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Please know that it has taken me a lot of courage to start this thread. I have faith that this will be the sad beginning of a story with a very happy ending.

My H and I have been married for 15 years (together 16) and have two totally awesome boys between us ages 8 & 5. We met on a whirlwind tour while I came to CA to see my family while on Christmas / New Year's vacation when I lived in TX. We met on New Year's eve and were inseparable. We kept a long distance relationship for a month and I decided to move out to CA to be with him. We eloped 7 months later and have been together since.

During the first 2 years of our marriage, things were great. We did things together, lead a spontaneous couples life and sex was fun. But as time went on, we erroded our marriage with numerous love busters. He became emotionally and domestically lazy and I became resentful and bitter because I felt that everything mounted on my shoulders. At the end of the night, I did not feel moved to engage in sex since I was too tired and angry from running the whole show without any help. I was at a point where I felt less than cherished and was only there as "the help" and the bedmate.

During this time, a coworker and I found a mutual interest in each other and before I knew it, I ended up kissing this man and got caught by my H's friend. I came home shameful, guilty and filled with remorse. I couldn't apologize more and begged him to forgive me. I got counseling right away and for 12 years never strayed again.

My H never did fully forgive me for that first A and it spread through our marriage like a cancer. He no longer trusted me and treated me like a child. I tolerated it because a part of me felt that I deserved to be punished but at the same time, I was living a pure life again.

Along came our children.....he treated me like less of a human being when I was pregnant with our first son and was a mentally absent dad for the first 2 years of our son's life. When our second son came along, we switch gears. I was sick and miserable being pregnant and had major post partum depression and Spartan was a hands on dad and enjoyed that pregnancy with me.

My self esteem suffered terribly and I was desperate to fill that void. Spartan and I had grown so far apart and had tried so many times to work through counseling that I had given up and resolved to stay in the marriage for the kids. I knew that I still loved him, but I didn't know how to anymore.

In my quest to boost my self esteem, I joined the gym and began training. Slowly I began to see improvements and I became obsessed with gaining results and reaching higher levels and wanted to explore the art of bodybuilding in the "figure" sect. I wanted help from others "in the know" so I opened a MySpace account. That was the demise of my innocense.....

I met a man there that I ended up having a 3 year EA/PA him. Simultaneously, my H had an EA/PA with the married woman across the street. We could not afford to live separately and so we "sort of" agreed that we would run separate lives until we could afford to move on. I was never allowed to involve the kids in my A (which I don't regret) but my H involved the kids in his because they were familiar with the neighbor and adored her. On Black Friday in '06, I went shopping with my AP and I was to come back at 6:00 so he and his AP could go out for the evening. I came back at 5:00 only to find them driving up in our Odyssey with her in the front seat and the kids in the back after a day at the zoo. I couldn't stand to see her with my kids and lost it. Spartan and I got into a very heated arguement which escalated into a physical altercation in the kitchen. I ended up throwing my shoes at him and 2 hours later was arrested with my 3 year old on my hip for felony spousal abuse. I spent 5 days in jail and was served with a restraining order on my first court hearing.

I spent 3 months living in 4 different places and to be honest,I don't remember much. I was suicidal and was full of self loathing. Not only that, but Spartan had moved the neighbor in to our house. I knew she was sleeping next to my H and loving on my children....creating Christmas memories there and there was nothing that I could do. Never once did I violate my restraining order. Not even with a phone call.

10-days before Christmas, Spartan had my mother serve me with divorce papers. I could literally hear the shattered pieces of my heart hit the floor.

In Feb. we decided to try to put our marriage back together again. Spartan told the neighbor to leave (which she did but not without several verbal lashings). I told my AP goodbye but still left the door open. I continued to sit on the fence for another year out of fear of coming back to a dead end marriage. Every time Spartan and I would get into an arguement, I would pack my bags and leave for the weekend to go back to my AP. I ended up with a lifelong reminder of my mistake. I wrote him a NC letter, changed my number, had his e-mail blocked and never looked back.

Spartan and I were doing as well as could be expected. We were numb and feigning a happy marriage in public but at home, we were living as roommates barely recognizable to each other.

I still continued to train and was readying for another figure competition. The amount of time and effort that is put in to this is exorbatant. I was spending 3 hours a day at the gym and still worked full time. During this time, I met a man at the gym who was extremely knowledgable and was spotting me and helping me reach my competition goals. Again, I was at a weak point and found myself giving him my number. I remember the very moment I did it too...that voice inside of me saying "what the HELL are you DOING?!" But I blew it off and justified what I was doing. Spartan saw all the signs and confronted me about it. As all waywards do, I lied and said that nothing was going on and that he was just a training partner (a partial truth). I carried on this A until Dec. and ended all contact with him on 12/29/08.

I can actually say that I became someone I did not know. I made a deal with the devil and let him sleep in my bed and hated every minute of it. I will do whatever it takes to become who I was in our family photos so many years ago. When I compare the "then" and "now" pictures I can see the light gone from my eyes. Absolutely vanished.......

I am currently going to a Christian counselor who counsels both Spartan and I individually and also as a couple. It works very well and we really connect with her.

I know I have a very long way to go but I feel that I have friends here who will help me every painful step of the way. I love my husband more than any man in the world. He has seen me at my best and my worst and loves me unconditionally. I want to learn to love him that same way in return.

...that's where YOU come in.

~Sparky~

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See if you can spot all the DJ comments you've made in your post.

That is a good place to start.

Good luck!

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What's DJ?

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Disrespectful judgement


Welcome MS. I too am a FWW as well as a BW x2. My H has an OC as a lifetime souvenir of his adultery.


Faith

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 Originally Posted By: MutedSparkle
...that's where YOU come in.
I'm here, Sparky, but will defer to the vets. I'll be watching every step of the way and am sending my support. You already have one of the best -- Pep -- putting you to task. Get to it. And know I'm rooting for you and Spartan.

You're in the right place.

Take care.


Me (FWW): 45
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“YOU think that every time I leave the toilet seat up that I’m doing it because I hate you.”

That is a disrespectful judgment from a husband to a wife. In it you can see that the husband claims to know what his wife is thinking, in fact, he doesn’t even require her input. In fact, the only reason that he needs her to be present is so that he can proclaim his accusation as the truth, even though it may be nothing close to the truth. It is perhaps the most dangerous and cruel love buster of all.

Mr. G


"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," Bob Dylan
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We do that to each other almost on a daily basis. \:\(

Please stay here with me....I want us to have a wonderfully fun, passionate marriage. I want him to be my friend again.

The knowledge that all of you have is invaluable to me and I am willing to do as much introspection as humanly possible to rise above this mess.

I pray that he posts too, or at least reads my thread. We've both filled out the EA needs questionnaire but haven't given it to each other yet.

I have counseling tonight which is a good thing. I feel drained after writing/reliving that again.

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You said you both have erroded the M with LBs.

The DJs you made in your first post are LBs. Finding them is good practice for you.
Try to spot them and write them here so you begin with YOU.

Good luck.

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PB,

I'm anxious to start my first assignment! I will be leaving here soon but as soon as I get the kids off to bed tonight, I will go through and highlight what I see.

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Pepperband:

These are the DJ's that I was able to identify.

 Quote:
He became emotionally and domestically lazy and I became resentful and bitter because I felt that everything mounted on my shoulders. At the end of the night, I did not feel moved to engage in sex since I was too tired and angry from running the whole show without any help. I was at a point where I felt less than cherished and was only there as "the help" and the bedmate.


 Quote:
I tolerated it because a part of me felt that I deserved to be punished but at the same time, I was living a pure life again.


 Quote:
he treated me like less of a human being when I was pregnant with our first son and was a mentally absent dad for the first 2 years of our son's life.


 Quote:
I had given up and resolved to stay in the marriage for the kids


 Quote:
Every time Spartan and I would get into an arguement, I would pack my bags and leave for the weekend to go back to my AP.



 Quote:
We were numb and feigning a happy marriage in public but at home, we were living as roommates barely recognizable to each other.


I'm sure that your trained eye will be able to spot more, but those are the ones that stood out to me.

I had counseling tonight and stayed away from talking about FOO issues and concentrated mainly on the marriage. We talked quite a bit about what happened last Fri. between Spartan and I. He kept me up all night long and finally woke me up at 4:30 to tell me that he could no longer handle my rejections for sex. I gently explained to him that I wasn't ready but if he felt that it was something he had to take to quell his insecurities then to go ahead. He didn't want to wait any longer and took understanding that it was without reciprocation on my part. I went numb. Our counselor conceeded that sex right now isn't a good idea unless it is completely mutual. We need to learn how to touch each other and be affectionate comfortably first. I agreed, but when I came home and told Spartan he got upset. His only comment was, "why is it that you could have sex with someone else but not ME!" Tonight wasn't a good night to get into a heavy conversation like that, so we will talk about that tomorrow. First of all, 3 out of 4 of us are sick and second it it's late.

Crawl before standing. Stand before walking. Walk before running.

I ask God each day to bless this marriage and breathe new life into it.

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 Quote:
"Why is it that you could have sex with someone else but not ME!?"


That is a very legitimate question that you should give thought to.

 Quote:
Our counselor conceded that sex right now isn't a good idea unless it is completely mutual.


She is right but what needs to take place to make it mutually desired?

 Quote:
I love my husband more than any man in the world.


Errr, from his perspective it does not appear that way.

 Quote:
He has seen me at my best and my worst and loves me unconditionally.


Don’t fool yourself, his love is NOT unconditional.

 Quote:
I want to learn to love him that same way in return.


Sounds like a commitment. That is good. You have come here and that says much but just showing up in these pages is not enough.

 Quote:
I will do whatever it takes to become who I was in our family photos so many years ago.


You have come to the right place.

Mr. G


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Hi Sole Sister!

Just wanted to drop this note - as sad as it is for us to have met the way we have - I am excited about sharing our jounreys with each other.

Patience my dear. And - PRAYER. It took both of you to get to the mess you are in, but it's going to take 3 of you to get out. GOD is the first one. You and Sparty are the other 2.

I am very glade to call you a friend.

Now... back to your regularly scheduled program... someday soon I'll get the brave girl pants on and post my story here... I'm guessing there are some kind brave souls to help me out, and to keep pushing me forward.


Me BS / Him Deep in the Fog of A ~ Running from everything that's real.

"He made the lame walk - And the dumb talk - He opened blinded eyes to see - That the sun rises on His time - Yet He knows our deepest desperate need - And the world waits - While this heart aches - To realize the dream - I wonder what life would be like - If we let Jesus live through you and me." Big Daddy Weave - What life would be like
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 Quote:
Our counselor conceeded that sex right now isn't a good idea unless it is completely mutual. We need to learn how to touch each other and be affectionate comfortably first. I agreed, but when I came home and told Spartan he got upset. His only comment was, "why is it that you could have sex with someone else but not ME!"
IMHO, your counselor is wrong. I believe for the sake of your H and your M, you need to fake it until you do feel it again. I have gone through the VERY SAME problems with my H. I felt rejected. I felt unattractive. I was desperate for his touch. I said the same words your H said to you to my H.


Faith

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Thanks, Mr. Goodstuff,

That first question really is something that I need to really put some thought in to. I know for sure that over the course of the years, the way that we've both chipped away at each other has worn away my attraction to him. We were no longer having fun.......ever. We never transitioned well between being a couple without kids to being a couple with kids. All of our couples time has been lost. Even though my parents are local, they aren't active grandparents which makes it difficult on us. We're not in a financial position to afford a sitter. We've gotten into some pretty intense conversations about parenting as well. His way of parenting is to bark and yell at the kids.....constantly. There is very little warm interation between them and it kills me. I've told him that it makes him completely unattractive to me when he yells at them, interrupts them and treats them as "just kids" instead of individuals that need to be listened to. He hardly ever lets them finish a sentance and assumes every single thing they're going to say and never gives them the benefit of the doubt. We've talked about it and he tries, but always reverts back to the old ways. Other things that drive me away are his lack of time for me. Let's say that I ask him if he can take the trash out. He'll say, "What's wrong with you doing it?" or his favorite "I don't have time." because he's involved with something else. There is never a reply of, "I'm busy right now but I'll do it after I'm done.". We've talked about that too and he always reverts back to the old ways. There's more but you get the picture. It's hard to want to be passionate with someone who is apathetic towards me and the kids.

Being here on this board is only a very small portion of the work that is going on behind the scenes here. I have taken all initiative to straighten out this mess I've made but I cannot be in a marriage alone. He says that he wants to make it work too, but the effort on his part says differently. When I had my first counseling session, I left her business card on his nightstand. I told him she wanted him to call her to set up an appointment. A month went by and nothing happened. I asked him when he would call and his first response was, "I don't have the number" which was a lie. Then the next response was "I don't have time". He was laying in bed with the business card right next to him watching TV when he said that to me. Hurts....

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 Originally Posted By: Jen1234
Now... back to your regularly scheduled program... someday soon I'll get the brave girl pants on and post my story here... I'm guessing there are some kind brave souls to help me out, and to keep pushing me forward.


You can do it, sweetie!

I'm honored to call you my friend, too. Love ya, girl.

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 Originally Posted By: MutedSparkle
Being here on this board is only a very small portion of the work that is going on behind the scenes here. I have taken all initiative to straighten out this mess I've made but I cannot be in a marriage alone. He says that he wants to make it work too, but the effort on his part says differently. When I had my first counseling session, I left her business card on his nightstand. I told him she wanted him to call her to set up an appointment. A month went by and nothing happened. I asked him when he would call and his first response was, "I don't have the number" which was a lie. Then the next response was "I don't have time". He was laying in bed with the business card right next to him watching TV when he said that to me. Hurts....

Hi, MS.

The fact of the matter is, your H may not ever seek outside help. My H is the same way.

It might be akward for your H to go to a counselor you're already seeing. He might think she's already biased toward you. He might be adamently against counseling. He might see it as an unnecessary expense. Your H may be rejecting the counselor as a way of controlling because much of his world currently feels out of his control. He may be doing it to disrespect your wishes. It may be because of something much deeper within him that has nothing to do with you. Could it be any of these reasons? We can and should support our Hs, but we cannot push them into making their Ms work.

Regarding counseling specifically, I think your H seeing you doing whatever you can to find answers within yourself is a good example so keep doing that and share with him appropriate information in a non-judgemental way.

One thing I did... My H kept asking me why I did what I did. I had such difficulty articulating because I was struggling with this myself. I read a book that devoted a chapter on why people cheat and I bookmarked this. I went to my H and said, "You've been asking me how I could have done this. You don't have to read the book or even this chapter. But I think it might provide you with better insight than what I've been able to give you so far." I placed it on our bed and walked away. That night he handed it back and thanked me for it, said he felt there was some good info in it. He read only the chapter marked (he didn't want to read more) but he appreciated my gesture in trying to help him. He didn't see it as me shoving psycho-babble down his throat.

Something to keep in mind is our first order of business as the betrayers is to do our best to help our Hs heal. Why? The way Dr. H described it to me is that you can't expect anyone to run a race (work on a problematic marriage, for example) while they have a huge, gaping wound in their leg (the discovery of an affair). We have to dig in and clean out the wound and it's going to be painful. We have to cleanse it and apply medicine. The bandage may be ripped off a few times for more work, but it must be done. And eventually when it's healed, there will still be scar. A reminder of what happened. But now the race can be run and because of the time spent to make sure the wound was fully recovered, the runner may now be even stronger, able to run faster and farther.

A marriage does take two. But how YOU grow, learn, heal from this mess -- while it can be highly influenced by outside resources (MB, God, your H) it is ultimately up to one. You. You can choose to change, let God in, be remorseful, lean on others, join MB, and do whatever else you choose. Just like we chose to have an affair, we can also choose to do the incredibly hard work to restore our souls and our lives. With our Hs standing beside us? Hopefully. But what if your H decides he can't stay? What are you going to do? Who do you want to be?

The fabulous posters on my thread keep giving great advice on how to go about healing myself and how to help my H heal and process. Among all the advice, a common theme is that I need to become the wife my H wants to be with. I need to be the L4 who is happy, healthy, fun, strong, smart, tender, silly, and HONEST. I need to be the best of me because that's who my H wants to be with. And you know what? I rather like that L4, too. So if my H decides he can't remain, I'll still be with at least one person I like.

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L4,

As a wayward, I value your perspective and could see the progress that you've made by reading through your thread. I want that, too.

He has since joined me in counseling so that's a good thing. She did say that he has difficulty with introspection and with staying in touch with his feelings. She feels that he detaches himself emotionally as a protective defense against getting hurt. He also has trust issues that he's had all his life, so naturally my A's escalated that.

Is is VERY difficult to just come right out and say why I did what I did. I know he craves answers but I just dont feel like the answers would be of any help. It would almost add insult to injury. I think I will share one of the articles that I found here on the website that seemed to sum it up best for me. I just can't bring myself to say something that will tear him apart again. I've already confessed to everything that I did with the OM and when I did, I wanted to crawl into a hole.

I have chosen to peel this onion not just for the marriage, but for me as well. I became someone I absolutely didn't know anymore and that is pretty scary. If my H chooses to ride this wagon with me, I will be honored. If not, then I will continue my journey towards true inner peace and happiness that comes from me and not someone else. Yes, I'm a people pleaser and that's a major character flaw. I have no idea who I will become, but all I know is that it will so much better than what I am today.

I'm so glad you're here with me.

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Sparky...

Only time for a quick post right now...but off the top of my head...

Focus more on your behavior and less on his...Remember, you can only control and change YOU...

I also agree very much with faithfulfollower that your counselor is wrong regarding SF...This is a time where you will have to do a "fake it til ya make it" deal...

One of the MOST IMPORTANT things that I've learned here is this...

FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS...

Mrs. W


FWW ~ 47 ~ Me
FBH ~ 50 ~ MrWondering
DD ~ 17
Dday ~ 2005 ~ Recovered

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Are you aware sparkle that you have posted yet even more DJ's about your H? Mrs.W is correct, that feelings follow action. The last thing you want is your C to coddle you. It is hard work for a WW to become a FWW. Focus within and take your eyes off your H's flaws. As for the why's. Your answers will change the further along you are. My answers in the beginning were pretty darn selfish and immature but that was where I was at the time. The people here on MB, pepperband in particular, helped me look within myself and grow.


Faith

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FF,

I honestly didn't see those when I wrote my post. It is going to take a while for me to re-train myself from my own dysfunction.

I used to laugh when people would say that I put the "fun" in dys"fun"ction. It's not so funny any more.

It is difficult for anyone to really see the true picture without knowing us personally and watching the dynamics between us. He has yet to post here but that is something that he has to decide on his own. I extended the offer by setting up his account and peacefully leaving it at that.

I know for a fact that I was fully consumed with insecurity, bitterness and a need for all eyes to be on me during my A's. I was COMPLETELY self absorbed and ignored the damage that was left in my wake of self destruction. It was years of pent of anger that engulfed me in flames of pain and instead of reaching for the heavy extinguisher, I took the prettier bottle of poison instead. I'm still going through withdrawls and feel numb inside. There are times where I will get shadows of myself back but they're fleeting. Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting for a glacier to thaw.

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