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#861174 04/11/00 11:38 PM
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After days of reading posts from people who are either in discovery/recovery, or in between, I have come to the conclusion that we as adult married people are messsed up. I came here looking for answers, but instead have left more confused. There are a million different stories from a million different marriages. What we need to remember is that every marriage is unique. What works for some will not work for others because each marriage has two unique indivduals. I can not for the life of me understand how anyone would want their spouse back after they moved out and moved in with the OP. Yet, some do and if that is the case, so be it. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would leave their spouse unless they were in love with the OP, so why would you want them back? Has guilt prompted the WS back? I would have to say most likely...sometimes. Has anyone ever looked at the statistics on how many marriages are actually saved through counseling? I have...less than 40%. Who would want to set themselves up for that kind of pain again? Everyone goes on and on about reading books...His Needs Her Needs, but how can this work if the other person won't read it. Sometimes, I think as hard as it is to admit, the marriage is just over. I think we are all looking for answers...I know I was. Where do you drawl the line between saving a marriage and being a doormat? How much humiliation and hurt are you suppose to endure? Life is short. I don't mean to thrash anyone's high hopes for things to work out. I'm not saying all those betrayed are doormats and all betrayers are lower than low. I was the betrayer in an EA and believe me, I got a double dose of hurt. The OM and his wife are living in marital bliss, my marriage is over. Am I bitter...no. My marriage's problems were completely separate from the EA. The EA was the result of those unresolved problems. So, some of you may say....well, at least the OM marriage was preserved. Maybe, but I think not. In time, the lies will catch up and he'll do it again. I realize that the betrayer is not highly regarded by most here and that is understandable. My point is that there are circumstances to every situation and sometimes there aren't. Look into your heart to evaluate your circumstances and then use your head to rectify those circumstances.

#861175 04/11/00 12:12 PM
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This has been debated ad nausem. There's a lot more of commonality in affairs than "uniqueness". They generally follow predictable patterns. There are set solutions that are "cookie cutter" and will work---if not to save the current marriage, then to give a future relationship with someone else a much higher degree of success. A major stumbling block that most people encounter is thinking that their situation is "unique". This uniqueness leads to paralysis. They are incapable of using fundementally-sound "cookie cutter" advice and making their situation better.<P>You're stuck blaming your husband for the state of your marriage. Are you bitter??? You appear to be. I suggest that you start counseling with one of the Harley's and see if they can help lift your confusion in a way that will benefit both you and your marriage. The bottom line is that you can make your marriage better for you. One of the best ways to do that is by making it the marriage better for your husband. It may not seem "fair"---but it's very effective.

#861176 04/11/00 12:14 PM
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Hey. I just want to tell you that I know exactly how your feeling right now. I too was the betrayer and my marriage ended. For awhile it was just the kids and I. The OM had full intensions of leaving his marriage when he told his wife about his affair. After talking with her the guilt was tremendous for him. I couldn't stand seeing the pain involved and told him to work on his marriage, that we were over. But, I was feeling the same way you were. I knew that even if the other man wasn't there I didn't want my marriage. So, I faced a failing marriage and no om. I felt alone like you do, so like I said, I do really understand how you feel. All I can tell you is that you sound confident that your marriage should have ended and that means that you need to learn from your past experiences and move on with your life in a positive way. Each day the pain from the love you felt for the OM will get better. Enjoy your kids and your friends. I know what helped me a little was dating. It helps with the self esteem and confidence, not to mention that it filled my time when the kids were with their father. Best of luck to you.

#861177 04/11/00 12:45 PM
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I appreciate your comments K, yet this is what I met about all of us being individuals. I am not bitter. I spent 15 years trying my hardest to make my marriage work. I put up with an abusive spouse who never offered his help or a kind word. He was controlling and if I hadn't put my foot down would have prevented me from working or visiting my family or my friends. I have no guilt about my marriage, but one doesn't make a marriage-it takes two. My H claims he has no problems...his life was fine until I changed and had the EA. I need help. Every counselor he has gone to he has quit seeing because he didn't like him or her. We went to marriage counseling once and he walked out. I will not take responsiblility for this. I take responsibility for the EA, but not for the rest.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K:<BR><B>This has been debated ad nausem. There's a lot more of commonality in affairs than "uniqueness". They generally follow predictable patterns. There are set solutions that are "cookie cutter" and will work---if not to save the current marriage, then to give a future relationship with someone else a much higher degree of success. A major stumbling block that most people encounter is thinking that their situation is "unique". This uniqueness leads to paralysis. They are incapable of using fundementally-sound "cookie cutter" advice and making their situation better.<P>You're stuck blaming your husband for the state of your marriage. Are you bitter??? You appear to be. I suggest that you start counseling with one of the Harley's and see if they can help lift your confusion in a way that will benefit both you and your marriage. The bottom line is that you can make your marriage better for you. One of the best ways to do that is by making it the marriage better for your husband. It may not seem "fair"---but it's very effective.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>

#861178 04/11/00 12:46 PM
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I call it as I see it, and what I see here is a bitter OW, upset that her OM chose to stay in his marriage than leave for you. You are upset to read how the wives actually love their H and want to work on their marriage after the affair has been exposed and are associating these stories with your OM's wife as I'm sure you OM's wife loved him and wants to work it out. You are degrading the wives here by giving them statistics of how it won't work out, that it will happen again to flame and devalue. I think you need to take your own advice and look into your heart and reevaluate why you really felt the need to tell your story. Was it to insight or to IGNITE unhappiness in the betrayed?

#861179 04/11/00 12:59 PM
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I haven't figured whether you are still married or not?! You just sound incredibly bitter because your OM chose his wife over you. Sorry no sympathy there you chose to get involved with a married man. Another question, why the heck did you stay married for 15 years if you were so miserable? If your marriage was/is over and you were so unhappy than why didn't you get out and then get involved with a single man? This seems to be another thing betrayers have in common how they have all been miserable for years in their marriage yet they didn't think of divorce until they met the OP.

#861180 04/11/00 01:41 PM
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Hi Lonelysoul and BonnieSept -<P>I am sorry that you both have gone through failing marriages and the added burden of dealing with OM's....sort of a double whammy in your lives.<P>I am a betrayed wife and all I can offer you is my own personal perspective.<P>First and foremost - I love my Husband.<BR>2nd - I made a committment that I had every intention of fulfilling.<BR>3rd - As K points out - there are patterns to infidelity and the recovery from it. <BR>4th - I am doing as much as I can to feel good with myself that I have done all that is possible to save my marriage.<P>It is true that all situations are "unique" but only in the context of the mindset of the individuals and some details perhaps....<P>You both say that you knew your marriages were over when you chose to get involved with OM's....<P>I would like to ask some questions on that if you don't mind - it would help me in understanding my H a little better perhaps and maybe offer you some insight at the same time!! At least I hope so..<P>Did either of you discuss the problems with your husbands? I don't mean a general not being happy - I mean really try to pinpoint exactly what was lacking and needed to turn the problems around?<P>If so, then did they just not listen, believe you or were they just inclined to say "tough luck" and keep acting however they were acting (or not acting - whatever the case may be!)?<BR> <BR>My H didn't do any of that...he just basically became distant and critical. When I asked what was wrong - silence through the "nothing" that came from his mouth.....I, of course, could tell that it was something - but I do not read minds. So I walked on eggshells, which was not the thing to do (I learned that here!!) and did nothing but contribute to an already tense household.<P>Even though he didn't talk, I could feel that he was involved elsewhere....had no clue what to do about it.<P>Well, after a couple of years of this DrJekyll/MrHyde behavior he finally came clean with what he was doing (affairs) but still not the whys....Oh, he would blame it on this little thing or that - but it wasn't the real reason and we both knew it. I don't think that he even KNEW what the real cause was. I think that he just didn't feel that excitement kind of love like when it is new....<P>Did either of you have this sort of experience?<P>He ended up being given an ultimatum by OW and he chose to move out. He did this without any attempt to acknowledge a problem let alone try to work with me to fix it!! He moved out telling me that we needed time and space to work things out.....two weeks later he filed for divorce - that was in June of 99!!!<P>To this day, he has not discussed what was wrong.....he will not discuss our marriage at all except to say "I want a divorce"<P>It is my opinion that he is running....<P>I am not sure from what, but I do know that this will be more harmful to him in the longrun than it has been to me going through it for years!!!<P>You see, I am the lucky one here...I have no self esteem issues where I feel any of those things that you mentioned - except of course the hurt..... I have done the soul-searching of myself. I have learned much and gained a lot of strength through this. I have kept true to what I believe and want for MY life and have not changed my behavior to match his. What good would that do?<P>When you speak of statistics and how life is short...I have to say that it is my belief that that is why those statistics are so bad.....all this societal acceptance that it is OK to live for the moment cuz life is short and you should be happy!! My H said those words - along with Everybody does it!!! <P>And those phrases could be true and would be a lovely thing if we all were happy - but the problem is choosing to live that way at the expense of others.<BR>He was thinking of his happiness and achieved it by bulldozing me and my life......Is that how one achieves true happiness? I don't think that will be the case.<P>Another factor that I should mention is that all this behavior is contradictory to my H's personality before the meeting of his "friend"....it is only since that time that he has changed into this completely uncaring person...he dropped his friends, family, hobbies, etc. So yo see it was not only a personal assault on me. <P>It was actually a personal assault ON HIMSELF...I don't think it had too much to do with me at all!!! So, why would I feel like anything was "done to me"?<P>I have taken this opportunity to look at myself and improve what I feel I may have been lacking in during the marriage. I won't have any "unresolved issues or problems" coming up in the future because I am resolving them now. <BR>Have you gals done that...it is truly a very good way to get yourself clear of baggage. Otherwise you may repeat.<P>I have also learned how to have a better one should he decide to want to confront his problems with me instead of run from them. I will be able to help him.<P>If not - then I am all the more prepared to not make the same mistakes in any future relationships. I think that that should be everyone's goal....whether betrayer or betrayed - to look inside ourselves at what we could and should do to be better people!!!<P>I hope that you both have made some strides for these goals and will continue to....I know that I am so much the better for it!!!<P>Big Hugs and God Bless,<P>Sheba<P>

#861181 04/11/00 01:47 PM
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Hi Lonelysoul -<P>You posted more of your story as I was writing my novel....LOL!!<P>I am sorry that you had one of the controlling ones.....have you learned anything about people with that kind of behavior?<P>He truly needs some help to see where that comes from - what a shame to go through life like that!!!<P>Have you read the Harley principles - perhaps there is some way to incorporate them into your situation to help your H.<P>Or is your marriage too far gone that you couldn't give this a try? THE LOVE CAN COME BACK....<P>All you have to do to know is....If h was not this way - would I still love him?<P>HUGS,<P>Sheba

#861182 04/11/00 02:22 PM
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Shelba did I understand you correctly? Your husband is no longer seeing the other woman but still wants a divorce and refuses to discuss things with you? That's a little odd and I would think he's got other issues to deal with within himself with that kind of attitude. Usually that's the first thing a betrayer will do is run back if they are dumped bu the ow/om. These types are afraid to be a lone. That's why they go from their spouse immediately to another person. That's why they don't get divorced if they are unhappy, date and THEN find somebody else. I know they are asked that a lot and I think that's the answer for a lot of betrayers.<P>As far as my past, it's more complicated and there's more too it then you can get from my post. But to answer one of your questions. Yes, I did try and talk to my ex about what was wrong with our marriage - for a couple of years in fact. I don't think it was anything in particular with him that he could change. A lot of it was his personality, his make up that didn't suit me. I was with him since I was a young teenager and when we grew to be adults we just had personalities that were not attractive to each other, nor did they compliment each other. Also, the other man and myself did end up getting together a few months later and we married. We've been married to each other for a few years now so I think it's pretty safe to say I'm not living a fantasy with him. I agree with what you say about baggage etc...A failing marriage is no fun and I don't ever want to go that route again. I'm not the same person now that I was a few years ago. It's not just me saying it but it's also my parents, siblings and friends. I'm a person at piece and a happy person. I work very hard at not repeating the mistakes I've learned from the past.

#861183 04/11/00 02:32 PM
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I have to agree with Sheba on a point...my H told me he had been unhappy for YEARS. But when I look back, all I can think was that he was really good at faking it. I won't deny we've had some hard times, but the last 5 years have been especially good. And these are the ones he says have been most empty for him. I don't mean to call him a liar, but it just wasn't that way. It's really a moot point now anyway...we are getting a divorce. But if only he had shared his disillusionment then maybe we could have done something before it was too late. Unlike your situation,neither I nor my H is abusive. There is no real reason he couldn't have told me he was unhappy. But he didn't and now we're in the midst of this mess. He is of the opinion now "if it feels good do it...if it requires hard work, walk away." <BR><P>------------------<BR>Blessed be.<BR>****************<BR>Keridwen<P>Keridwen_7@yahoo.com

#861184 04/11/00 02:56 PM
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Sheba:<P>This is probably slightly off topic but your post joggled something in my mind. I listen to the Harley radio show periodically and he is a wealth of information. Anyway, he recently said that "everyone has major personality disorders when they're in affairs. They didn't exist before the affair and they miraculously clear-up when the affair is over."<P>The reference was to a caller's questions on whether her husband had developed narcissistic personality disorder or some other personality trait. Harley summarizes the whole thing as "a bunch of hooey". They're weird because of the affair. When it's done with, they go through withdrawal and go back to normal. He thinks that people that go down all these other paths are wasting their time. The problem is the affair.<P>Anyway, our situations are so much alike in that we had good marriages before, our husband's went through some sort of unspecificed unhappiness/depression, ran off to feel-good activities that boosted the way they felt about themselves, and have refused to talk about the issues. The "real them" is not the affair-induced HORRIBLE, LYING, VALUES-FREE PERSONALITY, but the one that lived before they had to deal with what they've done. I sure hope so anyway. I don't like the current one too much.<P>Hope you're doing well.

#861185 04/11/00 03:05 PM
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I can see I stepped on a lot of toes, and I am sorry for that. Again, I am not bitter. Honest. I did not get involved with a married man on purpose or did he get involved with me on purpose. I am embarassed to admit, but I was so emotionally needy at the time I was just looking for a friend. Somehow before I knew what was what I love you's were being traded back and forth. I am not making excuses. The OM had only been married 18 months, which made the situation worse for me and heeped the guilt on big time. The relationship made me see that I was not this awful person my H had led me to believe. Giving me back my self esteem was something I will always be grateful for. Anyway...I stayed in my marriage for so long because I held on that things would get better, I had two children, and I wanted more than anything for it to work. Right before the EA started I tried talking to my H and he just didn't want to hear it. I was having a mid-life crisis, I was a nag, blah, blah, blah. Things were getting worse and not better. I was tired of being sad.<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TMD:<BR><B>I haven't figured whether you are still married or not?! You just sound incredibly bitter because your OM chose his wife over you. Sorry no sympathy there you chose to get involved with a married man. Another question, why the heck did you stay married for 15 years if you were so miserable? If your marriage was/is over and you were so unhappy than why didn't you get out and then get involved with a single man? This seems to be another thing betrayers have in common how they have all been miserable for years in their marriage yet they didn't think of divorce until they met the OP.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>

#861186 04/11/00 03:06 PM
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Hi BonnieSept -<P>I guess I should make it a little clearer - it's complicated when you talk about the OW aspect with my H..<P>I have come to piece the story together some....<P>H changed careers and became a cop - he met a female cop from another town at the gym he joined to prepare for the academy. This woman played him well - and I only say that because it is not the first or second or third, etc. time she has done this!!! <P>She befriended him which he was vulnerable for because I had been in a car accident not to much earlier than their meeting...lots of life uncertainties for us at that time for him and I.....She started spending time with him and he began to speak to her of our relationship - vulnerability and fears became a loss of love and no future apparently!!!<P>H hemmed and hawed about making a commitment to her.....she held back sex unless he left me. This went on for over a year and a half. Then H went through a bunch of women for the sex part of what needs he wanted. I knew about those because they were all drunks and used to call and drive by, etc.<P>Now during this whole period he would start threatening divorce whenever I would push for explanations or talk of our marriage, he used my guilt about the accident and loss of income to shut me up.<P>Then H and I decided to go camping for a weeekend - well it seems that OW (the police woman) didn't like it at all. They had a huge fight before we went camping and therefore H threatened divorce again (that's how I knew when she gave him a problem.) As soon as we got home he called her and she gave him the ultimatum of leaving me or having her....he chose her!!! Was gone by the end of the week - like a coward he moved out while I was at work!!!<P>Supposedly he moved in with two guy cops from his dept.....<P>Filed for divorce two weeks later....that came from another push!!!<P>That is all I know....I have my reasons for believing that he spends most of his time living with her.....<P>This is a bad situation for applying Harley methods in that my H has it all!!<P>He comes here when and if he needs my "normal" contact (his words!!) - He has the fantasy exciting new love feelings that he gets with her....and he has his place to go when he doesn't want to bother with either of us!!!!<P>I don't know if there are still other women in his life also....I do find it ironic that he started this new "love" by cheating on her as well as me - but hey, my mind is a bit less muttled!!!<P>Does this help with your understanding? Don't try to figure out his mind though, you will only hurt yourself!!! LOL!!<P>Like I said...he is the one who needs to deal with some things. I just call him a Whack-A-Doodle and pray that he gets hit in the head or something!!!<P>Hugs,<P>Sheba

#861187 04/11/00 03:14 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>I don't think that he even KNEW what the real cause was.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I would have to say that this is probably accurate.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>Anyway, our situations are so much alike in that we had good marriages before...<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I believe that this is a subjective perception issue. It was your perception that the marriage was good. The betrayers obviously had a different perception. And going back to the first quote in this post, I think the reason why the problem wasn't addressed properly before the affair happened is because of an inablility to pinpoint exactly what the problem was. or in some instances, perhaps the betrayer tried to address the problem, but the words fell on deaf ears. Also, in most instances a betrayer doesn't go looking for someone to fool around with. A situation comes up that presents an opportunity at a time when they are the most vulnerable. They are too weak at that point to fight it.

#861188 04/11/00 04:13 PM
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No one is ever justified in having an affair. No matter what. If you are not happy leave the marriage first. It's very simple. You spent 15 years hoping it would work!?!? I take it you are still married.. how long before it happens again? I guess staying together for the sake of the children is not my idea of a marriage.<BR>

#861189 04/11/00 04:37 PM
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Why I stayed in my marriage so long was because I loved my husband. Early on in the marriage he had a drinking problem...we got past that and he became very ill... I stayed with him through that. I gave and gave and gave. Was I happy; not really, but as I mentioned, I thought things would get better. After a while I just kind of accepted my fate. He was abusive and I would make execuses for his behavior. I am not claiming I was right in doing this, but its what I did. Right now I am separated and have filed for divorce. I am not lurking in the shadows waiting for another married man or for the OM I had. He told me he was going into counseling two months ago and I have respected that and left him alone completely. I hope he does work it out. Both of us had the good sense not to physically meet each other...I hope he does work it out. I don't plan on ever letting it happen again. <P>[<BR>

#861190 04/11/00 04:49 PM
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Sorry did not realize you were getting divorced. My reply was not directed totally at you. Part of it was directed at the poster who was trying to justify affairs.

#861191 04/12/00 12:46 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TMD:<BR><B>Another question, why the heck did you stay married for 15 years if you were so miserable? If your marriage was/is over and you were so unhappy than why didn't you get out and then get involved with a single man? This seems to be another thing betrayers have in common how they have all been miserable for years in their marriage yet they didn't think of divorce until they met the OP.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>------------ <BR>Do you really believe that the unhappy spouse never thought about divorce until OP comes along? They've thought about it many times. <P>It would be nice if an unhappy spouse would divorce first and then start dating. Maybe the Walton's would've done it that way or a family like the Cleavers. Unfortunately most betrayers are convinced they can't find happiness in their marriage. They stick around for the kids, financial reasons, and just don't have the guts to leave. It's not until someone special comes into their life they are motivated to leave their unhappy relationship. It's the chicken way out. Assuming they have some compassion, most spouses that do this cause themselves more pain than anyone. They feel guilty for not doing it the right way. They must live with knowing they are causing pain to their families. They may not be in love with their spouses, but they don't dislike them enough to not feel guilt for leaving.<P>When someone has been unhappy for a long time in a relationship and does nothing but stay feeling stuck I think they resent their spouse and carry anger inside them. Instead of being honest about how they feel and leave the honorable way, they get involved with OP and they turn all that resentment and anger onto their spouses. This is their justification for their new relationship and for getting out of the marriage.<P>Isn't it common to hear how mean the betrayed starts treating their spouse all of a sudden, even though it's them that's doing wrong? <P>Every relationship has a unique situation, but as K wrote, patterns exist in relationships. That's where statistics come from. It's an indicator for probability.<P>Betrayers know they've done wrong. Their new relationship feels right because they're feeling happy and alive, and giving and receiving love that is missing in their life. But they feel how they went about it is wrong. They aren't proud of causing hurt, cheating, and lying.<P>I can't place all the blame on the betrayer. What about blaming the betrayed. Why does it take the realization you're losing your spouse to another person for you to put effort into your marriage? Why all of a sudden do you decide to lose weight, be affectionate, attentive, and considerate. I think that could be looked at as selfish too. They're doing this so they don't lose their spouse. They didn't do it all along to make their spouse happy. <P>If you and your spouse once shared a great loving happy relationship where there was "chemistry" between you, then you have good reason to want to get it back and rekindle your love. <P>If your marriage has never been satisfying to you and you never felt happy because you didn't share a great loving and happy relationship, then I'm not convinced you should settle for anything less just because of making vows or having children. <P>I also made many attempts to tell my husband specifically why I wasn't happy. I realized that it was his personality and not sharing the same interest that was making me unhappy. Although he didn't intentionally mistreat me, I felt empty, sad, and bored. I assumed he felt the same about me. Our marriage wasn't horrible enough to end, but it definitely wasn't good enough to want to stay in. <P>Now that we've divorced, he's stressing to me that I gave him a wake up call. He's making every effort to persuade me to remarry him and he's doing all the things I told him I wanted from him years ago.<P>Is this really him? Or is this a man that's desperate and is doing anything he can to get me back again?

#861192 04/12/00 02:47 PM
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My H told me the same thing, Decisontime, that finding out about the OM was a wakeup call. He agreed to work on the marriage; yet when we went for marriage counseling he refused to do anything or try any of the suggestions made by the counselor. Our problems were all my fault, yet with the next breath he went on about how he would do anything to save our marriage. When the counselor made a suggestion he said no and walked out. What do you do with someone like that? I had an EA, which until reading this forum, I wasn't even aware I had an affair. I take responsibility for that, but as I said before, not the rest. I was willing to work on the marriage, but I can't do it alone. My H has hurt our children, humilated me, and has tried to hurt me anyway he can...unless I change my mind about the divorce. Some of you think I was an idiot to stay for so long, and maybe I was, but it doesn't change the fact that I did. I did not decide to divorce him because I had the OM. I made my decision separate from my entaglement with him. <P>

#861193 04/12/00 03:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 97
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Lonelysoul:<P>I assume your husband knows you aren't involved with anyone right now.<P>Tell him if he'd prove to you he's had his wake up call then there might be a chance for a future together. Put the ball in his court instead of letting yourself be on the defensive.<P>You must've been willing to work on saving your marriage if you went to counseling with him.<P>Your husband must know it's because of his decision to not work on your problems together that he's left you no other choice.<P>If this happened recently maybe he's going through a temporary phase. I'm not sure what order it takes place but I remember reading that major emotional events go through several phases.<BR>Shock, Denial, Anger, Negotiating & Acceptance.<P>Hopefully his lashing out at you will stop when he sees you mean business. Do whatever you can to not let your husband think you've been influenced by anyone other than him!<BR>No other man is making you feel unhappy with your marriage. He is having trouble accepting that because then it would mean he'd have to accept some of this as being his fault.<P>

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