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co-dependency, dealing with infidelity, trust and boundaries
June 14, 2005
12:25 pm
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Sow
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Sow, like in the verb to sow (to plant)

I resently read about co-dependency and realize I fit completely as being co dependent. I have been with my partner for 19 years, we have two boys together, 12 and 9 years old. What comes and complicates matters is 4 years ago he left and we got back together about a year later. He left because he met another woman, whom he thought he fell in love with, after only knowing her for one month. He met her in november and left in december. Finally, it did not work out but he did see other women. Once he came back, he was very open and honest. On top of the trauma of him leaving so suddenly and quickly, he revealed to me a secret that he had kept from me for 13 years, that he had an affair in Europe (he was travelling for work at the time, and we were not living together). But when he left 4 years ago and the women he only knew for a month did not work out, he decided to contact the woman he had the affair (for one day) with from Europe. He went to meet her again, in Paris, within the year he had left 4 years ago, realizing then, that he did not want to pursue the Europe affair. He told me, he would fantasize about the affair of 13 years ago, during times when things were not going well in our relationship, which are linked as well to the challenge couples face with young children, especially at the baby toddler stages.

In the past few month I have been living the pain of when he left on almost a daily basis. I think about these other women he wanted to be with and feel so hurt by this. He has reassured me that he does not want that. That he was in crisis, that he was not himself.

Just a few months ago, something else came up. While we were apart in that year, he sort of mentionned his desire to meet other women and since we were in touch because he saw the kids on weekend, he mentionned in conversation that it did not work out with the woman he left me for. But when we got back together and he talked about how it did not work out with the first worman and revealed the Europe affair, he did not talk about the other women he met. I found out he did this, not from him, but from texts I found on an old laptop he let me use. I told him I found these texts, which revealed him meeting other women and dating, and desiring other women. Women he had virtual sex with, and virtual relationships. I found out he did this, not from him, but from the texts. He said he did not want to talk about it. It was too difficult to talk about. He did not want to hurt me anymore, and it is a part of his past he is not ready to deal with. He was talking honestly to me, he did not feel it was necessary to mention the other women he met. When it did not work out with the first women, the Europe affair, he decided to try and meet women, through going to bars, internet, chats, even in store, so on. This is really not his personnality. He was never like this before in his life. But he was not able to be hones with me about the other women. The couple counselor is not sure if it is necessary that I know about this more. I already know enough, and he finds it difficult to talk about.

He was honest with me about some. I believe him. But I am living and feeling the hurt from knowing what happened, that he wanted or saught intimacy with other women, and that he cannot talk about it , or did not feel it was necessary to be honest about his desires and actions of seeking out other women, after the first two "failures" (so to speak) or disappointments.

I want to be with him and talk with him and make everything right. I want to trust him completely and not doubt. I want to feel strong too. He feels I am too needy and need him too much. And this pushes him away. We have a complex relationship (like all are). We love each other very much and I feel we created a profound link (spiritually), through conversation and something I can’t quite explain, in the first year of our relationship. I remember seeing it in his eyes. I have always felt a profound link with him, the shock and trauma of him leaving was so hurtful, I am still living it. Things were not good between us when he left. I left a job I did not like and he started a new one. We were both in our own worlds

The big thing for me, has to do with me feeling from the start that he was not emotionally available when I needed him. Here there are two aspects: one is I probably started out our relationship as a codependent, being an insecure 21 year old that I was (for many reasons), and he was not big at talking but good at listening. From the beginning he was able to shut off from me, shut off emotionally and focus on his own interests. And he has not stoped being this way (which is healthy at times perhaps). When I would get down or feel angry that he was not with me enough, I would just push him away. I see this pattern now. He, as a result, would shelter himself in his work. Everyone we know see him as working very hard almost to the point of workaholic. As a result of working so hard he got a very good job and this also is related to why he left. He admit the power, status and prestige that came with his new job, (as I was leaving mine), made him feel he wanted more and to change his life to see what else could be out there.

When he left I was feeling angry and resentful that he was not there for me emotionally in the transition of leaving a job and figuring out how to reorganize myself. Because he was not there for me, and I did not know how to ask, I just stayed angry and was feeling more and more hurt by him, (because of what I expected), cutting myself off, and even thinking about leaving or seperation. Meanwhile, I did get involved in my own interests, but it was extremely difficult. And I felt hurt and sad at the huge gap between us. I think I was even a bit depressed at the time, feeling a bit lost and burnt out, from being the main caregiver and doing a job I did not like full time. It was in this context that he left.

Given what I have written, I feel faced with two big challenges: dealing with the hurt from him leaving 4 years ago (including the other woman and then learning from him and through the texts about the other women), and dealing with codependency.

I am also scared of how my hurt and being co-dependent makes me feel hopeless about feeling good in our relationship and I worry or doubt whether it is possible to change and to have a healthy relationship with him. We have been able to live wonderful moments together as a couple and as a family, despite all this and have never communicated so much before (couple therapy has helped enormously).

Also, I am interested in the 12 step program. Can someone tell me where I can get info?

June 14, 2005
1:51 pm
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on my way
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Hi sow...
If I were in your shoes...to me:

He cannot be trusted. Do you really wan tot play second, third fiddle...ask yourself if you would prefer someone who is trustworthy. He is getting away with it, and perhaps if he does not under go extreme therapy, he most likely will never change. Leave him to his insecurity...build yours apart from him. YOu do desrve better than this, but you need to realize it?

RE: 12 Steps, some churches have them, which I recommend, but also any AA group or Alanon group.

My 2 cents. I could be wrong but just trying to help.

June 14, 2005
1:56 pm
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hi, i think you are going to have to gain alooooottttttt of trust on his part, from what you said, this man doesn't seem to want to stay with one person. I do hope 12 steps helps you, and yes, as OMW said you can check out local churches. I wish you the best...Camer

June 14, 2005
2:09 pm
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Sow, I relate to you, seriously. Our storis have many of the same underlying problems and feelings. For me, I really told myself he could change and he did this but not this and why did he do this...and all the while I never asked myself 'what about me?'. Had I, I may have realized that i could not forgive the betrayel without him taking certain steps, that being in a relationship with a man I didn't trust was going to make me bitter and someone I didn't want to be, that my relationship with my daughter would exist under a shadow of sadness and low self-esteem, etc. Just for me, mind you. But The most important thing I did was finally take that step after all of the same things happened and I reacted the same way again--I took him out of the equasion, really thought about what was true of ME and MY feelings about the actions, what effects it had on ME, and if I could get past it within the relationship or not. It was hard, but at the same time very freeing for me, it was about ME. All the boundries in the world, I realized, could not make me forgive what I am not yet ready to, and I personally cannot share a life with someone I resent so strongly. I don't know if that makes any sense, just something I've been thinking about lately and your story really made me sit up and soy 'oh, I know!' So glad you came here, there is a lot of great advice to be found, and a lot of that extra support that is so nessacarry when things seem so bleak at times.

June 15, 2005
1:17 pm
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Sow
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thank you all for your advise. It is so difficult to know what to do. I am not ready to give up. I feel that I have issue in my own personal history that I am only now dealing with that I never really addressed in my life. His leaving did have the positive effect of making me look at myself and my own life. I was emotionally abusive to him, especially in the months before he left. I was depressed, withdrawn and felt angry at him for not being available for me. But I never told him. I never expressed my needs, I just assumed he should know and be there for me.

I realized in couple therapy that I have never expressed my needs and feelings. From a little good I was quiet and stayed in the background. I was told what I good girl I was for staying quiet and not disrupting.

In the beginning of our relationship, he was a struggling, working hard to make it happen. He said his interest came before us. I did not say anything and accepted. But when I felt my needs were ignored, and felt sad and hurt, I still never expressed what I felt. I would then feel angry and mad at him.

This brings me to what happened in the beginning of our relationship. Feeling sad, hurt and angry because I was not close to him and he was involved in his own interest, I met someone, less than a year that we were together. I did not tell him. I hid it from him. Him being busy with his interests, I felt he would not notice. He did and I guess not knowing how to ask me, read my journal and found out about the other person. It hurt him so much. His hurt, hurt me so much. I ended it with the other person. We still felt a lot of love for one another, he forgave me, but the trust was broken. He admitted that all the time we have been together, he never completely trusted me. He ignored this and how it affected him, burying himself in his work. The kids brought a renewed closeness and love in our relationship, but this underlying issue of trust has been there, and unintentionally and unknowingly not looked at till he left and came back.

So the issue of trust has been there since the very beginning. It was broken, rebuilt and then doubt set in again when he felt distance from me, as was the case when I left my job and was in my own personal questionning and redefining. Now the tables are turned since he left and came back. I am the one living the hurt and lack of trust. I do believe we can rebuilt it as we have done in the past and improve our way of acting towards each other.

Even moreso, we are discovering only now in couple therapy ways we have acted with each other that we had been completely unconscious about. Me especially knowing how to express my feelings and voice my needs, without blaming or assuming he should now what they are. He is a guy that rarely says no to friends and family and kids when they ask him for something. He might not be able to do it right away, but he will make a point of finding time and put it in his sheduale, and he does respect his appointment, no matter what (except if he is sick or an emergency of course)

So what am I saying, I am giving a clearer picture of the situation, to take responsibility of how the past is related to the present. But also to help myself better work through my own feelings.

I don't know if anyone has any kind of feedback?

I think whether I stay in this relationship or leave I have work to do on me. And this is a daily challenge, that is not easy.

June 15, 2005
2:13 pm
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Does your partner have insight as to why he cheated on you? It was hard to get the timetable of events straight in post because you jumped around a lot. But I tried to follow it. If you want to stay in this relationship you need to re-build trust. Trust requires open and honest communication. Is your friend capable of that? Can you trust him to be completely honest with you? You said he has a hard time talking about the affairs. Why is that? I would have a hard time trusting him again unless I knew he had a good understanding of his need for other woman and has worked through that. I would need time and evidence that he has grown and changed. Until that time I would not want to be in a relationship with him.

June 15, 2005
5:28 pm
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Sow
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He says he needed to find himself, the women he left for was an excuse to leave. He felt I did not love him anymore. He felt my distance and anger. He also was questionning fatherhood and having trouble accepting that he was a father and fully accepting that responsibility. It was a combination identity crisis, midlife crisis, and looking for love I guess.

I really need to talk more than he does to work harder on rebuilding trust. He finds it is too heavy all the time. Plus he travels a lot , which does not help staying or feeling connected. He says a lot of I love you and I miss you, but I don't feel it. I do feel he just detaches himself as much as possible when he travels, because he has to focus on work.

I do feel I have always been the emotionally supportive one and initiated communication. I remember before he left (a few months before) I was tired of always trying to talk with him and go get him. I consciously decided I would stop doing it. I did not say anything to him. But it was not long after that he left (feeling I did not love him, and all the rest)

June 15, 2005
8:46 pm
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Hi Sow,
I am struck by our similar stories. My partner of 16 years is a workaholic, so always work comes first. You expressed it so well, the lack of emotional involvement and the self-absorption that comes with someone who is caught up in their own stuff (compulsively). It has been very painful for me. I started going to Al-anon about 8 months ago and it has relly helped me face my codependency issues. I am finally standing on more firm ground, I have started to truly believe I deserve so much more.

I have gotten to the point in the last few days of finally confronting him and telling him I am no longer going to live with the relationship the way it has been.(I've read this is setting a boundary). So, I gave him another chance to change and once again I am clinging to hope. (This is the codependency rearing its ugly head). This cycle is so hard to break because I take responsibility for his feelings and I feel so guilty. What a twisted thinking, huh? I feel guilty for asking for the basics in an intimate relationship.

I am trying really hard now to hold my ground and not back down. I am ready to end the relationship if that is what it takes. It scares me and I am so sad, since there is a lot of good in us, but I won't live with this hurt and this low position anymore. I deserve more, and so do you!!!!!

You are worthy of all the attention and time and love and consideration and listening and help and tenderness that you want and need. Yes, you are worthy and you don't have to please anyone or take care of anyone to be worthy, you just are! And you don't have to feel needy or guilty or bad for demanding that he treat you with that kind of care. It is your birthright. Please don't settle for less than you deserve. Once you start to believe you are deserving of all you desire, then you will be able to take whatever actions are right for you and you will get stronger and happier. I see that so far in my journey and I am working so hard to have it be true in my life. The al-anon group I attend gives me hope and support that I am really on the right track. I am feeling pain, but it is a growing pain cause I feel something better is coming for me, even if I have to let go of this relationship.

Thank you for this thread and blessings on the journey.

June 15, 2005
11:35 pm
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Sow
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thank you so much lightspirit for your support and valueing my person and importance. I wish my partner could do this, say this and be more loving. Having read what you wrote, I see how difficult it is for him to be loving. He called me just before, he is out of town again. But he only had 20 minutes, cause he had an important meeting. By the end of our conversation, where I managed to bring up how I was feeling sad and I was feeling sad because I felt he might be still hiding feelings from himself and me as to why he left 4years ago, and that I was feeling this. He listened and said he would take the time to try andsee what he might be denying to himself and me. That made me feel good that he listened. But again, I had been thinking about this, not him. I feel I am trying to fix things not him. Then the 20 min. were up and he said he had to go. He started getting impatient a bit.
Within the 20 min phone talk I brought up another thing with him, that happened this friday, 5 days ago, he had worked hard as usual, all day friday, and had to do more work at night. He was not available, and felt I was imposing wanting to talk on his break at 5pm (before supper). It got him grumpy and later on that night we talked more and he became very negative. He said I was not happy, and if I was always going to be sad and depressed in our relationship because he could not be available then we would have no choice to separate. He had a deadline he said. He said he was giving the relationship till august 1st, for me to stop blaming him (which yes I have done) and for us to get out of the sadness (me being sad). Sound kind of selfish to me now that I write about it, like a threat, emotional blackmail maybe.

So, I spoke to him just now in our 20min. talk about how that hurt me and that all weekend and while he has been away I just kept thinking about how he could just easily give up and separate, being fed up of the difficult time we are going through. Not very encouraging in the attempts to rebuilt trust. He feels the distrust problem is mine and he can't help with it. I feel I am trying to help myself be a better partner in this relationship, but he is putting no importance on dong this himself. He agreed to not talk about separation unless we mean it. But that could change. Maybe he is just fed up of working on our relationship.

I feel that if I do work on detachment and detaching, that he won't work on himself necessarily and he will just continue to be a workaholic, taking time out for his children, which is something he does do once or twice a week when he is in town, not including going to their soccer games.

June 16, 2005
9:44 am
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Sow,

Good for you in trying to stick to your boundaries and really working on it and considering what you need. You can do your own work and - unfortunately you have no control of what he does. It can be very frustrating when you want things to work - eventually you have to decide what you can live with. Best wishes honey - this is hard and detaching from what you want from him - might bring you clarity as to what is acceptable to you. Hang in there - its a hard process - but one that will produce growth if you can keep working through your feelings.

June 16, 2005
12:31 pm
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Sow,

I'm glad you've found out about codependency. It's helped me out a lot just to understanding what it is. I wish I had more experienced advise for you. I feel like I'm just getting my ownself on steady ground.

Knowing and believing that I can only work on myself has helped me considerably. Learning when to detach myself from what I have no control over has helped me also. Setting boundries and understanding boundries has also helped me. Boundries have helped me not feel so vulnerable to someone elses agenda or influence in my life that may not be healthy. Trust is something you will need to get emotional clearity on, as far as what you can tolerate from the past and move forward with and what you expect in the future and are willing to hold to.

These are some things I am working on, some days better than others. You're moving in the right direction! - I wish you well.

June 16, 2005
12:46 pm
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Sow
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thanks for the encouragement be_a_screen. I feel I am living on a roller coaster. He is coming back today from a 4 day trip. He was more relaxed on the phone just now cause the work is out of the way. he says he misses me and is in love with me, and can't wait to see me. He made me feel really good. He wants to talk when we get back, the kids will go to my mothers. It's crazy because I know it will be really nice and wonderful if he is feeling so up, but then the week will begin and he will get back into his work and days will go by where he is just cut off. I can now almost predict the pattern. It seems he cannot marry work and being intimate with me during the week. Not enough time, stress from work, overworking (the workaholic thing), which he says he knows he works too much, but he has trouble stoping and saying no to people. (3 people could do his job, but the company does not want to hire anyone else). So he says he is working on it, but... does not seems so many times.

In our brief conversation this morning, I brought up how it is important for me that we practice being intimate daily. In couple counseling, the counselor mentionned you can take just 10 minutes a day, if you don't have time to connect with your partner, to say what you really feel about them. The counselor did not bring up rebuilding trust. He mainly focused on intimacy and how it seems to him that we have both been scared of intimacy and expressing how we feel about each other throughout our relationship. This was an eye opener to both of us. So in the conversation this morning as I mentionned intimacy, he admitted that he was not sure what it meant to be intimate. I felt really good that he was able to say that, and that we will discuss it in couple therapy. I thought wow, he is admitting he does not know how or what to do. So I felt that this was a positive step forward.

I want to say I am really glad I found this place of support. I so appreciate the anonymity, cause these are things that are so difficult to talk about. I really thank you so much those who have responded to my posts.

June 16, 2005
12:58 pm
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Sow
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thank you KIP for your words, I had sent my post after be_a_screen, and only just read yours. Again I am thankful for the support here.

Yes realizing what codependency is has been very good for me. I never thought I was codependent, so knowing now, helps me take action. I see how it is a form of addition and how I get obsessive about wanting to talk to him and be with him, putting aside my own interests, friends and so on to the point of not knowing who I am and what I am doing in my life - losing my focus and perspective.

I really relate to what you wrote about working on not feeling so vulnerable to someone elses agenda by setting boundaries for myself and working on detaching
I have printing out the 12 steps and read them when I get down or feel hurt. Especially when he is away, or is not available, because of work, although he is just in another room.

June 19, 2005
1:15 am
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sow and lightspirit,
i have been with my husband for 27 years. we are still so much in love. i found out about ten years ago about co-dependency and started making changes in myself and demanding changes in him. it has been a worthy battle. there has been so many good things happen. i went back to school and began a new career at 40. he has been so supportive. then things got twisted and we got involved in porn. i feel like he set me up to have an affair, and even thought i didn't have sex, i had an internet affair and met this guy and made out with him. (Just kissing, no touching)my husband cannot forgive me for my "infidelity" and doesn't understand my addiction to the internet affair that i hid from him. it truly is not who i am, i've only been with my husband and resisted the porn for so many years because i felt it was wrong. i am a decent and morale person and formerly very judgemental of such things! but sadly, he is obsessed with what i did. he cannot forgive and brings it up constantly, without recognizing his role in it. i am trying to forget that i became that person that i now am so ashamed of. if this is where your husband is coming from, you have to let it go and give your marriage a fresh start. you both made mistakes. you cannot rise above the muck if you keep pulling each other down into it. talk about the future more and look forward, and the past will fade.only discuss those issues with the counselor present. if you feel he is good at his core before all this happened, help him be that person again. (does that sound SO codependent?) but i need forgiveness too, and i feel i deserve a second chance. try to assess who he really is, and who you really are. i have hope for you! i still have hope for me, too, but i'm trying to set my boundaries. it doesn't look good right now. no matter what happens, i will survive. You will too lightspirit!

December 14, 2006
10:59 am
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Im here for the first time. Reading a few of these letters made me want to share my story.
My husband and I have known each other for five years. Last Jauary we were married in New Mexico. I used to work nights and sometime6-7 in a row. I realized when it was too late that he had much too much alone time. I cut my hours down at work but stll had to work nights. He started being mentally abusive for about the last two years When we first got together, my husband found out he had cancer. I felt compassion and empathy for him and befriended him. We went through it together and became very close. When we moved in together it was a mutual decision. I was working full time and had started going to college to get a degree in Human Services. I paid for it for the first year and then when I had to take 16-18 credits, my husband paid for most of the bills except a couple.He started acting very strange and so
I decided to start walking home for lunch and the first time I did he was very statrled and his heart was about to jump out of his throat. someone rang the doorbell, I shouldn't have answered it. it was a woman in her 39's( my husband was 55 then, she took one look at me and then my husband came to the door and they exchanged looks and then she said, "do you know your light is on in your truck? (there were several cars parked out side, at the time we lived in a four plex, how did she know the truck belonged to my Husband? anyway thats when it stared and many things after. We moved again. My husband seemed to know quite a bit about the duplex we were moving into. He even knew about the trails and where the transient were. i was working and she always came in and made liitle remarks like"I can't get enough of your( she started to say boy then stopped) I recognized her and I could go on and on, its making me so crazy that I am starting to feel hopeless and destructive. Im taking anti-depressants and it still doesn't help.
Thanks for reading my story, mabey you might be able to help me.

December 14, 2006
2:30 pm
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CAMER
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hi Chilipepper54...have you spoken to your hubby about these women?? and did he ever admit if he was having an "affair" or maybe an "emotional affair".

I would want to know what's going on....and nowadays alot of couples work different shifts, and 2 people work for the bills, he should enjoy the time he does get to spend with you, instead of making you feel bad for the hours and days you work.

Have a talk with him, cuz communication is soooo important in any relationship.

August 29, 2007
1:32 pm
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I'm so glad I found this site and this thread. I just found out last week that my husband had a one year affair with one of my closest girlfriends. For several years now I have struggled with feelings of extreme needyness and jealousy, worrying that he didn't really love me and that he had been much more emotionally devoted to previous girlfriends than he was to me. Now I realize the true nature of his emotional abuse and neglect, and my therapist thinks I have enabled it through my co-depenency issues. It makes it so hard for me to trust myself and to know how to proceed from here...he would like to try and reconsile and save the marriage, but I'm terrified we'll end up back where we were, with me being starved for affection and validation but unable to set boundaries and demand those things from him in a healthy way. I don't want to lose him, because I believe we have genuinely shared loving times in the past, but I don't know how to proceed without getting hurt again...

August 29, 2007
1:44 pm
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I can't imagine why your T would say you are to blame for his affair, that just seems very wrong in my book. I don't understand everything bout codependent behavior, tried too but it just doesn't seem to register into my brain at times, so maybe I am missing something here too. I too have been very needy to the point where I had scared off many men and for a long time, I just did not date anymore, till I met my hubby. I do think that once a man cheats, he is a cheater for life, just my opinion on it all here. I would get tested for a disease and make him get tested as well and seek counseling from someone who is a bit more sympathic maybe? Be well:)

August 29, 2007
1:47 pm
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Lisa Ann
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learning2live,

This is a very tough situation that you are in - I think you will get some very good feedback from people here. I understand that you don't want to lose him, which is probably partly due to being co-dependant. Are you going to be able to forgive him? How did his affair end - was it because you found out? Maybe it's just me, but I don't think I could ever trust this person, who I thought was totally honest and loved me, yet went on to have an affair, which is the biggest kind of distrust a person can show, for over a year???? I would not be able to forget it. I would be thinking why??? What is it about her that he liked more?? What do I need to do in order to be better - I guess I would be focused too much on the relationship than I would be on healing myself and dealing with my co-dependency issues.

I would have to say that leaving him and working on yourself would be the best possible option for you right now. If things are meant to be, you will find your way back to each other, but you need to be happy and healthy yourself first.

Best of luck to you - I certainly hope that this girlfriend is no longer in your list of people to even talk to. What a terrible friend. That is not a friend, what a terrible person!!!

August 29, 2007
2:18 pm
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atalose
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Lisa Ann,

Sometimes love is just not enough to re-make your relationship with your husband after discovering one cheated.

You need to seriously ask youself if you can forgive and move forward without looking back on his cheating.

You can't move forward if you are going to keep one foot in the past by bringing it up to him or throwing it in his face when you get mad.

It's going to take a major committment and allot of work on both your parts to re-build this relationship. You are also going to be faced with working on your own issues to understand how they played a role in the break down of your relationship.

What are his feelings about all this, what direction does he wish to see the both of you head in.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

August 29, 2007
2:25 pm
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Anonymous
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It is possible for some people to work on a marriage and forgive affairs, I don't know how people do that but I do know that it happens and that people can get past it. I would think if everything else was ok and that both parties really want to fix things, it may have a chance, only if alot of work is done. I am not so sure I could do that myself.

August 29, 2007
2:27 pm
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Anonymous
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I do have a question here, just going to throw it out cause it often does baffle me at times. Why is that we can forgive men who cheat but not the other woman? Are they not both at fault here? What if the other woman was your friend and she really felt bad and ashamed and wanted your forgiveness? And yet you can forgive your husband and not her? I seen this happen to some friends of mine growing up and could never understand that, someone please enlighten me here on this!

August 29, 2007
2:43 pm
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Lisa Ann
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Survivorofabuse,

I guess the way I look at it is that I have a different bond with each of the individuals. I would say that my bond with my husband means more and the committment level to him means more than it does to the friend. Losing a friend would be less painful because there are many other people out there that are my friends. Don't get me wrong, it would hurt and it would hurt a lot, but I only have one husband and it would take a lot to rebuild a new relationship and eventually turn it into a new husband.

Does that make sense?

August 29, 2007
2:52 pm
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Anonymous
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Yea Lisa it does. It might also have more to do with your age and committment level and your right, if your married, that is a committment. But a friend can also be very sorry, and may need and want forgiveness and actually mean it more than your sifgn other, but I do see what you mean here...I personally would never be able to trust either one again.

August 29, 2007
3:18 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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learning2live,

I found it VERY difficult to work on me, resolve my codependency and forgive his affairs.

It wasn't a husband, but rather a 2 year, live in boyfriend - who spoke of getting married, but never followed thru.

Anyway, just looking at him created many "triggers". He didn't want to lose me - so he agreed to counseling - but he had my counselor convinced it was MY FAULT that I couldn't let go of the past and get on with things. What I wanted was him to rebuild the trust - for him to work at rebuilding it - which meant being accountable for things.

He felt I should just forgive, forget and get on with it.

I couldn't.

he cheated again.

I left him for good.

He played me. and I was ashamed for trying again - when statistically, once a cheater always a cheater.

Trust is a MAJOR building block to a good relationship - without it - you have NOTHING.

Rebuilding it is difficult.

And since this went on for a year under your nose - I would understand that you can't trust him, but worse - trust yourself to SEE IT. So, going forward, would you be hypervigilant, would you be always on guard, would you be able to trust him if he was five minutes late coming home or not where he said he would be?

For me, I would always be on guard and vigilant - and that's NOT a way to a healthy partnership.

Plus, if you are always vigilant of his actions - then you take away the focus of your own needs - and you don't have the energy to put into your own recovery and healing - to recover from codep. you need to focus on you - almost in a selfish way - so if you are focused on watching him - you are taking away from your own needs.

Good luck with your decision - it's not an easy one.

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