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I have been reluctant to post this because---you know--when things are going well you hate to jinx them. But I think what I have to say could help someone feel better here and I do want to say thanks. Given its length perhaps many will not read this post, but it will definitely help me to write it. <P>I won’t go into a lot of details about my story. You can do a search if you are interested. <P>Briefly--I am the BS, my W the WS. EA d-day mid February, PA d-day end of March. My W moved out of our home in mid-March.<P>Like many of you, when I found out about the OP and A I was devastated. I truly believed we had a great marriage and we were meant for each other. We were best friends, lovers, companions and pretty much everything that a couple should be. Or at least that’s what I thought. <P>My W, however, was going thru some struggles that I could not identify with, even though she tried to make me see. She was suffering thru some low self-esteem issues. <P>It was hard for me to recognize, because 1. She is very attractive 2. She is very smart 3.She has a great job 4. She is well thought of in the community. In addition we have great family and wonderful, close friends. I didn’t think she saw herself any differently than those who admired her and her abilities. Obviously she did.<P>Anyway, the OM was good at making her feel good about herself. I recognize that part of my responsibility for getting our marriage to the point of where she was vulnerable were more sins of omission. Of not making sure she felt admired, respected and appreciated. Even though I felt that way I did not do a good job of telling her that. In fact, I did a lousy job. I’m learning.<P>I found this site in mid-March shortly after my W moved out and I can’t tell you how important it was for me to find others I could identify with that would listen to me vent while providing encouragement and insight when they could. I learned a lot:<P>1. You can only be a victim for so long; then you have to take control of your life.<P>2. If you are a BS, you, and only you, can make the decision of whether it is worth it to try to fight for your relationship. No one else’s opinion matters because it is YOUR life.<P>3. If your decision is to try to keep your relationship then the real work begins.<P>4. That work is hard. It may very well be the hardest thing you ever do. You will feel frustrated, hurt, hopeful, hopeless, happy, sad, encouraged, discouraged, lonely, angry, disillusioned, confused, understanding, suffer from low self-esteem and feel good about yourself and what you are doing. You may feel all of those things over the course of a single day. They don’t call it a roller coaster for nuthin’. <P>5. Ultimately, however, if you stick to your path and your plan you can be rewarded.<P>I believe I have been.<P>Things began to turn around for us about two months ago. But it was a slow process, incredibly slow.<P>Initially my W was not able to re-commit to me or us. She rejected joint counseling but did begin to see a counselor herself. She told me she didn’t know what she wanted. She waffled constantly. She said things that hurt me deeply, that she probably doesn’t even remember. She went thru periods where she didn’t want to see or talk to me. Where she wanted to spend time with herself. She had a hard time spending more than even a few minutes at our house. <P>But as we moved thru this process she began to emerge little by little.<P>I am not sure I had a Plan A. After spending lots of time on this site I think everyone has their own version. Mine evolved into listening. Trying to respect her feelings. Trying to validate her feelings of hurt, disappointment, confusion etc. Avoiding feeling victimized (that’s a toughie). Trying to live the best I could on my own (I did become much more independent and self reliant). <P>We were somewhat different than some of the stories here in that my W always told me she still loved me and we talked a lot and saw each other lots. Nonetheless we went thru some very difficult days and nights. I did in particular. Nights of despair and loneliness that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I am sure many of you can relate. <P>Now where are we?<P>She has pretty much moved home. She still has a few things at her apartment but sleeps and eats at home and has given a 30-day notice on her lease. We just got back from a five-day mini-vacation. Lots of things seem to be back to normal. She has said a lot of the things I had hoped she some day would say to me. She wants to get us back to a “normal” life. We begin counseling as a couple soon and she has a lot of confidence in her counselor, who has told my W that she, (the counselor), is confident we can be “fixed.”<P>I hope so. I have no illusion that we are where we need to be and that there won’t be hard times, and hurt down the road. But I am somewhat confident based on my W’s actions and what she is telling me that we will face them together and I think together we can overcome whatever obstacles we face. I hope and pray we can. <P>I don’t know how I held on, but I love my wife and I love what we had. I hope we can create a new life that’s even better. I think we can. Cali, if you are reading this, remember, you once said you can’t explain love. Love just is… It’s so true… That helped me--lots--when I couldn’t even explain to myself why I was hanging on.<P>Anyway, I post this to let you all know there is hope and to encourage those who think things are at their darkest that they can turn around.<BR> <BR>I hope this helps someone in some small way.<P>I know I would have been a very different person throughout this without the encouragement and insight and caring I have received from so many of you here.<P>I plan to still hang out and post from time to time but I just want to say THANK YOU to all and best wishes to all who are hanging in there.<P>Despite the pain and suffering, and whether a BS or a WS, those of us who have hung together on this board and lived thru what we have lived thru share a special bond. This has made us stronger and wiser in many ways. <BR> <BR>Regardless of the outcomes of our stories, we will all survive. It may not be the life we once envisioned, but that doesn’t have to be bad. We all need to summon the strength inside of us that we didn’t even know we had, but is truly there. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>Believe in yourself, look forward, be strong, have faith. In one way or another it will be rewarded.<P>“You can’t find happiness looking backwards” --George Strait<P>Best to all<P>E <BR>

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I don't know how to make the smilies appear in the replies, but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your post. I am feeling incredibly hopeless lately, without much hopefulness in between. My H is still waffling, although he moved back home 7 weeks ago, supposedly because he loves me and wants his life with me back. He's withdrawn to the point of not even looking at me. I have heard from lots and lots of friends that its time for me to move on, but I am not there yet. I LOVE him. It helps to hear good can come of hanging in "just a little longer". So, thanks a great big bunch!<P>MOM

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Elad wow I feel like your letter was intended just for me.<BR>I have been feeling really hopeless lately and needed to hear some encouraging words. My H says that we are going to go somewhere and talk this weekend I'm very nervous about this because I'm expecting the worst. Thanks for sharing that with all of us. Good luck and god bless.<BR>cybil

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great, now I need to go lock myself in the men's room and cry for the next 20 minutes.<P>Thank you for that post, Elad. Things are so hard, and I am having such a hard time finding hope while under the tremendous strain I am putting myself under, in my Plan A efforts. But some things just can't be explained. You can't hope for things that can't be explained. I just have to keep at it and then I'll be as speechless as you are... desperately trying to put my feelings into words. You did so well, though.<P>Thanks.

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Keep doing the good.<P>We are 22 months from d-day and have the best relationship we ever had. There were many ups and downs and times it seemed impossible, but here we are.

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Elad, Congratulations on your success and road to recovery. I need to hear these stories to inspire me to go on and I thank-you for sharing your thoughts.<P>Hugs

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This is sad_n_lonely, I am too lazy at the moment to change my wifes login (she is thinker). Just a simple [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] question...why do you love your wife? I ask my wife this alot, and it seems to be something of concern to lots of ws, not that feeling unloved is all there is to marital breakdowns. Is more along the lines I don't want to be just needed because of some history, or desireable traits, or fear of being alone (etc) by spouse. So I am on this "quest" (now) trying to understand uh...um....well everything. What love is or is not, why I have the feelings I do, why my wife has the feelings she has, and why should I remain married...I mean what is the point? (aftter kids are raised, most here have young children, and that changes things in the short term IMO). That I even contemplate why should one be married is a bad sign in itself. Maybe I am just defective and shouldn't be married to anyone at all. Anyways this love just is thingy is a total violation of MB philosophy, that love is a decision and arises out of love bank deposits. So does that mean your wife never depleted yours, so you hung on? What if she had never came back, chose another, and left you forever, would you still love? How? Why?<P>I realize there are no definitive answers to this stuff, but that bs blindly love the ws (in so many cases) fascinates me....and feels almost like you need them for you, not love em for them. Especially when the bs often seem to really dislike their ws if it does not work out as they wanted it to (reconcilliation).

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elad--- [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] am so very happy for you!! Way to go the distance!! And a success story is never to long to read!!!<P>Still hanging on myself, Dawn

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Elad Offline OP
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Been gone a few days.<P>Thanks all for your notes of encouragement.<P>Thinker/snl:<P>I am not sure how to respond to your questions. Love is a feeling hard to quantify or qualify.<P>Why do I love my wife? There are literally dozens of reasons but a big part of it IS what she does for me. The prson she makes/allows me to be. She makes me a better person. This whole deal is a bump in the road--welll maybe more than that, but hopefully it is not insurmountable. We'll see.<P>snl...perhaps you are asking yourself too many existential questions and need to be more cogniznt of how you feel, relax and not overthink things...<P>you sound very sad...<P>If "Love just is..." is a violation of MB principles, so what? It is the way I feel...I hope the MB police don't ban me from this forum [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] <P>best of luck to you going forward...<P>E

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I can share a little bit of WHY I continued to love my WS husband.<P>Part of my love wasn't love, it was a sick emotional dependency. I didn't know who or what I was, I lived through him.<P>But, once I had faced my fears, and learned that I had survived by myself and that I even liked myself..... I still loved him.<P>WHY? I beat myself up daily. I told myself there was nothing to love, admire or respect about my husband. I thought I was completely stupid or had something really wrong with me because I still had feelings of love.<P>But you know....when I really started understanding emotional needs, and after I filled out the EN questionnaire last Christmas for Steve Harley...I realized that my husband was doing alot of really awful things, but that he also did alot of things that did fall into the EN categories, and kept my love alive.<P>For example, in the midst of his affair, he came to the hospital where I was recovering from a complicated pregnancy...and held our daughter all day every day - content to sit in a chair next to my bed and just hold and look at her. The love on his face for her was amazing to see.<P>THAT comes under family committment [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>We did have some financial wars especially when the OW tried to convince him that I was stealing his money...but never did he cut me off. 18 months of separation...and I didn't have to go find a job. He also landed himself a job with a higher salary and higher executive position.<P>That was his Financial support [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I've always found my H attractive - so attractive spouse was easily filled just by his existing! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>My needs for honesty and affection and admiration were not being met, in fact those were pretty much lovebusters by him. <P>But there were enough ENs being met to keep me from losing that love feeling rapidly. Though towards the end, I was starting to lose it very fast.<P>But it does sometimes mean that love is a decision SNL. Decide to love your wife, and then act it even if you don't feel it.<P>I decided to love my H even though he wasn't very lovable. I've always been the giver in our relationship, with my H being a big taker. Sometimes, what I got out of it, he didn't actually return to me. I got alot out for myself simply because I gave - regardless of his reciprocation. <BR>So if you act it, one day you'll wake up and find you mean it. The more you give into your relationship, the more you will get out of it.<BR><P>------------------<BR><I>Pain is a given, misery is optional.</I>

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Elad Offline OP
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BrambleRose:<BR><B><BR>But it does sometimes mean that love is a decision SNL. Decide to love your wife, and then act it even if you don't feel it.<P>I decided to love my H even though he wasn't very lovable. ...The more you give into your relationship, the more you will get out of it.<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Exactly!!! BR has it right!<P>Love is a decision....I didn't say it well in my post but I felt the same way.<P>I loved my W even though she wasn't lovable.<P>Sticking with the commitment and not bailing when times are tough is the greatest love you can provide.<P>I am glad i never lostthat love and glad I never bailed. Even when times were tough.<P>E <P> <BR>

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Elad Offline OP
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double post... <p>[This message has been edited by Elad (edited August 27, 2001).]

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bramble...But it does sometimes mean that love is a decision SNL. Decide to love your wife, and then act it even if you don't feel it.I decided to love my H even though he wasn't very lovable. ...The more you give into your relationship, the more you will get out of it.<P>snl...If that is all there is to it, why not just choose to love someone else....someone smarter, prettier, funnier, richer, someome I "decide" to love for whatever reason?<P>The assumption is one should choose their spouse cause they couldn't possibly find someone better (if we base live on deciding)....that is logically absurd. Considering how ignorantly most of us approach dating and mate selection, it is a miracle everyone doesn't get divorced (instead of just a huge 50-60% and most of the rest just getting by, but hardly happy). If I am gonna start over, why not do it right, ask for resumes, do a thorough search, give a few tests, and "decide" to love an outstanding candidate.... (and thinker if you are reading this, don't despair, it is a philosophic question).<P>and further, what about your spouse, now they can "decide" to love someone much better too, maybe I am standing in the way of some guy that would make thinker an awesome husband, instead of the cold-hearted loser she has now.<P>I may be irritating both you and elad, is not my intent. But either I am completely missing something, or saying just decide.. trivializes the complex psychological fitting that should be the basis of a marriage that works. Shouldn't 2 people first decide they even should be married, that if they had it to do all over again, would choose each other out of 6 billion human beings/ Or is this just another quid pro quo, make the best of what you have, don't take a risk, you might not be able to do better anyways......big yuck. I sure don't want my wife to feel that way, if there is the slightest feeling on her part that she does not want me, I want to know, and I want to end this.<P>

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><BR>Posted by Sad_N_Lonely<BR>Shouldn't 2 people first decide they even should be married, that if they had it to do all over again, would choose each other out of 6 billion human beings/ Or is this just another quid pro quo, make the best of what you have, don't take a risk, you might not be able to do better anyways.....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Who knows? Maybe. Maybe not. Not everyone marries their "soul mate". Or is there even such a thing as a "soul mate"? Maybe there isn't. Maybe we just meet someone we decide we can't live without and do what it takes to make a way for us to be together for the rest of our lives.<P>Maybe it's not as complex as so many psychologists and philosophers try to make it out to be. Maybe it's as simple as this... you met your wife. You fell in love with her. You were married for a long time, through bad times and good. You met another woman and fell in love with her. Which should you be with? In the huge cosmic scheme of things, who should SNL be with? His wife or the OW?<P>There is no <B>should</B> or <B>should not</B> in this!! You pledged your love to your wife. If you wish to break that pledge because of something new you have found, that is your decision. You seem to be desparately trying to justify your love for the OW. You seem to also be desparately trying to convince yourself that your wife doesn't really love you. Maybe she doesn't, I don't know. From what I've read in her posts, I think she does. I'm not God, though.<P>But as long as you carry on this mentality of trying to convince yourself that it is "meant to be" for you to leave your wife and be with this woman you love, then the chances of you and your wife staying together approach nil. Give it a chance, man. Fine, yes, you feel this other woman is like the other piece of the puzzle in your life. But don't try and make it sound as if this is something you "have to do". It isn't. It is simply your choice. <P>The happiness of several people depend on that choice - including your own.<P>I hope I haven't been judgemental or rude in my post - I'm just trying to talk to you on your level, SNL.

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I am amazed to see that no one has responded to these thoughts.

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GM<P>Probably no one has responded b-cuz it is under my original post and this is a little off topic on that.<P>I will say I am not offended by SNL but I have a hard time trying to follow his motivation. <P>It seems to be an exercise in existentialism...and you may be right he may be trying to justify what he is doing or plans to do. <P>At the risk of repeating myself on this thread he sounds very sad...<P>SNL said:<BR>"Shouldn't 2 people first decide they even should be married, that if they had it to do all over again, would choose each other out of 6 billion human beings/ Or is this just another quid pro quo, make the best of what you have, don't take a risk, you might not be able to do better anyways......"<P>Well, I doubt that I will meet all 6 billion and I doubt that SNL will either. It seems that we meet and fall in love with people who meet our ENs. Then we (most of us anyway) stop looking until (and maybe not even then) we perceive our ENs are not being met.<P>SNL: You have to DECIDE...yes it is a DECISION...if that person is your W or the OW. <P>But I guess if I were either I would be a bit concerned about your wondering about the other 6 billion of us on the planet.<P>Best of luck <P>E <BR>

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Elad, your wonderful, inspiring, positive thread turned into an analytical, doubtful, question of true love and marriage. i sure don't mind inquiring minds.... snl posed some good questions - if he is truly searching for answers - which I believe he is. I was pleased that he took his question to a separate post, instead of continuing here. I agree with you and GM that snl must make a choice. I honestly think he is trying. It's very frustrating to listen to snl, because it DOES seem like justification. We BS's could simply say, "You cheated. I'm leaving. Here's the papers. Bye." But we are practicing forgiveness for a mistake, and accepting that we did some things wrong as well in the marriage, and WE (BS's) are willing to look in the mirror and make some needed changes.<P>thank you, Elad, for your good story here, and good luck in your recovery. Please keep posting your insight and progress. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]

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GodlyMan, I don't post much, because of situation where I don't feel right talking to strange people. My H posts as you see a lot. I am a confidential person, and would like to keep things to a personal physical person that I can see and have a shoulder to cry on. I feel my H likes talking to people on the board, he is not that huggy of a person. I was not at one time, but am extremely huggy now. What you stated that SNL seems to be trying to justify his love for the OW is what I feel reading his post too. SNL needs to make up his mind, yes he is here in this house living with his family. How long does it take to decide?<P>If we are to divorce, I have already told my H that I will not marry again. I will not trust another man to take my heart and break in into many pieces again.<P>The OW supposedly was a christian. But this being her 2nd affair (both EA & PA) where is the christianity she professes? She knew from the first time how things got going, and she didn't learn. How is she to learn with this affair, if she doesn't want to tell her H about the affair, and the physical affair they had too.? She wants to keep my H her dirty little secret and then I am a dirty little secret too. <P>If it is your decision to keep the relationship (which my H states he wants) then the real work begins. It is not going to be easy, and I feel that it is going to be equally hard for both of us. There needs to be compromise and thoughtfulness and caring by both people. That is where you hear about the great success stories when both are trying hard, full throttle forward.

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