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Nellie,<BR>I've got to admit there have been many moments that I have shared the exact sentiments you have expressed here. Typically those feelings come on my "down" days, but in truth, they are always there. I have benefited from this site very much, but I've also learned some hard lessons and, like you, found that the pain I've experienced (from my affair and my H's 2), and the pain I've witnessed in others, leaves me feeling a bit less hopeful than I'd like to be.<BR>Sharing your pain,<BR>FC<BR>

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This thread makes me so sad, but I can understand the feelings that have been shared here. After experiencing the pain of infidelity and the heartache of betrayal, it is easy to become cynical about marriage. <P>This site can give a lot of comfort and good advice, but it can also let you get caught up in the pain and disappointment that occurs when one of the members discover that they have been lied to, again. That the promise to recommit to the marriage has been broken, again.<P>It does seem like the success stories are few and far between, while the failures are rampant and well documented here. And even the success stories have setbacks. Plan A doesn't always work to win the spouse back, and Plan B doesn't always shock them into coming home.<P>But I bet if everyone of us think about it, we can name a couple that does have a successful marriage, one without infidelity. And we can think of success stories if we try. Lonestar & Petunia; DuncanMac & Suse; PEPPERMINT & FIRESTORM (soon).<P>I wrote my husband a note today that said basically this: We have had almost 25 years together and they have been far from perfect. His affair was the worst of it, but that was only a small part of our life together. I refuse to let eight miserable months negate the rest of it. He has been the best thing that EVER happened to me, and if the only way to avoid this heartache would have been to not ever have him, I would choose this temporary pain and misery.<P>Everything in life is a risk- jobs, relationships, having children, driving on the interstate, etc. Nothing is without risk. The only way to avoid possible heartache and pain is to avoid everything that might possibly cause it. That would also mean avoiding every possible joy and pleasure.<P>Even now, I know that the happiness in my marriage has far outweighed this pain. Plus I know that nothing could be worse than this, so I'm looking to the future knowing that it will be better than what I feel right now.<P>Sometimes this site gets me down too, so I take frequent breaks. I also tend to stay in the Recovery Section most of the time. I wish everyone here could have the kind of recovery that they want. Barring that, I hope everyone here will find peace and happiness. This site, for all its problems, has been a blessing for me, my husband, and our marriage. <P>Thanks to you all!<P>Peppermint

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Wex,<BR>I really don't know what I missed about my H that would have clued me in to his later infidelity. He did have an occasional interest in porn, but it wasn't overwhelming. I did, in retrospect, have some clues that he was less than open about his emotions - but I would have been less shocked if he had run off and become a hermit in Tibet than I was that he cheated. <P>facing choices,<BR>I doubt that these feelings will ever go away. So many people say that it gets easier, and it has not. It may be different than it was a year ago, but it is not easier.<BR>

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Peppermint,<BR>It is not the year of misery that negates the marriage - but the prospect of spending the rest of my life having to deal with the fallout. If it weren't for the kids, I would absolutely wish that I had never met him. The happiness in my marriage did not outweigh this pain. No amount of happiness could make up for this. <P>Oh yes, lots of things could be worse than this. My sister divorced her unfaithful H, raised her children in poverty while he enjoyed a six-figure income, and just when her life was improving, her son was murdered. Life does not necessarily get better. Quite often it just keeps getting worse. <P>

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Nellie - I have to agree with you - I, too, don't know if I can ever trust someone again and have another relationship. If relationships are about nothing except getting needs met, how can either person feel truly loved for who they are, for the uniqueness of themselves? If all that matters to a spouse is getting their needs met, then I guess it doesn't matter to them who meets them, only that they are met. So if the current spouse doesn't meet them, you are then justified in finding someone who will? This seems to be merely reducing people and relationships to basic terms of "getting" instead of giving. It seems that the difference between the betrayers and the betrayed comes down to this - the betrayers only care about what they need, not about what they need to give. The betrayed ones seem to not be as concerned about what they need, but about what the relationship needs, but, as you said, the betrayers very often do not articulate their needs or their unhappiness. In other words, they do not take responsibility for themselves and their part in the unhappy relationship. If they did, they may have to face themselves and the fact that they are really unhappy with themselves, not just the spouse. Betrayeds usually tend to neglect themselves and their own needs, trying in vain to make the betrayers happy, but to no avail. The betrayers take the easy way out, merely replacing one "needs provider" with another - one that will more likely meet their "needs". Seems to me that this is selfish and shallow in the extreme - that marriage vows mean nothing, your spouse who loves you means nothing, promises made mean nothing, honesty means nothing, a shared life that is basically happy means nothing. Shouldn't we be loved more for who we are, and not solely for what we do? Also, some betrayers "need" things that are unreasonable, things that cannot be given. Then what? Are we required to give in to emotional blackmail in order to keep our spouse? <P>My H (now ex) walked after 17 years, in order to get what he wanted with another woman. The woman he picked has been divorced twice, is mentally unstable, and apparently has not much moral fiber or strength of character. I was a loyal, hardworking, loving, tolerant wife to him, even when he neglected our marriage and refused to be honest. But, as long as she met the need that I could not provide, that was all he needed to throw away 17 years, a person who loved him unconditionally, his home, his honor and his integrity. Says a lot about his lack of judgement, I say. All I can do is shake my head with disbelief. So I guess I am better off without the likes of him. But if one cannot trust the person you spent half your life with, trusted with your life, then who can you trust?

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Lady M,<P>I agree with you completely. Betrayal is most often not about something missing in the marriage, but something missing in the betrayer. <P>I realize that some betrayers do articulate their needs or their unhappiness, but many do not. <P>Yesterday my H emailed me and said that he was going to be working too late to take the kids on Friday night for the next couple of months, so he wouldn't be taking them until Saturday on his weekends with them. I don't mind - but the kids certainly did - not that they will ever tell him. I am guessing that the "couple of months" will likely become semi-permanent.<P>I am here alone tonight with four kids, two of them with high fevers, on my 20th anniversary.<BR>

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Nellie - I almost made it to 20 years total - the divorce was final three days before our 19th anniversary.<P>I was just thinking also - so many betrayers say and do so many of the same things. Is there some book or website that they all visit to learn the standard lines and responses. It seems so many people here who have been betrayed have such similar stories.<P>I hope you and the kids are doing much better tonight - last night must have been awful. I will keep you in my prayers.

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Lady M,<P>Thanks. One of my kids is doing better - but today another one, and I, started coming down with the same thing. <P>It must be a book - I suspect the betrayers were using the same script long before the internet existed.

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Nellie,<BR>The problem is that society teaches us to be hedonistic. Pleasure is key. I say that doing what is right is key which leads to much nicer pleasure. This is a little known secret that Satan won't tell us because he likes to keep us in the dark.

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God Bless,
Rob

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Nellie, why do I keep coming to your posts even though I think you are so negative? I'm drawn to you. You are very articulate, and a good mother from what I can see. So I like you right away.<P>I also cannot judge you for your negative views, even though I am concerned about what you will pass on to your children. We are in a very different place: my h also lied, cheated, treated me with hate. But as you said it is the fallout that hurts so much. In the fog and illusion caused by his own stupidity, he saw the error of his ways.<P>

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Sorry, I was interrupted. I really can see how this would sour you on all marriages, but you really are drawing the wrong conclusions. Marriage and family is still the best part of life.<P>professorg is right, though it's not just hedonism, more like self-centredness run totally amuck. But I don't believe "society" was ever much better. Always been a fallen world.<P>But there are people who still value right from wrong. And in response to Lady, I now see Harley's point 100%. Yes, we are all in marriage to have our needs met. One sided love can and should be given at times, but cannot be sustained over the long haul. Harley's book, "Give and Take" makes the point much better than I ever could.<P>It has been a hard road towards recovery, but I can't imagine the other road, and my h came very close to ending it just like that. Some on this board have gone through hell in plan A 'cause they really believe this behavior is uncharacteristic of their spouse and that the erring one can recover. (Don't necessarily mean the betrayer, for some it's the other one who won't work on the marriage.)<P>But none of us got here overnight. For me, it was a slow but gradual progression to indifference. But I see it only in hindsight, would not be able to figure it out if we weren't together. So that's the hardest part for you, you can't figure it out unless he'll have long, calm talks. Even if he doesn't want to get back together, he owes you that much.

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Also, I look at it this way. My W has not so much betrayed me as betrayed our relationship and our marriage. Since she's half of the relationship and marriage, in betraying them, she's also betrayed herself as well as me. I find that it helps to think in these terms.<P>--Wex

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professororg,<BR>I agree that society does promote hedonism. It has gotten noticeably worse since the mid 1970's, in my opinion.<P>Schizzo,<BR>I don't expect that my H would ever be willing to have a long, calm talk about anything. It is so much easier for him to just "put the past behind him" as he advocated to our oldest daughter.<P>I don't agree that everyone marries just to get their needs met. I can't imagine a more negative view of marriage than that.<P>Wex,<BR>Yes, he has betrayed himself as well. But, so far, it has had not obvious negative consequences for him. My oldest daughter once said that he will regret it when he is old - but by then it will be too late.

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yeah, I'm one of those optomistic types, but I certainly wouldn't advocate putting blinders on and strolling through life unhappily. My husband too didn't express all the negative feelings about our marriage until I was face to face with a computer screen reading an email where he was telling his EA that he was pretty sure I knew it was over. (Up until that point I had no idea it was even close to over.) He concealed his emotions, but only started lying while the affair was in full force. I guess I seperate the dishonesty of an outright lie from just lack of communication. He's not a talker, never has been, never will be. He doesn't communicate feelings, he communicates facts. From other books I've read this is a common male behavior pattern. What this site has helped me do is be a little bit closer to having ESP. I can make educated guesses to what he might need, when he won't or can't tell me himself. It has taught me to ask the right questions to get the info I need to help build a relationship on a better rock. Maybe I was cynical about marriage from the beginning, and that is why it is easier for me to accept this now. I walked down the aisle on my wedding day and heard the worse over the better. I saw the worse as challenges to meet rather than obstacles too large to overcome. Gee even the song we danced to on our wedding night has the lines "Tell all the friends who think they're so together that these are ghosts and mirages all these thoughts of fairer weather. But, we'll sit here in our storm and drink a toast to the slim chance of love's recovery." There wasn't even a thought of infidelity in either of our minds at the time. Marriage takes work. All good things in life take work.

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Chris,<P>you said:<BR>Sure hope this is just a vent & not how you truly feel. If this is how you feel, then you<BR>have learned absolutely nothing. Are you just going to negate your marriage and all that came with it?<P>I feel the way Nellie feels, exactly. Even though I'm the one that cheated, and even though I know it wasn't my H's fault that I cheated, I DO know that we had problems. I DO know that I tried DESPERATELY to talk to him and tell him how I felt and he ignored every single one of them. It was always "my fault". I DO know that I had other choices besides cheating and very much regret having done that. I should have never married him in the first place and should have just kicked him to the curb instead of cheating. However, looking back over the way my H treated me after the confession, and at times before the confession, my answer to your question is a resounding YES. I wish I never met him, I wish I never married him, and as long as I can manage it, I will never, ever let another man touch me as long as I live. In the past 8 months or so since my divorce, I've discovered how honest men can be when it sinks in that they are not going to get a piece of *ss anytime in the foreseeable future from me. It is downright pathetic the lies some men tell themselves (and me) trying to get me into bed, or whatever.<P>Nellie,<BR>If your kids want a committed relationship, tell them to write a contract instead of getting married. That way, everyone knows the conditions that apply at separation and they won't have to walk around with the big "D" on their forehead should the other person bail. Marriage is not about commitment. It is a stupid legal framework. Commitment is about commitment, and you don't need a piece of paper to have it.<P>What I've learned is that people use you as long as it is convenient for them. Most people get married because the other person has something they want. Most people don't consider for a second what they are willing to give to sustain the relationship. I gave for 8 years. Probably seems like nothing compared to your 19, but I'm just as pissed that a single day was wasted on my ex.<P>Like you, I believe that when bad *hit happens, it is simply bad *hit. Trying to put cake frosting on a turd doesn't change the fact that it is a turd. This stuff I hear, like, it was for the best...You learned this and that, blah blah, You know, there are some lessons that don't NEED to be learned. I'm with you. Call it like it is. You don't need to feel like your life has been "blessed" because you married your H or that this is in some way "good for you". Gag. Sometimes, when bad stuff happens, all you can do is survive and cope. What is the point of investing so many years of your life if they are just going to haul butt? You said one time, "would you buy a house if you knew that it had a 50% chance of it falling down in 10 years?" Hell no. but of course, so-called love makes everyone think it won't happen to THEM. So, my new response(s) to when some guy tells me he "loves" me is:<BR>a) prove it<BR>b) so, what do YOU want?<BR>c) if you think you're getting sex now, you're wrong.<BR>d) ok, that is nice, but no, I won't follow you for your job or quit mine.<P><p>[This message has been edited by TheStudent (edited February 11, 2000).]

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Beth,<P>My H agreed after he left that I shouldn't have been expected to read his mind, or vice versa. But then, he said a few weeks ago that if we had "faced our problems" we would have divorced long ago. Apparently in his opinion our problems were so severe that no amount of work would have enabled us to resolve them even if we had been aware of them early on, yet not so severe that he couldn't ignore them for 19 years, and apparently for me still to have no idea what they were. Doesn't make much sense to me.<P>TheStudent,<P>This is definitely one of those lessons that doesn't need to be learned. And I hate the fact that my kids are learning it as well. Lots of bad things happen that nothing good comes out of. Your frosting analogy is certainly apropos, and it is going to be hard to forget that mental picture!<P>My H and I lived together for more than four years before we married, and I did feel a greater sense of committment after we married. Of course I don't know if he felt that way - apparently not as strongly as I did, anyway.

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In my opinion, there is no logic to support either the proposition that this kind of behavior will occur in future relationships, nor the proposition that success is guaranteed in future relationships.<P>Ultimately, I think it comes down to what you believe about YOURSELF, not what you believe about other people. And about this point I'm very clear. While occasionally things happen that are out of my realm of ability to influence, the vast majority of things that happen in my life are my own doing (good and bad). I do believe that the breakdown of my marriage was in part my doing, but I also categorize my husband's run from the situation as one of those unusual "out of my influence" things. If I had better skills in the marriage though, it would never have happened. But I do believe very strongly that I will do much better in my next marriage and that will likely make that marriage better (even if it's with the same man). I also believe that my strong guidance will make the difference for my children, so they will understand the concepts of love, commitment, honor, and values despite my husband's behavior.<P>Nellie, I know this brings you down and you have a right to feel that way towards your husband, who has really let all of you down. But I don't think it helps you to extend it to the rest of humanity. Look at all the great people on this board who really do care about their marriages and families. There are plenty of people like this in the world.

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Distressed,<BR>It may be that if I had better marriage skills, this could have been avoided, but since it seems like the marriage skill I was most lacking in was the ability to read his mind, I don't have a clue what I should have been doing differently. As just one example, he said he didn't like the kids being in daycare - but after he left he complained that I hadn't gone back to work full-time. Yet he had never mentioned wanting me to. <P>Yes, there are some very good people on this board. And there are undoubtedly some very good people out there in the real world, but I do not believe that it is a very high percentage.

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Nellie, <BR>Another book you might take a look at is Harville Hendrix's getting the love you want. It explains why we are attracted to a particular type of person, and gives some explanation as to how we can change ourselves so that our relationships are more fulfilling in the future. Working on a marriage is really hard when only one person is doing it. That appears to be your case, as your husband has moved out of his own choice, and is still with the OW. I wish I could run up to him, and slap some sense to him, but alas I can't. I started that way, (or at least it appeared that way to me) But he stayed in the same house. Even came to bed with me, just refused to deal with anything, and was very adamant that he saw no hope. (He was going to give us two months as a gift to our friendship just to make sure he was sure.) The solace I can give you in this whole thing is that you are a strong enough woman to take care of the things that are within your control. The factors that contributed to the breakdown of your marriage that were yours you can take care of. It will increase your chances of a successful relationship in the future with whomever your heart falls in love with. It will also increase your chances of meeting a better partner.

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Beth,<P>One of the problems is that the kind of person I am apparently attracted to is not the kind of person he is now, but rather the kind he appeared to be 25 years ago (or even a couple of years ago). Therefore, apparently basic personality and values are not static. I am not just talking about morality and committment. All of his values have undergone a complete transformation - even values that are completely unrelated to infidelity, values that are not necessarily right or wrong, but are important when deciding whether you are compatible. How could someone who a few years ago gave up his job to farm full-time under rather primitive conditions have turned into a card-carrying Yuppie? How could someone who in the past accused me of being a snob based on some innocent comment I made about education, tell me now that he wants our kids to be friends with kids of their "intellectual level". How could someone who never pressured the kids about their grades now panic because he didn't think our seven year old was reading well enough? How could he accuse me of giving the kids "negative images of learning", when our two oldest homeschooled kids are now excelling in college? <P>How could someone who told a prospective employer that he valued job flexibility because his family was so important to him, now see the kids only approximately the "standard" amount, which he is now cutting back, at least temporarily, to only one night instead of two on "his" weekends? How could he say that he would do whatever is necessary to preserve the atmosphere at the OW's house - apparently including bringing the kids home if they disrupt it? How could a father, knowing that his children are sick, not even ask how they are doing? <P>This is not about his relationship with me any longer. He claimed that he doesn't like my basic personality, and that basic personalities don't change, and I must have been hiding it (apparently for years). Was he just doing a really good job of hiding his personality for 25 years? I don't think that is possible. His personality has changed, and not just in his relationship with me. If you meet someone whose personality seems compatible with yours, there is no way of knowing if it will change completely, virtually overnight-5, 10, 25 years later. <P>There is no point in putting any effort into finding an appropriate marriage partner. It is not just that my H disappeared and became someone I don't recognize, but I don't recognize the father of my children, either.

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