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#2852580 05/03/15 05:47 PM
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cozimel Offline OP
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I recently found out 5 months ago that my boyfriend had been sleeping with another woman. He ended the relationship and has been following no contact. We have both been working diligently on healing our relationship through daily work, self growth, audiobooks, forums, weekly and monthly check ins to review our progress, goals and needs and more. I have been happy with the commitment and believe in his love for me and desire to heal. He often struggles to "get it" and has made numerous mistakes during our healing but I have been supportive and understanding when I see and feel he truly is remorseful and is committed to put in the work to make things better. We have been extremely transparent with one another including access to email, Facebook and all other accounts.

On vacation together this last week I had used his phone to post some pictures of us on Facebook and did not log out. He looked at my "activity log" and saw that I had searched multiple ex boyfriends. He confronted me about it and I immediately confessed, was remorsful and ensured him that it was not okay for me to do and I would not continue. I expressed to him that I have absolutely no desire to be with any of them, never contacted them and would do the work to understand where this was stemming from. He has always been a fairly jealous person, seems to struggle at trusting me at times and this seems to be causing him to stuggle. I have demonstrated I have always done everything in my power to protect our relationship and he will attest to that. I slipped up here by looking at their walls but never went so far as to contacting anyone. I know it's not fair to compare one wrong to another, but it's hard for me not to feel like this is rather minor in comparison to many of his mistakes. I'm wondering if anyone can help me understand what may have been driving me to even search for them in the first place when I honestly believe completely that I have no interest whatsoever in rebuilding and sort of a relationship with them or did I ever plan on contacting them.

To make matters worse, on the flight home we were going through his "to do" list together on his phone and laughing at some of the ridiculous things he puts in there. We got to a point where it contained information about his affair partner including booking hotel rooms, buying gifts for her, etc... I learned that he would lie and say he had work meetings, etc, when he was actually meeting up with her in hotels during the day. This is triggering me to think about it whenever he goes to work now as well as added multiple other triggers. I'm having an exceptionally hard time right now and am struggling more than ever. I believe his lack of compassion and forgiveness with my situation has made me really question my faith in our relationship and it breaks my heart and saddens me more than ever. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly in advance for your help!

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Dump the boyfriend

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Have you read all of these?

Choosing the Right One to Marry


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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Dating is an interview for marriage. HE FAILED. That means you don't hire him. Find a new boyfriend.


BW-27
FWH-31
DS-6
Married several years
D-Day- 11/22/13
Plan A+Exposure
NC+Beginning of Recovery-04/2014

In Recovery and happier and more in love than ever
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Oh and save yourself a lot of time in your life and quit using Facebook

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Neither of you are ready for a commitment. That's the "help" I offer you. If you keep trying, you're in for a lifetime of unhappiness. You should both start fresh - with other partners.
Oh, AFTER reading Buyers, Renters and Freeloaders.

#2855277 05/24/15 03:48 PM
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cozimel Offline OP
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I'm seven months into this. Reconciliation has gone fairly well overall. I'm confident my boyfriend and I both love each other in a way neither one of us ever have. The affair happened early on in our real and I know the easy thing to do would be to simply wall away. Accept the fact that we were up against huge obstacles and acknowledge that most relationships can not overcome such hurdles. We are too good though. I love "us" and I can't imagine myself any happier than when all the other [censored] somehow "goes away". Our bond is so close, we've both shared parts of us we never have with anyone else, our relationship is simple, easy, fun, exciting, loving, supportive. I could go on and on. I'm confident he's committed to doing absolutely anything possible to help us heal. He takes time every day to work on this....whether it be reading a book, forums, audiobooks, internet,self work, etc.. The problem is he so often just doesn't "get it". I know he's trying and never intentionally means to hurt me, but unfortunately too often he does. He tells me how a female coworker "comforted" him when discussing his struggling relationship with his daughter, he opened a package and letter that his affair partner left at his front door and waited to tell me about it until the next day, he "friends" new female acquaintances on Facebook. When I kindly discuss how these things make me feel, he gets it. Is clearly torn up inside and expresses to me that he never wants to hurt me and how sorry he is. It's heartfelt. Sincere. I believe it. It often breaks him. He crumbles at times. Loses faith in himself. He'll never figure it out. He just doesn't get it. He gets so down on himself and I end up comforting him. Whenever he makes a mistake he becomes engrossed with figuring out what he can do to help us in the future. Deleted his Facebook accounts, researched how to not be defensive anymore, is more transparent, works on his self compassion, jealousy issues, etc. The last few weeks I've been so down. Depressed. Sad. I feel like it's consuming me. I can put on a happy face, have fun, try and enjoy myself, put it's all still right there in my mind. I don't know what to do with it....the sadness. Lack of faith. I'm scared now more than ever and don't know what to do. In the past I've listen to audiobooks, dug into the forums to reassure myself that it's normal, it'll get better, ride the wave, but it isnt. I talk to my boyfriend about it but I feel like no matter what he says it doesn't help. "It's okay." My response in my head, "no it isn't". I don't feel okay. "We'll get through this". My brain, "Says who. You don't even believe in yourself." I so desperately want things to improve. I feel like the real me is his biggest fan, a cheerleader hoping he does and says the right things. There's nothing I want more. Right now, I hate the thoughts that constantly run through my head. The part of me that only calls him out for the bad. Doesn't give him enough credit for all the good things he does. I feel like it's a balancing act where right now the negativity far outweighs the positive. I feel like I don't know what to do now. It's challenging to have those awesome moments together that we so desperately need that are fun, laid back, easy because there's so much darkness inside me and he knows. Please help. I feel so lost as to where to go from here. Thank you so very much in advance.

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So you decided to stay with your boyfriend and he continues to have absolutely no boundaries? No wonder you're depressed, because you have the bar so low. His words mean absolutely nothing when he continues with his poor behavior.

Why do you think so low of yourself to put up with this? You do know there are simply fantastic men out there that don't cheat and have boundaries?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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cozimel Offline OP
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I'm disappointed. I was hoping that this would be a place I could come to for support from others that have walked a similar path. Reassurance that I wasn't alone. Advice and guidance as to where to go from here. Unfortunately, I just feel a ton of negativity. Lack of hope. It saddens me that this isn't a resource I can look to when I'm struggling like I had hoped.

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Originally Posted By: cozimel
I'm disappointed. I was hoping that this would be a place I could come to for support from others that have walked a similar path. Reassurance that I wasn't alone. Advice and guidance as to where to go from here. Unfortunately, I just feel a ton of negativity. Lack of hope. It saddens me that this isn't a resource I can look to when I'm struggling like I had hoped.


Folks here won't "support" you in using bad judgment. It is very plain that this man is not marriage material. Dating is supposed to be a job interview for marriage. When the candidate flunks the interview, the solution is to move on to others.

As long as you are wasting time with this person, you won't be available to find a more suitable match. Don't waste your time with bad candidates.


"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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Originally Posted By: cozimel
I so desperately want things to improve.


And that is your problem...you are desperate.

Originally Posted By: cozimel
Advice and guidance as to where to go from here.


Posters have given you advice and guidance. You simply don't want to hear it because it's not the answer you want to hear.



BW - me
exWH - serial cheater
2 awesome kids
Divorced 12/2011




Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
--------Eleanor Roosevelt
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Originally Posted By: cozimel
I'm disappointed. I was hoping that this would be a place I could come to for support from others that have walked a similar path. Reassurance that I wasn't alone. Advice and guidance as to where to go from here. Unfortunately, I just feel a ton of negativity. Lack of hope. It saddens me that this isn't a resource I can look to when I'm struggling like I had hoped.


People here have recovered their marriages from affairs. However if he's cheating and lying just seven months in, you can expect this for life.

Forgetting about the to do list shows he simply has no care for you at all. Looking up exes on FB is also none of his business. He shouldn't even still have his hat in the ring.

You need to stop treating dating relationships like work. It makes you look desperate. You are very free to look around for the best offer. Do you not think you can do better?


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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If you could only understand that the people here have your back, that's not negativity. They see the possibilities that exist for you and it's far different than the box you've stuck yourself in. These people speak from wisdom and experience, having learned many hard lessons along the way.

I'm sorry you're hurting, I know what that feels like. I used to think I had to have someone in my life to be validated. I no longer do. I've spent years now on my own, without dating, and I am good with it, just me. It helps to be free from thinking we "need" someone.

Buyers, Renters, and Freeloaders is a very good book to start with, have you bought it and read it yet? It's eye opening!


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
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Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
I used to think I had to have someone in my life to be validated. I no longer do. I've spent years now on my own, without dating, and I am good with it, just me. It helps to be free from thinking we "need" someone.

I don't think this is the right thing to be telling this poster. I don't agree that we should be telling people to learn to be alone. This is a marriage board, after all. Telling people not to be desperate, and not to settle for cheaters when they are still only dating, is not at all the same as saying we don't need someone in our lives. There is nothing wrong with needing someone in our lives. There is nothing wrong with yearning to be married. There is nothing wrong with going on a relentless search for the right person.

I don't see anything desirable about learning to be alone - not as a goal in itself, not if that goes against your feelings of wanting to be married, for life. Of course learning to be alone is better than settling for bad partners - there's no question about that, but there does not have to be a simple choice between only those two alternatives.

If some desires to be married, it's a very odd thing on a marriage board to tell them to learn to be good at being alone.


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What I actually said was we don't need someone else to be validated. Just because my experience is to be alone does not mean I recommend that others choose that route. I think it's important to go into a relationship with the right thinking. If we can't learn that we are whole in and of ourselves, that we are valid with or without someone else, then we are going into a relationship with the wrong idea in mind.

It's important to be happy with yourself and deal with your past before bringing to the next person your baggage and then wondering what's wrong.

I never said being alone was my preference. I would be open to a relationship if I met the right person, but we shouldn't go into a relationship with neediness.

I guess I didn't get my point across fully...we have to first be comfortable with ourselves before committing to a relationship. Even on this board they recommend have a space of time before entering a new relationship. I've found that to be very sound advice, rather than jumping from one relationship into another.


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Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
What I actually said was we don't need someone else to be validated. Just because my experience is to be alone does not mean I recommend that others choose that route.


I apologise if I misunderstood the point, then, of your telling the poster "I've spent years now on my own, without dating, and I am good with it, just me. It helps to be free from thinking we "need" someone." In my experience, when people post "this is what I do" on someone else's help thread, I assume that they are recommending that course of action, unless they specifically say otherwise.

Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
I think it's important to go into a relationship with the right thinking. If we can't learn that we are whole in and of ourselves, that we are valid with or without someone else, then we are going into a relationship with the wrong idea in mind.

I don't think any of this is based on any research of the kind Dr Harley has done with his clients. Certainly he says nothing remotely like this in his published work. In fact, he speaks against the idea that "co-dependency" is a bad thing, and argues that it is a good thing in marriage.

The kind of thinking you describe in that paragraph is likely to work against the idea that a husband and wife combine to form a whole, and that everything each one does has an effect on the other. It works against the idea that IB is a love buster. It works against the idea of POJA. It works against the idea of interdependence.

Why is the absence of the idea that we are whole with or without someone else, "the wrong idea"?

Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
It's important to be happy with yourself and deal with your past before bringing to the next person your baggage and then wondering what's wrong.

I'm sorry, but this again sounds like the kind of introspective psychology that Dr Harley does not endorse. It also encourages people to "deal with their past", which again goes against Dr Harley. The whole language of "be happy with yourself" is plays towards the current "love yourself" strain of self-help pop psychology. It might make people feel great, but it does not teach them how to have a good marriage. What happens when you are happy with yourself and refuse to listen to your spouse's complaints?

Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
I never said being alone was my preference. I would be open to a relationship if I met the right person, but we shouldn't go into a relationship with neediness.

Again, why shouldn't we go into a relationship with neediness? What is wrong with needing marriage, or with needing another person?

Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
I guess I didn't get my point across fully...we have to first be comfortable with ourselves before committing to a relationship. Even on this board they recommend have a space of time before entering a new relationship. I've found that to be very sound advice, rather than jumping from one relationship into another.

"Being comfortable with ourselves" has nothing to do with "leaving space before entering a new relationship" - and leaving space is not something Dr Harley recommends to single people. Dr Harley recommends lots of dating, not "leaving space". He actually recommends jumping from one relationship to another. He recommends dating 30 people to find the right person. He recommends not hanging around in relationships that do not lead to marriage within about two years.

There are different considerations when blended families are involved, but that is not about "being happy with oneself" or "being valid with or without someone else". That is about the difficulties of POJA when there are step-parents and step-kids involved.

However, this isn't a case of a blended family. This is a single woman who is clinging on to a rotten boyfriend. She should dump him and find someone else to marry - someone good. Of course she shouldn't settle for just anyone. but neither does she need to learn not to need another person or learn to be happy on her own. If she were to learn that, what would be the point of marriage?


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I heared Dr Harley speak just the other day in favour of young marriage, and his reasons were that people can become too "whole" as they get older. This is detrimental to marriage.

He said that 20 year-olds find it much easier to grow together with their partner and to adapt and create the single entity that a married couple needs to become. Her said that by the age of 30, people have found how they want to live, and they find it very hard to make the adaptations necessary to taking into account someone else's perspective in all things, and hard to give up IB, annoying habits and fixed thinking.

He cites the fact that he was 21 and Joyce 19 when they married. Neither of them were used to independent life, or had developed hobbies, attitudes and lifestyles that were "set". They found it easy to integrate with each other; there was nothing to change. It was all there to be created.

His thinking on marriage goes very much against the 'be yourself", "love yourself" movement that encourages people to walk away from marriage and kids, rather than fix the problems. The "be yourself" attitude is one of the reasons that counselling is so destructive to marriage; it encourages people to seek their own happiness, outside the marriage if that's where logic leads them, instead of listening to their spouse's complaints and changing their behaviour.

The poster whose thread this is can be helped by being told not to settle for bad boyfriends. She does not, however, need to be told not to need another person. That attitude is bad for marriage.


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Well I apologize for having offended everyone here. After my husband passed away it took me a long time to adjust to being "just me" on my own and I'm proud of it. When we were married, we were indeed half of a whole, but does that mean I'm now half a person because he died? The question is rhetorical, it doesn't require a response. I have the feeling no matter what I write you're going to pick apart so I'll make it simple for you and sign out.


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Originally Posted By: kaycstamper
Well I apologize for having offended everyone here. After my husband passed away it took me a long time to adjust to being "just me" on my own and I'm proud of it. When we were married, we were indeed half of a whole, but does that mean I'm now half a person because he died? The question is rhetorical, it doesn't require a response. I have the feeling no matter what I write you're going to pick apart so I'll make it simple for you and sign out.

I don't see any evidence that "everyone here" is offended. I think you're the only person offended, and I don't know why.

This forum exists to offer advice based on what Dr Harley says. I saw that your posts conflicted with Dr Harley's advice and I outlined his advice on dating. I wasn't offended - but you seem to be.

Nobody said anything about you or anyone being "half of a person". Why misconstrue what I argued?


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You seem to imply you need to be married to be whole, as in each bringing half to the marriage...if that's true, I'm only a half now that my husband passed away, a thought that I do find offensive.

It doesn't matter what I say, you're going to pick it apart, as is apparent in the above posts.

I thought I was being helpful to the original poster but you've way sidetracked what I was originally try to say. You obviously don't want my input so I'll let you do all of the addressing the poster, who seems to have left anyway.


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