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Long Term Affairs Part 38

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hopeandhealing posted 12/13/2018 00:48 AM

Figure out how not to have those experiences in the future.

While I agree that we learn from experiences and can evolve and change as a result, sorry CaliforniaNative, I respectfully disagree that reflecting upon the shit sandwich we were served to figure out how not to have those experiences in the future is helpful. That implies we were in some way responsible and that we have some capacity to exert control over our WS's choice to betray us and can somehow by living through this and "learning the lesson", ensure it won't happen again. That is a guarantee which does not exist, for anyone, those who have experienced infidelity and those who have not.

I have learned many things through this journey of infidelity, but none of my lessons have been how I can ensure this doesn't happen again to me. There are no guarantees and I take zero ownership for my WH's choice to cheat, nor do I believe any betrayed spouse should. It is not up to me to figure out how to not have the experience repeat itself. It is up to my broken partner to fix his shit and step up to ensure I don't have that experience again. I don't believe I, you, nor any other BS on this site deserved what we got and there was not something we could do to prevent it.

None of us will ever "forget" the pain of the betrayal we have felt, but it does not have to play a front and centre role in our lives. Reframing, accepting, healing is still honouring where we came from, still moving forward with lessons learned. I don't need to become a "better" person from this, I wasn't broken. Though I am most definitely a different person post dday, and have indeed grown from this experience, I wouldn't qualify it as "better".

gmc94 posted 12/13/2018 23:09 PM

I'm with Hope&Healing on her last post.

ButterflyBeauty -
I think our ddays are pretty close together (11 months?). I'm so sorry this is so painful.
The cluster of an LTA is hard. The way it impacts our memories is excruciating.
It's very hard to look back at last Christmas and not grieve for all that will never be the same. For the fun of last year - the last one "before"... I go through that on every holiday/occasion. I think the difference with an LTA is we don't have a "season" - we have this all year. I can't say he was "in the A" on memorial day, but my Labor Day is still untainted. Every one of those days is different this year, and every one is compared to last year. All I can do is hope that fades with time.... as we get through that first x without the innocence and trust and all the other stuff we had but was taken away by the A, and the loss made real on dday.

Personally, I'm doing much better than I thought... but that doesn't mean I won't be in full trigger hell tomorrow (the 14th is a bad day for me - for a host of reasons).
I find that doing all I can to refocus on ME and not him helps me better than anything else.
What do I want MY Christmas to be?
I know there will be triggers between now and - well, whenever! (but certainly between now and 12/31).
But I also know that how I heal has a lot to do with the focus I choose to have in between the triggers.
There is always a dull pain - always. I try to think of it like arthritis. When it's the low-level, dull pain, I can choose to take advantage of it and use it - take a walk, or whatever. Or I can chose to let it drive my day.
There will be flare-ups when I don't have so much choice... but at the moments that I do, I need to try and use them to make me happy.
And I do everything I can to not think about my WH... it doesn't help ME to put my "dull day" energies into someone that talks a good game, but can't seem to walk the walk.
I'm so sorry for your pain.

ButterflyBeauty posted 12/14/2018 10:01 AM

Thank you for all of your responses. I have found great comfort and support in all of your words. It is nice to have others who understand. I can't tell you how much a difference it makes just to know that I am not alone on this journey! I am very thankful for the wonderful advice everyone here is willing to share

Hurtandbroken99- I decided to apply that great advice and not be so hard on myself. I have given myself permission to let go of any expectations I have for myself and to literally take it moment by moment. I am going to pay attention to my needs during this delicate and emotional time.

My WH has definitely picked up the slack and has been for awhile. (Last month I had surgery. I am still recovering but my WH has taken wonderful care of me) While recovering and healing from my surgery is difficult and painful (like infidelity) it has given me a chance to really see my WH’s love and heart for me. It has been good and helped bring us closer during the R process. He has been very helpful. In fact, I find that he is very eager to help. He keeps asking me what can he do to help and is happy to do what I ask.
From the outside decorations, putting up our Christmas trees (which he has always done and enjoyed doing), helping with the Christmas shopping and gift ideas (that is new!) We are going away for the holiday and he planned the whole trip so that was nice. He is taking care of all of the details. WH has been supportive of me and my emotions which has been very helpful. He says that he just wants me to be able to be ok and enjoy the holidays as best as I can and however I need to.

Christmas is usually emotional for me as my mom passed away close to Christmas so I find myself always missing her more around the holidays. One thing I have always enjoyed and find gives me a lot of peace and comfort is to sit in front of the Christmas tree all lit up with the fresh pine smell and soft Christmas music playing. Insert snuggling with WH, kids, hot chocolate and soft fuzzy blankets and I’m in heaven! I have been able to still enjoy this.

Last night we had a holiday concert for the kids at school. The night was filled with a lot of potential triggers but over all I managed to make it through and still be able to enjoy our kids and the performance. I find it so difficult when we are out and people tell us what a beautiful family we are or how lucky I am! I experience this a lot. It stirs up so many emotions. I have tried to find the most honest and gracious response I can.

Hopeandhealing- Thank you so much for the encouragement! Yes that sounds similar and it is very overwhelming! I am sorry that for people to be able to relate and understand this kind of pain it means they have experienced it themselves. My WH did have 2 A’s. One was a co-worker he had sex with twice. The AP in the LTA began threatening WH that she would tell me as soon as WH tried to end it after they had sex a few times. There wasn’t anything about her and he didn’t want to be with her. The only reason it became a LTA is because of the threats. WH says if she didn’t threaten him, it would have ended (when he first told her it was over) after a few times. Please understand, I MAKE NO EXCUSES FOR HIS BEHAVIOR! For me it is a deeper wound to know that this didn’t have to go on for this long and I didn’t have to be hurt so deeply. If he could have just told me then when it happened, it would have been so much easier to deal with than all of this. (I can say that now, only looking back). But he was too afraid and selfish to get out of it. He chose to allow her threats to continue satisfying his selfish NSA needs. My WH wanted to end the A but he wanted to end it without being exposed or facing the consequences. As painful as it is, that’s what it boils down to. My WH said that he was relieved when it was exposed as it was his way out and he hasn’t looked back. WH says he is happy to be done with her, he doesn’t and has never missed her or any aspect of the A.

I am glad that the magnitude of it all this is less for you now. I hope as time goes by it continues to decrease. My WH has also expressed the same things as yours and many other WS’s that have posted here regarding his perspective and negative feelings of the A’s and himself during that time. WH has shared with me that he never had happy memories with her at all. He describes it as the darkest/worst time in his life. There was nothing good or positive in the A. He knew what he was doing was wrong and he was living with guilt, fear and shame all the time. WH has also told me that the memories we made together and as a family were/are real and very special to him. He said that while he was enjoying being with us, living our life and making these memories, it was bittersweet because deep down the reality of what he was doing and reflection of who he was created continual guilt and shame. He said that he was inwardly embarrassed and felt like a fraud and hypocrite. My WH said that those feelings fed the fear of loosing us. While he loved and enjoyed our life, he was living with the fear of exposure and he could loose it all at any minute.

My WH and I spoke about this last night and he says that he is even more excited for the holidays this year because the threat and fear is gone. He knows life for us now is hard because of what he has done (and he is struggling with that) but he is so grateful for the opportunity to be with me and our children and do it the way it was always supposed to be. He is looking forward to being able to freely love and appreciate our family as he is now being the man he desires to be. He is no longer hiding anything. He said he knows he doesn’t deserve me or the gift of R but he is happy to become the husband and father that we deserve to have.

Svon- I don’t know how you do it but I admire your strength and perserverance! I also relate to your perspective of AP wanting to see you unhappy and destroy your life. OW clearly had no issues destroying me or my family. In fact to dangle it as a threat to get WH to have sex with her is just repulsive and pathetic to me. What kind of person does that? I know she thought she was going to destroy my family and was happily anticipating the pain it would cause me and WH. She is angry and frustrated that it didn’t work. Just like she felt by BH during the A, she was once and for all faced with the harsh reality that she really is irrelevant and insignificant! She thought the fate of my M was in her hands and that she could end it whenever she wanted to. How foolish! As heartbroken as I am, I know in whom I trust and the one that is able to repair and restore my M. She wanted my WH to leave me and get a D, she wanted to be with him. She also knew that was never going to happen. My WH told her repeatedly, he loves me, he is never going to leave me. She was trying to convince him he was “stuck”. Which is when he would tell her he is with me because he loves me and wants to be. She didn’t like that so much. So I applaud you for living well and continuing to enjoy your life with your H.
Gmc94- You expressed how I feel about the “affair season” very well. I like the point you made about “how you heal has a lot to do with the focus you choose to have in between the triggers”. I think what we choose to focus on really plays a part in our perspective for healing. So even what we choose to focus on with the triggers can help or hurt. Some days I can take down a potential trigger moment, no problem, other days, I may stumble a little but there are the occasions that I feel like I get run over again. I am learning that it is all about the process and TIME. I am sorry to hear that today will be tough for you. I hope that you will find peace to deal with whatever obstacles you anticipate. Sending prayers and hugs your way {{ }}
Continue to focus on what is working for you and what you need. Remember to love and be kind to yourself!


CatsEye posted 12/15/2018 03:01 AM

Dilero,

I'm not judging you. I just can't believe that your spouse is on the up-and-up. I'm afraid you are being used. Again.

I'm sorry I came across as judgmental. I am very angry and bitter these days.

Dilero posted 12/16/2018 02:15 AM

Damn, I just pecked out a post on my iPhone then somehow lost what I had written! I’ll start over.

WS tells me he has broken it off with the OW. He promises to give me the details of the encounter, to tell me why he had to do it in person and to give me full access to all his devices (probably after he has sanitized them) upon his return. That will be in three days.

I had to sardonically chuckle after reading some of the recent posts. After D/Day, my WS made the most inane comment: “Weren’t we happy before you found out?”, implying that I ruined our happy marriage by becoming suspicious and discovering his infidelity.

More later on my drama in a few days.

Svon posted 12/16/2018 09:17 AM

Dilero,
Your husband’s comment about being happy before disclosure was indeed insensitive, but ironically I told myself that same thing after D day. I figured if I was happy with my life while my husband was being a secretive asshole I definitely could be happy if he chooses to be a faithful partner . Hang in there.

gmc94 posted 12/16/2018 14:19 PM

Dilero - I got the same thing about what a wonderful M we had - all thru his A.
What my WH seems to have never quite understood is that I value honesty above ALL else. It's always been more important than anything. WH and I specifically discussed this at many points during our M - SPECIFICALLY. I still get teased bc of my intense honesty. I just don't bullshit people -period. It's not in my character.
I'm the mom that always told the kids that WHATEVER they've done, they will ALWAYS make it exponentially worse by lying about it... that we are human and all do things we regret, but we must admit and take consequences. It still pisses me off to see WH sitting there during all of those talks with both our kids... knowing full well that he was lying (before and after the sex).

So - I guess it's just perspective. I care more about being with an honest person than being alone. I care more about honesty than the "support" I got from my WH throughout the M
Honesty is more important to me than having a husband that cooks or does laundry or helps me when I ask.
I care more about honesty than being married to a "good provider".
He was a great husband in lots of ways (and I could say that he still is - he'll still cook or do laundry, etc. He's great at the "acts of service", but that's really about HIM - about him doing things to make him look like the "good guy". Doesn't have a damn thing to do with ME or what I NEED. I don't NEED him to do the laundry. It's nice, but it is absolutely nothing more than gravy. I would have been just fine being married to someone that never did any of that stuff. To me - honesty is the meat and the vegetables... it's what I NEED more than gravy).
But he never paid the slightest attention to the one thing that was far far far more important to me than anything. And he knew it - the whole time.

Someone once compared it to being very patriotic and discovering your spouse was a spy. That's exactly how I feel. Nothing that my WH has ever said or done throughout the M changes that he was a spy from day 1.... for years before the sex.
I once likened it to being served a steak and lobster dinner. He served it, I ate it, and it was magnificent. But after dinner he walks up and sucker punches me in the eye. I have a black eye and permanently lost part of my vision. Did he provide that dinner? yes. Was it wonderful? Yes. But it was NOT WORTH the sucker punch. The price was too high. I would much rather have had a bowl of ramen and kept my eyesight.

Now, I can't go back and change any of it. I got the steak AND I lost my vision. And I'm the one that has to accept that loss and move on - with the good eye I've got left.
But I sure as f*ck don't have to stay for another sucker punch - steak or no steak.

Dilero posted 12/16/2018 14:43 PM

gmc94: OMG! We do have a very similar value system. Although I see it every day, I just cannot fathom a person that does not have the ethics or honor to be honest. Because of this character flaw, I do not believe that they place any credence in honesty, in being truthful. This factor, in and of itself, is a major hurdle in attempting a successsful reconciliation.

I wish us all favorable outcomes as we struggle through our unfortunate situations.

amanda123 posted 12/21/2018 22:51 PM

Its the 6th year anniversary for my 1st Dday coming up on January 4th.

Trigger for me will be boxing day when H first stopped speaking to me in the lead up to discovery on the 4th.

It almost feels like a bad dream sometimes.

2nd Dday is in April.

Wishing you all a very Happy holiday season, filled with love, peace, and happiness and all good things for the coming New Year.

onthefence123 posted 12/22/2018 09:51 AM

(((amanda123))) So sorry, be kind to yourself. Take this opportunity to have a wonderful day for yourself!! Plan something exciting or fun or self-indulgent like a spa day and try as much as possible to not let it haunt you. ((()))

amanda123 posted 12/29/2018 01:15 AM

onthefence123 Thank you I made it through boxing day, it was pretty uneventful, I didnt actually think of it till the evening.

Next test will be January 4th.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

steadychevy posted 12/29/2018 06:02 AM

Glad you made it through that, Amanda, and that the realization came late in the day. Strength for the upcoming days of significance. I had a day of significance earlier this month. It might have been a full week later that I remembered it and it was just a passing thought. Huge progress. I hope those days start to pass you by without a twinge and the significance fades to nothing.

ETA: I don't think it's a bad thing to remember those days but that they don't have the same effect (hardly any effect) as they once did.

[This message edited by steadychevy at 6:05 AM, December 29th (Saturday)]

amanda123 posted 12/30/2018 15:46 PM

Thanks steady, im so pleased to hear that it didn't even register on the day for you, it took a week. Wishing you many more of those.

I was speaking with my mother a couple of days ago. My mother had a very unhappy life with my father. We (meaning us kids) all knew that. With the amount of yelling that went on for years, it wasn't hard to tell. They had separate rooms, never did nice or sweet things for each other. My mother said she should have left my father a long time ago. I felt sorry for both of them. My father wasn't a bad man he wasn't outgoing like my mother was. He was an excellent provider and she never had to go to work. My father never cheated on my mother or vice versa, yet they endured years of unhappiness because of us (meaning us kids). I often wonder what our lives would have been like if they had not been together.

My mother doesn't know about my H's LTA, she would NEVER want me to stay with him infact she would encourage me to leave him. She doesn't have a forgiving nature. It made me really think last night if people aren't happy in their marriages then I don't think they should stay together, not even for the children. Seeing how unhappy my mother is and all of her regrets has made me really think. I am happy in my marriage now. Last night I asked my H was he happy he said yes.

Just thinking for some staying things may get better for some perhaps not.

Lorisa posted 1/1/2019 13:42 PM

How long does it take to get over a 13 year affair?

Tallgirl posted 1/1/2019 20:01 PM

I have been reading this thread for 3 days now (still 1/2 to go) – thank you all for sharing. I don’t feel as alone – but I am sorry that so many of us are here. Your stories speak to similar pain, anger, resentment, fears and doubts that I experience. I’ve been desperate to find others who have also experienced LTA’s – ONS are not the same - so grateful for this thread. My story short. I’m 53, WH is 55, married 24 years with 2 college aged kids. WH played on dating sites for 5 years, then decided to book a prostitute (because he didn’t want an affair). Fell in love with the prostitute (whore) and had a 5 year relationship – he saw her 2-3 times a week while having a parallel family life. Their relationship started to fall apart when WH didn’t ask for a divorce - I guess because of our kids.


DD1 was May 2018 – he promised to stop A and have NC. DD2 – July 7 – we had a vomit session, and I got way more than I expected. It changed me forever – that and all the photos the AP shared on FB. He had slept with her again (around or on our 24th anniversary (charming)), he saw her nearly every day, and even went apartment hunting with her – all the while telling me it was over. Lied to my tear stained face as I begged him to never lie or hurt me like this again. (What kind of person can do that?) He told me it was the apartment hunting that made him ask himself - what am I doing?


I promised myself that I would not make a major life decision in anger – I am still trying to figure out to R or D – we are kind of in limbo. So it’s been 7 months, my kids know, some of my friends and family are aware. It has been hard – for both of us. Christmas was aweful. We are still in the same house, he’s in the basement. He desperately wants R, he is remorseful, he has said he is sorry many times, he is doing lots of good things, going to church, MC, actually working. And I can barely look at him. When I look at him all I can see are the lies. Certainly, can’t fathom intimacy.


WH believes that we can have a great relationship if we work hard at it. He is 100% in. He wants to spend time with me - to replace the bad memories with good ones. He wants to go to church together …. I simply want peace – I’d take the absence of pain. He asks me what he can do to help or support me – I have no answer, he shattered my trust and faith in him/us. I want to be loved for who I am, not because I’m the default plan or making it work with mean means redemption for him. He says I’m not this, but I think I am.


I don’t understand why I haven’t kicked him out – this man cut my heart to the quick, he lied to me and our kids every day for 5 years, put our family at risk (her ex was a leader in a biker gang - she was threatened him), and he treated me like I was a piece crap. Our relationship before and during A waxed and wained. I knew that we had problems, looking back with the clarity of hindsight, I lived on breadcrumbs of hope because I loved and trusted him. Sadly, I got used to a shitty relationship and I was busy taking care of my kids, I convinced myself it wasn’t so bad, it was getting better, look there is a hopeful breadcrumb.


So here I am, riding the LTA rollercoaster.
I know many of you are in R – how did you make that decision when your trust was shattered? What did your WH do to rebuild your trust? How did you not hate them for the shit they did? I’m a good person, but I don’t know how to start to forgive the asshat that is my WH. I do know that I don’t want to stay in M because it is all I know or because I’m scared of being alone. I don’t think I would survive this again.



Svon posted 1/1/2019 23:18 PM

Tallgirl, I am also about 7 months out from D Day although I wasn’t kicked in the gut with a second one. I am sorry you are still struggling so much although I hear it is common. For me, I am doing much better. Make no mistake, I still have pain, but it is more of a dull ache and manageable. I no longer have doubts about what I want. I want my family, my husband, and the future we always planned together. My husband has done all he can to get me here emotionally. He has accepted my rage, my pain, my tears, all while seeking counseling both iC and MC. He took over household chores when I was too weak. He made me food when I didn’t feel like eating. He attended to my every need. . He essentially treated me like I was recovering from a near fatal injury and in retrospect it felt like it. He STILL answers my questions even though I have asked them 100 times before. It helps knowing he did not love his AP, but even if he had, I do believe I would still choose to move Forward with him assuming he was still acting the way he is now. Try pictung your future and how you want it to look. Do you see him there with you? Do you wish to be alone? Find someone new? Do finances matter? I don’t care what anyone else says, for me, I value financial security and a comfortable lifestyle at my age. There is no shame in that. I love everything about my husband other than the horrible choice he made. He is improving himself. I do not want another woman to reap those benefits. I have no desire to meet another man. I have no desire to share holidays with my adult kids or their future kids. In the end, I loved my life as my husband was being a selfish asshole. It would be stupid for me to give it up now that he is not. For me, leaving gets me nothing. The pain would not go away, but instead would be compounded. Every situation is different, but we all have the right to build the life we want. We can’t change the past, but we can damn well shape our future. Vision your life and what you wish it to look like. Now go for it.

[This message edited by Svon at 11:20 PM, January 1st (Tuesday)]

gmc94 posted 1/1/2019 23:50 PM

TallGirl - I'm so sorry you are here. It sucks.
Your pain is heard and acknowledged.

How did you make that decision [to R] when your trust was shattered?

For the first few months, I considered myself in R to the extent that I wanted to try and save the M. However, I ultimately realized that I was nowhere near R bc (a) my WH was not doing the work he needed to do (ie he was not in a place to be considered "R material" ), and (b) I was still healing and processing - and nowhere near a place to make a decision to commit to R or to the M.
So - I had to begin to focus on myself. On my needs, and on how I wanted to live my life without my WH. If he managed to pull his head out of his backside and come along for the ride in MY life, we would cross that bridge if and when it arose.

You say your WH desperately wants to R... but what are his ACTIONS (other than saying I'm sorry). I think MC vs IC is a mixed bag here on SI. Personally, there is no way I would even think about R with a WH who was not in IC, esp if it was an LTA - and one could argue your WH has been wayward for 10 years... 5 years "playing on" dating sites (and I'm not sure what that means - would be very skeptical there was never a ONS or other NSA sex from that "play" ) and 5 years active PA. So, even with MC, I would insist that he also go to IC, as HE has to do HIS work to fix what is BROKEN in HIM that caused him to be wayward for a decade.

Have you (and your WH) read how to help your spouse heal... by Linda MacDonald? Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass? Those are pretty universal "go to" books.

What did your WH do to rebuild your trust?

And here is one big factor in a WS not being R-worthy. Trust must be earned. First, with absolute honesty in all things (not just A-related). Are you getting that now? You clearly were NOT getting it between dday 1 and dday2... how are you able to verify that he is being honest? Do you have access to all his electronics (that "transparency" will not stop a determined WS from continuing to cheat or to break NC, but I still insisted upon it).
Has he answered - fully and truthfully - all questions you have regarding the A?
Having a 2nd dday puts the trust back into negative territory.
Have you considered a polygraph? (yes, some can still pass them even if lying, so it's a personal decision)
Trust is only earned after CONSISTENT action over (the dreaded 4-letter word) TIME. He keeps his promises. He comes home on time. He always tells you his whereabouts. He NEVER deletes any browser history email, text, etc. without asking FIRST (some have keyloggers on the computers - given the online stuff with your WH, I would absolutely be looking into that).
My WH is not trustworthy - not one bit. Maybe he will be, but not yet. If I learned tomorrow that he was having sex with someone else, I would not be surprised. Cheaters are VERY VERY good liars... cheaters in LTAs are very good liars on steroids. Even if my WH were the poster child for remorse and empathy, it will take me years to trust him (and I will never trust anyone as completely as I trusted my WH - never ever again).

How did you not hate them for the shit they did?

This is a tough one. I have feelings of hatred, but I don't "hate" him... I unequivocally HATE what he did. And I have a tremendous amount of anger towards him for the A and his atrocious behavior after dday. IMO, the only way is to work THROUGH it. Don't ignore it, FEEL it and acknowledge it and then be the best person you can be. I have said some things to my WH that I am not proud of. Did he deserve it? Absolutely. BUT - that is not the person that I want to be, even to someone who deserves my venom. It's hard to balance. I have found that meditating and other mindfulness helps the most - not just with anger and resentment, but with all the pain and trauma associated with the kind of betrayal that comes with a LTA.

I’m a good person, but I don’t know how to start to forgive the asshat that is my WH.

Then don't forgive him. You don't have to. I recently read a book called "How Can I Forgive You" by Janis Spring. I HIGHLY recommend it (and wish I'd read it close to dday - could have saved myself a ton of pain). She speaks of the difference between cheap forgiveness, not forgiving, ACCEPTANCE, and "genuine" forgiveness. Obviously the 1st two aren't healthy choices. Acceptance is a process that a betrayed person does alone. Genuine forgiveness is (like trust) EARNED by the offender. The book is not very long (I got it from my local library), and looking at it as a way to heal myself w/o my asshat WH (bc he can't get his act together to do the work to EARN my genuine forgiveness) has been extremely helpful. The genuine forgiveness part has a section specifically for the offender (the WS) to read. It gives a sort of guideline for the reparations/ atonement a WS needs to do (and what the BS needs to do) to get to genuine forgiving.

I do know that I don’t want to stay in M because it is all I know or because I’m scared of being alone. I don’t think I would survive this again

Well amen to this! Don't stay in the M because of fear (of anything - alone, finances, kids, etc). I don't want to stay for those reasons either. But you need to heal yourself. It's about as f'd up as anything - the idea that YOU as a BS have to heal YOURSELF! But, IMO, it's the only thing that works. I've written this analogy before - but basically I got into the car with my WH driving. He was high as a kite and I had no clue - because MY husband would NEVER get high, and he would NEVER drive while high. But he was and he did. He drives the car into a brick wall. Every bone in my body is crushed. Organs are twisted and will never work the same. I will NEVER be the same as I was before I got into that car. So - what am I gonna do? I'm in the hospital, in traction, bruised and broken. I can either be angry and stuck in blaming my WH for doing this to me (which I did - for MONTHS), or I can get my a** out of the bed, and start doing the work I must do to fix myself. He can't do it for me. If he's a remorseful and empathetic WH he can help, but he cannot do the actual walking or take away the pain of healing all those broken bones... all those hours of physical therapy that are required.
Now that I'm focusing on MY healing (instead of his being an asshat), it's much easier to emotionally detach and focus on ME and not him.
And guess what? As I go through that, I get stronger and stronger. I'm a couple weeks shy of the 1 year mark. Divorce no longer scares me. It's still a very real possibility, and I'm not thrilled that 2018 may have been the last "family" Christmas for us, but I'm not freaked out by it anymore.
Folks talk about letting go of the outcome and I (finally) feel I understand what that means... that I recognize that I WILL be Ok, I WILL heal myself, and my life WILL go on - with or without my WH. Personally, this has been crucial. I KNOW that I will be ok if we divorce. It will be hard, but so is staying married to a man that spent years putting himself first, at the expense of our children and my dignity, sanity, and trust. Now, MY safety and MY sanity and MY dignity are becoming more and more important to me than my marriage. Doesn't mean I WANT a divorce, but it does mean that I will set the boundaries for how I will be treated and I will NOT accept anything less. I'd rather be alone.

Many here say that after dday, the BS heals BS, the WS heals/fixes the WS and then, AFTER that healing and work, the BS & WS work together to forge a NEW marriage. I believe that. You do NOT have to make any decision about R or D at this point. You can do the work to heal yourself w/in your marriage. It may turn out that your WH is not "R material" and you decide to stay or not. It may turn out he is perfect R material, but it's still a dealbreaker for you and you decide to D (and for some, this realization may be YEARS after dday). It may turn out that he's R material and you heal and then you two forge a new M that includes trust and vulnerability and suits you better than the M you thought you had before dday. No one knows. I also believe the 2-5 year timeline... and I suspect that those of us with the added bonus of an LTA tend to be closer to the 5-yr plan than the two-year.
We are all different and all have different needs from our spouses and our M. Only YOU can decide what you need from your WH and what you will tolerate in your M.
Godspeed.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:06 AM, January 2nd, 2019 (Wednesday)]

Tallgirl posted 1/2/2019 21:28 PM

Hello

(Svon)

Thank you so much for hearing me and your advice. Today I find it difficult to picture my future. The decision to R or D is hard to see past because the LTA looms large. I did think that we would grow old together. I know I want to be with someone who will cherish me, someone I can respect and respects me, who I can have fun with, who likes to play like I do, Who cares about people and puts people first, puts me first, who likes to be a little goofy, who has a wacky sense of humour and cracks me up. Just not sure it is my WH, he currently represents pain to me. Here is what I do not want. I do not want a selfish cheating miserable son of a bitch H. He has been this for nearly 50% of our marriage. Your advice makes sense. But I am not there right now. I will ask myself these questions weekly until I can answer them. I admire your strong love for your husband, he is a lucky man. It warms my heart to read your confidence and happiness.


(gmc)


Thank you for hearing my pain and for words. My WH is and has been doing a lot of self improvement. I think he is telling the truth now, I was fooled for many years so I don’t really trust my own judgement. He shares his phone and iPad with me. Though, I often get an angry comment about it and When he does he gets a blast of LTA fury. He tells me when and where he goes, often sending me photos. He no longer takes phone calls outside on the porch. He is home when he’s not at work. He asks me to do things with him. He asks often what he can do for me. Says good morning.... To be honest I have withdrawn from him and I feel lonely. I have trouble looking at him. Sometimes looking at him hurts more than I can bear so I talk to the wall behind him. Sad eh?

I have been putting pressure on myself to make a decision. I am tired of the limbo, but I will give myself a break because I am starting to crack. I need to focus on me, me first. Thank you sincerely thank you.

Thanks for the book recommendations, I will certainly give them a read, seen a lot about Shirley Glass, and I am struggling with this forgiveness concept, so many viewpoints, and few are resonating with me. I have never been more grateful for Amazon since this happened. It is simply mortifying to buy books on this topic at physical the bookstore. Go Amazon prime!

I am not sleeping. Do any of you have surefire remedies? I’ve tried a lot of things but I can’t shut my damn brain off. Maybe I have to resign myself to the fact that sleep disappeared with trust.

Today I went to work and wearing two different socks. Mind you that’s much better than last month when I wore two different coloured shoes for the entire day.

gmc94 posted 1/3/2019 12:06 PM

I have withdrawn from him and I feel lonely. I have trouble looking at him. Sometimes looking at him hurts more than I can bear so I talk to the wall behind him. Sad eh

Yes sad. And also understandable. I still sometimes have this (and my feelings can swing from rage to pain to disgust and repulsion).

I think I mentioned that I got the Rick Hansen and Janis Spring books at the library - neither of them are specifically infidelity-related, so no shame in the check out line!

As to sleeping? Several suggestions.
My WH can fall asleep, but can't stay asleep, and our IC recommended on over-the-counter product called something like Sambucus nighttime. It's got melatonin and Sambucus (elderflower). It was, IMO, kind of pricey. We tried it, it worked pretty well (for both WH and DD) and I found an online place and bought a bunch of bottles for about 1/3 less than Amazon (even with shipping).
I've suffered from insomnia my whole life (I couldn't fall asleep, but would stay asleep once I got there). My dr gave me an Rx for Trazadone. It doesn't work for everyone, but it worked for me about 80% of the time. Then, dday put that problem on steroids (I've probably had a dozen or so nights where I slept from zero to 60 minutes). The Trazadone didn't work as well when my mind was spinning so fast/much. So i was back to the drawing board.
I found that meditating really does the trick. I found an app for my phone called Insight Timer. It's free and allows you to set the length, gender, music, religion, etc. Sometimes I may have to go for a longer meditation, but it does work. I've not taken any Rx or OTC for months & months. With the PTSD Dx, I now also have trouble sleeping through the night. Again, I turn to my trusty Insight Timer and almost always drift back w/in 10-20 minutes. It's been a lifesaver (esp bc dealing with the A is hard enough, doing it on no sleep makes it all so much worse). And Bonus! Meditating can really help you find your focus and your center. Frankly, I always thought of it as "touchy feeley" stuff that "wasn't for me". But once I got my starring role in the sh*tshow that is life after dday, I realized that kind of thinking was working against me and my healing, so I tried it. I am full of gratitude for the SI folks who recommended it - it's changed my life in ways that reach far beyond the A.
There have been a few times I was so wound up with the A and the M that the meditating couldn't slow down my mind, and I found that listening to an audiobook will ultimately get me there. Just turn it on in the dark room and eventually I'll fall asleep (it helps if it's a book I don't care much about). Again, your local library can be a Godsend here. Mine uses an online app (called Hoopla) so I can almost always find SOMETHING with a soothing voice that will put me to sleep.
Odd as it sounds, I guess I can see one benefit of the sh*t sandwich is finally learning what will put me to sleep without medication!

One quick PS. On another SI thread recently, someone posted that a WS' showing anger/frustration with the BS' reasonable post-dday boundaries as nothing more than continued entitled and selfish thinking. It really hit a nerve/resonated. If a WS wants to make amends and atone and do whatever s/he can to heal the BS, s/he will see all of those boundaries as OPPORTUNITIES to be the spouse they should have been before/during/after the A. When a WS gets frustrated/angry about this, s/he needs to ask themself: why? Why do I see this as anything remotely inconvenient or frustrating? It's something to think about when your WH gets touchy about you looking at his electronics. If you'd been hit by a drunk driver, your WH would understand your anxiety when getting into a car... this is no different.

ETA: As to that growing older thing? Yup, me too. And my WH loved to talk about it. Honestly, that no longer bothers me. It took awhile, but like you, I do NOT want to be in a M with a selfish, cheating, miserable, SOB WH. So now, I can dream of a future with our without a partner, and know that I will be OK either way. I'm learning that I can experience life and share it with no one but myself and feel joy. Bonus! If you are in the rocking chair alone, you'll never feel embarrassed if you pass gas.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 12:12 PM, January 3rd, 2019 (Thursday)]

CaliforniaNative posted 1/3/2019 19:22 PM

I respectfully disagree that reflecting upon the shit sandwich we were served to figure out how not to have those experiences in the future is helpful.

Maybe not for you and that is ok. I stopped my WH from cheating on me. I divorced him.

Please remember need that we all experienced this trauma differently. I have learned so very much from this and I will never forget. Let me explain. After this particular relationship ended, I look back on that girl—someone I am disconnected from now—and feel a deep sense of sadness. The desperation and overwhelming devastation I experienced at this time was so intense, it’s hard to think of myself capable of such a heavy fall into darkness.

Thankfully, I never asked for the full and honest truth about the cheating. I don’t even know her name. The relationship was over for so many more reasons than these incidences, and I loved and honored myself too much to get lost in the minutia—especially when I was grappling with the loss of a 17-year love.

Now, when I run across kernels of truth from that time, I recognize the profound lessons that come from experiencing this type of betrayal in a relationship. In a very strange way, it was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me.

It prompted the end of a toxic relationship I would have never left on my own.

Sometimes we’re convinced that if we just hold on a little tighter, relationships that we should be releasing will suddenly become right and whole again. But if two people are supposed to part ways, no amount of pushing will change their course.

Because I was so attached to what I had always known and concerned at the thought of starting over, I would not have willingly left this relationship on my own. Suffering seemed far better than facing the unknown. Luckily, this turn of events meant the decision was made for me.

The life I managed to create afterward is far more beautiful than the muck I convinced myself I was okay residing in. I look to 2019 as a fresh start.

It taught me the art of directing anger and upset at the person that really deserves it.

A million different people could have taken on the role of the “other woman.” As far as I’m far as I’m concerned, who she was is really inconsequential. I did not share a life nor have an agreement of faithfulness with her—only him. I personally don’t care if she was even playground equipment.

Their relationship stemmed from a whole host of incompatibilities and glaring issues that were festering under the surface of what we created together. It was a symptom of a larger issue, and if he hadn’t of been with her, he would have been with someone else.

She could not be the sole cause of our relationship ending when the heart of the relationship belonged to him and I.

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, their paths were meant to cross at that time, in that way. Directing anger at her as a facilitator in the demise of a relationship that needed to end is, and will always be, fruitless.

It taught me to disconnect my self-worth from the actions of others.

I am and always have been enough, and the actions of someone I love are not a physical representation of my failings.

This realization was not something I came to immediately after the end of my relationship but in the period that followed—after spending time healing.

All of us are on our own, very separate journey. Even if we come together with a partner for a window of time, we all have experiences and life lessons we must endure alone. While I needed to learn independence and forgiveness, there were things he needed to learn—things I won’t pretend to know.

In the past, unfortunately, I have caused loved ones pain and I know that, each time, it was never a result of their shortcomings. My actions were directly connected to how I was feeli to how I was feeling or thinking at the time. In turn, I know this incident wasn’t a culmination of my failings or a representation of something I was lacking.

If anything, it was a series of events that were meant to transpire for reasons I am still uncovering today.

It convinced me the greatest beauty is born from letting go.

I have always been incredibly apprehensive at the mere mention of letting something go. The fear stems from the idea that after letting go, I may never be able to find anything quite like that again.

Often times, this is true.

I will never find another relationship like that again—I will find something far more loving, supportive, honest, and true. I already have with that with my 11 year old son, my parents and my best friends.

Sometimes we can’t see a clear picture of what will transpire if we agree to release something from our lives, but that’s often because we must endure a period of growth in between—something that makes us ready and willing to bring it into our experience.

Through this heartbreaking experience I learned that letting go is the spark that allows so many great things to transpire.

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