Call me euphoric, on an adrenalin rush, riding a faux 'honeymoon high'....whatever. It does not negate my present reality that my FWH's sarcastic, disdainful, condescending habits have given way to a man who, for the past 3 months has been apologetic, empathetic, loving, kind, thoughtful and everything I ever I wanted in a man. Our marriage has become the fairytale dream I never thought possible for the previous 30+ years.
Why? Rewind to the early 70's. I was 19, never had a boyfriend, was dating different guys and one of them said "God told me to marry you." Afraid of being left behind since my multiple crushes on guys always resulted in them thinking of me as their little sister, I said "OK".
Long story short, we married the following year, we spent 32 years gradually detaching, going through the motions, doing our own thing, keeping quiet to avoid fighting, etc.
Eventually, our detachment led to my H's EA and multiple Devastation Days (3), but 4 months after NC letter was emailed, my H started to emerge from the fog and its slimy tentacles loosened their hold on him.
He now says he began to see me in a totally different light (post-fog-illumination?) and he got depressed to the point that he did not want to wake up because seeing me reminded him of how badly he hurt me. He says it was if a demon propelled him into the affair and would not let go.
But through reading, praying, talking, counseling and gutting it out, the 'infidelity alien' has slithered away and my FHW has become inhabited by a new 'spirit' (committed to our renewed marriage). I'm sharing this to show that miracles do happen.
Over the past 3 months, I have really and truly fallen in love with this man, which I know sounds totally absurd. But he has become MR. ROMANCE, the man of my dreams, not the guy who said "God told me to marry you" whether we loved each other or not. After 32 years of thinking that it was probably a demon who told him to marry me, it's truly amazing we lasted this long.
The most important part of my husband's transformation is our commitment to God and desire to please Him and follow His principles. My husband is not quite ready to post on MB yet, but he is thrilled by the help I have received; his willingness to "do whatever helps me heal" is the biggest part of what seems too good to be true.
Another reason for writing this is to have a positive place to return to when things get rough in the future. I know this is probably too good to be true, but like Lousy Golfer suggested, I want to grab as much of the joy as possible to tide us through during the tough times ahead.
I also want to be an inspiration for others looking for MR. ROMANCE in books, videos, DVDs, theaters and on stage. I know my husbands affair was NOT planned by God, nor was it a good thing. But its result HELPED me (and us) look to God and inwards to ourselves for the answers. My "MR. ROMANCE" slowly evolved from the fog as we sought God's help in dealing with this major life crisis.
Edited to add: Chapter 6 has become chapter 7 and a new chapter 6 needs to be written now.
What God has put together...
Never expected anyone to read here let alone post a comment.
Funny thing.....you mentioned a standard phrase from weddings ("What God has put together")....we wrote our own vows and did not include that phrase at all! Could it still be true?
"What God has put together..."
Did God really put us together? Or did our God-given ability to make choices put us together?
For MR. ROMANCE Saga, please email **edit**
We're eagerly awaiting Chapter 2! At least I am anyway... <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Hey Inner Strength,
I can't post the next chapter until tomorrow morning. Sorry, but thanks for asking.
The greater question could be "Was my choice to answer 'yes' or 'no' ordained by God or just a by-product of my God-given right to make choices on my own?"
Did God 'force' him to marry me or was that a choice he made on his own?
If God is a God-of-peace, then He definitely was not a part of our experience that night. Or was He?
Maybe my turmoil was due to my choice to ignore God's still small voice during the previous week.
For MR Romance Saga, please email **edit**
The saga continued, but turned down a dark corner, including my husband's emotional affair detailed on other threads.
The night I discovered him lying again, 3 months after an apparently effective NC was in place, I gave up, told him to leave, and decided to sell the house, pay off the bills and start over.
As he got to the door, the fog suddenly cleared and its gripping tentacles were dissolved in his sobbing tears to give him one more chance.
It's been three months but he has made good on every promise so far and now that we've found MarriageBuilders, I finally have hope that we will make it. Not only will we survive, but we will thrive to be able to use our experiences to help others escape the fog of hopelessness and despair chronicled in this 33 year saga.
And he has truly become the man of my dreams who says he will do anything to help me heal. I lost most of the weight before the affair and no longer snore. So after rejoining him in our bed the night of D-Day #1, we've only slept apart for 5 nights (when I visited out of town family) during the last 7 months.
Despite our nebulous beginnings, it seems that a miracle is in the making, and time will determine its outcome. I hope anyone reading who is struggling to regain lost love, will be inspired by our story of finally falling in love after suffering in silent existence for over 30 years.
And thanks to MB, the saga continues....
For more MR ROMANCE details, email **edit**
So how has Mr. LUSTY AFFAIR (Mr. Liar, Mr. Untrusworthy, Mr. Selfishness, Mr. Thoughtless, Mr. Yah, Mr. Abusive, Mr. Fone Fornicator, Mr. Anti-apology, Mr. Insensitive and Mr. Reprehensible) demonstrated that he is becoming MR. ROMANCE which seems too good to be true?
He appears to be REMORSEFUL, RESPECTFUL and REFOCUSED
He appears to be OBEDIENT to the OMNIPOTENT ONE
He appears to be MOTIVATED to MEND our MARRIAGE
He is AFFECTIONATE, APOLOGETIC and ATTENTIVE
He is NICE in a NATURAL, NON-RESISTENT way
He is COOPERATIVE, CONSIDERATE, COMMUNICATIVE & appears to be COMPLETELY COMMITTED to me
He is EMOTIONALLY ENGAGED and EAGER to ENCOURAGE me EVERY EVENING (and every day for the rest of our lives)
Time will tell the extent of this transformation and I realize we will have our ups and downs. But my MR. ROMANCE is claiming that he will prove to me (and anyone who wants to challenge the notion) that our HONEYMOON HIGH can be sustained for the rest of our lives. What adventure could be more romantic than that?
I'm hoping that many will be inspired NOT to give up when things seem hopeless, worthless or like you've wasted your better years by making bad choices.
God may not have planned for us to be together. But if he didn't, are we 'on our own' if we use our free choice to enter into a marriage God may not have planned?
What do you think?
AIB..... Thank you for putting a comment in my post.... your story is very inspiring, but honestly i dont know if i can wait for 30 years for things to get better..... on thing that i did want to say to you is you made a comment above about how you dont know if it was God's plan for the two of you to be together or if you just made the decision on your own.... regardless of what the initial reasoning was.... once a man and women have be joined together in marriage..... That is what God's will is from that point forward! so dont worry about that not being in your vows or ponder any longer if it was His will... because it is!
Thank you for your kind post. I agree with your comment that even though our choices may not have been ordained by God, He put his ultimate stamp of approval on our marriage the day we vowed to each other.
I do apologize that I was not able to respond to your comments yesterday but I cannot post on my work computer.
You have a lot of insights that would help many people on these boards. Sometimes it takes a while to get acclimated to the best way to help. For instance, the poster (Mark) who inserted the "What God has put together" phrase, gave me a reason to ask a somewhat rhetorical question "Did He?" Mark and I may or may not agree on all ideas, but on these boards, the defining line is drawn by the outlines provided by MB concepts, which are quietly based on solid Bible principles. Many posters who seek answers may not be Christians as you discovered yesterday, but one very respected veteran spiritual (BS) poster viewed Dr. Harley and these MB boards as a Good Samaritan aiding in a world of hurt not limited to any particular religious faith.
I read your exchanges with Evo et. al. last night and saw that Mark had requested to discuss some concepts with you on a new thread. If you haven't already, please be open to chatting with him and others who may challenge your views because that's how you will grow and be able to help others down the road.
Lost, I see your heart of compassion...I have the same, but I do NOT want that to get in the way of solid advice. Like I said on another thread, I need to be careful that I am not compassionately wrong. Whether we are right or wrong, we need to always remain open to being challenged in order for God to help us learn new thoughts and ideas that may change how we thought in the past.
Please check out my early posts between Jan. 14 and Jan. 21. I was bashed big time for innocently giving what I had perceived to be a proper MB interpretation of concepts relating to exposing to the OPS, but I was innocently WRONG. I took it all in, however, and grew through it, and that is how I believe God was able to bless our marriage and introduce me to my MR. ROMANCE, which inspired this thread.
In closing, I do not believe you will have to wait 30 years. In fact, while it is true, that thought may hurt more than help those like you who are seeking solutions for their marriages now, not in the future. I only state that to show the depths of our depravity which emphasized the magnitude of our miracle. Yours may evolve within 30 days.....mine did 30 days after I registered and started opening my mind to new concepts that often were diabolically opposed to what I'd always thought ......and those thoughts were what got us into this mess in the first place! (Well, in addition to my husbands betrayal!) My point is that as you open up to new concepts, your miracles will unfold much sooner.
Again, thanks for posting LITW, and I am praying for you. If you'd like, please email me at the address above.
Bravo! Well said! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
See my lastest overly (and overtly)verbose offering elsewhere... <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />
Thanks for your kind comments, Mark.
It's been nearly a week....hope you're back soon.
Gotta tell ya about our new/old MC session.....we could be starting MR. Romance Chapter 6 soon.....and it may not be what one would expect.
I await Chapter 6...
BTW, my email is in my profile.
Reports of results posted elsewhere.
My WH is coming to pick up his things today...I plan to have already left for work..it will be too hard to watch without getting upset. I have these fantsies that he is going to stop and turn around or show up at the gym with a dozen roses and tell me how much he loves me and he was wrong and wants to go home.
Dreams do come true though right?
Chapter #6: HOW I ENDURED 30+ years of ILYBINILWY 'existence' that led to my H's EA.
Since finding MB forums around the holidays I’ve wondered how and why we stayed together in misery for 32+ years. He ‘stuck’ he says, because he loves me. I stayed, I guess because God ‘put us together’, to avoid being alone, for the kids’ sake, because I like SF and because it seemed easier to stay and suffer than to leave. (A little passive/aggressiveness? More about that in Chapter 7). Plus, suffering in seeming silence was easier than having to expose our failures to everyone. (There are no divorces in my immediate family and only one in his.)
As mentioned, my marriage requirement bar was as low as my self image was when that BMOC hopped over it after dumping me in the snow bank, sitting by me in class and then walking me to lunch. Remember, I only had 3 ideas of qualities I desired in a boyfriend/husband:
#1) LOVE GOD AND WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES. He said he saw a vision of us in sports ministry together which became a reality we’ve continued over the years. We’ve done other youth and church ministries, domestic and international mission trips, and been involved with a home church wherever we moved. (Now we have intensified our seeking to read, study and pray together, every day or night, to become more like Christ and to share His love and our experiences with others.)
#2) NOT SMOKE, DRINK, CUSS, GAMBLE OR CHEW OR HANG WITH THE FOLKS THAT DO. As far as I know, he still abstains from all, not just because I threatened to break our engagement twice, but because he developed new habits that stuck and he doesn’t want any of those vices to be a part of our lives either….which is quite a witness to the coaches, athletes and parents who he is involved with as a player, coach and professional pitching instructor.
#3) PLAY THE GUITAR OR PIANO AND SING TO ME. During our early days, he often brought his guitar over and sang with my dorm mates. In fact, he wrote a song for me and sang it while playing his guitar as I walked up the aisle at our wedding (in a highly unusual place that had such a long aisle that he forgot all 4 verses so he just repeated the 1st one over and over). After one of our many house moves, his guitar got lost so he quit playing and singing and refused to resume even when I found his guitar and had it restrung.
As I already mentioned, getting married for fear of being left behind alone is the wrong reason. But like Mark and Lost in Christ pointed out, God still could and did bless our marriage and I give Him all the glory and credit for our survival and transition.
It was and is not easy, nor is it something I would encourage others to attempt. I share this now because of what I’ve learned from a variety of sources, especially MB, which may help others seemingly caught in a trap of what feels like a loveless marriage to find solutions like we have.
SO WHAT DID I DO TO SURVIVE 32 YEARS OF ILYBINILWY ?
The MSN article "You Don't Have to Have Sex to Cheat" illuminated one of the ‘coping tactics’ I utilized to endure all those years. In a nutshell, I engaged in AEA’s to meet my missing emotional needs.
Because I realize it’s rare if it even exists, I conjured up the term AEA which means ‘Almost’ Emotional Affair. As I understand the definitions of EA and PA, an EA is an attachment of emotions which could include virtual (but not physical) sex. A PA includes inappropriate physical touching including intercourse. Bring out the tubes if needed, but here’s how this relates to us:
EMOTIONAL NEEDS MET .....ONE WAY OR THE OTHER
Over the years, through the course of my work day and evenings and week-ends, I experienced more admiration, affection, conversation, family commitment, domestic support, recreational companionship and often even financial support from other sources than from my husband.
I thought Openness and Honesty were important to me but obviously it was low on both our lists. My physical appearance and my health went to heck when my depression justified my gaining 80+ pounds.
But we had great SF, even through my menopausal phase, which is amazing as I look back. I know we are the exception, but it is true that we both enjoyed SF without emotional attachment, even when I was morbidly obese and after menopause. That in itself is a miracle of sorts although some may consider it a curse.
Most of my emotional needs were met by many other men (and women) but my SF needs were met by my husband. Like I’ve said on other threads, I tried for nearly 30 years to seek a solution for the erosion in our relationship through books, tapes, videos, CDs, IC, MC, seminars, workshops, group sessions and church-sponsored get-aways. But I gave up just before our 30th anniversary when we got into a huge fight…..at a marriage conference!
That day, I told my husband that I was through trying to ‘fix us’ and that I would never suggest another marriage solution ever again. Thus, we detached even further and when he became lonely, instead of telling me about his needs, he engaged in a 4-7* month EA (including virtual sex via phone, email, PO mailed items and video) with a woman he met playing online games when he was supposedly looking for work after being fired. I was busy working 3 jobs, helping care for his frail mother and bringing dinner down to his part-time job site, occasionally interrupting his OW fantasy email/phone sessions. I should have suspected many times, but we seldom talked so we never fought and he seemed to like the isolation he chose. Thus it became easy for him to revel in his fantasy of lying and hiding things just for the adventure of getting away with it.
*(4 months - first emailed NC message OW thought was from me. It was 7 months when WH fog began lifting and we sent OW my husband’s handwritten NC note with a copy of HNHN.)
CATCH AND RELEASE ....NOT JUST A FISHING PHRASE
After being caught 4 times (June to Nov. ’06), my husband chose to change...he released his choice for fog. I agreed to change, too but I realized we both needed outside help. I found SAA, HNHN, LB, and FIL,LIL in the fall but I did not realize MB had these forums until around Christmas. I lurked for a couple weeks before posting to ask for help rebuilding trust, wondering if it only took time. Most posters said yes, but after just one week on MB, I got tubed regarding my misperception of exposure to OPS, which, I soon discovered, was what I needed to do in order to begin rebuilding trust in my soon-to-be-FORMER-wayward husband.
We exposed, OW lied,
(and the OWH never replied)
but it really makes no difference
because at least I tried!
(You’re right, Maz, I am an unintentional poet!)
RECOVERY AND DISCOVERY ROAD IS ROCKY BUT REWARDING
We are now on the road to recovery AND discovery of an even better relationship, but I’ve often speculated why and how we were/are still together after such extended misery. Now, because of MB, I’m beginning to discover some of the answers.
SO HOW COULD I QUALIFY MY EA AS AN 'ALMOST EA' ?
#1. It was never a secret. I told my H about all my conversations with others regarding our difficult relationship and marriage and he was actually glad I could talk to others so I didn’t have to bug him. Sounds bizarre, I know, but it happened often and helped me endure.
I have an aversion to hiding things that might be detrimental when revealed. As a child, when playing ‘hide and go seek’ or ‘cowboys and Indians,’ I always wanted to get caught first because I couldn’t stand the suspense of hiding. Even today I can’t cheat on our taxes, I’m quick to apologize even if I’m not sure if one is warranted, and I’ll do anything to resolve conflict as soon as possible. (My H was the opposite but we are making great strides using Biblical principles and all the MB policies as we learn to apply them.)
#2. Whenever I began entertaining inappropriate thoughts of other men I had shared emotional challenges with, I would somehow sabotage that relationship. I did, however, encourage some of the professional singers I worked with to leave singing voicemails or sing to me over the phone. But I always told my H and he said he was glad they did it so he wouldn’t have to sing to me.
#3 My SF needs were being met at home, so I never fantasized about sex with any other man. I did wonder what it might be like to be passionately IN LOVE with someone who was also IN LOVE with me. I watched romantic comedies and read Christian romance novels to get my romance fantasy fix in a seemingly harmless way. I helped my friends with their relationships…not that I was any expert….but it gave me significance in trying to make a difference by being a good listener if nothing else.
FOLLOW MB PRINCIPLES AND AVOID THE AGONY OF DECEIT
Like PrincessMeggy, I would never recommend what I did to survive, but it bought time…..30+ years and although it was backwards, often wrong and usually late, it worked to our advantage eventually and now we’re reaping the rewards.
After nearly 34 years together, I am beginning to find out what it feels like to be passionately in love with someone who feels the same about me. While I am not thankful for my husband’s affair, I am grateful for the wake-up call it represented in our lives. And I marvel at what appears to be a miracle in the changes he has and continues to make in becoming the man of my dreams, MY MR. ROMANCE, a person I hate to leave in the morning, and whom I eagerly anticipate seeing in the evenings and on weekends.
He says he will do anything to help me heal and so far he is following through. As we continue to make healthy choices, redirect as needed, and own our stuff (thanks LA), we will not only survive, but we intend to thrive so we can help others become alive in their marriages.
Thank God it is a life-long continuous journey, (staying happily married), and with God’s help, the bumps in the road to recovery will not hinder our determination to succeed, not just for ourselves, but so that we can be a blessing to others along the way.
.................................................................* * * * *............................................................
Chapter 7 SEPARATION
Just as we began our 4th month of trust re-building after D=Day #4, and I was experiencing a new wave of “It happened a year ago” triggers, we were faced with a 4 week separation of 400 miles. Whether or not we survived will be posted after we reach our 6 month milestone past D-Day #4 after May 10, 2007.
(You’re right, Maz, I am an unintentional poet!)
LOL! but now you know it!
Thank you for sharing. Yours is a remarkable story. You both have "owned your own stuff" (one of my favorite new phrases, thanks LA) and I bet a year ago you didn't even know you had "stuff!"
FWIW, I think I have a pretty good idea how Ch. 7 goes, but I'll keep it a secret...shhhhh....
I want to thank you Ace, for being a friend, us a FBW and a FWW, that has meant so much to me...
In humor and humility,
Ace's daytime posting assistant
HEY MZ. MAZ,
Thanks for reading and commenting, especially on my poetry. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />
Sorry I did not get to share all the things I've learned from you on your thread, as I promised to do over the weekend.
I TRULY appreciate your designating yourself as my 'daytime posting assistant' when I can't post from work.
Why don't you just write chapter 7 for me, K? LOL <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
(Hey.....I just realized with that thought that it will be quicker and easier if I just cut and paste all my SOS & May Day emails for #7......WAY COOL! Maybe I'll get it ready to post on 07-07-07!)
Again, thanks for your kind comments and for being my friend. Your status as a FWW and insights from that perspective have been some of major factors helping me help my FWH choose to become Mr. Romance. For that, I'm forever indebted!
The final chapter #7 was posted (GQII) on May 10, 2007, 6 months after Devastation Day #4 (Nov. 10 '06).
This thread was very helpful for me in dealing with my anger towards the OW, and eventually her H. OP Anger Dumpster
With my 1000th post in 6+ months, I'll bump this thread, which has been detailing the beginning of our recovery story. (Sorry it's too late to be able to access the "edit" feature so that I can change the thread title.)
I said I'd post all 7 chapters before 070707 and I did on my other thread. I truly hope it has inspired at least one couple to strive to thrive, not just to survive in your marriage recovery efforts.
On this Independence Day, I am thankful for the freedoms we all enjoy, especially free access to forums like this to recover our marriages, families and lives.
I completed my initial story but abbreviated Chapters 1-5, which are condensed on my other thread along with the unabridged chapters 6 and 7.
Just click HERE
for "My Mr. Romance Saga (Chapters 1-7 + conclusion)." Same link is also attached to my signature line.
Thanks for reading; please take a moment to share a thought or two.
Be Blessed in all you Choose,
Just wondering when Mr. V.O.'s post will be edited on this quiet corner forum. MB is my first experience with any kind of forum. Seeing his posts makes me thankful for my ignorance. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />
I found your story very interesting... but can't wait 30 years... I need to know what I can do to facilitate healing... I know I am running out of time.
Can you read my other posts and give me your thoughts?
I love seeing your marquee...that coming soon...thank you for the smile.
I was wondering if Sickofthechoice read your chronicles (if you knew)?
Thinking of you and appreciating you being here on MB.
LA, thanks for your kind comments.....I, too hope Sickofthechoice reads this. Not sure if she is still around.
Scott, I read your thread and will respond soon. Keep hanging in there, OK?
Just click HERE
for "My Mr. Romance Saga (Chapters 1-7 + conclusion)." Same link is also attached to my signature line.
Apparently that link was broken in the upgrades, so here is a new link to the Mr. romAnCE Saga
thread with chapters 6 and 7.