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I'm new here, and I'm not: Here's my story (sorry, kind of long).

I came on these boards in 2004; found out my husband had had two relationships, one with a man, one with a woman. At the time, we had two kids, 4 and 1. I had a ton of wonderful support here at MB, but while I did a good plan A, it was incomplete-- I didn't expose, and while we stayed together after the end of that affair at that time, nothing really changed in the patterns of the marriage. Before the first sets of revelations, I had serious problems with physical intimacy and thus emotional intimacy; he had (and has) issues with boundaries. After the first set of affairs, we did much better in the physical area, but we both reverted to old patterns of communication (or lack thereof) and I personally never felt that he ever showed remorse for either one of his affairs....

And now four years later it is happening again. I found out this week that he has had two affairs in the past year (both with women; I don't think sexual orientation is the issue here, but I have not ruled it out), he agreed to cut off all physical contact but is still involved emotionally with the second person (yes, I know it's still an affair, and it's probably still physical although he denies that. I'm not quite the fool this time around.), and we are both in all sorts of counseling (individual and marriage--we start the marriage counseling next week, and the counselor is pro-marriage, or at least says he is). My WH has agreed to individual counseling--he has agreed that he needs "help" sorting through his issues, but is reluctant about the marriage counseling.

I don't know what I'm doing. I know I have issues with emotional intimacy, but I also know I never felt real trust was ever established after 2004 (or prior to that: one of the affairs last over several years--the one with the man and I had no idea). One major gaffe I did was not exposing; I have completely exposed this one in the past week. Everyone (that needs to) knows. He is speaking the usual fog (it's really awful that I know the routine, but I do)...and now I'm wondering about my own boundaries.

We both acknowledge the role we each played in setting this up; he thinks he has found "real love" with this current individual,and that he never loved me at all and just stayed because he felt the need to take care of me....and there is a part of me that wonders if we can ever move back to each other.

I have started a plan A, I guess--I have been very respectful, no LB or AO, although I have been much more forthright about boundaries (no you cannot be friends with the person you had an affair with, and so on...sigh.). But if I'm honest with myself, I am VERY conflicted about staying with him, and that makes it hard for me to try to meet any EN that he will let me do. I am in counseling to work on my issues (difficulty with emotional intimacy and major trust issues, to put it mildly), and I want/have to learn and grow through this experience, and yes, there is a part of me that still loves him so very much. But I'm carrying so much pain, and I can't trust him. And the wound is so new, and yet it's the same wound I have been carrying for so long.

Other info: I'm 40, he's 42. We have two kids: 8 and 5.

I don't know if I should be in a plan A or a plan B. Any thoughts and input would be so appreciated. As much as this board was so helpful to me four years ago, I didn't really want to be back here in this way...but here I am.


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Were you advised to expose the last time?

Why did you not expose the last time?

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Thanks for the response.

I guess I should say I did expose the last time, but it was too limited....our friends knew, but our families, workplace, etc did not. And of course, I was advised to do so, but I was afraid, and stupid, and all of the other excuses that I came up with then just sound lame now.

But this time, I think I did a full scale exposure, and I did it quickly . Everyone knows--his family, my family, his workplace, selected people here at my workplace (who know him), all of our friends...the OW in this case is divorced so there is no husband (or maybe there is...?)--at least I don't think so.

We did it all wrong last time--we didn't ask for help or counseling, but we didn't change the fundamental patterns in our lives that led to the affair. Hindsight is of course 20-20, but I know that my passiveness, my failure to call him out on the patterns and really resolve the issues behind the last sets of affairs played a MAJOR role in this. I accept that responsibility completely.

I feel numb. Last time I ranted and raged; this time, I am just staring at the situation and thinking....why am I here? But I also know that I have issues I have to deal with as well.

Part of me wants to just say--fine, move on, but I have been married for 12 years, together for 20...and no I'm not exactly numb, but I'm hurt so much this time that I need to find it within me to fight for the marriage we need to develop anew, and not back to the old, very broken marriage.

I hope I answered your question.

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Many a BW has been told that the OW was divorced. Only to do a search and find ou that the cheating OW is also a liar.

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ccphoenix: Sorry you are in this place in your life again. I'm battling through A#2 my self and I can emphathize with your feeling of numbness.

I think exposure is good in your case...when the A is still going on. You use exposure to end the affair, not to get back at WS or hurt them.

Keep Plan A-ing and looking at your life. Think about what you want to do with your life. Hang in there and be strong.

D.


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Ok...I don't even know her name. WH is much better at hiding his tracks this time than last--I have checked his cell phone, and our computer, but I think he writes her from his work computer, which I don't access. He doesn't call her from our landline or cell ( and i have gone back and checked cell records and such but can't find any number I can't recognize).

He went to that length to conceal. I am really a fool.

He's told me that he's on the fence, that although he has stopped the physical relationship, he needs her "friendship" to help him decide...this is fog babble at its finest, and I have already told him calmly but firmly that this is not possible for me. He's told me that he needs help with his counselor to help him decide if he should return to the marriage or not. It's different this time--he's not defiant, he is miserable. And he says he knows he played a part, but this is just telling him that we were perhaps not meant to be but that he always wants to be my friend...I just ignore most of this, and firmly point out that while we can coparent, we cannot be friends after this if we should go our separate ways.

What else--he tells me that I need to trust him to keep his friendship (his words, not mine) with the OW platonic but that he doesn't trust me enough to think that my boundary of no contact is appropriate. I have not given it enough time, he says, for him to make that decision. I have pointed out the complete irony of that statement to him, and no response back.

I read this and again wonder about MY boundaries. There is a part of me that thinks I really need to give the MC a try --we have not started it yet--but I'm getting to the point where I wonder if I want this anymore.

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Hi DNU--I was hoping you might write--I have looked through your thread, and it certainly resonates with me. How did you keep on going and not give up after finding out about the second affair?

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A bisexual male is the most dangerous animal in the world. Get out.

Now.

Get tested and thank the the Lord if you are HIV and Hepatitis negative.

Don't turn back. Save yourself.


Divorced:
"Never shelter anyone from the realities of their decisions": Noodle

You believe easily what you hope for ernestly

Infidelity does not kill marriages, the lying does
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CC,

"" I am in counseling to work on my issues (difficulty with emotional intimacy and major trust issues, to put it mildly)""

""we are both in all sorts of counseling (individual and marriage--we start the marriage counseling next week, and the counselor is pro-marriage, or at least says he is). My WH has agreed to individual counseling--he has agreed that he needs "help" sorting through his issues, but is reluctant about the marriage counseling.''

TAKE YOUR MONEY AND THROW IT DOWN A RAT HOLE.

The second wave of adultery is a deal breaker, don't you see that?

The betrayer loves the self-gratification, loves his or her self more than any other.

The FIRST adultery can be explained, remorsed over, excuses made for, weaknesses and unmet EN's explained away, forgiveness pleaded for, etc, etc.. and then it's back to a somewhat normal life.

But the SECOND BETRAYAL there is no excuse for. The BETRAYER, THE ADULTERER knows what they are doing, knows how their actions will affect people...like the spouse, the children, the family and friends....AND THE ADULTERER DOES NOT GIVE A WHIT...as long as they are gratified. As long as the betrayer is happy, excited and pleasured. Everyone else is second or lower on the list.

YOUR H IS A SERIAL CHEATER!! Like an alcoholic falling off the wagon again and again.

IMHO

kirk


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CORDUROY PILLOWS ARE MAKING HEADLINES!!
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CC,

"" And he says he knows he played a part, but this is just telling him that we were perhaps not meant to be"" puke puke

""HE SAYS HE KNOWS HE PLAYED A PART"" Oh MY GOD!

Please heed what CYMANCA said. RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!

And of course you have trust issues...WITH HIM!! Sounds like you are being totally gaslighted about this trust issue.

You have no reason to trust him, nor will you have any reason in the future.

HE HAS TOTALLY SHOWN YOU HE CANNOT BE TRUSTED (""He went to that length to conceal."")

""that I need to trust him to keep his friendship (his words, not mine) with the OW platonic but that he doesn't trust me enough"" puke puke puke Sorry, but I'm getting sick.

The guy is not worth listening to, it is a waste of time and effort. TOTAL GASLIGHTING you are the injured handicapped person, not him!! HA! TOO MUCH!!

kirk


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The board has taken a decidedly nasty turn since I left four years ago.

This may not be the place I need to be. The last go around I received constructive advice--run as far as I can? I have two kids with the man. He is their dad. No, I may decide to leave on my own, but the reality is that he is still their father.

And for the first time, he is seeking help. So, I leave him now, when he finally realizes he has a problem? Yes, there is no question that there is a pattern there, and there is a major question of trust, and I KNOW I'm not the handicapped one--but I need help too.

I get it, you think I'm a fool. You are probably wasting your time posting to me, so why don't you stop?

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I guess I should say I did expose the last time, but it was too limited....our friends knew, but our families, workplace, etc did not. And of course, I was advised to do so, but I was afraid, and stupid, and all of the other excuses that I came up with then just sound lame now.

In the first round of discovery you were successful at ending the affairs, correct? So whatever was done must have worked because the purpose of exposure is to enlist the aid of others to provide pressure to help end the affair. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

This new wave of dual affairs is not with the same individuals I assume?

The problems that you face are of such a nature that it will become difficult for trust to ever build again. Your husband has exhibited a streak of cruelty by delivering infidelity to the marriage again after witnessing the effects four years ago. What would he have to do to regain your confidence?

He is currently in love with another individual and refuses to let her go. If we are able to help you break this affair how will you stop him from engaging in the next one? The horror of the experience four years ago was not enough to prevent this occurrence. It was your husband’s job to protect you from a second affair. Not only did he fail at that, you are in fact dealing with two affairs.

You may need to consider that he is looking for something outside the marriage and will not stop until he finds it. That is very difficult to face but nevertheless that is the clear message that he is sending you. Because there are young children involved his actions are even more despicable. As you have noted, he has shown no remorse. You are correct, he will always be the father of your children, that won’t change, but clearly he sees their welfare as less important than his self-gratification with his affair partners. How can you be sure that he has not had more affairs than you know? It appears that he has not been the most honest guy and on top of that he may have extra special interest to hide his homosexuality.

I’m sorry CCP but those are the facts as you have related in your two posts. We (no one) can make your husband become a good man. Like every single wayward spouse, the ones who return to the marriage are the one who GET IT. They learn what it means to be married and they want their marriages back. So, with that in mind here is my advice, for what it’s worth:

You need to end his affair before anything else. You have done the right thing by exposing but you should go further. Find out who the OW is, find out her marital status. You may find that she is married. How old is she? Any kids? If you can break this affair then perhaps he will return to the marriage. If you can make that happen then you will need to deal with all the other junk. But first things, first.

Keep your chin up,

Mr. G

Edited to ask: CCP, what was your handle when you visited here four years ago?

Last edited by Mr. Goodstuff; 02/13/09 07:17 PM.

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Mr. Goodstuff--I have read your threads before, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you took the time to respond. Thank you so much.

Your questions are valid--I'll try to address them in the order you put them:

This wave of affairs are not with the same individuals (the others are now out of state, and these are local). And you ask the question that I keep asking myself--what is stopping him from doing this again and again, after seeing the damage that was done the first time? And like every fog bound WH, he is minimizing the damage to the kids.

You are right about needing to break the affair. We had another heartbreaking conversation tonight (ok, maybe only heartbreaking to me)--he thinks he has everything to lose if he gives the OW up, that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain because really what I want is to have him give OW up and then dump him. There is so much self-loathing (on his part), and the fact that he thinks that I am than malicious--wow, it's not an ego-boost, that is for sure.

I don't want to dump him, even though there are those who clearly think I should and just cut my losses. But if I thought this was painful the first go around, it is almost unbearable this time. To hear the same fog--and I know it's fog, and it's not real, and I do a reasonably good job of filtering it out, but it is breaking me apart.

Maybe I should have told him this, but I did--I told him that breaking up the affair is the start of working on the marriage, but it is no guarantee. It's no guarantee because both of us have patterns that clearly undermine the relationship, and the only way we could even possibly contemplate staying together is to deal with all of those issues that got us here--again--in the first place. And there are many, and it's going to take a LONG time, and it's possible that we will find that we can't navigate through those. And you know, if we do that in good faith--with him disengaging from the affair--and we end up at a place where WE decide this can't work, I'll be sad but I know we will have gotten there the "right" way.

But I told him that while he is still involved, we can't even start that process. And his response was that he doesn't trust himself enough to make the decision for himself, and that he doesn't trust me enough to change. You see, the affairs stopped last time but we didn't do the hard work of recovery--neither one of us did. And thus we undermined everything. It was a false recovery, or a non-recovery--it was just settling, or being together for the kids.

What would he have to do to regain my confidence? I don't really know the answer to this...obviously he has got to be involved in complete transparency to start to regain my trust. And this is the question I keep returning to--maybe at this point he can't ever do that? And if that is the case, then I should be honest with him, and tell him that as long he keeps up this behavior, and shows no sign of willingness to change....whatever love I do feel will just go away.

We just started our counseling--the second d-day was this past Monday, so everything is new...and old again in a strange way. I have no idea what is going on with the interactions with his personal counselor--tonight he was even waffling about whether or not we should go to a marriage counselor. Also was saying that if his personal counselor says he's not ready for marriage counseling, he would not go. Fog babble. I know.

I'm trying to keep my chin up. I'm close to dying inside--I just do not know how much more of this I can take. I need to disengage from his roller coaster, and really start thinking about the choices that I need to make to protect myself. YOu see, I have been so emotionally dead for so long, and I realize that the last set of affairs hurt me far worse than I ever realized--he minimized the effects, never showed any remorse, and I shoved everything inside. I don't deserve to live like this, and my kids deserve a mom who is emotionally healthy. And I also know now that it's not going to be him who leaves....it wil be me. He will stay as long as he is able to stay in that "safe" space where two people are trying to feed his needs (what is this called? cake-eating? fence-sitting? I think I remember both terms). And it is going to be up to me to place him where he will have to move--one way or the other.

Thank you so much--I hope you continue to dialogue with me on this. I think my name last time was "cciyer" and the name of my main thread was "join the club". I have been looking for it myself, but the site has changed so much that I can't seem to find it.

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Originally Posted by ccphoenix
Hi DNU--I was hoping you might write--I have looked through your thread, and it certainly resonates with me. How did you keep on going and not give up after finding out about the second affair?

Quick post as my WW is upstairs reading the paper...Haven't read post by Goodstuff, but I'm sure it's, well, good stuff!

CCPh: What you have to remember is by the time DDay#2 rolled around and I found out, my WW's A had basically come to an end. The OM stopped communication around thanksgiving and my WW had over a month to go through withdrawal before I found out.

And back up a little...WW confronted me about LBs in early November, so I immediately hit Plan A (even withough knowledge of MB.com or of the OM and affair). So I've been in Plan A since Nov 6th.

Add to that the fact that my WW feels horrible about all of this, is very remorseful, etc., etc., etc.

Just the other day she confessed that every time she comes home she's worried that I have changed my mind and changed the locks. So she's trying HARD to work on this.

I'm sooooo sorry you are having to go through this a second time. I'll read more and write more later when I get a chance. Until then I really need to spend time with my WW smile

Hang in there. Be strong. Do things for yourself to try and keep your sanity.


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CC-
hi- i found your thread. mr g gave you great advise - as he did to me also.

one thing i have learned is- YOU DONT DESERVE THIS and that YOU can control your own life.

of course - everything on this web site says you can not do anything with your marriage while your husband is having any kind of contact with the OW.

with all of my H's cheating - they were all over when he confessed- so i never had to deal with plan a and b- so i dont have much advise there.

i would read this board again- and follow it. it has so much good stuff.

love yourself- (((cc))

sf


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Well, CCP, I can see from your post that you come from a knowledgeable position. I’ve looked back at your story of four years ago and you were given some really fantastic advice and guidance. Here are the key links for your old posts. I suggest that you go back and revisit that portion of your life and the evolution that occurred as you progressed through the different chapters of your husband’s betrayal.

Join the Club

I'm sorry...I can't post here anymore

A thank you to ForeverHers...And a question

Here I am again...long and sad update

You were given excellent advice by some of the best around, Star*Fish, Daisy, ForeverHers, Drucilla, atruheart, Melody Lane.

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You see, the affairs stopped last time but we didn't do the hard work of recovery--neither one of us did. And thus we undermined everything. It was a false recovery, or a non-recovery--it was just settling, or being together for the kids.

You are correct on this, there has been no recovery. Your husband, it appears, has never recommitted to the marriage. As I mentioned in my last post to you, he is searching for something that he is unsure of or at least believes that he cannot get from his marriage.

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What would he have to do to regain my confidence? I don't really know the answer to this...obviously he has got to be involved in complete transparency to start to regain my trust. And this is the question I keep returning to--maybe at this point he can't ever do that? And if that is the case, then I should be honest with him, and tell him that as long he keeps up this behavior, and shows no sign of willingness to change....whatever love I do feel will just go away.

You are correct. Your love of him has limits. You have been pushing to extend those limits in order to preserve the marriage. I fear for you as it appears that he intends to remain distant from the marriage and what is worse is that it may have nothing to do with you or the other person. He needs to get the right answers to who he is, I don’t think he knows or is in denial.

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I'm trying to keep my chin up. I'm close to dying inside--I just do not know how much more of this I can take. I need to disengage from his roller coaster, and really start thinking about the choices that I need to make to protect myself.

Plan B is the final tool available to someone like you. It has the double edged effect of placing the maximum amount of stress on the affair and is the best possible way to preserve remnants of love that you might have for each other. I might urge you to begin examination of executing a Plan B.

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See, I have been so emotionally dead for so long, and I realize that the last set of affairs hurt me far worse than I ever realized--he minimized the effects, never showed any remorse, and I shoved everything inside.

That was the only mechanism you thought available to you. It is far past time that you carry ANY blame for what has happened. Your posts indicated that you are carrying huge amounts of responsibility for the choices your husband has made. That must end now. This is not your fault. You didn’t make your husband engage in homosexual affairs. He did that, on his own without your help or assistance. He is the problem not you. You cannot fix him, only he can fix himself.

To do that he has to first acknowledge and own his decisions and then he has to want to fix them. He is clearly doing neither. You have little other recourse but to accept his position and do what is best for you and your children. Living in an empty marriage is the WORSE thing you can do for you and your children. You speak of taking responsibility for their welfare but your actions may not be in their (or your) best interests. It is far, far past time for Plan B.

You will note that as you left these pages over four years ago your husband was still engaged in his affair and his homosexuality had only recently surfaced. You are still in the same mess that you were four years ago only the player’s names have changed. It seems that you have never experienced recovery and your husband has never owned his share in the damaged that he caused.

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And I also know now that it's not going to be him who leaves....it will be me. He will stay as long as he is able to stay in that "safe" space where two people are trying to feed his needs (what is this called? cake-eating? fence-sitting? I think I remember both terms). And it is going to be up to me to place him where he will have to move--one way or the other.

He is a doctor, correct? You do not leave the home; he is the one who needs to leave. He is the one who committed this travesty on the marriage, NOT YOU. You need go nowhere; you stay at home with your children. Let him feel the full effects of these decisions. An attorney can help facilitate this, consult with one NOW. Find out the options available to you. But DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME. Do not leave your children without their mother.

There are also unanswered questions as to your husband’s sexual orientation. Having engaged in a homosexual affair for over ten years defines that sexual orientation. The fact that he is interested in females only as an emotional friend is further evidence that his gay experiences are something that he is unable to fully leave behind. His denial of his homosexuality contradicts the evidence. I further suspect that there are other incidents that you are unaware of. You may want and hope that he has told you everything but from the hundreds of folks who have walked in your shoes there is little chance that he has been forthcoming and honest with you.

Almost certainly, the barriers to achieving true intimacy with your husband are related to the confusion and anxiety that he feels trying to resolve his sexual identity. I think that herein lay the answers that you are seeking. Plan B might better reveal the missing puzzle pieces.

Mr. G


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love yourself- (((cc))

Most certainly!

Mr. G


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Wow. I read my old posts. Where WAS I? In lala land.

You're not the only one saying this to me now. I do feel responsibility for what HE did--and that is just WRONG. He doesn't know who he is....you know I have asked him repeatedly about issues of sexual orientation....perhaps this is his way of proving to himself that he isn't gay? When he really is? Oh boy. He even denies being bisexual, which he HAS to be-I mean, exploring your sexuality is one thing, but staying in a sexual relationship with another male for that long....I need to deal with this.

I'm still processing what you have written. But I think that this week, I need to start preparing for plan B. I don't have the necessary resources yet (bank account, my own credit card, etc) but I can get those set up this week--quietly, on my own. I have already started talking to mediation and divorce lawyers, if only to know what the process is in the state I live in (there is no legal separation here, so it would be straight to divorce....but I don't think plan B mandates divorce? I have to read up on it again. )

This is his dream house we are living in--we have only been here a year. But I know if I leave....well, no, that's not the thing to do. I need to stay in the house--I don't want to be called out on abandonment, or whatever would happen in that case.

Thank you. I needed to see where I had been--or more correctly, the self denial I have been engaging in. I need to think hard about the next steps.

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I have never posted to you, but I wanted to just say that the advice you are getting is spot on. You probably don't know about all the A's he has had or what else he has been involved in over the years that he has hidden. If you have ANY thoughts of reconciliation then a polygraph would be essential. You HAVE to know what you are dealing with. If he will not submit to one, your answer is quite clear. Yet I think you can already see the writimg on the wall.

(((((CC)))))


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Thanks to all who have written and their support...so meaningful and needed right now.

Last night was interesting. A lot happened--we had one very ugly conversation that ended with accusations flying everywhere, and I just left the house to drive and clear my head. And it was then I decided that I really didn't need to be on his roller coaster anymore. That I needed to make good on my promise to myself to take care of myself, and not settle anymore. I came back, and went on the computer and started putting all of my retirement accounts etc, back under my name with info sent to my email address, and made a list of all the things I need to be doing at this point to protect myself.

Then, a second conversation. He was basically interrogating me as to what I would do if we separated, what kind of person do I want to be etc. And I told him that I know the person that i AM, and that I need to find my way back to it. That I needed to be healthy, and in a safe place, and that was certainly not where I was--and I was not going back to being that dead person again. I also told him that it was not really his concern what I would do if we separated--that it would be MY life and I have plans to go out and embrace it.

He didn't say anything, and I calmly left the room. A friend came by--an older man who my WH respects greatly--an elder in the church, and so on. He talked to us about an incident in his life when he strayed. Had an affair, for all of the usual reasons. Realized that this was incompatible with his faith, and returned to his wife and 3 kids. Talked about the "high" of the affair, and that what he had now was so much more meaningful than what he had left.

After he left, WH and I talked some more--I told him that he had told me that I was responsible for his first set of affairs (actually, he's told me that I'm responsible for ALL of them, but..). And for the first time, he looked at me, and said: I can't believe I did that to you. He hugged me, and said, for the first time: I am so sorry.
I asked him if he really was telling me the truth this time, and he teared up and said yes. I think I will bring up the polygraph with the marriage counselor when (if?) we go this week. I think it's a good idea.

Progress? I'm wary. What happened tonight was good--a peek that showed me that the fog CAN break, but no guarantee that it did. And sure enough, this morning, he was back to being distant and guarded.

Time to get off of his roller coaster and get my ducks in a row.



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