September 13th

Sunday, September 13, marks the 3rd year since I found out everything. It has been a hard week for me, maybe that is why. I don’t know? Really, that day marks the beginning of MC really getting his head out of his ass. But, it also marks the day that I found out that my blind faith trust in him was completely misplaced for many years. He has done a shit ton of work. I do see it and feel it.

Rosh Hashanah will begin on the evening of Sept. 13 this year. How appropriate, as it is a time of reflection. Reflecting on it all, it is clear that MC had an addiction to anger, resentment and self-pity stemming from his misogynistic view of gender roles and experiences that life just did not match. Before d-day, he spent his life on a “quest” to “right those wrongs,” while at the same time protecting his fragile ego from rejection and conflict at any costs.

Prior to d-day, he had absolutely no desire to change his ways. He didn’t regret his behavior, he didn’t think consequences would apply to him, and he thought he deserved experiences that he had been “denied” by the world around him. Unfortunately, it took d-day for MC to want to change, to want to become a man instead of a little boy who thought the world owed him something. And, I think it took the complete devastation of Sept. 13th, 2012 (ultimate d-day), to really start digging deep and rooting out the weeds, one-by-one, with professional help.

I do believe that whether we are discussing sex addiction, self-pity addiction, compulsive behaviors, OCD, ADD, SOB syndrome and/or something else, serial cheaters need serious outside professional help. I am a researcher by nature. I like numbers, facts, and results backed by peer-reviewed studies. Ultimately, as I reflect, I want reassurance, you know? And, yet there are no guarantees; that is the one fact I know in all of this and it drives me nuts. So, I look, I research, I look and research some more.

I found an interesting NIH study. Project Match studied 806 clients in five outpatient treatment centers, who were randomly assigned to three treatments: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), and 12-step Facilitation (TSF). Researchers also interviewed and assessed clients to rate them on relevant attributes. The most interesting point of the study to me, is that it found that of the 21 client attributes, two were the most powerful predictors of long-term success: readiness-to-change and self-efficacy. And, these by far, were more predictive of long-term success than the actual treatment model used. Overall, TSF, MET and CBT have had similar success and failure rates.

I do see his readiness-to-change and self-efficacy in his belief in making those changes to his thoughts and behaviors. I also see those weeds being pulled-out by the roots one-by-one over the last three years. I can see his dedication and work to develop and practice empathy and do feel the difference in his relationship with our children and with me. I want to recognize how far we’ve come, how far he has come. I don’t want Sept. 13 to represent horror, I want it to represent reflection and rebirth. Still, the horror of that day is a part of my psyche and no amount of research takes that away. Sigh. . .


16 thoughts on “September 13th

  1. I understand what you are saying and am also research based for results. I hope the upcoming day comes by neutral for you.

    I would like to know if your husband was ambivalent or unable to see empathy in the first year or two? Or was he always willing and cooperative to do anything it takes to help you heal and to make sure he never cheated again?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You know, when I found out about what I thought was his one and only affair, he became more loving and kind than I had seen previously. But, he would become frustrated at my never ending questioning, that to me was like putting a logic puzzle together. I don’t stop until it makes sense.

    On ultimate d-day, when I found out everything, there was further shift. No longer were questions met with frustration and statements from him, such as “let’s focus on the present.” He became willing to really go through everything step-by-step, losing the frustration and attempts to walk away from me when I went into “interrogation mode.”

    So, I do think his empathy for the pain I was in started with that initial d-day, and certainly seeing my state upon ultimate d-day kicked something into high gear for him, but it grew over time.

    I do think the Affair Recovery class was helpful. He often will say that empathy is something he has had to both learn and practice consistently and that the AR class gave him some tools he never even knew he needed. But, he knew he wanted to learn from the start. It wasn’t all at once at any point, but has been a process of learning and practicing, while at the same time learning new cognitive and behavioral patterns over time.

    I don’t know if you read about “the smoking incident” or not. But, it was a huge set-back for us and I attribute that happening to him understanding what empathy should entail, but still putting shame, fear and protecting his ego over empathizing with me. So, while I can say a definite “yes” that he had made the decision that his cheating ways MUST be changed right off the bat, learning and practicing empathy has most definitely been a process!

    Is that helpful at all? I hope so!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Helpful to me I still get that is back in the past and he seemed to still be irritated by my questioning
    He wasn’t yesterday which maybe lack of sex or him wanting sex thinking if he listened we would get to the point of having sex.
    But there wasn’t any sec and I am unsure he is hearing me At all he still says very little and that’s on him.
    Reading yours and MCs take on things definitely has helped me see what I want to see Charles do. But hasn’t I also knew I can be pretty stubborn that maybe he is doing things or saying things worth me seeing past his nonsense but I haven’t come out of my own ass either at times.
    I think a worst for me with Charles is that he doesn’t express what he sees or has experienced in this madness it’s just a point of let’s move on which to me seems indicative to his cheating state where everyday is a new day and if I fuck it up I have tomorrow. But he just leaves fucking up by chance instead of taking the bull by the horns and take control there are some fuck ups you can avoid and can’t. Pshh I am procrastinating and rambling.
    Here’s to the beginning of the 4th year TL thank you for your wisdom and blog

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Yeah super love how TL and MR talked about the thoughts yeah I want to know the thoughts behind what the hell he is doing.
            I have told him this to deaf ears and the asking for what I want just seems like futile attempts to appease me rather than for him to ever win my heart back.

            Maybe one day he will get it not sure
            And also what MR said about Charles being a man am I expecting him to act like a woman am I chasing a pipe dream with Charles for him to not be a compete emotional moron??

            Ugh.. The thoughts😝

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Gosh I hear you but I KNOW men that have no problem with their feeligs and expressing them. I didn’t marry them! I married my husband and he is the one I want to know his thoughts and what they are about. I must be asking incorrectly.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you both for the kind wishes for the upcoming antiversary and 4th year ahead. I think we will take the kids kayaking on the 13th, at least do something active together.

    It is hard to see past the pain for us and I think it is hard for them to learn to see past themselves sometimes. But, it is necessary. Painful as anything, but necessary!

    We are just one example trying to get through this shit storm. And, there are so many differing examples. I think one thing that study shows is that self-efficacy and readiness to change are half the battle. I do think finding the healthiest path forward is easier to do with those in place and, even then there are struggles. Just wishing everyone out there the best path for them to move ahead in a healthy way, whatever that turns out to be, regardless of D or R!

    And, by the way, yeah, I think I would be kicking some ass (figuratively of course) if MC ever dared say he forgot about his tomfuckery!

    TL xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You may never be able to forget but you can move on, possibly to a better marriage than before, now that the weeds are being pulled out by the roots. See the good. See the work being put in. Maybe try to focus on that? I know with d-day approaching that sounds pie-in-the-sky, but if you can….

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh Tiger Lily, August 3rd this year was my 3rd antiversary. 3 years since the truth spat itself out. I also feel shitty around this date. I ask for flowers and to be taken for a meal. I always have to ask for what I want but I can’t expect him to read my mind.

    I do believe people can be transformed by experience. It’s a perspective shift so really fundamental to the person who changes.

    For us, the betrayed, we’ve been changed too – all shifting sands! But perhaps that’s what we have to accept – uncertainty.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you sonofabeach! I need to tell myself, “it is ok to focus on something positive today and do that more and more.”

    MR, sounds like we are on a very similar timeline. On the first antiversary, MC was overseas. He was calling me on FaceTime for hours each day, every day. But, there was no special message or comfort recognizing the particular struggle of that day from him, just the normal conversations. I didn’t bring it up because I wanted to see him take the initiative, have it be his idea to do something to recognize my particular struggles with hard dates and there was nothing. I was disappointed, so very disappointed.

    Now, I get flowers all the time, anytime he thinks I am struggling, he comes home with flowers. It is sweet. At least, I see he recognizes my struggles with an action of his own initiative. Sometimes, I worry it is on auto-pilot though.

    B has told him to be very specific with me if he again brings flowers, why did he pick those flowers, those colors. Whether flowers or some other action, B suggested that he share what his thought process was in doing this action to show me that it is not just him on auto-pilot. He did that for a while, but he doesn’t share those thoughts consistently.

    Last night he brought me a dozen roses. They are lovely, but I would like to know his thoughts too. I don’t expect him to read my mind, but I do want to know the thoughts behind whatever actions he takes because it is the thought that goes in that I want to know about, hear about, it is showing me that he is truly thinking about me that brings actual comfort on days I am struggling. It shows me he continues to work on his empathy development and will continue forever more.

    Earlier this year, I told him how I so wanted to feel butterflies again, that I am sad that I have not had that feeling in a very long time, especially considering he did, just with others.

    Months later, on our vow renewal anniversary, he gave me window sticker butterflies with a note “Happy Anniversary TigerLily, I am trying to give you butterflies. Love, MindlessCraft.” It made me smile.

    I’m looking for more actions like the butterflies, but not every action can be like that. I know, I know. Not sure where I am going with all of this. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this! Good for you, three years in and still kicking. My husband also seemed to be oblivious to the heartache, horror and devastation his actions would cause until DDay smacked ha both in the face. He was such an asshole, but working hard to change.

    Here’s to having the option to change at any point in life — and here’s to hoping kindness and goodness become the valued choices from on out!

    Liked by 2 people

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