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Fri Aug 11 2:30 pm  #21


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Duped wrote:

The only way through it is through it....right?  


* Hindsight.....if only we had the foresight to see it *
 

Fri Aug 11 3:20 pm  #22


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Ellexoh wrote:

Duped wrote:

The only way through it is through it....right?  

 
Yes but forcefully. I never wanted to lose my partner and he offered to stop everything. I forced myself to leave. And this place helped me.

 

Sun Aug 13 1:10 am  #23


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Ellexoh, the hardest moment of my life so far was when I realized that the fact that my husband of 23 years was gay meant that there was no way that both of our needs could be met within our marriage no mattter how much we cared about each other, how much we wanted to keep our family together, and how terrified we both were (likely me more than him as I had never wanted anything more) of life without our marriage. It has been two and a half years since that realization and two years since we sat down with our kids and told them that their dad was gay and that we were getting divorced, The early days are a bit of a blur. My mantra was "one foot in front of the other". That got me through. That, and my family and one very good friend, and, at moments, my ex. We are still friends. I continue to build healthier boundaries with him and we are slowly but surely building our separate lives with the common goal of coparenting our children and staying on good enough terms that our children never have to worry about inviting us both to special occasions in their lives.

It is a journey and it has to be your journey, no one else's. Do what you need to so that you can look yourself in the mirror.

It was hard for me to even imagine a life without my husband. I had wrapped my whole life around this man and the family we built together. I am still discovering myself as a single person outside my marriage. I still have no idea what my now blank slate of a future will look like and sometimes this still terrifies me. Being the boss of everything in my family can also be overwhelming at times. This has been my biggest struggle as I work full time and have my kids with me 99% of the time and my ex used to help a lot but has had to move away for work.  Single parenting sucks sometimes. HOWEVER, everytime I solve a new problem, ask someone for help when I really don't want to, get through an impossible day, or use YouTube to figure out a home repair, I regain a little piece of myself and I get a little bit stronger and more confident in my abilities and in the fact that I have the power to make that future whatever I decide it will be whenever and however that evolves for me.

I would never have imagined two and a half years ago that I would be happy again. Don't get me wrong, I still have my moments. I still miss what we had sometimes or yearn for the closeness of a partner. But It is also incredibly amazing to not have to worry about what he is looking at on phone or computer, to not have to always wonder when I am going to come across the next surprise pornography or dating profile, to not subconsciously be waiting for the next shoe to drop or for him to actually act on these feelings he has, to not feel secretly like I am not "enough", to not have to try so hard to make someone happy who just could never be totally and sustainably happy with me no matter how hard we both tried. 

Our separation has been good for my ex. He still has his moments too but he is so much less conflicted and more whole and less volatile than he was when he was pretending, even to himself, to be someone he wasn't. He has even fallen in and out of love with a man. But more importantly and very surprisingly to me at first, our separation (divorce almost finalized) has been good for me. I also feel more whole than I have in many years. I am not ready to date and don't know when or if I will be but I am enjoying trying some new hobbies, getting to know me and spending some time with my kids that would have previously been spent "working on my marriage".  And I think that it has also been good for our kids overall. A!though we tried to protect them from the tensions between us, they knew and they knew we were unhappy and they seem happier and more willing to test and be themselves secure that their parents will cope fine than they were for a long time.

I know you don't necessarily want to hear my story. Your story and journey will be different. It helped me when I was where you are to discover this forum, to realize that this bizarre situation you find yourself in happens more often than you would ever have imagined and to read the stories of people who were a little further along in their "becoming" after disclosure than I was. I guess I just wanted you to know I have been where you are and it isn't always going to hurt this much. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and, one day, you will realize that some of the weight you didn't even realize you were carrying has lifted just a little bit and things are starting to feel more manageable. You might even feel a moment of joy looking at a summer flower, or start to recognize an inner peace or confidence or happiness that you haven't felt for a long time. It will get better even if it seems to get worse for awhile. Hang in there....one step in front of the other...and know you are not alone.

 

Sun Aug 13 4:38 am  #24


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Brokenheartedbuthealing wrote:

Ellexoh, the hardest moment of my life so far .

 

Wow Brokenhearted...that's a journey and a half. I read about the journeys, the struggles, torment,
the heartache of SS's, the ones who have gone through 'it' and come out the other side. 

I'm not at that place yet. And I know if I hurry the process....I'll end up thinking I missed something, 
forgot to try 'something'. But thank you
 


* Hindsight.....if only we had the foresight to see it *
     Thread Starter
 

Sun Aug 13 8:29 am  #25


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Dear Brokenheartedbuthealing,
I just sent you a private message.  I hope you have time to reply.  Thank you for sharing your journey, here.  It's always helpful to know of someone who seems to have found her strength and is doing well.  Thank you for posting.

 

Mon Aug 14 1:55 pm  #26


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Ellehox,

It's important that you go at your own pace.  If you do wind up dissolving the marriage, you want to be able to do so knowing that you've given the marriage everything you had - including enough time to heal.

It's also equally important that you look at things realistically vs. hopefully.  I know that when I was married to my gay-in-denial ex, I often told myself that I WOULD persevere in my marriage.  That it would survive because I decided it would.  And that was the truth - because he didn't want a divorce.  And my marriage COULD have survived - because I willed it to.  But realistically, I was looking at marriage as being still married on paper, and still living together.  And we had that.  There is no one definition of marriage, so I was using the default definition.  We were legally married and living together.  When I began to look at marriage as more of a partnership between the two of us, and having each others support and best interest in mind, I began to see that we'd long ago failed.  I did not have a partner who loved and desired me. We each liked certain things about the other, and tolerated each other well enough.  But there was no intimacy - physically or otherwise.  There was no partnership.  There were no common goals.  There was only a mom and a dad.  When you took the family out of the situation, we had.... nothing.  We didn't desire each other, we didn't respect each other, we didn't even want to spend time with each other.  I DID desire to be successful at marriage, but it was time for me to admit that no one but me would see my marriage as successful just because we were still legally married.  That's not successful - that's just....... semantics.  It's like saying you need a seed to grow a plant, but the seed never sprouted - or died back.  Just because you have the seed still doesn't mean there's any plant.

Go at your own pace, but keep being honest with yourself about what a marriage means to you, and about whether you're getting those things.  If it means faithfulness and you're not getting that, then you don't have what you need there.  If it means a strong desire to be with each other and to enjoy life together and you don't have those things, then be honest about that.  Most things aren't black and white - they're grey.  But you can also pretty much categorize things in one camp or the other, in general.  Be honest about what you do and don't have, and what's likely to change and what's not.  It can help you see more clearly what you will have someday, and whether that's enough to stay for.

Kel


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Mon Aug 14 2:40 pm  #27


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Kel wrote:

Ellehox,It's important that you go at your own pace.  Kel

 

Thanks for that post.....xx
 


* Hindsight.....if only we had the foresight to see it *
     Thread Starter
 

Tue Aug 15 10:23 am  #28


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Ellexoh,

I see from your post in Sean's thread that you had agreed to an open marriage with your husband.  If you don't mind me asking questions about that, I'd like to, please.  How was that idea pitched to you?  What reason did you have to agree to it?  What about the arrangement has brought you to the place you're in now?

Thanks,

Kel


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Tue Aug 15 2:00 pm  #29


Re: Standing by/with my partner

Kel wrote:

Ellexoh,I see from your post in Sean's thread......

 

The pitch...and the reasons for the open r'ship...were both proposed within the context of what I felt was 
our solid, monogamous r'ship, that had always had an easy camaraderie. And I trusted him implicitly. We 
both saw it as an adventure.

Where I am now...this changed ever so slowly....over the last 5 years. The shock of hearing he didn't use condoms during anal with a woman during group sex, a desire to see others by himself and telling me he was okay with me having the freedom to do the same,his texts & emails to the woman he'd been fucking, even when we moved to Australia for a year, the continued contact with her after we returned ("she's a sounding board....but not where my interests lie..." he said this when admitting his interest in men) 
Then last October I I felt him withdraw from me emotionally....dismissive & cold much of the time.
Of course he said I was wrong, am too emotional....a drama queen....lol

For the last few years I've been second-guessing everything he does or doesn't do

 


* Hindsight.....if only we had the foresight to see it *
     Thread Starter
 

Tue Aug 15 2:59 pm  #30


Re: Standing by/with my partner

So,.... what would happen if you went back and told him that you were no longer interested in maintaining an open relationship?  Have you already tried?

Or..... what would happen if you drew boundaries around what you are and are not comfortable with?  Such as.... very specific limitations on how often sex can be had outside the marriage (like once a month), and no interaction outside of making arrangements for sex ahead of time?  That you do not use anyone outside the marriage for anything related to a sounding board.  And that you both always, ALWAYS use condoms outside of your own bedroom?  This should be started with testing to start with, and then the promised use of condoms.

How did you react when you found out about the lack of condom use?  How did he react to your reaction?

Opening up the marriage to outside sex partners should be done when it's a benefit to the marriage, and of no threat to it (I could never figure out when that'd be, which is why I don't ever advocate it).  But if he's literally putting your life in danger from unprotected, dangerous sex, then it is NOT of benefit to you, or the marriage.  If he's chatting with other women, it's not in any way of any benefit to you or the marriage.  That stuff needs to stop ASAP for the rest of it to even be negotiatable.

After you confronted him about emotionally withdrawing, did things change?  Did he try for a while to act different?  Did it last?

Kel


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

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