Here’s my problem (and I’m sure this is due to hopium):
Three years ago I caught my cheating husband in an emotional affair with a friend of mine. Went to counseling. He used it as a shield to continue and escalate the affair to a 2.5 year physical affair. All the time, I feel like I’m crazy.
Cut to last September: I caught them, he confessed, I exposed them to our entire community, mentally beat the shit out of him and the OW. He has done all the unicorn things: got into counseling, re-engaged in our family (we have 2 children), is totally supportive of me and my recovery, has totally cut off all communication with the OW, tells me he’s sorry (and I actually believe him), scheduled and attended marriage counseling (which until now I did not know was a no-no), and has admitted that this was completely and totally about him, nothing to do with me or the state of our marriage. Admitted that he thought it would be fun and he would never get caught. Never considered the future or me or our kids or anything, really.
So, now we’re 9 months past D-Day. Recently, I found meh. Boy, it was painful getting to meh.
Coincidentally, there seems to be a rash of infidelity running rampant though our community. (It’s like when you’re pregnant and notice all the other pregnant women around you).
Anyway, I didn’t make any quick decisions because I wasn’t sure what to do. I thought time would give me direction. Now I don’t have anger to sustain me. Just meh.
Can you tell me what’s going on? Am I losing it? Or have I just given up and is this acceptance?
Is Stockholm Syndrome a choice?
Look, I’m not a reconciliation blog. I came up with the term “meh” here to describe the process of healing AFTER you leave a cheater. Meh is how you feel about the cheater, not about life. Meh means “You don’t have the power to hurt me anymore.” You don’t give the cheater any more mental real estate and your new life crowds out your old life.
Stacey, you have the same old life living with your “wayward” husband. When your head is in reconciliation, you must give him mental real estate (as you would any spouse you’re living with). And, he certainly has the power to hurt you further — that’s the mental gymnastics of reconciliation — repressing exactly what he’s capable of.
Let’s review that.
I caught my cheating husband in an emotional affair with a friend of mine. Went to counseling. He used it as a shield to continue and escalate the affair to a 2.5 year physical affair.
You caught him once in an affair with your friend. I assume you were distraught. So he took that opportunity to address your unhappiness with… a TWO AND A HALF YEAR PHYSICAL AFFAIR.
Nothing says “I care!” like that.
Okay, but it’s different now. He’s sorry. He admits it was about him, and not about you. You’re in marriage counseling! How safe did you feel in marriage counseling last time? Apparently, 2.5 years of safe.
Let me ask you something, Stacey. Can you feel safe with a guy that:
Admitted that he thought it would be fun and he would never get caught. Never considered the future or me or our kids or anything, really.
You’re upset about his EA with your friend. He registers your upset and fucks her for years because it would be fun. He’s someone who can mentally disengage from his children, disengage from his wife, and not consider their futures. For fun.
He just told you who he is. And you don’t want to believe him, why?
Because you’re waiting for direction?
My friend, often the direction appears, but we’re just too scared shitless to take it. No one ever accomplished anything courageous by waiting to feel like it. What makes it courageous is doing it anyway, even though you’re scared shitless.
I’m not saying make headlong decisions based in anger. I just rationally pointed out that you don’t have a lot of material here to trust him with. He’s sorry now? He was “sorry” then. He pays attention to his kids? Bitch cookie! He goes to counseling and makes the appointments? The price of cake got higher.
Stacey, I only have two pieces of advice for folks in reconciliation — a credit report and a post-nup settlement. You get those things, okay? If you want to reconcile and you’ve got two young children, you protect your ass financially in writing. If he won’t do those things? There’s the depth of his sorry.
Personally, I think you’re running a terrible risk. But at least indemnify yourself on the money. You can’t get back the years.
This one ran previously. Going for a walk before I get online to telework. You all stay safe out there!