Checking in

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2008
Checking in
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Mon, 08-01-2011 - 6:53am

I haven't been here in long time. Partly because of computer issues, and partly because my H had been reading my posts and I got sick of second guessing everything I wrote.

D-day was almost 4 years ago, and I'm not happy to say that I'm still struggling with a lot. I guess a lot of the pain and shock is gone, but I still have self-esteem issues. I should mention that in my H case he was with a lot of other women over a long period of time, and I think that has made it very difficult for me.

Right now one of our struggles is that my H can tell that I don't feel the love for him that I used to. I think I still love him, but I really don't know if I can define that word. I know I loved him for 21 years and during that time he had a secret life of flirting and fooling around with other women. He says he loved me through all that. So I don't really hold the respect for "love" that I used to.

He wants me to just make a decision to forget and forgive and move on. I know I'm not there yet, and I really don't know how to get there or if that's even possible.

One of our biggest issues was brought about by the circumstances surrounding d-day. We had one "d-day" when I found out about him propositioning a young lady but it didn't pan out. When I confronted him, he said that he couldn't go through with it because our relationship meant too much to him. Well, after the shock wore off, I was completely flattered. Here he presumably had his chance with a pretty young woman and turned her down for his wife of 20 years. I also asked if other things had happened, and he of course told me "no" and even told me about another woman who had flirted with him (I presumed he had turned her down too - I was wrong). Anyway, what followed was four months of great "rebuilding" passion. Great sex, lots of flirting, everything he had always wanted from me attention-wise.

Then - BLAM - the discovery that my presumptions were wrong. He had actually been with multiple women and had never turned anyone down "because our relationship meant so much". There was a slow cooling after that as more and more of the shock wore off and more and more of the story came out. The problem is that now my H wants to compare our relationship with that time period. He believes that's how it should be now. After all, he is being faithful and honest now and that's what I was appreciating from him at that time. I just can't see how to get back to that spot. How can I ever feel that way about him now?

One of the worst things is that as I make little improvements and try things, it doesn't seem to matter. He continues to compare things with that time period and refers to it every couple of weeks when he talks to me about how I need to just make a decision and go back to that.

Isn't it bad enough that I feel like he chose so many women over me? Now I have to be compared to myself during an unrealistic and falsely created time in our relationship? I just want him to accept me for the person I am now: the person that's trying to get through this and get to a better spot.

Thank you for being here. It always helps me to write these things out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2009
Mon, 08-01-2011 - 9:39pm
That period of time he keeps holding over your head was built on lies. His lies. If u havent already, read fivediamonds response on the "still waiting" thead, please do. Hugs.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Tue, 08-02-2011 - 12:56pm
You know, I get mad when they try to defend, like yours did, by saying "I couldn't go thru with it, our relationship meant too much to me". He forgets there's a lot of history there that pretty much makes those words meaningless to you. You are stuck with all those memories, all that past - THEY tend to try to forget it happened at all and seem so flabbergasted you can't just do the same, snap of the fingers. Until YOU cheat, which we know you won't do, he will never truly relate to what you feel. It just can't happen. I don't know what goes thru their heads, how they can marry you and still somehow justify cheating, because justify it they do. Otherwise they couldn't do it at all. He's put you thru the wringer, it's no wonder you struggle so hard. Every woman he CHOSE to fool around with took YOU to a new level of pain, and guess what? He didn't care, he just did it again. For him to try to put ANY kind of pressure on you at all, it's a smoke screen. I have never been able to utter the words "I forgive you", even though my DH sometimes brings it up and is hurt that I haven't said it. But you can't, not until it's genuine. If I DID, I know him sooooo well - once I say those words, and I DO hope one day I can, from that day forward I will never be allowed to so much as mention any of the pain he has caused, and the end result of that would be just more depression then I already feel. A definition of depression I learned in Psych 101 is "anger you turn in on yourself". None of us did a thing to deserve to be cheated on, they HAVE no defense if they do it, it's a conscious choice they have no right to make, not if they stay married.

But I really related to your post, I feel so much the same way. Even after nearly 4 long years, it's still so hard sometimes, most of the time. I'm hypersensitive about the entire issue and have spells of deep depression, and I realize I'm angry at me more than anyone, for making such poor choices in my life and not standing up for myself from day one. Unfortunately, it seems to be one day at a time. I want to snap my fingers and have it gone, I want it to never to have happened at all, I was already a pretty sensitive individual so I don't handle stress all that well. Ah, geez, life is not meant to get so complicated.