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It has been a very long time since my last post. I was here 7 years ago, in the aftermath of D-day, trying to make sense of it all and survive.

My H and I went to MB weekends, we worked with Steve Harley and we half heartedly worked the program. At the time, I was the buyer, you see. And my H did as little as possible to give the illusion of care. Eventually, I got tired of trying. Tired of dragging my H along. So I stopped.

Its 7 years on and we have been limping through a dissatisfying, unhappy marriage. My H still does a great job of giving the illusion of care, but it never seems real or genuine to me. I myself have become bitter and unhappy. Even I don't want to be with me. I am not healed, we are not recovered.

Several months ago, I started to get an uneasy feeling from him. He was more distant than normal, I was catching him in little lies. Nothing big, mind you. Just enough to make me uneasy. Lies of omission, like " When you were out, I had a beer" Not saying that "I went to a bar and had a beer". When I confronted this piece of PA mastery, he said it was "details" and he is a very linear thinker and didn't think to mention the additional details.

I installed a keylogger on his computer. There was nothing until yesterday, when I saw him googling old lovers and girlfriends. I should add that this was how his A started 7 years ago. Looking someone up online.

I confronted him and he flipped. I am sneaky, he says. How dare I put spyware on his computer. He cant be with someone this dishonest, he says. It was innocent, he says. He just wanted to see if these old flames were still alive ( bizarre ) and out there.

I am simply terrified that he is a predator. Ive always worried that he just doesn't seem genuine. At times, he is incredibly empathetic and caring and other times, he is cruel, mean. His emotions feel faked to me.

So, I ask you, good people of MB. Help me to restore my equilibrium. Ive lost the sense of "is this real, and valid or is this just me overreacting"?

I told him the only way I could stay is if we started working w Steve and following MB again. Its a waste of money, he says because he KNOWS what Steve is going to say. He said He knows Steve is going to say that my H has reset the D Day clock to day zero, that he didn't exhibit care, blah blah and that I want to call Steve because he is always so sympathetic to ME and that Steve thinks HE is the bad guy.

My god, this hurts.

Last edited by JustKim; 08/12/13 11:07 AM.

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Start with an easy question, Kim:

How little marriage would you be willing to settle for?

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I took the other road with my spouse who wouldn't meet me halfway. I left.

It's not easy either some days, but I do promise it's better than living in pergatory.

My vote is and always will be full marriage or full divorce. No middle ground.


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NG-

I guess the truth is, I've been willing to settle for not much. Because of my family of origin issues, I can rarely figure out if someone is being mean to me or if I am causing it. So, the bar is not set at all, its pretty much on the ground.

The absolute irony here is that in the business world, I am a successful, high level executive. Every one of my colleagues would be shocked to think that I am a sniveling mess personally in such a train wreck of a marriage.



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Reynolds,

Thanks for your response. I want to get to where you are. You are right about purgatory. It is an awful place to live. I admire you for being able to get there, with the caveat of "there" being a pretty crappy place to be.

I just really don't know how. I don't even understand how I got to be this weak.


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Kim, were EP's put in place and were you both keeping on top of them?
Were EN's still being met?
Lovebusters? Obviously, he still has a problem with honesty!

Your story is like a premonition to me because your second paragraph is where I am at now.




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Rocket-

I *thought* we had EP's in place. I know I do.

We are both well versed in the concept of doors and windows and that you just don't ever step on the slippery slope to begin with. We have discussed that, as a boundary, if you are in a situation where you are around an attractive person, that you simply do not discuss yourself or your life, nor do you spend time with anyone without your spouse present. I know there has been one time when I had to work alongside a person that was physically attractive to me and the very first thing I did was tell my husband about it. My bringing it to the light of day, it makes it impossible to pursue.

My husband certainly does have a loose relationship with the truth. He would be upset to read this as his view of himself is one of honesty. However, he holds things back. Important things and shares very little.

As far as LB's go - we are both guilty of that. I am prone to angry outbursts. Of course, I can tell you that it happens when he fails to do something he has committed or promised to do but nevertheless, it is my behavior and I own it.

I was always the extreme giver of care. I did it for years, while he floated along. He often tells me how HARD he works to care for me and I tell him that he may be working hard, but it isn't the care I need. If it were, we would be in a vastly different place. To which a typical response from him might be something like " that's not my fault. I AM caring for you ".

Which makes absolutely no sense.


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Rocket

One other thing.

I am sorry that you are in the place you are in. My best advice to you, 7 years post d-day, is to set the bar high. If your H isn't working as hard as you are, isn't as committed, then I urge you to consider other options.

It feel like I have wasted 7 years in quasi recovery mode. I am 7 years older and have absolutely nothing to show for it except the wreckage that I try to live in.


BS: Me, 43
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Kim, sorry you find yourself back here. It's not possible from this point in time to know if your M can still be salvaged. Because yes, it's possible that he's a predator, and if he is, then you should not attempt R.

On the other hand, he could be like so many WS's who settled at whatever the lowest level was that their BS held them to. In your case, I can see that it was pretty low. If that's what it is, then there's still a pretty good chance to save this, if you set your bar very high and stick to it.

Did you already Plan A him the first time around? It's my personal opinion that a textbook Plan A should be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you didn't do well with this the first time around, then and only then would I recommend an uber-short Plan A. Otherwise, don't kill him, don't have angry outbursts, be polite, but only long enough to get yourself into Plan B asap.

He knows everything he should have done, and failed to do it. Now he's on the verge of cheating again, and that's a road you don't want to be dragged down. That's why you should go into the protection of Plan B right away, until you see whether he's a predator or just a lazy WS who never earned his "F". That will become very clear with time.

Don't feel bad about being a basket case, or feel that because you're a successful exec that you should be taking this better. Adultery is the great leveler, and cuts across political, ethnic, and socio-economic boundaries. Anyone would be crushed in your position, so be gentle with yourself. hug

RQ, I hope you continue to read this. This is the LIKELY result from accepting a WS back without the concrete change in actions and lifestyle to go along with it. I care deeply about you and your family, and it bothers me to still see this as the outcome you are most likely to suffer, in your current situation.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb



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Originally Posted by JustKim
I told him the only way I could stay is if we started working w Steve and following MB again. Its a waste of money, he says because he KNOWS what Steve is going to say. He said He knows Steve is going to say that my H has reset the D Day clock to day zero, that he didn't exhibit care, blah blah and that I want to call Steve because he is always so sympathetic to ME and that Steve thinks HE is the bad guy.

JustKim, didn't Dr Harley tell you a few years ago that if your husband didn't get on board to separate? I think you are way, way overdue for a separation. You have done the online program and you have coached with Steve and your husband still hasn't changed a thing.

Do you still have access to Dr Harley on the weekend forum?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Neak


Thanks for your reply. I agree. He does know everything that needs to be done and has *chosen* not to do it. It is a hard thing to reconcile. I thought I was worth more.

Mel-

I actually don't recall Dr Harley saying that but I do recall Steve saying that if my H didn't step up, I had my answer.

As I said previously - I have a hard time believing I deserve better. I often think that I am the cause of someone else's bad behavior. I know I should separate, but frankly I have literally no where to go. I have no family. It is just me and since my H's affair, I have no friends. All my friends dropped me as they couldn't stomach my H post d day.

These aren't excuses, truly. I hate the way I sound, like a pathetic weak person but I am exactly that at the moment.


BS: Me, 43
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Originally Posted by JustKim
As I said previously - I have a hard time believing I deserve better. I often think that I am the cause of someone else's bad behavior. I know I should separate, but frankly I have literally no where to go. I have no family. It is just me and since my H's affair, I have no friends. All my friends dropped me as they couldn't stomach my H post d day.

Why don't you start making plans to leave? Visit an attorney and find out what your rights are. One thing you might be able to do is ask him to move out. Just start making plans. Check out your options. And in the meantime, you need to read When to Call it Quits. When to Call It Quits - Part 1


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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I've been willing to settle for not much...in the business world, I am a successful, high level executive.

In the business world, there are clearly specified objectives and methods of measuring achievement. If you have partners (or subordinates) that are notoriously delinquent in performance, you first jointly decide if the continued association is desirable. You would jointly put a recovery plan in place, and expect progress on that basis, monitoring and adjusting actions to fulfill the plan. You should have been treating a recovering marriage very similarly.

Have you yet reached a point of abandonment, or can you foresee cooperative effort from this "partner"?

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Originally Posted by JustKim
I know I should separate, but frankly I have literally no where to go. I have no family. It is just me and since my H's affair, I have no friends. All my friends dropped me as they couldn't stomach my H post d day.

Kim, what do you mean by this exactly? You can't afford to move out? Because you don't need friends or family to find a new home.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Kim you're a buyer, which makes you a catch. Why are you letting this man keep you away from a real marriage, with someone else?

I think you know that his reaction to transparency, and your knowing his actions and thoughts, is a dealbreaker. His reaction to your wanting a better marriage is a dealbreaker.

What are you staying for? You sound miserable. Dr H says not all marriages should be saved.

There is life after divorce. Look at my signature. I am happier now than I ever was trying to drag my H uphill. And I can choose a real candidate and have a real marriage now.

Originally Posted by JustKim
I have a hard time believing I deserve better. I often think that I am the cause of someone else's bad behavior. I know I should separate, but frankly I have literally no where to go. I have no family. It is just me and since my H's affair, I have no friends. All my friends dropped me as they couldn't stomach my H post d day.

These aren't excuses, truly. I hate the way I sound, like a pathetic weak person but I am exactly that at the moment.



Look at this logically. You're weak because the situation you're in would daily weaken anybody. Anybody.

That's not something you should use as an excuse to stay, but an urgent reason to LEAVE.

I think you know that leaving, and grieving your marriage, would present some short term pain. OK, that's true, but you have to get over that hill and just do it.

Don't sacrifice your long term future avoiding some short term difficulties.

Try calling your old friends. You might be surprised.



What would you do if you were not afraid?

"Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer" Frank Herbert.

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Originally Posted by MelodyLane
Originally Posted by JustKim
I know I should separate, but frankly I have literally no where to go. I have no family. It is just me and since my H's affair, I have no friends. All my friends dropped me as they couldn't stomach my H post d day.

Kim, what do you mean by this exactly? You can't afford to move out? Because you don't need friends or family to find a new home.

Kim this just sounds like excuse making to avoid doing what you probably know is necessary.

Your friends left you because your H is a piece of work. If you left him you may gain them back. You certainly sound like a nice person who could find new friends too. From what you describe I don�t think your H is your friend. So why stay with him if he�s the reason you�re all alone?


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Quote
I agree. He does know everything that needs to be done and has *chosen* not to do it. It is a hard thing to reconcile. I thought I was worth more.

His choices reflect the value he places on himself. The value that he places on himself colors his PERCEPTION of your value.

Not your actual value.

You are worth much, much, MUCH more! If you choose to separate, you can make that happen. You feel paralyzed, and so would anyone else who's been stuck in a walking perdition for so long. You want a change, or you wouldn't be here. Let us walk you through it.


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
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Thanks to everyone for posting. I will try to address them all in one response


Mel-

I can afford to leave financially in a month or so. What I am really struggling with is why I am paralyzed and do not. I feel completely shell shocked. Its like someone beating you and you stand there and say "Wait. This hurts! I think I might be beaten! Is this person *really* beating me? Can someone tell me if that is really happening?" I *think* it is because Ive been gaslighted for so long that I dont know what to think or believe.

I honestly cant figure out if what seems real is real. For example. This morning my H and I had a conversation about his lack of care. I asked him if he thought he cared for me. He responded with
Quote
"I realize there are some behaviors I have that you perceive as lack of care"
.

That response makes me feel unsettled, uneasy and Im left really. I think Oh! Did he get this? Wait a minute, this makes me feel unmoored. There is something not right with this response but I cant put my finger on what it is

Never Guessed-

I forsee a lot of activity by my H over the next month. Some if it may well be genuine. But I also forsee, like so many times before that it will not continue. It feels to me like when he knows I have had enough, that he does just enough to reel me back in.

Indie

Thanks for your words of encouragement. You are perfectly right of course. Here is the truth. I am afraid. I am utterly afraid. I hate that I am but I am. Im embarrassed even writing this anonymously.

Mr A

It isnt an excuse, I promise. I don't *know how* to do it. I am an emotional wreck. I have a pretty significant case of PTSD, according to my therapist. I want to do it, I want to be happy. I just dont know how.

Neak

Yes! Thank you! I desperately need help. I want to change. I REALLY want to change. I would be very grateful for any help


BS: Me, 43
FWH: 50
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Originally Posted by JustKim
Thanks to everyone for posting. I will try to address them all in one response


Mel-

I can afford to leave financially in a month or so. What I am really struggling with is why I am paralyzed and do not. I feel completely shell shocked. Its like someone beating you and you stand there and say "Wait. This hurts! I think I might be beaten! Is this person *really* beating me? Can someone tell me if that is really happening?" I *think* it is because Ive been gaslighted for so long that I dont know what to think or believe.

I honestly cant figure out if what seems real is real.

Kim,

I suggest that you engage in this analysis AFTER separation. Get separated first, and THEN ask yourself "why did I take so long?" You don't have to know the answers to these things in order to separate. That is a distraction that is keeping you from following the plan.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Originally Posted by JustKim
I honestly cant figure out if what seems real is real. For example. This morning my H and I had a conversation about his lack of care. I asked him if he thought he cared for me. He responded with
Quote
"I realize there are some behaviors I have that you perceive as lack of care"
.

That response makes me feel unsettled, uneasy and Im left really. I think Oh! Did he get this? Wait a minute, this makes me feel unmoored. There is something not right with this response but I cant put my finger on what it is

I can tell you what it is:

Care that you don't perceive as care is irrelevant. It means he's meeting emotional needs that are not your emotional needs.

When Dr. Harley and Joyce first got married, she went to a lot of trouble to iron his clothes. She thought he would really appreciate that. But he didn't. Clothes-ironing didn't deposit any love units for him. It wasn't one of his emotional needs. So she quit doing that so she could spend her time in ways that were more effective at meeting his emotional needs.

It's useless to debate whether a person really cares or not. They will always argue that they care. What matters is whether they are meeting your emotional needs or not. (AND, are they keeping you safe from love bank withdrawals. AND, are they building a compatible lifestyle together with you that you both enjoy.) If they are not doing these things, it doesn't matter how much they "care."


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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