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If you knew then what You know now... #417031
12/13/16 03:23 PM
12/13/16 03:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 653
MaidUpName Offline OP
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MaidUpName  Offline OP
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What would you do differently?

This time two years ago our world utterly fell apart.

I discovered WDs affair in July 2014 but we had a few months sitting on the fence before the last weekend November he decided he was out of here and he left me, the boys, our home and everything we had built together to build his new life.

And so much has changed in that two years - I think probably more for me and the boys than for him and in general, the changes have been good for us.

But it got me thinking - if I knew back then what I know now, what do I wish I had done differently...

1). I wish I had told him to leave in July rather than letting him play with my emotions and cause me to question everything I had believed for 20 years. We were overseas when I discovered the affair and I demanded he get myself and the boys home. I wish at that stage I had the courage to tell his family, pack up his stuff and start looking towards a new future.

Instead, like so many BSs, I did everything I could to try and convince him that he was making a huge mistake and his place was here with me and his children.

2). I wish I had fully understood that absolutely nothing I did or said was going to have any impact. This was all about him and I was irrelavent, irritating background noise. the sooner he got rid of that irritation, the better he felt.

3). I wish I had told his family. They hate me and would never have supported me but at least they wouldn't have heard his sanitized sob story about how miserable I made him first. They would never have supported me or helped me but I regret that I didn't let them know what was happening at the time.

4). I wish I had believed that I was absolutely capable of holding things together and making a happy future for the three of us. I was so absolutely convinced that the only way we could be happy was as a united, stable family of four. How wrong I was.

5). I would never have let him spend that first Christmas Eve night with us. It was absolutely the most miserable gut wrenching Christmas ever and although I believed I was doing the best things for the boys, they were miserable too and delighted when last year he chose not to return for a visit until after Christmas.

And there's much much more but that will do for now.

So, unfortunately we have plenty of new BSs on the board and plenty facing into their first Chriatmas and trying to deal with the enormity of what a future without the person they believed would never hurt them would be like. For those of us who've been there - if you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

MUN


You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know
And YOU are the one who'll decide where you go
Dr Seuss
Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: MaidUpName] #417051
12/13/16 05:23 PM
12/13/16 05:23 PM
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SmilingWife Offline
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Your post is fantastic. It underscores the benefit of an immediate boundary of refusing to share your spouse with another person.

I had been on the other site for two years before the d day that I filed for divorce over. Had seen a lot of stories and I knew I did not want to be 'one of those BWs'. I hired a PI and filed for divorce before I even confronted him. I have never regretted that course of action.

And when I see Betrayeds trying to make a holiday normal it just makes me ill.

Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: SmilingWife] #417061
12/13/16 06:26 PM
12/13/16 06:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,198
Monterey, CA
Fiddler Offline
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"Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him."                                                                     - 6th grade student's answer to a history test
We can only make decisions in the moment, and did not know "what we know now" back then. I sense a lot of frustration with many newcomers who mightily resist the advice being offered. The difficulty is, I think, that a person in such a situation does not know what we "know" but only what they are encountering in this moment based on their own past experiences. And the resistance (either active or passive) intensifies the more pressure is brought to bear. This, quite naturally, results in frustration on the part of those offering advice.

The "advice" I offer in such circumstances is not to them but to ones who feel angst over others not "getting it." My experiences (here and elsewhere) suggests that validating the person (using the "tracking" approach) can help someone understand what is going on inside them that is causing them pain. Focusing on how "awful" their spouse is distracts from addressing the cause of their pain - which is (in my opinion) not the spouse or the affair, but their own thoughts and beliefs. I notice that, in many cases, a person "knows" what they ought to do, but something (inside them) is blocking. And if they didn't already "know," then hearing advice from those who have been through it gives them the information. If that were sufficient, then there wouldn't be any more struggle.

If you are feeling frustrated with a member not accepting advice being offered repeatedly, consider examining in yourself what is causing you to feel that way (it's not them).

However, as with the advice offered to betrayed spouses, I have no illusions as to it being taken, at least for now.


"Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know that one is me."
Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: Fiddler] #417062
12/13/16 06:30 PM
12/13/16 06:30 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,343
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Miranda  Offline
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People can't get there, until they get there. Essentially.


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: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: Miranda] #417064
12/13/16 06:58 PM
12/13/16 06:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 653
MaidUpName Offline OP
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MaidUpName  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Miranda
People can't get there, until they get there. Essentially.


And yet, many of the boundaries I sucessfully put in place were as a direct result of reading what had worked for others and drawing strength from those who had gone before.

I wouldn't dream to advise anyone that my way was the only way and all other paths were doomed to fail but I'm happy enough to recount what worked for me and things I wish I had done differently.

Some of the best support I received on this site was stories of what didn't work for others.

But yea, at the end of the day, the best learning process was going through it myself. Should I ever find myself in the situation that my husband of 15 years walks out of my life and trades me and my children in for a younger childless model I'll know exactly what not to do smile

MUN

Last edited by MaidUpName; 12/13/16 06:59 PM. Reason: Touchscreen!

You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know
And YOU are the one who'll decide where you go
Dr Seuss
Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: MaidUpName] #417066
12/13/16 07:14 PM
12/13/16 07:14 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,343
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Oh for sure, MUN. But if they aren't ready, nothing you tell them about will work.

Until someone is ready, they just aren't there yet. You can't get them "ready" by something you try to tell them. It's an inside job.


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: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: Miranda] #417068
12/13/16 07:39 PM
12/13/16 07:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 653
MaidUpName Offline OP
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MaidUpName  Offline OP
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You're right Miranda, I struggled in a big way with some of the boundaries I eventually put in place (total and complete NC being the big one which I didn't manage to establish until over a year in!)

I could only take each step when I was ready and I know all too well that that's the case for everyone - counter intuitative steps are so very very difficult.

Unfortunately, where infidelity is concerned, self preservation, marriage restoration or whatever the desire outcome may be often requires us to step way outside our comfort zone and put in place boundaries which seen to go against everything which seems rational.

MUN


You have brains in your head
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own and you know what you know
And YOU are the one who'll decide where you go
Dr Seuss
Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: MaidUpName] #417071
12/13/16 08:03 PM
12/13/16 08:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,063
SW Chicago 'burbs
Mark1952 Offline
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Mark1952  Offline
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Notable Post!


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: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: Mark1952] #417077
12/13/16 09:59 PM
12/13/16 09:59 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,697
NewEveryDay Online
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NewEveryDay  Online
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Posts: 8,697
MuN I didn't have a DDay but I wish I had separated as soon as it got hostile here years ago. Nothing was ever going to change with me trying to talk him into "seeing the light". I get to pick the life I want and I need to respect everyone one else's right to pick theirs. Finally I stopped chasing B, my mom, my siblings, everyone else trying to make them happy. I have 2 kids of my own Andrew my community service with folks who put in the effort and that's enough.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: NewEveryDay] #417084
12/14/16 02:17 AM
12/14/16 02:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 6,375
whatsupdoc? Offline
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whatsupdoc?  Offline
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Also, we get frustrated giving advice, but it took me hearing it 50 times before it caught on or sunk in. Maybe the time you told me was the 28th time..
maybe, your advice was the piece that finally shatters the fog.


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: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: Mark1952] #417087
12/14/16 03:17 AM
12/14/16 03:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 9,997
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SmilingWife Offline
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SmilingWife  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Notable Post!


I agree!

Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: whatsupdoc?] #417088
12/14/16 03:24 AM
12/14/16 03:24 AM
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Posts: 9,997
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SmilingWife Offline
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Originally Posted By: whatsupdoc?
Also, we get frustrated giving advice, but it took me hearing it 50 times before it caught on or sunk in. Maybe the time you told me was the 28th time..
maybe, your advice was the piece that finally shatters the fog.


The other site was militant. But at the time I really needed someone to hold my hand.

They were really good at uncovering affairs. I did not believe my now XH was having an affair.....basically someone there said, 'um, why don't you install a keylogger.' Bam. With in 24 hours I had the evidence I needed. And because I had been on the site for 2 years already I KNEW not to reveal my source and to keep gathering evidence. All of that really really paid off for me in getting sole custody of my son.

So I want to just smash my head against my keyboard sometimes when betrayeds are so resistant to viewing a wayward as he enemy.

Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: MaidUpName] #417151
12/15/16 05:24 AM
12/15/16 05:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 7,395
right here waiting Offline
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right here waiting  Offline
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Excellent post, MUN. Thank you. I hope it will be a beacon to newly betrayed wives and husbands who enter here. No, they won't get it, any more than a kid exercises adult judgment. Like you did, they'll learn it by going through it--if they're lucky. Or rather, smart.

Lousy system, but effective.

We just can't "get it" until we work our way to it. It's why those of us who have survived and thrived say to those in the early throes of betrayal, "It's not a sprint; it's a marathon," and "Be patient with yourself."

Once we get it, we're golden. Good to see you golden. smile
I hope you and your boys have a wonderful Christmas.

Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: SmilingWife] #417164
12/15/16 02:59 PM
12/15/16 02:59 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,962
South
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Oblivious2678 Offline
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South
Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
Originally Posted By: whatsupdoc?
Also, we get frustrated giving advice, but it took me hearing it 50 times before it caught on or sunk in. Maybe the time you told me was the 28th time..
maybe, your advice was the piece that finally shatters the fog.


The other site was militant. But at the time I really needed someone to hold my hand.

They were really good at uncovering affairs. I did not believe my now XH was having an affair.....basically someone there said, 'um, why don't you install a keylogger.' Bam. With in 24 hours I had the evidence I needed. And because I had been on the site for 2 years already I KNEW not to reveal my source and to keep gathering evidence. All of that really really paid off for me in getting sole custody of my son.

So I want to just smash my head against my keyboard sometimes when betrayeds are so resistant to viewing a wayward as he enemy.


All of this hits home with me as well. It took FOREVER to sink in with me, but then something just clicked. I was fully engulfed on my fact finding mission until LA magically came along and eloquently said, stop the blame game.

Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: Oblivious2678] #417645
12/25/16 06:16 AM
12/25/16 06:16 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline
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The Dark Side of the Moon
I'll go back to my previous marriage to talk about what I would have done differently with my ex-H's affair.

I wouldn't have let him back in the house, and I would have filed for annulment. It's not because of the affair, either. He ended all contact and it did not resume.

It was because he never made an honest attempt to fix the other issues in the marriage. He never seemed to buy into the concept that anything needed to change.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: AntigoneRisen] #417680
12/27/16 01:10 PM
12/27/16 01:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 6,375
whatsupdoc? Offline
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With the experiences I've had, the counseling and reading, ect. in my case, I believe there was absolutely nothing I could have done differently to change the outcome I had. I believe my xh had an extreme reaction to mid life.

I wish I would have divorced him in 2006, when the first "fall off the deep end" extreme actions started. Since I have bi polar family, I understand people can be mentally healthy and mentally sick - depression is not always forever-- etc.

I wish I had the wherewithal to stand up for myself more, and not try to "fix" his desire to leave the marriage or figure his head out. Instead of trying to "fix me" or fix my side of the street to improve the marriage, I wish I had just pulled back for the kids and myself and moved on.

He never accepted his share of responsibility for then family issues. His idea about counseling was to get "help" from the counselor on how to deal with first out teenage firebrand, then me. He never, in all the years I remember, was humble about his share, never wanted to genuinely change himself, only us.

I wish I had the clarity then to see that. Game changer

Last edited by whatsupdoc?; 12/27/16 01:10 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: If you knew then what You know now... [Re: whatsupdoc?] #417681
12/27/16 02:00 PM
12/27/16 02:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 13,343
midwest
Miranda Offline
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Miranda  Offline
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WUD,

That IS a gamechanger. I figured that out about my husband, and it was a pivotal moment, but it wasn't an easy one to reach.

much like when I recently figured out (and yes I know the fact that I just recently did makes me a first class idiot) that he is NEVER going to change in any real way. This is who he is, down to the very base level. Full stop. It's not only the "not taking responsibility" but all the other things I don't like about him too. This is who he is. I need to stop wishing for it to be different, thinking I can change something about me that will make it different, waiting for a miracle, whatever. It's not going to happen. Another gamechanger.

I wish I could help people get to that moment, but it's a super hard one to reach, apparently. Or it was for me, so I'm guessing it might be for others. Denial, not just a river in Egypt!


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

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