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Advice Needed: How do

Icandothis14 posted 11/23/2018 10:10 AM

I messed up. Again. The whole story of everything is too long, messy and fucked up to post but hereís the abridged version...

I cheated on my husband three years ago with a coworker. It was disgusting. I am bipolar and was manic but that was no excuse. The person I cheated with was a horrific person in every way imaginable. My husband found out and was crushed. Like broken to pieces. I didnít react in the way I should have. I was terrible to him. Continued to hide things from him, lie to him, drink excessively. I got really drunk and depressed one night and tried to kill myself. He literally saved my life.

I got on meds and got my act together for the most part, but never completely. Three years later and Iím still not the best version of myself that I should be and that he deserves. He never regained trust in me, and thatís my fault. I never did enough to prove myself/regain it.

We moved across the country to start fresh and I started a new job. At the new job I developed a friendship with a male coworker. I wasnít (and am not) attracted to him. He was going through a divorce (but has a girlfriend) and we would go to lunch with other people and occasionally alone. One day I broke down and told him that I was desperate to fix my marriage but that I had an affair and things werenít good. Things with my husband werenít great and I was lonely and I have major issues with validation. But I hid this from my husband, the coworker and I texted and I deleted the texts. I betrayed my husband again. Not physically, but I betrayed his trust and hid things from him. My husband found out.

I love my husband more than anything in the world. We have two beautiful kids together and all I want is to be a family, the four of us. All I want is to show him I can be the person he deserves. I am ready to make major changes. I have already cut off the friendship with the male coworker, unfollowed/friended him on all social media. I told my husband I would make a contract and basically agree to anything.

We were at his parents house for Thanksgiving and he asked me to leave so I flew to see my mom. Weíll reunite on Saturday to fly home together.

He says heís done. He wants a divorce. Is there anything I can do at this point to prove my love to him and that Iím willing to do anything? Because I am and I will. I know my words mean nothing to him, itís all about action.

I am going to do some real soul searching to figure out how I got myself into this situation too. Iím so fucked up and I just canít believe I hurt him like this again.

[This message edited by Icandothis14 at 10:11 AM, November 23rd (Friday)]

foreverlabeled posted 11/23/2018 14:48 PM

Hey Ican, welcome to SI the best place for us waywards to get our shit together.

Take a deep breath! May I ask what is so different this time? Is it because you stand a real chance of losing him? He's reacting differently, stronger maybe this time? Did you feel sorry/remorseful the first time? Maybe no?

The best advice I can give you, which happens to be the hardest, is to let go of the outcome. Let go of the idea that you two will survive this together. I know you want that and would do anything, most of us have said that very thing in our first post. You're panicked and that's understandable, BTDT..

Before I could help either one of us, I had to get my catastrophic thoughts/feelings under control. I needed to ground myself because I landed hard in reality. What helped was understanding what I actually had control over, and the situation I did not. Quickly I learned all I could control was me.. my actions, my thoughts.

Pick up a copy of "how to help your spouse heal from your affair" by Linda Macdonald.

Read "not just friends" can't remember the author..

And read in The Healing Library, to the left of your screen.

Start there and get into therapy. See what happens this time..

EvolvingSoul posted 11/23/2018 17:10 PM

Hi there Icandothis14,

Welcome to SI. I know the circumstances that brought you here suck but this is a great place to get advice and support from people who are walking the path of healing. Some of us are years out and reconciled and some like you are just stepping onto the path. Most are someplace in between.

You already got some good advice from foreverlabeled, particularly the notion of letting go of the outcome. Your relationship may or may not be salvageable, but you definitely are. I know your question is posed as "what can I do to prove my love to him" but I'm asking you to take a step back. There is nothing you can do to prove anything right now. Your actions over time have shown him that what is important to him is not safe with you. So your work, whether or not your marriage survives, is to transform yourself from someone who is a danger to someone who is safe. It takes a long time.

One of the best things I did soon after D-day was to start getting educated on the true nature of infidelity and how it impacts the people involved. Here's some reading that will get you up to speed:

1) The book "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. It's a great general education about infidelity and how it impacts everyone involved. It will be particularly relevant to you since both of your affairs were with co-workers. Also explains how to affair proof yourself going forward.

2) The book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald. Don't skip this one if you want to reconcile. It's short enough to read in an afternoon and it lays out very clearly which actions on your part are likely to help reconciliation and which are likely to hinder it.

3) The post "Things Every WS Needs to Know" by HUFI-PUFI on this board. I'll bump it up to the top for you. Gives a realistic description of what your BS is likely to be experiencing now and some advice for how you can help them rather than make things worse. Also describes a realistic timeline for healing and what that might look like.

4) The Healing Library here on SI has many short writings on various aspects of infidelity, mostly from the BS's perspective. It helped me a lot to begin to understand what my BS might be going through.

Right now you're in panic mode. You want to keep your marriage and your family and those are powerful motivators for changing but I can tell you that the only motivation for changing that really works isn't you wanting the situation to be different than it is. It's wanting you to be different than you are right now and have likely been since before you ever cheated the first time. You're not unique in this. Just about every wayward who moves forward on the path of healing has to come to the realization that the scope of the problem is huge and it is going to take not just changing behaviors but changing ways of thinking to address it.

The good news is, it's doable and it's in your control to do it. There is a path and there are people already on it who can help you. And while you don't have to reinvent the wheel, you do have to push your own wheel barrow over what will prove to be some rough and at times mucky terrain. Read. Get yourself into IC. Start developing some tools for dealing with difficult feelings in ways that are wholesome rather than destructive.

Alright that's probably enough to get you going. Post here to ask questions or when you need support.

Proceed with conviction and valor.

Welcome to the path from a fellow EvolvingSoul.

[This message edited by EvolvingSoul at 5:12 PM, November 23rd (Friday)]

Icandothis14 posted 11/27/2018 10:03 AM

Thank you for your responses, they truly mean a lot. I picked up copies of both of those books and I've been trying to be there for my husband since returning home. He's still (rightfully so) very hurt and angry. He's in so much pain, and I hate knowing that I caused it.

I'm working really hard on not making this about me and not being a victim. I know I have some major work to put in -- I need to work on myself, on my values and what drives me, on my mental health, on everything really.

Thank you again for your responses.

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