Struggling

Today I took our youngest daughter to the airport to go see her Dad up North. It was her first time flying alone. She’s driving back with him Saturday and he’s coming home for good. Her leaving triggered me. Is this how it would be if we would’ve divorced and he moved away? No, throw that thought out of your mind…He wouldn’t have left his daughters for HER. He wanted to leave you, but not them.
So he’s sending photos of her having a great time and I’m happy that they are having some much needed daddy/daughter time. He calls this afternoon and tells me that they are getting ready to go to the gym, which she has been dying to do with Dad. He proceeds to tell me that after the gym they were going to go to a Vietnamese restaurant with a lady he met at the gym awhile back. Our daughter loves noodles and rice and any Asian food. Now mind you he’s told me about this woman. I’ve been trying to be understanding; that he finally made a “friend” at the gym where everyone seems rude as hell. Well…. This triggered the fuck out of me. WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD YOU GO TO DINNER WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, ONE WHO I DON’T KNOW WITH OUR CHILD?!?!?!? What in the hell are you thinking?!?!?! It seems so innocent to him, but he has no fucking clue as to how fucked up this is after what he put us through! I’m fucking pissed and struggling to make sense of his thinking this is ok. I explained to him that I wasn’t okay with it and he just thought that was ridiculous. He was telling me, being transparent, he has nothing to hide. Let’s see… I DON’T FUCKING CARE! It’s inappropriate especially after what we’ve been through the last two years and I don’t approve… PERIOD! I know he told me because our daughter would have. How uncomfortable would that have been for her I kept thinking. I explained to him how he felt what he was doing was “innocent” when he went to dinner alone with the whore. He said “I talk about you, us the kids with this lady”. AND?!?!? You told the whore you were married with two daughters too. She didn’t care, she still wanted you. You barely know this woman, just like you barely knew the whore when you went to dinner with her… Oh and walked her to her room, went in, sat on her bed, and FUCKED HER!!!!!!!!!!
He just doesn’t get it and unfortunately never will. I’m just sad. Sad that this is my reality. This is our marriage. His affair is a part of our story.

6 thoughts on “Struggling

  1. Regardless of whether he understand why it’s not appropriate to have a meal with a woman that isn’t his wife, he needs to respect that you need boundaries in place to help feel safe.

    You shouldn’t have to be anxious and I’m so sorry that you are. He needs to know how you feel and then ask himself why if having a meal with this woman or any women is worth causubg you unease.

    The answer if course is NO. He can’t just sleep with another woman and have a relationship with her and think his life can just continue on as before. Yours isn’t the same at all- changes have to be made.

    I’m So sorry that men can be so darn dense but hopefully you guys can discuss it and he can make the changes needed!

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    • Thank you Kaye. He really doesn’t understand that my life has changed from his affair. He doesn’t understand why he can’t have female friends and spend time with them without me. ( especially single friends) It really makes me wonder if he has already spent time with this woman after the gym grabbing a bite to eat or whatever. He does end up talking about her to me after he’s been to the gym, like they make plans or something to meet there. This in itself makes me leery. This is where my head goes, and who can blame me?!?! Him going up there for the last 4 months was the hardest decision for us. I just knew I wanted him away from the job that took so much away from me.
      He unfortunately doesn’t like to discuss anything that has to do with his fault in any of this or how I feel. I’m not allowed to have feelings. He says I make myself feel that way, that he doesn’t and he makes sure he does everything to make me feel loved and secure. For the most part he does, but then he thinks shit like this is okay and it takes me back to that place of mistrust and pain.

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  2. Sorry to hear you’re struggling. I think he understood that his affair was a very bad decision and that he hurt you a lot. But maybe he isn’t fully getting that it’s not just about the affair at this point, but the actual damage it caused as well as it’s repercussions. I don’t know, it seems like to him, it’s a one time mistake and he will not do it again and thats good enough for him.

    I wonder if he’s been able to show empathy yet. Rather than you telling him how you feel and explaining, has he been able to reflect and think about why you might have this trigger/feel this way despite things to be “normal” now? Without that empathy and insight, he might never “get it” no matter how much you tell him. Maybe just ask him why you might feel this way and give him time to think before getting back to you.

    Maybe it’s a protective mechanism – he’ doesn’t want to relive that shame and just move on. Or maybe he just isn’t capable of “getting it” right now. Either way, he needs to choose whether he’s willing to really come to the same level as you and feel your pain, or whether he’s going to decide to just keep moving forward and expect you to just follow him.

    Does he realize what he did was 100% a deal breaker and that he could have lost his entire marriage/family forever? This second chance shouldn’t be taken for granted! At the very least, to show appreciation of what you’ve sacrificed and your love for him. Not during the “good times” because that’s easy (as in loving you when it’s easy is more for him since it also brings him happiness), but to really step in to reassure you during the times you’re struggling (that shows more selflessness).

    I guess the other things is – understanding and action is 2 different things. He might actually understand where you’re coming from. But as long as he remains defensive, calling your feelings ridiculous, he won’t be showing you that he gets it. Nor will he want to, because he rather be “selfish” and choose his right to have fun/friends. In the end, I think he shouldn’t expect the trust you used to have in him for granted, but rather, he really needs to understand that trust is broken, that you trust him much more now, but that it’s not going to be the 100% faith you had before his affair. And that trust can no longer be taken advantage of, and he needs to show you continually through his choices and consideration of your feelings that he IS trustworthy.

    In any case, you are very strong. And clearly have a lot of love. This isn’t a set back, but just another bump. Your feelings are totally justified and understandable. And I think it stems from a place of fear. Perhaps one day, you can move that that and not let that fear control you (not because you’re afraid for your marriage, but because you can’t live in fear forever and trust that you WILL Be OK regardless of any stupid decisions he makes in the future). But that day doesn’t have to be today. You should have the right to say when you feel ready, and not have to feel rushed by his time line. After all, the aftermath of his affair lasted 3 years! And you’re still early 1-2 years from the end of the craziness. Make sure you voice your fears, and keep the communication open even if he’s reluctant, because shutting down will really set you guys back. And if that’s not working, would a marriage counsellor (safe place to talk) be an option?

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    • Thank you for this. I don’t think he’s really shown empathy yet even after 2 years. It’s like “I’ve said I’m sorry, I’ve said I’ll never do it again, I love you, let’s move on, not look at the past and pretend it never happened.” He thinks I continually look at the past because I want to stay in the pain and hurt him and make him relive it when he wants to forget.
      He has told me thank you for not giving up on him, but nothing more than that. I get a lot of “I’m sorry” and ” I’m just not going to say anything anymore because everything I say upsets you and is taken the wrong way”. How in the hell can “I’m going to dinner with our daughter and practically a female stranger” be taken the right way after what he’s done?!? (This is just one example)
      Our life has literally gone back to “business as usual”. We do spend more time together then what we did, but nothing has really changed. Our communication hasn’t changed. He still puts work before us ( his reasoning is that he pays for the house bills so he has to work all the time). I call bullshit because you have to learn to delegate as a manager and not take everything on yourself, constantly working on your off days at home with us. He hasn’t a clue on how to balance work and family.
      I do agree that my feelings are stemmed in fear. Fear that he will hurt me again. Fear that he will come across another morally challenged whore and he will justify to himself that he’s unhappy again. I constantly shut down and don’t tell him how I feel or if I’ve had a bad day of triggers. I protect him from my pain, my wrath. How stupid is that?!? Counseling is not an option…

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      • Empathy is not something that comes naturally for everyone, and it may be truly difficult for him to understand.

        I guess the big question for him is – does he want to understand?

        Based on your quotes, one thing I notice is that he says a lot of “I’s”. Everything is based on how he feels, what he’s sure of, what he’s willing to give, what he’s thankful for. It seems he is a good man. But a bit self-focused. Perhaps not in the extreme sense, but he feels that whatever he’s doing is good enough, and therefore should be good enough for you.

        Would he be open to trying to see things from your point of view. Something he could try is instead of saying “I”, start asking questions: Why are you feeling this way. What can I do to help. What can we do to make this better. You are upset because…..

        Another thing is when people say “live in the present”, I think it’s a bit short sighted. I think it’s important to also ask “how did we get here”. As in, how did we get to the point where your marriage is back to “normal” – where he can have an intact family that still loves him, a wife that’s still with him, a daughter, living together, sharing life together… how did you survive this?

        You got through the affair because you both made choices to commit. He realized what a fool he was, how he didn’t want to be THAT guy, how much he loved you – and ended the affair. You also made a choice to fight for him. To love him. To give him a second chance. That’s how you survived the affair.

        However, whether your relationship will continue to survive and grow will now depend on the choices you both make now. It wasn’t just about the affair anymore. When you made the decision to forgive him – you also took on the burden of living with what’s happened. I think it’s less about the affair/fear of him cheating again, as opposed to the beliefs the affair broke. It opened your eyes to some ugly truths, so to speak, and I think it’s these issues that you both need to address now.

        The affair showed that he can be selfish. It showed that while claiming to love his family – in the end he would chose himself rather than protect those he loved. It showed his integrity wasn’t strong enough. It should that he didn’t care about you or your family enough. And so moving forward, it’s not that you want him to relieve the affair. But instead, it’s these shattered beliefs that have yet been resolved for you. And so far, his behaviour/choices/words/lack of understanding is not helping. Showing love to you in his own way is good – but it’s still “selfish” because it’s what HE wants to do. It’s easy to love someone when things are good, when they reciprocate love back But I think what you need is for him to love you now, in the way YOU need it. To support you during your darkest times – when you’re struggling with anger, sadness, and doubt. To do that, would show a lot of selflessness – to be there for someone even when it feels tough for you because it’s not long about you feeling good, but choosing to make someone else feel better.

        As I focus on the journey because it’s always about the journey. For those marriages that made it through “stronger” to a better “present” – the journey wasn’t easy and both parties put a lot of work to humble themselves and to love each other in the way the other person needs it. That’s how they got to their new present.

        I don’t want to discourage you at all, but I’m sensing still unresolved anger and disappointment and it seems you’re not getting the support you need from your husband. Things are good now, because you “shut down” your negativity. You are doing a lot of work, which is great. But if this continues to be the journey, I’m just worried about the future, where one day you may just have a lot of resentment built up. And that future may not be as bright when it becomes your new present.

        If your husband truly loves you, and wants to have a future as beautiful as the present, then he’ll need to realize how you both are where you’re at now – and as he admits – it’s by you fighting for him. But if he wants his future to remain as beautiful, then he’ll need to start taking a bigger role and making sure that the journey will lead there.

        As for you, I have no doubt you will be OK. Wherever this journey takes you, you are strong enough, and loving enough to ensure your future will be beautiful. I certainly hope that your husband will also be a part of your beautiful future. I encourage you to keep talking to him and not giving up. Communication is both ways. If counselling is not an option, then perhaps the first step is you taking ownership of your communication, and finding a way to breakthrough to him. If “telling him” your feelings, getting frustrated, or straight arguing isn’t working – how else can you try to get him to understand. Can your choice of words, your tone of voice, your timing be worked on? It’s unfair for sure that you have to do the work, but at the end of the day, you will fight this fight as long as you believe it’s worth it.

        On a side note, you and your husband should watch “Inside Out” if you haven’t. It’s a kids film, but it really shows the consequences of suppressing grief and sorrow, and also the hope that comes after sadness has run it’s course. Maybe it’ll give him some insight if he still has a lot of growing up to do 😉

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