why does it get worse, will it ever get better?

As some of you may heave read one of my earlier posts.  I found out last year that my husband had/and still is having an affair with a former  friend of mine.  It appeared that we were at least making some small steps.  We were at least civil to each other.  I have stepped back and learned so much about ADD (he was just diagnosed this past spring). I understand why he behaves the way he does. I have given him support, space, I do not nag.  I have worked a lot on myself and my bad behaviors.  I do not let him engage me..I have realized it takes 2 to fight.  We have two small boys, one of which has ADD.  I am very willingly to work things out.

My husband just started seeing an ADD psychiatrist.  Since that time he has become withdrawn from me.  Very short tempered to me and the boys.  He blames  me and his parents has even more so than before.  We use to do couples counseling, now he says it is a waste, because he wants a divorce.  Two weeks ago, he said no to the divorce...he admitted to being scared of being divorced and scared of being single.  AS YYZ explained to me, I understanding he is planning the "great escape" for it is much easier to do than to take ownership of one's actions.  I also realize that staying married will be  a lot of work, and that may also scare my DH.

Has anyone experienced this? He appears so angry toward everyone.  He made a comment yesterday that "when things get bad, it is okay to walk away", meaning that is the lesson he will teach the boys.  As opposed to "when things are bad, you work together to resolve it". I have learned to not expect anything so as not to be disappointed.  I am fooling myself to think that my husband will ever see anything positive in me and our marriage and want to work on our marriage? 

Sorry to say...

I have experienced this.  And it took me months in a separation to be able to understand the anger is just "his".  He may project it onto you, but the anger is his.  I, too, learned not to expect anything so as not to be disappointed...but is that what you want in a relationship?  Having been outside of the marriage for many months now, I know that it's not what I want.  I want to be able to count on someone who can show me he loves me, and although I will always love my husband, I know that he may not be able to be this person I want him to be.  

I understand that I wasn't always trying to save the marriage, I was trying to save HIM.  Big difference.  And in speaking with a close friend who was married to an alcoholic, I learned a great mantra to repeat in situations with his anger: "I did not cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it".  Realize just as yyz has said many times on this site--your husband has to want to release his anger for HIMSELF and change his life.  




Did you say he is STILL having an affair with a former friend? And, he is still angry? So, just to be clear, He has his family and something on the side.... and he is still angry? None of this makes sense to me. To continue poor behavior is a choice. His counselor may be telling him "he" is the problem and he can't process it so he is mad. What advice would you give to your son if his wife was doing this to him? Or what advice would you give a good friend if you saw this happening to her? Ugh, please take care of you and your boys, make sure your boys know this is not a way to treat their mom. And, let them know their MOM will NOT ALLOW anyone to treat her this way. Use your power for good.

I agree with PJ...the affair

I agree with PJ...the affair is bad enough. If it is still going on, I would have nothing to give to the man anymore. We are almost 2 years post-affair (his) and if he were to even talk to her on the phone I would simply not be able to stay. The very first place I would start is asking myself why I would even want to make any effort (or give a damn about his 'bad mood') for a man who is cheating. I was always from the "I would never tolerate cheating!" camp for many years...but learned the very, very hard way that affairs do not come in one size fits all. BUT, the one most important factor for me when I was confronted with the choice to leave or try and recovery from it was that the affair had ended before he told me about it. (I did not/would not have taken his word for it...she confirmed it without realizing what she was doing) I honestly couldn't spend one second under the same roof with him if he had not  cut all ties and contact. 

I started counseling today...alone. I told her my entire marital history and about all of my anger, reactions, resentment, anxiety, fears, and about my codependency. I told her I wasn't there to talk about my husband and his ADHD. I told her I wasn't there to talk about my SD and her issues. I told her I wanted to work on ME. I want to change my fears that he'll cheat again into acceptance that if he does, it is 100% his choice, his responsibility and there is nothing that I can do to prevent it. I want to find joy again. I want to feel excited about life again. I want to just learn how to relax and enjoy just being. (thank you Got It, again) I told her that my marriage means the world to me, that I feel that God is helping my husband and I rebuild slowly what we've destroyed, and that where He wanted me to start was with ME. Why do I react to pain with anger? Why do I over-react to everything? Why do I let other people's mistakes burden my mind with worry? Why do I hate myself so much?

In the meantime I am just taking things one day at a time. I have moments of peace and then I may have a little slip up occasionally but I feel 1000 times better today than I did last week...thank the Lord. 

The withdrawing always triggers panic in me. I hope to work on finding out the answers to that too. Consider this...you know he loves his children, yet he's withdrawing from them too. It isn't personal. LET HIM WITHDRAW. It is his way of 'coping' (i.e.. NOT DEALING) with his problems right now. YOU CANNOT STOP IT OR CHANGE IT BUT YOU CAN MAKE IT WORSE BY TRYING TO TALK HIM OUT OF WITHDRAW OR BY POINTING OUT TO HIM HOW HURTFUL IT IS.  The world won't end if you just back away from him and let him go through whatever he needs to go through. Stop making yourself a target. Love yourself enough to set boundaries. This is not about you. It is about his mind shutting down and trying to reboot. The more space and quiet you can give him the better. I know it's hard and painful...but it really is the only thing you can do that won't make things worse. (((HUGS)))


I agree with you both

you both hit on good points.  I have come to a place, where I know the only thing I can control is my behavior.  I cannot control, change or convince him in any way. I know no matter how much I love him or support him, it will never be enough to "fill his void" I know I am just an outlet for him to "unload all his guilt and anger".  I step away and do not take anything personally.  Currently I am giving him his space and I rarely speak with him, if I do it is about the kids.  I stay away.  It is just hard to sit and watch someone slowly self destruct. 

With my own counseling I am in a much better place.  I think the change in me, may scare him even more.  we are in the process of a divorce, he cannot get things moving forward, yet he says he doesn't want to be married.  he wont put the house up for sale, yet he will say he hates the house.  I honestly feel that if he puts the house up for sale, or ends his affair or moves forward with the divorce, he has to face the reality that "yes, I have to take ownership of my behaviors".  And that is something he is not ready to do.  I have never seen act out this way before.

When my husband shut down in

When my husband shut down in February of this year I about lost my mind. I wish so badly I would have handled things differently than I did..but no room for regrets, just moving forward. It is very difficult to watch. It does look like self destruction to us..and could potentially be (it is but by the Grace of God that my husband did not lose his job during that period of time as he didn't go into the office for a full 40 hour week for more than 2 months) but there really is nothing you can do to change it. As I said before, the only thing you can do that will affect it in any way is to try and 'fix' it and make it WORSE.

It is very possible that the change in you makes him angry...because even change for the better, when it breaks the cycle we all get used to, is threatening sometimes. His behavior may even get worse in response as he tries to restore the balance and bring you back to where you were before so he feels more comfortable. It is sick to realize how comfortable we get to be in the vicious cycles...and sad.

I don't know that I would feel that he avoids ending the affair to avoid having to face his 'bad behaviors'. He continues it because he probably feels he deserves it. He wants to continue it, one would assume, or he would stop it. It isn't like you don't already know and he continues it to avoid you finding out.

As for him not wanting to sell the house or move forward with the divorce...have you ever considered that he doesn't do these because he is having his cake and eating it too? He gets to stay right where he is, not have to deal with the HUGE task of selling a house and the hassle of divorce, but he has his mistress in the meantime.

One thing I was wondering about...does he know that you know that the affair is still going on? Does he care? What does he say about this to rationalize it? Or does he?

To Sherri

I do feel he does not like the fact that I am changing and that has increased his anger.  Like you said, he is trying to pull me back into the old behaviors, but I am not part of it.  He does have his cake and gets to eat it too, what he does not realize is as the divorce moves on he legally has to sell the house, unless he can buy me out, which cannot afford. He also does not understand that he will not see our boys everyday. He cannot see the big true picture of what divorce is.  I have tried to get him to move out many times.  He has not.  The first time he will experience separation is when the divorce is final. He will have a difficult time being alone.

He knows I know that the affair continues...he hides it best he can.  He says "I am just speaking with her," I know that is not the case.  The affair is purely "sexual", he has said many times, he is addicted to her. It is his form of self medicating. Please know I am not excusing his behavior in anyway. His decision to continue to see her is what prompted the divorce.

I continue to pull away and work on me.  I am in a much healthier place than I was before.  It is just hard to see someone you care about walk away from everything and everyone that truly cares for him...for what? A quick impulsive action that makes him feel good for a short period of time, only to be consumed with guilt after it happens. 

Sherri thanks for your thoughts, and all of your other posts.  I admire you for your honesty and willingness to share.  I wish you all the best in your journey.

Oh..I remember now that

Oh..I remember now that you're going through the process of divorce. I was thinking you were just speaking 'for future reference'. I would TRULY stop worrying about him, what he'll lose, how he'll suffer, what he'll give up, etc. I know the feeling of thinking "what a shame this has to come to this" or "why can't they see what they're about to lose and do something to stop it!?" and it is thoughts like that that will drive you to insanity.

I know you're not excusing his behavior...I know it has to tear your heart out to know he's still carrying on with the affair. I admire you for even giving him the time of day, I honestly don't know how you do it. It took everything in me to forgive my husband and I knew the affair had already ended AND I saw remorse for weeks before I even knew what was happening. (he would cry uncontrollably every time he was with me or came to the house) I KNOW he felt horrible about what he had done and my only hope is that he never forgets that pain and suffering he (WE) went through. What is it that you're seeing that is making you feel that he feels guilty? His anger might be one indication...projecting his anger at you to ease his guilt? I know my husband treated me the worst he has ever treated me during the time his affair started (I didn't know for about 3 months) and that eventually led to a LOT of fighting (HORRIBLE FIGHTS) and then graduated to sadness and constant crying.

I pray that as you proceed with the divorce it will all come clear to him..what he's doing and what he's giving up. I wish you all the best in your detachment and journey to finding yourself again. God knows it is so very hard to do in the midst of such pain. I know you can find the strength. ((HUGS))

His behavior has gotten worse

over the past several weeks, which also coincides with him starting with a psychiatrist that specializes in treating ADD.  The psychiatrist told him he needs to see him and work with the psychologist he has been seeing on and off for years ( who really does not have the ADD specialty).  Sherri, I do have to say this past year the things he has said to me were the worst ever.  Again, like you, it started happening after I confronted him about the affair.  It unfortunately took me along time to "hold my tongue" and not take the bait for the verbal battle.  I now see first hand the destruction words can do.  At different times throughout this process he has admitted he has lots of guilt and shame, which he has buried and medicates with Xanax/valium.  He will not let the emotions out, he does not want to deal with them.  We have had some great conversations, only for him to change a day or two later.  I can always sense when he has seen her or spoken to her, for his attitude and behaviors change for the worse.  Just since starting with the psychiatrist, he has taken the "I want a divorce stance" and it is all my (ME) fault.  He still is unable to take ownership.  In reading the posts on this site, my guess is that he is overwhelmed by everything and just having to take it all in with whatever the psychiatrist is telling him  is just too much for him to handle...so best to just " run".  He even cancelled our joint counseling session this week. I have stayed strong for our two young boys.  I have tried to maintain a stable home for them and I continue, as I have through the past year, treat my DH with kindness.  I have tried everything I am capable of to let him know I am willing to work through this with him. I figure when it is over, I can look back and say I have no regrets.  I still hold onto hope, that by the hand of God, he may decide to change, to make him feel better about himself and make his life better.

Sherri, did you see?

The yahoo homepage had an article about the most hated jobs in America, based on a large survey of employees. The number one most hated job in America was Director of Information Technology. Isn't that what your husband is? It sounds like job stress contributes to him not having anything left to give you at home. Maybe this is why.

no he is not

but the economy has definitely caused his business to decrease and to increase his stress level. My dh is a spender, I am the saver...our savings have been tapped out, so yes add this to his stress/anger issues, it is all mounting, like I read in another post " the volcano is rumbling and and getting ready to erupt". 

I didn't see the

I didn't see the article...but that is what he is for our entire city. His job is stress x 1000. I know it. I feel HORRIBLE thinking I would contribute to it by accusing him of lying when he says he has to work late...or late late late in some instances. I try and cut myself some slack considering everything I've had to try and overcome including his affair and the recent revelation that quite possibly my SD has moved in with the woman he cheated with. Even if he is 100% innocent, it just proves how 'toxic' she is to our marriage even though I never see or talk to her..NOTHING is sacred to her...not even her father's marriage..did he 'condone' it? I guess I will never know for sure. time will tell.

Bottom line...I do not ever want to be responsible for causing him stress that he does not deserve or is unnecessary. For now, I will operate under the assumption that he IS working, that work IS extremely stressful for him and that he had nothing to do with SD reconnecting with this woman. God help me.

I don't have the answers to his problem though. I want him to be happy, but it is up to him to make any changes necessary. As long as he works and helps provide for his family so that we can feed our kids and make our bills, I support any job decisions he makes. He knows this. I've done it before. It isn't BECAUSE of me that he's unhappy and stressed at work...and it isn't up to me to make that 'better' for him either. I won't make it worse, Lord willing, but I cannot fix it for him. I listen when he needs to talk and vent and that's all I know to do.