Did you (as a couple and/or individually) get professional help, IC or MC, 5 years ago?
The anger might be residual from things that haven't been resolved or addressed, in addition to the constant reminder with having your sister still a part of your lives. I can only imagine how horrible that must be...as if you can't escape it .
I had recently suffered my 3rd miscarriage. We talked about maybe not trying again. In my mind it was a maybe and not for sure. By the end of the week, he told me he was interested in smoking pot again and then I found out he had asked a buddy to help him get some. To me, that was just so damn insensitive! He told me he wouldn't go near the stuff if we were trying. Plus he's lied to me about pot in the past just like he lied during the affair. I triggered bad! I got really angry. Started questioning whether or not I made the right decision in staying with him. Started to withdrawal. It's been 8 months of me not being okay:(
I decided to go to counseling. She brought a lot of good things to light. Like how I tend to go back to the affair instead of dealing with uncertain feelings about current issues with my husband or the marriage. She said it's easy to go back to the affair because I know it well and I know it's something I can be pissed about. Sometimes I'm not sure if it's okay to be pissed about him spending time away from me or smoking pot again (current issues). She told me to really try to differentiate. To stay in the present. To say to my husband, "I want you to have fun with your friends but I don't like you being gone. I'm not sure why I have these feelings, but I do."
She validated my feelings and helped me to see why I am the way I am...and that it was okay.
I also started working out again. Something for me.
I'm doing better but still need to work on not withdrawing (something I never did prior to his affair). I just can't seem to give him my heart back completely. I know I will never be the same and I think I still have a tough time with that. Trusting him again has been difficult. If he's going to be late, I do think about him cheating again. But then I calm myself down by saying, "Okay, he's not treating you like complete dirt anymore. He's not cheating. It's okay."
Someone said healing from adultery is cyclical and I couldn't agree more especially during big life changes or stressors. I know I will probably always trigger but hopefully very rarely and with the tinge of pain only lasting briefly.
Just know you are not alone. I think most of us "old timers" who struggle don't post as often as to not discourage those who are trying to reconcile or who have just found out. I know that's how I've felt and so I read looking for others like myself still struggling so far out. Thanks for being brave!
Edited to add this link. I posted about still struggling back in May and had a lot of great responses. Hope some of them help you, too.
[This message edited by so_lost at 10:18 PM, November 16th (Saturday)]
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
Maybe give your counselor another change or find a new one. At first, mine pretty much blasted my husband which didn't do me any good. After 2-3 sessions of that, I had to refocus my goals with her.
As far as family gatherings go you have to somehow take care of yourself. That's truly what your dad would want. It could be stepping away with your sisters somewhere else for a bit or having dad leave early. Whatever you need. Maybe your counselor would have some other ideas.
I did go for counseling myself but it didn't help. We are planning to go together this time, at least H is willing to do what it takes!
I had my hormone levels checked about 6 mths ago, and doc sd they were fine. I was so confused as to why I was angry. He actually is a good, caring man. "so_lost" my heart goes out to you on your miscarriage, I hope you find peace and heal from your pain. Your therapist made many valid points esp that," it's easy to go back to the affair because I know it well and I know it's something I can be pissed about." Wow, great insight. In retrospect, I've been blaming pretty much everything that doesn't go well on him. I think in order for me to really move on, I'm going to have to truly find out what I'm unhappy about.
Thank you all again for your words of wisdom! Here's to healing and getting stronger!
IMO, you've probably got a lot of bottled up feelings from the A, which was a double betrayal - not just your H cheating, which is more than hard enough to deal with on its own.
In addition to the bottled up feelings, you've got conflicting ideas about how to handle the sitch (example, most of us want our friends to cut the ap off; you want your sisters to be friendly with your H's ap - I imagine that's hard to live with), and it sounds like you're doubting yourself (which is common to almost all of us).
Bottom line, I suggest starting IC again with the goals of finding bottled up feelings, if any, resolving the conflicts about what to do, and restoring your self-esteem. (This Is JMO - if this doesn't make sense to you, don't do it.)
Empathize with your sister. To be totally honest, she sounds like a victim of sexual abuse and/or daddy issues. She also wasn't able or didn't want to live with either of her parents when she was sixteen. Red flag for some big issues.
What she did was horribly inexcusable. But imagine how emotionally screwed up you would have to be to have an A with your brother-in-law? Being her must be pretty horrible... to be that desperate for love.
In order for you to heal, there has to be some level of forgiveness. Not that anyone deserves it, but you sure deserve the peace it brings.
A wise friend once told me that to forgive someone, you have to pray from them. (No, you can't pray that they stop being an asshole, I asked). But through gritted teeth, day after day, you pray for them every way that you can think of.
Like I said, not fair. But this may be the way that healing works.