/06/17 01:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,084
SFB Offline
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SFB  Offline
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NativeBorn:

Sorry that you have to be here. Sorry that your WW is not committing to recovery properly.

Would you like to start your own thread?

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: SFB] #419238
02/06/17 03:03 PM
02/06/17 03:03 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 6,418
whatsupdoc? Offline
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From your experience with addiction, I'm sure you absolutely know that you can't tell someone how to think, you can't tell someone how to feel. ESPECIALLY a grown arsed adult.

quote:I've told my wife over and over during and after the affair that romantic love isn't a permanent condition in marriage.

Here we call this "BS fog" or "trying to educate a WS". In therapy this can be seen as "parenting" or wishful thinking. You simply can't control her natural desires, thought process or amount of empathy she will have for you or anyone else. As much as we all try this at some point - over and again - it always leads to certain failure.

It's just not the natural "state of things," particularly after 11 years of being together. But she cannot seem to wake up to this reality.

You are judging her ability to "wake up". You are putting your moral code onto her. She may absolutely LOVE the lustful leftover feelings from the affair. She may not want to "wake up". Affairs thrive on drama. LIMBO is drama. Having an overly attentive spouse is drama.


She still wants the limerance of the affair, that chemical rush. It's similar to how part of me still wants the dopamine rush..."


You are again trying to untangle and judge her motivations and desires. This is not a healthy sign. In the end we don't even really know WHAT a WS wants or is thinking.

You have to wait until she shows you with her words AND ACTIONS that she wants the marriage in full. Until that happens - and don't feel beat up - it's not just this thread or you, I see it actively encouraged on a lot of the threads around here lately, you are trying to catch soap bubbles with a butterfly net. Trust me.

Last edited by whatsupdoc?; 02/06/17 03:13 PM.

Me: 50
XH: 13 - well, does emotional age count?
DD1: 24
DD2: 20
30 year partnership...

M: Dec, 1987
Bomb: May 12, 2014
D: Oct, 2015
Ratz.
I am learning how to surf!
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: whatsupdoc?] #419336
02/08/17 12:51 PM
02/08/17 12:51 PM
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Blair Offline
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Have you confirmed whether your wife is communicating with the OM again? I think that suggestion explains a lot of her behavior. And you need to find out without discussing it at all with your wife.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Blair] #419696
02/24/17 01:47 AM
02/24/17 01:47 AM
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Blair Offline
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How are you doing? Any updates?

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Blair] #419910
03/03/17 06:49 PM
03/03/17 06:49 PM
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Posts: 159
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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Sorry for the long silence guys. Here is where things stand.

Sexually: Some nights I am a sexual dynamo, even without the "help". So there's definite improvement there. Other nights I can't keep it up. I can get it up no problem, but then my mind interferes. A lot of the interference comes from triggers, mainly imagining her with another man. She is being very patient with me about this. We have sex once a day now, used to be once a month. Last night, I was unable to maintain an erection and out of frustration I ended up leaving our bed and going to the guest room to get some space. I didn't slam doors or anything, just excused myself and left. That prompted our discussion this morning. I told her that my sexual dysfunction is the result of triggers that I have no control over, and that my frustration over this is sometimes so great that I need to be alone to work through it. Which brings me to...

Emotionally: Personally, I am remaining very positive. Trying to stay happy and goal oriented, patient and supporting. My wife? Here we go... She is saying she is clinically depressed, that she went through a traumatic experience. She communicated this to me again this morning. She says she doesn't understand how I can forgive her and remain with her, but she is appreciative and is sorry for what she put me through and continues to put me through. She cries every day. Sometimes her ability to communicate is rotten, other times she really opens up. It depends. We don't talk about our relationship every day. This morning we did, but it had been several weeks. She said she "tried to start a new life and failed." But she left her AP to return to me because she wants to be with me, and she loves me. But she still feels broken and used and guilty, and I suspect that she is feeling hurt and rejected by the AP, who was clearly just using her, though she was very much infatuated with him.

I told her I cannot help but feel rejected and hurt that she is depressed right now, that it has something to do with me. She said that it didn't, but then admitted that she is fearful I will go back to my old habits. Admittedly, there have been a few moments where she has talked about her feelings and I have left the room. Not stormed out, but merely walked away because it hurt too much to hear some things.

At the same time, she doesn't want me to "shut her out" because she feels she cannot "get through this without" me. She also says her depression is something that I cannot help her with, that she has to work through it.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: betrayedhusband] #419911
03/03/17 07:30 PM
03/03/17 07:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,386
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Miranda  Offline
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Your wife needs to be in therapy dude.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Miranda] #419912
03/03/17 07:39 PM
03/03/17 07:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,966
South
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Oblivious2678 Offline
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^^^Agreed. You can't fix her problems.

Keep focus on bettering yourself. Your positive actions and not resorting back to your old habits are the only way you can help her.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Oblivious2678] #419913
03/03/17 08:17 PM
03/03/17 08:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,980
holdingontoit Offline
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Stop focusing on the "help". Use the help. Every day. Be a dynamo. Every day. Your joy and confidence will increase. That will make you more attractive to your wife. Her joy and satisfaction will increase. The triggers will decrease. Win-win for both of you. Isn't that the goal?

If your goal is "perform without 'help'" why does the "help" matter? Are you trying to compete with OM? A fool's errand. There is no OM now. You are competing with a figment in your mind. Declare victory and end the game.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: holdingontoit] #419914
03/03/17 08:48 PM
03/03/17 08:48 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 159
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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"Are you trying to compete with OM? A fool's errand. There is no OM now. You are competing with a figment in your mind. Declare victory and end the game."

Yes, like a fool I'm trying to compete with the OM. Absolutely. And yes, I am competing with a figment in my mind. Thank you for the reminder.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Miranda] #419915
03/03/17 08:51 PM
03/03/17 08:51 PM
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Posts: 159
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Miranda
Your wife needs to be in therapy dude.


She was in therapy but stopped going prior to the onset of this depression. Quite possibly it is time for her to consider going again.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: betrayedhusband] #419916
03/03/17 08:53 PM
03/03/17 08:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,386
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Way past time... seriously


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Miranda] #419917
03/03/17 09:12 PM
03/03/17 09:12 PM
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Posts: 3,966
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Oblivious2678 Offline
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She needs to plan on going for a long period of time. This is not a quick fix.

Are you or have you been to counseling as well? I would advise it to help build your self confidence.

Both of you are fractured right now. Even if only one of you were fractured, the marriage cannot heal in a healthy manner. You two need individual help...separately. I believe the individual healing process can help heal your marriage as well if you confide in each other what you are learning about yourselves.

This is not a sprint for either one of you, more so your wife. Be prepared for this to take several months. It's not a quick fix with sex and sweeping triggers under a carpet.

Your marriage can be repaired. Give it time.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Oblivious2678] #419922
03/04/17 01:52 AM
03/04/17 01:52 AM
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Blair Offline
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I agree with IC for both of you.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Blair] #419935
03/04/17 07:31 PM
03/04/17 07:31 PM
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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Wife mentioned - on her own - going to couples counseling. Thoughts?
I'm currently in individual therapy. My therapist recommended
MC as well.

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: betrayedhusband] #419936
03/04/17 07:40 PM
03/04/17 07:40 PM
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Orchid2 Offline
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HI
Originally Posted By: betrayedhusband
Wife mentioned - on her own - going to couples counseling. Thoughts?
I'm currently in individual therapy. My therapist recommended
MC as well.


Be cautious as to the motive for this request.

Recommend you go but be cautious. Let her do the speaking and make sure your MC is savy, able to see through WS speak and help you both work in behalf of the M vs trying to please the WS.

This is important because a bad MC can be easily manipulated by a WS.

We had a very good MC and it pissed the WS off big time, yet we kept going and the WS kept talking. It was a vicious cycle until the WS stopped. At the time, his motive was to make me look bad. Ok, I had things to work on but none of them justified WST having an A and all that drama. So the MC would skillfully refocus each time WST went off the rails. Hm......... while I liked that, WST didn't. Eventually it stopped and well....so did WST's progress.

It was odd because those sessions were mostly WST talking and me listening. Seems I was ok with that. WST would come out and say he was never coming back and the next month when I made my appointment, he would say he had to come along to make sure I wasn't lying. How ironic.

Still the MC had given WST the tools to improve but WST really didn't want that. WST wanted someone to agree with his WS mindset and throw me under the bus. Our MC was smarter than that and gave me time on the side to help me through those horrible times.



jmo,
Orchid

Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Orchid2] #419938
03/04/17 10:33 PM
03/04/17 10:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,063
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline
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BH,

Frankly, you seem to be on the typical path of recovery.

Good days and bad.
Ups and downs.
Intense longing for a bright future followed by a desire to just blow the whole thing up.

Ultimately what leads to the best possible marriage when the roller coaster stops is what you each do going forward, day by day, step by step, time after time. It is about doing what makes the marriage work better for both of you, with mistakes and failure,s just as in any marriage, that is most likely to end up with you both happily ever after.

Whether through a MC, who actually knows how to find answers without a predetermined agenda or though some self help or directed program, you will ultimately find the best possible results if you do what makes a marriage stronger and more satisfying for both of you. To that end, you must BOTH identify what makes it work, for yourself and for the other. Then commitment needs to be to make those things happen instead of sticking it out no matter how bad things are.

You have to both agree that the other can talk about not just what is working, but what isn't, always with an eye toward what the correction might be. Voicing dissatisfaction without the solution is complaining and complaining seldom brings you closer together. Therefore, you have to each be able to identify what you want AND what you DON'T want from the other. Then you each need to be able to communicate that to the other in a way that can be understood. Then you must each commit to making it work that way.

Marriage isn't a zero sum game. It is about becoming a team. You don't have to lose for her to win and she doesn't have to lose for you to win. When a team wins, the whole team wins. It isn't even looking for those win-win deals. It is about winning together. Winners win no matter who hits the home run or who strikes out 3 times that day. When one is having a bad day, the other carries the weight. When one hits it out of the park, the other celebrates the victory. Neither compares what anyone on any other team might have done to their own or their spouse's latest at bat.

Communication is required but must always seek to understand before demanding to be understood. It's more important that you don't hurt each other than it is that you fix everything. In fact, if you never "fix" anything, if you only do what brings you closer together, your marriage will flourish, in spite of things that are still broken.

That said, a marriage has to be between two whole people. If either of you only feels complete by some action of the other, you can't hope to have a sharing and caring relationship. So, each of you must get well, support each other in the process if necessary and then meld the two functional people into one functioning marriage.

The secret to the most successful marriage repair programs is learning to communicate and accept what is being communicated. The best ones teach you both how to use the same vocabulary to communicate so that you each can understand the other. The word "blue" doesn't give me enough to work with. Saying "blue instead of red" still doesn't let me know if you mean the walls in the living room should be blue or the car that was driving crazy this morning on the highway was a blue SUV. Most misunderstandings are not about apples and oranges but about apples and folding chairs.

She has a context and you have a context for everything that each of you tries to communicate. The problem is that men and women don't typically share a universal context. So she says she wants more "intimacy" and he says the same. She means she wants him to share more details of his life with her verbally (intimate conversation) and he means he wants her naked in bed for some great sex with few if any limits. (Hot damn)

Both say they want sex to be spontaneous. She means that she wants to feel connected before getting into bed and that it should follow a period of feeling safe and valued. He means she should show up naked with beer and hot wings.

If you visit a MC, ask what sort of model or method they follow. If they don't know, look for another. Ask if they know what percentage of couples that see him/her report significant improvement in the relationship. Again, inability to answer indicates someone who has a hard time establishing any sort of metric for success. If he can't tell you when he helped someone else, how is he going to help you succeed in improving your marriage.

One suggestion I almost always make to couples is that they find some sort of seminar or weekend workshop, often with follow up sessions or continuing support and additional resources. Most seem bit pricey up front, but even the most expensive is cheaper than a divorce. There are many of these workshops. Two of them I am very familiar with and if you are interested, I can point you to either or both.

Resist comparing what your recovery looks like compared to anyone else's recovery or lack of recovery. That sort of thinking at some websites leads to a kind of elite mentality in which only those who hit specific markers or way points are doing it right. In an atmosphere of few fully recovered marriages it can lead to ongoing second guessing and assuming failure even when making progress.

The comparing or competing with OM thing is a tough one. What you have to realize is that she was never in love with "him". She had an affair with a fantasy. Every aspect was a fantasy as affair partners only ever need to be exactly what the other expects. They don't have to share a life together when one or both are sick, when the bills aren't paid because the company went out of business or when the dishes are all dirt and the only way to eat dinner is to go out or order a pizza. Affair partners dress up for each other and dress for each other. They listen to each others music and eat what the other likes. They only get together when they want to be their most romantic and flirty and sexy and well groomed. They don't wake up next to each other after three days of throwing up because of an illness or at the end of a double shift that seemed to result in undoing everything done the day before.

OM was "better" when he needed to be because she decided exactly what she wanted him to be and he only had to be THAT at that exact instant. He didn't have to help clean up around the house so she could go out for dinner. He didn't have to wait for her while she decided what to wear and didn't have to see her when she came in from working in the garden all afternoon. He didn't have to clean the garage before she agreed to have dinner with him or watch the latest episode of some reality show while the game was on. He was a blank piece of paper and she wrote down what he was, who he was, what was best about him. All he had to do was not prove she was wrong for a couple hours at a time.

During my wife's affair I actually found a notebook. There were two pages on which she ran a side by side comparison of me and OM. I'm sure we've all seen the process. You list the pros and cons for two choices and see which one has the most pros with the fewest cons. The thing is that in an affair those comparisons end up being OM's pros and your cons. The list ends up being all the things that are good about OM, discounting any admittedly poor qualities (He is a serial cheater but he'll be different with me. He drinks too much, but if he was with me I could get him to stay home instead of hitting the bar every night).

On the other side of the ledger are all the things you ever did wrong, including the stuff you were even aware of having anything to do with. It is assumed that you should know exactly what she wanted and when you didn't answer the phone because you were busy, you might not have known that she needed you desperately at that moment in time, but she knew and she logged it as a failure to be there when she needed you. BTW, she probably never even thought of it more than once before OM appeared, but now she is comparing her fantasy with the real you and you MUST fall short. If you don't fall short, then what she is doing is horribly wrong, unfair and being a terrible person.

You don't have to compete with OM because he was never a real person. At the same time, avoid comparing her with the girls of porn because they aren't real either. More importantly, you don't either of you have to compete with the recovery (or failed recovery) of any other couple.

I think Orchid said something that is paramount. He was given what he needed to be the man she could stay with but did nothing to improve. The real lesson isn't that someone else didn't improve. She hit the end because he didn't improve, but here's the lesson, unless you improve, how long does your wife let you float? She needs to improve too and if she doesn't you might just leave her for good. But unless you fix your side of the deal and make yourself better than before, it might just be a matter of time before she decides she is done or finds her next "better" in the next cubical. You don't have to be someone you are not. You just have to be the best you that you can be. You are, after all, the one she married.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: Mark1952] #419970
03/06/17 04:34 PM
03/06/17 04:34 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,980
holdingontoit Offline
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holdingontoit  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 6,980
As usual, Mark's post should be added to the Articles folder.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: reconciliation ups and downs [Re: holdingontoit] #419999
03/06/17 09:43 PM
03/06/17 09:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 159
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betrayedhusband Offline OP
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betrayedhusband  Offline OP
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Thank you again Mark for your very wise words. Much here to think over, ruminate, absorb, and put into action.

I'm continually troubled by my ED. It's been almost 3 months since I watched porn. Last night I broke down and masturbated after an unsuccessful sex session with the wife. I was still turned on but she didn't want to continue after my initial bout with Mr. Limp.

Some of it is that she wants almost exclusively to be in missionary position as she finds that most pleasurable. I'm struggling with this, as my porn habit has left me visually stimulated-oriented. I like to see her body while we are having sex, and missionary position pretty much negates this. Some nights I can maintain the erection either with the help or by just trying to focus on pleasure and sensation, but the lack of visual stimulation, coupled with emergent thoughts of her with another man (and her complaints that she needs to be in a certain position in order for my penis to be able to reach her sweet spot -- indicating that my penis isn't quite long enough to do the job without some effort on her part), basically turns my hard member into a fat slug.

The "help" helps -- and I've considered using a penis ring for the times when I'm not using it (it's painfully expensive and I don't want to become dependent on it). I'm trying to incorporate from CBT into my thought patterns, again just trying to stay in the moment, not obsess about orgasms, just enjoy the physical pleasure, trying to train myself to derive stimulation and arousal from basic, non-porn things, like normal sensations during sex. But it's difficult. Rewiring doesn't happen overnight, and the success rate (about 35-50%) is discouraging to say the least.

My wife is being very understanding about it, and she realizes what I am going through and tries her best to be supportive, but I can sense her frustration. Needless to say, it doesn't help.

Has anyone here experienced ED following an affair? Did they recover? How did they recover? Any suggestions?

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