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hezat: Ah, so it becomes clear now. You need to forgive yourself.

"I was becoming codependent"--hon, after 17 years with an alcoholic, you weren't "becoming" codependent, you were codependent. And probably ashamed of it. Seventeen years of accepting that behavior is a lot of shame to deal with.

"I equate cheating with alcoholism" -- Um, clearly. Hence the transference. I am guessing that your decision to end your marriage, even for excellent reason, was very difficult for you. You need to believe that he would never have changed. That you didn't have any choice but to leave or continue to suffer. That staying and resolving his addiction and your codependency was impossible. And in your case, you were likely right. But for some reason, you need to believe that if YOU couldn't "straighten out" your messed up hubby, NO ONE can ever straighten out THEIR messed up spouses. And that's partly true. No one can cure another person's addictions. No one can decide for another person to change their life.

But you're ignoring a very relevant possibility: that the cheater or alcoholic may decide for THEMSELF to change, and be capable of it. That addiction recovery, be it to alcohol or to sex and relationships, is possible for those who finally reach rock bottom and are willing to seek help and healing.

I provoked you for a reason. Because I don't really believe you are here because you are "just surfing and noticed how pathetic we are." I think you were looking for someone more pathetic than you believe you were for staying with an alcoholic for so long. Which paints a nice big red bullseye target on Betrayed Spouses who choose to stay with their Wayward Spouses through the difficult and lengthy process of recovery. We have to be doormats, right? Because otherwise...well, that opens up possibilities for you that are too painful for you to consider.

Make fun of us if that's what you need to do. Belittle people who have undergone a traumatic experience, and are STILL willing to struggle and work through therapy in order to do what they believe is the right thing. But perhaps think a moment about why you feel compelled to do so? Why does a self-professed "kind" person feel the need to stomp on people while they are down?

I am not among those who "Just Found Out." My H's last A was over two and a half years ago. I am insulted for him that you believe he has invested two years of his life in weekly therapy, intensive Christian accountability groups, and the hard, hard work of looking at his problems and committing to solving them as a "waste." I am extremely proud of my husband for refusing to accept your easily tossed off cliche that "once a cheater, always a cheater." If he believed that, he might as well throw himself off a cliff, since he's obviously not capable of a committed, fulfilling adult relationship and never will be, right?

I've addressed my codependency issues, as has Stillwed. Your attitude is as ignorant as it is insulting, but I will overlook it as you are clearly someone whose past has caused them intense pain and shame.

In our church, most people know about H's history. You know what? We are the couple that OTHER couples come to for advice when they are experiencing problems. We can give them hope because we've been there. We taught a successful marriage improvement class together, based on things we've learned in the last couple of years. And both my sisters are more than a little jealous at how my H treats me with courtesy and respect, and how affectionate and loving we are with each other.

But of course, we must be "faking" it. Or in denial. And I must be torturing him with his mistake daily--although neither he nor I remember that happening after the first month or so of recovery. We have to be a big fake. A lie.

Because otherwise, the foundation that you've made several life-altering decisions based on is a bit shakier than you want to believe.

Go away, and spew your venom elsewhere, unless you decide you'd actually LIKE to learn how to build a healthy marriage, even after major obstacles and serious problems derail it completely.

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Kat72

I have forgiven myself - I left.

I was ashamed of his behavior, and so was my daughter. I stayed all those years to make it work. His addition is a discease. Your man sleeping with other women - is that a disease? And, is there no shame in him sleeping with other people? what? An alcoholic is worst than a cheater?

To end my marriage was very difficult - shouldn't it be rightly so? I couldn't straighten out my "messed up" hubby, that is why I LEFT him. Hello! Noone can decide another person's addition is right. You only have control over your own life - so change it.

When my husband told me that he was not hurting anyone but himself, in a sense he was right. He was the one dealing with the after effect, the headaches, thowing up, etc. When your husbands go out and cheat they are including you all in it - opening you up to so much degradation. Sharing his most sacred parts with another person(s) - then come home a confest his love to you. I take that very seriously.

You don't need to be continually going through "traumatic" times. You can end it. I'm sure you'd had other relatonships before your husbands, you left those, you CAN leave this one. What? Because you sign a piece of paper that makes it sooooo binding. Treaties have been broken, kings have abducated thrones, Elizabeth Taylor left 6 husbands - you too can do it. I know what the problem is - low self esteem (LOL).

I especially like the part when you say "my H's LAST A was over two and half years ago". I am taking careful note of the "last". Did he have more than one? Or is it just 1 you found out about?

Therapy and intensive Christian accountability groups? What a joke. Grasping at straws, that's what it is. What is there to be proud of? He is not a cancer survivor or have just become a Rhode Scholar. No, he is a damn philanderer - Amen to that! If you spit in the sky, it will fall in your face. DOORMAT!

"In our church most people know about H's history". What a disgrace!!! You sure the affair(s)wasn't with one of the church members? I would explore that. They must be laughing about you inside.

I will not go away sweetie. Think about it, you don't even know me, I have not hurt you in any form and you are ready to dismiss me simply because you don't like to hear what I say. When you are willing to "dismiss" your cheater, then I will know you have been cured.

Bye for now. Such a mockery!

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Hezat,

I'm not sure if you are for real or not. I am sorry that you've had so much pain in your life that you've learned to lash out first rather than chance being nice and having someone hurt you.

Just for the record, my H's affairs were about HIM, not me. He had a very difficult childhood to overcome and he basically never grew up until the past 18 months. He was always an amazing father to our now grown children, never drank, was always good to me in the marriage, loved me, etc. As a matter of fact, he told the last OW that he needed to love me as I deserved to be loved and that he felt horrible about not being able to do that. He took her my picture and told her how gorgeous he thought I was.

The problem was that he lost his mother at 15 and we met at 16. He projected his mother's image onto me and in the little boy part of him, I became his new mother instead of his wife. (I'm not sure why I think you'll "get" this, but I'm hoping.)

He wanted to stop his behavior just like an alcoholic wants to stop drinking. With each of these affairs, he was terribly remorseful and vowed to be a new man each time. They were all either very shortlived (under 3 weeks) or one night stands. He had sex with each one only once with the exception of one woman and with that one it was 3 times. He considered killing himself over that because it felt so premeditated. He didn't pursue women, he only was with those that pursued him. He let bad things happen to him rather than going out of his way to keep it from happening...much like a child would.

The difference between my H and yours is that he genuinely wanted to grow up and be in an adult relationship. When I met him at age 16, I told a girlfriend later in the day, that he was the man I was SUPPOSED to marry. I didn't know why, but I felt God's direction even back then. When he came to me and told me that he was in love with another woman in January of 2003 and I thought about how much we'd been falling in love all over again over the past 6 months it made no sense. I realized that he was running from something and that he was not himself. I was right. He was running FROM himself. He couldn't take the guilt and shame from what he'd done plus the guilt and shame put on him from his family of origin. I knew that God still wanted us together...that we had a work to do...that this man that I'd loved since he was a teenager was finally ready to do his personal work and grow up. I saw the good in him and why would I want to throw that away? After all, God never threw me away. My H NEVER denied the good in me...he just didn't feel worthy of being my H. He felt hopeless and damaged and it wasn't just about the affairs. He had felt that way since he was a little boy of seven who found his mother after a suicide attempt.

Now, he's a healed soul. I never in my wildest dreams believed that I would experience the love and tenderness that I get from him now. He adores me. Better yet, he loves himself. He's forgiving himself and taking on the shame and guilt that is his and giving back the shame from his family. He's been in counseling. He is a part of a men's group that has helped him tremendously. He thanks me daily for believing in him and seeing the good and letting him continue to share his life with me and our family. He willingly sets rules for himself, realizing that there will always be women who are willing out there. He has no women friends. He used to have all women friends because he didn't trust men. He now has reversed that and is very comfortable with his group of men.

I don't blame you for getting out of an alcoholic situation. I grew up in an alcoholic home. The problem is that we, as humans, will unconsciously always choose someone very much like our caregivers to marry. Why? To take care of our unfinished business from childhood. It's pretty much a given. I thought that I was choosing the exact opposite from my alcoholic father when I chose my H. He was a Christian, very committed to not having sex before marriage, very committed to having a family, very kind and tender, etc. All seemingly opposite of my dad, but in fact, inside he was damaged in much the same way as my dad and eventually he acted out against that pain and depression. That's what we all do.

Fortunately, I could see his "gold". I knew it was there. I knew that he was so close to letting it shine now that he was ready to take full responsibility for his behavior. Why would I want to let some other woman enjoy that instead of me? At maturity, my H is what all women want...trust me!!! He needs more affection that most women do, loves to do housework and puts the toilet seat down...lol!

I'm certainly not a doormat in this house. I am treated like a queen. My H must snuggle me and tell me he loves me at least 20 times a day. He's extremely tender toward me. He helps out in any way he can around the house. He's everything I've ever wanted in a spouse.

I wish we didn't have to go through the adultery to get to this point, but we did. Facing facts and reality is what growing up is all about. Forgiving an offense is sometimes as close as coming to grips with the fact that it happened and that you can do nothing to change it. What value would there have been in me starting over with another man? I have no desire to spend the rest of my years alone. I love having a partner to share my days with. My H and I grew up together...or at least I did. Now it's his turn. Was I so bad for sticking around and upholding my promise of "for better or for worse?"

You needed to get out because your H wouldn't change. My H was ripe for change! My kids are incredibly proud of him, even though they were extremely shocked and disappointed on D-day. At first, they wanted me to know that if I wanted to leave him, they'd support me in any way I needed. When I wanted to stay with him, they were concerned, but supportive. Now that we are 18 months into recovery, they are beaming with pride for both of us and they aren't shy about showing it!

Knowing all of their personality types, us being upfront with them about what we've been through may have very well saved them from having their own affairs in the future. They all know what to guard against now. Two of them are raising their own little families and they are so happy.

Stillwed

P.S. I really do believe that you are here for a reason. That reason may very well be to let go of the bitterness in your life. Try looking at that inner child thread with seriousness.

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ROFLMAO <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

Somebody stop me, please. I'm tempted to engage in a battle of wits with a totally unarmed person. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Big Grin]" src="images/icons/grin.gif" />

I honest-to-God think she actually believes all this. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" /> <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="images/icons/shocked.gif" />

Okay, one last stab at sanity: What is shame, and what is its purpose?

You know what, never mind. Come here and attempt "cure" us all from our "shameful" attempts to heal, learn, and grow. To follow our saviour's command to forgive "Not seven times, but seventy times seven." Oops, I forgot, the great and mighty all-knowing Hezat has declared we're only required, nay ALLOWED, to forgive cheating ONCE. LOL.

Alcoholism and affairs are both addictions. They seek to fill a spiritual void that can only be filled by God. Once the void is addressed, the addiction and codependency issues can be resolved. Or did you not bother to actually research our and our spouses "pathetic conditions" before attempting to "cure" us all? What exactly are your qualifications in "curing" us all? Ending your codependent marriage to an alcoholic after SEVENTEEN years? LOL.

No one said alcoholism was worse or better than infidelity. It is a poor coping skill that can be overcome if a person is motivated and given the right tools.

I am quite aware that I could have another relationship with another man if I chose to divorce my husband. I'm aware that I have Biblical grounds for divorce. What exactly is your point? Why would I ditch this relationship just at the point where we are both overcoming our unhealthy relationship habits? What makes you think that if I didn't investigate my own codependency issues, I wouldn't just find myself with another addict in another unhealthy relationship?

And if anyone thought less of me because of my choice to remain in my marriage, what the heck do I care? All it does is display their ignorance. All the people who know me even marginally well respect my choices. Ohhhh. I would care, if other people's opinions were what I drew my self-worth from. But since I am a unique and beloved child of the Creator of the universe, I don't really need it.

I would just laugh you off, but you seem quite determined to undermine the purpose of this site, which is to BUILD MARRIAGES. And you unfortunately picked the subboard with the most in-shock and impressionable people to vent your ignorance and bitterness on.

Should every marriage be saved after infidelity? Of course not! Should every effort be made to save a marriage where both partners are committed to overcoming their problems and building a healthy marriage, especially where there are children involved? Absolutely!

Who are you to take away peoples hope, Hezat? Especially in a set of experiences you have ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE WITH and absolutely no qualifications to judge?

Go away, or stay and learn something.

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Hezat,

Building a wall of bitterness around you definitely protects you from being hurt. It keeps you from being vulnerable, but unfortunately, it also keeps you from being able to feel love. Don't you want to feel love? In order to do that, you are going to have to become vulnerable.

Anger is not the only emotion out there. Because you refuse to feel the other emotions, you are channeling them all through your anger. It's not pretty. It's not Christ-like in appearance. I'm not preachy on this board, but YOU profess to be a Bible believer.

Stillwed

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Stillwed,

I read your post and have taken it to heart. You are right. I was bitter that I had to end my marriage the way I did. We were suppose to be together forever - he changed that.

I am so sorry to be taking this out on you ladies - you don't deserve this. Our husbands don't deserve us. Maybe I am jealous of you ladies, I don't know. Deep down I just feel that these men should not have taken us for granted.

Please forgive me for my lack of compassion. I guess you ladies saw right through me. I've learnt a lesson - if you don't have anything good to say, say nothing! Me and my big mouth.

Once again, I am sorry.

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Kat72,

I did not read all you post, but I figure your response was hard. I deserve it. As I mentioned to Stillwed, I am very sorry.

I am still hurting even after 2 years of divorce. My H just messed up everything. Yeah I know I should let go and not go back to the past - it is painful.

Please, please forgive and forget everything I've said - they were said out of anger, mine, and it was wrong.

The mind surely can be treacherous. May God continue to bless you and your family. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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hezat: My apologies for being sarcastic in my replies. I get quite protective of the souls here--souls who are hanging onto hope by a very bare thread sometimes. In my own experience, I had plenty of people after I "Just Found Out" who told me "once a cheater, always a cheater" and that even attempting a reconciliation was a hopeless, impossible mistake.

And when I look at what I have now, and how close I came to missing out on it had I taken that advice, it nearly takes my breath away. And whether my H came around or not, if I hadn't figured out why I accepted what I did for so long, I would have been stuck in the same TYPE of unhealthy relationship next time, just with a different partner. I'm sure of that.

Yes, our spouses should not have taken us for granted. No, none of us, you or the BSs here, deserved to have our futures and our lives cast into chaos by the people we loved and trusted. That's the nature of living in a fallen world. It's not fair--it just is.

I assume you may be here because you were hoping to find examples of a healthy, non-codependent relationship. And unfortunately, much of what you find is the opposite of that. MB, and particularly JFO, can be an emotional triage unit. But there are plenty of "old timers" here who have learned good relationship skills, the HARD way.

Even if my H, "fell off the wagon" and I chose to end our marriage, it has been worth it, because in the process, I've learned to trust myself, to love myself, and to relate to my loved ones in a healthier way.

The second half of my suggestion still stands: Stay and Learn. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

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Kat72,

I will stay and learn.

Thank you.

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Dear Hezat,

Apology accepted! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> I truly hope you find happiness within yourself and maybe even with a partner some day. Getting emotionally healthy is the first step so that you can choose a partner based on something other than your woundedness!

You wrote:

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Our husbands don't deserve us. Maybe I am jealous of you ladies, I don't know. Deep down I just feel that these men should not have taken us for granted.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Amen!

You might find the Enneagram personality assessment fascinating as I have. When my H read about his type, the type Four, he was shocked. It had him pegged! It even said that he'd spend his life looking for someone to rescue him from his ordinary life! It was him all right! Now that he is in the healthy range of his type, he realizes how foolish it was to think that someone outside of himself could make him happy in life. He really "gets it".

There are online tests that you can take or there is a book called The Essential Enneagram by Daniels and Price with an excellent test in it that I feel is quite accurate. Here's a link to a good site to just see what the Enneagram is about:

http://www.enneagraminstitute.com

If I had to guess, I'd say you were an Eight or a One, but clearly I don't know you!! Once you discover your type, there are books available to teach you what to be aware of in yourself. That awareness helps you to gradually change your behavior as you have "ah-ha" moments regarding your current behavior or thought processes. It's really interesting at the very least.

Take care.

Stillwed

<small>[ July 29, 2004, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: stillwed ]</small>

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Stillwed,

I will follow the link. Thanks again, and please, please do forgive my tart tongue.

Take care.

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hezat,

I hope you do stay and learn, dont take that the wrong way, I dont mean it in a bad way. Actually I mean it with the best of intentions.

The reason I say this is because you remind me so much of myself its not even funny. I totally understand where your comming from and I know how it is to hurt so badly you cant see passed the pain, and it just pisses you off at the same time.

hezat I think it would really help you work passed all this if you would take the enneagram test and start learning more about yourself and why you have the feelings you do.

Yes, I admit, in the beginning I thought it was just a bunch of hoodoo voodoo crap too. I think I even called it snake oil or something LOL. Honestly, it did help me a great deal and especially with my anger.

I like you, have a great deal of anger problems. Knowing this, and all the other things I have learned from this site, and these people, has really helped a great deal. Wouldnt it feel better to release some of the anger you feel and cant seem to get rid of?

I am not talking down to you here, dont take any of this as me being or thinking I am better than you, or heck anyone here. I am just me, average ole hopes, and for some reason I looked at this and I saw someone that could benefit from some information. I know some of this stuff is a bit hard to swallow in the beginning. I dont like psych docs and a lot of stuff. The key here is to take what works for you and use it. To take bits and pieces and work out a plan custom made for you. Do what works for you, dont think there is just ONE way to do this, far from it.

I know your angry, I also know your very hurt. Pain and anger are actually the same thing. One is directed outward and the other inward. Some of us have the ability to direct inner pain outward and turn it into anger. I am good at that, sometimes when I am very hurt I come off as very angry and the words just dont come out right. Sound familiar?

I honestly think your an 8 like myself. 8s are really good people, and capable of so much good if they are healthy. Most are highly successful, and are capable of great things. They do have a good sense of justice and can be some of the best people when healthy. You do have to let your guard down a little and let people in though. Not everyone will hurt you.

Almost all these people here really do want to help. I am sure there are a few bad apples but for the most part, theres some really good people here, that, just like you, got hurt beyond words. Plus we all know your capable to taking care of any bad apples that come your way right?

If I am right, and you are an 8, you think in black and white. All or nothing, but the problem comes when there are grey areas. 8s dont do so well with them. I have struggled with this, I still do sometimes. Grey areas just aggervate me because I dont know what to think and can get lost and confused along the way, then I get frustrated about that, toss it all out the window and go back to black and white again. Ring any bells?

Anyway before this post becomes a book, I hope you do stay and learn and I hope your having a better day today.

Hopes

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Wow. Hmmm... I can't believe I just read this whole thing. I thought the Dr. Phil article was great and appreciate it being posted. I don't know what to make of the viciousness in Hezat's posts, then suddenly a complete 180 turnaround to an apologetic person. ? I hope it's sincere.

I'm too tired to say anymore right now and kinda just speechless. Hang in there all of you.

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That was incredible! Kat72...that was amazing.
I have been that angry before and that obnoxious. I also did it on this board and several people stood up to me. I thank them and I thank you too!
Anger is such an awful and (in this day in age) nearly useless emotion.

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I'm with LME: really don't know what to say, but "Wow." Can't beieve I got through the whole post. Which brings me to a question: How does everyone find/make the time for reading all of this?!? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Confused]" src="images/icons/confused.gif" />

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