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He told me yesterday that not only is he putting any talk of my confession off the table, but that all relationship is off the table and our entire marriage is on hold until he gets another job.

I've been through that before. Everytime he needs another job, I get demoted from wife to roommate. The thought of living the rest of my life that way was too much. So tonight I told him that his habit of doing this is excrutiatingly painful for me and that this has to change one way or the other. He said my characterization of it as a "demotion" was just my characterization of it. I said that's how I feel. He said I'm sorry you feel that way. I said "but apparently not sorry enough to do anything about it."

I said we have a huge problem and need to deal with it. I told him I cheated on you. I think I was right that he already knew because he didn't seem surprised. Even then the only things he asked were, what do I want to do? (Work things out and not do what I was doing before) and what is the goal of working things out? (a better marriage wherein we can talk about problems and find solutions instead of putting everything on hold.)

I thought that by violating his rule of not telling him anything until he thinks he can deal with it he'd get angry and ask for a divorce. That's not exactly how it went.

He said he feels conflicted about working things out because 1- he feels like he wants to kill himself (more excuses for why he won't seek help..ugh!) and 2- he thinks it's hopeless, that there is no way to work things out and therefore there is no point in even trying.

So my problem as I see it is:

1- Helping him get over his depression even though he refuses to get help. He is so stubborn about this! I am tempted to slip anti-depressants into his diet soda. No, I would not actually do that, of course, but I can dream.

2- Instilling in him a sense of hope for us, without requiring him to do anything until he gets that hope. I don't know how I would go about doing that. With him, my kids, my friends, my attempts to comfort people I love usually include physical affection but he does not want that from me right now (nor sex for that matter.)

I have been working on conversation, admiration and domestic support. Recreational companionship is a bit tough, but he finally agreed to start watching a tv show together that we both like. As for "need for an attractive spouse" I've already been on a weight loss plan for quite some time, and he prefers women who don't wear makeup. So there isn't really anything for me to do in that department that I wasn't already doing.

Anybody got any other suggestions?

And how do I know when it's time to throw in the towel because he will never be motivated to do anything to help save the marriage? It would help if I knew what to expect as a reasonable timeframe in which to see some results. At some point he's got to want to be married to me or this won't work. Right now, he's ambivalent.

p.s., FH - your 7-point post on the other thread helped. Thanks!

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I'm not sure I'll be much help but I commend you for being so strong. From what I read you have been through alot and still have fight left.

Does he understand that anti D medicine can help? Maybe a brochure or something that he could read, if he'll do that.

Instilling a hope is going to be difficult, I'd think either you have it or not. Maybe show him your best side, the one he fell in love with..?

I hope things work out for you! You are right about setting some kind of timeframe, I wouldnt say wait for years to see results but I'm no where near an expert!


Me - 26 & Hubby - 27
In Love since 10/99
Married 6/01' - love our 2 sons ages 4 & 6
Problem: Communicating & Making Time for Our Marriage.
Status: Started Recovery June 11, 2007 -Our marriage is happier & stronger then ever - It's been a year and we are SUCCESSFUL!

Completely head over heels in love with my romantic hubby
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Thanks, MarriedMom.

He knows it works for me, but he sees mine as different. Mine is biological and his is not, he thinks. According to him, all he needs is a new job and he'll be fine. That's probably true, but in the meantime he's miserable and occasionally tough to deal with.

He says now that he will get help when he's in the position of being able to find and keep one doctor he can rely on. But that also would require him finding a job because we don't know where we'll be living. He says he doesn't have time for counseling, although he did agree to go to family counseling to deal with some medical problems the kids are having that might be stress-related - assuming we can get in for free, which might be possible. I'll call Monday to find out. Maybe if he is able to establish a repore with the family counselor he might open up to that person about his own problems.

There was a cognitive-behaviorism book that helped me once. I don't know if I could get him to read a whole book on the subject, but maybe if I find the right article that teaches him how to apply the concepts himself he might do that.

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Glad you were able to have the discussion; I have to think it is a helpful step for your marriage.

Quote:

I thought that by violating his rule of not telling him anything until he thinks he can deal with it he'd get angry and ask for a divorce. That's not exactly how it went.



I wouldn't have thought so. What's the 'crime' here: that you tell him something he doesn't want to hear or that you utterly betrayed him?

His feeling angry makes sense. Suicide isn't a good response, but feeling angry is much better than feeling nothing.

That he would consider family counseling is great. However, I suspect the real issue threatening the children is the problems in the marriage.

Giving him reasons to hope. Besides avoiding LBs and meeting ENs, you want to be open, honest, transparent, keeping of NC, dedicated to the marriage relationship.

Some specific things you could do:
(1) Unilaterally give him your email passwords and tell him that he is free to read your mail (you had contact with OM via email, I think). Don't get new accounts or change passwords without telling him.

(2) Get tested for STDs and give him the printed lab results. Don't make a big deal about it. Tell him you're so sorry your actions made this necessary.

(3) Did you have contact with OM by a cell phone? If so, change numbers and tell your BH why.

(4) Be totally willing to furnish details such as OMs identities, how many OM there were, how you communicated, how you were able to arrange to meet for sex. BTW, in your talk were you able to mention how many OM there were and be unambiguous that they were sexual relationships? You have nothing to lose by fully disclosing the situation.

(5) For now, accept restrictions on your behavior since you haven't been trustworthy. Don't do anything that would cause him to worry. Put defensive boundaries in place to avoid any inappropriate friendship with another man.

(6) If you have any physical token of an affair (e.g., gift, love letter, photograph) box it up, offer to give it your H first, and then discard it.

(7) Did you express any remorse for your actions? If not, why not?

(8) Every so often ask your H to please tell you if there is anything he would like you to do to help the relationship recover.

(9) Harley says that SF and RC are the two most common male ENs. I wouldn't discount them easily. You seem ready to provide conversation and affection (the typical female ENs); perhaps there is a chance you are trying to love him the way you would best feel loved and not the way he would most feel love and care.

You ask about timeframe (how long to wait). I understand hurting motivates this question, but its really kind of a selfish perspective. Also, if you constantly think about bailing it'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What is acting hastily going to do for you? Perhaps you have some belief that being in another relationship will make you a happier person; this is not generally the case. If you want some additional motivation to stick it out when it feels hard, read any of Judith Wallerstein's research on the effects of D on children.

Have you read dorry's recovery guide for WWs?

- WG


BH 40, Married: 2002, Discovered affairs: Fall 2005, Divorced: Spring 2008

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At the very least you go get HNHN and take the EN questionnaire. Once as you and once as him (unless he is willing t/d his own). U read the book and leave it accessible for him. NO pressure, just watch.

Check back in about 2 weeks. Yea....guys are slow about this stuff....sometimes.

take care,
L.

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woundedgentlemen,

Yes I did express remorse, and I did make it clear that these were sexual relationships although I didn't say how many.

I'll do the other suggestions, thanks.

As for SF, I have made this offer to my husband twice now: OS without any expectation of something in return. He turned it down twice. The first time he said he appreciated the offer. The second time he said he didn't want to be mean but he "just wasn't feeling it" because of his anger toward me. I'm sure this is also a source of insecurity for him because he has a medical problem (trouble with orgasm) and we have always had some incompatibility when it comes to what we like in bed. I think any further offers will just make him feel pressured.

When I asked about a timeframe, it is because I'm afraid of spending years emotionally investing in trying to hang onto a husband who doesn't want me and won't ever want me again. If the most I will ever get from him is tolerating me for the sake of the kids, then I'd need to face that reality at some point and protect myself from further rejection and heartache. The last thing I'd want is a husband who sees me as the woman he can't stand be around who has him trapped because of the kids. Maybe that's selfish, but I don't think he would want that either.

Orchid, he won't do the EN survey and probably would refuse to read mine. He refuses to go look at this site. He is refusing to read any material on marital help. Basically he wants to do zero work on the marriage until he is convinced that his efforts will not go to waste. I could leave the book out so he can see it and read it when he's ready. But I really don't think he'll read it until he decides he wants to be married to me.

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Oh, and I just read Dorry's guide and Pat's guide too.

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Quote:

When I asked about a timeframe, it is because I'm afraid of spending years emotionally investing in trying to hang onto a husband who doesn't want me and won't ever want me again.



Betrayed spouses are more resilent then they think; love can be restored. Have hope!

Even if you invested years of effort and your marriage didn't thrive you'd have some very tangible benefits: (1) you'd be a better person for it; (2) you know you gave it your best effort; (3) you tried to spare your children the consequences of D and you showed them that M is worth working at; (4) you would be better prepared for other relationships.

Quote:

Basically he wants to do zero work on the marriage until he is convinced that his efforts will not go to waste.



Right now he's got to be very hurt. You, his most trusted friend, wife, and lover have profoundly, even cruelly hurt him. Doesn't he deserve some time to heal? Don't you want to show him, both today and in the long term, that you will be the wife he wants to be married to?

On SF. Just keep in mind that even if he declines, he may actually want it but something relational is preventing him from being able to enjoy this with you. In the early months after finding out about my WW's affairs the following things were true: (1) She wanted us to have SF; (2) I had intense desire for her; (3) I grieved for the relational-intimacy that was now shattered; and (4) I knew she was still seeing affair partners, and in that environment I could not connect meaningfully with her in that way.

Well, don't push it. If he can't enjoy it now it would be a mistake.

- WG


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Quote:

Right now he's got to be very hurt. You, his most trusted friend, wife, and lover have profoundly, even cruelly hurt him. Doesn't he deserve some time to heal? Don't you want to show him, both today and in the long term, that you will be the wife he wants to be married to?





Yes, absolutely he does. And he's feeling ambivalent about being married to me at all, so it does make sense that he would not want to invest emotionally in the marriage right now. I can deal with that as long as I don't lose hope of that changing in the future. And telling me he's ambivalent ("conflicted" was the word he used) is a definite step up from "I want a divorce."

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A:

Congrats on telling him!

I'm very proud of you!

Has he cut off communications with his EA internet friend?

Yes, he has alot of info to process right now, but you did the right thing. You have started to change the torched landscape of your M into something that something better can grow in.

Be available.

Do the ENQ as if you were him, and start meeting those needs that you think might be the ones that he most needs met.

His not having a job right now, makes whatever happens short term, very dicey.

Because he isn't providing for his family and his W just revealed to him that she was involved in many A while he is away.

So, he is in a very bad spot right now.

Be available and talk to him, about whatever he wants to talk about. When he wants to talk R, then you talk about it, but not until then.

Be available, and show physical affection, if he will let you, (touch him, rub his shoulders, give him hugs, etc) so that he knows that you not rejecting him completely.

SF? Let him initiate. He might not want to for quite a while, but just let him know that you are available for that as well. It might blossom with a vengenance one day soon, and H may want it all night long.

So be available for it.

Congrats on your honesty. No matter what, that was the right thing to do.

LG

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Thanks, lousygolfer.

Communications with OW seem to have ended back in late August. It seems he started looking by placing at least two online personals ads, talked to a few women, and didn't find what he was looking for.

There was a woman on a game of his that he communicated with more recently, but he said there was nothing there. It was an angry email cutting off contact with her over something that happened in the game and he compared her unfavorably to his ex-wife (he was married once before and divorced her because of her multiple substance addictions). Because of that comparison I was suspicious, but he said they sometimes talked about other people and that's all there was to it. Even though he was cutting off contact in anger I was afraid she might convince him to forgive her because she did send an apology. But he seems to have lost interest in the game altogether and has not been on since I've been here. I had gotten a free account so I could play with him but then he told me he doesn't play it anymore. I was relieved because I think the game is stupid and he was obsessed with it for a few years. Was it because that friendship was really an EA? I don't know. He's gotten obsessed with games before so I really have no way of knowing for sure, but I'm not worried about it as long as he's not playing the game anymore.

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Aphaeresis,

Just wanted to say "Hang in there." I'm pulling for you.

I'm also praying for you, FWIW.

Mark

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I am amazed that you stuck around this long. You have been “beat up” here in a fairly routine manner, yet you stuck it out. You finely told him “straight out” and now the real work can begin.

As you know, your marriage can use some real help and I’m not just saying that because of the affair behaviors from your husband and you. I might suggest that you start repairs based on two common bonds that exist, a.) You are husband and wife, and b.) You are mother and father to the same child.

You and he have lots of work to do and the very next step is to create a mutual desire to save the marriage. He has told you that he is unsure of his resolve but have you stated your resolve to him?

You are both in desperate need of marriage counseling and perhaps some independent counseling as well. Based on your description of him, I might suggest that he will benefit the most from getting some type of help but I suspect that you already know that.

As husband and wife it is important that you arrive at a mutual state where SF is rewarding to both of you. I have the feeling that this is where the ultimate deal breaker may surface. There is something that is preventing him from achieving both physical and emotional intimacy with you and that must be fixed. It could be ALL based in the affair activities but I would not be surprised if there were more than meets the eye.

For now, it is important that he knows where you stand. Do you want to restore the marriage? He must know your resolve and will likely not commit to anything until he knows that you are sincere. Convincing him of your sincerity with be most difficult.

One last thing, for recovery to progress you must be together. It can’t work while you are separated due to his work.

You have made the noble move, the courageous move. You have given your marriage a chance. It is time for you to start to heal from your mistakes of the past.

Mr. G


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Quote:

Thanks, lousygolfer.

Communications with OW seem to have ended back in late August. It seems he started looking by placing at least two online personals ads, talked to a few women, and didn't find what he was looking for.

There was a woman on a game of his that he communicated with more recently, but he said there was nothing there. It was an angry email cutting off contact with her over something that happened in the game and he compared her unfavorably to his ex-wife (he was married once before and divorced her because of her multiple substance addictions). Because of that comparison I was suspicious, but he said they sometimes talked about other people and that's all there was to it. Even though he was cutting off contact in anger I was afraid she might convince him to forgive her because she did send an apology. But he seems to have lost interest in the game altogether and has not been on since I've been here. I had gotten a free account so I could play with him but then he told me he doesn't play it anymore. I was relieved because I think the game is stupid and he was obsessed with it for a few years. Was it because that friendship was really an EA? I don't know. He's gotten obsessed with games before so I really have no way of knowing for sure, but I'm not worried about it as long as he's not playing the game anymore.




Then his lack of M participation has less t/d with your A and more t/d w/his A. It is the WS attitude that is the real issue. His lack of trust in you would manifest greater if their was no WS attitude.

This is what you need to let him know. Let him know you realize something important about him. Don't tell him, let him ask you. It is vital you have his attention before you speak. When he is willing to give you attention with a fair attitude (don't expect too nice - just a calm one), then let him know you realize he has a WS attitude. That when he is ready to shed that attitude you may be available to talk about it. That you know how awful it is to have a WS attitude and you learned how NOT to have one. Let him know WS attitudes are highly destructive and you fear for his emotional survival because having gone through it, you realize you love your real H and NOT the WS. Again remind him if he is ready to talk more, you may be available. Don't appear anxious to talk about it. Keep cool. Then end the convo with a hug or just end it on a pleasant note.

Do NOT expect a response. Be willing to walk away leaving him to his thoughts. The goal is to get him thinking.

Read HNHN.

L.

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Quote:


Even if you invested years of effort and your marriage didn't thrive you'd have some very tangible benefits: (1) you'd be a better person for it; (2) you know you gave it your best effort; (3) you tried to spare your children the consequences of D and you showed them that M is worth working at; (4) you would be better prepared for other relationships.





I completely agree with this. I bailed early after my ex-wifes affair, and I have a lot of remorse for it. Even if things never work out, I think knowing you corrected your mistakes and did whatever you could do to make things right will help you immensly. Good luck. You're getting a lot of good advice, and you seem to be trying to apply it.

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Mark and changd4ever, thanks

Orchid,

I'll have to think about that one a bit. I'm afraid it might be confusing to him because he's not familiar with MB or its terminology and isn't willing to learn it yet. But either way, thanks.

Mr.G,

thanks! I have made it clear to him that I want to save the marriage and make it better than before.

Separation will not be a problem anymore. Even when I go back for a week to move out and clean the house I was renting, he will take his vacation time to come with me.

As for SF, the problems are many and varied, but I have thought of some possible solutions that I had not thought of before. One thing that has to happen, though, is for him to go to a doctor because part of the problem is medical. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a good doctor for sexual problems. His last one, a urologist, told him he's just getting old! You'd think doctors would be less uptight than the general population, but apparently not.

As for counseling, I'll start him out coming with us to family counseling and then see how it goes from there.

All,

I gave him all my passwords to my computer, my email addresses and my YouTube account, and my IM account. I deleted a secret IM account and deleted all the necessary contacts on my first account. I uninstalled IRC (chat program). I wrote them all down in a list and gave it to him. He didn't say anything about it but I noticed he put it somewhere where it wouldn't get lost.

Today we took the kids for a drive and then to a playground to watch them play while we talked about nothing in particular. With no extra money and no babysitter we can't do much for recreational outings but at least he got to take a break from job hunting and we were together.

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Aph,

I'm proud of you. You did something very difficult, and I know it was hard.

You will be carrying the weight for awhile, because right now, he just can't.

You've come a very long way since you first signed on here.

There are miles to go ahead of you. Recovery isn't for sissies. I'll keep you in my prayers.

SB

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Quote:

I'll have to think about that one a bit. I'm afraid it might be confusing to him because he's not familiar with MB or its terminology and isn't willing to learn it yet. But either way, thanks.




He doesn't need to know or care about MB. Just let him know. I did this with mine.

I even told him he was a WS, then explained WS meant wayward spouse. He agreed.

L.

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Orchid, ok.

schoolbus, thanks

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Well we seem to be enjoying each other's company now. It's weird because we seem to be getting along better than we have in a long time with the exception that there's no physical contact. He hasn't launched into interrogation mode yet. In spite of how much of a CA he is, I'm still surprised he hasn't asked any questions yet.

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