Open Discussion: When do you Give up?

Good Wednesday!

Once again we’d like to thank everyone for contributing to our open discussions about affairs. Many of you have such great thoughts and ideas to contribute. It’s really amazing!

This week’s discussion:

With all the pain and heartache that victims of affairs experience, at what point do you give up and say “Enough is enough!? ”  In your mind, do you ever get to that point? How do you maintain your inner strength to continue working to save your marriage?

Please join in and let us know your thoughts!

Thanks again!

Doug & Linda

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10 Responses to Open Discussion: When do you Give up?

  1. Starting Over April 21, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    I read this earlier this morning and I had to think and reflect about it. As someone who HAS given up, in the loosest form of the word of course, I am trying to pin point the time and the thing that caused me to finally say enough.

    I don’t know exactly what caused my change of thought, it could be that guy that went through the same thing and became a good friend and really helped me to reflect and understand what was going on. It could be that he made me remember that I was a person and worth it. Maybe.

    It could be the fact that I just plain got tired of waiting. Nothing he did changed. It was definitely a change in me. A resolve so to say. A breaking point, or a finishing point. I always said it would come in its own time. I have had the best couple of weeks feeling like I got myself back. But I do still hurt and grieve from time to time.

    At the same time as all of this is going on, I still try to work on my friendship with him. Because I figure, if in the future, we ever decide to try again, it will only be because I was there for him now.

    I cannot say that I would let him come back. But I cannot say I would not. I know a lot of things would have to change. But right now, He has gone and moved on and his life still isn’t any better, but mine is getting so much better.

    I think that we give up when we learn to take responsibility for our lives again and decide that it is up to us to change it not anyone else. Does that make sense or did I just totally ramble?

  2. michael April 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    From day one I have never really given up on us. I have never said I hate her or asked her to leave. I’ve thought about it, but have never believed that she would be better off if I kicked her out. Or that I would feel better for doing it. But I have given her the option if she needed to.
    I believe that mostly I have a strong desire to protect her, and provide for her. Without expectations I give her that, which I promised I would. And for the most part forsaking my feelings to do so.
    When I did confront the OM in text, I learned how he felt about my wife. And how this was his regular M.O. I was worried about her the most at that point. She was having emotions for him and he was playing her very well.
    So when I showed her the text, I’m sure she felt used, or taken advantage of. And her hourly text and talking stopped. A few days later she talked to him on facebook and he pleaded his case like a sorry ass that he is. And he pouted in hopes of more sympathy from her.
    So needless to say she was with dawn in her own mind for a few days. And I let her be and hoped this would help her end it. And I watched for a while as the communications stopped. And then she called him. It was only a minute so maybe it was just his voice mail. But she called him none the less. She was still needing that connection.
    It was at that point that I asked her if she wanted to consider divorce. And that I wanted her to be happy no matter what it meant to me. I would help her in whatever decision she made. And she told me she would stay for me. Unlike when she told him she wanted to end it for the sake of her children.
    I already knew that what they had wasn’t going to be what we had. And that it probably wouldn’t last like his three other marriages. But I wanted her to decide what she wanted. And do what she decided.
    Long winded I know but that’s just me. I like to spill my feelings. Now I’m going to post on another topic some more.

    • J August 5, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

      Thats what I am waiting to hear Michael. She wants to come back for me, not for the kids, not because she doesnt want to be a waitress when she is 80. Not hearing those words, makes my thinking of working on this impossible. I meet with marriage counceler today. She meets with her tomorrow. She still hasnt done step 1, but in mediation, broke down and said she couldnt divorce and needs help giving him up. Just when I was fine with Divorce, i get, I cant do this to the kids. Not I cant do this to you any more. Not sure what route to go, but I think I need to push for divorce still, and hear that she wants me. otherwise its pointless.

      • Doug August 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

        J., thanks for the comment. Perhaps you are prepared for the possibility of divorce and resolved to move in that direction, but if she is willing to seek therapy to get over the other man, then maybe you might want to hang on and see how it plays out. Sure, it hurts to hear that she feels she is doing it for the kids, but maybe there are things you can do to re-establish the passion and intimacy that you once had, and her feelings could change. I’m assuming of course, that you want to save your marriage.

  3. michael April 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    I don’t know right now. But maybe I’m getting to the point that I’ve been stretched so far. Maybe because I vent here and not to her. She WILL NOT participate in this website. She says she is glad I have the outlet and she can’t do it. She says she needs to work on it on her own and I need to let her. So I think I shouldn’t look at this site anymore. Because I confuse what you all are doing here and what I think she should be doing. I don’t think anything I do on my own is going to change things. So am I at that point? Should I work on us when she is working on her. I need to work on me. I need to forget about it. And move on without the help. With or without her as a partner in my healing.

  4. Rushan April 22, 2010 at 2:16 am #

    My brother said divorce must be the last thing you do after you’ve tried a lot of other things. Luckily I’ve listened to him and stayed with my husband. He is now so attentive and loving to me. Always looking for my best interests. I appreciate and love these things he does, although I am still not sure that they have stopped communicating, but as she is in another town I know they can’t see each other and I am taking day to day. So I do not know when I am going to say this is enough. Perhaps when I do it it will be a mistake because he is speaking the truth and love me alone again. We’ll see

  5. Patience April 22, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    I’ve been thinking about that a lot and I don’t know the answer. Some days I just want to give up and tell him to leave… But other days, I feel like he is my best friend as well as my husband, partner, lover. How do you say goodbye to your best friend?

    In my case, I know they are still communicating and it hurts, especially because he is lying about it (again). I don’t know if they are seeing each other again too. Sometimes I think, if I’m patient enough, this relationship of theirs will just run its course. Other times, I’m angry because he is taking me and our life together for granted… It’s not an easy answer.

    Doug, as someone who has been involved in the affair, do you think letting things run their course, is wise? Or should the spouse who is being cheated on just say – enough is enough, it’s either her or me? Because it’s really hard to work on a marriage while the affair is still going on…

    • admin April 22, 2010 at 8:32 am #

      Patience, Thanks for commenting. You’ve kind of touched on a very delicate subject. On one hand, many experts will tell you that giving ultimatums are bad and that the affair relationship will eventually run it’s course. But obviously that is not going to work in every situation. You know your husband the best, and should know how he will react to an ultimatum. I know first hand that saving a marriage is difficult if the affair is still going on. But in hindsight, I also know that my affair would have eventually died on it’s own. I think that if you can find a happy medium and let your husband know that it is impossible for you to work on your marriage if he is seeing the OW, and that you are aware that he is still is, you don’t like it and you won’t put up with it, so he needs to make up his mind. Then as hard as it is to do, you back off. Linda suggested you read Michelle Weiner-Davis’ book “Divorce Remedy” which talks about this situation.

  6. Steph November 10, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    Hi Everyone. I need your help. I cheated on my wife. It was more of a flirtation that lead to emails and txting that led to us meeting once. We kissed…an akward kiss. And then just texting again. Nothing vulgar. Nothing sexual. Just an escape from our own struggles in our won lives. I never told my wife but she found out. Throughout our comunication i always felt guilty and i expressed my desire to stop our comunication, yet as soon as things got bad in my marriage then i needed that boost from this third party…to tell me i`m not such a piece of rubbish as my wife often let me to feel. SO , now its 1 month since the whole incident and things are just terrible. Its an emotional rollercoaster and my wife goes from sage to devil… she has always had anger issues and its now worse than ever… i made a msitake the other day of standing up to her when she was just blasting me for something good (yes good) i did, and the fight was our worst ever… she says her love for me has maybe died… and all she wants is to be away from me… what can i do… i am not making excuses for cheating on her but her agression is what made me seek comfort elsewhere… i feel like giving up yet i love her….. it seems as if i am damned if i do , and damned if i dont… i just dont know what to do … thank you

  7. Beaten down April 13, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    It’s all fine and good to want to work on your marriage, but not all marriages are good. I can relate how and when I gave up. After my wife physically abused me several times, I stayed in the marriage for 5 more years for the sake of our son, hoping it would get better. I read relationship books and websites, prayed, earnestly tried to improve what I could with my wife. The domestic violence stopped but the emotional abuse did not. For the past year I wrote letters asking my wife to go to individual or couples therapy (she forbade me to go to individual therapy), to no avail–she would not consider it. Eventually, about a year after the first very serious therapy request, I wrote one more letter saying that I gave up. I promised to stay in the same household for a while, so she can gain some mental health and indepedence, but I feel done. It felt like a thread snapped inside me. After this ultimatum she is finally trying to do everything to change, but it does not feel like she sincerely cares about me, only like she is desperately self-preserving. My son is 9 and I am very worried about his health, worried about him being with her alone, and worried about the mental state of my wife after we separate. Yet I just can’t sacrifice myself for this marriage anymore. I hope to meet someone with whom I can demonstrate what real love looks like, to my son, in at least 50% of his life.
    Why did I write this on the emotional affair site? Because I would be susceptible to one. I have not, yet, but I needed to be one voice to state that not every marriage should be maintained. An emotional affair is not a reason to end a marriage, but sometimes there are other reasons, and these can be very real.
    Life’s not all rainbows and love and healing and text messages, people. Sometimes it is bruises and screaming and hatred and fear.

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