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Elizabeth

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  • #322489

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Hi Anita and Mina,

    Thank you both for your responses. There was only one time that he expressed that he was questioning his choices and that was around last Thanksgiving, so he really hasn’t done anything to show me he regrets his decision aside from questioning it then. I think part of me that continues to hold on just knows that I’ve known him so well in the past and I don’t think he’d be the one to initiate a conversation that he did regret what he is doing. He’s a very prideful person and I don’t think he’d initiate it. That said, I’m probably holding onto some kind of false hope and justifying my reasoning to not let go.

    Again – I’ve come a long way from where I was, but with the finality of it all hanging over my head, it’s caused me to feel like I should take one last reach to know if this is done for good. But maybe it would only make things worse for me or knock me back – like you’ve both said, it seems like he’s already made his decision. Anyhow, I appreciate both of your input. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s really going to be practical for me to not see him unless I move. I started a job last December that I absolutely love and it would be a terrible career move to leave it…so I think I’m going to have to stay here for the foreseeable future. I’m going to have to learn to live with seeing him around and get used to it. I don’t want to forfeit all my interests, the places I like to visit, my friends, and everything else because I might come across him.

    Again, I appreciate your input and I’m going to have to continue to work on myself. Maybe I can get through this without asking him that lingering question, we will see…

    #280937

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @anita

    I’m not sure that this was a message that was ever communicated to me by my parents. I had good, loving parents. That being said, I did leave home when I was 13 (I went to boarding school) and kind of stopped relying on my parents at this point. I just surrounded myself with whoever was around me and used them as my support system. I guess it is a message I’ve been hearing for a long time…but it’s probably because it’s a message I’ve been telling myself since I became independent,  if that makes any sense.

    @brandy

    Thanks for saying all that. I’m trying, I just wish I was better at this. My days are so all over the place (emotionally) it’s exhausting. I’m still trying to find ways to keep myself busy in the evenings, that’s my biggest challenge. Also, I feel guilty if I leave my pup all day and then come home only to leave again to go do something. This balancing act is a real challenge.

    I know I’m probably not really ready to date, but I feel like I need the attention. That said, I also don’t want to lead anyone on or let anyone down… I feel like I literally question every decision that I make and constantly am second guessing myself, I don’t like it!

    My job is forcing me to be very social lately, which is probably a good thing for me, because otherwise I’d be having as little interaction with other people as possible. I did have an odd encounter today at work where an intern asked me about my relationships status (we were riding to and from an event) and all I said is “my situation is complicated right now and I’ll leave it at that.” No one at work knows my situation because when I interviewed, my husband and I were still together, but now we’re not. It’s definitely an odd situation to be in…

    #280589

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Thanks to all of you for responding. I really appreciate it. Anita – I was apologizing to you and anyone else who was put off by my knee jerk reactions to responses they may have left.

    I didn’t have a particularly good weekend. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t very good. I decided to go out on a date with a guy I’d met. He was plenty nice and REALLY into me, which I suppose was flattering. That said, it’s impossible for me not to compare him (or anyone else) to my ex. I know I’m not really ready to date because I am still very much in love with my husband…but I’m so unbelievably lonely, I miss being with someone (I don’t mean physically necessarily, just in general). I don’t really know how to be alone, it’s been so long.

    I know I need to worry about myself and take care of myself. I know that’s been a resounding theme coming from everyone – it’s not easy. At least it doesn’t come easily to me. I know part of it is that I just don’t have the motivation to do it and I still have it in my head that I don’t deserve to be happy, that I’ve done this to myself and this is what I get. It’s like toxic waste seeping into my brain at all times…sometimes I can fight it, but most of the time I just let it win. I know I’m not in a healthy place mentally and I know that I’m not taking the steps I need to to get there…but knowing and doing are two wildly different things.

    I know I shouldn’t wait for him, I know the chances of him coming back are slim to none, I know I’m not handling this well. All of this just compounds things because then I feel like I should be able to do better. I should be handling this better, I should be able to work on myself, I should look at this as an opportunity to better myself. I can think all those things and say all those things, but again…taking action seems impossible. I’m surprised I’ve made it this long, I just don’t know how long I can keep fighting for myself, it’s exhausting and for what?

    Again, thank you all for being so supportive. I’m sorry that I’m so weak and for not always being kind.

    #280195

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    No clue if anyone will read this because i have been defensive and pushed people away – but I want to apologize for being that way. I’m pushing my friends from home and people on this site away. It just goes to show I’m a shitty person.

    I appreciate all of your input up to this point. I won’t bother anyone – to those of you who tried to help, thank you. I’m just a lost cause who isn’t willing to accept my situation. I apologize for any time you’ve wasted. Best wishes.

    #280055

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing, Brandy. I know other people are going through or have gone through the same thing I am. It’s such a shame, sounds like your friend may be better in the long run. Perhaps that will be me down the road, time will tell.

    #280011

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Claudia,

    I can certainly see how you would get to that idea with what’s been written, but I definitely don’t consider myself controlling. I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who would use that word to describe me. He is more charismatic, social person than I am (or it comes more naturally to him than me). Not to say that I’m not social, but for him it’s second nature. He and I are unbelievably similar. We share the same interests, we both struggle to communicate at times, we’re both stubborn, we come from similar upbringings – I’ve truly never met someone who is so unbelievably in sync with me.

    When I say I wish I’d treated him better, I don’t think I treated him badly. I was trusting, supportive, kind. I don’t know where or what I can pinpoint in how I would have treated him better – but if this is what happened, I have to imagine that at some point I wasn’t giving him what he needed or wanted. I really don’t think I took my work stress “out on him,” I do think I talked far too much about work. I do think my stress and unhappiness in my job affected my ability to be carefree and fun at times…but I was never mean or cold or used hurtful words. That’s not who I am. I think loving him was so easy, maybe I got complacent and I wasn’t showing him that I loved him enough.

    I don’t know what the future brings…again, right now I’m not sure I care. I’ve definitely been using poor judgement and making reckless decisions, but I don’t really see what difference it makes at this point. I can only feel that I ruined the best thing that I had in my life, I don’t know how, but I must deserve this.

    #279985

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @brandy,

    You’re totally right in most everything  you said. My husband treated me incredibly well for a long time, that’s why I chose to marry him. That being said, once this relationship with his employee started (even their “friendship”), it’s like everything went out the window, I guess. He used to be incredible to me, I know that’s what I miss so  much about him. Not only the way he treated me, but just who he was as a person (or who I thought he was/who he used to be). To respond to your comments:

    1. You’re totally right. I looked at it as him having a drink with a friend, nothing else. If I could go back and change it, I would. We’d all gone out and gotten drinks, hung out, etc. before…but I should have set boundaries and he should have respected me enough that I should have never had to ask him to do that. He should have just known that it wasn’t appropriate as a married man.

    2. The way that he responded after all this was devastating to me. I pretty much knew he was going to leave me when that was how he responded. Supposedly, she freaked out when that happened and started saying she was going to move out of the country, blah blah blah and he decided to comfort her instead of me. It was incredibly disrespectful. I shouldn’t have called him,  you’re right. I should have locked him out of the house and forced him to think about what he did…but I didn’t.

    3. I don’t know why I didn’t. I foolishly believed the both of them when they told me what they did. In hindsight, I would have handled everything differently than I did. It’s too late to change it all now, I regret it every second of every day.

    I’m sure my judgement is getting blurred by my pain. I know that it is, but I don’t know what to do with it. I hurt all the time, every day. I regret not treating him better in our relationship/marriage, I regret the way I reacted when all of this began, I regret so many things. I know that he was/is in the wrong and he disrespected me to the deepest level he could, but I still love him and I miss him. I know I need to move on, I tell myself that all the time, but I just can’t. Maybe I’m weak, maybe I’m naive, I don’t know.

    @claudia,

    I don’t know why I’m not angry. I mean, I am angry that this has happened. But to be honest, I get more angry at myself than anyone else. Well, and angry at this girl that I thought was my friend. I know I should be angry with him…I guess part of me thinks, if he was so unhappy, then I should let him go so that he can truly be happy. As much as he is wronged me, that’s what I want for him, I guess even if it’s at my expense.

    I don’t know if he knows that I’m here waiting for him. He and I haven’t spoken in 2 1/2 months. I have no idea what he knows about what I’m feeling, doing, etc. That being said – he KNOWS me. So, I don’t know. I have cut him off completely. Though he claims that nothing happened between him and his employee until after he left me, I don’t believe that. We have mutual friends (men and women) that also think they had something going on before he left, as well. Of course, I have no hard evidence, but if I think it and everyone else does…there’s probably some truth to that.

    I know that I’ve been mistreated. I just have a very hard time not feeling like maybe I deserved this. It’s hard to communicate what I’m feeling because it changes every minute, hour, day. Today’s not a particularly good day – which can probably be deduced by my tone in all this.

    Anyway, I appreciate your insight. Hoping I can get through this, but sometimes I don’t know if I really care.

    #279905

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @anita,

    I respect your opinion, but just as much as I can’t know what’s going on in his head, I don’t know that you can either. Clearly, you don’t have a dog in this fight, since you don’t know either one of us – so it’s not benefiting you to try to build me up or knock me down. I fully understand you’re communicating what you think.

    I also resent that you say that the two of us have a problem with things being permanent. This is one event (albeit a HUGE event) that has happened in my life and to insinuate that I  have a problem with permanence because of my unwillingness to let go of a relationship that made up 1/4 of my life after 4 months seems a bit hasty to me.

    I understand I need to manage my expectations and it would benefit me to “prepare for the worst.” This is something I’m working on and is a work in progress. If you’re right, then I suppose I am delusional to think that there’s still a fighting chance that he comes to the realization he’s made a mistake. Again, I appreciate your input and your opinion, I agree that I need to worry about and work on myself, but I’m not at a point yet to truly accept that our relationship has no way of rectifying itself. I don’t feel that being pushed to accept that before I’m ready is going to help me along. Then again, I’m not a therapist, I’ve never been in this situation before, and maybe you know something that I don’t about healing after an event like this.

    #279843

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @valora,

    Yeah, I know you’re right. It’s a shame that he’s doing what he’s doing and I know in my head that I need to take this time to focus on myself…easier said than done, you know? I have some days I really feel like I’m doing well, keeping my mind off him, not trying to constantly make sense of things, and actually find joy in some of the activities/interactions I’m having. Then there are those bad days, those take a toll on me and tend to knock me back pretty far. Regardless, I know I’ve come a ways from where I was when this all started, but those hard days…they’re tough.

    @mark,

    Thanks for clarifying, that makes a lot more sense. I guess I didn’t consider moving forward with things as forcing him to accept this as reality, too. I know I need to take that next step to get the ball rolling, it’s incredibly hard for me. As I mentioned above, in my head, it’s pretty clear most of the time, but my emotions through this certainly get the best or me more often than I’d like to admit and prevent me from taking the steps I need to be taking.

    @brandy,

    Thanks for your response. It is tough and I’m trying to make sense of it all. I think trying to make sense of it is part of what is holding me back. I’m a relatively analytical person and I have a tendency to over analyze every situation…no matter what part of my life. I always want to be able to find a reason for why something happened and I need to remember that I can’t read someone else’s mind nor am I ever going to know more of what they’re thinking than they are. I still don’t think he’s a bad person, I think he’s bad at dealing with things when they get hard. That’s a huge flaw, don’t get me wrong, but I do think that if he puts the time in to deal with his problems, that he could be the person that I know him to be. That being said, he’s the only one who can make that decision. If I sit around and wait for him to do something he may or may not do – I’m wasting my life. Only time will tell what happens in the end of this all, I know that I’ll always love him in some way. I really, truly think he’s a good man, but one who doesn’t know how to deal with his problems and when the going gets tough, he runs or numbs or whatever to not deal with his internal issues.

    @anita,

    You may be right. I do think he has a pretty good relationship with his parents – I’ve never felt that it was too strained for him. I’ve been close with his parents and his family for a long time, but we physically have seen them more since moving back east, of course. I do know that he has always talked to his parents with some kind of filter – to this day, I don’t think they know how deep of a hole he was in after his brother passed away. I do think he’s using his new girlfriend as a buffer, a way to distance himself from his past life. Whether that’s his family, himself, whatever – I do think that she’s a “getaway” of sorts for him. I think this experience has opened my eyes that he still has lot of growing up to do and I don’t think he wants to do that. I think he still has this wanderlust and desire to have some kind of impermanence. I do think all of the very permanent things that happened in his life (really our life) is what threw him for a loop. At the end of the day, I understand that no matter how much I psychoanalyze him, it’s not going to get me anywhere. As I mentioned above, it’s just incredibly hard for me to get my head and my heart on the same page to do what’s best for me. I like to think I’m making some progress, but going back to being my own biggest critic – I feel like I should be further along than I am…

    #279783

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @anita,

    That’s something I’ve considered and I do know I still love him, but I also understand that our relationship would not be what it was. Assuming we were to both agree that we should work on this, it would be a big process for us to get to a place where we could be in a good place again. I’m smart enough to know that it wouldn’t just go right back to everything being good. We’d have a lot to work out and I’d insist that we go to marriage counseling, that he get counseling, and that we figure out what we both need to work on individually for us to be able to be a couple again. I just don’t believe on giving up on this so easily. Also, I don’t think he’s been possessed by aliens, I’m going to assume that was a joke – to say that people don’t make mistakes, don’t go through an internal crisis, don’t lose themselves to eventually find themselves again is to say that we’re not human. Obviously this is a gigantic choice that he’s made that carries a great deal of weight – I can’t know what he’s thinking, will think, or what the future will bring (he may look back, down the road, and realize this was the best decision he ever made or he may feel like it was a huge mistake, or anywhere in between).

    I appreciate your input and I know you’re speaking from experience, but I don’t know that it’s as cut and dry as your insinuating…but then again, maybe it is. I believe that humans are innately flawed and that people can be forgiven, which is why I’m not willing to completely give up yet. Like I said, maybe I’m naive or in a form of denial, but I’m just not there yet.

    @valora,

    Thanks for sharing a bit of  your story. You’re right about the grief coming in waves. It’s not quite as bad as it used to be, though my lowest lows are still on par with where they were right after this happened. I’m hoping that I can learn to be a better person myself, I know that I’m very far from perfect…this has magnified that exponentially. I actually changed my job (I had applied to my now position and had a first interview before this happened) because I knew how negatively my previous job was affecting me. I was trying to make steps to fix some of my issues, I only wish he’d been more communicative and vocal with me. Again, who knows if it would have made a difference or not, it’s just so hard not to ruminate on everything and wonder how or if this could have been avoided. I’d voiced to him that I don’t need this stable lifestyle, that if we want to go be vagabonds, we can do that…but only after he’d already left, so I think it’s fallen on deaf ears to some extent.

    He has a bit of a difficult past which I think has muddied his ability to deal with deep seated problems. His brother passed away when he was 20 from a skydiving accident (which I mentioned briefly in my initial post). After this happened, he didn’t cope with his pain for nearly 2 years. He resorted to drugs and alcohol for a while before one day realizing he needed to stop and deal with his problems. (All of this happened before we started dating). I’m by no means equating whatever is going on with him to the death of his brother, but I do think it resurfaces his inability to deal with difficult situations and resorting to something else to numb his pain. I consider this other woman his “drug” so that he doesn’t have to address his internal issues and can use her to mask what’s going on inside. I could be completely off base, but it’s my take on it. I only hope he can find himself again, whether I’m a part of that process or not.

    #279753

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    @anita,

    Thanks for your insight and perhaps I used the wrong words. Up until this point he’s been incredibly loyal and trustworthy. I do think that he hasn’t been the best communicator, or perhaps we could  have discussed what he was feeling before it came to this. That being said (and maybe I’m in denial), but I don’t believe that this is who he is as a person. I don’t think that his actions of the past few months are his true character. I think he’s going through some kind of existential crisis – but then again, this is me making assumption after assumption about him. I can’t know what’s going on in his head. That being said, while a lot of marriages fall apart due to infidelity and actions that cannot be forgiven, I think assuming that there’s absolutely no way of coming back from this to be a bit short-sighted. Of course, that’s assuming that he has any interest in the future of working on our marriage.

    Otherwise, I do think it could be beneficial for me to go back to therapy. I need to make time for it. As far as divorce proceedings go, it’s just incredibly hard to take that step. It’s so final. Financially, I’m not concerned. When I first met with the lawyer and spoke to her about what I should be paying, what’s I’m entitled to, etc – she helped me to understand what my rights are and what I can do within legal bounds. That was helpful, I’m just not sure I’m ready to make the leap with everything…which may not be right for me emotionally, but it’s what I feel.

    @valora,

    Again, I’m sorry that you can relate on so many levels. It’s so hard…

    I know I need to be easier on myself and I truly am trying, I’ve always been my own toughest critic. Thank you for saying what you said though, hearing it does at least make me feel a tad better. I’ve been told time and time again by people to work on myself and worry about myself – it’s just so much easier said then done. I’m trying to be healthy and make smart decisions, but sometimes it’s just easier not to.

    How are you faring in your situation? How far out of it are you?

    #279737

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Anita,

    Your summary is almost exact, the only thing is he moved out in October of 2018, just 2 weeks after I initially found them together. He claims that they did not have a physical relationship of any kind until after he moved out in October, frankly, I have a hard time believing that. That being said, I don’t have any hard evidence of him being physically intimate with her until the day after he left our home.

    He is an incredibly caring, thoughtful, kind, giving person. Everyone in our circles and our family always noticed how he doted on me and it was so clear that he genuinely loved me.

    To bring in some history, my father left my mother when I was in college after having cheated on my Mom with a much younger woman, who he met through work. The situation isn’t identical, but very similar to what’s going on in mine and my husband’s relationship right now. What’s ironic, is that my husband and I had talked about what my dad to  my mom, at length and my husband was incredibly judgmental of my dad for doing what he did. My husband said he’d been cheated on by previous girlfriends and could  never do that to someone, he didnt’ understand how my dad could do what he did, etc etc. As I said, it’s just ironic how hypocritical he’s become.

    Part of what is odd, as well, is not only how poorly he’s treated me in all of this, but him removing himself from his friends’ lives, too. He’s a very social, charismatic person and for him to stop spending time with our friends is incredibly bizarre. From what I hear, he’s spending all of his time with his new girlfriend and neglecting his friendships. I hope this answers your question.

    #279707

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Valora,

    It’s interesting that you say that. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking is going on with him. It kills me to see him like this, but at the same time, he’s making his own choices and without any regard towards my feelings…which of course is incredibly hurtful. It’s just so bizarre, it’s like a switch flipped with him. He never communicated with me that anything was wrong with us (we had talked about him being stressed at work and wanting a break from work, etc) and then all of a sudden he is leaving me. I really do  hope he can figure things out. I do think a lot of it is his internal struggle, but I also feel like this is all somehow my fault. How did I not see this coming and I must have been a bad wife, a bad best friend to let it get to this…that’s where my mind keeps going.

    I’m trying to find ways to work on myself. I’m doing slightly better than I was when this all started…I still get pulled into a really dark headspace more than I’d like to admit. I know there are other people out there, just wrapping my head around the fact that my future might not be with him is so difficult. We weren’t without our faults in our relationship, but we had a great life (especially prior to the business opening) and I know we could get back there. I just feel worthless…it was so seemingly easy for him to give up on me and throw me out like I was an insignificant part of his life. Sorry for the rambling, thanks for sharing some of your story. I’m sorry that  you’ve gone through something similar, I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy.

    #279667

    Elizabeth
    Participant

    Mark – thanks for reading. I am trying to work through things, I’ve been to a bit of therapy, but took a break from it primarily due to time constraints (I started a new job with a longer commute, I now am solely responsible for taking care of my dog, etc). I have leaned on friends quite a bit and they have been helpful, for the most part. I know they often don’t know how to help or what to do, but they have been there for me as best they can. I do need to find a better way to take care of myself, since everything has transpired, I’m down about 20lbs, I wasn’t sleeping – though I’m doing a bit better now, and I have been numbing things a bit with more alcohol than I should.

    I guess it’s hard for me to move on, I’m still a tad hopeful that things could turn around. The way that he’s acting is completely out of character and I worry about him emotionally, as I mentioned before, I’m wondering if there’s still a possibility that he changes his mind. I’ve not fully accepted this as my reality and want him back more than anything. I fully understand that we’d have a lot to work on. I just think it’s incredibly hard for me to understand how he isn’t willing to make an effort, to remedy things, when we had so many good years. It’s like he gave up the second a shiny new object (his 24 year old employee) came onto him…which again is so unlike him.

    I have not fully started divorce proceedings…I have been to see a lawyer once to talk about preliminary steps, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. We own a house together (that we bought prior to being married) and have a dog. I’ve been living in the house, which is truly my dream home and I’d ideally like to stay there, but at the same time, am not sure if it’s healthy for me to stay there.

    I just feel like I’m in limbo right now and I know it’s not the right thing to wait around for him, but I don’t want to let go of that bit of hope that this isn’t permanent. Maybe I’m a fool, but I’m still as in love with him as I’ve ever been, even though I’m upset with what he’s doing…

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