There is a lot of great information in the Healing Library (yellow box in the upper left corner). Start there. I'm pretty new here, too, but I know that reading through the articles and doing the 180 helped. The 180 is in the BS Frequently Asked questions, I believe. Start there.
Please know that this has NOTHING to do with you and everthing to do with him. He has been very selfish, and now it is your turn to be selfish. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Make sure you are eating and drinking lots of water. Sleep whenever you need to. (I still take naps to "escape").
We are here for you. (((HUGS)))!
You've come to the right place. I know it's hard to believe, but you will be ok.
What is he doing to heal the damage he has done?
Does OW have a husband? Have you told him yet?
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
I did call the other BW about 10 months past my d-day. I had been content letting sleeping dogs lie, as my wife ended it. But the OM tried contacting her again, so I realized I needed to tell other BS. She also was long distance (2000 miles away)
I am very happy to tell you more if you would like. It was revelatory. She was never mad at me. I kinda wanted to maintain a relationship with her (making lemonade out of lemons) but she was not interested which I understand of course.
One thing I came up with was to start living for me more - not have my life be as much in a role of assisting my WW's life.
So, I got a season pass to Vail/Breck last year and got in 16 days of skiing. I asked for and received new Rossi skis for my birthday. I am also going to change careers pretty soon to something that is more rewarding .... for ME. You only live once.
Also check out the Long Term Affairs group in I Can Relate...look up users NJGal and atsenootie...they have been a BIG help.
[This message edited by MC_Jack at 11:22 AM, September 21st (Saturday)]
On top of the boundary work that needed to be done, without that call, I'd never have known I needed STD testing. While my husband doesn't appear to have contracted anything from the second affair (he gave me HPV from the first), some STDs lay dormant so it wasn't something I was willing to chance.
I am grateful for that call. My partner was keeping me in the dark about my own life. That phone call brought it all into the light.
The obsessing about what went on in your own life during the affair is brutal and will continue for some time. There are just so many memories, pictures, and evertime you have one, or see one, you think, my God, that was during the affair. It is hidious, but it does get better.
You need to journal and everytime you remember one of those things that cuts your heart out, write it down. Write down everything that hurts you. Write down what makes you angry, all the triggers, the injustices, get them on paper.
I am hoping eventually I can tear up or burn that list. Evern after a seven year affair, we are still together and are really more connected than we were prior to the affair. It is still hard, but so, so, much better than that first year after DDay.
All my sympathy for what you are going through, but it will get better. Hugs..
I'm so sorry for your pain.
Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.
What I learned is that my H is a liar, something I am not. Don't beat yourself up for missing it....you did nothing wrong. The A is totally your H's responsibility.
Right now take good care of yourself ...eat if you can, drink water and exercise....get sleep aids from your physician if you need them.
Best piece of advice I received when I first came to SI was that I did not have to make any life changing decisions right away...in fact the recommendation was that I wait a year. And I'm glad I waited. The shock of the betrayal, the pain and then the anger--- well that took almost a year. I, for one, was not thinking clearly for quite some time.
Today we are approaching four years since Dday and my H and I are doing well....a lot has changed in our lives since H cheated and we are working through it. Our marriage is changed, but life is good.
Take good care of yourself and keep posting....feel free to email anytime.....there are many of us here who have been in similar shoes and we are not just surviving, but thriving.
Enough of my story. To tell you the truth, I have come to believe that this is the best course of action through all of the wise people on here. At this point however I really am just ready to be rid of her in my mind. I would call her H though if she ever tries to talk to him again.
Knowing that your situation went on for so many years, I don't think I would hesitate
I, too, feel my marriage has been a lie. We are R but I'm not sure if it is real. I still have a lot of questions that I don't believe he is telling the truth on, and his phone records are through his work, so I don't have the luxury of scouring those bills.
Hang in there!!! It will get easier...but your WH has to do the heavy lifting on this. If he's not willing to do whatever it takes to help you heal, then when you get your strength back you will know what to do. I promise!!!
My WH had a 7 year affair with a co-worker. Throughout, he acted like the ideal husband (well, mostly). Was always knd and loving to me, many thoughtful gifts, etc. said he loved me all the time, called several times a day. To this day, he has never blamed me for the affair.
Like you, I've struggling with what this all means. All I can tell you, without going into tedious detail, is that... Well, it's going to take a lot of digging, therapy, and tears before you get anywhere near coming to terms with this. It is a long journey, and it hurts lke hell. And it will hurt whether you dump the bastard or try to reconcile. And any choice you make will be fine and you will live, and you will be strong, and you will make it through.
Why was I so oblivious and trusting? I never checked his visa bills, emails, phone records. Now I am scouring all past bills, ATM withdrawals everything I can get my hands on.
All extremely normal, and due to the time lapse it will be nearly impossible to put together.
Most of us have done this after the shock hits as we try to make sense of it all. Been there, done that.
The reason you didn't know, didn't suspect, is that you were not cheating, that you were trustworthy.
People who trust are the easiest to deceive. But, what does all this say about you?
It does say a lot about the marriage and the spouse who cheated and how they viewed the marriage and themselves.
My SAWH had an affair for 2.5 years. I missed a lot of signs it was going on because I too was trusting.To my detriment, I was a self sufficient, low maintenance, "cool wife." I look back and I think, "wow, I really was oblivious." For me it was a combination of a certain level of denial mixed with being entirely trusting. I just never thought my H had it in him, despite many "classic" signs. My friends are shocked that he - out of all of the men we know - did this. More proof that it's always the ones you least suspect because they just have everyone fooled. I overlooked so much stuff, such as:
- A stray woman's sock showing up in our laundry (I thought it must belong to a college aged sitter who did laundry when she was sitting one night...I asked them and no one claimed it...I dismissed it nonetheless thinking maybe it was their roommate's and they just did not recognize it or something).
- my H insisting on switching his cellphone service, which was in my name, to his name for tax reasons (we used to have the same service but I got an iPhone and he stayed with the original carrier). I got a very bad feeling about it yet I did nothing to question it further.
- business dinners EVERY week on a particular day - and the nights kept getting later and later. 11 pm, 1 pm, 4 am. Especially towards the end.
- Spur of the moment trip related to a start up in which he was involved.
- lashing out at me for no reason. Once, when I asked him why he hadn't left his car in the city and taken a cab (I was worried about him driving while drunk) instead he went berzerk and told me he hates taking cabs to our town from the city because they charge fare and a half.
- going out with his friend "X" regularly on the weekends. It was just puzzling that all of a sudden he wanted to hang out with this guy so often. But whatever, they were old friends and my H always was one to hang out with his guy friends. I never questioned it.
- me asking him about 9 months into the A if he was having and A/seeing someone. He totally denied it. I don't know why but I just sensed something was up. And I continued to ignore my gut.
I have all of the texts from the nearly 3 year period this was all happening.It's crazy making. When I read all of them in a row now, it's like "DUH! He's having an affair." Of course it makes perfect sense to you NOW. But when you are in the thick of life, you have so many distractions and you just dismiss things because if you spent time analyzing every nuance you would make yourself crazy. Instead, like many people, you are just probably trying to get through the day. By the end, I was unraveling and so was he...as he puts it he was a runaway train. He was having a secret life and it was catching up to him. He was bloated and puffy from so much drinking and carousing. Acting like a single 30 yo will catch up to you.
A couple of things I have learned in going through this and I will share with you. I have a close friend from college who had an affair over a decade ago with her married boss for about a year. I asked her about this after she brought it up recently when we were on vacation. The net of it: It definitely doesn't sound as glamourous as one might imagine an affair to be.They did not set out to deliberately hurt anyone. She and the Married Man were just completely selfish. They were not thinking of anyone but themselves. At first it was fun to be sneaking around. and then it became tiresome and a lot of work to make up work related excuses to see one another. They would just hang out at her apartment because they could not risk being seen together. No one knew about the A except her sister, so it was lonely and isolating for her. After a year, my friend broke it off because she knew she wanted more and it wasn't possible. She later found out that the wife was becoming suspicious. She now says she would never do something like that, especially now that she knows how devastating that is to someone's family whether they know about the A or not.
It does infiltrate into their family life in one way or another, no matter how much they try to keep it together. It was really affecting my kids and in the months leading up to discovery, I was barely getting out of bed in the morning, definitely going back to bed frequently during the day, becoming very forgetful and missing appointments...things that are totally out of character for me. My close friends were really worried about me. I was becoming suspicious and then some information presented itself and instantly, I knew exactly who it was. I was really shocked about how long it had gone on. But then everything I'd brushed off suddenly made sense.
I'm very sorry you find yourself in this situation, but you will find that you are not the only one. I have found great comfort in the Long Term Affair thread in the I Can Relate section of the forums. So many people who like us were very trusting and totally blindsided.
One struggle I have had is the betrayal and layers of deceit. For my SAWH, his A was a fantasy life. He enjoyed this "perfect" fantasy world of younger woman with a great figure and a penchant for fun and partying, boozing, and all the sex that goes with that (the younger generation of women seem to love porn and sex as much as men do - all the sexting, dirty talk, etc. Astounding). No responsibility because I was at home taking care of all of that. I am pretty sure their connection was mainly a physical one and their relationship did not have any deep meaning...she was his person of addiction (in other words his drug). So the fact he had this sexual relationship is something I can get over more easily than the lying and years of emotional abuse I have endured in this marriage. You may find the same struggle in the months to come.
Finally, I want to encourage you to take care of yourself. You mention in your post that you work, you take care of his mother and you also have a child. Start putting yourself first. Create some boundaries about all of this and expectations of your husband and begin making time for yourself, your needs and interests. Take a class. Get your nails/hair done more often. Schedule monthly massages/facials. That's right...indulge. No one else is going to take care of YOU but YOU. Sad but true. So get started NOW.